February! Burr! This month's name comes from the Roman festival of purification where people were ritually washed to be clean before their gods. How blessed we are to have confession, our means to be cleaned before God.
We celebrate the presentation of our Lord in the temple on the second--a time of great joy and also a time of sorrow, as Mary learns her son is a light of revelation to the gentiles and glory for her people Israel. Simeon also speaks of the arrow that will pierce her heart so the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.
We celebrate Saint Agatha on the fifth. Her name is in the cannon of our mass and she is the patron saint of breast cancer. On the sixth we have Saint Paul Miki and companions. Miki was born in Japan in 1565 and entered the society of Jesus. He was a successful preacher of the gospel. He was tortured and killed along with his companions in Nagasaki in 1597. Here is a prayer for faith like his: Our Father, source of strength for all saints, You led Saint Paul Miki and his companions through suffering on the cross to the joy of eternal life where their prayers give us courage to be loyal until death in professing our faith through Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.
The 14th is St Valentine's Day. There were 2 men in the 3rd century martyred by emperor
Claudius II thought to be the Saint, but it hasn't been ascertained which one was THE St. Valentine. In all there have been about 12 Saint Valentines.
My dear sisters in Christ we lift up the sick, those in hospitals and nursing homes. We ask God's mercy on all prayer petitions. We pray for the homeless. We pray for our government, that our leaders would come together for the good of our people. We pray for our church and the church in Rome. We pray to strengthen each other, in Jesus' name. Amen.
Love, Marge Leonser.