Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, FATHERS of the Church, Hail MARY!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The ANNUNCIATION, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The NATIVITY of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 March – The Annunciation – ‘ … Chosen from among all other beings …’

One Minute Reflection – 25 March – The Annunciation – Isaias 7:10-15, Luke 1:26-38

Hail, full of grace!” – Luke 1:28

REFLECTION – “The degeneration caused by sin had obscured the beauty of our original nobility. But when the mother of supreme Beauty is born, our nature finds its purity once more and sees itself moulded according to the perfect model, worthy of God (Gn 1,26)… We had all preferred the world below to that above. There no longer remained any hope of salvation. The state of our nature cried aloud to Heaven to come to the rescue… Then at last, in His good pleasure, the world’s Divine Artificer determined to make a new world appear, a different world full of harmony and youth.

Now was it not fitting, that a most pure virgin without stain, should place herself at the service of this mysterious plan first of all?… And where was this virgin to be found, if not in this woman, alone of her kind, chosen by the world’s Creator before all generations? Yes, she indeed is Mother of God, divinely named Mary, whose womb gave birth to God Incarnate and whom, He Himself had supernaturally prepared, as His Temple…

In this way, then, the design of the Redeemer of our race was to bring about a birth and, as it were, a new creation to replace the one that went before. Therefore, just as in Paradise, He had taken a litle clay out of the pure and spotless earth, to fashion the first Adam (Gn 2,7), so, at the moment of bringing about His Own Incarnation, He made use of another earth, so to speak, namely, this Pure and Immaculate Virgin, chosen from among all other beings He had created. It is in her that He, Adam’s Creator, has remade us in our very substance and become a new Adam (1Cor 15,45), that the old might be saved by the new and eternal.” – St Andrew of Crete (660-740) Bishop (Sermon 1 for the Nativity of the Mother of God ; PG 97, 812).

PRAYER – The Angelus
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
LET US PRAY
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord.
Amen

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Quote/s of the Day – 11 February – The Immaculate Virgin Mary

Quote/s of the Day – 11 February – Apparition of the Immaculate Virgin Mary at Lourdes

This Virgin Mother
of the Only begotten of God,
is called Mary,
worthy of God,
Immaculate of the Immaculate,
One of the One
.”

Origen (c 185-253)

“Today humanity, in all the radiance
of her Immaculate nobility,
receives its ancient beauty.
The shame of sin
had darkened the splendour
and attraction of human nature
but when the Mother
of the Fair One par excellence,
is born, this nature again,
regains in her person,
its ancient privileges
and is fashioned according to a perfect model,
truly worthy of God….

The reform of our nature begins today
and the aged world,
subjected to a wholly divine transformation,
receives the first fruits of the second creation.”

St Andrew of Crete (c 650-c 740)
Bishop, Theologian, Hymnist

Rosa Mystica
By Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889)

The rose in a mystery, where is it found?
Is it anything true? Does it grow upon ground? —
It was made of earth’s mould
but it went from men’s eyes
And its place is a secret and shut in the skies.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine
Find me a place by thee, Mother of mine.

But where was it formerly? which is the spot
That was blest in it once, though now it is not? —
It is Galilee’s growth: it grew at God’s Will
And broke into bloom upon Nazareth hill.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine

I shall look on thy loveliness, Mother of mine.

What was its season then? how long ago?
When was the summer that saw the bud blow? —
Two thousands of years are near upon past
Since its birth and its bloom
and its breathing its last.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine
I shall keep time with thee, Mother of mine.

Tell me the name now, tell me its name.
The heart guesses easily: is it the same? —
Mary the Virgin, well the heart knows,
She is the Mystery, she is that Rose.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine
I shall come home to thee, Mother of mine.

Is Mary the Rose then? Mary the tree?
But the blossom, the blossom there, who can it be? —
Who can her Rose be? It could be but One:
Christ Jesus our Lord, her God and her Son.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine
Shew me thy Son, Mother, Mother of mine.

What was the colour of that blossom bright? —
White to begin with, Immaculate white.
But what a wild flush on the flakes of it stood
When the Rose ran in crimsonings
down the Cross-wood!
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine

I shall worship His Wounds with thee, Mother of mine.

How many leaves had it? — Five they were then,
Five like the senses and members of men;
Five is their number by nature but now
They multiply, multiply who can tell how?┬░
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine
Make me a leaf in thee, Mother of mine.

Does it smell sweet too, in that holy place? —
Sweet unto God and the sweetness is grace:
O Breath of it bathes great Heaven above
In grace that is charity, grace that is love.
To thy breast, to thy rest, to thy glory Divine
Draw me by charity, Mother of mine.
Amen

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, MARIAN TITLES, MIRACLES, SAINT of the DAY, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes / Our Lady of Lourdes and Memorials of the Saints – 11 February

Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes / Our Lady of Lourdes (11 February and 16 July of 1858) – (Optional Memorial)
Our Lady of Lourdes:
HERE:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/02/11/our-lady-of-lourdes-and-memorials-of-the-saints-11-february/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/02/11/the-memorial-of-the-apparitions-of-our-lady-of-lourdes-our-lady-of-the-immaculate-conception-and-the-26th-world-day-of-prayer-for-the-sick/

St Ampelius of Africa
St Ardanus of Tournus
Bl Bartholomew of Olmedo

St Caedmon (Died c 680) Monk and the is the earliest English known Poet of Sacred verse,
Biography of St Caedmon:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/11/saint-of-the-day-11-february-st-caedmon-died-c-680/

