Ember Days

September is the Month of Our Lady of Sorrows

Prophecy of Simeon + Flight into Egypt + Loss of the Child Jesus + Way of the Cross + The Crucifixion + Descent of the Body of Christ + Burial of the Body of Christ

We honor Our Lady's sorrows this month-she suffered so much to bring us Our Savior!  Let us find ways this month to show our thanks and love for her.  There is a chaplet of her Seven Sorrows, which can be purchased, or you can even pray it on regular rosary beads.  What a wonderful devotion to pray with your family this month!

What are some other features of the liturgical month of September?  As the season of Autumn begins, we celebrate the Ember Days of September, for a fruitful harvest.  This is a great traditional Catholic time to do creative seasonal crafts with kids or anything else you can think of which would be in keeping with the spirit of the Ember Days.  We celebrate 5 Doctors of the Church, including St. Hildegard, one of the few women Doctors-a great lover of nature, which resonates with the mission of Nomen Christi Apostolate.  We also honor 3 20th-century saints, including St. Teresa of Calcutta, who was canonized one year ago! 

Wishes for a blessed month of September-may we all grow closer to Christ in the next 30 days....AND DON'T FORGET OUR FATIMA FAMILY HOLY HOUR ON THE 13TH!

9/1-First Friday

9/2-First Saturday-what a great year to perform the First Saturday Devotion!

9/3-Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church, 604/Pope St. Pius X, 1914

9/5-St. Teresa of Calcutta, 1997

9/8-Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

9/11-Let us never forget that terrible day 16 years ago!  We pray for the souls of the departed and all those affected by this crime against humanity!

9/12-Most Holy Name of Mary

9/13-Centennial of the Fifth Apparition at Fatima, Portugal/St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, 407

9/14-Exaltation of the Holy Cross

9/15-Our Lady of Sorrows/Seven Sorrows of Our Lady

9/17-St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, 1621/St. Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church, 1179/Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi, 1224

9/19-Our Lady of La Salette/St. Januarius & Companions, Martyrs, 304-St. Januarius is the saint whose blood liquefies in Italy several times per year-when it fails to liquefy, it signals a upcoming local disaster

9/20-Ember Wednesday in September-day of prayer and penance, trad meat at one meal

9/21-St. Matthew, Apostle, Evangelist

9/22-Ember Friday in September

9/23-Ember Saturday in September-trad meat at one meal/St. Pio of Pietralcina, 1968

9/24-Our Lady of Ransom

9/27-St. Vincent de Paul, 1660

9/29-Archangels Michael, Gabriel & Raphael

9/30-St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, 420

June is the Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

My son is home from college...he was just remarking on my strangeness.  He said, "I wouldn't have you any other way, except a little bit different."  Yay.  This is the summer I have to look forward to.

Holy Church dedicates this month to Our Lord's Sacred Heart, His actual LOVE for us!  It is a Love which must be reciprocated.  And we know the way to reciprocate it...by conforming to His Holy Will.  The feast of His Sacred Heart is the 23rd, and the very next day is the feast of His Mother's Immaculate Heart!  They cannot be separated-they are of one fiber.  In addition, we have Corpus Christi and the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus this month.  A great month to perform Sacred Heart devotions and read up on the life of Saint Margaret Mary.

If you have not celebrated the Five First Saturdays, if you start this month, you'll still complete them during the six-month Fatima apparitions time frame.  Of course, this devotion was given to Sister Lucia, the oldest of the Fatima seers, who lived to a ripe old age, while the other two died very young.  We have the glorious feast of Pentecost and the Ember Days during Pentecost Week-let us offer these days for the coming season of summer, to be safe and fruitful for all the world.

Four Marian feasts (five if you count the 13th) and four Doctors of the Church, we honor this month.  Again, we will celebrate our Fatima Holy Hour on the 13th-stay tuned to the Home Page for more details.  Contact us if you would like an email reminder....think about asking your pastor if you can do this Holy Hour in church....I've already been there-you can expect him to say OK only if you will be doing it with a parish group you are already active with.....and please let us know if you participate-you may add your voice to our comments on the 13th-we would love to hear from you!  Here is a sampling of this month's feasts....Happy June!....

