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Header-Presentation of the Christ Child in the Temple


In Israel the Law of Moses considered the first-born male child to belong to God. The same law considered the mother “unclean” after giving birth. For forty days she could not go out or touch anything sacred.

In order to “ransom” the child and “cleanse” the mother, a visit to temple was required, which involved a sacrificial offering of a lamb and a dove. If the family had limited means, the lamb could be exchanged for a dove. Thus, two doves were sufficient to fulfill the precept.

Forty days after the birth of Jesus, St. Joseph again helped his virgin wife onto the donkey only now she carried the creator of the universe in her arms. Slowly they made their way to Jerusalem to comply with the Mosaic Law. In their case, there was really no need for “ransom” or “cleansing”, Jesus being God, and Mary being a virgin before, during and after the birth of her divine Son (CCC 496-507, 510).

Yet, before the eyes of men, unaware of these circumstances, the holy family wished to give an example of humility and obedience by submitting to the age-old mandate. The fact that St. Joseph offered two doves is evidence of their poverty.

At that time there was a priest, a venerable old man named Simeon to whom the Holy Ghost had revealed that he would not die before seeing Christ the Redeemer (Luke 2:26).

Image of the Presentation of the Christ Child in the Temple

As the holy family entered the temple, Simeon was inspired to meet them, and taking the Child in his arms exclaimed: “Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; because my eyes have seen thy salvation…” (Luke 2:29-30)

And turning to Mary Most Holy, he prophesized, “Behold this child is set for the fall and resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted…and thy own soul a sword shall pierce…” (Luke 2:34-35)

An eighty-four year old woman, the holy prophetess Anna, who lived in the temple, also gave thanks to God and spoke of Him to all present. (Luke 2:36-38)

The feast of the Presentation of the Lord was celebrated in the Church of Jerusalem as early as the mid-fourth century and probably earlier.

Throughout the history of the Church this feast has been called The Presentation, the Purification of Mary and also Candlemas, as, traditionally, candles were blessed on February 2.

 


 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for February 25, 2021

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what...

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February 25

 

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and
reject what you don't like,
it is not the gospels that you believe,
but in yourself.

Saint Augustine of Hippo

  
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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Tarasius of Constantinople

The emperor became enamored of Theodotah, a maid of his wife...

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St. Tarasius of Constantinople

Tarasius was born around the middle of the eighth century. Raised in a patrician family, Tarasius was surrounded by earthly wealth and possessions, but lived a most austere and holy life. His virtue gained the esteem of the empire, and Tarasius was made Patriarch of Constantinople.

The emperor of the time, Constantine VI, became enamored of Theodotah, a maid of his wife, and sought to divorce his wife and marry her maid. As he strove to convince Tarasius to marry him to Theodota, the emperor sent a message to the holy man. Tarasius adamantly refused, replying to the emperor's ambassador, “I would rather suffer death and all manner of torments than consent to his design." He continued to reject the emperor’s requests, and the ceremony was performed by another.

Just before his death, Tarasius fell into a trance. As his biographer, who was an eyewitness, relates, he was heard arguing with a number of unseen accusers. Tarasius defended himself against the accusers, and answered everything laid to his charge. Later, a great peacefulness came over him, and Tarasius gave up his soul to God in 806.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Alphonsus, King of Leon and Galicia, very much wanted all hi...

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Our Lady Rewards the Public Use of the Rosary

Alphonsus, King of Leon and Galicia, very much wanted all his servants to honor the Blessed Virgin by saying the Rosary. So he would hang a large rosary on his belt and always wear it, but unfortunately never said it himself. Nevertheless, his wearing it encouraged everyone to say the Rosary very devoutly.

One day he fell seriously ill and was given up for dead. He found himself, in a vision, before the judgment seat of Our Lord with many devils accusing him of his sins and Our Sovereign Judge about to condemn him to hell. But Our Lady appeared to intercede for him. She called for a pair of scales and had his sins placed in one of the balances and the rosary he had always worn on the other, together with all the Rosaries that had been said because of his example. It was found that the Rosaries weighed more than his sins.

Looking at him with great kindness Our Lady said, "As a reward for this little honor you paid me in wearing my Rosary, I have obtained a great grace for you from my Son. Your life will be spared for a few more years. See that you spend them wisely and do penance."

When the King regained consciousness he cried out, "Blessed be the Rosary of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, by which I have been delivered from eternal damnation!"

Having recovered his health, he spent the rest of his life spreading devotion to the Holy Rosary and said it faithfully every day.

People who love the Blessed Virgin should follow the example of King Alphonsus so they too may win other souls to say the Rosary. They will receive great graces on earth and eternal life. "They that explain me shall have life everlasting." [1] Ecclus. 24:31

Adapted from Saint Louis de Montfort’s The Secret of the Rosary (Hanover, Pa: America Needs Fatima, 2008), 12.

 

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Alphonsus, King of Leon and Galicia, very much wanted all his servants to honor the Blessed Virgin by saying the Rosary. So he would hang a large rosary on his belt and always wear it, but unfortunately never said it himself. Nevertheless, his wearing it encouraged everyone to say the Rosary very devoutly.

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