St Calocerus of Ravenna
St Castrensis of Capua
St Dativus the Senator
Bl Elizabeth Salviati
St Etchen of Clonfad
St Eutropius of Adrianopolis
St Felix the Senator
St Gobnata (6th Century) Abbess

St Pope Gregory II (669-731) Bishop of Rome from 715-731, Pope Gregory was a man of immense intellect and used his talents in negotiating peace in times of war and fought for the truth of the faith against heresies. He was a miracle-worker who placed all his trust in God ‘s Divine Providence.
About “The Defender of Icons”

https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/11/saint-of-the-day-11-february-saint-pope-gregory-ii-669-731-defender-of-icons/

Bl Gaudencia Benavides Herrero
St Helwisa
St Jonas of Muchon

St Lazarus of Milan (Died 449) Archbishop of Milan.
About this St Lazarus:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/02/11/saint-of-the-day-11-february-saint-lazarus-of-milan-died-449-archbishop-of-milan/

St Lucius of Adrianople
St Pedro de Jesús Maldonado-Lucero
St Saturninus of Africa
St Secundus of Puglia
St Severinus of Agaunum
St Soter of Rome
St Theodora the Empress
Bl Tobias Francisco Borrás Román

Guardians of the Sacred Scriptures: Also known as –
• Anonymous Martyrs in Africa
• Martyrs of Africa
• Martyrs of Numidia
• Martyrs of the Sacred Books
A large number of Christians tortured and murdered in Numidia (part of modern Algeria) during the persecutions of Diocletian but whose names and individual lives have not survived. They were ordered to surrender their sacred books to be burned. They refused. Martyrs. c 303 in Numidia.

Martyrs of Africa – 5 Saints: A group of five Christians who were Martyred together; we know nothing else but the names of four of them – Cyriacus, Oecominius, Peleonicus and Zoticus.

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, HYMNS, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays, MARIAN TITLES, Our MORNING Offering, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Our Morning Offering – 18 December – O Purest of Creatures, Sweet Mother, Sweet Maid

Our Morning Offering – 18 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception”and also the Feast of Our Lady of Expectation

O Purest of Creatures, Sweet Mother, Sweet Maid
By
Fr Frederick W Faber C.Orat. (1814-1863)

O Purest of creatures, sweet Mother, sweet maid,
The one spotless womb wherein Jesus was laid!
Dark night hath come down on us, Mother! and we
Look out for thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

Deep night hath come down on this rough-spoken world,
And the banners of darkness are boldly unfurled;
And the tempest-tossed Church,—
all her eyes are on thee;
They look to thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

He gazed on thy soul, it was spotless and fair,
For the empire of sin—it had never been there;
None ever had owned thee, dear Mother but He.
And He blest thy clear shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

Earth gave Him one lodging; t’was deep in thy breast,
And God found a home where the sinner finds rest;
His home and His hiding-place, both were in thee,
He was won by thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

Raised in the Church of England, Frederick W Faber (born at Calverley, Yorkshire, England, 1814 and died Kensington, London, England, 1863) came from a Huguenot and strict Calvinistic family background. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford and ordained in the Church of England in 1839. Influenced by the teaching of John Henry Newman, Faber followed Newman into the Roman Catholic Church in 1845 and served under Newman’s supervision in the Oratory of St Philip Neri. Fr Faber wrote 150 hymns for the use of the Catholic faithful. One of his best known is , “Faith of Our Fathers.”

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Quote/s of the Day – 15 December – The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Quote/s of the Day – 15 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – The Octave Day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Our Lady of Lourdes to St Bernadette
25 March 1858

“He came down into the Virgin’s womb,
a womb unstained, unspotted,
hallowed by the touch of divine unction.

St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159)

“Enraptured by the splendour of your heavenly beauty
and impelled by the anxieties of the world,
we cast ourselves into your arms,
O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother Mary,
confident of finding in your most loving heart,
appeasement of our ardent desires
and a safe harbour from the tempests
which beset us on every side.

Ven Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)

Deign, O Immaculate Virgin
By St Paschasius Radbertus (785–865)

Deign, O Immaculate Virgin,
Mother most pure,
to accept the loving cry of praise
which we send up to you
from the depths of our hearts.
Though they can but add little to your glory,
O Queen of Angels,
you do not despise, in your love,
the praises of the humble
and the poor.
Cast down upon us a glance of mercy,
O most glorious Queen,
graciously receive our petitions.
Through your immaculate purity
of body and mind,
which rendered you so pleasing to God,
inspire us with a love of innocence and purity.
Teach us to guard carefully the gifts of grace,
striving ever after sanctity, so that,
being made like the image of your beauty,
we may be worthy to become the sharers
of your eternal happiness.
Amen

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, Gerard MANLEY HOPKINS SJ, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, Our MORNING Offering, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Our Morning Offering – 15 December – Rosa Mystica

Our Morning Offering – 15 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – The Octave Day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Rosa Mystica
By Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889)

The rose in a mystery, where is it found?
Is it anything true? Does it grow upon ground? —
It was made of earth’s mould
but it went from men’s eyes
And its place is a secret and shut in the skies.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine
Find me a place by thee, Mother of mine.

But where was it formerly? which is the spot
That was blest in it once, though now it is not? —
It is Galilee’s growth: it grew at God’s Will
And broke into bloom upon Nazareth hill.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine
I shall look on thy loveliness, Mother of mine.

What was its season then? how long ago?
When was the summer that saw the bud blow? —
Two thousands of years are near upon past
Since its birth and its bloom
and its breathing its last.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine
I shall keep time with thee, Mother of mine.

