In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This 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 the World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church. This year parishes will have the opportunity to celebrate this occasion on the weekend of February 4-5, 2017.
Joseph Cardinal Tobin, of New Jersey and Chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations states, “Our Holy Father Francis has given the Church this special opportunity to pray for all those women and men in consecrated life who have given their lives in love to God. This prayer may prompt each of us to ask, ‘How is God calling me to give of myself this day, that I might know the deeper joy of service to God and others?'”
Prayer for Consecrated Persons
God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as sisters, brothers, religious priests, consecrated virgins, and hermits, as well as members of Secular Institutes. Renew their knowledge and love of you, and send your Holy Spirit to help them respond generously and courageously to your will. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.