Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 02-05-13, M, St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
Posted on 02/04/2013 10:41:10 PM PST by Salvation
From: Hebrews 12:1-4
The Example of Christ
 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that
you may not grow weary or faint-hearted.  In your struggle against sin you have
not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
1-3. After recalling the exemplary faith and fidelity of the righteous of the Old Tes-
tament, a moral lesson is now drawn: Christians should be no less faithful—parti-
cularly since they have as a model not only patriarchs, kings and prophets but
also Christ Jesus himself, “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith”, in other words,
he is the perfect example of obedience, of faithfulness to his mission, of union
with the Father, and of endurance in suffering.
Christ is depicted as the strong, generous athlete who runs a good race (cf. 1
Cor 9:24; 1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 2:6), who starts and finishes well, who does not flag
and who wins the race. A Christian should live in the same way (cf. Gal 2:2; Phil
2:16; 5:7). It is as if we were listening again to what St Paul says in Philippians
2:5-9: “Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus.” Christ’s
example helps us to overcome contempt and it reminds us that we should not be
surprised to meet up with humiliation and hostility rather than success and rejoi-
cing (cf. Mt 10:24; Lk 6:40). “Cross, toil, anguish: such will be your lot as long as
you live. That was the way Christ went, and the disciple is not above his Master”
(St J. Escriva, “The Way”, 699).
1. This verse contains three remarkable expressions which stress the need to be
faithful in spite of difficulties. The first is the “cloud of witnesses”, a reference to
the multitude of holy people in the course of the history of Israel who stayed faith-
ful to God (cf. 11:2, 4, 5, 39); they are a cloud, a huge number filling the sky. In
classical literature one often finds an army advancing in battle array being com-
pared with a storm forming in the sky. Also, the image of the cloud suggests
that these witnesses are high up, near the sun, a sign of their spiritual stature.
They are “witnesses”, that is, active spectators of the combat in which Chris-
tians are involved. This evokes the idea of spectators at the Games who follow
the events from the stands, applauding, shouting and gesticulating.
“Sin which clings so closely”: one interpretation of the original is “sin which wat-
ches us closely, like an enemy, to see where he can attack us”. It is the same
kind of idea as occurs in 1 Pet 5:8, where it says that the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and as in Gen 4:7 where God
describes sin as couching at the door (like a hungry wild animal ready to pounce).
The verb used to describe sin indicates it is something which surrounds one on
all sides (cf. RSV) and can easily get a foothold and is persistent. “We may have
here an allusion to occasions of sin, to the fact that sin is present all around us,
that is, in the world, in the flesh, in our neighbor and in the devil” (St Thomas,
“Commentary on Heb.”, ad loc.). Sin is also a “weight” which hinders our move-
ments and reduces our agility; there may also be a reference here to being over-
weight. The athlete needs to shed any surplus weight and keep to a strict trai-
ning schedule involving many small renunciations (cf. 1 Cor 9:25). His only hope
of success in the Games depends on this.
Finally, Christians are invited to “run with perseverance”. Theirs is not a short
race but a long test which calls for endurance and an ability to cope with pain and
fatigue. “Just as in a race and in combat we need to shed everything that cramps
our movements, the same happens in the struggle of tribulation. ‘I have fought the
good fight, I have finished the race,’ St Paul says (2 Tim 4:7). So, he who wants
to run well towards God in the midst of tribulation should shed all useless weight.
The Apostle describes this encumbrance as ‘weight, and sin which clings so clo-
sely’. This weight is the sins we have committed, which pull the soul downwards
and incline it to sin again” (”Commentary on Heb, ad loc.”).
Essentially, the verse emphasizes the need for detachment if one is to win in the
struggle of life: “Anything that does not lead to God is a hindrance. Root it out
and throw it far from you” (St J. Escriva, “The Way”, 189).
2. The Christian should fix his gaze on Jesus, in the same way as a runner, once
the race has begun, lets nothing distract him from his determination to reach his
“If you want to be saved,” St Thomas writes, “look at the face of your Christ. He
is the pioneer of our faith, in two senses. He teaches it through his preaching
and he also impresses it on our heart. In two senses also is he the perfecter of
our faith: he consigns faith by his miracles and it is he who gives faith its reward”
(”Commentary on Heb, ad loc.”).
