Sunday, November 30, 2014
St. Andrew Christmas Novena Begins Today

Today is the beginning of the St. Andrew Christmas Novena. It is believed whoever says this prayer piously 15 times a day until Christmas will obtain what they ask.

Here is the Christmas Novena:

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.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
All Franciscan Saints (Feast of All Saints of the Seraphic Order)

Today in the Franciscan Calendar is the Feast of All Franciscan Saints.  In honor of this special Feast, let us pray the Litany of All Franciscan Saints.

A Franciscan Litany of All Saints

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
God, the Father, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, the Immaculate Conception, Queen of the Franciscan Order, pray for us.
Holy Father Francis, pray for us.

All you holy martyrs of the Franciscan Order, pray for us.
Saints Berard, Accursius, Adjutus, Otto, and Peter, Protomartyrs, pray for us.
Saints Daniel, Angelo, Domnus, Hugolinus, Leo, Nicholas, and Samuel, Martyrs of Africa, pray for us.
Saints Nicholas Tavelic, Deodat of Aquitaine, Peter of Narbonne, and Stephen of Cuneo, Martyrs of the Holy Land, pray for us.
Saint Thomas More, Martyr of England, pray for us.
Saints Nicholas Pick, Anthony Hornaer, Anthony of Weert, Cornelius, Francis, Godfrey, Jerome, Nicasius, Peter, Theodoric, Willehad, Martyrs of Holland, pray for us.
Saints Peter Baptist Blasquez, Martin de Aguirre, Francis Blanco, Philip of Jesus of Mexico, Gonzalo García of India, and you holy seventeen Japanese members of the Third Order, Saints Anthony of Nagasaki, Bonaventure, Cosmas, Francis of Fahelante, Francis of Miyako, Gabriel, Joachim, John, Leo, Louis, Matthias, Michael, Paul Ibaraki, Paul Zuzuki, Peter, Thomas Danki, and Thomas Kosaki, Protomartyrs of Japan, pray for us.
Saints John Jones and John Wall, Martyrs of England, pray for us.
Saints Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Protomartyr of the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, pray for us.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Martyr of Auschwitz, pray for us.

All you holy priests of the First Franciscan Order, pray for us.
Saint Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Gospel and Wonderworker, pray for us.
Saint Bonaventure, Seraphic Doctor, pray for us.
Saint Benvenute of Osimo, Bishop, pray for us.
Saint Louis of Tolouse, Bishop, pray for us.
Saint Bernardine of Siena, pray for us.
Saint John Capistran, pray for us.
Saint Peter Regalado, pray for us.
Saint James of the March, pray for us.
Saint Peter of Alcantara, pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us.
Saint Joseph of Leonissa, pray for us.
Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Doctor of the Church, pray for us.
Saint Joseph of Cupertino, pray for us.
Saint Pacificus of San Severino, pray for us.
Saint John Joseph of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint Theophilus of Corte, pray for us.
Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, pray for us.
Saint Leopold Mandic, pray for us.

All you holy lay brothers of the First Franciscan Order, pray for us.
Saint Didacus of Alcalá, pray for us.
Saint Salvator of Horta, pray for us.
Saint Felix of Cantalice, pray for us.
Saint Benedict the Black, pray for us.
Saint Paschal Baylon, pray for us.
Saint Seraphim of Montegranaro, pray for us.
Saint Charles of Sezze, pray for us.
Saint Ignatius Laconi, pray for us.
Saint Francis Camporosso, pray for us.
Saint Conrad of Parzham, pray for us.

All you holy virgins of the Second Franciscan Order, pray for us.
Holy Mother Clare of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Agnes of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Colette of Corbie, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Bologna, pray for us.
Saint Veronica Giuliani, pray for us.

All you holy priests of the Third Franciscan Order, pray for us.
Saint Yves of Brittany, pray for us.
Saint Charles Borromeo, pray for us.
Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Palotti, Founder, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, Patron of Parish Priests, pray for us.
Saint Joseph Cafasso, pray for us.
Saint Michael Garicoits, pray for us.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Founder, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, Founder, pray for us.
Saint Pius X, Pope, pray for us.

All you holy foundresses of religious congregations who were members of the Third Franciscan Order, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Jane of Valois, pray for us.
Saint Angela Merici, pray for us.
Saint Mary Bartholomea Capitanio, pray for us.
Saint Mary Magdalen Postel, pray for us.
Saint Vincentia Gerosa, pray for us.
Saint Joachima de Mas y de Vedruna, pray for us.
Saint Mary Josepha Rossello, pray for us.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us.

All you holy men of the Third Franciscan Order, pray for us.
Saint Ferdinand, King of Castile and Leon, pray for us.
Saint Louis, King of France, Patron of the Third Order, pray for us.
Saint Elzear of Sabran, pray for us.
Saint Roch of Montpellier, pray for us.
Saint Conrad of Piacenza, Hermit, pray for us.

All you holy women of the Third Franciscan Order, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Patroness of the Third Order, pray for us.
Saint Rose of Viterbo, Virgin, pray for us.
Saint Zita of Lucca, Virgin, pray for us.
Saint Margaret of Cortona, pray for us.
Saint Clare of Montefalco, Virgin and Religious, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us.
Saint Frances of Rome, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Genoa, pray for us.
Saint Hyacintha Mariscotti, Virgin and Religious, pray for us.
Saint Mariana of Jesus of Quito, Virgin, pray for us.
Saint Mary Frances of the Five Wounds, Virgin, pray for us.

All you holy Cordbearers of St. Francis, pray for us.
Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop, pray for us.
Saint Joseph Calasanctius, Founder, pray for us.
Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, Virgin and Religious, pray for us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Let us pray:
Almighty everlasting God, we thank You for granting us the joy of honoring our holy Father Francis and his sainted followers and enjoying the protection of their unceasing prayers. Grant us also the grace to imitate their example and so attain their fellowship in eternal glory. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Vigil of Saint Andrew the Apostle

St. Andrew salutes the Cross on which he is about to offer his life.

