Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

The Second Sunday of Advent +2020 and Memorials of the Saints – 6 December

The Second Sunday of Advent +2020

St Nicholas (270-343) (Optional Memorial)
Full Biography here:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/saint-of-the-day-6-december-st-nicholas-270-343/

More:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/06/saint-of-the-day-st-nicholas-270-343-bishop/

St Abraham of Kratia ( c 474–c 558) Bishop
St Aemilianus the Martyr
Bl Angelica of Milazzo
St Asella of Rome
St Boniface the Martyr
St Dativa the Martyr
St Dionysia the Martyr
St Gerard of La Charite
St Gertrude the Elder
St Giuse Nguyen Duy Khang
St Isserninus of Ireland
Bl Janos Scheffler
St Leontia the Martyr
St Majoricus the Martyr
St Peter Pascual (Died 1299) Martyr
His life and death:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/06/saint-of-the-day-6-december-saint-peter-pascual-died-1299-bishop-and-martyr/
St Polychronius
St Tertus

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Esteban Vázquez Alonso
• Blessed Florencio Rodríguez Guemes
• Blessed Gregorio Cermeño Barceló
• Blessed Heliodoro Ramos García
• Blessed Ireneo Rodríguez González
• Blessed Juan Lorenzo Larragueta Garay
• Blessed Luis Martínez Alvarellos
• Blessed Luisa María Frías Cañizares
• Blessed Miguel Lasaga Carazo
• Blessed Narciso Pascual y Pascual
• Blessed Pascual Castro Herrera
• Blessed Vicente Vilumbrales Fuente

Martyred Salesians of Guadalajara (Spanish Civil War) – 7 beati:
• Blessed Gregorio Cermeño Barceló
• Blessed Ireneo Rodríguez González
• Blessed Luisa María Frías Cañizares
• Blessed Narciso Pascual y Pascual
• Blessed Vicente Vilumbrales Fuente

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the day – 6 December – Each is the Administrator of Their Own Grace

Thought for the day – 6 December – Friday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 29:17-24, Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14, Matthew 9:27-31 and the Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

Each is the Administrator of Their Own Grace

Saint Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Monk and Theologian

Fifth Century on Theology, nos. 34-35, 42, 45

“Each one of us possesses the manifest energy of the Spirit in proportion to the faith within them (cf Rm 12:6).  And so, each is the administrator of their own grace.  Someone, who is well disposed, could never be envious of anything, in the one who is honoured with graces, provided that the disposition towards receiving God’s graces, rests upon him.   What determines that the gifts of God dwell in us, is the measure of each one’s faith.   Because it is to the extent that we believe, that the enthusiasm to act is given us.   And so those who act, reveal the measure of their faith proportionate to their action, they receive their measure of grace according to what they have believed. (…)

By means of the incomplete elevations of the virtues, we make the charisms that have been shared out to us, converge towards their cause, with the help of God, so that, by letting ourselves drift little by little into negligence, we might make our faith blind and sightless, deprived of the lights that the works of the Spirit gives us and may be justly punished for endless ages, for having blinded the divine eyes of faith in ourselves, insofar as it was in our power. (…)

The person who does not fulfil the divine commands of faith, has a faith that is blind.  For if God’s Commands are lights (cf Is 26:9), this means, that whoever does not fulfil the Commands of God, is without divine light.   He leaves the divine call without an answer. He does not really respond to him.”

Nicholas was loved for one reason. He loved.   He loved God and God’s people so much that he would do anything for them.   He was so grateful for the life God had given him that he just couldn’t stop giving joy and hope to others—no matter how far he had to travel or how many roofs he had to climb!

