The month of February is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Family. It bridges the seasons of Christmas and Easter. Between the events of Christ’s birth and the beginning of His public ministry, the Church holds up the Holy Family as the example to be emulated in our Christian family life.

The month begins with the feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2, forty days after the birth of Jesus. On this day, also known as Candlemas, the liturgy includes the blessing and procession of candles, symbolizing the light of Christ coming into the world.


The first reading prophesizes about the one who would announce the coming of the Messiah…

Now I am sending my messenger—he will prepare the way before me; And the lord whom you seek will come suddenly to his temple; The messenger of the covenant whom you desire—see, he is coming! says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:1

The prophet Malachi is speaking of John the Baptist who will announce the coming the Messiah.

The Gospel for Candelmas is from Luke 2:22-40. In accord with the Mosaic Law, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to the temple in Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. Scripture tells us that there was a righteous and devout man named Simeon who was told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before seeing the Christ. Moved by the Spirit, Simeon came to the temple that day and upon seeing the Christ child, he picked the child up in his arms, blessed God and proclaimed…

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32

God choose to implement Christ’s work of salvation through being born into a family. Pope Leo XIII teaches that by this most holy of families, “all men might behold a perfect model of domestic life, and of all virtue and holiness.” The harmony, unity, and holiness which characterized the Holy Family make it the model for all Christian families.

Mary and Joseph brought the light of the world into the temple. Modeling our behavior on theirs, we are to bring the light of Christ into the world darkened by sin and so in need of Christ’s saving mercy. May the light of Christ shine brightly in your family, giving hope to those who see your Christian witness.


“O Jesus, our most loving Savior! Thou Who was sent down from Heaven to enlighten the world by Thy teaching and example, and Who didst will to pass the greater part of Thy holy life in Nazareth, subject to Mary and Joseph, and thereby didst hallow the household which was to be the pattern for all Christian families, do Thou in Thy goodness receive our household which this day consecrates itself to Thee. Protect and guard us, strengthen us in Thy holy fear, establish in our hearts the peace and concord of Christian Charity, so that each one of us becoming like the Divine model of Thy family, may be sharers of eternal joy.”

“O Mary, most loving Mother of Jesus Christ, our Mother, through thy love and mercy intercede, that Jesus receives this act of Consecration, and pour out upon us His graces and blessings.”

“O Joseph, most holy Guardian of Jesus and Mary, help us by thy prayers in all our necessities, both of body and soul; that together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and thyself we shall praise and thank Jesus Christ, our Divine Redeemer.”

[1] Catholic Tradition, Consecration to the Holy Family, internet: http://www.catholictradition.org/Joseph/holy-family.htm (accessed February 2, 2017)