Happy Epiphany and First Saturday: January 2018

Happy Feast of the Epiphany!

This day we keep a holiday in honour of three wonders, this day a star led the wise men to the manger; this day at the marriage, water was made wine; this day was Christ, for our salvation, pleased to be baptized of John in Jordan. Alleluia

This Feast is also the anniversary of the baptism of Saint Paul of the Cross!

Don’t forget to pray the First Saturday devotions!

Click here for the First Saturday Devotionshb_11.143

First Friday: January 2018

When St. Margaret Mary was before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament one day, He showed her His Divine Heart, saying:

Behold this Heart which has so loved men, that it has spared nothing, even to the exhausting and wearing itself out, to manifest to them its love; and in recompense, I receive for the most part only ingratitude, contempt, irreverence, sacrilege, and the indifference which they show Me in this Sacrament of love.”

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A German prayer card: “For God has so loved the world…”

Read more about the First Friday devotions
and find the prayers: HERE

Make it a resolution this year to make the Nine First Fridays, starting today!

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Blood of Jesus, Save us!

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I have spent the past days exploring Bavaria and surrounding areas. I have been blessed to serve Mass in Weingarten, in addition to Masses in Bavaria. The monastery would serve as a perfect home for a group of men devoted particularly to the Passion and the Most Blessed Sacrament, just saying. A brief history of the Basilica is below, followed by a short meditation, from my next book project. (More pictures below from a tour of the Basilica).

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Serving Mass in a private chapel

The greatest treasure of Weingarten is its famous relic of the Precious Blood, still preserved in the church of Weingarten. Saint Longinus, the solder who opened Jesus’ side with a lance, caught some of the Sacred Blood and preserved it in a leaden box, which later he buried at Mantua. Being miraculously discovered in 804, the relic was solemnly exalted by Pope Saint Leo III, but again buried during the Hungarian and Norman invasions. In 1048 it was re-discovered and solemnly exalted by Pope Saint Leo IX in the presence of the emperor, Henry III, and many other dignitaries. It was divided into three parts, one of which the pope took to Rome, another was given to the emperor, and the third remained at Mantua. Henry III bequeathed his share of the relic to Baldwin V, Count of Flanders, who gave it to his daughter Juditha. After her marriage to Welf I, Duke of Bavaria, Juditha presented the relic to Weingarten. The solemn presentation took place in 1090, on the Friday after the feast of the Ascension, and it was stipulated that annually on the same day, which came to be known as Blutfreitag (Blood Friday), the relic should be carried in solemn procession.

The procession was prohibited in 1812, but since 1849 it has again taken place every year. It is popularly known as the Blutritt (Blood Rite). The relic is carried by a rider (currently the parish priest), der heilige Blutritter (the Holy Blood-rider), on horseback, followed by many other riders, and many thousands of people on foot.

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Relic under the Altar of the People erected by the Monks in 1934. Accessed from behind, under key and lock.

From the publication (a book of 31 days of meditations on the Passion, by Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, C.P.) I am presently working on:

Jesus thirsts for our eternal salvation, He thirsts for souls. This is the thirst of which he complains, and which is consuming His very life’s Blood. Jesus most passionately desires that the Blood He has shed should benefit mankind by saving them from Hell; and yet He foreknows that there will be many eternally lost, notwithstanding all His love and all His sufferings. Oh, truly does this thirst consume the loving Heart of Jesus, and its sacred heat slowly but surely deprives Him of life!…

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A friend of mine receiving the Blessing with the Relic. We prayed the Litany of the Precious Blood and then each received a blessing with the Relic.

The text continues:

…My soul, reflect now what things thy desires tend to, and what thou does thirst after. No doubt thou thirstest after worldly goods, after honors, pleasures, comforts, and amusements, but thou thirstest not after thy salvation; thou are not desirous of gaining heaven, of entering into the possession of that eternal, undying bliss which Jesus has purchased for thee at so dear a rate. Jesus Crucified thirsts in an especial manner after thy salvation and progress in Divine love. If thou hadst been present on Mount Calvary, and hadst heard our Redeemer saying, “I thirst,” wouldst thou not have relieved His sufferings by giving Him a littler water? Know that even at the present moment it is in thy power to relieve His burning thirst. He says to thee from the Cross, “My Son, I thirst for thy soul.” Art thou desirous of affording thy Redeemer some solace in His sufferings from thirst? Offer Him thy thoughts by frequent consideration on His goodness and sufferings. Give Him thy heart with all its affections by constant protestations that thou lovest Him above all things, and will ever love Him in preference to all created objects. Give Him thy soul with all its powers, and often renew thy resolution to work out thy eternal salvation, however much it may cost thee, and hope that thy efforts may be crowned with success, through the merits of His Passion. Thus mayest thou relieve Jesus in His thirst.

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Probably late 15th, early 16th Century Crucifix from a local artist, repainted.
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Painting near the old sacristy.
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Illumination in a Ritual for Blood Friday
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The High Altar
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Very fitting vestment for Weingarten (Wine garden), made from the remnants of older vestments, hence the variation of textile in the decoration.
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Vox Humana stop on the Pipe Organ. The builder of the organ, in his devotion to proclaim the Glory of God, saved of his own money the necessary funds to cover the stops and keys in ivory, as the Abbot deemed it excessive for a monastic church, in its poverty.
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Pipe Organ
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Reliquary in the Sacristy with Benedictine Saints and a relic of Saint Benedict at the bottom of the Cross.

