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Presentation in the Temple

Luke is the only of the four evangelists to relate the presentation in the temple and this story of Jesus' life. From a painting by Simon Vouet, reflection on the implication of this event and its relationship Candlemas festival celebrated on February 2nd.

 The Presentation in the Temple inv 8492

Around 1640 - 1641
Simon Vouet
Richelieu 2 nd floor
Room 12

The painters of Louis XIII
Donated in 1641 by
Cardinal Richelieu
at the Church of the Professed House
of the Jesuits,
Rue Saint-Antoine
in Paris.

The upper
the altarpiece, The Apotheosis
St. Louis is

the Rouen museum.

In the center is the child
Jesus, aged 40 days,
worn by Simeon;

right of the picture,
Mary and Joseph,
the latter bearing
a cage in which
is two turtledoves
(Or two pigeons).

In the foreground, before Joseph, is the prophetess Anna, left the table, a crowd watching the scene; at the foot of the crowd, there are a ram, black color; top left, two angels fly, one carrying a roll where one can distinguish a Latin inscription. This table illustrates a passage from the Gospel of Luke.

Also, when the time came for purifying them according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to Jehovah, just as it is written in Jhvh’s Law: “Every firstborn male must be called holy to Jhvh.” And they offered a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of Jhvh: “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” - Luke 2:22-24

The evangelist refers to two laws. That which the Lord commanded to devote every firstborn male (Numbers 7:17; 18: 16-17) and the one to offer the sacrifice prescribed for the purification of his mother forty days after the child's birth (Leviticus 12 : 2). Marie having only one to be purified by law, we understand that the Vulgate speaks of the days of 'purification'. But most Greek manuscripts here are plural. This requires understanding the presentation of the child and the sacrifice of the mother. 

Luke is the only of the four evangelists to report
the story of the Presentation in the Temple

According to the Jewish religious ritual redemption of the firstborn, the boys had to be 'redeemed' at the age of one month by an animal sacrifice (18:15 Numbers), as they were considered to belong to God (Numbers 3: 13; Exodus 13: 2-12).

The Act does not prescribe precisely the presentation of the first-born, but the use was interpreted as the obligation to 'sanctify' or the 'spend' according to the Hebrew text. More than any other mother, Mary should be paid to make this gesture. She knew this divine child was eager to precede its future immolation of a formal offering of himself in the Temple. On the other hand, she was aware of the prophecies (Haggai 2: 7-9; Malachi 3: 1)

This table shows
a through
the Gospel of Luke

  Two laws
  Child's presentation
and the
sin of the mother
The baby Jesus lies precisely in the center of the table and it's bringing the Simeon. On seeing the holy family, it is for God, saying, “Now, Sovereign Lord, you are letting your slave go in peace according to your declaration, because my eyes have seen your means of salvation that you have prepared in the sight of all the peoples, a light for removing the veil from the nations and a glory of your people Israel.” - Luke 2:29 
 This is the first line of these words
which is shown in its Latin version,
the roller carried by one of the two angels, in the top left of the table.
It reads:
"Nunc dimittis servum tuum dominates."

Anne, shown at right in the table,
and described by the evangelist as
a prophetess, came and began to praise God and spoke of "the child to all who waited for redemption in Jerusalem.
According to the evangelist, Joseph and Mary go to the temple to fulfill the requirement as contained in Leviticus:When the days of her purification for a son or a daughter are completed, she will bring a young ram in its first year for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering to the entrance of the tent of meeting, to the priest.” (Leviticus 12:6). It is this requirement that Joseph and Mary, right, on the board, will therefore be done, the 40th day after the birth of Jesus.
But Joseph, according to the Gospel,
brings two birds instead of one;
and on Table he wears a cage in
which are two turtles, but does not lead ram.
The presence a black ram, bottom left
the table at the foot of the crowd,
recalls that it was yet one offerings to make.

However, the law stated, in Leviticus 12:8
But if she cannot afford a sheep,
she must then take two turtledoves or
two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering
and one for a sin offering, and the priest
will make atonement for her,
and she will be clean.”

The evangelist tells us how Jesus
grew up in a modest home.    
This story also raises a thorny theological dilemma for Catholics. The recent dogma of the Immaculate Conception (defined in December 1854) states that Mary was conceived free from original sin. 

The recent dogma of the Immaculate Conception:
a theological dilemma

Mary is she really dead before his alleged ascension? It would be difficult to grant it to have escaped death (as is the dogma of the Assumption), a privilege that even Christ did not. And if she is dead, then why? For it is the punishment of original sin, which Mary was preserved, according to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. But flawed woman of faith, Mary would certainly need of redemption. And faithful Jewish woman, she offered the sacrifice for sin prescribed by law.
  This story also raises
a thorny theological
Mary does
was preserved
from Original Sin?
If Yes, why
has she offered one sacrifice for sin
prescribed by law?

No specific biblical foundation

These doctrines are not based on a scriptural basis or on specific text of the early days of the Church. "Scripture does not teach directly the Immaculate Conception. The early Church Fathers saw Mary as a saint, but not absolutely without sin.

It is "not directly mention of the Assumption in the Bible. In the 13th century Thomas Aquinas recognized that" it is impossible to make a dogma of the Assumption as the Scriptures do not teach. There is no trace celebrations or prayers performed in honor of Mary before the third century. 


The Presentation
in the Temple inv 2802

Sébastien Bourdon
Montpellier, 1616 - Paris, 1671
Sully 2nd Floor Room 19
Painted on wood, around 1644,
for the oratory of Anne of Austria at the Palais Royal,
The Flight into Egypt with Bourdon (RF 1983-1973)
The Marriage of the Virgin de Champaigne (Wallace Collection, London) and The Assumption of
Vouet (Reims, Saint-Denis museum).

Revolutionary seizure of the collection of the Duke of Orleans at the Palais Royal, Paris.


Presentation in the Temple

INV. 7490

Before 1741 - 1743
Hyacinthe Rigaud
Sully 2nd Floor Room 34

This painting, where figures
emerge from a mysterious
dark, reflected admiration
qu'éprouvait Rigaud for art
Rembrandt and his entourage,
which he collected works.

Careful invoice,
where the artist gets constantly
owes much to that
of Gerrit Dou.

The famous oriental tradition since at least the fourth century the feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, or more precisely, in Greek, the Meet (? Παπ? Ντη or? Π? Ντη) with Simeon and Anna. It appears first in the rite of the Church of Jerusalem. Originally it was celebrated on February 14, since Jerusalem celebrated the nativity of Jesus, at that time and until the middle of the sixth century, on 6 January. Armenian, Georgian and Greek documents illuminate the tragic historical circumstances in which the transition is made ​​from 14 to February 2nd.

Presentation in the temple and Candlemas Day,

In Rome, this feast is mentioned in the fifth century
by Pope Gelasius as the Purification.

It will replace gradually the ancient Lupercalia,
inspired Lupercus, god of fertility
and flocks.
The presentation of
the Saviour was early
subject to be
a Christian festival 

Two feats with common ancestry

In churches, they are replaced by torches and candles blessed are reminded that Christ is the "light of the world. In 1372, this festival will be associated with that of the Purification of the Virgin. Celebrated on February 2, is also the feast of Candlemas, popular celebration of pagan origin linked to the return of the light.   


To short Visit

To normal Visit

Oriental Antiquities    Oriental Antiquities Departement
Egyptian Antiquities    Egyptian Antiquities Departement
Roman Antiquities    Roman Antiquities Departement