|Orthodox Calendar 2023
New Hieromartyr Alexander Khotovitsky, protopresbyter, of New York and Moscow (1937).
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “Everlasting Hope.”
St. Columbanus, abbot, and founder of the monasteries of Luxeuil (Gaul) and Bobbio (Italy) (615).
Repose of Blessed Pasha of Birsk, fool-for-Christ (1891).
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
St. Gregory PalamasTherefore, the High Priest, seeing that this child, more than anyone else, had divine grace within Her, wished to set Her within the Holy of Holies. He convinced everyone present to welcome this, since God had advanced it and approved it. Through His angel, God assisted the Virgin and sent Her mystical food, with which She was strengthened in nature, while in body She was brought to maturity and was made purer and more exalted than the angels, having the Heavenly spirits as servants.
Deacon George MaximovOnly standing upon the above-mentioned axioms is it possible, without noticing the entire absurdity of such a combination, to consider ourselves believing Christians and yet suppose that we know better what the Virgin Mary did and didn't do than the Christians of the second century, than Sts. Herman and Tarasius of Constantinople, St. Gregory Palamas, and others who wrote about these events as facts; and finally, better than the Church herself, which instituted this feast.
|Like the festival of the Nativity of the Mother of God, that of Her Presentation in the Temple was created by the Tradition of the Church, which made use of the apocrypha in order to emphasize—this time in the person of the chosen Virgin consecrating Herself :to the service of God—“the fulfillment of the economy of the Creator”.
|The holy Virgin ran toward the Temple, overtaking her attendant maidens and threw herself into the arms of the High Priest Zacharias, who was waiting for her at the gate of the Temple with the elders. Zacharias blessed her saying, "It is in you that He has glorified your name in every generation. It is in you that He will reveal the Redemption that He has prepared for His people in the last days."
|The temple was built on a mountain so many steps were required to reach the altar. Mary managed these steps without any difficulty and the whole company ascended into the temple. She relied on God’s help showing how we too should make our own effort and rely on God”s help to take the steps necessary for our entry into heaven.
Metropolitan Anthony of SourozhSince early days the Church has given to the Mother of God titles of holiness greater than those which are given to any saint. She is called the All-holy, Panagia. We venerate Her as One who is greater and holier than the Cherubim and the Seraphim, greater than the angels of God who, endowed with vision, can see, contemplate and adore, greater than the angels of God who are, as it were, the throne of the Most High.
Fr. Panagiotes CarrasThroughout the whole service the hymns proclaim the exalted place which the Entry has in the history of Salvation. The Entry marks the closing of the Old Covenant, whereas the Annunciation marks the beginning of the New. With the Entry the most Holy Virgin is passing from the Old Covenant to the New, and this transition in the person of the Mother of God shows us how the New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Old.
Archpriest Alexander ShargunovWhat Joachim and Anna have done, offering to God the fruit of their prayers, far exceeds any spiritual labors that we could set up as an example. But let us ponder the following: often we find ourselves in a situation similar to these people – Joachim and Anna, – when misfortune befalls us, when we are in need, when we are ready to promise the Lord everything, say all kinds of words of love, just so He would help us, would deliver us from such a state. And then sorrow passes, need passes. But when the time comes to fulfill our promise, we begin to vacillate.
Fr. John BehrAs we present the Theotokos into the temple today, saying to God “Let it be,” let us not misunderstand what it demands of us as ourselves temples of God. May we have the strength to say with her: “Let it be!”
|When the Most Holy Virgin became three years old, her parents, true to their vow to the Lord to dedicate their child to Him, in procession with young maidens "adorned with the beauty of virtues" "with lamps in their hands" and accompanied by relatives and acquaintenances, "with gladness" solemnly led their Most-pure Daughter into the Jerusalem Temple "to be brought up in divine grace" "before the Lord."
St. Philaret of MoscowAnd first of all, Christian soul, recognize here your eternal right by which you belong the King of kings, and be led unto Him in submission and love. And the King shall greatly desire thy beauty, for He Himself is thy Lord.