The following is taken from Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal, 1945 Bio: Catholic Encyclopedia 1913 edition
Today is the last day of the liturgical year. The day preceding a festival is styled a vigil (from the Latin word signifying a night-watch) because in primitive ages the faithful passed in prayer in the church the greater part of the evening and night preceding a festival. Nor did they break their fast until after the holy sacrifice of the Mass had been offered, and Communion given in the course of the vigil. Hence the greater vigils are still observed as fast-days; and the Mass of a vigil has a specially penitential character. Violet or purple vestments are worn by the priest; the Gloria in excelsis is not said. 
Saint Andrew, the elder brother of St. Peter, and, like him, a fisherman of the Lake of Galilee, on hearing St. John the Baptist proclaim that Jesus was the Lamb of God, was moved to follow Our Lord, who chose him to be one of the twelve apostles. It is believed that after the Resurrection St. Andrew labored in spreading the Gospel in Eastern Europe, and. made many converts. At the last he was crucified in Patras in the Greek manner. In 357 his remains, together with those of St. Luke, were solemnly translated to the Church of the Apostles in Constantinople. His head is venerated at St. Peter's in Rome. In 1210 his body had been moved to the Cathedral at Amalfi in the Kingdom of Naples. His feast is important not only on account of the position it holds in the Missal (at the beginning of the Proper of the Saints) but more especially on account of the antiphons of the Divine Office and the passages from Holy Scripture read in the Mass.

Mass Propers for the Vigil of St. Andrew: 

INTROIT. Dominus secus mare. St. Matt. 4.
JESUS our Lord walking by the sea of Galilee saw two brethren, Peter and Andrew, and he called them saying: Follow me; and I will make you fishers of men. Ps. 19. The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handy-work. V. Glory be.

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that as we do prevent the festival of thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, so he may implore thy mercy for us; that we , being delivered from all our iniquities, may likewise be defended against all adversities. Through.

EPISTLE Ecclus. 44: 25-27; 45, 2-4; 6-9 1-6
 Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. The blessing of the Lord was upon the head of the just man. Therefore the Lord gave him an inheritance, and divided him his portion in twelve tribes: and he found grace in the eyes of all flesh. He magnified him in the fear of his enemies, and with his words He made prodigies to cease. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him commandments in the sight of his people, and showed him His glory. He sanctified him In his faith and meekness, and chose him out of all flesh. And He gave him commandments before His face, and a law of life and instruction: and He exalted him. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and girded him about with a girdle of justice: and the Lord crowned him with a crown of glory. Thanks be to God.

 GOSPEL John 1: 35-51
 At that time, John stood, and two of his disciples: and beholding Jesus walking, he saith, "Behold the Lamb of God." And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. And Jesus turning, and seeing them following Him, He saith to them, "What seek you?" Who said to Him, "Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Master), where dwellest Thou?" He saith to them, "Come, and see." They came, and saw where He abode, and they stayed with Him that day: now it was about the tenth hour. And Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who had heard of John, and followed him. He findeth first his brother Simon, and saith to him, "We have found the Messias" (which is, being interpreted, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus; and Jesus, looking upon him, said, "Thou art Simon the son of Jona; thou shalt be called Cephas," which is interpreted, Peter. On the following day, He would go forth into Galilee: and He findeth Philip. And Jesus saith to him, "Follow Me." Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathamel, and saith to him, "We have found Him of Whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write, Jesus, the son of Joseph of Nazareth." And Nathanæl saith of him, "Can anything of good come from Nazareth?" Philip saith to him, "Come, and see." Jesus saw Nathanæl coming to Him: and He said to him, "Behold an Isrælite indeed, in whom there is no guile." Nathanæl saith to Him, Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered, and said to him, "Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the flg-tree, I saw thee." Nathanæl answered Him, and said, "Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God, Thou art the King of Isræl." Jesus answered, and said to him, "Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, thou believest: greater things than these shalt thou See." And He saith to him, "Amen, amen I say to you, you shall see the Heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." 

Thou hast crowned him with glory and worship: thou hast made him to have dominion of the works of thy hands, O Lord.

GRANT, O Lord, that this oblation, which we, remembering the festival of thy blessed Apostle Saint Andrew, do offer to be hallowed unto thee, may likewise avail to the cleansing of our souls from all evil. Through.

COMMUNION. St. John 1:41. 
Andrew saith unto his brother Simon: We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ: and he brought him to Jesus.

O LORD, who hast vouchsafed to feed us with these holy sacraments, we humbly pray thee: that, at the intercession of thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, the mysteries which we have offered in remembrance of his glorious passion may be profitable unto us for the healing of our souls. Through.
Monday, November 24, 2014
40% off the Complete Summary of the Dark Night of the Soul

In honor of today's Feast of St. John of the Cross, we are offering our book summary of his classic "Dark Night of the Soul" for 40% off.  Just enter code DARKNIGHT to save on it.

Our summary of the "Dark Night of the Soul" is meant to make this text understandable for you.  Our summary is approximately 20 pages long.  It is a meaningful and complete summary.  Our summaries allow you to understand such great classics as this book without having to devote many hours to reading the full book.

Link to the summary:
Sunday, November 23, 2014
The Sanctus Candle During Low Mass

Notice the Sanctus candle on the altar. Photo from Church of the Nativity, Menlo Park, CA taken March 14, 2020 (c) A Catholic Life Life.

While those familiar with the Traditional Latin Mass will know of the candles lit and used by the torchbearers for the Consecration at the High Mass, have you noticed a special sanctus candle at a Low Mass? This is an all too often forgotten rubric required explicitly by the 1962 (or previous) Roman Missals. While the practice is found in other Rites, such as the Dominican Rite, the Roman Rite likewise requires this practice at all Low Masses.

