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V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

V. Our God is full of mercy.
R. The Lord has care for little ones.

V. O Lord hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.


O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Who, begotten in
eternity, yet didst will to he born in time; Who dost love the
innocence of childhood, and didst lovingly embrace and bless the
little children who were brought to Thee: anticipate the needs of
this child (these children) with Thy tender blessings, and grant
that no evil may corrupt his (her, their) mind, but that
advancing in age, in wisdom, and in grace, he (she, they) may
live so as to please Thee always. Thou Who dost live and reign
with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for
ever and ever.

R. Amen.

Then the priest sprinkles the child (children) with holy water,

May the peace and the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son + and
Holy Spirit, descend upon you and remain forever.

R. Amen.


If the child is old enough to receive the Sacrament of Extreme
Unction, then the prayers and ceremonies as given in the
visitation and care of the sick are used. For younger children
the following may be used:

The priest coming into the sick room, says first:

V. Peace to this house.
R. And to all who live here.

Then he sprinkles the child with holy water and those standing
around and the room itself, saying nothing.
Afterwards is said:

Ant. Praise the Lord, O children; praise the name of the Lord.

Praise, you servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord
both now and forever.
From the rising to the setting of the sun
is the name of the Lord to be praised.
High above all nations is the Lord;
above the heavens is His glory.
Who is like the Lord Our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor.
To seat them with the princes,
with the princes of his own people.
He established in her home the barren wife
as the joyful mother of children.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

And the Antiphon is repeated.

Praise the Lord, O children, * praise the name of the Lord.


V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

The priest:

V. Our Father
secretly up to
V. And lead us not into temptation.
R. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

V. Our God is merciful.
R. Who watches over little ones.

V. Let the little ones come to Me.
R. For of such is the kingdom of heaven.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray:

O God, by Whose help all things grow to maturity and, once grown,
are kept strong, stretch out Thy hand over this, Thy young
servant, N., in his (her) sickness, that he (she), having
regained his (her) health and strength, may grow up to full
manhood (womanhood), and unfailingly offer Thee a loyal and
pleasing service all the days of his (her) life. Through Christ
our Lord.

R. Amen.

The prayer being completed, the priest places his right hand on
the head of the sick child, and says:

V. They shall lay their hands upon the sick.
R. And they shall be healed.

May Jesus, the Son of Mary, Saviour of the world, through the
merits and intercession of His holy apostles, Peter and Paul, and
of all the saints, be merciful and kind to you.

R. Amen.

Afterwards blessing the sick child, he says:
May the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit,
descend upon you and remain forever.

R. Amen.

At the end he sprinkles him (her) with holy water.

The texts from the “Collectio Rituum” contained in this leaflet
are reprinted with permission of the Confraternity of Christian
Doctrine owner of the copyright.

IMPRIMATUR: ☩ Joseph E. Ritter, Archbishop of St. Louis
August 14, 1956

Pio Decimo Press, St. Louis 15, Mo.

A Solis Ortus Cardine

A Solis Ortus Cardine

A Solis Ortus Cardine is a devout Latin poem celebrating the birth of Our Lord. With pious reverence and poetic paradox, the singer meditates on Our Lord’s Incarnation within the immaculate temple of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At His coming in humility at the manger in Bethlehem, Our Lord, who sustains and feeds even the lowliest creature, suffers cold and hunger. He who is the King of Kings and Almighty Creator of all the universe condescends to walk amongst sinful men, living and dying so that we may be redeemed by Him.

A Solis Ortus Cardine is an ancient 5th-century poem hymn. It was composed by Coelius Sedulius.

A solis ortus cardine,
Adusque terre limitem,
Christum canamus Principem,
Natum Maria Virgine.

Beatus auctor seculi,
Servile corpus induit,
Ut carne carnem liberans,
Non perderet, quos condidit.

Caste parentis viscera,
Celestis intrat gratia;
Venter puelle baiulat,
Secreta que non noverat.

Domus pudici pectoris,
Templum repente fit Dei,
Intacta nesciens virum,
Verbo creavit Filium.

Enixa est puerpera,
Quem Gabriel predixerat,
Quem matris alvo gestiens,
Clausus Johannes senserat.

Feno iacere pertulit;
Presepe non abhorruit;
Parvoque lacte pastus est,
Per quem nec ales esurit.

