St. Bibiana

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St. Bibiana, Virgin and Martyr

In the fourth century, there lived at Rome a virgin celebrated among the Christians for her beauty and her modesty, named Bibiana. Flavian, her father, was, in the reign of the godless Emperor Julian, dispossessed of all his honors and banished from his country on account of his faith. He ended his life in misery, a true martyr for Christ’s sake. Dafrosa, her mother, was for the same reason, after her husband’s banishment, locked up in her own house, that she might starve. Bibiana and Demetria, the two daughters, shared their mother’s imprisonment. But as neither the mother nor her daughters became emaciated by the hunger they, suffered, and, on the contrary, appeared more vigorous than before, and could not be frightened into denying Christ, the mother, by the order of the governor Apronianus, was banished from the country and then beheaded. Bibiana and Demetria were, at the same time, deprived of all their possessions, in the hope that poverty would cause them to abandon their faith. But the Christian heroines regarded it as little as those to whom St. Paul writes: “You have received the loss of your possessions joyfully, because you know that you have to expect greater goods in heaven.” They said cheerfully: “It is better to lose the temporal goods, which we cannot possess long, than the eternal.” The Governor, after a time, called both of them, and promised that all that had been taken from them would be restored, if they would only worship the gods; but if they refused, he threatened them with imprisonment, a cruel martyrdom and the most painful death.  Continue reading

Month of the Immaculate Conception

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Month of the Immaculate Conception

Thou art all beautiful, O Mary, because thou art without original sin.

Prayer of the Month

Prayer to Mary

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin didst make ready a fitting habitation for Thy Son, we beseech Thee that Thou who didst keep her clean from all stain by the precious death of the same Son, foreseen by Thee, may grant unto us in like manner to be made clean through her intercession and so attain unto Thee. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen

Immaculate Conception

All generations shall call me blessed; because He who is powerful hath done great things to me.

The month of December is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “From all eternity God chose with infinite wisdom the woman who would be the Mother of His divine Son. To prepare for the Word Incarnate a spotless and holy tabernacle, God created Mary in grace and endowed her from the moment of her conception with all the perfections suited to her exalted dignity. St. Thomas teaches that through her intimacy with Christ, the principle of grace, she possessed beyond all creatures a fullness of divine life.” — Liturgical Meditations, The Sisters of St. Dominic

This feast invites us to meditate on the virtue of purity. “Mary alone — ‘our tainted nature’s solitary boast’— never saw her soul’s purity darkened with the dust of any stain, nor did she see in any part of her triumphal course toward heaven any sin or trace of worldliness. By a unique and singular privilege from God she was preserved from original sin from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception; by another privilege derived from the first, the Lord did not permit her ever to be stained even with those unavoidable failings of human weakness.” — Archbishop Luis María Martínez y Rodríguez

St. Eligius, or Eloy

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St. Eligius, or Eloy, Bishop of Noyon, Confessor

A.D. 659.

THE NAME of Eligius, and those of his father Eucherius, and his mother Terrigia, show this saint to have been born not of French, but of Roman Gaulish extraction. He was born at Catelat, two leagues north of Limoges, about the year 588. His parents, who were very virtuous, and in good circumstances, brought him up from his infancy in the fear of God, and seeing him industrious, placed him with a goldsmith named Abbo, who was a considerable person, master of the mint at Limoges, and a devout servant of God. Eligius was a youth of uncommon genius and address, and, by his extraordinary application, arrived at an eminent skill in his profession. The qualities of his mind, and his steady virtue and religion exceedingly enhanced his reputation, and endeared him to all who had the happiness of his acquaintance. His heart was full of sincerity, his whole conduct was under the regulation of an exact prudence, and his temper was sweet and obliging: his discourse was agreeable, modest, and easy, and his attendance on religious duties most assiduous and edifying. He never failed assisting at the whole divine office in the church, and never lost an opportunity of attending to sermons, or spiritual instructions. The oracles of the holy scriptures he carefully laid up in his memory, and made them the subject of his profound meditation, that they might sink deeply into his soul, and that he might apply them to his own use. 1 Continue reading

Saint Ansanus

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Saint Ansanus

St. Ansanus was born in Rome and is honoured as the first Apostle of Sienna, Italy. In Sienna, he made so many converts to the Catholic Faith, that he was named “the Baptiser”. As a youth, his own father denounced him as a Christian. He confessed the Faith, but managed to escape from Rome and fled towards Tuscany. On the way he preached at Bagnorea, and was imprisoned where the church of Our Lady delle Carceri now stands.

During the persecution of Diocletian, St. Ansanus was thrown into prison. After he was tortured and his head was cut off at a place outside the walls of the city. Some time later, a church was built on this spot, in remembrance of the death of this holy martyr. Many miracles took place in the year 1170, when his relics were carried to the Cathedral in Sienna.

St. Ansanus, Pray for Us!