Thank you to all who gave us your wonderful input a few months ago in sharing what you were looking for in a truly Catholic Christmas Card. We are excited to announce that we now have in stock two sets of Catholic Christmas Cards featuring antique Catholic Holy Cards, many of them over 100 year's old.
Perhaps you struggle like our family in finding a Christmas Card that is really about the true meaning of the Season, you end up buying something with the Three Wise Men, when really it doesn't feature our Dear Lord and His Blessed Mother, or you resign yourself to a card of the Holy Family that is way off in the distance. You hope and pray there will be a card with a true Catholic meaning to it, to share the love of this special Holy day. We hope that these cards will be just that, with truly Catholic Art work, holy cards - known to be Catholic art for the people - artwork one can contemplate and imagine themselves as there with our Divine Lord whom gave us such a great gift on such a Holy Night! The greetings for many of these cards come from the wonderful writings of Dom Gueranger, also some from the wonderful book Catholic Life and also from the most Holy Bible, the Word of God. They are fitting to the artwork in that they will also have the reader not just meditating on the lovely art of times past but also contemplating each word and its meaning inside and out.
In addition to the antique art and Catholic greetings each box set comes with matching, and free, typeable PDF stationary. One can easily insert their Christmas Letter and hit print to have matching beautiful artwork along with their truly unique Catholic Christmas card. These cards are large enough for a Christmas letter as well as the average size photo so that you can include all these things to send to your family, friends and loved ones. To view more details and purchase your traditional and truly Catholic Christmas Cards please visit All The Saint's Books!
Also we are giving away a box of 12 cards (your choice of the blue or red set) below, we are so excited to share the true meaning of Christmas and provide these truly unique and Catholic cards! May God bless your upcoming holy-day seasons!!!
Thank you to those of you who took our Christmas card survey several months back! We are happy to announce that we are now offering Catholic Christmas cards over at All The Saints Books featuring antique Catholic holy cards and truly Catholic greetings inside and out. We hope to have them available for purchase by the end of the week but if you like to take a sneak peek and do a bit of window shopping you can find the Madonna & Child and Angels Blue/Gold Set as well as the Infant Jesus and Holy Family red set details over at All The Saints Books.
Oh and I forgot to mention, each set comes with a free PDF that contains matching TYPEABLE stationary for each of the cards! A great way to make that family Christmas letter match the Catholicity of your Christmas Cards!
While you are over there you might peek in the Used, Dinted and Dinged section
for some deals on our vintage books that are great readable copies with a few slight imperfections, our bargain basement!
We are thinking ahead to the Christmas season and planning ahead in order to add some Christmas cards to our book store. Since these things take a while to get planned and completed we would like your input on your Christmas card traditions and how we can best serve you with this product.
We are also putting out a non-academic planner, Starting with Sunday; A Catholic Day Planner
, late fall 2013 or early winter 2013 for the 2014 year. We have been sharing the PDF's on our book store each month so that you all are able to try these if you are intersted. We need your feed back on a few items regarding the printing of the 2014 planner. If you all would be so kind to take our survey below we would love to give you
both a free August 2013 and September 2013 PDF trial of the Starting with Sunday Planner pages!
Please make sure to leave your email at the bottom of the survey so we know where to send your files. YOU MUST FILL OUT THE SURVEY TO RECEIVE YOUR FREE PDFS. Also! One of those of you who fill out our survey AND enter in the raffle will have a chance at a free Planner Pack! Featuring ONE copy of the Holy Simplicity Planner AND TWO printed Children's planners (you get to choose boy or girl or one of each!).
Ahh some rules for this give away! My apologies for the bright red bold, but its to keep the confusion away and keep things fun and easy! Please make sure that the email you use on the survey matches the email you use to enter the raffle. To enter you MUST HAVE MATCHING EMAILS AND FILL OUT BOTH THE SURVEY AND THE RAFFLE ENTRY OR YOUR ENTERY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Comments left on this blog post DO NOT COUNT as your entry. You MUST enter both the raffle and FILL OUT the survey.
