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Saturday, December 31, 2005
December 2005 Archives
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Special Christmas & Advent Posts:


Special Saint for the Year Section:


The Other posts:

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And the Saints are Here!
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Last Update: The 2007 Devotion has begun!

Original Post Deleted
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South Park Removes Offensive Episode
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I wish to thank Catholic Fire for pointing out that South Park has pulled its plans to rerun a horrible offensive episode against Our Holy Mother Mary. While the first run was from Dec. 7-10, I rejoice that the clear hate of the episode will not again be released to the public.

For more information, see Catholic Fire.

August 2006 Update: They are liars
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Upcoming Indulgences
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If you don't know what an indulgence is or how to get one, please view my Indulgences post.

December 31 Indulgence: A PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted when the Te Deum is recited publicly on the last day of the year. Otherwise a partial indulgence is granted to those who recite the Te Deum in thanksgiving.

January 1 Indulgence: A PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted when the Veni, Creator Spiritus is recited on the first of January or Pentecost.

Thanks to St. Peter's Helpers for pointing this out.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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4th Day of the Novena
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Today is my Fourth day for the novena for the protection of the unborn. Thank you to all praying along with me, and it's not to late to join.
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Today's Readings: December 31, 2005
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December 31, 2006
7th Day in the Octave of Christmas
Optional Memorial of St. Sylvester I, pope

Today is the 7th day of the Octave Celebration of Christmas. It seems like the world just stops the celebration after Christmas morning, but today the Church continues the celebration of the Birth of Our God and Savior. For Jesus Christ is Lord and God.

I loved the readings again today. I won't post them all though because it is rather long :

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life,and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it...No one has ever seen God.The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him." (Jn 1:1-18)

Today we continue that celebration of the Word becoming flesh. The shocking thing is that just a few weeks ago I heard someone say "Jesus Christ is the Father's Son. He isn't God". HOW WRONG! That is the known as the heresy of Arianism. As that reading clearly shows, Jesus Christ is the fullness of the truth made-flesh. His shining splendor, the splendor of God, shown through on Mt. Tabor at the Transfiguration and through the Cross. How could Jesus Christ have taken away the sins for the whole world if He was not God? The answer - He couldn't have (i.e. "Deus Cur Homo" by St. Anselm).

Christmas is the perfect time to fully contemplate this mystery of Jesus Christ, God, taking human nature and dwelling among us. The answer is best summed up in Philippians 2:8, "He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross" (Douay-Rheims). For Jesus Christ didn't come to announce His true power and glory at every corner. Jesus Christ showed us perfect humility from the crib in Bethlehem to the Cross. And it was that humility that set us free from sin.
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Filling the Empty Vaccum Within
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I felt deeply compelled to write of this tonight:

I desperately remind you all, fellow Children of Our God, that God is love (1 John 4:8)! He is the author of our soul and the unique joy of our very heart. Ever beat not only beats because of Him but for Him. I tell you, as a Catholic of nearly 3 years, that Christ is here in His Church - the Catholic faith. For Christianity is not a man-made faith or an institution among men. It is Our connection to God; the bridge to our Heavenly paradise. Through the Eucharist and the Holy Mass we, unlike any other time in life, reach so closely to Heaven. Each of us are called to love God in life, but I tell you that the Church is the complete truth.

Christianity is not just a set of rules and regulations. Rather, Christianity is the realization of the truth - Jesus Christ. And the realization is so great that we wish not to break Our friendship with Our Lord but serve Him. It was He, on that road to Calvary, that laid down his life for you! I tell you there is nothing more beautiful than to give up your life to Christ and follow Him without compromise. There is nothing more poetic than to accept Him into your heart.

St. Augustine lived nearly 30 years of life in worldly pleasure but then He found God. He wasn't influenced by the theological arguments of their having to be a creator or a source of morality. He was moved by the empty vacuum in his soul that only God filled. And when God and the Church came into His life all lonliness was obliterated. As he writes in his world famous book Confessions: "Our Hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." St. Augustine found the faith through St. Martha's, his mother, prayers and St. Ambrose's example of a Christian life. I remind you, there are many Augustines among us. Let us all try to be that Ambrose and guide them.

For that is our purpose, to find that inner peace in life. And that peace has a name - Jesus Christ in the Holy Church.

"'I would like to show them [World Youth Day pilgrims] how beautiful it is to be Christian, because the widespread idea which continues to exist is that Christianity is composed of laws and bans which one has to keep and, hence, is something toilsome and burdensome -- that one is freer without such a burden,' said Pope Benedict XVI" (Source: Pope Benedict XVI, August 14, 2005)

Image Source: Photo believed to be in the Public Domain
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Friday, December 30, 2005
Five Wierd Habits Meme
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She got me...I've been tagged.

I was tagged for the weird habits meme by Catholic Fire. I like answering tags for some reason :)

Rules: "The first player of this game starts with the topic "five weird habits of yourself," and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don't forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says "You are tagged" (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours."

1. I agree with Catholic Fire on keeping letters. My inbox is completely flooded with mail that I just can't see to part with but I'll doubt I will ever use again.

2. I can never keep the same layout of my blog or desktop background more than a week. I'm always changing something over and over again. I hope one of these days it will just be right the first time.

3. When it comes to socks I only wear the color black. Why? I don't know I just always have :)

4. I have a huge pile of bookmarks, but I never use them. I always use index cards, old mail, or pieces of old paper for place holders in books.

