Фрески во Црквата „Воведение на Пресвета Богородица“ („Св. Спас“) во Кучевиште, Скопско
Icon with the Presentation of Mary in the Temple; Constantinople, 10 Century, Museum of Byzantine Art (inv. 2551), Bode Museum, Berlin
Ikone mit der Einführung Marias in den Tempel; Konstantinopel, 10. Jhd.; Museum für Byzantinische Kunst (Inv. 2551), Bodemuseum Berlin
Иконка с презентации Марии в храм; Константин, 10 века, музей искусства византийской (инв. 2551), Музей Боде, Берлин
L’enfance de la Vierge saisie par les plus grands peintres
Même le plus assidu lecteur des Évangiles peinera à se représenter la Vierge dans sa tendre enfance : c'est normal, car le récit de la vie de Marie avant l'Annonciation ne fait pas partie du canon biblique. Cela n'a pas empêché l'Église de fêter, le 21 novembre, un événement qui y est rapporté : la présentation de Marie au temple par ses parents, dont les plus grands peintres ont donné de superbes représentations.
Découvrez en images comment les peintres représentèrent la Vierge enfant gravissant les marches du Temple :Démarrer le diaporama
Feast of the Presentation of Mary
Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin MaryThe Protoevangel of James, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, and other apocryphal writings (Walker, "Apocryph. Gosp.", Edinburgh, 1873) relate that 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. Card. Pitra (Anal. Spici. Solesmensi, p. 265) has published a great canon (liturgical poem) in Greek for this feast, composed by some "Georgios" about the seventh or eighth century. The feast is missing in the earlier Menology of Constantinople (eighth century); it is found, however, in the liturgical documents of the eleventh century, like the "Calend. Ostromiranum" (Martinow, "Annus græco-slav.", 329) and the Menology of Basil II (e’ísodos tes panagías Theotókon). 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 (Grotefend, "Zeitrechnung", III, 137). At Toledo it was assigned (1500) by Cardinal Ximenes to 30 September. Sixtus IV received it into the Roman Breviary, Pius V struck it from the calendar, but Sixtus V took it up a second time (1 September, 1585). In the province of Venice it is a double of the second class with an octave (1680); the Passionists and Sulpicians keep it as a double of the first class; the Servites, Redemptorists, Carmelites, Mercedarians, and others as a double of the second with an octave. In the Roman Calendar it is a major double. The Greeks keep it for five days. In some German dioceses, under the title "Illatio", it was kept 26 November (Grotefend, III, 137).
Copyright © 2020 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The feast originated in the Orient probably about the 7th century and is found in the constitution of Manuel Comnenus (1166) as a recognized festival. It was introduced into the Western Church in the 14th century, abolished by Pope Pius V, but re-established by Pope Sixtus V in 1585. Its observance by the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as the day of their origin led to the devotion of Mater Admirabilis.
Among the many masters who have represented this subject are: Alberti, Fra Bartolommeo, Biagio, Agostino, Carracci, Cima da Conegliano, Cossa, Holbein the Elder, Palma, Piombo, Tintoretto and Titian.
- Catholic Encyclopedia
- Catholic Pocket Dictionary
- Goffine’s Devout Instructions
- Light From the Altar, edited by Father James J McGovern
- Lives of the Saints, by Father Alban Butler
- Lives of the Saints, by Father Francis Xavier Weninger
- New Catholic Dictionary
- Pictorial Lives of the Saints
- Veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Father B Rohner, OSB
- Catholic Fire
- Catholic Harbor
- Catholic Harbor
- Catholic Ireland
- Catholic News Agency
- Catholic Tradition
- Father Francis Xavier Weninger
- Franciscan Media
- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
- Joy of Nine
- Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints
- National Catholic Register
- New Liturgical Movement
- Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
- Regina Magazine
- Roman Catholic Saints
- Saints for Young People
- Saints Stories for All Ages
- Vultus Christi
- “Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary“. CatholicSaints.Info. 5 November 2019. Web. 21 November 2020. <https://catholicsaints.info/presentation-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary/>
The Blessed Virgin was presented in the temple at Jerusalem by her pious parents, Joachim and Ann, there to be educated in the service and the law of the Lord in order that she might be guarded against the defilements of the world. From this we learn:
- Joachim and Ann offered to the Lord their only and most beloved child, and gave her up entirely to His service. Great as the sacrifice was, they yet made it. The preservation of the innocence of their daughter was to them above all else. Parents, God requires of you that you should not merely offer your children to Him in the temple, but that you should take care to keep them pure and holy, as living temples which have been consecrated in Baptism.
