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The second day in February is the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the temple, which is also called the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin. Another name for this popular feast is Candlemas Day.

Forty days after His birth, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple of Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord as the law of Moses prescribed. They carried with them the usual offering of the poor, a pair of turtledoves. The law of Moses commanded that the first born male child should be offered to God in thanksgiving for the sparing, by the exterminating Angel, of the Isrealites in Egypt.

The law also prescribed that on the fortieth day after the birth of her child a mother should offer a sacrifice of purification from legal stain, namely a lamb and a young pigeon, or should she be poor, a pair of young pigeons or turtledoves.

At the time of the presentation and purification, there was in the temple a just and God fearing man named Simeon, who recognised the infant Messiah, and taking Him in his arms declared Him Saviour, the Light of the Gentiles and the Glory of Israel.

On this feast, candles are blessed and carried in procession with appropriate prayers and ceremonies. The blessed beeswax candles typify the humanity which God the Son assumed, and signify that Jesus Christ is the True Light of the world by His doctrine, grace and example. They also represent the ardent faith, hope and charity with which the Christian should follow Christ by humble obedience to His Gospel and imitation of His virtues. Some of the candles blessed on this day are used on the memorial of St Blaise which is on 3rd February and is used to bless the throat.

Blessed candles are lighted at Mass and other church services : at the administration of all the Sacraments except Penance, in imparting blessings, in processions, and in other liturgical ceremonies. There should be at least two blessed candles in every Catholic home for use when the Sacraments are administered to the sick, and at times of any special danger, blessing, or family devotion.

Wow, very interesting and fulfilling to be a Catholic. May we try and practice our traditions wholeheartedly like Mary and Joseph did. And may God look upon each of us with favour and continue to bless us.

Happy feast day to us all. Amen 🙏🏾

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