08 December 2019

The Immaculate Conception

8 DECEMBER 2019. Although transferred to tomorrow in the United States, today is the date reserved for commemorating the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a dogma of the Church proclaimed by Pope Pius IX, after centuries of consistent belief and teaching that the Blessed Virgin was conceived without sin - set apart from the world to be the Mother of God from the moment of her conception.

Holy Virgin,
as you were conceived without sin 
to be the vessel of God in our World,
pray for us,
sinners, that we may always,
faithfully follow your son.
As so great an exemplar for all of us,
we entrust our faith to you, that you
will bring our prayers and needs
before He, who created the world, 
but who calls you Mother,
as do we all.


Image: Fresco of Pope Pius IX's declaration of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception
            (Francesco Podesti)

06 December 2019

Saint Nicholas

6 DECEMBER 2019. Today the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Nicholas of Myra, a much beloved and historically mysterious 4th Century saint. A wonderful presentation of information, believed to be historically accurate, can be found here: The Life of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker by Michael the Archimandrite.

God, Our Father, 
we pray that through the intercession of St. Nicholas 
You will protect our children. 
Keep them safe from harm 
and help them grow and become worthy in Your sight. 
Give them strength to keep their Faith in You; 
and to keep alive their joy in Your creation. 
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.