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Presentation of Christ in the Temple

Author: Mrs. Myriam Van Lerberghe-Thibaut

Presentation of Christ in the Temple: forty day after Christmas.

With the Presentation of Christ in the Temple the orthodox and catholics remember that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, went to the Temple for the mandatory offering after her Sons birth.

In Israel of old it was established practice that mothers purified themselves in the Temple, forty days after the birth of their children (as described in Leviticus 12). They sacrificed a lamb and two doves. If the woman could not afford a lamb, the poor man's offering was enough: two turtledoves.

The Feast of the Presentation of Christ is celebrated on February 2, the Latin name was Purificatio Mariae.

It is the final celebration connected to Christmas. In the Eastern churches, this Feast, like all Feasts is celebrated thirteen days later, on February 15. Their Christmas is on January 7.

Custom in the Catholic Church

On this day by tradition candles are/were consecrated and a candle procession was held before Mass. It is/was customary as well that on this Feast day pancakes were eaten.

Patron Saint's day

February 2 is also the Patron Saint's day of the Catholic University of Leuven (Louvain, Flanders, Belgium). Mary is the Patron Saint of that university: the Sedes Sapientiae.

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  Mrs. Myriam Van Lerberghe-Thibaut

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