Mass Schedule of Rev. Fr. David Hewko

December 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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  • Holy Mass 7:30am in MA
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  • Livestreaming Holy Mass 5:00pm in MA
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  • Holy Mass 6:00pm in PA
  • Livestreaming Holy Mass 8:00am in MA
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  • Holy Mass 5:30pm in PA
  • Livestreaming Holy Mass 9:30am in PA
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6
7
  • Holy Mass 8:00am in MA
8
  • Livestreaming Holy Mass 5:00pm in MA
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  • Holy Mass 7:30am in MA
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  • Holy Mass 8:00am in MA
  • Holy Mass in AZ
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  • Holy Mass 10:00am in AZ
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13
14
15
16
17
  • Holy Mass in MI
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  • Holy Mass 9:30am in MI
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20
21
22
23
24
25
  • Christmas Mass in GA
  • Christmas Mass in TN
  • Christmas Midnight Mass in MA
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  • Holy Mass 4:00pm in AL
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  • Holy Mass 2:00pm in KY
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29
30
31

For those good souls willing to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, please scroll down to “How To Make The Five First Saturdays” for an explanation of this devotion, as requested by Our Lady. To view or download in pdf, click here: How To Make the Five First Saturdays

 

Act of Spiritual Communion

As I cannot this day enjoy the happiness of assisting at the holy Mysteries, O my God! I transport myself in spirit at the foot of Thine altar; I unite with the Church, which by the hands of the priest, offers Thee Thine adorable Son in the Holy Sacrifice; I offer myself with Him, by Him, and in His Name. I adore, I praise, and thank Thee, imploring Thy mercy, invoking Thine assistance, and presenting Thee the homage I owe Thee as my Creator, the love due to Thee as my Savior.

Apply to my soul, I beseech Thee, O merciful Jesus, Thine infinite merits; apply them also to those for whom I particularly wish to pray. I desire to communicate spiritually, that Thy Blood may purify, Thy Flesh strengthen, and Thy Spirit sanctify me. May I never forget that Thou, my divine Redeemer, hast died for me; may I die to all that is not Thee, that hereafter I may live eternally with Thee. Amen.

+ Sanctuary Lamp Sponsorship +
 
Sponsor the Sanctuary Lamp to burn for your intentions at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel (the current residence chapel for Fr. Hewko in MA). The Sanctuary Lamp burns in continual honor of both the Real Presence of Christ the King, and the Sorrowful Heart of Mary. The faithful are invited to sponsor a candle to burn for their intentions; and each new lamp lighting lasts for about 7 to 8 days. The suggested offering for a candle is $20.00 or whatever you can afford. If you’d like to sponsor a Sanctuary Lamp, please send your name HERE.
 
 

Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Hubbardston, Massachusetts

Fr. Hewko has reprinted this excellent brochure (originally printed by the SSPX in 1986). You can request copies of this brochure either in writing directly to Fr. Hewko at:

 

Rev. Fr. David Hewko

16 Dogwood Road South

Hubbarston, MA 01452

 

or via email at sspxmariancorps@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Many thanks to the coordinator of Fr. Hewko’s Mission Chapel in  Massachusetts  for the following newsletters

 

 
 

Our Lady of Fátima Chapel

  SSPX-MC Massachusetts Mission

              

“The Immaculate Conception” by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1767 *

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
 Feast Day – December 8th

Holy Mass Today – 5:00 PM
Confessions / Rosary – 4:30 pm

Holy Mass Livestream
Link Here

Tota pulchra es, Maria,
et macula originalis non est in te

Thou art all fair, O Mary,
and the original stain is not in thee

Today is one of the greatest solemnities of the entire Liturgical year. It is the day when the Church celebrates the most precious gift in which Almighty God bestowed upon the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this feast we consider the incredible mystery of God creating his own mother!

If possible, who among us would not have created their mother to be the most perfect and wonderful mother who ever existed? And Who but the Son of God, the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, is most eminently deserving of such a perfect mother?

By a singular favor and privilege from God, and through the foreseen merits of her Son, the Most Holy Virgin, from the first instant of her conception in the womb of her mother, was preserved free from all stain of sin.

Original sin is that moral guilt and stain of soul which we inherit from Adam, the first man and father of the human race. Sanctifying grace and many other extraordinary privileges were conferred upon our first parents from their creation, but all these they lost through their sin; and the effect of their fall has descended upon all their posterity with the exception of Christ, Who was sinless by reason of the Hypostatic Union; and Mary, who was conceived immaculate by the special favor of God. Hence, the Blessed Virgin from the first moment of her conception was free from sin and endowed with sanctifying grace.

The Immaculate Conception does not refer, as some non-Catholics imagine, to the virgin birth of Christ, nor to His sinlessness. Neither does it imply on the part of the Blessed Virgin that her conception, like Our Lord’s, was divine, in the sense that it was without a human father.

In virtue of the Immaculate Conception, Christ found a most worthy dwelling in the spotless womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary to take flesh. The same flesh which shepherds and kings gazed upon; and the same flesh which was bruised, torn, and pierced for our redemption.

Originally referred to as the “Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” December 8th became a Holy Day of Obligation in 1708 under Pope Clement XI, almost 150 years before Pope Bl. Pius IX dogmatically and infallibly defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In 1693, Pope Innocent XII raised it to the rank of “Double of the Second Class” with a Common Octave for the universal Church. The days within the octave are Semi-doubles and have precedence over Simple feasts and the Advent Feriae. At Mass, when there is no saint to commemorate, after the Commemoration of the Feria, there is a third set of orations to the Holy Ghost. The Credo is prayed daily by reason of the Octave.