- Mary gives and dedicates herself to God as soon as she is capable of serving Him, and that without any reservation, for all time, and irrevocably. When, then, shall we give ourselves in earnest to God? True, we have been given to Him in holy Baptism, we have been consecrated as His temples, we have renounced the devil and the world, we have vowed to live only for God, and this vow we have, perhaps, often renewed; but have we kept it? What we gave with one hand, have we not taken it away with the other? Have we not defiled the temple of our hearts by shameful lusts, lived for the world and vanity more than for God? Ah, when shall we give ourselves up to God sincerely and forever? Perhaps when we are old! But will God accept our offering then? Will He be pleased that we begin to serve Him only when we can no longer serve the world? that we first begin to live for Him when our life is soon to cease? No; God is a jealous Lord, and is not pleased with a heart divided between Him and creatures. He requires us to love Him with all our heart and all our soul, and to serve Him with all our powers. Let us, then, do this, and do it from our youth; let us keep ourselves in body and soul undefiled for the Lord; such love, and such love only, will He reward as perfect.
O God, Who wast pleased that the blessed Mary, ever virgin, the habitation of the Holy Ghost, should on this day be presented in the temple, grant, we beseech Thee, that by her intercession we may deserve to be presented in the temple of Thy glory. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
Epistle: Ecclesiasticus 24:14-16
From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling-place I have ministered before Him. And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem. And I took root in an honorable people, and in the portion of my God His inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints.
Gospel: Luke 11:27, 28
And it came to pass, as He spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd lifting up her voice said to Him: Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps that gave Thee suck. But He said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.
By His answer Jesus would have us understand that His Mother was not to be blessed merely because she bore Him, the Son of God, but rather because she at all times endeavored to keep the word of God in her heart and to observe it in her life. If you would be blessed, learn to be not only a hearer, but a doer, of the word of God.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions
Picture a little maiden robed in white and crowned with roses, her hands joined and her face uplifted, ascending a broad flight of stairs. The steps are strewn with blossoms as for a great festival. In the porch above, a venerable Jewish priest sits, and, with wide open arms, welcomes the child. On either side of his chair are other little ones beckoning lovingly to the new arrival, whilst a very young baby, standing on its mother’s outspread cloak, lifts its tiny hands in prayer. In the foreground kneel Joachim and Anna offering up to God their most precious treasure.
Tradition says that our Lady at the age of three was presented by her parents to God in the Temple, to be brought up within its walls and dedicated to its service. If the tradition had. not arisen from fact, it might well have come from the fitness of things. Since Jewish children were sometimes brought up in the temple, who so likely as Anna’s sinless child? Since some little ones chose God’s house for their home, who so likely as the “Spiritual Vessel?” Since some dedicated themselves body and soul from their earliest years, how much more the future mother of God? And so painters from early times have loved to depict this scene – Mary’s presentation in the temple.
The Feast is kept on the 21st of November, and a beautiful feast it is, full of meaning, exhortation, and upward beckonings. Mary with full knowledge and free will leaves her home and parents, her little companions, her home joys, and begins a twelve-years’ preparation for a life of joy and sorrow and glory such as no other human being will ever again go through. And we look back at those twelve years and think of their seclusion. A great French writer admired most good deeds done in absolute secrecy. Ever so little publicity spoiled them in his eyes, no matter how good they were in themselves. Of our Lord’s thirty years upon earth no whisper has come down; of our Lady’s twelve not a rumor.
