Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Feast of St Thomas, Apostle of Christ, Christmas Novena to the Christ Child, Day Six, Notre-Dame de Saint-Acheul / Our Lady of Saint Acheul, Amiens, France, (4th Century) and Memorials of the Saints – 21 December

Feast of St Thomas, Apostle of Christ
His Feast was moved to 3 July in 1969

https://anastpaul.com/2018/07/03/saint-of-the-day-feast-of-st-thomas-apostle-of-christ/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/07/03/feast-of-st-thomas-apostle-of-christ-martyr-3-july/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/07/03/saint-of-the-day-3-july-st-thomas-the-apostle-of-christ/

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child, Day Six:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/21/christmas-novena-to-the-christ-child-day-six-21-december-2/

Notre-Dame de Saint-Acheul / Our Lady of Saint Acheul, Amiens, France, founded by Saint Firmin, Bishop (4th Century) – 21 December:

The Church containing the Shrine of Our Lady of Acheul, was located near Amiens. In fact, Saint Acheul was once considered the Mother-Church of the Cathedral of Amiens and was sometimes called the “Old Cathedral of Amiens,” although this is no longer the case, as there is now a larger Cathedral Church in Amiens.
The Church stands on the very place where once a Roman temple stood, and tradition tells that Saint Firminus (Died 303) was the Apostle of Amiens, arriving there before the close of the third century after Christ. It is said that by the eloquence of his preaching and the number of his miracles, Saint Firminus (or Saint Firmin) converted many idolaters to the True Faith and Baptised three thousand men in forty days.
The early Church, built around the year 300, contained the remains of the Martyred Saint. This Church was devastated repeatedly by the invasions of the Normans, and was finally totally destroyed in 1218. The relics of Saint Firmin were transferred to the Cathedral of Amiens during the Middle Ages.
The Shrine of the Virgin of Saint Acheul, is noteworthy for a singular miracle – an apparition which occurred during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The celebrant, after the Consecration, saw a hand appear from within a luminous cloud and the hand of Christ took the Sacred Host and dropped it into the Chalice. Some of the faithful present likewise witnessed the same thing – a certain skeptic was brought to his knees in humble acceptance of the fact, that the Holy Sacrifice is truly the same as that of Calvary. The armorial bearings of the Abbey of Saint-Acheul, displays a hand in remembrance of this miracle.

The Altar to Our Lady at the Cathedral

The present Cathedral of Saint Acheul was not finished until the fifteenth century. After the erection of the new Cathedral at Amiens, Saint Acheul was known as the Church of Our Lady of Acheul. Miracles took place frequently and pilgrimages continued.
The Church of Saint Acheul was destroyed by a natural phenomenon, probably a strong storm, in about the year 1751. It was rebuilt and completed in 1760. A few short years later, during the Terror of the French Revolution, the Church was used as a stable.
Today, the Church is protected as an historical monument, the decree given in 1969. The Abbey buildings are now occupied by a private party but the Church is used as a Parish Church.

The Abbey building is visible next door

St Peter Canisius SJ (1521-1397) Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
His Feast day is 27 April (General Roman Calendar, 1926–1969.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/saint-of-the-day-21-december-st-peter-canisius-s-j-1521-1397-doctor-of-the-church/
AND Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on St Peter Canisius:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/21/saint-of-the-day-21-december-st-peter-canisius-s-j-1521-1397-the-second-apostle-of-germany-doctor-of-the-church/

Bl Adrian of Dalmatia

St Anastasius II of Antioch (Died 609) Bishop and Martyr, Confessor, Defender of the Faith.
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/21/saint-of-the-day-21-december-saint-anastasius-ii-of-antioch/

St Anrê Tran An Dung
St Baudacarius of Bobbio
St Beornwald of Bampton
Bl Bezela of Göda
Blessed Daniel of the Annunciation OdeM Mercedarian Friar (13th Century?)
St Dioscorus

Blessed Dominic Spadafora OP (1450-1521) Dominican Priest, renowned Preacher and Evangelist. His body is incorrupt.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/21/saint-of-the-day-21-december-blessed-dominic-spadafora-op-1450-1521/

St Festus of Tuscany
St Glycerius of Nicomedia
St James of Valencia
St John of Tuscany
St John Vincent
St Micah the Prophet
St Phêrô Truong Van Thi
St Severin of Trèves (Died c 300) Bishop, Confessor
Bl Sibrand of Marigård
St Themistocles of Lycia

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, NOVENA, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Notre-Dame de Bon Retour à Île-Molène / Our Lady of Molene, France (1075), Christmas Novena Day Five and Memorials of the Saints – 20 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – DAY FIVE:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/20/christmas-novena-to-the-christ-child-day-five-20-december-3/

Vigil of St Thomas, Apostle.