Gaudet chorus celestium,
Et angeli canunt Deum,
Palamque fit pastoribus,
Pastor creator omnium.

Gloria Tibi, Domine,
Qui natus es de Virginie,
Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

English Translation:

From the rising of the sun,
To the ends of the earth,
Let us praise Christ the Prince,
Born of the Virgin Mary.

The Blessed Creator of the world,
Took a docile body,
So that, by the flesh He could liberate flesh,
Saving from loss what He had made.

In the chaste cloister of the Mother,
The heavenly grace entered;
The Maid’s womb carried,
Secrets that she hadn’t understood.

The dwelling of her heart,
Suddenly became God’s Temple,
Immaculate, knowing no man,
At a word, she conceived the Son.

The Mother gave birth,
To the One whom Gabriel had foretold,
Whom John the Baptist recognised,
By leaping within his mother’s womb.

He consented to lie in the hay;
He did not refuse the manger;
And he was fed with only a little milk,
He, who doesn’t allow even birds to hunger.

The heavenly chorus rejoiced,
And the Angels sang God’s praise,
And to the shepherds was manifested,
The Shepherd who created everything.

Glory to Thee, O Lord,
Who were born of the Virgin,
With the Father and the Holy Spirit,
Forever and ever. Amen.

Salvete Flores Martyrum

Salvete Flores Martyrum

Salvete flores Martyrum
Quo lucis ipso in limine
Christi in secutur sustulit
Ceu turbo nascentes rosas.

Vos prima Christi victima
Grex immolatorum tener
Aram ante ipsam simplices
Palma et coronatis luditis.

Jesu tibi sit Gloria
Qui natus es de Virgine
Cum Patre et almo Spiritu
In sempiterna saecula
All hail, ye little Martyr flowers,
Sweet rosebuds cut in dawning hours!
When Herod sought the Christ to find
Ye fell as bloom before the wind.

First victims of the Martyr bands,
With crowns and palms in tender hands,
Around the very altar, gay
And innocent, ye seem to play.

All honour, laud, and glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin-born to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet
To Father and to Paraclete.

The Feast of the Holy Innocents

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The Feast of the Holy Innocents

Martyrs at the time of the Nativity of Our Lord
(†1 A.D.)

By the Holy Innocents, who are honored as martyrs today by the Catholic Church, we understand those happy infants, who, by the command of King Herod, were put to death, for no other cause than that the new-born King of the Jews might be deprived of life. When Christ was born, Herod, well known for his cruelty, reigned at Jerusalem. He was not of the Jewish nation, but a foreigner, and was therefore hated by the Jews. Herod knew this well; hence he feared that they would dethrone him, and he had several illustrious persons executed, whom he suspected of aspiring to the throne. Meanwhile it happened that the three Magi or Kings from the East came to Jerusalem, to find and adore the new-born King, who had been announced to them by a star; as they doubted not that they would learn more of Him in the capital of Judea. They therefore asked without hesitation: “Where is he, that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to adore him.”

This question seemed very strange to the Jews, and the news of it spread through the whole city, until it reached the King. His fear can hardly be described; for he already believed his crown and sceptre lost. To escape the danger in which he supposed himself, he called the chief priests and scribes together, and inquired of them where the Messiah should be born. They answered: “In Bethlehem, according to the Prophets.” Satisfied with this answer, Herod had the three wise men brought to court, and speaking very confidentially with them, he asked diligently when and where the star had appeared to them. After this, he advised them to go to Bethlehem and inquire after the new-born child, and when they had found and adored it, to return and inform him, as he wished to go and adore it also. These words of the king, who was not less cunning than cruel, were only a deceit, as he had already resolved to kill the new-born child.

Meanwhile the Magi followed the advice of the king, and, guided by the star, which again appeared to them when they had left Jerusalem, went to Bethlehem, found and adored the divine Child, and offered gold, frankincense and myrrh, as we read in Holy Writ. Having finished their devotion, they intended, in accordance with king Herod’s wish, to bring him word that they had happily found the Child. An angel, however, appeared to them in their sleep and admonished them not to return to Jerusalem, but to go into their own country by another way; which they accordingly did. When Herod perceived that they had deluded him, it was too late, and his rage was boundless. Hearing of what had taken place in the temple, at the Purification of Mary, that the venerable Simeon had pronounced a child, which he had taken into his arms, the true Messiah, the King’s heart was filled with inexpressible fear and anxiety. The danger in which he was, as he imagined, of losing his crown, left him no peace day or night. He secretly gave orders to search for this child; but all was of no avail; it could not be found.