Thank you for your input, it is VERY much appreciated and we are excited to share some more GIVE Aways (can you tell I like to give things away?) God bless!
Our school year is done here and I've been busy working on next year's lesson plans. We studied bible history this year as our history course for 2nd grade. In doing such I found that just reading the stories and answering the questions didn't go over so well with my students. As I tend to find out, at least with my children, hands on activities seem to help them learn better and so I usually make things to go with our books to accommodate their learning style.
Sometimes I find this out half way through the year then struggle to find things to do with our lessons. This year I'm hoping to get ahead or at least on track and make the hands on items BEFORE school starts. This project is one of those items. We are doing bible history again for our 3rd grade history course but this year we are switching to a different book, Bible Stories for Children.
Such a beautiful old book that is now back in print. It has short 2-3 page stories for all the main parts of the Bible, Old and New Testament. Its written by a Catholic Teacher and worded just right for this age group. It also connects the old testament stories to parts of the Catholic faith making it ideal for the young Catholic learning the Bible.
Combined with the Bible Stories for Children book
is the Anecdotes and Examples for the Catholic Catechism
, one of my absolute favorite books! They are short simple stories that explain some part of the Catholic Catechism in an easy way to understand and the short story is easy for short attention spans or a quick read. Sometimes the stories are even funny which makes the learning fun. I also wanted my children to learn the vocabulary words in the Catechism lesson
they are doing on Sunday with their father and so those are integrated into this unit study as well. With worksheets for helping them to understand how the word is spelled, used and what the object or word looks like.
While this is written for early elementary students many students would enjoy these books and the lesson plans can easily be adjusted and added to according to age/learning level.
Every lesson contains several hands on activities and many of them have worksheet and/or templates to go with them. Any crafts done contain simple household items or things that most of us have as well as coloring pages around the house. A few lessons even have snack and recipe ideas to help tie in the chapter of the book with something yummy!
There are 52 Chapters in this book and 52 Units to download. This is my summer project so as I get them done they will be loaded on the Bible Stories for Children Unit Study Page
located on the Sanctus Simplicitus site under the download page> educational downloads. Directions for using this unit study may be found on that page as well with all the details to get one started.
Many of you have asked for a Lenten study and about the Jesse Tree study. This lovely book will cover both those topics! The Old Testament happens to be 25 lessons, which will work for the Jesse Tree using each lesson for each day of December up to Christmas showing the genealogy of Christ. And then the New Testament starts with the birth of Our Lord and ends with His Resurrection, perfect for a Lenten study and both of these will take you all the way through the school year! I hope that this project will be enjoyed by many and hopefully save all the other busy mothers some time, as we all seem to enjoy help in that area. May you all have a blessed Pentecost Sunday!
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
St. Rose of Lima
Our friends over at Crusader's for Christ
have added some new Saint's outfits for dolls to their site. Their daughter, a fellow Catholic homeschooler, is making these at home as a little business. We just had to share her beautiful work with you! They just put up their St. Elizabeth of Hungary doll outfit today and last week the St. Rose of Lima. At the end of last year we shared with you the St. Lucia outfit. These would make such cute gifts for Easter baskets, birthdays and Christmas. Hop on over to Bella's Boutique a
nd take a closer look.
Praying that you all are having a blessed and fruitful Lenten season, God bless!
"If you adore God without presenting
Him some offering, your devotion is false."
- St. Chrysostom
From Catholic Life, 1908
The word "Epiphany" means manifestation, and is given to the feast because on that day our Lord manifested Himself to the Gentiles through the wise men. The Gospel thus relates the fact: "When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of King Herod, behold there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and are come to adore Him. And Herod, hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And
assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him, In
Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet, and thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda;
for out of thee shall come forth the Captain that shall rule My people Israel.
Then Herod, privately calling the wise men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; and sending them into Bethlehem, said, go, and diligently inquire after the Child; and when you have found Him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore Him. Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the east went before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And seeing the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the Child with Mary, His Mother; and, falling down, they adored Him; and, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts- gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And, having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their own country" (Matt. ii. 1-12).
