"They came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; And they fell down and worshiped Him." (Matt 2:11)
"Little Jesus, little Lamb, build a little cradle in my heart. Bethlehem's little Child, I adore You and I love You with all my heart. Rest Jesus. Rest Savior Come and sleep in my heart."
"[In] the Son of the Virgin, 'wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger,' we acknowledge and adore 'the Bread which came down from heaven,' the Redeemer who came among us in order to bring life to the world." "[At Bethlehem,] 'house of bread,' [the] One, who under the sign of broken bread, would leave us the memorial of his Pasch. On this Holy Night, adoration of the Child Jesus becomes Eucharistic adoration" (St. John Paul II, 12/25/04).
Reflection on Mary, Tabernacle of the Lord
By Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Homily, 41st International Eucharistic Congress, Philadelphia, 1976
Fifty-seven years ago when I was ordained a priest, I took two resolutions: one, that I would say Mass every Saturday in honor of our Blessed Lady, for her protection during my priesthood. The second resolution was that every day of my life I would make a Holy Hour in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. These two are now conjoined, as I address you on the subject of Mary, the Tabernacle of the Lord. I shall speak of Mary and the Host, Mary and the Sword, Mary and the Holy Hour.
Not one of us has the power to make our own mother. If we did, we would have made her the most beautiful woman in the world. Our Lord pre-existed His own mother. Therefore He could make her the perfect mother. He thought of her from all eternity. As a matter of fact, the first Immaculate Conception was in the mind of God. When the first Paradise was lost, God said that He would make another Paradise; this Paradise, flesh-girt, to be gardened by a new Adam, would be our Blessed Mother . . . .
The Word was made flesh and tabernacled within her. In a certain sense, it was Mary's first Holy Communion, for she had within herself the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. Now Communion is not only oneness with Christ, it is oneness with everyone in the Church and oneness with humanity . . . .
So when the Blessed Mother possessed within herself Christ, the first thing she did was to do a social act. She went to visit her old cousin, Elizabeth, who was aleady six months with child. When she came to Elizabeth, Elizabeth said, "The child leaped with joy in my womb." Christ had met John the Baptist in Elizabeth, and John the Baptist adored the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in Mary. That was the moment when the Blessed Mother became what Pius X called her on the 13th of December, 1905, the "Mother of the Blessed Sacrament." And she radiated the presence of Christ to John. So Elizabeth, now, after adoring the Christ within Mary, venerates her. "Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Elizabeth was here acknowledging that somehow or other Mary is related to the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ Himself.
Mary was not a priest. If her divine Son wanted women to be priests He would have made His own mother a priest. A woman is the symbol of the Church; and though Mary was not a priest, she was able to say the words of consecration as we priests can never say those words, because her body was giving life to the humanity of Christ. So she could say, as she bore Christ within her, "This is my Body, this is my Blood." Mother of the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord—Feast, Jan. 5:
"Do you not see the kings kneeling among the animals in front of the Crib? Do you not see them in that lowly condition—so humiliating for kings—adoring this feeble Child, Who looks at them wonderingly?" (St. Peter J. Eymard).
St. Andre Bessette, Holy Cross Brother, Miracle Worker, Canada (1845-1937)—Feast, Jan. 6:
Fervent devotee of the Holy Eucharist and St. Joseph, Andre said: "If you ate only one meal a week would you survive? It is the same for your soul. Nourish it with the Blessed Sacrament."
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord—Feast, Jan. 12:
(Jn 1:29-33): John the Baptist saw Jesus and exclaimed "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." "It is He who will baptize with The Holy Spirit." When we go to "The Lamb," Jesus in The Holy Eucharist, we ask for grace to live out our Baptismal calling as faithful children of The Father. With each Hail Mary we pray--to be open to receiving the gifts of The Holy Spirit (from our A-13 Rosary pamphlet).
