Wednesday, February 27, 2013

St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

On Ascension Day, 1920, Pope Benedict XV bestowed the honors of sainthood on a youth who is rightly called the Aloysius of the 19th century. He was Francis Possenti, known in religion as Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother. Born in Assisi, January 3, 1838, he was given the name of the city’s illustrious patron, St. […]

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Second Sunday of Lent

[Station at St. Mary’s in Dominica.] Let the sight of the grandeur of Jesus transfigured prepare us for the contemplation shortly of the humiliation of His Passion. In St. John’s Gospel (I: 51), our Lord applies the vision of Jacob’s ladder to Himself, to show that in the midst of the persecutions of which He […]

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

St. Peter Damian, Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church

St. Peter Damian must be numbered among the greatest of the Church’s reformers in the Middle Ages, yes, even among the truly extraordinary persons of all times. In Damian the scholar, men admire wealth of wisdom: in Damian the preacher of God’s word, apostolic zeal; in Damian the monk, austerity and self-denial; in Damian the […]

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Saturday of Lenten Embertide

[Station at St. Peter’s (Vatican).] St. Peter’s Basilica (in Italian, San Pietro in Vaticano), built by Constantine in 323, is a major basilica in Vatican City, an enclave of Rome. St. Peter’s was until recently the largest church ever built (it covers an area of 23,000 m2 and has a capacity of over 60,000), and […]

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Friday, February 22, 2013

The Chair of St. Peter at Antioch

That Saint Peter, before he went to Rome, founded the see of Antioch is attested by many Saints of the earliest times, including St. Ignatius of Antioch and Pope St. Clement I. It was just that the Prince of the Apostles should take under his particular care and surveillance this city, which was then the […]

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Friday of Lenten Embertide

[Station at the Twelve Apostles.] The Embertides are universally Christian: The Old Law prescribes a “fast of the fourth month, and a fast of the fifth, and a fast of the seventh, and a fast of tenth” (Zechariah 8:19). There was also a Jewish custom at the time of Jesus to fast every Tuesday and […]

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lenten Embertide

[Station at St. Mary Major’s.] The spring Ember Week coincides with the first week of Lent. It was instituted for the purpose of consecrating to God the new season (of Spring), and by fasting and prayer to draw down Heavenly graces on those who on Saturday are to receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders. The […]

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Monday, February 18, 2013

St. Simeon, Bishop and Martyr

A blood relative of Christ, he was martyred in early apostolic times. Succeeding the apostle James, Simeon, the son of Cleophas, was, it may be said, the first bishop of Jerusalem. Under the Emperor Trajan he was arraigned before Atticus, the governor, on charges of being a Christian and a relative of Jesus. For at […]

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Quadragesima Sunday—First Sunday in Lent

[Station at St. John Lateran.] Our Lord Jesus Christ, directly after His baptism, prepared Himself for His public life and mission by a fast of forty days in the desert, which extends from Jericho to the mountains of Judea. Let us prepare ourselves by fast, prayers and works of charity for the solemn Feast of […]

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Ss. Faustinus and Jovita, Martyrs

Faustinus and Jovita were brothers, nobly born, and were zealous professors of the Christian religion, which they preached without fear in their city of Brescia in Lombardy, during the persecution of Adrian. Their remarkable zeal excited the fury of the heathens against them, and procured them a glorious death for their faith. Faustinus, a priest, […]

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