6/2-First Friday

6/3-First Saturday (good time to start the First Saturday Devotion, during this Fatima Centennial!)/Vigil of Pentecost (trad no meat)

6/4-Pentecost (commencing Pentecost Week)

6/7-Ember Wednesday After Pentecost (trad meat at one meal)

6/8-Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces

6/9-Ember Friday After Pentecost

6/10-Ember Saturday After Pentecost (trad meat at one meal)

6/11-Trinity Sunday

6/13-100th Anniversary of the Second Apparition at Fatima/St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church, 1231 (pray for our culture to find its sanity-my son is in college-you won't believe how bad the gender thing has gotten-the stories he tells me are truly stomach-turning...he even knows someone who demands to be referred to as "It!")

6/14-St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, 379 (here's a thought-if you read one book of each of the Doctors of the Church per year, it would take 35 years!...kind of makes you think twice when you pick up a book, huh?)

6/15-Corpus Christi

6/18-Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ/St. Ephrem of Syria, Doctor of the Church, 373

6/20-Our Lady of Consolation

6/22-St. Thomas More, Martyr under Henry VIII, 1535

6/23-Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Solemnity-no penance)/Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

6/24-Immaculate Heart of Mary/Nativity of St. John the Baptist

6/27-Our Lady of Perpetual Help/St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, 444

6/28-Vigil of Sts. Peter & Paul

6/29-Eucharistic Heart of Jesus/Sts. Peter & Paul

6/30-First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church/Commemoration of St. Paul

This blog features both old and new feasts.

March is dedicated to Saint Joseph and....it's Lent!

Saint Joseph's feast is March 19th (and the 20th this year) and this month is also dedicated to him.  How can we honor Saint Joseph this month?  You can say the short prayer on our Home page and perhaps memorize it....and share it with others!  Of course there are many other wonderful prayers and devotions to Saint Joseph.  Also, if you don't have a statue of him in your home, now might be the time to get one.

Lent has commenced, the beautiful yearly time of spiritual renewal that we all need-how wise is Mother Church!  The photo above is the window in my dining room....my husband made fun of me last weekend when I decorated the window-he said, "Some people, they're always putting the Lent decorations up early!"  I don't know what's funnier, the fact that I put them up early or the fact that I put up Lent decorations.  So, I know you all know about no meat on Fridays, but do you know that traditionally, meat was eaten only at one meal each day of Lent (except Sundays)?  I have never successfully kept to that before, but I am going to try this year....the real issue is forgetting, so I have marked my calendar to remind myself and am hoping for the best.  Dear Lord, guide us in observing a holy Lent, which is pleasing to Thee and may we be that much closer to Heaven at the celebration of Thy glorious Resurrection!

And...we have the Ember Days of Lent as well.  This is a time of prayer and penance for the coming season of Spring (we can pray for Saint Isidore's intercession, whose feast is the 22nd), a Christianized version of pagan customs.  On these days, I love to read the masses in the traditional missal.  It is sad the Ember Days have largely been lost-this is what I mean when I say it is time to create new traditions-be creative with it!

What else is going on this month?  We have three Doctors of the Church, three people involved in Christ's Crucifixion and death, several Marian feasts and Saint Patrick's Day.  Saint Gabriel's feast is appropriately, the day before the Annunciation.  It is also interesting to note that the Annunciation and the feast of Saint Dismas fall on the same day, giving us a perspective from Our Lord's conception to his death.  And let us not forget to retire from our penance and be joyful on Laetare Sunday....remembering that its really all about the Resurrection and an eternity in Heaven!

3/1-Ash Wednesday-Fast and abstinence

3/3-Saint Katharine Drexel, 1955

3/6-Saints Felicitas & Perpetua, Martyrs, 203

3/7-Saints Felicitas & Perpetua (new)/Saint Thomas Aquinas,"The Angelic Doctor," Doctor of the Church, 1274

3/8-Ember Wednesday in Lent

3/10-Ember Friday in Lent

3/11-Ember Saturday in Lent

3/12-Saint Gregory the Great, Pope, Doctor of the Church, 604/Saint Theophanes the Chronicler, 817

3/15-Saint Longinus, Pierced the Heart of Our Lord

3/17-Saint Joseph of Arimathea, Provided the Tomb for Christ/Saint Patrick, Patron of Ireland, 461

3/18-Our Lady of Mercy/Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, 386

3/19-Saint Joseph

3/20-Saint Joseph (new, transferred)

3/22-Saint Isidore the Farmer, 1130

3/23-Our Lady of Victories

3/24-Saint Gabriel the Archangel

3/25-The Annunciation of Our Lord/Saint Dismas, "The Good Thief"

3/26-Laetare Sunday

(this blog provides new and traditional feasts)

