February 9, 2020, is World Marriage Day, a celebration of Christian marriage that honors husband and wife as the foundation of the family. World Marriage Day salutes the faithfulness, sacrifice, and joy that are part of daily living for husbands and wives and their generous love that gives rise to new life.
"Love One Another" is the theme of every World Marriage Day. The World Marriage Day symbol shows a husband and wife as candle-like figures, a reminder that married love enlightens the world. The couple is joined by a heart to show that it is the power of love that fosters unity within the couple.
World Marriage Day got its start in Baton Rouge, LA, in 1981, when St. Valentine's Day was proclaimed "We Believe in Marriage Day." The day was so successful that it was adopted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, which helped it to spread across the United States and the world. In 1983, the name was changed to "World Marriage Day," and the date was established as the second Sunday in February. In 1993, Pope Saint John Paul II, imparted his apostolic blessing on the day.
World Marriage Day & Valentine's Day Celebrations in the Diocese of Portland
Auburn - "Love is in the Air,' 4th annual Cabaret with Louis Philippe, will be held in the hall of Sacred Heart Church, 8 Sacred Heart Place in Auburn, on Saturday, February 15, beginning at 7 p.m. The cost is $15. Tickets may be purchased at the door or at the Immaculate Heart of Mary office at 24 Sacred Heart Place.
Benedicta - A Valentine’s dinner will take place on Sunday, February 9, at St. Benedict’s Hall on 1063 Benedicta Road in Benedicta. Appetizers and fellowship start at 4 p.m., followed by an opening activity at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 5 p.m. The menu is roast pork with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas and carrots, salads and min-breads and assorted homemade pastries and fresh berries and cream for dessert. Admission is $15 per couple or $8 per individual in advance. At the door, admission is $20 per couple and $10 per individual. For reservations, call (207) 365-4294 or (207) 365-4254.
Biddeford - During Masses at the churches of Good Shepherd Parish, including St. Joseph Church, 178 Elm Street in Biddeford, couples will offer brief reflections on the joy of marriage and priests will impart a blessing upon married couples. Masses at St. Joseph are Saturday at 4 p.m., and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Bridgton - Celebrate marriage with a potluck dinner on Saturday, February 15, at 5:30 p.m. in the hall of St. Joseph Church, 225 South High Street in Bridgton. FMI, call the parish office at 207-647-2334. [More Details]
Brunswick - On Sunday, February 9, Deacon Ed Robinson will offer a presentation on the sacrament of marriage and why it is the foundation of the family. The presentation will be at 2 p.m. in the St. John's Community Center, 43 Pleasant Street in Brunswick. [More Details]
Fort Kent - St. John Vianney Parish will celebrate World Marriage Day with its 5th annual Married Couples Night Out on Friday, February 7, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Fort Kent. [More Details]
Frenchville -The Christian Life Center in Frenchville will host a Valentine Special for Married Couples on Friday, February 14, from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The evening will include a blessing, dinner, and a movie. The cost is $50 per couple. To register, call the Christian Life Center at 207-543-6193 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grand Isle - A five-course Valentine’s Day Dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. on February 14, at the Grand Isle Community Center, 364 Main Street. The dinner is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and Ladies of St. Anne and benefits the St. Gerard-Mount Carmel Church roof fundraiser. The cost is $25 per person. Reservations are required. Please call Angela at 207-895-6949. [More details]
Houlton - St. Mary of the Visitation Parish will hold a Celebration of Marriage Dinner on Saturday, February 8, at 6 p.m. in the parish center. [More Details]
Lyman - During Masses at the churches of Good Shepherd Parish, including St. Philip Church, 404 Goodwins Mills Road in Lyman, couples will offer brief reflections on the joy of marriage and priests will impart a blessing upon married couples. Masses at St. Philip are Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
Old Orchard Beach - During Masses at the churches of Good Shepherd Parish, including St. Margaret Church, 6 Saco Road in Old Orchard Beach, couples will offer brief reflections on the joy of marriage and priests will impart a blessing upon married couples. Masses at St. Margaret are Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Saco - Married and engaged couples of all ages are invited to a Valentine’s Date Night on Friday, February 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Most Holy Trinity Church hall on 271 Main Street in Saco. [More Details]
Saco - During Masses at the churches of Good Shepherd Parish, including Most Holy Trinity Church, 271 Main Street, Saco, couples will offer brief reflections on the joy of marriage and priests will impart a blessing upon married couples. Masses at Most Holy Trinity are Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Bishop Robert Deeley's World Marriage Day Message 2020
On World Marriage Day, we celebrate married love whose enduring power comes from the total gift of self a man and a woman give to each other. In celebrating this day, we remember that God, in Jesus, is always with us and with his help and grace assists us in all our efforts to live the love he calls us to give to each other. The Eucharist is the greatest sign of God’s love for us. It is the source of the grace that married couples seek in order to deepen their love for each other and carry out their vocation of bringing God’s love into the world. Marriage takes patience and perseverance, but by making the Eucharist a central part of this vocation, married couples remind themselves and their families that life is not about “me” alone. It is about “us.” Marriage, and its inherent permanence, is made stronger when it is grounded in prayer, particularly the Eucharist. As we celebrate marriage, we pray for all married couples that they might grow in love with each other with the help of God. On this special day, we thank married couples for the witness of their love and commitment.
Bishop Robert Deeley's World Marriage Day Message 2019
On World Marriage Day, we admire the beauty of marriage as lived by husbands and wives in the permanent commitment they make to each other and the sacrifices they make for each other and their children. Marriage is a true grace for families and a gift to the Church.
This is also a moment to remember that marriage is not lived in the idea but rather, in reality. As Pope Francis wrote in Amoris Laetitia, marital joy involves understanding that “marriage is an inevitable mixture of enjoyment and struggles, tensions and repose, pain and relief, satisfactions and longings, annoyances and pleasures, but always on the path of friendship, which inspires married couples to care for one another” (N. 126).
The Holy Father captures the true beauty of marriage. A man and woman witness to the true meaning of married love by their support for each other, in good times and in bad, by their commitment to honor each other all the days of their lives, as well as by their dedication to the children born of their love for each other. Marriage, seen in this way, is the foundation of family, society and the church.
May God bless all married couples. May they see in marriage their vocation, their way of bringing God’s love into the world.
World Marriage Day Prayer
Father, as we prepare for World Marriage Day, we thank you for your tremendous gift of the sacrament of marriage. Help us to witness to its glory by a life of growing intimacy. Teach us the beauty of forgiveness so we may become more and more one in heart, mind, and body. Strengthen our dialogue and help us become living signs of your love. Make us grow more in love with the Church so we may renew the Body of Christ. Make us a sign of unity in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Brother. Amen. - Fr. Bill Dilgen, S.M.M.
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