The life in the temple is, however, easy to imagine. There were humble duties to be done – cleansing the vessels, trimming the lamps, setting out the utensils for the sacrifices; there was needlework, mending, embroidering the elaborate vestments used by the priests in their different religious functions. There was the duty of special instruction and prayer. The rich treasury of the Old Testament full of deep meaning to us, far more to Mary, the Woman foretold, was explained, and large portions committed to memory. Think of Mary with the sacred scroll in her little hands; think of her eager face listening to instruction; think of her with needle in her fingers working for a priesthood fast passing away; think of her handling with reverence vessels still sacred, but so soon to lose their character.
And then think of ourselves. Meditation should always end in resolution. I look at my manual work and at my prayer, and I place it next to Mary’s. Will it bear comparison? Is there anything wanting? What? Earnestness perhaps, spiritual vigor, purity of intention. Or that ingredient of the saints – secrecy, hiddenness. We live far too much in the world, in the sight of men, for their applause. We take their standard, and are satisfied if we come up to it. We use worldly weights and measures, and are proud to find that the balance is on our side. And yet we have ringing in our ears the words of our Lord: “Be ye perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” Oh, for a little quiet and silence to think out the great problem of life! When shall we begin our preparation for the higher life? The present only is ours. The future may be; the past was; the present only is. We must begin today then if we would be sure of beginning at all. And there could be no better day for a start. We like company for an enterprise; here we have the company of our Virgin Mother. Good example helps us; Mary is doing much the same work as falls to our lot. Ours is humble, perhaps; so was hers. Ours is done in seclusion, so much the better; so was hers. It will be easier to keep in the aroma of our good deeds. Let us then go hand in hand with Mary, and do our business and take our pleasure with her, asking her to be our companion and guide.
- Father James J McGovern. “The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, 21 November”. , 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 October 2019. Web. 21 November 2020. <http://catholicsaints.info/book-of-saints-/>
Today’s festival is called the Presentation of Mary, because on this day Joachim and Anna, the holy parents of the Blessed Virgin, consecrated their little daughter to the divine service in the temple at Jerusalem, and Mary consecrated herself to the Almighty. At that time, there were two ways of consecrating children: one was ordained by the law, which required every male child to be offered to God, forty days, and every female child, eighty days after its birth. This ceremony was called the consecration of the child and the purification of the mother. The second kind of consecration was a voluntary self-oblation by which some persons devoted themselves to the Almighty. There were also many parents who either before, or immediately after their child’s birth, consecrated it to the service of the Lord, sometimes for a few years, sometimes for life. To this end, several separate dwellings had been erected in connection with the Temple, for men, women, youths and maidens, where they remained for the time which had been fixed by themselves or their parents. Their occupations consisted in decorating the temple, and in making the garments which the priests and levites wore during their sacred functions. Thus we read in the first book of Kings, that Anne, the spouse of Elkana, made a vow that if she gave birth to a male child, she would consecrate it to the Lord. The Lord blessed her and she brought forth a son, whom she named Samuel, and afterwards consecrated to the Most High, through the hands of the High Priest, Heli. In the second book of the Maccabees, we find mention of virgins, who lived and were educated in the Temple, that is, in a building annexed to it.
It is the belief of several holy Fathers, that Joachim and Anna, being already advanced in years and having no issue, made a vow to God that if He would bless them with a child, and thus take from them the dishonor of being barren, they would consecrate their offspring to His service in the Temple. God heard their prayer and blessed them so greatly, that they became the parents of the most holy of all human beings, Mary, the ever Blessed Virgin. For three years they kept this sacred treasure at home, after which time, although Mary was their only comfort, they resigned her with pious fortitude, in fulfillment of their vow. Hence they went, with their daughter, to Jerusalem, presented her to the priest in the Temple, and consecrated her, through his hands, to the service of the Almighty.
But who can worthily describe the devotion and veneration which Mary manifested at the consecration! She had not only consented cheerfully, but as, notwithstanding her tender years, she was already possessed of her full reason, and knew better than any one else, in heaven or on earth, the Majesty of Him to whom she was consecrated, she had longed for the moment when she was to be given to Him. She went therefore most joyfully to the Temple, her heart full of devotion and love towards God and a fervent desire to serve Him. The priest was at first greatly astonished, not only at the unusual beauty of the little child, but still more at the devotion she showed in such extreme youth. When her parents had given her in charge to the priest, the latter took her to the Altar, to which there was an ascent of fifteen steps, on the first of which he placed her. Having, in a few words, bade her parents farewell, the little maiden went joyfully and unaided, from the lowest step to the highest, and casting herself down before the Altar, she consecrated herself to the Almighty with such humility and reverence, that all present were deeply moved. Her consecration differed greatly from that of all other children. Many were brought to the temple only because their parents desired it, and without their own knowledge of the reasons for which it was done. Others wept bitterly at parting with their parents. No other at that tender age, had understood the ceremony, and none had made the consecration with such entire devotion to the Lord.
