The Immaculate Conception was not, as many people mistakenly believe, a precondition for Christ’s act of redemption but the result of it. Standing outside of time, God knew that Mary would humbly submit herself to His will and in His love for this perfect servant, He applied to her, at the moment of her conception, the redemption, won by Christ, that all Christians receive at their Baptism.
It is appropriate, then, that the Church has long declared the month in which the Blessed Virgin not only was conceived but gave birth to the Saviour of the world, as the Month of the Immaculate Conception.
Holy Light on earth’s horizon, Star of hope to those who fall, Light amid a world of shadows, Dawn of God’s design for all.
Mary, Virgin of Advent, may we always walk with you in the Light of the Lord Jesus, the fruit of your womb! Amen
Let us begin: In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
O most Holy Virgin, who was pleasing to the Lord and became His Mother, Immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look kindly on me as I implore your powerful intercession.
O Blessed Virgin Mary, glory of the Christian Catholic people, joy of the universal Church and Mother of Our Lord, speak for us to the Heart of Jesus, Who is your Son and our Brother. O Mary, who by your holy Immaculate Conception did enter the world free from stain, in your mercy obtain for us from Jesus, the special favour which we now so earnestly seek… ………………………………….. (State your intention here… ) O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this eart, you have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from Him the granting of our petitions if it be the Divine Will. Amen
Say the: Our Father… the: Hail Mary… the: Glory Be…
Thought for the Day – 1 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Blessedness of Those who Hunger and Thirst for Justice
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice” says Jesus Christ, “for they shall be satified” (Mt 5:6). These words oblige us to seek justice in our actions, if we desire the happiness which Our Lord promised to the just.
We must understand, of course, what is intended here by the word “justice.” It may be interpreted in two ways. According to its most common meaning, justice is the cardinal virtue which obliges us to give every man his due. Often in Sacred Scripture, however, the word is synonymous with perfection or holiness; that is, it is the synthesis of all the virtues. It is in this sense, that Jesus employs the term when He says: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice and all these things shall be given you besides” (Mt 6:33).
In its fullest sense then, justice embraces our relations with God, with ourselves and with our neighbour. In the first place, we must be just towards God and, therefore, in accordance with the Gospel precepts, we must “render to God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21). Since everything belongs to God, our Creator and Redeemer, we must offer everything to Him, including ourselves, all that we are and all that we possess. We have only obligations in regard to God and no rights because, we have received everything from Him. We oughts to obey Him, therefore, as our supreme lawgiver. We ought to adore Him and to love Him, with a greater love than we have for any creature or for ourselves because, He is the highest good, which merits all our love and which alone, can satisfy us. We should express our love, moreover, by our actions and by the complete dedication of ourselves to His honour and glory.
Justice, then, is in fact, Christian perfection and is the synthesis of all the virtues. That great pagan writer, Cicero, had already perceived this, when he wrote that “piety is the foundation of all the virtues” (Pro Plancio, 12:29) and that “piety is justice in regard to God” (De natura deorum, I, 4). Justice in our relations with God, demands, that we adore, love and obey Him. In this way, we lay the basis of all the virtues. “”
Quote/s of the Day – 1 December – The Memorial of St Edmund Campion SJ (1540-1581) and Bl Charles of Jesus de Foucauld (1858-1916) Both Martyrs
“To be a Catholic is my greatest glory.”
St Edmund Campion (1540-1581 Martyr
“The Gospel showed me that the first commandment is to love God with all one’s heart and that, we should enfold everything in love; everyone knows, that the first effect of love is imitation.”
“Every person is a child of God, who loves them infinitely: it is, therefore, impossible to want to love God, without loving human beings – the more one loves God, the more one loves people. The love of God, the love of people, is my whole life; it will be my whole life, I hope.”
“When you love, you feel like speaking the whole time with the one you love, or at least, you want to look at Him without ceasing. Prayer is nothing else. It is the familiar meeting with our Beloved. We look at Him, we tell Him we love Him, we rejoice to be at His feet.”
“I would like to be sufficiently good that people would say: ‘If such is the servant, what must the Master be like.’”
