News, Pastor's Note

Ponderings & Pontifications of the Pastor

Hello friends!
We have two wonderful feast days coming up this week.
First, on Wednesday, February 2nd, we celebrate the
Presentation of Christ in the Temple. Here is a little article
about this feast day and why it is traditional to have candles
blessed in church on this day. This article was written by Philip
Kosloski on February 1, 2018 and it comes from the Catholic
“If you count 40 days after the celebration of Christmas you
reach February 2. Early on, the Church marked that day with a
special feast and it is the final “baby Jesus” day in the liturgical
calendar before the celebration of Lent. The feast has many
different names in the Roman Catholic Church. It has been
called the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the Feast of
the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and, more
familiarly, Candlemas. Each name highlights a different aspect
of the feast that the Church celebrates. First of all, it is called
the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary on
account of an ancient Mosaic law explained in Leviticus…
If a woman conceives, and bears a child she shall be unclean.
And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for
a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the door
of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering,
and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering, and he
shall offer it before the Lord, and make atonement for her;
then she shall be clean. (Leviticus 12:6-7)
Mary, being a faithful Jew, abided by the law and did what was
required of her. After 40 days passed she approached the
priest with the proper offering to be declared “clean.” The
liturgical celebration is also called the Feast of the
Presentation of the Lord, and again corresponds to an ancient
Jewish practice of presenting the first-born to God…
Everything that opens the womb of all flesh, whether man or
beast, which they offer to the Lord, shall be yours;
nevertheless the first-born of man you shall redeem. (Numbers
One of the customs of this feast day was for people to bring
candles to church so that they could be blessed for the coming
year. Blessed candles are always a good idea to have in the
home for two serious reasons: 1) if there is someone sick in the
house, a blessed candle should be lit, and 2) if there is a
serious storm, blessed candles are lit to protect against those
same storms.
The second feast day is the feast of Saint Blaise, on
Thursday, February 3rd. This is the day when it is traditional to
get one’s throat blessed after Mass with blessed candles. In the
midst of the winter illness season (cold and flu) and of course,
COVID-19, getting your throat blessed is probably a very, very
good idea!
Our Lady of Perpetual Help…pray for us!
May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be
praised, adored, and loved, with grateful affection, at every
moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of
time. Amen.
~Fr. Martin Gallagher