News from San Antonio Church – January 31, 2021

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Weekly Bulletin January 31, 2021

by Terrie Evans

During the first week in February, we celebrate and honor The Presentation of the Lord or Candlemas (Tuesday) and also the Feast of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr (Wednesday).  On February 2nd, we commemorate Candlemas also called the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.  It falls 40 days after the birth of Jesus  and  is also a day when churches have processions  in the Methodist, Lutheran, Orthodox or Roman Catholic Churches as parishioners  bring their candles from home to be blessed for the New Year.  These blessed candles represent Jesus Christ as  the Light of the World for them  to bring that light into  their homes.  Candlemas is considered a feast of Hope, Renewal, Purification and Humility.

The Presentation of Jesus is also commemorated on February 2nd according to the account of the Presentation of Jesus in Luke 2:22-40.  In ancient times, laws were in accordance for when a new mother could enter the Temple after giving birth.  A new mother was considered unclean for 40 days after delivering a first born son and not allowed to touch anything holy or even go out in public.  After the 40 days had passed, the parents were expected to present their son at the Temple and offer a sacrifice.  The offering usually was a lamb  or if no means were available, two pigeons or turtle doves could be given.  The Presentation of Jesus is the 4th Joyful Mystery and  the first of Seven Sorrows of Mary.  A Collect Prayer in honor of the Presentation of the Lord:  Almighty ever-living God, we humbly implore your majesty that just as your Only Begotten Son was presented on this day in the Temple in the substance of our flesh, so, by your grace, we may be presented to you with minds made pure.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

On Wednesday, we commemorate the Feast of St. Blaise one of the  Fourteen Holy Helpers; who became one of the most popular saints from the Middle Ages.  He had many followers  throughout Europe in the 11th and 12th Centuries who started out as  a physician and later became the Bishop of Sebastea now Turkey.  In his early life, Blaise was known  as a healer of ailments that attack the body.  Once he concentrated on their bodily afflictions, St. Blaise worked on their spiritual ills.  He became known for his  holiness, miraculous ability, good will and piety while performing  miracles on people as well as animals.  There is documentation of him healing a choking child and on the feast of St. Blaise, a special blessing is given to protect against injuries and illnesses of the throat.  A priest will take two blessed candles and recite a prayer as he touches the throats of those being blessed.  In Italy he is known as San Biagio; where his remains rest in the Basilica over the town of Maratea. 

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