The Blessed Virgin, however, already gifted with reason, not only consented to the sacrifice thus made by her parents to God, but consecrated herself, entirely and with a happy heart, to His service. How pleasing this sacrifice must have been to the Lord, words are unable to express. It is quite certain that, from the creation of the world until that time, no sacrifice had been so pleasing to Him as that which Mary offered in her own person. Abel, Noah, Aaron, and many more, had sacrificed to the Lord the fruits of the Earth, or dumb brutes; but Mary offered herself. Many parents had consecrated their children to the service of God, but Mary surpassed them all in innocence and grace, in heavenly virtues and gifts; hence, it cannot be doubted that her sacrifice surpassed all others, and was more agreeable to the Almighty. After the consecration, Mary was taken into the dwelling of the maidens destined to serve the Most High, and was numbered among them. There she remained until her marriage with Saint Joseph.
Her conduct during this period can be more easily imagined than described; but it is certain that it was more like an angel’s than like that of a human being. Her occupation was prayer, reading, meditation and work. In the works of Saint Jerome there is a sermon on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, in which the life she led in the Temple is thus described: She endeavored to surpass in goodness all those with whom she dwelt; to be the first in the nightly vigils; to understand Holy Writ most thoroughly; to be the most humble; to sing the Pslams of David most devoutly; to love God most fervently; to be the most chaste; in a word, to be the first in all virtues, in order to honor the Almighty, and to prove her love to Him. God was the only subject of her conversation. She prayed without ceasing and meditated on the law of the Lord. Saint Ambrose, in his instructions to those who had vowed perpetual chastity, gives them Mary as an example, saying emphatically, that her life had been such that it might serve as a model to all. “Mary,” he writes, “was a virgin, not only in body, but also in heart and mind. She was modest in her speech, and humble of heart. She offended no one, had every one’s welfare at heart, avoided pride and loved virtue. Nothing bold was in her gaze, nothing frivolous in her words, nothing that was in the least immodest in all her manners. Her body was the index of her mind, a model of piety. She went not to rest until necessity required it, and when her body rested, her soul remained awake.” This and much more the above mentioned Father writes, in praise of the Blessed Virgin. Saint Bonaventure relates a vision in which the Divine Mother said to a holy person: “I arose always in the middle of the night, went to the Altar of the Temple, and presented my homage and my desires to the Almighty.” These desires were for the grace of loving God above all things and with her whole heart; of loving her neighbor for God’s sake; of keeping the Commandments of the Lord, and of hating everything that was displeasing to Him. The same holy teacher says also: “Mary was very solicitous that none of her companions should in the least offend the Lord, but that they should always praise Him and never indulge in idle words. He writes further, that Mary occupied her thoughts with holy contemplations, her mouth with devout prayers; but, at the same time, used her hands in sacred work, and admonished others to do the same. Several Holy Fathers write that the Blessed Virgin, soon after entering the Temple, consecrated her virginity to the Lord. Others, with greater reason, maintain that this had been done before, and as soon as she had been conceived, since she was gifted even then with the full use of her reason. The Holy Fathers Ambrose, Jerome, Rupert, Bernard, and many others, think that the Blessed Virgin was the first who made a vow of chastity, and thus set an example, which many thousands, desiring to serve the Lord more perfectly, have followed and are still following. It is quite certain that the Blessed Virgin, from the first use of her reason until the end of her life, always endeavored to do what she knew would make her more perfect, and thus unite her more closely with the Almighty. Hence it is easy to conclude, that she gathered such a treasure of merits, as no Saint ever did or will possess. Saint Bonaventure and Saint Bernardine of Sienna apply to her the words of the Proverbs of Solomon: “Many daughters have gathered riches, but you hast surpassed them all.” Many daughters, they say, means, many souls, many Saints have gathered riches in merits; but Mary surpasses them all, as well in grace, as in virtues and merits. Hence it follows that her glory in heaven is above that of all other Saints; for which reason she is called by the Catholic Church Queen of All Saints. Nothing is more just than that we should duly honor so great a Queen, and invoke her with confidence; for the higher she stands above all other Saints, the more powerful is her intercession with God.
