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Bl. Pope Urban V

Saturday, December 19 – Feast Day of Blessed Pope Urban V

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut Filii tui ventura solemnitas, et praesentis nobis vitae remedia conferat, et praemia aeterne concedat.  Per eumdem Dominum nostrum.

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the coming solemnity of Thy Son, may both bestow upon us healing in this present life and grant us rewards in the life to come.  Through the same our Lord.

Gospel (Lk. 3:1-6)

The day of mercy is coming, proclaimed by St. John the Baptist.

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina, under the high priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert.  And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins, as it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the Prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight His paths: every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight; and the rough ways plain; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

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Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Prope es tu, Domine, et omnes viae tuae veritas: initio cognovi de testimoniis tuis, quia in aeternum tu es.  Beati immaculate in via: qui ambulant in lege Domini.  Gloria Patri.  Prope es tu . . .

Thou art near, O Lord, and all Thy ways are truth: I have known from the beginning concerning Thy testimonies, and Thou art for ever.  Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lard.  Glory be to the Father.  Thou art near . . .

Epistle (Is. 11:1-5)

The Prophet Isaias announces to us the coming of Christ, the Sun of Justice.

Thus saith the Lord God: There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.  And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him: the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and of godliness, and He shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord.  He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears: but He shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.  And justice shall be the girdle of His loins: and faith the girdle of His reins.

Gospel (Lk. 1:39-47)

The Visitation of our Blessed Lady.  The blessed Virgin Mary visits Elizabeth and Jesus visits and sanctifies John.  Wherefore St. John leaps with joy and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Ghost, exclaims: “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb.”

At that time Mary rising up, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Jude: and she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.  And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb: and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.  And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.  And blessed art thou that hast believed, because these things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.  And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord: and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.

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The Annunciation

On the Wednesday of Ember week in Advent, the Mystery of the Annunciation ic commemorated by many Churches.  The Mass is sung early in the morning.  That Mass is sometimes called the Golden Mass, Rorate Mass, or Messias Mass.  On that occasion the Church is illuminated, as a token that the world was still in darkness when the Light of the world appeared.  The Mass is called the Golden Mass possibly because in the Middle Ages the while of the Mass or at least the initial letters were written in gold, or on account of the golden magnificence of the solemnity, ot more probably on account of the special, great, “golden” grace which, at that time, is obtained by the numerous prayers.  It is called Rorate Mass after the first words of the Introit of the Mass: Rorate Coeli; and Messias Mass because the Church, like our Lady, expresses on that day her longing for the arrival of the Messias.

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut redemptionis nostrae ventura solemnitas, et praesentis nobis vitae subsidia conferat, et aeternae beatitudinis praemia largiatur.  Per Dominum nostrum.

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the coming solemnity of our redemption may both confer upon us assistance in this present life and bestow the rewards of everlasting blessedness.  Through our Lord.

Gospel (Luke 1:26-38)

At that time the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin, espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace: the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.  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.  And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: because no word shall be impossible with God.  And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word.

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St. Lucy

December 13 – Third Sunday of Advent, Feast Day of St. Lucy

On this day the Church urges us to gladness in the middle of this time of expectation and penance.  The coming of Jesus approaches more and more.  St. John, the holy precursor, announces to the Jews the coming of the Savior.  “The Savior,” he says to them, “lives already among us, though unknown.  He will soon appear openly.”  Now is the time for fervent prayers and for imploring Jesus to remain with us by His mercy.  Let us prepare the way for Him by repentance and penance and by a worthy reception of the Sacraments.  All the prayers of this Mass are filled with what the Church wishes our souls to possess at the approach of the Savior.

Aurem tuam quasumus, Domine, precibus nostris accommoda: et mentis nostrae tenebras, gratia tuae visitationis illustra: Qui vivis et regnas.

Incline Thine ear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to our petitions: and, by the grace of Thy visitation, enlighten the darkness of our minds: Who livest and reignest.

Epistle (Phil. 4:4-7)

The Lord is nigh” says St. Paul, “rejoice in the Lord.”  May our faith and hope in Jesus Christ our Lord always increase!

Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always: again, I say, rejoice.  Let you modesty be known to all men.  The Lord is nigh.  Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel (Jn. 1:19-28)

St. John, the Precursor of our Lord, announces the coming of the Messias, tells of His Majesty and greatness, and effaces himself before Him, for “he gives testimony of the true Light, Who is Jesus.”

