Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 1st: feria (St. Giles Abbot)
Wednesday, September 2nd: St Stephen, KC
Thursday, September 3rd: Pope St. Pius X, PC
Friday, September 4th: feria (St. Rose of Viterbo, V)
Saturday, September 5th: St. Lawrence Justinian, BC
Sunday, September 6th: 14th Sunday after Pentecost (St. Eulogius, B)
Monday, September 7th: St. Cloud,C
Tuesday, September 8th: Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary, Double (St. Adrian, M)
Wednesday, September 9th: St. Peter Claver, C
Thursday, September 10th: St. Nicholas Tolentino, C
Friday, September 11th: Ss. Protus and Hyacinth, Mm
Saturday, September 12th: Most Holy Name of Mary
Sunday, September 13th: 15th Sunday after Pentecost (St. Eulogius, B)
Monday, September 14th: Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Double,
Tuesday, September 15th: Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Wednesday, September 16th: Ember Day -- Sts Cornelius and Cyprian bishops and martyrs, Semidouble,
Thursday, September 17th: Stigmata of St. Francis of Assissi
Friday, September 18th: Ember Day -- St. Joseph of Cupertino, C
Saturday, September 19th: Ember Day -- Sts Januarius and Companions
Sunday, September 20th: St Eustace and Companions martyrs.
Monday, September 21st: Matthew Apostle, Double.
Tuesday, September 22nd: S t. Thomas Villanova (Sts Maurice and the Theban Legion Mm)
Wednesday, September 23rd: Linus pope and martyr, Semidouble, (St Thecla virgin and martyr.)
Thursday, September 24th: Our Lady of Ransom
Friday, September 25th: feria (St. Firmin, B)
Saturday, September 26th: St. Isaac Jogues and Companions, Mm (Sts Cyprian and Justina martyrs)
Sunday, September 27th: 17th Sunday after Pentecost (Cosmas and Damian martyrs)
Monday, September 28th: St. Wenceslaus, Duke M
Tuesday, September 29th: Dedication of St Michael Archangel, Double.
Wednesday, September 30th: St. Jerome, PrCD
* The Calendar of Pope Pius XII
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia;
Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa;
Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Montana;
Archdiocese of Kottayam, India;
Santa Luċija, Malta;
Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri;
Achdiocese of Zamboanga, Philippines
For the feast day, you can find a wonderful coloring page here.
Ideas for celebrating the day gastronomically, can be found at Catholic Cuisine, under their First Holy Communion recipes and dinner plans, since Pope St. Pius X is the Pope of the Blessed Sacrament.
The children might enjoy drawing the coat of arms of this saint of the day, shown here (click to enlarge, and copy).
Topics to discuss -- Older students: 1) What is modernism? How did Pope St. Pius X try to stem the tide of modernism? Was he successful? 2) Why was the Blessed Sacrament so important to Pope St. Pius X, and what did he do to increase devotion to it? 3)Research and discuss the origins and history of the formalized Catechism of the Church, and Pope St. Pius X's role in it.
Younger students: 1) At what age do children usually receive Holy Communion today? 3) Before the time of Pope St. Pius X, children had to wait until they were teenagers to receive Holy Communion. How would it make you feel if you had to wait that long? 4) Why do you think Pope St. Pius lowered the age? 5) Do you think this was a good idea? 6) Make sure to say a prayer today to thank Pope St. Pius for allowing young children to approach Our Lord at the altar.
Litany of Pope Saint Pius X
For private use only.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.
Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, Pray for us.
Saint Pius X, model for priests, etc.
Saint Pius X, wise bishop,
Saint Pius X, humble cardinal and patriarch,
Saint Pius X, zealous Pope for his flock,
Saint Pius X, pious teacher,
Saint Pius X, devoted to the poor,
Saint Pius X, consoler of the sick,
Saint Pius X, lover of poverty,
Saint Pius X, humble of heart,
Saint Pius X, faithful to duty,
Saint Pius X, heroic in the practice of all virtues,
Saint Pius X, filled with the spirit of self-sacrifice,
Saint Pius X, who didst aim to restore all things in Christ,
Saint Pius X, who didst bring little children to the the Altar rail,
Saint Pius X, who didst counsel daily and frequent Communion for all,
Saint Pius X, who didst urge us to know and to love the Holy Mass,
Saint Pius X, who didst seek everywhere the diffusion of Christian teaching,
Saint Pius X, who didst withstand and reprove all heresies,
Saint Pius X, who didst teach us righteous Catholic Action,
Saint Pius X, who didst consecrate the faithful to the lay apostolate,
Saint Pius X, who didst wish to be known as a poor pastor of souls,
Saint Pius X, who answereth the prayers of those who cry to thee,
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, Saint Pius X,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let Us Pray.
