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Friday, December 13, 2019

Santa Lucia, Virgin & Martyr


From The Golden Legend


Santa Lucia customs. Scroll down for lots of links.

St. Lucia's Saffron Bread

On December 13 people in Sweden celebrate St. Lucy's Day. They remember how Lucia, a young girl, brought food to persecuted Christians hiding in the catacombs in Rome during the time of Emperor Diocletian. In order that she could carry the food and see where she was going in the dark, Lucia wore candles on her head.

On St. Lucy's Day each year by tradition one of the daughters of the family is chosen to be St. Lucy. She gets up early and takes coffee and 'Lucia' buns (Saffronsbrod) to the rest of the family who are still in bed. She dresses in a white robe with a scarlet sash and wears on her head a crown of green leaves with five candles in it. Sometimes she is escorted by boys dressed in long white shirts and pointed hats, called star boys.



· 2 tsp sugar
· 1/2 cup warm water
· 1 tsp saffron powder
· 8 cups strong plain flour (all purpose flour)
· 4 tsp salt
· 1/2 cup butter
· 3/4 cup castor (table) sugar
· 1/4 cup raisins
· 1 tsp ground cardamom
· 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
· beaten egg for brushing


Topping:
· 1 tbsp chopped almonds
· 1 tbsp coarsely crushed cube sugar

DIRECTIONS
1. Dissolve sugar in the warm water and add yeast.

2. Mix the saffron powder with 1 tbsp hot water.

3. Leave about 20 minutes, until frothy.

4. Sift flour and salt and rub in the butter. Add castor sugar, cardamom and raisins.

5. Mix to a dough with the yeast mixture and milk and add saffron.

6. Knead thoroughly, return to bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk.

7. Shape into small buns, put on a greased baking tray until doubled in size. Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with coarse sugar and almonds.

8. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Cool on a cooling tray.

10. Serve fresh with coffee.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Our Blessed Lady Of Guadalupe



Read about this feast of Our Blessed Lady at Catholic Tradition.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

The Immaculate Conception Of Our Blessed Lady



Today is one of the principal feasts of Our Blessed Lady, and a Holy Day of Obligation

From Dom Prosper Gueranger's The Liturgical Year.



Prayer For the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius XII

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

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled thee, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of thy conception until the day on which, after thine assumption into Heaven, He crowned thee Queen of the Universe.

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

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In thy name, resounding harmoniously in Heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with thee, we may repeat before thy throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around thine altars: Thou art all-beautiful, O Mary! Thou art the glory, thou art the joy, thou art the honor of our people!
Amen.



From Saint Alphonsus Liguori's The Glories of Mary



Saint Maximilian Kolbe on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception



Novena For the Immaculate Conception, Day 8

Invocation (to be Said Every Day of the Novena):

Thou art all fair, O Mary,
The Original Stain is not in thee.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem,
Thou, the joy of Israel,
Thou, the great honor of our people
Thou, the advocate of sinners.
O Mary,
O Mary,
Virgin most prudent,
Mother most merciful,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.

O Mary, Mother of God and Mother of us, thou who by a singular privilege, in virtue of the foreseen death of our Redeemer, wast redeemed from the first moment of thy conception and preserved immune from every spot of Original Sin, we firmly believe in this thy privilege and we proclaim it aloud, saying: "Thou art all fair, O Mary, and in thee there is no stain"; thou art the Immaculate; thy raiment is white as snow; thy face shines like the sun; in thee we marvel at the brightness of eternal light and the spotless mirror of Divine beauty. Like the Divine Redeemer, thou art wholly and utterly fair, for in Him there can be no stain and thou art His most perfect reflection.

We all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast that recalls this singular privilege of thine, O Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, and we unite ourselves to thee in magnifying and thanking Our Lord, Who through thee hath done such wondrous deeds, and hath given us in thee good cause for rejoicing.

We would be ever worthy to love thee and to sing thy glories, O Mary, our Immaculate Mother, but we are by nature sons of wrath, and only by grace can we become thy children and acceptable unto thee. From thee we hope for assistance in obtaining the pardon of our sins, the strength to overcome our wicked passions, and to escape the snares. laid for us by the world and the devil. Wherefore, O Immaculate Mother, Mary, inspire in us an intense hatred of sin, perfect contrition for the sins we have committed, and a lively fear of falling again into sin; make our hearts and our bodies immaculate, lest we be confounded forever; and so, being cleansed of sin, with our passions under control, and the enemies of our salvation overcome, with pure hearts burning with love of thee, may we be able to sing to thee with unfaltering voices: "Thou art all fair, O Mary, and in thee there is no Original Stain; thou art our glory, thou art our joy."

