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

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

If you are in good health, please at least fast during these three days and pray 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 PDF Ember Day Manual, including reflections for the Advent Ember Days.

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.

To-day the Church begins the fast of Quatuor Tempora, or, as we call it, of Ember days: it includes also the Friday and Saturday of this same week. This observance is not peculiar to the Advent liturgy; it is one which has been fixed for each of the four seasons of the ecclesiastical year. We may consider it as one of those practices which the Church took from the Synagogue; for the prophet Zacharias speaks of the fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth months.[1] Its introduction into the Christian Church would seem to have been made in the apostolic times; such, at least, is the opinion of St. Leo, of St. Isidore of Seville, of Rabanus Maurus, and of several other ancient Christian writers. It is remarkable, on the other hand, that the orientals do not observe this fast.

From the first ages the Quatuor Tempora were kept, in the Roman Church, at the same time of the year as at present. As to the expression, which is not unfrequently used in the early writers, of the three times and not the four, we must remember that in the spring, these days always come in the first week of Lent, a period already consecrated to the most rigorous fasting and abstinence, and that consequently they could add nothing to the penitential exercises of that portion of the year.

The intentions, which the Church has in the fast of the Ember days, are the same as those of the Synagogue; namely, to consecrate to God by penance the four seasons of the year. The Ember days of Advent are known, in ecclesiastical antiquity, as the fast of the tenth month; and St. Leo, in one of his sermons on this fast, of which the Church has inserted a passage in the second nocturn of the third Sunday of Advent, tells us that a special fast was fixed for this time of the year, because the fruits of the earth had then all been gathered in, and that it behoved Christians to testify their gratitude to God by a sacrifice of abstinence, thus rendering themselves more worthy to approach to God, the more they were detached from the love of created things. 'For fasting,’ adds the holy doctor, 'has ever been the nourishment of virtue. Abstinence is the source of chaste thoughts, of wise resolutions, and of salutary counsel. By voluntary mortifications, the flesh dies to its concupiscences, and the spirit is renewed in virtue. But since fasting alone is not sufficient whereby to secure the soul’s salvation, let us add to it works of mercy towards the poor. Let us make that which we retrench from indulgence, serve unto the exercise of virtue. Let the abstinence of him that fasts, become the meal of the poor man.’

Let us, the children of the Church, practise what is in our power of these admonitions; and since the actual discipline of Advent is so very mild, let us be so much the more fervent in fulfilling the precept of the fast of the Ember days. By these few exercises which are now required of us, let us keep up within ourselves the zeal of our forefathers for this holy season of Advent. We must never forget that although the interior preparation is what is absolutely essential for our profiting by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, yet this preparation could scarcely be real unless it manifested itself by the exterior practices of religion and penance.

The fast of the Ember days has another object besides that of consecrating the four seasons of the year to God by an act of penance: it has also in view the ordination of the ministers of the Church, which takes place on the Saturday, and of which notice was formerly given to the people during the Mass of the Wednesday. In the Roman Church, the ordination held in the month of December was, for a long time, the most solemn of all; and it would appear, from the ancient chronicles of the Popes, that, excepting very extraordinary cases, the tenth month was, for several ages, the only time for conferring Holy Orders in Rome. The faithful should unite with the Church in this her intention, and offer to God their fasting and abstinence for the purpose of obtaining worthy ministers of the word and of the Sacraments, and true pastors of the people.

From New Advent:

Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class.

At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding; hence their feriae sementivae, feriae messis, and feri vindimiales. The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering: the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week--these were formerly given only at Easter.

Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by the Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with the Roman Liturgy in the eleventh century. They were introduced by St. Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them. The present Roman Missal, in the formulary for the Ember days, retains in part the old practice of lessons from Scripture in addition to the ordinary two: for the Wednesdays three, for the Saturdays six, and seven for the Saturday in December. Some of these lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.

