Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Top Five (5) Traditional Catholic Churches of Chicago
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Compared to all other cities in the United States, Chicago has more Tridentine Latin Masses each Sunday than anywhere else.  In fact, Chicago serves as an important base for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a traditional religious order that only offers the Traditional Mass, with most of their US apostolates in driving distance from Chicago.

In no particular order, here are the 5 Most Traditional Catholic Church of Chicago:

1. St. John Cantius (Diocesan)

St. John Cantius is known as one of the gems of Catholic Tradition in the Conciliar Church.  The building itself has a rich history - it was saved from near closing and has blossomed into a community of vibrant Faith, Tradition, and Devotion.  The building is known for its beauty, the Liturgies are among some of the most ornate in the City, and the use of Sacred Polyphany and Orchestral High Masses make this a truly unique parish of Chicago.









2. Shrine of Christ the King (ICKSP)

The Shrine, like St. John Cantius, was near closing - in fact, the Shrine of Christ the King was slated for demolition after a fire ravished the building.  As the neighbor decayed, the former St. Gelatius Church, which was home to the National Novena to St. Therese on each Tuesday of the week, was all but certainly lost.  In 2006, the building was entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King by then Cardinal of Chicago, Cardinal George.  As a result of the order's dedication, the building is being restored and the Faithful who attend the Shrine assist at one of the few locations to only offer Tridentine Masses - even during the Triduum.  The Order's use of traditions ranging from Candlemas Processions, Blessings of Wine on the Feast of St. John, Blessings of Epiphany Water, and the like make this one of the few places to regularly and publicly use the Rituale Romanum.  The vibrant parish life offers several weekly evening Masses as well as Masses in the evening usually on all 1st Class Feasts, which is a true rarity!  With powerful preaching and doctrinally sound catechesis, the Shrine of Christ the King has earned a place in our Top 5 List.

 Older Image: Source Unknown
 
Older Image: Source Unknown

 Older Image: Source Unknown
 
Solemn High Mass on Christmas Day

Blessing of Wine for Feast of St. John
 Blessing of the Wine on the Feast of St. John

3. St. Mary of Perpetual Help (Diocesan)

St. Mary of Perpetual Help is a remarkable structure visible from Interstate 55.  Its huge dome pierces the skyline of the south side of Chicago in the Bridgeview neighbor and calls all to honor Almighty God.  The Church offers a weekly Tridentine High Mass on Sundays at 8:30 AM, the earliest Tridentine High Mass offered on a Sunday in the city.  The inside of the Church is vibrantly beautiful with many statues, icons, and images.  The high altar of the Church is one of the most grand high altars in Chicago and made of some of the highest quality marble - only St. Adalberts Church might claim to have higher quality marble (though no Tridentine Mass is offered there).  St. Mary's offers Confession before each Mass that are infrequently attended making it quick and easy to obtain Confession - not a commonality in the more traditional Churches. With beautiful music and clear sermons, this parish could be much busier than it typically is.  It's a treasure and all Catholics of Chicago should make their way here for an 8:30 Sunday High Mass.

 Note: Low altar is removed for all Latin Masses.






4. St. Odilo/National Shrine of the Poor Souls (Diocesan)

As the National Shrine of the Poor Souls, the Faithful who attend Mass here receive a particular indulgence.  The Church, while featuring some model art and a "low altar", has some truly unique features - a life-sized and bloody depiction of our Lord after he was taken down from the Cross in a separate chapel.  The Church also has sevearl side altars and candles throughout in honor of the Poor Souls - you'll see Traditional Altar missals on them as well.  The Church offers a Sunday Tridentine Mass at 9:30 AM and has a very beautiful schola.  Only downsize - Confessions are not offered immediately before each Mass, like the other places on this list.  But don't let that stop you from making a visit to St. Odilo's and praying for the poor souls at the Sunday Latin High Mass.  And be ready for Fr. Brankin's inspiring, clear, and unabashedly Catholic sermons.  Of all of the sermons offered on a given Sunday at a Tridentine Mass, Fr. Brankin's are among the very best each and every week.






5. Our Lady Immaculate (SSPX)

The Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, was the catalyst for Traditional Catholicism in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council.  Without the Society, it is likely that the Tridentine Mass would have vanished from the earth.  This particular chapel of the Society is located near one of the Society's few priories - this prior is unique as it is the home of one of the four bishops of the Society - Bishop Tissier de Mallerais.  The Chapel itself is a former protestant building that has been turned into a Catholic Church.  It features an impressive high altar.  Unique among the churches of Chicago, it is the only one to regularly feature a blessing of religious articles after both Masses on the Second Sunday of the month.  So bring your candles, rosaries, images, and anything else that needs blessed.  The chapel also has monthly devotions to Our Lady of Sorrows and the pastor is not afraid to speak candidly on the crisis in the world and the need for Catholics to stand up for the Truth.  You won't hear any psedu-protestantism here.  This chapel is a home for unabasedly Catholic teaching and is home to a truly multicultural congregation of Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and others - showing that the Church truly transcends cultures.  And yet, all come together and worship in a common tongue of Latin. 

 Image Source: FRANK PINC/Staff Photographer via oakpark.com

Image Source: SSPX Website
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Sunday, January 25, 2015
The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard: Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society
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The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard: Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society

I was recently contacted by the author of a new book entitled The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard: Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society. It's an interpretation of her vision of the last days. There are few books about St. Hildegard that are written from a Catholic perspective. Also the author admits, "Credible books on Catholic prophecy are few as they tend to collect and collate various prophecies, some anonymous, and over-speculate on their meaning. This book takes a single prophecy from an original manuscript and compares it to modern history. I uncover a remarkable resemblance between them."

Mr. Turner's work is insightful and compelling.  It is an easy read, taking only a few hours to get through.  The author approaches his work by presenting the facts, which do show a correlation between the visions of St. Hiledgard and the time leading up to the end of the world.  Most importantly, the author does not force these conclusions; rather, he presents objective facts and thereby after establishing facts does he then even attempt to draw a conclusion.

All in all, its a good book, presenting the facts which indicate that our world is in the midst of the prophecies of St. Hildegard on the last ages of the world.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Traditional Catholic Prayers for the Week (Octave) of Prayer for Christian Unity
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PRAYERS FOR THE CHURCH UNITY OCTAVE

January 18 through 25 Official Octave Prayer (to be recited daily)


ANTIPHON: That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee; that they also may
be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. (John 17:21)

V. I say unto thee that thou art Peter,
R. And upon this Rock I will build My Church.

Let us pray: O Lord Jesus Christ, Who saidst untoThine Apostles peace I leave with you, My
peace I give unto you, regard not our sins, but the faith of Thy Church, and vouchsafe to grant
unto Her that peace and unity which are agreeable to Thy Will Who livest and reignest, God,
forever and ever Amen

First Day of the Octave (January 18th) The Feast of St. Peter's Chair at Rome.

