The Annual World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

"The World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1997 to honour women and men in Religious Congregations - indeed all those who are living the Consecrated Life in the world - for their commitment and dedication to various ministries within the Church.

This was the first such celebration in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome . Since John Paul II’s pontificate, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have continued to celebrate a special Mass in St Peter’s each year on February 2nd to which all consecrated people are invited.

This global celebration coincides with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, or Candlemas, when we honour Christ as the Light of the World and the special mission of those in consecrated life to spread His light in our world today.  

Last year the Archbishop celebrated this Mass on 2nd February - albeit with only 12 persons in the Cathedral due to Covid restrictions - which was live-streamed so that our male and female religious and all consecrated persons could participate at the Mass in their own Chapels.  

Archbishop John wishes to add this Mass to his annual calendar as a way of encouraging and thanking all Consecrated People in the Archdiocese for their response to God’s call to serve Him in the Church here in Southwark. Unfortunately this year, due to Episcopal commitments beyond his control, he is unable to celebrate the Mass on February 2nd but we are invited to join him on Saturday 5th February at 12.30 pm in the Cathedral, either in person or online via live-stream (also see below).  This year the underlying theme will be the diversity and internationality of the Religious in our Archdiocese. 

Photographs: 2021 Mass for the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life in St George's Cathedral

View the Holy Father's prayer intention for February 2022 below: 


Candlemas and The Feast of The Presentation of Our Lord

Candlemas, or The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (also known as the Feast of the  Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary) is itself thought to be one of the oldest feasts in the Church, with sermons in existence dating back as far as the 4th century.  The Feast always falls on 2nd February, marking 40 days after the celebration of the Nativity of Christ. It also reflects the once-prevalent custom of churching new mothers forty days after the birth of a child, and redeeming the first-born male child in a family, as is the Jewish custom (described in Luke 2. 22-40), 

Simeon the God Receiver


This rich Gospel passage incorporates the Song of Simeon.  Simeon is described in the Gospel as a 'righteous and devout man', to whom it has been revealed, by the Holy Spirit, that he would not see death before he had seen the Messiah  This short passage is often sung as the 'Nunc Dimittis' in Compline or said in the Divine Office of Night Prayer:



Song of Simeon

Now, Master, you let your servant go in peace. You have fulfilled your promise.
My own eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples.
A light to bring the Gentiles from darkness; the glory of your people Israel.

- Roman Breviary

Please pray for all those who have entered into consecrated life, that they will be continuously inspired by Jesus, the Light of the World, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will continue giving generously to God through the gift of their vocation.

Visit our Vocations pages

Photographs in St George's Cathedral (above): Marcin Mazur. 

Livestream of Mass for the 2022 Annual World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life - 5th February 2022

Map here