The Presentation of Mary

Today, November 21, is the Memorial of the Presentation of Mary. Today the Church celebrates when Mary, as a child, was presented to the Lord by her parents in the Temple. It is also the day the Church celebrates the dedication of the church of St. Mary in Jerusalem.

I would like to share two things in honor of the Memorial:

The first is the oldest extant prayer to St. Mary, called the Sub Tuum Praesidium. It was discovered in Egypt and is dated to the middle to late 3rd century (AD 250-280). The text of the prayer is:

Sub tuum praesidium confugimus,
Sancta Dei Genetrix.
Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus,
sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper,
Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.

Under your patronage we take refuge
Holy Mother of God; our petitions,
do not despise in necessities,
but of all dangers deliver us always
glorious Virgin & Blessed.

Second, I would recommend that today would be a good day to read The Protoevangelium of James. The Protoevangelium dates to the middle of the 2nd century and is attributed to James, the brother of the Lord. In it you will find the roots of our tradition of Sts. Joachim and Anna, the parents of Mary, stories of the childhood of Mary, the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, and stories from the childhood of Jesus. It isn’t a long read and is one of the earliest testimonies to the devotion of the Church to our Blessed Mother.

Oh, yes … pray a rosary today. While you at it, say a prayer for me.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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