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Presentation of the Lord

Presentation of the Lord

Feast date: Feb 02

At the end of the fourth century, a woman named Etheria made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Her journal, discovered in 1887, gives an unprecedented glimpse of liturgical life there. Among the celebrations she describes is the Epiphany (January 6), the observance of Christ’s birth, and the gala procession in honor of his Presentation in the Temple 40 days later—February 15.

This feast emphasizes Jesus’ first appearance in the Temple more than Mary’s purification.

The observance spread throughout the Western Church in the fifth and sixth centuries. Because the Church in the West celebrated Jesus’ birth on December 25, the Presentation was moved to February 2, 40 days after Christmas.

At the beginning of the eighth century, Pope Sergius inaugurated a candlelight procession; at the end of the same century the blessing and distribution of candles which continues to this day became part of the celebration, giving the feast its popular name: Candlemass.

Background: World Day for Consecrated Life (CWN)

February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, is also the 26th World Day for Consecrated Life, a commemoration instituted by Pope St. John Paul II in 1997.

Indian Catholics demand strict action in Bible burning incident (UCANews)

A spokesman for the bishops of the southwestern Indian state of Kerala (map) called on civil authorities to punish a Muslim man who staged a Bible burning.

Archbishop Aquila responds to Cardinal McElroy's article on 'radical inclusion' (Catholic World Report)

Responding to an article by Cardinal Robert McElroy of San Diego, Archbishop Samuel of Aquila of Denver writes that “Cardinal McElroy’s reflection paints the Church as an institution that harms due to its incapacity to welcome everyone into full participation in the life of the Church.”

“According to His Eminence, the Church categorically discriminates, but did not Jesus himself put demands on his disciples which distinguished them from those who did not respond to the radical and costly call of the Gospel?”

Cardinal George Pell: Mourners and protesters clash at Sydney funeral (BBC)

In Congo, activists look to Pope to boost forest protections (AP)

Church of England sheds light on 'shameful' slave trade ties (AP)

Catholic school students kicked out of Smithsonian museum in DC over pro-life beanies (Fox News)

A dozen students and chaperones from Our Lady of the Rosary School in Greenville, SC, were kicked out of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the day of the March for Life because they were wearing pro-life caps.

“Asking visitors to remove hats and clothing is not in keeping with our policy or protocols,” said a museum spokesperson. “We provided immediate training to prevent a re-occurrence of this kind of incident, and have determined steps to ensure this does not happen again.”

Stop blaming apartheid regime for South Africa's failures, bishops say (ACI Africa)

“We deplore the use by some political leaders of the legacy of apartheid as an excuse for their failure to do their job and deliver the necessary services,” the bishops said. South Africa’s apartheid regime of racial segregation ended in the early 1990s.

'Listening to the West': Vatican hosts conference on synodality (Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity)

The Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity and the General Secretariat of the Synod helped organize a recent conference, “Listening to the West – Synodality according to Anglicans, Lutherans, Reformed, Methodists and Old Catholics’ Traditions.”