Glorious things are spoken of thee, O Mary; for He that is mighty hath done great things unto thee.

Hail Mary...



Novena For the Immaculate Conception, Day 9

Invocation (to be Said Every Day of the Novena):

Thou art all fair, O Mary,
The Original Stain is not in thee.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem,
Thou, the joy of Israel,
Thou, the great honor of our people
Thou, the advocate of sinners.
O Mary,
O Mary,
Virgin most prudent,
Mother most merciful,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Salutation of Saint Francis to the Virgin Mary

Hail, holy Lady, most holy Queen! Mother of God, Mary ever-Virgin! Chosen by the most holy Father of Heaven, and by Him, with His most holy and beloved Son and the Spirit Paraclete, consecrated! Thou in whom was and is all the fullness of grace and of goodness! Hail, thou, His palace! Hail, thou, His tabernacle! Hail, thou, His home! Hail, thou, His vesture! Hail, thou, His handmaid! Hail, thou, His Mother! And hail, too, all ye holy virtues which, by the grace and light of the Holy Ghost, are poured into the hearts of the faithful, to make them from faithless ones, faithful children of God.

Consecration to Our Blessed Mother

My Queen, my Mother! I give myself entirely to thee, and to show my devotion to thee I consecrate to thee this day, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve, Wherefore, good Mother, as I am thine own, keep me, guard me, as thy property and possession.
Amen.

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin didst prepare a worthy dwelling place for Thy Son, we entreat Thee, Who didst preserve Her from all stain of sin by the Death of that same Son, foreseen by Thee, to grant that through Her intercession, we also may be made clean, and so may come to Thee, through the same Christ Our Lord.
Amen.

Hail Mary...


Saturday, December 07, 2019

Saint Ambrose, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor Of the Church



The Catholic Encyclopedia

The Golden Legend

This prayer of his is a weekly part of my prayer life, as I pray it before Mass, even though I only communicate sacramentally 2-3 times per year.

Saint Ambrose's Prayer Before the Most Blessed Sacrament


O loving Lord Jesus Christ, I a sinner, presuming not on my own merits, but trusting in Thy mercy and goodness, with fear and trembling approach the table of Thy most sacred banquet. For I have defiled both my heart and body with many sins, and have not kept a strict guard over my mind and my tongue. Wherefore, O gracious God, O awful Majesty, I, awretched creature, entangled in difficulties, have recourse to Thee the fount of mercy; to Thee do I fly that I may be healed, and take refuge under Thy protection, and I ardently desire to have Him as my Saviour, whom I am unable to face as my Judge.

To Thee, O Lord, I show my wounds, to Thee I lay bare my shame. I know that my sins are many and great, on account of which I am filled with fear. But I trust in Thy mercy, of which there is no end. Look down upon me, therefore, with the eyes of Thy mercy, O Lord Jesus Christ, eternal King, God and Man, crucified for men. Hearken unto me, for my hope is in Thee; have mercy on me, who am full of misery and sin, Thou who wilt never cease to let flow the fountain of mercy.

Hail, Victim of Salvation, offered for me and for all mankind on the gibbet of the cross! Hail, Noble and Most Precious Blood, flowing from the wounds of my crucified Lord Jesus Christ and washing away all the sins of the whole world! Remember, O Lord, Thy creature, whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy Most Precious Blood.

I am grieved because I have sinned. I desire to make amends for what I have done. Take away from me therefore, O most merciful Father, all my iniquities and sins, that, being purified both in soul and body, I may worthily partake of the Holy of Holies. Grant that my reception of Thy Body and Blood, which I purpose, unworthy though I am, may bring to me pardon for my sins, the perfect cleansing of my faults, the expulsion of all evil thoughts, and the renewal of pure feelings, the health and efficacy of good works, pleasing unto Thee, and a most strong protection both in soul and body against the snares of my enemies.
Amen.


Saint Ambrose, please pray for us!

Friday, December 06, 2019

Saint Nicholas of Myra, Bishop & Confessor

Today is the feast of probably the most popular saint in Christendom, the patron of children, young people, poor people, prisoners, thieves, murderers, pawnbrokers, and those seeking marriage, Saint Nicholas of Myra.



This is what The Golden Legend has to say about him.

The Saint Nicholas Center is your go-to resource on Good Saint Nicholas.

Wilson's Almanac also has a great deal of good material.



