The World Day for Consecrated Life is a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. The celebration is attached to the feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolising Christ who is the light of the world. Similarly, consecrated men and women are called to spread the light and love of Jesus Christ through their unique witness of selfless service, such as caring for the poor, the contemplative work of prayer, and through their various ministries.
This year’s World Day for Consecrated Life will be celebrated in the Church on Thursday, February 2, 2023, and in parishes over the weekend of February 4-5, 2023. Please pray for all those who have made commitments in the consecrated life, and be sure to thank them on their special day. May they continue to be inspired by Jesus Christ and respond generously to God’s gift of their vocation.
What is our vision of consecrated life?
The world perhaps sees this as a relic of the past, something useless. But we, the Christian community, men and women religious, what do we see? Are our eyes turned only inward, yearning for something that no longer exists, or are we capable of a farsighted gaze of faith, one that looks both within and beyond? [ … ] Brothers and sisters, the Lord never fails to give us signs that invite us to cultivate a renewed vision of consecrated life. We need to do this, but in the light of the Holy Spirit and docile to his movements. (Pope Francis – Message for World Day of Consecrated Life, 2 February 2022*).
Today let us joyfully renew our consecration! Let us open our hearts, with courage and without fear!
Let us ask ourselves what “moves” our hearts and actions,
what renewed vision we are being called to cultivate,
and above all else, let us take Jesus into our arms.
Even if at times we experience fatigue and weariness,
let us do as Simeon and Anna did.
They awaited with patience the fidelity of the Lord
and did not allow themselves to be robbed of the joy
of the encounter with him.
Let us advance to the joy of the encounter:
this is beautiful!
Let us put the Lord back in the centre,
and press forward with joy.
(Prayer extract from the* Message by Pope Francis, for the 26th World Day of Consecrated Life, 2 February 2022).