The Motivational Story of Candlemas And The Purification of The BVM

Written by on 02/02/2020

The Motivational Story of Candlemas And The Purification of The BVM

The Forty Days of Mary’s Purification are now completed, and she must go up to the Temple, there to offer to God her Child Jesus. This is also the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Most Holy Rosary. The Law commanded that a woman who had given birth to a son should not approach the Tabernacle for the term of forty days, after which time she was to offer up a lamb as a holocaust, and a turtle or dove as a sin offering.

But if she were poor, and could not provide a lamb, she was to offer, in its stead, a second turtle or dove. At the steps of the temple, there was one old man named Simeon whose faith and belief in the coming of the Messias was still true.  He took the Child Jesus in his arms and uttered the beautiful canticle:

“Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace, because my eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou has prepared before the face of all peoples; a light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of Thy people, Israel.”

This prayer of Simeon is one of three canticles in the New Testament.  The other two are: the Magnificat of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Benedictus of Zachary, the father of John the Baptist. Saint Joseph brought to the Purification the Holy Family’s offering of 2 Turtle Doves certifying The Holy Family’s ennobling of Poverty.

St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, says we should consider three things in the blessing of the Candles: the Wax, the Wick, and the Flame. The Wax, he says, which is the production of the virginal bee, is the Flesh of our Lord; the Wick, which is within, is his Soul; the Flame, which burns on the top, is his Divinity. The origins of Candlemas are not known but there is an ancient English poem that ties it to the midpoint between winter & spring.

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come winter, have another flight.
If Candlemas bring clouds and rain,
Go winter, and come not again.

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