Since the "Low Mass" is really a "cut down" version of the High Mass the one Sanctus candle remains. In some places a "sanctus candle" was lit on a wall bracket on each side of the altar, or on the floor. When it is done presently, it usually consists of an acolyte lighting one single candle from the credence table and placing it on the altar at the beginning of the Canon. The rubrics mandate the use of it.
The Catholic Encyclopedia describes it accordingly: "The rubrics of the Roman Missal direct that at the Sanctus, even of any private Mass, an additional candle should be lighted and should burn until after the Communion of the priest. This rubric however is much neglected in practice even in Rome itself."  

In an effort to better follow the rubrics established by Holy Mother Church, does your chapel or parish need to make changes to begin observing this requirement? 
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Nativity Stone Rosary: A One-of-a-Kind Rosary

Last week I received the most beautiful Rosary that I have ever owned.  What makes this Rosary truly special to me, besides the Victorian style to which I am particularly attached, is that on the crucifix is a Nativity Stone.  The Nativity stone is a true piece from the Cave of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The Nativity Stone is not a relic but it is a powerful connection with the birth of the Divine Son of God. To be able to hold next to our heart a piece of the Cave in which the Lord was born is truly priceless.

(Pictured here is the incredibly beautiful Victorian Prayer Rosary.  The beads, layered in 22K gold, along with the Nativity stone, make this the most beautiful Rosary that I own.  I was elated when I opened the package and found such a beautiful Rosary inside).

Nativity Stones Crosses are unique as they are the only ones selling a cross that contains a stone from the Cave of The Nativity in Bethlehem. In the heart of each piece is a one of a kind authentic Nativity Stone from one time excavation that took place in 1963.

In year 2000 Nativity Stones were even honored with a plaque placed in the Vatican.  The Victorian Prayer Rosary was presented to Cardinal Ruini at the Vatican during the dedication of the Nativity Stones plaque during the year of the 2000 Jubilee.

Each cross includes a numbered certificate of authenticity signed by the Priest of the Church of the Nativity and a booklet telling the story.  

The Rosary itself came in a beautiful velvet gift bag with a draw string.  Along with it came the certificate of authenticity and a wonderful handout on the Nativity Stones.

Nativity Stone sells various Rosaries and crosses each containing a stone from the Nativity. 

I would encourage all of you to check out their website and I happily endorse this.  They can be found at:

A Special Offer to my readers: 20% OFF with Coupon Code: Catholic20 

To learn more about the remarkable Nativity Stones story, please visit:

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Traditional Mass Propers: 23rd Sunday after Pentecost

INTROIT Jer. 29:11, 12, 14
Said the Lord: "I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction. You shall call upon Me and I will hear you, and I will bring you back from captivity from all places." Ps. 84:2. Lord, You have blessed Your land; You have restored Jacob from captivity. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - Forgive the offenses of Your people, O Lord, so that through Your merciful goodness we may be freed from the bondage of sin into which we were led by our own weakness. Through Our Lord . . .

Philipp. 3:17-21; 4:1-3
Brethren: Be ye followers of me, and mark those who walk after the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I have told you often (and now tell you weeping) that they are enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction: whose God is their belly: and whose glory is in their shame: who mind earthly things. But our conversation is in heaven: from whence also we look for the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of his glory, according to the operation whereby also he is able to subdue all things unto himself. Therefore my dearly beloved brethren and most desired, my joy and my crown: so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beg of Evodia and I beseech Syntyche to be of one mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, my sincere companion, help those women who have labored with me in the gospel, with Clement and the rest of my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life.

You have freed us from those who afflict us, O Lord, and You have put to shame those who hate us. V. In God we will glory all the day, and praise Your name forever. 

Alleluia, alleluia! Ps. 129:1-2 Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my prayer! Alleluia!

Matt. 9:18-26

At that time, as Jesus was speaking these things unto them, behold a certain ruler came up, and adored him, saying: "Lord, my daughter is even now dead; but come, lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live." And Jesus rising up followed him, with his disciples. And behold a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment. For she said within herself: "If I shall touch only his garment, I shall be healed." But Jesus turning and seeing her, said: "Be of good heart, daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole." And the woman was made whole from that hour. And when Jesus was come into the house of the ruler, and saw the minstrels and the multitude making a rout, He said: "Give place, for the girl is not dead, but sleepeth." And they laughed him to scorn. And when the multitude was put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand. And the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that country.

Ps. 129:1-2
Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my prayer, out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord.

SECRET  We offer this sacrifice of praise, O Lord, to fulfill our debt of service to You. May Your blessings which we cannot merit, continue to reach us through Your boundless mercy. Through Our Lord . . .

Mark 11:24
Amen I say to you, all things whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you shall receive, and they shall come to you.

POST COMMUNION -  You have given us the happiness of participating in this Heavenly Banquet, O Almighty God. Let us not now fall victim to any human danger. Through Our Lord . . .

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

Instruction of Fr. Leonard Goffine for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost from The Church's Year.

I. Filial was the faith, unbounded the confidence, profound the humility of this woman, and therefore, she received health also. Learn from this, how pleasing to the Lord is faith, confidence and humility; let your prayer always be penetrated by these three virtues, and you will receive whatever you ask.

II. The devout Louis de Ponte compares the conduct of this woman to our conduct at Holy Communion, and says: Christ wished to remain with us in the most holy Eucharist, clothed with the garment of the sacramental species of bread, that he who receives His sacred flesh and blood, may be freed from evil concupiscence. If you wish to obtain the health of your soul, as did this woman the health of the body, imitate her. Receive the flesh and blood of Jesus with the most profound humility, with the firmest confidence in His power and goodness, and like this woman you too will be made whole.