O God, who didst fill the soul of Saint Pius X with a burning charity andcalled him to be the Vicar of Christ, grant that through his intercessionwe may follow in the footsteps of Jesus, Our Divine Master; and mayour prayers to this saintly Pope be fruitful for life both here and hereafter,through the same Christ Our Lord.
St. Rose of Viterbo is a remarkable saint, accomplishing amazing wonders toward the conversion of many souls before her early death at the age of nineteen. You can read about her life here.
Born: 1235, Viterbo, Italy
Born: March 6, 1252, Viterbo, Italy
Canonized: 1457 by Pope Callistus III
Major shrine: Viterbo, Italy
Feast: 4 September
Patronage: people in exile; people rejected by religious orders; tertiaries; Viterbo, Italy
Teachers' Helps: There is a video of the life of St. Rose, that I have not viewed, but which might be worth checking out here.
No silver fanfare filled the air
October's trees wear rosaries
May raises high her blossom-shrines
Catholic Culture has a good list of good ideas for celebrating this day! But here are some more ideas we found:
Here is a lovely coloring page of the Blessed Mother. A picture gallery of classic Blessed Mother paintings can be found here. The children might also want to make Our Heavenly Mother some birthday cards to display in front of her image!
The most simple and meaningful form of celebrating Mary's birthday is, of course, to bake a birthday cake and sing "Happy Birthday!" This afternoon maybe the children can help bake a beautiful white cake (or possibly a blue jello poke cake or a traditional angel food cake?), or maybe cupcakes with white icing. Since blue is the traditional color of Mary, blueberries might make a good garnish...
Here is a list of flowers meaningful to Our Lady. This would be a perfect day to make a trip to the florist and arrange a boquet forthe Blessed Mother. How perfect to choose flowers based on their meaning for her!
And, last, but not least, s list of poetry devoted to Our Lady's Nativity and to her holy name can be found here.
Sweet Child Mary, destined to be the Mother of God and our sovereign and loving Mother, by the prodigies of grace you lavish upon us, mercifully listen to my humble supplications. In the needs which press upon me from every side and especially in my present tribulation, I place all my trust in you.
O Holy Child, by the privileges granted to you alone and by the merits which you have acquired, be merciful to me this day. Show that the source of spiritual favors and the continuous benefits which you dispense are inexhaustible, because your power with the Heart of God is unlimited. Deign through the immense profusion of graces with which the Most High has enriched you from the first moment of your Immaculate Conception, grant me, O Celestial Child, my petition, and I shall eternally praise the goodness of your Heart.
Patronage: animals; babies; boatmen; diocese of Cabanatuan, Philippines; dying people; Lambunao, Philippines; Cabatuan, Iloilo, Philippines, mariners; diocese of Mati, Philippines; sailors; sick animals; souls in purgatory; diocese of Tandag, Philippines; watermen; St. Nicolas de Tolentino Parish, Naujan Or., Mindoro Philippines
The story of his life from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
Born at Sant' Angelo, near Fermo, in the March of Ancona, about 1246; d. 10 September, 1306. He is depicted in the black habit of the Hermits of St. Augustine — a star above him or on his breast, a lily, or a crucifix garlanded with lilies, in his hand. Sometimes, instead of the lily, he holds a vial filled with money or bread. His parents, said to have been called Compagnonus de Guarutti and Amata de Guidiani (these surnames may merely indicate their birth-places), were pious folk, perhaps gentle born, living content with a small substance. Nicholas was born in response to prayers, his mother a model of holiness.
He excelled so much in his studies that even before they were over he was made a canon of St. Saviour's church; but hearing a sermon by a hermit of St. Augustine upon the text: "Nolite diligere mundum, nec ea quae sunt in mundo, quia mundus transit et concupiscentia ejus", he felt a call to embrace the religious life. He besought the hermit for admittance into his order. His parents gave a joyful consent. Even before his ordination he was sent to different monasteries of his order, at Recanati, Macerata etc., as a model of generous striving after perfection. He made his profession before he was nineteen.
