The Presentation of Mary

Jim Daly
November 21, 2019

Today is the feast of the Presentation of Mary. Ancient writings tell of Mary's parents Anna and Joachim offering Mary to God in the Temple when she was three years old. This was to carry out a promise made to God when Anna was childless.

It was a custom among the Jews, of promising to dedicate children to God's service in the Temple, even before the children were born. The child, before its fifth year had passed, was taken to the temple in Jerusalem and committed to the care of the priest who offered the child to the Lord. Sometimes the child remained in the temple to be educated and trained to serve the sanctuary by making vestments and ornaments, assisting at services, and contributing to the worship of God.

Mary's Presentation was celebrated in Jerusalem in the sixth century. A church was built there in honor of this mystery. The Eastern Church was more interested in the feast, but it does appear in the west by the eleventh century. In the sixteenth century it became a feast of the universal Church.

Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us.