Monday, January 18, 2016
Octave of Christian Unity: Prayer for the Pagans
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Let us Pray.

Have mercy on us, Lord of Heaven and earth. Look upon us and send Thy fear upon the nations which have not sought Thee, or, even worse, have persecuted Thy Divine Son in His Apostles and missionaries. Grant that they may know that there is no other God than Thee, and may finally be converted to Thy Holy Catholic Church, and proclaim Thy greatness. Shorten the time, and be mindful of the end, that they may spread abroad Thy wonderful deeds and all the ends of the earth may fear Thee. V. Rejoice, all the earth. R. And serve the Lord in gladness.

Let us Pray.


Almighty, everlasting God, Who seekest not the death but the life of the sinner, receive favorably our prayer and deliver the pagans from the worship of idols and bring them into the fold of Thy One, True Church, to the praise and glory of Thy Name. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen. (300 days.)

Let us Pray.

O God, the everlasting Creator of all things, remember that the souls of unbelievers were made by Thee and formed in Thine own Image and Likeness. Remember that Jesus, Thy Son, endured a most bitter Death for their eternal salvation. Permit not, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thy Son should be any longer despised by unbelievers, but do Thou graciously accept the prayers of thy faithful children, and of thy One, True Church, the Immaculate Spouse of Thy most holy Son, and be mindful of Thy mercy. Grant that the infidels may renounce their pernicious idolatry and wicked unbelief, that they too may some day know Him Whom Thou hast sent, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our Salvation, our Life, and Resurrection, by Whom we have been redeemed, to Whom be glory for endless ages. Amen. (500 days.)

Let us pray.

O Mary, most clement, refuge of sinners, listen to our prayers, and beg of Thy Son that God Almighty may take away iniquity from the hearts of pagans; that abandoning their idols they may turn to the living and true God, and Christ, His only Son, our Divine Lord.

V. Be all confounded, who adore graven images;
R. And who glory in their idols.

Let us pray.

O God, Whose will it is that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth: we beg Thee to send laborers into Thy harvest and grant them to speak Thy word with all confidence; that Thy word may be spread and be glorified, and that all people may know Thee, the only true God, and Him Whom Thou hast sent, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, Who livest and reignest with Thee forever, unto ages of ages. Amen. (3 years indulgence.)

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who alone art the Savior of the whole human race, Who "rulest from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth," mercifully open the treasures of Thy most Sacred Heart to the wretched inhabitants of China, Mongolia, Japan, India and the other Asian countries, who still sit in darkness and the shadow of death, that through the intercession of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Immaculate Mother, and of St. Francis Xavier, they may abandon their idols, and prostrating themselves before Thee, may be united to Thy holy Church, Who livest and reignest, forever, unto ages of ages. Amen. St. Frances Xavier, Apostle to the Indies, pray for us.

Let us pray.


O Lord Jesus Christ, the one and only Savior of the whole human race, "Who reignest from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth," open Thy most Sacred Heart in mercy to those wretched souls in Africa, and their descendants throughout the world, who still sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, that through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Immaculate Mother, and of St. Joseph, her most glorious spouse, they may abandon their idols of every form, and prostrating themselves before Thee, be admitted into Thy holy Church, Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, One God, forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

(Three Hail Mary's)

For more information and the Official Prayer for each day of the Octave, see the post on the Octave of Christian Unity
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Chair of the Octave of Christian Unity
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The Chair of Unity Octave Prayer

Ant. That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that Thou has sent me.

℣. I say to thee, that thou art Peter,
℟. And upon this rock I will build my Church.


Let us pray
Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst say to Thine Apostles: peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, look not upon my sins, but upon the faith of Thy Church; and vouchsafe unto Her that peace and unity which is agreeable to Thy will: Who livest and reignest God forever and ever. Amen.


Intentions of the Octave:
  • 18 January, The Feast of Saint Peter's Chair at Rome: The union of all Christians in the one true faith and in the Church
  • 19 January: The return of separated Eastern Christians to communion with the Holy See
  • 20 January: The reconciliation of Anglicans with the Holy See
  • 21 January: The reconciliation of European Protestants with the Holy See
  • 22 January: That American Christians become one in union with the Chair of Peter
  • 23 January: The restoration of lapsed Catholics to the sacramental life of the Church
  • 24 January: That the Jewish people come into their inheritance in Jesus Christ
  • 25 January, The Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul: The missionary extension of Christ's kingdom throughout the world
Prayers For Each Day of the Octave:
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of the octave of prayers for the unity of the Church from the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter in Rome (Jan. 18) to the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul (Jan. 25). (Apostolic Brief, Feb. 25, 1916; S. P. Ap., Nov. 15, 1927 and Dec. 10, 1946).
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Saturday, January 16, 2016
Feast of St. Marcellus I
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Semidouble (1954 Calendar): January 16

On January 16th, after we have concluded the Octave of the Epiphany but still within the Christmas season (which lasts up until February 2nd), we celebrate the feast of Pope St. Marcellus I.