St. Hilary of Poitiers, Bishop and Doctor, France (315-367)—Feast, Jan. 13
St. Hilary is known as "the Doctor of the Divinity of Christ," for his defense of Jesus. He wrote: "The greatest joy that we can give Mary is that of bearing Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament within our breast." "O Sovereign Lord! What do I now behold? All Thy greatness concealed under the veil of bread! And while Thy love for us ungrateful sinners reduces Thee so low, the heavens are astonished, the Angels tremble, and the Seraphim cover their faces. All the powers of the universe bow down in adoration and praise, and with a thousand voices exalt Thine infinite Majesty, which fills both Heaven and earth. Christian people, let us unite our voices with theirs and publish to the whole world this sublime and eternal canticle: Holy, holy, holy is the powerful God of armies! The heavens and the earth are filled with His glory. Let us bless Him that cometh in the name of the Lord, who is the Lord Himself."
St. Agnes, Virgin & Martyr, Rome (3rd or 4th century)—Feast, Jan. 21:
As a girl, St. Agnes promised to be the Bride of Christ. When a Roman prefect sought her as his wife, she refused. His father tried to make her worship a goddess. St. Agnes remained steadfast in her faith. The Romans sent her to a brothal; she was miraculously surrounded by light, hearts were transformed, and the house became prayerful. The prefect died but St. Agnes interceded, at his father's behest, and he was raised from the dead. Fearing the mob, the legate ordered her to be burned to death and her throat pierced by a sword. St. Agnes' name means lamb and, martyred at the age of 12, she emulated the unblemished Lamb Jesus who offered Himself for the world's salvation.
Day of Penance for Violations to the Dignity of the Human Person—Feast, Jan. 22:
"Married couples, make the Holy Hour, to make up for an abortion every thirty seconds. Prove that the Lord is the Lord of life and not of death" (Ven. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen).
St. Francis de Sales, Bishop, Doctor, France (1567-1622)—Feast, Jan. 24:
"In receiving the Blessed Sacrament, always use words of love and hope toward our Lord, such as: 'You are my Father, O Lord! You are the spouse of my soul, the King of my love and the well-beloved of my soul! O good Jesus, you are my dear Master, my aid, my refuge!"
Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle—Feast, Jan. 25
"When Catholics are asked, 'Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?' they should answer a resounding YES! There is no closer union with Jesus than when you receive Him in the Eucharist. You too can say with St. Paul, 'and the life I now live is not my own CHRIST IS LIVING IN ME'" (Gal 2:20) (Msgr. Richard L. Carroll)
St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Doctor of the Church, Italy (c. 1225-1274)—Feast, Jan. 28:
Speaking of Our Lord's bodily presence, St. Thomas said: "The Eucharist crowns all the other sacraments."
St. John Bosco, Priest, Salesian Founder, Patron of Editors, Italy (1815-1888)—Feast, Jan. 31:
St. John often brought all of the students in his school to Mass and Adoration, saying: "[Go] to Communion as often as you can." "Never omit the daily visit to the most Blessed Sacrament."
Eucharistic Miracle: Turin, Italy-1453
Turin was besieged by the armies of Piedmont, and soldiers ransacked and pillaged throughout the city-state. A Church in the village of Exilles was plundered by one of these soldiers; he grabbed everything he could cram into his sack. Among the things he stole was a monstrance, with the Sacred Host still inside. The soldier threw the sack, with the monstrance, onto his donkey. The man became enraged when the sack kept falling off the donkey's back, and began to furiously beat the animal. By this time, they were surrounded by villagers, who were distressed by the soldier's actions. Suddenly, the sack fell to the ground, and its contents were strewn about the ground. The monstrance caught the attention of all who were present, and it slowly rose into the air, suspended ten feet above the ground. A priest was among the crowd, and hastened to find the bishop. The bishop immediately returned to the site of the miracle, accompanied by many priests. Upon the bishop's arrival, the monstrance opened and fell to the ground, leaving the Sacred Host aloft and surrounded by a radiant light. The bishop chanted Latin hymns, and was joined by the townspeople. During the hymns, the Host slowly descended, and landed in the outstretched chalice held by the bishop. People from all over Italy and Europe began coming immediately to venerate the miracle.
The Presentation of the Lord—Feast, February 2:
"The same Jesus is with us in our churches who at His birth was laid on straw and adored by the Magi, who fled into Egypt, who was sought for by the Blessed Virgin and found in the Temple, who changed water into wine, who restored the sight to the blind, made deaf to hear and the dumb to speak. Beloved Christian, you esteem Simeon happy in having been permitted to take the Infant Jesus in his arms; and were you to receive a grace like him, no doubt you would exclaim: 'Now dost Thou dismiss Thy servant in peace: because my eyes have seen Thy salvation'" (The Holy Eucharist, Jose Guadalupe Trevino).
