Welcome to February

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New York City Snow Storm

Do you ever wonder why the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth months of the year — September, October, November and December — have names that mean, in order, seven (Latin septem “seven” + -ber), eight (Latin octo “eight” + -ber), nine (Latin Novembris mensis “ninth month”) and ten (Latin decem “ten” + -ber )?

That’s because the ancient Roman calendar only had ten months: March through December. January and February did not exist as separate months. It was just winter, a bleak, grey time that didn’t, it seems, deserve a name. Rather, it was a time for taking stock and purifying one’s life.

The word “February” comes from the Latin word meaning “purification.” In Latin, dies februatus means “day of purification.” So, when the month of February was added to the Roman calendar, it took its name from the accepted understanding of the purposes of that time of year.

Often, Lent begins in February. As we consider the feasts and saints’ days in this month, let us take stock of our growth in holiness.

Perhaps part of growing in holiness this month could mean spending time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. 2 million people in the Philippines recently took part in a Eucharistic procession. Watch the video here: