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ST JULIANA OF NICOMEDIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

ST JULIANA OF NICOMEDIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

ST JULIANA OF NICOMEDIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: FEBRUARY 16

Juliana, from Cumae in Campania, who was first mentioned in the “Martyriologium Hieronymianum”, suffered martyrdom in 304 during the Diocletian persecution. As a Christian convert, she refused to marry the pagan Senator Eleusius, which caused the anger of both her suitor and her pagan father Africanus. She was then detained, tortured and beheaded. In prison, she was said to have been exposed to a vision of a demon who pretended to be an angel of light and asked her to sacrifice to the pagan gods. Juliana recognised the deception and shouted: “Lord God of heaven and earth, do not leave me and do not allow your maid to perish.” She defeated the tempter who admitted to her that the devils suffer especially when Christians assist at Mass. St Juliana has traditionally been called for the safe delivery of women in labour and for protection against fever and infectious diseases.

PRAYER:

May blessed Juliana, Virgin and Martyr, who was ever pleasing to you by the merit of her chastity and by her trust in your power, implore for us your forgiveness, we beseech you, O God. Through our Lord…

 

 

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MATER DEI, MATER MEI – GOD’S MOTHER IS MY MOTHER

MATER DEI, MATER MEI – GOD’S MOTHER IS MY MOTHER

DO WE REALLY BELIEVE IT? 

Mary is our Mother. – Most of us realise this fact in a vague sort of way. We have heard it since we were old enough to remember. We have been accustomed to referring to Mary as our Blessed Mother.

Yet, do we really believe it? We have a mother who brought us into the world. Perhaps she is still living. If not, we probably have vivid memories of her. We can’t have two mothers, can we? Mary is our mother in a figurative sense, she is called our mother because she has taken such an interest in us.

That is the way many of us would express our thoughts on the matter if we should ever stop to analyse them.

This attitude, however, is not correct. We do have two mothers, a mother in the natural order and a mother in the supernatural order.

Mary is our mother in the supernatural order. She is really and truly our mother, just as much so as is our mother in the natural order.

MARY MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO RECEIVE SUPERNATURAL LIFE

A mother is one who gives life. Our earthly mother gave us our life in this world, our natural life. Mary has given us the life that elevates our life in this world and flowers in the next, our supernatural life.

After the sin of Adam, our souls were deprived of supernatural life. This life was restored through the Redemption of Christ and Baptism. Mary made it possible for us to receive this life. She did this at Nazareth, on Calvary and at our Baptism.

At Nazareth the angel Gabriel brought to Mary the most wonderful news that has ever been given to any human being. He told her that she had been chosen to be the Mother of God. Mary’s consent was needed, before the Incarnation could take place. She thought of us at that moment. By answering “No” she could have left us in death. By answering “Yes”she could give us life. She gave her consent and the Word was made Flesh. Our Redemption had been made possible.

ABOUT 34 YEARS LATER… 

About 34 years later Mary stood on the hill of Calvary beneath the cross on which her divine Son was giving His life for us. He was dying that we might be delivered from sin and death. Mary united her sacrifice with His. She thought of us, her children, at that moment. She bravely and generously offered her Son to the Father for our salvation. Never did any creature make such a sacrifice. And she did it for us. Mary, ever Virgin, experienced only joy when she brought Jesus into the world. When she gave us our spiritual birth, she underwent the most agonising sorrow.

Again at Baptism Mary gave us spiritual life. It was by her intercession that we had the opportunity to receive the sacrament of Baptism fruitfully .

LIFE WITHOUT END

Because of Mary, then, we can hope to enjoy the eternal happiness of heaven. She has given us our life in the next world. This “is not a passing life like your terrestrial one, but a life without end,” says Father Emil Neubert, S. M., in My Ideal-Jesus, Son of Mary. “Not a life full of imperfections and anguish like our present existence, but a life incomparably happy; not a created life, human or angelical, but – and understand it well – a participation in uncreated life, in the very life of God, the life of the Most Blessed Trinity. And that is why this life will be endless and incomparably happy, because it is a sharing in the eternity and in the beatitude of God.”

So the life that Mary has given us is much greater than the life we are now living. She is truly our spiritual mother.

EACH OF US CAN REPEAT THIS TREMENDOUS TRUTH

St Stanislaus Kostka used to repeat with great happiness, “Mater Dei, Mater mei” – “God’s Mother is my Mother.” Each of us can repeat this tremendous truth.

Mary’s Immaculate Heart was fashioned by her Creator so that God made Man could receive the perfect love of the perfect mother. Mary loves us with the same Immaculate Heart.

Because she loves us so much, she watches over us always. She guards the supernatural life which she has given us. If we should lose our supernatural life by falling into mortal sin, she can obtain for us the grace to recover it…

“God’s Mother is my Mother.” What a world of meaning in those words! What a depth of consolation and hope! If we but heed her pleas, if we but join our prayers with hers, we need have no fears.

