Shrovetide

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Shrovetide

The Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday are known as “Shrovetide,” from an old English word “shrive,” meaning “to confess,” a name gotten from the tradition of going to Confession in the days before Lent started. Shrovetide is traditionally the time for “spring cleaning,” and just as we clean our houses in these days in prepation for Lent, we also “clean our souls” through confession so we can enter the penitential season fresh.
Shrovetide is the last two days of “Carnival,” an unofficial period that began after the Epiphany and which takes its name from the Latin carnelevare, referring to the “taking away of flesh” (meat) during Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday, the day following Shrove Tuesday. Catholics want to eat while they can and get the frivolity out of their systems in preparation for the somber Lenten spirit to come.
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Merits Derived from Meditating On the Passion of Christ

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Merits Derived from Meditating On the Passion of Christ

THE devotion to the Passion of Our Lord and Saviour is, of all forms of Catholic devotion, the most ancient, the most venerable, the most universal. Jesus Himself has written the remembrance of His Passion deep into the hearts of His faithful. In order to imprint most deeply in our souls the remembrance of His Sacred Passion, Christ instituted Holy Mass, the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross.
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St. Walburge

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St. Walburge, Virgin, Abbess in England

SHE 1 was daughter to the holy king St. Richard, and sister to SS. Willibald and Winebald; was born in the kingdom of the West Saxons in England, and educated, in the monastery of Winburn in Dorsetshire, where she took the religious veil. After having passed twenty-seven years in this holy nunnery, she was sent by the abbess Tetta, under the conduct of St. Lioba, with several others, into Germany, at the request of her cousin St. Boniface. 2 Her first settlement in that country was under St. Lioba, in the monastery of Bischofsheim, in the diocess of Mentz. Two years after she was appointed abbess of a nunnery founded by her two brothers, at Heidenheim in Suabia, (now subject to the duke of Wirtemburg,) where her brother, St. Winebald, took upon him at the same time the government of an abbey of monks. This town is situated in the diocess of Aichstadt, in Franconia, upon the borders of Bavaria, of which St. Willibald, our saint’s other brother, had been consecrated bishop by St. Boniface. So eminent was the spirit of evangelical charity, meekness, and piety, which all the words and actions of St. Walburge breathed, and so remarkable was the fruit which her zeal and example produced in others, that when St. Winebald died, in 760, she was charged with a superintendency also over the abbey of monks till her death.  Continue reading

Saint Matthias

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Saint Matthias

Apostle
(† 63)

After our Blessed Lord’s Ascension His disciples came together, with Mary His mother and the eleven Apostles, in an upper room at Jerusalem. The little company numbered no more than one hundred and twenty souls. They were waiting for the promised coming of the Holy Ghost, and they persevered in prayer. Meanwhile there was a solemn act to be performed on the part of the Church, which could not be postponed. The place of the fallen Judas had to be filled, that the number of the Apostles might be complete. Saint Peter, therefore, as Vicar of Christ, arose to announce the divine decree. What the Holy Ghost had spoken by the mouth of David concerning Judas, he said, must be fulfilled. Of him it had been written, His bishopric let another take. A choice, therefore, was needed of one among those who had been their companions from the beginning, who could bear witness to the Resurrection of Jesus.
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St. Ethelbert

 

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St. Ethelbert, Confessor, First Christian King among the English

HE was king of Kent, the fifth descendant from Hengist, who first settled the English Saxons in Britain, in 448, and the foundation of whose kingdom is dated in 455. Ethelbert married, in his father’s life-time, Bertha, the only daughter of Charibert, king of Paris, and cousin-german to Clotaire, king of Soissons, and Childebert, king of Austrasia, whose two sons, Theodobert, and Theodoric, or Thierry, reigned after his death, the one in Austrasia, the other in Burgundy. Ethelbert succeeded his father Ermenric, in 560. The kingdom of Kent having enjoyed a continued peace for about a hundred years, was arrived at a degree of power and riches, which gave it a pre-eminence in the Saxon heptarchy in Britain, and so great a superiority and influence over the rest, Ethelbert is said by Bede to have ruled as far as the Humber, and Ethelbert is often styled king of the English. His queen Bertha was a very zealous and pious Christian princess, and by the articles of her marriage had free liberty to exercise her religion; for which purpose she was attended by a venerable French prelate, named Luidhard, or Lethard, bishop of Senlis. He officiated constantly in an old church dedicated to St. Martin, lying a little out of the walls of Canterbury. The exemplary life of this prelate, and his frequent discourses on religion, disposed several Pagans about the court to embrace the faith. The merit of the queen in the great work of her husband’s conversion is acknowledged by our historians, and she deserved by her piety and great zeal to be compared by St. Gregory the Great, to the celebrated St. Helen. 1 1 Continue reading