Why do we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary on the day of Jesus' circumcision?

Odd question I know, but I am so curious to understand. Could someone help me understand why we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary on the day of Jesus’ circumcision (customary 8 days after birth)? Is Jesus’ circumcision also the ‘presentation of the Jesus in the temple’?


It’s not the same day. The Feast of Mary, Mother of God is January 1st.
7 days after Christmas.

Counting Dec 25, yes, Jan 1st is the eighth day.

You don’t count the same day when you count days.

Hmmm…tough crowd. God bless you. :slight_smile:

Most people count their birthday when counting how old they are, because most people consider themselves a year older on their birthday…they don’t wait for the day after their birthday to celebrate 365 days of birth : )

Was circumcision practiced back then? I thought I read somewhere it wasn’t.

Pretty sure it wasn’t on CAF, but some other sitr, I was trying to find out thr reason for Jesus being presented at the Temple.

This used to be a Holy Day of Obligation, the Circumcision before Vatican 11, and yes this was still done as Jesus was Jewish. It is said that this was the first blood that Jesus shed. But I don’t know why this feast was changed to the Queenship of Mary, but perhaps one of the apologists knows.

And not just the circumcision but the presentation of Jesus at the temple…

25th = 1st day of birth
26 = 2nd
27 = 3rd
28 = 4th
29 = 5th
30 = 6th
31 = 7th
1 = 8th

The Presentation of Christ is February 2nd, Candlemass. The Circumcision and naming of Jesus was January 1st, on the Traditional Catholic calendar. I would have preferred if they kept it the same so we could be in solidarity with the Orthodox. Anything that can help us enter in communion with each other…

The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is actually the oldest Marian feast. Around the 14th century, this feast was replaced with the Feast of the Circumcision, and in 1931, the Feast of Mary, Mother of God was restored to the calendar, but celebrated on October 11th. When Vatican II occurred, January 1st was designated as “The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God,” removing the Feast of the Circumcision. The Gospel reading for January 1st still mentions Christ’s circumcision, but the focus of the day is on Mary’s role in the divine mystery.

In Jewish culture the eight days from birth to circumcision always counted the day of the birth. For example, if a child was born on a Wednesday then he would be circumcised the following Wednesday.

Keep in mind that Jewish days begin at sunset and that Jesus was born in the evening. For example, if Jesus was born on what we consider Wednesday evening, in Jewish culture that is actually the start of Thursday. In this case Jesus would have been baptized the following Thursday during the day. All Jewish circumcisions happen during the day.

We celebrate Mary on the first day of the year because she is the pinnacle of creation, the door through which salvation came to mankind. The fact that Jesus was circumcised on the same day is not relevant. We celebrate Jesus baptism instead.

Jesus’ birth through the beginning of his ministry - the hidden years of his life - are condensed in the Church calendar as follows:

Dec 25 - Nativity of the Lord
Dec 27 - Holy Family
Dec 28 - Holy Innocents: the first to die for Jesus
Dec 1 - Mary, Mother of God
Jan 3 - Epiphany of the Lord
Jan 10 - Baptism of the Lord: the start of Jesus public ministry


It occurs to me that this topic has zero to do with philosophy.

If the presentation or circumcision is not relevant then why would God put it in the Bible? Why ping pong back and forth between the two…as though you cannot honor two feasts on one day? The more the merrier : ) I am trying to understand what the Church’s philosophy is here.

Yes, no harm in keeping it in there and adding the feast day for the Blessed Mother.

Thank you Tim!

Our priest in his homily said that the reason for the change was that people got squeamish about celebrating a circumcision. I don’t know if he was joking.

That’s the way they counted days back then. If someone was born on a Friday, that would have been the first day. Saturday = second day, etc. What we would call seven days/a week later would have been the eighth day to them.

Just to put things in chronological order: the Nativity, then a week later the circumcision and official naming, then 40 days after the Nativity the Presentation in the Temple, then some time after that (perhaps as much a year, or even more) the visit of the Wise Men (the Epiphany), and then days after that the emigration to Egypt.

Thank you so much for sharing this. Although I understand why I am not convinced it is necessary to hide. Also, the Holy Name of Jesus was a really awesome part of that tradition.

~.~ Blessings

I vote for sqeamish! :eek:

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