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Author Topic: Saint of the day and Feast days.  (Read 547469 times)
odhiambo
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« Reply #1344 on: December 27, 2011, 04:08:32 PM »


Christmas at Greccio.
The first ever celebration of Christmas as we know it today.
On 24 December, 1223, in Greccio, central Italy, St. Francis of Assisi created the first Christmas crib.
Francis, remembered a visit he had made years before to Bethlehem, He decided to re-create the Bethlehem experience in a cave among the hills of central Italy, a cave in Greccio.
A few days before Christmas, Francis disclosed his plan to Giovanni, a nobleman of Greccio with whom he was close. He told Giovanni he wanted to remind people of the birth of the Child Jesus on the night of Christmas, to have people see and appreciate the inconveniences of the infant; how he lay in a manger; how, with an ox and an ass standing by, he lay upon the hay where he had been placed. Giovanni was enthralled.
They invited Brothers from nearby Franciscan places.
Many torches and candles were needed to make a great light that night.
Men and women worked unceasingly to prepare them and by Christmas Eve, the Vigil of Christmas, everything was ready in the forest, that is, the manger, the hay, the ox and ass. Francis inspected it all and was pleased. At last he had found a way to make a living presentation of the concept in which he passionately believed.
Night fell and obscured the  trees, the steep cliffs, the hermitage, the valley.
As the hours passed, far away lights appeared in the valley and began to move up to the hermitage. Again, as once before, shepherds were walking in the night to "come and adore Him."
A thousand torches blazed up in the darkness and the night lit up like the day.
A great crowd thronged the manger, where the ox and the ass brought the first miracle to life again. The people were filled with joy over the mystery.
From the group of kneeling friars arose the chorus: "Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound..."
Francis, vested as a deacon, sang the beautiful lesson: "She gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger..." His voice rang out like heavenly music that none of those present could ever forget:
 Francis then  preached to the people about the birth of the poor King in the the little town of Bethlehem. Before they knew it, it was dawn; the beginning of a new day for all who were there.
And so it came to pass! The First ever Christmas! Christmas at Greccio!
 A belated Merry Christmas to you all  Smiley
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Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1345 on: December 27, 2011, 04:11:28 PM »

25 th December

On this day we Celebrated
Christmas
The Birthday of Life!
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Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1346 on: December 27, 2011, 04:23:29 PM »

Christmas Day.
December 25 is the day of the year the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the coming of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
The word “Christmas” comes from the Old English Cristes maesse or Cristes-messe, which means “Christ’s Mass” or Mass of Christ.
The Bible ascribes no specific date to the birth of Jesus. The celebration of a special feast pertaining to it was referred to as early as AD 200 BY Saint Clement of Alexandria (150-215)
December 25 came to be accepted as the birthday of Jesus because it was on this day, the time of the winter solstice that the pagans celebrated the ‘ dies natalis Solis Invicti, i.e., the birthday of the invincible sun. Besides, the sun god had been proclaimed principle patron of the Roman Empire, with a temple dedicated to him, on 25 December 274 by Emperor Aurelian.
Note that 25 December was also regarded as the date of the Iranian god, Mithra, the Sun of Righteousness. Some scholars are of the opinion that the church chose the date of this pagan celebration, December 25, to interest the pagans in Christianity as they were already used to celebrating on this date.
The popular Catholic custom of adoring the Holy Infant in the Christmas Crib owes its origin to the creative spirituality of St. Francis D’Assisi as we read in yesterday’s post.
The “Christmas Tree” that is so popular today is said to be most likely of German origin, and symbolizes the “tree of life” in the Garden of Eden and the Tree of the Cross.
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1347 on: December 27, 2011, 04:24:31 PM »

Reflection:
Quote
“With His coming, Jesus taught us to eradicate every vice, and to live a life of righteousness in the faithful observance of our duties. Jesus chose His first earthly adorers from among good, simple and upright shepherds , because they had a lively faith. How do we rank alongside the shepherds?”
Blessed James Alberione

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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1348 on: December 27, 2011, 04:26:05 PM »

26 December

On this day we remember
Saint Stephen
Among many other saints
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1349 on: December 27, 2011, 04:32:34 PM »