From Catholic Culture:

Since man is both a spiritual and physical being, the Church provides for the needs of man in his everyday life. The Church's liturgy and feasts in many areas reflect the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall and winter). The months of August, September, October and November are part of the harvest season, and as Christians we recall God's constant protection over his people and give thanksgiving for the year's harvest.

The September Ember Days were particularly focused on the end of the harvest season and thanksgiving to God for the season. Ember Days were three days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting and almsgiving at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year. The ember days fell after December 13, the feast of St. Lucy (winter), after the First Sunday of Lent (spring), after Pentecost Sunday (summer), and after September 14 , the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (fall). These weeks are known as the quattor tempora, the "four seasons."

Since the late 5th century, the Ember Days were also the preferred dates for ordination of priests. So during these times the Church had a threefold focus: (1) sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving; (2) giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and (3) praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
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
Thursday, December 5, 2019
Mission Santa Barbara

After having just celebrated the feastday of St. Barbara, I thought it appropriate to share a series of photos from my time in Santa Barbara, California back in 2014. Please excuse the poor quality of these images by today's standards. Back then I visited the Mission of St. Barbara in the city dedicated to her honor. These are some images of that church.

Prayer in Honor of St. Barbara, Virgin and Martyr, to Obtain a Good Death 

O Lord, Who selected St. Barbara for the consolation of the living and the dying, grant us by her intercession ever to live in thy divine love and to put all our confidence in the merits of the most sorrowful passion of Thy Son. May the death of Him never surprise us, but, comforted by the holy sacraments of Penance, Holy Eucharist and Extreme Unction, may we set forward without fear towards eternal glory. This we beseech thee by the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen 

(Indulgence 100 days)

Tuesday, December 3, 2019
UPDATED DESIGN: NEW Latin Pronunciation Prayer Cards, the producer of beautiful prayer cards in English and in Latin, has just released an exciting new line of pronunciation prayer cards.

Check out their selection of Latin prayer cards featuring complete English phonetic renderings of the Latin words per the more romano (like the Romans) liturgical pronunciation as endorsed by Popes St. Pius X, Benedict XV, and Pius XI. Phonetic renderings were provided by Louis Tofari of Romanitas Press, whose products I've also reviewed before.

The pronunciation prayer cards are offered in both 10 and 50 packs for very affordable prices. Buy some and pass them out and distribute them. Let's get more Catholics praying in the Church's official language. Click here to browse their offerings.

I would personally suggest their variety pack which features 16 cards - 2 of each of the following prayers:
  • Signum Crucis (Sign of the Cross) & Gloria Patri (Glory Be)
  • Pater Noster (Our Father)
  • Ave Maria (Hail Mary)
  • Sancte Michael (St. Michael)
  • Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen)
  • Benedictio Mensae (Prayers Before and After Meals)
  • Actus Contritionis (Act of Contrition)
  • Credo (Apostles' Creed)
Check out the variety pack specifically by clicking here.
Saturday, November 30, 2019
Advent Preparation Guide

Advent begins this Sunday. This is like a mini Lent. Let's start planning how to spend these days leading up to Christmastide.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019
St. Leonard of Port Maurice

November 26th is the Feast of St. Sylvester the Abbot. It is in addition also the feastday of St. Peter of Alexandria, who was one of the first martyrs for combating the heresy of Arius. In the Divine Office a Commemoration is made of him.