Notre-Dame de Bon Retour à Île-Molène / Our Lady of Molene, France (1075) – 20 December

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “The Shrine of Our Lady of Molene is in the Abbey of the Order of Saint Benedict in Langres. It was founded on the 20th of December, 1075, by Saint Robert who was the Abbot.”

The Benedictine Monastery in the Diocese of Langres founded by Saint Robert was actually the famous Molesme Abbey. As the Abbot Orsini mentioned, it was indeed founded by Saint Robert, henceforth known as Saint Robert of Molesme O.Cist (1028-1111), in the year 1075. He had been the Abbot of Saint Michael Abbey but left and founded a new Abbey when they refused to accept his necessary reforms.
Saint Robert was born in the year 1029 and had a deep, childlike devotion to the Mother of God – by reason of a vision his mother saw, before Robert was born – and he instilled the same into the hearts of his Monks. Saint Robert’s holiness attracted many sincere men to join him, and as many of them were also noblemen, they provided Saint Robert with the financial means necessary to build a magnificent Abbey. Among those who flocked to Saint Robert was St Bruno of Cologne, who was the future Founder of the Carthusian Order.
When Saint Robert died in the year 1111, he was buried in the Ahurch at the Abbey he founded. St Alberic, Robert’s Successor, decided that the Order should be dedicated to Mary. According to legend, Mary bestowed on Alberic a white mantle; for that reason, the Monks changed their black habit and wore white. All their Churches were dedicated to the Virgin and each had its Mary Altar before which the office of Mary was chanted every Saturday.
The Church and Monastery were destroyed and any remaining property stolen in 1472 during the war between Burgundy and France. The Huguenots burned what had been rebuilt the following century during the French Wars of Religion. The end came during the French Revolution when the Abbey was suppressed and the buildings and Church destroyed.
The small Church pictured is the Church of Sainte-Croix, built in the 13th century as a Chapel for the novices at the Abbey. Even this building was damaged in 1940 during combat between the French and German troops and some of that damage can still be seen. However, this is now a thriving Parish with an annual pilgrimage to honour Our Lady. The Grotto above and below, stands in the open field previously the site of the Monastery.
The Abbey site has been an historical monument since 1985. The once thriving community is gone and the site now is only accessible by prior arrangement.
The Monastery seal pictured the Virgin Mary crowned.

St Attala of Strasbourg
St Bajulus of Rome
St Crescentius of Africa
St Dominic of Brescia

St Dominic de Silos OSB (1000-1073) Monk, Abbot.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/saint-of-the-day-20-december-st-dominic-de-silos-o-s-b-c1000-1073/

St Eugene of Arabia
St Gabriel Olivares Roda
St Hoger of Hamburg-Bremen
Bl John de Molina
St Julius of Gelduba
Bl Lorenzo Company
St Liberatus of Rome
St Macarius of Arabia
St Malou of Hautvillers

Blessed Michal Piaszczynski (1885-1940) Priest and Martyr.
His Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/20/saint-of-the-day-20-december-blessed-michal-piaszczynski-1885-1940-priest-and-martyr/

St Paul of Latra
Bl Peter de la Cadireta
Bl Peter Massalenus
St Philogonius of Antioch (Died 324) Bishop

St Thomas of Dover
St Ursicinus of Saint-Ursanne

St Vincenzo Romano (1751-1831) “A Priest of the People.”
His story:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/20/saint-of-the-day-20-december-st-vincenzo-romano-1751-1831-a-priest-of-the-people/

St Pope Zephyrinus (Died 217) Bishop of Rome from 199-217, Confessor, Defender of the Faith especially of the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity. He is known for combatting heresies and defending the Divinity of Christ.
About Pope Zephyrinus:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/20/saint-of-the-day-20-december-saint-pope-zephyrinus-died-217/

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, SAINT of the DAY

The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Four, Nuestra Señora de Toledo / Our Lady of Toledo, Spain (The Chasuble of St Ildephonsus) (657) and Memorials of the Saints – 19 December