St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, Armenia (d. 316)—Feast, February 3
Invoked for the healing of throat diseases, St. Blaise wrote: "Father of mercy and God of all consolation, graciously look upon me and impart to me the blessing which flows from this Holy Sacrament [The Eucharist]. Overshadow me with Your loving kindness, and let this divine Mystery bear fruit in me."
St. Josephine Bakhita, Religious, Africa (1869-1947)—Feast, February 8:
Kidnapped at 9 from Sudan, Bl. Josephine was enslaved, beaten and tortured. She was freed from slavery at 21 and joined the Canossian Sisters. The Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament attracted her to the Catholic faith. Bl. Josephine spent hours in Eucharistic Adoration and, when one Sister asked if it tired her, she said, "Not at all! I have been having a wonderful time with Him. He has waited so long for me."
Our Lady of Lourdes, France- Feast, February 11:
"Sister Bernadette Moriau was born on 23rd September 1939 in the North of France. At 19, she entered the Nantes Convent to join the congregation of the Franciscan Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She graduated as a nurse in 1965. In 1966, when she was 27 years old she began suffering from lower back pain. There followed four operations and other treatments all without success. In 1975 she was no longer able to practice nursing. Her neurological problems started in 1987, significantly reducing the distance she was able to walk. Medical treatments were virtually useless. She had a spinal neurostimulator fitted in 1992 and had to begin morphine medication in 1994. In 1998 she began suffering from sphincter disfunction. The rigid cervical-lumbar corset that she had started wearing in 1999 became a permanent feature. In 2005, her left foot developed an equinus contracture which meant she had to wear a splint. In July 2008, she joined her diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes and received the Sacrament of the Sick. On her return home, her condition was the same if not worse having been aggravated by exhaustion after the trip. On 11th July 2008, just at the time that the Eucharistic procession was taking place in Lourdes, she was in the chapel of her community for an hour of adoration. Around 17:45, she relived a moment that she had experienced in the Basilica of Saint Pius X, during the blessing of the sick. It was then that she felt an unusual sensation of calm and warmth spreading throughout her body. She heard an inner voice asking her to get rid of all her medical aids, corset and splint. She then noticed that her foot had returned to a normal position and that she could move it once again. All her sphincter disorders disappeared, and, on that same day, she stopped taking all her pain medication and using the spinal neurostimulator." (https://www.lourdes-france.org/en/how-do-we-recognise-a-lourdes-miracle/)
St. Peter Damian, Bishop and Cardinal, Italy (1007-1072)—Feast, February 21:
St. Peter wrote: "Your heart should beat with confidence in God's love." "Christ cannot be accused of forgetfulness: Christ does not enjoin things contrary to His commands. He is the Bread that came down from heaven, which is daily brought to the table of the Church, as a heavenly food, which is broken for the forgiveness of sins, which feeds and nourishes unto life everlasting them that eat the same."
Ash Wednesday- "Return to the Lord, your God" (Joel 2:12), February 26:
"The Eucharist is a never-ending sacrifice. It is the Sacrament of love, the supreme love, the act of love." (St. Katharine Drexel)
St. Gabriel Possenti, Patron of Clerics & Youth, Italy (1838-1862)—Feast, Feb. 27:
In his teen years, Gabriel spent much time with Jesus in the tabernacle, it was through these visits that he received his calling and began contemplating the religious life. This Patron of Clerics and Co-patron of Catholic Italian youth, who died at the age of 24, was handsome, popular, and loved to dance. Jesus and Our Lady spoke to his heart, confirming his call. He became a Passionist Brother, taking the name of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. St. Gabriel had a deep devotion to Jesus Hostia and Our Lady of Sorrows.
St. Angela of Foligno, Widow, Mother, Secular Franciscan, Italy (1248-1309)—Feast, February 28:
Graced with seven visions of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, St. Angela, a Third Order Franciscan, was very privileged to be able to adore the Lord daily. At times she saw Him, in the Sacred Host in the form of a beautiful child, at times as the Crucified Savior, or in His glory. Once when a priest was unable to bring her Communion to adore and receive, the angels brought the Sacred Host to her. St. Angela lived on Holy Communion as her only daily food for twelve years! She wrote: "It is the Sacrament of Love that excites the soul to ardent prayer. It stirs up the virtue of impetration and, as it were, forces God to grant our petition. It deepens the abyss of humility, above all it enkindles the flame of love in the heart; hence the Sacrament is the Gift of gifts, and the Grace of graces."