St Nicholas, Pray for Us!st nicholas - pray for us - 5 dec 2017.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 6 December

St Nicholas (270-343) (Optional Memorial)
Full Biography here:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/saint-of-the-day-6-december-st-nicholas-270-343/

More:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/06/saint-of-the-day-st-nicholas-270-343-bishop/

St Abraham of Kratia
St Aemilianus the Martyr
Bl Angelica of Milazzo
St Asella of Rome
St Boniface the Martyr
St Dativa the Martyr
St Dionysia the Martyr
St Gerard of La Charite
St Gertrude the Elder
St Giuse Nguyen Duy Khang
St Isserninus of Ireland
Bl Janos Scheffler
St Leontia the Martyr
St Majoricus the Martyr
Saint Peter Pascual (Died 1299) Martyr
St Polychronius
St Tertus

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Esteban Vázquez Alonso
• Blessed Florencio Rodríguez Guemes
• Blessed Gregorio Cermeño Barceló
• Blessed Heliodoro Ramos García
• Blessed Ireneo Rodríguez González
• Blessed Juan Lorenzo Larragueta Garay
• Blessed Luis Martínez Alvarellos
• Blessed Luisa María Frías Cañizares
• Blessed Miguel Lasaga Carazo
• Blessed Narciso Pascual y Pascual
• Blessed Pascual Castro Herrera
• Blessed Vicente Vilumbrales Fuente

Martyred Salesians of Guadalajara (Spanish Civil War) – 7 beati:
• Blessed Gregorio Cermeño Barceló
• Blessed Ireneo Rodríguez González
• Blessed Luisa María Frías Cañizares
• Blessed Narciso Pascual y Pascual
• Blessed Vicente Vilumbrales Fuente

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 December – St Nicholas (270-343) Bishop

Saint of the Day – 6 December – St Nicholas (270-343) Bishop

The absence of the “hard facts” of history is not necessarily an obstacle to the popularity of saints, as the devotion to Saint Nicholas shows.   Both the Eastern and Western Churches honour him and it is claimed that after the Blessed Virgin, he is the saint most pictured by Christian artists.   And yet historically, we can pinpoint only the fact that Nicholas was the fourth-century bishop of Myra, a city in Lycia, a province of Asia Minor.st nicholas - Jaroslav_Čermák_(1831_-_1878)_-_Sv._Mikuláš.jpg

As with many of the saints, however, we are able to capture the relationship which Nicholas had with God through the admiration which Christians have had for him—an admiration expressed in the colourful stories which have been told and retold through the centuries.

Perhaps the best-known story about Nicholas concerns his charity toward a poor man who was unable to provide dowries for his three daughters of marriageable age.   Rather than see them forced into prostitution, Nicholas secretly tossed a bag of gold through the poor man’s window on three separate occasions, thus enabling the daughters to be married.   Over the centuries, this particular legend evolved into the custom of gift-giving on the saint’s feast.

ANGELICO_Fra_Story_Of_St_Nicholas_Giving_Dowry_To_Three_Poor_Girls
Fra Angelico’s St Nicholas donating the dowries

In the English-speaking countries, Saint Nicholas became, by a twist of the tongue, Santa Claus—further expanding the example of generosity portrayed by this holy bishop.saint-nicholas4st nicholas - glass

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 6 December – The Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

Thought for the Day – 6 December – The Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

The critical eye of modern history makes us take a deeper look at the legends surrounding Saint Nicholas.   But perhaps we can utilise the lesson taught by his legendary charity, look deeper at our approach to material goods in the Christmas season and seek ways to extend our sharing to those in real need.

The simple generosity of a man lives on and is echoed through the centuries, inspiring others to a like generosity;  thus is the influence of a holy life!

Not only do the saints become immortal in heaven, they also become immortal on earth by their imperishable memory.    And – guess what – we are all called to be saints!

St Nicholas, Pray for us!st nicholas - pray for us - 6 dec 2017

Posted in QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 6 December – The Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

Quote of the Day – 6 December – The Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

“Once again St Nicholas Day
Has even come to our hideaway;
It won’t be quite as fun, I fear,
As the happy day we had last year.
Then we were hopeful,
no reason to doubt
That optimism would win the bout,
And by the time this year came round,
We’d all be free
and safe and sound.
Still, let’s not forget
it’s St Nicholas Day,
Though we’ve nothing left
to give away.
We’ll have to find something else to do:
So everyone please look in their shoe!”