• In the third year of her life, Mary, the Blessed Virgin, consecrated herself to the service of the Almighty, and this, not for days or years only, but for ever; for, as long as she lived, she ceased not to serve the Lord. How is it with you? Did you also begin in your tender years to serve the Lord? Or to whom did you dedicate the first years of your life? Ah! confess it with weeping eyes and repentant heart, not to the Lord, but to the world, to the flesh, to Satan, you gave the years of your youth; and perhaps you have not even now made the resolution to serve your God; or, it may be, you think it will be time enough when you are old, though it is unknown to you, whether you will ever count many years. But even had you been assured of this, tell me, do you not deserve to be disowned by the Almighty as a second Cain, since like him, you sacrificed only what was of less value, and not, like the pious Abel, what was the best? God cursed him who took from his flock the meanest for his offering. This curse you also deserve for not having given to the Lord your first and best years, but reserving your old age for Him. Oh! truly you have reason to weep over this wickedness as long as you live. Humbly beg God to pardon you, and resolve, at the same time, to serve Him from this hour most fervently and without ceasing until your end, as the Blessed Virgin did. You have perhaps but a short time more: hence employ every moment in the service of God. The benefit will be yours, and will last through all eternity.
• In consecrating herself to the Almighty, the Blessed Virgin gave herself entirely to Him without any reservation. Soul and body, every power of her soul, every member of her body, her whole heart and life, all was given for evermore to the service of the Most High. Doubtless you resolve today to serve your Lord most fervently for the future. Consecrate yourself, then, today to His service, but without any reservation, your whole heart, your entire life, your soul with all its powers, your entire body with all its members, sacrifice all willingly and for evermore to the Lord. God who desires the whole heart and not a part of it, wishes also your whole soul, your whole body, your entire life. Do you wish to divide your heart and to give one part of it to the Almighty the other to the world and Satan? to serve God with one member of your body, and to offend Him with another? Do you wish to employ your memory to honor God with good thoughts, but to soil your will with wicked desires? Oh, then do not imagine that your sacrifice will be acceptable to God. It will rather be a horror in the eyes of Him who commands us to serve Him alone, and to sacrifice everything to His service. Make today, a perfect sacrifice, so that you may, at least in something, follow the Blessed Virgin. And take care that you do not, after the lapse of some time, retract your sacrifice. You consecrate, today, your eyes, your tongue, and your hands, with the intention to use them only in God’s service. Guard yourself, lest, after some hours or days, you misuse them in offending the Lord, for, this would be as much as robbing the Altar of what you have given to the Most High. Mary did not act thus. It is written: “I am the Lord that hate robbery in a holocaust, (Isaiah 61)
- Father Francis Xavier Weninger, DD, SJ. “The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. , 1876. CatholicSaints.Info. 26 May 2018. Web. 21 November 2020. <https://catholicsaints.info/weningers-lives-of-the-saints-the-presentation-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary/>
Religious parents never fail by devout prayer to consecrate their children to the divine service and love, both before and after their birth. Some amongst the Jews, not content with this general consecration of their children, offered them to God in their infancy, by the hands of the priests in the temple, to be lodged in apartments belonging to the temple, and brought up in attending the priests and Levites in the sacred ministry. It is an ancient tradition, that the Blessed Virgin Mary was thus solemnly offered to God in the temple in her infancy. This festival of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, the Church celebrates this day. The tender soul of Mary was then adorned with the most precious graces, an object of astonishment and praise to the angels, and of the highest complacence to the adorable Trinity; the Father looking upon her as His beloved daughter, the Son as one chosen and prepared to become His mother, and the Holy Ghost as His darling spouse. Mary was the first who set up the standard of virginity; and, by consecrating it by a perpetual vow to our Lord, she opened the way to all virgins who have since followed her example.