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Four:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/19/christmas-novena-to-the-christ-child-day-four-19-december-2/

Nuestra Señora de Toledo (La Casulla de Santo Ildephonsus) / Our Lady of Toledo, Spain (The Chasuble of St Ildephonsus) (657) – 19 December:

XJL86515 Presentation of the Cope to St. Ildefonsus, 1600-24 by Aguilar, Diego de (the Younger) (fl.1570-1624) oil on canvas 151×103 Museo de Santa Cruz, Toledo, Spain Spanish, out of copyright

In the year 657 one day while St Ildephonsus (607-670), Archbishop of Toledo, was saying matins, Our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by a great number of the blessed and holding in her hands the book which he had composed in her honour. Sshe thanked him for it and out of gratitude, gave him a white Chasuble.
This celestial gift is still preserved and is now at Oviedo — Alphonsus, the chaste King of Castile, having transferred it to the Church of St Saviour, which he had built.
Tradition claims, that Ildephonsus’successor, Siagrius, tried to use the Vestment but died in the act of robing. The garment is said to have been seen and touched by Herbert Losinga, Bishop of Norwich, as late as the eleventh century.

St Adelaide of Susa (c 1014-1091) Countess, Married Laywoman

St Pope Anastasius I (Died 401) Bishop of Rome from 27 November 399 until his death on 19 December 401.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/19/saint-of-the-day-19-december-st-pope-anastasius-i-died-401/

St Augustine Moi Van Nguyen
St Avitus of Micy
Bl Berengar of Banares

St Berardo Valeara OSB (c 1050-1122) Benedictine Monk, Bishop of Teramo, Evangelist, Apostle of Charity and Peace.
His life:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/19/saint-of-the-day-st-berardo-valeara-of-teramo-osb-c-1050-1122/

Bl Bogumila Noiszewska
St Boniface of Cilicia
Bl Cecilia of Ferrara
St Dominic Uy Van Bui
St Fausta of Sirmium
St Gregory of Auxerre
St Jaume Boguñá Casanovas
St Johannes Gogniat
St Jordi Sampé Tarragó
St Josep Albareda Ramoneda
Bl Kazimiera Wolowska
Bl Konrad Liechtenau
St Manirus of Scotland
St Meuris of Alexandria
St Nemesius of Alexandria
St Phanxicô Xaviê Hà Trong Mau
St René Dubroux
Ribert of Saint-Oyend
St Stêphanô Nguyen Van Vinh
St Thea of Alexandria
St Timothy the Deacon
St Tôma Nguyen Van Ðe

Blessed Pope Urban V (1310-1370) Bishop of Rome from 28 September 1362 to his death in 1370, Priest, Benedictine Monk, Abbot, Canon lawyer, brilliant scholar, teacher.
About Blessed Pope Urban:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/saint-of-the-day-19-december-blessed-pope-urban-v-1310-1370/

Blessed William of Fenoli O.Cart. (1065-1120) Carthusian Monk, Hermit, miracle-worker.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/19/saint-of-the-day-19-december-blessed-william-of-fenoli-o-cart-1065-1120/

Blessed Mercedarian Fathers – (6 beati): A group of Mercedarian monks noted for their dedication to the Order’s rule, for their continuous prayer life and their personal piety.
• Blessed Bartolomeo of Podio
• Blessed Giovanni of Verdera
• Blessed Guglielmo de Gallinaris
• Blessed Guglielmo of Prunera
• Blessed Pietro of Benevento
• Blessed Pietro of Gualba

Martyrs of Nicaea – (4 saints): A group of Christians martyred together. The only surviving details are four of their names – Darius, Paul, Secundus and Zosimus. They were martyred at Nicaea, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey).

Martyrs of Nicomedia – (5 saints): A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little more than the names of five – Anastasius, Cyriacus, Paulillus, Secundus and Syndimius. They were martyred in 303 at Nicomedia, Asia Minor.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939. Virtually each day of the year a Group are celebrated, usually individually but sometimes an entire Monastery or Convent or Lay Movement were martyred together. Today we remember:
• Blessed Jaume Boguñá Casanovas
• Blessed Jordi Sampé Tarragó
• Blessed Josep Albareda Ramoneda

Posted in EMBER DAYS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, SAINT of the DAY

Christmas Novena, Ember Day, Madonna del Terremoto (Madonna del Carmine) / Our Lady of the Earthquake, Paterno, Potenza, Basilicata, Italy (1857) and Memorials of the Saints – 17 December