Anne Frank – The Diary of a Young Girlonce again st nicholas - anne frank - 6 dec 2017

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on CHARITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 December – The Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

One Minute Reflection – 6 December – The Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them….Isaiah 58:7isaiah 58 7

REFLECTION – You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket.   But you will keep your gentleness and your smile.   It is not enough to give soup and bread.   This the rich can do.   You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humoured.   They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see.   And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them.   It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them….St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)it is only for your love - st vincent de paul - 5 dec 2017

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to give some part of whatever I possess to those who have less.   Let me strive to give help in any way I can to those who are less fortunate than I am.   Dearest St Nicholas, you were an icon of charity, Pray for us! Amenst nicholas - pray for us - 5 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 December – St Nicholas (270-343)

Saint of the Day – 6 December – St Nicholas (270-343) Also known as – • Nicholas of Bari• Nicholas of Lpnenskij • Nicholas of Lipno • Nicholas of Sarajskij • Nicholas the Miracle Worker • Klaus, Mikulas, Nikolai, Nicolaas, Nicolas, Niklaas, Niklas. Nikolaus, Santa Claus.   Priest, Abbot, Bishop, Miracle-Worker, Apostle of Charity, Confessor.st nicholas header

Patronages -• against fire • against imprisonment • against robberies • against robbers • against storms at sea • against sterility • against thefts • altar servers • archers • boys • brides • captives • children • choir boys • happy marriages • lawsuits lost unjustly • lovers • maidens • penitent murderers • newlyweds • paupers • pilgrims • poor people • prisoners • scholars • schoolchildren, students • penitent thieves • spinsters • travellers • unmarried girls • apothecaries • bakers • bankers • barrel makers • boatmen • boot blacks • brewers • butchers • button makers • candle makers • chair makers • cloth shearers • coopers • dock workers • druggists • educators • farm workers, farmers • firefighters • fish mongers • fishermen • grain merchants • grocers • grooms • hoteliers • innkeepers • judges • lace merchants • lawyers • linen merchants • longshoremen • mariners • merchants • millers • notaries • parish clerks • pawnbrokers • perfumeries • perfumers • pharmacists • poets • ribbon weavers • sailors • ship owners • shoe shiners • soldiers • spice merchants • spinners • stone masons • tape weavers • teachers • toy makers • vintners • watermen • weavers • Greek Catholic Church in America • Greek Catholic Union • Varangian Guard • Germany • Greece • Russia • 3 dioceses • 78 cities.

Attributes – • anchor • bishop calming a storm • bishop holding three bags of gold • bishop holding three balls • bishop with three children • bishop with three children in a tub at his feet • purse • ship • three bags of gold • three balls • three golden balls on a book • boy in a boat.   Saint Nicholas’ reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus through Sinterklaas.   St Nicholas was generous to the poor and special protector of the innocent and wronged.   Many stories grew up around him prior to his becoming associated with Santa Claus.

Some examples of the Miracles of St Nicholas and the reasons for various Patronages:

• Upon hearing that a local man had fallen on such hard times that he was planning to sell his daughters into prostitution, Nicholas went by night to the house and threw three bags of gold in through the window, saving the girls from an evil life.   These three bags, gold generously given in time of trouble, became the three golden balls that indicate a pawn broker’s shop.

• He raised to life three young boys who had been murdered and pickled in a barrel of brine to hide the crime.   These stories led to his patronage of children in general and of barrel-makers besides.

• Induced some thieves to return their plunder.   This explains his protection against theft and robbery and his patronage of them – he’s not helping them steal but to repent and change.   In the past, thieves have been known as Saint Nicholas’ clerks or Knights of Saint Nicholas.

• During a voyage to the Holy Lands, a fierce storm blew up, threatening the ship.   He prayed about it and the storm calmed – hence the patronage of sailors and those like dockworkers who work on the sea.