5. At 12 Midnight on New Years I always take down the old calendar and put up the new one. I guess I like to be right on time :)

I'd like to pass this on to Darren at My Catholic Reflections, T.O. at LamLand, Julie D. at Happy Catholic, Tom at Boomer Times, and Rick at De Civitate Dei. If anyone else would like to do this go right ahead :)
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The Pope Has an Adviser?
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Yes, he does. And it makes since as I read the article on Catholic News. While Pope Benedict XVI is a great theologian, he has had help by theologian advisers. It's not that the Pope is unsure, but there is just so much to do. The adviser helps by writing the papal documents and speeches. Many times words are taken the wrong way by non-Catholics that the adviser helps the Holy Father by constantly revising words for them not to be taken any way out of context.

Let us pray for non-Catholics and all others that they come to the fullness of the truth of Jesus Christ in His Catholic Church; let us pray for Christian unity as Our Savior cried out in the Garden on the night He was betrayed, "Let them be one".

And, Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical called "God is Love" will be released to the public shortly. I will certainly be linking to that when it becomes available.

Image Source: Image of Pope John XXIII believed to be in the Public Domain
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A prayer to Venerate any Saint
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ETERNAL Father, I wish to honor St. (Name), and I give You thanks for all the graces You have bestowed upon him (her). I ask You to please increase grace in my soul through the merits of this saint, and I commit the end of my life to him (her) by this special prayer, so that by virtue of Your goodness and promise, St. (Name) might be my advocate and provide whatever is needed at that hour. Amen.

PROMISE: "When you wish to honor any particular saint and give Me thanks for all the graces I have bestowed on that saint, I increase grace in your soul through the merits of that saint. When you commit the end of your life to any of the saints by special prayers, I appoint those saints to be your advocates and to provide whatever you need at that hour."-Our Lord to St. Gertrude

From the book: Prayers and Heavenly Promises, Compiled from Approved Sources, by Joan Carroll Cruz.
Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain


NOTE: Catholics Don't "worship" saints; we simply honor them for their great lives for Our One Lord, Jesus Christ. We are called to imitate our Lord and the saints give us a model to follow in the imitation of Christ.
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Novena for the Unborn
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Today is my 3rd day in praying the Novena for the Unborn, but anyone can still join in praying it.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Feast of the Holy Family
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Greater Double (1955 Calendar): Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany

INTROIT
The Father of the just one greatly rejoices. Let your father and your mother be joyful, and let her who bore you be glad. Ps. 83:2, 3. How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and faints for the courts of the Lord. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O Lord Jesus Christ, You sanctified home life with untold virtues by being subject to Mary and Joseph. May they assist us to imitate the example of Your Holy Family, so that we may share with them their eternal happiness; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

EPISTLE
Col. 3:12-17
Brethren: Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience: Bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another. Even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly: in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

GRADUAL
One thing I have asked of the Lord; this will I seek after: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. V.Happy they who dwell in Your house, O Lord! They shall praise You forever and ever.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. (Isa. 45:15) Verily You are a hidden king, the God of Israel, the Savior. Alleluia!

GOSPEL
Luke 2:42-52

And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem. And his parents knew it not. And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day's journey and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance. And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: "Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing." And he said to them: "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my father's business?" And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace with God and men.


OFFERTORY
Luke 2:22
The parents of Jesus took Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.

SECRET O Lord, we offer You this sacrifice in atonement for our sins. May the intercession of the Virgin Mother of God and blessed Joseph, ever bestow Your peace and grace upon our families. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION
Luke 2:51
Jesus went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them.

POST COMMUNION - We are refreshed by Your heavenly Sacrament, O Lord Jesus. Help us always to follow the example of Your Holy Family, that Your glorious Virgin Mother and blessed Joseph may meet us at the hour of our death, and find us worthy to enter with You into Your eternal home; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .



Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945


Consecration to the Holy Family:

O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou protect us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace and concord in Christian love: in order that by living according to the divine pattern of Thy family we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.

Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by the kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.

O Saint Joseph, most holy Guardian of Jesus and Mary, help us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal needs; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity. Amen.

Say an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be three times.
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Thursday, December 29, 2005
The Angel's Prayer at Fatima
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"Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners. "
Don't be cotsent with knowing about Christ, but truly seek to love Him. He said, "Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world" (Matthew 28:20). He is truly with us in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar - our God is present. Love Him, do not just know about Him. It is for this reason that Eucharist Adoration is one of my favorite forms of prayer.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain, From the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX)
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Pope Benedict: "God Loves Every Embryo"
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Pope Benedict XVI recently announced that God does love every embryo. Life is life regardless, as life begins at the moment of conception. It was still when Our Lord was in the womb, that St. John the Baptist, also leapt in His womb out of joy. St. John the Baptist felt Our Lord's shining presence while both of them were still unborn!

Today we live in a society where people take such sinful acts as artificial contraception and abortion much lighter than they truly are. Let us remain faithful in opposition to such horrible practices. Please, join with me in my Novena for the Unborn.

St. Augustine: "Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it; right is right even if no one is doing it."

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Today's Mass Reading: December 29, 2005
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December 29, 2005
Fifty Day in the Octave of Christmas
Memorial of St. Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr


Today is the Fifth day in the Octave of Christmas and we continue to celebrate the birth of Our Savior in Bethlehem. I loved the first reading:

Beloved:The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him:whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked. Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness;he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (1 Jn 2:3-12)

Today's Gospel comes from Luke 2:22-35 when Christ was presented to Simeon in the temple. And it was this very instance that Jesus Christ did as He said He would - He fulfilled the law (c.f. Matthew 5:17). Our Lord did not come to destroy the Old Commandments, but He renewed and refined them. For this is how we are to love Him - keep His commandments. That is how we love Him.

