Vigil of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 7 December
On this vigil day, Catholics stand in the remains of the night as the dawn makes its appearance. This resplendent dawn is that Singular Conception, the Immaculate Conception, who ushers in the Light of Christ.
A day of Fast and Abstinence following the Rubrics of Pope Pius X for the Universal Calendar of the Church.
“It is through the most Blessed Virgin Mary, that Jesus Christ came into the world and, it is also through her, that He will reign in the world.” – St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
Virgen del Castillo, Inmaculada Concepción / Virgin of the Castle, Yecla, Spain (1642) – 7 and 8 December:
The Virgen del Castillo, Inmaculada Concepción, is venerated as Patron in the City of Yecla ( Murcia, Spain ). The Sanctuary constitutes a pilgrimage centre not only for the people of Yecla but also for the inhabitants of the entire region and even the neighboring Provinces.
The name of Virgen del Castillo or Virgin of the Castle, even though it is not the official title, is the popular name with which the faithful have called their Patron because she is enshrined in the Castle Sanctuary, which is next to the medieval fortress that crowns the hill on which the City is situate. The invocation actually corresponds to the Immaculate Conception, being venerated in the aforementioned Sanctuary since time immemorial. The existence in that same place of a Mozarabic Church, dedicated to Santa María, which even became a Parish until the middle of the 16th century, is documented .
But the event that marked the transcendence of the old Sanctuary would occur during the reign of Felipe IV, when a group of Yeclans led by Captain Martín Soriano Zaplana, returned to the City after fighting against the French troops that had invaded Catalonia. The combatants return to Yecla without having suffered any casualties, a fact that they knew was miraculous, due to their devotion to the Virgin Mary and for which, they went to the hermitage of the Castle in thanksgiving. That act was an event for the City, which from then on would see in the image of Our Lady of the Castle, a symbol of protection.
The Church where the Virgin is enshrined has undergone numerous reconstructions and restorations throughout its history. The current building dates from the 19th century . The carving that is venerated today, is not the original either, since it disappeared in the Spanish Civil War – it is a replica made by Miguel Torregrosa in 1941 in the likeness of the original one, which was canonically crowned in 1954. The Procession is held on 7 December and the High Mass on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December.
St Ambrose (c 340-397) – Father and Doctor of the Church, Bishop, Confessor, Theologian, Apostle of Charity, Writer, Musician, Preacher, Reformer and Protector – all-in-all a brilliant, charismatic, vibrant man. (Memorial)
St Agatho of Alexandria
St Anianas of Chartres
St Antonius of Siya
St Athenodoros of Mesopotamia
St Buithe of Monasterboice
St Charles Garnier SJ (1606-1649) Priest Martyr
St Geretrannus of Bayeux
Bl Humbert of Clairvaux
St Martin of Saujon
St Maria Giuseppa Rosello FdM (1811-1880) Religious sister and Founder of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy.
About St Maria Giuseppa:
St Nilus of Stolbensk
St Sabinus of Spoleto (Died c 303) Bishop of Assisi, Martyr, Miracle-worker.
His Life and Death:
St Servus the Martyr
St Theodore of Antioch
St Urban of Teano
St Victor of Piacenza