Catholic Culture Liturgical Year

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As the earth cycles annually through its seasons, just so the Church celebrates with quiet, deliberate rhythm the seasons of the liturgical year – always the same, yet ever new and renewing.
Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

Dec. 15 Friday of the Second Week of Advent; St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli (Italy), Weekday

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 22:00
Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:31-35).

Dec. 14 Memorial of St. John of the Cross, priest and doctor, Memorial

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 22:00
St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) was born and died in Spain. His parents were poor and could not give him training in any trade. Hence he became the servant of the sick in the hospital of Medina. In 1563 he offered himself as a lay brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, perceiving his unusual talents, had him ordained a priest. When he was about to join the more severe Order of the Carthusians, the saintly Teresa persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of the Carmelite Order. This reform of his order caused him such sufferings and brought him many trials. But his sufferings served only to detach him from creatures. He had a great devotion to Our Lord's Passion and voluntarily sought out humiliations. When Our Lord asked him what reward he would ask for his labors, John answered: "To suffer and to be despised for Thee." He died of a cruel disease, embracing the crucifix. Because of his profound treatises on mystical theology Pope Pius XI proclaimed him Doctor of the Church. According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite St. John of Cross' feast is celebrated on November 24.

Dec. 13 Memorial of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, Memorial

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 22:00
St. Lucy (283-304) was born in Syracuse, Sicily, where she also died. She was of a noble Greek family, and was brought up as a Christian by her mother, who was miraculously cured at the shrine of St. Agatha in Catania. Lucy made a vow of virginity and distributed her wealth to the poor. This generosity stirred the wrath of the unworthy youth to whom she had been unwillingly betrothed and who denounced her to Paschasius, the governor of Sicily. When it was decided to violate her virginity in a place of shame, Lucy, with the help of the Holy Spirit, stood immovable. A fire was then built around her, but again God protected her. She was finally put to death by the sword. Her name appears in the second list in the Canon.

Dec. 12 Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Feast

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 22:00
"Rejoice: the Lord is nigh." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament.

Dec. 11 Optional Memorial of St. Damasus I, pope, Opt. Mem.

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 22:00
St. Damasus was Supreme Pontiff from 366 to 384. He was a very learned man, well versed in the Scriptures. He commissioned St. Jerome to complete the translation of the Bible into the Latin language. Shortly after his reign the 72 books of the Bible, hitherto scattered in different parts of the Orient, were collected into one volume. He defended the rights of the Holy See, and beautified the Roman resting places of the Christian dead and of the saints. He also confirmed the practice of singing the Psalms day and night in the churches and adding a Glory Be at the end of each Psalm.

Dec. 10 Second Sunday of Advent, Sunday

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 22:00
"As the journey of Advent continues, as we prepare to celebrate the nativity of Christ, John the Baptist's call to conversion sounds out in our communities. It is a pressing invitation to open our hearts and to welcome the Son of God Who comes among us to make divine judgement manifest. The Father, writes St. John the Evangelist, does not judge anyone, but has entrusted the power of judgement to the Son, because He is the Son of man.

Dec. 9 Optional Memorial of St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (USA), Opt. Mem.

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 22:00
Today the Church in the United States celebrates the optional memorial of St. Juan Diego, an Indian convert, to whom the Virgin Mary appeared as he was going to Mass in Tlatlelolco, Mexico. Our Lady asked him to tell the Bishop that she desired a shrine to be built on the spot to manifest her love for all mankind. She left a marvelous portrait of herself on the mantle of Juan Diego as a sign for the Bishop. This miraculous image has proved to be ageless, and is kept in the shrine built in her honor, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.

Dec. 8 Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Solemnity

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 22:00
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the solemn dogma defined by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1854. As Our Lady Immaculately Conceived is the patroness of the United States of America, this is a holy day of obligation in the United States.

Dec. 7 Memorial of St. Ambrose, bishop and doctor, Memorial

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 22:00
St. Ambrose (340-397) was born at Treves in Gaul, a territory which embraced modern France, Britain, Spain, and part of Africa. He studied in Rome and later became governor of Liguria and Aemelia with residence at Milan. While supervising the election of a new bishop of Milan in 374, he himself was suddenly acclaimed the bishop. He was only a catechumen at the time. He was ordained a priest and consecrated a bishop on Dec. 7. He wrote much on the Scriptures and Fathers, preached a homily every Sunday, resisted the interference of the secular powers with the rights of the Church, opposed the heretics, and was instrumental in bringing about the conversion of St. Augustine. He composed many hymns, promoted sacred chant, and took a great interest in the Liturgy.

