November 20, 2016

Memorial of the Presentation of Mary

The Presentation of Mary
Presentation of the Virgin, Giotto, Scrovegni Chapel, c. 1305.

November 21st, is the memorial of the Presentation of Mary or the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple (as it is called in the East). Sacred Scripture is silent regarding this event. The Protoevangelium of James records that the Blessed Virgin’s mother Anne promised her daughter to God. Shortly after her birth, Mary was admitted into the sacred precincts. Popular piety attest that, when she was 3, her parents, Joachim and Anne brought her to the Temple to be consecrated to the Lord. There she was raised in holiness and received her nourishment from the Archangel Gabriel. Our Mother’s rigorous formation was owed to her singular place in the divine economy of salvation. In conceiving Jesus, Mary herself became a living temple of God; cherishing Him in her heart, loving Christ ardently, and faithfully keeping his word. In accordance with Scripture, God the Son and God the Father made their home with her. The Presentation of Mary continues the divine trajectory of Mary’s life as seen in the Immaculate Conception and her birth.

The feast originated in Jerusalem in 543. In the East, where it has been observed since the 8th century, it bears the name, 'The Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple'. It was introduced in the West by a Cypriotic legate to the papal court of Avignon in 1371. Pope Sixtus IV extended its observance to the universal Church In 1472. Abolished by Pope Pius V, it was later reintroduced. It is dedicated to those who belong to contemplative religious orders who dedicate themselves to God in prayer and silent work. As we venerate the glorious memory of the most holy Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, O Lord, through her intercession, that we too, may merit to receive from the fullness of your grace.

V. Dignáre me laudáre te, Virgo sacráta.

R. Da mihi virtútem contra hostes tuos.

Oremus.

Deus, qui beátam Maríam semper Vírginem, Spíritus Sancti habitáculum, hodiérna die in templo præsentári voluísti : præsta, quæsumus ; ut, ejus intercessióne, in templo glóriæ tuæ præsentári mereámur. Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte ejúsdem Spíritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

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