Monday, December 6, 2021
2022 Patron Saint of the Year Devotion
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SPONSOR: This Devotion is being sponsored again this year by CatechismClass.com.  Whether you are looking for godparent preparation courses, Sacramental preparation for your children, or just to better learn the Faith as an adult, CatechismClass.com has courses for all ages and walks of life. Check out CatechismClass.com'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 in the following posts:
Again, I would like to take a few minutes to explain the devotion.

What is the Saint for the Year Devotion?  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: 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"

Over the years, I've heard from many people of the great connection they have to their special patrons. Here is one of those stories from the past: 

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.
How do I enter?  Starting this year, I will be pulling names for everyone who is a Patreon of this blog. You may submit up to 10 names for each Patreon allowing you to have names drawn for your family and friends too. The drawing will happen automatically for all who are patrons at any level. Sign up on Patreon to support this blog and you will be included. Unfortunately, due to the significant time investment I put into this devotion and my many other responsibilities, I will only be able to donate to Patreon supporters.

When will the saints be drawn?  This year I will start the drawing of saints in the morning of the Feast of the Circumcision and the Octave Day of Christmas (i.e. January 1st). Drawings will occur as the Litany of Saints are recited.  That means results will likely be emailed/messaged to Patreons in the late afternoon (US Central Time) on Thursday, January 1, 2021. This will be the only drawing this year. 

Please pass this message on through your blogs and/or email distribution lists, letting all of the Catholic Blogsphere have the chance to participate.
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Friday, November 26, 2021
Commemoration of St. Peter of Alexandria
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St. Peter of Alexandria (right) alongside Pope St. Clement whose feastday was on November 23rd.

November 26th is the Feast of St. Sylvester the Abbot. It is in addition also the feastday of St. Peter of Alexandria, the Patriarch of Alexandria, who was one of the first martyrs for combating the heresy of Arius. He was martyred because of his adherence to the True Faith in 310 AD. Eusebius wrote that Patriarch Peter was "a divine model of the Christian teacher." Severus of Ashmumeen describes the moment when the Patriarch was martyred: 

And he took off his omophorion, and bared his neck, which was pure before the Lord, and said to them: "Do as you have been commanded." But the soldiers feared that trouble would befall them because of him. So they looked one at another, and not one of them dared to cut off his head, because of the dread which had fallen upon them. Then they took counsel together and said: "To him that cuts off his head each one of us will give five denarii". Now they were six persons; and one of them had some money; so he took out five and twenty denarii from among the coins and said: "He that will go up to him, and cut off his head, shall receive this money from me and from the four others". So one of the men went forward, and summoned up his courage, and cut off the head of the holy martyr and patriarch Peter; that day being the 29th of Hatur.

In the Divine Office, a Commemoration is made of him.  Likewise, a Commemoration is made for him at all Masses (per the 1954 rubrics) and at Low Mass only (per the 1962 rubrics).

While it is easy to forget the many celebrated saints who were removed from the New Calendar in1969, it is even more so the case for saints who were previously only commemorated. May we not forget to invoke their patronage and thank God for their example from their past actions while also thanking God for their intercession now from Heaven.

Collect:

O Lord, graciously accept the gifts we offer You in honor of Your blessed martyr bishop Peter and help us find in them unending assistance. Through our Lord . . .

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Tuesday, November 16, 2021
In These Times of Crisis, Support a Unique Traditional Diocese!
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Friends of Campos, Inc. is launching their second fundraiser of 2021 to support the traditional Catholic seminary and institutions of the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney in Campos, Brazil.

This unique traditional Catholic diocese cares for over 30,000 parishioners in 14 parishes. The people are also served by an array of private schools, religious associations, and charitable services. Though the region is spiritually rich, Brazil remains a poor country, and every dollar donated makes a big difference!

Our Advent 2021 fundraiser will help buy food and pharmacy items for the seminary and largest convent; desks and chairs for the seminary; computer workstations for the seminary and convent; and musical instruments for the sacred music program at the convent. For details on the project, click here to visit their website.

Please help them reach our Christmas goal of $20,000 USD!  Donate today!

Please keep them in your prayers and share this appeal with friends and family. The seminarians and sisters pray for their benefactors, and a monthly Mass is offered at the seminary in thanksgiving for the supporters of Friends of Campos.

Particular prayer requests are always welcome (click here to send yours). For more information about Friends of Campos, Inc., visit their website.

God reward you for your help!



