October/November/December 2009 Newsletter No. 118
“May your eyes watch night and day over this temple,
the place where you have decreed you shall be honored;
may you heed the prayer which I, your servant, offer in this place” (1 Kgs 8:29).
The Year for Priests
“After the example of the Good Shepherd, he [St. John Vianney] gave his life in the decades of his priestly service. His existence was a living catechesis that acquired a very special effectiveness when people saw him celebrating Mass, pausing before the tabernacle in adoration or spending hour after hour in the confessional. Therefore the centre of his entire life was the Eucharist, which he celebrated and adored with devotion and respect” (Pope Benedict XVI, August 5, 2009, Address, Castel Gandolfo).
Meditations of the Season
“The wise men adored this body when it lay in the manger;…they prostrated themselves before it in fear and trembling….Now you behold the same body that the wise men adored in the manger, lying upon the altar;…you also know its power” (St. John Chrysostom).
“Your eyes at the midnight Mass will gaze upon the elevated Host and your lips will utter, ‘My Lord and my God.’ A few minutes more and the little Infant will have come to you. His Immaculate Mother did not hold him more truly in her arms that first Christmas midnight than you will have him, heart to heart. Then all the love of that Infant Redeemer will be poured out upon you. It’s a thirst of the heart of every creature that desires to be loved, and the love which can alone satisfy that craving is the Divine Love. Let your heart delight in the love your God has for you, personally, individually…. He tells you in his heart to heart interview that he has become a little Infant so that you may love him with a human love without fear” (St. Katherine Drexel).
“[Jesus speaks:] I was born, born for you, in a cave, in December, in the cold, homeless, in the middle of a winter’s night, in the unheard-of poverty of the extremely poor, in solitude, in an abandonment unique in this world. What, my children, do I want you to learn from my birth? To believe in my love…From the moment of my birth onward, I showed myself to you, giving myself wholly to you, putting myself in your hands. From then on, you could touch me, hear me, possess me, serve me, console me. Love me now, I am so close to you.
“In my unimaginable goodness, I did not merely give myself to you at my birth for a few hours or years: I am still in your hands, and shall be henceforth until the end of the world. Think of the unending good fortune I brought you in my birth: the ability to serve me—to serve me by serving your neighbor, to serve me myself, living there near you in the tabernacle. Not only can you serve me, you can also console me…
“How happy you should be to be able to console me at every moment of your lives! By becoming so small, so gentle a child, I was crying out to you: Have trust! Come close to me! Do not be afraid of me, come to me, give me what children need: loving embraces. Do not be afraid, do not be so frightened in the presence of such a gentle baby, smiling at you and holding out his arms to you. He is your God, but he is all smiles and gentleness. Do not be afraid” (Bl. Charles de Foucauld).
We wish you a Merry Christmas & a Happy and Holy New Year!
St. Therese of Lisieux, Carmelite Nun, Ptn. of Missionaries, (1873-1897), France—Oct. 1
St. Therese spent hours in Eucharistic Adoration praying for priests and vocations. Her writings attest to her great love of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and her love for struggling priests and souls.
Guardian Angels—Oct. 2
The Guardian angels adore the Holy Eucharist with us, watch over, guide and protect us.
Respect Life Sunday—Oct. 4
Offer Masses, Hours of Adoration, and Rosaries for life, and work for the respect of life at all stages.
Bl. Marie-Rose Durocher, Religious and Founder, (1811-1849), Canada—Oct. 6
Bl. Marie-Rose’s spirituality was centered on the Holy Eucharist and Our Lady. Despite poor health, she answered God’s call and founded the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary to teach girls.
Ann. Our Lady’s Apparition at Fatima & the Miracle of the Sun (1917)—Oct. 13
“The patient in the first case was a man in Lisbon, Portugal, who suffered from Parkinson’s….His wife pleaded with him repeatedly to go to another Marian Shrine like Lourdes….One day, in mockery, because he knew that, like himself, his attending physician did not believe in miracles, he said to his wife in the doctor’s presence: ‘I’ll go if he does.’ It occurred to the doctor that a trip to the church at Fatima might cheer his patient, or at least it would be a temporary distraction, so he surprised the ill man by saying: ‘All right, let’s go.’ The day they arrived at the shrine was the 13th of the month so there was a large crowd of pilgrims. The non-believing doctor and his non-believing patient were among the first in the rows of invalids. I (the writer of this book) was just as close to them as possible, carrying the canopy over the Holy Eucharist as It was raised by the priest to bless the patient. The man suddenly pushed himself up in his wheel chair. Tremblingly he began to move and feel his legs. Then, over and over he pleaded to those around him: ‘I am not dreaming, am I? I am not dreaming?’ The doctor’s mouth fell open in amazement and he slowly sank to his knees. Tears began to roll down his cheeks. ‘This was not for you,’ he exclaimed through sobs. ‘This was for me’” (The World’s Greatest Secret).
