Thursday, January 23, 2020
St. Ildephonsus (Mass in Some Places)

Today in the pre-1955 Traditional Catholic Missal is the Mass in Some Places (pro aliquibus locis) of St. Ildefonse.  St. Ildefonse was a scholar and theologian who served as the metropolitan Bishop of Toledo for the last decade of his life. His writings were influential across much of the Hispanic world. 

The following account is given in today's martyrology:
At Toledo, St. Ildefonse, bishop, renowned for sanctity. On account of his great purity of life, and his defense of the virginity of the Mother of God against the heretics who denied it, he received from her a brilliant white vestment, and was called to Heaven
Catholic Online shares the following short account of his praiseworthy life:
St. Ildephonsus is highly regarded in Spain and closely associated with devotion to the Blessed Virgin which he fostered by his famous work concerning her perpetual virginity. Born around 607, Ildephonsus came from a noble family and was probably a pupil of St. Isidore of Seville. While still quite young, he entered the Benedictine monastery of Agalia near Toledo and went on to become its Abbot. In that capacity he attended the Councils of Toledo in 653 and 655. 
In 657 the clergy and people elected this holy man to succeed his uncle, St. Eugenius, as Archbishop of Toledo. He performed his episcopal duties with diligence and sanctity until his death in 667. This saint was a favorite subject for medieval artists, especially in connection with the legend of Our Lady's appearance to present him with a chalice. St. Ildephonsus was a prolific writer, but unfortunately only four of his works have survived. Among these are the one already mentioned and an important document of the history of the Spanish Church during the first two-thirds of the seventh century, entitled Concerning Famous Men.
Dom Gueranger writes of him in his work "The Liturgical Year." The following is an excerpt:
Among the glorious Prelates, who honoured the noble episcopate of Spain, during the 7th and 8th centuries—for example: Leander, Isidore, Fulgentius, Braulio, Eugenius, Julian, Helladius—among them, and in the foremost rank, stands Ildephonsus, with his glory of having been the Doctor of the Virginity of the Mother of God, just as Athanasius is the Doctor of the Divinity of the Word, Basil the Doctor of the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, and Augustine the Doctor of Grace. The holy Bishop of Toledo has treated the dogma of Mary’s Virginity in all its completeness. With profound learning and with fervid eloquence, he proves, against the Jews, that Mary conceived without losing her Virginity; against the followers of Jovinian, that she was a Virgin in her Delivery; against the disciples of Helvidius, that she remained a Virgin, after she had given birth to her Divine Son. Other holy Doctors had treated separately on each of these sublime questions, before our Saint: but he brought together all their teachings, and merited that a Virgin-Martyr should rise from her tomb to thank him for having defended the honour of the Queen of Heaven. Nay, Mary herself, with her own pure hand, clothed him with that miraculous Chasuble, which was an image of the robe of light wherewith Ildephonsus shines now in heaven, at the foot of Mary’s Throne. 
Commoration of St. Emerentiana

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): January 23

Today is the feastday of St. Raymond of Peñafort which includes a Commemoration of St. Emerentiana. Just a few days ago we celebrated the feast of the Virgin-Martyr St. Agnes, who has been held in high regard since ancient times, and whose name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass. St. Emerentiana is the foster-sister of St. Agnes, who was stoned to death by a pagan mob while she was praying at the young martyr's tomb.

The following is taken from the Roman Martyrology: "At Rome, the holy virgin and martyr, St. Emerentiana. Being yet a catechumen, she was stoned to death by the heathens while praying at the tomb of St. Agnes, her foster sister."

Dom Gueranger writes the following devotional account in his Liturgical Year:
Three days have scarcely passed since the martyrdom of St Agnes, when the Liturgy, so jealous of every tradition, invites us to visit the Martyr's tomb. There we shall find a young Virgin named Emerentiana; she was the friend and foster-sister of our dear little heroine, and has come to pray and weep at the spot where lies her loved one, so soon and so cruelly taken from her. Emerentiana has not yet been regenerated in the waters of Baptism; she is going through the exercises of a Catechumen; but her heart already belongs, by faith and desire, to Jesus. 
Whilst the young girl is pouring forth her grief over the tomb of her much loved Agnes, she is surprised by the approach of some pagans; they ridicule her tears, and bid her pay no more of this sort of honour to one who was their victim. Upon this, the child, longing as she was to be with Christ, and to be clasped in the embraces of her sweet Agnes, was fired with holy courage—as well she might near such a Martyr's tomb—and turning to the barbarians, she confesses Christ Jesus, and curses the idols, and upbraids them for their vile cruelty to the innocent Saint who lay there. 
This was more than enough to rouse the savage nature of men, who were slaves to the worship of Satan; and scarcely had the child spoken, when she falls on the tomb, covered with the heavy stones thrown on her by her murderers. Baptized in her own blood, Emerentiana leaves her bleeding corpse upon the earth, and her soul flies to the bosom of God, where she is to enjoy, for ever, union with him, in the dear company of Agnes.