DAY TWO of the CHRISTMAS NOVENAhttps://anastpaul.com/2018/12/17/christmas-novena-to-the-christ-child-day-two-17-december-3/

EMBER FRIDAY

Madonna del Terremoto (Madonna del Carmine) / Our Lady of the Earthquake, Paterno, Potenza, Basilicata, Italy (1857) – 17 December. (As Patron-Our Lady of Carmel – 26 July):

In the evening of 16 December 1857 a terrible earthquake struck the population of Basilicata and neighbouring regions. In the entire area, the earthquake wreaked havoc devastating the region.
The next day, the residents of Paterno began to pray and they processed with the Statue of the Madonna del Carmine, Out Lady of Carmel, who is the Patron of the Town.
As soon as the procession reached the devastated area where the destroyed buildings and carts containing the bodies of the dead stood, Our Lady turned her face and her eyes shed blood.
This miraculous event is commemorated every year on 17 December with a procession and Holy Mass.

St Briarch of Bourbriac

St John of Matha O.SS.T (1160-1213) Priest, Founder of The Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Captives, also known as the Trinitarians, Confessor.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/17/saint-of-the-day-17-december-st-john-of-matha-o-ss-t-1160-1213/

St Josep/José Manyanet y Vives (1833-1901) Priest and Founder of of the Sons of the Holy Family and the Missionary Daughters of the Holy Family.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/17/saint-of-the-day-17-december-st-josep-manyanet-y-vives-1833-1901/

St Judicaël
St Lazarus of Bethany (1st Century) Bishop, Martyr, Missionary

BL Mariano Alarcón Ruiz
Bl Mathilde Téllez Robles
St Maxentiolus
St Modestus of Jerusalem

St Olympias of Constantinople (c 361-365 – 408) Childless Widow, Diaconess, friend of St John Chrysostom, Apostle of charity and Founder of a Convent, hospital and an orphanage, Defender of the true faith.
About St Olympias:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/17/saint-of-the-day-17-december-st-olympias-of-constantinople-c-361-365-408/

Bl Peter of Spain

St Sturmi of Fulda OSB (c 705-779) Priest, Monk, Missionary, disciple of Saint Boniface and Founder and first Abbot of the Benedictine Monastery and Abbey of Fulda. Known as “The Apostle of the Saxons,” “The Apostle of Germany.”
About St Sturmi:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/17/saint-of-the-day-17-december-saint-sturmi-of-fulda-c-705-779/

St Tydecho
St Wivina
St Yolanda

Martyrs of Eleutheropolis – (60+ Martyrs-Beati): Approximately 60 Christian soldiers in the imperial Roman army of emperor Heraclius; they were murdered as a group for their faith by invading Saracen Muslims. We know the names of two of them – Calaoicus and Florian. 638 in Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), Palestine.

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Seven – 22 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Seven – 22 December

Day Seven

Flight Of The Child Jesus Into Egypt

Reflection:
Although the Son of God came from heaven to save men, scarcely was He born when men began to persecute Him to death.
Herod, fearing that this Child would deprive Him of his kingdom, seeks to destroy His life.  But St Joseph is warned by an angel in a dream to take the Infant and His Mother and flee into Egypt.   Joseph obeys at once and tells Mary about it.
He takes the few tools of his trade, that he may use them to gain a livelihood in Egypt for himself and his poor family.
Mary wraps up a small bundle of clothes for the use of her little Son and then, going to the crib, she says with tears in her eyes to her sleeping Child, “O my Son and my God!
You have come from heaven to save men but hardly are You born when they seek to take Your life.”
Lifting Him meanwhile in her arms and continuing to weep, she sets out that same night with Joseph on the road to Egypt.

Let us consider how much these holy wanderers must have suffered in making so long a journey, deprived of every comfort.   The divine Child was not yet able to walk and so Mary and Joseph had to take turns in carrying Him in their arms.
During their journey through the desert towards Egypt they had to spend several nights in the open air, with the bare ground for their bed.
The cold makes the Infant cry and Mary and Joseph weep in pity for Him.
And who would not weep at thus seeing the Son of God poor and persecuted, a fugitive on earth, that He might not be killed by His enemies!