Christ is the “pioneer” of our faith in the sense that he has marked out the path
Christians should take. He is the captain and guide of all the faithful, the cham-
pion who takes the lead and opens the way, setting the pace. The reference
evokes what Hebrews 6:20 says about Jesus being our “forerunner”.
Christ is the “pioneer” of our faith, the cause of our faith; it is he that we first be-
lieve in and, as author of grace, it is he who infuses this virtue into our souls. The
title of “pioneer”, initiator, may also indicate that Christ is for the Christian—and
for the universe—beginning and end, alpha and omega (cf. Rev 1:17; 2:8; 22:13).
In the same line, Jesus is also the “perfecter” of our faith, for it is he who will
lead us to perfection in faith and will transform it into the perfection of glory. He
will crown his work in us (cf. St Augustine, “Letter 194”, 5), for if we believe it is
because he has moved us to faith, and if we are glorified it will be because he
has helped us to stay true to the end.
Everything Christ did in his life is a perfect example for us to follow particularly
the way he underwent his passion. “In the passion of Christ there are three things
to consider: in the first place what he gave up, then what he suffered, and thirdly
what he merited. As far as the first is concerned, (Hebrews) speaks of his leaving
‘the joy that was set before him’, that is, joy or happiness here on earth, as when
the crowd sought him out to make him king and he fled to the mountain despising
that honor [...]. Then describing the happiness of eternal life as his reward, he ‘en-
dured the cross’: that is the second thing, namely, that he suffered the cross. ‘He
humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross’ (Phil
2:8). In this the terrible severity of his suffering is manifested, for he was nailed to
the cross by his hands and feet, and the opprobrium of this death, for it was an
ignominious death [...]. The third thing, that is, what he merited, is being seated
at the right hand of the Father. Thus, the exaltation of Christ’s human nature was
the reward for his passion” (”Commentary on Heb, ad loc.”).
Christ is the pioneer of our faith by his death on the Cross, and its perfecter by
his glorification. Only those who share in Christ’s sufferings will be raised up like
him in glory (cf. Rom 6:8). The Christian life begins in Christ and finds its climax
To bring about our redemption any form of suffering would have sufficed; but such
was our Lord’s love for us that he accepted the ignominy of death on a cross.
“By now they have fastened Jesus to the wooden cross. The executioners have
ruthlessly carried out the sentence. Our Lord, with infinite meekness, has let
them have their way.
“It was not necessary for him to undergo so much torment. He could have avoi-
ded those trials, those humiliations, that ill-usage, that iniquitous judgment, and
the shame of the gallows, and the nails and the lance.... But he wanted to suffer
all this for you and for me. And we, are we not going to respond?
“Very likely there will be times, when alone in front of a crucifix, you find tears
coming to your eyes. Don’t try to hold them back.... But try to ensure that those
tears give rise to a resolution” (St J. Escriva, “The Way of the Cross”, XI, 1).
3. “What does Christ teach you from the height of the Cross, from which he
chose not to come down, but that you should arm yourself with valor against
those who revile you, and be strong with the strength of God?” (St Augustine,
“Enarrationes in Psalmos”, 70, 1). The difficulties Jesus had to contend with
were quite exceptional: Jews and Gentiles opposed him; he suffered every kind
of humiliation, to the extreme of his passion and death; but what pained him most
was the hard-heartedness, spiritual blindness and impenitence of those who had
come to save. The “sinners” who proved “hostile” to Jesus are not only Caiaphas,
Herod, Pilate, etc. but also those who continue to sin despite his redemptive sa-
crifice. Yet our Lord bore all this patiently and exhibited to a supreme degree the
virtues and qualities he asks of his disciples.
In Christ, and in Christians, weakness becomes strength, humiliation and glory.
“(Jesus) dies nailed to the Cross. But if at the same time in this weakness there
is accomplished his “lifting up”, confirmed by the power of the Resurrection, then
this means that the weaknesses of all human sufferings are capable of being in-
fused with the same power of God manifested in Christ’s Cross” (John Paul II,
“Salvifici Doloris”, 23).