We may learn many useful lessons from this day's Gospel: First, that when the ministers of God do not practice what they preach, we are, nevertheless- in imitation of the Wise Men - to walk by the lights they give us, without heeding their example. Second, that a great many are backward in going to Christ and embracing His truths, biased by the consideration of interest, reputation, dependence, human respect, and other
private or human motives. The great remedy for these is to imitate the manly faith of the Magi, and to keep our hearts, like them, detached from perishable things - wealth, pleasures, popularity, etc.. The offerings of the Kings were symbolical. The gold showed that our Lord was a King; the incense declared His Divinity, and the myrrh his humanity.
They were also typical of the virtues which we ought to offer our Blessed Saviour - viz., charity, typified by the gold; prayer, by the incense; and mortification, by the myrrh. Mortification is a chief means for acquiring control of our unruly passions. What the spur and reins are to a skillful rider, mortification is to a zealous Christian.
On this feast we ought - (1) To thank God for calling us, through our ancestors, out of His pure mercy to the faith of Christ. (2) To adore Jesus Christ with the Wise Men, and to offer Him a sacrifice of our goods, by alms; of our hearts, by prayer; and of our evil inclinations by mortification. (3) To beg pardon for the many times we have neglected God's inspirations and followed the suggestions of interest, passion, and self love. (4) To resolve, in spite of all worldly arguments to the contrary, to follow courageously and readily the lights of faith, the directions of our spiritual guides, and the inspirations of Almighty God, begging grace to do so. (5) To pray for the conversion of all who are still in the darkness of vice, error, or infidelity.We can become stars to lead the Gentiles yet in darkness to Christ, by contributing regularly to the funds of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Holy Childhood. The latter gives even to children an opportunity of doing apostolic work. If we knew the trials and difficulties experienced by missionaries in pagan countries, deprived of the ordinary resources of civilized life, we should be much more generous and more zealous in interesting others in the noble work.
"Oh, may His bright star
Of Faith beam afar,
And pierce the deep gloom of the night,
To bring, as of yore,
Wise men to adore,
The Christ-Child, the Fountain of Light!"
Example. - The Martyrs of Japan
In 1612 an English captain named William Adams, moved by hatred to Catholic priests, and by his national animosity to Spain, persuaded the Emperor of Japan that, under colour of religious zeal, the Jesuits were in reality emissaries of a hostile power, whose object was the conquest of Japan. The long-threatening storm then burst forth. The scenes that Rome had witnessed in the heroic age of the early Church were now acted afresh.
At Arima, where the persecution was fiercest, amoung many other glorious martyrs was a little Christian child named Thomas, who's father had just been beheaded for the Faith, and who was condemned to the same fate. He had shouted with delight on hearing the sentence, and on account of his tender years the executioner led him by the hand to the place of death. Here the child knelt down by the side of his father's mutilated body, calmly bared his neck, and clasped hands and cast-down eyes waited for the fatal
stroke. Three soldiers, one after another, attempted to execute the sentence, but each one in turn burst into tears and cast away his sword. At
length a slave was found, who literally hacked the child to pieces, but not even a sigh of pain escaped from the lips of the youthful martyr. Civandono, King of Bongo, being urged to renounce the Faith, made the following noble and solemn protest:
"I swear in Your presence, O Almighty God, that if all the Jesuits, by who's ministry You have called me to Christianity, should renounce their own teaching, and even if I were assured that all the Christians of Europe had denied Your Name, I would still confess, acknowledge, and adore You as the One, True, Almighty God of the Universe, and this even at the cost of my life."
Winners of our 12 Days of Christmas book Give-A-Ways
You all have been waiting very patiently to see who won the great books put out by Refuge of Sinner's Publishing! How I wish to be able to give you all these gems but such as it is we are limited to these few for the time being. Below you will find the winners of our give-a-way, winners have already been notified by email. All winners were randomly selected for Rafflecopter. If you see your name here and no email please contact me as sometimes emails end up in spam folders, though names are provided as they were entered into Rafflecopter and we will use email addresses (also provided) to identify the winner. The winners will also be displayed on the individual give-a-way posts in the Rafflecopter entry form.