III. Jesus called three dead persons to life, the twelve year old daughter of Jairus, ruler of the synagogue, of whom there is mention made in this gospel, the young man at Naim, (Luke 7:14) and Lazarus. (John. 11:43) By these three dead persons three classes of sinners may be understood: the maiden signifies those who sin in their youth through weakness and frailty, but touched by the grace of God, perceive their fall and easily rise again through penance; by the young man at Naim those are to be understood who sin repeatedly and in public, these require greater grace, more labor and severer penance; by Lazarus, the public and obdurate habitual sinners are to be understood who can be raised to spiritual life only by extraordinary graces and severe public penance.

IV. Christ did not raise the maiden, until the minstrels and noisy multitude were removed, by which He wished to teach us that the conversion of a soul cannot be accomplished in the midst of the noise and turmoil of temporal cares, idle pleasures and associations.

Saturday, November 15, 2014
Nativity Fast: 40 Days of Fasting for Christmas

November 15th in the Eastern Rite Churches begins the Nativity Fast. This 40-day-long period of fasting is a preparation for the holy celebration of Christmas. Like Lent, the Eastern Churches observe a period of 40 days of fasting in preparation for the Nativity of the Lord.

The Tradition of fasting in anticipation of the Nativity of the Lord is not unique to the Eastern Churches - the Latin Rite of the Church had observed this practice for centuries. Latin Rite Catholics today may certainly still observe fasting during this time to spiritually prepare themselves for Christmas. In fact, the Roman Catholic Church also used to keep a 40 day fast leading up to Christmas!

Beginning with Vespers on November 15th, the Nativity Fast continues until just before Vespers on Christmas Eve. As with all periods of fasting, Fasting is forbidden on Sundays. Due to many popular feast days occurring between now and December 9th, many places began to modify the fast to begin on December 10th.

Latin Rite Catholics traditionally fasted on the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception (December 7th) and on the Vigil of the Nativity (December 24th). Because of the Tradition of Fasting on Christmas Eve in the Roman Catholic Church, that evening is traditionally observed by the Feast of 7 Fishes. Those two days could (and arguably should) still be observed by Roman Catholics. In years when these days fall on a Sunday, fasting is suppressed (or prior to the 1917 Code, it would have been moved up to the Saturday).

The fast's purpose is to spiritually prepare the soul for drawing closer to God. Along with our fasting, we must increase our own prayer life, almsgiving, and good works. Fasting without increased prayer should never be done.

Guidelines for the Nativity Fast:

The Guidelines from for the Nativity fast in most Eastern Catholic Rites are as follows: 
 All days except Sundays, from November 15 to December 12:  
• Abstinence from: All Meats, Dairy Products and Eggs – no animal products.
• No abstinence from: Shellfish, Grains, Vegetables & Vegetable Products, Olive Oil; Fruit, Wine On Sundays fish is allowed until the final week of the Nativity Fast. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the usual year-round restrictions apply.  
December 13 to 24:  
• Abstinence from: All Meat Products, Dairy Products, Eggs, Fish, Olive Oil, Wine
• No abstinence from: Vegetables & Vegetable Products, Fruits and Grains  
On Wednesdays and Fridays, food should not be eaten between meals, and meals themselves should be moderate in size. It is often customary to eat only one meal a day. During the Nativity Fast, from December 13 to December 24 inclusive, the Fast becomes stricter, and olive oil and wine are permitted only on Saturdays and Sundays. Fish is not permitted from the 13th to the 24th. 

The Guidelines for the Antiochian Orthodox Church in America:

The Nativity Fast is one of the four Canonical Fasting Seasons in the Church year. This is a joyous fast in anticipation of the Nativity of Christ. That is the reason it is less strict than other fasting periods. The fast is divided into two periods.

November 15th through December 19th: The traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed. There is a dispensation given for wine and oil on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Similarly, fish, wine, and oil are permitted on Saturdays and Sundays.

December 20th through the 24th: The traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed. There is dispensation given for wine and oil only on Saturday and Sunday during this period.  

The Guidelines for the Orthodox Church in America further state:

“It should be noted that in the Fast of the Holy Apostles and of the Nativity of Christ, on Tuesday and Thursday we do not eat fish, but only oil or wine. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we eat neither oil nor wine…. On Saturday and Sunday we eat fish. If there occur on Tuesday or Thursday a Saint who has a [Great] Doxology, we eat fish; if on Monday, the same; but if on Wednesday or Friday, we allow only oil and wine…. If it be a Saint who has a Vigil on Wednesday or Friday, or the Saint whose temple it is, we allow oil and wine and fish…. But from the 20th of December until the 25th, even if it be Saturday or Sunday, we do not allow fish.”


Above all, this time of year, as we approach Advent, consider the End of Times and our own Judgment, and await the celebration of the Nativity of Christ, let us embrace some fasting. Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays during this time is preferable to not fasting at all. Consult your spiritual director and consider undertaking more fasting, almsgiving, and prayer during this preparation time. And when Christmas comes, let us celebrate it joyfully and festively throughout January and until Candlemas on February 2nd. While the world celebrates too early and ceases celebrating on the 2nd day of Christmas, let us not make that same grave mistake.

Want to learn more about the history of fasting and abstinence? Check out the Definitive Guide to Catholic Fasting and Abstinence.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Feast of St. Josaphat

Martyrdom of Josaphat Kuntsevych by Józef Simmler, National Museum in Warsaw

Today is the Feast of St. Josaphat.  In Milwaukee, Wisconsin the beautiful Basilica dedicated to St. Josaphat is one of the greatest architectural wonders in the Midwest.

St. Josaphat is a martyr who lived as a monk and the archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in modern-day Belarus.  He was martyred on November 12, 1623.  He was beatified in 1643 but not canonized until 1867 by Blessed Pope Pius IX.  His body rests today in St. Peter's Basilica under the altar of Saint Basil the Great.

