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Father Ronan: Celebrating World Marriage Day

A weekly column by the pastor of St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Charlestown.

World Marriage Day, held the second Sunday in February, honors husband and wife as head of the family, the basic unit of society. It salutes the beauty of their faithfulness, sacrifice, struggles and joy in daily, married life.

The idea of celebrating marriage began in Baton Rouge, LA in 1981, when couples encouraged the mayor, the governor and the Bishop to proclaim St. Valentine's Day as "We Believe in Marriage Day." The event was so successful that the idea was presented to and adopted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter's national leadership. By 1982, 43 governors officially proclaimed the day, and celebrations spread to U.S. military bases in several foreign countries. In 1983, the name was changed to "World Marriage Day," designated to be celebrated each year on the second Sunday in February. WMD celebrations continue to grow and spread to more countries and faith expressions every year.

The World Marriage Day Symbol speaks of the role and values of marriage. Husband and wife are symbolically seen as two candle-like figures, as a reminder that married love calls married couples to help enlighten the world. The couple is joined by a heart, focusing on love as the power that fosters unity within the couple and generates the capacity to be life-giving and inspire others to fruitfulness and unity.

The theme for WMD has been permanently adopted as "Love One Another." This phrase is the commandment given to us by Jesus in John 15:12. It speaks to married couples in a simple but challenging way of how our Good and Gracious God who gave this gift to them, wishes them to live.

Loving one another is a daily decision—simple but challenging, and more likely to endure when the couple prays together, keeping God as the center of their lives. Praying together can bring the couple closer to each other and deeply reinforce their relationship with God.

St. Mary - St. Catherine of Siena is holding special Masses in celebration of World Marriage Day. Click here for the schedule.

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