After long pondering how he might escape the danger, his unbounded ambition led him to an act of cruelty unprecedented in history. He determined to murder all the male children, in and around Bethlehem, that were not over two years of age, as he thought that thus he could not fail to take the life of the child so dangerous to him. This fearful design was executed amidst the despairing shrieks of the parents, especially the mothers. How many children were thus inhumanly slaughtered is not known, but the number must have been very large. Yet the tyrant gained not his end; for, the divine Child was already in security. The Gospel tells us that an Angel appeared during the night to St. Joseph, saying to him: “Arise, take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt, and remain there until I tell thee. For, it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him.” St. Joseph delayed not to obey, and fled, the same night, with the child and his mother, into the land indicated to him.

As this had happened before Herod executed his cruel determination, God thus frustrated the plot. Herod soon after, received his just punishment. Several terrible maladies suddenly seized him, as Josephus, the Jewish historian, relates. An internal fever consumed him, and all his limbs were covered with abominable ulcers, breeding vermin. His feet were swollen; his neck, shoulders and arms drawn together, and his breast so burdened, that the unfortunate man could hardly breathe, while his whole body exhaled so offensive an odor, that neither he nor others could endure it. Hence, in despair, he frequently cried for a knife or a sword, that he might end his own life. In this miserable condition, he ceased not his cruelties, and only five days before his death, he had his son, Antipater, put to death. As he had good reason to believe that the entire people would rejoice at his death, he wished at least to take to the grave the thought that many should grieve, if not for him, at least for their friends and relatives. Hence, he had the chief men of the nobility imprisoned, and gave orders to his sister Salome, that, as soon as he had closed his eyes, they were all to be murdered. This order, however, was not executed by Salome, who justly loathed its cruelty. In this lamentable condition, the cruel tyrant ended his life, but began one in eternity whose pains and torments were still more unendurable, and from which he cannot hope ever to be released; while the innocent children massacred by him, rejoice for all eternity in the glories of heaven, giving humble thanks to God for having thus admitted them into His presence. The Catholic Church has always honored them as martyrs; because, though not confessing Christ with their lips, as many thousands of others have done, yet they confessed Him with their death, by losing their lives for His sake.


I. How happy were the innocent children to end their lives at so tender an age! Had they lived longer, they might have been among those who cried: “Crucify him! Crucify him!” and have gone to destruction. The parents of these children naturally wept and lamented, and believed themselves most unhappy, because their children were torn from them and cruelly slaughtered. They did not recognize the mercy that God showed them. Still, at this day, does the Almighty sometimes take children, by an early death, from their parents. That the latter feel this loss and weep and mourn over it, is but human, and is no sin; but they do wrong if they grieve inordinately, or even murmur or complain against the decrees of the Almighty. They ought to think, God is the Lord of life and death; He has given the children; He can take them away again, without wronging any one. They should also think that an early death may be a great benefit to themselves and to their children; for, God perhaps foresaw that the parents would neglect the education of their children and thus condemn themselves, or that the children would lead a wicked life, and thus go to eternal perdition. By taking them thus early, He benefits the children and the parents, and deserves thanks instead of complaint. At least, the parents ought to submit to the divine will, and say from the depth of their hearts, what they have often said with their lips: “O Lord, Thy will be done”

II. Herod undoubtedly did great sin in massacring, without just reason, so many innocent children. In our days, there are many who deprive an innocent child of its mortal life, or even endeavor to deprive it of the life to come. To the former of these belong all mothers, who destroy the fruit of their womb by imprudence or even by crime. In the same manner, those men, who ill-treat their wives, frequently become guilty of the same sin. Mothers again are guilty of it, who crush their children in sleep. To the second class belong those who murder their children before they are baptized, for without baptism they can never enter the kingdom of heaven. Secondly, all those persons who give scandal to innocent youth, either in word or deed; for example, when they speak impurely in their presence, sing bad songs, behave immodestly, or even entice them to do wrong. Thirdly, according to St. Chrysostom, those parents belong to this class, who, either by their example, or by neglecting to instruct their children, are the cause of many sins which their children commit. Further, those who do not duly punish-their children, and who do not earnestly endeavor to prevent their doing wrong. Lastly, all those who lead their own children into the path of wickedness and sin. All these are child-murderers. Of the latter, St. Chrysostom says: “Thus, parents, I say, are more vicious, more cruel than child-murderers; for, a murderer of children, as Herod was, separates only the body from the soul; while the others give the souls and bodies of their children to eternal flames.