Tell me the name now, tell me its name.
The heart guesses easily: is it the same? —
Mary the Virgin, well the heart knows,
She is the Mystery, she is that Rose.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine
I shall come home to thee, Mother of mine.

Is Mary the Rose then? Mary the tree?
But the blossom, the blossom there, who can it be? —
Who can her Rose be? It could be but One:
Christ Jesus our Lord, her God and her Son.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine
Shew me thy Son, Mother, Mother of mine.

What was the colour of that blossom bright? —
White to begin with, Immaculate white.
But what a wild flush on the flakes of it stood
When the Rose ran in crimsonings
down the Cross-wood!
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine
I shall worship His Wounds with thee, Mother of mine.

How many leaves had it? — Five they were then,
Five like the senses and members of men;
Five is their number by nature but now
They multiply, multiply who can tell how?┬░
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight Divine
Make me a leaf in thee, Mother of mine.

Does it smell sweet too, in that holy place? —
Sweet unto God and the sweetness is grace:
O Breath of it bathes great Heaven above
In grace that is charity, grace that is love.
To thy breast, to thy rest, to thy glory Divine
Draw me by charity, Mother of mine.
Amen

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 8 December – The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 8 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

By virtue of her Immaculate Conception, the Blessed Virgin obtained four distinct privileges.
(1) She was preserved free from the stain of original sin.
(2) She never experienced the rebellion of the passion against the spirit.
(3) She was confirmed in grace, so that, in the words of St Augustine, (De natura er gratia, c 361), one could not mention sin and the name of Mary in one breath.
(4) She was perfected in grace and enriched with all the supernatural gifts, to a degree far higher than any of the Saints and than the Angels themselves.

Such is our Mother Mary.
We should rejoice with her and we should have perfect confidence in her and have recourse to her in all our needs.

Since her intercession is so powerful with God, she can obtain anything from Him.
Above all, she is able and eager to obtain for us, that which is more necessary and most important, namely, the avoidance of sin and absolute fidelity to God’s grace, in the execution of our duties.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/08/thought-for-the-day-8-december-the-immaculate-conception/

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 8 December on the Immaculate Conception

Quote/s of the Day – 8 December on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

“This Virgin Mother
of the Only begotten of God,
is called Mary,
worthy of God,
Immaculate of the Immaculate,
One of the One.

Origen (c 185-253)
Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father

“Thou alone and Thy Mother,
are in all things fair,
there is no flaw in Thee
and no stain in Thy Mother.

St Ephrem of Syria (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Come, then and search out Your sheep,
not through Your servants or hired men
but do it Yourself.
Lift me up bodily and in the flesh,
which is fallen in Adam.
Lift me up not from Sarah but from Mary,
a Virgin not only undefiled
but a Virgin whom grace had made inviolate,
free of every stain of sin.

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

“The very fact
that God has elected her,
proves, that none was ever
holier than Mary;
if any stain had disfigured her soul,
if any other virgin
had been purer and holier,
God would have selected her
and rejected Mary.

St Jacob of Sarug (c 451-521)
Bishop, Theologian, Poet, Writer

“Today humanity, in all the radiance
of her Immaculate nobility,
receives its ancient beauty.
The shame of sin
had darkened the splendour
and attraction of human nature
but when the Mother
of the Fair One par excellence,
is born, this nature again,
regains in her person,
its ancient privileges
and is fashioned according to a perfect model,
truly worthy of God….

The reform of our nature begins today
and the aged world,
subjected to a wholly divine transformation,
receives the first fruits of the second creation.”

St Andrew of Crete (c 650-c 740)
Bishop, Theologian, Hymnist

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 December – ‘ … Mary is the new Tree of Life …’

One Minute Reflection – 8 December on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – Readings: Genesis 3:9-15, 20, Psalm 98:1-4, Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12, Luke 1:26-38

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus.

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word.” … Luke 1:38

REFLECTION – “Son of God, grant me Your own admirable Gift, that I may celebrate the wondrous beauty of Your beloved Mother! The Virgin gave birth to a Son while preserving her virginity, she suckled Him who gives nourishment to the peoples, in her Immaculate breast she bore Him who carries the whole world in His Hands. She is Virgin and Mother, what will she not be hereafter? Holy in body, all beautiful in soul, pure of mind, upright in intelligence, perfect in feeling, chaste and faithful, pure of heart and filled with virtue.

May the hearts of virgins rejoice in Mary, since of her was born the One Who set humankind free from dreadful slavery. May the old Adam, wounded by the serpent, rejoice in Mary; it is Mary who gives Adam a posterity that allows him to crush the accursed serpent and who cures him of his mortal wound (Gen 3:15). Let Priests rejoice in the blessed Virgin; she has brought the High Priest into the world, Who gave Himself as a victim, putting an end to the sacrifices of the Old Covenant. … Let the Prophets rejoice in Mary, since in her, were fulfilled their visions, in her were realised their prophecies, in her were confirmed their oracles. Let all the Patriarchs rejoice in Mary since she received the blessing promised to them, she, who, in her Son, has brought them to completion. …

Mary is the new Tree of Life, who, instead of the bitter fruit picked by Eve, gives to mankind that Sweet Fruit on which the whole world is fed.”St Ephrem (306-373) Deacon in Syria, Father and Doctor of the Church (Marian hymn).

