One of the most ancient Feastday celebrations in the Catholic Church falls on February 2nd. The “Feast of the Presentation” has been celebrated since the early 4th century, so it is no wonder that it has a few names and traditions attached. The Scriptures tell us that forty days after Jesus’ birth, he was taken by Mary and Joseph to the temple for consecration as Firstborn, according to Jewish custom. He was recognized by the aged Simeon as “The Light to the Nations,” and daily the Church prays the canticle that erupted from Simeon’s heart. In the centuries that followed, the blessing of candles for homes began on this day, hence the name “Candlemas Day.” And since the Jewish mother completed her confinement after the birth of the baby, this day has also been called the Feast of the Purification…a yearly reminder of Mary’s unique gift of holiness on behalf of our redemption.