Furthermore, in some places, it is also the feastday of St. Leonard of Port Maurice. The following account is taken from the St. Benedict Center:
Saint Leonard of Port Maurice was a most holy Franciscan friar. He lived at the monastery of Saint Bonaventure in Rome. He was one of the greatest missioners in the history of the Church. He used to preach to thousands in the open square of every city and town where the churches could not hold his listeners. The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus were his crusades. He was in no small way responsible for the definition of the Immaculate Conception made a little more than a hundred years after his death. But Saint Leonard’s most famous work was his devotion to the Stations of the Cross. He is sometimes called the Saint of the Stations of the Cross. So brilliant and holy was his eloquence that once when he gave a two weeks’ mission in Rome, the Pope and the College of Cardinals came to hear him. Saint Leonard of Port Maurice also gave us the Divine Praises, which are said at the end of Benediction. He died a most holy death in his seventy-fifth year, after twenty-four years of uninterrupted preaching.
Read more on his life at And spend some time reading one of his greatest sermons: The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved by St. Leonard of Port Maurice


May the kindly prayers of Thy most holy Confessor, Leonard, avail us, O almighty God, before Thy Divine Majesty. Dutifully we venerate him: may we be helped by his intercession. Through our Lord...

Prayer Source: "The New Roman Missal" by Father Lasance
Monday, November 18, 2019
St. Anthony of Padua Restores a Faithful Woman Her Hair

Once there was a Holy woman who was kind and charitable to Saint Anthony and his Friars. This infuriated her husband to no ends to the point the jealous husband ordered her to stop giving them alms. The woman knew her husband's orders were unreasonable, so she ignored them. The next time he found she had been giving things to the friars he became quite furious. He laid hands on his wife and beat her unmercifully. He even dragged the poor woman around by the hair so that a good part of it was pulled out by the roots. When the woman saw this, she went to St. Anthony for help. Anthony asked the rest of the friars to pray with him. By the time their prayers had come to an end, the woman's hair had been restored, even more lovely than before. When the husband saw the miracle worked through St. Anthony, he was throughly ashamed and converted. He begged his wife's forgiveness and never more interfered in her works of charity towards the Franciscan friars.

St. Anthony of Padua, pray for us!
Friday, November 15, 2019
Commemoration of All Souls of the Carmelite Order

While the Universal Church keeps on November 2nd the Commemoration of All Departed Souls, the various religious orders in the Church keep specific days to remember the dead of their Orders throughout November.

The Dominicans traditionally keep the Feast of All Dominican Saints on November 12th and the Commemoration of All Departed Dominican Souls on November 13th. The Benedictines keep the Feast of All Benedictine Saints on November 13th and the Commemoration of all Benedictine Souls on November 14th. Likewise, the Carmelites keep on November 14th the Feast of All Carmelite Saints and on November 15th keep the Commemoration of all Carmelite Souls.

As many of us have (or should have) been enrolled in the Brown Scapular, which is part of the Carmelite Order, it is certainly meritorious if we would stop and say a prayer this day for all of the departed Carmelite Souls who are in Purgatory and undergoing their final purification before entering Heaven.

Prayers said by Carmelites:

Inclina, Domine, aurem tuam ad preces nostras, quibus misericordiam tuam supplices deprecamur: ut animas Fratrum et Sororum Ordinis nostri, quas de hoc sæculo migrare jussisti; in pacis ac lucis regione constituas, et Sanctorum tuorum jubeas esse consortes. Per Dominum.

Lord, give ear to our prayers as we humbly beseech thy mercy that the souls of the Brothers and Sisters of our Order, who at thy bidding have departed from this world, may be established in the abode of peace and light, and may at thy command have entrance into the company of thy saints: through our Lord.

(Carmelite Liturgy of the Holy Sepulchre with English Translation by the old Carmelite Daily Missal)

Prayers said by the Discalced Carmelites:

Deus, veniæ largitor, et humanæ salutis amator: quæsumus clementiam tuam; ut nosræ Congregatonis Fratrers et Sorores, qui ex hoc sæculo transierunt, beata Maria semper Virgine intercedente cum omnibus Sanctis tuis, ad perpetuæ beatitudinis consortium pervenire concedas. Per Dominum.