St. Josaphat was born to pious parents.  His family was members of the Orthodox Ruthenian Church which, under the Union of Brest in 1595, reunited with the Roman Catholic Church.  As a young man, St. Josaphat declined both an apprenticeship and a marriage proposal to follow the call to religious life.  In 1604 at the age of 20, he became a monk of the Ukrainian Order of St. Basil and took the name Josaphat.  In 1609 he was ordained a deacon in the Byzantine Rite.  When St. Josaphat's superior was removed from his post for seeking to undermine the union with the Roman Catholic Church, the Archbishop of Kiev appointed Josaphat as Superior.

St. Josaphat became a renowned priest and believed unity with Rome to be in the greater interest of the Church.  He pursue great personal sanctity and helped win over a large part of the Orthodox faithful in Lithuania to embrace and accept the union with the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1617, he was consecrated as Archbishop of Polotsk, Lithuania.

In 1623 a priest opposed to the Union named Elias shouted insults at Josaphat as he sought to enter his residence.  A mob soon emerged to defend Elias and they invaded the residence of the saint  As St. Josaphat tried to secure the safety of those with him, he suffered martyrdom.

His martyrdom occurred on November 12, 1623.  He was struck in the dead with a halberd while being beaten and shot.  His body was thereafter thrown into the Dvina River but it was later recovered and buried in Biala, Poland.  In a great miracle testifying to the power of God and the holiness of St. Josaphat, his body was found incorruptible five years after his death.

Basilica of St Josaphat Milwaukee
Basilica of St Josaphat in Milwaukee

Thursday, November 13, 2014
Saint Didacus of Alcalá

1955 Calendar (Semidouble): November 13

Today is the Feast of St. Didacus.  While most people are not aware, the City of San Diego, CA is named after St. Didacus of Alcalá.

St. Didacus was a Spanish lay brother of the Order of Friars Minor who served as among the first group of missionaries to the newly conquered Canary Islands. He was born in c. 1400 to poor yet pious parents who named him after St. James, the patron saint of Spain.  In Spanish, St. James is called "St. Santiago" and Diego is a derivative of Santiago.

Even as a young age he was called to the religious life.  He joined the Order of Friars Minor at the friary in Albaida.  He is remembered today for his missionary work in the New World.  For a time he also headed a large monastery he had founded there. St. Didacus was above all a contemplative, and his abundant good works were the fruit of his ardent love of Christ. His charity for the sick was especially moving.

He died at Alcalá de Henares on 12 November 1463.
St. Didacus was canonized by Pope Sixtus V in 1588, the first after a long hiatus following the Reformation, and the first of a lay brother of the Order of Friars Minor. His feast day is celebrated on 13 November, since 12 November, the anniversary of his death, was occupied, first, by that of Pope Saint Martin I, then by that of the Basilian monk and Eastern Catholic bishop and martyr, Josaphat Kuntsevych.

Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Didacus

There are many miracles attributed to the intercession of St. Didacus.  One such miracle follows:
On a hunting trip, Henry IV of Castile fell from his horse and injured his arm. In intense pain and with his doctors unable to relieve his agony, he went to Alcalá and prayed to Didacus for a cure. The saint's body was removed from his casket and placed beside the king. Henry then kissed the body and placed the saint's hand on his injured arm. The king felt the pain disappear and his arm immediately regained its former strength.

Parroquia de San Diego, Today Printers and Publishers, Bacolod City, Philippines, pp. 176–177
Taken from Butler's Lives of the Saints:

Saint Didacus was born in Andalusia in Spain, towards the beginning of the fifteenth century. He was remarkable from childhood for his love of solitude, and for conversations concerning holy things. When still young he retired to live with a hermit not far from his village, where he spent several years in vigils, fasting, and manual work. Like the Fathers of the desert, he made baskets and other objects with willow branches and gave them to those who brought alms to the two hermits.

God inspired him to enter into the Order of the seraphic Saint Francis; he did so at the convent of Arrizafa, not far from Cordova. He did not aspire to ecclesiastical honors, but to the perfection and inviolable observance of his Rule — an admirable ideal, the practice of which, according to Saint Thomas Aquinas, is equivalent to martyrdom in merit. He made himself the servant of all his brethren. Any occupation was his choice. All his possessions were a tunic, a crucifix, a rosary, a prayer book and a book of meditations; and these he did not consider as his own and wanted them to be the most worn of all that were in the house. He found ways to nourish the poor who came to the convent, depriving himself of bread and other food given him, and if unable to do so consoled them with such gentle words that they left with profit nonetheless.

At one time he was sent by his superiors to the Canary Islands, and went there joyfully, hoping to win the crown of martyrdom. Such, however, was not God's Will. After making many conversions by his example and holy words, he was recalled to Spain. He was assigned to the care of the sick and when he went to Rome for the Jubilee year of 1450, with 3,800 other religious of his Order, most of whom fell ill there, he undertook to care for them, succeeding in procuring for them all they needed even in that time of scarcity.

Saint Didacus one day heard a poor woman lamenting, and learned that she had not known that her seven-year-old son had gone to sleep in her large oven; she had lighted a fire, and lost her senses when she heard his cries. He sent her to the altar of the Blessed Virgin to pray and went with a large group of persons to the oven; although all the wood was burnt, the child was taken from it without so much as a trace of burns. The miracle was so evident that the neighbors took the child in triumph to the church where his mother was praying, and the Canons of the Church dressed him in white in honor of the Blessed Virgin. Since then, many afflicted persons have invoked the Mother of Heaven there.

After a long and painful illness, Saint Didacus ended his days in 1463, embracing the cross which he had so dearly loved during his entire life. He died having on his lips the words of the hymn, Dulce lignum [Sweet wood - a chant of Good Friday]. His body remained incorrupt for several months, exposed to the devotion of the faithful, ever exhaling a marvelous fragrance. He was canonized in 1588; Philip II, king of Spain, had labored to obtain that grace after his own son was miraculously cured in 1562 by the relics of the Saint when he had fallen from a ladder and incurred a mortal wound on his head.