Intention of the Day: the return of the "other sheep" to the One Fold of Christ.

Prayer for the Return of the Other Sheep

Priest: Let us pray: O God, in Thy mercy thou dost set aright those who have gone astray and
Thou dost save those whom Thou hast gathered together. We beseech Thee to pour down upon
all Christian people the grace of union with Thee, so that putting aside disunion and attaching
themselves to the true shepherd of Thy Church, they may be able to serve Thee humbly and
lovingly. Through Christ Our Lord. People: Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: O Immaculate Virgin, who wast preserved by a singular privilege of grace
from original sin, look down with pity upon our separated brethren, who are still thy children,
and call them back to the Center of Unity. Many have, even from afar, preserved a most tender
devotion towards thee, O Mother; reward them for their devotion by obtaining for them the grace
of conversion. Victorious over the powers of hell from the very first moment of thine existence,
renew, now that the necessity is more urgent, thy triumphant progress, as in ages past. Glorify
thy Son, O Mother, by bringing back to the One Fold His straying sheep. And may it be thy
glory, O Virgin Mary, to banish error from the earth, to put an end to disunity and to restore
peace to the world. Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."

Prayer to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles

Priest: O glorious St. Peter, as a reward for thy lively and generous faith, thy profound and
sincere humility, and thy ardent love, thou wast singled out by Our Lord and endowed with most
special privileges. Thou wast also constituted Prince of the Apostles with primacy over the
whole Church, of which thou wert made the Rock and Foundation. Obtain for us, we pray, a
lively faith and an ardent zeal so that all of us will labor for the return of our separated brethren.
May the desire of Our Divine Redeemer, that there might be but "one Fold and one Shepherd,"
be for us, as it wast for thee, the inspiration to work and pray for the return of all those who are
still outside the Fold. Strengthened by Divine Grace, may they be led back speedily to the bosom
of our common Mother, the Catholic Church. People: Amen.

Second Day of the Octave (January 19th)

Intention of the day: The return of Oriental Separatists to Communion with the Apostolic See

Prayer for the Reunion of the East and West

Priest: Let us Pray. O Lord, Who hast united all nations in the confession of Thy name, we pray
Thee for the Christian peoples of the East. Mindful of the eminent place they have held in Thy
Church, we beg of Thee to inspire them to occupy it again, so as to form with us one single fold.
Grant that they, together with ourselves, may be penetrated with the teaching of those holy
doctors of theirs, who are also our Fathers in the Faith. Grant us that the spirit of peace and
charity, which is the mark of Thy presence among the faithful, may hasten the day in which their
prayers may be united with ours, so that every people and every tongue may acknowledge and
glorify Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son. People: Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: O Immaculate Virgin Mary, we thy servants and children, full of confidence in
thy powerful protection, humbly beseech thee to implore of the Holy Ghost the abundance of His
gifts for our brethren, the separated Christians of the East. Enlightened by His vivifying grace,
may they return to the bosom of the Catholic Church. We pray also that our Oriental brethren,
once more united to us by the indissoluble bonds of the same faith and the same charity, may,
with us, glorify by the practice of good works the most august Trinity, and at the same time pay
homage to thee, O Virgin Mother of God, full of grace, now and forever. Amen.
Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."

Prayer to the Fathers of the Eastern Church

Priest: O glorious martyrs, Saint Ignatius of Antioch and Saint Polycarp of Smyrna, and thou,
illustrious Doctors of the Church, Saint Athanasius, Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Basil, who
worked and suffered so much for the purity of faith and the salvation of the souls entrusted to thy
paternal care, look down from heaven upon thy beloved Eastern countries, which, forgetful of
thy teaching and example, live now separated from the body of the true Church. By thy powerful
intercession, O holy Eastern Fathers, obtain for all separated Oriental Christians the grace to
return to the Center of Unity, and to form with us one and the same family, in Christ Jesus, Our
Lord. People: Amen.

Third Day of the Octave (January 20th)

Intention of the day: The conversion of the Anglicans.

Prayer for the Conversion of England

Priest: Let us pray. O Jesus, Good Shepherd, look down benignly upon the great and noble
English nation. Converted to Thee through the labors of St. Augustine and his companions, it
was for many centuries rich in fruits of faith and sanctity. So devoted was this nation to Thy holy
and Immaculate Mother that it was known throughout Christendom as the "Dowry of Mary."
When it was separated from Thee in cruel fashion, many hundreds of its people willingly shed
their blood in testimony of their loyalty to Thee and Thy Church. O Loving Shepherd of souls,
recall this great nation once more to the unity of Thy Church, and grant peace of soul to all those
now separated from Thy flock. People: Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and our own most gentle Queen and
Mother, look down in mercy upon England, thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and
trust in thee. Through thee it was that Jesus our Savior and our Hope was given unto the world;
and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou
didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our separated
English brethren, that they may be united with us in the One True Fold. Pray for us all, dear
Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God together
with Thee in our heavenly home. Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."

Prayer to the English Martyrs

Priest: O Glorious Martyrs of England, Saint Thomas More, Saint John Fisher and thy
companions, who, to sustain the voice of the Supreme Head of the True Church against the
decrees of your rulers, didst willingly and courageously suffer death, pray now that the great
nation to which thou didst belong may once more return to the bosom of the Church from which
it was so cruelly wrested. People: Amen.

Fourth Day of the Octave (January 21st)

Intention of the day: That the Lutherans and other Protestants of continental Europe may find their way back to Holy Church.

Prayer for the Conversion of Protestants

Priest: Let us pray. O most beloved Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast redeemed the world at the price
of Thy Most Precious Blood, look down in Thy mercy upon the Christian peoples of Europe,
who are still outside Thy Fold, and let the full blaze of the light of Thy truth shine upon them.
Multiply, O God, the true messengers of Thy Gospel, inspire them with fervor, make them
fruitful in good works, and bless with Thy grace their zeal and their labors, so that the separated
Christians of Europe may be fully converted to Thee, their Creator and Redeemer. Recall the
stray sheep to Thy Fold, and the wanderers to the bosom of Thy one true Church. Hasten, O
dearest Savior, the happy advent of Thy Kingdom on earth, draw all men to the treasures of Thy
Sacred Heart, so that all may share in the priceless benefits of Thy Redemption in the eternal
happiness of Heaven. People: Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: O Mary, Mother of Mercy and Refuge of Sinners, we beseech thee to look
with pitying eyes upon the Protestant peoples of Europe. O Seat of Wisdom, enlighten their
minds, so that they may come to know that the Catholic Church is the one, True Church of
Christ. Complete their conversion by obtaining for them the grace to believe every truth of our
Holy Faith. Once more united to us by the bonds of divine charity, they will sing with us forever
thy glorious praises. "Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, thou alone hast destroyed all error in the whole
world." Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."

