February is honored as the month of the Passion of Our Lord. This is the month when Lent begins. Lent is a period of time set aside to specifically commemorate Jesus’ Passion, Death and Resurrection. Ash Wednesday is the day we start off through fasting and repentance. Penitents are blessed with ashes and reflect on conversion that they need in their life. They promise amendment and focus on one thing to change, and for forty days they practice that change. It takes about thirty days to break a bad habit, so this structured forty days helps it to become a permanent change.
Now the Church hasn’t arranged the season of Lent to force a sinner to repent, or for gruesome reflections on Christ’s Passion, rather it is offered because of the love relationship between Christ and His members. If you know you are hurting your loved ones, you’d want to stop, right? Also, it is appropriate to reflect on and be grateful for the sacrifices that your lover made/makes for you. The Church sees Lent as an opportunity for her members to be better lovers to Our Lord.
Prayer of The Month (Prayer in Honor of the Holy Family)
O God, Heavenly Father, it was part of Thine eternal decree that Thine only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, should form a holy family with Mary, His blessed mother, and His foster father, Saint Joseph. In Nazareth, home life was sanctified, and a perfect example was given to every Christian family. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may fully comprehend and faithfully imitate the virtues of the Holy Family so that we may be united with them one day in their heavenly glory. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Important Days of The Month
February 02nd : Presentation of the Lord
Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord which occurs forty days after the birth of Jesus and is also known as Candlemass day, since the blessing and procession of candles is included in today’s liturgy.The small Christ-Child is still in His Mother’s arms, but already she is offering Him in sacrifice.
February 05th : Feast of St. Agatha
St. Agatha died in defense of her purity, in Catania, Sicily, where she was born. After Quintanus, the governor of Sicily, tried in vain to force her to consent to sin, she was imprisoned for a month with an evil woman. He then turned from sensuality to cruelty and had her breasts cut off; but that night Agatha was healed by St. Peter. She was then rolled over sharp stones and burning coals, and finally taken to prison where she died while praying. Her name appears in the Roman Canon
February 06th : Feast of St. Paul Miki
Paul Miki, a Japanese Jesuit, and his twenty-five companions were martyred in Nagasaki, Japan. They were the first martyrs of East Asia to be canonized. They were killed simultaneously by being raised on crosses and then stabbed with spears. Their executioners were astounded upon seeing their joy at being associated to the Passion of Christ.
February 14th : Ash Wednesday
At the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday, ashes are blessed during Mass, after the homily. The blessed ashes are then “imposed” on the faithful as a sign of conversion, penance, fasting and human mortality. The act of putting on ashes symbolizes fragility and mortality, and the need to be redeemed by the mercy of God. Far from being a merely external act, the Church has retained the use of ashes to symbolize that attitude of internal penance to which all the baptized are called during Lent.
February 22nd : Feast of the Chair of St. Peter
This feast brings to mind the mission of teacher and pastor conferred by Christ on Peter, and continued in an unbroken line down to the present Pope. We celebrate the unity of the Church, founded upon the Apostle, and renew our assent to the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, extended both to truths which are solemnly defined. The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Rome has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on 18 January, in commemoration of the day when Saint Peter held his first service in Rome.