Today is the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. It is also known as Candlemas:
It marks the occasion on which we meditate in particular the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary: that extraordinary visit of the Holy Family to the temple, to be met by the prophet Anna and Simeon, the priest, and to make the required sacrificial offering for a first-born son.
There is so much to meditate on: the humility of Our Lady (of all people) being ritually purified; the devout Jewishness of the Holy Family; the idea of Our Lady offering God back to God, and being entrusted with God by God; the extraordinary prophecies of Anna and Simeon; the pre-figuring of the replacement of the temple of the Old Covenant with the Temple of the New, in the person of Christ: the locus of the one true redemptive sacrifice.
Ave, Domina Angelorum:
Salve, radix, salve, porta
Ex qua mundo lux est orta:
Gaude, Virgo gloriosa,
Super omnes speciosa,
Vale, o valde decora,
Et pro nobis Christum exora.
Hail, O Queen of Heaven enthroned.
Hail, by angels mistress owned.
Root of Jesse, Gate of Morn
Whence the world's true light was born:
Glorious Virgin, Joy to thee,
Loveliest whom in heaven they see;
Fairest thou, where all are fair,
Plead with Christ our souls to spare.