It is Advent! And....December is the Month of the Divine Infancy

As of this past Sunday, in both the old and new calendars, the Season of Advent has commenced!  Wishes to all for a holy and blessed Advent which draws you closer to the Christ Child!  (Please see prayer on Home page.)  Lent is a time when we practice sacrifices of self-denial.  Perhaps during Advent, our sacrifices may be ones of charity-almsgiving and good works.  We may consider volunteer work, cleaning out the old clothes in our closets and giving them to the poor, visiting a homebound neighbor down the block, etc.  Admittedly, Christmastime is often a time of stress and feeling like we have too much to do.  But if the very celebration of the Birth of Christ prevents us from exercising charity...then something is wrong.  We all need to downscale.  Also...spiritual reading, the rosary and learning Christmas hymns....children should learn the words to our beautiful hymns and they will likely remember them for a lifetime!

As for the liturgical calendar of December, it is unique in several ways.  Aside from the great feast of Christmas, we also have the Marian feasts of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe, along with the feast of the Holy Family.  We have the Sundays of Advent when we light the pink and purple candles and the Ember Days of Advent, when we beseech God's mercy and blessings for the coming season of winter.  We have several feasts of the time of Our Lord and the time of the Old Testament....5 Doctors of the Church and December 13th, devoted to 2 saints invoked for blindness!  Here's our sampling....

12/3-Saint Francis Xavier, Priest-patron of missions

12/4-Saint John Damascene, Priest, Doctor/Saint Peter Chrysologus, Bishop, Doctor/Saint Barbara, Virgin, Martyr-invoked against lightning

12/6-Saint Nicholas, Bishop-patron of children, bakers, pawnbrokers, mariners & Russia

12/7-Saint Ambrose, Bishop, Doctor-patron of candlemakers/Vigil of the Immaculate Conception-trad meat at one meal

12/8-Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patroness of the United States of America-Holy Day of Obligation

12/9-Saint Juan Diego, Seer of Our Lady of Guadalupe

12/11-Gaudete Sunday, 3rd Sunday of Advent-a day to remember the joy of our coming Savior!

12/12-Our Lady of Guadalupe, Empress of the Americas

12/13-Saint Lucy, Virgin, Martyr-patron of the blind/Saint Odilia, Virgin-invoked against blindness (non-standard)

12/14-Ember Wednesday in Advent-trad meat at one meal/Saint John of the Cross, Priest, Doctor

12/16-Ember Friday in Advent/Saints Ananias, Azarius & Misael, Companions of Patriarch Daniel (non-standard)

12/17-Ember Saturday in Advent-trad meat at one meal/Saint Lazarus, Friend of Our Lord, Brother of Saints Martha & Mary-raised from the dead by Christ (non-standard)

12/20-Saints Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, Patriarchs (non-standard)

12/21-Saint Thomas the Apostle, Martyr-Apostle of India, baptized the Magi/Saint Peter Canisius, Priest, Doctor

12/24-Saints Adam & Eve (non-standard)/Vigil of Christmas-trad meat at one meal

12/25-The Birth of Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, Christmas

12/26-Saint Stephen, First Martyr-patron of stonemasons, due to the fact that he was stoned to death

12/27-Saint John the Evangelist, Apostle-Writer of Holy Scripture, patron of theologians & Asia Minor

12/28-Holy Innocents, Martyrs under King Herod the Great, re-builder of the Holy Temple

12/29-Saint David the King, Patriarch (non-standard)

12/30-The Holy Family

(this blog provides both old & new feasts)

September is the Month of Our Lady of Sorrows.....

This month, we contemplate and honor the many sufferings of the Mother of God while she lived on earth.  September 15th is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows in the new calendar....however, in the old, it is the feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady.  There is a beautiful chaplet of the Seven Sorrows, which we would do well to pray frequently this month.  May we unite our own sorrows to those of our Heavenly Mother, making them more bearable and bringing us closer to her.  Please see the prayer from the Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows, on our Home page.

We celebrate three more Marian feasts this month....the joyful Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Most Holy Name of Mary and Our Lady of Ransom, dating back to the 13th century (how wonderful our Catholic heritage is, giving us such a connectedness with the Body of Christ through the centuries!).   We honor Christ as well this month, in the Exaltation of the Holy Cross....which precedes.....the Ember Days of September, when we exercise penance for a fruitful harvest.  Also, we celebrate two 20th century saints, both named Pius....how important these recent saints are, to remind us that sainthood is never too far away or unreachable-it is the destiny we are all called to fulfill!

