St. Paul of the Cross and the Feast of the Presentation of Mary

From the life of Venerable Paul of the Cross by Saint Vincent Strambi (Ed. Lazzarini, Roma 1786, p. 359-360)

Our venerable Father Paul of the Cross prepared himself for the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the temple by a fervant novena. He desired that the religious community of the retreat of Monte Argentario, whose church is dedicated under the title of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, would make this novena with him, using the following ritual: After the Blessed Sacrament had been exposed for adoration and the appropriate prayers had been said, Psalm 65, Cry out with joy to God, all the earth, O sing to the glory of his name, was to be sung. In this Psalm Paul recognised the way in which God had led him. The psalm also reminded him of the exceptional graces he had obtained through the Blessed Virgin, who had always helped and protected him.

Whenever possible, Paul made this novena in the retreat of the Presentation. How often, even when he was old and crippled, did het set out from the retreat of Sant’Angelo or Santa Maria del Cerro, travelling over impassable roads amid the inclemency of November weather, to Monte Argentario where he could celebrate this feast with greater recollection.  It would be difficult to describe the sentiments of devotion with which he made this novena. His heart seemed to melt like wax in fire because of the love he had for the mother of God and the gratitude he felt toward her. As the feast drew near, he was so full of joy that the very air of Monte Argentario seemed to breathe a kind of sweetness and the hills flowed with milk. On the day of the feast, he seemed to be totally penetrated by a spirit of tender devotion. Even on his deathbed, he recalled, “The day of the Presentation was always a most holy and solemn day for me.”

Paul used to say that this feast was the blessed anniversary of that day on which he took leave of the world and wore the habit of the Passion for the first time. It was the day on which, in the flower of his youth, he offered himself to the Divine Majesty. Thus he imitated the heavenly Queen who presented herself in the temple as a sacrifice more pleasing to the heart of God.
 

5 Responses to “St. Paul of the Cross and the Feast of the Presentation of Mary”

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