Today, November 21, marks the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary—also known as The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple.
This special day is celebrated in honor of an event in Christian history that was recounted not in the New Testament, but in the Protoevangelium of James—which was written prior to the year 200 AD. According to the reading, Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne, received a message from the Lord that they would soon be blessed with a child. The couple had been longing to conceive for years.
Thankful for the Lord’s blessing, Joachim and Anne brought three-year-old Mary to the Temple in Jerusalem to formally present (consecrate) her to God. There, Mary would remain until the age of 12, at which point she will be taken by Joseph who will serve as her guardian.
The story of the presentation of Mary in the temple has similarities with that of the prophet Samuel—who was offered as a gift to the Lord at Shiloh by his mother, Hannah. And because of its holiness, the story has been passed to generations and soon marked its official feast day every 22nd of November.
Prayer for the Feast of the Presentation of Mary
O God, Who didst will that on this day
the blessed ever Virgin Mary,
the dwelling-place of the Holy Ghost,
should be presented in the temple:
grant, we beseech Thee,
that through her intercession,
we may be made worthy to be presented in the temple of Thy glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God,
a world without end.
Prayer from catholicdoors.com.