PRAYER O Mary, My Hope! By St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
I salute you, O Mary!
you are the hope of Christians.
Receive the prayer of a sinner,
who loves you tenderly,
honours you in a special manner
and places in you the whole hope
of his salvation.
From you I have my life.
You reinstate me in the grace of your Son:
you are the sure pledge of my salvation.
I beseech of you, therefore, to deliver me
from the burden of my sins,
dispel the darkness of my mind,
banish from my heart the love of the world,
repress the temptations of my enemies
and so rule my whole life, that by your means
and under your guidance,
I may obtain everlasting happiness in heaven.
Amen

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Hail MARY!, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Our Morning Offering – 8 December – O Pure and Immaculate Blessed VirginBy St Ephrem

Our Morning Offering – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

O Pure and Immaculate Blessed Virgin
By St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

O Pure and Immaculate
and likewise Blessed Virgin,
who art the sinless Mother of thy Son,
the mighty Lord of the universe,
thou who art inviolate and altogether holy,
the hope of the hopeless and sinful,
we sing thy praises.
We bless thee, as full of every grace,
thou who didst bear the God-Man:
we bow low before thee;
we invoke thee and implore thine aid.
Rescue us, O holy and inviolate Virgin,
from every necessity that presses upon us
and from all the temptations of the devil.
Be our intercessor and advocate
at the hour of death and judgement,
deliver us from the fire
that is not extinguished
and from the outer darkness;
make us worthy of the glory of thy Son,
O dearest and most clement Virgin Mother.
Thou indeed art our only hope most sure
and sacred in God’s sight,
to Whom be honour and glory
and majesty and dominion
forever and ever,
world without end.
Amen

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 8 December

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 8 December. Patronages – barrel makers, coopers, cloth makers, cloth workers, soldiers of the United States, Spanish infantry, tapestry workers, upholsterers, Argentina, Brazil, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guam, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Tanzania, Tunisia, United States, 68 Diocese, 8 Cities.

Altar of the Immaculata by Joseph Lusenberg, 1876. Saint Antony’s Church, Urtijëi, Italy.

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, nine months before the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, which is celebrated on 8 September. I wish you all a Blessed and Holy Feast Day!

Juan Antonio Escalante, Spanish, 17th century

This festival began in the East, in the 8th Century, since mention is made of it by Saint John Damascen, who lived n 721. It was instituted in England in the year 1100 by Saint Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury. Afterwards in the Diocese of Lyons in the year 1145. Pope Sixtus IV commanded, in the year 1576, the celebration of it throughout Christendom.

At the very first moment of conception in the womb of Saint Ann, Mary’s soul was flooded with the fullness of grace: “all fair, all beautiful.” The laws of man and of nature did not apply to Mary. Her soul was flooded with light so that she could make her acceptance of the Mystical Marriage with her God.

You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse, you have wounded my heart…My sister, my Bride is a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up…Thou art beautiful, O my Love, sweet and comely; terrible as an army set in array…One is my Dove; My perfect one is but one; she is the holy one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. How beautiful art thou, by dearest delights!…Put me as a seal upon they heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death…” – thus God speaks to her in the “Canticle of Canticles,” and Mary replies:
I found Him Whom my soul loved…

Juan Antonio Escalante, Spanish, 17th century

Mary’s Suscipe – the most perfect act of surrender a creature ever made, an oblation which would have a permanent re-echo every moment of her life, her bridal consecration, her mystical union with God was spoken at the very first moment of her being. Fiat – Be is done to me…

There was never a questioning of God’s will in the life of Mary but it was always perfect acceptance of whatever He planned and wanted of her. Therein lies sanctity – doing God’s will, not ours, regardless. Yes, even the Motherhood of Mary as the “Mater Dei” depended on this, for Christ in the Gospels says:

Who are My Mother and My Brethren? If anyone does the will of My Father, he is My Mother and My Brethren.”

You, who love the Blessed Mother so intimately should certainly desire, with all your heart, to imitate Mary’s Fiat in every instance of life. Strive for this initial complete consecration to the Will of God in everything, regardless. At the root, foundation of every life lived for God, there must be a “Suscipe” “Take O Lord, and receive all my liberty, my will…” and a Fiat in deepest love and conformity to God’s Holy Will. In return God will favour you with peace, joy of service but, also, as He did His own dear Mother, with suffering but, always, He will give you the grace to say with Mary, “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Thy Will.”

Murillo, Immaculate Conception, 1650

Mary is “our tainted nature’s solitary boast” and we are her children. Should not a daughter try to resemble her Mother in everything? Mary is the Treasure-house of God’s graces, she will give whatever we ask of her, if it be the divine Will.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Immaculate One, pray for us!

Posted in IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Immaculate Conception Novena – Day Nine – 7 December

Day Nine – Immaculate Conception Novena

Let us begin:
In the Name of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that,
as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son,
You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us,
purified through Her intercession,
to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.
Amen

O Mother of the King of the Universe,
most perfect member of the human race,
our tainted nature’s solitary boast,
we turn to you as mother, advocate
and mediator. O Holy Mary,
assist us in our present necessity.
By your Immaculate Conception,
O Mary conceived without sin,
we humbly beseech you,
from the bottom of our heart,
to intercede for us with your Divine Son
and ask, that we be granted
the favour for which we now plead…
……………………………….
(State your intention here… )
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception,
Mother of Christ,
you had influence with your Divine Son
while upon this earth,
you have the same influence now in Heaven.
Pray for us and obtain for us from Him,
the granting of our petition,
if it be the Divine Will.
Amen

Say the: Our Father…
the: Hail Mary…
the: Glory Be…

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, YouTube VIDEOS

Vigil of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Virgen del Castillo, Inmaculada Concepción / Virgin of the Castle, Yecla, Spain (1642) and Memorials of the Saints – 7 December

