Daily Mass readings and feast days

Discussion in 'Scriptural Thoughts' started by Waiting by the window, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. December 3
    Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest
    Tuesday of the first week of Advent

    Reading 1 Is 11:1-10
    On that day,
    A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
    and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
    The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
    a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    A Spirit of counsel and of strength,
    a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
    and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
    Not by appearance shall he judge,
    nor by hearsay shall he decide,
    But he shall judge the poor with justice,
    and decide aright for the land's afflicted.
    He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
    Justice shall be the band around his waist,
    and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.

    Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
    and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
    The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
    with a little child to guide them.
    The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
    together their young shall rest;
    the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
    The baby shall play by the cobra's den,
    and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair.
    There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
    for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
    as water covers the sea.

    On that day,
    The root of Jesse,
    set up as a signal for the nations,
    The Gentiles shall seek out,
    for his dwelling shall be glorious.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
    R.(see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
    O God, with your judgment endow the king,
    and with your justice, the king's son;
    He shall govern your people with justice
    and your afflicted ones with judgment.
    R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
    Justice shall flower in his days,
    and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
    May he rule from sea to sea,
    and from the River to the ends of the earth.
    R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
    He shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
    and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
    He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
    the lives of the poor he shall save.
    R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
    May his name be blessed forever;
    as long as the sun his name shall remain.
    In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
    all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
    R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

    Alleluia
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Behold, our Lord shall come with power;
    he will enlighten the eyes of his servants.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 10:21-24
    Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
    "I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
    for although you have hidden these things
    from the wise and the learned
    you have revealed them to the childlike.
    Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
    All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
    No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
    and who the Father is except the Son
    and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."

    Turning to the disciples in private he said,
    "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
    For I say to you,
    many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
    but did not see it,
    and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it."

    Feast day of St. Francis Xavier, co-patron of foreign missionaries, died 1552
    He was a companion of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits who took vows of poverty and chastity at Montmartre, Paris, in 1534. He led an extensive mission into Asia, and was influential in evangelization work, most notably in India. The Goa Inquisition was proposed by St. Francis Xavier. He also was the first Christian missionary to venture into Japan, Borneo, and other areas. In those areas, struggling to learn the local languages and in the face of opposition, he had less success than he had enjoyed in India. Xavier was about to extend his missionary preaching to China when he died on Shangchuan Island.
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  2. December 4
    Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

    Reading 1 Is 25:6-10a
    On this mountain the LORD of hosts
    will provide for all peoples
    A feast of rich food and choice wines,
    juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
    On this mountain he will destroy
    the veil that veils all peoples,
    The web that is woven over all nations;
    he will destroy death forever.
    The Lord GOD will wipe away
    the tears from all faces;
    The reproach of his people he will remove
    from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.

    On that day it will be said:
    "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
    This is the LORD for whom we looked;
    let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!"
    For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
    R. (6cd) I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
    The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
    Beside restful waters he leads me;
    he refreshes my soul.
    R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
    He guides me in right paths
    for his name's sake.
    Even though I walk in the dark valley
    I fear no evil; for you are at my side
    With your rod and your staff
    that give me courage.
    R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
    You spread the table before me
    in the sight of my foes;
    You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
    R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
    Only goodness and kindness follow me
    all the days of my life;
    And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
    for years to come.
    R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

    Alleluia
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Behold, the Lord comes to save his people;
    blessed are those prepared to meet him.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mt 15:29-37
    At that time:
    Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee,
    went up on the mountain, and sat down there.
    Great crowds came to him,
    having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute,
    and many others.
    They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.
    The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
    the deformed made whole,
    the lame walking,
    and the blind able to see,
    and they glorified the God of Israel.

    Jesus summoned his disciples and said,
    "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
    for they have been with me now for three days
    and have nothing to eat.
    I do not want to send them away hungry,
    for fear they may collapse on the way."
    The disciples said to him,
    "Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place
    to satisfy such a crowd?"
    Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?"
    "Seven," they replied, "and a few fish."
    He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
    Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
    gave thanks, broke the loaves,
    and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
    They all ate and were satisfied.
    They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.

    Feast day of St. John Damascene died 749 AD, Priest, Doctor of the Church
    Saint John of Damascus, also known as John Damascene and as Χρυσορρόας / Chrysorrhoas, was a Byzantine monk and priest. Born and raised in Damascus c. 675 or 676, he died at his monastery, Mar Saba, near Jerusalem on 4 December 749.
    John is a doctor of the Church because he defended the veneration of holy images during the time of iconoclasm. John of Damascus wrote a defense of holy images in three separate publications. The earliest of these works, his "Apologetic Treatises against those Decrying the Holy Images", secured his reputation. He not only attacked the Byzantine emperor, but adopted a simplified style that allowed the controversy to be followed by the common people, stirring rebellion among the iconoclasts.
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    Feast day for Saint Barbara died 235 AD, Virgin, Martyr
    Saint Barbara, also known as the Great Martyr Barbara, was an early Christian Greek martyr born mid-third century in Heliopolis, Phoenicia.

    Barbara was the daughter to a rich pagan named Dioscorus. After the death of Barbara's mother, Dioscorus dedicated his life to his only daughter.

    Barbara was known for being extremely beautiful. As a way of "protecting" her, Dioscorus shielded her from the world by locker her high up within a tower. He allowed only her pagan teachers to see her.

    Barbara spent her days gazing upon the hills and admiring all of God's creations. She often pondered about the "First Cause and Creator of so harmonious and splendid a world." She soon realized the idols her father and teachers worshiped were not of God's creation.

    Barbara secretly became a Christian and dedicated her life to knowing the true God and making Him known to others. She offered herself completely to the Lord, choosing a life of consecrated virginity.

    As Barbara grew older, her father, Dioscorus began presenting men to her for marriage. She refused them all and warned her father that his persistence could forever damage their relationship.

    Dioscorus allowed for Barbara to leave her tower, hoping some freedom would change her attitude. Barbara used this opportunity to meet other Christians. They taught her about the Lord Jesus, the Holy Trinity and the Church. A priest from Alexandria, disguised as a merchant, baptized Barbara into Christ and His Church.

    While Barbara was out exploring the world, her father had a private bath-house built for her. The original architectural plans were for two windows to be built, but, while her father was away, Barbara advised the workers to make a third window ? creating a Trinity of light.

    Barbara's bathhouse became a place full of healing power and many miracles occurred there. St. Simeon Metaphrastes even compared it to the stream of Jordan.

    After Dioscorus returned, Barbara informed him she had become a Christian and would no longer worship his idols. Full of rage, her father grabbed his sword and went to strike her. Before he could do so, Barbara ran off.

    Her father chased after her, but was abruptly stopped when a hill blocked his way. The hill opened and hid Barbara within a crevice. Dioscorus searched and searched for his daughter, but could not find her.

    Dioscorus came across two shepherds and asked them if they had seen her. The first denied, but the second betrayed Barbara. Some legends indicate that he was turned to stone and his flock was turned into locusts.

    Her father Dioscorus beat his daughter, locked her up and starved her. He then handed her over to Martianus, the prefect of the city. Together, they continued to beat and torture her, but Barbara never renounced her Christian faith. She prayed to Jesus and he appeared to heal her wounds. This only made Martianus try harder to get her to renounce the Lord and her Christian faith. She refused and her Lord gave her strength to stand firm.

