Saturday, November 21, 2015

Entry into the Temple

Today is the Feast of the Presentation of Mary, also known as the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple. Like a significant number of Marian feasts in the Roman calendar, it is Byzantine in origin, entering the Roman calendar through the Byzantine rite churches of Southern Italy, and is first documented in the Byzantine rite in the eleventh century. The day celebrates the dedication from childhood of Mary to God. In the Protevangelium of James, a very early Christian legendarium compiled in the second century, the parents of Mary, Joachim and Anne, took her to the temple at the age of three to dedicate her to God, because they had thought that they would not be able to have any children.

The following is, I believe, the earliest extant audio recording of any Pope, Pope Leo XIII praying the Ave Maria in 1903, shortly before his death:

Leo XIII, of course, was a major advocate of Marian devotion, particularly of the rosary and the scapular, so it seems fitting to post his recorded Marian prayer on this Marian holiday.

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