After his ordination he preached with wonderful success, notably at Tolentino, where he spent his last thirty years and gave a discourse nearly every day. Towards the end diseases tried his patience, but he kept up his mortifications almost to the hour of death. He possessed an angelic meekness, a guileless simplicity, and a tender love of virginity, which he never stained, guarding it by prayer and extraordinary mortifications. He was canonized by Eugene IV in 1446; his feast is celebrated on 10 September. His tomb, at Tolentino, is held in veneration by the faithful.
Painting by Gregorio Martínez y Espinosa, Lamentation with Saints Augustine and Nicholas of Tolentino, 1590s
Origin & history: The name Mary has roots in the Bible (Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene), although its roots (mry) can be traced back to Egypt.
Popularity: Since biblical times, the name Mary has been very popular. From 1880 to 1960, Mary was either the first or second most popular name, according to the US census. It fell to the bottom of the top ten in popularity by 1970, and continued it's decline to 84 as of the 2006 US census. (H/T: Stephie L)
And, last, but not least,east, Our Lady's Litany, which salutes her many titles, is a must for the day!
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven: -- Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, -- Pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
v. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
r. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto us Thy servants, that we may rejoice in continual health of mind and body; and, by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness, and enter into the joy of Thine eternal joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the history of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, go here.
Pictures and information on the Basilica, Santa Croce, where the Relics of the True Cross are kept can be found here.
Catholic Cuisine hosts a link-fair with a multitude of ideas for celebrating the feast here.
For several versions of crosses to color, go here. A coloring page of St. Monica can be found at Waltzing Matilda's.
The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady are such a good meditation, though maybe a difficult one, especially considering how different Our Blessed Mother's sorrow must have been from sorrow as we understand it -- as flawed human beings. All the experiences of Mary's life were colored by her complete, unquestioning surrender to the Will of God. She was not affected by any of the vices of thought or deed that we're prone to due to original sin. Her knowlege and understanding were (are) far keener than ours. The sorrows she felt in her life on earth were100% unselfish.
As a mother, this immediately brings to mind for me the terror and worry I would have for the future if someone said those same words to me. I'd be a nervous wreck! But, we know for a certainty that Jesus' Mother didn't worry. At most she "wondered at those things which were spoken concerning Him." If we can learn to place our complete trust in God like Our Lady did, we won't have worry for our future either. but this is way easier said than done. But Our Blessed Mother, is always there to help. She understands sorrow better than anyone and knows each of us well enough to our best consolation and help. God is so good to us to give us the help of all our Heavenly family, and especially His Mother, Our Mother, who has such a tender love for us.
Learn not to worry!
2) The Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt
Imagine your husband wakes you up in the morning and says, "Pack up, dear. We're going to Egypt." You have a new baby, and your bank account is not just low, it's nonexistent. You don't know a soul in Egypt, and you will have to walk or ride a donkey across a desert to get there. But, you go. Mary went. I doubt she even asked any questions of St. Joseph, but started packing their meager belongings immediately. This not only teaches us abandonment, once again, to the Will of God, but obedience to our husbands!
First Sorrow: The Presentation
The Ember Weeks—the weeks in which the Ember Days occur—are the week between the third and fourth Sundays of Advent, between the first and second Sundays of Lent, the week between Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, and the week beginning on the Sunday after Holy Cross Day (September 14), the liturgical Third Week of September.
A thorough explanation of the Ember Days can be found at Fisheaters.
Click here for the biography of this great saint, and go here for more prayers of St. Francis!
This is the Basilica of St. Joseph of Cupertino in Osimo, Italy, where St. Joseph's body is laid.
Close to the ceiling of the basilica is a painting of the saint levitating.
These pictures were borrowed from here, where you can also find a complete Life of St. Joseph.
St. Joseph, a saint of many miracles, is especially known for levitating while meditating on Our Lord or Our Lady. But, he was also noteworthy in his time for the fact that he was a notoriously poor student who only passed his examinations into the priesthood due to God's intercession. St. Joseph of Cupertino is, therefore, the patron saint of:
Through Christ our Lord.
St. Joseph of Cupertino, Pray for us.
(Then, you must remember, when you succeed in the exams, to publicly thank St. Joseph of Cupertino ~ in the newspaper, for instance, or on the internet.)
Dear ecstatic Conventual Saint who patiently bore calumnies, your secret was Christ the crucified Savior who said: "When I will be lifted up I will draw all peoples to myself." You were always spiritually lifted up. Give aviators courage and protection, and may they always keep in mind your greatly uplifting example.