Nothing is known of the life of Pope St. Marcellus I prior to his ascent to the papacy in the early summer of 308 AD.  He led the Church as the Supreme Pontiff during the end of the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian - which led to countless martyrs and a great disruption in the Church.  Pope St. Marcellus faced great struggles as he sought to reconstitute the clergy who had been dispersed and hidden from practicing the Faith openly during the demonic onslaught brought on by Diocletian. 

Pope St. Marcellus I also served in imitation of our Lord, the Good Shepherd, as he sought to welcome back and absolve from sin those who had denied the Faith for fear of being murdered. However, when a group of the apostatized, known as the Lapsi, refused to do penance, St. Marcellus refused to allow their return to the Church. This group had some political pull, and some caused such civil disruption that Emperor Maxentius exiled the Pope in order to settle the matter.

Legend says that Marcellus was forced to work as a stable slave as punishment. The Church considers Pope St. Marcellus I as a martyr since he died of the terrible conditions he suffered in exile.  He died only one year after his ascension to the papacy in 309 AD.  He was initially buried in the cemetery of Saint Priscilla in Rome, Italy, but his relics were later translated to beneath the altar of San Marcello al Corso Church in Rome where they remain today.

Each year during the Stational Churches devotion in Lent, Wednesday in the Fifth Week of Lent observes the Stational Church at the Church of St. Marcellus.  

Traditional Matins Reading:

Marcellus was a Roman, and governed the Church from the reign of Constantius and Galerius to that of Maxentius. It was by his counsel that a Roman Matron, named Lucina, made the Church of God the heir of all her property. He established in the City five and twenty Titles, as so many districts for the administration of baptism and penance to Pagans converted to the Christian religion, and for providing burial to the Martyrs. All this irritated Maxentius, and he threatened Marcellus with severe punishment unless he laid down his Pontificate, and offered sacrifice to the idols.

Marcellus heeded not the senseless words of man, and was therefore sent to the stables, there to take care of the beasts which were kept at the public expense. In this place Marcellus spent nine months, fasting and praying without ceasing, and visiting by his letters the Churches he could not visit in person. He was thence delivered by some of his clergy, and was harboured by the blessed Lucina, in whose house he dedicated a Church, which is now called the Church of St Marcellus. Here did the Christians assemble for prayer, and the blessed Marcellus preach.

Maxentius, coming to hear these things, ordered that Church to be turned into the stable for the beasts, and Marcellus to be made its keeper. Sickened by the foul atmosphere, and worn out by his many cares, he slept in the Lord. The blessed Lucina had his body buried in the Priscilla cemetery, on the Salarian Way, the seventeenth of the Calends of February (January 16). He sat five years, one month, and twenty-five days. He wrote a letter to the Bishops of the Antioch province, concerning the Primacy of the Church of Rome, which he proves ought to be called 'the Head of the Churches.' In the same letter there occurs this passage, that no Council may be rightly celebrated without the authority of the Roman Pontiff. He ordained at Rome, in the month of December, twenty-five Priests, two Deacons, and twenty-one Bishops for various places.

Pope St. Marcellus I, pray for us and for the Church Militant!

Prayer:

O Lord, graciously hear the prayers of Your people. May the merits of the martyred pope Marcellus help us, just as his sufferings have given us cause for spiritual joy. Through Our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Do You Know Your Baptism Anniversary?
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On this day, the Octave Day of the Epiphany, when we recall the Baptism of Christ, it is especially appropriate for us to remember the importance of our own Baptism anniversary.  Do you know it?  Is it on your calendar?  Do you mark the day in much joy and celebration (as long as it is not during a season of penance such as Lent)?  Do you renew your Baptismal promises on that anniversary?

"I think more of the place where I was baptized than of Rheims Cathedral where I was crowned.  It is a greater thing to be a child of God than to be the ruler of a Kingdom.  This last I shall lose at death but the other will be my passport to an everlasting glory." (St. Louis IX, King of France)
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Sunday, January 10, 2016
Pope Francis: We must have dialogue among religions
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http://acatholiclife.blogspot.com/2006/08/can-non-catholics-be-saved.html
Guest Post by David Martin

Pope Francis' ecumenical prayer intention for January 2016 is that all religions will collaborate and be one. In his monthly address delivered on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany, the pope said that the diversity of religious groupings on earth "should lead to a dialogue among religions" and stressed that "We should not stop praying for it and collaborating with those who think differently."

The pope's January prayer intentions was released via video and has scandalized Catholics and non-Catholics the world over. In the spirit of Vatican II the pontiff makes use of highly ambiguous wording to make his point seem irrefutable, saying, "Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways. In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God."

This is another attempt to use ambiguous language to advance the so-called validity of all religions. Naturally the members of all religions are the "children of God" in that they are created by God, but they are not the "adopted" children of God through baptism, the sacrament which Jesus told Nicodemus was indispensable for salvation. (John 3:5) The implication here is that non-Catholics are all the "members of God's universal Church," which is not true. Without explicitly committing heresy, the pope strongly insinuates that all religions are blessed and guided from above, which blatantly opposes the Church's dogmatic teaching that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true religion on earth, outside of which there exists no salvation. (extra ecclesiam nulla salus) While heresy is promoted, the advocates of ecumenism hide behind his slippery wording and say, "he didn't preach explicit heresy."