Dec. 6 Optional Memorial of St. Nicholas, bishop, Opt. Mem.

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 22:00
St. Nicholas was born in Lycia, Asia Minor, and died as Bishop of Myra in 352. He performed many miracles and exercised a special power over flames. The first miracle attributed to Nicholas after he became a bishop was the safety of a child threatened by fire. He practiced both the spiritual and temporal works of mercy, and fasted twice a week. When he heard that a father who had fallen into poverty was about to expose his three daughters to a life of sin, Nicholas took a bag of gold and secretly flung it through the window into the room of the sleeping father. In this way, the three girls were dowered and saved from mortal sin and hell.

Dec. 5 Tuesday of the First Week of Advent, Weekday

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 22:00
St. Sabbas is pictured as an abbot with an apple. He was once tempted to eat an apple outside of the prescribed mealtime, whereupon he vowed never to eat apples again. The Martyrology says: "At Mutala in Cappadocia the holy abbot Sabbas; in Palestine he gave the shining example of a holy life. Untiringly he labored in defense of the true faith against those opposing the Council of Chalcedon." In Jerusalem he built a famous laura (as oriental monasteries are called), which bears his name. When the Arabs later conquered the Holy City, the monks fled to Rome, where they built a monastery and introduced the veneration of their saint. In the Eastern Church St. Sabbas ranks high in popular devotion; he is distinguished by the titles "God-bearer, the Saint, Citizen of the Holy City, Star of the Desert, Patriarch of Monks." This feast is celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Dec. 4 Optional Memorial of St. John Damascene, priest and doctor, Weekday

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 22:00
St. John Damascene was a learned theologian who carefully gathered together and transmitted to us the teaching of the Greek Fathers, and is thus one of the most trustworthy witnesses to oriental tradition. He also wrote many liturgical hymns still in use today. St. John Damascene died in 749. Leo XIII proclaimed him a Doctor of the universal Church.

Dec. 3 First Sunday of Advent, Sunday

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 22:00
For us Catholics, the new Liturgical Year commences with the first Sunday of Advent. In this new liturgical year, the Church not only wishes to indicate the beginning of a period, but the beginning of a renewed commitment to the faith by all those who follow Christ, the Lord. This time of prayer and path of penance that is so powerful, rich and intense, endeavors to give us a renewed impetus to truly welcome the message of the One who was incarnated for us. In fact, the entire Liturgy of the Advent Season, will spur us to an awakening in our Christian life and will put us in a �vigilant' disposition, to wait for Our Lord Jesus who is coming:

Dec. 2 Saturday of the Thirty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Weekday

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 22:00
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Bibiana who was martyred at Rome under Julian the Apostate in 363.

Dec. 1 Friday of the Thirty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time; Bl. Charles de Foucauld , Weekday

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 22:00
Today is the feast of Blessed Charles Eugène de Foucauld, a French Catholic religious and priest, who lived among the Tuareg in the Sahara in Algeria. He was assassinated in 1916 outside the door of the fort he built for the protection of the Tuareg, and is a martyr. His inspiration and writings led to the founding of the Little Brothers of Jesus among other religious congregations. He was beatified on 13 November 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Nov. 30 Feast of St. Andrew, apostle, Feast

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 22:00
St. Andrew was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee, a fisherman by trade, and a former disciple of John the Baptist. He was the one who introduced his brother Peter to Jesus, saying, "We have found the Messiah." Overshadowed henceforth by his brother, Andrew nevertheless appears again in the Gospels as introducing souls to Christ. After Pentecost, Andrew took up the apostolate on a much wider scale, and is said to have been martyred at Patras in southern Greece on a cross which was in the form of an "X". This type of cross has long been known as "St. Andrew's cross."

Nov. 29 Wednesday of the Thirty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Weekday

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 22:00
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Saturninus, martyr.

Nov. 28 Tuesday of the Thirty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Weekday

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 22:00
Traditionally today is the feast of St. Catherine Laboure. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her, a member of the Daughters of Charity, three times in 1830 and commissioned her to have made the Miraculous Medal and to spread a devotion to it. St. Catherine Laboure was canonized in 1947. It is also the feast of St. James of the Marches who grew up in the turbulence of early 15th Century Europe. Wars were being waged across Western Europe, and the Papal seat of authority was divided between Italy and France.

Nov. 27 Monday of the Thirty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Weekday

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 22:00
Traditionally, in some places, the feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal is celebrated today. It is the day that Our Lady appeared to St. Catherine Laboure and showed her the images of the medal she wished to have made.

Nov. 26 Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Solemnity

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 22:00
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, formerly referred to as "Christ the King," was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man's thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ's royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations.

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