NOVEMBER 3 THE FEAST OF ST MARTIN De PORRES
Patron Saint of Barbers
St Martin de Porres was born at Lima, Peru, in 1579. His father was a Spanish gentleman and his mother a coloured freed-woman from Panama. At fifteen, he became a lay brother at the Dominican Friary at Lima and spent his whole lifethere-as a barber, farm laborer, almoner, and infirmarian among other things.
Martin had a great desire to go off to some foreign mission and thus earn the pa
lm of martyrdom. However, since this was not possible, he made a martyr out of his body, devoting himself to ceaseless and severe penances. In turn, God endowed him with many graces and wondrous gifts, such as, aerial flights and bilocation.
St. Martin's love was all-embracing, shown equally to humans and to animals, including vermin, and he maintained a cats and dogs hospital at his sister's house. He also possessed spiritual wisdom, demonstrated in his solving his sister's marriage problems, raising a dowry for his niece inside of three day's time, and resolving theological problems for the learned of his Order and for bishops. A close friend of St. Rose of Lima, this saintly man died on November 3, 1639 and was canonized on May 6, 1962. His feast day is November 3.
OCTOBER 4 THE FEAST OF ST FRANCIS OF ASSISSI
Saint Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone; 1181 – died: October 3, 1226) was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Fransican Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not living monastic lives. Though he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Francis was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, and he lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man, even fighting as a soldier for Assisi.]While going off to war in 1204, Francis had a vision that directed him back to Assisi, where he lost his taste for his worldly life. On a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined the poor in begging at St. Peter's Basilica. The experience moved him to live in poverty. Francis returned home, began preaching on the streets, and soon amassed a following. His Order was authorized by Pope Innocent III in 1210. He then founded the Order of Poor Clare’s, which became an enclosed religious order for women, as well as the Order of Brothers and Sisters of Penance (commonly called the Third Order). In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organize the Order. Once his community was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas manger scene. In 1224, he received the stigmata making him the first recorded person to bear the wounds of Christ’s Passion. He died during the evening hours of October 3, 1226. On July 16, 1228, he was pronounced a saint by Pope Gregory IX, He is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment, and is one of the two patron saints, of Italy (with Catherine of Siena). It is customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October. He is also known for his love of the Eucharist,, his sorrow during the Stations of the Cross, and for the creation of the Christmas creche or Nativity Scene.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
OCTOBER 28 FEAST OF ST JUDE
Patron of Desparate Cases
St. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of St. James the Less, and a relative of Our Saviour. St. Jude was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus.
Ancient writers tell us that he preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Lybia. According to Eusebius, he returned to Jerusalem in the year 62, and assisted at the election of his brother, St. Simeon, as Bishop of Jerusalem.
He is an author of an epistle (letter) to the Churches of the East, particularly theJewish converts, directed against the heresies of the Simonians, Nicolaites, and Gnostics. This Apostle is said to have suffered martyrdom in Armenia, which was then subject to Persia. The final conversion of the Armenian nation to Christianitydid not take place until the third century of our era.
Jude was the one who asked Jesus at the Last Supper why He would not manifest Himself to the whole world after His resurrection. Little else is known of his life. Legend claims that he visited Beirut and Edessa; possibly martyred with St. Simonin Persia.
Jude is invoked in desperate situations because his New Testament letter stresses that the faithful should persevere in the environment of harsh, difficult circumstances, just as their forefathers had done before them.
Prayers to ST Jude
Oh glorious apostle St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor who delivered thy beloved Master into the hands of His enemies has caused thee to be forgotten by many, but the Church honors and invokes thee universally as the patron of hopeless cases--of things despaired of. Pray for me who am so miserable; make use, I implore thee, of that particular privilege accorded thee of bringing visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need, that I may receive the consolations and succor of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly (mention your request), and that I may bless God with thee and all the elect throughout eternity. I promise thee, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor thee as my special and powerful patron, and to do all in my power to encourage devotion to thee. Amen
SEPTEMBER 29th The FEAST OF ST MICHAEL'S
A long tradition identifies St. Michael the Archangel, as the leader who remained faithful to God, and cast Lucifer at God’s command. His powerful aid has always been invoked by the Church in time of emergency
The Popes have constantly called on St. Michael as the special protector of the Church whenever great evils threatened God’s people. For this reason, St. Michael is especially honored at Rome, on Monte Gargano, near Foggia, in Italy, and in France on Mont St. Michel in Normandy
In times of unusual danger, when the malice of the devil seems triumphant, St. Michael will come to our aid
PRAYER St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen
AUGUST 15 - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life is a defined dogma of the Catholic Church. The Feast of the Assumption, celebrated every year on August 15, is a very old feast of the Church, celebrated universally by the sixth century. It commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay--a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time. Because it signifies the Blessed Virgin's passing into eternal life, it is the most important of all Marian feasts and a holy day of obligation.
Prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary
For additional prayers see Prayers Corner on KofC website
July 3 Feast of St Thomas, The Apostles
There is very little about the apostle Thomas in the Gospels; one text calls him the "twin." Rarely during Jesus' lifetime does he stand out among his colleagues. There is the instance before the raising of Lazarus, when Jesus was still in Perea and Thomas exclaimed: "Let us also go and die with Him." Best-known is his expression of unbelief after the Savior's death, giving rise to the phrase "doubting Thomas." Nevertheless, the passage describing the incident, had as today's Gospel, must be numbered among the most touching in Sacred Scripture.
St. Thomas, the disciple who at first did not believe, has become for the Church one of the first witnesses to her faith. She is fond of appealing to his testimony and frequently puts in our mouths those simple words whereby he expressed the fervour of his regained faith: "My Lord and my God." It is known that St. Thomas preached the Gospel in Asia beyond the frontiers of the Roman Empire, probably in Persia and possibly as far afield as India. St. Thomas' feast was formerly celebrated on December 21.
Dear St. Thomas, you were once slow in believing that Christ had gloriously risen; but later, because you had seen Him, you exclaimed: "My Lord and My God!" According to an ancient story, you rendered most powerful assistance for constructing a church in a place where pagan priests opposed it.Please bless architects, builders, and carpenters that through them, the Lord may be honored. Amen.
JUNE 13 Feast of Saint Anthony
Novena to Saint Anthony for Any Need
St. Anthony, you are glorious for your miracles and for the condescension of Jesus Who came as a little child to lie in your arms. Obtain for me from His bounty the grace which I ardently desire. You were so compassionate toward sinners, do not regard my unworthiness. Let the glory of God be magnified by you in connection with the particular request that I earnestly present to you.[State your request here.] As a pledge of my gratitude, I promise to live more faithfully in accordance with the teachings of the Church, and to be devoted to the service of the poor whom you loved and still love so greatly. Bless this resolution of mine that I may be faithful to it until death.
St. Anthony, consoler of all the afflicted, pray for me.
St. Anthony, helper of all who invoke you, pray for me.
St. Anthony, whom the Infant Jesus loved and honored so much, pray for me. Amen
MAY 3 Feast of Sts. Philip and James, Apostles
The Apostle Philip was one of Christ's first disciples, called soon after his Master's baptism in the Jordan. The fourth Gospel gives the following detail: "The next day Jesus was about to leave for Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him: Follow Me. Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him: We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets wrote, Jesus the Son of Joseph of Nazareth. And Nathanael said to him: Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him: Come and see" (John 1:43ff). — The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
St. James the Less, a brother of the Apostle Jude, was of Cana of Galilee. He is the author of one of the Catholic Epistles in the New Testament. He was favored by an appearance of the Risen Christ (I Cor. 15:7). After the dispersion of the Apostles he was made Bishop of Jerusalem. He was visited by St. Paul (Gal. 1:19). He spoke after Peter at the meeting of the Apostles (Acts 15:13). When he refused to deny the Divinity of Christ, the Jews cast him down from the terrace of the temple and clubbed him to death. The Breviary contains a very moving description of his death. "When he was ninety-six years old and had governed the Church for thirty years in a most holy manner, the Jews sought to stone him, then took him to the pinnacle of the temple and cast him off headlong. As he lay there half dead, with legs broken by the fall, he lifted his hands toward heaven and prayed to God for the salvation of his enemies, saying: Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do! While the apostle was still praying, a fuller struck his head a mortal blow." His relics now rest next to those of St. Philip in the church of the Holy Apostles in Rome, and their names are mentioned in the first list in the Canon of the Mass
PRAYER O God, who gladden us each year with the feast day of the Apostles Philip and James, grant us, through their prayers, a share in the Passion and Resurrection of your Only Begotten Son, so that we may merit to behold you for eternity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
