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According to Wikipedia, "The Visitation is the visit of Mary with Elizabeth as recorded in the Gospel of Luke , Luke 1:39–56."

After reading the above, can one correctly infer that the word "visitation" is used in the place of "visit" when ghost, aliens or angels, or similar supernatural apparences, are involved.

If so, would it be more proper "The Visitation is the visitation of Mary with Elizabeth as recorded in the Gospel of Luke , Luke 1:39–56."?

However, apart the above case, which of the following are correct or proper English?

1.a) The visitation of the ghost.

2.a) The gostly visitation.

1.b) The visit of the ghost.

2.b) The gostly visit.

  • FWIW I think making up capitalized names for scriptural events is mostly a Catholic/Anglican thing. Most Protestants just call this "when Mary visited Elizabeth when she was pregnant". At least, of the people I talk to. – Jay Jul 22 '13 at 14:07
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No, the event in Luke 1:39-56 was a visit between the (expecting) Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, who was also pregnant (with John the Baptist). There were no ghosts involved (the Holy Spirit notwithstanding).

The word is capitalized (The Visitation) because it's the proper name of a Scriptural event (not unlike The Crucifixion).

No doubt, Mary and Elizabeth visited on several occasions, but The Visitation refers only to the one recorded in Luke's Gospel.

In the general case, a ghost might visit someone. The word visit can be a verb or a noun, and the noun visitation refers to a particular visit – that's always true, whether the visitor is an old friend, a salesperson, an ex-spouse, or a departed uncle in the spectral form.

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    Exactly. It's perhaps worth pointing out that visitation ordinarily refers to a) an official inspection of an institution or b) the legal rights and practices surrounding visits between relatives separated by imprisonment or divorce. – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 21 '13 at 11:29
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    "Visitation" as a noun simply means "visit". It is rarely used, and mostly for very historically or otherwise significant events. Like this example. I've heard it used fairly often to refer to visits by ghosts, aliens, etc, because presumably such a visit would be more profound than your neighbor dropping by for a beer. :-) – Jay Jul 22 '13 at 14:02

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