PRAYER ON THE PRESENTATION OF MARY

feast day November 21
O beloved Mother of God, most amiable child Mary, O that, as thou didst present thyself in the temple, and with promptitude and without reserve, didst consecrate thyself to the glory and love of God, I could offer thee, this day, the first years of my life, to devote myself without reserve to thy service, my holy and most sweet Lady! But it is now too late to do this; for, unfortunate creature that I am, I have lost so many years in the service of the world and my own caprices, and have lived in almost entire forgetfulness of thee and of God: Woe to that time in which I did not love thee! ("Vae tempori illi, in quo non amavi te!") But it is better to begin late than not at all. Behold, O Mary, I this day present myself to thee, and I offer myself without reserve to thy service for the long or short time that I still have to live in this world; and in union with thee I renounce all creatures, and devote myself entirely to the love of my Creator. I consecrate my mind to thee, O Queen, that it may always think of the love that thou deserves, my tongue to praise thee, my heart to love thee. Do thou accept, O most holy Virgin, the offering which this miserable sinner now makes thee; accept it, I beseech thee, by the consolation that thy heart experienced when thou gavest thyself to God in the temple. But since I enter thy service late, it is reasonable that I should redouble my acts of homage and love, thereby to compensate for lost time. Do thou help my weakness with thy powerful intercession, O Mother of Mercy, by obtaining me perseverance from thy Jesus, and strength to be always faithful to thee until death; that thus always serving thee in life, I may praise thee in Paradise for all eternity. Amen.
Presentation of Mary
"Sacred Scripture contains no text concerning the event commemorated in today's liturgy. For something of a historical background one may consult the apocryphal works, particularly the Protoevangel of St. James (ch. 4:1ff). After an angel had revealed her pregnancy, Anna is said to have vowed her future child Mary to the Lord. Soon after birth the infant was brought to the sacred precincts at which only the best of Israel's daughters were admitted. At the age of three she was transferred to the temple proper (7:2). According to legend, here she was reared like a dove and received her nourishment from the hand of an angel (8:1).
"In the East, where the feast, celebrated since the eighth century, is kept as a public holiday, it bears the name, 'The Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple'. It was introduced at Rome by a Cypriotic legate to the papal court of Avignon in 1371. In 1472, Sixtus IV extended its observance to the whole Church. Abolished by Pius V, it was reintroduced some years later (1585)."
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (as it is known in the West), or The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple (its name in the East), is a liturgical feast celebrated on November 21 by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
The feast is associated with an event recounted not in the New Testament, but in the apocryphal Infancy Narrative of James. According to that text, Mary's parents, Joachim and Anne, who had been childless, received a heavenly message that they would have a child. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter, they brought her, when still a child, to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God. Later versions of the story (such as the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary) tell us that Mary was taken to the Temple at around the age of three in fulfillment of a vow. Tradition held that she was to remain there to be educated in preparation for her role as Mother of God.
In Eastern Orthodox tradition, this is one of the days when women named Mary (Μαρία in Greek) and Despoina (Δέσποινα in Greek) celebrate their Name Day.
The account of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple is principally based on the Protoevangelium of James, which has been dated by historians prior to the year 200 AD. The story relates that in thanksgiving for the birth of their daughter, Mary, Joachim and Anne decide to consecrate her to God, and bring her, at the age of three years, to the temple in Jerusalem. Mary’s presentation in the temple draws parallels to that of the prophet Samuel, whose mother Hannah, like Anne was also thought to be barren, and who offered her child as a gift to God at Shiloh.
Mary remained in the Temple until her twelfth year,[2] at which point she was assigned to Joseph as guardian. According to Coptic tradition, her father Joachim died when Mary was six years old and her mother when Mary was eight.[2] While the story is a legend with no foundation in history, the point is to show that even in her childhood Mary was completely dedicated to God. It is from this account that arose the feast of Mary's Presentation.
The feast originated as a result of the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary the New, built in 543 by the Byzantines under Emperor Justinian I near the site of the ruined Temple in Jerusalem.[3] This basilica was destroyed by the Sassanid Persians under Khosrau II after the Siege of Jerusalem (614). The first documented celebration of the feast in any calendar is the mention of the Εἴσοδος τῆς Παναγίας Θεοτόκου (Entry of the All-Holy Theotokos, i.e., into the Temple) in the Menologion of Basil II, an 11th-century menology of the Eastern Roman (also known as Byzantine) emperor Basil II.
The feast continued to be celebrated throughout the East, was celebrated in the monasteries of Southern Italy by the ninth century, and was introduced into the Papal Chapel in Avignon in 1372 by decree of Pope Gregory XI.[4][5] The feast was included in the Roman Missal in 1472, but was suppressed by Pope Pius V in 1568.[4] As a result, it did not appear in the Tridentine Calendar. Pope Sixtus V reintroduced it into the Roman Calendar in 1585.Pope Clement VIII made this feast a greater double in 1597. The feast also continued as a memorial in the Roman Calendar of 1969.
During the World Youth Day in July 2016, Pope Francis paid a private morning visit to the Convent of the Sisters of the Presentation (lat. Congregatio Virginum a Praesentatione Beatae Mariae Virginis) founded in 1627 in Cracow as the first Polish active Holy Order.[10]
St. Peter's Basilica contains the "Cappella della Presentazione" (Presentation Chapel); the altar is dedicated to St. Pius X.[11]
The Presentation of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Monastery is located in Marshfield, Missouri.
The Presentation Sisters, also known as the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM for short), a religious institute of Roman Catholic women, was founded in Cork, Ireland, by Nano (Honoria) Nagle in 1775.
The congregation of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, dedicated to the education of youth, was founded November 21, 1796, in Thueyts, France, by Marie Rivier.
Things to Do:
Meditate on the mystery of Mary's temporary dwelling in the sanctuary of the Old Covenant as a preparation for the approaching season of Advent.
Locate the order of contemplative nuns closest to you and visit their monastery (you may want to request their prayers and you might consider supporting them financially), they are the privileged souls who, by the grace of their vocation, are even here below dwellers in the house of the Lord.
Spend 30 minutes reading the Bible.
Learn more about Mary in the Byzantine Liturgy and say one of the beautiful prayers of the Eastern liturgy in honor of Mary.
photo:Federico Barocci - La Presentazione della Vergine al Tempio

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