Remember Our Lord's words: “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). This word, perfect, occurs only in the Gospel of Matthew surprisingly, but the truth remains in all the Gospels. We must keep the Lord's Commandments. For the Commandments are summed up in two - Love the Lord with all of your heart, mind, and soul and love your neighbor as yourself (c.f. Matthew 22:37-40)
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005
My Catholic Reflections Blog
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Thank you, Thank you

So many people have asked for saints, and I have been able to meet many other bloggers. I haven't been able to visit all of the bloggers, but I found one blog that is very good, My Catholic Reflections. Please check it out.
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Feast of the Holy Innocents
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Feast (1969 Calendar): December 28
Double of the II Class (1955 Calendar): December 28

Today is the Church remembers the Holy Innocents. Today is also the 4th Day in the Octave of Christmas. From the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy:

The Feast of the Holy Innocents

113. Since the sixth century, on December 28, the Church has celebrated the memory of those children killed because of Herod's rage against Christ (cf. Mt 2:16-17). Liturgical tradition refers to them as the "Holy Innocents" and regards them as martyrs. Throughout the centuries Christian art, poetry and popular piety have enfolded the memory of the "tender flock of lambs"(125) with sentiments of tenderness and sympathy. These sentiments are also accompanied by a note of indignation against the violence with which they were taken from their mothers' arms and killed.

In our own times, children suffer innumerable forms of violence which threaten their lives, dignity and right to education. On this day, it is appropriate to recall the vast host of children not yet born who have been killed under the cover of laws permitting abortion, which is an abominable crime. Mindful of these specific problems, popular piety in many places has inspired acts of worship as well as displays of charity which provide assistance to pregnant mothers, encourage adoption and the promotion of the education of children.

Today we remember the brutal murder of those little martyrs. Yet, today we still have the same assault on the little ones among us - the unborn. Please pray for the unborn today that we might all respect such small lives. Today is a great day to begin a novena for the unborn. Would anyone else like to join in praying this novena?

Prayer:

O God, Whose praise the martyred Innocents on this day confessed, not by speaking, but by dying: destroy in us all the evils of sin, that our life also may proclaim by deeds Thy faith which our tongue professes. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

Mass:


The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form celebrated on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Dec 28, 2007 by Fr. Jason Vidrine at Our Lady of Wisdom Church on the UL Campus in Lafayette, LA


Matthew 2:13-18 (Douay Rheims)


And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him. Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry; and sending killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Image Source:

Giotto di Bondone
No. 21 Scenes from the Life of Christ
Massacre of the Innocents
1304-06 -- Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua
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A Holy Family Prayer
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This prayer is taken from Prayer Book for Religious, compiled by Fr. F. X. Lasance, S.J. (Benziger Brothers, 1904)

O most loving Jesus, Who by Thy sublime and beautiful virtues of humility, obedience, poverty, modesty, charity, patience and gentleness, and by the example of Thy domestic life, didst bless with peace and happiness the family Thou didst choose on earth, in Thy clemency look down upon this household, humbly prostrate before Thee and imploring Thy mercy. Remember that this family belongs to Thee; for to Thee we have in a special way dedicated and devoted ourselves. Look upon us in Thy loving kindness; preserve us from danger; give us help in time of need, and grant us the grace to persevere to the end in the imitation of Thy Holy Family; that having revered Thee and loved Thee faithfully on earth, we may bless and praise Thee eternally in heaven.

O Mary, most sweet Mother, to thy intercession we have recourse, knowing that thy Divine Son will hear thy prayers.

And do thou, O glorious Patriarch, St. Joseph, assist us by thy powerful mediation, and offer, by the hands of Mary, our prayers to Jesus. Amen.
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Saint of the Year Project
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Thank you all for the strong interest. As soon as I get a saint for those of you who recently asked, I will post it here. Thanks again for the interest.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Mycatholic.com Fundraiser
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MyCatholic.com is a great site. It is a customizable Catholic homepage where you can add links, weather, and other features. You can even subscribe to blog feeds like mine and get a preview on that site. Right now Mycatholic.com is hosting a fundraiser to stay running through 2006. If you can, please make a donation there.

To put my blog's feed on Mycatholic.com, click here.
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Illinois Abortions at 31 year low!
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It is great news to hear that in 2004 Illinois abortions reached a 31 year low. In 2004, 41,577 abortions were performed, a two percent decrease from the 42,228 that were done in 2003. But, this is still so many little lives slaughtered. Don't be content with just this. Let us continue to stand up for life and fight it no matter what state we may life in.

Source: Life Site News

Christ reign in your hearts. May He guard all of His children, born and unborn. Amen

Thanks to Catholic Fire linking to the story
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St. John the Apostle and Evangelist
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"When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own." (John 19:26-27, Douay Rheims)

Feast (1969 Calendar): December 27
Double of the II Class (1955 Calendar): December 27

Today is the Feast Day of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. I know that it seems a little rushed too. Didn't we just have Christmas? Yes, and we are still celebrating the Octave of Christmas since Christmas is so important it is an eight-day celebration. Today is specifically the 3rd Day in the Octave of Christmas.