APRIL 16 Feast of St Bernadette
St. Bernadette was born at Lourdes, France. Her parents were very poor and she herself was in poor health. One Thursday, February 11, 1858, when she was sent with her younger sister and a friend to gather firewood, a very beautiful Lady appeared to her above a rose bush in a grotto called Massabielle. The lovely Lady was dressed in blue and white. She smiled at Bernadette and then made the sign of the cross with a rosary of ivory and gold. Bernadette fell on her knees, took out her own rosary and began to pray the rosary. The beautiful Lady was God's Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. She appeared to Bernadette seventeen other times and spoke with her. She told Bernadette that she should pray sinners, do penance and have a chapel built there in her honor. Many people did not believe Bernadette when she spoke of her vision. She had to suffer much. But one day Our Lady told Bernadette to dig in the mud. As she did, a spring of water began to flow. The next day it continued to grow larger and larger. Many miracles happened when people began to use this water. When Bernadette was older, she became a nun. She was always very humble. More than anything else, she desired not to be praised. Once a nun asked her if she had temptations of pride because she was favored by the Blessed Mother. "How can I?" she answered quickly. "The Blessed Virgin chose me only because I was the most ignorant."
(Say for nine days, or as a perpetual novena.)
Dear Saint Bernadette, Chosen by Almighty God as a channel of His Graces and Blessings, and through your humble obedience to the requests of Our Blessed Mother, Mary, you gained for us the Miraculous waters of Spiritual and physical healing.
We implore you to listen to our pleading prayers that we may be healed of our Spiritual and physical imperfections.
Place our petitions in the Hands of our Holy Mother, Mary, so that She may place them at the feet of Her beloved Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that He may look on us with mercy and compassion: (Make Petition)
Help, O Dear Saint Bernadette to follow your example, so that irrespective of our own pain and suffering we may always be mindful of the needs of others, especially those whose sufferings are greater than ours.
As we await the Mercy of God, remind us to offer up our pain and suffering for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins and blasphemies of mankind.
Pray for Saint Bernadette, that like you, we may always be obedient to the will of Our Heavenly Father, and that through our prayers and humility we may bring consolation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that have been so grievously wounded by our sins.
Holy Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, Pray for us.
One Decade of the Rosary.
O Mary conceived without sin,pray for us who have recourse to Thee. (Say (3) Three Times)
MARCH 19 Feast of St Joseph
Novena to Saint Joseph
Glorious St. Joseph, foster-father and protector of Jesus Christ! To you I raise my heart and my hands to implore your powerful intercession. Please obtain for me from the kind Heart of Jesus the help and the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I ask particularly for the grace of a happy death and the special favor I now implore. [Mention your request here.] Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel animated with confidence that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.
O glorious St. Joseph, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ, and for the glory of His Name.
Hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. Amen
March 17 ST Patrick Patron Saint of Ireland
St. Patrick (ca. A.D. 385-461) was born -- in Scotland! He was the son of a high-ranking Roman family, but was carried off into slavery by Irish marauders when he was 16 and forced into shepherding. While in captivity in Ireland, though, he learned Celtic and the ways of Druidism, as his master was a Druid High Priest, two bits of knowledge that would help him later in evangelizing Irish pagans. He escaped his master, travelled about a bit -- but desired to return to Ireland to evangelize, a task he was entrusted with by Pope Celestine I, and a task he was most successful at (legend says that he even drove the snakes from that land with a sermon).
Needless to say, St. Patrick is very dear to the Irish people. The symbol of this day is the shamrock because St. Patrick used the plant as a visual aid in describing the Trinity -- three leaves, one stem -- and the Cross, which is evoked by its general shape.
A beautiful prayer for the day is "St. Patrick's Breast-plate" (Faeth Fiada," or the "Lorica of St. Patrick").
