Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – Virgin Mary, all Nature is Blessed by You – St Anselm

Thought for the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Virgin Mary, all Nature is Blessed by You

From a sermon by Saint Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)
Bishop and Doctor of the Church

“Blessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night – everything that is subject to the power or use of man – rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace.   All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God, who made them.   The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols.   Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendour by men who believe in God.   The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness.   Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God Himself, its Creator, it sees Him openly, working and making it holy.   These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb.

Through the fullness of the grace that was given you, dead things rejoice in their freedom and those in heaven are glad to be made new.   Through the Son who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before His life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance.   Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator but the Creator Himself has been blessed by creation.

To Mary, God gave His only-begotten Son, whom He loved as Himself.   Through Mary, God made Himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary.   The whole universe was created by God and God was born of Mary.   God created all things and Mary gave birth to God.   The God who made all things gave Himself form, through Mary and thus He made His own creation.   He who could create all things from nothing would not remake His ruined creation, without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world.   God is the Father by whom all things were given life and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life.   For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made and Mary gave birth to Him as the Saviour of the world.   Without God’s Son, nothing could exist;  without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to Himself.
Holy Mary, Blessed Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of God and Mother of Jesus Christ our Saviour and Redeemer, pray for us!”blessed virgin mary immaculate mother - pray for us - 2 sept 2018

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Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote of the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Quote of the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

“This Virgin Mother of the Only begotten of God, is called Mary,
worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate,
one of the one.”

Origen (c185-253)
(244)this virgin mother-origen-8dec2018

“Thou alone and Thy Mother
are in all things fair;
there is no flaw in Thee
and no stain in Thy Mother.”

St Ephrem (306-373) Doctor of the Church
(270)thou alone and thou mother - st ephrem 8dec2018

“Mary, a Virgin,
not only not only UNDEFILED
but a Virgin whom grace
has made INVIOLATE,
FREE from EVERY STAIN of SIN.”

St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor
Sermon 22, in the year 338m,ary, a virgin - st ambrose - 8dec2018

Posted in CONSECRATION Prayers, DOGMA, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 8 December – Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Conception

Our Morning Offering – 8 December – Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Conceptionin-the-presence-of-god-almight-act-of-consecration-immaculate-conception-8-dec-2017

Act of Consecration
By St Maximillian Kolbe (1894-1941)

O Immaculate, Queen of heaven and earth,
Refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother,
God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to You,
I, an unworthy sinner, cast myself at Your feet,
humbly imploring You
to take me with all that I am and have,
wholly to Yourself as Your possession and property.
Please make of me,
of all my powers of soul and body,
of my whole life, death and eternity,
whatever pleases You.
If it pleases You,
use all that I am and have without reserve,
wholly to accomplish what has been said of You:
“She will crush your head”,
and “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world.”
Let me be a fit instrument in Your immaculate
and most merciful hands for introducing and increasing Your glory
to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls
and thus help extend as far as possible,
the blessed Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
For, wherever You enter,
You obtain the grace of conversion and sanctification,
since it is through Your hands,
that all graces come to us.
from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

V.Allow me to praise You, O most holy Virgin.

R. Give me strength against Your enemies.
Amenact-of-consecration-8-dec-2017

Posted in DOGMA, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, VATICAN Resources, YouTube Videos

8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Today, 8 December, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. I wish you all a Blessed and Holy Feast Day!

bartolomc3a9-esteban-murillo-1678
Murillo 1678

Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus, 8 December 2012

“I would like to emphasise that Mary is Immaculate through a freely given gift of God’s grace, which, however, found perfect willingness and cooperation in her.   It is in this sense that she is “blessed” because “she believed” (Lk 1:45) and because she had steadfast faith in God.   Mary represents that “remnant of Israel”, that holy root which the Prophets proclaimed.   The promises of the Old Covenant find a ready welcome in her.   In Mary, the Word of God is met with listening, acceptance and a response, He encounters that “yes” which enables Him to take flesh and to come and dwell among us.

IMM CONCEPTION - MARY Prado0048
Prado

In Mary, humanity and history are truly opened to God, they welcome His grace and are prepared to do His will.   Mary is a genuine expression of Grace.   She represents the new Israel, which the Scriptures of the Old Testament describe with the symbol of the bride. And St Paul takes up this language in his Letter to the Ephesians where he speaks of marriage and says “Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the Church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (5:25-27).   The Fathers of the Church developed this image and thus the Doctrine of the Immaculate Virgin first came into being with reference to the Church virgin-mother and, subsequently, to Mary.   Thus Ephraim the Syrian writes poetically:  “Just as [it was] because these bodies themselves have sinned and are themselves dying, that the earth, their mother was also accursed (cf. Gen 3:7-19), because of this body which is the incorruptible Church, her land was blessed from the outset.   This land is the body of Mary, a temple in which a seed was sown” (Diatessaron 4, 15: sc 121, 102).

