A blessed Friday to you all! We would like to start this weeks Feria Friday
post with announcing the winners of the Christmas Card Giveaway
as well as the winners of the two copies of the Purgatory book and the Catholic Life book! And the winners are:Theresa - Catholic Life; or Feasts Fasts and Devotions of the Eccesiastical Year
Jennifer Kray - Purgatory Book
Lynna Wagner - Purgatory Book
And the winner of the box of Christmas Cards is Brian Pate!
All winners have been notified by the email address which was provided when registering for the giveaway. Thank you all for entering and we hope that you all have a blessed weekend!
Pictorial Lives of the Saints + Imprimatur John, Cardinal McCloskey
PROTESTANTISM pretends to regard the veneration which the Church pays to the relics of the Saints as a sin, and contends that this pious practice is a remnant of paganism. The Council of Trent, on the contrary, has decided that the bodies of the martyrs and other Saints, who were living members of Jesus Christ and temples of the Holy Ghost, are to be honored by the faithful. This decision was based upon the established usage of the earliest days of the Church, and upon the teaching of the Fathers and of the Councils. The Council orders, however, that all abuse of this devotion is to be avoided carefully, and forbids any relics to be exposed which have not been approved by the bishops, and these prelates are recommended to instruct the people faithfully in the teaching of the Church on this subject. While we regret, then, the errors of the impious and of heretics, let us profit by the advantages which we gain by hearkening to the voice of the Church.
This Weeks Friday Fare …. Food for the Soul
Anecdotes and Examples By: Rev. Francis Spirago +Imprimatur 1908Q. Does the first commandment forbid the honoring of the saints?A. The first commandment does not forbid the honoring of the saints, but rather approves of it; because by honoring the saints, who are the chosen friends of God, we honor God himself.
ST. WENCELSAUS IN THE SNOW
Imitation is the sincerest flattery, and the best way to horn the saints and through them to honor God is to follow their example. On one very severe and snoy night St. Wenceslaus was on his way to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in the neighboring church. His servant who accompanied him complained that his feet, though well shod, were nub with cold, while the saint, who wore but sandals, seemed not to suffer at all. "Put your feet prints into mine, and fear not," said the saint/ This the servant did, and presently a genial warmth spread from his feed throughout his whole body. This is a lively image of what takes place in the soul of the Christian who tries to walk i nthe footsteps of the saints by imitating their virtue.Q. Does the first commandment forbid us to pray to the saints?A. The first commandment does not forbid us to pray to the saints.
A FATHER IS TOLD TO TEACH HIS UNRULY SON TO PRAY
Prayer is the surest means of obtaining the grace of amendment. A man once went to a priest and asked him to advise him what to do with his son to make him behave better. He said he had flogged him several times, made him go hungry, and shut him up in the cold, but nothing had any effect on him. Then the priest asked whether the man had made his son pray, and had himself prayed for and with him. He acknowledged that he had not done so, but promised to have recourse to that means. He kept his word, and this means proved effectual' the boy corrected his ways and grew up to be worthy, God-fearing man.Q. What do we mean by praying to this saints?A. By praying to the saints we mean the asking of their help and prayers.
A MIRACULOUS DELIVERANCE
The year 1618 was marked by the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War. It is also memorable on account of the sentence passed on the imperial viceroys in Prague, Martinitz and Slawata, as well as their private secretary, Fabricius, who were condemned by the Protestants to be thrown out of the window of the royal palace. This is how it came to pass. On stringent decrees against the Protestants being issued by the Emperor Nathias, a large body of those heretics, headed by Count Thurn, entered forcibly into the royal place in Prague and charged the viceroy and governor with having instigated their august master to take those drastic measures. They announced their intention of putting the supposed authors of the decrees to immediate death. The two governors begged that at least a short time might be granted them to prepare for death, and that a confessor might be sent for. This privilege was however denied them; the crowd below insisted that according to an ancient Bohemian custom in regard to traitors, they should be thrown out the window. This was accordingly done. In spite of their expostulations and entreaties they were seized, conveyed to a window overlooking the deep but then dry moat of the castle, and flung down from a great height. Martinitz continually uttered the names of JEsus and Mary, invoking their mercy and their aid. The Protestants, hearing this, cried contemptuously: "Let us see whether Mary will come to help him." Martinitz fell, and rose to his feet without having sustained the slightest injury, so that the bystanders were forced to acknowledge that Our Lady had indeed come to his aid. Slawata struck his head gainst a stone window-sill, and lay on the ground insensible, blood flowing from his mouth. Martinitz lifted him in his arms and carried him away; and although a number of shots were fired at the fugitives, all missed their aim. Friends came to the help of the wounded man, so that they were both able t effect their escape. The Catholics who witnessed this scene doubted not that these men were rescued by a miraculous intervention of Providence, but the heretics said it was the effect of magic. The statement that the men fell upon heaps of dust, or that bushes broke their fall, is fictitious. We learn from this incident that we cannot do better than call upon JEsus and Mary in the hour of peril and sore distress.