On this day, the Irish -- especially Irish Americans -- get generally rowdy. This is the day for listening to Irish music, and, for Americans, watching the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City and being veryproud of "being Irish!" -- a fact you must advertise by the "wearing o' the green," especially in the form of a shamrock (Trifolium dubium). Even if you're not Irish, you can be "Irish" for the day by wearing green and getting into the spirit of things -- in fact, you "must" or others who see you not wearing green have a duty to pinch you!
February 3 The Feast of St Blaise
On each February 3 the blessing of St. Blaise is given: two candles are consecrated, generally by a prayer, these are then held in a crossed position by a priest over the heads of the faithful or the people are touched on the throat by them. At the same time the following blessing is given: "Per intercessionem S. Blasii liberet to Deus a malo gutteris et a qouvis alio malo." ("May God at the intercession of St. Blaise preserve you from throat troubles and every other evil.")
JANUARY 25 St. Paul The Apostle
Prayer to Saint Paul the Apostle
O Glorious Saint Paul, after persecuting the Church you became by God's grace its most zealous Apostle. To carry the knowledge of Jesus, our divine Savior, to the uttermost parts of the
earth you joyfully endured prison, scourgings, stonings, and shipwreck, as well as all manner of persecutions culminating in the shedding of the last drop of your blood for our Lord Jesus
Obtain for us the grace to labor strenuously to being the faith to others and to accept any trials and tribulations that may come our way. Help us to be inspired by your Epistles and to partake of your indomitable love for Jesus, so that after we have finished our course we may join you in praising him in heaven for all eternity. Amen.
DECEMBER IS THE MONTH THAT WE TRADITIONALLY CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST
In the obscure town of Bethlehem in the desolate province of Judea in the great empire of Rome, a baby was born to a young woman named Mary and her fiance, Joseph. The child's mother, Mary was a
young virgin who had conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph was a carpenter and a man of great integrity. When Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant prior to their marriage, he decided
quietly to break the engagement. In a dream he was told by an angel that the child was from God and that he should proceed with the marriage.
Mary's baby was born at night in the stable. Mary and Joseph named him Jesus. There was no cradle for him, so they wrapped him in strips of cloth and he slept in a manger. Though there is controversy on the real date of Jesus birth, but world over people celebrate Jesus's birthday on 25th December every year.
The night when Jesus was born, some shepherds were looking after their sheep on the hills when suddenly an angel appeared. The shepherds were terrified, but the angel said, "I bring good news. God's Savior has been born tonight. You will find the baby lying in a manger". Soon the shepherds arrived at the stable in Bethlehem - Jesus birth place, to see the baby and told Mary and Joseph about the angel's message. She knew this was a very special baby.
The Wise Men
After the birth of Christ some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking the place where the newborn king of the Jews has arrived. They have seen the star as it arose, and had come to worship him. These men were probably astronomers from Mesopotamia. The "star" they followed may have been a comet or a supernova.
Gold, Frankincense, And Myrrh
The gifts the wise men, or Magi, brought to Jesus were of such value in the ancient world that a poor family would have considered them treasures. Gold, of course, continues to be a consistently valuable commodity. The practical use of myrrh and frankincense, processed from aromatic plants are used to make perfumes, incense, and other scented products. Frankincense was sometimes used for religious ceremonies and myrrh for funerals, so some have seen symbolic meanings in the gifts
A Christmas Prayer
Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.
IN ADDITION WE ALSO RECOGNIZE A POPULAR SAINT ON
DECEMBER 6 – St Nicholas
A Prayer of Impetration to Saint Nicholas
Glorious St. Nicholas, my special patron, from thy throne in glory, where thou dost enjoy the presence of God, turn thine eyes in pity upon me and obtain for me from our Lord the graces and helps that I need in my spiritual and temporal necessities (and especially this favor [mention your request], provided that it be profitable to my salvation). Be mindful, likewise, O glorious and saintly Bishop, of our Sovereign Pontiff, of Holy Church, and of all Christian people. Bring back to the right way of salvation all those who are living steeped in sin and blinded by the darkness of ignorance, error, and heresy. Comfort the afflicted, provide for the needy, strengthen the fearful, defend the oppressed, give health to the infirm; cause all men to experience the effects of thy powerful intercession with the supreme Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.