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Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 21 November

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 21 NovemberPresentation-Mary.JPG

While the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was not generally celebrated in the West until the 11th century, it appears in most of the earliest calendars of the Eastern Churches.   Derived from accounts in apocryphal literature, especially the Protoevangelium of James, the feast seems first to have appeared in Syria, where the Protoevangelium and other apocryphal books, such as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, originated.   The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary first rose to prominence, however, in Jerusalem, where it was associated with the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary the New.Presentation-of-the-BVM-03.jpg

That basilica was built near the ruins of the Temple in Jerusalem and the Protoevangelium of James and other apocryphal works, told the story of Mary’s presentation at the Temple at the age of three.   In gratitude for being granted a child after years of infertility, Mary’s parents, Saints Joachim and Anna, had vowed to dedicate Mary to the service of God at the Temple.   When they presented her at the Temple at the age of three, she stayed willingly, showing her dedication to God even at that young age.

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Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, Testa

The Protoevangelium of James, while an extra-biblical document, is the source of many details of Mary’s life that became universally accepted by the Church, including the names of her parents, the story of her birth, her age at her betrothal to Saint Joseph and Saint Joseph’s advanced age and his status as a widower with children by his first wife.   It also played a large role among Christians, both Eastern and Western, in recognising Mary as the new Temple, the true Holy of Holies.   When Mary left the Temple at the age of 12 after her betrothal to Joseph, she remained pure and chaste and at the Annunciation, God came to dwell in her.

The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary first made its way to the West through monasteries in Southern Italy in the ninth century, by the 11th century, it had spread to other locales but was by no means universally celebrated.   Under the influence of a French nobleman, Philippe de Mazières, Pope Gregory XI began celebrating the feast during the Avignon papacy.presentation of mary.jpg

Pope Sixtus IV first placed the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the universal calendar in 1472 but in the Tridentine reform of the calendar in 1568, Pope Pius V removed the feast.   It was restored 17 years later by Pope Sixtus V and remains in the Roman calendar today as a memorial.presentation of mary glass

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Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This is a papal fidelity site. Loyal and Obedient to the Current Pope and to the Magisterium United With Him.

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