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The Beauties of the Catholic Church Click to read more about St. Augustine
By: Rev. F.J. Shadler Copyright 1881
Pastor- You were right, Simon, when at our last conference, you said that the Feast of All Saints transported us in spirit to the abode of the blessed. And it was probably the intention of the Church, in instituting this festival, that we should, on one day in the year, thoroughly forget the world and all things earthly, and, as it were, pay in spirit a visit to our beatified brothers and sisters. I have already told you that not all the names of the saints in heaven are contained in the calendar. Now, on this day we have an opportunity of showing our veneration to those whose names are unknown to us, but who, no less than those saints with whose names we are familiar, have fought the good fight, and have been admitted to the beatific vision of God. It would, indeed be deplorable if the majority, or rather all, of our ancestors, and those belonging to us, were not found among the saints in heaven. This day, then, is for us a beautiful Christian family festival, on which the spirit we visit, in the mansions of bliss, the members of our own families; and joy fills our hearts at the thought that those who, perhaps under our own eyes, have borne the heat and burden of the day, have toiled faithfully for heaven, placed their trust in God, and suffered for his sake, now rest from the hardships of this life, and enjoy their eternal inheritance. The occasion may suggest the through that while we still celebrate this feast on earth, at its next recurrence we may perhaps be numbered among the saints, provided we faithfully persevere in the service of God and the observance of his holy law. This day serves likewise, more than any other, to remind us that the saints were men like ourselves, born into this world, with the same proneness to sin. They belonged to the same state, age, and sex as ourselves' they had to sustain the same, perhaps even greater, trials and temptations than we do' they had to conquer the same evil inclinations and passions with ourselves; they encountered the same difficulties with the same divine grace given to us; perhaps their measure was even less; and yet they triumphed and won the crown of immortality. All this we might possibly forget, if we elaborated the feasts of saints of distant lands and foreign nations, or of very remote times; but nothing can bring these truths more vividly to our minds than the thought of our own departed kindred. Finally, this thought that so many among the saints were near and dear to us by state, age, sex, origin, and even family ties, will give us the greatest assurance that by their powerful intercession they will support our prayers. Though death has separated them from the affection for his son, the mother for her child, the husband for his wife, or the friend for his friend; we must with a far greater and purer love than they ever showed during their earthly lives.
Simon- Truly, this festival is calculated to call forth in us most consoling and edifying thoughts.
Pastor- And the more we give ourselves up to them, the greater fruit we shall derive from its celebration. Now, the following was the occasion of the institution of this festival. In Rome there stood a heathen temple originally erected in honor of Jupiter, but afterwards dedicated to all the gods, and hence it received the name of Pantheon. This master-piece of architecture is a half-blobe, its height being almost equal to its breadth; the diameter is one hundred and fifty-eight feet. It has neither pillar nor window, but only a large round opening in the centre at the top, which admits the light. The Emperor Theodosius, in the beginning of the fifth century, demolished all the temples of idols ind the East, while in the West the more remarkable were shut up, but permitted to remain standing as moments of the former magnificence of the empire. When idolatry has been long enough banished to make its revival improbably, these edifices were in some instances purified and converted into churches for the worship of the true God. Pop Boniface IV caused the Pantheon to be cleansed and opened, and in 607 dedicated it in honor of the Blessed Virgin and the martyrs, and, it is said, deposited within it twenty-eight wagon-loads of relics of the martyrs taken from the catacombs. At first the festival of All Saints was observed only in Rome, but through the efforts of Pope Gregory IV, in 834, its observance was extended to the whole Church.
Now let us turn our attention to the COMMEMORATION OF THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED, or All Souls' Day, immediately following the beautiful feast of All Saints. If in spirit we transport ourselves to the abode of the saints, we shall not find among them every one of those who, while on earth, lived for God, and gained for themselves eternal life. A great number of these, on being called hence, were not found sufficiently pure and holy to be admitted at once to the contemplation of the most pure and holy God. They are forced to tarry in the place of purification, until by suffering they shall have attained that perfection which they failed to acquire on earth, and which alone entitles them to the enjoyment of God. For them "night has come in which no man can work"; being no longer in the state of meriting, they are not able in the least to help themselves. Their only recourse is resignation, patience and hope. By the voice of the Church they appeal to us, their brethren, that by our prayers and good works, offered for them, we may shorten the time of their suffering, and hasten the moment of their admission to the rewards of heaven. Affection and piety should powerfully urge us to discharge towards them this religious duty. Those who suffer in purgatory are our fellow-men and fellow-Christians; and some of them are united to us by the tenderest bonds of nature. There we shall meet probably the great number of those who have lived with us, who departed this life under our own eyes, or were consigned to the earth in our presence. For how few, we fear, go hence possessed of such great sanctity that, without further penance, they can be admitted to the joys of the heavenly kingdom? In purgatory are probably many with whom we had frequent intercourse in life, many who, perhaps on our account, omitted many good deeds, or, through our fault, committed many sins, and who therefore, on our account, must atone and suffer for them. And perhaps they are our parents, our nearest relatives, our friends, to whom, in life we were devotedly attached, and to whom, we would have cheerfully rendered any service. Now, during their lives we could have rendered them no service, conferred upon them no favor, and shown them no mark of affection to be compared to the service we can render them now by our intercession for them after death. NEither are the souls suffering in purgatory ungrateful for our help; they will assuredly, by their own prayers, abundantly reward our kind acts, not only when they shall have entered the kingdom of God, and we in turn shall perhaps languish in the place of purification, but even now. For, having died in the grace of friendship of God, there is nothing to prevent their prayers for others, notwithstanding that they can do nothing for themselves. We are reminded of all this by the impressive solemnity of All Souls' day, which many hundred years ago was instituted for this purpose by the Church. And the circumstance that the memorial day of the souls departed immediately follows the feast of All Saints, contributes in no small degree to render this day most salutary and beneficial for them; for the more we had occasion on the preceding day in spirit to contemplate the joys and the happiness of the blessed in heaven, the deeper must be our grief that so many are still deprived of the enjoyment of this happiness, and we must feel ourselves greatly stimulated, by prayer and good works, and the holy sacrifice of the Mass, and the reception of the Most Holy Sacrament, speedily to gain for them the happiness for which they so earnestly long. "It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins" (Mach. xii. 46.) This was the belief and practice even in the Old Testament.
Thomas- The prayers for the dead in the Catholic Church is another of those things on account of which I was much assailed by Protestants during my travels.