St Nicholas died in 346 at Myra, Lycia (in modern Turkey) of natural causes and his  relics are believed to be at Bari, Italy.bari-shrine3-detail

Here is the story of St Nicholas by Prosper Dom Gueranger:

Nicholas was born in the celebrated city of Patara, in the province of Lycia.   His birth was the fruit of his parents’ prayers.  Evidences of his great future holiness were given from his very cradle.   For when he was an infant, he would only take his food once on Wednesdays and Fridays and then not till evening but on all other days he frequently took the breast:  he kept up this custom of fasting during the rest of his life.

Having lost his parents when he was a boy, he gave all his goods to the poor.   Of his Christian kindheartedness there is the following noble example.   One of his fellow-citizens had three daughters but being too poor to obtain them an honourable marriage, he was minded to abandon them to a life of prostitution.   Nicholas having learned of the case, went to the house during the night and threw in by the window a sum of money sufficient for the dower of one of the daughters;  he did the same a second and a third time and thus the three were married to respectable men.

Having given himself wholly to the service of God, he set out for Palestine, that he might visit and venerate the holy places.   During this pilgrimage, which he made by sea, he foretold to the mariners, on embarking, though the heavens were then serene and the sea tranquil, that they would be overtaken by a frightful storm.   In a very short time, the storm arose.   All were in the most imminent danger, when he quelled it by his prayers.

His pilgrimage ended, he returned home, giving to all men example of the greatest sanctity.   He went, by an inspiration from God, to Myra, the Metropolis of Lycia,which had just lost its Bishop by death and the Bishops of the province had come together for the purpose of electing a successor.   Whilst they were holding council for the election, they were told by a revelation from heaven, that they should choose him who, on the morrow, should be the first to enter the church, his name being Nicholas.   Accordingly, the requisite observations were made, when they found Nicholas to be waiting at the church door:  they took him and, to the incredible delight of all, made him the Bishop of Myra.

During his episcopate, he never flagged in the virtues looked for in a bishop;  chastity, which indeed he had always preserved, gravity, assiduity in prayer, watchings, abstinence, generosity and hospitality, meekness in exhortation, severity in reproving. He befriended widows and orphans by money, by advice and by every service in his power.   So zealous a defender was he of all who suffered oppression, that, on one occasion, three Tribunes having been condemned by the Emperor Constantine, who had been deceived by calumny and having heard of the miracles wrought by Nicholas, they recommended themselves to his prayers, though he was living at a very great distance from that place:   the saint appeared to Constantine and angrily looking upon him, obtained from the terrified Emperor their deliverance.

Having, contrary to the edict of Dioclesian and Maximian, preached in Myra the truth of the Christian faith, he was taken up by the servants of the two Emperors.  He was taken off to a great distance and thrown into prison, where he remained until Constantine, having become Emperor, ordered his rescue and the Saint returned to Myra.   Shortly afterwards, he repaired to the Council which was being held at Nicaea:  there he took part with the three hundred and eighteen Fathers in condemning the Arian heresy (Tradition has it that he became so angry with the heretic Arius during the Council that he struck him in the face).St Nicholas of Myra slapping Arius at the Council of Nicaea.

Scarcely had he returned to his See than he was taken with the sickness of which he soon died.   Looking up to heaven and seeing Angels coming to meet him, he began the Psalm, In thee, O Lord, have I hoped and having come to those words, Into your hands I commend my spirit, his soul took its flight to the heavenly country.   His body, having been translated to Bari in Apulia, is the object of universal veneration.

st nicholas beautifulst nicholas.2

For St Nicholas traditional cookies see here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/st-nicholas-6-december/

Posted in MORNING Prayers

Quote of the Day – 6 December

“Once again St. Nicholas Day
Has even come to our hideaway;
It won’t be quite as fun, I fear,
As the happy day we had last year.
Then we were hopeful, no reason to doubt
That optimism would win the bout,
And by the time this year came round,
We’d all be free and safe and sound.
Still, let’s not forget it’s St. Nicholas Day,
Though we’ve nothing left to give away.
We’ll have to find something else to do:
So everyone please look in their shoe!”

