Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – DAY NINE – 7 December

Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

THE NINTH DAY – 7 December
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A simple short Novena DAY NINE here (which also attracts Indulgences):
NOTE on Indulgences HERE:

In thy conception, O Virgin Mary,
thou wast immaculate;
pray for us to the Father, Whose Son Jesus,
conceived in thy womb by the Holy Ghost,
thou didst bring forth.

Indulgence. 200 days, every time. (Pius VI, 21 November

Early in the Christian era the Feast of Mary’s Immaculate Conception was observed in several countries. St Anselm (1033-1109) Bishop of Canterbury and Doctor of the Church, introduced it in England. A great number of Popes favoured the Doctrine of Mary’s absolute sinlessness and the adversaries of the Immaculate Conception, were bidden to be silent and not publicly assert or defend their view.
In 1477, Pope Sixtus IV prescribed the Feast of the Immaculate Conception to be observed in the whole Church and made it obligatory on Priests, to recite the special canonical Office and to use the Mass formula published for the purpose.
In 1846, the Bishops of the United States assembled in Plenary Council in Baltimore, elected the Blessed Virgin under the title of her Immaculate Conception, as Patroness of the Church in their country.
Finally, Pope Pius IX, after consulting with the Bishops throughout the world and having implored the Holy Ghost for His guidance, in prayer and fasting, promulgated, on 8 December, 1854, the Dogma which teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary, was in her conception, by a special grace and through the merits of her Divine Son, preserved from the stain of Original Sin.
This Doctrine was received throughout the world, with ineffable joy and, indeed, no-one who loves the Blessed Virgin, can help rejoicing at this, her most glorious privilege.
The invocation, “Queen conceived without the stain of Original Sin,” was added to the Litany of Loreto.
In 1866, at the Second Plenary Council in Baltimore, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception was raised to the rank of a Holy Day of Obligation for the Church of the United States.

In the inscrutable designs of His Providence, God ordained that the Mystery of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary should be proclaimed an Article of Faith, as late as the middle of the nineteenth century.
But, then, its proclamation was attended by circumstances which. undeniably proved that the Holy Father. in pronouncing the Dogma, had been inspired and guided by the Holy Ghost.
Let us praise God and thank Him for bestowing this glorious privilege on our beloved Mother and, let us often invoke her under her favourite title, the Immaculate Conception.
St. Alphonsus Liguori tells us that the devotion to this Mystery, is especially efficacious in overcoming the temptations of impurity. Therefore, he was accustomed to recommend, to his penitents thus tempted, to recite three times, everyday, the Hail Mary in honour of our blessed Mother’s Immaculate Conception.
And the Venerable John of Avila (1500-1569) assures us that he had never found anyone, who practised a true devotion to the Immaculate Conception of Mary, who did not, in a short time, obtain the gift of that virtue of purity, which renders us so dear to her Immaculate Heart.

O God, Who through the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin didst prepare a worthy dwelling-place for Thy Divine Son,
grant that, as in view of Thy Son,
Thou didst preserve her from all taint,
so Thou wouldst vouchsafe unto us
that cleansed from all sin by her intercession,
we too may arrive at Thine eternal glory.
Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Living light of holiness,
model of purity,
Mary Immaculate, Virgin and Mother!
As soon as thou wast conceived,
thou didst profoundly adore thy God,
giving Him thanks that,
in thee, the ancient curse was revoked
and blessing came again,
upon the sinful sons of Adam.
O make this blessing,
kindle in my heart love for God
and do thou, fan this flame of love,
within me that I may love Him constantly
and one day, in Heaven,
eternally enjoy Him,
there to thank Him more and more fervently,
for all the wondrous privileges
conferred upon thee
and to rejoice with thee,
for thy high Crown of Glory.

Hail Mary, Glory be … etc.


Aspiration: O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Indulgence. 100 days, once a day. (Pope Leo XIII, 25 March 1884).


Thought for the Day – 7 December – Fasting and Abstinence

Thought for the Day – 7 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Fasting and Abstinence

“Nowadays, fast and abstinence, takes the form of precepts of the Church which binds us under pain of mortal sin.
Before, they were commanded by the Church, however, they had been commanded by God.
God made the first law of this kind when He ordered Adam to obstain from the forbidden fruit.
Moses made particular laws of fast and abstinence for the Jewish people.
He also fasted himself, as did the Prophet Elias.
My knees totter from my fasting, writes King David, “and my flesh is wasted of its substance.” (Ps 108:24).
Prayer is good with fasting and alms,” (Tob 12:8) says Tobias.
Jesus fasted for forty days as an example to us and He waqrned us that the devil can be conquered only by prayer and fasting (Mt 17:20).
In a more general way, He warned us that: “Unless you repent, you will all perish” (Lk 13:5).
One of the means of doing penance most often recommended in Sacred Scripture, is fasting and abstinence.

Why, you may ask, should Our Lord and the Church, command us to mortify ourselves in regard to food?
There are powerful reasons.
It is an act of obedience to God, our absolute Master, Who does not demand anything of us, save for our own welfare.
Secondly, it is an act of reparation for our sins.
In the third place, it enables us to subdue our carnal impulses and in this way, makes us more obedient to the law of God.

