Presentation of Mary in the Temple
The non-biblical subject of the panel, "The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple," derives from apocryphal books such as the Protoevangelium of James and Gospel of the Birth of the Virgin.
After Mary was born to Joachim and Anne, her parents dedicated her to the service of the Temple. And when she was 3 years old, she walked unaided up fifteen steps to where Zachary, the High priest, awaited her. The Basilica panel shows a gray-haired Joachim and a wrinkled Anne presenting the young girl Mary, who is wreathed, to Zachary and to other Temple officials. Mary is climbing a staircase of only three steps. Two texts appear on the panel, the first reads: "Veni electa mea et ponam in te tronum meum" (Come my chosen one and I will place you on my throne," a paraphrase of Song of Songs 4:8).
This text served as an antiphon at Matins for St. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal, and in the verse and responsory of the Common of Virgins and Martyrs. The second text reads "Et sic in Sion firmata sum et in civitate santificaia requievi" ("And so in Zion I was established and in the holy city I rested" [Sirach 24:10}). Note that the painter forgot to cross the "T," so "sanctificata" instead reads "sanctificaia."