St. Katharine Drexel, Religious, America (1858-1955)—Feast, March 3:
"In the sacrament of Eucharistic love He still abides in littleness to stay with us always."
St. Louise de Marillac, Mother & Religious, France (1591-1660)—Feast, March 15:
"With all my heart I desire You, O Bread of Angels! do not look on my unworthiness which separates me from You, but look on Your love which so often has invited me to approach You."
St. Patrick, Bishop and Patron of Ireland (d. 461)—Feast, March 17:
St. Patrick brought Ireland the Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist which made their faith strong in the face of persecution. He wrote: "Believe and adore the true sun that is Christ."
St. Joseph, Patron of Universal Church, Spouse of B.V.M.—Feast, March 19:
"In profound adoration he [St. Joseph] united himself to the special grace of each one of the events in the life of Jesus. He adored our Lord in His hidden life and in His Passion and Death; he adored in advance the Eucharistic Christ in His tabernacles: there was nothing that our Lord could hide from Saint Joseph. Aside from the Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph was the first and most perfect adorer of our Lord.
"How greatly the Word Incarnate was glorified by the adoration of Mary and Joseph as they atoned for the indifference and ingratitude of His creatures!
"Saint Joseph joined with Mary in adoration and united himself to Christ, Whose heart surged with sentiments of adoration, love and praise for the Father and of charity for men.
"Saint Joseph's adoration kept pace with every stage of our Lord's life, drawing upon the grace, the spirit, and the virtue of each mystery. In the Incarnation he adored the self-annihilation of the Son of God; at Bethlehem, the poverty; at Nazareth, the silence, the apparent weakness, the obedience, and all the other virtues of Christ. He knew them well and he grasped clearly the reason why Christ practiced them—for the love and glory of His Heavenly Father.
"Faith, humility, purity, and love—these were the keynotes of his adoration. No saint ever vibrated with a more ardent faith or bowed down in deeper humility; no angel ever glistened with brighter purity; and as for his love, neither saint nor angel ever has or ever will come within range of his burning charity which expressed itself so fully in devotedness.
"Because his faith was so strong, Joseph's mind and heart bowed in perfect adoration. Imitate his faith as you kneel before the humble Christ annihilated in the Eucharist. Pierce the veil which covers this furnace of love and adore the hidden God. At the same time respect the veil of love and make the immolation of your mind and heart your most beautiful homage of faith.
"Among the graces which Jesus gave to His foster-father—and He flooded him with the graces attached to every one of His mysteries—is that special to an adorer of the Blessed Sacrament. That is the one we must ask of St. Joseph. Have confidence, strong confidence in him. Take him as the patron and the model of your life of adoration.
"From close union with this holy adorer I shall learn to adore our Lord and to live in intimacy with Him. I shall then be the Joseph of the Eucharist as he was the Joseph of Nazareth." (St. Peter Julian Eymard)
Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord—Feast, March 25:
"Like Mary, let us be full of zeal to go in haste to give Jesus to others. She was full of grace when, at the annunciation, she received Jesus. Like her, we too become full of grace every time we receive Holy Communion. It is the same Jesus whom she received and whom we receive at Mass. As soon as she received Him she went with haste to give Him to John. For us also, as soon as we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, let us go in haste to give Him to our sisters, to our poor, to the sick, to the dying, to the lepers, to the unwanted, and the unloved. By this we make Jesus present in the world today" (St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta).
St. Margaret Clitherow, Wife, Mother, Martyr, England (d. 1586)—Feast, March 26:
A convert, St. Margaret married a widower with two sons, and bore two more. During the persecution, Margaret remained devoted to the true faith, organized secret Masses, and hid priests. Her belief in the Holy Eucharist was so strong that she was imprisoned twice, and then cruelly martyred. Although Protestant, her husband attested to her great love and virtue, saying "she is the best wife in all England, and the best Catholic."
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