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Daily Catholic Question

What is the origin of the Magnificat?

The Blessed Mother's prayer, the Magnificat (which is part of the Gospel for the feast of the Visitation, May 31), is very similar to the Canticle of Hannah. The author of the Magnificat (its first words in Latin are "Magnificat anima mea," meaning, "My soul magnifies...") probably adapted the earlier text.

The Bible presents Hannah, Samuel's mother, as praying this song of praise when she brought her son to Shiloh, to thank the Lord for his birth.

The Magnificat is such a beautiful prayer that the Church uses it every day at Evening Prayer, in the Liturgy of the Hours. It perfectly summarizes Mary's faith and trust in God and is also the longest direct quote from any woman in the New Testament.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 11/7/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 11/9/2012


Presentation of Mary: Mary’s presentation was celebrated in Jerusalem in the sixth century. A church was built there in honor of this mystery. The Eastern Church was more interested in the feast, but it does appear in the West in the 11th century. Although the feast at times disappeared from the calendar, in the 16th century it became a feast of the universal Church. 
<p>As with Mary’s birth, we read of Mary’s presentation in the temple only in apocryphal literature. In what is recognized as an unhistorical account, the <i>Protoevangelium of James</i> tells us that Anna and Joachim offered Mary to God in the Temple when she was three years old. This was to carry out a promise made to God when Anna was still childless. </p><p>Though it cannot be proven historically, Mary’s presentation has an important theological purpose. It continues the impact of the feasts of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) and of the birth of Mary (September 8). It emphasizes that the holiness conferred on Mary from the beginning of her life on earth continued through her early childhood and beyond.</p> American Catholic Blog Having a saint to pray to every day for special intentions draws us into a more intimate union with Jesus, who has blessed us with so many heavenly intercessors for all our needs. It is a great privilege to have someone in heaven who cares so much about our innermost desires and personal needs.

 
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