This week, on February 2, Christians celebrate Candlemas, commemorating the presentation of the infant Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem and the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to Jewish tradition, every firstborn son was to be consecrated to the Lord with a sacrifice of a pair of doves or young pigeons, and according to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus’s parents followed this custom [Luke 2:22-24].
But the significance of Candlemas goes deeper than that. As it has developed in the Christian tradition, it is a day to reflect on the Divine Light that shines in Christ as the light of the world. On Candlemas, many Christians in both Catholic and Protestant churches bring candles to church to be blessed, and these blessed candles are used for the rest of the year, as a symbol and a reminder of Jesus who illuminates our hearts with the light of God.