Prayer:
Dear Infant Jesus, crying so bitterly!
Well have You reason to weep in seeing Yourself persecuted by men
whom You loved so much.
I, too, O God, have once persecuted You by my sins.
But You know that now I love You more than myself
and that nothing pains me more, than the thought
that I have so often spurned You, my sovereign Good.
Forgive me, O Jesus and let me bear You with me, in my heart
in all the rest of the journey that I have still to make through life,
so that together with You, I may enter into eternity.
So often have I driven You from my soul by my sins.
But now I love You above all things
and I regret above other misfortunes,
that I have offended You.
I wish to leave You no more, my beloved Lord.
But do You give me the strength to resist temptations.
Never permit me to be separated from You again.
Let me rather die than ever again lose Your good grace.
O Mary, my hope, make me always live in God’s love
and then die in loving Him.   Amen

Posted in ADVENT, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Uncategorized

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Six – 21 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Six – 21 December

Day Six 
God’s Mercy Revealed In His Coming Down From Heaven To Save Us.

Reflection:
Saint Paul says, “The goodness and kindness of God, our Saviour, has appeared.”
When the Son of God made Man appearedon earth, then was it seen how great is God’s goodness towards us.
Saint Bernard says that first of God’s power was manifested in the creation of the world
and His wisdom in its conservation but His merciful goodness was especially manifested later in His taking human nature on Himself, in order to save fallen mankind by His sufferings and death.
For what greater proof of His kindness towards us could the Son of God show us,
than in taking on Himself the punishment we had deserved?

See Him as a weak, newborn infant, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.   Unable to move or feed Himself, He has need of Mary to give Him a little milk to sustain His life.
Or see Him again in Pilate’s courtyard, tied with fast bonds to a column and there scourged from head to foot.
Behold Him on the way to Calvary, falling down from weakness under weight of the cross that He must carry.
Finally behold Him nailed to this tree of shame, on which He breathes His last amid pain and anguish.
Because Jesus Christ wished that His love for us should win all the love of our hearts for Himself,
He would not send an angel to redeem us but chose to come Himself, to save us by His Passion and death.
Had an angel been our redeemer, men would have had to divide their hearts
in loving God as their Creator and an angel as their redeemer;  but God, who desires men’s whole hearts, as He was already their Creator, wished also to be their Redeemer.

Prayer:
O my Dear Redeemer!
Where should I be now, if You had not borne with me so patiently
but had called me from life while I was in the state of sin?
Since You have waited for me till now, forgive me quickly, O my Jesus,
before death finds me still guilty of so many offences
that I have committed against You.
I am so sorry for having vilely despised You, my sovereign Good,
that I could die of grief.
But You can not abandon a soul that seeks You.
If hitherto, I have forsaken You,
I now seek You and love You.
Yes, my God, I love You above all else;
I love You more than myself.
Help me, Lord, to love You always during the rest of my life.
Nothing else do I seek of You.
But this I beg of You, this I hope to receive from You.
Mary, my hope, do you pray for me.
If you pray for me, I am sure of grace.   Amen

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Five – 20 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Five – 20 December

Day Five
The Life Of Sorrow Which Jesus Led From His Birth.

Reflection:
Jesus Christ could have saved mankind without suffering and dying.
Yet, in order to prove to us how much He loved us, He chose for Himself a life full of tribulations.
Therefore the prophet Isaias called Him “a man of sorrows,” His whole life was filled with suffering.
His Passion began, not merely a few hours before His death but from the the first moment of His birth.
He was born in a stable where everything served to torment Him.
His sense of sight was hurt by seeing nothing but the rough, black walls of the cave;
His sense of smell was hurt by the stench of the dung from the beasts in the stable;
His sense of touch was hurt by the prickling straw on which He lay.
Shortly after His birth He was forced to flee into Egypt, where He spent several years of His childhood in poverty and misery. His boyhood and early manhood in Nazareth were passed in hard work and obscurity.
And finally, in Jerusalem, He died on a cross, exhausted with pain and anguish.

Thus, then, was the life of Jesus but one unbroken series of sufferings, which were doubly painful because He had ever before His eyes all the sufferings He would have to endure till His death.
Yet, since our Lord had voluntarily chosen to bear these tribulations for our sake, they did not afflict Him as much as did the sight of our sins, by which we have so ungratefully repaid Him for His love towards us.
When the confessor of Saint Margaret of Cortona saw that she never seemed satisfied with all the tears she had already shed for her past sins, he said to her, “Margaret, stop crying and cease your lamenting, for God has surely forgiven you your offenses against Him.”
But she replied, “Father, how can I cease to weep, since I know that my sins kept my Lord Jesus in pain and suffering during all His life?”