By the wisdom of Holy Mother Church, it is perfectly appropriate that this great solemnity and its octave are celebrated in the midst of Advent Season, during our preparation for the coming new-born King. Like the dawn which announces the new day, Mary precedes the Sun of Justice, which will soon illuminate the darkened souls of mankind. So, it is most fitting that in bringing to us her Son, it is she who first appears in the Liturgical cycle.

In the Holy Mass for today’s solemnity, we beseech Almighty God “to heal us and to deliver us from all our sins”  so that by the special graces which belong to this particular feast, the Immaculata herself may help us become more worthy to receive her Divine Son in our hearts when He descends into them on Christmas Day.

The Immaculate Conception is the Patroness of both the United States and the priestly fraternity founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. We invoke the Immaculata’s powerful intercession for the many poor, confused priests and religious who have abandoned their founding father’s guiding principles. Read here the inspired words of the Archbishop in his sermon given at the seminary of Econe, Switzerland on today’s magnificent feast in 1972.

____________________________________

 

 

Father Maximilian Maria Kolbe
On the Immaculate Conception

I Am the Immaculate Conception

A few hours before his second and final arrest on February 17th, 1941, Fr. Kolbe had time to put on paper his thoughts about her, who for a quarter of a century had never ceased to occupy his priestly and apostolic mind and heart. This text is therefore of the highest importance. He could not have written it during his captivity near Warsaw, or during his detention in the death camp at Auschwitz, although he delivered many heartfelt sermons on the Immaculata. In these lines we find the gist of his Marian doctrine. The words are based on several very rough sketches between 1939 – 41. This last writing from Fr. Kolbe constitutes his last spiritual testament:

Immaculate Conception! These words fell from the lips of the Immaculata herself. Hence, they must tell us in the most precise and essential manner who she really is.

Since human words are incapable of expressing Divine realities it follows that these words: “Immaculate,” and “Conception” must be understood in a much more profound, much more beautiful and sublime meaning than usual: A meaning beyond that which human reason at its most penetrating, commonly gives to them. However, we can and should reverently inquire into the mystery of the Immaculata and try to express it with words provided by our intelligence using its own proper powers.

Who then are you, O Immaculate Conception?

Not God, of course, because He has no beginning. Not an angel, created directly out of nothing. Not Adam, formed out of the dust of the earth. Not Eve, molded from Adam’s rib. Not the Incarnate Word, Who exists before all ages; and of Whom we should use the word “conceived” rather than “conception.” Humans do not exist before their conception, so we might call them created “conceptions.”

But you, O Mary, are different from all other children of Eve. They are conceptions stained by Original Sin; whereas you are the unique Immaculate Conception. Everything which exists, outside of God Himself, exists since it is from God and depends on Him in every way; and it bears within itself some semblance to its Creator. There is nothing in any creature which does not betray this resemblance, because every created thing is an effect of the Primal Cause.

It is true that the words we use to speak of created realities express the Divine perfections only in a halting, limited and analogical manner. They are only a more or less distant echo, as are the created realities that they signify – of the properties of God himself. Would not “conception” be an exception to this rule? No, there is never any such exception.

The Father begets the Son; the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. These few words sum up the mystery of the life of the Most Blessed Trinity and of all the perfections in creatures which are nothing else but echoes – a hymn of praise of this primary and most wondrous of all mysteries. We must, perforce, use our vocabulary, since it is all we have; but we must never forget that our vocabulary is very inadequate.

Who is the Father? What is His personal life like? It consists in begetting, eternally because He begets His Son from the beginning and forever. Who is the Son? He is the Begotten-One; Who, from the beginning and for all eternity, is begotten by the Father. And Who is the Holy Ghost? The flowering of the love of the Father and the Son.

If the fruit of created is a created conception, then the fruit of Divine love, that prototype of all created love, is necessarily a Divine “conception.” The Holy Ghost is, therefore, the “uncreated, eternal conception,” the prototype of all the conceptions that multiply life throughout the whole universe.

The Father begets; the Son is begotten; the Spirit is the “conception” that springs from their love. There we have the intimate life of the Three Persons by which They can be distinguished from one another. But They are united in the Oneness of Their Nature, of Their Divine existence. The Spirit is, then, this thrice holy “conception,” this infinitely holy Immaculate Conception.

The creature most completely filled with this love, filled with God Himself, was the Immaculata, who never contacted the slightest stain of sin, who never departed in the least from God’s will. United to the Holy Ghost as His spouse, she is one with God in an incomparably more perfect way than can be predicated of any other creature.

What sort of Union is this? It is above all an interior union, a union of her essence with the “essence” of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost dwells in her; lives in her. This was true from the first instance of her existence. It was always true and it will always be true. And in what does this life of the Spirit in Mary consist?

He Himself is uncreated Love in her; the Love of the Father and of the Son, the Love by which God loves Himself, the very love of the Most Holy Trinity. He is a fruitful Love – a “Conception.” Among creatures made in God’s image, the union brought about by married love is the most intimate of all. In a much more precise, more interior, more essential manner, the Holy Ghost lives in the soul of the Immaculata, in the depths of her very being. He makes her fruitful, from the very first instance of her existence, all during her life, and for all eternity.

This eternal “Immaculate Conception” [which is the Holy Ghost] produces in an immaculate manner Divine life itself in the womb or depths of Mary’s soul, making her the Immaculate Conception – the human Immaculate Conception. And the virginal womb of Mary’s body is kept sacred for Him; there He conceives in time the human life of the God-Man.