O Lord, pardon our sins through the intercession of the blessed virgin martyr Emerentiana, who pleased You by her purity and her faith. Through Our Lord . . .
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
What Should I Do For My First Time at a Latin Mass?

If you are new to the idea of attending the Tridentine Latin Mass, you may not know what to do. What should I wear? What do I need to say? How will I sit and stand? Do I need to cover my head?

Above all, don't let these questions prevent you from attending the Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven - the Latin Mass said according to the Church's Traditional Rubrics. More and more people are thankfully finding the Latin Mass and returning to it.

Fr. Eric Andersen recently well advised those attending a Latin Mass for the first time:
“If you are new to the Latin Mass, my recommendation to you is not to worry about how to participate. Put down the booklet all together. Watch and listen in the silence and let your prayer arise. Have no expectations. Let yourself be surprised. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide. Treat this time like a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament. Realize that during this Holy Hour, something magnificent is happening: Jesus Christ, the High Priest, is offering the Holy Sacrifice.”
The Mass is truly the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross and this is clearly shown by the gestures, reverence, and actions of the priest. Stop attending the Novus Ordo with its Communion in the Hand, watered down prayers, irreverence, and lack of mystery. Do not let the fear of the unknown trouble you. I travel around the country all the time and have attended Latin Masses everywhere I go - even around the world. I am never bothered. No one thankfully ever asks me why I'm there. I am not forced to participate in any way with the signing, the prayers, the greetings, or more. I am there to worship the Triune God in the one, true, and perfect Sacrifice.

What to Say? Do I need to wear a veil? How do I receive Holy Communion?

For those who do want to still get a good understanding of what the Mass is - what will be said and how it will be said, I found these series of videos to be quite helpful. As to when to sit and stand and kneel, just follow everyone else. You are not required to know this. And there is no requirement to say anything. The priest and server are able to say all of the prayers.

For receiving our Lord in Holy Communion, you must be a baptized Catholic in the state of grace. If you have mortal sin on your soul, you must go to Sacramental Confession before receiving Communion. Assuming you are in the state of grace, then you may approach the Communion rail with everyone else when it is time to receive our Lord. You receive kneeling - though the old and those physically unable to kneel may stand at the Communion rail. Communion is received only on the tongue - never in the hand - and you do not need to say "Amen" or any prayer. The priest will say a prayer in Latin for you as he gives you the Body of our Lord.

And for women, while I believe all women should bring a veil and cover their heads, the overwhelming majority of Latin Masses would never ask a woman to leave who does not do so. In fact, I've never seen it or even heard of that happening. If there is a basket of veils at the door with a sign for women to wear one, the woman should politely follow this custom and veil. Simply borrow a veil - any color will work - and return it after Mass. If there is not a notice or a basket of veils, which is the case at the overwhelming number of churches, then you of course may attend Mass even though you do not have a veil.

As for men, it is not appropriate for a man to cover his head in Church so remove all hats or caps when entering a church and do not wear them until you leave the church completely.

But of course, as Fr. Eric well said - knowing what will happen is not required in the least. You are only asked to be in physical attendance and to lift up your hearts and minds in prayer. All else is extra. The most important element is something you can already do - pray and offer your prayers in union with the priest at the altar.

The Latin Mass Step by Step:

Tuesday, January 21, 2020
The Miraculous Staircase Built by St. Joseph in New Mexico

Last November I visited Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The capital city of New Mexico is also home to several other worthwhile Catholic sites - the oldest shrine to our Lady of Guadalupe in the United States as well as San Miguel, the oldest Church structure in the United States.

Just blocks away from these sites is the home of the miraculous staircase. Pay just a few dollars to visit this chapel and marvel at something more than an architectural marvel - it was a miracle.

The Loretto Chapel website shares the story:
Legend says that to find a solution to the seating problem, the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. After searching for the man (an ad even ran in the local newspaper) and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself, having come in answer to the sisters' prayers.
Prayer to St. Joseph:

Oh St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

Oh St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your divine son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while he reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head for me, and ask him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Commemoration of St. Prisca

St. Prisca Baptized by St. Peter from the Church of Santa Prisca

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): January 18

Today is the feastday of St. Peter's Chair at Rome which includes a Commemoration of St. Paul since each time St. Peter is mentioned in a Collect a prayer to St. Paul is offered as well, and vice versa. Today's liturgy also commemorates the triumph of St. Prisca who was martyred during the third century.

Note: Today is the day to begin the Prayers for the Octave of Christian Unity

The following is taken from America Needs Fatima, a great website worth visiting and supporting:
There are actually three St. Priscilla’s who lived in the first few centuries of the Church – all of whom were martyrs – and two of them share the same feast day of January 18! It is the virgin martyr St. Prisca that the Church primarily celebrates today though.