Actions will best prove this. If the pope says that members of other faiths are the "children of God," then he is obliged to help them and not deprive them the riches of the Catholic Faith, lest contempt be shown for the Church's mission to Catholicize the nations. The Church's divinely instituted mission is to convert Jews, Gentiles, and members of other religions, but now Rome is denying Christ's commission to "teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" and to "teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." (Mt. 28:19) A pope's duty is to reach out and convert the outsiders so that they too can possess Christ, and not shrink out of fear and deny the Church's mission just so outsiders will praise him. Under the guise of mercy humanity is being deprived of the Kingdom of Heaven, which is what the Year of Mercy really boils down to.

We give the Holy Father the benefit of the doubt, however, as rumors continue to circulate about his melancholia and his suspected use of anti-depressants to keep it in check. Sadly, the pope is being used as an instrument to spread these ecumenical ideas abroad, and it appears it's beginning to catch up with him. Many have noted that his speech these days is sometimes slurred, as can be heard in the Jan. 6 video.

We can only pray that Pope Francis will stand his ground and state forth the truth and nothing but the truth for good of humanity, remembering that he is the visible representative of He who is "the way, and the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) The world today is treading in fetters and chains, but the truth of the Catholic Faith is what will "make them free." (John 8:32) 
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Friday, January 8, 2016
Solemn High Mass at St James in London
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These exquisite photos were taken of a Solemn High Mass at St James's, Spanish Place, London. Celebrant: Mgr Gordon Read, LMS National Chaplain. Photos courtesy of John Aron.  Accessed via the group's Facebook Page

Let us pray for all that Archbishop Lefebvre worked for - a true restoration of the sacred and the undoing of so much destruction in the Church and in the modern world.
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Catholic Friday Fast
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Today is Friday, the day in which we commemorate Our Lord's passion and death. It was our own sins that condemned our glorious Lord to death on Good Friday - death on a Cross. As Catholics, we are still bound to either abstain from meat or rather to do some act of penance each Friday of the entire year.

It was on this day of the week that our glorious Redeemer died for us. Please, never forget this, especially at 3 o'clock, the hour that He died. At 3 o'clock attempt to pray a prayer of reparation and remember Our Lord's love and sacrifice today.

Code of Canon Law:
Can. 1249 All Christ's faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.
Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016
The Vigil of Epiphany & The Solemn Blessing of Epiphany Water
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Semidouble (1954 Calendar): January 5

Today, January 5th is the Vigil of the Epiphany and it is common in the traditional Roman Rite - in addition to the Byzantine Rite - to bless Epiphany water at this time. Sadly, even the 1962 Missal does not preserve this ancient vigil which was kept up until the changes in 1955 under Pope Pius XII. Those who keep the 1954 Calendar, retain this venerable vigil - one of the four principal vigils of the entire liturgical year.

Restore the 54 states, "The Vigil of Epiphany is one of the four major vigils of the year. This is the only vigil which is completely festal in nature, and as such, it is the only vigil without the use of violet, and it has a full Office, in semidouble rite, beginning with (First) Vespers. All other vigils, even the other major ones, don't begin until Matins, but all vigils without exception and by definition end with None."

The Vigil of the Epiphany


"The Epiphany of Our Lord is the central feast of the Incarnation cycle, which runs from the First Sunday of Advent to Candlemas. Epiphany is not the end, but the apex of this cycle; it brings to full fruition the expectation of Advent’s “Veni, Domine.” Epiphany fulfills Christmas; Our Lord was born in the stillness of the night and manifested His birth only to a few; the Epiphany recounts Our Lord manifesting Himself, human and divine, to the whole world, from which point, His salvific mission begins. 

"As such, Epiphany is one of the four principle feasts of the year, along with Christmas, Easter and Pentecost, traditionally preceded by a privileged and special vigil. (By vigil, we refer to an entire day of preparation before a major feast, not a Mass of the feast itself anticipated the evening before.) Considering the importance of the feast, it is a very strange and unfortunate phenomenon that its ancient vigil, along with its highly privileged octave, was suppressed in 1955, along with many other things. Hence, in the 1962 Roman Calendar, there is no longer a “Vigil of Epiphany,” and January 5 was recast as a generic Christmas feria."


"The Feast of Christmas is over; the four Octaves are closed; and we are on the Eve of the Solemnity of our Lord's Epiphany. We must spend this January 5 in preparing ourselves for the Manifestation which Jesus, the Angel of Great Counsel, is about to make to us of his glory. A few more hours, and the Star will stand still in the heavens, and the Magi will be seeking for admission into the stable of Bethlehem.

"This Vigil is not like that of Christmas, a day of penance. The Child whose coming we were then awaiting, in the fervour of our humble desires, is now among us, preparing to bestow fresh favours upon us. This eve of to-morrow’s Solemnity is a day of joy, like those that have preceded it; and therefore we do not fast, nor does the Church put on the vestments of mourning. If the Office of the Vigil be the one of to-day, the colour used is White. This is the Twelfth day since the Birth of our Emmanuel.

"If the Vigil of the Epiphany fall on a Sunday, it shares with Christmas Eve the privilege of not being anticipated, as all other Vigils are, on the Saturday: it is kept on the Sunday, has all the privileges of a Sunday, and the Mass is that of the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas Day. Let us, therefore, celebrate this Vigil in great joy of heart, and prepare our souls for to-morrow’s graces.