The path of creation goes from the Father through the Son and by the Holy Ghost; this return trail goes from the Spirit through the Son back to the Father. In other words – by the Spirit, the Son becomes incarnate in the womb of the Immaculata; and through this Son, love returns to the Father. And the Immaculata, grafted into the Love of the Blessed Trinity, becomes from the first moment of her existence and forever after, the “complement of the Blessed Trinity.”

In the Holy Ghost’s union with Mary we observe more than the love of two beings; in this union is all the love of the Blessed Trinity; and all of creation’s love. So it is – that in this union, Heaven and earth are joined! All of Heaven with the earth – the totality of eternal love with the totality of created love. It is truly the summit of love.

At Lourdes, our Blessed Lady did not say that she was conceived in an immaculate way – but as Saint Bernadette repeated it: “Que soy era Immaculata Councepiou” – I am the Immaculate Conception. Mary’s affirmation that “I am the Immaculate Conception” refers not only to her spiritual I, but to her total and personal I – “I am.”

To her body united to her soul as to its vital principle, both making up her personal reality. Our Heavenly Father is the source of all that is; everything comes from the Blessed Trinity. We cannot see God; but God the Son came to this earth as Christ Jesus; and through Him, God is known to us.

The Most Blessed Virgin is the one in whom we venerate the Holy Ghost – for she is His holy spouse. The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity never took flesh. Still, our human word for “spouse” is far too weak to express the reality of the relationship between the Immaculata and the Holy Ghost.

We can affirm that she is, in a certain sense – the “incarnation” of the Holy Ghost. It is the Holy Ghost that we love in her; and through her we know and love the Son. – Rev. Fr. H.M. Manteau-Bonamy, O.P.

 

 

____________________________

MILITIA IMMACULATAE

Founded by Seminarian Maximillian Kolbe – October, 1917

PRAYER:

O Mary Immaculate, you know the most perfect way to God; intercede for me with your Divine Son and use me as your instrument; by helping me to know and fulfill the plan the Father has established for me; because only then will I be truly pleasing God, and find true peace and happiness in this world and in the next. 

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee; and for all those who do not have recourse to thee; especially all Communists and Freemasons and other enemies of Holy Mother Church.

 

____________________________

 

* “The Immaculate Conception” (top of this page) is a painting by Italian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. It depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary surrounded by angels and crowned with the circle of twelve stars. The dove above the Blessed Virgin’s head represents her Spouse, the Holy Ghost.. She is shown trampling the serpent, representing her victory over the devil. The lilies and the rose are references to hortus conclusus (enclosed garden) and symbolize the Blessed Virgin’s love, virginity and purity.

The painting was one of seven altarpieces commissioned in March 1767 from Tiepolo by King Charles III of Spain for the Church of Saint Pascual in Aranjuez, then under construction. This was originally a Franciscan) monastery. The portrait was later assigned to a nearby convent of the Conceptionist Sisters. Both Orders promoted the cult of the Immaculate Conception. The painting is now in the Prado Museum, Madrid. Read more details here and here.

 

OUR LADY OF FATIMA CHAPEL
16 DOGWOOD ROAD SOUTH
HUBBARDSTON, MA 01452
 
 
   Our Lady of Fátima Chapel
          SSPX-MC Massachusetts Mission


              


The Second Week of Advent

After Bethlehem and the manger comes Golgotha with the Cross already shining far off over the peaceful country or Ephrata, where the Incarnate Word first appeared upon earth. The station is therefore at the Sessorian Basilica – the Roman counterpart of the Martyrdom at Jerusalem. Here was kept the Holy Cross which the Empress Helena had presented to the Church in Rome. Many allusions are made today to Jerusalem in the Liturgy.

The Prayer is inspired by the famous cry of the Baptist: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord;” so we pray to God to pour His grace into our hearts. This preparation consists in the spirit of contrition purifying the soul and in the sincere purpose of obedience to the divine precepts.

In the Epistle, St. Paul in a few touches sketches the mission of the Redeemer to establish all mankind in one single family, the Church. The Gospel testifies to the divinity of Christ by deeds rather than by words.

The Eucharistic grace for which we beg in the Post-Communion is that the holy bread, the memorial of the death of Our Lord, may destroy in us the germs of evil and may nourish us unto everlasting life. – The Roman Missal


 

Saint Barbara, Virgin & Martyr
Feast Day Today – December 4th

The holy virgin and martyr, St. Barbara, who, from the most ancient times, has been celebrated in the whole Christian world, was born of heathen parents in Nicomedia, of Bithynia. She was much beloved by her father, Dioscorus, on account of her unusual intelligence. He appointed a tower as a special place, well fitted up, for her dwelling, and chose the best masters to instruct her in art and science, but especially in paganism, as he feared she might be induced to unite herself to one not agreeable to him, or be seduced by the Christians, of whom he was a great enemy. But just this solicitude of her father gave her cause to think, and thus to arrive at the knowledge of the true God. She contemplated the heavens, the sun, moon and stars, in their regular course; she meditated on the changing of the seasons; looked on the wonderful creation of the world and its inhabitants, and justly concluded from it that there must be a Creator–that He alone must be the true God, and that the gods she worshipped had no power. To these contemplations she united prayers, and also led a most blameless life. The Almighty, who forsakes not one who aids himself, gave her opportunity to become instructed in the Christian religion, and to receive holy baptism, without the knowledge of her father.