    Barbara, along with another virtuous Christian woman named Juliana, were injured with rakes and hooks and led naked throughout the city.

    After Barbara prayed, an angel came and covered the pair with a robe and torches used to burn Barbara went out when they came near her.

    Finally, Barbara was condemned to death by beheading by her father. Her martyrdom took place on December 4th.

    Seen as a punishment for their actions, Dioscorus and Martianus were both killed after being struck by lightning.

    In the 6th century relics of St. Barbara were taken to Constantinople. Six hundred years later, they were taken to Kiev by the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenos. Today, they rest at the St. Vladimir cathedral in Kiev.

    Doubt and questions surrounding the history of St. Barbara caused her to be removed from the General Roman Calendar, but not from the Catholic Church's list of saints.

    The United States Army Field Artillery Association and the United States Army Air Defense Artillery Association hold the Order of Saint Barbara as an honorary society within the military.

    St. Barbara is depicted with mini chains, standing by or holding a tower with three windows, carrying a palm branch, and sometimes with cannons.

    She is the patron saint of armourers, artillerymen, architects, mathematicians, miners and the Italian Navy. St. Barbara is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, venerated because their intercession is believed to be particularly effective against diseases. Barbara is often invoked against lightning and fire, with associations of explosions. Her feast day is celebrated on December 4.
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  3. padraig

    padraig New Member

    The priest yesterday at Mass commented on the Roman Centurion who came and begged Jesus to heal his servant. he said that Jesus did not even have to move He only had to ask and it would be done. Jesus it was said, 'Marvelled' and siad He had no found such Faith even in Israel.

    The priest said that the Centurion was a type of all Gentiles who welcome Jesus at Advent and Christmas; who show Faith.

    What a lovely, lovely way of viewing this.

     
  4. Thanks, Padraig for sharing the homily topics. I am only able to attend daily Mass when my kids are on breaks from school and so I am grateful to read of the homilies of the daily Masses.
     
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  5. December 5
    Thursday of the First Week of Advent

    Reading 1 Is 26:1-6
    On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah:

    "A strong city have we;
    he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us.
    Open up the gates
    to let in a nation that is just,
    one that keeps faith.
    A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace;
    in peace, for its trust in you."

    Trust in the LORD forever!
    For the LORD is an eternal Rock.
    He humbles those in high places,
    and the lofty city he brings down;
    He tumbles it to the ground,
    levels it with the dust.
    It is trampled underfoot by the needy,
    by the footsteps of the poor.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a
    R.(26a) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    or:
    R. Alleluia.
    Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his mercy endures forever.
    It is better to take refuge in the LORD
    than to trust in man.
    It is better to take refuge in the LORD
    than to trust in princes.
    R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    or:
    R. Alleluia.
    Open to me the gates of justice;
    I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD.
    This gate is the LORD's;
    the just shall enter it.
    I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
    and have been my savior.
    R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    or:
    R. Alleluia.
    O LORD, grant salvation!
    O LORD, grant prosperity!
    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
    we bless you from the house of the LORD.
    The LORD is God, and he has given us light.
    R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    or:
    R. Alleluia.

    Alleluia Is 55:6
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Seek the LORD while he may be found;
    call him while he is near.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mt 7:21, 24-27
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,'
    will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
    but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

    "Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
    will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
    The rain fell, the floods came,
    and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
    But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
    And everyone who listens to these words of mine
    but does not act on them
    will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
    The rain fell, the floods came,
    and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
    And it collapsed and was completely ruined."

    Feast day of St. Sabbas died 532, Abbot
    Sabbas the Sanctified
    Saint Sabbas the Sanctified, a Cappadocian-Syrian monk, priest and saint, lived mainly in Palaestina Prima. He was the founder of several convents, most notably the one known as Mar Saba. The saint's name is derived from Sabbāʾ "old man".
    Born:439, Caesarea Mazaca, Cappadocia
    Died: December 5, 532, Jerusalem, Palaestina Prima
    Major shrine:Saint Sabbas Monastery, Kidron Valley
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    Also the feast day of St. Gerald, Bishop of Braga, died 1109 AD
    Gerald of Braga, born in Cahors, Gascony, was a Benedictine monk at Moissac, France. He later worked with the archbishop of Toledo, in Castile, and served as cathedral choir director. He baptised Afonso I of Portugal. He later became the reforming Bishop of Braga, Portugal in 1100 and stopped ecclesiastical investiture by laymen in his diocese. (I guess that means that he stopped the Emperors from picking who the bishops should be). The concordat of Worms differentiated between the royal and spiritual powers and gave the emperors a limited role in selecting bishops. The outcome was largely a papal victory, but the Emperor still retained considerable power.
    Born:Cahors, Gascony
    Died:5 December 1109, Bornos, Portugal
    Feast:5 December
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  6. December 6
    Friday of the First Week of Advent

    Reading 1 Is 29:17-24
    Thus says the Lord GOD:
    But a very little while,
    and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,
    and the orchard be regarded as a forest!
    On that day the deaf shall hear
    the words of a book;
    And out of gloom and darkness,
    the eyes of the blind shall see.
    The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD,
    and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
    For the tyrant will be no more
    and the arrogant will have gone;
    All who are alert to do evil will be cut off,
    those whose mere word condemns a man,
    Who ensnare his defender at the gate,
    and leave the just man with an empty claim.
    Therefore thus says the LORD,
    the God of the house of Jacob,
    who redeemed Abraham:
    Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of,
    nor shall his face grow pale.
    When his children see
    the work of my hands in his midst,
    They shall keep my name holy;
    they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob,
    and be in awe of the God of Israel.
    Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding,
    and those who find fault shall receive instruction.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14
    R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
    The LORD is my light and my salvation;
    whom should I fear?
    The LORD is my life's refuge;
    of whom should I be afraid?
    R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
    One thing I ask of the LORD;
    this I seek:
    To dwell in the house of the LORD
    all the days of my life,
    That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
    and contemplate his temple.
    R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
    I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
    in the land of the living.
    Wait for the LORD with courage;
    be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
    R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

    Alleluia
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Behold, our Lord shall come with power;
    he will enlighten the eyes of his servants.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mt 9:27-31
    As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out,
    "Son of David, have pity on us!"
    When he entered the house,
    the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them,
    "Do you believe that I can do this?"
    "Yes, Lord," they said to him.
    Then he touched their eyes and said,
    "Let it be done for you according to your faith."
    And their eyes were opened.
    Jesus warned them sternly,
    "See that no one knows about this."
    But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.