At that time the Jews sent from Jerusalem Priests and Levites to John, to ask him: Who art thou?  And he confessed, and did not deny: and he confessed: I am not the Christ.  And they asked him: What then?  Art thou Elias?  And he said: I am not.  Art thou the prophet?  And he answered: No.  They said therefore unto him: Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us?  What sayest thou of thyself?  He said: I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias.  And they that were sent, were of the Pharisees.  And they asked him, and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet?  John answered them, saying: I baptize with water; but there hath stood one in the midst of you, whom you know not.  The same is he that shall come after me, who is preferred before me: the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose.  These things were done in Bethania, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

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St. Nicholas

Feast of St. Nicholas (350), Bishop, Patron Saint of children, bakers, pawnbrokers, mariners, and Russians (New, Traditional)

Numerous allusions appear in the Liturgy of this day to Jerusalem and her people.  Let us be filled with sentiments of hope and of joy, for the coming of Jesus is near.  Let us prepare the way in our hearts for the Messiahs, our Lord and the Redeemer Jesus Christ.

Excita, Dómine, corda nostra ad præparandas Unigéniti tui vias: ut per ejus advéntum purificátis tibi méntibus servire mereámur: Qui tecum vivit et regnat.

Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of Thine only-begotten Son: That through His coming we may deserve to serve Thee with purified minds: Who with thee liveth and reigneth.

Epistle (Rom 15:4-13)

Brethren, what things soever were written, were written for our learning: that through patience and the comfort of the scriptures, we might have hope.  Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind one towards another, according to Jesus Christ: That with one mind, and with one mouth, you may glorify God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Wherefore receive one another, as Christ also hath received you unto the honour of God.  For I say that Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.  But that the Gentiles are to glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: Therefore will I confess to thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and will sing to thy name.  And again he saith: Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.  And again: Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and magnify him, all ye people.  And again Isaias saith: There shall be a root of Jesse; and he that shall rise up to rule the Gentiles, in him the Gentiles shall hope.  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing; that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.

Gospel (Mt. 11:2-10)

At that time, when John had heard in prison the works of Christ: sending two of his disciples he said to Him:  Art Thou He that art to come, or look we for another?  And Jesus making answer said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen.  The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them: and blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in Me.  And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: What went you out into the desert to see?  A reed shaken with the wind?  But what went you out to see?  A man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are clothed in soft garments are in the houses of kings.  But what went you out to see?  A prophet?  Yea I tell you, and more than a Prophet.  For this is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my Angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee.

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Joseph and Mary Travel to Bethlehem

This First Sunday of Advent, or the Fourth Sunday before Christmas, is the first day of the Liturgical Year.  The Mass prepares us this day for the double coming of mercy and justice.  That is why St. Paul tells us, in the Epistle, to cast off sin in order that, being ready for the coming of Christ as our Savior, we may also be ready for His coming as our Judge, of which we learn in the Gospel.  Let us prepare ourselves, by pious aspirations and by the reformation of our lives, for this twofold coming.  Jesus our Lord will reward those who yearn for Him and await Him: “Those who trust in Him shall not be confounded.”

The Lord is coming; I place myself in His presence and go to meet Him with all the energy of my will.

Ad te levavi animam meam: Deus meus, in te confide, non erubescam: neque irrideant me inimici mei: etenim universi, qui te expectant, non confundentur.  Vias tuas, Domine, demonstra mihi: et semitas tuas edoce me.  Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.  Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et simper, et in saecula saeculorum.  Amen.

To Thee have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded.  Show, O Lord, Thy ways to me: and teach me Thy paths.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Epistle (Rom. 13:11-14)

It is now the hour for us to rise from sleep…Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness…and walk honestly.

Brethren, knowing that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep.  For now our salvation is nearer that we believed.  That night is passed and the day is at hand.  Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy: but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Deo gratias.

Thanks be to God.

Gospel (Lk. 21:25-33)

We learn in this Gospel of the second coming of Christ: to render to each according to his works.

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring sea and of the waves: men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world.  For the powers of heaven shall be moved.  And then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and majesty.  But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift your heads, because your redemption is at hand.  And He spoke to them a similitude: See the fig tree and all the trees: when they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh.  So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand.  Amen, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled.  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away.

Laus tibi, Christe.

Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

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