St. Teresa of Avila, Carmelite Nun, Reformer, Mystic (1515-1582), Spain—Oct. 15
“Approaching the Sacrament would at once make me feel so well, both in soul and in body, that I was astounded. I would feel as if all the darkness in my soul had suddenly been dispersed and the sun had come out and shown me the stupidity of the things I had been saying and doing. At other times, if the Lord spoke only one word to me…‘Be not troubled: have no fear’…one word completely cured me.”
St. Margaret Mary, Apostle of the Sacred Heart (1647-1690), France—Oct. 16
“Today the Lord wants you to honor His life wholly given to us in the Blessed Sacrament. You must be as a burning candle with no other desire than to be consumed in His honor” (St. Margaret Mary).
St. Gerard Majella, Religious, Ptn. of Expectant Mothers (1726-1755), Italy—Oct. 16
“The Most Blessed Sacrament is Christ made visible.” St. Gerard cared for the poor, sick and needy.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Successor of St. Peter, Bishop and Martyr, (c.107), Syria—Oct. 17
“The Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins” (St. Ignatius).
Sts. Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf & Companions, Jesuit Martyrs, France—Oct. 19
“The only external sign of our holy religion that we have is the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. To its marvels we must open the eyes of our faith without the aid of any sensible mark of grandeur, like the Magi of old in the stable. It seems, moreover, that God supplies what we lack and rewards us with grace for having transported the Holy Sacrament beyond so many seas and having found an abode for it in these poor cabins” (St. John de Brebeuf).
St. Paul of the Cross, Priest, Passionist Founder, (1694-1775), Italy—Oct. 20
St. Paul wrote of the importance of frequent Eucharistic Adoration: “Be special adorers of the Divine and Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, which is the heavenly food of the soaring eagles, that is, of the souls advanced in holiness…and thank Him unceasingly for having left us such an infinite Treasure.”
St. Anthony Mary Claret, Missionary Priest, Founder (1807-1870), Spain—Oct. 24
His apostolic zeal was fueled by a great love of the Eucharist, which he brought to the culture.
Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles, Martyrs (1st century)—Oct. 28
Tirelessly prayed and preached that all may have a personal relationship with Jesus Eucharistic.
“Contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3b).
All Saints Day—November 1
“The saints in heaven live in perpetual adoration, because their joy is derived from eternal contemplation. On earth, where in some manner we must imitate the life of heaven, Christian devotion has striven to make the Sacred Host the center of perpetual contemplation and adoration…The Sacred Host perpetually exposed on its Eucharistic throne, and, before it, day and night, loving souls in adoration and contemplation! Is this not truly heaven on earth?” (The Holy Eucharist, J. G. Trevino).
All Souls Day—November 2
“O my God, I recommend to Thy clemency the holy souls in purgatory, and especially those to whom I am most indebted by the bond of charity or of justice; and chiefly I implore Thee in behalf of those who, during their life, were most devoted to the Blessed Sacrament; and those who have most loved the Blessed Virgin. For this I offer Thee, my good Jesus, Thy wounds, Thy agony, Thy death, and all the merits of Thy most bitter passion. These holy souls love Thee and desire most ardently to be united with Thee. Hear, then, dear Lord, and grant this my prayer in their behalf, which I present to Thee in the words of Thy holy Church: ‘Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.’ May they rest in peace. Amen” (Pope St. Pius X).
St. Martin de Porres, Patron of South America, Surgeon, Peru (1579-1639)—Nov. 3
“St. Martin, lover of the Holy Eucharist, St. Martin, devoted to our Blessed Mother, St. Martin, spiritual patron of Americans, pray for us” (From the Litany of St. Martin de Porres).
St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop, Patron of Catechists, Italy (1538-1584)—Nov. 4
“I was considering the love which the Lord Jesus has shown to us, in willing to let himself become food for us and in willing to die for love of us….It is a stupendous thing that a miserable being, a vile creature, should be so important before God, should be so highly regarded by him, so much so that he would humble himself for our salvation ” (St. Charles Borromeo).
St. Martin of Tours, Patron of Soldiers (316-397) Italy—Nov. 11
St. Martin converted when, as a soldier, he saw a beggar and gave him half of his cloak. This beggar was Christ, who inspired St. Martin to become Catholic and enter the monastic life. His love for the True Presence was so great that he became a defender of the faith and is known for working miracles.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Religious, Ptn. of Immigrants, Founder, Italy (1850-1917)—Nov. 13
“In the shadow of your tabernacle where I can enjoy that intimate union with you which is paradise on earth.” St. Frances founded houses of Sisters, educating children and establishing hospitals globally.
St. Agnes of Assisi, Poor Clare Nun, Virgin, Italy (1197-1253)—Nov. 16
St. Agnes is the younger sister of St. Clare. She also ran away to become a Nun, under the direction of St. Francis and lived a life of prayer, centered on the Holy Eucharist. St. Agnes established other convents and supported Clare in working for total poverty. Many miracles occur through her aid.
St. Gertrude the Great, Benedictine & Patroness of the West Indies (1256-1302)—Nov. 16
Jesus told St. Gertrude: “I have done My utmost to manifest the tenderness of My Heart in the Blessed Eucharist.” It is “My mercy, My gracious mercy, which alone I extend to all in this Sacrament.”