    Feast day of Saint Nicholas died 350 AD, Bishop of Myra, Patron of children, bakers, pawnbrokers, and Russia
    from the Encyclopedia Britannica and from the St. Nicholas Center
    Nicholas is one of the most popular minor saints commemorated in the Eastern and Western churches.
    According to tradition, he was born in the ancient Lycian seaport city of Patara, and, when young, traveled to Palestine and Egypt. He became bishop of Myra soon after returning to Lycia. He was imprisoned during the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletian but was released under the rule of Constantine the Great. He attended the first Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. There in attendance was the ascetic priest, Arius. Arius was at the council advocating for his teaching that that Jesus, as the Son of God, was created by God. It had been proposed early in the 4th century by Arius and was popular throughout much of the Eastern and Western Roman empires. His teaching was under discussion at the Council. Arius forcefully argued his position at length. The bishops listened respectfully. As Arius vigorously continued, Nicholas became more and more agitated. Finally, he could no longer bear what he believed was heresy. The outraged Nicholas got up, crossed the room, and slapped Arius across the face. The bishops were shocked. They brought Nicholas to Constantine. Constantine said even though it was illegal for anyone to strike another in his presence, in this case, the bishops themselves must determine the punishment.
    The bishops stripped Nicholas of his bishop’s garments, chained him, and threw him into jail. That would keep Nicholas away from the Council. They planned to determine Nicholas' future at the end of the Council.
    Nicholas was ashamed and prayed for forgiveness, though he did not waver in his belief. During the night, Jesus and Mary his Mother, appeared, asking, “Why are you in jail?” “Because of my love for you,” Nicholas replied. Jesus then gave the Book of the Gospels to Nicholas. Mary gave him an omophorion (liturgical stole marked with crosses worn by Bishops in the Eastern Church, also known as a pallium), so Nicholas would again be dressed as a bishop. Now at peace, Nicholas studied the Scriptures for the rest of the night.
    When the jailer came in the morning, he found the chains loose on the floor and Nicholas dressed in bishop’s robes, quietly reading the Scriptures. When Constantine was told of this, the emperor asked that Nicholas be freed. Nicholas was then fully reinstated as the Bishop of Myra.
    The Council of Nicaea agreed with Nicholas’ views, deciding the question against Arius. The work of the Council produced the Nicene Creed which to this day many Christians repeat weekly when they stand to say what they believe. Arianism was denounced as a heresy by the Council of Nicaea in 325.
    He was buried in his church at Myra, and by the 6th century his shrine there had become well known. In 1087 Italian sailors or merchants stole his remains from Myra and took them to Bari, Italy; this removal greatly increased the saint’s popularity in Europe, and Bari became one of the most crowded of all pilgrimage centers.
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    Please pray and intercede for us. Help us to fast and make reparation for the sins happening in the Church and in the world. Amen.
     
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  7. December 7
    Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

    Reading 1 Is 30:19-21, 23-26
    Thus says the Lord GOD,
    the Holy One of Israel:
    O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem,
    no more will you weep;
    He will be gracious to you when you cry out,
    as soon as he hears he will answer you.
    The Lord will give you the bread you need
    and the water for which you thirst.
    No longer will your Teacher hide himself,
    but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,
    While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears:
    "This is the way; walk in it,"
    when you would turn to the right or to the left.

    He will give rain for the seed
    that you sow in the ground,
    And the wheat that the soil produces
    will be rich and abundant.
    On that day your flock will be given pasture
    and the lamb will graze in spacious meadows;
    The oxen and the asses that till the ground
    will eat silage tossed to them
    with shovel and pitchfork.
    Upon every high mountain and lofty hill
    there will be streams of running water.
    On the day of the great slaughter,
    when the towers fall,
    The light of the moon will be like that of the sun
    and the light of the sun will be seven times greater
    like the light of seven days.
    On the day the LORD binds up the wounds of his people,
    he will heal the bruises left by his blows.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
    R.(see Isaiah 30:18d) Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.
    Praise the LORD, for he is good;
    sing praise to our God, for he is gracious;
    it is fitting to praise him.
    The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem;
    the dispersed of Israel he gathers.
    R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.
    He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
    He tells the number of the stars;
    he calls each by name.
    R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.
    Great is our LORD and mighty in power:
    to his wisdom there is no limit.
    The LORD sustains the lowly;
    the wicked he casts to the ground.
    R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.

    Alleluia Is 33:22
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    The LORD is our Judge, our Lawgiver, our King;
    he it is who will save us.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mt 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8
    Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
    teaching in their synagogues,
    proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
    and curing every disease and illness.
    At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
    because they were troubled and abandoned,
    like sheep without a shepherd.
    Then he said to his disciples,
    "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
    so ask the master of the harvest
    to send out laborers for his harvest."

    Then he summoned his Twelve disciples
    and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
    and to cure every disease and every illness.

    Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus,
    "Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
    As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
    Cure the sick, raise the dead,
    cleanse lepers, drive out demons.
    Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give."

    Saint Ambrose died 397 AD, Bishop, Doctor of the Church
    From the Saints and Angels website
    Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Ambrose, was an Archbishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was the Roman governor of Liguria and Emilia, headquartered in Milan, which at the time was the second capital of Italy.

    Ambrose remained Governor until 374 when he became the Bishop of Milan. After the former Bishop of Milan died, Ambrose attended the election to prevent any uproars between the Nicene Church and the Arians. While giving an address, the assembly began calling for him to become the next bishop.

    Ambrose was known for his Nicene beliefs, but Arians also favored him because he had previously shown charity in theological matters. However, being neither baptized or trained in theology, Ambrose refused to become the next bishop.

    He ran and attempted to hide, but his colleague told of his hiding place. Within a week's time, Ambrose was baptized, ordained and duly consecrated bishop of Milan on December 7, 374.

    As bishop, he donated all of his land and gave his money to the poor. This made him widely popular and often times more politically powerful than even the emperor.

    He studied theology with Simplician, a presbyter of Rome. Using his new education, along with his knowledge of Greek, he took the time to study the Old Testament and Greek authors. He used all of this while preaching; his abilities impressed Augustine of Hippo, who previously thought poorly of Christian preachers.

    After meeting Ambrose, Augustine reevaluated himself and was forever changed. In 387, Ambrose baptized Augustine, who he had a great influence on. St. Monica, Augustine's mother, loved Ambrose "as an angel of God who uprooted her son from his former ways and led him to his convictions of Christ."

    According to legend, Ambrose tried to put an end to Arianism in Milan. He often attempted to theologically dispute their propositions. The Arians appealed to many high position leaders, but Ambrose was able to stay one step ahead. The Arians increasing strength proved troublesome for Ambrose. Around 386, the Emperor Valentinian II and his mother, Justine, along with many other people, including clergy, laypersons, and military, professed Arianism.

    They demanded some of the churches in Milan be dedicated to them, one in the city and one in the suburbs. Ambrose refused and was ordered to appear in front of the council, where he then spoke eloquently in defense of the Church. He is quoted with stating: If you demand my person, I am ready to submit: carry me to prison or to death, I will not resist; but I will never betray the church of Christ. I will not call upon the people to succor me; I will die at the foot of the altar rather than desert it. The tumult of the people I will not encourage: but God alone can appease it.

    The imperial court did not like Ambrose's religious principles, but he was sought out to help and speak to Magnus Maximus to prevent him from descending upon Italy. Ambrose was successful.

    During a second attempt, the embassy was not successful and Milan was taken. Justine and Valentinian II fled, but Ambrose stayed. He is credited with doing a great service to the sufferers during this time.

    In 385, Ambrose once again refused handing over the Portian basilica to Valentinian II, this time to be used by Arian troops. A year later, Ambrose was again ordered to hand over the church for Arian use. Ambrose and his congregation barricaded themselves within the church walls until the imperial order rescinded.

