Prayers & Devotions
Presentation of the Virgin Mary
Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple
1486-90 - Fresco
Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence
Mary, at the age of three, was brought by her parents to the Temple, in fulfillment of a vow, there to be educated. The corresponding feast originated in the Orient, probably in Syria, the home of the apocrypha. The feast is missing in the earlier Menology of Constantinople (eighth century); it is found, however, in the liturgical documents of the eleventh century. It appears in the constitution of Manuel Comnenos (1166) as a fully recognized festival during which the law courts did not sit. In the West it was introduced by a French nobleman, Philippe de Mazières, Chancellor of the King of Cyprus, who spent some time at Avignon during the pontificate of Gregory XI. It was celebrated in the presence of the cardinals (1372) with an office accommodated from the office chanted by the Greeks. In 1373 it was adopted in the royal chapel at Paris, 1418 at Metz, 1420 at Cologne. Pius II granted (1460) the feast with a vigil to the Duke of Saxony. It was taken up by many dioceses, but at the end of the Middle Ages, it was still missing in many calendars. At Toledo it was assigned (1500) by Cardinal Ximenes to September 30. Sixtus IV received it into the Roman Breviary, Pius V struck it from the calendar, but Sixtus V took it up a second time (September 1, 1585). It is now celebrated November 21.
(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)
As we venerate the glorious memory
of the most Virgin Mary,
grant, we pray, O Lord, through her intercession,
that we too, may merit to receive
from the fullness of your grace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Zechariah 2:14-17 (2:10-13 RSV)
Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. And the Lord will inherit Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem."
Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord; for He has roused Himself from His holy dwelling.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 12:46-50
While He was still speaking to the people, behold, His mother and His brethren stood outside, asking to speak to Him. But He replied to the man who told Him, "Who is My mother, and who are My brethren?" And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Here are My mother and My brethren! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother, and sister, and mother."
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