ALTAR OF THE PRESENTATION OF JESUS
The altar belonged to the Confraternity of the Virgin Mary Purification. The theme of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple refers to the Gospel passage told by Luke (Lc 2, 33-35) where Mary and Joseph take the Child to the Temple of Jerusalem forty days after his birth, in order to “offer” him to God during a ceremony that was customary for all first-born sons.
In the center of the scene, Mary hands Jesus to Simeon while surrounded by other people like Saint Joseph and Anne the prophet. In the background there is a glimpse of some architectural elements that locate the scene inside the Temple. Old Simeon welcomes the Child from the Virgin’s hands and raises a prayer :
Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations :
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.
(Canticle of Simeon, Luke 2,29-32)