    After Theodosius I, emperor of the East, married Justine, Ambrose had him excommunicated for the massacre of 7,000 people. The emperor did several months worth of public penance.

    In his later years, Ambrose retired in Bologna and assisted in the transferring of Saints Vitalis and Agricola's relics.

    Two years after Theodosius died, after he acquired the possession of the Roman empire, Ambrose passed away on April 4, 397. He was succeeded as bishop of Milan by Simplician.

    Ambrose's body remains in the church of St. Ambrogio in Milan, along with the bodies of Saints Gervase and Protase.

    St. Ambrose was generous to the poor. He considered them not a group of outsiders, but rather those of the united people. To him, giving to the poor was just a repayment of God's resources, which are intended for everyone.

    Ambrose studied largely on the virginity of Mary and her role as Mother of God. He viewed celibacy as superior to marriage and saw Mary as virginity's model.

    Ambrose authored many of the Church's important writings and hymns. He is credited with composing the repertory Ambrosian chant, also known as the Antiphonal Chant. He is also credited with composing the hymn "Te Deum," which is believed to have been written when he baptized Augustine of Hippo.

    St. Ambrose is the Confessor and Doctor of the Church. He is the patron saint of candle makers, bee keepers, beggars, learning and Milan, and his feast day is celebrated on December 7.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. December 8
    The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is moved to December 9 because the second Sunday of Advent falls on December 8
    Second Sunday of Advent

    Reading 1 Is 11:1-10
    On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
    and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
    The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
    a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    a spirit of counsel and of strength,
    a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
    and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
    Not by appearance shall he judge,
    nor by hearsay shall he decide,
    but he shall judge the poor with justice,
    and decide aright for the land's afflicted.
    He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
    Justice shall be the band around his waist,
    and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
    Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
    and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
    the calf and the young lion shall browse together,
    with a little child to guide them.
    The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
    together their young shall rest;
    the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
    The baby shall play by the cobra's den,
    and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair.
    There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
    for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
    as water covers the sea.
    On that day, the root of Jesse,
    set up as a signal for the nations,
    the Gentiles shall seek out,
    for his dwelling shall be glorious.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
    R. (cf. 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
    O God, with your judgment endow the king,
    and with your justice, the king's son;
    he shall govern your people with justice
    and your afflicted ones with judgment.
    R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
    Justice shall flower in his days,
    and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
    May he rule from sea to sea,
    and from the River to the ends of the earth.
    R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
    For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
    and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
    He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
    the lives of the poor he shall save.
    R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
    May his name be blessed forever;
    as long as the sun his name shall remain.
    In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
    all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
    R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

    Reading 2 Rom 15:4-9
    Brothers and sisters:
    Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction,
    that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures
    we might have hope.
    May the God of endurance and encouragement
    grant you to think in harmony with one another,
    in keeping with Christ Jesus,
    that with one accord you may with one voice
    glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you,
    for the glory of God.
    For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised
    to show God's truthfulness,
    to confirm the promises to the patriarchs,
    but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.
    As it is written:
    Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles
    and sing praises to your name.


    Alleluia Lk 3:4, 6
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
    all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mt 3:1-12
    John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
    and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
    It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
    A voice of one crying out in the desert,
    Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make straight his paths.

    John wore clothing made of camel's hair
    and had a leather belt around his waist.
    His food was locusts and wild honey.
    At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,
    and the whole region around the Jordan
    were going out to him
    and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
    as they acknowledged their sins.

    When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
    coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers!
    Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
    Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
    And do not presume to say to yourselves,
    'We have Abraham as our father.'
    For I tell you,
    God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
    Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.
    Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit
    will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
    I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,
    but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
    I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
    He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
    His winnowing fan is in his hand.
    He will clear his threshing floor
    and gather his wheat into his barn,
    but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. December 9
    Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

    Reading 1 Gn 3:9-15, 20
    After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
    the LORD God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?”
    He answered, “I heard you in the garden;
    but I was afraid, because I was naked,
    so I hid myself.”
    Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?
    You have eaten, then,
    from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”
    The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me—
    she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.”
    The LORD God then asked the woman,
    “Why did you do such a thing?”
    The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”

    Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
    “Because you have done this, you shall be banned
    from all the animals
    and from all the wild creatures;
    on your belly shall you crawl,
    and dirt shall you eat
    all the days of your life.
    I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
    he will strike at your head,
    while you strike at his heel.”

    The man called his wife Eve,
    because she became the mother of all the living.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4
    R.(1) Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
    Sing to the LORD a new song,
    for he has done wondrous deeds;
    His right hand has won victory for him,
    his holy arm.
    R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
    The LORD has made his salvation known:
    in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
    He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
    toward the house of Israel.
    R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
    All the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation by our God.
    Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
    break into song; sing praise.
    R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

    Reading 2 Eph 1:3-6, 11-12
    Brothers and sisters:
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    who has blessed us in Christ
    with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
    as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
    to be holy and without blemish before him.
    In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
    in accord with the favor of his will,
    for the praise of the glory of his grace
    that he granted us in the beloved.

    In him we were also chosen,
    destined in accord with the purpose of the One
    who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
    so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
    we who first hoped in Christ.

    Alleluia See Lk 1:28
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
    blessed are you among women.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 1:26-38
    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 coming to her, he said,
    "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
    But she was greatly troubled at what was said
    and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
    Then the angel said to her,
    "Do not be afraid, Mary,
    for you have found favor with God.
    Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
    and you shall name him Jesus.
    He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
    and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
    and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
    and of his Kingdom there will be no end."
    But Mary said to the angel,
    "How can this be,
    since I have no relations with a man?"
    And the angel said to her in reply,
    "The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
    and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
    Therefore the child to be born
    will be called holy, the Son of God.
    And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
    has also conceived a son in her old age,
    and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
    for nothing will be impossible for God."
    Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
    May it be done to me according to your word."
    Then the angel departed from her.

    From Lumen Gentium
    Finally, the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all guilt of original sin,(12*) on the completion of her earthly sojourn, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory,(13*) and exalted by the Lord as Queen of the universe, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords(297) and the conqueror of sin and death.(l4*)
    [​IMG]

