I don't think I'd ever heard of Candlemas before a week or two ago when I heard that a Candlemas Loveliness Fair would be happening over at Blessed Among Men. Maybe I'd heard of a feast where the Church blesses candles and families bring candles to have them blessed, but I don't think I'd ever participated in any such event.
Well this Friday, February 2nd is the Feast of the Presentation and the celebration of Candlemas. This is the beautiful Rosary Mystery which marks the Presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple when Simeon prophesied that Mary's heart would be pierced. Ironically, I emailed a priest friend of ours last week to see if he'd be willing to come bless our new home sometime soon. He asked if we could do it this Friday and also agreed to say a Mass in our house!
We are truly blessed to have met dear Fr. Efiri Matthias at a Pro-Life event several years back. Though he hails from a land far away (Nigeria), and his skin is as black as night, he is most definitely a white shining light to us, a candle which burns brightly with the love of Christ and His Holy Mother.
In joy or in sorrow, he speaks of God, he encourages us and calls us throughout the year, and prays with us each time we say goodbye. I have saved my favorite message from him on our answering machine..."Holy Blair! Holy Steven! My angel guardian told me to call you..." And he left his priestly blessing there on the answering machine!
He baptized our Ellie at one week old, and humbly asked to hear our confessions before conferring the sacrament (A priest asked US to hear our confessions? How wonderful!). He has visited and blessed all of the places we've lived over the past years, and I am utterly giddy that he will come and bless our first house on the Feast of Candlemas, and offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the first time in our own home! We are truly blessed.
I have a lot to do to get ready for this Friday, including finding many, many candles to have burning and blessed that evening, getting all our beautiful artwork nailed on the walls, creating an altar, choosing music for the mass, lots of cleaning, and of course making sure I have the camera ready so I can share pictures with you all here on Saturday!
Here is our dear Fr. Matthias after Ellie's baptism with his shining smile!