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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 December 4, 2020

He who limits himself to performing only what is his obligat...

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December 4

 

He who limits himself
to performing only what is his obligation 
. . .  

does not love. 

St. Peter Julian Eymard


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. John Damascene

The Muslims of Damascus were, for the most part, tolerant...

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St. John Damascene

John Damascene was born in Damascus, then under Muslim rule. Though imposing a poll tax and other conditions upon the Jews and Christians, the Muslims of Damascus were, for the most part, tolerant, allowing both Jews and Christians to occupy important posts, and amass fortune.

Among the officials at the khalif’s court in 675 was a Christian called John, chief of the revenue department. The father of our saint, he was surnamed al-Mansur by the Arabs, a name the family carried.

The younger John was born around 690, baptized in infancy, and, as he grew, had a tutor named Cosmas, a wise man of letters, whom the Arabs had brought back from Sicily among other captives. Young John had an adopted brother also called Cosmas, and both became the pupils of the Sicilian sage, who taught them the natural sciences and theology.

John succeeded his father in his office at the court and worked there, free to practice his Faith, and respected for his virtues. After some years, he resigned his post, and, with his brother Cosmas, joined the monastery of St. Sabas.

As monks, John and Cosmas used their spare time to write books and poetry, which occupation rather scandalized their brethren.

Better appreciated by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, John V, the brothers joined his clergy. Cosmas was eventually consecrated bishop of Majuma serving his flock admirably, and also reaching sainthood. John, after being ordained, served for a while in Jerusalem, but then returned to his monastery. He wrote extensively in defense of icons against the iconoclasts, incurring the ill will of upholders of the heresy in high places.

St. John wrote works of theology and poetry at St. Sabas where he died a very old man.

He was proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 1890.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Whoever recites this prayer fifteen times a day from the fea...

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A Christmas Prayer

(It is piously believed that whoever recites the below prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (Patron of Scotland; 30th Nov.) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)

America Needs Fatima also believes it's pleasing and efficacious any time of the year.

Click the image to download it.

 

Whoever recites this prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30th Nov.) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.

 

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