Please also make sure to visit our friends over at Crusaders for Christ on this feast of the Epiphany, they have a WONDERFUL blog post on customs in the home
for this day and also a wonderful post of a sermon
also for this feast... and of course coloring pages
May you all have a most blessed Feast of the Epiphany!Winner of the Suprise Pack with the 3 Gifts in honour of the 3 Magi!
Michelle Winner of the Children's Pack!
Missy Farber Winner of the St. Anthony Coloring book and Children’s book
Tiffany Ghigliotti Winner of the Anecdotes & Examples Book
Tina Winner of the 10 Commandments Book
Alexandra Winners of the Pictorial Lives of the Saints Book
Leah Winner of the Liturgical Year Book- Christmas vol. 1
Jennifer CopeWinner of the True Mirror of Womanhood
Michelle Hand 3 Winners of One Church is Not as Good as Another
Nikki J 3 Winners of the Wonders of the Holy Name
Ann Marie 3 Winners for the Novena for Conversions
... a saintly example of austerity and temperance.
A blessed eve of the 12th day of Christmas! Tomorrow the three Magi come to adore Christ our Lord!
Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. 1894
January 5.—ST. SIMEON STYLITES.
ONE winter's day, about the year 401, the snow lay thick around Sisan, a little town in Cilicia. A shepherd boy, who could not lead his sheep to the fields on account of the cold, went to the church instead, and listened to the eight Beatitudes, which were read that morning. He asked how these blessings were to be obtained, and when he was told of the monastic life a thirst for perfection arose within him. He became the wonder of the world, the great St. Simeon Stylites. He was warned that perfection would cost him dear, and so it did. A mere child, he began the monastic life, and therein passed a dozen years in superhuman austerity. He bound a rope round his waist till the flesh was putrefied. He ate but once in seven days, and, when God led him to a solitary life, kept fasts of forty days. Thirty-seven years he spent on the top of pillars, exposed to heat and cold, day and night adoring the majesty of God. Perfection was all in all to St. Simeon; the means nothing, except in so far as God chose them for him. The solitaries of Egypt were suspicious of a life so new and so strange, and they sent one of their number to bid St. Simeon come down from his pillar and return to the common life. In a moment the Saint made ready to descend; but the Egyptian religious was satisfied with this proof of humility. "Stay," he said, "and take courage; your way of life is from God."
Cheerfulness, humility, and obedience set their seal upon the austerities of St. Simeon. The words which God put into his mouth brought crowds of heathens to baptism and of sinners to penance. At last, in the year 460, those who watched below noticed that he had been motionless three whole days. They ascended, and found the old man's body still bent in the attitude of prayer, but his soul was with God. Extraordinary as the life of St. Simeon may appear, it teaches us two plain and practical lessons: First, we must constantly renew within ourselves an intense desire for perfection. Secondly, we must use with fidelity and courage the means of perfection God points out.
Reflection.—St. Augustine says: "This is the business of our life: by effort and by toil, by prayer and supplication, to advance in the grace of God, till we come to that height of perfection in which with clean hearts we may behold God."
Enter our final Christmas give-a-way below!
It's a surprise! We are giving away three gifts today in honor of the Epiphany tomorrow and the three gifts which the Magi brought to our Lord. Enter this one quick as it will end tomorrow when we announce the winners of all of our 12 Days of Christmas give-aways. May you all have a blessed night!
... a great convert to the Faith.
Lives of the Saints
, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. 1894
January 4.—ST. TITUS, Bishop.