Besides the 3rd Day in the Octave of Christmas, today is also the Feast Day of St. John, and we see in a special way the principal purpose of Christ. He was born to us in Bethlehem, in rags and in a feeding container of animals, but He didn't come to live in wealth. Jesus Christ, in the glory of Heaven, is God and has all the glory He desires. Instead He came and came for one reason - to die. He came to die for us and today we celebrate the life of St. John the Apostle while also meditating on the 3rd Day of the Octave of Christmas.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, when Our Lord was taken from us and sentenced to death, all his disciples left him - every last one. But it was St. John the Apostle that was the only one to return to the Cross. It was there that He saw the love of the Lord - for Jesus Christ willingly gave up His life for us. St. John was given the gift of Mary, Our Lord's Mother, and Mary was given to us then. That day we were redeemed and Mary became Our Mother as well. It was St. John who was there. It was also St. John who wrote the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John. Think about how many people have been brought to Christ through it. But realize that God's Word, Holy Scripture, is not the only Truth. For the Gospels are part of the Word of God, but is that enough? No, for we have God - Jesus Christ in His Catholic Church. It is Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, who is the "source and summit of our faith". We are in Communion with the saints, we have Mary, we have the traditions and teachings of Christ in addition to Scripture. St. John also knew this - Jesus Christ is in His Church.

Some people even have traditions on this Feast day of Blessing Wine. For information on this and the prayers, visit the link. It is a very interesting tradition.

Octave of St. John

Traditionally, before the 1962 changes, there was an Octave associated with the Feast of St. John.  January 3rd was the Octave Day of St. John.  Those attached to this older calendar, may still pray the Breviary on January 3rd using the prayers for the Octave Day of St. John

Prayer:

Of Thy goodness, O Lord, shine upon Thy Church, that, enlightened by the teachings of blessed John, Thine Apostle and Evangelist, she may attain to everlasting gifts. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Monday, December 26, 2005
Feast Day of St. Stephen
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Feast (1969 Calendar): December 26
Double of the II Class (1955 Calendar): December 26

Today is the Second day in the Octave of Christmas, and today is also the Feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr. What we know about him comes from the Acts of the Apostles. His account is recorded in Chapter 6 and Chapter 7.

"If you know what witness means, you understand why God brings St. Stephen, St. John, and the Holy Innocents to the crib in the cave as soon as Christ is born liturgically. To be a witness is to be a martyr. Holy Mother Church wishes us to realize that we were born in baptism to become Christ — He who was the world's outstanding Martyr" (Love Does Such Things by Rev. M. Raymond, O.C.S.O.)

We have only just celebrated the birth of our Lord and already the liturgy presents us with the feast of the first person to give his life for this Baby who has been born. Yesterday we wrapped Christ in swaddling clothes; today, he clothes Stephen with the garment of immortality. Yesterday, a narrow manger cradled the baby Christ; today, the infinite heaven has received Stephen in triumph (St. Fulgentius, Sermon 3)

Today is also the most appropriate day for the hymn Good King Wenceslas.


The painting is by Blessed Fra Angelico (1400-1455). Saint Peter is ordaining Stephen to the diaconate while Saint John the Beloved (whose feast we will keep tomorrow), holding his Gospel, looks on. The composition is remarkable: the three heads of Peter, John and Stephen form a triangle, a symbol of communion in the Three Divine Persons. Peter is handing over the chalice and paten; they are very large. Fra Angelico makes the Most Holy Eucharist central; he paints what Saint Thomas Aquinas taught, i.e. that the unity of the Church is constituted and held together by participation in the adorable Body and Blood of Christ.

Source to above excerpt: Vultus Christi


Saint Stephen, marytr of Christ, ora pro nobis. Amen
Collect:

Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so to imitate what we revere, that we may learn to love even our enemies: for we celebrate the heavenly Birthday of him who knew how to pray for his very persecutors to our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth.
Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Image Sources: Believed to be in the Public Domain, Titles Unknown
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Sunday, December 25, 2005
Christmas 2005: Urbi et Orbi
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I finish my Christmas blogging today with a link to the Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) address by Pope Benedict XVI for Christmas Day. May His words help lead us all closer to Christ, the Lord.

Some of his words from his address:

"At Christmas we contemplate God made man, divine glory hidden beneath the poverty of a Child wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger; the Creator of the Universe reduced to the helplessness of an infant. Once we accept this paradox, we discover the Truth that sets us free and the Love that transforms our lives. On Bethlehem Night, the Redeemer becomes one of us, our companion along the precarious paths of history. Let us take the hand which he stretches out to us: it is a hand which seeks to take nothing from us, but only to give.

"With the shepherds let us enter the stable of Bethlehem beneath the loving gaze of Mary, the silent witness of his miraculous birth. May she help us to experience the happiness of Christmas, may she teach us how to treasure in our hearts the mystery of God who for our sake became man; and may she help us to bear witness in our world to his truth, his love and his peace."

Image Source: MSNBC
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Christmas Appeal: Pray for the Souls in Purgatory Today
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As Catholics, we acknowledge Purgatory, a temporary state where those that die with venial sin may be cleansed/purified before entering Heaven. Those in purgatory, however, may be helped by our prayers. I don't want to explain the whole doctrine now though, so please see the link for more information.

I just wanted to remind everyone what I learned only a few weeks ago, that the Blessed Virgin Mary helps release more souls from Purgatory on Christmas Day than on any other day. Remember, Christ saves us, but His Mother Mary, who was assumed into Heaven, helps by bringing these souls to Our Lord in Heaven through her prayers. Please say a prayer for the souls in purgatory especially today.

There are more souls released from Purgatory during the Consecration of the Mass than at any other time. Christmas is the day of the year when most souls are delivered; followed by feast days of Our Lord, Our Lady, and great saints. Souls receive much grace from prayers offered for them on their birthdays, day of baptism, and anniversary of death. The more we work for the poor souls now the more others will pray for us, the more merciful will Christ be with us when we’re in Purgatory.