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

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Posted in MORNING Prayers

One Minute Reflection – 6 December

One Minute Reflection – 6 December

(Share) your bread with the hungry and (shelter) the oppressed and the homeless…………….Is 58:7

REFLECTION – You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humoured. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see. And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them….St Vincent de Paul

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to give some part of whatever I possess to those who have less. Let me strive to give help in any way I can to those who are less fortunate than I am. Dearest St Nicholas, you were an icon of charity, Pray for us! Amen

isiah-58-7st-vincent-de-paul

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

St Nicholas – 6 December

St Nicholas had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of “Saint Nikolaos.”

Many traditions have evolved during the course of history, including the supply for the children of St Nicholas cookies:

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

DETAILS

Yield: about 40

DIRECTIONS

Sift together first 3 ingredients. Cream butter or margarine; slowly stir in sugar; beat until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well. Stir in vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, mixing well. Cover dough; chill until firm enough to roll out. On a floured board, roll out dough, a little at a time, 1 cm inch thick. Cut out cookies with a floured Santa Claus (or St. Nicholas) cookie cutter- if not available make them round or oval and decorate with a appropriate “face” and colours.. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until golden. Remove from sheets; cool on wire racks. Decorate with icing, candies, coconut, and colored sugars. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Recipe Source: Cook’s Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 December

Blessed Memorial of Saint Nicholas (c270-343) BISHOP – Patron of against imprisonment; against robberies; against robbers; apothecaries; bakers; barrel makers; boatmen; boot blacks; boys; brewers; brides; captives; children; coopers; dock workers; druggists; fishermen; grooms; judges; lawsuits lost unjustly; longshoremen; maidens; mariners; merchants; murderers; newlyweds; old maids; parish clerks; paupers; pawnbrokers; perfumeries; perfumers; pharmacists; pilgrims; poor people; prisoners; sailors; scholars; schoolchildren; shoe shiners; spinsters; students; thieves; travellers; unmarried girls; watermen; Greek Catholic Church in America; Greek Catholic Union; Bari, Italy; Fossalto, Italy; Duronia, Italy; Portsmouth, England; Greece; Lorraine; Russia; Sicily.

Nicholas was elected bishop of Myra, now called Mugla in southwestern Turkey. After his death he was buried in his cathedral. These two sentences tell all that we know for sure about St. Nicholas.

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Yet from ancient times Nicholas has been among the most celebrated saints. Somehow during the sixth century, a cult of Nicholas’s devotees grew extensively throughout the East. And in the ninth century a fictitious biography spread his following westward to Europe. When Muslims invaded Myra in 1087, Nicholas’s body was taken surreptitiously to Bari, Italy. Pope Urban II presided at the ceremony that enshrined his relics in a newly constructed church. From that time St. Nicholas has been universally venerated. For example, it is said that in the Middle Ages he was the saint most frequently depicted in art, second only to the Virgin Mary. Today this saint about whom we have so few facts durably maintains his worldwide popularity.

Popular legends have involved Saint Nicholas in a number of charming stories, one of which relates Nicholas’ charity toward the poor. A man of Patara had lost his fortune, and finding himself unable to support his three maiden daughters, was planning to turn them into the streets as prostitutes. Nicholas heard of the man’s intentions and secretly threw three bags of gold through a window into the home, thus providing dowries for the daughters. The three bags of gold mentioned in this story are said to be the origin of the three gold balls that form the emblem of pawnbrokers.

After Nicholas’ death on December 6 in or around 345, his body was buried in the cathedral at Myra. It remained there until 1087, when seamen of Bari, an Italian coastal town, seized the relics of the saint and transferred them to their own city. Veneration for Nicholas had already spread throughout Europe as well as Asia, but this occurrence led to a renewal of devotion in the West. Countless miracles were attributed to the saint’s intercession. His relics are still preserved in the church of San Nicola in Bari; an oily substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, which is highly valued for its medicinal powers, is said to flow from them.

Video from the Apostleship f Prayer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj38O48wO58

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