Meanwhile, a suitor for her hand came to her father and asked his consent. Dioscorus was not unwilling to grant the wish, as the young man was his equal in rank and wealth; but he would make his daughter acquainted with the offer he had received for her before he gave his word. Barbara had a great many objections; and her father, who did not desire that she should hastily give her consent, and would not coerce her, urged her no further; and as he was about to set out on a long journey, he thought it but right to give her some time for consideration. Barbara requested to have, for her greater comfort, a bathing room added to her dwelling, which Dioscorus gladly granted her. The object of the holy virgin was, to have a special apartment where, with those who, like herself, were secretly Christians, she could pray to the true God. The father ordered two windows for the new room; Barbara, however, had a third added, in honor of the three Divine Persons in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. The room was, by the pagan’s order, adorned with idolatrous statues, with which the holy virgin would gladly have dispensed. Looking at them, she wept over the blindness of her father, who desired that she should worship them as gods. Going from one to another, she spat upon them, saying: “Those who honor you as gods are worthy to be turned into what you are made of–wood and stone.” After this, she went to a column of marble, and with her fingers pressed the sign of the cross upon it, as if it had been wax. After her death, the health of many infirm, who devoutly kissed this miraculous cross, was restored.

No sooner had her father returned from his journey, than he desired to know his daughter’s resolution. Already prepared by prayer for the approaching struggle, she said, unhesitatingly, that she would never consent to marry a pagan, as, being a Christian, she had chosen a much more noble spouse, Christ the Lord. Her father was speechless at this unexpected answer, and, when able to control himself, told her either to renounce Christ, or prepare herself for the most cruel death. The greater the wrath of the blind Dioscorus became, the more fearless was Barbara. This enraged him so greatly, that he seized his sword to take her life on the spot. Barbara, to escape his rage, fled, while her father, sword in hand, pursued her out of the city. According to an ancient legend, the fugitive virgin came to a rock, which miraculously opened, thus offering her a passage, and shielded her, for the moment, against her father’s wrath. The latter, however, was not touched by this visible miracle, but passed over the mountain and pursued the maiden, as the hound pursues the deer. Barbara had, meanwhile, taken refuge in a cave, and would not have been found had not two shepherds informed the infuriated father of her retreat. Hastening towards the place, he found her praying. No tiger could assail his prey with more rage than this tyrant assailed his innocent child. He threw her on the ground, stamped upon her with his feet, beat her, and finally dragged her by the hair into the hut of a peasant, where he locked her up, until he had her brought back to his house by soldiers. Now began her martyrdom, which was so severe, that what she had before suffered was as nothing in comparison; for, Dioscorus was determined to force her to deny Christ. Seeing, at last, that all was in vain, he gave her up to the governor, Martian, that she might be dealt with according to the laws of the land.

Martian at first showed compassion for the Saint, in consideration for her youth, and endeavored to win her by flattery and kind words. Not succeeding in this, he had recourse to severity, and had her whipped with scourges, until her whole body seemed to be but one great wound. After this, she was dragged to a dungeon, where she was left to die. The Almighty, however, who had destined her to still more glorious combats, sent an Angel during the night, who healed all her wounds, and encouraged her to perseverance, with the promise that she would overcome all tortures by Divine assistance. The following day she was again brought before Martian, who, not comprehending how Barbara had been healed, ascribed it to his gods. The virgin, however, said: ” No, no, Martian! Wood and stone, of which your idols are made, have not this power. It is the work of the God of heaven and earth, whom I worship as the only true God, and for whose honor I am willing to die.” Martian, full of anger at these words, ordered her to be tormented more cruelly than on the previous day. After her body was all bruised and wounded, she was barbarously burned with torches, and at last both her breasts were cut off. The torture was very great, but the eagerness of Barbara to suffer for Christ’s sake was still greater. She gave no sign of pain, but turning her eyes to heaven, said: “Let not thy hand, O Lord, forsake me! In Thee I am full of strength; without Thee, I am powerless!”

A new martyrdom followed after this. The tyrant commanded her to be scourged in public through all the streets of the city. This was more terrible to her than all her previous tortures; hence she turned to the Almighty, praying humbly that she might not be exposed to the eyes of the heathen. She was immediately surrounded by a bright lustre, that veiled her form from all eyes. The barbarous Dioscorus was present at the martyrdom of his holy daughter, from beginning to end, and not only looked with satisfaction at the whipping, burning, and cutting, but animated the executioners in their cruelties; and when Martian, at last, sentenced Barbara to be beheaded, he asked, as a favor, to be allowed to take the place of the executioner, and behead his daughter. Having obtained his request, Dioscorus took her to a neighboring mountain, followed by a great crowd of people. Barbara rejoiced to be thought worthy to die for Christ’s sake; and no sooner had she reached the mountain, than she again thanked God for all the graces that He had bestowed upon her, and begged Him to assist her to the end. A voice was heard from on high, which invited the undaunted martyr to come and receive the crown that awaited her. Kneeling down, she bared her neck, and received from her father the fatal stroke. She was hardly twenty years of age.