Our Lady asked that we pray very much for the poor souls; she asked that we pray:

5 Apostle's Creed
1 Hail Holy Queen
1 Our Father
1 Glory Be
1 Requiem

Our Lady said that if we pray the prayers "we’ll deliver so many souls, so many souls. The Holy wounds are the treasure of treasurers for the souls in Purgatory." As Scripture states, "It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins" (2 Mac 12:46)

In an approved apparition by the Church, Our Savior, Jesus Christ, gave St. Gertrude the Great this prayer. She said that 1,000 souls would be released every time it is said:

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, for those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

Note: The above image of Holy Mass is of a Tridentine Catholic Mass for Christmas Mass at Midnight.
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The Twelve Days of Christmas
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I will be posting much more on the 12 days of Christmas (those days after Christmas until Jan. 8th, the Epiphany). But, please remember to make prayer the cornerstone of this time.
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Merry Christmas
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May the Joy of Christ's birth bring everlasting joy to you and your families both today and forever.

God Bless and Merry Christmas.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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St. John Chrysostom's Christmas Homily
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"What shall I say? And how shall I describe this birth to you? The Eternal One has become an infant. He who sits upon the sublime and heavenly throne now lies in the manger. For this He assumed my body, that I may become capable of His word, taking my form He gives me His spirit, and so, He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares me for the treasure of life. He takes my form to sanctify me. He gives me His spirit, that he may save me."
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Saturday, December 24, 2005
Midnight Mass
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Tonight was Pope Benedict XVI's first Christmas Mass as pope. It was a beautiful ceremony in the heart of Vatican City. And, in his homily, our Holy Father offered prayers for the Middle East and for the unborn. Read his homily through the Vatican's website.

He reminded those present that the splendor of Christmas "shines on every child, even on those still unborn." It was that moment the Word was made Flesh. Tonight we recall the awesome miracle of Christ being born in Bethlehem in the richest of poverty.

He ended his homily with a prayer to God: "Lord, fulfil your promise! Where there is conflict, give birth to peace. Where there is hatred, make love spring up! Where darkness prevails, let light shine." If you didn't know, the tradition of a midnight Mass goes back to Pope St. Telesphorus in the early 100's AD.

Additional Images:


Image Sources: Reuters
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Advent Ends
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Today is the last day of Advent, as at last, we have arrived at the Birth of Christ. Let the joy of this Christmas Season fill your heart and may the joy of our ultimate meeting with our God fill our heart with unceasing splendor.

+ Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen. +

Merry Christmas to all of my readers. May God Bless you all.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain, Title Unknown
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Bethlehem Turnout highest since 2000!
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Pilgrims are pouring in Bethlehem, the highest number since 2000. As many as 30,000 are coming into the city as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Birth of Christ. Please keep these pilgrims in your prayers as we all, regardless, are journeying spiritually with them to Bethlehem.

Read the Story at CBS News
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Nashville Dominicans
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I was watching EWTN last night and a short 10 minute special was on the Dominicans Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, Tennessee. They are also called the Nashville Dominicans. Their website is full of great information, and I love how they spend so much time in daily prayer. If you are thinking of a vocation as a nun or someone you know, I'd recommend this site.

In that short TV special, one of the sisters quoted St. Catherine of Sienna, and her words have been in my mind all night long.

"If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire" -- St Catherine of Sienna

Image Source: Nashville Dominicans
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Friday, December 23, 2005
Hurricane Update
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It seems to have been a little while since Hurricane Rita and Katrina devoured parts of the United States. But, the devestation is still there. With Christmas just around the corner, please say a prayer for those people that may not have a home this year. Let us all unite with the true poverty of Christ.

I received this news in an email:

1. Of the 84 elementary schools in New Orleans, only 16 are open now-and 43 have no projected re-opening date, stranding 25,000 students.

2. Twenty-three New Orleans parishes have been destroyed.
Image Source: In the Public Domain NASA
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Hurricane Victims Need Rosaries too
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Please don't forget that the whole reason for Christmas is Jesus Christ. And, this year many of our fellow brothers and sisters are in need of our aid. The hurricanes affecting the United States is just one example. And, these people do need items - they need rosaries.

Please send them to this address:

International Shrine of St. Jude
Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel
411 N. Rampart St.
New Orleans, LA 70112

(Read more through this link)

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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St. John of Kanty
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Double (1955 Calendar): October 20
Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): December 23

Today is the Church remembers St. John of Kanty, also called St. John Cantius, a priest.

St. John Kanty (June 23, 1390- December 24, 1473) was born in Kanty, Silesia, Poland. He became a priest and professor of theology at the University of Cracow although he greatly feared the responsibility. But, he took the responsibility seriously and soon won over the hearts of his parishioners.

St. John of Kanty kept only enough money and clothes on him to support him while all the rest was available to anyone that needed help. He ate sparingly, took in no meat, and slept little. When he did she, he slept on the floor. During his life he made four trips to Rome and one trip to Jerusalem hoping to be martyred.

He died on December 24, 1473, in Cracow of natural causes. Soon afterward, he was declared patron of Poland and Lithuania in 1737 by Pope Clement XII.

Here is a Novena and Litany to St. John Cantius. I really suggest looking into the Canon Regulars of St. John Cantius.

"Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause." (Saint John of Kanty)

Prayer:

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that by the example of St. John, Thy Confessor we may make progress in the science of the Saints, and by showing mercy to others may obtain through his merits forgiveness from Thee. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Let the Star Guide Us
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"Faith also guides us and we follow securely in its light the way which leads to God, His homeland, just as the Holy Magi, guided by the star, symbol of faith, reached the desired place" (St. Padre Pio).

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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World Youth Day Themes Announced
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I was very happy to follow World Youth Day 2005 so closely on EWTN, and now the themes for the next three years have been annouced.

2006 and 2007 will be celebrated at the diocesan level unlike the international celebration in Sydney in 2008. The 2006 theme is based on verse 105 of Psalm 119: "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path." And, the 2007 theme is based on John 13:34: "Love one another, as I have loved you."

The 2008 theme, which will be celebrated internationally in Sydney, is "You will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses" (Apostles 1:8)

Image Source: AFP/Pier Paolo Cito

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Thursday, December 22, 2005
Year in Review: 2005
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Pope Benedict XVI recently released a 2005 year in review for the Church. In it, he talked about World Youth Day, the Year of the Eucharist, and Pope John Paul ll. And, if I may say so, it truly was an amazing year for the faith.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- By any measure, it was an extraordinary year for Pope Benedict XVI.

Most of the world has followed the highlights through the lens of the mass media -- his election in the April conclave, his visit to Germany in August, his growing popularity and even his fashionable ecclesial clothing.

On Dec. 22, the pope offered a personal look at the year in review. Although he spoke for nearly an hour, he barely mentioned his own election -- a demonstration of the humility he has shown from the beginning of his pontificate.

Instead, he focused on the death of his predecessor, World Youth Day, the closing of the eucharistic year and the commemoration of the Second Vatican Council.

And, of course, on Jesus. Born in a manger, the pope said, Jesus has a power "completely different from the destructive power of violence," and far more effective.

The occasion was the pope's annual pre-Christmas encounter with the Roman Curia. The pope wore his red velvet cape trimmed with ermine, the Clementine Hall was decorated with poinsettias, and a Christmas tree was bedecked with lights.

The idea was to exchange season's greetings with Vatican officials; Pope Benedict gave them a nine-page speech.

He began by paying tribute to Pope John Paul II, saying the late pope's fame as a world traveler and communicator only made his final days of suffering and silence more powerful.

Interestingly, it was a TV image that stuck out in Pope Benedict's mind: when the late pope was shown in his apartment the week before his death, gripping a cross as he watched the Way of the Cross broadcast from Rome's Colosseum.

Pope Benedict recalled his own first papal trip, a visit to Germany to preside over World Youth Day. But his biggest memory was not the cheering and chanting that greeted him from the immense crowd. Instead, he said, it was the sound of silence -- the "intense silence of those million young people" as they prayed together in a field before the exposed Eucharist.

The pope said the rediscovery of adoration in the church was also evident at the world Synod of Bishops in October, which closed the Year of the Eucharist. He said eucharistic adoration and the Mass were once seen in opposition, but that seems to have been overcome in the modern church.

The pope saved his most detailed analysis for Vatican II, which ended 40 years ago. It's a subject that has generated decades of debate within the church, including some critical comments by the pope when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Source: CNS
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President Bush signs Umbilical Cord Bill into law
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I was very pleased to hear that the Umbilical Cord Adult Stem Cell bill passed by Congress was just signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 20, 2005. This bill will help Adult Stem Cell Research and not embryonic stem cell research.

The measure would provide $79 million in federal funding for the collection and storage of umbilical cord blood. It provides a total of $265 million for life-saving stem cell therapeutic therapy, cord blood and bone marrow treatment. The bill also reauthorizes the national bone marrow transplant system, combining it and the cord blood in the same database. (SOURCE: Life News)
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Perfect Birthday Present for Jesus Christ
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What are you giving Christ for His birthday? It seems that so many people don't understand the true stories behind the giving of gifts. The truth is that Jesus is the reason for our season. We celebrate the second greatest day of the year when Christ took human nature, knowing that He had assumed a human nature for the purpose of dying for us.

And, Christ was not born in glory, but rather in a small manger - a feeding container for animals. And, there, in swaddling clothing, the King of Kings was born in complete humility and poverty. This is what Christmas is about - thanking Christ for His love! Our God came and saved us! But, He is not gone. He is still with us as He promised. And, today we see Him truly present in the Holy Eucharist. We remember during this season of Advent the three comings of Christ (1) in Bethlehem as a person, true man and true God, (2) in the Holy Eucharist, (3) in the Final Judgment when the world and all peoples shall be judged.

So what present are you giving Christ in season? My advice - give Him your heart, a pure heart. Go to Confession before Christmas and seek the Lord's forgiveness. Develop the habit of going to Confession weekly (at least every other week)! Seek out Christ, who so loved us that He was born in humility knowing that He would die for us. Cleanse your heart and receive Him on Christmas Day in Holy Communion.

May Christ reign in your heart, cleansed and restored to grace through the Confessional.
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Jesus is Love
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"What greater love is there than God’s love for each one of us? His love isn’t a fantasy. It is real." --Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Image Source: Photo believed to be in the Public Domain
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Christmas & Advent Prayers
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This page has been moved.


Prayer:
O God, Who dost gladden us by the yearly expectation of our redemption, grant that we, who now joyfully receive Thine only-begotten Son as our Redeemer, may also without fear behold Him coming as our Judge, even the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal (Collect of Christmas Eve)
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Pope Benedict: 43 open for canonization
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Pope Benedict XVI recently opened the way for 43 beatifications to take place, an important part on the way to being declared a saint. Thirty-four are martyrs from the Spanish Civil War from 1936 and the religious persecution during that time.

