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St. Michael
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. Advertise Now

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PHOTO OF THE MONTH

PHOTO OF THE MONTH

REFLECTIONS

"Jesus' Baptism"

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John's baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the "baptism" of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus' baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God's suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father's will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God? Read More »

ASSUMPTION DAY TRADITIONS

The great feast of this month is that of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin — the Day of the Great Lady, as it is called by a saint whose feast also comes in August: Stephen, the first king of Hungary. In the Orthodox Church the feast is known as the Falling Asleep of the All Holy Mother of God.


In Poland the day is known as the Feast of Our Lady of Herbs, for the peasants take to church sweet-smelling bouquets of their finest blossoms mixed with the green of herbs. And Poles in America also honor the feast as that of Our Lady of Flowers; at church children sing hymns both in Polish and English, and later to the lively music of a polonaise the grown-ups swing into the dances of their motherland.


In many parts of Italy, the statue of Our Lady is carried in procession through the streets to the cathedral or church. And in Siena there takes place a noted race called the Palio (Standard) in honor of the Assumption of the Virgin. This race is held in the splendid public square of the city, shaped like a scallop shell and surrounded by ancient and beautiful buildings draped with banners for the occasion. Each ward or parish sends to the race a horse, which is first taken past the cathedral door to receive the bishop's blessing. The medieval costumes of the pages and grooms, of the captain and standard bearers, the furious race of the bareback riders around the stone-paved square, the crowds of onlookers from adjoining streets and balconies, make of this a memorable occasion. The winning parish or ward carries on a celebration after the race. Scaloppine al Marsala is the appropriate dish for Italians.


In Portugal the Romeria, as the festival held on the Assumption is called, is marked with the playing of a brass band and of drums and bagpipes. And the statues of Mary, Queen of the Angels, are crowned in the churches.

In Armenia there is the Blessing of the Grapes on the Sunday nearest the feast of the Assumption. Great trays of the fruit are brought into the churches, and after they are blessed each member of the congregation carries a bunch home. Feasts are held in the vineyards, and at this time the first grapes of the season are eaten.


In France August 15th is in general a day for parties and excursions into the country. At Quimper in Brittany, there is held the Feast of the Soul, dedicated to Mary as the great consoler. It is here considered a day for betrothals, when young men and women come to ask her blessing on their future. The image of the Virgin is placed at the church door during the day, and at night carried into the village square, later to be returned in procession to her shrine. Then to the light of bonfires and the music of bagpipes, the young people dance and make merry. A Quimper specialty is Crevettes à la Béchamel ⟨Shrimps with Bechamel Sauce ⟩.


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TYPE KEYWORDS OF THE MONTH
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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

DECEMBER 1
T. EDMUND CAMPION

St. Edmund lived in the sixteenth century. He was a very popular young English student who was..Read More »

DECEMBER 2
ST. BIBIANA

St. Bibiana's father Flavian had been prefect of the city of Rome in early Christian times. Read More »

DECEMBER 3
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER

St. Francis Xavier, the great missionary, was born at Xavier Castle in Spain in 1506.Read More »

DECEMBER 4
ST. JOHN DAMASCENE

St. John lived in the eighth century. He was born in the city of Damascus of a good Christian familyRead More »

DECEMBER 5
ST. SABAS

St. Sabas, born in 439, is one of the most famous monks of Palestine.Read More »

DECEMBER 6
ST. NICHOLAS

St. Nicholas is the great patron of children and of Christmas giving.Read More »

DECEMBER 7
ST. AMBROSE

St. Ambrose was born around 340. He was the son of the Roman governor of Gaul. When his father died.. Read More »

DECEMBER 8
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY

Our first parents offended God by sinning seriously.Read More »

DECEMBER 9
BLESSED JUAN DIEGO

St. Juan Diego is well-known because the Mother of God appeared to him. It was to Juan Diego ..Read More »

DECEMBER 10
ST. JOHN ROBERTS

St. John was born in Wales in 1577. Although he was not a Catholic, he was taught by an elderly priest.Read More »

DECEMBER 11
ST. DAMASUS I

ST. Damasus was born in Rome and lived in the fourth century-exciting times for the Church.Read More »

DECEMBER 12
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

We celebrate the event of Mary's appearances on Tepyac Hill in Mexico. The heavenly visitor came..Read More »

DECEMBER 13
ST. LUCY

St. Lucy, the beloved saint, lived in Syracuse, Sicily. She was born toward the end of the third century.Read More »

DECEMBER 14
ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS

St. John was born in Spain in 1542. He was the son of a weaver.Read More »

DECEMBER 15
ST. NINO

St. Nino was a Christian girl who lived in the fourth century.Read More »

DECEMBER 16
ST. ADELAIDE

St. Adelaide was born in 931. At the age of sixteen, this Burgundian princess was married to King Lothair.Read More »

DECEMBER 17
ST. OLYMPIAS

St. Olympias was born around the year 361. She belonged to a great family of Constantinople.Read More »

DECEMBER 18
ST. FLANNAN

St. Flannan lived around the seventh century. He was the son of an Irish chieftain named Turlough. Flannan was educated by the monks.Read More »

DECEMBER 19
BLESSED URBAN V

Blessed Urban's name before he became pope was William de Grimoard. He was born in France..Read More »

DECEMBER 20
ST. DOMINIC OF SILOS

St. Dominic, a Spanish shepherd boy, was born at the beginning of the eleventh century.Read More »

DECEMBER 21
ST. PETER CANISIUS

ST. Peter, a Dutch man, was born in 1521. His father wanted him to be a lawyer. To please him, young Peter..Read More »

DECEMBER 22
ST. CHAEREMON AND ST. ISCHYRION AND OTHER MARTYRS

The third century was marked by Roman persecutions of the Church.Read More »

DECEMBER 23
ST. JOHN OF KANTY

St. John, the Polish saint, was born in 1390, the son of good country folk. Seeing how intelligent their son was, Read More »

DECEMBER 23
ST. MARGUERITE D'YOUVILLE

St. Marguerite was born in Quebec, Canada, on October 15, 1701. Her father died in 1708 ..Read More »

DECEMBER 24
ST. CHARBEL

St. Charbel was born Youssef Makhlouf on May 8, 1828, in a mountain village in Lebanon.Read More »

DECEMBER 25
CHRISTMAS, THE BIRTHDAY OF JESUS

The time had come for the Son of God to become man for love of us.Read More »

DECEMBER 26
ST. STEPHEN

St. Stephen's name means crown. He was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown.Read More »

DECEMBER 27
ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE

St. John was a fisherman in Galilee. He was called to be an apostle.Read More »

DECEMBER 28
THE HOLY INNOCENTS

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Wise Men came from the east to worship him.Read More »

DECEMBER 29
ST. THOMAS BECKET

St. Thomas Becket was born in 1118, in London, England.Read More »

DECEMBER 30
CST. ANYSIA

St. Anysia lived in Thessalonica toward the end of the second century.Read More »

DECEMBER 31
ST. SYLVESTER

St. Sylvester dates back to early Christian times, to the reign of Constantine.Read More »

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