Martyrology for the Christmas Vigil

December 25th anno Domini 2016

The 26th Day of the Moon

In the year 5199th from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, in the year 2959th from the flood, in the year 2015th from the birth of Abraham, in the year 1510th from the going forth of the people of Israel out of Egypt under Moses, in the year 1032th from the anointing of David as King, in the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel, in the 194th Olympiad, in the 752nd from the foundation of the city of Rome, in the 42nd year of the reign of the Emperor Octavian Augustus, in the 6th age of the world, while the whole earth was at peace, Jesus Christ, Himself Eternal God and Son of the Eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and when nine months were passed after His conception, (all kneel down) was born of the Virgin Mary at Bethlehem of Juda made Man, Our Lord Jesus Christ was born according to the flesh.

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Upon the same 25th day of December were born into the better life

At Rome, in the Apronian cemetery, the holy virgin Eugenia, who in the time of the Emperor Gallienus, after many works of power, and after enlisting bands of sacred virgins for Christ, suffered long under Nicetius, Prefect of the city, and at length was slain with the sword (about 258).

At Nicomedia, many thousand holy martyrs. Upon the feast of Christ’s birth they had come together unto the Lord’s house, and the Emperor Diocletian ordered the doors of the church to be shut, and all things made ready for fire round about it then he set a tripod and incense in front of the door, and sent an herald to proclaim in a loud voice that whosoever would escape burning should come forth arid offer incense unto Jupiter. Whereunto they all replied with one voice, that they would far rather die for Christ’s sake, whereupon he kindled the fire and they were consumed, and were born in heaven upon that same day whereupon it had pleased Christ to be born into this world to save it.

At Barcelona, in Spain (in the year 1256), the holy confessor Peter Nolasco, founder of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Ransom for the redemption of captives. He was famous for his graces and miracles, and Alexander VIII. commanded his feast to be kept upon the last day of January.
V. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.

From my publication, Praying the Mass during Advent, by Dom Gueranger:

Thus have passed before us, in succession, all the generations of the world.22 Each of them is asked if it has seen Him whom we are expecting, and each is silent; until the name of Mary is pronounced, and then is proclaimed the Nativity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made Man. St. Bernard speaking of this announcement says: “The voice of joy had gone forth in our land, the voice of rejoicing and of salvation is in the tabernacles of the just. There has been heard a good word, a word that gives consolation, a word that is full of gladsomeness, a word worthy of all acceptance. Resound with praise, ye mountains, and all ye trees of the forests clap your hands before the face of the Lord, for he is coming. Hearken, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth! be astounded and give praise, O all ye creatures! but thou, O man, more than all they! JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, IS BORN IN BETHLEHEM OF JUDAH! Who is there, that is so hard of heart, that this word does not touch him? Could anything be told us sweeter than this? Could any news delight us like this? Was such a thing ever heard, or anything like it ever told to the world? JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, IS BORN IN BETHLEHEM OF JUDAH! O brief word of the Word abridged! and yet how full of heavenly beauty! The heart, charmed with the honeyed sweetness of the expression, would fain diffuse it and spread it out into more words; but no, it must be given just as it is, or you spoil it: JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, IS BORN IN BETHLEHEM OF JUDAH!”

O Antiphons: O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.

O Emmanuel, God with us, our King and lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior: come to save us, O Lord our God.

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Isaias 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel.

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From my new publication, Praying the Mass during Advent by Dom Gueranger:

O Emmanuel! King of Peace! thou enterest today the city of thy predilection, the city in which thou hast placed thy Temple,—Jerusalem. A few years hence, and the same city will give thee thy Cross and thy Sepulcher: nay, the day will come, on which thou wilt set up thy Judgment-seat within sight of her walls. But, today, thou enterest the city of David and Solomon unnoticed and unknown. It lies on thy road to Bethlehem. Thy Blessed Mother and Joseph, her Spouse, would not lose the opportunity of visiting the Temple, there to offer to the Lord their prayers and adoration. They enter; and then, for the frst time, is accomplished the prophecy of Aggeus, that great shall be the glory of this late House more than of the first; for this second Temple has now standing within it an Ark of the Covenant more precious than was that which Moses built; and within this Ark, which is Mary, there is contained the God, whose presence makes her the holiest of sanctuaries. The Lawgiver himself is in this blessed Ark, and not merely, as in that of old, the tablet of stone on which the Law was graven. The visit paid, our living Ark descends the steps of the Temple, and sets out once more for Bethlehem, where other prophecies are to be fulflled. We adore thee, O Emmanuel! in this thy journey, and we reverence the fdelity wherewith thou fulfllest all that the prophets have written of thee, for thou wouldst give to thy people the certainty of thy being the Messiah, by showing them, that all the marks, whereby he was to be known, are to be found in thee. And now, the hour is near; all is ready for thy Birth; come, then, and save us; come, that thou mayest not only be called our Emmanuel, but our Jesus, that is, He that saves us.

O Antiphons: O Rex Gentium

O Rex gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

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O King of the gentiles and their desired One, the cornerstone that makes both one: come, and deliver man, whom Thou didst form out of the dust of the earth.

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Isaias 9:7
His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace: he shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaias 2:4
And he shall judge the Gentiles, and rebuke many people: and they shall turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into sickles: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they be exercised any more to war.

Check out my publication which provides commentary on the O Antiphons, in addition to direction on how to pray the Mass during Advent. This publication is a perennial addition to your library. Go HERE for more information on Praying the Mass During Advent.