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)
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/07/saint-of-the-day-7-december-st-ambrose-c-340-397-father-and-doctor-of-the-church-2/
And More:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/more-on-todays-saint-st-ambrose-c340-397-father-and-doctor-of-the-church/

St Agatho of Alexandria
St Anianas of Chartres
St Antonius of Siya
St Athenodoros of Mesopotamia
St Buithe of Monasterboice
St Burgundofara
St Charles Garnier SJ (1606-1649) Priest Martyr
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.
About St Maria Giuseppa:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/07/saint-of-the-day-7-december-st-maria-giuseppa-rosello-fdm-1811-1880/

St Nilus of Stolbensk

St Sabinus of Spoleto (Died c 303) Bishop of Assisi, Martyr, Miracle-worker.
His Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/07/saint-of-the-day-7-december-saint-sabinus-of-spoleto-died-c-303/

St Servus the Martyr
St Theodore of Antioch
St Urban of Teano
St Victor of Piacenza

Posted in IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Immaculate Conception Novena – Day Eight – 6 December

Day Eight – Immaculate Conception Novena

Let us begin:
In the Name of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that,
as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son,
You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us,
purified through Her intercession,
to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.
Amen

O Most gracious Virgin Mary,
beloved Mother of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer,
intercede with Him for us,
that we be granted the favour
which we petition for so earnestly in this novena…
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
we feel animated with confidence
that your prayers, on our behalf,
will be graciously heard
before the throne of God.
O Glorious Mother of God,
in memory of your joyous Immaculate Conception,
hear our prayers
and obtain for us our petitions. …
………………………………….
(State your intention here… )
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception,
Mother of Christ,
you had influence with your Divine Son
while upon this earth,
you have the same influence now in Heaven.
Pray for us and obtain for us from Him,
the granting of our petition,
if it be the Divine Will.
Amen

Say the: Our Father…
the: Hail Mary…
the: Glory Be…

Posted in IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Immaculate Conception Novena – Day Seven – 5 December

Day Seven – Immaculate Conception Novena

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 us
as we implore your powerful intercession.

O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God
and our Mother,
from the sublime heights of your dignity,
turn your merciful eyes upon us while we,
full of confidence in your bounty
and fully conscious of your power,
beg of you, to come to our aid
and ask your Divine Son
to grant the favour we earnestly seek
in this novena…
if it be beneficial for our immortal souls
and the souls for whom we pray.
…………………………
(State your intention here… )
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception,
Mother of Christ,
you had influence with your Divine Son,
while upon this earth,
you have the same influence now in Heaven.
Pray for us and obtain for us
from Him the granting of our petition
if it be the Divine Will.
Amen

Say the: Our Father…
the: Hail Mary…
the: Glory Be…

Posted in IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Immaculate Conception Novena – Day Six – 4 December

Day Six – Immaculate Conception Novena

Let us begin:
In the Name of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that,
as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son,
You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us,
purified through Her intercession,
to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.
Amen

Glorious and immortal Queen of Heaven,
we profess our firm belief
in your Immaculate Conception,
preordained for you,
by the merits of your Divine Son.
We rejoice with you
in your Immaculate Conception.
To the One ever-reigning God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
three in Person, One in nature,
we offer thanks
for your blessed Immaculate Conception.
O Mother of the Word made Flesh,
listen to our petition
as we ask this special grace during this novena…
………………………………..
(State your intention here… )
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception,
Mother of Christ,
you had influence with your Divine Son
while upon this earth;
you have the same influence now in Heaven.
Pray for us and obtain for us,
from Him, the granting of our petition,
if it be the Divine Will.
Amen

Say the: Our Father…
the: Hail Mary…
the: Glory Be…

Posted in IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Immaculate Conception Novena – Day Four – 2 December

Day Four – Immaculate Conception Novena

Let us begin:
In the Name of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that,
as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son,
You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us,
purified through Her intercession,
to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.
Amen

O Mary, Mother of God,
endowed in your glorious
Immaculate Conception
with the fullness of grace;
unique among women,
in that you are both mother and virgin;
Mother of Christ and Virgin of Christ,
we ask you to look down
with a tender heart from your throne
and listen to our prayers
as we earnestly ask,
that you obtain for us the favour
for which we now plead…
…………………………………..
(State your intention here… )
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception,
Mother of Christ,
you had influence with your Divine Son
while upon this earth;
you have the same influence now in Heaven.
Pray for us and obtain for us from him
the granting of our petition
if it be the Divine Will.
Amen

Say the: Our Father…
the: Hail Mary…
the: Glory Be…

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Devotion for December – The Immaculate Conception

December , Month of The Immaculate Conception

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

Posted in IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Immaculate Conception Novena – Day Three – 1 December

Day Three – Immaculate Conception Novena

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…

Posted in IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Immaculate Conception Novena – Day One – 29 November

Day One – Immaculate Conception Novena

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 most Holy Mother,
who by your blessed Immaculate Conception,
from the first moment of your conception
did crush the head of the enemy,
receive my prayer
as I implore you to present,
at the throne of God,
the favour I now request…
…………………….
(Mention your request here…)

O Mary of the Immaculate Conception,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of God,
you had influence with your Divine Son
while upon this earth;
you have the same influence now in Heaven.
Pray for me and obtain for me from Him,
the granting of my petitions.
if it be the Divine Will.
Amen

Say the: Our Father…
the: Hail Mary…
the: Glory Be…

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOGMA, IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Announcing a Novena in honour of the Immaculate Conception

Novena in honour of the Immaculate Conception
Begins 29 November
Feast 8 December

The Dogma was promulgated by Blessed Pius IX in 1854 in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus.
This Dogma is rejected by all Protestants including the Orthodox – another reason why we cannot interact with these the way some do and the Vatican II church endorses.

