the order of the visitation of our lady


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Visitation \Vis`it*a"tion\, n. [L. visitatio: cf. F.
   visitation.]
   1. The act of visiting, or the state of being visited; access
      for inspection or examination.
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            Nothing but peace and gentle visitation. --Shak.
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   2. Specifically: The act of a superior or superintending
      officer who, in the discharge of his office, visits a
      corporation, college, etc., to examine into the manner in
      which it is conducted, and see that its laws and
      regulations are duly observed and executed; as, the
      visitation of a diocese by a bishop.
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   3. The object of a visit. [Obs.] "O flowers, . . . my early
      visitation and my last." --Milton.
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   4. (Internat. Law) The act of a naval commander who visits,
      or enters on board, a vessel belonging to another nation,
      for the purpose of ascertaining her character and object,
      but without claiming or exercising a right of searching
      the vessel. It is, however, usually coupled with the right
      of search (see under Search), visitation being used for
      the purpose of search.
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   5. Special dispensation; communication of divine favor and
      goodness, or, more usually, of divine wrath and vengeance;
      retributive calamity; retribution; judgment.
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            What will ye do in the day of visitation? --Isa. x.
                                                  3.
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   6. (Eccl.) A festival in honor of the visit of the Virgin
      Mary to Elisabeth, mother of John the Baptist, celebrated
      on the second of July.
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   The Order of the Visitation of Our Lady (R. C. Ch.), a
      religious community of nuns, founded at Annecy, in Savoy,
      in 1610, and in 1808 established in the United States. In
      America these nuns are devoted to the education of girls.
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