Celebrated Feb. 2, World Day for Consecrated Life is an opportunity to recognize the contributions that consecrated men and women make to the Church and society at-large.
While all the baptized are called to share a common relationship with God: to be “religious” or holy in the broad sense of the word, those choosing to live consecrated lives elect to follow a specific tradition or spirituality often patterned after the life and teaching of the founder of their community.
Instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1997, World Day for Consecrated Life is a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. The celebration is attached to the feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. Similarly, consecrated men and women are called to spread the light and love of Jesus Christ through their unique witness of selfless service, such as caring for the poor, the contemplative work of prayer, or through their professional careers.
World Day for Consecrated Life celebrates diversity, beauty of consecrated vocations (USCCB, Jan. 24, 2020)
Forms of consecrated life
Consecrated life takes many forms. It includes Catholic brothers and sisters who are members of religious institutes, are hermits or consecrated virgins, in apostolic life, or are members of secular institutes.