Prior to the Second Vatican Council, the Christmas season ended on February 2, which was the feast formerly known as the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The council decided to shift the emphasis away from Mary’s purification in order to focus on the presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple (which didn’t have a specific feast day). That is why today February 2 is known as the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.
In 1997, Pope John Paul II also dedicated February 2 as the World Day of Consecrated Life, asking religious men and women to renew their religious vows that day.
- Little Blue Book, December 24