Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos (November 21)

Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos Icon

The Feast of the Entrance (also known as the Feast of the Presentation) celebrates the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Queen, Mother of God (Theotokos) and ever-virgin Mary. It's purpose is to shed light on the childhood of the Blessed Mother, her parents, her training in the Temple, and her preparation as the Theotokos.

The Gospels are silent on the Entrance of the Holy Mother into the Temple. The Feast traces its origins to the apocryphal writings of James and Matthew, where we learn of Mary's parents Joachim and Anna. According to tradition, when she was three years old, her parents brought her to the Temple and placed her under the instruction and care of the high priest Zachary, father of John the Baptist. Here she remained until years later she was betrothed to Joseph.

The Feast of the Entrance has been universally observed in the East since the 8th century, although some references to it date back to the 5th century. The date of November 21 was established as early as the 9th century. In the West, the feast spread throughout Europe until it had become firmly established by the middle of the 15th century.