From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

 

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PRAYER TO OUR LADY BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION

PRAYER TO OUR LADY BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION

O Mary, rich in grace, Virgin conceived without original stain, and worthy Mother of God, Who preserved thee from all sin to find in thee a purity worthy of His dwelling, I also now receive into my heart my Lord and my God, the Lover of purity, to Whom all sin is an abomination. I wish with my whole heart that my soul were as free from sin and as pure as thine, that God might find it an abode fitting His Majesty. But alas, I am full of evil inclinations and infidelities to grace.

Therefore I cast myself before thee, O Immaculate Queen of Heaven, and humbly be thee, through the mystery of thine Immaculate Conception, to purify my soul, to cover its faults with the perfection of thy purity, and to sustain me in the Communion I am about to receive. Beg thy Divine Son to deign to visit me. He enriched thee so abundantly with His gifts that the heavenly messenger proclaimed thee ‘full of grace’; beg Him to pour His treasures so abundantly upon me in this Communion that I also may be full of grace. Amen.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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ST FELIX I, POPE AND MARTYR

ST FELIX I, POPE AND MARTYR

ST FELIX I, POPE AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: DECEMBER 30

A member of a Roman family, Pope Felix I led the Catholic Church from 5th January 269 to 274. He was the successor of Pope Dionysius. He responded by letter to the Synod of Antioch, reiterating the doctrine of the Trinity. He erected a basilica on the Via Aurelia, and made provision for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass over the tombs of the martyrs in the crypts of the catacombs and in basilicas built for this purpose. Since he courageously supported the faithful persecuted under Emperor Aurelian, he was martyred for the Faith in 274 and buried in the catacomb of St Callistus on 30th December.

PRAYER:

Eternal Shepherd, look with favour upon your flock. Safeguard and shelter it forevermore through the intercession of blessed Felix, your Martyr and Supreme Pontiff, whom you constituted shepherd of the whole Church. Through our Lord…

 

 

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ST JOHN, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST

ST JOHN, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST

ST JOHN, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST – MEMORIAL: DECEMBER 27

The author of the Fourth Gospel, the Apocalypse, and three Epistles, John was son of Zebedee, and one of the three (with Peter and James) who were closest to the Lord, present at the Transfiguration, the Agony in the Garden, the raising of the daughter of Jairus. He is the “beloved disciple” referred to in the gospels.

PRAYER:

God our Father,

you have revealed the mysteries of your Word

through John the apostle.

By prayer and reflection

may we come to understand the wisdom he taught.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ…

 

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CHRISTMAS – PRAYER BEFORE THE CRIB

CHRISTMAS – PRAYER BEFORE THE CRIB

I adore thee, O Word Incarnate, true Son of God from all eternity, and true Son of Mary ever Virgin in the fulness of time.

When I adore thy Divine Person, and the Humanity united to thy Divinity, I venerate the poor manger which welcomed thee when an Infant, and which was truly the throne of thy love.

I prostrate myself before it with the simplicity of the shepherds, with the faith of Joseph, with the love of Mary; I bow down in reverence before this precious memorial of our salvation with the same spirit of mortification, poverty and humility with which thou, the Lord of heaven and earth, didst choose a manger wherein to lay thy tender Infant limbs, and thou, O Lord, Who in thine Infancy didst deign to lay thyself in this manger: vouchsafe also to pour into my heart a drop of that joy to which the sight of thy lovely Childhood and the miracles which accompanied thy Birth, gave rise. By that holy Birth, I now implore thee to grant to all the world peace and good-will, and in the name of the whole human race I render thanks and honour to God the Father and to God the Holy Spirit, Who with thee liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end.

[Indulgence of 100 days. Pius IX, October 1st, 1861]

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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ST LUCY, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

ST LUCY, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

ST LUCY, VIRGIN AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: DECEMBER 13

St Lucy, a virgin at Syracuse, illustrious by birth and because of her Christian faith, went to the tomb of Blessed Agatha at Catania and obtained the cure of her mother Eutychia, who had been suffering from an issue of blood. Soon she begged from her mother all the goods which she was to receive for her dowry and distributed them to the poor.

SHE DISTRIBUTED HER DOWRY TO THE POOR

When it was reported to Paschasius the prefect that she was a Christian, neither flattery nor threats could induce her to sacrifice to idols. Then Paschasius, inflamed with anger, ordered Lucy to be dragged to a place where her virginity would be violated; but by the power of God the virgin stood so firmly that no force was able to move her.

SHE STOOD SO FIRMLY THAT NO FORCE COULD MOVE HER

The prefect then commanded a fire to be kindled about her; but since no flame injured her, she was tortured by many torments, and her throat was pierced with a sword. After receiving this wound, she foretold the peace which the Church would enjoy after the death of Diocletian and Maximian. On the Ides of December, she yielded her soul to God. Her body was buried at Syracuse, then at Constantinople, and finally it was transferred to Venice.

PRAYER:

Hear us, O God, our Saviour, that, as we rejoice on the feast of blessed Lucy, your Virgin and Martyr, so we may grow in love and devotion. Through our Lord…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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