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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 »

READINGS AND HYMNS FOR THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Here are some ideas for readings and text of hymns to learn to sing for the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Some of the prophetic lessons of Isaias could also be read, along with Gertrude von le Fort's poem to Our Lady of Advent, from Hymns to the Church. The singing of the Alma Redemptoris Mater, or the beautiful Tota Pulchra Es of Dom Pothierwould be a suitable conclusion for the little ceremony.

Several remarks may be added concerning the hymns which we teach children in honor of Our Lady. Much bad taste, musical and theological, has entered into the praises of Our Lady. It would indeed be wise always to teach children only the best, and that which is always truthful and in accord with reality. Would we dare to compare "Macula non est in te," "Mother Dear, O Pray for Me," "On This Day, O Beautiful Mother," or "Bring Flowers of the Rarest," with the Ave, Maris Stella (sung in English, perhaps; but you will find that the children easily come to love and understand the Latin); the Ave Maria, as edited by Solesmes; the sequence Inviolata; the hymn Maria Mater Gratiae, or the Tota Pulchra Es of Dom Pothier?

Mother Church recommends the Ave Maris Stella, which is the vesper hymn of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Compare the theology of this hymn with the sentimental ballads which are customarily taught to children in honor of their heavenly Mother and Mediatrix:

Ave, Star of ocean,
Child divine who bearest,
Mother, ever Virgin,
Heaven's portal fairest.

Taking that sweet Ave
Erst by Gabriel spoken,
Eva's name reversing,
Be of peace the token.

Break the sinner's fetters,
Light to blind restoring,
All our ills dispelling,
Every boon imploring.

Show thyself a mother
In thy supplication,
He will hear who chose thee
At His Incarnation.

Maid all maids excelling,
Passing meek and lowly,
Win for sinners pardon,
Make us chaste and holy.

As we onward journey
Aid our weak endeavor,
Till we gaze on Jesus
And rejoice forever.

Father, Son, and Spirit,
Three in One confessing,
Give we equal glory
Equal praise and blessing.

— Ethelstan Riley translation

Should we desire other hymns in honor of the Immaculate Conception, we may choose such hymns and carols as "A Child Is Born in Bethlehem," or the superb German Advent carol "Behold, a Branch Is Growing." The latter, a fifteenth-century carol harmonized by Praetorius, is given below:

Behold a branch is growing
Of loveliest form and grace.
As prophets sung, foreknowing;
It springs from Jesse's race.

And bears one little flower.
In midst of coldest winter,
At deepest midnight hour.
Isaiah hath foretold itIn words of promise sure,
And Mary's arms enfold it,
A Virgin meek and pure.

Through God's eternal will,
This Child to her is given

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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

MAY 1
ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER

This is St. Joseph's second feast day on the Church calendar of celebrations. We honor him also on March 19. St. Joseph is a very important saint. Read More »

MAY 2
ST. ATHANASIUS

St. Athanasius was born around 297 in Alexandria, Egypt. He devoted his life to proving that Jesus is truly.. Read More »

MAY 3
ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES

Both of these saints were part of the original group of Jesus'.. Read More »

MAY 4
BLESSED MARIE-LEONIE PARADIS

Blessed Marie-Elodie Paradis was born in the village of L'Acadie in Quebec, Canada. It was May 12, 1840. Read More »

MAY 5
ST. JUDITH OF PRUSSIA

St. Judith lived in the thirteenth century. She was born in Thuringia. This was in what is now central Germany. She wanted to model her life on the example of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Read More »

MAY 6
BLESSED FRANCOIS DE MONTMORENCY LAVAL

Blessed Francois was the first bishop of Quebec City, Canada. He was born in 1623 in a small town.. Read More »

MAY 7
BLESSED ROSE VENERINI

Blessed Rose was born in Viterbo, Italy, in 1656. Her father was a physician. Rose entered the convent but returned home after a few months. Read More »

MAY 8
BLESSED CATHERINE OF ST. AUGUSTINE

St. Catherine was born on May 3, 1632, in a little village in France. She was baptized the same day. Read More »

MAY 9
BLESSED NICHOLAS ALBERGATI

Blessed Nicholas was born in Bologna, Italy. Nicholas' family could afford to send him to the university where he began to study law. Read More »