The sacred text seeks to inspire the faithful with hope and strength by sugges-
ting that they contemplate Christ’s sufferings. That in fact has led many Chris-
tians to turn over a new leaf. St Teresa of Avila describes how it changed her:
“By this time my soul was growing weary, and, though it desired to rest, the mi-
serable habits which now enslaved it would not allow it to do so. It happened that,
entering the oratory one day, I saw an image which had been procured for a cer-
tain festival that was observed in the house and had been taken there to be kept
for that purpose. It represented Christ sorely wounded; and so conducive was it
to devotion that when I looked at it I was deeply moved to see him thus, so well
did it picture what he suffered for us. So great was my distress when I thought
how ill I had repaid him for those wounds that I felt as if my heart were breaking,
and I threw myself down beside him, shedding floods of tears and begging him
to give me strength once for all so that I might not offend him” (”Life”, IX, 1).
4-13. Following Christ’s example, Christians should struggle to avoid sin; they
should put up with tribulation and persecution because if such adversity arises
it means that the Lord permits it for our good. The letter’s tone of encourage-
ment seems to change here to one of reproach. It is as if the writer were saying,
“Christ gave his life for your sins, contending even to the point of dying for you;
how is it that you do not put up with suffering, out of love for him? It is true that
you are being persecuted: God is disciplining you as a Father disciplines his
children. But you are children of God and therefore your attitude should be one
of abandonment to his will even when it seems hard. That is the way a Father
brings up his children.”
The main point is that the only important thing is fidelity to God, and that the sin
of apostasy is the greatest of all misfortunes. “Don’t forget, my son, that for you
on earth there is but one evil, which you must fear and avoid with the grace of
God: sin” (St J. Escriva, “The Way”, 386).
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
From: Mark 5:21-43
Jairus’ Daughter is Restored to Life.
The Curing of the Woman With a Hemorrhage
And a great crowd followed Him and thronged about Him.  And there was
a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years,  and who had suffered
much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no bet-
ter but rather grew worse.  She had heard the reports about Jesus, and
came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.  For she said,
“If I touch even His garments, I shall be made well.”  And immediately the
hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.
 And Jesus, perceiving in Himself that power had gone forth from Him, imme-
diately turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched My garments?” 
And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing around You, and
yet You say, `Who touched Me?’”  And He looked around to see who had
done it.  But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear
and trembling and fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth.  and
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be
healed of your disease.”
 While He was speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said,
“Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”  But ignoring
what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only be-
lieve.”  And He allowed no one to follow Him except Peter and James and
John the brother of James.  When they came to the house of the ruler of the
synagogue, He saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly.  And
when He had entered, He said to them, “Why do you make a tumult and weep?
The child is not dead but sleeping.”  And they laughed at Him. But He put
them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were
with Him, and went in where the child was.  Taking her by the hand He said
to her, “Talitha cumi”; which means, “Little girl, I say to you arise.”  And im-
mediately the girl got up and walked; for she was twelve years old. And immedi-
ately they were overcome with amazement.  And He strictly charged them
that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
21-43. Both Jairus and the woman with the flow of blood give us an example of
faith in Christ’s omnipotence, for only a miracle can cure Jairus’ daughter, who
is on her death-bed, and heal this lady, who has done everything humanly pos-
sible to get better. Similarly, the Christian should always expect God to help
him overcome the obstacles in the way of his sanctification. Normally, God’s
help comes to us in an unspectacular way, but we should not doubt that, if it is
necessary for our salvation, God will again work miracles. However, we should
bear in mind that what the Lord expects of us is that we should every day fulfill
22. At the head of each synagogue was the archisynagogist, whose function it
was to organize the meetings of the synagogue on Sabbaths and holy days, to
lead the prayer and hymns and to indicate who should explain the Sacred Scrip-
ture. He was assisted in his task by a council and also had an aide who looked
after the material side of things.
25. This woman suffered from an illness which implied legal impurity (Leviticus
14:25ff). Medical attention had failed to cure her; on the contrary, as the Gos-
pel puts it so realistically, she was worse than ever. In addition to her physical
suffering—which had gone on for twelve years—she suffered the shame of feeling
unclean according to the Law. The Jews not only regarded a woman in this po-
sition as being impure: everything she touched became unclean as well. There-
fore, in order not to be noticed by the people, the woman came up to Jesus from
behind and, out of delicacy, touched only His garment. Her faith is enriched by
her expression of humility: she is conscious of being unworthy to touch our Lord.
