Among Mary’s feasts, that of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple was especially cherished by the St. Paul of the Cross and the early Passionists. As titular of the first Passionist Monastery and Church on Monte Argentario the feast was always preceded by a solemn novena. During the novena St. Paul of the Cross wished that the 66th psalm “Cry out with joy to God …” be sung because it recalled God’s beneficience to him during his pilgrimages through various parts of Italy before attaining the foundation of the first stable community on Monte Argentario.
“I have always honoured the day of the Presentation as a very honoured and holy day” he used to say.
In 1773 St. Paul of the Cross obtained from Pope Clement XIV the faculty of celebrating the feast in all his retreats as a Solemnity with octave.
Finally in 1775 the Passionist General Chapter declared Mary under the title of the Presentation “as the first and principal patroness of the Congregation”. The intention was that Mary’s generous dedication to God’s service and to the mystery of redeption should be a continuous example for the Passionists, an incentive to feel themselves present on Calvary with Mary, and to a tireless dedication to the specific mission which God had given the Congregation in the Church.
(cf. History of the Passionists, Volume 1, Fr. Fabiano Giorgini C.P., p. 321)
PRESENTATION OF MARY, Memorial
Lord God, you looked with love on your handmaid, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and raised her up to be the Mother of your Son. Through her prayers and example, may we give you perfect obedience and, from hearts filled with joy, share with others the wonders of your love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE OFFERINGS
Almighty God, accept our prayers and gifts in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who offered herself as your handmaid. May we too offer ourselves as a sacrifice pleasing in your sight. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Lord, our God, we have shared the living bread from heaven. May we imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary and know the joy of obedience in the service of your Church. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.