Let us Pray to our Mother, the Immaculate and Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin.

Posted in AUGUST - The Immaculate Heart of Mary, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, IMMACULATE HEART PRAYERS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRAYER, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 31 August – Prayer and Our Lady

Thought for the Day – 31 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Prayer and Our Lady

“He told them a parable – that they must always pray and not lose heart” (Lk 18:1).
Nobody else on earth ever carried out this command of Our Lord as perfectly as Our Lady.
St Albert the Great says that, after Jesus Christ, the spirit of prayer is to be found at it’s most perfect, in Our Lady (Sup Miss 80).
It was because of her immense love for her divine Son that Mary was able to put into practice, throughout her life, that Gospel precept of unceasing prayer.
Prayer in it’s fullest sense, is in fact, an act of love rather than supplication.
It is defined as an elevation of soul to God, to adore and praise Him, to thank Him and to ask Him for His favours.
It leads to lasting and intimate union with God, who should be regarded as our only good and as the final end of our lives.
Since Mary was full of grace, she was always closest to God.
Even before she became His Mother, she constantly enjoyed His intimacy.
Despite the many sorrows of her life, this intimacy became still greater and more beautiful, when she became the Mother of Jesus.
From that time, she was able to hold Him to her immaculate bosom and to live in close familiarity with Him.
She was able, too, to follow Him on His apostolic journeys, until He reached Calvary and the Cross and, finally, to see Him gloriously risen from the dead.
After Jesus had ascended into Heaven, her soul expanded with a nostalgic love for her divine Son, until her earthly journey was over and she was taken up into Heaven.
There, she reigns supreme among the Saints and Angels and never ceases to pray for us, her exiled children, who need her help so much.
Let us learn from Mary, how to pray with love and perseverance.
Then, we shall be able to follow her along the difficult way of perfection, which leads towards Heaven.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

On this last day of the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us call upon her in all our great needs.

Deign, O Immaculate Virgin
By St Paschasius Radbertus (785–865)

Deign, O Immaculate Virgin,
Mother most pure,
to accept the loving cry of praise
which we send up to you
from the depths of our hearts.
Though they can but add little to your glory,
O Queen of Angels,
you do not despise, in your love,
the praises of the humble
and the poor.
Cast down upon us a glance of mercy,
O most glorious Queen,
graciously receive our petitions.
Through your immaculate purity of body and mind,
which rendered you so pleasing to God,
inspire us with a love of innocence and purity.
Teach us to guard carefully the gifts of grace,
striving ever after sanctity, so that,
being made like the image of your beauty,
we may be worthy to become the sharers
of your eternal happiness.
Amen

St Paschasius Radbertus was a Theologian and the Benedictine Abbot of Corbie.
Read about him here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/saint-of-the-day-26-april-saint-paschasius-radbertus-785-865/

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 21 May – Holy Purity

Thought for the Day – 21 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Holy Purity

“Have you ever experienced the sheer delight of climbing the mountains on a summer’s day and coming across one of those little alpine lakes, a tiny mirror, reflecting the still blueness of the sky?
Or have you ever watched an infant smiling in it’s angelic slumber and been held spellbound by this vision of innocence?
Finally, on some calm, clear night, surely you have studied the star-spangled sky and have been so overwhelmed by the beauty of the scene, that you could have cried out with the Psalmist:  “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament proclaims His handiwork” (Ps 18:1).
These, are only faint images of the beauty and virginal purity of Mary.
Her soul was the purest and most beautiful of the entire human and angelic creation, because, nobody else was ever raised to the dignity of the Motherhood of God.
She was conceived free from all taint of original sin and enriched with every grace.
In her chaste womb, she conceived the Infant Jesus.
Later, she held Him close to her heart;  she lived for Him and eventually died for love of Him.

Purity is a virtue which is attractive to everybody, even to those who are evil themselves, or to those, who have lost their own chastity.
We love and desire this virtue but, are we prepared to make any sacrifice in order to preserve it, in the manner demanded by our particular state in life?
“The kingdom of heaven has been enduring violent assault,” Jesus said “and the violent have been seizing it by force” (Mt 11:12).
This is especially true in regard to the acquisition of the virtue of purity.
It is not enough to desire it, we must be willing to make sacrifices in order to acquire it.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, FEBRUARY-The HOLY FAMILY, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the FAMILY, QUOTES/PRAYERS on THE FAMILY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 1 February – The Holy Family – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Thought for the Day – 1 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Holy Family – The Blessed Virgin Mary

“The Blessed Vigin Mary is the second model proposed for our imitation in the Holy Family.
She is the purest and most beautiful creature ever fashioned by the Hand of God.
As Mother of the Word Incarnate, her dignity touches the divine.
Peserved from all stain of sin from the moment of her conception, she is full of grace.
Except in God Himself, no greater beauty and holiness can be found elsewhere, than in Mary.

We do not read that Mary worked miracles, had ecstasies, or possessed any extraordinary external gifts.
Her sanctity was completely internal.
She trod the ordinary way of perfection, therefore, the way most easily imitated by us and, nevertheless, reached the highest peak of holiness.
Since we are her devoted and affectionate children, let us ask her for the grace to follow her in the way of perfection and of complete resignation to the Will of God.
Although, we may have to follow her from afar, let us follow with enthusiasm.
As parents, let us imitate her holy, loving and obedient hand in the growth of our Saviour.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One – Jesus – here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/24/thought-for-the-day-24-december-the-holy-family-jesus/

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, Hail MARY!, MARIAN QUOTES, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SACRED SCRIPTURE, The ANNUNCIATION, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The REDEMPTION, The RESURRECTION

Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – Is she not our mother?

Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Readings: Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18, 19, Luke 1:26-38.

“And if any man
will not receive His birth from a virgin,
how shall he receive His resurrection
from the dead?
For it is nothing wonderful
and astonishing and extraordinary,
if one who was not born,
rose from the dead – nay indeed,
we cannot speak of a resurrection of him
who came unto being without birth.
For one who is unborn and immortal
and has not undergone birth,
will also not undergo death.
For He, who took not the beginning of man,
how could He receive His end?”

St Irenaeus (130-202)
Martyr, Theologian, Father

“What shall we say, brethren?
Is she not our mother?
Certainly, brethren, she is in truth our mother.
Through her we are born,
not to the world but to God.”

“Scripture says, ‘Praise the Lord in his saints’.
If the Lord is to be praised in those saints
through whom He performs
mighty works and miracles,
how much more should He be praised in HER,
in whom He fashioned Himself,
He who is wonderful beyond all wonder.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
From his sermons – Sermon 20

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MOTHER of GOD, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Our Morning Offering – 12 December – Mary Immaculate! By St John Damascene

Our Morning Offering – 12 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Readings: Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18, 19, Luke 1:26-38.

Mary Immaculate!
By St John Damascene (675-749)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Today, the root of Jesse has produced its shoot,
she will bring forth a Divine flower for the world.
Today, the Creator of all things,
God the Word,
composes a new book:
a book issuing from the heart of His Father
and written by the Holy Spirit,
who is the tongue to God.

O daughter of King David and Mother of God,
the universal King.
O Divine and living object
whose beauty has charmed God the Creator;
your whole soul is completely open
to God’s action and attentive to God alone.

All your desires are centred
only on what merits to be sought
and is worthy of love.
You harbour anger only for sin and its author.
You will have a life superior to nature,
but not for your own sake.
For it has not been created for you
but has been entirely consecrated to God,
who has introduced you into the world
to help bring about our salvation
in fulfillment of His plan,
the Incarnation of His Son
and the Divinisation of the human race.

Your heart will find nourishment in the words of God,
like the tree planted near the living waters of the Spirit,
like the tree of life
that has yielded its fruit in due time,
the incarnate God who is the life of all things.

Your ears will be ever attentive to the Divine words
and the sounds of the harp of the Spirit,
through whom the Word has come to take on our flesh.
Your nostrils will inhale the fragrance of the Bridegroom,
the Divine fragrance with which He scented His humanity.

Your lips will savour the words of God
and will rejoice in their Divine sweetness.
Your most pure heart,
free from all stain,
will ever see the God of all purity
and will experience ardent desire for Him.

Your womb will be the abode
of the one whom no place can contain.
Your milk will provide nourishment for God,
in the little Infant Jesus.
Your hands will carry God
and your knees will serve
as a throne for Him
that is more noble
than the throne of the Cherubim.

Your feet, led by the light of the Divine Law,
will follow Him along an undeviating course
and guide you to the possession of the Beloved.

You are the temple of the Holy Spirit,
the city of the living God,
made joyous by abundant flowers,
the sacred flowers of Divine grace.
You are all-beautiful
and very close to God,
above the Cherubim
and higher than the Seraphim,
right near God Himself!

Image Excerpt

O daughter of King David
and Mother of God,
the universal King.
O Divine and living object
whose beauty has charmed God the Creator;
your whole soul is completely open
to God’s action and attentive to God alone.
… Your womb will be the abode
of the one whom no place can contain.
Your milk will provide nourishment for God,
in the little Infant Jesus.
Your hands will carry God
and your knees will serve
as a throne for Him
that is more noble
than the throne of the Cherubim.
… You are the temple of the Holy Spirit,
the city of the living God,
made joyous by abundant flowers,
the sacred flowers of Divine grace.
You are all-beautiful
and very close to God,
above the Cherubim
and higher than the Seraphim,
right near God Himself!
Amen

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOGMA, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, MOTHER of GOD, ORIGINAL SIN, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on SIN, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 8 December – THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 8 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

“Let us read the first chapter of St Luke’s Gospel in order to try and understand, as far as possible, the Immaculate Conception and the sublime holiness of Mary.
“The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David and the virgin’s name was Mary. And when the angel had come to her, he said, ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women’” (Lk 1:26-28).
The Blessed Virgin was troubled when she heard these words but the Angel reassured her.
He told her that she had found favour with God and added, that she would become the Mother of God, for the Word would become flesh in her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit, in such a manner that in her nature, the privileges of virginity and of the divine motherhood, would be miraculously united.
Mary then gave her assent to the will of God and, her ‘fiat’ placed her on a pedestal, high above all the generations of humanity and all the choirs of the angelic kingdom.

It is on this passage of the Gospel, that the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, chiefly depends.
She was full of grace and the supremely beloved of God.
How then could she have been subject to the rule of sin which we inherited from Adam?
If her soul had been stained with sin at the first moment of her conception, she would not have enjoyed the special favour of God and the plenitude of grace.
She was, moreover, predestined to become the Mother of God.
Was it possible that the divine Word, Who was to become her Son, could have permitted her soul to have been sullied, even for a single instant, by sin, which deprives us of grace and makes us enemies of God?
It was on good grounds, therefore, that the Church defined, that from the first moment of her conception, Mary was free from all taint of sin, by a singular privilege conferred on her by God and through the merits of her divine Son, Jesus Christ.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, ENCYCLICALS, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MOTHER of GOD, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Quote/s of the Day – 8 December – “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Quote/s of the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

“I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Our Lady of Lourdes to St Bernadette
25 March 1858

“Come, then and search out Your sheep,
not through Your servants or hired men
but do it Yourself.
Lift me up bodily and in the flesh,
which is fallen in Adam.
Lift me up not from Sarah but from Mary,
a Virgin not only undefiled
but a Virgin whom grace had made inviolate,
free of every stain of sin.”