Pastor- For the tranquility of your mind let me inform you that, in the very earliest days of Christianity, it was customary to pray for the dead, just as we do to-day. The names of the dead were sent from one church and one monastery to another, and the prayers of the faithful were solicited for them during Mass, the names being read from the diptychs. And this is the origin of the "memorials," or printed cards or pious pictures, asking the prayers of the faithful for a person deceased, which in many localities even to-day, are distributed at funeral services, or sent to those at a distance. St. Chrysostom tells us that during Mass the deacon turned to the people, crying in a loud voice: "Let us also pray for those who have died in Christ"; and he says, moreover, that this was ordained by the apostles
, because they knew well that these would derive great benefit from it. (In cap. 1 Philip Hom. 3) Tertullian, who lived in the age next to that of the apostles, speaking of a pious widow, says: "She prays for the soul of her husband, and begs refreshment for him." (De Monogam., c. 10.)St. Augustine
says "that there can be no doubt that through the prayers and sacrifices of the Church, and alms deeds, God deals more mercifully with the departed than their sins deserve." (Confessions 1.g.) And this saint not only fervently prayed for his holy mother Monica, in order, as he declares, "to obtain the pardon of her sins," but he also beseeches God to inspire all those, for whom with voice or pen he labored, to remember his mother in their prayers. (Serm. 172, Enchirid.) It would take up too much time to quote upon this subject St. Cyprian, St. Cyril, Eusebius, St. Epiphanius, St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Ephrem, and other ancient writers, to prove that the doctrine and practice of the Church regarding purgatory and prayers for the dead are the same to-day that they were in the first ages of the Church. Not only have the schisms preserved the practice of praying for the dead, but even the Jews, though now without temple and without an altar, faithfully cling to the pious custom of their fathers to offer up prayers for their deceased brethren. The doctrine of purgatory, and the practice of praying for the dead, is not only borne out by both the old and New Testament, and the unanimous teachings of all holy writers of every age, but is grounded in the very nature of rational man. The heart necessarily desires to relieve the distress and want of those whom it loves, and it is cruelty to forbid it to gratify this desire. Now, is that love, which made us capable of every sacrifice for those dear to us, suddenly extinguished in our breasts as soon as they close their eyes in death/ Is this temporary separation from those with whom one day we hope to be again united, to deaden and destroy the noblest sentiments and qualities of the soul? If we may pray for our friends while they are with us, why should it be wrong to pray for them when absent? :et those that will, deny themselves the comfort and consolation which we derive from the doctrine of the usefulness of prayer for the dead, by which we still continue to be united with those who "sleep in the Lord." :et us hold fast to the teachings of the Church, and, following her admonition, earnestly and fervently pray for the souls of our brethren in Jesus Christ, languishing in that prison from which there is no deliverance till the last farthing shall have been paid. Let us not forget that "a hard heart shall fare ill at the last day."
A belated All Souls' Day Giveaway!
Enter to win one of 3 copies of the Purgatory book
! A little pamphlet on the views of the Catholic Church regarding Purgatory as well as the history of the views and so forth.
A Blessed Feast of All Saints Day to you and yours!
We have been enjoying our day, since very early this morning which is why our weekly 'Feria Friday
' post has not shown up here. And also because we plan to interrupt that blog series with a special children's sermon for today's great feast, along with a giveaway! Details are below. The next couple of days we will be featuring writings from various antique Catholic books on these great feast days. There are too many to share in just one day! May God send you all many blessings on this day! Anecdotes and Sermonettes for Children's Mass By: Fredrick A Reutur +Imprimatur James Cardinal Gibbons FEAST OF ALL SAINTS Travelers Heavenward Bound
BE GLAD and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven." All the saints whose festival we celebrate today know the truth of these words of our Lord. Who can describe the joys which they feel in that heavenly country? God had wiped all their tears from their eyes; they are free from weeping and sorrow, and all sufferings of this mortal life. Their joy, their happiness lasts forever, so long as God is God. But what must we do in order to be admitted with the saints into heaven? We must overcome the same obstacles and temptations that they met with in their journey to their heavenly home.
I am going to tell you a story which was first told by the old Greeks, about a certain king and his companions, and I want to see if you can find some lessons and warnings in it. This king and his friends traveled over many lands and seas, and met with many dangers. They had left their home sto fight a terrible war in a foreign land. When the war was over they longed to go home again. When they had finally begun their homeward journey they met with other strong enemies and had to fight them. Having conquered them, the companions of the king feasted on the spoils which they had taken. The king, their leader, who was very wise, begged them to go to their ship and sail homeward at once. But they would not listen. Later, while they were feasting, their enemies rushed upon them and wounded some of them very severely. They were now glad enough to escape to their ship. Well, they steered towards home, and after many storms, at last one day they came in sight of a strange land. They went on shore and found the country very beautiful. The sun was always shining, and the natives lived only to eat, drink and sleep. The people of this land lived on the lotus fruit, which made them lazy and careless. The wise leader saw the danger before him; the fruit was very tempting, and if his companions should eat of it they would forget home and friends and duty. Some of them tasted the lotus fruit, and at once they became as sleepy and carefree as the people of the country. Then the leader decided what to do. He had them seized and carried on board their vessel; then every sail was set, and they passed away from the shores of the lotus-easters.
The travelers had other troubles in store for them. They came on day to a wild an rocky shore. The people of this country were fierce giants, called Cyclops. The king and his friends soon found themselves prisoners in the cave of one of the giants who killed and ate a prisoner every day. AT last the travelers managed to blind the giant and escape from the cave to the sea. Joyfully the remainder of the little band got on board their ship and sailed away over the lonely, homeless sea, seeking their native land. AT length they came to the country of the winds, where the king of the winds made them welcome. This king of the winds was very friendly to them, and when they left him to continue their journey he gave them a leather bag, tied with a silver cord, containing all the stormy winds as prisoners. Inly the sweet west wind was left out, that it might carry the travelers home. All went well for nine days. The king trusted no one but himself to the helm. At last they came in sight of home; they saw the green meadows and the waving trees and their homes nestled among them. They were almost safe in the harbor, when the king, tired our from watching, fell asleep. His companions were tempted by curiosity to examine the bag which held the winds. In an evil moment they opened it. Out rushed the angry winds and blew the ship far away from home, out of sight of their native land. Once more they were out on the desolate sea.
Now let us look at the heavenly meaning of the story. The king and the fellow-travelers are ourselves, all mankind. We are sent from our home to a long warfare in a foreign land, that is this world; and we must conquer all our enemies and cross the stormy sea of temptation before we can reach home. All went well with the travelers as long as they remembered their home and their friends. So it is with us, my children. All goes well with us as long as we think of our home in heaven and our friends there - God and the saints and the angels. Our enemies are our sins. If we conquer some sin, we must not sit down at ease, as the travelers did. When we think we are safe, we shall fall. The travelers on their homeward journey met with storms and tempests. You and I, my dear children, have to pass the waves of this troublesome world before we can find our home; and the storms are the troubles and sorrows that will meet us. The land of the lotus-eaters means the land of idleness and sloth, and the fruit of it is forgetfulness. Those who eat it forget their duty, their home and their god.