Reflection: If God be in your heart, He will be also on your lips; for Christ has said, Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 13; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Almighty and eternal God, Your wondrous providence has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the strong. Hear our humble prayer and grant that the prayers of Your blessed confessor Didacus may make us worthy of eternal glory in heaven. Through Our Lord . . .

Feast of All Saints of the Benedictine Order

Image: Benedictine Saints

Of the breviaries on my shelf that I use throughout the week is "A Short Breviary for Religious and the Laity" 2nd Edition from The Liturgical Press in 1942.  It is a breviary made by monks of the Benedictine Order. On Page 548 there is a note: "Because this Office is also used by the Brothers and the Oblates of the Benedictine Order, the first and second class feasts of the Benedictine Calendar are added to those of the Roman Calendar."

November 13th is the Feast of "All Saints of the Benedictine Order."  Today, as such, is a great day for us to rejoice in the life of St. Benedictine and the many other Benedictine saints.


O God, who has promised that those who have left all things to follow you will receive a hundredfold and possess eternal life. Grant to us, through the intercession of our father Benedict and all monastic saints who have followed his Rule, that we may be detached from all earthly things and prefer nothing to the riches of your love. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen

Prayer Source: Benedictine Daily Prayer, All Saints of the Order of St. Benedict
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Angelus Press Catholic Trivia Game: My Review

Along with the 2015 Angelus Press Calendar, I received the other week a fascinating new Catholic Trivia game in the mail.

Long time in the making and finally available from Angelus Press is the game, Catholic Trivia: Traditional Version is really quite a product.  If you are looking for a way to study and learn the Faith in a really fun game format, this product is for you.  I was quite amazed by the depth of the questions.  Even someone very familiar with Church history and the lives of the saints will undoubtedly learn something from this game.

The game has 500 cards containing 1500 questions stemming from 6 categories:

  1. Baltimore Catechism
  2. The traditional Mass
  3. History and the Liturgical Calendar
  4. Popes, Patron Saints and Other Pious People
  5. Ritual, Symbol, and Doctrine
  6. Et Cetera

And considering that this fun yet highly edifying and educational game is only $24.95, it's well worth the investment.  Please consider buying one today.  I'm highly recommending this one!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Happy Martinmas! (And 96th Anniversary of Armistice Day)

Today is a two-fold celebration.

Firstly, today is Martinmas, the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, and a great celebration in the Catholic sense.  This is the end of the autumn season and essentially a “Catholic Thanksgiving.”  There are many traditions associated with today.  I encourage you to read up on them by clicking here.  You may also read the life of St. Martin of Tours here.

Secondly, today is Veterans Day (originally called Armistice Day).  President Woodrow Wilson, an anti-Catholic at heart, started this day.  While today is a fitting day for us to recall the lives of those who perished and honor their service and commend the repose of their souls to God in prayer, let us not forget the Catholic sense of praying for the dead and those in the military.

And let us not forget that today is the celebration of Martinmas!
The Feast coincides not only with the end of the Octave of All Souls, but with harvest time, the time whennewly-produced wine is ready for drinking, and the end of winter preparations, including the butchering of animals (an old English saying is "His Martinmas will come as it does to every hog," meaning "he will get his comeuppance" or "everyone must die"). Because of this, St. Martin's Feast is much like the American Thanksgiving (celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November) -- a celebration of the earth's bounty. Because it also comes before the penitential season of Advent, it is seen as a mini "carnivale" with all the feasting and bonfires. As at Michaelmas on 29 September, goose is eaten in most places (the goose is a symbol for St. Martin himself. It is said that as he was hiding from the people who wanted to make him Bishop, a honking goose gave away his hiding spot), but unlike most Catholics, those of Britain and Ireland prefer pork or beef on this day.  Source: 

The Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month at the Eleventh Hour...

Before Omaha Beach, D-Day (June 1944)

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be

During World War I (1914 - 1918)

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

Funeral Mass (Date Unknown)

A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers blest by the suns of home.

Mass on the Battlefield (Date Unknown)

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thought by England given;

Mass on the Battlefield (Date Unknown)

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English Heaven

Source: "The Soldier" by Rupert Brooke (1887 - 1915)

Image Sources: Believed to be in the Public Domain
Friday, November 7, 2014
November's First Friday Devotion

Today is the First Friday of November. Because today is the first Friday of the Month, many Catholic parishes will have special Masses today for the First Friday Devotion.

"With foresight, the divine heart of Christ merited and ordered all the favors which we have received, disposing them for each of us in particular. How our hearts would be inflamed with love for so many favors! Consider that they were destined for us by the will of the Father, to be borne in the heart of the Savior, Who earned them for us by His sufferings, above all by His passion." - St. Francis de Sales

Beginning on December 27, 1673, through 1675, Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque asking her to receive Him in Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month and to meditate on His passion from 11:00 PM to 12:00 midnight each Thursday. He also revealed to her twelve promises for all who are devoted to His Sacred Heart; he asked for a Feast of the Sacred Heart to be instituted in the liturgical calendar of the Church. Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque with twelve promises for those devoted to His Most Sacred Heart.

Promises for those devoted to the Sacred Heart:

1. "I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life."
2. "I will establish peace in their homes."
3. "I will comfort them in their afflictions."
4. "I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death."
5. "I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings."
6. "Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy."
7. "Tepid souls shall grow fervent."
8. "Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection."
9. "I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored."
10. "I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts."
11. "Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out."
12. "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."

Prayer of Reparation:

O 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 indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of thee the conversion of poor sinners.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Charlemagne: The Catholic Father of Europe

Charlemagne (c. 742 – 814), the First Christian Western Emperor in nearly 300 years and the Father of Europe, exemplified the knightly aestheticism. Born the son of Pepin the Short, Charles I, who would later be universally known as Charlemagne, served as the King of Franks from 768, King of Italy from 774, and Emperor from 800 until his death in 814.

