The Catholic Church celebrates the 27th World Day for Consecrated Life Feb. 2, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
It is a day of prayer to celebrate and honor the women and men who have chosen consecrated life to reflect the presence and light of Jesus to all people
In the absence of the Holy Father due to his apostolic journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, the celebration in the Basilica of St. Mary Major will be presided over by His Eminence Cardinal João Braz de Aviz.
The letter of the Dicastery for the XXVII Day of Consecrated Life focusses on mission. Taking the theme “widening the tent” from the working document of the continental phase of the Synod, the message, exhorts the consecrated people to widen the tent and walk together in “closeness, compassion and tenderness”, which are expressed in words, presence, and bonds of friendship.
In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life.
In his message for the first World Day of Consecrated Life, Pope Saint John Paul II said that the consecrated life is at the very heart of the Church as a decisive element for her mission.
“The mission of the consecrated life in the present and in the future of the Church concerns not merely those who have received this special charism, but the entire Christian community.”
For the Catholics the day is intended to “praise the Lord more solemnly and to thank him for the great gift of consecrated life” and to, “promote knowledge of and esteem for the consecrated life by the entire People of God.”
And for the consecrated people, it is an occasion to “celebrate together solemnly the marvels which the Lord has accomplished in them,” and to “to discover by a more illumined faith the rays of divine beauty spread by the Spirit in their way of life” and to acquire a more vivid consciousness of their irreplaceable mission in the Church and in the world.”
Prayer for Consecrated Persons
The following prayer, written for the World Day for Consecrated Life, is provided courtesy U.S. bishops' Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.
"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."
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