When I see a child idle in school, careless in church, lazy in work, always thinking of eating and playing, then I know that child has eaten a fatal fruit. You must get away from the land of idleness. Put out to sea - the sea of work and duty.
The travelers fell among the giants. Our bad habits are the giants. The boy who uses bad language is living as a prisoner in a dirty cave with a foul giant. The idle child, the deceitful child, the dishonest child, all are caught in the cave of the giant. But what is the door our of the giant's cave. Repentance. What is the key? Prayer. Use that key now and it will open for you a door of escape. Perhaps we are going on very well for a time, trying to lead good lives and so getting nearer to God and our Home, when some curiosity tempts us to do something which God had forbidden. Curiosity tempted the prodigal son. He was safe at home and loved by his father. He wanted to see more of the world. He wanted to open the bag of world's pleasures, as the travelers longed to open the bag of winds. There are many big girls and boys like him. They think it manly to go away from home. The boy thinks it a fine thing to get into the company of those who swear and tell bad stories. He wants to find out all sorts of things which are not good for him. Like the foolish travelers, he unites the bag, and out rush all the bad passions and temptations and carry him away. And where is he driven to? Far from his Home, to the husks of the swine and the foul rags of sin, and the filthy food of a wicked world.
Oh, my dear boys and girls, don't be curious to find out evil in the world! God will teach you everything which you need to know. Never be curious to look into bad books, or talk about bad things, or go to bad places. Remember what curiosity did for the travelers.
We are all travelers on a journey through life, on which the saints have gone before us, having to overcome the same difficulties. We are going home to Paradise, through many dangers, and difficulties, and temptations. On this journey we must fight, and watch and pray, and, above all, we must have Jesus as our guide. He will give us strength through the Blessed Sacrament to triumph over the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil, and will enable us to follow Him with pure hearts and minds. Labor, struggle and pray with the saints on earth, that you may triumph with them in heaven.
All Saints Day Book Giveaway!
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We are giving away a total of three books today, 2 copies of Anecdotes and Sermonettes for Children's Mass (the sermon above is from this title) and one copy of Catholic Life; or Feasts Fasts and Devotions of the Ecclesiastical Year.
My favorite time of year is upon us; All Saints, All Souls, Advent, the Immaculate Conception, St. Nicholas' Feast Day, St. Lucy's Feast Day and the Nativity of our Blessed Lord! There is nothing like the feasts of the Holy Catholic Church to brighten the dark nights of fall and winter!
Today is a special day as well, its the blessed night before the celebration of all of those who have achieved their reward in Heaven, its the vigil of All Saints! Today's writings are about Vigils and why the Church keeps them. Please do note that fasting and abstinence rules have changed since the late 1800's, when these lovely books were written. Some more excellent sources for reading for today come from from the writings of Dom Gueranger on the Vigil of All Saints
, A story about The Devil by Hillare Belloc
and of course our latest blog posts on superstitions that tend to show up on the Vigil of All Saints found here
.The Beauties of the Catholic ChurchBy: Rev. F.J. Shadler Copyright 1881
The word vigil
is synonymous with watch.
King David, in his Psalms, exhorts us: "In the night lift up your hands to the holy places, and bless ye the Lord" (Psalm cxxxii. 2). And again, speaking of himself, he says: "O rose at midnight to give praise to thee" (Psalm cxviii. 62). The early Christians literally fulfilled these words. They assembled either on the evening before the feast (on which account the day before a feast is also called the eve) or on the morning of the festival itself, before the dawn of day, in order, by watching, singing of the Psalms, meditation, and prayer, to prepare themselves for the feast. In this they followed the example of the apostles, who, after Christ had ascended into heaven, locked themselves up in a room in Jerusalem, and, by united prayer, prepared themselves for the coming of the Holy Ghost. The vigils are therefore usually fast-days
, in order thus to unite several pious practices, according to the words of Tobias: "Prayer is good when combined with fasting and almsgiving." Even in the times of persecutions these nightly vigils were customary among the Christians. Pliny, a governor in the Roman Empire, reports to Emperor Trajan, only about 70 years A.D., that "the Christians are wont on certain days to come together in the morning before dawn to sing praises to Christ as to a divinity." And Tertullian, whom I have already mentioned, while endeavoring to persuade Christian woman not to enter into marriage with pagan men, says: "What pagan husband would suffer his wife to leave her home to attend the nocturnal worship?" Later, about the thirteenth century, these nightly gatherings not only fell into disuse, but were expressly forbidden by the Church, because of the many abuses which had crept into them. Hence the preceding day of certain feasts is appointed as a day of prayer and fasting preparatory to the festival. The name of vigil, or night-watch, is, however, still retained.Catholic Ceremonies and Explanation f the Ecclesiastical YearFrom the French of the Abbe Durand+ Imprimatur 1896Vigils-
The Christians formerly passed the night preceding a solemn feast in prayer in the church; this holy practice bore the name of vigil, or watch. Several motives recommended it to the piety of the faithful. During the night the Word of God was made flesh; during the night He came into the world; during the night He will come again to judge mankind. Grave abuses led to the suppression of these holy meetings for nocturnal prayer, vigil of feasts. That of Christmas by a privilege easily understood, was alone excepted. But the name vigil was always retained for the day that preceded a feast, and most frequently the primitive fast was preserved.
The vigils of primitive institution, and which for this reason enjoy the privilege of never being omitted, are: Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, and Pentecost. Others have been instituted later for certain feasts of the Blessed Virgin and saints. These are: The Assumption, All Saints, Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the feast of the apostles, and the feast of St. Lawrence. All vigils supposed a fast and abstinence.
Ecclesiastical discipline has varied on this question, yielding to the needs of people and time; in America to-day fast and abstinence are practiced on the vigils of Christmas, Easter, PEntecost, the Assumption and All Saints. All other vigils are observed without fast or abstinence, and they are confined to the office which is assigned to them.
