World Day for Consecrated Life
In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day for women and men in consecrated life. This global 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 symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples.
The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church.
While all the baptized are called to share a common relationship with God: to be “religious” or holy in the broad sense of the word, those choosing to live consecrated lives elect to follow a specific tradition or spirituality often patterned after the life and teaching of the founder of their community. This special day draws attention to the contributions that consecrated men and women make to the Church and society at-large.
There are several ways to celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life.
- Invite sisters, brothers, and priests to publicly renew their vows at Mass,
- send cards of support to newer entrants,
- ask to visit a mother house to meet and pray with sisters, brothers, and priests,
- invite a vocation director to visit your classroom, Board meeting, or faith group to learn more about consecrated life.
- Send flowers,
- make a donation to a religious community, or
- invite someone to discern their vocation to consecrated life!
Resources to celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life:
- Ideas, videos, prayer card, quotes, and homilies at National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC)
- Letter, prayers of the faithful, and bulletin quote at USCCB
“BROTHERS AND SISTERS,
GO FORTH! Remember the beauty of your
first call. Jesus continues to call you today
with the same full love and untamed grace.
GO FORTH! There is always more to do, to
encounter, to be grateful for, to be astonished
by. Begin and end with the joy of prayer—the
marrow of consecrated life.
GO FORTH! Each of us has a role to play in
the Church. Witness and sow well each day,
and look to tomorrow with hope.
GO FORTH! Grow in love for God so that
others will be attracted by the divine light
in you. Welcome the new vocations the Lord
sends to continue the work of consecration.
We ask this through the intercession of Mary,
Mother of God and first disciple of her son,
Jesus, our Lord. Amen.”
— Pope Francis
Adapted from the concluding message of Pope Francis at the close of the Year of Consecrated Life on XX World Day of Consecrated Life.
Icon used with permission from Vivian Imbruglia.