Saint Stephen
The Proto Martyr
Stephen’s name means “crown” and he was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the Martyr’s crown.
We do not know the circumstances of Stephen’s conversion to Christianity; in fact we have no knowledge of his life outside what we read in the New Testament.
It is believed that he was one of the seventy two disciples of Jesus. He played a significant role in the early Church.
As the number of believers kept on increasing, the Apostles found that they needed help with some of the duties such as preaching, baptizing, distributing alms among the poor, etc. They ordained seven deacons and Stephen is the most well known of these. He was “a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit”, who had been taught by the great Gamaliel and had received a thorough pharisaic education. Since he spoke Greek, he could devote himself particularly to the Hellenistic converts who were generally looked down upon by Palestinian Jews.
Stephen threw himself into his apostolic work with a great deal of zeal and the Lord blessed him by enabling him to do great wonders and signs among the people.
The enemies of the Church were furious to see how successful Stephen’s preaching was. He spoke with such wisdom and spirit that those who heard him sought conversion. A plot was laid by the elders of certain synagogues in Jerusalem. At first they undertook to dispute with him but finding themselves unequal to the task, they bribed false witnesses to charge him with blasphemy against Moses and against God.
With this charge, Stephen was dragged before the Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish court. After the accusation had been read, Caiphas, the High Priest, ordered him to make his defence. Stephen spoke with great courage and constancy, reminding them of the prophecies concerning the Messiah and went on to prove that Jesus, whom they had unjustly condemned to death, was truly the Promised One of God. He reproached them for their blindness and hardness of heart.
They were filled with anger at his accusation and rose up against him. Stephen was not afraid. Filled with the Holy Spirit and looking up to heaven, he cried out, “ Behold, I see the heaven thrown open and the Son of Man standing at the right side of God”
At this, all members of the Jewish council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands refusing to hear what Stephen had to say.
Then , they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and stoned him to death.
The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul of Tarsus.
As they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then falling down on his knees, he cried with a loud voice saying, “Lord, do not hold this against them.”
Thus, Saint Stephen died praying for his executioners just as Our Lord had done before him.
Saint Stephen,
Pray for us!
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1350 on: December 27, 2011, 04:34:11 PM »

27 December.

On this day wew remember
Saint John the Apostle
Among many other saints.
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Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1351 on: December 27, 2011, 04:39:36 PM »

Saint John the Apostle
John , who was an Apostle and Evangelist, was the younger son of Zebedee, a wealthy Galilean fisherman. John had an older brother, Saint James the Greater, with whom he was called “boanerges” meaning “sons of thunder”. The three were all fishermen on the Sea of Galilee.
The brothers were disciples of Saint John the Baptist untill Our Lord called them. He not only became a disciple of Jesus, he was, together with James and Peter, a member of the inner circle around Jesus.
He was present at the raising of Jairus’ daughter; the Transfiguration.
At the Last Supper, a very solemn occasion indeed, John, the youngest , among the Apostles, was permitted to recline his head on the chest of Jesus . John was present at the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and again “the disciple whom Jesus loved” , was permitted into the Palace of Caiphas on the night Jesus was betrayed. “Being known to the High Priest, John was the only one of the 12 Apostles to remain at the foot of the Cross throughout Christ’s Agony and it was to his loving care that Jesus entrusted His Immaculate Mother.
On the first Easter morning, it was again John and Peter, who raced to the empty tomb.
According to tradition, John lived in Ephesus before being exiled to Patmos during the reign of Emperor Domitian, “Because I proclaimed God’s Word and gave testimony to Jesus”(Rv. 1:9). At Patmos, John wrote the Book of Revelation, although some experts believe that the Book of Revelation could have been written by one of his disciples.
A few years later, Saint John returned to Ephesus where he wrote the Gospel and the three epistles attributed to him.
He died of old age.
In liturgical art, John’s symbol is the eagle.
Saint John,
You who was Beloved of the Master,
Pray for us!
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1352 on: December 27, 2011, 04:40:52 PM »

28 December

Today is the Feast of
The Holy Innocents
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Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1353 on: December 27, 2011, 04:45:37 PM »