TITUS was a convert from heathenism, a disciple of St. Paul, one of the chosen companions of the Apostles in his journey to the Council of Jerusalem, and his fellow-laborers in many apostolic missions. From the Second Epistle which St. Paul sent by the hand of Titus to the Corinthians we gain an insight into his character and understand the, strong affection which his master bore him. Titus had been commissioned to carry out a twofold office needing much firmness, discretion, and charity. He was to be the bearer of a severe rebuke to the Corinthians, who were giving scandal and were wavering in their faith; and at the same time he was to put their charity to a further test by calling upon them for abundant alms for the church at Jerusalem. St. Paul meanwhile was anxiously awaiting the result. At Troas he writes, "I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus, my brother." He set sail to Macedonia. Here at last Titus brought the good news. His success had been complete. He reported the sorrow, the zeal, the generosity of the Christians, till the Apostle could not contain his joy, and sent back to them his faithful messenger with the letter of comfort from which we have quoted. Titus was finally left as a bishop in Crete, and here he, in turn, received the epistle which bears his name, and here at last he died in peace.
The mission of Titus to Corinth shows us how well the disciple caught the spirit of his master. He knew how to be firm and to inspire respect. The Corinthians, we are told, "received him with fear and trembling." He was patient and painstaking. St. Paul "gave thanks to God, Who had put such carefulness for them in the heart of Titus." And these gifts were enhanced by a quickness to detect and call out all that was good in others, and by a joyousness which overflowed upon the spirit of St. Paul himself, who "abundantly rejoiced in the joy of Titus."Reflection
.—Saints win their empire over the hearts of men by their wide and affectionate sympathy. This was the characteristic gift of St. Titus, as it was of St. Paul, St-Francis Xavier, and many others.
Don't forget to enter the other 10 give aways! After today there is one more give away left and Sunday we will announce the winners of the 12 days of Christmas give aways! Please make sure to share with your friends and family. A blessed 11th day of Christmas!
On the first day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, Himself! Blessed be the Name of Jesus our Lord and Redeemer!2nd Day of Christmas3rd Day of Christmas4th Day of Christmas5th Day of Christmas6th Day of Christmas7th Day of Christmas8th Day of Christmas9th Day of Christmas10th Day of Christmas
Enter today's give away!
Today there will be three winners, each will win a copy of the Novena for Conversions
From the publisher's site:
"By Albert A. Murray, C.S.P. Imprimatur, 1949. Compiled and arranged for private and congregational use. The most beautiful way of showing Almighty God how grateful you are for the gift of the Catholic Faith is by helping to share it with others. It has been said that the most divine of divine works is to cooperate with God in the salvation of a soul. This opportunity is open to all, including the laity. This booklet was compiled to stimulate interest in conversions and as a practical prayer aid. Converts come into the Church through prayer, hence this booklet can be of immense help. 32 page booklet."
... the most Holy Name of Jesus.
Today's post comes from the book Catholic Life, Imprimatur 1908, and is listed for the New Year day but has such a lovely description of the Holy Name of Jesus we thought it best to share it, this second day of the New Year when the Church holds the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
"The Holy Name of Jesus justifies the sinner, delights the just, supports those who are tempted, augments grace for the just, and beatifies all that call upon it."
- St. Thomas
The ecclesiastical name for this day is the Feast of the Circumcision. It was instituted in honour of our Lord's receiving, on the eighth day after His birth, the mark of God's covenant with Abraham. The reception of this Sacrament of the Old Law was what distinguished God's chosen people from the rest of mankind, and was a figure of Baptism, which in the New Law distinguishes Christians from pagans and others.
The Divine Child was exempt from the ceremony, which was a remedy for sin, because He was Sanctity itself; but He submitted to it, having taken upon Himself the figure of sinful man, and to teach us respect and obedience to the laws of God and the Church. He also submitted to it in order to show that He was descended from Abraham, and thus fulfilled the
promise made of old to that Patriarch that the Messiah should be born of his race.
On that occasion He received the name of Jesus, which signifies Saviour, in accordance with the command of the angel to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph.
On this day we ought to repeat frequently the 'Divine Praises' in reparation for the many times the Holy Name is used irreverently. We can resolve, too, that in future, whenever in the streets or other places, we hear the Holy Name insulted, we will raise our hats and say, "Blessed be the Name of Jesus," and thus send reparation at once to the throne of God. The Litany of Jesus may also be said, with the view of obtaining a great increase of respect, love for, and confidence in Him. We ought also to thank God for conferring on us, without any merit on our part, the grace of Baptism,
conferred, too, at a time when we could not thank Him.