"The Greek Church keeps this a fasting-day, in memory of the preparation for Baptism, which used formerly to be administered, especially in the East, on the night preceding the feast of the Epiphany. She still solemnly blesses the Water on this Feast. We will in our next volume speak of this ceremony, of which some vestiges still remain in the Western Church."

The traditional Gospel reading for the Vigil of the Epiphany, in place up until 1955. Sadly, with the change in 1955, it is not read anytime in the 1962 Missal:

"AT THAT TIME, when Herod was dead, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph in Egypt, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel. For they are dead that sought the life of the child. Who arose, and took the child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But hearing that Archelaus reigned in Judea in the room of Herod his father, he was afraid to go thither: and being warned in sleep retired into the quarters of Galilee. And coming he dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was said by prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene" (Matthew 2:19-23).

The Blessing of Epiphany Water - Background

By way of background, this is taken from Rorate Caeli:

This rite was inserted into the Roman Ritual in 1890, arguably making it the most recent example of the influence of Greek ceremonial on the Roman Rite prior to the liturgical reforms of the 20th century.

There was apparently a botched attempt to abolish this ritual in the early 20th century, as the following passage from a well-known rubrical guide shows: “(t)he solemn Blessing of Water which had been introduced in some places, and which owes its origin to the Greek Church, as is shown in the Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, 3730 … is to be struck out as abrogated, according to the Decree of the same Congregation, 3792, ad XV, and therefore it is not permitted to use it in the future. It is, nevertheless, retained in the revised edition of the Rituale Romanum (Vatican, typical, 1925), p. 705 ” (No. 547 of Matters Liturgical, 1938 edition, by Joseph Wuest C.SS.R and Thomas Mullaney C.SS.R.). At any rate, the blessing has continued to be used in some communities down to our own day, and is being rediscovered by others. 

It should be noted that prior to 1890, the solemn Blessing of Water was already to be found in some diocesan rituals (especially in Germany). There was also a particularly elaborate form of this blessing that was used at least until 1890 in Sant' Andrea della Valle and some other churches in Rome. It's text -- which is far longer than the 1890 text, with a Lesson and a Gospel reading, responsories and antiphons, a Preface, a Sanctus, and very long blessings.

The Blessing of Epiphany Water - Liturgical Rite Translated into English

The celebrant, vested in white cope, comes before the altar, preceded by acolytes bearing the processional cross and lighted candles. A vessel of water and a container of salt are prepared.

The Litany of the Saints is sung, during which time all kneel. After the invocation "That Thou wouldst grant eternal rest, etc.," the celebrant rises and sings the following two invocations:

℣. That Thou wouldst bless + this water.
℟. We beseech Thee hear us.
℣. That Thou wouldst bless + and sanctify + this water.
℟. We beseech Thee hear us.

The cantors continue the litany. The celebrant then says the Pater Noster silently until:

℣. And lead us not into temptation.
℟. But deliver us from evil.

Psalm 28


Sacrifice to the Lord, ye sons of God; * bring to the Lord the offspring of rams.

Offer to the Lord praise and honor, offer glory to His name; * worship the Lord in His holy court.

The voice of the Lord booms over the waters, the God of majesty hath thundered, * the Lord rules over tempestuous waters.

The voice of the Lord hath power, * the voice of the Lord hath splendor.

The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars, * the Lord doth shatter the cedars of Lebanon.

And scattereth them to skip like a calf, * while His beloved gambol like the young of bison.

The voice of the Lord spreadeth flame into lightning; the voice of the Lord maketh the desert to tremble; * and the Lord shall shake the wilderness of Cades.

The voice of the Lord frighteneth deer to calve untimely, and strippeth bare the forests, * and in His heavens all sing: “Glory!”

The Lord is enthroned upon the flood, * the Lord shall reign as King forever.

The Lord will give strength to His people, * the Lord will bless His people with peace.

Glory be to the Father. * As it was in the beginning.

Psalm 45

Our God is refuge and strength, * a Helper in sorrows which often beset us.

Hence we fear not, though the earth be shaken * and the mountains sink in the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof should roar and foam, * and the mountains quake from its breakers.

Gay billows of the river gladden the city of God; * the Most High hath sanctified His dwelling.

God is in the midst of the city, it shall not be disturbed; * God will help it at earliest dawn.

The heathen were afflicted, and kingdoms brought low; * God spoke, and their land was dissolved.

The Lord of hosts is with us, * the God of Jacob is our protector.

Come ye and behold the works of the Lord, what desolation He hath wrought on their land! * He endeth wars through the boundaries of the earth.

He breaketh the bow and destroyeth weapons, * and shields He burneth in fire.

And He spoke: “Be still, and see that I am God! * I will be exalted by the heathen, I will be exalted by my own.”

The Lord of hosts is with us; * the God of Jacob is our protector.

Glory be to the Father. * As it was in the beginning.

Psalm 146

Praise ye the Lord, for it is good to laud Him; * joyful and worthy praise becometh our God.

The Lord rebuildeth Jerusalem, * and will gather the exiles of Israel.