A man who cannot mortify his appetite for food, will certainly not be able to resist the temptations of the flesh.
There is a connection between all these things.
If we cannot subordinate our bodily appetites to our spiritual faculties and to the Divine law, we shall not be able to raise ourselves from the level of an animal existence, to contact with God, through prayer and the practice of virtue.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – St Ambrose

Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – St Ambrose (340-397) – Confessor, Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church

“Take nothing for your journey …

Luke 9:3

This is a great vision.
But if you wish to see it,
remove the sandals from your feet.
Remove every chain of sin.
Remove the chains of the world.
Leave behind earthly sandals.
Jesus sent the Apostles without sandals,
without money, gold and silver,
so that they would not carry earthly things with them.
The one who seeks to do good is praised,
not for his sandals but for the swiftness
and grace of his feet.

Let God alone be sought,
as the Judge of loveliness,
Who loves even, in less beautiful bodies,
the more beautiful souls

And now, let the feet of our minds.
be stretched out.
The Lord Jesus wills also, to wash our feet,
For He says, not to Peter alone
but to each of the faithful:
If I wash not your feet
you will have no part with Me.

[ John 13: 8 ]”

Nunc, Sancte, nobis Spiritus
By St Ambrose (340-397)

Come, Holy Ghost, Who ever One
Trans John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Trans 1836

Come, Holy Ghost, Who ever One
Art with the Father and the Son.
Come, Holy Ghost, our souls possess
With Thy full flood of holiness.

In will and deed, by heart and tongue,
With all our powers, Thy praise be sung.
And love light up our mortal frame,
Till others catch the living flame.

Almighty Father, hear our cry
Through Jesus Christ our Lord most high,
Who with the Holy Ghost and Thee
Doth live and reign eternally.

Apostolorum Passio
By St Ambrose (c 340-397)

This happy day is sanctified
As Martyr’s glory we recall,
The cross bedewed with Peter’s blood,
The sword that won a crown for Paul.

The triumph of their Martyrdom
United these great souls in death,
Whose faith in Christ had crowned their lives
In service to their latest breath.

Saint Peter held the primacy,
Saint Paul would equal him in grace,
When once, as chosen instrument
The cause of Christ, he would embrace

Once, Simon, leaving Rome, turned back
To give, by death, full praise to God,
That by the cross he too should tread
The self-same path his Master trod.

Now Rome exults, as well she may
And strives to give devotion’s due
To one who sealed with his own blood
His work as Priest and Shepherd true.

And who can count the crowds that come
As loving children to her gate,
Where nations’ teacher, holy Paul
Once dwelt and gladly met his fate.

Grant us, O Lord, the final grace
Of sharing in their joy above,
That with such Princes we may praise
Your bounty and undying love.

Translation: The Benedictines of Saint Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde, UK

O Lord, Who has Mercy Upon All
By St Ambrose (340-397)

O Lord, who has mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of Your Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore You,
a heart to delight in You,
to follow and enjoy You,
for Christ’s sake.


St Ambrose (340-397)
Confessor, Bishop
Father and Doctor of the Church


One Minute Reflection – 7 December – ‘… Why must you be salt? …’

One Minute Reflection – 7 December – “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception” – St Ambrose (340-397) – Confessor, Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church – 2 Timothy 4:1-8, Matthew 5:13-19 – Scripture search here:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” – Matthew 5:13

REFLECTION – “It is as a matter of absolute necessity that He commands all this. Why must you be salt? Jesus says in effect: “You are accountable, not only for your own life but also, for that of the entire world. I am sending you not to one or two cities, nor to ten or twenty, nor even to one nation, as I sent the Prophets. Rather, I am sending you to the entire earth, across the seas, to the whole world, to a world fallen into an evil state.” For by saying, “You are the salt of the earth,” Jesus signifies, that all human nature itself has “lost its taste,” having become rotten through sin. For this reason, you see, He requires from His disciples, those character traits that are most necessary and useful for the benefit of all.” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor  (The Gospel of Matthew: Homily,15).

PRAYER – O God, Thou Who have given blessed Ambrose to Thy people as a help for eternal salvation, grant, we beseech Thee that we may be worthy to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, whom we have had as a teacher of life, on earth. ThroughJesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).


Our Morning Offering – 7 December – St Ambrose’ Veni Redemptor Gentium / Saviour of the Nations, Come!

Our Morning Offering – 7 December – “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception” – St Ambrose (340-397) – Confessor, Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church

Veni Redemptor Gentium
Saviour of the Nations, Come!
St Ambrose’s Advent Hymn

Saviour of the nations, come!
Virgin’s Son, here make Thy home!
Marvel now, O Heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

Not by human flesh and blood;
By the Spirit of our God
Was the Word of God made flesh,
Woman’s offspring, pure and fresh.

Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
Of the Virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
Still to be in Heaven enthroned.

From the Father forth He came
And returneth to the same,
Captive leading death and hell
High the song of triumph swell!