Francesco de Mura imm conception
Francesco de Mura

The light that shines from the figure of Mary, also helps us to understand the true meaning of original sin.   Indeed that relationship with God which sin truncates is fully alive and active in Mary.   In her there is no opposition between God and her being, there is full communion, full understanding.   There is a reciprocal “yes” – God to her and her to God.   Mary is free from sin because she belongs entirely to God, she empties herself totally for Him.   She is full of His Grace and of His Love.

To conclude, the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary expresses the certainty of faith that God’s promises have been fulfilled and that His Covenant does not fail but has produced a holy root from which came forth the blessed Fruit of the whole universe, Jesus the Saviour.   The Immaculate Virgin shows that Grace can give rise to a response, that God’s fidelity can bring forth a true and good faith.”

Imm Conception Jusepe de Ribera (1637) tumblr_mcpufmupix1rpq8j1o1_540
Jusepe de Ribera (1637)

Room of the Immaculate Conception

Following the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Pius IX, which took place on 8 December 1854, the pontiff decide to celebrate the event with a cycle of frescoes.
The large room adjacent to the Raphael Rooms was chosen and the task was assigned to Francis Podesti (1800-1895), a painter originally from Ancona but rooted in the Roman artistic and academic panorama.   The artist, along with his team of workers, worked on the commission from 1856 to 1865, planning it and following its execution in all its aspects –  the wooden doors and window frames and the inlaid marble work, as well as the installation of the Roman mosaic from Ostia Antica, purchased specifically for this space.
The pictorial decoration proceeds from the ceiling, with allegorical scenes alluding to the virtues of the Virgin;  it continues along the northern wall with the homage of the continents to the Church enthroned;  it continues on the west wall, devoted to the Discussion of dogma in St Peter’s Basilica and concludes on the east wall, with the Coronation of the Image of Mary, an event following the Proclamation, which took place in St Peter’s.   Podesti, who was present, included a self-portrait here.ROOM OF THE IMM CONCEPTION.png

Posted in DOGMA, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube Videos

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and Memorials of the Saints – 8 December

Immaculate Conception (Solemnity)
Here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/08/the-feast-of-the-immaculate-conception-solemnity-8-december/

Bl Alojzy Liguda
St Anastasia of Pomerania
St Anthusa of Africa
St Antonio García Fernández
St Casari of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon
St Eucharius of Trier
St Pope Eutychian
St Gunthildis of Ohrdruf
Bl Jacob Gwon Sang-yeon
Bl Johanna of Cáceres
Bl José María Zabal Blasco
St Macarius of Alexandria
St Marin Shkurti
St Noel Chabanel
St Patapius
Bl Paul Yun Ji-chung
St Rafael Román Donaire
St Romaric of Remiremont
St Sofronius of Cyprus

Posted in DOGMA, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY EIGHT – 7 December

Mary, our teacher in everyday life

We must imitate her natural and supernatural refinement. She is a privileged creature in the history of salvation, for in Mary “the Word became flesh and dwelled among us.”
But she is a reserved, quiet witness. She never wished to be praised, for she never sought her own glory. Mary is present at the mysteries surrounding the infancy of her Son but these are “normal” mysteries, so to speak. When the great miracles take place and the crowds acclaim them in amazement, she is nowhere to be found. In Jerusalem when Christ, riding a little donkey, is proclaimed king, we don’t catch a glimpse of Mary. But after all have fled, she reappears next to the Cross. This way of acting bespeaks personal greatness and depth, the sanctity of her soul….(Christ is Passing By, 173)

To become God-like, to be divinised, we must begin by being very human, accepting from God our condition as ordinary men and women, and sanctifying its apparent worthlessness. That is how Mary lived. She who is full of grace, the object of God’s pleasure, exalted above all the angels and the saints, lived an ordinary life.
Mary is as much a creature as we are, with a heart like ours, made for joy and mirth as well as suffering and tears. Before Gabriel communicates God’s plan to her, our Lady does not know she has been chosen from all eternity to be the Mother of the Messiah. She sees herself as a humble creature. That is why she can acknowledge, with full humility, that “he who is mighty has done great things” in her. (Christ is Passing By, 172)