On the surface, the modern Dutch Sinterclaas looks more like the original bishop of Myra. That despite the fact that the Dutch are perhaps the most post-Christian culture in Europe.


Thomas Nast's 19th century American rendition.


Twentieth Century American artist Haddon Sundblom, working for the Coca Cola Company, helped establish the modern image of Saint Nicholas, or Santa Claus.



As did Norman Rockwell, working mostly for the Saturday Evening Post.

Efforts are made from time to time to update Saint Nicholas' garb and image, but they are rejected by children themselves. Ironically, the young are the ones who insist that Santa looks like this, and nothing else. You can put black boots on him, rather than brown (but they have to be the same style). You can put a strip of white fur down the front of his coat. Sometimes he can wear a harness with sleigh bells. And you can give him green mittens. But changes beyond that are rejected by children out of hand as unbecoming to Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.

Maybe Nast's/Sundblom's/Rockwell's vision has so much staying power because it is anchored in tradition. The red and white coat is an adaptation of a bishop's robes. The miter has become a fur hat.

Happy Saint Nicholas' Day!













Saint Nicholas, please pray for us!

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Saint Francis Xavier, Confessor



Read what The Catholic Encyclopedia has to say about this great missionary and apostle.

BTW, his last name is properly pronounced in English "Zaahviar," or "Zaahviah" if you speak with with a Boston accent. It is never "ExAvier." The X is always pronounced like a Z. You can trust me on this one. I went to a prep school run by the Xaverian Brothers, and for 3 of my four years, my Latin class was held in Xavier Hall (and taught by a great Latin teacher, Brother Joseph Comber, CFX!).

Saint Francis Xavier, please pray for us!

Sunday, December 01, 2019

First Sunday of Advent




From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, OSB:

Act Of Communion During Advent

It is true that everything in Advent is so arranged as to be a preparation for the coming of the Saviour at the feast of Christmas, and that the spirit of the faithful should be one of earnest expectation of this same Saviour; and yet, such is the happy lot of the children of the new Law, that they can, if they wish it, really, and at once, receive this God whom the Church is expecting; and thus, this familiar visit of Jesus will become itself one of the preparations for His great and solemn visit. Let those, then, who are living the life of grace, and to whom the glorious day of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ will bring an increase of spiritual life, not omit to prepare, by Communion, for the reception they intend to give to the heavenly Spouse on the sacred night of His coming.

These Communions will be interviews with their divine Lord, giving them confidence, and love, and all those interior dispositions wherewith they would welcome Him who comes to load them with fresh grace, for this Jesus is full of grace and truth.

They will understand this better by reflecting on the sentiments which the august Mother of Jesus had in her blessed soul during the time which preceded the divine birth.

This birth is to be an event of more importance, both to the salvation of mankind and to Mary's own glory, than even that of the first accomplishment of the Incarnation; for the Word was made Flesh in order that He might be born. The immense happiness of holding in her arms her Son and her God, would make the sacred hour of Jesus' birth dearer and happier to Mary, than even that in which she was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost, and received from Him the divine fruit of her womb.

During those nine months, when she knew that her Jesus was so undividedly hers, what must have been the happiness which filled her heart! It was a bliss which was a worthy preparation for that more blissful night of Bethlehem.

Christians! your Communions during Advent are to prepare you for your Christmas joy, by giving you something of the delight which Mary felt before the birth of Jesus.

ACT OF FAITH
Knowing that thou art about to enter under my roof, O eternal God, Jesus Son of the Father, I have need of all my faith. Yes, it is thou who art coming to me, thou who didst enter into Mary's virginal womb, making it the sanctuary of thy Majesty. Thou didst send thine angel to her, and she believed his word, when he said: 'Nothing is impossible to God: the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee.' She believed, and then conceived in her chaste womb him who had created her.

Thou hast not sent an angel to me, O my Saviour, to tell me thou art coming into my heart. Thou hast spoken thyself, and thou hast said: 'I am the living Bread come down from heaven: he that eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood, abideth in me and I in him.' Thou hast willed that these words of thine, spoken so many hundred years ago, should reach me by thy Church, that thus I might have both the certainty that they are thine, and the merit of bowing down my reason to the deepest of mysteries.

I believe then, O Jesus! Help the weakness of my faith. Enable me to submit, as Mary did, to thy infinite wisdom; and since thou desirest to enter under my roof, I bow down my whole being before thee, using her blessed words: 'May it be done to me according to thy word;' for how dare I, who am but nothingness, resist thee, who art all wisdom and power!

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