Candlemas, the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the World Day of Consecrated Life

On 2nd February, the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, better known as the Feast of Candlemas, commemorates the event related in the Gospel of St Luke: Mary and Joseph going to present the child Jesus at the Temple, according to Jewish custom, 40 days after his birth.

In this event, we recognise an encounter between the Lord and his People, in the person of the two elderly people – Simeon and Anne – in the Temple. In the Child, Simeon recognises the Lord’s Anointed, the Messiah, the Comforter whom Israel awaits: He is a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to God’s people Israel. Anne the Prophetess joins in this praise and announces to those around her the coming of Christ the Lord.

The festival of lights

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple is a Christian feast which takes place 40 days after Christmas (always therefore on 2nd February). It has several names: Festival of Lights, Candlemas, Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.
You can join in this celebration of light by asking for a candle to be lit in Lourdes so that you can be part of a communion of prayer with all our brothers and sisters by clicking HERE.

Simeon, man of the Holy Spirit

The Christian name Simeon comes from the verb shama which means “to hear”; the old name Shim’on can be interpreted as meaning “He has heard”.
Simeon was the one who heard and welcomed. He understood how to let the Holy Spirit live in him.
We can ask the Holy Spirit to come and bless us by asking for a Mass to be celebrated for all our loved ones by clicking HERE.

The World Day of Consecrated Life

Anne, woman consecrated to God

Anne was close to God; she was a woman of prayer.
“She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day.”
Anne was a prophetess. In Jesus, she saw a gift from God (“At that moment she came, and began to praise God”), In Jesus, she saw a saviour (“she began to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem”).
Anne was patient and faithful. She wait her whole life to see the Lord’s promise come true.

The World Day of Consecrated Life is celebrated on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. This day has a particular importance for every consecrated person, who, inspired by the overwhelming gift of Christ, aspires in turn to give his life and to abandon everything to walk in his footsteps.

“Dear friends, today let us joyfully renew our consecration! Let us ask ourselves what “moves” our hearts and actions, what renewed vision we are being called to cultivate, and above all else, let us take Jesus into our arms. Even if at times we experience fatigue and weariness – this too happens – , let us do as Simeon and Anna did.  They awaited with patience the fidelity of the Lord and did not allow themselves to be robbed of the joy of the encounter with him. Let us advance to the joy of the encounter: this is beautiful! Let us put the Lord back in the centre and press forward with joy. Amen.” (Pope Francis’ homily for the 26th World Day of Consecrated Life)

 

Song of Simeon

“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”

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