Prisca was born of a noble family in Rome during the reign of Claudius II. Most likely a Christian from birth, she was arrested during the persecutions when she was a young teenager and brought before the Emperor for questioning. Despite her youth, Prisca courageously proclaimed and upheld her Catholic Faith, even though she knew that by doing so in those days was ultimately the pronouncement of her own death sentence.

She suffered terrible tortures, one of which was being taken to the arena to be devoured by wild beasts. Rather than devour her though, the lions are said to have licked her feet! Finally, she was taken outside the city walls and beheaded. Legend tells us that when she was martyred, a great eagle appeared above her and protected her body for several days until the Christians were able to retrieve it.

The young martyr was buried in the Catacomb of St. Priscilla - the catacomb named after the St. Priscilla, wife of a Roman senator, who shares the same feast day of January 18 with the child-martyr, Prisca. She is said to have opened her home near the catacomb to Christians and to have befriended St. Peter who used her home as his headquarters in Rome. She was martyred during the reign of Emperor Domitian. As an interesting fact, there is probable speculation that this St. Priscilla was a family relation of the child-martyr St. Prisca, who is buried in her catacomb.

The third St. Priscilla was a disciple of St. Paul and wife of the Jewish tentmaker, Aquila.

Almighty God, we celebrate today the birthday of Your blessed virgin Martyr Prisca. May her feast fill us with joy, and may we profit by the example of her great faith. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
St. John Neumann: America's First Canonized Male Saint

January 5th is the feastday of St. John Nepomucene Neumann (1811-1860), a bishop from the United States who did much missionary work and preaching. He is not found on the traditional Catholic calendar as we as only canonized in 1977. But his life is still one of great merits. I had the opportunity to visit and venerate his incorruptible body back in 2013.

He is the first American man and first American bishop to be canonized. Read a short account of his life.

Commemoration of St. Maurus

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): January 15

Besides the feastday of St. Paul the First Hermit, today is the Commemoration of St. Maurus. Often these only commemorated saints are too often neglected when there are many ways that we can improve our own lives if only we would imitate their lives, even to a small degree.

St. Maurus, was a sixth-century disciple of St. Benedict, who helped to introduce the monastic life in France. He was rewarded by God with the gift of miracles because of his heroic spirit of obedience. While he is one of many Benedictine saints, his life is specifically honored by being included in the Church's Liturgy.

The following is taken from Archives of the OSB:
St. Maurus, abbot and deacon, son of Equitius, a nobleman of Rome, was born about the year 510 and died in 584. When he was about twelve years old, his father placed him under the care of St. Benedict at Subiaco, to be educated in piety and learning. When he had grown up, St. Benedict chose him as his coadjutor in the government of the monastery. He was a model of perfection to all his brethren, but especially in the virtue of obedience. 
St. Maurus was favored by God with the gift of miracles. To show in what high degree the Saint possessed the gift of miracles, it will be sufficient to cite a few examples of how he miraculously cured the sick and restored to health those who were stricken with a grievous affliction. It has already been stated, according to the testimony of Pope St. Gregory the Great, in the Second Book of his Dialogues, how when a youth, St.Maurus rescued St. Placid from drowning... 
Since St. Maurus miraculously freed many persons from their bodily afflictions through the sign of the Cross and the relic of the true Cross of Christ, in many monasteries of the Order of St. Benedict from time immemorial, after the example of this miracle-worker, the custom of blessing the sick with the relic of the true Cross, has prevailed, in order to restore their health. But until recent years, there was no uniform and approved formula of blessing of the Church. There existed a number of old and new formulas, which were essentially the same, but differed from each other in many details. Some formulas were exceedingly lengthy. In the face of these facts, the Rt. Rev. Dom Maurus Wolter OSB, President of the Beuronese Congregation, petitioned Rome for an approved and authentic formula. A carefully prepared and much abbreviated formula was therefore presented to the Sacred Congregation of Rites for its approval. 
Continue Reading...

Let the blessed Abbot Maurus intercede for us, O Lord. May his prayers win us Your help, since our own actions cannot merit it. Through Our Lord . . .
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
St. Felix of Nola

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): January 14

Besides the feastday of St. Hilary of Poitiers, today is the Commemoration of St. Felix of Nola. He is not to be confused with St. Felix I, St. Felix II, or others by the same name who are commemorated in the liturgical year.

St. Felix of Nola was a priest of Campania during the third century, who manifested heroic Christian courage in the service of his bishop, St. Maximus, during the cruel persecution under Emperor Decius. He sold off his possessions in order to give to the poor but was arrested and tortured for the Christian faith during one of the persecutions before Christianity was legalized. He died in approximately 250 AD.