Thou, the Father’s only Son,
Hast over sin the victory won.
Boundless shall Thy kingdom be;
When shall we its glories see?

Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
Glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin o’ercloud this Light;
Ever be our faith thus bright.

Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eternally.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 7 December – St Burgundofara (c 595-c 643) Virgin

Saint of the Day – 7 December – St Burgundofara / more commonly known as Fara (c 595-c 643) Virgin, Nun, Abbess, Founder of the famous Evoriacum Monastery, near Paris in France, which after her death was renamed in her honour, Faremoutiers Abbey (Fara’s Monastery). The surrounding town is also knamed in her honour as is the Cathedral. Born in c 595 in Burgundy, France and died of natural causes in 643 or 655 or 657 near Meaux, France (records vary). Also known as – Burgondophora, Fare. Patronage – of Faremoutiers, France.

St Burgundofara in Faremoutiers Cathedral

Faremoutiers Abbey was the first “double” Monastery in France. These Celtic double Monasteries began in Ireland and they were places where both Monks and Nuns lived on the same monastic grounds, under the Rule of an Abbott or Abbess. The Nuns and Monks lived in separate quarters, but often worked and worshipped together.

Burgundofara’s family was knowns as the Faronids, named after her brother Saint Faro (Died c 675) the Bishop of Meaux in France. Her name may mean: ‘She who moves the Burgundians.’ When Burgundofara was a child, St Columbanus, the famous Irish Monk, visited in her home and blessed and dedicated her to God. This left such an indelible mark upon her soul that she resisted her parents’ attempts to force her to marry a few years later. Burgundofara spoke boldly to her father about becoming a Nun. She said to him: “To lose my life for the sake of virtue and fidelity to the promise I have made to God, would be a great happiness.”

St Columbanus blesses Burgundofara

As Founder and Abbess of Faremoutiers Abbey, Burgundofara grew into a strong leader who was not afraid to speak her mind. Those who lived on her monastic grounds discovered that she was both tough and tender.

Interestingly, it is recorded by the 7th Century Columbanian Monk and Hagiographer of the renowned Life of St Columbanus (he also wrote Burgundofara’s Vita), Jonas of Bobbio that a Monk named Agrestius from one of Columbanus’ Monasteries “felt called” to patronise Burgundofara concerning his thoughts, on how she was not being a good Abbess. He castigated her for using the Rule of Columbanus (of which he did not approve) in her Monastery.

This is how Jonas of Bobbio recorded that historical confrontation, “Agrestius then made his way to Burgundofara to try, if he might defile her with his insinuations. But the virgin of Christ confounded him, not in a feminine manner but with a virile response: “Why have you come here, you confuter of truth, inventor of new tales, pouring out your honey-sweetened poison, to change healthy food into deadly bitterness? You slander those whose virtues I have experienced. From them I received the doctrine of salvation. Their erudition has opened the way to the Kingdom of Heaven for many. Recall the words of Isaiah: ‘Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil.’ Hurry and turn wholly away from this insanity.

She was known for not only her personal courage, strength and toughness but also for her tender care, counsel and devotion, for those at Faremoutiers. Jonas of Bobbio wrote that after serving as Abbess of Faremoutiers for thirty-seven years, Burgundofara had a fever and died. She was so tough that miraculously, she managed to come back to life to make restitution with three Nuns, whom she had hurt. She received their forgiveness, lived six more months and then prophesied of the date and time of her death. When she died, it was recorded that her body smelled of sweet balsam.

A solemn Mass was held thirty days after Abbess Burgundofara’s final death. Hopefully, it is not blasphemous to ponder that they waited this long, to ensure that she would not come back to life. Her Will (Testamentum) confirmed that all the servants she had freed in her lifetime, would continue to be free.

The Faremoutiers Monastic grounds still exist, 1400 years later. Sadly, the French Revolution destroyed her monastic buildings but in 1931, a group of Benedictine Nuns came to reoccupy a building on the very spot of the ruins of the old Abbey. A few Nuns still live and serve there.

Yes, Abbess Burgundofara was a strong, powerful, and deeply spiritual leader.

The little Abbey today
Posted in Uncategorized

Vigil of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Virgen del Castillo / Virgin of the Castle, Spain (1642) and Memorials of the Saints – 7 December

Vigil of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
– 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:

St Ambrose (c 340-397) – Confessor, Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church, Theologian, Apostle of Charity, Writer, Musician, Preacher, Reformer and Protector – all-in-all a brilliant, charismatic, vibrant man.
And More:

St Agatho of Alexandria
St Anianas of Chartres
St Athenodoros of Mesopotamia
St Buithe of Monasterboice
St Burgundofara / Fara (c 595-c 643) Nun, Abbess, Founder

St Charles Garnier SJ (1606-1649) Priest Martyr, Missionary. Charles Garnier was Canonised on 29 June 1930 by Pope Pius XI with the seven other Canadian Martyrs (also known as the North American Martyrs).
His Life and Death

St Diuma
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. She was Canonised in 1949 by Pope Pius XII.
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