Category Archives: Matins

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
From the Book by S. John Damascene On the Orthodox Faith Bk. 4 Ch. 15

Joachim married that most virtuous and praiseworthy woman, Anne.  Just as in former times another Anne had, by prayer and promise, born Samuel, although she had been suffering from the affliction of barrenness, similarly, this Anne, by prayer and promise, received from God the Mother of God, so that in the matter of childbearing she was far from being inferior to the other virtuous wives.  Therefore Grace, (for that is the meaning of the name, Anne) bore the Queen (for thus is the name, Mary, interpreted), and indeed she was made Queen of all things created since she was the Mother of their Creator.

It was in Joachim’s house near the pool of Bethsaida that Mary opened her infant eyes to the light of this world, and she was presented in the temple as a child.  So, planted in the house of God, and nourished by the Holy Spirit, she was made like the olive branches, laden with domestic virtues.  So manifestly had her soul been kept from all worldliness and desires of the flesh, so completely had she remained a virgin both in body and in soul, that she was found worthy and prepared to receive God in her breast.

The feast of the presentation of Mary is founded on a pious tradition, originated by two apocryphal gospels which relate that the Blessed Virgin was presented in the temple of Jerusalem when three years old, and that she lived there with other girls and the holy women who had them in their care.  Already in the sixth century the event is commemorated in the East and the Emperor Michael Comnenus alludes to it in a constitution of 1166