MAY 10
ST. ANTONINUS

St. Antoninus lived in the fifteenth century. Even as a boy he showed that he had good sense and will power. Read More »

MAY 11
ST. IGNATIUS OF LACONI

St. Ignatius was the son of a poor farmer in Laconi, Italy. He was born on December 17, 1701. Read More »

MAY 12
ST. NEREUS, ST. ACHILLEUS AND ST. PANCRAS

Sts. Nereus and Achilleus were Roman soldiers who died around 304. They were probably Praetorian guards under Emperor Trajan. We know little else about them. Read More »

MAY 13
ST. ANDREW FOURNET

St. Andrew Fournet was born on December 6, 1752. He was from Maille, a little town near Poitiers, in France. Andrew's parents were.. Read More »

MAY 14
ST. MATTHIAS

St. Matthias was one of Our Lord's seventy-two disciples. Read More »

MAY 15
ST. ISIDORE THE FARMER

Saint Isidore was born in 1070, in Madrid, Spain. His parents were deeply religious. They named their son after the great St. Isidore, archbishop of.. Read More »

MAY 16
ST. UBALD

St. Ubald lived in twelfth-century Italy. He was an orphan raised by his uncle, a bishop. Ubald was given a good education. Read More »

MAY 17
ST. PASCHAL BAYLON

St. Paschal, a Spanish saint, was born in 1540. From the time he was seven, he worked as a shepherd. He never had the opportunity to go to school. Read More »

MAY 18
ST. JOHN I

St. John I was a priest of Rome. He became pope after the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. At that time, Italy's ruler, heodoric the Goth.. Read More »

MAY 19
ST. CELESTINE V

Peter di Morone was the eleventh of twelve children. He was born around 1210 in Isernia, Italy. His father died when he was small. Read More »

MAY 20
ST. BERNARDINE OF SIENA

St. Bernardine of Siena was born in 1380 in a town near Siena, Italy. He was the son of an Italian governor. Read More »

MAY 21
BLESSED EUGENE DE MAZENOD

Blessed Eugene was born in France in 1782. He became a priest in 1811. Father Eugene was sensitive to the needs of the poor and he ministered..Read More »

MAY 22
ST. RITA OF CASCIA

St. Rita was born in 1381 in a little Italian village. Her parents were older. They had begged God to send them a child. They brought Rita up well. Read More »

MAY 23
ST. JOHN BAPTIST ROSSI

St. John Baptist Rossi was born in 1698 in a village near Genoa, Italy. His family loved him. They were proud when a wealthy couple visiting their town offered to educate him. His parents knew the couple and trusted them. Read More »

MAY 24
ST. DAVID I OF SCOTLAND

St. David was born in 1080. He was the youngest son of St. Margaret, queen of Scotland, and her good husband, King Malcom. Read More »

MAY 25
VENERABLE BEDE

Venerable Bede, the English priest, was famous as a saint, a priest, a monk, a teacher and a writer of history. He was born in England in 673. Read More »

MAY 26
ST. PHILIP NERI

St. Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy, in 1515. As a child, his nickname was "Good little Phil." He was always so jolly and friendly that everyone he met loved him. Read More »

MAY 27
ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY

St. Augustine was the abbot of St. Andrew's monastery in Rome. Pope St. Gregory the Great chose him and forty other monks for a mission.. Read More »

MAY 28
BLESSED MARGARET POLE

Blessed Margaret was born in 1471. She was the niece of two English kings, Edward IV and Richard III. Henry VII arranged her marriage to Sir Reginald Pole. Read More »

MAY 29
ST. MAXIMINIUS

St. Maximinius was a bishop who lived in the fourth century. It is believed that he was born in Poitiers, France. As a young man, he heard of a saintly bishop of Trier, in Gaul. Read More »

MAY 30
ST. JOAN OF ARC

St. Joan was born in 1412. Her hometown was Domremy, a little village in France. Jacques d'Arc, her father, was a hard working farmer. Read More »

MAY 31
THE VISITATION OF MARY

Visitation means "visit." The Archangel Gabriel told the Blessed Virgin Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby. Read More »

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