Reflection – Mary’s first presentation to God was an offering most acceptable in His sight. Let our consecration of ourselves to God be made under her patronage, and assisted by her powerful intercession and the union of her merits.
Введение во храм. Середина — третья четверть XV в. Крит
Церковно-археологический кабинет при Московской Духовной Академии
The feast of Mary’s Presentation in the temple was introduced into the Eastern Church in very early times. It had several names. The Greeks called it “The entrance or the introduction of the Blessed Virgin into the temple.” The Arabs termed it “The progress of the Intercession into the temple.” The Emperor Emmanuel Comnenus, who ascended the throne in the year 1143, raised this festival to the same rank as that of those high festivals which it was obligatory to keep throughout the whole empire. For four hundred years it was thus observed in the Eastern Church, when it was finally introduced into the West. One Philip of Maize, a French nobleman, who, as ambassador of his king, spent some time in the island of Cyprus, took part in the solemnity held there on this day. The festival and its object pleased him very much, and the description which he gave of it to his king, Charles V, on his return, induced the king to introduce the festival into the kingdom of France. In order to augment the devotion of the people, the Popes Pius II and Paul II granted several indulgences to all those faithful who would assist at divine service on that festival. During the pontificate of Pius V, who, on account of the multitude of abuses that were creeping in on all sides, yielded to the request of many and diminished the holy days, this feast was also suppressed, at least in the city of Rome. But it was only for a short time. At the urgent solicitation of a celebrated Jesuit, Father Francis Turien, who in many learned essays had studied the circumstances of the Blessed Virgin’s stay in the temple, the case was reopened under Pope Sixtus for further Consideration. In consequence of these investigations Pope Sixtus V, in the year 1585 decreed that this festival of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin in the temple, a feast celebrated from the earliest times with great pomp and devotion, should take its place among the other festivals of the Blessed Virgin and if in any place it had fallen into disuse, it should be restored and piously observed. Hence this Pope must be regarded as the one who made this festival of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin a festival of the universal Church.
A beautiful practice on this festival exists in many communities of priests, or in ecclesiastical seminaries, where young men are trained to live in community life. In honor of and in commemoration of the Blessed Virgin’s entrance into the temple, and of her dedication to the service of the Lord, these young men solemnly renew their promise to serve God cheerfully in His holy sanctuary. During the public office of the Church, one of their number, clad in a white surplice, and holding in his hand a burning taper, stands before the altar and pronounces aloud in a clear voice the words of the Psalmist David, “The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup; it is Thou that wilt restore my inheritance to me. The lines are fallen unto me in goodly places, for my inheritance is goodly to me.” To be sure, the calling to the priesthood is a sublime inheritance, a sacred calling and a glorious portion. But the simple faithful, also, are called to the service of God and should, therefore, on this day after themselves up to God in union with the child Mary. Yes, glorious indeed is our portion, for the Lord our God is our inheritance.
Prayer of Holy Church
O God, who wast pleased to permit Mary, the ever pure and Blessed Virgin, to be presented on this day in the temple as the dwelling-place of the Holy Ghost, grant, we beseech Thee, that we, through her intercession, may deserve to appear in the temple of Thy glory.
Through Thy mercies, O Lord, and by the intercession of the ever pure and Blessed Virgin, may this Presentation of Mary contribute to our peace in this life and happiness in the next.
Now that we have tasted, O Lord, the nourishing food of our salvation, grant that we may be always shielded by the protecting arm of the ever pure and Blessed Mary in whose honor we have offered this victim to Thy majesty, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
– text taken from , by Father B Rohner, OSB, adapted by Father Richard Brennan, LLD, published in 1898 by Benziger Brothers; it has the Imprimatur of Archbishop Michael Augustine, Archdiocese of New York, New York, 22 June 1898
La realtà della presentazione di Maria dovette essere molto più modesta e insieme più gloriosa. Fu infatti anche attraverso questo servizio al Signore nel tempio, che Maria preparò il suo corpo, ma soprattutto la sua anima, ad accogliere il Figlio di Dio, attuando in se stessa la parola di Cristo: 'Beati piuttosto coloro che ascoltano la parola di Dio e la osservano'.