Prayer:
O Jesus, my sweet Love!
I too have kept You suffering through all Your life.
Tell me, then, what I must do in order to win Your forgiveness.
I am ready to do all You ask of me.
I am sorry, O sovereign Good, for all the offences I have committed against You.
I love You more than myself, or a least I feel a great desire to love You.
Since it is You who have given me this desire, grant me too the strength to love You exceedingly.
It is only right that I, who have offended You so much, should love You very much.
Always remind me of the love You have borne me, in order that my soul may ever burn with love of You
and long to please You alone.
O God of love, I, who was once a slave of hell, now give myself all to You.
Graciously accept me and bind me to Yourself with the bonds of Your love.
My Jesus, from this day and forever in loving You will I live and in loving You will I die.
O Mary, my Mother and my hope, help me to love your dear God and mine.
This is the only favour I ask of you and through you I hope to receive it. Amen

Posted in ADVENT, NOVENAS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Uncategorized

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Three – 18 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Three – 18 December

Day Three
The Life Of Poverty Which Jesus Led From His Birth.

Reflection:
God so ordained that, at the time when His Son was to be born on this earth, the Roman emperor should issue a decree ordering everyone to go to the place of his origin and there be registered in the census.   Thus it came about that, in obedience to this decree, Joseph went to Bethlehem together with his virgin wife when she was soon to have her Child.
Finding no lodging either in the poor inn or in the other houses of the town, they were forced to spend the night in a cave that was used as a stable for animals and it was here that Mary gave birth to the King of heaven.   If Jesus had been born in Nazareth,   He would also, it is true, have been born in poverty but there He would at least have had a dry room, a little fire, warm clothes and a more comfortable cradle.   Yet He chose to be born in this cold, damp cave and to have a manger for a cradle, with prickly straw for a mattress, in order that He might suffer for us.

Let us enter in spirit into this cave of Bethlehem but let us enter in a spirit of lively faith.
If we go there without faith, we shall see nothing but a poor infant
and the sight of this lovely child shivering
and crying on his rough bed of straw may indeed move us to pity.
But if we enter with faith and consider that this Babe is the very Son, God,
who for love of us has come down on earth
and suffers so much to pay the penalty for our sins,
how can we help thanking and loving Him in return?

Prayer:
O Dear Infant Jesus,
how could I be so ungrateful and offend You so often,
if I realised how much You have suffered for me?
But these tears which You shed,
this poverty which you embraced for love of me,
make me hope for the pardon of all the offences
I have committed against You.
My Jesus,
I am sorry for having so often turned my back on You.
But now I love You above all else.
“My God and my all!”
From now on You, O my God,
shall be my only treasure and my only good.
With Saint Ignatius of Loyola I will say to You,
“Give me the grace to love You; that is enough for me.”
I long for nothing else;
I want nothing else.
You alone are enough for me,
my Jesus, my life, my love.
O Mary, my Mother,
obtain for me the grace
that I may always love Jesus
and always be loved by Him. Amen

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Two – 17 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Two – 17 December

Day Two
God’s Love Revealed In His Being Born An Infant.

Reflection:

When the Son of God became man for our sake, He could have come to earth as an adult man from the first moment of of His human existence, as Adam did when he was created.  But since the sight of little children draws us with a special attraction to love them, Jesus chose to make His first appearance on earth as a little infant and indeed as the poorest and most pitiful infant that was ever born.
“God wished to be born as a little babe,” wrote Saint Peter Chrysologus, “in order that He might teach us to love and not to fear Him.”
The prophet Isaiah had long before foretold that the Son of God was to be born as an infant and thus give Himself to us on account of the love He bore us:  “A child is born to us, a son is given to us.”

My Jesus, supreme and true God!
What has drawn You from heaven to be born in a cold stable, if not the love which You bear for us men?
What has allured You from the bosom of Your Father, to place You in a hard manger?
What has brought You from Your throne above the stars, to lay You down on a little straw?
What has led You from the midst of the nine choirs of angels, to set You between two animals?
You, who inflames the seraphim with holy fire, are now shivering with cold in this stable!
You, who sets the stars in the sky in motion, cannot now move unless others carry You in their arms!
You, who give men and beasts their food, has need now a little milk to sustain Your life!
You, who are the joy of heaven, do now whimper and cry in suffering!
Tell me, who has reduced You to such misery?
“Love has done it,” says Saint Bernard.
The love which You bear us men has brought all this on You!

