February, Month of the Holy Family


The month of February is dedicated to the Holy Family.

This year, the first 13 days of February fall during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. Green, the symbol of hope, is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection.

Wednesday, February 14, is Ash Wednesday. This marks the beginning of Lent, and the liturgical color changes to purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart.

The Holy Father’s Intentions

That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.

From Feast to Fast

Though the shortest month of the year, February is rich in Liturgical activity. It contains a feast (Presentation of our Lord) that bridges two other seasons (Christmas and Easter)! In addition, the faithful may receive in February two of the four major public sacramentals that the Church confers during the liturgical year: blessed candles and the blessing of throats.

The Solemnity of the Presentation of the Lord (Friday, February 2) harkens back to the Christmas mystery of Light except that now, Christ, the helpless babe, is “the Light of Revelation to the Gentiles who will save his people from their sins.” Candles, symbolizing Christ our Light, will be carried in procession this day, as will be the Paschal candle during the Easter Vigil Liturgy.

“The Light of Revelation” shines more brightly with each successive Sunday of Ordinary Time, until its magnificence – exposing our sinfulness and need for conversion – propels us into the penitential Season of Lent. We prepare to accept the cross of blessed ashes on Ash Wednesday (February 14) and plunge ourselves into anticipating the major exercises of Lent – fasting, prayer, almsgiving – laying our thoughts and prayers on the heart of our Mother Mary. She, who offered her Son in the temple and on the Cross, will teach us how to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow after her Son.

Liturgical Living

Ideally, the members of the domestic church should try to have the candles for their home altar blessed on the Presentation of the Lord (also known as Candlemas); and the next morning, on the Feast of St. Blaise (February 3), all might receive the blessing of the throats. Always a solicitous Mother, the Church offers this sacramental during the wintry month of February, and also sets aside the World Day of Prayer for the Sick on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Learn more about the highlights of the month of February here.

 

Source: Catholic Culture