The Holy Innocents
Today the Church honors the memory of the little children who, Matthew writes, were massacred by the order of King Herod the Great.
Feeling very threatened by the existence of the “new-born King” whom the Magi had come to worship, Herod ordered the merciless slaughter of all male children, under the age of 2 years, in the town of Bethlehem and its environs.
Note the similarity of this incident to the following incident in the Old Testament.
“And the king of Egypt spoke to the midwives of the Hebrews: of whom one was called Sephora, the other Phua. Commanding them: When you shall do the office of midwives to the Hebrew woman, and the time of delivery is come: if it be a man child, kill it: if a woman, keep it alive…”
Exodus 1:15-16, 22
This was the massacre from which Moses was spared. It foreshadows the massacre of the Holy Innocents that took place soon after Christ was born and in which Jesus too was spared.
To try and understand the type of man who could order the mass murder of babies, a look at Herod, the man, is an eye opener!
Herod the Great (73-4BC), was the son of Antipater. He was an Edomite or Idumaean.
At the time of the massacre, Herod was king of the Roman Provinces of Judea, Galilee and Samaria. History describes him as an extremely cruel man, “a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis. He retained power by control of the religious establishments and rigorous suppression of the opposition.
Emperor Augustus reportedly commented that he would much rather be Herod’s pig than his offspring, reason being that Herod refused to eat pork but did not hesitate to murder his own offspring!
In 35 BC Herod had his brother in law drowned in the pool of Jericho.
In 34 BC he killed his own brother Joseph!
In 29 BC he killed his own wife Mariamne( that is one of his wives because he reportedly had 10 wives). A few months after killing his wife, he killed her mother, Alexandra.
In 25 BC he killed yet another brother in law, Costobar.
He killed two of his sons named Alexander and Aristobulus also.
Finally, in 4 BC, barely days before he himself died, he had yet another son, Antipater, killed!
With all these atrocities to his name, the massacre of innocent babies and children , that left many parents inconsolable, did not seem to merit even a token mention by some historians!
The Church, however, venerates them as martyrs because they died, not just for Christ, but also instead of Him.
We do not know the exact number of infants and children killed. Modern scholars believe that there could have been 25 children murdered.
It is also not certain when the feast of the Holy Innocents was first observed, but it is said to have been first mentioned in 485 AD.
In medieval England, the feast was known as “Childermas”, that is, “Children’s Mass”.
Holly Innocents,
Pray for us!
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1354 on: December 27, 2011, 08:44:41 PM »

Merry Christmas to you too Odhiambo!  That was a lot to catch up with! Cheesy

Holy Innocents pray for us!  Sts Stephen, John, John Kanty , pray for us!!
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~~~John 2:5
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« Reply #1355 on: December 28, 2011, 03:43:59 AM »

Merry Christmas to you too Odhiambo!  That was a lot to catch up with! Cheesy

Holy Innocents pray for us!  Sts Stephen, John, John Kanty , pray for us!!

Thanks Patricia.
Yes, many days had gone by; I said to myself. better late, than never. Smiley
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1356 on: December 28, 2011, 04:01:12 PM »

I love St. John.  Cheesy

'And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven, as it were for half an hour.'

Apocalypse 8:1
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #1357 on: December 28, 2011, 04:30:27 PM »

29 December

Today is the Memorial of
Saint Thomas Becket
Among many other saints
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Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1358 on: December 28, 2011, 04:39:04 PM »

Saint Thomas Becket.
Archbishop of Cantebury.
Martyr

Thomas was born in London on December 21, 1118. His father was a prosperous London merchant called Gilbert.
His mother was named Matilda.
Thomas' parents hailed from Normandy.
He was educated at Merton Priory(Surrey) and then in London and Paris where he studied civil and canon law.
When his father died and left him without an estate, Thomas entered the service of Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury.The
Archbishop sent him on several missions to Rome.
Becket's talents were soon noticed by Henry II, who made him his chancellor and the two became close friends.
When Theobald died in 1161, Henry made Becket archbishop.
Becket transformed himself from a pleasure loving courtier into a serious cleric.
When it became clear that Becket would now stand up for the church in its disagreements with the king, the friendship between the two men was put under strain.
In 1164, realising the extent of Henry's displeasure with him, Becket fled into exile in France, and remained in exile for several years.
He returned to England in 1170.
The confrontation between Cantebury and the crown began almost immediately.
Angered by the public display of support shown to Thomas, Henry cried out to his knights,
"Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?"
 As a consequence of that cry, four Kights, William de Tracy, Reginald Fitz-Urse, Hugh de Morville and Richard le Breton, travelled to Cantebury and on the evening of December 29, 1170, murdered Saint Thomas and a companion in a side chapel of the cathedral.
Thomas reportedly declared at the moment of his death,
"Willingly I die for the name of Jesus and in defense of the Church."

There was a universal outcry against the murder, and miracles were soon reported, followed by pilgrims coming to Becket's shrine.
The tomb at Cantebury subsequently became one of the most popular sites for pilgrims in the whole of Christendom.
The shrine was destroyed in 1538.
Pope AlexdanderIII canonized Becket on February 21, 1173, and the following year on July 24, 1174, King Henry performed penance before Becket's tomb.
In liturgical art, Thomas is depicted as an archbishop bearing a crosier or an inverted sword.
Saint Thomas Becket
Pray for us!
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #1359 on: December 29, 2011, 07:21:21 PM »

30 December

Today is the Memorial of
Saint Egwin
Among many other saints.
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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