Prayer to St. Agnes on her feast

Priest: O singular example of virtue, glorious Saint Agnes, the lively faith that animated thee
from thy childhood rendered thee so acceptable to God that thou didst merit the crown of
martyrdom. Obtain for us, we pray, the grace to preserve entire in our hearts the Catholic Faith,
and to seek the conversion to the faith of our Christian brethren now separated from us, so that
all may become Christians not only in word but also in deed. Pray for us today that, as we
confess Jesus openly in the face of men, Jesus may give favorable testimony of us before His
Father in heaven. People: Amen.

Fifth Day of the Octave (January 22nd)

Intention of the Day: That Protestants in America may become one in union with the Chair of Saint Peter.

Prayer for the Conversion of America

Priest: Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, grant unto all Thy servants, but especially to the people
of our own nation, the grace of being fully united to Thee in Thy Church. O Divine Redeemer, of
Whom the prophet sang "all the kings of the earth shall adore Him and all the nations shall serve
Him," extend Thy Kingdom over the entire human race, but especially over our own beloved
country. Grant in Thy mercy that the people of our land may be converted to Thee, and humbly
and lovingly serve Thee. This we ask, O Savior, through the intercession of Thy Immaculate
Mother, the benevolent patroness and protectress of our country. People: Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: Most Holy Virgin, who wast pleasing to the Lord and became His Mother,
Immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look down kindly upon us poor sinners. We
now implore thy powerful patronage for all the people of our beloved land. The wicked serpent,
against whom the first curse was hurled, continues fiercely to attack and ensnare the unhappy
children of Eve. O Blessed Mother, our Queen and our advocate, who crushed the head of the
enemy from the very first moment of thine existence, receive from us the prayers which we
implore thee to present at the throne of God. Pray that we may never fall into the snares laid out
for us, and that we may all arrive at the port of salvation. May the Church and Christian society,
now in so many dangers, sing once again the hymn of deliverance, of victory, and of peace.
Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."

Prayer to Saint John the Baptist

Priest: O most zealous messenger of God, Saint John the Baptist, while thou didst work no
miracles on others, thou didst draw after thee crowds, to prepare them to receive Our Savior
worthily and to listen to His heavenly teaching. This thou didst do sole!y by the example of thy
holy life and the practice of every good work. Pray that we also may receive the grace to lead
many souls to God, but, above all, the souls of those who are still outside the One Fold in our
own beloved country. People: Amen.

Sixth Day of the Octave (January 23rd)

Intention of the Day: The return to the Sacraments of lapsed Catholics.

Prayer for Lapsed Catholics:

Priest: Let us pray. O Almighty Father, Who desirest not the death of the sinner,but rather that he
be converted and live pour out upon us thy mercy and listen to the prayers of Thy servants.
Soften the hearts of those children of Thine who have strayed from the true paths, which Thou
didst establish for their salvation. They are now forgetful of their duties as Catholics and pursue
only the transitory pleasures of the world. Grant that they may speedily return to the practice of
every Christian virtue, so that their fives may shine with the integrity of faith, the fervor of piety,
and the ardor of charity. Restore all of them to Thy Sacraments and to the life of Thy grace,
through the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Thy Son, Our Savior Jesus Christ. People:
Amen

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: O Mother of Jesus Christ and our Mother, we pray thee to obtain for us the
grace of serving God faithfully in this world that we may have the happiness of loving Him
eternally in heaven. Hear the prayers that we address to thee, O Mother; defend us against the
enemies of our salvation, and against our own infirmities. Obtain for us pardon for our sins and
perseverance in the determination never to fall away again. We implore thee to take under thy
protection those who have abandoned the practice of their Catholic duties. May they be
converted again and become faithful servants of thy Son. O Mother of Mercy, be for us all "the
cause of our joy" and show unto us Jesus Christ, thy Son, as thy gift to us both for time and for
eternity. Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."

Prayer to Saint Peter

Priest: O glorious Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles and firm foundation of the Church, obtain
for us a lively faith, which we may openly and fearlessly profess in its integrity and purity, even,
if need be, to the shedding of our blood. Obtain for us also a true love of our Holy Mother the
Church, and make us zealous in the fulfillment of our religious duties. We pray to you today to
intercede for those who have wandered from the Church which Christ established for their
salvation. May they receive from Almighty God, through your intercession, the grace to return
speedily to their Father's love, so that they may enjoy here on earth peace and tranquillity, and
one day attain everlasting happiness in heaven. People: Amen.

Seventh Day of the Octave (January 24th)

Intention of the day: Conversion of the Jews.

Prayer for the Conversion of the Jews:

Priest: Let us pray. O God, Who dost manifest Thy mercy and compassion towards all peoples,
have mercy upon the Jewish race, once Thy Chosen People. Thou didst select them alone out of
all the nations of the world to be the custodians of Thy sacred teachings. From them Thou didst
raise up Prophets and Patriarchs to announce the coming of the Redeemer. Thou didst will that
Thine only Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior, should be a Jew according to the flesh, born
of a Jewish maiden in the Land of Promise. Listen to the prayers we offer Thee today for the
conversion of the Jewish people. Grant that they may come safely to a knowledge and love of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah foretold by their Prophets, and that they may walk with us in
the way of salvation. People: Amen.

Prayer of the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion

Priest and People: God of all goodness and Father of mercies, we beseech Thee, through the
Immaculate Heart of Mary, and by the intercession of the Patriarchs and holy Apostles, to cast a
look of compassion upon the children of Israel, that they may be brought to the knowledge of our
only Savior, Jesus Christ, and may partake of the precious fruits of the Redemption. "Father,
forgive them, for they know not what they do." Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."
Prayer to Saint Paul

Priest: O holy Apostle Paul of Tarsus, from thy glorious place in heaven, look down upon the
race thou didst love so well. True it is that many of them remained deaf to thy ringing words of
truth, and that some of them even stirred up persecution against thee and thy fellow believers, but
thou wert so devoted to thy people that thou didst will to become a castaway for the sake of their
conversion. Now that thou art glorious in heaven, obtain for thy brethren the grace of repentance
and conversion, so that they may finally take their rightful place in the great family of the
Catholic Church. People: Amen. Eighth Day of the Octave (January 25th)

Eighth Day of the Octave (January 25th) Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

Intention of the day: The Missionary Conquest of the World for Christ.