The following is taken from
Felix was the son of Hermias, a Syrian who had been a Roman soldier. He was born on his father's estate at Nola near Naples, Italy. On the death of his father, Felix distributed his inheritance to the poor, was ordained by Bishop St. Maximus of Nola, and became his assistant. When Maximus fled to the desert at the beginning of Decius' persecution of the Christians in 250, Felix was seized in his stead and imprisoned. He was reputedly released from prison by an angel, who directed him to the ailing Maximus, whom he brought back to Nola. Even after Decius' death in 251, Felix was a hunted man but kept well hidden until the persecution ended. When Maximus died, the people unanimously selected Felix as their Bishop, but he declined the honor in favor of Quintus, a senior priest. Felix spent the rest of his life on a small piece of land sharing what he had with the poor, and died there on January 14. His tomb soon became famous for the miracles reported there, and when St. Paulinus became bishop of Nola almost a century later (410), he wrote about his predecessor, the source of our information about him, adding legendary material that had grown up about Felix in the intervening century. His feast day is January 14th.

Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that the example of Your saints may urge us on to a better life, so that we may imitate the deeds of those whose feasts we celebrate. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
Monday, January 6, 2020
How Much Merit Does the Church Have to Give Away in Indulgences?

What Are Indulgences?

Pope Paul VI said: "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain defined conditions through the Church’s help when, as a minister of redemption, she dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions won by Christ and the saints" (Indulgentiarum Doctrina 1).

An indulgence is a removal of the punishment from sin. Although you are forgiven in Confession for sins the punishment stills remains, which would have to be achieved through purification like in purgatory. If an indulgence is performed and earned, then part or all of the punishment is removed. Catechists often use the story of a boy hitting a baseball through his neighbor’s window to explain indulgences. The neighbor forgives the boy for the offense – which corresponds to our forgiveness in the confessional – yet the boy must still make restitution and pay for a new window – which relates to our need for penance to remove the temporal effects of sin.

Remember, indulgences are only possible because of God's love displayed on the Cross. Without Jesus Christ, we would have no chance to be forgiven and obtain salvation.

How Much Merit Does the Church Have to Give Away in Indulgences? 

The Church possesses an infinite treasury of merits that can be applied to souls. This treasury is composed of the acts of those who in Heaven or who are still on Earth that they did not need (i.e. their souls were already clean from the temporal punishment from sin). This excess is not lost and if the person performing the indulged act does not ask God to apply the merits to someone in particular, they remain in the Church’s treasury.

However, these merits are small, in fact infinitely small, in comparison to the merits won by our Lord on the Cross. By His Sacrifice, our Lord won for us an infinite treasure of merits which He entrusts to the Church. This treasury as such will never run out. There is no concern that the Church will run out of merits to apply to us for our indulged acts.

What Are The Kinds of Indulgences?

A universal indulgence is granted anywhere in the world while a local indulgence applies to only a specific place or area. A perpetual indulgence is one that may be gained at any time while a temporary indulgence only is available for certain times, for example, like certain indulgences for the Holy Souls in November. A plenary indulgence is the complete remission of the temporal punishment of sin.

Temporal punishments only “cancel out” a certain amount, of which only God knows. If more temporal punishment remains, more indulgences or time in purgatory (which is also biblical) is required in order to reach the perfection of Heaven.

Please also realize that many older documents like holy cards and prayer books would have a certain length of time printed on them. For example, a prayer could say it is a 300 day partial indulgence. However, realize that time does not exist in purgatory or Heaven or hell. The Church has never taught that if such a prayer was said, the person would get 300 days off purgatory time. An indulgence is only reduced as God sees fit. The dates corresponded only to early Church practices. The 300 days indulgence would correspond to 300 days of earthly fasting and penance. Since it was so misunderstood, most prayer cards no longer print these dates, referring to indulgences instead as either partial or plenary.
Sunday, January 5, 2020
Act of Reparation for Blasphemies Uttered Against the Holy Name of Jesus

IHS Monogram–the Name of Jesus by Waiting For The Word (2006) via Flickr, CC.

O Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer, Son of the living God, behold, we kneel before Thee and offer Thee our reparation; we would make amends for all the blasphemies uttered against Thy holy name, for all the injuries done to Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, for all the irreverence shown toward Thine immaculate Virgin Mother, for all the calumnies and slanders spoken against Thy spouse, the holy Catholic and Roman Church. O Jesus, who hast said: "If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you," we pray and beseech Thee for all our brethren who are in danger of sin; shield them from every temptation to fall away from the true faith; save those who are even now standing on the brink of the abyss; to all of them give light and knowledge of the truth, courage and strength for the conflict with evil, perseverance in faith and active charity! For this do we pray, most merciful Jesus, in Thy name, unto God the Father, with whom Thou livest and reignest in the unity of the Holy Ghost world without end. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Learn more about devotion to the Most Holy Name of Jesus.
Friday, January 3, 2020
The 17 Approved Catholic Scapulars

