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THE PRIVILEGE OF PARENTS

Father Francis's picture
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Anne and Joachim were very special parents for God chose them to bring into our world the only child who was conceived without original sin. Their child in turn was to conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and bring into our world the Son of God. And so their child was to be the mother of God. They could rightly claim to be the grandparents of the Son of God. It was their great privilege to teach her to know and love God.

It was customary for devout parents to offer thanksgiving to God by presenting their children to Him in the Temple. Some parents would leave their children to be educated there, and according to tradition, this is what Anne and Joachim chose to do.

Saint Alphonsus says that Mary was only three years old when her parents took her to Jerusalem. The 80 mile journey from Nazareth would have been long and tiring for a little girl. It is said that choirs of angels watched over her on the way.

No doubt there were some tears when Anne and Joachim parted from their beloved daughter. How long she remained in the temple we don't know.

Mary gradually grew closer and closer to God who was preparing her for the great task of being the mother of His Son. The Presentation in the temple was the first step on the road to the Annunciation when Mary “full of grace” would say 'Yes' to God's proposal.

Parents should present their children for baptism as early as possible, thanking God and consecrating their child to Him. Like Anne and Joachim, they don't know what special work God has prepared for their little one. It is their privilege to teach that baby to love God, to have faith in Him and do His holy Will.

God our Father, we pray for all parents that they would recognize the great privilege that is theirs, of firmly leading their children on the road that leads to Heaven.