“She touched the hem of His garment, she approached Him in a spirit of faith,
she believed, and she realized that she was cured [...]. So we too, if we wish to
be saved, should reach out in faith to touch the garment of Christ” (St. Ambrose,
“Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam”, VI, 56 and 58).
30. In all that crowd pressing around Him only this woman actually touched Je-
sus — and she touched Him not only with her hand but with the faith she bore in
her heart. St. Augustine comments: “She touches Him, the people crowd Him.
Is her touching not a sign of her belief?” (”In Ioann. Evang.”, 26, 3). We need
contact with Jesus. We have been given no other means under Heaven by which
to be saved (cf. Acts 4:12). When we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, we
obtain this physical contact through the sacramental species. We too need to
enliven our faith if these encounters with our Lord are to redound to our salvation
(cf. Matthew 13:58).
37. Jesus did not want more than these three Apostles to be present: three was
the number of witnesses laid down by the Law (Deuteronomy 19:15). “For Jesus,
being humble, never acted in an ostentatious way (Theophilactus, “Enarratio In
Evangelium Marci, in loc.”). Besides these were the three disciples closest to
Jesus: later, only they will be with Him at the Transfiguration (cf. 9:2) and at His
agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (cf. 14:33).
39. Jesus’ words are in contrast with those of the ruler’s servants; they say:
“Your daughter is dead”; whereas He says: “She is not dead but sleeping”. “To
men’s eyes she was dead, she could not be awoken; in God’s eyes she was
sleeping, for her soul was alive and was subject to God’s power, and her body
was resting, awaiting the Resurrection. Hence the custom which arose among
Christians of referring to the dead, whom we know will rise again, as those who
are asleep” (St. Bede, “In Marci Evangelium Expositio, in loc.”). What Jesus
says shows us that, for God, death is only a kind of sleep, for He can awaken
anyone from the dead whenever He wishes. The same happens with the death
and resurrection of Lazarus. Jesus says: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep,
but I go to awaken him out of sleep.” And, when the disciples think that it is or-
dinary sleep He is referring to, our Lord tells them plainly: “Lazarus is dead” (cf.
40-42. Like all the Gospel miracles the raising of the daughter of Jairus demon-
strates Christ’s divinity. Only God can work miracles; sometimes He does them
in a direct way, sometimes by using created things as a medium. The exclusive-
ly divine character of miracles—especially the miracle of raising the dead — is no-
ticed in the Old Testament: “The Lord wills and brings to life; He brings down to
Sheol and raises up” (1 Samuel 2:6), because He has “power over life and death”
(Wisdom 16:13). And also in the Old Testament God uses men to raise the
dead to life: the prophet Elijah revives the son of the widow of Sarepta by “crying
to the Lord” (cf. 1 Kings 17:21), and Elisha prevails on Him to raise the son of
the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:33).
In the same way, in the New Testament the Apostles do not act by their own po-
wer but by that of Jesus to whom they first offer fervent prayer: Peter restores to
life a Christian woman of Joppa named Tabitha (Acts 9:36ff); and Paul, in Troas,
brings Eutychus back to life after he falls from a high window (Acts 20:7ff). Je-
sus does not refer to any superior power; His authority is sovereign: all He has
to do is give the order and the daughter of Jairus is brought back to life; this
shows that He is God.
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
|First reading||Hebrews 12:1-4 ©|
|Psalm||Psalm 21:26-28,30-32 ©|
|Gospel||Mark 5:21-43 ©|
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The following is the longer version of the vital prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 after his startling vision as to the future of the Church. This prayer was dedicated for the Feast of St. Michael 1448 years from the date of the election of the first Leo - Pope Saint Leo the Great. Everyone is familiar with the first prayer below which was mandated by His Holiness as part of the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass. Below are both the short and longer versions of this poignant prayer which should never be forgotten.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
R: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
V: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
R: As we have hoped in Thee.
V: O Lord hear my prayer.
R: And let my cry come unto Thee.
V: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls. Amen.
Look down upon me, O good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; the while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee, my good Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.
Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.
Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.
Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.
Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priestsThis icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.
The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.
The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.
Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem. He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.
