Joseph is waiting for Her at the foot of the steps with a little grey donkey. He looks at Mary and smiles at Her. When Mary arrives near the little donkey, Joseph places the animal’s bridle on his left arm, he takes for a moment the Child, Who is sleeping peacefully, and thus allows Mary to sit more comfortably on the donkey’s saddle. He then hands Jesus back to Her and they set out.
Joseph is walking beside Mary, holding the bridle all the time and ensuring that the donkey goes straight on without stumbling. Mary is holding Jesus in Her lap, and lest He might feel cold, She spreads the edge of Her mantle over Him. Joseph and Mary speak very little but they often smile at each other....
At first, they turn their steps towards an arcade where the merchants are, to whom Jesus later will give a good lashing: the vendors of lambs and doves and the money-changers. Joseph buys two little white pigeons.
...A priest approaches them, I do not know whether he was called by Joseph or whether he did so of his own accord. Mary offers Her two little pigeons ...
I am watching everything. It is a most ornate place. Sculptured angels’ heads, palms and decorations adorn the columns, the walls and the ceiling. Light comes in through strange long narrow windows, obviously without panes, built diagonally with regard to the walls. I suppose the idea is to keep the rain out...
I now realize that I thought I was in the Temple, instead I was in the part surrounding the real Temple, that is the Holy, beyond which no one can proceed, apparently, except the priests. What I therefore thought was the Temple, is but an enclosed vestibule, which on three sides encircles the Temple, in which the Tabernacle is enclosed...
Mary offers the Child, Who has woken up and is turning His innocent eyes towards the priest, with the astonished look of infants a few days old. The priest takes Him in his arms and raises Him, with arms fully stretched out, towards the Temple, standing against the kind of altar placed on top of the steps. The rite is over. The Child is handed back to His Mother and the priest goes away.
There is a group of onlookers. Amongst them a little old man, bent with age and limping, makes his way leaning on a stick. He must be very old, I would say over eighty. He goes near Mary, and asks Her to give him the Child for one moment. Mary satisfies him, smiling.
Simeon takes the Child and kisses Him. Jesus smiles at him with the typical smile of sucklings. He seems to watch him inquisitively, because the old man is crying and laughing at the same time and his tears form a sparkling embroidery running along his wrinkles and beading his long white beard, towards which Jesus stretches His little hands. He is Jesus, but still a child, and whatever moves in front of Him, draws His attention so that He wants to get hold of it to see what it is.
Mary’s smile fades into paleness when Simeon mentions sorrow. Although She knows, that word pierces Her soul. She goes closer to Joseph, to be comforted, She presses Her Child to Her breast passionately and like a thirsty soul, She takes in the words of Anna of Phanuel, who being a woman, has mercy on Her suffering and promises Her that the Eternal Father will soothe the hour of sorrow with a supernatural strength.
Woman, He Who gave a Savior to His people, will not lack the power to send His angel to console Your tears. The great women of Israel never lacked the help of the Lord and You are far greater than Judith and Jael. Our God will give You a heart of the most pure gold to withstand the storm of sorrow, so that You will be the greatest woman in Creation: the Mother. And You, Child, remember me in the hour of Your mission.
And the vision ends here.
Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.
Vision of Maria Valtorta on