He healeth the heart-broken, * and bindeth up their wounds.

He knoweth the number of stars, * and calleth all by name.

Great is our Lord and great His power, * His wisdom infinite.

The Lord raiseth up the meek, but the wicked He humbleth to the dust.

Sing ye to the Lord in thanksgiving; * praise our God on the harp;

Who covereth the heavens with clouds, * and prepareth rain for the earth.

Who maketh grass to grow on the hills * and herbs for lower creatures.

Who giveth to beasts their food, * and to little ravens that cry unto Him.

He placeth no trust in the strength of a steed, * nor doth man’s fleetness please Him.

The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear Him * and in them that trust in His mercy.

Glory be to the Father. * As it was in the beginning.

Exorcism Against Satan and the Apostate Angels
We cast thee out, every unclean spirit, every devilish power, every assault of the infernal adversary, every legion, every diabolical group and sect, by the Name and power of our Lord Jesus + Christ, and command thee to fly far from the Church of God and from all who are made to the image of God and redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb +. Presume never again, thou cunning serpent, to deceive the human race, to persecute the Church of God, nor to strike the chosen of God and sift them as wheat +. For the Most High commands thee, + He to Whom thou didst hitherto in thy great pride presume thyself equal; He Who desireth that all men might be saved, and come to the knowledge of truth. God the Father + commandeth thee! God the Son + commandeth thee! God the Holy + Spirit commandeth thee! The majesty of Christ commands thee, the Eternal Word of God made flesh, + Who for the salvation of our race, lost through thy envy, humbled Himself and was made obedient even unto death; Who built His Church upon a solid rock, and proclaimed that the gates of hell should never prevail against her, and that He would remain with her all days, even to the end of the world! The Sacred Mystery of the Cross + commands thee, as well as the power of all Mysteries of Christian faith! + The most excellent Virgin Mary, Mother of God + commands thee, who in her lowliness crushed thy proud head from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception! The faith of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul and the other apostles + commands thee! The blood of the martyrs commands thee, as well as the pious intercession + of holy men and women!

Therefore, accursed dragon and every diabolical legion, we adjure thee by the living + God, by the true + God, by the holy + God, by the God Who so loved the world that He gave His Sole-Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but shall have life everlasting – cease thy deception of men and thy giving them to drink of the poison of eternal damnation; desist from harming the Church and fettering her freedom! Get thee gone, Satan, founder and master of all falsity, enemy of mankind! Give place to Christ in Whom thou didst find none of thy works; give place to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church which Christ Himself bought with His Blood! Be thou brought low under God’s mighty hand; tremble and flee as we call upon the holy and awesome name of Jesus, before Whom hell trembles, and to Whom the Virtues, Powers, and Dominations are subject; Whom the Cherubim and Seraphim praise with unfailing voices, saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, the Lord God of Hosts!
The cantors sing the following Antiphon and Canticle:
Antiphon
Today the Church is espoused to the heavenly Bridegroom, for in the Jordan Christ washes her sins: the Magi hasten with gifts to the regal nuptials, and the guests are gladdened with water become wine, alleluia.

Canticle of Zachary Luke 1.68-79
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, * for He hath visited and redeemed His people,

And hath raised up the Abundance of salvation for us * in the lineage of David His servant.

Thus He foretold by the mouth of His holy prophets * who have been from times ancient;

That we might be saved from our enemies – * from the hand of all that hate us.

Now is granted the mercy promised to our fathers, * remembering His holy covenant;

And the oath which He swore to Abraham our father * that He would extend to us;

That we, delivered from the hand of our enemies, * might serve Him without fear,

Living in holiness and righteousness * before Him all our days.

And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest, * for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways;

To give knowledge of salvation to His people – * the remission of their sins,

Through the bounteous mercy of our God * in which the Orient from on high hath visited us,

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, * to direct our feet into the way of peace.

Glory be to the Father. * As it was in the beginning.
Or instead of the above, the “Magníficat” (Luke 1. 46-55) may be chosen. At the end of either, the Antiphon given above is repeated. Then the celebrant sings:
℣. The Lord be with you.
℟. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.
O God, Who by the guidance of a star didst this day reveal thy Sole-Begotten Son to the Gentiles, grant that we who now know Thee by faith may be brought to the contemplation of Thy heavenly majesty. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, eternally.
℟. Amen.

The Blessing of the Water
℣. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
℟. Who made heaven and earth.
From here on the Exorcism of Salt and the prayer that follows it; the Exorcism of Water and the two prayers that follow it; the Mixing of the Salt and Water; and the Concluding Prayer are the same texts as the standard Blessing of Holy Water that was printed in the October 5, 2008 edition of this column.

The celebrant then sprinkles the people with the blessed water. Lastly, the “Te Deum” is sung.

The blessed water is then given to the faithful who will use it to bless the sick and their homes.

The Following Printable Blessing is formatted for printing and use: 
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Monday, January 4, 2016
Octave Day of the Holy Innocents
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Simple (1954 Calendar): January 4th

In an effort to make available the traditional Catholic pre-1955 spirituality, I will be posting the Traditional Mass Propers for the Octave Day of the Holy Innocents, which was traditionally celebrated today. 