*This reminds me, incidentally, of a poem that is a favorite of mine, though I'm far from being an aviator. That last line just stays with me, every time I read it, and it somehow seems to link with St. Joseph, our flying saint, who did "touch the face of God".
Born: c. 275, Benevento or Naples, Campania, Roman Empire
Died: c. 305, Pozzuoli, Campania
Major shrines: Cathedral of San Gennaro, Naples, Italy and the Church of the Most Precious Blood, Little Italy, Manhattan, New York City.
Feast: September 19 (Western Christianity)
Symbolism: vials of blood, palms, Mt. Vesuvius
Patronage: blood banks; Naples; volcanic eruptions
Commentary from Lisa: I could not possibly do a better job than the Catholic Tradition website (from whence I borrowed the beautiful painting, above) in re-telling the story of today's saint ~ and his is a story of such fortitude, piety and wondrous miracles, that I highly suggest running over to read the whole tale.
But, in the interest of piquing your curiosity, here are some highlights: St. Januarius was the bishop of Beneventum, Italy, during the reign of Diocletian. He was tortured for the Faith, then sent into the arena with the wild beasts to be devoured ~ but the beasts knelt before the holy bishop, sparing his life as the evil Romans would not do. After other amazing miracles, our saint was finally beheaded and his soul flew to its eternal reward in heaven.
His body was interred first at Beneventum, then, in the monastary of Monte Vergine, and finally at the principal church at Naples (the Cathedral of San Genarro). The holy relic has always been accompanied by miracles, one most notable being the quieting of Mount Vesuvius, thus sparing its prayerful neighbors from iminent destruction.
But, the most famous and enduring of the wonders of St. Januarius is the miracle of the liquification of his blood every year on the anniversary of his martyrdom. When a vial of the saint's blood is brought into the vicinity of the relic of his severed head, the contents, which, during the rest of the year, are dried and solid in the crystal reliquary, become liquid. God still honors and utilizes this holy saint to turn and edify souls by the proof of His power. This amazing miracle which has occured throught the centuries can still be seen today!
Praise be to God in his Angels and in His Saints!
Now, generally, I have a tendency to lump together into a large, hazy, but still vaguely glorious lump, all the martyr stories, especially the ones that end in "and companions." I know that's terrible, but I admit I have trouble keeping most of them straight in my mind, there were so many! And, honestly, after so many years of reading Butler's Lives of the Saints to the children, pretty much every day, you'd think I'd remember this story! But somehow it slipped by me. I mean the real story. There's one visual scene about deer antlers and a cross I remembered somewhat, but somehow the true story, the epic tale of valor and tragedy and victory and defeat and final triumph eluded me until today.
Here's the story in a nutshell:
Eustachius was a highly respected officer in the Roman army under Emperor Trajan (Ok, so now you should start hearing the first slow drumbeat of ominous music... The names Trajan or Diocletian, especially, spell doom in Butler's...). Our Lord chose to reveal Himself and the truth of the Faith to Eustachius through the image of Himself crucified in the antlers of a deer. I can only assume that this was the method most sure to get this man's attention, and it truly did.
Eustachius and his wife and children all converted, which at this time was not a politically correct thing to do, of course. The family lost everything due to this decision; they were even forcibly separated from each other. Eustachius, once a proud Roman officer was reduced to tending crops for his survival.
And then the barbarians came.
And, of course, who could the evil Emperor Trajan count on better than our hero to oust them from the empire? Obviously a man of Eustachius' noble mind owned a temperament and ability to equal it. He was the can-do man of the army and Trajan apparently knew it. So, off Eustacius went, his rank and power restored. Miraculously, during this campaign, he was reunited with his family, and then returned to Rome the conquering hero, the toast of the town, the man of the hour.
Picture the parade of welcome through the streets of Rome as was the custom in that day! The fanfare, the triumphant march! His wife and children near at hand, looking on proudly, the cheers of the crowd, the Emperor on the dais up ahead, ready to receive Eustachius in honor. Ready to crown his head with the laurel wreath... If.
(The music stops here.)
If he would sacrifice to Trajan's false gods.
Would he? He had lost everything in this world that was important to him, and now he had miraculously found it again. His family had the chance to live in peace and ease in Rome again, have a comfortable villa again, enjoy afternoons of games and conversations with their old friends again... They could be together as a family. It could be as it once was. Could Eustachius bear to lose it all again? And it wasn't just himself that he had to consider! Could he subject his dearest wife and children to more ignomy and suffering, and perhaps death?