Juliana, a pious woman, who had been present at the martyrdom, burned with the holy desire to give her life, also, for Christ, and was beheaded on the same day, after she had suffered great torments. Her body was laid beside the body of St. Barbara; but her soul followed the soul of the fearless virgin into heaven, Quite different was the end of the inhuman father. Whilst he was descending from the mountain, with the blood of his innocent child still on his hands, a terrible thunder-storm arose, during which he was struck by lightning, and sank dead upon the ground. Thus the father went to hell on the same day on which his daughter ascended triumphantly to heaven. We must not omit to remark that St. Barbara is especially invoked in the whole Christian world for the grace of receiving the last sacrament before death; and many facts have shown that this invocation has the desired effect.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

I. St. Barbara was executed by her own father, because she would not obey him, and deny the Christian faith. Dioscorus, the father, became the murderer of his own daughter. St. Barbara was right in not obeying her father; for when parents command anything that is against God, as the wicked Dioscorus did, children are not obliged to obey. In such circumstances, we must obey God, not our parents. Dioscorus’s deed in beheading his own daughter, because of her constancy in the Christian faith, was most wicked; and as he, to all appearances, died in his wickedness, he now justly suffers in hell. Still greater punishment shall those parents suffer in hell, who deprive their children of their eternal life, and kill their soul by preventing them from doing good, and tempting them, by words and by examples, to do evil: for the spiritual, the eternal life is so much more to be valued than that of the body. Parents, therefore, should take good care that they do not become spiritual murderers of their children; as, otherwise, the precious blood which ransomed those souls will cry for vengeance against them before the Judgment-seat of the Most High. “The wickedness of others has been our ruin; our parents have been our murderers.” Thus, according to St. Cyprian, will those children cry, standing before the eternal Judge. Children also, should be on their guard, and not allow their parents to lead them to sin, and consequently to destruction. To say before the Judgment-seat of the Almighty: “Our parents brought us to the path of sin,” will not be sufficient to excuse them, for, their own conscience will answer: “You knew that obedience was not required, when your parents commanded you to act contrary to the laws of God.”

II. St. Barbara is the special patroness of the dying. Her intercession has obtained for many, the grace not to die suddenly, or without having received the holy Sacraments. Try to obtain this grace, by honoring her and begging earnestly for it. But while doing this, do not neglect anything that you are obliged to do to obtain what you desire. Prepare yourself in time for death, and keep yourself in such a manner, that if anything should happen to you, you may not die unhappily; for, God has nowhere promised that these who ask the intercession of St. Barbara, will be saved from a sudden death; but He has commanded you to keep yourself prepared for death, if you desire that your last hour should be calm and happy. It is the greatest folly to postpone preparation for death, penance, reformation of life, or perhaps even the confession of certain sins, from one day to another, from one year to another, from health to sickness, and in sickness to the very last hour of life, in the thought that we can always obtain pardon. Of those who act in such a manner, St. Augustine says: “They seduce themselves, they deceive themselves, and play with death. It is highly dangerous, extremely foolish, and a horror to God, if we postpone anything on which our whole eternity depends, until the last convenient opportunity.” “If you tell me,” says St. Chrysostom, “that God has given many sinners time to convert themselves at the end of their lives, then I will ask you: Will He give it also to you? where is your assurance of it?” And of how many do we know with certainty that they obtained pardon in their last hour? St. Bernard says: “In the entire Scripture, only one is mentioned, the thief who was crucified with our Lord; one, that you may not despair; only one, that you may not presume.” Thinking of this one, think also of the other, who was crucified with Christ, but did not obtain pardon on that account. It was on Good-Friday, and he hung next to the Heart of Jesus on the Cross, yet he obtained no grace, no mercy. It is true that he did not seek it; but who knows if you will seek it? A sudden death may deprive you of the privilege of seeking it. Confusion and despair may overwhelm you in such a manner that you may not desire to seek it. If you wish to be sure, prepare yourself in time. “Tarry not in the error of the ungodly; give glory before death. Praise perisheth from the dead as nothing (Eccl. xvii.).” Confess before you are in danger of death, or before this danger is imminent. The confession of him who is half-dead, who has almost lost his consciousness, can not be trusted. – Father Francis Xavier Weninger, S.J; 1876


Holy Mass Schedule
Second Week of Advent

 

Today – Sunday, December 4th
SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Saint Barbara, Virgin & Martyr

Holy Mass Livestream from PA – 9:30 AM EST
Link Here

Wednesday, December 7th – 8:00 AM
Saint Ambrose, Bishop & Doctor
Vigil of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM


Day of Fast & Abstinence

Thursday, December 8th – 5:00 PM
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM
Holy Day of Obligation

Holy Mass Livestream from MA – 5:00 PM EST
Link Here

Friday, December 9th – 7:30 AM
Within the Octave

Saturday, December 10th – 8:00 AM
Saint Melchiades, Pope & Martyr

Confessions / Rosary – 30 Minutes Before Mass



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The Second Sunday of Advent

Behold, I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.- Matthew xi:10

The Office of this Sunday is filled, from beginning to end, with the sentiments of hope and joy, with which the soul should be animated at the glad tidings of the speedy coming of Him who is her Saviour and Spouse. The interior coming, that which is effected in the soul, is the almost exclusive object of the Church’s prayers for this day: let us therefore open our hearts, let us prepare our lamps, and await in gladness that cry, which will be heard in the midnight: ‘Glory be to God! Peace unto men!’

The Roman Church makes the Station to-day in the basilica of Holy-Cross-in-Jerusalem. It was in this venerable church that Constantine deposited a large piece of the true cross, together with the title which was fastened to it by Pilate’s order, and which proclaimed the kingly character of the Saviour of the world. These precious relics are still kept there; and, thus enriched with such a treasure, the basilica of Holy-Cross-in-Jerusalem is looked upon, in the Roman liturgy, as Jerusalem itself, as is evident from the allusions made in the several Masses of the Stations held in that basilica. In the language of the sacred Scriptures and of the Church, Jerusalem is the image of the faithful soul; and the Office and Mass of this Sunday have been drawn up on this idea, as the one of the day. We regret not to be able here to develop the sublime beauty of this figure; and must proceed at once to the passage, which the Church has selected from the prophet Isaias. There she tells her children how well founded are her hopes in the merciful and peaceful reign of the Messias. But first let us adore this divine Messias:

Regem venturum Dominum, venite, adoremus.  Come, let us adore the King, our Lord, who is to come.
De Isaia Propheta.

