Presentation of Mary

 The Memorial of the Presentation of Mary is celebrated on November 21st.  The theme of this Memorial is:  total consecration to the Lord through Mary.

Although not mentioned in the Bible, this ancient feast is based on information taken from one of the apocryphal Gospels, the Protevangelium of James.  In it we are told that at the age of three, Mary was taken by her parents to the Temple of Jerusalem, where she was presented and would remain until the age of marriage, in the company of other young girls in the charge of holy women.

 

The Dictionary of Mary [Catholic Book Publishing Co.] gives us some informaiton about the actual history of the Memorial:

This event was already commemorated in the 6th century in the East.  Gregory XI in 1372 heard of the feast, kept in Greece on November 21, and instituted it at Avignon.  In 1585, Sixtus V extended it to the Universal Church. 

If you’re anything like me, you may have wondered how Mary’s parents could possibly have given up their baby girl at the age of three to complete strangers; you may have felt very badly for Mary, assuming she would have felt very abandoned, lonely and frightened – traumatized, in fact. We have a tendency to forget that Mary’s human life was like no other, that she was imbued with mystical knowledge from the time she was within the womb of her mother, and from that very time within her mother’s womb she had no desire other than to serve God and be in complete union with His Will. Venerable Mary of Agreda shares her mystical visions of this time in Mary’s life [The Divine Life of the Most Holy Virgin, from the Mystical City of God]:

When the time arrived for the accomplishment of the vow which her parents had made, of consecrating her to the service of the Temple, she herself was the first to beg them, with all humility, to fulfill their promise without delay, and she most fervently entreated God to inspire them to do it promptly.  The Lord granted the humble prayer of His beloved, and her parents, obedient to the heavenly inspiration, parted with their amiable child, though not without the deepest sorrow.

The grief of St. Ann, in particular, exceeded even that of Abraham when commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac.  At the expiration of the three years St. Joachim and St. Ann, accompanied by many of their relations and by a great number of angelic spirits, who, during the journey, sang hymns of praise to the Most High, left Nazareth and journeyed to Jerusalem, bearing in their arms their young and happy child.

{I found the image at the Australian EJournal of Theology, which has some lovely artwork, as well as very interesting subject-matter.}

Virtual and Audio Rosaries

Readers have provided me with a couple of excellent links to sites where you can not only learn about the Rosary, but also pray it online.

My friend Carol highly recommends the Virtual Rosary site, and recent commentor Diane let me know about this excellent resource on Father Corapi’s website.

For the past couple of years I have been using the Rosary resources offered by Rosary Army, whose wonderful consecration podcasts I embedded on this site as well.  I downloaded their Rosary recordings onto my iPod, and am able to pray along with them as I ride the bus to and from work.  

The resources available to us now are seemingly endless; you can locate many other wonderful sites through your own search engines. If you spend some time on the sites I’ve linked to here, you will see that they provide information on many topics, along with the Rosary.

Thanks again, Carol and Diane, for sharing your finds, and thank you to all those who are behind the scenes setting up these resources for us. They are much appreciated.

Today is Wednesday. Would you like to pray the Glorious Mysteries with me (it doesn’t matter when you may be reading this, does it? After all, with God, there is no time) – together with Greg and Jennifer of Rosary Army? Let’s.

All Souls

Virgin of Carmel Saving Souls in Purgatory

 [Virgin of Carmel Saving Souls in Purgatory, Circle of Diego Quispe Tito, Peruvian (Cuzco), 1611-1681]

For the Souls in Purgatory

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
give eternal rest to the poor souls.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.

[From:  Favorite Prayers to Our Lady, by Anthony M. Buono]