Let us renew our Baptismal vows with great fervour, especially as it happens to be the first day of the new year, and make firm resolutions
to avoid sin and to practice virtue more steadfastly than in the past. In the case of habitual sins we must try to find out the causes and remove them. We can more easily do this if we impress deeply on our minds the unspeakable value of the grace of God.
It was to give or increase it that the Sacraments were instituted. It was to preserve it that the Commandments were ordained, and it is to deprive us of it that the devil watches us and attacks us so frequently and violently.
"Blest Name that is rest and a shelter,
And light to the heart perplexed;
In this life, my last word and dearest,
My rapturous first in the next."
Genesius was a pagan Roman comedian. He was so skilled in his art that he was the idol of the Romans, and always drew an immense multitude of spectators. Public rejoicings were going on, and the Emperor Diocletian came to the capital in great state. Amongst the entertainments prepared for him was a stage performance.
Genesius, who was aware of the hatred of the Prince against the Christians, prepared a mock ceremony to ridicule the Sacrament of Baptism. He made his appearance in the theatre on a bed, pretending to be sick, and asked
to be baptized, so that he might have a happy death.
All this being done in comedy, excited the laughter of the people. Two actors then came forward, one dressed as a priest, the other as an exorcist, and said to Genesius, with mock gravity: 'My child, wherefore didst though send for us?" Genesius, suddenly changed by a miracle of grace, answered seriously: "Because I desire to receive the grace of Jesus
Christ, and by holy regeneration to obtain remission of my sins."
The ceremonies of Baptism were then gone through. When the white robe, the mark of the newly baptized, was put on him, the soldiers took him bound before the Emperor to be interrogated. Diocletian enjoyed the whole thing very much, and, to make the play more real, pretended to be very angry, and asked Genesius: 'Are you a Christian?' Genesius replied in
an inspired tone: "Hear me, O Emperor. Formerly, when I so much as heard the name of Jesus Christ uttered, I trembled with rage. I detested those among my relatives who professed the Christian religion. I studied the rights of Christians solely to scoff at them. But the moment the water of Baptism touched my flesh, my heart was changed, and I answered sincerely to the questions put to me. I saw a troop of angels over me, who read out of a book all the sins I had committed since childhood.Then, having plunged the book into the water, they showed it to me, whiter than snow, the writing being effaced. Do you, then, O mighty Emperor, and you, O Romans, believe with me that Jesus Christ is the Lord, and that He is
worthy of our adoration, and try also to obtain His mercy." The Emperor, equally surprised and irritated, first ordered him to be beaten with rods. Then he handed him over to the perfect Plautius to compel him to sacrifice to the idols. Genesius was stretched on the rack, and had his sides burnt with torches. Many other tortures were tried in vain.
The martyr constantly repeated: "There is no other Lord like Him Who appeared to me. I adore and love Him with my whole soul; though I had a thousand lives to lose, nothing could separate me from Him. Never-no, never shall torments take Jesus from my mouth and heart. I feel the deepest sorrow for all my past errors, and for having commenced so late to
serve Him." Seeing that his eloquence was making an impression on the people, the Emperor ordered his head to be cut off.
Today's Give A Way!
3 The Wonders of the Holy Name
From the Publisher's site
"This booklet is lovingly dedicated to the Sweet Mother of Jesus. No one loves the Name of Jesus as She does. The Holy Name of Jesus is, first of all, an all-powerful prayer. Our Lord Himself solemnly promises that whatever we ask the Father in His Name we shall receive. God never fails to keep His word. When, therefore, we say Jesus let us ask God for all we need with absolute confidence of being heard. 36 page booklet, Impr 1947."
... another champion of Christ Our Lord though the first this week not a martyr.