According to the way we keep them the vigils render the feast more solemn. By mortification they make us compassionate the trials of the saints during their earthly pilgrimage; they say to us that to be glorified with them it is necessary to share their suffering, and that penitence is the gate of heaven. (Alcuin, De Parasceve.)TO READ MORE ABOUT THE VIGIL OF ALL SAINTS, ALL SAINTS DAY AND ALL SOULS DAY PLEASE VISIT OUR PAGE DEDICATED TO THESE HOLY DAYS
Tuesday is the Feast of the Great Martyr St. George! We thought we would share with you today the wonderful writings of Dom Gueranger
, he writes like no other! Also if you hop on over to Crusaders-for-Christ they have a wonderful children's story and also two St. George Coloring Pages free for download
! St. George ora pro nobis!The Liturgical Year - Pascal Time Book II, Vol. 8
By: Abbot Dom Guranger, O.S.B. + Imprimatur 1927
SAINT GEORGE, MARTYR APRIL 23
Clad in his bright coat of mail, mounted, on his war-steed, and spearing the dragon with his lance, George, the intrepid champion of our Risen Jesus, comes to gladden us to-day with his feast. From the East, where he is known as the great Martyr
, devotion to St. George soon spread in the Western Church, and our Christian armies have always loved and honoured him as one of their dearest patrons. His martyrdom took place in Paschal Time; and thus he stands before us as the guardian of the glorious sepulcher, just as Stephen, the Protomartyr, watches near the crib of the Infant God.
The Roman Liturgy gives no lessons on the life of St. George; but, in their stead, reads to us a passage from St. Cyprian on the sufferings of the martyrs. This derogation from the general rule dates from the fifth century. At a celebrated Council held in Rome in the year 496, Pope St. Gelasius drew up, for the guidance of the faithful, a list of books which might or might not be read without danger. Among the number of those that were to be avoided, he mentioned the 'Acts of St. George,' as having been compiled by one who, besides being an ignorant man, was also a heretic. In the East, however, there were other 'Acts' of the holy martyr, totally different from those current in Rome: but they were not known in that city. The cultus
of St. George lost nothing, in the holy city, by this absence of a true legend. From a very early period, a church was built in his honor; it was one of those that were selected as Stations, and gave a Title to a Cardinal; it exists to this day, and it is called Saint George in Velabro
(the Veil of Gold).
The Bollandists were in possession of several copies of the forbidden 'Acts'; they found them replete with absurd stories, and, of course, they rejected them. Father Papebroch has given us other and genuine 'Acts' written in Greek, and quoted by St. Andrew of Crete. They bring out the admirable character of our martyr, who held an important post in the Roman army during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian. He was one of the first victims of the great persecution and suffered death at Nicomedia. Alexandra, the Emperor's wife, was so impressed at witnessing the Saint's courage, that she professed herself a Christian, and shared the crown of martyrdom with the brave soldier of Christ.
As we have already said, devotion to St. George dates from a very early period. St. Gregory of Tours gives us several proofs of its having taken root in Gaul. St. Clotilde had a singular confidence in the holy martyr, and dedicated to him the Church of her dear Abbey of Chelles. But this devotion became more general and more fervent during the Crusades, when the Christian armies witnessed the veneration in which St. George was held by the Eastern Church, and heard the wonderful things that were told of his protection on the field of battle. The Byzantine historians have recorded several remarkable instances of the kind; and the Crusaders returned to their respective countries publishing their own experience of the victories gained through the Saint's intercession. The Republic of Genoa chose him for its patron; and Venice honoured him as its special protector, after St. Mark. But nowhere was St. George so enthusiastically loved as in England. Not only was it decreed in a Council held at Oxford, in the year 1222, that the feast of the Great Martyr should be observed as one of obligation; not only was devotion to the valiant soldier of Christ encouraged, throughout Great Britain, by the first Norman Kings; but there are documents anterior to the invasion of William the Conqueror, which prove that St. George was invoked as the special patron of England even so far back as the ninth century. Edward III did but express the sentiment of the country when he put the Order of the Garter, which he instituted in 1330, under the patronage of the warrior Saint. In Germany, King Frederic III founded the Order of St. George in the year 1468.
St. George is usually represented as killing a dragon; and where the representation is complete, there is also given the figure of a princess, whom the Saint thus saves from being devoured by the monster. This favourite subject of both sacred and profane art is purely symbolical, and is of Byzantine origin. It signifies the victory won over the devil, by the martyr's courages profession of faith; the princess represents Alexandra, who was converted by witnessing the Saint's heroic patience under his sufferings. Neither the 'Acts' of St. George nor the hymns of the Greek Liturgy allude to the martyr's having slain a dragon and rescued a princess. It was not till after the fourteenth century that this fable was known in the west; and it arose from a material interpretation of the emblems with which the Greeks honoured St. George, and which were introduced among us by the crusaders.
Although, as has been said, the Office of St. George is the Roman Breviary has been taken from the Common of Martyrs in Paschal Time, the following historical lesson has recently been approved for the Dioceses of England:George, who among the martyrs of the East has received the name of Great Martyr, suffered a glorious death for the sake of Christ in the persecution of Diocletian. When shortly afterwards peace was given to the Church under Constantine, the memoir of St. George began to be celebrated. Churches were erected to his honour in Palestine and at Constantinople, and devotion to him spread through the East and into the West. From early times Christian armies have invoked the protection of St. George, together with SS Maurice and SEbastian, when going into battle. Special devotion was shown to St. George in England for many centuries, and Pope Benedict XIV declared him the special protector of that kingdom.(Editors note: See the text of Dom Gueranger's Liturgical Year for a Hymn of St. George)
Thou, O George, art the glorious type of a Christian soldier. Whilst serving under an earthly monarch, thou didst not forget thy duty to the King of heaven. Thou didst shed thy blood for the faith of Christ; and he, in return, appointed thee protector of Christian armies. Be their defender in battle, and bless with victory them that fight in a just cause. Protect them under the shadow of thy standard; cover them with they shield; make them the terror of their enemies. Our Lord is the God of Hosts; and he frequently uses war as the instrument of his designs, both of justice and mercy. They alone win true victory who have heaven on their side; and such soldiers, when on the battle-field, seem to the world to be doing the work of man, whereas it is the work of God they are furthering. Hence are they more generous, because more religious, than other men. The sacrifices they have to make, and the dangers they have to face, teach them unselfishness. What wonder, then, that soldiers have given so many martyrs to the Church!
