Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.

February 2, Purification of the Virgin


Regardless of your specific vocation to married or religious life, we each are called to imitate Mary, Our Mother, by being Christ-bearers to the world. How is it that she gave Christ to us? Full of trust, hope, and awe, Mary joyfully gave herself to God to do with as He desired.

We celebrate today the Feast of the Purification of Mary. Mosaic law considered women unclean after childbirth, so in humility and obedience, as an example for us, Mary submitted herself to the law, even though she was not in need of purification. How much more, we who are in need of being purified, should look to be made new?

Saint Catherine of Siena reminds us, "When you are who you are called to be you will set the world ablaze." This leads to oneness with Jesus and each other that is not devoid of diversity. Blessed John Paul II reminds us that in this process of transformation, "Grace never casts nature aside or cancels it out, but rather perfects it and ennobles it." 1. Let us pray with Blessed John Henry Newman, "Dear Jesus, help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go. Flood my soul with your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that my life may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul."

As Jesus did, in a way radical for His time, Pope Paul VI affirms the dignity of women by recalling the inspiring words of the Second Vatican Council, 2 "The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of women is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling."

Batrice Adcock, MSN, RN, is the Natural Family Planning Program Director.


1. John Paul II. An Apostolic Letter, Mulieris Dignitatem. Retrieved February 2, 2012 from

2. The Council's Message to Women (December 8, 1965); AAS 58 (1966), 13-14.

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