Many people do not know that the legend of the groundhog goes back to our Catholic Liturgical roots on this day, February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
The legend has it that in the dark of morning on Candlemas, the faithful and the clergy would gather outside, light new candles, bless them and process to the far distant church. The groundhog hearing all the commotion awakes from his hibernation and sees all the people and the light outside and either enjoys it or is frightened by his shadow and rushes back into his hibernation. Depending on the outcome of what the groundhog does on Candlemas means either a shorter winter and early spring or a longer winter and late spring.
On this Candlemas, I did not rely on any groundhogs around the rectory to come out because more than likely these would be huge rats instead, no I took a picture of a tree at 7:30 AM right outside our rectory and thus you can see for sure, spring is here as this tree has blossoms. God, it is good to live in the south! Amen, Alleluia!