On February 2, the Church observes the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord commemorating the day on which the child Jesus was brought to the temple to be consecrated to God. Because the true light has now come into the world, the commemoration includes the blessing of candles used in liturgical services throughout the year symbolizing the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. For this reason, the feast is often called Candlemas Day.
At Saint Scholastica Monastery, the candles to be used in liturgical services throughout the year are blessed in the Gathering Space outside the Chapel before Holy Mass. Each Sister also receives an individual lighted candle which she then carries in procession to the base of the altar before the Eucharist representing her life of consecrated service to God as being united to Christ’s consecration to the Father.
Since 1997 Pope John Paul II instituted a special World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life to be held in connection with the Feast of the Presentation. Therefore, this year its celebration in United States parishes has been transferred to Sunday, February 3, in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church and to ask for prayers for them and those aspiring to the consecrated life.
Let us pray for all persons consecrated to God through religious vows that they may seek to live their baptismal promises more intensely and have the grace to persevere in their commitment to the Lord and serve with open hearts and willing spirits.