For more information on the saints, please visit an article on Catholic Fire:

MIRACLES

- Venerable Servant of God Luigi Boccardo, Italian, priest of the archdiocese of Turin, Italy, founder of the Order of Sisters of Christ the King, a contemplative branch of the Poor Sisters of San Gaetano (1861 - 1936).

- Venerable Servant of God Luigi Monza, Italian, priest of the archdiocese of Milan, Italy, founder of the Secular Institute of the Little Apostles of Charity (1898 - 1954).

- Venerable Servant of God Mose Tovini, Italian, priest of the diocese of Brescia, Italy (1877 - 1930).

- Venerable Servant of God Agostino Thevarparampil, known as "Kunjachan," Indian, priest of the eparchy of Palai, India (1891 - 1973).

- Venerable Servant of God Eustachio Van Lieshout, Dutch, professed priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Picpus) (1890 - 1943).

- Venerable Servant of God Maria Teresa di Gesu, nee Maria Scrilli, Italian, founder of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Carmel (1825 - 1889).

- Venerable Servant of God Maria Teresa di San Giuseppe, nee Anna Maria Tauscher van den Bosch, German, founder of the Congregation of Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus (1855 - 1938).

- Venerable Servant of God Maria della Passione di Nostro Signore Gesu Cristo, nee Grazia Tarallo, Italian, of the Institute of Crucified Sisters Adorers of the Holy Eucharist (1866 - 1912).

- Venerable Servant of God Elia di San Clemente, nee Teodora Fracasso, Italian, professed nun of the Order of Discalced Carmelites (1901 - 1927).

MARTYRS

- Servants of God Victorio Chumillas Fernandez, Spanish, professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor (1902 - 1936), and 21 companions, of the same Order of St. Francis, martyrs.

- Servants of God Antero Mateo Garcia, Spanish, husband and father, of the Third Order of St. Dominic (1875 - 1936), and eleven companions of the Second and Third Orders of St. Dominic, martyrs.

HEROIC VIRTUES

- Blessed Simone da Lipnica, Polish, professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor, (1440 - 1482), whose cult was confirmed by the Holy See on February 14, 1685.

- Blessed Camilla Battista Varano, Italian, professed nun of the Order of Poor Clares (1458 - 1524) whose cult was confirmed by the Holy See on April 7, 1843.

- Servant of God Carlo Bascape, ne Giovanni Francesco, Italian, of the Congregation of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (Barnabites), bishop of Novara, Italy (1550 - 1615).

- Servant of God Massimo Rinaldi, Italian, of the Congregation of Missionaries of St. Charles, bishop of Rieti, Italy (1869 - 1941).

- Servant of God Paolo Giuseppe Nardini, diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Family (1821 - 1862).

- Servant of God Eustachio Kugler, ne Giuseppe, German, professed religious of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God (1867 - 1946).

- Servant of God Isabella De Rosis, Italian, founder of the Congregation of Reparatrix Sisters of the Sacred Heart (1842 - 1911).

- Servant of God Josefa Segovia Moron, first director of the Teresian Institute (1891 - 1957).
Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Boycott American Girl Dolls
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February 2007 Update: "The 'I CAN' campaign initiated by American Girl in Sept. 2005, ended with more than $200,000 donated to Girls Inc. amid protests, pickets, and a boycott of American Girl Inc. products in Dec. 2005" (Source)

Original Post: If you haven't heard, American Girl Dolls are selling an "I can" bracelet, which funds Girls Inc, an abortion and homosexuality suppporter. Girls Inc. also opposes abstience-only education. I am boycotting the group along with many prominent pro-life groups and I hope you will join me in this campaign.

For each "I can" braclet sold, Girls Inc, gets 70 cents in addition to their $50,000 donation from American Girl. So far, as a result of the boycott from November 1st, Bath and Body Works has stopped selling the "I can" braclet.

Support the cause
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005
St. Dominic of Silos
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St. Dominic of Silos (1000 - 1073) was born into a peasant family and spent much time in the solitude of the fields. He became a priest. However, one day he quarreled with the king and was exiled with two other monks. St. Dominic of Silos established a monastery in what was believed to be an unfavorable area of Spain. But, the monastery soon became the site of numerous reported healings.

Nearly 100 years after his death, a young woman visited his tomb. She was Joan of Aza, and there St. Dominic of Silos appeared to her and told her that she would bear another son. That son was to be St. Dominic who founded the Dominicans.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Pro-life Phillipine News
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I'm happy to read from Catholic Fire that President Arroyo of the Philippines has backed the Catholic Church on birth control. She has vowed to only support natural family planning instead of the artificial contraception condemned by the Church. I'm very pleased with this news.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Blogs4Lilfe
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I was pleased to hear of this website (you can visit it through the logo in the sidebar) especially since it is near Christmas. I hope others will join me in prayers this week for the unborn as it was this week we celebrate Christ becoming a little child to die for for us.

To promote blogs4life, please visit Prolife Blogs
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Monday, December 19, 2005
I have a special Saint for this year
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Last Update: The 2007 Devotion will begin on December 1, 2006. Watch my blog's main page for updates.

Important Update: I have received many requests, so I will contact you or post your saint on my blog as soon as I get an email from the woman doing this on who your saints are. It shouldn't be much longer than a few days at most.

Jan 8th Update: Thank you for your interest in the Saints Project. I'm still getting requests :) If you asked for a saint then check the results page. That is the only page that I will post the results on.