From the (Auto)Biography of
Blessed Charles of Jesus de Foucauld (1858-1916) Martyr
One Minute Reflection – 1 December – Wednesday of the First Week of Advent – Readings: Isaiah 25: 6-10a; Psalm 23: 1-6; Matthew 15: 29-37
“And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed …, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet and he healed them…” – Matthew 15:30
REFLECTION – “Again Jesus went up on the mountain where He sat down. Not only people who were healthy but also those suffering from various disorders, went up on the mountain where Jesus was sitting. Think of this mountain to which Jesus went up and sat down, as the Church. It has been set up through the word of God, over the rest of the world and all sorts of people come to it. To this assembly have come, not only the disciples, as if they were leaving behind the multitudes, as they did in the case of the Beatitudes. Rather, there are great crowds here, many of whom are deaf or suffer from many afflictions. Look at the crowds who come to this mountain where the Son of God sits. Some of them have become deaf to the things that have been promised. Others have become blind in soul, not looking toward the true light. Others are lame and not able to walk according to reason. Others are maimed and unable to work profitably. Each of these who are suffering in soul, from such things, go up, along with the multitudes, into the mountain, where Jesus sits.
Som,e who do not draw near to the feet of Jesus, are not healed. But those, who are brought by the multitude and cast at His feet, are being healed. Even those who come only to the edges, just the extremities of the Body of Christ, who feel themselves unworthy to obtain such things, are being healed. So now you come into the congregation of what is more commonly called the Church. See the catechumens? They are, as it were, cast in the far side or back of those who are the extreme end of the Body, as if they were coming merely to the feet of the Body of Jesus—the Church. They are coming to it with their own deafness and blindness and lameness and crookedness. In time, they will be cured,according to the Word. Observing this, you would not be wrong in saying, that these people have gone up with the multitudes into the Church, up to the mountain, where Jesus sits and have been cast at His feet and are being healed. And so the multitudes are astonished at beholding the transformations that are taking place. They behold those who are being converted from such great evils to that which is so much better.” – Origen Adamantius of Alexandria (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father – (Commentary on Matthew, 11).
PRAYER – Prepare our hearts, we pray, O Lord our God, by Your divine power, so that at the coming of Christ Your Son we may be found worthy of the banquet of eternal life and merit to receive heavenly nourishment from His hands. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 1 December – Wednesday of the First Week of Adven
Awaiting Baby Jesus Traditional Catholic Advent Prayer
My heart is beating, filled with joy, awaiting Mary’s baby boy. For with this child, we embrace the birth of God’s most precious grace. Baby Jesus, soon to come! For us comes the Promised One. Baby Jesus, God’s own Son, you will be the Chosen One to lead our flock into salvation. Our eternal life awaits. The birth of Jesus brings us nearer Heaven’s holy gates. Sing with joy and count the days, for soon to come, the Lord we’ll praise. Rejoice that Jesus will soon arrive, the Messiah and our faith alive. Amen
Saint of the Day – 1 December – “Good St Eligius”- St Eligius of Noyon (c 588-660) Bishop, Goldsmith, Royal Courtier and adviser to the King, peace-maker, servant of the poor and of slaves. He founded Monasteries and donated his own property for the founding of the first female Monastery in the area. Born in c 588 at at Catelat, near Limoges, France and died on 1 December 660 at Noyon, France of high fever, Also known as – Alar, Elaere, Elar, Elard, Eler, Eloi, Eloy, Eloye, Iler, Loie, Loije, Loy, Additional Memorials – 24 June (translation of relics, and blessing of horses), 8 November as one of the Saints of the Diocese of Evry. Patronages – carpenters, cartwrights, clock/watch makers, coin collectors, craftsmen of all kinds, cutlers, gilders, goldsmiths, harness makers, horses especially sick horses, jewelers; jockeys; knife makers; labourers, locksmiths, metalworkers in general, miners, minters, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, saddlers, tool makers, Veterinarians, against boils, against epidemics, against equine diseases, against poverty, against ulcers, agricultural workers, basket makers, Eloois-Vijve, Belgium, Sint-Eloois-Winkel, Belgium, Schinveld, Netherlands.
The Roman Martyrology states: “In Noyon in Neustria, now in France, Saint Eligius, Bishop, who, goldsmith and adviser to King Dagobert, after having contributed to the foundation of many Monasteries and built Sepulchral buildings of outstanding art and beauty in honour of the Saints, was raised to the See of Noyon and Tournai, where he zealously evangelised.”