Only the strongest of men could say yes to this. Only the most loving of men could say yes. And, of course he said yes to Christ. He would give it all up again. He would risk it all for love of God, for love of Truth, for the love which taught him faith in life everlasting!
This faith is staggering to me! How the human conflict must have raged in him, how he must not have wanted to see his family suffer any more! How tired he must have been! But he knew truly and completely that God had something better waiting for them. I believe his wife and children knew this, too.
When Trajan had two starved lions brought into the arena with Eustachius and his family, the lions played at their feet like kittens. God does like to make His points, doesn't He? It always amazes me that the savage persecutors in those days never took the hint! I mean look at the miracles which surrounded the deaths of the martyrs! But the Roman dictators never did pick up on it. Trajan just became more angry when he was deprived of his spectacle, and ordered the family to be locked inside a bull molded of metal and roasted to death over a fire, father, mother and children.
(Double major, commemorates the foundation of the Mercedarians.)
On 10 August, 1223, the Mercedarian Order was legally constituted at Barcelona by King James of Aragon and was approved by Gregory IX on 17 January, 1235. The Mercedarians celebrated their institution on the Sunday nearest to 1 Aug. (on which date in the year 1233 the Blessed Virgin was believed to have shown St. Peter Nolasco the white habit of the order), and this custom was approved by the Congregation of Rites on 4 April, 1615 (Anal. Juris Pont., VII, 136). But the calendar of the Spanish Mercedarians of 1644 has it on 1 Aug., double. Proper lessons were approved on 30 April, 1616. The feast was granted to Spain (Sunday nearest to 1 Aug.) on 15 Feb., 1680; to France, 4 Dec., 1690. On 22 Feb., 1696, it was extended to the entire Latin Church, and the date changed to 24 September. The Mercedarians keep this feast as a double of the first class, with a vigil, privileged octave, and proper Office under the title: "Solemnitas Descensionis B. Mariæ V.de Mercede". Our Lady of Ransom is the principal patron of Barcelona; the proper Office was extended to Barcelona (1868) and to all Spain (second class, 1883). Sicily, which had suffered so much from the Saracens, took up the old date of the feast (Sunday nearest to 1 Aug.) by permission of the Congregation of Rites, 31 Aug., 1805 (double major), Apparition of Our Lady to St. Peter Nolasco in the choir of Barcelona, on the Sunday after 24 Sept. In England the devotion to Our Lady of Ransom was revived in modern times to obtain the rescue of England as Our Lady's Dowry.
Information of Interest: Read here about the Scapular of Our Lady of Ransom
O God, who by means of the most glorious Mother of Thy Son was pleased to give new children to Thy Church for the deliverance of Christ's faithful from the power of the heathen; grant, we beseech Thee, that we who love and honor her as the foundress of so great a work may, by her merits and intercession, be ourselves delivered from all sin and from the bondage of the evil one. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.
The black and white picture, above, can be right clicked to save and printed in a larger format for a coloring page. The stories of Mercedarians, St. Peter Nolasco and St. Raymond of Pentafort dovetail with this feast. We'll be talking about the threat to the Christian world that is still alive today, as well as the different kinds of captivity -- physical and spiritual.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
Saints Cosmas and Damian were early Christian physicians and martyrs whose feast is celebrated on 27 September. They were twins, born in Arabia, and practised the art of healing in the seaport Ægea, now Ayash (Ajass), on the Gulf of Iskanderun in Cilicia, Asia Minor, and attained a great reputation. They accepted no pay for their services and were, therefore, called anargyroi, "the silverless". In this way they brought many to the Catholic Faith. When the Diocletian persecution began, the Prefect Lysias had Cosmas and Damian arrested, and ordered them to recant. They remained constant under torture, in a miraculous manner suffered no injury from water, fire, air, nor on the cross, and were finally beheaded with the sword.
Their three brothers, Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius died as martyrs with them. The execution took place 27 September, probably in the year 287. At a later date a number of fables grew up about them, connected in part with their relics. The remains of the martyrs were buried in the city of Cyrus in Syria; the Emperor Justinian I (527-565) sumptuously restored the city in their honour. Having been cured of a dangerous illness by the intercession of Cosmas and Damian, Justinian, in gratitude for their aid, rebuilt and adorned their church at Constantinople, and it became a celebrated place of pilgrimage. At Rome Pope Felix IV (526-530) erected a church in their honour, the mosaics of which are still among the most valuable art remains of the city. The Greek Church celebrates the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian on 1 July, 17 October, and 1 November, and venerates three pairs of saints of the same name and profession. Cosmas and Damian are regarded as the patrons of physicians and surgeons and are sometimes represented with medical emblems. They are invoked in the Canon of the Mass and in the Litany of the Saints.