But there is another warfare, in which we Christians are all enlisted, and of which St, Paul speaks, when he says: Labour as a good soldier of Christ: for no man is crowned, save he that striveth lawfully. (2 Tim. ii 5)
That we have thus to strive and fight during our life, the same Apostle assures us in these words: Take unto you the armour of God, that ye may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, and your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. In all things taking the shield of faith, and wherewith ye may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of the hope of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph. vi 13,17)
We, then, are soldiers, as thou was, O holy Martyr! Before ascending into heaven, our divine leader wishes to review his troops; do thou present us to him. He has loaded us with honours, notwithstanding our past disloyalties; we must, henceforth, prove ourselves worth of our position. In the Paschal Communion which we have received, we have a pledge of victory; how can we ever be so base as to permit ourselves to be conquered! Watch over us, O sainted warrior! Let thy prayers and example encourage us to fight against the dragon of hell. He dreads the armour we wear; for it is Jesus himself that prepared it for us, and tempered it in his own precious Blood: may we, like thee, present it to him whole and entire, when he calls us to our eternal rest!
There was a time when the whole Christian world loved and honoured thy memory with enthusiastic joy: but now, alas! this devotion has grown cold, and thy feast passes unnoticed by thousands. O holy martyr! avenge this ingratitude by imitating thy divine King, who maketh his sun to rise upon both good and bad; take pity on this world, perverted as it is by false doctrines, and tormented at this very time by the most terrible scourges. Have compassion on thy dear England, which has been seduced by the dragon of hell, and by him made the instrument for effecting his plots against the Lord his Christ. Take up thy speak as of old; give the monster battle, and emancipate the isle of Saints from his slavish yoke. Heaven and earth join in the great prayer! In the name of our Risen Jesus, aid thine own and once devoted people to a glorious resurrection!
Free download for celebrating the Feast of St. George!
Our friends at Crusader's for Christ have put out another lovely download! A Saintly ABC's Catholic Pre-School program. 81 wonderful pages to help the Catholic preschooler. Take a look over at their blog
We also have a couple of pre-school file folder games
that would go hand in hand with this wonderful free e-book!
A blessed Thursday to you all, Lent is less than a week away!
We had a lovely feast day on November 1st, the kids could hardly contain themselves. They were very anxious to share our special day with Papa, who had taken the day off work, and also their two Grandma's who joined us for our Heavenly Feast. Along with plenty of treats and costumes they played Pin the Tale on St. Anthony's Donkey, Guess Who Saint's Version and St. Nicholas Memory. Their favorite was when Papa joined pin the tale on the donkey and pinned St. Peter instead of the donkey! From our family to yours, we pray you had a most blessed Feast Day!
(c) Sanctus Simplicitus ; Saint Peter, Saint Faith and Saint Paul
Soul Cakes, say a prayer for the poor souls! (Vegan Apple Cider donuts, click for recipe.)
St. Peter the Rock, Candy
St. Anthony's Tiny Tonsures (Whole Wheat, diary free Chocolate Donuts, click for recipe.)
St. Paul's Gospel Snacks (Fig newtons with edge cut off and marshmallow cross... frosting would work MUCH better :) )
St. Anne's Lily Sandwhiches (Click for recipe.)
St. Patrick's Colcanon Puffs
St. Isadore's Garden Mix (Carmel Corn, candy corn & pumpkins, mixed nuts. Click for NO CORN SYRUP carmel sauce recipe.)
St. Michael's Deviled Eggs
St. Michael's Angel Hair Pasta Salad
St. Patrick's Mint Shamrocks (Melted mint chips in shamrock molds)
Not pictured: St. Lucy's Mulled Wassail (for the adults) and Adam and Eve's Apple Cider.
The suffering of those in the storm on the East Coast of the states brings to mind those intentions of the Church during the Rogation days that take place in April and the three days prior to the Ascension. Let us recall those days now and offer prayers up to God for His mercy on those suffering the storm.
Blessed be God Prayer Book
In the fifth century, St. Mamertus, Bishop of Vienne, appointed three days of public prayer and procession for his diocese in consequence of certain great calamities, such as fire, earthquakes, and other scourges which where devastating his country. During these processions, Litanies were recited to appease the anger of God. This custom later became universal, and the three days before the Ascension were set aside by the Church as the time for these public prayers. Even before St. Mamertus, it was customary in Rome to have a procession of this kind on St. Mark's day, April 25, which procession became known as the Greater Litanies. The three days before Ascension are called Rogation Days, or days of intercession. At the present time these days of special prayer for the coming harvest. The Litany of the Saints is most appropriate for these days (to follow).
Ant. Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you; for every one that asketh receiveth and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
V. He heard my voice from His holy temple.
R. And my cry before Him came into His ears.
Let us Pray
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God that we, who in our affliction confide in Thy loving kindness, may be ever defended by Thy protection against all adversity. Through Christ our Lord Amen.
The Path to Rome -Hillarie Belloc
Well, once there was a Learned Man who had a bargain with the Devil that he should warn the Devil's emissaries of all the good deeds done around him so that they could be upset, and he in turn was to have all those pleasant things of this life which the Devil's allies usually get, to wit a Comfortable Home, Self-Respect, good health, 'enough money for one's rank', and generally what is called 'a happy useful life'--till midnight of All-Hallowe'en in the last year of the nineteenth century.
So this Learned Man did all he was required, and daily would inform the messenger imps of the good being done or prepared in the neighbourhood, and they would upset it; so that the place he lived in from a nice country town became a great Centre of Industry, full of wealth and desirable family mansions and street property, and was called in hell 'Depot B' (Depot A you may guess at). But at last toward the 15th of October 1900, the Learned Man began to shake in his shoes and to dread the judgement; for, you see, he had not the comfortable ignorance of his kind, and was compelled to believe in the Devil willy-nilly, and, as I say, he shook in his shoes.