    Feast day of Saint Juan Diego
    Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, also known as Juan Diego, a native of Mexico, is the first Roman Catholic indigenous saint from the Americas. He had four separate apparitions of the Virgin Mary in December 1531 at the hill of Tepeyac, then a rural area but now within the borders of Mexico City.
    Beginning of the story of the Our Lady of Guadalupe apparitions
    Juan Diego, a 57-year-old former Aztec who lived in the area outside of present day Mexico City. Juan Diego’s wife had died and as they had no children, he went to live with his Uncle, Juan Bernadino. Before dawn on Saturday, December 9, 1531 as Juan Diego was walking on his way to attend Mass and to receive more instructions in the Faith, he began to hear the very beautiful sounds of songbirds. Just reaching the base of the hill known as Tepeyac, the song of the birds made Juan stop in wonder. To his ear, the song of these birds was uncommonly beautiful.
    Juan paused to marvel and honestly wondered if he were experiencing the paradise he had heard others speak of. Juan sensed the song was coming from the East and looked toward where the sun would soon be rising when suddenly the melody ceased. After some silence he heard a call coming from the top of the hillock hearkening, “Juanito, Juan Dieguito!” He felt no apprehension at the call, rather he felt a joyous excitement to quickly climb the hill. Upon reaching the top, Juan looked for the caller and there a grand Lady stood. To Juan Diego the woman appeared as a royal personage because her garment shone like the sun. The earth below her feet sparkled like a rainbow. The leaves of the surrounding mezquites, nopales and other weeds looked like emeralds and turquoise having gold stems, branches and thorns. He prostrated in her presence and listened to her speak so tenderly to him like someone who loves you so much even though just having met. She said: “Juanito, the most humble of my sons, where are you going?”
    He replied, “My Lady, I am on my way to the Church at Tlatelolco for Mass and to study the Faith given by the priests.”
    She said, “Know and understand well, you the most humble of my sons, that I am the ever virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, who is the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth. I urgently desire that a temple should be built here, so I may pour out all my love, compassion, help, and protection. I am your merciful Mother, to you, and to all the inhabitants on this earth who love me, trust me and invoke my help. I listen to your lamentations and remedy all your miseries, afflictions and sorrows. To accomplish this request, go to the home of the bishop of Mexico, and say that I expressed my great desire that here on this plain a temple should be built to me. You will accurately relate all you have seen, admired, and what you have heard. Be assured that I will be most grateful for your effort and will reward you. I will make you happy and worthy of recompense for the effort and fatigue that you expend for what I have entrusted to you. Behold, you have heard my mandate, my humble son; go and do your utmost.”
    At this point he bowed before her and said: “My Lady, I am going to do as you have asked.” Then he continued on by the trail which led directly into Mexico City. In time he reached the residence of Bishop Juan de Zumarraga. Presently the bishop’s servants paid little heed to Juan Diego and did nothing to initiate a meeting between he and the bishop most likely because of Juan’s lowly state. At last, however, seeing his persistence, they allowed him entrance to the Bishop. Juan fell to his knees before Bishop Zumarraga and related the wonderful events as they had happened to him.
    The bishop listened carefully to Juan but gave his story little credence, thinking it to be fantasy. He told Juan to come back in a few days and he would think over his story. Juan Diego left with disappointment in his heart for not having successfully convinced him of the Mother’s request.
    On his way home he resigned himself to telling the Mother of his unsuccessful mission. He made his way up the hill, caught sight of her and knelt down. He said, “My Lady, I went where you asked me to go. I gave the Bishop your request for a temple. He listened attentively, but didn’t believe my words. Please, my Lady, entrust this request with someone else… someone more esteemed than I…I am a lowly man.”
    “Listen, the least of my sons,” she gently replied, “I have many messengers and servants whom I could call upon for this request, but it is you whom I have chosen. I earnestly implore you to go again tomorrow to the Bishop and ask again for the construction of a temple for which I ask. Tell him again that it is I, Holy Mary, Ever Virgin, Mother of God in person who sends you.”
     
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  10. (to be continued on the 12th)
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. AED

    AED Powers

    Thankyou!!!
     
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  12. padraig

    padraig New Member

    The Gospel was from the Annunciation for the Feast.
    I kept thinking of God through grace making
    Mary's 'Yes', possible.

    A beautiful homily from Pope Francis for the Feast:

    https://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2...on-the-start-of-the-fulfillment-of-gods-plan/

    Pope: Mary’s Immaculate Conception the start of the fulfillment of God’s plan

    With Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception, God was, even before Mary’s birth, putting into motion his plan of salvation for the world, Pope Francis said Sunday.

    “Today we consider the beginning of this fulfillment” of God’s promise, he said Dec. 8, during his weekly Angelus address, even “before the birth of the Mother of the Lord.”

    “In fact, her immaculate conception leads us to that precise moment when Mary’s life began to palpitate in her mother’s womb,” he continued. “Already there was the sanctifying love of God, preserving her from the contagion of evil that is a common heritage of the human family.”

    The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, celebrated by the Church on Dec. 8, marks the moment when the Virgin Mary was conceived inside St. Anne’s womb, with a soul preserved by God from original sin.

    The pope noted that this feast day always takes place in the context of Advent, a time of waiting, showing that “God will accomplish what he has promised.”

    “But in today’s celebration we are told that something has already been accomplished, in the person and in the life of the Virgin Mary,” he said.

    The day’s Gospel reading comes from Luke and jumps ahead to when the Virgin Mary is a young woman being visited by the Angel Gabriel. The angel says to Mary: “Rejoice, full of grace: the Lord is with you.”

    “God has always thought and wanted her, in his inscrutable design, as a creature full of grace, that is filled with his love,” Francis said.

    But, he reflected, Mary is able to be filled with God’s grace also because she makes space, emptying herself of her own will to make room for the will of God, trusting it and accepting in unreservedly, to the point that the Word becomes flesh inside her.

    “Mary does not lose herself in so many arguments, she does not put obstacles in the way of the Lord, but relies quickly and leaves room for the action of the Holy Spirit,” he said.

    In Mary “is reflected the beauty of God, which is all love, grace, self-giving.”

    The pope also spoke about the Blessed Virgin Mary’s own word for herself: “handmaid of the Lord.”

    Mary serves “without clamor and ostentation, without seeking places of honor, without advertising,” he said.

    This is an example for everyone, he continued, to “do works of charity in silence, in hiding, without boasting of making them. Even in our communities, we are called to follow Mary’s example, practicing the style of discretion and concealment.”

    In the afternoon Dec. 8, Pope Francis will go to Rome’s Piazza di Spagna to give homage at the foot of a statue of the Immaculate Conception, a papal tradition. This year, he will also stop at the Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray for Our Lady’s intercession.

    “I ask you to join me spiritually in this gesture, which expresses filial devotion to our heavenly Mother,” Pope Francis said.

    The pope also asked people to join him in praying for a meeting of the presidents of Ukraine, Russia, France, and the Chancellor of Germany, which will take place Dec. 9 in Paris.

    This meeting is “to find solutions to the painful conflict that has been going on for years in eastern Ukraine,” he explained.

    “I accompany the meeting with an intense prayer and I invite you to do the same, so that this initiative of political dialogue will contribute to bringing peace in justice to that territory and its population.”
     
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  13. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    If he wrote that he sure is a ball of contradictionso_O
     
  14. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Actually by chance I had earlier come across several homilies by Pope St John Paul 2 the Great on the Immaculate Conception, one of them given for the Angelus Blessing, given years and years ago and appears identical to this. I must see if I can find it again:
     
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  15. December 10
    Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent

    Reading 1 Is 40:1-11
    Comfort, give comfort to my people,
    says your God.
    Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
    that her service is at an end,
    her guilt is expiated;
    Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
    double for all her sins.

    A voice cries out:
    In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
    Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
    Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill shall be made low;
    The rugged land shall be made a plain,
    the rough country, a broad valley.
    Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
    and all people shall see it together;
    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

    A voice says, "Cry out!"
    I answer, "What shall I cry out?"
    "All flesh is grass,
    and all their glory like the flower of the field.
    The grass withers, the flower wilts,
    when the breath of the LORD blows upon it.
    So then, the people is the grass.
    Though the grass withers and the flower wilts,
    the word of our God stands forever."