Cap. xi.
Et egredietur virga de radice Jesse, et flos de radice ejus ascendet. Et requiescet super eum Spiritus Domini, Spiritus sapientiae et intellectus, Spiritus consilii et fortitudinis, Spiritus scientiae et pietatis: et replebit eum Spiritus timoris Domini. Non secundum visionem oculorum judicabit, neque secundum auditum aurium arguet: sed judicabit in justitia pauperes, et arguet in aequitate pro mansuetis terrae. Et percutiet terram virga oris sui, et spiritu labiorum suorum interficiet impium. Et erit justitia cingulum lumborum ejus, et fides cinctorium renum ejus. Habitabit lupus cum agno, et pardus cum hoedo accubabit: vitulus et leo et ovis simul morabuntur, et puer parvulus minabit eos. Vitulus et ursus pascentur: simul requiescent catuli eorum: et leo quasi bos comedet pa leas. Et delectabitur infans ab ubere super foramine aspidis: et in caverna reguli, qui ablactatus fuerit, manum suam mittet. Non nocebunt, et non occident in universe monte sancto meo: quia repleta est terra scientia Domini, sicut aquae maris operientes. In die illa radix Jesse, qui stat in signum populorum, ipsum Gentes deprecabuntur, et erit sepulchrum ejus gloriosum.

From the Prophet Isaias.

Ch. xi.
And there shall come forth a branch out of the rod of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the Spirit of knowledge and of godliness: and he shall be filled with the Spirit of the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears: but he shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. And justice shall be the girdle of his loins, and faith the girdle of his reins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: the calf and the lion and the sheep shall abide together, and a little child shall lead them. The calf and the bear shall feed: their young ones shall rest together: and the lion shall eat straw like an ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp: and the weaned child shall thrust his hand into the den of the basilisk. They shall not hurt, nor shall they kill in all my holy mountain: for the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the covering waters of the sea. In that day the root of Jesse, who standeth for an ensign of people, him the Gentiles shall beseech, and his sepulchre shall be glorious.

How much is contained in these magnificent words of the prophet! The branch; the flower that is to come from it; the Spirit which rests on this flower; the seven gifts of this Spirit; peace and confidence established on the earth; and, throughout the world, one brotherhood in the kingdom of the Messias! St. Jerome, whose words are read by the Church in the lessons of the second nocturn of this Sunday, says that the branch which cometh forth from the root of Jesse, is the blessed Virgin Mary, who had contact with no shrub or plant; and that the flower is the Lord Jesus, who says in the Canticle of canticles: ‘I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valley.’ In every age of the Christian Church, this wonderful branch and its divine flower have been objects of enthusiastic veneration. In the middle ages the tree of Jesse, with its prophetic branches, was carved on the cathedral porches, was painted on the windows, was embroidered on the hangings of the sanctuary, and the melodious voice of the priests sang its praises in the beautiful responsory composed by Fulbert of Chartres, and put to music by the devout king Robert.

R. Stirpe Jesse virgam produxit, virgaque florem; * et super hunc florem requiescit Spiritus almus.
V. Virgo Dei Genitrix virga est, flos filius ejus, * Et super hunc florem requiescit Spiritus almus.
R. The root of Jesse gave out a branch, and the branch a flower; * and on the flower resteth the holy Spirit.
V. The Virgin Mother of God is the branch, her Son the flower. * And on the flower resteth the holy Spirit.

The devout St. Bernard, commenting upon this responsory in his second Advent homily, says: ‘The Virgin’s Son is the flower, a flower white and ruddy, chosen out of thousands; a flower on whom the angels love to look; a flower whose fragrance restores the dead; a flower, as himself assures us, of the field, not of a garden: for the flowers of the field bloom without man’s care, no man has sown their seed, no man has cultivated them. Just so the Virgin’s womb, a meadow verdant in an endless spring, has brought forth a flower, whose beauty will never droop, whose freshness will never fade. O Virgin, branch sublime, to what a height art thou grown! Even up to Him that sitteth on the throne, even to the Lord of majesty. It was sure to be so, for thou castest deep down the roots of humility. O plant of heaven indeed! precious above all, holier than all. O tree of life indeed! alone worthy to bear the fruit of salvation.’

And of the holy Spirit and His gifts, what shall we say? They rest and are poured out on the Messias only to the end that they may flow from Him upon us; He needs them not; but we alone need wisdom and understanding, counsel and fortitude, knowledge and godliness, and fear of the Lord. Let us ask with instance for this divine Spirit, by whose operation Jesus was conceived and born in Mary’s womb, and let us beg of Him to form Jesus within our hearts. But let us not forget to rejoice at those other glorious things which are told us by the prophet, of the happiness, and peace, and delights, which are to be on the holy mountain. The world has been looking so many ages for peace; it is now coming. Sin had caused enmity and division everywhere; grace will bring unity. A little Child will be the pledge of an alliance between all nations. The prophets have foretold it, the sibyl has announced it, and in Rome itself, buried as it is in paganism, the prince of Latin poets has sung the celebrated poem, which, after all, is but the voice of the old tradition: ‘The last age foretold by the Cumean Sibyl, is at hand; a new race is being sent down to earth from high heaven. The flock shall no more fear the fierce lions. The serpent shall be no more: the treacherous plant, which yielded poison, shall grow no more.’ *

* Ultima Cumaei venit jam carminis aetas …
Jam nova progenies coelo demittitur alto …
… Nec magnos metuent armenta leones …
Occidet et serpens, et fallax herba veneni
Occidet … (Virgil. Eclog. iv.)