Eligius was born around 588, originally from Chaptelat in Limousin. He belonged to a wealthy rural family who worked their own land, unlike many landowners who left the cultivation to slaves. He left the care of the family farm to one of his brothers and entered trade as a Goldsmith apprentice in a shop in which the Royal Coin was hammered, according to ancient Roman methods. He saved some of the income from his family and gave it in charity to the poor and to slaves. He was as clever in enamel as in gold chiselling. These professional qualities went hand-in-hand with a scrupulous honesty. When they asked him to make a golden throne for King Clothair II (613-629), he made a second with the extra gold he did not want to hold for himself.
This gesture, extraordinary at the time, earned him the trust of the King, who asked him to reside in Paris as the Royal Goldsmith, a Royal Court Officer and Court Counselor. Named coinmaster in Marseilles, he would redeem many of the slaves sold at the Port. When Dagobert became King in 629, he was summoned to Paris where he directed the shops of the Frankish kingdom in which coin was minted, which were in Paris on the Quai des Orfèvres at the present-day Rue de la Monnaie. Among others, he had the task of embellishing the tombs of Saint Genevieve and Saint Denis.
He made Reliquaries for Saint Germain, Saint Severinus, Saint Martin and Saint Columba and numerous Liturgical objects for the new Abbey of Saint Denis. Thanks to his honesty, his frankness and his capacity for peaceable judgement, he came so far into the King’s trust, that the latter called him to himself, and entrusted him with a peace mission to the Breton king, King Judicael.
Great was the piety and prayer life of this layman, who often attended monastic offices. In 632 he founded the Solignac Monastery south of Limoges. While Eligius still lived, the Monastery had grown to count more than 150 Monks under the two rules of St Benedict and St Colomba: – the Monastery was under the protection of the King and not under the authority of the Bishop. The religious fervour and the ardour of the Monks, made it one of the most illustrious Monasteries of the time. One year after the foundation of Solignac, Eligius founded, in his Ile de la Cité home, the first Monastic house for women religious in Paris, whose direction he entrusted to Saint Aurea.
A year after the death of King Dagobert, whom he had seen in the last moments of his life, Eligius left the Court together with Saint Audenus, who had served as adviser and Chancellor under Dagobert . Like Audenus, Eligius also entered formation and was Ordained Priest. On the same day, 13 May 641, they received the Episcopate: Saint Audenus to the See of Rouen; Eligius to that of Noyon and Tournai. Eligius put all his zeal into apostolic mission.
He died in 660, on the eve of his departure for Cahors. Holy Queen Bathilde travelled to greet him but she arrived too late.
There is a wonderful legend of St Eligius – the devil appeared to him dressed as a woman and he, Eligius, quickly grabbed him by the nose with his pincers. This colourful legend is depicted in two French Cathedrals (Angers and Le Mans) and in the Milan Cathedral, with the stained glass window by Niccolò da Varallo, a gift from the Milanese Goldsmiths in the fifteenth century. Ungfortunately, I cannot find any of these artworks.
In Paris, a Church was dedicated to him in the quarter of the blacksmiths, locksmiths and cabinet-makers. The Church of Saint Eligius was rebuilt in 1967. A church destroyed in 1793 was dedicated to him in the Rue des Orfèvres near the Hôtel de la Monnaie (the mint). In Notre Dame Cathedral, in the Chapel of Saint Ann, once home to the jewellers’ and goldsmiths’ confraternity, the jewellers and goldsmiths of Paris have placed his Statue and restored his Altar.
These are the Representations of this our little-known but o so holy and worthy Saint: • anvil • Bishop with a Crosier in his right hand, on the open palm of his left a miniature Church of chased gold • Bishop with a hammer, anvil and horseshoe • Bishop with a horse • Courtier • Goldsmith • hammer • horseshoe • man grasping a devil’s nose with pincers • man holding a Chalice and Goldsmith’s hammer • man holding a horse’s leg, which he detached from the horse in order to shoe it more easily • man shoeing a horse • man with hammer and crown near a smithy • man with hammer, anvil and Saint Anthony • pincers • man with Saint Godebertha of Noyon • man giving a ring to Saint Godebertha • man working as a Goldsmith. (catholicsaintsinfo.mobi).