Autore: Piero Bargellini
Dopo aver celebrato l’8
settembre la Natività di Maria Santissima e quattro giorni dopo, il 12, la
festa del suo santissimo Nome, impostole poco dopo la nascita, il Ciclo mariano
celebra in questo giorno la Presentazione al tempio, di questa Fanciulla figlia
Un po’ di storia
Queste prime tre feste del Ciclo mariano sembrano un’eco del Ciclo cristologico, che in egual modo celebra il 25 dicembre la nascita di Gesù, otto giorni dopo il suo Santissimo Nome, e il 2 febbraio la Presentazione sua al tempio.
La Presentazione di Maria al tempio trae origine da un’antica tradizione, che il Padre Roschini illustra nei suoi testi di Mariologia e che si può intuire, come spiegheremo, dallo stesso Vangelo di Luca. Questo fatto è celebrato in Oriente dal V secolo ed è legato alla dedicazione della Chiesa di Santa Maria Nuova in Gerusalemme nel 543.
L’Imperatore di Bisanzio, Michele Commeno, ne parla in una sua costituzione del
1166. Filippo di Maizières, gentiluomo francese cancelliere presso la corte del
Re di Cipro, essendo stato inviato come ambasciatore ad Avignone presso il Papa
Gregorio XI nel 1372, gli narrò con quale magnificenza, si celebrasse presso i
Greci il 21 novembre in onore della Madre di Dio. Gregorio XI introdusse allora
questa festa ad Avignone, e Sisto V la rese obbligatoria per tutta la Chiesa,
nel 1585. Clemente VIII la innalzò al grado “doppio maggiore”, e come per altre
feste ne rielaborò l’Ufficiatura. Il nuovo calendario liturgico, dal 1969,
giustamente conservò questa memoria per additare in Maria Colei che, concepita
senza peccato originale, fin dalla sua più tenera età si è offerta totalmente a
Dio per il Suo progetto di Salvezza: davvero una singolare Fanciulla tutta di
Il suo significato
Narra l’Evangelista Luca, in occasione della Presentazione di Gesù al tempio (cf. Lc 2,21-40), dopo l’incontro della Sacra Famiglia con il santo vecchio Simeone, che al tempio «c’era pure Anna, una profetessa figlia di Fanuel, della tribù di Aser, che era molto avanzata in età, vissuta con il marito sette anni, dopo il suo matrimonio, e vedova era giunta fino agli 84 anni. Ella non si allontanava mai dal tempio e con digiuni e preghiere serviva Dio notte e giorno. Sopraggiunta proprio in quell’ora, dava lode a Dio e parlava del Bambino Gesù a tutti quelli che aspettavano la liberazione di Gerusalemme».
Al riguardo di questa pagina delicatissima, il Servo di Dio Mons. Pier Carlo Landucci (1900-1986), nel suo libro Maria Santissima nel Vangelo (Ed. San Paolo, Milano 2000), scrive con finissima intuizione: «Fu l’incontro di due anime – Maria, la Madre di Gesù, e Anna – che si erano da tanto tempo e per tanto tempo conosciute, stimate e amate. Si ritrovavano insieme la più giovane ospite di quella sacra dimora, e la più anziana: la giovane Maria, che per tanti anni aveva guardato con umile e pia riverenza a quella santa vecchiezza; e la vecchia Anna, cui la celestiale piccola Maria aveva già lungamente rapito lo sguardo piamente pensoso e il cuore. Ora, per entrambe, v’era la riprova e il più alto sigillo dell’antica comprensione».
Dunque, tutto questo fa supporre con fondamento che Maria Bambina sia stata presentata al tempio, in tenera età, per una sua singolare consacrazione a Dio, fin dai primissimi anni della sua vita. C’era davvero un corpo di donne stabilmente addette al servizio del tempio e dimoranti in appositi locali attorno al tempio stesso. La presenza di queste donne, addette soprattutto alla preghiera, è chiaramente suggerita da Esodo 38,8, e 1Sam 2,22, che parlano di donne che “prestano servizio” – “sabà” in ebraico –, indicando turni fissi quasi come le guardie militari. Anche Giuseppe Flavio nelle sue Antiquitates judaicae (I, 8, c. 3) parla di numerose celle attorno al tempio, quasi come di un monastero.