    Go up onto a high mountain,
    Zion, herald of glad tidings;
    Cry out at the top of your voice,
    Jerusalem, herald of good news!
    Fear not to cry out
    and say to the cities of Judah:
    Here is your God!
    Here comes with power
    the Lord GOD,
    who rules by his strong arm;
    Here is his reward with him,
    his recompense before him.
    Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
    in his arms he gathers the lambs,
    Carrying them in his bosom,
    and leading the ewes with care.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 96:1-2, 3 and 10ac, 11-12, 13
    R.(see Isaiah 40:10ab) The Lord our God comes with power.
    Sing to the LORD a new song;
    sing to the LORD, all you lands.
    Sing to the LORD; bless his name;
    announce his salvation, day after day.
    R. The Lord our God comes with power.
    Tell his glory among the nations;
    among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
    Say among the nations: The LORD is king;
    he governs the peoples with equity.
    R. The Lord our God comes with power.
    Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
    let the sea and what fills it resound;
    let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
    Then let all the trees of the forest rejoice.
    R. The Lord our God comes with power.
    They shall exult before the LORD, for he comes;
    for he comes to rule the earth.
    He shall rule the world with justice
    and the peoples with his constancy.
    R. The Lord our God comes with power.

    Alleluia
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    The day of the Lord is near;
    Behold, he comes to save us.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mt 18:12-14
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    "What is your opinion?
    If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
    will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
    and go in search of the stray?
    And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
    than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
    In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
    that one of these little ones be lost."

    Translation of the Holy House of Loreto or the Solemnity of Our Lady of Loreto https://sensusfidelium.us/translation-of-the-holy-house-of-loreto/
    Included is a small portion of a large report from Sensusfidelium.us on the Holy House of Loreto and the miracles that have surrounded it for hundreds of years. Written by Lee Wells
    Tradition tells us that on May 10, 1291, the Holy House of Nazareth was raised from its foundations in Nazareth and transported by Angels across the Mediterranean from Palestine to Dalmatia to the small town of Tersatto. The pastor of the Church of St. George, at Tersatto, Alexander Georgevich, was puzzled by the sudden presence of what looked like a tiny church and prayed for enlightenment. His prayers were answered when the Blessed Virgin appeared to him in sleep and told him that this was indeed the Holy House of Nazareth where the Annunciation took place and it was brought here through the power of God. To confirm what she was telling him, he would be restored to health. At that moment, Father Alexander was cured of an illness which he had suffered for many years.

    With the Moslems taking over Albania in 1294 and the possibility of profanation, the House disappeared from Tersatto. According to some shepherds, it was seen on December 10, 1294, being borne aloft by Angels across the Adriatic sea and came to rest in a wooded area four miles from Recanati, Italy. The news spread fast and thousands came to examine the tiny house which resembled a church. The House became a place of pilgrimage and many miracles took place there. Bandits from the nearby wooded area began to plague the pilgrims, so the House was borne to a safer spot a short distance away. But the spot where the House was finally to rest was still not settled since the two brothers who owned the land were quarreling. The House was moved a third time to the site it now occupies. The brothers became reconciled as soon as the House settled in its final location. Incidentally, wherever it landed, the Holy House rested miraculously on the ground, without a foundation.

     
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  16. Invocations to Our Lady of Loreto

    Virgin of Loreto, pray for me
    Virgin of Loreto, protect me
    Virgin of Loreto, keep my little ones
    Virgin of Loreto, sweeten my pains
    Virgin of Loreto, intercede for me
    Virgin of Loreto, protect my loved ones
    Virgin of Loreto, assist me at the hour of death
    Amen.

    [​IMG]
    Loreto, Jubilee 2020 opened the Holy Door
    Loreto (Ancona), December 8, 2019 - Thousands of pilgrims from all over Italy this afternoon crowded square of the Madonna and then the Basilica of the Holy House of Loreto for the ceremony of opening of the Holy Door) . The door will remain open for a conscious journey of conversion and holiness until 10 December 2020. To conduct the ritual and then the Eucharistic celebration in the sanctuary Cardinal Pietro Parolin , Vatican Secretary of State. After his visit to the city on March 25, Pope Francis granted the Jubilee of the shrine, one of the world's Jubilee Church, on the occasion of the centenary of the proclamation of Our Lady of Loreto Patroness of aeronauts.


    The Pontiff said today, at the end of the Angelus in St. Peter's Square, said: "My thoughts go to Loreto where today opens the door. Whether it is full of grace for the pilgrims of the Holy House. " When he reached the square in procession, a few minutes before opening the Holy Door, the cardinal said: "On the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin open the Loreto Jubilee opens for us the door of mercy and grace of God. In communion with Pope Francis and those who call upon the Virgin Mary as their patron saint, this celebration solemnly inaugurating this year of grace, a prelude to a profound experience of mercy, joy and peace. "
     
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  17. December 11
    Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent

    Reading 1 Is 40:25-31
    To whom can you liken me as an equal?
    says the Holy One.
    Lift up your eyes on high
    and see who has created these things:
    He leads out their army and numbers them,
    calling them all by name.
    By his great might and the strength of his power
    not one of them is missing!
    Why, O Jacob, do you say,
    and declare, O Israel,
    "My way is hidden from the LORD,
    and my right is disregarded by my God"?

    Do you not know
    or have you not heard?
    The LORD is the eternal God,
    creator of the ends of the earth.
    He does not faint nor grow weary,
    and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
    He gives strength to the fainting;
    for the weak he makes vigor abound.
    Though young men faint and grow weary,
    and youths stagger and fall,
    They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
    they will soar as with eagles' wings;
    They will run and not grow weary,
    walk and not grow faint.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 8 and 10
    R.(1) O bless the Lord, my soul!
    Bless the LORD, O my soul;
    and all my being, bless his holy name.
    Bless the LORD, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits.
    R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
    He pardons all your iniquities,
    he heals all your ills.
    He redeems your life from destruction,
    he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
    R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
    Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
    slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
    Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
    nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
    R. O bless the Lord, my soul!

    Alleluia
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Behold, the Lord comes to save his people;
    blessed are those prepared to meet him.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mt 11:28-30
    Jesus said to the crowds:
    "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
    and I will give you rest.
    Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
    for I am meek and humble of heart;
    and you will find rest for yourselves.
    For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

    Feast day of Saint Damascus I, Pope died 384 AD
    Pope Damasus I was Bishop of Rome, from October 366 to his death in 384. He presided over the Council of Rome of 382 that determined the canon or official list of Sacred Scripture. He spoke out against major heresies in the church and encouraged production of the Vulgate Bible with his support for St. Jerome. He helped reconcile the relations between the Church of Rome and the Church of Antioch, and encouraged the veneration of martyrs.
    Installed:1 October 366
    Term ended:11 December 384
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  18. December 12 (they give two options for the first reading and two options for the Gospel, may we drink in every Word)

    Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

    Reading 1 Zec 2:14-17
    Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
    See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
    Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
    and they shall be his people,
    and he will dwell among you,
    and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
    The LORD will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land,
    and he will again choose Jerusalem.
    Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!
    For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.