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Saturday, November 13, 2021
All Norbertine Saints
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"The saints don’t need us to honor them. Our devotion adds nothing to what they already have. When we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, whenever I think of them, I feel inflamed by a tremendous yearning. . . So let us long for those who long for us. Let us hurry to meet those who await us. And let us ask those who envision our coming to intervene for us" (Saint Bernard).

Today is kept by the Canons Regular of Prémontré (i.e. the Premonstratensians also known as the Norbertines) the Feast of All Saints of the Premonstratensian Order. Living a worldly life, St. Norbert decided to receive Holy Orders only as part of a career move. St. Nobert joined the Benedictines at Siegburg and after a narrow escape from death, took his vows seriously and experienced an interior conversion. Ordained a priest in 1115 AD, St. Norbert accepted the duty of preaching, particularly in France and Germany. St. Norbert founded a religious community of Augustinian canons at Premontre, France, who became known as the Norbertines or Premonstratensians.

As described in The Life of Saint Norbert:

Norbert established a clergy dedicated to the ideals of the Gospel and the apostolic Church. They were chaste and poor. They wore the clothing and the symbols of the new man; that is to say, they wore "the religious habit and exhibited the dignity proper to the priesthood." Norbert asked them "to live according to the norms of the Scriptures with Christ as their model. 

The priests lived in community, where they continued the work of the apostles. When Norbert was appointed as archbishop, he urged his brothers to carry the faith to the lands of the Wends. 

Faith was the outstanding virtue of Norbert's life, as charity had been the hallmark of Bernard of Clairvaux. Affable and charming, amiable to one and all, he was at ease in the company of the humble and the great alike. Finally, he was a most eloquent preacher; after long meditation he would preach the word of God and with his fiery eloquence purged vices, refined virtues and filled souls of good will with the warmth of wisdom.

Like other Orders which keep feastdays in honor of their saints sometime during the month of November, today's Feast of the Norbertines should further inspire us to pray for the success of Traditional Norbertines active in our world today. May the intercession of all Norbertines in Heaven help them - and us - to spread the Catholic Faith, to do penance, and to one day save our souls.

Visit Norbertine Vocations for the list of all saints of the Order.

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Friday, November 12, 2021
Prayer for the Election of a Pope
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May the Lord send us a truly holy Pontiff who will restore all things in Christ and see to the resurrection of the Church in light of the grave scandals and loss of Faith which have afflicted Her for more than 50 years.

Latin:

Supplici, Domine, humilitate deposcimus: ut sacrosanctae Romanae Ecclesiae concedat Pontificem illum tua immensa pietas; qui et pio in nos studio semper tibi placitus, et tuo populo pro salubri regimine sit assidue ad gloriam tui nominis reverendus. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritu Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.

English:

O Lord, with suppliant humility, we entreat Thee, that in Thy boundless mercy Thou wouldst grant the most Holy Roman Church a Pontiff, who by his zeal for us may be pleasing to Thee, and by his good government may be ever honoured by Thy people for the glory of Thy name.

Source: Missa pro eligendo Summo Ponti

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Thursday, November 11, 2021
Support My Patreon Account
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I have been blessed to be involved in Catholic apologetics now for many years. I have been writing here for "A Catholic Life" since 2004, for CatechismClass.com since 2009, for Catholic Family News since 2018, for the Fatima Center since 2018, for Latin Mass Magazine since 2020, and for 1P5 since 2021. 

But I have plenty of other plans in store for the future. I want to explore podcasts and video creations, especially to turn my series of articles on fasting and abstinence into video content for YouTube and/or Vimeo. 

And I have dozens of other articles on my shortlist to research and write so that more Catholics can learn about forgotten aspects of our Faith. Here are some of my articles on unknown topics just this year:


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Tuesday, November 9, 2021
2022 Traditional Catholic Fasting and Abstinence Calendar
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Click to enlarge

As a follow-up to the significant research I have done in regard to Traditional (both Roman and Eastern) Catholic fasting and abstinence, I have put together a 2022 fasting and abstinence calendar for my own devotional purposes. I share it here so that anyone who wishes to better observe the Church's precepts may do so. As our Lady of Fatima has pleaded with us to advance in prayer and penance, fasting beyond the mere minimum should be the aspiration for all Catholics who are physically able to do so.

A few notes on the calendar:

1. Partial Abstinence is a modern invention and is not part of this calendar. Abstinence is always full, never partial. 

2. All Days of Lent aside from Sundays are days of fasting and abstinence. Sundays are days only of abstinence.

3. For Lent only abstinence refers to all animal products (e.g. dairy, butter, eggs) in addition to meat. This includes Sundays.

