Archive for November 21st, 2013

The Entrance of the Theotokos

21 November, 2013

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The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, also called The Presentation, is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on November 21.

According to Tradition, the Virgin Mary was taken —presented—by her parents Joachim and Anna into the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem as a young girl, where she lived and served as a Temple virgin until her betrothal to St. Joseph. One of the earliest sources of this tradition is the non-canonical Protoevangelion of James, also called the Infancy Gospel of James.

Mary was solemnly received by the temple community which was headed by the priest Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. She was led to the holy place to become herself the “holy of holies” of God, the living sanctuary and temple of the Divine child who was to be born in her. The Church also sees this feast as a feast which marks the end of the physical temple in Jerusalem as the dwelling place of God.

Read more here

Retreat Ideas: A Resource for Passionists

21 November, 2013

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For most of his life as a Passionist, Fr Gerard Mahony has been principally engaged in the ministry of preaching missions and retreats. He has also devoted much time to studying and reflecting on the Passionist Charism – both in its spirituality and history. And so, Fr Gerard is more than qualified to offer and share his Retreat Ideas: A Resource for Passionists.

Fr Gerard offers us a rich resource, both as a personal retreat/reflection time, and as an aid in the preparation of retreats and days of recollection. His material is steeped in lived experience of 67 years of prayer as a Passionist religious and 62 years of preaching as a priest.

Each retreat topic follows a definite pattern and is based on Scripture and the works of both classical and modern spiritual writers. Above all, Fr Gerard has endeavoured to reflect on each topic from his standpoint as a Passionist, making use of the spiritual teachings and writings of the Founder, St Paul of the Cross and sharing the fruits of a lived Charism.

Retreat Ideas – Fr. Gerard Mahony C.P.

21 November 1887

21 November, 2013

Five Passionists from the Anglo Hibernian Province arrived in Sydney Town on 21st November 1887 on board the RMS Ormuz from London.

“The RMS Ormuz steamed through Sydney Heads on that Tuesday afternoon. The morning had been fine but cloudy but now the wind was coming in fresh squalls from the south-east and the sky had a threatening appearance. So much for sunny Australia.

After the steamer made its way to moor at Neutral Bay, it was about 2.30 p.m. There was a great gathering, a flotilla of launches and boats to welcome the ship. There would be many reasons for the gathering, of course, but the majority had come out simply to congratulate this “steamship of age” which had broken all records in its voyage from Plymouth to Sydney in 36 days. This was several days quicker than any previous record.” (Sydney Morning Herald)

The arrival date was a special one for the Passionists. It was the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lady.  Pope Clement XIV allowed the Passionists to celebrate the Presentation as a first class feast. We learn from the contemporaries of St. Paul of the Cross that he prepared for this feast “most celebrated and holy feast” as he would for Christmas.  The first Passionist Church on Monte Argentario, as well as the first church of the Passionist Nuns at Taquinia were all given the title “Presentation”.

21st November – Presentation of Mary

21 November, 2013

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Passionist Saint Vincent Mary Strambi gives this account of the devotion of St. Paul of the Cross to the Presentation of Mary:

He prepared himself for the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the temple… by a fervent 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….  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.”

Homily on the Feast of the Presentation   here

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

The Feast of the Presentation and the Passionists  here

The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary  here