We can’t forget that Mary spent nearly every day of her life just like millions of other women who look after their family, bring up their children and take care of the house. Mary sanctifies the ordinary everyday things – what some people wrongly regard as unimportant and insignificant: everyday work, looking after those closest to you, visits to friends and relatives. What a blessed ordinariness, that can be so full of love of God!
For that’s what explains Mary’s life – her love. A complete love, so complete that she forgets herself and is happy just to be there where God wants her, fulfilling with care what God wants her to do. That is why even her slightest action is never routine or vain but, rather, full of meaning. Mary, our mother, is for us both an example and a way. We have to try to be like her, in the specific circumstances in which God wants us to live. (Christ is Passing By, 148)

Let us Pray

We turn to Our Lady for protection, because we
can be quite sure that each of us, in our own
state in life – priest or lay-person, single, married
or widowed – if we are faithful in the daily
fulfilment of our duties, will achieve victory on
this earth, the victory of being always loyal to
Our Lord. And afterwards we will reach Heaven
and rejoice for ever in the friendship and love of
God, with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
(Prayer before Our Lady of Guadalupe, 24 May 1970)

Hail Mary full of grace!
It’s fair, gentle Lady,
for me to ask you for a present,
a proof of your affection –
contrition, compunction for my sins,
sorrow of love.
Hear me, O Lady, my life, my hope.
Take me by the hand
and if there is anything in me now
that is displeasing to my Father God,
make me see it,
and between the two of us,
we’ll tear it out.
Amenhail mary full of grace, pray for us - 3 may 2018

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Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception – Apologies for the late arrival!

Sincere apologies for the late arrival of today’s Novena – I have been unable to post anything due to a national electricity crises!

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY SIX – 5 December

Holy Mary, our hope

Mary teaches us to hope.   She proclaimed: “All generations will call me blessed.”  Humanly speaking, how could she hope for such a thing?   Who was she, in the eyes of  the men and women of her time? The great heroines of the Old Testament – Judith, Esther, Deborah – won a measure of human glory even here on earth, for they were acclaimed and exalted by the people. Mary’s throne, by contrast, like that of her Son, is  the Cross. During the rest of her life, until she was taken body and soul into Heaven, what most impresses us about her is her quiet presence. St Luke, who knew her well, describes her as being close to the first disciples, in prayer. This was the way she lived to the end of her days on earth, she who was to be praised by all creatures for all eternity.
What a contrast between Our Lady’s hope and our own impatience! So often we call upon God to reward us at once for any little good we have done. No sooner does the first difficulty appear than we start to complain. Often we are incapable of sustaining our efforts, of keeping our hope alive. Why? Because we lack faith. “Blessed art thou for thy believing; the message that was brought to thee from the Lord shall have fulfilment.” (Friends of God, 286)

Let us be full of hope! This is the great thing about being a contemplative soul. We live by Faith, Hope and Love and Hope makes us powerful. Do you remember what St John says? “I am writing to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you and you have conquered the evil one.”  God is urging us on, for the sake of the eternal youthfulness of the Church and of all mankind.   You have the power to  transform everything human into something divine, just as King Midas turned everything he touched into gold!
Do not ever forget that after death you will be welcomed by Love itself. And in the love of God you will find as well all the noble loves which you had on earth. Our Lord has arranged for us to spend this brief day of our earthly existence working and, like His only-begotten Son, “doing good.”   Meanwhile we have to be on our guard, alert to the call St Ignatius of Antioch felt within his soul as the hour of his martyrdom approached.
“Come to the Father,” come to your Father, who anxiously awaits you.   (Friends of God, 221)

Let us Pray

Let us ask Holy Mary, Spes Nostra, our hope,
to kindle in us a holy desire that we may all
come together to dwell in the house of the
Father. Nothing need disturb us if we make up
our minds to anchor our hearts in a real longing
for our true fatherland. Our Lord will lead us
there with His grace and He will send a good
wind to carry our ship to the bright shores of
our destination.   (Friends of God, 221)

Teach us Holy Mother Mary,
teach us your holy hope!
This virtue that comes from the grace of God.
Intercede on our behalf that we may
be always guided by hope
that the great love of our Father,
will be our strength and our stay.
Pray for us Holy Mother of Hope.
Grant us your guiding hand.
AmenDAY SIX - IMM CONCEPTION NOVENA - HOLY MARY SPES NOSTRA OUR HOPE