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Friday, November 20, 2009

Feast of the Presentation of Mary

- Presentation of the Virgin by Testa, Pietro, Hermitage Museum

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Presentation of Mary and not really knowing much about it, I looked it up. Here's a bit about it ....

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 bear 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. Mary remained in the Temple until puberty, at which point she was assigned to Joseph as guardian. 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.

The question that occurs to me is why Mary would be sent ahead of time to prepared for being the mother of Jesus when she had not yet made the choice to say "yes" to the offer ..... must be one of those "God stands outside of time" things. But anyway, looking this up, I found there's much art of Mary before Jesus was born. Here are some examples .....

- Birth of Mary, Gospel Lectionary of St. Peter in the Black Forest, Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek

- The Childhood of Mary Virgin by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

- The Annunciation by John William Waterhouse

- The Marriage of the Virgin by Giotto, Scrovegni Chapel

- The Visitation by Domenico Ghirlandaio, Tornabuoni Chapel


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