So he bethought him of a plan to cheat the Devil, and the day before All-Hallowe'en he cut a very small round hole in the floor of his study, just near the fireplace, right through down to the cellar. Then he got a number of things that do great harm (newspapers, legal documents, unpaid bills, and so forth) and made ready for action.
Next morning when the little imps came for orders as usual, after prayers, he took them down into the cellar, and pointing out the hole in the ceiling, he said to them:
'My friends, this little hole is a mystery. It communicates, I believe, with the chapel; but I cannot find the exit. All I know is, that some pious person or angel, or what not, desirous to do good, slips into it every day whatever he thinks may be a cause of evil in the neighbourhood, hoping thus to destroy it' (in proof of which statement he showed them a scattered heap of newspapers on the floor of the cellar beneath the hole). 'And the best thing you can do,' he added, 'is to stay here and take them away as far as they come down and put them back into circulation again. Tut! tut!' he added, picking up a moneylender's threatening letter to a widow, 'it is astonishing how these people interfere with the most sacred rights! Here is a letter actually stolen from the post! Pray see that it is delivered.'
So he left the little imps at work, and fed them from above with all manner of evil-doing things, which they as promptly drew into the cellar, and at intervals flew away with, to put them into circulation again.
That evening, at about half-past eleven, the Devil came to fetch the Learned Man, and found him seated at his fine great desk, writing. The Learned Man got up very affably to receive the Devil, and offered him a chair by the fire, just near the little round hole.
'Pray don't move,' said the Devil; 'I came early on purpose not to disturb you.'
'You are very good,' replied the Learned Man. 'The fact is, I have to finish my report on Lady Grope's Settlement among our Poor in the Bull Ring--it is making some progress. But their condition is heart-breaking, my dear sir; heart-breaking!'
AND THE LEARNED MAN
'I can well believe it,' said the Devil sadly and solemnly, leaning back in his chair, and pressing his hands together like a roof. 'The poor in our great towns, Sir Charles' (for the Learned Man had been made a Baronet), 'the condition, I say, of the--Don't I feel a draught?' he added abruptly. For the Devil can't bear draughts.
'Why,' said the Learned Man, as though ashamed, 'just near your chair thereis a little hole that I have done my best to fill up, but somehow it seemed impossible to fill it... I don't know...'
The Devil hates excuses, and is above all practical, so he just whipped the soul of a lawyer out of his side-pocket, tied a knot in it to stiffen it, and shoved it into the hole.
'There!' said the Devil contentedly; 'if you had taken a piece of rag, or what not, you might yourself... Hulloa!...' He looked down and saw the hole still gaping, and he felt a furious draught coming up again. He wondered a little, and then muttered: 'It's a pity I have on my best things. I never dare crease them, and I have nothing in my pockets to speak of, otherwise I might have brought something bigger.' He felt in his left-hand trouser pocket, and fished out a pedant, crumpled him carefully into a ball, and stuffed him hard into the hole, so that he suffered agonies. Then the Devil watched carefully. The soul of the pedant was at first tugged as if from below, then drawn slowly down, and finally shot off out of sight.
'This is a most extraordinary thing!' said the Devil.
'It is the draught. It is very strong between the joists,' ventured the Learned Man.
'Fiddle-sticks ends!' shouted the Devil. 'It is a trick! But I've never been caught yet, and I never will be.'
He clapped his hands, and a whole host of his followers poured in through the windows with mortgages, Acts of Parliament, legal decisions, declarations of war, charters to universities, patents for medicines, naturalization orders, shares in gold mines, specifications, prospectuses, water companies' reports, publishers' agreements, letters patent, freedoms of cities, and, in a word, all that the Devil controls in the way of hole-stopping rubbish; and the Devil, kneeling on the floor, stuffed them into the hole like a madman. But as fast as he stuffed, the little imps below (who had summoned a number of their kind to their aid also) pulled it through and carted it away. And the Devil, like one possessed, lashed the floor with his tail, and his eyes glared like coals of fire, and the sweat ran down his face, and he breathed hard, and pushed every imaginable thing he had into the hole so swiftly that at last his documents and parchments looked like streaks and flashes. But the loyal little imps, not to be beaten, drew them through into the cellar as fast as machinery, and whirled them to their assistants; and all the poor lost souls who had been pressed into the service were groaning that their one holiday in the year was being filched from them, when, just as the process was going on so fast that it roared like a printing-machine in full blast, the clock in the hall struck twelve.
APPARITION OF ST CHARLES BORROMEO
The Devil suddenly stopped and stood up. 'Out of my house,' said the Learned Man; 'out of my house! I've had enough of you, and I've no time for fiddle-faddle! It's past twelve, and I've won!'
The Devil, though still panting, smiled a diabolical smile, and pulling out his repeater (which he had taken as a perquisite from the body of a member of Parliament), said, 'I suppose you keep Greenwich time?'
'Certainly!' said Sir Charles.
'Well,' said the Devil, 'so much the worse for you to live in Suffolk. You're four minutes fast, so I'll trouble you to come along with me; and I warn you that any words you now say may be used against...'
At this point the Learned Man's patron saint, who thought things had gone far enough, materialized himself and coughed gently. They both looked round, and there was St Charles sitting in the easy chair.
'So far,' murmured the Saint to the Devil suavely, 'so far from being four minutes too early, you are exactly a year too late.' On saying this, the Saint smiled a genial, priestly smile, folded his hands, twiddled his thumbs slowly round and round, and gazed in a fatherly way at the Devil.
'What do you mean?' shouted the Devil.
'What I say,' said St Charles calmly; '1900 is not the last year of the nineteenth century; it is the first year of the twentieth.'
'Oh!' sneered the Devil, 'are you an anti-vaccinationist as well? Now, look here' (and he began counting on his fingers); 'supposing in the year 1 B.C. ...'
'I never argue,' said St Charles.
