Every February 2 in Poland and throughout the Polish world diaspora, which of course includes our Polish American community, we celebrate the Catholic Holy Day-Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.
In his childhood, Jesus was presented in the temple of Jerusalem to be redeemed by the parents' sacrifice from His birth-state of sanctity and pre-destined by his first born status to serve as a priest. Luke's Gospel in Chapter 2 describes Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus as taking the option of poor people and unable to sacrifice a lamb, they bring two turtledoves. This custom was followed 40 days after the birth of a male child, and that is why we celebrate this solemnity 40 days after Christmas. St. Luke tells us that as the Holy Family approached the temple, they met the elderly prophetess Anna and Simeon, a just and devout man of Jerusalem, who prophesized to Mary "Behold this Child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel and a sign that shall be contradicted(and a sword shall pierce your own soul also) that thoughts of many hearts may be revealed"(Luke 2:34-35). This is also the official end of the Christmas season for Polish families. The Virgin Mary is revered on this day under the title of Matka Boza Gromniczna. This title comes from the word gromnica, which is a special candle lit during severe calamities, threatening weather and at the deathbed of a person who is near death.
Photos present PMA Library collection Albums: on Dutch Painting "The Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer" by J. Nash and The Presentation of Jesus in the temple by Rembrandt, 1631; "Presentation of Jesus in the temple" by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Siena, 1346. from "Gli Uffizi Storia e Collezioni" published by Arkady, 1995.
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