“The Pastorate’s Feast Days” by P. J. Perkins
Over the next two weekends, the parishes of Prince of Peace and St. Francis de Sales will be celebrating their feast days. All are invited to join in commemorating the day at mass.
“Prince of Peace” is one of many titles given to Jesus. Each Christmas at mass we hear the title in the First Reading from the prophet, Isaiah. The last line of the reading gives our savior the names of “Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” While the natural feast day may be Christmas, it is also impractical to celebrate a parish feast day on Christmas.
However, Candlemas is 40 days after Christmas, which by Jewish law would have been the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. The tradition of celebrating the presentation on February 2nd began early in the church. It coincided with the pre-Christian ‘Feast of Lights’ and celebrated the increased strength of the sun as winter gave way to spring.
In the Catholic Church, it was a day when all the candles that were used in the church during the coming year, were brought into church and blessed. The title eventually changed from the Festival Day of Candles not Candlemas.
For Christians who recognize Jesus as not only the Prince of Peace but the Light of the World, Candlemas celebrates the Light being present to the world at the temple. To commemorate the day, candles will be distributed and blessed after all the masses on the weekend of February 3rd and 4th at Prince of Peace Parish.
At the masses this weekend at St. Francis de Sales Parish parishioners will celebrate their patron saint, whose actual feast day is January 24th. The Saint was born on August 21, 1567, in France, received a nobleman’s education, and was being groomed to be a lawyer, eventually taking his father’s place in politics. However, God had a different calling for Francis, who entered the priesthood and at 35 years old became bishop of Geneva, the center of Calvinism.
With a gentle persistence, St. Francis won over the people’s respect, affection, and conversion of faith. His best-known book, “The Introduction to the Devout Life,” as well as numerous pamphlets, are filled with his deep faith and gentle approach to spiritual direction and formation. Etched in the stained glass windows in the Main Church’s Sanctuary are etched two of St. Francis de Sales’s sayings:
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, Nothing so gentle as real strength.”
“The measure of love is to love without measure.”
This weekend, those attending mass at St. Francis de Sales parish will receive a prayer card with those sayings on it.
Celebrate our parishes and come together for Mass on their Feast Day weekends.