Prayer:

O Dearest Infant!
Tell me, what have You come on earth to do?
Tell me, whom do You seek?
Yes, I already know.
You have come to die for me, in order to save me from hell.
You have come to seek me, the lost sheep, so that,
instead of fleeing from You, I may rest in Your loving arms.
Ah my Jesus, my treasure, my life, my love and my all!
Whom will I love, if not You?
Where can I find a brother, a friend,
a spouse more loving and lovable than You are?

I love You, my dear God; I love You, my only good.
I regret the many years when I have not loved You
but rather spurned and offended You.
Forgive me, O my beloved Redeemer;
for I am sorry that I have treated You thus and I regret it with all my heart.
Pardon me and give me the grace never more to withdraw from You
but constantly to love You in all the years that still lie before me in this life.
My love, I give myself entirely to You;
accept me and do not reject me as I deserve.
O Mary, you are my advocate.
By your prayers you obtain whatever you wish from your Son.
Pray to Him then to forgive me
and to grant me holy perseverance until death. Amen

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, NOVENAS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Uncategorized

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day One – 16 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day One – 16 December

DAY ONE
God’s Love Revealed In His Becoming Man.

Reflection:
Because our first parent Adam, had rebelled against God, he was driven out of paradise and brought on himself and all his descendants the punishment of eternal death.   But the son of God, seeing man thus lost and wishing to save him from death, offered to take upon Himself our human nature and to suffer death Himself, condemned as a criminal on a cross.

“But, My Son,” we may imagine the eternal Father saying to Him, “think of what a life of humiliations and sufferings You wilt have to lead on earth. You will have to be born in a cold stable and laid in a manger, the feeding trough of beasts.
While still an infant, You will have to flee into Egypt, to escape the hands of Herod.
After Your return from Egypt, You will have to live and work in a shop as a lowly servant,
poor and despised.
And finally, worn out with sufferings, You will have to give up Your life on a cross, put to shame and abandoned by everyone.”
“Father,” replies the Son, “all this matters not. I will gladly bear it all, if only I can save man.”

What should we say if a prince, out of compassion for a dead worm, were to choose to become a worm himself and give his own life blood in order to restore the worm to life? But the eternal Word has done infinitely more than this for us. Though He is the sovereign Lord of the world, He chose to become like us, who are immeasurably more beneath Him than a worm is beneath a prince and He was willing to die for us, in order to win back for us the life of divine grace that we had lost by sin.

When He saw that all the other gifts which He had bestowed on us were not sufficient to induce us to repay His love with love, He became man Himself and gave all of Himself to us.

“The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us;” 
“He loved us and delivered Himself up for us.”christmas novena - day one - 16 dec 2017 God_s Love Revealed In His Becoming Man.

O Great Son of God,
You became man in order to make Yourself loved by men.
But where is the love that men give You in return?
You gave Your life blood to save our souls.
Why then are we so unappreciative that,
instead of repaying You with love,
we spurn You with ingratitude?
And I, Lord, I myself more than others have ill treated You.
But Your Passion is my hope.
For the sake of that love which led You to take upon Yourself
human nature and to die for me on the cross,
forgive me all the offences I have committed against You.
I love You, O Word Incarnate;
I love You, O infinite goodness.
Out of love for You, that I could die of grief for these offences.
Give me, O Jesus, Your love.
Let me no longer live in ungrateful
forgetfulness of the love You bear me.
I wish to love You always.
Grant that I may always preserve in this holy desire.
O Mary, Mother of God and my Mother,
pray for me that Your Son, may give me,
the grace to love Him always, unto death.
Amen.

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Eight – 23 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child

Day Eight
The Life Of The Child Jesus In Egypt And In Nazareth.

Reflection:
Our Blessed Redeemer spent the first part of His childhood in Egypt,
leading there for several years, a life of poverty and humiliation.
In that land Joseph and Mary were foreigners and strangers,
having there neither relatives nor friends.
Only with difficulty could they earn their daily bread by the labour of their hands.
Their home was poor, their bed was poor, their food was poor.
Here Mary weaned Jesus; dipping a piece of bread in water, she would put it in the sacred mouth of her Son.
Here she made His first little garments and clothed Him with them.
Here the Child Jesus took His first steps, stumbling and falling as other children first do.
Here too He spoke His first words, but stammeringly. O wonder of wonders!
To what has not God lowered Himself for love of us!
A God stumbling and falling as He walks! A God stammering in His speech!

