Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

Thought for the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

A tiny child is born, who is a great king.   Wise men are led to him from afar.   They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth.   When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed.   To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.

Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king?   He does not come to drive you out but to conquer the devil.   But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children.   You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart.   You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life Himself.

Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace—so small, yet so great—who is lying in the manger.   He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out His own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil.   He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God’s adopted children.

The children die for Christ, though they do not know it.   The parents mourn for the death of martyrs.   The child makes of those, as yet unable to speak, fit witnesses to Himself.   See the kind of kingdom that is His, coming as He did in order to be this kind of King.   See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the saviour already working salvation.

But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious.   While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying Him homage and do not know it.

How great a gift of grace is here!   To what merits of their own, do the children owe this kind of victory?   They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ.   They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

St Quodvultdeus (died 450) Bishop, Father of the Church, Spiritual child of St Augustinehow great a gift of grace is here - st quodvultdeus -holy innocents 28dec 2018

“And while he thus persecutes Christ,
he furnished an army of martyrs,
clothed in white robes,
of the same age as the Lord.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church

and while he thus persecutes christ - st augustine 28dec2018

Holy Innocents, Pray for us!holy-innocents-pray-for-us-no-2-28-dec-2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

“We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.”

From the Te Deumwe-praise-you-o-god-te-deum-28-dec-2017

“These then, whom Herod’s cruelty
tore as sucklings from their mothers’ bosom,
are justly hailed as “infant martyr flowers”;
they were the Church’s first blossoms,
matured by the frost of persecution
during the cold winter of unbelief.”these-then whom herod's cruelty - st augustine-28-dec-2017

”The precious death of any martyr
deserves high praise
because of his heroic confession;
the death of these children
is precious in the sight of God
because of the beatitude
they gained so quickly.
For already, at the beginning
of their lives, they pass on.
The end of the present life
is for them the beginning of glory.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-precious-death-st-augustine-28-dec-2017

“The star of Bethlehem
shines forth in the dark night of sin.
Upon the radiance
that goes forth from the manger,
there falls the shadow of the cross.
In the dark of Good Friday, the light is extinguished
but it rises more brightly, as the sun of grace.
on the morning of the resurrection.
The road of the incarnate Son of God,
is through the cross and suffering.
to the splendour of the resurrection.
To arrive with the Son of Man,
through suffering and death,
at this splendour of the resurrection,
is the road for each one of us,
for all mankind.”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

[Edith Stein] (1891-1942)the star of bethlehem shines forth in the dark night - st teresa benedicta 28dec2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)

Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)

28 December – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave

Jesus is nourished at His Mother’s breast

“Consider that Jesus, as soon as He was swathed, looked for and took milk from the breast of Mary.   What a spectacle it must have been to those in Paradise to witness the divine Word, who had become an infant, sucking milk from a virgin who was His own creature! Sister Paula, the Camaldolese, in contemplating a little image of Jesus taking milk, felt herself immediately inflamed with a tender love for God, with great wonder and awe at His humility.   O my Jesus, permit me to join my voice with the voice of the women in the gospel who proclaimed, “blessed to the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you.”

Scripture

“…In these last days he has spoken to us by a Son,
whom he appointed the heir of all things,
through whom also he created the world.
…And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Hebrews 1:2,6

Prayer (St Alphonsus)

“My beloved Jesus,
You are the bread of angels
and my bread of eternal life.
Grant me a tender devotion
to Your holy Infancy,
so that I may forget everything else
for love of this tender Child
and think of nothing but You.
Amen”christmas with st alphonsus - in these last days hebrew 1 2 - 28 dec 2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, Our MORNING Offering, PAPAL PRAYERS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – Prayer for the Unborn by Pope Benedict XVI

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octaveholy-innocents-day-4-christmas- 28 dec 2017

Prayer for the Unborn
Pope Benedict XVI

Lord Jesus,
You who faithfully visit and fulfil with Your Presence
the Church and the history of men;
You who in the miraculous Sacrament of your Body and Blood
render us participants in divine Life
and allow us a foretaste of the joy of eternal Life;
We adore and bless You.
Prostrated before You, source and lover of Life,
truly present and alive among us, we beg You.
Reawaken in us respect for every unborn life,
make us capable of seeing in the fruit of the maternal womb
the miraculous work of the Creator,
open our hearts to generously welcoming every child
that comes into life.
Bless all families,
sanctify the union of spouses,
render fruitful their love.
Accompany the choices of legislative assemblies
with the light of Your Spirit,
so that peoples and nations may recognise and respect
the sacred nature of life, of every human life.
Guide the work of scientists and doctors,
so that all progress contributes
to the integral well-being of the person,
and no one endures suppression or injustice.
Give creative charity to administrators and economists,
so they may realise and promote sufficient conditions,
so that young families can serenely embrace
the birth of new children.
Console the married couples who suffer,
because they are unable to have children
and in Your goodness provide for them.
Teach us all to care for orphaned or abandoned children,
so they may experience the warmth of Your Charity,
the consolation of Your divine Heart.
Together with Mary, Your Mother, the great believer,
in whose womb You took on our human nature,
we wait to receive from You, our Only True Good and Saviour,
the strength to love and serve life,
in anticipation of living forever in You,
in communion with the Blessed Trinity.
Amen