Prayer for the Conversion of Our Brethren

Priest: Let us pray. Eternal God, Creator of all things, remember that the souls of unbelievers
have been created by Thee, and formed to Thine own image and likeness. Behold, O Lord, how
to Thy dishonor hell is being filled with these same souls. Remember, O God, that for their
salvation Thy Son Jesus Christ underwent a most cruel death. Do not permit, O Lord, that Thy
Divine Son be any longer despised by unbelievers; but be appeased by the prayers of the Saints
and of the Church, the Spouse of Thy most holy Son, and forgetting their idolatry and unbelief,
grant that they may at last come to acknowledge Thy Son Jesus Christ, Who is our Salvation,
Life and Resurrection, through Whom we have been saved and redeemed; to Whom be glory
forever and ever. People: Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: O Blessed Mother of God, whose stainless heart is full of mercy and
compassion, look down in pity upon those who have not yet heard the tidings of the Gospel.
Remember that they are the work of the hands of thy Son that they have been created in His
image and redeemed by His Most Precious Blood. Obtain for these poor brethren of ours the
knowledge of our Holy Faith, and the grace to love, embrace, and to practice it faithfully.
Intercede at the throne of the Most High, O Mother, that many more missionaries may be sent to
pagan lands, there to win souls for thy Divine Son. O Virgin Mother of God, pray that all of us
may soon be united in one and the same hope, and in one and the same love. Attentive to the
words of thy Divine Son, may we dwell in peace and happiness in the Church He instituted for
our salvation. Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."
Prayer to Saint Paul

Priest: O glorious Saint Paul, from a persecutor of the Christian name thou didst become an
Apostle of burning zeal, and in order that Jesus Christ might become known to the furthermost
bounds of the earth, thou didst joyfully suffer imprisonment, scourging, stoning, shipwreck, and
every kind of persecution. Obtain for us now the grace to pray at all times for those who have not
as yet been blessed with the gift of faith. Help us to use all our strength for the conversion of
those who have not as yet heard the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. People: Amen.
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Monday, January 19, 2015
Feast of Ss. Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum
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Let the just feast, and rejoice before God: and be delighted with gladness. * Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face. (Psalm 67:4,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Even though these holy saints lived and suffered marytrdom nearly 2,000 years ago, we would do well by recalling their holiness each year on their feastday of January 19th.  It is a modern error to regard only the most recent saints or most recent events as applicable to us - we can learn from the lives of all of the saints from all times.

The following lesson is given in the office:

Marius Persa, nobili loco natus, cum Martha conjuge pari nobilitate, et duobus filiis Audiface et Abachum, Romam venit Claudio imperatore, et Martyrum sepulchra veneraretur. Ibi Christianos in vincula conjectos fovebant, et opera ac facultatibus suis sustentabant, et Sanctorum corpora sepeliebant. Quam ob rem comprehensi omnes, cum nec implorum minis nec terrore commoverentur, ut diis sacrificarent; primum fustibus debilitati, deinde funibus attracti, tum admotis candentibus laminis combusti, et ungulis ferreis excarnificati sut. Postremo præcisis manibus, et ad collum alligatis, ducti per mediam urbem, via Cornelia ad tertium decimum ab Urbe milliarium, in eum locum, qui Nymphe dicebatur, necantur: ac primum Marthæ, quæ virum ac filios ad supplicia pro Jesu Christi fide constanter perferenda, vehementer fuerat cohortata; mox ceteris in eadem arenaria cervices abscinduntur, eorumque corpora conjiciuntur in ignem. Quæ semiusta, Felicitas matrona Romana nobilis colligenda et in suo prædio sepelienda curavit.
Marius, a Persian of noble birth, came to Rome, under the emperor Claudius, to venerate the sepulchers of the martyrs in the company of his wife Martha, a noble lady, and their two sons Audifax and Abachum. There they ministered to the Christians in prison, maintaining them both by their wealth and their own personal service, and buried the bodies of the saints. They were all accordingly arrested, and since they could not be induced by fear or threats to sacrifice to the gods, they were first beaten with clubs, then dragged about with ropes, burnt with hot iron plates and torn with hooks. Lastly their hands were cut off and tied about their necks, and they were led through the city and by the Via Cornelia to the place called Nymphe, thirteen miles from Rome, where they were put to death. The first to die was Martha, who had earnestly exhorted her husband and sons to bear their suffering with constancy for the faith of Jesus Christ. Then the others were beheaded in the same sandpit, and their bodies were thrown into the fire. Felicitas, a noble Roman matron, took them when they were half burned and buried them in her own estate.
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Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Traditional Mass Propers (1962) for the Feast of the Epiphany
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For information on today's feast, besides these Proper Prayers, please click here.

INTROIT
Behold, the Lord, the Ruler, is come. He has dominion over all, and in His hand is power and might. Ps. 71:2. O God, with Your judgment endow the king, and with Your justice, the kings son. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O God, who by the star this day revealed Your only-begotten Son to all nations, grant that we, who know You now by faith, may be brought one day before the vision of Your majesty. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

LESSON
Isa. 60:1-6
Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes round about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord.

GRADUAL
All they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord. V. Arise and be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. Matt. 2:2 We have seen His star in the East and have come with gifts to worship the Lord. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
Matthew 2:1-12
Now when Jesus therefore 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 king 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 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, (here, genuflect) 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 country.


OFFERTORY
Ps. 71:10-11
The kings of Tharsis and the isles shall offer gifts; the kings of Arabia and Saba shall pay Him homage, all nations shall serve Him.

SECRET O Lord, look with favor upon the gifts offered by Your Church. It is not gold, frankincense, and myrrh that is offered now, but the King, God and Saviour, who was signified by these gifts, is Himself our Sacrifice and our Food, Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord; who lives and rules with You . . .

COMMUNION
Matthew 2:2
We have seen His star in the East and have come with gifts to worship the Lord.

POST COMMUNION - O Almighty God, grant that we may understand with pure minds the revelation of Christ which we here solemnly commemorate. Through Our Lord . . .

Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945
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Saturday, January 3, 2015
Catholic Resolutions 2015
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Each year I have made what I call "Catholic Resolutions."  These New Years Resolutions are not centered on losing weight, eating more healthy, or the like.  Rather, these resolutions each year are centered around my spiritual life.  I encourage all of you to make resolutions specifically geared on improving your own Faith life and your own knowledge of the Faith.  Ask yourself:

1. Do I know the Faith that I profess to believe in?  If not, how can I learn more?  For example, CatechismClass.com has an ideal Adult Course just for this purpose.
2. Am I truly living a Catholic life?  Am I learning more prayers?  Am I helping others to learn the Faith and live it out?  Do I regularly receive the Sacraments?
3. Do you struggle with certain sins or addictions?
4. Do you need to make more donations to Catholic organizations or pro-life charities?

This is the time of year to truly set Catholic Resolutions which will have eternal repercussions.