This is a long post, but please read this. I received this email from a kind woman who is drawing saints randomly for others. If you would like a saint please just ask.

Saint for the Year

I want to tell you about the practice of picking a saint at random to be your “holy protector” for the year. Actually, the saint is the one who chooses us though. The tradition of letting a saint “pick you,” is not a new one. St. Faustina wrote about it in her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul. The excerpt is below.

“There is a custom among us of drawing by lot, on New Year's Day, special Patrons for ourselves for the whole year. In the morning during meditation, there arose within me a secret desire that the Eucharistic Jesus be my special Patron for this year also, as in the past. But, hiding this desire from my Beloved, I spoke to Him about everything else but that. When we came to refectory for breakfast, we blessed ourselves and began drawing our patrons. When I approached the holy cards on which the names of the patrons were written, without hesitation I took one, but I didn't read the name immediately as I wanted to mortify myself for a few minutes. Suddenly, I heard a voice in my soul: ‘I am your patron. Read.’ I looked at once at the inscription and read, ‘Patron for the Year 1935 - the Most Blessed Eucharist.’ My heart leapt with joy, and I slipped quietly away from the sisters and went for a short visit before the Blessed Sacrament, where I poured out my heart. But Jesus sweetly admonished me that I should be at that moment together with the sisters. I went immediately in obedience to the rule.”Excerpt from Divine Mercy in My Soul, the Diary of St. Faustina"

I have a container full of names ... I will be glad to pick out the name for you and send you the name if you prefer. I am so excited by my saint(s) ... I already picked mine. Well, I should say that they picked me ... I have Saints Marcus and Marcellianus ... they are twin brothers who were sent to prison before their death. St. Sebastian visited them continually in prison and helped keep their faith alive. They are buried near St. Felix and are specifically honored in Spain.

OK now ... here are a couple of immediate ironies in regard to these saints ... I have a SPECIAL place in my heart for twins! As a child, I LOVED reading the story about St. Sebastian. I had a children's book of saints and I think I wore out the pages on St. Sebastian! Felix is my grandfather's name! Silvia, our exchange student, is from Spain! I am so excited to have these two saints to walk through 2006 with me! I'm looking forward as to where and how they will intercede for me.

I was very excited and asked for a saint and she picked St. Apollonius (feast day 04/18) for me. Would anyone like me to ask her to pull a saint for them? Please give me some way to contact you, though, whether it is email or through another blog.

Thanks for all of the interest in this devotion
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The Model of St. Joseph
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Let us allow ourselves to be infected by the silence of St. Joseph," Pope Benedict XVI recently said. "We need it very much, in a world that is often too noisy."

Please live this Christmas knowing that we don't celebrate a day of presents for ourselves but a day of rejoicing. What are you giving Christ for His birthday? Why not go to Confession and give Him your pure heart and love?

What we know of St. Joseph comes from the Gospel accounts of Matthew and Luke. And what the scriptures tell us is that St. Joseph was a silent servant of God. St. Joseph owned little possessions but he was a descendant of David and full of the grace of God. There is not one recorded sentence spoken by St. Joseph, but the Gospels are clear that he acted kindly towards Mary and Jesus. He cared for them when Herod sought to kill Our Lord, and after the threat passed, he quietly passed away. For that reason, he is frequently recognized as the patron of a peaceful death.

Image Source: Photo believed to be in the Public Domain
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The Twelve Days of Christmas
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TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

According of popular tradition, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly from 1558 until 1829. During that era this carol was written as a catechism song for young Catholics. It had two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ. A partridge often feigns fury to draw attention to herself and away from her young to protect them from danger. Because of its self-sacrifice the partridge was used to represent Christ.

Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments. Because they have one mate for life the turtle doves represent enduring relationships, such as the unbreakable bond between the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stood for the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation. (Eggs represent new life.)

Seven swans a-swimming represented the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit [Ed. this catechetical story would be more apt if this represented the seven sacraments, something that Anglicans then did not accept.]

The eight maids a-milking stand for the eight beatitudes which Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount to spell out blessings for the meek and lowly.

Nine ladies dancing represent the fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

The ten lords a-leaping stand for the law and leadership symbolized by the Ten Commandments.

The eleven pipers stood for the eleven disciples who remained faithful to Christ.

The twelve drummers drumming represented the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
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The Best Christmas Present for a Mother
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Today seemed like a normal day until dreadful news hit my ears. Many people in my community, and at ages under 18, have legally had abortions. They have actually legally killed their very child, a creation of God's own hands. They have murdered an innocent child and the world accepts this!

Speak out against abortion! How can we sit here and say we are Catholic when children are murdered legally everyday. And, I realized it isn't just far away, but it is real. The very people in your community may have had abortions. Speak out against abortion; talk to your friends. Spread the pro-life message through conversation, not just through the Internet. We have to evangelize throughout life. We are called to do this now!

The best Christmas gift for your mother - tell her "thank you" for saying yes to your life because too many people in our society can't love.

Please pass along this website to others bloggers. This page: "The life and death debate over a baby" is one of the better pages I've seen on explaining pro-life values. Anyone wanting to defend life should read that page.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Awards and Distinctions
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This post contains the list of A Catholic Life's many awards and honors received.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support A Catholic Life.

2006:




2007:





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2008:

2008 Catholic Blog Nominee

2009:

Catholic New Media Awards

2011:

Top Catholic Blogs
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Copyright / Disclaimer

Copyright Notice: Unless otherwise stated, all items are copyrighted under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. If you quote from this blog, cite a link to the post on this blog in your article.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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