Further, those who are killed would have died in the course of time, though they had not been murdered; while children neglected by their parents, might have avoided eternal death, had not the wickedness of their parents prepared it for them. Besides this, the general resurrection would have compensated for the bodily death, while the death and destruction of the soul nothing can restore. A child, condemned by the parent’s fault, has no hope of salvation, but has to suffer eternal pains. Hence I am right in saying that such parents are worse than child-murderers.” As there is no doubt that all the above-mentioned classes of people commit great sin, they make themselves guilty of eternal punishment. Those who give scandal to the young should remember the terrible menace of Jesus Christ: “He that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a mill-stone should be hanged about his neck and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Wo to that man by whom scandal cometh!” “Wo to him,” exclaimed, one day, a dying man, “who has led me to evil.” “And how will these corrupted souls, one day, cry for vengeance at the throne of the Almighty,” says St. Thomas of Villanova; “how will they rage in hell against him who corrupted them or gave them scandal!” They also, who murder only the bodies of their children, will have to render an account, and may expect terrible punishment. The blood of their children will cry for vengeance against them, as did the blood of Abel against Cain. “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth to me from the earth.” (Genesis, iv.)

Lives of the Saints: Compiled from Authentic Sources with a Practical Instruction on the Life of Each Saint, for Every Day in the Year by Rev. F. X. Weninger. Permissu Superiorum. New York: P. O’Shea, Publisher, 67 Barclay Street and 42 Park Place .1876.

The Admiration & Tenderness of Our Lady for Her Newborn Son

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The Admiration & Tenderness of Our Lady for Her Newborn Son

At Christmas, it is natural that our attention is turned toward the feast of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the occasion when, in the most elevated degree, the love of a creature was manifested for God, the Creator – the affection of the heavenly Mother for her one and incomparable Son.

As Our Lady is the model of humility par excellence she did not approach the Divine Savior without having manifested all the respect and all the admiration that He merits. As the most exquisite creature of Creation, she could not help but take this humble position before the Savior. Being infinitely below the Creator, even though she is the highest creature, she directed herself to Our Lord as if she were the least of His creatures.

Let us imagine a person who thinks he is closer to the sun because he is four inches taller than the normal man. This is ridiculous, since four inches is nothing compared to the distance from the earth to the sun. God being infinite, even the great distance that separates us from Our Lady is small next to what separates her from God. So, we can understand the many acts of humility that she made in the presence of the Divine Child.

A humility turned not toward self, but God

Her action came not from a self-centered humility, but a God-centered one. Rather than think about her limited condition as a creature, she considered the infinite greatness of God. Therefore, in the cave of Bethlehem, her first affections were acts of admiration, manifesting all that she admired in her Divine Son as God-Man.

In this there is a logical order. When we love someone very much, we must begin by admiring him. It is not sentimentality, like a girl admiring her doll, for example, but admiration that is the foundation of love. She loved that newborn Child, knowing He was the most admirable of all creatures, hypostatically united to the Divine Word.

By a supernatural revelation, Mary knew that the Son generated in her was the Son of God. So fragile and tiny, and yet God in His infinite greatness, in His immeasurable admirableness! Her first thought most probably was turned toward the most grandiose aspect of the Divine Being; only then did her thoughts turn toward the Child. With this came the motherly love, contemplating in His gaze God, who was reflected there. Our Lady looked at His tiny Body, touched His arms and felt they were cold from the winter weather. In this way she expressed a mother’s tenderness.

Someone might object that at this moment the admiration disappeared, and only affection manifested itself. This is not true, because at the moment admiration dies, affection disappears – just as admiration is extinguished the moment that affection dies.

