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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).

 
LIVES OF THE SAINTS

AUGUST 1
ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
St. Alphonsus was born near Naples, Italy, in 1732. 

AUGUST 2
ST. EUSEBIUS
St. Eusebius was born on the island of Sardinia, Italy, around 283. 

AUGUST 3
ST. PETER JULIAN EYMARD
St. Peter Julian Eymard was born in a small town in the diocese of Grenoble, France in 1786.

AUGUST 4
BLESSED FREDERIC JANSSOONE
Blessed Frederic Janssoone was born in Flanders in 1838.

AUGUST 5
DEDICATION OF ST. MARY MAJOR

St. Mary Major is important to Christendom for three reasons:

AUGUST 6
THE TRANSFIGURATION

St. Mary Major is important to Christendom for three reasons:

AUGUST 7
ST. CAJETAN

St. Cajetan was born in Vicenza, Italy, in 1480, the son of a count.

AUGUST 8
ST. DOMINIC

St. Dominic was born in Castile, Spain, in 1170.

AUGUST 9
BLESSED JOHN OF RIETI

Blessed John lived in the first half of the fourteenth century.

AUGUST 10
ST. LAWRENCE

St. Lawrence, the famous martyr of Rome, lived in the third century.

AUGUST 11
ST. CLARE

St. Clare was born around 1193 in Assisi, Italy. She lived at the time of St. Francis of Assisi.

AUGUST 14
ST. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE

Raymond Kolbe was born in Poland in 1894.

AUGUST 15
THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

This feast of Mary celebrates a special privilege of Mary, our Mother.

AUGUST 16
ST. STEPHEN OF HUNGARY

St. Stephen was born around 969 in Hungary. This saint's name had been Vaik.

AUGUST 17
BLESSED JOAN DELANOUE

St. Joan Delanoue was born in 1666. Her family had a small but successful business.

AUGUST 18
ST. JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL

St. Jane was born in Dijon, France, in 1572.

AUGUST 19
ST. JOHN EUDES

St. John Eudes was born in Normandy, France, in 1601.

AUGUST 20
ST. BERNARD

St. Bernard was born in 1090 in Dijon, France.

AUGUST 21
ST. PIUS X

St. Pius X, the great pope, was named Joseph Sarto. He was born in 1835, the son of a mailman in Riese, Italy.

AUGUST 23
ST. ROSE OF LIMA

St. Rose, the South American saint, was born in Lima, Peru, in 1586.

AUGUST 24
ST. BARTHOLOMEW

"Bartholomew" was one of the first followers of Jesus.

AUGUST 25
ST. LOUIS OF FRANCE

St. Louis was born on April 25, 1214. His father was King Louis VIII of France and his mother was Queen Blanche.

AUGUST 25
ST. JOSEPH CALASANZ

St. Joseph was born in 1556, in his father's castle in Spain. He went to college and became a lawyer.

AUGUST 26
ST. ELIZABETH BICHIER

St. Elizabeth was born in 1773. As a little girl, her favorite game was building castles in the sand.

AUGUST 27
ST. MONICA

St. Monica, the famous mother of St. Augustine, was born in 332 in Tagaste, northern Africa.

AUGUST 28
ST. AUGUSTINE

St. Augustine was born in Tagaste in modern Algeria on November 13, 354. This famous son of St. Monica spent many years in wicked living and in false beliefs.

AUGUST 29
BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

St. John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus. His mother was St. Elizabeth and his father was Zechariah.

AUGUST 30
ST. PAMMACHIUS

"St. Pammachius was a distinguished Christian layman who lived in the fourth century.

AUGUST 31
ST. AIDAN

St. Aidan was a seventh-century Irish monk. He lived at the great monastery of Iona, which St. Columban had founded.

 
ABOUT ARCHANGELS
SAINT MICHAEL
St. Michael the Archangel Story
History of St. Michael the Archangel Prayer
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Litany of St. Michael the Archangel


SAINT GABRIEL

St. Gabriel Prayer

SAINT RAPHAEL

St. Raphael Prayer
 
PHOTO OF THE MONTH


Tour of the Relics of the Passion
(International Center for Holy Relics)
www.HolyRelics.org

 
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?

 
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