Our Lady of Ratisbon, Bavaria (1842) – 1 December:
One of the most famous examples of Our Lady’s bounty in granting favours to the wearers of the Miraculous Medal occurred less than ten years after the Medal had been struck. Alphonse Ratisbonne was a French Jew who had no religion. When his brother, Theodore became a Catholic and then a Priest, Alphonse was filled with aversion. He was a typical intellectual of the nineteenth century, a worshipper of humanity, who sneered at anything spiritual. In November 1841, Alphonse found himself in Rome, although his itinerary had not called for a stop in the Eternal City. There he met Baron de Bussiere. The Baron urgently requested him to wear the Miraculous Medal and to recite daily the prayer of St Bernard, “The Memorare”. Alphonse did so in the spirit of acceptance and of dare but without the slightest bit of faith. On 20 January 1842, Monsieur de Bussiere saw Alphonse walking along the street and invited him into his carriage. They stopped at St Andrea Delle Fratee because the Baron wished to see a Priest there. In order to kill time, Ratisbonne entered the Church. He was not very much impressed and was walking around rather listlessly. Suddenly the Church seemed to be plunged into darkness and all the light concentrated on one Chapel. Very much startled he saw there, our Blessed Mother bathed in glorious light, Her face radiant. He went toward her. She motioned with her right hand for him to kneel. As he knelt, he realised, at last, the sad state of his soul. He perceived, that mankind had been redeemed through the Blood of Christ and he was seized with a great longing to be taken into the Church of Christ. The Blessed Virgin spoke not a word but these things came to him as he knelt before her. The next day Alphonse was baptised by Cardinal Patrizi, Vicar of Pope Gregory XVI. The Holy Father as Bishop of Rome, ordered an official inquiry and after four months, the authenticity of the miracle was recognised. Alphonse Maria Ratisbonne, as he was named after his Baptism,bwcame a Priest too and devoted the remainder of his life to winning over his fellow Jews to Christ.
St Agericus of Verdun St Agnofleta St Alexander Briant Bl Alphonsine Anuarite Nengapeta St Ambon of Rome St Ananias of Arbela St Ansanus the Baptizer Bl Antony Bonfadini Bl Bruna Pellesi St Candida of Rome St Candres of Maestricht St Cassian of Rome St Castritian of Milan
St Eligius (c 588-660) Bishop St Evasius of Asti St Filatus of Rome St Florence of Poitiers St Florentius St Grwst St Jabinus of Rome and Companions Bl John Beche Bl Kazimierz Tomasz Sykulski St Latinus of Rome St Leontius of Fréjus Bl Liduina Meneguzzi St Lucius of Rome Bl Maria Clara of the Child Jesus St Marianus St Marina of Rome St Martinus St Nahum the Prophet St Natalia of Nicomedia St Olympiades St Proculus of Narni St Ralph Sherwin St Resignatus of Maastricht Bl Richard Langley St Rogatus of Rome St Simon of Cyrene St Superatus of Rome St Ursicinus of Brescia — Martyrs of Oxford University: A joint commemoration of all the men who studied at one of the colleges of Oxford University, and who were later martyred for their loyalty to the Catholic Church during the official persecutions in the Protestant Reformation. They are: • Blessed Edward James • Blessed Edward Powell • Blessed Edward Stransham • Blessed George Napper • Blessed George Nichols • Blessed Hugh More • Blessed Humphrey Pritchard • Blessed James Bell • Blessed James Fenn • Blessed John Bodey • Blessed John Cornelius • Blessed John Forest • Blessed John Ingram • Blessed John Mason • Blessed John Munden • Blessed John Shert • Blessed John Slade • Blessed John Storey • Blessed Lawrence Richardson • Blessed Mark Barkworth • Blessed Richard Bere • Blessed Richard Rolle de Hampole • Blessed Richard Sergeant • Blessed Richard Thirkeld • Blessed Richard Yaxley • Blessed Robert Anderton • Blessed Robert Nutter • Blessed Robert Widmerpool • Blessed Stephen Rowsham • Blessed Thomas Belson • Blessed Thomas Cottam • Blessed Thomas Pilcher • Blessed Thomas Plumtree • Blessed Thomas Reynolds • Blessed William Filby • Blessed William Hart • Blessed William Hartley • Saint Alexander Briant • Saint Cuthbert Mayne • Saint Edmund Campion • Saint John Boste • Saint John of Bridlington • Saint John Roberts • Saint Ralph Sherwin • Saint Thomas Garnet • Saint Thomas More.