Come then, O Messias, and restore to the world its primitive peace; but remember, we beseech Thee, that it is in the heart of man that harmony has been broken more than elsewhere in Thy creation: cure this heart, enter into possession of this Jerusalem, which Thou lovest, though so unworthy: she has been too long captive in Babylon; lead her out of this strange land. Build up her temple again, and make the glory of this second temple to be greater than that of the first, by having Thee to dwell in it, not in figure, but in the reality of Thy adorable Person. The angel said to Mary: ‘The Lord God shall give unto thy Son the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.’ What can we do, O Jesus, but say with Thy beloved disciple, at the close of his prophecy: ‘Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!’


 

MASS

The holy sacrifice commences with a song of triumph, addressed to Jerusalem. This song expresses the joy which will fill the heart of man, when he shall hear the voice of his God. It extols the goodness of that divine Shepherd, who looks on each of our souls as a sheep most dear to Him, so dear, indeed, that He will feed it with His own flesh.

INTROIT

Populus Sion, ecce Dominus veniet ad salvandas gentes: et auditam faciet Dominus gloriam vocis suae in laetitia cordis vestri.
Ps. Qui regis Israel intende: qui deducis velut ovem, Joseph. V. Gloria Patri.
People of Sion, behold the Lord will come to save the Gentiles: and the Lord will make the glory of his voice heard to the joy of your hearts.
Ps. Give ear, O thou that rulest Israel: thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. V. Glory be to the Father.

In the Collect, the priest lays stress on the great preparation we must make for the coming of our Saviour; we must have purity of heart.

COLLECT

Excita, Domine, corda nostra ad praeparandas Unigeniti tui vias: ut per ejus adventum, purificatis tibi mentibus servire mereamur. Qui tecum. Stir up, O Lord, our hearts to prepare the ways of thy only-begotten Son: that by  his coming we may be enabled to serve thee with pure minds. Who liveth, &c.

The other Collects of the blessed Virgin, against the persecutors of the Church, and for the Pope, are the same as on the first Sunday in Advent.

EPISTLE

Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos.

Cap. xv.
Fratres, quaecumque scripta sunt, ad nostram doctrinam scripta sunt: ut per patientiam et consolationem Scripturarum, spem habeamus. Deus autem patientiae et solatii det vobis idipsum sapere in alterutrum secundum Jesum Christum: ut unanimes uno ore honorificetis Deum, et Patrem Domini nostri Jesu Christi. Propter quod suscipite invicem, sicut et Christus suscepit vos in honorem Dei. Dico enim Christum Jesum ministrum fuisse circumcisionis propter veritatem Dei, ad confirmandas promissiones patrum. Gentes autem super misericordia honorare Deum, sicut scriptum est: Propterea confitebor tibi in Gentibus Domine, et nomini tuo cantabo. Et iterum dicit: Laetamini Gentes cum plebe ejus. Et iterum: Laudate omnes Gentes Dominum: et magnificate eum omnes populi. Et rursus Isaias ait: Erit radix Jesse; et qui exsurget regere Gentes, in eum Gentes sperabunt. Deus autem spei repleat vos omni gaudio, et pace in credendo: ut abundetis in spe, et virtute Spiritus sancti.

Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans.

Ch. xv.
Brethren, what things so-ever were written, were written for our learning: that through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures, we might have hope. Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind one towards another, according to Jesus Christ: that with one mind and with one mouth you may glorify God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive one another as Christ also hath received you unto the honour of God. For I say that Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers. But that the Gentiles are to glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: Therefore will I confess to thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and will sing to thy name. And again he saith: Rejoice ye Gentiles with his people. And again: Praise the Lord all ye Gentiles, and magnify him all ye people. And again Isaias saith: There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise up to rule the Gentiles, in him the Gentiles shall hope. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing: that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.

Here, Christians, is your instruction; be patient, be firm in hope, and you shall delight in the God of peace who is coming to you. But take heed, you must have cordial charity one for the other; it is the mark of the children of God. The prophet tells us that the Messias will make even wolf and lamb dwell together; and now we have the apostle showing us how this same Christ brings Jews and Gentiles into the one same family. Glory to this sovereign King, the powerful offspring of the root of Jesse, who now bids us hope in Him! Listen to the Church, she again tells us that He is about to show Himself in Jerusalem.

GRADUAL

Ex Sion species decoris ejus; Deus manifeste veniet.
V. Congregate illi sanctos ejus, qui ordinaverunt testamentum ejus super sacrificia.

Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus. Alleluia.

He shall come in his comeliness and beauty from Sion: God will come visibly.
V. Gather to him his saints, who have set his covenant by sacrifice.

Alleluia, alleluia.
V. I rejoiced at what was told me: we are to go up to the house of the Lord. Alleluia.

 

 

GOSPEL

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum.