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

“He came down into the Virgin’s womb,
a womb unstained, unspotted,
hallowed by the touch of divine unction.”

St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159)

O Most Holy Virgin
By St Pope Pius X (1835-1914)

Most holy Virgin,
who pleased our Lord and became His Mother,
Virgin Immaculate in your body and soul,
in your faith and love,
at this solemn jubilee of the promulgation of the dogma
which proclaimed you
to the entire world as conceived without sin,
look kindly on us, unfortunate ones,
who implore your powerful protection.
The infernal serpent,
upon whom the primeval curse was laid,
continues, alas, to attack and tempt
the hapless children of Eve.
Ah! Do you, our blessed Mother,
our Queen and Advocate,
who at the first moment of your conception
did crush the enemy’s head,
do you gather together our prayers
and we beseech you (our hearts one with yours),
present them before God’s throne,
that we may never allow ourselves
to be caught in the snares laid for us
but that we may reach the portal of salvation
and that the Church and Christian society
may once more chant the hymn of deliverance,
of victory and of peace.
Amen

“Enraptured by the splendour of your heavenly beauty
and impelled by the anxieties of the world,
we cast ourselves into your arms,
O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother Mary,
confident of finding in your most loving heart,
appeasement of our ardent desires
and a safe harbour from the tempests
which beset us on every side.

“O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths!
O fragrant Lily of all holiness,
captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume!
O Conqueress of evil and death,
inspire in us a deep horror of sin,
which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God,
hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart.
Bend tenderly over our aching wounds.
Convert the wicked,
dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed,
comfort the poor and humble,
quench hatreds, sweeten harshness,
safeguard the flower of purity in youth,
protect the holy Church,
make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness.”

Ven Servant of God Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/09/quote-s-of-the-day-9-december-the-solemnity-of-the-immaculate-conception-from-the-fathers/

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Advent Reflection on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December – Mary, our Hope!

Advent Reflection on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December – Readings: Genesis 3:9-15, 20, Psalm 98:1-4, Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12, Luke 1:26-38

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus.

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word.” … Luke 1:38

REFLECTION – “If, as the Apostle declares, faith is nothing else than the substance of things to be hoped for” (Heb 11:1) everyone will easily allow, that our faith is confirmed and our hope aroused and strengthened, by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. The Virgin was kept the more free from all stain of original sin because she was to be the Mother of Christ and she, was the Mother of Christ, that the hope of everlasting happiness, might be born again in our souls.

Leaving aside charity towards God, who can contemplate the Immaculate Virgin without feeling moved to fulfill that precept which Christ called peculiarly His own, namely that of loving one another as He loved us? “A great sign,” thus the Apostle St John describes a vision divinely sent him, appears in the heavens: “A woman clothed with the sun and with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head” (Rv 12:1). Everyone knows that this woman signified the Virgin Mary, the stainless one who brought forth our Head.

The Apostle continues: “And, being with child, she cried travailing in birth and was in pain to be delivered” (Rv 12:2). John, therefore, saw the Most Holy Mother of God already in eternal happiness, yet travailing in a mysterious childbirth. What birth was it? Surely it was the birth of us who, still in exile, are yet to be generated to the perfect charity of God and to eternal happiness. And the birth pains, show the love and desire, with which the Virgin from heaven above, watches over us and strives with unwearying prayer to bring about the fulfilment of the number of the elect.

This same charity we desire that all should earnestly endeavour to attain, taking special occasion from … feasts in honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” … Saint Pius X (1835-1914) Pope from 1903 to 1914 – Encyclical “Ad diem illum laetissimum”

PRAYER O Mary, My Hope! By St John Damascene (675-749)
I salute you, O Mary!
you are the hope of Christians.
Receive the prayer of a sinner,
who loves you tenderly,
honours you in a special manner
and places in you the whole hope
of his salvation.
From you I have my life.
You reinstate me in the grace of your Son:
you are the sure pledge of my salvation.
I beseech of you, therefore, to deliver me
from the burden of my sins,
dispel the darkness of my mind,
banish from my heart the love of the world,
repress the temptations of my enemies
and so rule my whole life, that by your means
and under your guidance,
I may obtain everlasting happiness in heaven.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Our Morning Offering – 8 December – O Pure and Immaculate Blessed Virgin

Our Morning Offering – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

O Pure and Immaculate Blessed Virgin
By St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

O Pure and Immaculate
and likewise Blessed Virgin,
who art the sinless Mother of thy Son,
the mighty Lord of the universe,
thou who art inviolate and altogether holy,
the hope of the hopeless and sinful,
we sing thy praises.
We bless thee, as full of every grace,
thou who didst bear the God-Man:
we bow low before thee;
we invoke thee and implore thine aid.
Rescue us, O holy and inviolate Virgin,
from every necessity that presses upon us
and from all the temptations of the devil.
Be our intercessor and advocate
at the hour of death and judgement,
deliver us from the fire
that is not extinguished
and from the outer darkness;
make us worthy of the glory of thy Son,
O dearest and most clement Virgin Mother.
Thou indeed art our only hope most sure
and sacred in God’s sight,
to Whom be honour and glory
and majesty and dominion
forever and ever,
world without end.
Amen