February 2024 — Overview for the Month
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The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of February 2024
For the New Martyrs: We pray that those who risk their lives for the Gospel in various parts of the world inflame the Church with their courage and missionary enthusiasm. (See also http://www.popesprayerusa.net/.)
Feasts for February 2024
2. Presentation of the Lord, Feast
3. Blaise; Ansgar, Opt. Mem.
4. FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, Sunday
5. Agatha, Memorial
6. Paul Miki and Companions, Memorial
8. Jerome Emiliani; Josephine Bakhita, Opt. Mem.
10. Scholastica, Memorial
11. SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, Sunday
17. Seven Founders of the Orders of Servites, Opt. Mem.
18. FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT, Sunday
21. Peter Damian, Opt. Mem.
22. Chair of St. Peter, Feast
23. Polycarp of Smyrna, Opt. Mem.
25. SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT, Sunday
Focus of the Liturgy
The Gospel readings for the Sundays in February are taken from St. Mark following the Lectionary Cycle B, and the Weekday readings follow Year II.
Mark 1:29-39: Jesus cured many who were sick with various diseases.
Mark 1:40-45: The leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
Mark 1:12-15: Jesus was tempted by Satan, and the angels ministered to him.
Mark 9:2-10: This is my beloved Son.
Highlights of the Month
The month of February is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Family. Between the events which marked Christmas and the beginning of Christ's public life the Church has seen fit to recall the example of the Holy Family for the emulation of the Christian family.
The Feast of the Presentation (February 2) or Candlemas forms a fitting transition from Christmas to Easter. The small Christ-Child is still in His Mother's arms, but already she is offering Him in sacrifice. February 21, Shrove Tuesday, will find us preparing for Ash Wednesday. The middle of the month will find us on Ash Wednesday accepting the ashes that remind us of our mortality and our need for penance.
The saints that we will focus on this month and try to imitate are:
St. Blaise (February 3),
St. Agatha (February 5),
St. Jerome Emiliani and St. Josephine Bakhita (February 8),
St. Scholastica (February 10),
Sts. Cyril and Methodius (February 14),
Seven Founders of the Orders of Servites (February 17),
St. Peter Damian (February 21),
Chair of St. Peter (February 22),
and St. Polycarp (February 23).
The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (February 11), is superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.
From Feast to Fast
Though the shortest month of the year, February is rich in Liturgical activity. It contains a feast (Presentation of our Lord) that bridges two other seasons (Christmas and Easter)! The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd harkens back to the Christmas mystery of Light except that now, Christ, the helpless babe, is “the Light of Revelation to the Gentiles who will save his people from their sins.” Candles, symbolizing Christ our Light, will be carried in procession this day, as will be the Paschal candle during the Easter Vigil Liturgy. In addition, the faithful may receive in February three of the four major public sacramentals that the Church confers during the liturgical year: blessed candles and the blessing of throats and blessed ashes.
"The Light of Revelation" shines more brightly with each successive Sunday of Ordinary Time, until its magnificence–exposing our sinfulness and need for conversion–propels us into the penitential Season of Lent. We prepare to accept the cross of blessed ashes on Ash Wednesday (February 22) and plunge ourselves into anticipating the major exercises of Lent–fasting, prayer, almsgiving–laying our thoughts and prayers on the heart of our Mother Mary. She, who offered her Son in the temple and on the Cross, will teach us how to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow after her Son.
This item 12539 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org