Admiration & affection of mother for son

When a mother gives birth to a child, that baby is so charming that she is overtaken by a great tenderness. In the subconscious of the truly Catholic mother, the following passes: This newborn is like an angel. How much grandeur there is in a human being called to a long life, with his serious duties to God: to be a good son of the Catholic Church; to dominate his passions; to sanctify himself and go to Heaven for all eternity. How extraordinary! I am deeply moved, seeing how such a great call is contained in this tiny newborn!

With this consideration comes a very great tenderness, but also a great admiration: What an admirable mystery it is that I, a human being, have begotten another human being! He was formed in my womb, he was born to me, nourished by me. I liberated him to life, and here he is, so small. In his very existence there is an immense mystery!

Mysteries of the infusion of the soul by God

Regarding the Holy Mother of God, we can think of the hour when God, bending over that embryo, breathed a soul into it, giving something that the mother did not generate, that does not proceed from the nuptial act, but from the Creator. What a magnificent thing this is!

Our Lady pondered the great mystery of Christ’s life

In the tenderness of a true and well-oriented mother for her child, this whole series of mysteries that took place in her appears. The birth of another creature that is flesh of her flesh and blood of her blood, “another myself,” another being upon whom God breathed an immortal soul. That is, the work of God was added to the mother’s work for something vastly larger.

This bond of soul opens the horizons for that child: Horizons of struggle, dedication, joy and victory. But also horizons of sadness, retreat and weaknesses, when one must ask God for graces to support them.

In this we see another aspect of the birth of a simple child. For the Church, the life of every creature is comparable to that of a hero who prepares himself with exercises for the fight, so that he can confront life and engage in the combat, of a hero who takes up his weapons and shield to enter the arena of life.

It is the beginning of a huge battle, and thus the mother could say to a child: My warrior, I admire you because you are fighting the good fight! This is your duty. Once you receive baptism, grace will call to you and begin a supernatural life in you, more or less like a candle that someone lights. How much will it illuminate your soul? How much good will you do? What glory will you give to God?

Reflections on the public life of the Divine Redeemer

On that night, the Blessed Virgin probably was thinking of how the public life of her Divine Son would begin, the miracles He would work, the souls that He would attract. She was thinking of what would result from this, of how He would begin to be rejected by the Jews, forgotten by His own Apostles because of their softness, and even betrayed by Judas.

She also most likely pondered on the Pentecost, the expansion of the Church throughout the Mediterranean basin and the mysterious places where the Apostles would walk, filling the Earth with their presence. She meditated upon the liberation of the Church by the Emperor Constantine; on the Church that would shine throughout the world; on the invasion of the barbarians and the civilization that came from their conversion; and, then, on St. Benedict, who in Subiaco would become the Patriarch of the West and implant a new spiritual life from which the Middle Ages would be born.

She would probably have lamented that, at the end of the medieval period, in a contestation to the work of St. Benedict, an immense sin would be committed and would start the Revolution, which would raise up waves of atrocious injuries: the Renaissance, Humanism and Protestantism. From this would follow the French Revolution, Communism and an Anarchist Revolution, also known as the Cultural Revolution – enigmatic, difficult to define in its true contours, infamous in all that we already know of it.

Our Lady would reflect on all this. But she would also rejoice that, by her design, over this sea of filth a rose petal – the Counter-Revolution – would begin to float at a certain moment, attracting her faithful sons to fight for her in our century.

An examination of conscience & a prayer

At the foot of the crib, one can turn to analyze his own individual history: How the grace of God was accepted by his soul, the ups and downs, his correspondence to grace and rejections of it, his movements of pride and sensuality, the victories and, at times, defeats, but always the role of God’s mercy striving to bring us to the right path.

Our Lady foresaw that some would fall along the way; she would await the prayer of those who remain for those who have fallen; and from time to time she would manage to bring a son back to the right path. She also saw beforehand her final intervention and the implanting of the Reign of Mary that she revealed at Fatima in 1917.

We should consider all this when we are at the foot of the crib and say: O Infant Jesus, You are the dividing stone, the rock of scandal that divides history into two parts. Today, everything that is with You is the Counter-Revolution, everything that is against You is the Revolution.

We can raise this prayer as we venerate at the crib: Here is a son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, brought to You by the grace of Your heavenly Mother, by her prayers, by her womb. Here is a son kneeling before You to give You thanks, and to present himself toYou as a warrior ready to battle for You in the Counter-Revolution, confident of Your grace.