I will begin with reviewing my 2014 Resolutions:

2014 Catholic Resolutions

1.   Continue to pray the Rosary Daily
2.   Pray the Divine Office at least 1X Daily
3.   Network with 10 more Traditional Catholics
4.   Receive the rank of Squire in the Order of Knight of our Lady and make progress in my study towards the rank of Donate
5.   Bi-Weekly Confession to help conquer old habits

2014 Catholic Resolutions

1. Overall, I did well on the first goal.  I did not pray the Rosary daily but I did go through periods of time where I did and other weeks I managed to pray it 4-5 times.
2. I made strong progress in this from August to present.  (see point #4)
3. I made limited progress with this.  It is difficult to meet people in person due to timing and a host of other issues.  Last year when I was going to, I had situations where I got lost and another one where I got in an accident on the way.  But I did made at least electronic contact with more than 10 Traditional Catholics.
4. This goal was met in early August.
5. I did not always make bi-weekly Confession but I did not go more than one month without its reception.

So, now, here are my 2015 Catholic Resolutions

1.   Bi-Weekly Confession to help conquer old habits
2.   Progress in the the rank of Squire in the Order of Knight of our Lady and make progress in my study towards the rank of Donate.  This will include three parts:  a. Daily Divine Office recitation  b. Weekly Rosary for the order  c. Saturday Mass attendance
3.  Read 3 Books to help improve my own prayer life, with one of them being during Lent (as per the Rule of St. Benedict for his monks).

I encourage you to make Catholic Resolutions as well!
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Octave Day of St. John the Evangelist
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Coronation of the Virgin with St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. John the Evangelist, St. John the Baptist

Just as I mentioned yesterday on the Octave Day of St. Stephen, very little information is readily available on the Internet for the celebrations that were part of Catholic Calendar before the 1950s, when changes to the Missal became more profound.

In an effort to make available this spirituality, I will be posting the Traditional Mass Propers for the Octave Day of St. John the Evangelist, which was traditionally celebrated today.  Those interested in the Breviary for the Octave Day of St. John should click here.

For the first half of the 20th century, octaves were ranked in the following manner, which affected holding other celebrations within their time frames:

  • Privileged Octaves
    • Privileged Octaves of the First Order
      • Octave of Easter
      • Octave of Pentecost
    • Privileged Octaves of the Second Order
      • Octave of Epiphany
      • Octave of Corpus Christi
    • Privileged Octaves of the Third Order
      • Octave of Christmas
      • Octave of the Ascension
      • Octave of the Sacred Heart
  • Common Octaves
    • Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM
    • Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph
    • Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist 
    • Octave of Saints Peter and Paul
    • Octave of All Saints 
    • Octave of the Assumption of the BVM
  • Simple Octaves
    • Octave of St. Stephen
    • Octave of St. John the Apostle
    • Octave of the Holy Innocents 

INTROIT Ecclesiasticus 15: 5

In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory.. (Ps. 91: 2) It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy Name, O Most High. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat In the midst of the Church…

COLLECT

Of Thy goodness, O Lord, shine upon Thy Church, that, enlightened by the teachings of blessed John, Thy Apostle and Evangelist, she may attain to everlasting gifts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Commemoration of the Holy Innocents

O God, Whose praise the Innocents, Your martyrs, this day proclaimed, not by speaking, but by dying, put to death in us all the wickedness of sin, so that Your faith which our tongue professes may be proclaimed also by our life. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

Commemoration of St Thomas of Canterbury

God, for Whose Church the glorious Bishop Thomas fell by the swords of wicked men, grant, we beseech Thee, that all who implore his help may obtain the effect of their petition leading to salvation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.

EPISTLE Ecclesiasticus 15: 1-6

Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. He that feareth God will do good: and he that possesseth justice shall lay hold on her, and she will meet him as an honorable mother. With the bread of life and understanding she shall feed him and give him the water of wholesome wisdom to drink: and she shall be made strong in him, and he shall not be moved: and she shall hold him fast, and he shall not be confounded: and she shall exalt him among his neighbors, and in the midst of the Church she shall open his mouth, and shall fill him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and shall clothe him with a robe of glory. The Lord our God shall heap upon him a treasure of joy and gladness, and shall cause him to inherit an everlasting name.

GRADUAL/ALLELUIA  John 21: 23, 19

This saying therefore went abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die. And Jesus did not say: He should not die. V. But: So I will have him to remain until I come: follow thou Me.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (John 21: 24) This is that disciple who giveth testimony of these things: and we know that his testimony is true. Alleluia.

GOSPEL  John 21: 19-24

At that time Jesus said to Peter: Follow Me. Peter turning about saw that disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also leaned on His breast at supper and said: Lord, who is he that shall betray Thee? Him therefore when Peter had seen, he saith to Jesus: Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith to him: So I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee? Follow thou Me. This saying therefore went abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die. And Jesus did not say to him: He should not die; but: So I will have him to remain till I come: what is it to thee? This is that disciple who giveth testimony of these things, and hath written these things: and we know that he testimony is true.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 92: 15
The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall be multiplied like the cedar that is in Libanus.

SECRET

Receive, O Lord, the gifts we bring to Thee on the feast of him, by whose pleading we hope to be delivered. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

Commemoration of the Holy Innocents

Let not the gracious prayer of Your saints fail us, O Lord, but may it make our offerings acceptable to You and obtain for us Your mercy. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

Commemoration of St Thomas of Canterbury

Sanctify, O Lord, the offerings dedicated to Thee, and, by the intercession of blessed Thomas, Thy martyr and bishop, look upon us with mercy for the sake of them. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

PREFACE of the Apostles

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou woulds not desert Thy flock. O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying:

COMMUNICANTES For the Nativity of Our Lord

Communicating, and keeping this most holy day, on which the spotless virginity of blessed Mary brought forth a Savior to this world; and also reverencing the memory first of the same glorious Mary, ever Virgin, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ: as also of the blessed Apostles and Martyrs Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon, and Thaddeus; Linus, Cletus, Clement, Xystus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy Saints, through whose merits and prayers, grant that we may in all things be defended by the help of Thy protection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

COMMUNION ANTIPHON  John 21: 23
This saying therefore went abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die. And Jesus did not say: He should not die; but: So I will have him to remain until I come.

POSTCOMMUNION

We who have been refreshed by heavenly food and drink, humbly entreat Thee, O our God, that we may be strengthened also by the prayers of him, in whose commemoration we have received them. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.

Commemoration of the Holy Innocents

We have partaken, O Lord, of the dedicated gifts: may they , we beseech You, help us through the intercession of Your saints both for this life and life eternal. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

Commemoration of St Thomas of Canterbury

May this communion, O Lord, cleanse us from guilt and, by the intercession of blessed Thomas, Thy martyr and bishop, make us the companions of Him Who is our heavenly healing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
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Friday, January 2, 2015
Propers for the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
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For information on today's feast, besides these Proper Prayers, please click here.