O God the giver of forgiveness and lover of human salvation, we ask thy mercy: that the brothers and sisters of our congregation who have passed from this world, by the intercession of the blessed Mary ever-virgin and all thy saints, you would grant them to reach the company of eternal bliss. Through our Lord.
St. Martin's Lent

Detail from Charité de Saint Martin by Caroline Sorg (1864)

"[St. Martin’s Lent] was formerly observed, even by the Laity, with Abstinence from Flesh, and with a rigorous Fast, in some Places, by Precept, in others of Devotion, and without any positive Obligation, though universal. The first Council of Maçon, in 581, ordered Advent from St. Martin’s to Christmas-day three Fasting Days a Week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; but the whole Term of forty Days, was observed with a strict Abstinence from Flesh Meat" - Alban Butler, The Moveable Feasts, Fasts, and Other Annual Observances of the Catholic Church (London: C. Kiernan, 1774), p 98.

November 15th in the Eastern Rite Churches begins the Nativity Fast. This 40-day long period 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. This was practiced for many centuries by the Western Church, especially before Advent became four weeks in Lent. Previously, Advent was modeled after Lent. The fast, which shortly follows Martinmas, is often called "St. Martin's Lent." Learn more in my subsequent article: St. Martin's Lent & The True Advent Fast.

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.

Ask yourself - can you join in this ancient fasting period (aside from Thanksgiving Day and Sundays and the Holy Day of the Immaculate Conception)? Can you offer this penance for the conversion of sinners as a Christmas present to the Lord?
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Traditional Latin Mass at St. Monica's in San Francisco, CA

On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 11 AM, St. Monica Catholic Church at 470 24th Street offers the Traditional Latin Mass. Here are some highlights from my time there on the feastday of St. Josaphat on November 14th.

  • The entrance to the weekday Mass is through the parking lot in the back. It is not through the front doors. The back area near the rectory has a small ramp and a door open where you enter. 
  • There is a restroom near that entrance, which is nice since not all parishes have restrooms available during the week
  • The Mass that I attended featured a sermon and was a Low Mass but went a full hour - actually a bit more than an hour. For someone coming to this Mass on their lunch break, this would be important to know. It was not a "quick" 30-minute Low Mass
  • The priest offered a compelling sermon even on a weekday where he spoke of the Catholic Church as the One True Church, outside of which no one is saved. And he highlighted our role in evangelization as a duty to bring all non-Catholics to the Catholic Faith. He even directly countered the errors of Pope Francis who has spoken negatively on conversions before. This was extremely refreshing to hear.
  • The church is not crowded at all. There was an abundance of room to move around and sit without bumping into anyone.
  • Approximately 20 people were in attendance - of which 17 were women. And all of the women wore veils. All of them. Great to see!

Not to complain, as I do appreciate this parish offering this Mass, there were some oddities that would stand out to someone who often goes to the Tridentine Mass:
  • The main distraction was the "loudness" of the prayers. I noticed even while sitting 6 rows back that I could hear the prayers ascending to the altar, the Munda Cor Meum, and the offertory silent prayers almost word for word. While the Canon was said in a lower voice, I could still hear many of the words and that was a distraction to me. The "Nobis quoque peccatóribus" was said so loudly it was a yell. I hope the priest continues to offer the Traditional Mass but modifies his vocal cords to be more in conformity with the rubrics of the quiet of Low Mass.
  • They were dog friendly, which is fine as I noticed a woman brought her dog with her. But the priest seemed to have a dog of his own that ran around the church and even the sanctuary for about 10 minutes from the start of Mass until the dog decided to jump on top of the priest's chair and sleep. Quite a distraction.
  • The priest did not make the Sign of the Cross at the beginning or end of the sermon
  • The priest did not wear a maniple
  • There was no "sanctus candle" placed on the altar
While it was not a "perfectly" said Mass according to the rubrics, the sermon was spot on. Please say a prayer for this priest.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Double of the II Class (1954 Calendar): December 22nd
Third Class (1962 Calendar): November 13th

From childhood, Frances Cabrini desired to become a missionary for Christ. After some unsuccessful starts, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Codogno, Italy; and in 1889 at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, she accepted the invitation of New York's Archbishop Corrigan to work among the numerous Italian immigrants of that era. Mother Cabrini founded orphanages, schools, and hospitals all over the United States, and extended her institute to Central and South America, France, Spain, and England. Everywhere her work succeeded only through her unbounded trust in God's providence. Though always in poor health, she traveled constantly, crossing the Atlantic 25 times in spite of a great fear of ocean voyages.