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Wife, Mother, 3rd Order Franciscan Ptn. (1207-1231)—November 17
St. Elizabeth gave away her wealth, devoting herself to a life of Eucharistic prayer and service to all.
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary—November 21
Tradition holds that Sts. Anne and Joachim presented Mary in the temple, at the age of three, to be instructed in the ways of the Lord. She was so happy to be in God’s Presence that she danced for joy and looked as peaceful as a temple dove. Mother Mary, help us to know, love and adore your Son!
St. Catherine Laboure, Religious Mystic and Visionary, France (1806-1876)—Nov. 28
Our Lady told St. Catherine Laboure that all who “come to the foot of the altar” would receive grace.
St. Andrew the Apostle, Priest, Martyr, Patron of Russia & Scotland, (1st Century)—Nov. 30
The first to be called by Jesus, St. Andrew proclaimed the Real Presence in Russia and beyond.
Bl. Charles de Foucauld, Priest, Martyr, France (1858-1916)—Dec. 1
As a young soldier, Charles lost his faith and led an immoral life. He was drawn back to the Sacraments, became a religious and moved to Algeria, where he opened a house of “adoration and hospitality” for all people. His great love was Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, Whom he spent hours before, praying for the conversion of souls, and wrote about at length. Bl. Charles was murdered by jihadists. Inspired by his life, several religious confraternities and associations were founded.
St. Francis Xavier, Jesuit Priest, Patron of Missionaries, Spain (1506-1552)-December 3
St. Francis Xavier practiced and encouraged frequent Holy Communion and Adoration, saying, “The true body of Christ our Redeemer and Lord is in this sacrament.”
Feast of the Immaculate Conception—December 8
Blessed be her holy & immaculate conception! Our Lady was chosen to be Mother of the Eucharist!
St. Juan Diego, Our Lady of Guadalupe Visionary, Lay Mexico (1474-1548)—Dec. 9
When Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, she requested that he ask the Bishop to build a Church for her Jesus to be adored. Juan obeyed, despite obstacles; millions of conversions and miracles continue.
Feast of Our Lady of Loreto, Italy, December 10—Our Lady of Loreto, pray for us!
In the Our Lady of Loreto Litany, we recall Mary’s title “Ark of the Covenant.” Our Blessed Mother is the tabernacle of Jesus Eucharistic, the New Covenant, Who became flesh and dwells among us.
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Conversions & Miracles, (App. 1531) Mexico—Dec. 12
“We thank you, Lord Jesus, because the Gospel of the Father’s love, with which you came to save the world, has been proclaimed far and wide in America as a gift of the Holy Spirit that fills us with gladness. We thank you for the gift of your Life, which you have given us by loving us to the end:
your Life makes us children of God, brothers and sisters to each other. Increase, O Lord, our faith and our love for you, present in all the tabernacles of the continent. Grant us to be faithful witnesses to your Resurrection for the younger generation of Americans, so that, in knowing you, they may follow you and find in you their peace and joy. Only then will they know that they are brothers and sisters of all God’s children scattered throughout the world. You who, in becoming man, chose to belong to a human family, teach families the virtues which filled with light the family home of Nazareth. May families always be united, as you and the Father are one, and may they be living witnesses to love, justice and solidarity; make them schools of respect, forgiveness and mutual help, so that the world may believe; help them to be the source of vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life, and all the other forms of firm Christian commitment. Protect your Church and the Successor of Peter, to whom you, Good Shepherd, have entrusted the task of feeding your flock. Grant that the Church in America may flourish and grow richer in the fruits of holiness. Teach us to love your Mother, Mary, as you loved her. Give us strength to proclaim your word with courage in the work of the new evangelization, so that the world may know new hope. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America, pray for us!” (Pope John Paul II, Mexico City, Jan. 22, 1999).
St. John of the Cross, Priest, Carmelite Reformer, Spain (1542-1591)—December 14
St. John was so devoted to the Holy Eucharist that during Mass he was oblivious to everything else going on around him. His greatest consolation as superior was to have the cell closest to the chapel.
St. Stephen, Deacon, Martyr, Patron of Deacons and Stonemasons (d. 35)—Dec. 26
St. Stephen is known as the first martyr of the faith and the “praying martyr.” He died on his knees, asking God’s forgiveness for those who killed him, beholding God and declaring the truth of Jesus.
Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph—December 27
“The Eucharist is the link that binds the Christian family together. Take away the Eucharist and you have no brotherliness left” (St. Peter Julian Eymard).
Feast of the Holy Innocents—December 28
“You, Christ’s first fruits,/a flock of tender sacrificial victims,/now play with your palms and crowns/right up by the very altar” (Hymn for the Feast of the Holy Innocents).
St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop and Martyr, England (1118-1170)—December 29
St. Thomas lead his people in prayer before the Holy Eucharist. He formed seminarians, cared for the poor, sick and needy. He was martyred for defending the faith and authority of the Church.