Patronage: surgeons, physicians, dentists, protectors of children, barbers, pharmacists, veterinarians, orphanages, day-care centers, confectioners, children in house, against hernia, against the plague.
Discuss the moral role of physicians in the time of Saints Cosmas and Damian, and their role today. How was the practice of medicine different in the 3rd century? Read the Hypocratic Oath, the original and modern versions. Research its beginnings. Discuss whether it is in keeping with Catholic morality and whether modern physicians, in general, seem to abide by its promises. (There is an interesting -- scary --commentary here...)
From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
(Also Vaclav, Vaceslav.)
Duke, martyr, and patron of Bohemia, born probably 903; died at Alt-Bunzlau, 28 September, 935.
His parents were Duke Wratislaw, a Christian, and Dragomir, a heathen. He received a good Christian education from his grandmother (St. Ludmilla) and at Budweis. After the death of Wratislaw, Dragomir, acting as regent, opposed Christianity, and Wenceslaus, being urged by the people, took the reins of government. He placed his duchy under the protection of Germany, introduced German priests, and favoured the Latin rite instead of the old Slavic, which had gone into disuse in many places for want of priests. Wenceslaus had taken the vow of virginity and was known for his virtues. The Emperor Otto I conferred on him the regal dignity and title. For religious and national motives, and at the instigation of Dragomir, Wenceslaus was murdered by his brother Boleslaw. The body, hacked to pieces, was buried at the place of murder, but three years later Boleslaw, having repented of his deed, ordered its translation to the Church of St. Vitus in Prague. The gathering of his relics is noted in the calendars on 27 June, their translation on 4 March; his feast is celebrated on 28 September.
Born: c. 907, Prague, Bohemia
Died: September 28, 935, Stará Boleslav, Bohemia
Major shrine: St Vitus Cathedral, Prague
Feast: September 28
Symbolism: Crown, dagger, eagle on a banner
Patronage: Bohemia, Czech Republic, Prague
Though the story of the life of King Wenceslaus is not particularly connected with the Christmas Season, we tend to make the connection because of this carol. No harm there. Perhaps today's feast is a good reminder that we have less than three months until the great feast of the Nativity.
Shaken deeply by what he had heard, Pope Leo XIII composed the Prayer to St. Michael and ordered it to be recited after all Low Masses as a protection for the Church against the attacks from Hell.
The longer version of the prayer taken from The Raccolta, 1930, Benziger Bros., pp. 314-315 is given below. The Raccolta is an imprimatured collection of the official and indulgenced prayers of the Catholic Church.
O Glorious Archangel St. 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 the 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. This 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 power 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.
Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered, the root of David.
Let thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
As we have hoped in thee.
O Lord, hear my prayer.
And let my cry come unto thee.
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 St. 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 souls.
-- Fisheaters as a good history and explanation of the feast, as well as a teriffic catalogue of customs for celebrating the feast of St. Michael
-- You can find "Feasting With the Angels" and "Michaelmas feast" at Catholic Cuisine
-- A Coloring page
-- Information of interest: the Medieval Celebration of Michaelmas
-- Some traditional "sayings" of the day:
* So many days the moon is old on St Michael’s day, so many floods after.
Traditional English weather marker
* Harvest comes as long before Michaelmas as dog roses bloom before Midsummer.
Traditional English weather marker
* On Michaelmas Day the devil puts his foot on the blackberries.
Traditional northern Irish proverb
* St Michael’s rain does not stay long in the sky.
Traditional French proverb
*If it does not rain on St Michael’s and Gallus [Oct 16], a dry spring is indicated for the next year.
Traditional English proverb
* If you eat goose on Michaelmas Day, you will not be short of money all year round.
Traditional English proverb
* A Michaelmas rot comes ne’er in the pot.
Traditional English proverb
* If St Michael brings many acorns, Christmas will cover the fields with snow.
Traditional English proverb
* Michaelmas chickens and parsons’ daughters never come to good.
Traditional English proverb
* Three things that never come to any good: Christmas pigs, Michaelmas fowls, and parsons’ daughters.
Traditional English proverb