Not unlike this was the poor and humble life that Jesus led in Nazareth after His return from Egypt.
There, until He was thirty years old, He lived as a simple servant or workman in a carpenter shop, taking orders form Joseph and Mary. “And He was subject to them.”
Jesus went to fetch the water;
He opened and closed the shop;
He swept the house, gathered the fragments of wood for the fire
and toiled all day long, helping Joseph in his work.
Yet who is this? God Himself, serving as a apprentice!
The omnipotent God, who with less than a flick of His finger created the whole universe,
here sweating at the task of planing a piece of work!
Should not the mere thought of this move us to love Him?

Prayer:
O Jesus, my Saviour!
When I consider how, for love of me, You didst spend thirty years of Your life hidden
and unknown in a poor workshop, how can I desire the pleasures and honours and riches of the world?
Gladly do I renounce all these things, since I wish to be Your companion on this earth,
poor as you were, mortified and humble as You were,
so that I may hope to be able one day to enjoy Your companionship in heaven.
What are all the treasures and kingdoms of this world?
You, O Jesus, are my only treasure, my only Good!
I keenly regret the many times in the past when I spurned
Your friendship in order to satisfy my foolish whims.
I am sorry for them with all my heart.
For the future I would rather lose my life a thousand times
than lose Your grace by sin.
I wish never to offend You again but always to love You.
Help me to remain faithful to You until death.
O Mary, you are the refuge of sinners, you are my hope. AmenDAY EIGHT NOVENA TO THE CHRIST CHILD - 23 DEC 2017 - NO 2

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Five – 20 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Five – 20 December

Day Five
The Life Of Sorrow Which Jesus Led From His Birth.

Reflection:
Jesus Christ could have saved mankind without suffering and dying.
Yet, in order to prove to us how much He loved us, He chose for Himself a life full of tribulations.
Therefore the prophet Isaias called Him “a man of sorrows,” His whole life was filled with suffering.
His Passion began, not merely a few hours before His death but from the the first moment of His birth.
He was born in a stable where everything served to torment Him.
His sense of sight was hurt by seeing nothing but the rough, black walls of the cave;
His sense of smell was hurt by the stench of the dung from the beasts in the stable;
His sense of touch was hurt by the prickling straw on which He lay.
Shortly after His birth He was forced to flee into Egypt, where He spent several years of His childhood in poverty and misery. His boyhood and early manhood in Nazareth were passed in hard work and obscurity.
And finally, in Jerusalem, He died on a cross, exhausted with pain and anguish.

Thus, then, was the life of Jesus but one unbroken series of sufferings, which were doubly painful because He had ever before His eyes all the sufferings He would have to endure till His death.
Yet, since our Lord had voluntarily chosen to bear these tribulations for our sake, they did not afflict Him as much as did the sight of our sins, by which we have so ungratefully repaid Him for His love towards us.
When the confessor of Saint Margaret of Cortona saw that she never seemed satisfied with all the tears she had already shed for her past sins, he said to her, “Margaret, stop crying and cease your lamenting, for God has surely forgiven you your offenses against Him.”
But she replied, “Father, how can I cease to weep, since I know that my sins kept my Lord Jesus in pain and suffering during all His life?”

Prayer:
O Jesus, my sweet Love!
I too have kept You suffering through all Your life.
Tell me, then, what I must do in order to win Your forgiveness.
I am ready to do all You ask of me.
I am sorry, O sovereign Good, for all the offenses I have committed against You.
I love You more than myself, or a least I feel a great desire to love You.
Since it is You who have given me this desire, grant me too the strength to love You exceedingly.
It is only right that I, who have offended You so much, should love You very much.
Always remind me of the love You have borne me, in order that my soul may ever burn with love of You
and long to please You alone.
O God of love, I, who was once a slave of hell, now give myself all to You.
Graciously accept me and bind me to Yourself with the bonds of Your love.
My Jesus, from this day and forever in loving You will I live and in loving You will I die.
O Mary, my Mother and my hope, help me to love your dear God and mine.
This is the only favour I ask of you and through you I hope to receive it. AmenDAY FIVE NOVENA TO THE CHRIST CHILD - 20 DEC 2017 - NO 2