The feast of the Presentation of the Lord, commonly known as Candlemas, is also the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. Saint John Paul II established this observance for several reasons; to give thanks to God for the gift of consecrated life, to promote greater knowledge and to celebrate the blessing God has worked in their lives.
The feast of the Presentation was selected because it marks the middle of the season, the increase of light as our year progresses. In the Gospel reading for the feast, Simeon declares: “My eyes have seen thy salvation … a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel” (Lk 2:28-32). Mass on this feast day begins with a procession of candles reminiscent of Simeon’s description of Jesus as a “light of revelation to the nations.”
This celebration will mark the close of the Year of Consecrated Life, which the Church has been observing this past year. It appropriate to acknowledge the great gift and witness those consecrated to the religious life bring to the Church but also to the world.
As this Year of Consecrated life draws to a close, let us rejoice and give thanks to God for the service of our sisters and brothers in consecrated life.
Lisa Dzikowski, Marketing and Sales Assistant