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Had she received word that her elder kinswoman Elizabeth was also with child and gone to assist her?
Mary had always loved Elizabeth in a special way, and more than once she had seen her elderly kinswoman cry softly in a dark corner of one of the extended family's houses or outside under the stars.
It is my sense that her yes was unsure and that it was out of mercy and kindness that the angel Gabriel before flitting off said: Oh, by the way, your kinswoman, Elizabeth, great in age and barren, is about the have a child, and she is in her sixth month.
Newborn children should be massaged by a kinswoman so that they grow up to be well shaped; a poorly "dieted" kinswoman will misshape a child she kneads (see Lagrou 2000 and Londono Sulkin 2000).
offered his readers factual and sensible information on how polygamy actually worked, observing that "Though the liberty of poligamie be granted, yet not one amongst a hundred hath foure" wives, the reason being that "the wives friends will never suffer any to marry their kinswoman without first they have a bill of dowry sufficient for the maintenance of her.
His insistence on this point suggests the possibility that her inclusion in the mission could be misinterpreted; her supportive presence in Boniface's life, the support only a kinswoman could offer, was important, but it was second to her intellectual gifts.
Mary reaches out to her kinswoman to help her and also to be helped by her.
In Elizabeth's sixth month, her kinswoman Mary is visited by Gabriel and conceives, and "in those days" (1:39) visits Elizabeth, staying with her "about three months" (1:56).
The one sticking point has been doubt that the Visconti in 1450 would have remembered, even honored, a kinswoman whose "papal" pretensions had led to her death for heresy in 1300.
If she lives with a kinswoman of her husband, however, she is under surveillance; and her sleep may be interrupted if her in-law can keep herself awake' (Biersack 1987:193; emphasis JM).
The ghost of Robin Hood, his evil kinswoman Prioress Elizabeth de Staynton and her lover, Red Roger of Doncaster, are said to haunt the grounds of Kirkless Hall at Clifton, near Brighouse.