Composed by Pope Benedict at the Prayer Vigil for the Unborn on 27 November 2010prayer for the unborn pope benedict - 28 dec 2018 holy innocents

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saints of the Day – Feast of the Holy Innocents: Martyrs – 28 December – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

Saints of the Day – Feast of the Holy Innocents: Martyrs – 28 December – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

902px-Nicolas_Poussin_-_Le_massacre_des_Innocents_-_Google_Art_Project
Nicolas Poussin – The Massacre of the Innocents

During this octave of Christmas the Church celebrates the memory of the small children of the neighbourhood of Bethlehem put to death by Herod.

Sacrificed by a wicked monarch, these innocent lives bear witness to Christ who was persecuted from the time of His birth by a world which would not receive Him.   It is Christ Himself who is at stake in this mass-murder of the children, already the choice, for or against Him, is put clearly before men.   But the persecutors are powerless, for Christ came to perform a work of salvation that nothing can prevent, when He fell into the hands of His enemies at the time chosen by God, it was to redeem the world by His own Blood.holy-innocents-rachel-weeping

Our Christmas joy is tempered today by a feeling of sadness.   But the Church looks principally to the glory of the children, of these innocent victims, whom she shows us in heaven following the Lamb wherever He goes.

poussin - the holy inncoents
Nicholas Poussin – The Holy Innocents

One of the most cherished carols of the Christmas season is often presented as a melody without lyrics.   For this reason, the tune is familiar but the words of the carol are not. The carol of which I am referring to is known as the Coventry Carol, which originates in a 16th century “mystery play” called the Pageant of the Shearman and Tailors.   The play and the song concern the massacre of the young children of Bethlehem at the command of King Herod, a story that is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew.   The Coventry Carol is a lament that is imagined in the play to have been sung by the mothers whose children have been murdered by Herod’s cruelty, it combines the sound of their weeping with the gentle cadences of a lullaby:

Lullay thou little tiny child,
By, by lully lullay.

O sisters, too how may we do,
For to preserve this day;
This poor youngling for whom we sing,
By by lully lullay.

Herod the king, in his raging
Charged he hath this day;
His men of might in his own sight
All young children to slay.

Then woe is me, poor child for thee
And ever mourn and say;
For thy parting, no say nor sing
By by lully lullay

The Holy Innocents saved the Child Jesus from death by King Herod, by the shedding of their own blood.   The Holy Innocents are the special patrons of small children, who can please the Christ Child by being obedient and helpful to parents and by sharing their toys and loving their siblings and playmates.

The feast of the Holy Innocents is an excellent time for parents to inaugurate the custom of blessing their children.   From the Ritual comes the form which we use on solemn occasions, such as First Communion.   But parents can simply sign a cross on the child’s forehead with the right thumb dipped in holy water and say:  “May God bless you and may He be the Guardian of your heart and mind—the Father, + Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.”

For more information, patronages etc here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/saints-of-the-day-feast-of-the-holy-innocents-28-december-4th-day-of-the-christmas-octave/

Duccio_di_Buoninsegna_-_Slaughter_of_the_Innocents_detail_-_WGA06764
Duccio di Buoninsegna – Slaughter of the Innocents
Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Feast of the Holy Innocents and Memorials of the Saints – 28 December

Holy Innocents (Feast)
About: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/saints-of-the-day-feast-of-the-holy-innocents-28-december-4th-day-of-the-christmas-octave/

St Anthony of Lérins
St Caesarius of Armenia
BL Claudia Weinhardt
St Conindrus
St Domitian the Deacon
St Domnio of Rome
St Eutychius
St Gowan of Wales
Bl Gregory of Cahors
Bl Hryhorii Khomyshyn
St Iolande of Rome
Bl Johannes Riedgasser
Bl Nicolas Mello
Bl Otto of Heidelberg
St Romulus
St Simon the Myroblite
St Theonas of Alexandria
St Theodore of Tabenna
St Troadius of Pontus

20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia: 20,000 Christians who were murdered during in 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey) during the persecutions of Diocletian. Many of them were killed en masse when they were ordered, during Christmas Mass, to sacrifice to idols; when they refused, they were locked in the churches and the buildings burned around them. We know some details of a few of them, but most are known only to God. The names we have are – Agape, Anthimos, Domna, Domna, Dorotheus, Esmaragdus, Eugene, Euthymius, Glykerios, Gorgonius, Hilary, Indes, Mardonius, Mardonius, Maximus, Migdonius, Migdonus, Peter, Peter, Theophila, Theophilus and Zeno. 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey).

Martyrs of Africa – (3 saints): Three Christians murdered together in Africa for their faith. The only details to survive are their names – Castor, Rogatian and Victor.