World Marriage Week

A sage once wrote that a good marriage is like a fire around which others come
to warm themselves. So, as we celebrate World Marriage Day on February 12,
we realize that no matter our station in life – married, single or religious – we
have benefited from this sacred covenant relationship whether through the
example of our parents, grandparents, and other role models, or through our
own stewardship of the marriage covenant.

For the Catholic steward, marriage goes far beyond the legal or societal
agreement that our culture might define. For the Catholic steward, marriage
is a sacrament that fosters a sacred covenant; establishing family and
nurturing the domestic church which we understand is fundamental to our
spiritual development.

Marriage brings us countless blessings, but is met with many obstacles.
Busy schedules, the challenges of parenthood, the strains of finances,
mortgages, issues of health and aging – all of these test the bonds of even the
finest unions.

World Marriage Day, observed on the second Sunday of each February,
is sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, associated with Catholic
Marriage Encounter. Many Catholics have participated in a Marriage Encounter
weekend, but no matter how we have endeavored to grow in and to support
our marriages, or the marriages of those close to us, we know that marriage
does take effort, continuing commitment, deep prayer, great communication, a
good sense of humor and faithful love.

This year, the observances of National Marriage Week, February 7 to 14,
and World Marriage Day, are an opportunity to focus on building a culture
of life and love that begins with supporting and promoting marriage and the

Many parishes celebrate World Marriage Day by the renewal of vows, the
celebration of special anniversaries, or even candlelit dinners in the parish hall.
Take time this February to celebrate marriage, whether by setting aside a special
time to devote to your own spouse, or by honoring the marriages that have
warmed you and nurtured you throughout your life.