This Octave is a Simple Octave, meaning with the reforms of 1911, that only the Feastday and the Octave Day itself was kept. The intra Octave days are not commemorated in the Mass or in the Breviary, which is a departure from the pre-1911 practice where they would have been commemorated in the intervening days.  Those interested in the Breviary for the Octave Day of Holy Innocents as in place before the should click here. 

Dom Gueranger writes in his seminal work on the Liturgical Year for this Octave Day:
"We finish to-day the Octave consecrated to the memory of the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem. Thanks be to God, who has given them to us to be our intercessors and our models! Their name will not reappear on the Church’s Calendar until the return of the Christmas Solemnity; let us therefore devoutly approach these sweet Infant Saints—venerate them, love them, and address to them our farewell prayers.

"The Holy Church, which on the Feast vested in the colour of mourning, and this out of condolence with Rachel’s grief, now on the Octave Day clothes herself in the red of her Martyrs, in order to honour these Babes who shed their Blood for Jesus. Notwithstanding, she is full of tender compassion for those poor Mothers, who suffered such agonies of grief at the sight of the murder of their little ones; she continually alludes to them in to-day’s Liturgy, and reads in the Office of Matins a passage from an ancient Sermon which vividly describes their feelings...

"Among these Children thus cruelly massacred, from the age of two years and under, there were some belonging to those Shepherds of Bethlehem who had been called on the Night of our Saviour's Birth to go and adore him in his Crib. These, after Mary and Joseph the first worshippers of the Incarnate Word, thus offered to the God who had called them the most precious treasure they possessed. They knew to what Child their children were sacrificed, and a holy pride filled their souls as they thought of this new proof of God's singular mercy to them in preference to so many others of their fellowcreatures.

"As to Herod, he was foiled in his schemes, as must ever be the case with those who wage war against Christ and his Church. His edict for the murder of every male child that was two years old or younger, included Bethlehem and its entire neighbourhood; but the Child he alone cared for, and wished to destroy, escaped the sword and fled into Egypt. It was another proof of the world's folly in opposing the designs of God; and, in this instance, the very measure that was intended to effect evil produced good: the tyrant enriched the Church of heaven with Saints, and the Church militant with so many fresh patrons."

The American Ecclesiastical Review published in 1902, shared courtesy of Aleteia, explains a very interesting custom observed in a few places, sadly not even kept in the 1962 Missal, on the unique color vestments for both December 28th and January 3rd in honor of the Holy Innocents:

"On Holy Innocents [December 28] violet is ordinarily used at the Mass and Office. For the spirit of the feast indicates a twofold sentiment—that of sorrow with the weeping Hebrew mothers, and that of limbo where the little Innocents were necessarily to be detained until after the sealing of our Redemption in the Resurrection of our Lord. But when the feast of Holy Innocents happens on a Sunday, its spirit mingles with that of the joy peculiar to the octave of Christmas … Hence the Church does not permit violet, which is the color both of sorrow and of penance, on Sunday, indicating by the red color that on that day she forgets the sadness and regards the little victims of Bethlehem simply as martyrs of Christ.
 
"However, on the eighth day of Holy Innocents she uses rose color. Rose is red tempered by white. Red is the martyr’s sign; white the vane of peace and truth and innocence. Thus the Church indicates by the choice of this color on the eighth day, that at the termination of their course of martyrdom these little ones obtain the heavenly reward of innocence; they are virgins that have passed through the purifying process of a singular baptism by blood … white and red commingled mark the color of our little Innocents in fair, scarce-blushing rose."

Many other sources (e.g. Matters Liturgical, the Catholic Encyclopedia, the 8th Edition of the Baltimore Ceremonial, etc) just refer to the Octave Day of Holy Innocents as a day with red vestments, in contrast to the pre-1955 rubrics which prescribe violet for their December 28th feastday. 

Collect:

O God, whose praise the martyred Innocents on this day confessed, not by speaking, but by dying, destroy all the evils of sin in us, that our life also may proclaim in deeds, thy faith which our tongues profess. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
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Sunday, January 3, 2016
2016 Patron Saint for the Year Devotion
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UPDATE (JANUARY 24TH): Thank you for all who participated in the 2016 Patron Saint for the Year Devotion.  This devotion is now closed.  Please join me in praying for a blessed year, the increase of conversions, the increase of charity among men, and the reign of the Catholic Faith in as many hearts, minds, and homes as possible.  Lord have mercy!

UPDATE (JANUARY 10 AT 11:15 AM CDT): This list has been updated with all names drawn to date.  I wish all of you a blessed and prayerful new year.

UPDATE (JANUARY 5th AT 4:30 PM CDT): Any additional requests after the last drawing will be entered into the drawing that will take place on Sunday the 10th.  God bless

UPDATE (JANUARY 3RD AT 5:30 PM CDT): Results are in!  See below!

UPDATE (JANUARY 1ST 3:30 PM CDT): I have been delayed in finding the appropriate amount of time to start the drawing as the drawing is done during the Litany of Saints and the Rosary.  I intend to complete the drawing later this evening or tomorrow.  Results will be emailed and posted as soon as they are available.

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 2016 Patron Saint of the Year Devotion.