    Or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
    God's temple in heaven was opened,
    and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

    A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
    with the moon under her feet,
    and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
    She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
    Then another sign appeared in the sky;
    it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
    and on its heads were seven diadems.
    Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
    and hurled them down to the earth.
    Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
    to devour her child when she gave birth.
    She gave birth to a son, a male child,
    destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
    Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
    The woman herself fled into the desert
    where she had a place prepared by God.

    Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
    "Now have salvation and power come,
    and the Kingdom of our God
    and the authority of his Anointed."

    Responsorial Psalm Judith 13:18bcde, 19
    R.(15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.
    Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
    above all the women on earth;
    and blessed be the LORD God,
    the creator of heaven and earth.
    R. You are the highest honor of our race.
    Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
    by those who tell of the might of God.
    R. You are the highest honor of our race.

    Alleluia
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;
    from you rose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 1:26-38
    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 coming to her, he said,
    “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
    But she was greatly troubled at what was said
    and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
    Then the angel said to her,
    “Do not be afraid, Mary,
    for you have found favor with God.
    Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
    and you shall name him Jesus.
    He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
    and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
    and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
    and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
    But Mary said to the angel,
    “How can this be,
    since I have no relations with a man?”
    And the angel said to her in reply,
    “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
    and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
    Therefore the child to be born
    will be called holy, the Son of God.
    And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
    has also conceived a son in her old age,
    and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
    for nothing will be impossible for God.”
    Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
    May it be done to me according to your word.”
    Then the angel departed from her.

    Or Lk 1:39-47
    Mary set out
    and traveled to the hill country in haste
    to a town of Judah,
    where she entered the house of Zechariah
    and greeted Elizabeth.
    When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
    the infant leaped in her womb,
    and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
    cried out in a loud voice and said,
    “Most blessed are you among women,
    and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
    And how does this happen to me,
    that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
    For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
    the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
    Blessed are you who believed
    that what was spoken to you by the Lord
    would be fulfilled.”

    And Mary said:

    “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
    my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”

    Continued from #109
    With renewed determination, Juan Diego agreed to the Heavenly Queen’s request and went home for the night. Very early Sunday morning, Juan got up and traveled to Tlateloloco to attend Mass to be counted among the Indians present. Then in anxious excitement, he again presented himself to Bishop Zumarraga and in tears relayed again that the merciful Mother asked for construction of a temple at the same sight as the apparition. The Bishop listened with greater attention and asked several questions to try to determine Juan Diego’s credibility. While inclined to believe the humble Juan Diego, the Bishop told Juan that in order to act on the request at once, a further sign from the Lady was needed to be certain this was her request. The Bishop’s response was heartening to Juan and he eagerly rushed to tell the Lady about the audience. Bishop Zumarraga had some aides follow Juan to report about where he went and whom he spoke to in check his story. After a short journey the aides lost sight of Juan Diego and although they searched carefully they couldn’t find him. Angry and suspicious of Juan’s motives, the aides recommended to the Bishop that Juan’s words were fraudulent and that he was trying to trick him.
    Juan Diego saw the Heavenly Queen for a third time at the top of the hill and joyfully told her of the positive meeting he had with Bishop Zumarraga. She told him to return tomorrow to the hill for the sign, which the bishop requested.
    Juan Diego’s joy turned to anxiety when he returned home to find his beloved uncle, Juan Bernadino sick with a high fever. All thoughts of the Heavenly Mother were suspended while Juan sought care for his uncle. A large part of the next day, Monday, December 11 was spent getting a doctor to come to aid Juan Bernadino. Despite the doctor’s efforts, Juan Bernadino grew worse. By nightfall, Juan Bernadino, thinking he was near death, implored Juan Diego to summon a priest for the sacrament of the anointing of the sick and for confession.
    Before dawn on Tuesday, December 12, 1531, Juan Diego hastily left his uncle to get a priest for the last sacraments. In reaching the base of the Tepeyac hill and remembering that he hadn’t met the Lady yesterday, Juan Diego took steps to avoid the area where the Lady appeared as he thought there wasn’t a moment to be lost. Using a side trail, he avoided the hill, not even imagining that Our Lady would seek him out, but she did. Our Dear Mother spoke, “What is the matter? Where are you going?”
    Miserably, Juan replied, “In sadness, my Lady, I must tell you that my uncle is seriously ill. He has the plague and is near death. I am hurrying to get a priest to administer the sacraments of anointing and confession for him. If I succeed in doing this, I will return later to go and deliver your message. Forgive me and be patient with me, my Lady.”
     
