February 2 - The Presentation in the Temple
This Feastday is the fourth Mystery of the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary brought him to the Temple of Jerusalem, in obedience to the Jewish law which demanded that the first born Son should be presented in the Temple in Jerusalem, and offered to God in thanksgiving for the sparing of the Israelites in Egypt when the Angel of the Lord swept through Egypt killing all the first born, whether of humans or animals.
This Feastday is also called the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, for part of the Law of Moses also specified that on the fortieth day the mother should offer a sacrifice of Purification, namely a lamb and a young pigeon, or if she be poor, two pigeons or turtledoves.
The High Priest of the Temple, Simeon, had been informed by the Holy Spirit that he should live to see the Messiah, and when Our Lady and Joseph and Jesus were in the Temple, Simeon saw them enveloped in splendour, and recognised that the baby Jesus was indeed the Messiah and the Saviour of the world.
In offering Him up to God the Father, he said, "Now dost thou dismiss thy servant, Lord, for my eyes have seen Thy Salvation."
And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, His Mother, "This child is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be contradicted, and thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
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