A naturalized citizen of the United States, Mother Cabrini died in 1917 in the convent of her great hospital in Chicago and was canonized in 1946, the first American citizen-saint. Her feastday was assigned for the United States to November 22nd until the change to the calendar in 1960 when her feast was moved to November 13th, the day of her beatification, in order to avoid conflicting with the greater ferias of Advent.

In both instances, her feastday is not kept on the Universal Calendar - it is kept only in the United States.


O Lord, Jesus Christ, You enkindled the fire of Your Sacred Heart in the holy virgin Frances Xavier so that she might win souls for You in many lands, and establish a new religious congregation of women in Your Church. Grant that we too may imitate the virtues of Your Sacred Heart through her intercession, so that we may be worthy of the haven of eternal happiness, who lives and rules with God the Father . . .
Can Catholics be Buddhist? Why Catholics May Not Practice Buddhism

"The fundamental tenets of Buddhism are marked by grave defects that not only betray its inadequacy to become a religion of enlightened humanity, but also bring into bold relief its inferiority to the religion of Jesus Christ.

"In the first place, the very foundation on which Buddhism rests—the doctrine of karma with its implied transmigrations—is gratuitous and false. This pretended law of nature, by which the myriads of gods, demons, men, and animals are but the transient forms of rational beings essentially the same, but forced to this diversity in consequence of varying degrees of merit and demerit in former lives, is a huge superstition in flat contradiction to the recognized laws of nature, and hence ignored by men of science.

"Another basic defect in primitive Buddhism is its failure to recognize man's dependence on a supreme God. By ignoring God and by making salvation rest solely on personal effort, Buddha substituted for the Brahmin religion a cold and colourless system of philosophy. It is entirely lacking in those powerful motives to right conduct, particularly the motive of love, that spring from the consecration of religious men and women to the dependence on a personal all-loving God. Hence it is that Buddhist morality is in the last analysis a selfish utilitarianism.

"There is no sense of duty, as in the religion of Christ, prompted by reverence for a supreme Lawgiver, by love for a merciful Father, by personal allegiance to a Redeemer. Karma, the basis of Buddhist morality, is like any other law of nature, the observance of which is prompted by prudential considerations. Not infrequently one meets the assertion that Buddha surpassed Jesus in holding out to struggling humanity an end utterly unselfish. This is a mistake. Not to speak of the popular Swarga, or heaven, with its positive, even sensual delights the fact that Nirvana is a negative ideal of bliss does not make it the less an object of interested desire. Far from being an unselfish end, Nirvana is based wholly on the motive of self-love. It thus stands on a much lower level than the Christian ideal, which, being primarily and essentially a union of friendship with God in heaven, appeals to motives of disinterested as well as interested love."

For more, see: New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia
Monday, November 11, 2019
Happy Martinmas! (And 101st 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 in an attempt to blot out the long held practice of honoring St. Martin.  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.

Make an effort today to thank a veteran. And make an effort to pray for all who have died in battle - those in World War I, World War II, more recent conflicts, and those from centuries ago who sadly are forgotten. If the souls of those who died in such battles of long ago are still in Purgatory, no one in likely praying for them. Make an effort to pray for all the dead veterans of all times today.

St. Martin of Tours, pray for us to have true Christian charity!

For the repose of all of the souls of the dead...Pater Noster, Ave Maria, Requiem aeternam...

For all living veterans who struggle with addictions, employment issues, or health issues...Pater Noster, Ave Maria...

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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