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  19. continued from #118
    How compassionately did Our Lady regard Juan Diego. Her sympathy was evident in these consoling words renown from this fourth apparition, “Listen, my son, to what I tell you now: do not be troubled nor disturbed by anything. Do not fear illness, nor any other distressing occurrence, nor pain. Am I not your merciful Mother? Am I not beside you? I have made you my responsibility so let nothing distress or disturb you. As to the illness of your uncle, he will not die from it, for I tell you, he is already cured.” Juan Diego’s concern was eased. Having assurance by her words, Juan rededicated himself to the Lady’s mission. Our Lady told him, “Go, my son, to the top of the hill where we met before. There you will find flowers growing. Gather them and bring them to me.”
    Juan Diego immediately went to the top of the hill. The scene he found was described best in the words of Father Miguel Sanchez, one of the first chroniclers of the Miracle of Guadalupe. Father Sanchez wrote, “There appeared before his eyes diverse flowers, blooming by a miracle, born of a prodigy, uncovered by a portent. The roses invited their beauty, the lilies offering their tribute of milk, the carnations – flesh and blood, violets - ardor, jasmines, rosemary - hope, iris-love, and broom - captivity. The flowers eagerly rivaled each other and seemed to speak to his hands, not only hoping that he would cut them, but sensing the glory for which they were being cut.” How astounding this was, given that it was December when the ground was too cold for flourishing plants, especially flowers in full bloom and touched with dew and the normal vegetation were thistles, prickly pears, and mesquite.
    Juan Diego wore a cactus woven cloak over his clothing. It was a type of mantle to protect against the cold. Known as a tilma, this garment could be described as a length of fabric six feet long and three feet wide that could reach from the front of a person around to the back. Juan tied the bottom of his tilma behind his head and then picked the exquisite flowers and gathered them in the fold of his tilma and then went back to Our Lady to show her. Incredibly, Our Lady took the flowers and arranged them in his tilma with her own hands. She told him, “These roses are the sign that you are to take to the Bishop. Tell him that in them, he will recognize my will and fulfill it. Only in the presence of the Bishop are you to show the roses and tell him all that has happened to you so that he may agree to the construction of the temple.”
    Juan Diego went with enthusiasm directly to the Bishop’s residence. He was treated derisively by the Bishop’s servants, however. They wouldn’t announce him to the Bishop and he waited long. The servants noted that he was carrying something curious. They tried to look at what Juan was carefully holding within his tilma, and started to push him to better see, but Juan warded them off on three attempts. One guard caught sight of the colorful bundle and smelled the intoxicating fragrance they were giving off. That prompted him to tell the Bishop that Juan Diego had returned with a curious offering.
    Juan told the Bishop all that had happened that day and said that he brought the sign with him. At that time, he unfolded his tilma and let tumble down the exquisite flowers and roses to the floor. The Bishop was marveling at the beauty of the flowers especially what appeared to be Castilian (Spanish) roses that Juan presented. Then he looked at Juan Diego himself and was wonder-struck at the sight on his tilma. He got up from his episcopal chair and knelt down in front of Juan. There on Juan Diego’s tilma was a glorious image of the Holy Mother just as she had appeared to him. What a moment in time! Here was the answer to the prayers Bishop Zumarraga had made to the Virgin for her to intercede before God for peace in the land. She had wrapped her image around the Castilian roses that he knew from Spain with a heavenly fragrance. Both Bishop Zumarraga and Juan Diego felt heavenly affirmation in each of their missions by the most generous and gentle Mother of Jesus. Bishop Zumarraga untied the tilma from Juan Diego and took it to his chapel and hung it on the wall next to the altar. He gave thanks to God and to his mother for so great a miracle. The Bishop invited Juan Diego to stay at length and treated him as a privileged guest. They visited the Tepeyac hill where the apparitions took place and where the Virgin Mary asked for the Church to be built.
    Elated at the successful outcome of the audience with the Bishop, Juan Diego asked permission to return to his uncle to see how he was. Juan saw that his Uncle Juan Bernardino’s health had been completely restored. Juan Diego marveled when his uncle told him that the Holy Virgin herself had appeared to him under the same visage as how she had appeared to him and cured his ailment. He said that she called herself, “The Ever Virgin, Holy Mary of Guadalupe.”
    News spread far and wide about these events. Many, many people flocked to the Bishop’s residence to view the tilma. The Bishop led a procession with the tilma from his private chapel to place it in the Cathedral so that more people could view it.
    Not only was the miraculous origin of the image wondered at, the Aztec people saw several things in the Holy Virgin’s image that were deeply symbolic to them. The blue-green color of the mantle of Our Lady indicated that she was of the royal class and the pattern of forty-eight golden stars on her mantle confirmed that she was royal and powerful. The small brooch on the center of the neckline of her dress has a cross on it indicating that our Queen is Christian, the religion of the Spaniards, not a pagan deity. Our Lady has her eyes lowered and her hands are folded in prayer showing that although she is royal, she is a humble and devout subject of the eternal God.
    The native people recognized the tie around her waist as a symbol of maternity that indicated that she was with Child. God gave us an earthly miraculous image of the Queen who carries the Messiah, the Savior of the world in her blessed womb. The Queen is seen standing on a crescent moon. In the pictograph tradition of the Aztec people, the crescent was symbolic to them as the feathered serpent pagan god, Quetzalcoatl. Worship of this demanding pagan god entailed offering children as human sacrifices to him. Twenty thousand children and people were sacrificed annually to Quetzalcoatl by one estimate. The Queen is pictured standing on the burned-out crescent, Quetzalcoatl, demonstrating that she is more powerful than he. Her humble posture with lowered eyes, her identifying modest brooch with a cross emblazoned upon it, and her position of stepping on Quetzalcoatl all exhibit that Christianity is victorious, not through violence, but through humility.
    The pictures the Native Americans saw in the image of Guadalupe spoke volumes to them. The design on the dress Our Lady wore has nine big golden flowers on it each one surrounded with smaller blossoms. The stems of the nine larger flowers point out to the Lady’s star-covered mantle. One interpretation of the design is that the flowers of the dress have their roots in the stars of the mantle and that truth (flowers) has its origin in God (stars).
    There is a four-petaled jasmine flower design on the dress that is near the womb of the Mother. The four petals represent the four directions: north, east, south, and west that encompass the earth. The placement of the center of the jasmine over where Mary bears Jesus, symbolizes that He is King of all nations, even in the womb.
    The indigenous people came to view the miraculous tilma in droves and it brought about a monumental change in their mentality. No longer would they have to sacrifice their precious children to the demanding Quetzalcoatl whom they appeased by human sacrifices in their religion of fear. Rather the consoling, motherly words of Our Lady were repeated over and over by Juan Diego thousands of times to all those who wanted to hear his witness, ”… I am your merciful Mother, to you, and to all the inhabitants on this earth who love me, trust me and invoke my help. I listen to your lamentations and remedy all your miseries, afflictions and sorrows…”
     
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  20. Continued from #119
    The Church that Our Lady asked for was erected by Indians who worked long hours to have the adobe shrine ready for Christmas, 1531 just two weeks after the end of the apparitions. A great dedication was planned for the Shrine December 26, 1531. On the four-mile road that led from the Bishop’s Church to the new chapel for Our Lady, the Indians strew flowers and fragrant herbs. There were musicians, dancers, and actors who took their part in the pageantry that surrounded the installation of the tilma in the new chapel. A tragedy occurred when an Indian was accidentally pierced by an arrow in the neck in a mock battle enactment. He had expired from the wound. In tears they brought him before the image of Our Lady on the tilma and prayed fervently for his healing. It was done! The afflicted man arose and had only a scar as evidence of his brush with death and subsequent restoration to health.
    The healings and the miraculous image caused a great awakening to the Catholic faith. Many conversions occurred, much more than would be expected than through the efforts of the missionaries alone. Father Motolina, one of the twelve Franciscan missionaries who first preached the Faith in Mexico recorded that between 1531 and 1541 about nine million native people were baptized. One priest wrote that he and another priest “baptized fourteen thousand two hundred souls in five days. We even imposed the Oil of Catechumens and the Holy Chrism on all of them, an undertaking of no little labor.” That whole-hearted conversion number is astonishing given the time in history (less people populating the earth) and the tensions that the Conquistadors had initiated.
    The original adobe shrine expanded to larger and larger Shrines to Our Lady. Today the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe stands at the original Tepeyac hill apparitions. The original miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Juan Diego’s tilma still hangs in the church. Remarkably, even after 478 years, the cactus fiber tilma has the same woven integrity as it had when Juan Diego wore the garment, despite the millions of touches, caresses, and pleas that have been rubbed into it. It has weathered floods, epidemics, and an attempted bombing in 1921, but the image has come away unscathed. On Tuesday, May 31, 1966, Pope Paul VI sent a Golden Rose to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. In a radio address, he said, in part, “With this gift, that we blessed in the Sistine Chapel, we wanted to honor the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and reward the faith and Marian devotion of the Mexican people.” Pope Francis sent a second Golden Rose to the image on November 18, 2013. Many, many miracles have become associated with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and have been documented. Our Lady of Guadalupe remains a marvel for us in the twenty-first century. A study of the eyes of Our Lady showed that they reflected the presence of four people in the room: Juan Diego, his interpreter, Bishop Zumarraga, and perhaps another newly appointed Bishop. On April 24, 2007, Mexico City lifted the ban on abortions for pregnancies up to twelve weeks. In response to this horror of injustice to the unborn, witnesses noticed a supernatural light emanating from the womb of the Virgin of Guadalupe image on the tilma. One visitor described, “an intense light which emanated from her abdomen, constituting a brilliant halo having the form of an embryo.” Isn’t it marvelous how we have a living image of the Mother of God, the Patroness of the Americas, from the very beginning when Christians set foot on the soil until now. We appreciate her patronage over the Americas and any more surprises that she may reveal.
    [​IMG]
     
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