At Luke 1: 46-55 we see Blessed Virgin Mary singing a song of praise, now known as the Magnificat, while greeting her cousin Elizabeth. I wish to know if the song of Mary was a spontaneous utterance, or was it an integration of prayers from the old Jewish scripts and the Psalms ? What do the teachings of Catholic Church say on the source(s) of the Magnificat ?

  • It's interesting to think about how it got to us. Luke was not an eyewitness to Mary's pregnancy, obviously, so his gospel was probably informed by the good physician interviewing Mary herself decades later. Perhaps it was a prayer she sang throughout her life, or maybe the Holy Spirit helped her to remember it during the interview. Imagine being Luke and getting to hear it first hand. – workerjoe Sep 6 '18 at 1:54
  • I am not questioning the authenticity of Luke's rendering of the Magnificat. My question is about the source from where Mary herself had got those beautiful verses . – Kadalikatt Joseph Sibichan Sep 6 '18 at 15:47

Mary knew Holy Scriptures very well, and her Magnificat canticle was inspired by the Holy Ghost.

During her Visitation with St. Elizabeth,

Mary, too, was inspired by the Holy Spirit. She improvised the poem known to us as the Magnificat,27 from the opening word of its Latin version. It is charged with reminiscences of the psalms and other writings of the Old Testament, showing that Mary's mind was steeped in Holy Writ. In the first strophe (Lk. 1:46-50), she meditates with restrained enthusiasm upon the mercy, power, and holiness of God, who had chosen her for so great a dignity. She explains in the second strophe (vv. 51-53) that God is wont to exalt the weak and depose the proud. In the third strophe (vv. 54-55), she praises God's fidelity in fulfilling through His Son the promises made to Abraham and his posterity.

source: Fr. Michael J. Gruenthaner, S.J., "Mary in the New Testament", pp. 89-90 of Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M, Mariology (vol. 1), 1955.

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