St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
1. Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. The Apostles Creed: II BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
3. The Lord's Prayer: OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
4. (3) Hail Mary: HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)
5. Glory Be: GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer. Repeat the process with each mystery.
End with the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Final step -- The Sign of the Cross
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8"
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Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of February has been primarily asociated with the Holy Family, probably due to the feast of Our Lord's presentation at the temple, celebrated on February 2. At the very outset of Christ's work on earth, God showed the world a family in which, as Pope Leo XIII teaches, "all men might behold a perfect model of domestic life, and of all virtue and holiness." The harmony, unity, and holiness which characterized this holy Family make it the model for all Christian families.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph most kind, Bless us now and in death's agony.
FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE HOLY FAMILY
Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, ever to follow the example of Thy holy Family, that in the hour of our death Thy glorious Virgin Mother together with blessed Joseph may come to meet us and we may be worthily received by Thee into everlasting dwellings: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY FAMILY
O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou defend us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace, and concord in Christian love: in order that, by conforming ourselves to the divine pattern of Thy family, we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.
Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by thy kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.
O Saint Joseph, most holy guardian of Jesus and Mary, assist us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal necessities; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity.
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be, three times.
IN HONOR OF THE HOLY FAMILY
O God, heavenly Father, it was part of Thine eternal decree that Thine only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, should form a holy family with Mary, His blessed mother, and His foster father, Saint Joseph. In Nazareth home life was sanctified, and a perfect example was given to every Christian family. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may fully comprehend and faithfully imitate the virtues of the Holy Family so that we may be united with them one day in their heavenly glory. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954
Holy Family Chaplet
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, be with me in my last hour.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul
in peace with you.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Amen.
Say 3 Our Father's, 3 Hail Mary's, and 3 Glory be's.
THE HOLY FAMILY
GOD our Heavenly Father, You call all peoples to be united as one family in worshipping You as the one and true God. You willed that Your Son become man, giving Him a virgin mother and a foster father to form the Holy Family of Nazareth.
WE pray: may the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, image and model of every human family unit walk in the spirit of Nazareth and grow in the understanding of its particular mission in society and the Church. May our families be living cells of love, faithfulness and unity, thus reflecting God's covenant with humanity and Christ's redeeming love for His Church.
JESUS, Mary and Joseph protect our families from all evil; keep us, who are away from home, one in love with our dear ones.
Why were you looking for me?" (On the Feast of The Holy Family)
U.S. Postal Service Issues Holy Family Forever Stamp
On Prayer in the Life of the Holy Family
The Holy Family - held together by Love through all their problems [Ecumenical]
Feast of the Holy Family: The Christian Family is a Domestic Church
Chesterton on "The Human Family and the Holy Family"
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
ADVICE TO PARENTS by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
The Holy Family
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Feast of the Holy Family
Feast of the Holy Family (Dom Guéranger OSB)
The Feast of the Holy Family
The Holy Family vs. The Holy Innocents: A Christmas season reflection [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican creche to place Holy Family in Joseph's carpentry workshop
The Redemption and Protection of the Family [Feast of the Holy Family]
Study Backs Tradition of Loreto House - Stones in Altar Match Those in Nazareth, It Says
Unraveling Jesus' mystery years in Egypt
Gaudis Church of the Holy Family to be ready for worship in 2008
Imitating the Holy Family; Four Traits that Make It Possible
Lots of Graphics: Post your favorite image of the St. Mary and Child, the Holy Family...
|Tuesday, February 05, 2013
St. Agatha, Virgin, Martyr (Memorial)
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The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
Francisco de Zurbaran
1630-33 -- Oil on canvas
Musée Fabre, Montpellier
One of the most highly venerated virgin martyrs of Christian antiquity, put to death for her steadfast profession of faith in Catania, Sicily. Although it is uncertain in which persecution this took place, we may accept, as probably based on ancient tradition, the evidence of her legendary life, composed at a later date, to the effect that her martyrdom occurred during the persecution of Decius (250-253).
Her name appears in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I).
May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha
implore your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray,
for she found favor with you
by the courage of her martyrdom
and the merit of her chastity.
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. +Amen.
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord."
Gospel Reading: Luke 9:23-26
And He[Jesus] said to all, "If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.