Il fatto che Maria sia stata condotta giovanissima a vivere presso il tempio, in una totale offerta a Jahvè, è suggerito da forti argomenti di convenienza alla luce dell’elaborazione teologica e dell’analisi psicologica. La singolarissima perfezione di natura e di Grazia, della immacolata Bambina, si manifestò infatti, pur nel quadro della umile vita ordinaria, con sorprendente bellezza naturale e soprannaturale, perfezione pratica di vita, trasporto in Dio.
Rispetto a ogni altra bambina, pure ottima, c’era l’enorme differenza che correva tra chi era nata Immacolata e piena di Grazia e chi era venuta al mondo con il peccato originale; tra chi aveva le passioni perfettamente soggette e chi le aveva ribelli; tra chi era precocissima e chi nasceva con la solita debolezza dei figli di Adamo; tra chi era destinata a diventare Madre di Dio e chi aveva solo un ordinario destino umano.
Tutto ciò colpì i suoi santi genitori, Giacchino e Anna, dalla Chiesa venerati sugli altari, e mostrò loro la grande convenienza che una così eccezionale e celestiale figlia venisse in modo del tutto speciale consacrata a Dio e godesse della privilegiata dimora del tempio, come altre vergini destinate ivi al servizio di Dio.
Sicuramente anche Maria, piccola immacolata Fanciulla desiderò e volle intimamente tutto questo. Tanto più vegliava su di Lei la amabilissima e specialissima Provvidenza di Dio. Come Dio aveva singolarmente segregato per sé Giovanni il precursore di Gesù, tanto similmente pensò alla Madre del Figlio suo incarnato. Questa “segregazione”, questa “fuga mundi”, per cui il Santo, secondo l’etimologia greca “Hagios”, è colui che è separato dalla terra, era straordinariamente conveniente, pressoché indispensabile a Maria, per rispetto alle perfezioni sublimi che Dio le aveva donato fin dal suo Immacolato Concepimento.
Come avrebbe potuto permettere Dio che Ella potesse essere oggetto degli sguardi, anche puri, degli affetti e dei progetti di vita dei giovani del luogo? Tutto doveva essere bello, puro, verginale, tutto immacolato in Lei: mio Dio, che meraviglia, per noi impastati di fango! A tale riguardo era necessario un ritiro al tempio fin allo sposalizio castissimo con Giuseppe.
Dunque Maria Santissima, ancora bambina e fanciulla, noi la contempliamo nella sua presentazione al tempio, nella sua vita tutta di Dio – insieme ad Anna, assai più anziana di Lei – in attesa del compimento del suo sublime destino: l’Immacolata, la Tota Pulchra, la Vergine per eccellenza, tutta di Dio, nel corpo e nello spirito, diventerà la Madre del Figlio di Dio, Gesù, la Corredentrice accanto all’unico Redentore del mondo, la Madre della Chiesa, nata anche dal suo Cuore.
Giustamente il 21 novembre, i Consacrati celebrano con gioia anche la loro festa: essere con Maria, tutti di Dio per adorare Lui solo e generare in sé e nelle anime il Cristo Gesù.
Autore: Paolo Risso
Meister des Regler-Altars. The Presentation of the Virgin Mary in the Temple of Jerusalem, Erfurt, um 1460
Marie d’Agréda, La Cité mystique de Dieu, Livre deuxième. chapitre I-V, qui traite de la Présentation de la Très-Pure Marie dans le Temple, des divines faveurs qu'elle y reçut, des vertus qu'elle y pratiqua, des afflictions qu'elle y souffrit, de la mort de ses parents saint Joachim et sainte Anne, aussi bien que des épousailles qu'elle fit avec saint Joseph par le commandement du Trés-Haut, et de l'ordre de vie qu'elle se prescrivit dans son très-chaste mariage. :
Voir aussi : http://www.pagesorthodoxes.net/fetes/md-presentation1.htm