Types of Scapulars

Scapulars were originally part of the garment of monks. It began as something similar to an apron but evolved to be a mark of commitment to the religious Order. As lay people became dedicated to following some of the ways of the priests and monks, a smaller version of the scapular was used to signify this connection. The earliest religious Orders with lay “Confraternities” were the Servites, Carmelites, Trinitarians and Mercederians. The Franciscans, Benedictines, and Dominicans also developed Third Order lay groups. The scapulars are blessed, and wearers are “invested” in the wearing of the scapular with an expectation of prayers, charity, and devotion as a part of the investiture and relationship to a religious Order. They are not good luck charms or magical artifacts.

In the course of time other Orders received the faculty of blessing small scapulars and investing the lay faithful, although such scapulars were not always connected with a confraternity. Pope Leo XIII approved several new scapulars in the early 1900s, including one to St. Michael the Archangel. The additions of these scapulars brought the total number to 17.

There are five early scapulars which are often grouped together on one string. This is referred to as the Five-Fold Scapular.
The five are: the Scapular of the Most Blessed Trinity, that of the Carmelites, of the Servites, of the Immaculate Conception, and the Red Scapular of the Passion. When the scapulars are joined together, the bands must be of red wool, as required by the Red Scapular; it is customary to wear the Red Scapular uppermost and that of the Most Blessed Trinity undermost, so that the images specially prescribed in the case of the Red, and the small red and blue cross on the Scapular of the Blessed Trinity, may be visible. 
(New Advent, Catholic Encyclopedia)
Scapulars are blessed and invested only once. They are expected to be worn constantly.

The White Scapular of the Blessed Trinity began when Pope Innocent III authorized the Trinitarian Order in 1198 and had a vision of an angel in white with a cross of blue and red on the chest. This became the habit of the order and the design of the scapular.

The Brown Scapular of the Carmelites is the most widely known scapular and was given to St. Simon Stock while he was in England in 1251. The Blessed Virgin promised to grant special aid at the hour of death to those wearing this scapular.

The Black Scapular comes from the Servite Order which began in 1255 and was sanctioned by Pope Alexander IV. This scapular honors the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

The Blue Scapular came as a part of a vision of Venerable Ursula Benicasa, who founded the Order of Theatine Nuns. She saw Jesus and asked Him to grant favors to all who wore the Blue Scapular in honor of the Immaculate Conception. Pope Clement X in 1671 and Clement XI granted indulgences for wearing this scapular.

The Red Scapular of the Passion began after a vision by a Sister of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in 1846. Jesus promised to all who wear this on Fridays, an increase in faith, hope and charity. The vision was reported to Pope Pius IX and he granted the Lazarists Order the faculty of blessing and investing this scapular.

The 17 Approved Scapulars:

1. Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
2. Green Scapular
3. Black Scapular of the Passion
4. Black Scapular of the Seven Dolours of Mary
5. Blue Scapular of the Immaculate Conception
6. Red Scapular of the Passion
7. Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary
8. Scapular of the Most Precious Blood
9. Scapular of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary
10. Scapular of St. Benedict
11. Scapular of St. Dominic
12. Scapular of St. Joseph
13. Scapular of St. Michael the Archangel
14. White Scapular of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
15. White Scapular of the Most Blessed Trinity
16. White Scapular of the Mother of Good Counsel
17. White Scapular of Our Lady of Ransom

May more Catholics have recourse to these and all Sacramentals. Those unfamiliar with the purpose of Sacramentals or their benefits should consult the Baltimore Catechism.
Friday, December 20, 2019
2020 Patron Saint of the Year Devotion

December 29th at 2:40 PM: The drawing is complete and the results are below. Merry Christmas! May all of the saints intercede for us! For anyone looking for a prayer to your saint, you may always use the Prayer to Venerate Any Saint. I have been selected by St. Bede the Venerable. May he intercede for me this year in a special way.

January 2nd at 1:00 PM: For any additional requests, I will be performing another drawing on the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th. So please feel free to continue to add names in the comments box below.

January 6th at 12:30 PM: Thank you for all who have wished to participate in this devotion. The final drawing has taken place and the results are below. Please use this year to get to know your saint. Pray to him/her. Make some true Catholic resolutions for yourself for this year. Ask your saint to intercede for you so you can conquer any of your sinful inclinations and grow in grace. Have the strength to do what you need to do the most in your spiritual life. Avoid bad company. Keep the Commandments. Pray the Rosary daily. Observe the First Fridays and First Saturdays. Ask your saint to help you.  

