Presentation of Mary & Pro Orantibus Day
Today, the most pure temple of the Savior, the precious bridal chamber and Virgin, the sacred treasure of God, enters the house of the Lord, bringing the grace of the Divine Spirit. The Angels of God praise her. She is the heavenly tabernacle. ~Hymn for the Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of Our Most Holy Lady, The Theotokos
Today, the Feast of the Presentation of Mary or the Entrance into the Temple of Our Most Holy Lady, The Theotokos as it is known in the Eastern Church, is the day when the Church prays in particular for her cloistered nuns, those who image Mary's early life in the Temple in a special way. From the age of three until the age of twelve Mary lived a life of worship in the Temple, wholly devoted to God. Worship was not something she did, it was who she was. Likewise, through the profession of Solemn Vows a cloistered nun's whole life becomes an act of worship. Nuns do not live a life of saying prayers, our life is a prayer. But we need prayers, too!
Anna and Joachim, Mary's parents, were careful to arrange the presentation in a way that would enable Mary to give herself whole-heartedly. Joachim decided to invite other maidens with their lamps that little three-year-old Mary might "not turn back, and her heart be captivated from the temple of the Lord." Even sinless, stainless Mary, unburdened with the weight of concupiscence, was helped in her gift of self by others.
How much more do cloistered nuns, sinners one and all, need the prayers of others to help them keep the course and and not turn and be captivated by something other than the Lord! Mother Church gives us this day, Pro Orantibus Day, to remind Her children to pray for their sisters who pray for them.
We thank you for your prayers!
Below is an excerpt from the Protoevangelium of James on the Presentation of Mary.