Liturgical Year - Christmas Vol. 1By: Dom Gueranger Imprimatur 1927
So far, the only ones we have seen standing round the Crib of our Jesus have been Martyrs: Stephen, overwhelmed with the shower of stones; John, the Martyr in heart, who survived his fiery torture; the Holy Innocents, massacred by the sword; Thomas, murdered in his cathedral; these are the champions of Christ, who keep guard in the palace of Bethlehem. Yet all Christians are not called to be Maryrs. Besides this countelss battalion of the King's favourite soldiers, there are other troops of sainted heros which form the heavenly army; and amongst these there are the Confessors, who conquered the world without shedding their blood in the combat. Through the place of honour in the service of the King belongs to the Martyrs, yet did the Confessors flight manfully for the glory of his name and the spreading of his Kindom. The palm is not in their hands, but they are crowned with the crown of justice, and Jesus, who gave it to them, has made it be part of his own glory that they should be near his throne.
The Church would therefore grace this glorious Christmas Octave with the name of one of her children, who should represent at Bethlehem the whole class of her unmartyred Saints. She chose a Confessor - St. Sylvester: a Confessor who governed the Church of Rome; and therefore the universal Church; a Pontiff whose reign was long and peaceful; a Servant of JEsus Christ adorened with every virtue, who was sent to edify and guide the world immediately after those fearful combats that had lasted for three hundred years, in which millions of Christians had gained victory by martyrdom, under the leadership of thirty Popes- predecessors of St. Sylvester - and they, too, all Martyrs.
So that Sylvester is messenger of the Peace
which Christ came to give to the world, of which the Angels sang on Christmas Night. He is the friend of Constantine; he confirms the Council of Nicaea; he organizes the discipline of the Church for the new era on which she is now entering: the era of Peace. His predecessors in the See of Peter imagined JEsus in his sufferings; Sylvester represented Jesus in his triumph. His appearance during this Octave reminds us that the divine Child who lies wrapped in swaddling-clothes, and is the object of Herod's persecution, is, notwithstanding all these humiliations, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the world to come
. (Isa. ix. 6.)
FIND DOM GUERANGER'S STORY OF ST. SYLVESTER OVER AT ALL THE SAINTS AND PETER AND PAUL!
Lives of the Saints
, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. 1894
December 31.—ST. SYLVESTER, Pope.
SYLVESTER was born in Rome toward the close of the third century. He was a young priest when the persecution of the Christians broke out under the tyrant Diocletian. Idols were erected at the corners of the streets, in the market-places, and over the public fountains, so that it was scarcely possible for a Christian to go abroad without being put to the test of offering sacrifice, with the alternative of apostasy or death. During this fiery trial, Sylvester strengthened the confessors and martyrs, God preserving his life from many dangers. In 312 a new era set in. Constantine, having triumphed under the " standard of the Cross," declared himself the protector of the Christians, and built them splendid churches. At this juncture Sylvester was elected to the chair of Peter, and was thus the first of the Roman Pontiffs to rule the flock of Christ in security and peace. He profited by these blessings to renew the discipline of the Church, and in two great Councils confirmed her sacred truths. In the Council of Arles he condemned the schism of the Donatists; and in that of Nicæa, the first general Council of the Church, he dealt Arianism its death-blow by declaring that Jesus Christ is the true and very God. Sylvester died A. D. 335.
Today's 12 days of Christmas Give A Way!
Today we are giving away a copy of the Illustrated Explanation of the Commandments
. This is one of the first books we are giving away that I haven't actually read yet though my in-laws tell me it is the most wonderful book they have read on the commandments! They have also made comments about how there was so much more involved in this and that commandment that they never realized. This little book is on my 'to read' pile and I would love to hear from the person who win's what they think of it!
From the publisher's website
: "A Complete and Thorough Exposition of the Commandments of God and of the Church. With Numerous Examples From Holy Scripture, The Fathers, and Other Sources. With Reflection and a Practice on Each Commandment. Originally printed by Benziger Brothers in 1897. From the Introduction: "Eternal salvation does not depend on faith alone, but also in keeping the Commandments. " This book is the most complete, the most thorough and the most enjoyable that I have ever read on this important subject. Imprimatur, 1897."
GIVE A WAY starts 12/29 at 12 AM
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