INTROIT
At the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of the Father. Ps. 8:2. O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is Your name over all the earth! V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O God, it was You who conferred the name of Jesus upon Your only-begotten Son, the Savior of the world. Grant that by venerating His holy name on earth we may enjoy His presence in heaven. Through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

EPISTLE
Acts 4:8-12
In those days, Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said to them: "Ye princes of the people and ancients, hear. If we this day are examined concerning the good deed done to the infirm man, by what means he hath been made whole: Be it known to you all and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God hath raised from the dead, even by him, this man standeth here before you, whole. " This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved."

GRADUAL
Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations that we may give thanks to Your holy name and glory in praising You. V. You, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer. From eternity is Your name.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 144:21 My lips shall speak the praise of the Lord; let all men bless His holy name. Alleluia!

GOSPEL
Luke 2:21
At that time, after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Adoration of the Holy Name of Jesus - by El Greco

OFFERTORY
Ps. 85:12, 5
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forever. For You, O Lord, are sweet and mild, abounding in kindness to all who call upon You, alleluia!

SECRET May Your blessing, O most merciful God, which makes all creation flourish, sanctify this our sacrifice, which we offer You to the glory of the Name of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and may it be pleasing to Your majesty as an act of praise and be profitable to us for our salvation. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

COMMUNION
Ps. 85:9-10
All the nations You have made shall come and worship You, O Lord, and glorify Your name. For great You are and do wondrous deeds. You alone are God. Alleluia!

POST COMMUNION - O Almighty and eternal God, who created and redeemed us, graciously hear our petitions. Receive kindly and favorably this saving Sacrificial Victim, which we have offered to Your majesty in honor of the name of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Pour out Your grace upon us, that we may rejoice to see our names written in heaven under the glorious name of Jesus, who is the pledge of our eternal predestination. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945
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Octave Day of St. Stephen
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Very little information is readily available on the Internet for the celebrations that were part of Catholic Calendar before the 1950s, when changes to the Missal became more profound.  The 1962 Roman Catholic Missal does not include some of these older celebrations (e.g. the Octave Days for all Octaves except Christmas, Pentecost, and Easter).

In an effort to make available this spirituality, I will be posting the Traditional Mass Propers for the Octave Day of St. Stephen, which was traditionally celebrated today.  Those interested in the Breviary for the Octave Day of St. Stephen should click here.

For the first half of the 20th century, octaves were ranked in the following manner, which affected holding other celebrations within their time frames:

  • Privileged Octaves
    • Privileged Octaves of the First Order
      • Octave of Easter
      • Octave of Pentecost
    • Privileged Octaves of the Second Order
      • Octave of Epiphany
      • Octave of Corpus Christi
    • Privileged Octaves of the Third Order
      • Octave of Christmas
      • Octave of the Ascension
      • Octave of the Sacred Heart
  • Common Octaves
    • Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM
    • Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph
    • Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist 
    • Octave of Saints Peter and Paul
    • Octave of All Saints 
    • Octave of the Assumption of the BVM
  • Simple Octaves
    • Octave of St. Stephen
    • Octave of St. John the Apostle
    • Octave of the Holy Innocents 

INTROIT Psalms 118: 23, 86
For princes sat, and spoke against me: but thy servant was employed in thy justifications. All thy statutes are truth: they have persecuted me unjustly, do thou help me. (Ps. 118: 1) Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Repeat For princes sat…

COLLECT

O Almighty and everlasting God, Who didst consecrate the first-fruits of the martyrs in the blood of the blessed Levite Stephen: grant, we beseech Thee, that he may intercede for us, who entreated even for his persecutors, our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee. in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R.Amen.

Commemoration of St John

Of Thy goodness, O Lord, shine upon Thy Church, that, enlightened by the teachings of blessed John, Thy Apostle and Evangelist, she may attain to everlasting gifts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Commemoration of the Holy Innocents

O God, Whose praise the martyred innocents did this day proclaim, not by speaking, but by dying, do to death in us all the malice of sinfulness, that our lives may also proclaim Thy faith, which our tongues profess. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee. in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

EPISTLE Acts 6: 8-10; 7: 54-58

And Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people. Now there arose some, of that which is called the synagogue of the Libertines and of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit that spoke. Now hearing these things, they were cut to the heart: and they gnashed with their teeth at him. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And he said: Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. And they, crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears and with one accord ran violently upon him. And casting him forth without the city. they stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not his sin to their charge: And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord.

GRADUAL/ALLELUIA  Psalm 118: 23, 86, 117

Princes sat, and spoke against me: and the wicked persecuted me. V. Help me, O Lord my God: save me for Thy mercy’s sake. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Acts 7: 56) I see the Heavens opened, and Jesus standing on the right hand of the power of God. Alleluia.

GOSPEL  Matthew 23: 34-39

At that time Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees: “Behold I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes, and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: that upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Zacharias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. Amen I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not? Behold your house shall be left to you desolate. For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth, till you say: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Acts 6: 5; 7: 58

The Apostles chose Stephen to be a levitek, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost: whom the Jews stoned, invoking and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, alleluia.

SECRET

Receive, O Lord, our gifts, in commemoration of Thy Saints: that as suffering made them glorious, so our devotion may render us innocent. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God World without end. R.Amen.

Commemoration of St John

Receive, O Lord, the gifts we bring to Thee on the feast of him, by whose pleading we hope to be delivered. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

Commemoration of the Holy Innocents

Let not the gracious prayer of Thy saints fail us, O Lord, both to render our offerings acceptable to Thee and ever to obtain Thy pardon for us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God World without end. R.Amen.

PREFACE of the Nativity

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, for through the Mystery of the Word made flesh, the new light of Thy glory hath shone upon the eyes of our mind, so that while we acknowledge God in visible form, we may through Him be drawn to the love things invisible. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying:

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalms 97: 3
I see the Heavens opened, and Jesus standing on the right hand of the power of God: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, and lay not this sin to their charge.

POSTCOMMUNION

May the mysteries we have received, O Lord, help us, and through the intercession of blessed Stephen, Thy Martyr, establish us by Thine everlasting protection. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.

Commemoration of St John

We who have been refreshed by heavenly food and drink, humbly entreat Thee, O our God, that we may be strengthened also by the prayers of him, in whose commemoration we have received them. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.

Commemoration of the Holy Innocents

May the votive gifts, O Lord, of which we have partaken, through the intercession of the Saints gain for us help, both for this life and life eternal. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
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Thursday, January 1, 2015
Traditional Mass Propers: Octave Day of the Nativity
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Circumcision of our Lord by Guercino, 1646

For information on the spirituality and devotions for today's feast, not just the Mass Prayers, please click here.

