File photo of Pope Francis at the 2023 Mass on Sunday of the Word of God 

By Christopher Wells

Jan 10 2024

The Prefecture of the Papal Household releases the schedule of Pope Francis’ liturgical celebrations for January and February, which includes the canonization of Blessed Maria Antonia of Saint Joseph de Paz y Figueroa, born in what is now Argentina.

Pope Francis is set to canonize fellow Argentinian Blessed Maria Antonia of Saint Joseph de Paz y Figueroa in Saint Peter’s Basilica on 11 February, the Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Blessed Maria Antonia of St Joseph spent much of her life promoting retreats in the Ignatian tradition following the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain in the second half of the 18th century. She was beatified by Pope Francis in August 2016.

The canonization of Blessed Maria Antonia is part of a busy schedule of liturgical events for the Pope over the next few weeks.

January-February liturgies

On the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Jan 21, the Holy Father will celebrate Holy Mass to commemorate the Sunday of the Word of God – an observance established by Pope Francis in 2019.

Later that week, on Jan 25, Pope Francis will celebrate Second Vespers for the Solemnity of the Conversion of St Paul to mark the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

This year’s Week of Prayer invites Christians to reflect on the Biblical text, “You shall love the Lord your God… and your neighbour as yourself.” (Luke 10:27).

On 2 February, Pope Francis will preside at Holy Mass in St Peter’s Basilica for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The feast is also observed as the 28th World Day of Consecrated Life, and members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life will be present for the papal liturgy.

Finally, the Holy Father is scheduled to take part once again in the ceremonies for Ash Wednesday on the Aventine Hill in Rome.

He will continue the tradition, restored by Pope St John XXIII, of marking the opening of the season of Lent in the Basilica of Santa Sabina.

The liturgy begins in the Church of Sant’Anselmo, where the local community gathers before the solemn penitential procession to the traditional station church of Santa Sabina, where Mass will be offered with the blessing and imposition of Ashes. – Vatican News