4. January 22nd is in the USA only an obligatory day of penance for offenses against the dignity of human life.

5. This calendar keeps the 1954 Roman Catholic Calendar and the pre-1917 practice of anticipating Vigils on Saturday that fall on Sunday in a given year. For that reason, you will notice the Vigil of Ss. Philip and James is reflected on April 30 and not on May 10.

6. Major Fasts: Great Lent (March 2 - April 16), Apostles Fast (June 13 - June 28), Dormition Fast (Aug 1 - Aug 14), St. Martin's Lent (Nov 14 - Dec 24).

7. Dominican Specific Fasting Days: April 29, August 3, October 6 are not on the calendar but will be observed by Dominican Tertiary per the 1923 Rule (the last one before Vatican II). Same with all Fridays of the year which Dominicans are asked to keep as days of fasting.

8. Days of fasting generally include all of the Major Fasts as noted above in addition to the following days when they fall outside of those periods: Ember Days, Vigils of the Apostles, and Vigils for Major Feasts. Rogation Days were often days of abstinence but not fast.

9. Not listed but certainly recommendable based on the Early Church's practice of Wednesday penance (and based on the wishes of Our Lady of Mount Carmel), abstinence year-round on Wednesdays (beyond the dates noted on the calendar) would be commendable on all Wednesdays of the year except for those when either a Holy Day of Obligation, Former Holy Day of Obligation, or First Class Feast falls.

For those interested in understanding the various ways fasting and abstinence have changed over time, please explore the archives regarding fasting and abstinence.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021
What Does A "Privileged Altar" Mean?
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On a recent trip to Old St. Mary's in Cincinnati, Ohio I noticed the high altar had the word "Altare Privilegiatum" or "Privileged Altar" on the front. 

The Catholic Encyclopedia written in 1907 describes what a privileged altar means:

An altar is said to be privileged when, in addition to the ordinary fruits of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, a plenary indulgence is also granted whenever Mass is celebrated thereon, the indulgence must be applied to the individual soul for whom Mass is offered. The privileged altar must be a fixed, or immovable, altar, but in a wider sense that is, it must be stationary or permanent, whether built on a solid foundation or attached to a wall or column, even though it be not consecrated, but have merely a consecrated stone (portable altar) inserted in its table. The privilege is annexed not to the altar-stone, but to the structure itself, by reason of the title which it bears, that is, of the mystery or saint to whom it is dedicated. Hence if the material of the altar be changed, if the altar be transferred to another place, if another altar be substituted for it in the same church, provided it retains the same title, and even if the altar is desecrated or profaned, the privilege is preserved. To gain the indulgence, the Mass must be a Mass of Requiem, whenever the rubrics permit it. If, on account of the superior rite of the feast of the day, or on account of the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, or for other reasons, a Requiem Mass cannot be celebrated, the indulgence may be gained by celebrating another Mass (S. C. Indulg., 11 April 1864). This privilege is of two kinds, local or real and personal. It is local or real when it is annexed to the altar as described above. Hence whoever the priest may be who celebrates Mass at such an altar, the indulgence is gained. It is personal when it is inherent in the priest, so that it does not depend on the altar, but on the priest who celebrates. Hence on whatever altar he may celebrate, whether it be a fixed or a portable one, and in whatever church he celebrates, the altar he uses is for the time being a privileged altar. On 2 November every altar is privileged. The bishops of the United States have the faculty (Facultates Extraordinariae C., fac. viii) of declaring privileged one altar in every church and public chapel or oratory, whether it be consecrated or not, of their dioceses, provided this privilege had not been previously granted to any other altar in such church under the same conditions.

This benefit of a privileged altar was also granted to certain priests where they celebrated Mass at and at least one of those instances was for priests who made the heroic act of charity. As the Purgatorian Manual states: "The Indult of a Privileged Altar, personally, every day in the year to all priests who shall have made this offering."

To summarize: A privileged altar is an altar where a plenary indulgence could be applied in favor of a particular soul in purgatory by the priest celebrating Holy Mass whenever Mass was celebrated there. This was an indulgence, over and above the graces and benefits normally flowing from the celebration of Mass. The “privilege” was attached to the place, not to the physical altar, and the privilege could also be given to a certain priest so that no matter where he celebrated a plenary could be gained! 

