The Life of Mary: Presentation of Jesus in the Temple©

The charts below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mary's Life, Presentation of Jesus. These teachings of the Catholic Church may prove useful to include in talks, in homilies or for research. For the full title and document data, click on the abbreviation code (for example, BYM leads you to the document, Behold Your Mother). This will also lead you to the complete document on this website or assist you in locating it elsewhere.

For an index of the documents used in the study see: List of Magisterial Documents
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Documents VI. The Life of Mary / 2g. Sacred Scripture:
New Testament Elements Infancy: Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
Lumen Gentium, 1964
  • She presented him to the Lord in the temple, making the offering of the poor, she heard Simeon foretelling at the same time that her Son would be a sign of contradiction and that a sword would pierce the mother's soul, that out of many hearts thoughts might be revealed. (cf. Lk 2:34-35) 57
  • She presented him to the Father in the temple. 61
Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973
  • [See also Mary's obedience "brought Jesus to the temple"] 137 "He went down with them ... and was obedient to them ... (Jesus) progressed steadily in wisdom and age and grace before God and men." (Lk 2:51-52) 137
Redemptoris Mater, 1987
  • [Article 16 discusses Presentation as an event in salvation history with the aspect "obedience of faith"]
  • A just and God-fearing man, called Simeon, appears at this beginning of Mary's "journey" of faith. His words, suggested by the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk. 2:25-27), confirm the truth of the Annunciation. 16
  • Simeon's words cast new light on the announcement which Mary had heard from the angel: Jesus is the Savior, he is "a light for revelation" to mankind. ... Simeon's words seem like a second Annunciation to Mary, for they tell her of the actual historical situation in which the Son is to accomplish his mission, namely, in misunderstanding and sorrow. ... confirms her faith in the accomplishment of the divine promises of salvation,... also reveals to her that she will have to live her obedience of faith in suffering, at the side of the suffering Savior, and that her motherhood will be mysterious and sorrowful. 16
Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday, 1988
  • When, acting in persona Christi, we celebrate the sacrament of the one same sacrifice of which Christ is and remains the only priest and victim, we must not forget this suffering of his Mother, in whom were fulfilled Simeon's words in the Temple at Jerusalem: "A sword will pierce through your own soul also." (Lk 2:35) They were spoken directly to Mary forty days after Jesus' birth. On Golgotha, beneath the cross, these words were completely fulfilled. When on the cross Mary's Son revealed himself fully as the "sign of contradiction," it was then that this immolation and mortal agony also reached her maternal heart. 2
Redemptoris Custos, St. Joseph, 1989 Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
  • The gospel writer notes that "his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him." (Lk 2:23) 13
Evangelium Vitae, 1995
  • Like the Church, Mary too had to live her motherhood amid suffering: "This child is set...for a sign that is spoken against -- and a sword will pierce through your own soul also -- that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed." (Lk 2:34-35) The words which Simeon addresses to Mary at the very beginning of the Saviour's earthly life sum up and prefigure the rejection of Jesus, and with him of Mary, a rejection which will reach its culmination on Calvary. 103
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994
Fidei Depositum, 1992
529 The presentation of Jesus in the temple shows him to be the firstborn Son who belongs to the Lord. (cf.. Lk 2:22-39; Ex 13:2, 12-13) With Simeon and Anna, all Israel awaits its encounter with the Savior -- the name given to this event in the Byzantine tradition. Jesus is recognized as the long-expected Messiah, the now takes its "place in the family of the patriarch," and acquires Israelitica dignitas (are made "worthy of the heritage of Israel").

"light to the nations" and the "glory of Israel," but also "a sign that is spoken against." The sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ's perfect and unique oblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had "prepared in the presence of all peoples." [See also 583, 725]
Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002
  • The Presentation in the Temple not only expresses the joy of the Child's consecration and the ecstasy of the aged Simeon; it also records the prophecy that Christ will be a "sign of contradiction" for Israel and that a sword will pierce his mother's heart. (cf. Lk 2:34-35) 20

© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.

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