SPONSOR: This Devotion is being sponsored this year by CatechismClass.com.  Whether you are looking for godparent preparation courses, Sacramental preparation for your children, or just to better learn the Faith as an adult, CatechismClass.com has courses for all ages and walks of life.  Check out CatechismClass.com's affordable programs and make it a resolution in 2016 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 the Octave Day of Christmas after the 10 AM Solemn High Mass and after the recitation of both the Veni Creator Spiritus and the Litany of Saints.  Drawings will occur as the Litany of Saints are again recited.

Saints will be emailed starting that afternoon and thereafter for the next few days.




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 screenname 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. I only ask that you give me your email address so that I may contact you when your saint is drawn. Usually within one to two days I can email you about your saint.

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.  Do not add the same request more than once.  If you comment is posted below, it will count.

Note: If you emailed me directly your request, DO NOT leave it here in the comments box.  Do not duplicate entries.

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

Support

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.

Please - a donation of only $5.00 is appreciated and helpful!  If each of you contributed only $5.00 I would be able to cover some of the most important updates this blog needs.


Results:

Name Saint
Diane S St. Vincent of Saragossa
Josemaria Martin St. Peter Celestine
Kathy Green St. Dogmael of Wales
Theresa (Terry) St. Meneve
John St. Joseph of Leonissa
Joe St. Cosmas
Katie St. Vincent de Paul
Joe St. Nonno of Porto Romano
Monica St. Augustine of Canterbury
Laura St. William of Pontoise
Amy St. Ascelina
Katie St. Joan of Arc
Mackenzie St. Emilien of Nantes
John St. Cosmas
Mike  St. Augustin Schoeffler
Paul Our Lady of Divine Grace
Lucy Espinoza St. Jane Frances de Chantal
Mike Viele St. Ascelina
Alma R St. Marguerite Bourgeois
John R St. Colman
Jenny E St. Charles Lwanga
Lois F St. James the Greater
Honey St. Rhipsime
Honey's future husband St. Colette of Corbie
Honey's Dad St. Agilaeus
Honey's Mom St. Patroclus of Troyes
Nhing St. Richardis
A.T. St. Cosmas
M.T. Blessed Herman the Cripple
Max St. Ioannes Pak Hu-Jae
L. St. Robert Bellarmine
Liese E. St. Canus Natus
Ryan St. Charles Lwanga
Jeremy St. Juan Diego
Debbie St. Poemus of Membressa
Kathy R St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
Natalie S St. Joseph of Leonissa
Jaquie S St. Germana
Judi S St. Patroclus of Troyes
Danielle Rohlena Blessed John Dominic
Heidi Maly St. Martin of Tours
Holly Barrios Blessed Mark of Modena
Ramona DiNardo St. Floribert of Liege
the John DiNardo family St. Emilie de Rodat
Susan Maly St. Elzear of Sabran
Maly Family St. Aymard of Cluny
ABG St. Gaugericus
VBG Blessed Josefa Naval Girbes
AMG St. Theodore Guerin
JLG St. Anne, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
JsL St. Wistremundus of Cordoba
JJL St. Benedicta of Rome
Michael Blessed John Dominic
Matthew St. Quintus the Thaumaturge
Max Pope St. Anacletus
Kevin St. Auspicius of Toul
Jen Pope St. Fabian
Joyce St. Emilie de Rodat
Bruce St. Ascelina
Alley St. Agatha
Steve St. Bridget of Sweden
Molly St. Benedicta of Rome
Ben St. Ioannes Pak Hu-Jae
Robyn St. Poemus of Membressa
Cate Blessed Mark of Modena
Nikolas St. Leo the Great
Caitlind St. Charles of St. Andrew
Chris Blessed Mannes
Evangeline St. Vulpian of Tyre
Janine D St. Elzear of Sabran
Kyle Blessed Stephana
L. (Laura) St. Jane Frances de Chantal
Cheryl Blessed Anthony della Chiesa
Jacob Blessed Nicholas
Lynn K Blessed Margaret of Savoy
Lynn K future husband St. Agathangelus
Lucy Drury St. Acius of Amiens
Catherine Z St. Brigid of Ireland
Tim W Blessed Mannes
Sandy M St. John of God
Brandon Blessed Maria Bartholomew
Rachel St. Hitto of Saint-Gall
James B. St. Colette of Corbie
Michelle B. St. Germana
Craig J. St. Vincent of Digne
Andrew J. Pope St. Pius V
Christopher J. St. Ormond
Frank B. St. Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena
Joseph (Df_Seals) St. Juliana of Nicomedia
Cindy St. Tironensian Order
Lila St. Simeon-Francois Berneux
Dustin St. Aventinus of Tours
Hailey St. Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena
Sandra S St. Bede the Venerable
Mary Ann St. Romana of Capua
Harry St. Maria Goretti
Lisa  St. Gundenis of Carthage
Isabella St. Anthony Zaccaria
Spx1313 St. Odo of Cluny