Sadly, Paul VI removed these privileges and countless other indulgences in 1967 in Indulgentiarum Doctrina. However, the validity of his actions remains questionable by some and, despite this, we should never stop having Masses offered for the dead and gaining indulgences for the faithful departed, especially during the month of November.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021
7 Traditional Catholic Podcasts Worth Listening To
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As a follow-up to 4 Traditional Catholic Radio Stations, I wanted to assemble a list of 7 Traditional Catholic-themed podcasts. Podcasts have been increasingly popular as a way to consume content. Spotify, one of the largest music platforms, has a significant number of podcast listeners as Statista writes, "At the end of Q1 2021, Spotify had 2.6 million (!) podcasts on its platform as roughly 25 percent of its 356 million monthly active engaged with podcast content."

With the rise of the popularity of podcasts, it is natural that the Faith should be made available through new mediums. All too often traditionalists have a tendency to shun new technology with some priests and faithful still scorning the Internet and email despite their ubiquitousness and usefulness in spreading the Faith. Thankfully, there are Traditional Catholics engaging with souls today via podcasts. 

In no particular order, here are 7 Traditional Catholic Podcasts to listen to:

The Fatima Center Podcast

This regularly updated channel features excellent commentary on the crisis in the Church, the praying of the Rosary, Faith formation talks by priests, and all-around great content.

SSPX Podcast

The SSPX Podcast features interviews, conferences, and sermons delivered by SSPX  priests, and gathered from various English-speaking sources. Many talks center around the crisis in the Church and clarity on the Church's official and timeless teachings.

What Catholics Believe

The long-running YouTube program "What Catholics Believe" is now in podcast format. Listen to the priests of the Society of St. Pius V teach and discuss the disasters of Vatican Council II, the crisis in the modern Church, and the traditional teachings of the Catholic faith.

The Meaning of Catholic

The Meaning of Catholic is a lay apostolate dedicated to uniting Catholics against the enemies of the Holy Catholic Church. The founder is the now current editor of One Peter Five

Dr. Taylor Marshall

A former Episcopalian "priest" turned traditional FSSP going Catholic who regularly engages in writing and talks to spread and defend the Faith, his clarity and concern for the Faith are palpable. 

St. Gertrude the Great Sermons

Sermons from the independent chapel in West Chester, OH led by Bishop Dolan, whose sermons are daily tweets are profoundly insightful and connected to the traditional liturgical year.

Return to Tradition

Covering the crisis in the Catholic Church and its connection to the ongoing degradation of society, Return to Tradition dives into the news and history of the Church.

There are even more quality traditional Catholic podcasts out there. For more podcasts beyond the 7 already mentioned, please share your recommendations in the comments box below.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Votive Mass of a Feast Formerly Celebrated on A Sunday
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First, the general rubrics concerning when a Votive Mass may be offered in the Tridentine Mass are generally fairly well known. There are some changes that occurred in the 20th century up until 1962 so strictly speaking the 1962 rubrics will differ in some respects. The 1962 Rubrics may be viewed by clicking here. The Pre-1962 Rubrics may be viewed by clicking here.

In addition to these general rubrics, there is an interesting exception for certain feasts which were kept on Sundays up until the changes instituted under St. Pius X in 1911/1914. These Feasts were as follows:

In many places, the Feast of Corpus Christi, The Feast of the Sacred Heart, and The Feast of St. Peter and Paul were celebrated as an External Solemnity on the following Sunday. In fact, there was an obligation to do so in some places such as in the United States for the Sunday following Ss. Peter and Paul. Permissions to solemnize the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul on the Sunday following June 29th were given to the United States on December 19, 1840, and that of Corpus Christi on November 25, 1885.

The Local calendars and those for religious orders give even more examples. After the reforms, the feasts formerly fixed on a Sunday were transferred to a date or to a number of days after the Sunday. But for the good of the faithful, the Mass could be celebrated on its former day.

Other Local Feasts would also be celebrated as External Solemnities and would include:

  • Dedication of the Cathedral Church.
  • Titular of the Cathedral.
  • Patron of the Diocese.
  • Dedication of the Chapel / Church.
  • Titular of the Chapel / Church.
  • Patronal feast of the place.
  • A first or second Class Feast in your Diocese or Country.

While it is unusual for External Solemnities to be celebrated on a day other than a Sunday the Rubrics allow this. External Solemnities can also be celebrated for altars/shrines in a Church dedicated to particular Saints. So in short if the Celebrant accepts that this celebration is for the good of the faithful, have an External Solemnity.

Source: Musica Sacra

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