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Those who would receive Christ

As Mary was, so is the Church today, Virgin and Handmaid; at the beginning of the year’s liturgy, she waits for everything from the Lord’s grace. Those who would receive Christ and bring Him forth must become like her; it is such a birth which they are expecting from the feast of His Incarnation: for “how shall Christ be born into the depths of ourunderstanding if not within us, within our very souls” (St. Ambrose). It will happen to us when our souls are as Mary’s was. The virgin shall conceive and bear a Son…and His name shall be “God with us.”

Year by year we are to renew ourselves in judgment and penance, purge ourselves for a deeper gift of self, take on the virginity that can allow the birth of God within us. This is the content of the Christmas mystery: The Lord is near to all who call upon His Name…in the full certainty of expectation; all those, that is, who call upon His Name in truth: in humble acknowledgement of their own emptiness, and expect everything from God. The Lord is near, He is really a God Who walks with us, in all of whom Christ has lived since baptism. But this life is delicate as well as strong; it can suffer from too close and incautious contact with the world and sin; now is the time for us to renew it; let it be born again. May the fact of our salvation have increase by the frequent use of this mystery.

– Sister Aemiliana Lohr, O.S.B.

Saint Eulalia

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Saint Eulalia

Child Martyr
(† 303)

Saint Eulalia was a native of Merida, in Spain. The daughter of Christian parents, she was taught in her childhood by a very holy priest of that city. She was but twelve years old when the bloody edicts of Diocletian were issued. Her parents, knowing of her vow of virginity and fearing that her zeal would cause her to be a victim of the persecutions, sent her to their house in the country. Eulalia indeed escaped, as they feared, and returned to the city to present herself, with her young companion and Christian friend, Julie, before the cruel Calpurnianus, representing the viceroy of Diocletian. She reproached him for attempting to destroy souls, by compelling them to renounce the only true God.

The officer commanded that she be seized, and at first tried to win her over by flattery. Failing in this, he had her flogged and resorted to threats, causing the most dreadful instruments of torture to be placed before her eyes, and saying to her: All this you shall escape, if you will but touch a little salt and frankincense with the tip of your finger. Provoked by these seducing flatteries, our Saint threw down the idol before her, and trampled upon the cake placed there for the sacrifice. At the judge’s order, two executioners tore her tender sides with iron hooks, so as to leave the very bones bare, then tortured her with burning torches, and dragged her by her hair to the site of execution. She said to the cruel persecutor, Calpurnianus, look well at me so that you may recognize me on the day of the Final Judgment, when both of us will appear before Jesus Christ, our common Lord, I to receive the reward of my torments, and you, the chastisement of your inhumanity toward the Christians. She was covered with hot coals; the fire caught in her hair and surrounded her head and face, and she suffocated amid the smoke and flames. The persecutor commanded that her body be left untended for three days, but Providence covered it with a blanket of snow, which seemed to whiten it and give it a marvelous beauty.

The Christians buried Saint Eulalia in Merida. Later her body was transported to Oviedo, Spain, where it was placed in a chapel dedicated to her memory, within the large church. She is the patroness of that city, and many graces have been received when her relics are transported in processions in times of public necessity.

Reflection: The Apostles rejoiced that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus. (Acts 4:41) Do we bear our crosses with the same spirit?

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources, by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 14

The Translation of the Holy House of Loretto

The Translation of the Holy House of Loretto

By “the Holy House,” we understand the blessed house, or rather a part, a room of it, in which Mary, the Blessed Virgin, lived for three years, and afterwards was greeted by the Angel; in which the only Son of God became man and dwelt for a long time with his pure Mother and his holy foster-father. This sacred dwelling first stood at Nazareth in Galilee, a province of Syria. The Apostles consecrated it as the first Church in Christendom; the first Christians held it in high honor, and pious pilgrims visited it with great devotion. Helena, the great and holy Empress, built over it a magnificent temple, which, in the course of time, was destroyed by the barbarians. When, in 1291, God in His incomprehensible Wisdom, decreed that the infidels should become possessors of the Holy Land, the Christians were driven out of it, and pilgrims were no longer permitted to visit the holy house. But the Almighty, who would preserve the honor and veneration in which this holy house had until then been held, wrought to this end a miracle such as the world had neither seen nor heard of. In the night of the ninth day of May, in the above year, the holy house was suddenly taken from the ground on which it had stood for more than twelve hundred years, and lifted through the temple erected over it, which parted in the middle, and it was carried by the Angels over land and sea, from Galilee to the far off Dalmatia, where it was placed between Tersatto and Fiume, not far from the Adriatic sea. When, early in the morning of the following day, some people saw this unknown little chapel, they informed the inhabitants of the above-mentioned towns of it, and the amazement of all was indescribable. Continue reading

Introitus: Populus Sion

Dominica II Adventus ~ I. classis

Is 30:30.
Pópulus Sion, ecce, Dóminus véniet ad salvándas gentes: et audítam fáciet Dóminus glóriam vocis suæ in lætítia cordis vestri.
Ps 79:2
Qui regis Israël, inténde: qui dedúcis, velut ovem, Ioseph.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculórum. Amen
Pópulus Sion, ecce, Dóminus véniet ad salvándas gentes: et audítam fáciet Dóminus glóriam vocis suæ in lætítia cordis vestri.

Isa 30:30
People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations; and the Lord shall make the glory of His voice to be heard, in the joy of your heart.
Ps 79:2 O
Shepherd of Israel, hearken, O Guide of the flock of Joseph!
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations; and the Lord shall make the glory of His voice to be heard, in the joy of your heart.


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The Church’s Year
By Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s

On this day the Church not only makes mention in the office of the priest, but also in the Mass, of the two different Advents of Christ, that by His first gracious advent may be gladdened, and by His last terrible coming at the day of judgment we may be impressed with salutary fear. With this intention she cries out at the Introit:

INTROIT People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations; and the Lord shall make the glory of his voice to be heard in the joy of your heart (Is. 30:30). Give ear, O thou that rulest Israel: thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep (Ps. 79). Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of Thine only-begotten Son: that through His advent we may be worthy to serve Thee with purified minds; who livest and reignest with God the Father, in union with the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever. Amen. Continue reading