'Well, all I know is,' answered the Devil with some heat, 'that in this matter as in most others, thank the Lord, I have on my side all the historians and all the scientists, all the universities, all the...'
'And I,' interrupted St Charles, waving his hand like a gentleman (he is a Borromeo), 'I have the Pope!'
At this the Devil gave a great howl, and disappeared in a clap of thunder, and was never seen again till his recent appearance at Brighton.
So the Learned Man was saved; but hardly; for he had to spend five hundred years in Purgatory catechizing such heretics and pagans as got there, and instructing them in the true faith. And with the more muscular he passed a knotty time.
The end of this week brings us the great three days surrounding the Feast of All Saint's Day! Wednesday is the first of those days, called All Hallow's Eve, in the past known as a day of fast and abstinence. All Saint's Day follows on the first, bring a great day of feasting with all the Blessed in Heaven! November 3rd brings us to All Soul's Day where we remember those suffering the flames of Purgatory awaiting their release. It is in honor of this day that we are giving way November's gifts!
A few years ago now, we were given, as a gift, from those lovely people at Mother of Our Savior, the book titled Purgation Manual. My grandfather had passed away and they were so kind to send us this little book. It has been a great comfort over the years and a daily devotion in our family since. We would like to share this wonderful devotion with you! By entering below you have 4 ways to win one of the TEN copies that we are giving away! We pray that you will enjoy this book as much as we have. As always you may purchase your own copy over at Refuge of Sinner's Publishing
, they also just released a couple of other books on the Poor Souls along with many other great titles! Have a most blessed Hallow's Eve, All Saints and All Souls days!
"I saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before th throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands: and they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God!"
A popular secular celebration is upon us, today's Keeping It Catholic Monday
is about the Catholic Holy Days coming up and the traditions of the Church in regarding what is called now a days Halloween. In edition to the wonderful words of Dom Gueranger is a wonderful blog post Hallowe'en- Pegan or Catholic Celebration
October 31st Vigil of All SaintsThe Liturgical Year Vol.14By: Dom Gueranger Imprimatur 1927
LET us prepare our souls for the graces heaven is about to shower upon the earth in return for its homage. To-morrow the Church will be so overflowing with joy, that she will seem to be already in possession of eternal happiness;but to-day she appears in the garb of penance, confessing that she is still an exile. Let us fast and pray with her; for are not we too pilgrims and strangers in this world, where all things are fleeting and hurry on to death? Year by year, as the great solemnity comes round, it has gathered from among our former companions new saints, who bless our tears and smile upon our songs of hope. Year by year the appointed time draws nearer, when we ourselves, seated at the heavenly banquet, shall receive the homage of those who succeed us, and hold out a helping hand to draw them after us to the home of everlasting happiness. Let us learn, from this very hour, to emancipate our souls; let us keep our hearts free, in the midst of the vain solicitudes and false pleasures of a strange land: the exile has no care but his banishment, no joy but that which gives him a foretaste of his fatherland.Feast of All Saints - November 1
TIME is no more; it is the human race eternally saved that is thus presented in vision to the prophet of Patmos. Our life of struggle and suffering on earth is, then, to have an end. Our long-lost race is to fill up the angelic ranks thinned by Satan's revolt; and, uniting in the gratitude of the redeemed of the Lamb, the faithful spirits will sing with us: 'Thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever!' (Ibid. 12)
And this shall be the end, as the apostle says; (1 Cor. xv. 24) the end of death and suffering; the end of history and of its revolutions, which will then be explained. The old enemy, hurled down with his followers into the abyss, will live on only to witness his own eternal defeat. The Son of man, the Saviour of the world, will have delivered the kingdom of God His Father; and God, the last end of creation and of redemption, will be all in all. (I Cor. xv. 24-28)
Long before the seer of the Apocalypse, Isaias sang: 'I saw the Lord sitting upon the throne high and elevated, and His train filled the temple. And the Seraphim cried one to another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God of hosts, all the earth is full of His glory.' (IS. vi. 1-3) The train and fringes of God's vesture are the elect, who are the adornment of the World, the splendour of the Father. For, since the Word has espoused our human nature, that nature is His glory, as He is the glory of God. The bride herself is clothed with the justifications of the saints' and when this glittering robe is perfected, the signal will be give for the end of time. This feast announces the ever-growing nearness of the eternal nuptials; for on it we annually celebrate the progress of the bride's preparation.
Blessed are they that are called to the marriage-supper of the Lamb! (Apoc. xix. 9) Blessed are we all, who have received in Baptism the nuptial robe of holy charity, which entitles us to a seat at the heavenly banquet! LEt us prepare ourselves for the unspeakable destiny reserved for us by love. To this end are directed all the labours of this life: toils, struggles, sufferings for God's sake, all adorn with priceless jewels the garment of grace, the clothing of the elect. Blessed are they that mourn! (St. Matt. v. 5)
They that have gone before us wept as they turned the furrows and cast in the seed; but now their triumphant joy overflows upon us as an anticipated glory in this valley of tears. Without waiting for the dawn of eternity, the present solemnity gives u s to enter by hope into the land of light, whither our fathers have followed Jesus, the divine forerunner. Do not the thors of suffering lose their sharpness at the sight of the eternal joys into which they are to blossom? Does not the happiness of the dear departed cause a heavenly sweetness to mingle with our sorrow? Let us hearken to the chants of deliverance sung by those for whom we weep; 'little and great,' this is the feast of them all, as it will one day be ours. At this season, when cold and darkness prevail, Nature herself, stripping off her last adornments, seems to be preparing the world for the passage of the human race into the heavenly country. Let us, then, sing with the palmist: 'I have rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. Our feet as yet stand only in thy outer courts; but we see thy building ever going on, O Jerusalem, city of peace, compacted together in concord and love. To thee do the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, praising the name of the Lord; thy vacant seats are being filled up. May all good things be for them that love thee, O Jerusalem; may peace be in thy strength, and abundance in thy towers. For the sake of my brethren and of my neighbours, who are already thy inhabitants, I take pleasure in thee; because of the Lord our God, whose dwelling thou art, I have placed in thee all my desire." (Ps. cxxi)