I am very pleased to again be a facilitator for the Patron Saint of the Year Devotion.  I have been part of this annual tradition since 2006 and have helped coordinate devotions for hundreds of families.  It is my pleasure to now be part of the 2020 Patron Saint of the Year Devotion.

If you find this devotion helpful and would like to support A Catholic Life in the next year, please submit a donation.  Your donation is especially important since I am not currently working professionally aside from my writing/speaking/catechesis work so the donation is quite helpful to me and to this blog. This devotion takes a significant amount of time to facilitate as I cut hundreds of saints' names on paper to draw them, and I pull them out after a prayer for each and every name submitted in the comments box.

SPONSOR: This Devotion is being sponsored again this year by  Whether you are looking for godparent preparation courses, Sacramental preparation for your children, or just to better learn the Faith as an adult, has courses for all ages and walks of life.  Check out's affordable programs and make it a New Year's resolution to learn and live the Faith better than ever before.

You can read about the past devotions at the following posts:
Again, I would like to take a few minutes to explain the devotion.

When will the saints be drawn?  This year I will start the drawing of saints on December 27th. Drawings will occur as the Litany of Saints are again recited.  That means results will likely be posted in the late afternoon (US Central Time) on Sunday, December 29, 2019.

How do I enter?  Just add the names of everyone (you and your family) that you want to be included in the drawing in the comment box below.  DO NOT also email them to me. Emailed entries will not be accepted. Please leave all entries in the comment box to this post.

This year, saints will be posted here after the drawing is complete.

What is the Saint for the Year Devotion? Here is my post on this from years past to clarify the matter. This is from the person that draws all of the saints. I don't draw the saints. I will merely pass on your name or screen name to her so that she will draw a saint for you. Also, I will pass on the name of any of your family or friends that would like to participate. This isn't superstition. St. Faustina did the same thing!

Last year hundreds of people received saints to be their special patron, and there were miraculous connections. It was truly amazing. We pray that this year the Holy Ghost will again work so that all participants receive a saint that they will be able to pray to for aid throughout the entire year:
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.
Please pass this message on through your blogs and/or email distribution lists, letting all of the Catholic Blogsphere have the chance to participate.

So, please leave it below in the comment box when you ask to participate. If you wish to remain anonymous, please leave your initials instead of your name.  Anonymous requests without names or initials will NOT be part of the drawing.  Do not add the same request more than once.  If your comment is posted below, it will count.

NoteDO NOT email me your entries. Emailed entries will not be accepted.  Leave all submissions here in the comments box to this blog post.

So, comment below and pass this message on throughout the entire Catholic Blogsphere!