Traditional Propers:

INTROIT
Isaiah 9:6
A Child is born to us, and a son is given to us; upon his shoulder is supreme sovereignty, and his name shall be called the Angel of great counsel.
Ps. 97:1. Sing a new canticle to the Lord, for He has done wondrous things.
V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT -  O God, it was through the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary that You bestowed the gift of eternal life upon mankind. Grant that we may feel the powerful intercession of Mary, through whom we were privileged to receive the giver of life, Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord; who lives and rules with You . . .

EPISTLE
Titus 2:11-15
Beloved: The grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men: Instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly and justly and godly in this world, looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and might cleanse to himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works. These things speak and exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

GRADUAL
Ps. 97:3-4, 2
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Sing joyfully to God, all the earth.
V. The Lord has made His salvation known; in the sight of the nations He has revealed His justice.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Heb. 1:1-2
God, who in divers manners spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days has spoken to us by His Son. Alleluia!

GOSPEL  

Luke 2:21

At that time, when eight days were fulfilled for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given to Him by the Angel before He was conceived in the womb.

OFFERTORY
Ps. 88:12, 15
Yours are the heavens and Yours are the earth; the world and its fullness You have founded. Justice and judgment are the foundation of Your throne.

SECRET -  Accept our offerings and prayers, O Lord. Cleanse us by this heavenly rite and in Your mercy hear our petitions. Through Our Lord . . .

PREFACE (Preface of the Nativity) - It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, for through the Mystery of the Word made flesh, the new light of Thy glory hath shone upon the eyes of our mind, so that while we acknowledge God in visible form, we may through Him be drawn to the love of things invisible. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Throne and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:

COMMUNION
Ps. 97:3
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

POST COMMUNION - O Lord, may this Communion cleanse us from sin, and bestow on us spiritual health from heaven through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .
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Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Pope Calling for Joint Commemoration with Lutherans in 2017
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(Another example of Luther's heresy against our Lord)

The Church acted most impeccably and pastorally in putting down Luther's revolt in the fourteenth century. Let that be our reflection, that it might encourage Catholics to stand behind the Church's verdict, and thus motivate them to encourage separated brethren to renounce the Reformation in everything it stood for. Let that be the only common denominator that unites the joint commemoration in 2017.

The following is a Guest Post by David Martin:

Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to "celebrate together" the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, under the title: “Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.” On December 18th he received a delegation of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church at the Vatican,
and told them:

“In 2017, Lutheran and Catholic Christians commemorate together the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. On this occasion, Lutherans and Catholics will, for the first time, have the opportunity to keep one and the same global ecumenical commemoration, not in the form of a triumphalist celebration, but rather to confess our common faith in the Triune God."
(The Eponymous Flower, December 18, 2014)

This echoes his October 21, 2013, speech to the members of the Lutheran World Federation and the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity, in which he lauded "the many advances made in relations between Lutherans and Catholics in these past decades," emphasizing how "commitment to progress in spiritual ecumenism...constitutes the soul of our journey towards full communion." (Zenit News, October 21, 2013)

The problem is that their progress toward unity is in vain, if unity with Christ is what they are expecting. The Lutherans’ journey to ecclesial union will consist in rejecting the errors of their wayward sect and confessing the Roman Catholic Church to be the only true religion on earth. They must reject the perfidy of Martin Luther who initiated his hateful Reformation in 1517, remembering the decree of the Council of Trent that Luther and the Reformation are not something that Catholics may unite with, lest they be an anathema.

The forthcoming celebration between Lutherans and Catholics is being spurred by the historic document issued by the Vatican in October, 2013, entitled From Conflict to Communion, which cites the supposed progress being made towards a full communion between the two groups. However the only remedy for full communion is for Lutherans to give up their conflict with the Catholic Church, in the same way the Pharisees were required to give up their conflict with Jesus Christ if they wished to have communion with him. There was nothing that Christ himself had to do, just as there is nothing His Church must do, other than to wait for a humble act of contrition from its separated brethren who protested the Faith in the fourteenth century.

The Catholic Church committed no fault in the way it responded to the Reformation five centuries ago, which means there must be no apologies made whatsoever. Even so, Francis told the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity: “Catholics and Lutherans can ask forgiveness for the harm they have caused one another and for their offenses committed in the sight of God.” Correction: the harm was done solely by the Lutheran Reformationalists, while the Catholic Church acted impeccably in the sight of God to glorify His Name and to advance the salvation of souls on earth.

With all due respect for Francis, he seems to operate under the false premise that ecumenical unity is some sort of gift or asset, forgetting that “the friendship of this world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4) Since when does the Roman Catholic Church unite with other world religions? Does the good pope not realize that it is the major plan of the infernal U.N., working through the World Council of Churches, to abolish the institutionalized Church of Rome and to merge all peoples and churches into an international one-world religion under the banner Antichrist?

Over a century ago this unification of all religions was already foreshadowed in the writings of 19th century Freemason and excommunicated priest, Canon Roca (1830-1893), who predicted that “the liturgy of the Roman Church will shortly undergo a transformation at an *ecumenical council” in a move “to deprive the Church of its supernatural character, to amalgamate it with the world, to interweave the denominations ecumenically instead of letting them run side by side as separate confessions, and thus to pave the way for a standard world religion in the centralized world state.” (Bishop Rudolph Graber PhD, Athanasius and the Church in our Time, 1974)

The dark forces of the global elite indeed are the ones spearheading this one-world ecumenical unity for the downfall and enslavement of mankind, which means the most pastoral thing the pope could do is to rescue the flock from this plague, and not surrender to it under the guise of progress. Pastoral care consists in defending the tradition of the Faith for the welfare of the flock, as expressed by St. Pope Pius X: “The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but men of tradition.”

To say that Catholics and Lutherans will celebrate the Reformation "together" is to say they're on the same side of the fence. The pope says that the commemoration is not to be a "triumphalist celebration" where we commemorate the Church’s triumph over Luther and the Reformation, but where we rather “confess our common faith" with Lutherans.

Since when do Catholics share in the doctrine of heretics and schismatics? To not rejoice over the Church's verdict against Luther is to rejoice with him. "He that is not with me is against me." (Matt. 12:30) The Council of Trent put the dog out five centuries ago when it rightfully condemned Luther’s work, but Vatican II unfortunately let the dog back in. This seems to be what the forthcoming celebration in 2017 is all about.