Born in c. 742 to Pepin the Short, son of Charles Martel, Charlemagne was born in an era after the Christianization of the Franks.  His father would be proclaimed as the first King of the Carolingian Dynasty.  Charlemagne, like his father, would serve as a strong defender of the Papacy.  Upon the death of Pepin the Short, Charlemagne reigned alongside with his brother, Carloman I, from 768 – 771.  Tragically his younger brother died in 771, leaving Charlemagne as the sole ruler of the Franks.

The life of Charlemagne is far richer than a mere historical account of battles won and territories conquered.  The story of Charlemagne is a story of a true Christian king who sought the reign of Christ the King.  While at times Charlemagne would overstep his authority and impose upon the spiritual realm, which remains distinct but in union with the temporal realm, his policies worked toward a deepening of the spiritual life.

“One key — probably the most important one — to Charlemagne’s political thought is Augustine’s City of God, which, next to the Bible, was his favorite book. In reflecting on the temporal and heavenly realms, the patriarch took issue with ascetics who urged withdrawal from fallen human society in pursuit of an attainable holiness. He pointed out that perfection is impossible in this world, where divine and satanic forces are locked in constant conflict. The only sinless society will be that which gathers around the throne of God at the end of time. The moral for the leaders of both Church and state was not withdrawal, or even the establishment of monasteries as gateways to perfection, but earnest engagement in the battle against the forces of evil" (Derek Wilson, Charlemagne (New York: Doubleday, 2006), Page: 128.

Charlemagne sought to root out all paganism from his vast empire.  He wielded the power to discipline clerics, control ecclesial property, and define doctrine.  From 809 – 810, Charlemagne called a local council in Aachen that called for the Filioque to be added to the Creed.  While Pope Leo III approved the doctrine of the Filioque, he opposed the inclusion of it in the Creed that was set at the First Council of Constantinople in 381.  The Sovereign Pontiff responded by having the original Creed cast in large metal shields to be displayed in St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Damasus originally approved the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, and the Council of Chalcedon affirmed that the Council was ecumenical in 451.

Like a true knight, Charles the Great maintained the long-established traditions of his fathers. While Charlemagne engaged in reforms of the Frankish government, he retained their traditional practices.   As a Carolingian king, he possessed not only the right to rule and command but also held supreme judicial authority, the ability to lead the army, and the duty to protect the poor and the Church.  And like a great and holy knight, Charlemagne protected the poor, the weak, and the needy of his vast empire.

Charlemagne’s impact on music cannot be forgotten.  As strong proponent of ecclesial music, chant flourished under his rule.
"Charlemagne's interest in church music and solicitude for its propagation and adequate performance throughout his empire, have never been equaled by any civil ruler either before or since his time. He not only caused liturgical music to flourish in his own time throughout his vast domain, but he laid the foundations for musical culture which are still potent today” (Otten, Joseph. "Charlemagne and Church Music." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908).
A knight is acutely aware of his vocation.  He is a cultured soldier in the army of God who understands and appreciates the cultural heritage of his forefathers.  In a becoming fashion, Charlemagne possessed a love for literature.  Among his most favorite books were the Holy Scriptures and the works of St. Augustine.  In response for his commitment to holy literature, Charlemagne founded a court library.  Despite the long and painstaking process of composing a text by hand, Charlemagne still distributed copies.  And in imitation of the practice of the monks, Charlemagne would often take his meals while a subject would read a book to him.

As the true knight will defend the poor, the weak, and the needy, and whereas the knight will fight at all times to promote truth and defend the honor of God, Charlemagne fought long to spread the Gospel throughout the world.  A knight will not flee from adversity but will press on to the win the prize.  Charlemagne was no different when he defeated the Lombards in Pavia.  And despite 30 years of continuous campaigns against the Saxons, Charlemagne persisted in battle.  The Saxons were told to convert to Christianity from Paganism or suffer death.  In 785 their leader, Wittekind, converted.

Yet despite the many victories, there were defeats.  In 777 AD, Charlemagne suffered a death against the Moors of Spain.  While in battle his great paladin, Roland, was slain.  The episode is recounted in the legendary Song of Roland, the oldest surviving major French work of literature:
But Rollant feels he's no more time to seek;
Looking to Spain, he lies on a sharp peak,
And with one hand upon his breast he beats:
"Mea Culpa!  God, by Thy Virtues clean
Me from my sins, the mortal and the mean, 
Which from the hour that I was born have been
Until this day, when life is ended here!"
Holds out his glove towards God, as he speaks
Angels descend from heaven on that scene.
After years of defending the rights of the papacy and seeking the conversion of pagans and heretics, Charlemagne was crowned as the first Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day of the year 800 AD.  Like the Benedictio Novi Militis of the Roman Pontifical for the liturgical dubbing of a knight, the coronation of a king is a sacramental.

Charlemagne’s final years of life were spent in attendance at daily Mass.  In the Year of our Lord 814, Charlemagne passed from this world to the next.

The First Holy Roman Emperor was buried in Aachen’s Cathedral, in which is still presently contained his mortal remains.  The Cathedral was originally built as Charlemagne’s palace chapel.  For nearly 600 years from 936 – 1531 AD, kings were anointed and crowned at the main altar of Aachen’s Cathedral.   Within the Cathedral is contained the four holy relics collected by Charlemagne: The cloak of our Lady, the swaddling clothes of the Infant Jesus, the loin clothes worn by Jesus Christ during His Crucifixion, and the cloth on which rested the head of St. John the Baptist after his martyrdom.  These relics are displayed only every seven years for the public.

At his death, Charlemagne left a vast empire; many had believed under Charlemagne the Western world would reunite for the first time since the fall of the Roman Empire.  However, upon his death, the Kingdom was divided amongst his sons.  After civil wars and feuds, the vast empire of Charles the Great split into several feudal states.

