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21 November 2012


The Golden Legend of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton:
And then when she had accomplished the time of three years, and had left sucking, they brough her to the temple with offerings. And there was about the temple, after the fifteen psalms of degrees, fifteen steps or grees to ascend up to the temple, because the temple was high set. And no body might go to the altar of sacrifices that was without, but by the degrees. And then our Lady was set on the lowest step, and mounted up without any help as she had been of perfect age, and when they had performed their offering, they left their daughter in the temple with the other virgins, and they returned into their place. And the Virgin Mary profited every day in all holiness, and was visited daily of angels, and had every day divine visions.
The sequence for the feast contains an acrostic: the first letters of each group of three lines spell Ave Maria benedico te. Amen.

Altissima providente
Cuncta recte disponente
Dei sapientia:

Vno nexu coniugatis
Ioachim et Anna, gratis
Iuga sunt sterilia.

Ex cordis affectu toto
Domino fideli voto
Se strinxerunt pariter:

Mox si prolem illis dare
Dignetur, hanc dedicare
In templo perenniter.

Angelus apparuit
Lucidus, qui docuit
Exaudita vota:
Regis summi gratia
Ut his detur filia
Gratiosa tota.

In utero consecrata,
Miro modo generata,
Gignet mirabilius:

Altissimi patris natum
Virgo manens, qui reatum
Mundi tollet gratius.

Bencdicta virgo nata
Teinplo trina praesentata
It ter quinis gradibus:

Erecta velox ascendit
Et uterque parens tendit
Se ornando vestibus.

Nova fulsit gloria
Templum, dum eximia
Virgo praesentatur:

Edocta divinitus,
Visitata coelitus,
Angelis laetatur.

Dum ut nubant iubet multis,
Princeps puellis adultis,
Prinio virgo renuit:

Ipsani namque devovere
Parentes ipsa manere
Virgo voto statuit.

Consultus Deus responsum
Dat, ut virgo sumat sponsum,
Quem pandet flos editus:

Ostensus Ioseph puellam
Ad parentum duxit cellam,
Nuptiis sollicitus.

Tunc Gabriel ad virginem
Ferens conceptus ordinem

Erudita stat tacita,
Verba quae sint insolita

At cum ille tradidit
Modum, virgo credidit,
Sicque sacro flamine

Mox verbum concipitur,
Et quod nusquam clauditur
Conditur in virgine.

Ecce virgo singularis,
Quanta laude sublimaris,
Quanta fulges gloria:

Nos ergo sic tuearis,
Ut fructu, quo gloriaris,
Fruamur in patria.

Englished by the Benedictines of Stanbrook:
The Wisdom of God with inscrutable providence, disposeth all things rightly: Joachim and Anna are united in wedlock, but their union is sterile.

With all the heart's affection they together bind themselves by inviolable vow to the Lord: that if He deign to give them offspring, they without delay will consecrate it to Him for ever in the temple.

A bright angel appears, and tells them their prayers are heard, and by the grace of the most high King, a daughter shall be given them, full of grace.

Holy even in her conception, she is born in a wondrous manner, yet in a way more wondrous still will she give birth, remaining a virgin, to the Son of the most high Father, when he comes to freely cancel the guilt of the world.

She is born then, that blessed Virgin, and at the age of three years is presented in the temple; swift and erect, adorned with her beautiful robe, she ascends the fifteen steps, beneath her parents' gaze.

The temple shines with a new glory, when this august Virgin is presented: there she is taught by God, is visited by the Angels from heaven, and rejoices with them.

When the chief priest bids the maidens of adult age prepare for marriage, the Virgin at first refuses; for her parents have devoted her to God, and she herself has vowed to remain a virgin.

God, being consulted, answers that the virgin shall take him for her spouse whom a miraculous flower shall designate; Joseph thus chosen weds the maiden and leads her to his home.

Then Gabriel is sent to her, telling her how she is to become a mother; but the prudent Virgin stands silent, pondering over the strangeness of the message.

But when he explains how this shall be, she believes him; and thus by the Holy Spirit the Word is conceived, and He whom no space can contain is concelaed in the Virgin's bosom.

O peerless maiden, how dost thou surpass all praise in thy dazzling glory! Protect us now, that in our fatherland we may enjoy thy fruit, whereby thou art so honoured. Amen.

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