Faithful Catholics have no recourse but to either stand behind the Church's verdict against Luther, or to be partakers in his sins. In the words of St. Paul: "You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of devils: You cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils.” (1 Corinthians 10:21)

WE SEEM TO FORGET that Luther was a raving heretic who was driven by the devil to tear the Faith asunder throughout Europe, and who mightily contributed to the mass murder of 70,000-100,000 peasants during the German Peasant War of 1524-1525 which his Reformation helped to spark. Consider the following from Luther:

"To kill a peasant is not murder; it is helping to extinguish the conflagration. Therefore let whoever can, smite, slay, and stab them secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful or devilish than a rebel. To kill a peasant is like killing a mad dog… If they say I am very hard and merciless, I answer that mercy is not a consideration. On the obstinate, hardened, blinded peasants let no one have mercy, but let whoever is able, hew, stab, and slay them like mad dogs." (Erlangen Edition of Luther’s Works, Vol. 24)

In 1526 Luther justified his role in the killing of peasants, saying, "I, Martin Luther, have during the rebellion slain all the peasants, for it was I who ordered them to be struck dead. But I refer all to our Lord God: for he commanded me to speak thus." (Erlangen LW, Vol. 59, p. 284)

Hence the so-called champion of religious freedom who always had the Gospel on his lips was at heart a murderer. His hatred for the Jews was in itself a black mark that has earned for him the title: The Spiritual Ancestor of Hitler.

As for his teaching on salvation and justification, the man was a crackpot who insisted that Jesus died on the cross so that we can sin freely without the fear of eternal punishment. Consider the following from Luther:

“Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly... No sin will separate us from the Christ, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” (From Luther’s letter to Philip Melanchthon, August 1, 1521, LW Vol. 48, pp. 281-282)

Herein is the foundation of Protestantism which asserts that Jesus already paid the price, so that our works will neither save nor condemn us. This is a devious lie with no scriptural basis, yet Luther knew that he could hook people with it by convincing them that it is taught in the Bible. His ploy was to twist the Scriptures, both in the wording and the interpretation, to establish the false premise that the use of our free will to please God is vain.
MEETING THE DEMANDS OF LUTHER

Vatican II expended considerable energy at reviving the cause of Martin Luther, which eventually led to the 1980 “Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commission,” and later the Vatican’s “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.” The latest landmark in Rome’s ecumenical ‘progress’ is the document “From Conflict to Communion,” published by the “Lutheran-Catholic Commission on Unity” (June 17, 2013), which is serving as the foundation for the present clamor leading to the historic “Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation”in 2017.
In planning his strategy he had his pet verses marked out which, in their twisted form, became ammunition against the Faith. He was obsessed with inducing a licentious, worry-free attitude about sin, and knowing the temptation of human nature to shun responsibility for sin, the seducer invented the idea of "sin and be saved," and then used Scripture to try to substantiate his lunacy. The following is perhaps his favorite argument for advancing his doctrine:

"By the works of the law no flesh shall be justified before him... For we account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law." (Romans 3: 20,28)

The law mentioned here has nothing to do with the Law of Christ and the performance of good works, but refers specifically to the Old Mosaic Law where they practiced circumcision and offered animals in sacrifice, and observed certain feast days, etc. Christ came to do away with these former works so that we are no longer under the Law of Moses, but under the Law of Christ. And this is what the Scripture is saying, that we are not justified by being Jew, but are justified by being Christian, plain and simple.

Unfortunately heretics have had a field-day with this and other like verses, thinking they have liberty to sin and to avoid good works, when in fact no such liberty is given in the Bible. Have they forgotten Christ’s warning that "the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works?" (Matthew 16:27) St. Paul states: "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." (Romans 2:13) He also exhorts Christians to work out their salvation “with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)
It was Luther who started this idea that we don’t have to please God with works, before which it never existed in Christian history. Luther obviously didn’t think that Christ was worth working for! This same Luther rejected six canonical books of Sacred Scripture because he didn't agree with the word of God. His “Bible only” idea was only a smokescreen to conceal his contempt for Christ and His Divine Laws.

Each one of Luther’s charges against the Church was irrational and false. For instance he accused the clergy of “selling indulgences” in the confessional, which of course is not true. When penitents came to confession it was common at that time for priests to administer a penance in the form of having them place so much money in the Church’s treasury, because funds were needed at that time to complete the Basilica of St. Peters in Rome. We might say a Peter’s pence was being raised, which infuriated Luther beyond measure, because he couldn’t tolerate the idea of funding the “papal pig” and his palace.

If anyone would question his motives, let him consider his own words about the Catholic Church: "We too were formerly stuck in the behind of this hellish whore, the new church of the pope... so that we regret having spent so much time and energy in that vile h***. But God be praised and thanked that he rescued us from the scarlet whore." (Luther's Works, Vol. 41, p. 206)

Again Luther says: "I can with good conscience consider the pope a fart-ass and an enemy of God. He cannot consider me an ass, for he knows that I am more learned in the Scriptures than he and all his asses are.” (p. 344) “The papal ass wants to be lord of the church, although he is not a Christian, believes nothing, and can no longer do anything but fart like an ass." (p. 358)

Question: should the Church be commemorating the work of such a man? It is for reason that the Church excommunicated Martin Luther in January 1521. The faithful have no choice but to either stand behind the Church's verdict against Luther, or to be partakers in his sins. In the words of St. Paul: "You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of devils: you cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils." (1 Corinthians 10:21)

It is unfortunate that so many misinformed people listened to the deceiver and allowed themselves to be pulled away from the Catholic Church. Thanks to Luther and his rampage, a better part of Europe was led into apostasy, an apostasy which Catholics and Lutherans are now asked to have a “common faith” in. Does the light have something in common with the darkness? Benedict XVI even said the Protestant religion is “no religion,” whereby having no grace therein, there is nothing of it that Catholics could share in.

Hence true charity for separated brethren consists in converting them to the Catholic Faith. The Church from the beginning has forbidden the idea of interreligious dialogue for unity's sake, since our unity is with Christ, not with secular religions. The Church dogmatically teaches that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church (extra ecclesiam nulla salus), so this should end all arguments.

The idea of endorsing other religions defies the Church's 2000-year prohibition against false worship, as taught by the holy evangelist: "If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you. For he that says to him, God speed you, communicates with his wicked works." (2 John 1:10,11)

Question: why is Rome God-speeding Luther and his schismatic sect? Pastoral charity would consist in standing up against Protestantism and professing the Catholic Church as the only ark of salvation, even if it means being hated by all men for it. Christ himself demonstrated this selfless zeal for souls in the way he staunchly refuted the various religious groups of his day, even to the point of being placed on the cross for it.

We pray that Pope Francis will likewise demonstrate this heroic zeal before the world by openly condemning post-conciliar ecumenism and upholding the institution of the Roman Catholic Faith without respect to persons.

*Vatican II, quite obviously, since it is the only ecumenical council since that time wherein “the liturgy of the Roman Church” has undergone a “transformation.”
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