With the death of Charlemagne, the knightly ideal did not die and neither did the support of the Church.  Bishop Richard Williamson identifies the coronation of Charlemagne as the start of a 1,000-year period of prosperity and growth for the Holy Church – up until the French Revolution.  Charlemagne, the Father of Europe, had fought paganism, defended the rights of the Sovereign Pontiff, upheld orthodox doctrine, and embodied chivalry.  May all men embody the virtue and chivalry of Charlemagne.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Review: 2015 Angelus Press Calendar

A few days ago I received the 2015 Angelus Press Calendar in the mail.  As I did back in 2012 and then again in 2013, I am pleased to review the Angelus Press calendar.  I have become used to the great quality in these calendars.  The 2015 calendar is no different – in fact, it’s the most beautiful calendar that they have made so far.

The calendar itself is beautifully typeset and features symbols to denote which dates are days of mandatory fasting, mandatory abstinence, traditional fasting, traditional abstinence, or combinations thereof. 

The subject of the 2015 calendar is the Traditional Latin Mass, using the texts from Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.  These texts were instrumental in helping me toward Traditional Catholicism.  The beautiful art and the passages in the 2015 calendar are well worth study and meditation.

I highly recommend this calendar and hope that you will purchase one from Angelus Press.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Does SSPX Mass Attendance Fulfill the Sunday Obligation?

Yes, a Catholic may fulfill their Sunday obligation by assisting at Masses said by the priests of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).

The Ecclesia Dei Commission on 18th January 2003, stated that it is possible to satisfy the precept of hearing Sunday Mass by assisting at a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X.

Msgr. Camille Perl of Ecclesia Dei wrote in a letter to Una Voce America in 2003:
"...Points 1 and 3 in our letter of 27 September 2002 to this correspondent are accurately reported. His first question was "Can I fulfill my Sunday obligation by attending a Pius X Mass" and our response was: "1. In the strict sense you may fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X." (Source:
Monday, November 3, 2014
Day by Day for the Holy Souls in Purgatory: 365 Reflections

I would like to recommend this book which is especially appropriate for All Souls Day:

"If we, by our prayers and sacrifices, freed a soul from purgatory, we would then have another intercessor for us in heaven." - Venerable Solanus Casey

Every day we have another opportunity to pray for the holy souls in purgatory - author, speaker, and purgatory expert Susan Tassone gives you a unique tool to do just that. Day by Day for the Holy Souls includes prayers, teachings about purgatory, real-life stories, Susan's own wisdom, meditations, quotes from the saints, and more. You can use this book however you like - as a daily devotional, as a year round novena, to follow the liturgical seasons.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Vote This Tuesday!

The elections this November will be essential to furthering the pro-life message! We really need to make sure we vote for those candidates that agree with the Church's teachings on the five non-negotiables, which are always wrong (abortion, embryonic stem cell research, gay marriage, euthanasia, and cloning). The Church never supports a candidate, but it supports views on issues.
So, please above all vote for the candidates that are pro-life. Pro-life of course also means being anti-poverty and caring for the less fortunate in society but opposition to abortion should be our #1 concern. The Church teaches that it is a mortal sin to vote for a politician that supports abortion if there is a candidate running who is against abortion (read more)

According to the exit polls from the 2012 Presidential election, 51% of Catholics voted in favor of the pro-abortion, anti-Catholic Obama while 49% voted in favor of the pro-life candidate.   Even more discouraging is the continued trend in which states that contain large number of Catholics - even the majority of the state’s population - have consistently voted for anti-Catholic Democrats (and anti-Catholic Republicans at times).  Why is it that New England is a Democratic stronghold even though 36.6% of Connecticut’s population is Catholic?  Why is 37.1% of New York is made up of Catholics when the state always elects abortion supporters?

Catholics - the country's largest religious group with one-quarter of the population - have supported the winner of the popular vote in every presidential election since 1972.

To see how your politicians have voted, please see the National Right to Life legislative scorecard. Democrats for Life also has a list of some pro-life candidates. Let us stand up for the right of every little unborn child; let us further the Kingdom of God. I advise all people to vote against the pro-abortion candidates NARAL has endorsed for Congress. Check out Priests for Life for a lot of endorsement information.
Mass Propers: Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost

INTROIT Esth. 13:9, 10-11
All things depend on Your will, O Lord, and there is no one who can resist Your will. For You have made all things, heaven and earth, and all things that are under the canopy of heaven. You are the Lord of all. Ps. 118:1. Blessed are they who are undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. V. Glory be . . .

Keep Your family under Your continual care, O Lord. Shelter it with Your protection from all adversity, that it may be zealous in doing good for the honor of Your name. Through our Lord . . .

EPISTLE Eph. 6:10-17
Brethren, be strengthened in the Lord and in the might of his power. Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore, take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of justice: And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).

GRADUAL Ps. 89:1-2
O Lord, You have been our refuge through all generation.
V. Before the mountains were made, or the earth was formed, from eternity to eternity You are God.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 113:1.
When Israel went out from Egypt, the house of Jacob fled from a barbarous people. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 18:23-35
At that time, Jesus spoke to his disciples this parable: "The kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants. And when he had begun to take the account, one as brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents. And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: 'Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.' And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt.

"But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow-servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, he throttled him, saying: 'Pay what thou owest.' And his fellow-servant falling down, besought him, saying: 'Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.' And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt.

"Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came, and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him: and said to him: 'Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me: Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee?' And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts."

There was a man in the land of Hus, whose name was Job, simple and upright, and fearing God. Satan asked that he might tempt him, and power was given Satan from the Lord over Job's possessions and his flesh; and Satan destroyed all his substance and his children, and afflicted his body with a grievous ulcer.

O Lord, graciously accept this offering which You in Your boundless mercy instituted to atone for our sins and to restore salvation to us. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 118:81, 84, 86
My soul looks to Your salvation, and in Your word have I hoped. When will You come in judgment for those who persecute me? The wicked have persecuted me; help me, O Lord my God.

We have been seeking the food of immortality and implore Thee, O Lord, that with its savour still on our tongues, we may with pure hearts continue to pursue it. Through our Lord . . .

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


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