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Catholic Culture Liturgical Year

As the earth cycles annually through its seasons, just so the Church celebrates with quiet, deliberate rhythm the seasons of the liturgical year – always the same, yet ever new and renewing.
  • Dec. 15 Friday of the Second Week of Advent; St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli (Italy), Weekday
    Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:31-35).

  • Dec. 14 Memorial of St. John of the Cross, priest and doctor, Memorial
    St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) was born and died in Spain. His parents were poor and could not give him training in any trade. Hence he became the servant of the sick in the hospital of Medina. In 1563 he offered himself as a lay brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, perceiving his unusual talents, had him ordained a priest. When he was about to join the more severe Order of the Carthusians, the saintly Teresa persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of the Carmelite Order. This reform of his order caused him such sufferings and brought him many trials. But his sufferings served only to detach him from creatures. He had a great devotion to Our Lord's Passion and voluntarily sought out humiliations. When Our Lord asked him what reward he would ask for his labors, John answered: "To suffer and to be despised for Thee." He died of a cruel disease, embracing the crucifix. Because of his profound treatises on mystical theology Pope Pius XI proclaimed him Doctor of the Church. According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite St. John of Cross' feast is celebrated on November 24.

  • Dec. 13 Memorial of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, Memorial
    St. Lucy (283-304) was born in Syracuse, Sicily, where she also died. She was of a noble Greek family, and was brought up as a Christian by her mother, who was miraculously cured at the shrine of St. Agatha in Catania. Lucy made a vow of virginity and distributed her wealth to the poor. This generosity stirred the wrath of the unworthy youth to whom she had been unwillingly betrothed and who denounced her to Paschasius, the governor of Sicily. When it was decided to violate her virginity in a place of shame, Lucy, with the help of the Holy Spirit, stood immovable. A fire was then built around her, but again God protected her. She was finally put to death by the sword. Her name appears in the second list in the Canon.

  • Dec. 12 Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Feast
    "Rejoice: the Lord is nigh." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament.

  • Dec. 11 Optional Memorial of St. Damasus I, pope, Opt. Mem.
    St. Damasus was Supreme Pontiff from 366 to 384. He was a very learned man, well versed in the Scriptures. He commissioned St. Jerome to complete the translation of the Bible into the Latin language. Shortly after his reign the 72 books of the Bible, hitherto scattered in different parts of the Orient, were collected into one volume. He defended the rights of the Holy See, and beautified the Roman resting places of the Christian dead and of the saints. He also confirmed the practice of singing the Psalms day and night in the churches and adding a Glory Be at the end of each Psalm.

  • Dec. 10 Second Sunday of Advent, Sunday
    "As the journey of Advent continues, as we prepare to celebrate the nativity of Christ, John the Baptist's call to conversion sounds out in our communities. It is a pressing invitation to open our hearts and to welcome the Son of God Who comes among us to make divine judgement manifest. The Father, writes St. John the Evangelist, does not judge anyone, but has entrusted the power of judgement to the Son, because He is the Son of man.

  • Dec. 9 Optional Memorial of St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (USA), Opt. Mem.
    Today the Church in the United States celebrates the optional memorial of St. Juan Diego, an Indian convert, to whom the Virgin Mary appeared as he was going to Mass in Tlatlelolco, Mexico. Our Lady asked him to tell the Bishop that she desired a shrine to be built on the spot to manifest her love for all mankind. She left a marvelous portrait of herself on the mantle of Juan Diego as a sign for the Bishop. This miraculous image has proved to be ageless, and is kept in the shrine built in her honor, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.

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