Since 1997, the Church has celebrated February 2nd, the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple, as the World Day for Consecrated Life.
In a 2010 homily
, Pope Benedict said that the presentation is the "model for every man and woman who consecrate their life totally to the Lord." He explained that the purpose of the day is threefold:
... first of all to praise and thank the Lord for the gift of consecrated life; secondly to promote knowledge and appreciation of it among the whole People of God and lastly to invite all those who have dedicated their life totally to the cause of the Gospel to celebrate the marvels that the Lord has worked in them.
To mark the occasion this year, the Holy Father will preside over Vespers with the members of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Watch it live
on Salt + Light at 11:30am ET or catch the encore presentations at 8:00pm and midnight ET or 9:00pm PT.
CNS Photo/Paul Haring