The Presentation

Jim Daly
January 30

This Sunday, February 2nd, is the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple. The Presentation is the Fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. Saint Luke describes the Presentation.
When the days were accomplished for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord". (Luke 2.22-23)
Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus to the temple . They were met by an old man, Simeon. The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that he would not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He took Jesus into his arms and said, "Now Master you may let your servant go in peace".

Simeon predicted that Mary would suffer. A sword would pierce her heart.

February 2nd is also known as Candlemas Day. The blessing of candles on this date was first observed in the 11th century. An old English tradition says if Candlemas Day is fair and bright, the end of winter is near. In America the Protestants replaced Candlemas Day with Groundhog Day.

In Eastern Europe the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple officially closes the celebration of Christmas. St. John Paul II began the custom of leaving the Nativity Scene in St. Peter's Square until Feb.2nd.