February 2, 2019
Today we celebrate the feast of the Purification of Our Lady, also known as Candlemas, on which we commemorate the obedience of Our Lord and Our Lady to the Mosaic Law, which required the purification of the mother and the dedication of the firstborn son to the service of the Lord. The Holy Family, upon coming to the Temple, is met by the holy man Simeon, who, moved by the Holy Spirit, recognizes Jesus as the Savior of Israel and prophesies about His divine mission. He says that Our Lady’s Heart will be pierced by a sword, foretelling the part she will take in the sufferings of her Son, and hence the prophecy of Simeon is named first among Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows.
The title “Candlemas” refers to the candles that are blessed and distributed before Mass today and carried in procession. The blessing includes five beautiful prayers that explain the meaning of the lighted candles, and we encourage you to read through them and reflect on the petitions they contain (they are printed in your Missal before the Mass).
Et statim véniet ad templum suum Dominátor, quem vos quaéritis, et Angelus testaménti, quem vos vultis.
And presently the Lord Whom you seek, and the Angel of the testament Whom you desire, shall come to His Temple.
– Malachi 3:2, from the Epistle for today
Cover photo shows last year’s Candlemas procession at our seminary in Wigratzbad, Germany.