Joachim and Anna did not forget their promise to dedicate
their child to the service of God. When Mary was three years old they brought
her to the Temple. Young girls, friends and relatives with lighted tapers
formed a procession and conducted her to the steps of the Temple. There the child Mary all by herself
walked up to the very top of the stair, where she was met by the High Priest,
Zacharias, as he had met other children dedicated to the service of God. Moved
by the Holy Spirit, the High Priest led Mary into the Holy of Holies of the Temple, where he himself was allowed to enter but once a year.
Thus, the child Mary was dedicated to a higher service and a higher calling
than any other child. After her dedication she remained in the Temple for twelve years, praying and fasting. She read and
studied the Holy Scriptures and learned needlework along with other young
girls. Mary decided to dedicate the rest of her life to God and vowed to remain
forever a virgin. This holy day serves to remind parents that children are
given to us by God, and that we as parents must remember that it is our duty to
bring them up according to God's commandments - that is to love and obey Him.
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