Results of the Drawing

Name Saint
Matthew Blessed Margaret Ebner
Anna St. Jerome
Maksim St. Anne
Eric Peters St. Francis de Sales
Fran T. St. Martha
Dorothy C Blessed James of Voragine
Cathleen W St. Clare
Harry T St. Richard of Vaucelles
Isabella T St. Salvius of Amiens
Diane St. John Bosco
K.J. Blessed Jane of Orvieto
Shannon  St. Berno of Cluny
Tina M. St. Austrebertha of Pavilly
Joe M. St. Anne
Rina M. Blessed Alponsus and Companions
John M. St. Kevoca of Kyle
Julie T. Pope St. Hyginus
Blake T. St. Gotteschalk
Bella T. St. Sebastian
Christine Mac Blessed James of Voragine
Robert Mac St. William of Aebelholt
Casey Mac St. Noel Chabanel
Colin Mac St. Emilie de Villeneuve
Grace M. St. Basil the Great
Ron Forrester St. Germana
Joan Forrester Pope St. Pius I
Ben Blessed Simon
Jeannie St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier
Felicity St. Sebastian of Aparicio
Sarah Blessed Basil Hopko
Veronica St. Charles Garnier
Joseph St. Berno of Cluny
Augustine St. William of Breteuil
Mark Angelo St. Vaast of Arras
LPA St. Rigobert of Rheims
TKH St. Padre Pio
CG St. Cecilia
Joey V St. Marie of the Incarnation
Laura L St. Peter Damien
LD St. Augustin Schoeffler
BN St. Rafael Guizar Valencia
AD Blessed Aimo
TD St. Bede the Venerable
GS St. Pretextatus
MS St. Anselm of Canterbury
IS St. Leudwinus
MC St. Apollinaris of Ravenna
Kathy Rossi St. John Chrysostom
IreneK St. Goswin
Olindo V St. Leudadd of Bardsey
Valerie V St. Helladius
Katie V St. Paulinus of Trier
Tim W St. Justin Martyr
Max D St. Andrew
Jimmy D Blessed Albert of Bergamo
Jeffrey D St. Gordian
Michael D Blessed James Salomonio
Francis D Pope St. Hyginus
Nicholas D St. Stanislaus Kostka
Dominic D Pope St. Martin I
Xavier D St. Benildus Romancon
Johnny D St. Henry II
Peter D Blessed Maria
Andrew D Blessed Basil Hopko
Jacob D St. Peter Faber
Griffin C Blessed Sibyllina
Elijah C St. Filippo Smaldone
Isaac C St. Bruno
Douglas T St. Sindeulphus
Mallory H The Martyrs of Constantinope (Feast 7/8)
Landyn H St. Agathangelus
Savanna H St. Julio Alvarez Mendoza
Susan M St. Leontius
Rich M Blessed John of Salerno
Greg M St. Martin of Tours
Fred M St. Jeanne-Marie de Maille
Chad M Blessed Stephen Bellesini
Douglas Blessed Villana
Michelle St. Polycarp
Shaun Blessed Raymond of Capua
Cristina St. Jane Frances de Chantal
Stephanie St. Norbert
Gianna St. Catherine Laboure
Leilani G. St. Chrysanthus
Dominic St. Paul of the Cross
Bryan St. George
Zachary St. Philip Benizi
Steven St. Peter Fourier
Linda St. Joachim
Michael St. Faustinus
jmr1979 St. Ennodius
Nathan B  St. Aventinus of Tours
Dominic B St. John of Parma
Josemaria St. John of God
Tony St. Tironensian Order
Haydee St. Romana of Capua
Mike Blessed John Dominic
Cherie St. Gracilian
Rolly Blessed Bezela of Goda
Boy St. Gaugericus
Mary Ann St. Anthony Zaccaria
Kristine St. Marcellus I
Andy St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi
Jenna S Blessed Jose Vega Riano
Anna BG Blessed Pier Giorgio
JL G St. Andeolus of Smyrna
Jaime L St. Noel Chabanel
Auliya G St. Ambrose
Julio L St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Roman L St. Marcellus I
Janine D St. Floribert of Liege
Kyle D St. Francis Borgia
Nicole H Pope St. Pius I
James Hargett Blessed Josefa Navval Girbes
Joanna Hargett St. Hilary of Poiters
Arwen Hargett St. Louise de Marillac
Christian Hargett Blessed Anthony della Chiesa
Cindy St. Anastasius
Dustin St. Judoc
Hailey St. William of Breteuil
Lila Blessed Crescencio Graacia Pobo
Elizabeth B. St. Edward the Confessor
Mckenna R. St. Chrysanthus
Baby R. St. Joseph of Leonissa
Sonny R. Pope St. Sixtus I
Levi R. St. Lawrence
Jeanne R. Saint Honoratus of Arles
Richard R. St. Bernardine of Siena
Katie M. Blessed Julia Rodzinska
Jana M. St. Vaast of Arras
Kenneth M. St. Julian the Hospitaller
Ramona R. St. Stephen of Mar Saba
Arnold R. St. Cosmas
Earlene R. St. Florentius of Carracedo
Francesca R. Blessed Bartholomew of Vincenza
Ehvalina R. Blessed Henry
Hollie S. St. Joan Antidea Thouret
Andres S. Blessed Giles
Lorenzo S. Blessed Dominic Spadafora
Andrew C. St. Romana of Capua
Helen Margaret Blessed Basil Hopko
Kevin B St. Wistremundus of Cordoba
IJ Blessed Ann of the Angles
Ryan St. Edward the Confessor
Jeremy St. Isidore of Alexandria
Debbie Blessed Gonsalvo
Elaine St. Francis de Sales
Fred St. Florian of Lorch
Sandy St. Mary Magdalene
Brandon St. Matthew the Apostle
Sydnie St. Edwin of Northumbria
Rachel St. John of Capistrano
Kalab St. Sebastian
Dick St. Cosmas
Trey St. Stephen
Kierra St. Peter Canisius
Dave St. Francis de Sales
Austin St. Isaac Jogues
Autumn Our Lady of Guadalupe
Abbie St. Albert of Sicily
Caelin St. Margaret of Hungary
Taiyler St. Dymphna
Robert St. John Bosco
Robin St. Nicholas of Tolentino
Brandon St. Damien of Molokai
Ally St. Ivo of Kermartin
Jocelyn St. Vladimir I of Kiev
Kasen St. Tillo
Hadley St. John of Parma
Eric St. Helena
Tim St. Lutgardis
Sue Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro
Liam St. Mary Clopas
Lincoln St. Hedwig
Lilly St. Basil the Great
Leah St. Leonidas of Alexandria
Debbie St. Pius V
Joe St. Teresa Margaret Redi
Thomas St. Sebastian
David St. Dorothy of Montau
Stephanie  St. Barnabas
Matt W St. Braulio of Saragossa
Jennie W St. Joachim
Diego PL. St. Peter the Apostle
Kelly St. Angela Merici
Emily St. Damian
Kyla St. Ferdinand III of Castille
Jay St. Mary Clopas
Sue St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Suzanne St. Leonard of Port Maurice
Josh St. Andre Bessette
Joe St. Raymond Nonnatus
Jen St. Teresa of Avila
John St. Paul Miki
Missy St. Clotilde
Joan St. Thomas the Apostle
Matt Bl. Anne Marie Taigi
Mason C St. Catherine of Siena
Alex M. Bl. Marie Rose Durocher
Melody R. St. Damien of Molokai
Elizabeth Lisa B. St. Benedict
Marian E. St. Gabriel the Archangel
James A. B. Bl. Margaret of Castello


