World Marriage Day and National Marriage Week are opportune times for married couples to reflect on their sacred union as husband and wife. Courtesy photo
World Marriage Day and National Marriage Week are opportune times for married couples to reflect on their sacred union as husband and wife. Courtesy photo
" We encourage parishes to consider the entire month of February a month for marriage. " Peg Hensler associate director, Marriage Ministries and NFP, diocesan Department of Evangelization and Family Life

The Diocese of Trenton will join the globe and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Feb. 13 in the recognition of World Marriage Day, celebrated annually on a Sunday near Valentine’s Day, and incorporated by National Marriage week Feb. 7-14.

A USCCB-sponsored event, the theme for this year’s National Marriage Week is “Called to the Joy of Love.” The bishops launched National Marriage Week USA in 2010 as part of an international event seeking to mobilize individuals, organizations and businesses in a common purpose to strengthen marriage in communities and influence the culture. The Secretariat on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth for the USCCB offers a full set of resources to bishops, priests, deacons, married couples and lay men and women to help celebrate and live the great gift of married life.

“Parishes are encouraged to honor married couples in various ways during Saturday and Sunday liturgies on Feb. 12-13,” said Peg Hensler, associate director for Marriage Ministries and NFP, diocesan Department of Evangelization and Family Life. “We encourage parishes to consider the entire month of February a month for marriage.”

World Marriage Day is an outgrowth of Worldwide Marriage Encounter, an apostolate aimed at helping couples make good marriages even better. World Marriage Day began in 1983 and is celebrated every second Sunday of February in dioceses across the country. In 1993, his Holiness, Pope John Paul II, imparted his Apostolic Blessings on World Marriage Day. The purpose of World Marriage Day is to highlight the beauty of marriage and to honor husbands and wives for their faithfulness and sacrifices. 

“In his Letter to Married Couples on Dec. 26, 2021, Pope Francis encouraged [them] ‘to be active in the Church, especially in her pastoral care of families,’” Hensler pointed out. “Couples honor their marriage best by working to keep their marriage strong and by giving themselves in service to God. When couples serve together in their parish community, especially in ministries that help build strong marriages and families, they are responding to their vocational call.”

Parishes traditionally mark this annual occasion by blessing married couples at Masses and holding special social gatherings to celebrate them. 

While there are no diocesan-sponsored World Marriage Day activities or events planned this year, the Diocese honors all Catholic married couples with a special web resource to enhance their marriage in three important ways: 1) Reconnect with Your Spouse, 2) Make Your Marriage Even Better, and 3) Serve Others in Your Marriage. These and many more resources can be found at www.dioceseoftrenton.org/world-marriage-day-for-couples. For newly married couples, visit www.dioceseoftrenton.org/newly-married-resource-page for a comprehensive collection of helps for newlyweds – a part of the BuildingStrongMarriages.org initiative of the Diocese.

Additional marriage resources and information on WMD can be found at www.dioceseoftrenton.org/world-marriage-day and www.dioceseoftrenton.org/world-marriage-day-for-parishes.