Here are some of the interesting and notable feasts of this month....let us more fully practice our great Roman Catholic Faith by celebrating these feasts with our families in prayer, spiritual reading and whatever other ways the Holy Ghost inspires us with......

9/1-Saint Anna, the Prophetess (non-standard)

9/3-Saint Gregory the Great, Pope & Doctor-patron of teachers and church music/Saint Pius X, Pope of the 20th Century

9/8-Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

9/10-Saint Pulcheria, Virgin & Empress of the Eastern Roman Empire (non-standard)

9/12-Most Holy Name of Mary, "Nomen Mariae"

9/14-Exaltation of the Holy Cross

9/15-Our Lady of Sorrows (new)/Seven Sorrows of Our Lady (trad)

9/17-Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Virgin, Abbess, Doctor/Stigmata of Saint Francis of Assisi

9/18-Saint Joseph of Cupertino, Priest-patron of air travel

9/20-Saint Eustace & Companions, Martyrs-invoked against fire

9/21-Saint Matthew, Apostle-patron of bankers and accountants/Ember Wednesday in September (trad meat at one meal)

9/23-Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest, Stigmatist-20th century saint/Saint Thecla, Virgin & Martyr-patron of the dying/Ember Friday in September

9/24-Our Lady of Ransom/Ember Saturday in September (trad meat at one meal)

9/27-Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest & Founder-patron of charitable societies

9/29-Saints Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, Archangels

9/30-Saint Jerome, Priest & Doctor-translated Latin Vulgate Bible

(this blog provides both old and new feasts)

Expectation / Ember Friday / Meditation....

Today is the little-known traditional feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the celebration of Our Lady's pregnancy with Our Lord Jesus, a very pro-life day! May we keep the unborn in our prayers today.

O Blessed Mary, The Tabernacle of Tabernacles, Pray for Us!

It is also Ember Friday in Advent. May we today, and also tomorrow, Ember Saturday, offer greater prayers and sacrifices in anticipation of the True Christmas Gift, One which stands in contradiction to the materialism of this age....so much to sacrifice for....so many outrages in the common celebration of Christmas-so much to appease the Heart of Our Lord, lest it all be taken away, and indeed it very well may be....and soon! How much more can we expect Him to tolerate? From today's Introit:

"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 Lord."

Onto the continuation of our Advent meditations from the writings of Fr. Alfred Delp....He wrote the following words in Tegel Prison, Berlin, only two months before his martyrdom:

"Advent is a time of being deeply shaken, so that man will wake up to himself. The prerequisite for a fulfilled Advent is a renunciation of the arrogant gestures and tempting dreams with which, and in which, man is always deceiving himself. Thus he compels reality to use violence to bring him around, violence and much distress and suffering...

It is precisely in the severity of this awakening, in the helplessness of coming to consciousness, in the wretchedness of experiencing our limitations that the golden threads running between Heaven and earth during this season reach us...

Blessed is the era that can honestly claim that it is not a desert wilderness. Woe, however, to the era in which the voices calling in the wilderness have fallen silent...devastation will soon take over so horrendously on all sides that the scriptural reference to a desert wilderness will spontaneously occur to us all...

Such John the Baptist figures, forged by the lightning of mission and vocation, should never be lacking from life, not for a moment...

They have the great consolation that one can know only after having stepped beyond the deepest and most extreme limits of existence [keep in mind, these very words, Delp wrote while in a cold Nazi cell, struggling to write with his hands bound, after being brought before obscene, screaming judges flanked by enormous banners of swastikas, then beaten and tortured and now awaiting this mockery of a court's final decision-he knew the 'extreme limits' of which he spoke]...

They call man to face his last chance, because they already feel the ground trembling and the timbers creaking; and they see the steadfast mountains deeply quaking and even the stars of Heaven dangling insecurely...

Let us not shun and suppress the earnest words of the calling voices, or those who are our executioners today may be our accusers once again tomorrow, because we silenced the truth...

Advent is the time of the promise, not yet the fulfillment...

From out there, the first sounds are ringing out like shepherds' flutes and a boys' choir singing. They do not yet form a song or melody-it is all still too far off and only the first announcement and intimation. Still, it is happening. This is today..."

These last writings of this great priest and martyr are some of the most moving in the book-enough to meditate on for the rest of our lives [could YOU be one of those "calling voices?"]...one week till Christmas...and a few more excerpts to come....