Elizabeth K Blessed Isnard
Julie St. Martina
Bill Blessed Anthony della Chiesa
Scott  St. Gracilian
Blake St. Martha
Robert J St. Juliana of Nicomedia
Andy M St. Andrew
Cathleen (etlew) Blessed Margaret of Savoy
jmr1979 Blessed Peter of Castello
Avery family Blessed Innocent V
Evangeline A St. Prosper of Aquitaine
Lisa B. Our Lady of Carmel of the Maipu
Christine M St. Gotteschalk
Tracy  St. Sebastian of Aparicio
Teshia St. Romuald
Christian St. Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena
Jagear Blessed Julia Rodzinska
Ashley St. Charles of St. Andrew
Liù M Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
Madel Mercado St. Peter Fourier
Sergio Mercado III St. Stephen of Mar Saba
JMJ (Joseph) Blessed Alexander Briant
Ray St. Pierre Dumoulin-Borie
Rosie St. Louise de Marillac
Cristian St. Catherine of Genoa
Nicholaus St. Auspicius of Toul
Elena Blessed Columba Marmion
Pablo St. Noel Chabanel
Joe S. St. John the Apostle
David K St. Peter Celestine
Glen St. Ceollach
Christina St. Quadratus of Herbipolis
Mara St. Rose of Lima
Michael St. Laurent-Joseph-Marius Imbert
Reagan St. Edward the Confessor
Karina St. Noel Chabanel
Juliana Blessed Terence
Thomas St. Clare
Elena St. Pierre-Henri Dorie
Gregory St. Magloire
Matthew St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Kara St. Martin of Tours
danjc1109 St. Maedeleine Sophie Barat
Tino T. Blessed Anthony Neyrot
Joanna Blessed Isnard
Dolores Blessed James Salomonio
Katryna St. Fiace
Christopher  Blessed Julia Rodzinska
Paige  Blessed Bezela of Goda
Sydney  St. Irenaeus of Lyons
Isaac  St. Jane Frances de Chantal
Elijah  St. Stephen the First Martyr
Samuel  St. Kiaran
Philip St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Gemma D St. Hugh of Noara
Anne D St. Gosbert of Osnabruck
Michelle R St. Isabelle of France
Michelle's Husband St. Paschal Baylon
Peter St. Simeon, Bishop and Martyr
Andrew St. Restitutus of Rome
Max St. Boniface
Jeffrey St. Gracilian
Michael St. Paschal Baylon
Francis Blessed James of Bevagna
Nicholas St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Mason St. Honoratus of Arles
David Our Lady of Prompt Succor
Maryann S St. George
Anna B Blessed Margaret of Savoy
Emily M St. Jean-Louis Bonnard
Madalena Blessed Hyacinthe Cormier
Barry Pope St. Martin I
Susan St. Laurent-Joseph-Marius Imbert
Anthony St. Paschal Baylon
Marie St. Marguerite Bourgeois
Sentina St. Alena
Theodore Blessed Jane of Portugal
Erin St. Elizabeth Rose
Alex St. Goneri of Brittany
Elly Blessed Anthony Neyrot
Anna St. Louis de Montfort
Evelyn St. Paschal Baylon
Patricia St. Elizabeth Rose
Monica Blessed John Dominic
Michael p St. Cosmas
Robert St. Acius of Amiens
Mercedes St. Nicholas of Myra
Julio Blessed Imelda
Jeannie St. John the Apostle
Ben St. Teresa of Avila
Felicity Blessed Alvarez
Sarah St. Leudwinus
Tina Z St. Martin of Tours
Sioban St. Maruontus
Katie Blessed Mark of Modena
Henry St. Baldwin of Rieti
Laurie K. Blessed Haberilla
Daniel K. St. Gregory of Nyssa
Roger E. St. Leudwinus
Paul John V. Blessed Gonsalvo
Demetria E. Blessed Alvarez
Valerie V. St. Paternus of Auch
Katherine V. St. Vulpian of Tyre
Olindo V. St. Peter of Tarentaise
Catherine Ss Cosmas and Damian
Gloria Illies St. Dominic de Guzman
Catherine St. Agilaeus
Emmanuel Blessed Peter Sanz (and companions)
Therese Blessed Giles of Assisi
Clarisse St. Faustinus
Lucille St. Filippo Smaldone
Bernadette St. Jerome
Mark A St. Noel Chabanel
Paul W. St. Leudwinus
Debbie Seven Founders of the Order of Servites
Joe St. Judoc
Thomas St. Wenceslaus
David St. Frances of Rome
Stephanie Blessed Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas
Debbie Cooper St. Theodosius of Antioch
Butch W. St. Joan of Valois
Kyle W. St. Crescentianus
Amanda M. Blessed Herman the Cripple
Ryan W. St. Martin of Tours
McKenzie W. Blessed Augustine Novello
Jan B St. Hugh of Noara
Janet k Blessed Gonsalvo of Amarante
Fatimite13 St. Andrew Fournet
Denise Griffiths St. Stephen of Hungary

If you are not familiar your saint, I encourage you to research online and even pick up a copy of Father Hugo Hoever's "Live of the Saints," from which I read often.  While the book does not include saints canonized in recent years, it is something that I am highly recommending.

Here is a prayer to honor any saint: http://acatholiclife.blogspot.com/2006/01/prayer-to-venerate-any-saint.html

And finally, please share this post on your blogs, on social media, and through email to help spread this Catholic devotion as far and wide as possible.
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