I handle the planning, marketing, and drawing for this devotion each year without any cost. Please take a minute and if you are a supporter of this devotion, please consider leaving us a free will donation. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps me continue working on this devotion and spreading it further and it helps keep A Catholic Life online.
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Advent Ember Day Fast

Although Ember Days are no longer considered required in mainstream Roman Catholicism following Vatican II, they can - and should - still be observed by the Faithful. In fact, many Traditional priests encourage the Faithful to observe the days. Ember Days are set aside to pray and/or offer thanksgiving for a good harvest and God's blessings.

If you are in good health, please at least fast during these three days and pray the additional prayers. Remember the words from the Gospel: "Unless you do penance, you shall likewise perish" (Luke 13:5).  Ember Days are days of fasting and partial abstinence.

Please click here for a special Ember Day Manual, including reflections for the Advent Ember Days.  It is free.

Ember Days this Advent: December 18, 20, and 21

From Angelus Press Daily Missal:
At the beginning of the four seasons of the Ecclesiastical Year, the Ember Days have been instituted by the Church to thank God for blessings obtained during the past year and to implore further graces for the new season. Their importance in the Church was formerly very great. They are fixed on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday: after the First Sunday of Lent for spring, after Pentecost Sunday for summer, after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (14th September) for autumn, and after the Third Sunday of Advent for winter. They are intended, too, to consecrate to God the various seasons in nature, and to prepare by penance those who are about to be ordained. Ordinations generally take place on the Ember Days. The faithful ought to pray on these days for good priests. The Ember Days were until c. 1960 fastdays of obligation.
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
The Top 3 Catholic Newspapers

For those who still prefer to receive physical newspapers (in addition to or instead of online news articles), there are still a few good Catholic newspapers in circulation. There are plenty of great Catholic news sites online and plenty of false, modernist ones too unfortunately. The same is true for newspapers. Some Catholic newspapers are mainstream and refuse to address the hard issues of today so as not to offend anyone, and others blatantly advocate heresy. I prefer to keep the same Faith as the saints of past generations. That is after all what it means to adhere to the Catholic (i.e. universal) Religion.

Here are my top 3 Catholic newspapers along with information on how to subscribe to them.

1. Catholic Family News

Catholic Family News is a monthly publication to which John Vennari served as its chief editor until his death in 2017. Catholic Family News is a traditional Catholic publication with no affiliation with any particular order. The paper also includes devotional materials and articles on historic Roman Catholic teachings and persons. It has relevant Catholic news from a Tradition perspective. The paper maintains an anti-sedevecantist position and promotes the proper collegial consecration of Russia, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima. The paper's current editor is active at managing the paper's online social media presence. For instance, they regularly post and engage with questions on their Twitter account.

As of this writing, US subscriptions are $42/year with different rates for Canada or overseas delivery. Learn more and sign up.

2. Catholic

Catholic began life in 1982 as a lay publication for traditionalist Catholics, managed by Don Mclean of Melbourne, Australia. The Transalpine Redemptorists inherited the publication from Mr. Mclean when he retired in 2000. The paper is published 4 times a year and contains many devotional articles and stories about Catholic history and saints, as well as current news for those who love the traditional liturgy. The paper features beautiful and vibrant Catholic photos truly meant to inspire. Read the paper and share it with others. Your subscription helps support the monks and their monastery.

The paper is $10/issue. You may learn more and sign up via the Transalpine Redemptorist's website.

3. The Remnant

Founded in 1968, The Remnant is the oldest Traditionalist Catholic newspaper in the United States. The name The Remnant is a reference to the remnant of Isaiah and the belief that only a remnant of Catholics holding to the traditional teachings and practice of the Church remain after the sweeping changes unleashed by the Second Vatican Council. The paper is currently led by Michael Matt, whose online videos on the Faith are refreshing and inspiring. The Remnant is not affiliated with any particular traditionalist group.

The paper is available currently for $40/year for standard delivery. Other options exist. Click here to learn more and sign up.
Saturday, December 7, 2019
Consecration to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception 

O IMMACULATA, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, what­ever most pleases you.  If it pleases you, use all that I am and have with­out reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world." Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indif­ferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

V. Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin
R. Give me strength against your enemies.

Source: Written by St. Maximilian Kolbe

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