Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Five – 20 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Five – 20 December

Day Five
The Life Of Sorrow Which Jesus Led From His Birth.

Jesus Christ could have saved mankind without suffering and dying.
Yet, in order to prove to us how much He loved us, He chose for Himself a life full of tribulations.
Therefore the prophet Isaias called Him “a man of sorrows,” His whole life was filled with suffering.
His Passion began, not merely a few hours before His death but from the the first moment of His birth.
He was born in a stable where everything served to torment Him.
His sense of sight was hurt by seeing nothing but the rough, black walls of the cave;
His sense of smell was hurt by the stench of the dung from the beasts in the stable;
His sense of touch was hurt by the prickling straw on which He lay.
Shortly after His birth He was forced to flee into Egypt, where He spent several years of His childhood in poverty and misery. His boyhood and early manhood in Nazareth were passed in hard work and obscurity.
And finally, in Jerusalem, He died on a cross, exhausted with pain and anguish.

Thus, then, was the life of Jesus but one unbroken series of sufferings, which were doubly painful because He had ever before His eyes all the sufferings He would have to endure till His death.
Yet, since our Lord had voluntarily chosen to bear these tribulations for our sake, they did not afflict Him as much as did the sight of our sins, by which we have so ungratefully repaid Him for His love towards us.
When the confessor of Saint Margaret of Cortona saw that she never seemed satisfied with all the tears she had already shed for her past sins, he said to her, “Margaret, stop crying and cease your lamenting, for God has surely forgiven you your offenses against Him.”
But she replied, “Father, how can I cease to weep, since I know that my sins kept my Lord Jesus in pain and suffering during all His life?”

O Jesus, my sweet Love!
I too have kept You suffering through all Your life.
Tell me, then, what I must do in order to win Your forgiveness.
I am ready to do all You ask of me.
I am sorry, O sovereign Good, for all the offences I have committed against You.
I love You more than myself, or a least I feel a great desire to love You.
Since it is You who have given me this desire, grant me too the strength to love You exceedingly.
It is only right that I, who have offended You so much, should love You very much.
Always remind me of the love You have borne me, in order that my soul may ever burn with love of You
and long to please You alone.
O God of love, I, who was once a slave of hell, now give myself all to You.
Graciously accept me and bind me to Yourself with the bonds of Your love.
My Jesus, from this day and forever in loving You will I live and in loving You will I die.
O Mary, my Mother and my hope, help me to love your dear God and mine.
This is the only favour I ask of you and through you I hope to receive it. Amen


Thought for the Day – 20 December – St Bernard “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus.”

Thought for the Day – 20 December – “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus.” – Today’s Gospel Luke 1:26-38

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Abbot and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Homily 4

” In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.   And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”   But she was greatly troubled at the saying and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.   And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God.   And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”…Luke1:26-31

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son – you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit.   The angel awaits an answer – it is time for him to return to God who sent him.   We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion, the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.

The price of our salvation is offered to you.   We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be and behold, we die.   In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.

Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise.   Abraham begs it, David begs it.   All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death.  This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet.   It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.

Answer quickly, O Virgin.   Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord.   Answer with a word, receive the Word of God.   Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word.   Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.

Why do you delay, why are you afraid?   Believe, give praise and receive.   Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident.  This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence.   In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary.   Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator.   See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter.   If He should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow, you would begin to seek Him afresh, the One whom your soul loves.   Arise, hasten, open.   Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.luke 1 38 and mary said behold - the price of our salvation - st bernard 20dec2018

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us 20dec2018


Quote of the Day – 20 December

Quote of the Day – 20 December

“Christ…took our nature, when He would redeem it,
He redeemed it by making it suffer in His own Person –
He purified it, by making it pure in His own Person.
He first sanctified it in Himself,
made it righteous,
made it acceptable to God,
submitted it to an expiatory passion
and then, He imparted it to us.
He took it,
consecrated it,
broke it
and said,
“Take and divide it among yourselves.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)christ took our nature when he would redeem it bl john henry 20dec2018


Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787))

20 December

Jesus offered Himself for our salvation from the beginning

“Consider that the divine Word knew that all the sacrifices of goats and bulls offered to the Father in times past had not been able to satisfy for the sins of humankind but that it required a divine person to pay the price of redemption.   “My Father” said Jesus, “all the victims previously offered to You have not paid the debt, nor could they have paid the debt, necessary to satisfy Your justice.   You have given me my humanity, in order that by shedding my blood, I might please You and save humanity.   Behold I come.   Here I am.   I am ready. I accept everything and I submit myself in everything, to Your will.”

O my Jesus, I am weak, grant me strength against temptation. I am infirm, I hope that Your precious blood will be my medicine. I am a sinner but I hope that Your grace will make me a saint.   I acknowledge that I have co-operated with my own ruin but this day, I promise always, to call upon You and in this way co-operate with Your grace.”

” Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?   And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.”
Psalm 24:3-4advent with st alphonsus - psalm 24 3-4 who shall ascend - 20dec2018

and Sceptre of the House of Israel,
who opens and no-one shuts,
who shuts and no-one opens:
Come and bring forth the captive from his prison,
he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.o-key-of-david-20-dec-2017

Advent Action
The Pharisees, dressed in fine robes and living in palaces, are rejected.   Advent is the time to ask Jesus to change us. He is coming, He invades the world, He changes everything, forevermore – He will change us if we ask – “Lord, come to me this day. Change me. Restore me to Your kingdom.”
“If we would please this Divine Infant,
we too must become children,
simple and humble;
we must carry to Him flowers of virtue,
of meekness, of mortification, of charity;
we must clasp Him in the arms of our love.”…St AlphonsusIf we would please this divine infant - st alphonsus liguori 20dec2018


Our Morning Offering – 20 December “God of Hope”

Our Morning Offering – 20 December

Advent Prayer – God of Hope

God of hope,
who brought love into this world,
be the love that dwells between us.
God of hope,
who brought peace into this world,
be the peace that dwells between us.
God of hope,
who brought joy into this world,
be the joy that dwells between us.
God of hope,
the rock we stand upon,
be the centre, the focus of our lives
always and particularly this Advent time.
Through Him,
who is our hope,
our joy,
our love,
our peace,
in union with the Holy Spirit,
one God forever,
amen.Advent prayer -god of hope 20 dec 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 20 December – St Vincenzo Romano (1751-1831) “A priest of the people”

Saint of the Day – 20 December – The First Feast Day of St Vincenzo Romano (1751-1831) since his Canonisation on 14 October this year (2018) together with St Pope Paul VU and St Oscar Romero, amongst others – Priest, Shepherd and Apostle of Charity, Carer of Orphans, Eucharist Adorer, Evangelist and Catechist, Love of his flock – born on 3 June 1751 at Torre del Greco, Naples, Italy and died on 20 December 1831 at Torre del Greco, Naples, Italy of pneumonia. Patronages – Torre del Greco, Orphans, Sailors, Against throat tumours, Neapolitan priests.fresco in the basilica st vincenzo

Vincenzo Romano was born in Torre del Greco, Italy, on 3 June 1751, to a poor but pious family.   He was baptised Domenico Vincenzo Michele Romano, being given the name “Vincenzo” in honour of the Romano family’s favourite saint, Vincent Ferrer.   Romano spent the first years of his life in a very religious family atmosphere, studying the writings of Saint Alphonsus Liguori and developing a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.the birthplace and home of st vincenzo

Though his father initially hoped he would become a goldsmith, he supported his son’s decision to enter the priesthood.   Initially, Vincenzo had a difficult time being accepted due to the high number of seminarians and local clergy but he was admitted to the diocesan seminary of Naples at the age of 14.

Ordained in 1775 at the age of 24, Fr Romano worked at Santa Croce Parish, which at the time included the entire city of Torre del Greco, the most populated city in the territory of Naples.   He was noted by many for his simple ways, his care of orphans and his work with other candidates for the priesthood.

After the terrible eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius on 15 June 1794, which almost completely destroyed the city and the parish church, he immediately dedicated himself to the difficult work of material and spiritual reconstruction of the city and the church. He devoted many hours to organising the rebuilding efforts of the city and was even willing to work with his own hands, cleaning up and clearing rubble.poster on the basilica of st vincenzo in santa croce on his canonisation

Though often oppressed by political groups and those around him, Romano stayed resilient throughout his time at Santa Croce and made sure always to pay careful attention to the education of children and to evangelisation of the people.   He was said to have been a preacher who proclaimed the message of the Gospel in a way that was simple and aimed at educating the Vinzenz_Dominikus_Romano my edit

Sadly, on 1 January 1825, he fell and fractured his left femur, which began a steady decline in his health.   He died of pneumonia in Torre del Greco on 20 December 1831, after this long and painful illness but left behind a legacy of committed fraternal charity and care.   Recognised for his holiness and the dedication he had to his people, Fr  Romano was Beatified by St Pope Paul VI on 17 November 1963, in Rome.   His body having been interred in the Basilica of Santa Croce, it was in that place that John Paul II went to venerate him on 11 November 1990, during his pastoral visit to the Church of Naples.

Basilica of Santa Croce
Basilica of Santa Croce

Following the example of the Good Shepherd, Fr Vincenzo Romano was a simple but powerful figure for those in Torre del Greco.   He spent a lifetime guiding the community under his care, confirming it in the faith and elevating it through his love.statue st vincenzo

St Vincenzo was Canonised on 14 October 2018, Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City by Pope vincenzo romano canonisation

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints -20 December

St Attala of Strasbourg
St Bajulus of Rome
St Crescentius of Africa
St Dominic of Brescia
St Dominic de Silos OSB (1000-1073)

St Eugene of Arabia
St Gabriel Olivares Roda
St Hoger of Hamburg-Bremen
Bl John de Molina
St Julius of Gelduba
Bl Lorenzo Company
St Liberatus of Rome
St Macarius of Arabia
St Malou of Hautvillers
Bl Michal Piaszczynski
St Paul of Latra
Bl Peter de la Cadireta
Bl Peter Massalenus
Philogonius of Antioch
St Thomas of Dover
St Ursicinus of Saint-Ursanne
St Vincenzo Romano (1751-1831)

St Pope Zephyrinus