The tradition of la presentación

The Christ the King community was grateful to welcome twin babies, Favio and Zoe Tufino. Zaira Peña, an active member in Cristo Rey, presented her babies during the 10:15 a.m. service this past Sunday.

The source of this tradition of la presentación is, without a doubt, the presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple, forty days after Christmas, or on Feb. 2 as noted on the Church calendar. 

In Mexico, this special day is an annual holiday as the entire family attends Mass and carries statues. These statues are of different sizes, with the child Jesus lying down as in the manger or sitting up in a chair.  In almost all cases, el niño Jesús (meaning the baby Jesus, in Spanish) is nicely dressed in elegant clothes, often sewn by the mother of the family.

The bringing of el niño Jesús to church for a blessing has become a widespread tradition now in Mexican and Mexican American communities in the United States. However, in the United States this celebration has moved to the closest Sunday to the Feast of the Presentation since it is not celebrated as a national holiday in the United States, and many family members work long hours during the week. 

On that Sunday, they often have hundreds of statues of el niño Jesús in the sanctuary to show the deep love that Mexicans have for el niño Jesús and the Virgin Mary.

The idea of dedicating a child to the Lord can certainly be found in the Bible. In 1 Samuel 1:11, Hannah was a barren wife who promised to dedicate her child to God if He would give her a son. And, Luke 2:22 begins the account of Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the temple after forty days in order to dedicate Him to the Lord.

It is probably one of the most beautiful tradition in our community. After the quarantine the parents are thankful for their lives, the healthy babies, and have a need to have the blessings from church. 

Reflection and description are from Ana Becerra.