Cap. xi.
In illo tempore: Cum audisset Joannes in vinculis opera Christi, mittens duos de discipulis suis, ait illi: Tu es, qui venturus es, an alium exspectamus? Et respondens Jesus ait illis: Euntes renuntiate Joanni quae audistis, et vidistis. Caeci vident, claudi ambulant, leprosi mundantur, surdi audiunt, mortui resurgunt, pauperes evangelizantur: et beatus est, qui non fuerit scandalizatus in me. Illis autem abeuntibus, coepit Jesus dicere ad turbas de Joanne: Quid existis in desertum videre? Arundinem vente agitatam? Sed quid existis videre? Hominem mollibus vestitum? Ecce qui mollibus vestiuntur, in domibus regum sunt. Sed quid existis videre? prophetam? Etiam dico vobis, et plus quam prophetam. Hic est enim de quo scriptum est: Ecce ego mitto angelum meum ante faciem tuam, qui praeparabit viam tuam ante te.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Ch. xi.
At that time: When John had heard in prison the works of Christ, sending two of his disciples, he said to him: Art thou he that art to come, or look we for another? And Jesus making answer, said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the Gospel preached to them: and blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in me. And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitude, concerning John: What went you out into the desert to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are clothed in soft garments are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? A prophet? Yea, I tell you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: Behold, I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.

Thou art He that was to come, O Jesus! We look for no other. We were blind, Thou hast enlightened us; we were lame, Thou hast made us walk; the leprosy of sin disfigured us, Thou hast cleansed us; we were deaf to Thy words, Thou hast given us hearing; we were dead in sin, Thou hast given us life again; we were poor and had none to care for us, Thou hast come to us with every aid and consolation. These have been, and will again be, the blessings of Thy visit to our souls, O Jesus! A visit, silent but wonderful in its work; which flesh and blood cannot understand, but which faithful hearts feel is granted them. Come, my Saviour, come to me, Thy condescension, and familiarity with such poverty as mine, shall not scandalize me; Thy workings in the souls of men are proof enough that Thou art God. He alone, that created souls, can heal them.

After the symbol of faith has been chanted, when you see the priest is about to make the offering of the bread and wine, unite with the Church in asking to be filled with life by the divine Guest, who is so soon to be with her.

OFFERTORY

Deus, tu convertens vivificabis nos, et plebs tua laetabitur in te: ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam, et salutare tuum da nobis. Thou wilt turn, O God, to us, and bring us to life, and thy people shall rejoice in thee: show us, O Lord, thy mercy, and grant us thy salvation.

 

SECRET

Placare, quaesumus Domine, humilitatis nostrae precibus et hostiis: et ubi nulla suppetunt suffragia meritorum, tuis nobis succurre praesidiis. Per Dominum. Be appeased, O Lord, we beseech thee, by our humble prayers and sacrifices: and although we allege no deserts on our part, grant us thy protection. Through, &c.

The other Secrets as on the first Sunday.

During the Communion, the voice of the Church is again heard, proclaiming the happiness which is to be granted to Jerusalem. Her God is coming to her, and He wishes to make her His bride. Let her prepare herself for this divine visit, and detach herself from everything which is not God, her God who is her Spouse.

COMMUNION

Jerusalem, surge, et sta in excelso: et vide jucunditatem, quae veniet tibi a Deo tuo.  Arise, O Jerusalem, and stand on high; and behold the joy that will come to thee from thy God.

In the following prayer the Church explains in what consists that high standing to which she has just invited Jerusalem: love of the things of heaven whence comes her Saviour, and contempt of earthly things which, when loved, separate man from God.

POSTCOMMUNION

Repleti cibo spiritualis alimoniae, supplices te, Domine, deprecamur, ut hujus participatione mysterii, doceas nos terrena despicere, et amare caelestia. Per Dominum. Being filled, O Lord, with this spiritual food, we humbly beseech thee to teach us, by partaking of this mystery, to despise earthly things, and to love such as are heavenly. Through, &c.

The other Postcommunions as on the first Sunday of Advent

– The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger

 
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Advent Begins

From the stem of Jesse, according to the prophecy of Isaias, there came forth a most fair flower, and that flower was Christ. It is therefore only natural that there should be a continuity between the liturgy of the synagogue and that of the Christian faith. The authority of Imperial Rome even confused the Christians with the Jews; during the transitional period the Christian family, presenting the outward and legal appearance of a Jewish community, borrowed there from likewise various liturgical usages which still form part of her Sacred patrimony, and, like her faith, are, so to speak, of the seed of Abraham and of Israel by origin and descent.

The Roman Advent bore a joyful character; now we regard this season as a penitential time, or at least, a time in which the absence of Christ is stressed in the Liturgy. It is a season of preparation, because during all the years before the birth of Our Savior, the events of human history led up to this central fact.

The chants of the Mass, the responsories, the antiphons of the divine Office, all contain Alleluias. The Gloria in excelsis is omitted from the ferial Masses until Christmas. It would seem that the whole of nature, looking forward, as the Apostle describes it, to the last judgment, awaiting the revelation of the Son of God, feels herself uplifted by the Incarnation of the Word of God, Who, after so many ages of waiting, comes at length into this world to bring His greatest handiwork to its final perfection.

The Sacred Liturgy, during this time, gathers from the Scriptures all those passages which are most forcible and best adapted to express the intense and joyful longing with which the holy patriarchs, the prophets and the just men of the Old Testament hastened by their prayers the coming of the Son of God. We cannot do better than associate ourselves with their pious feelings, and pray the Word made Flesh that He will deign to be born in the hearts of all men and spread His kingdom likewise throughout those many lands where His holy Name has not hitherto been made known, and whose inhabitants still sleep in darkness and the shadow of death.

The Roman Missal today begins the liturgical cycle. The Incarnation is the true central point which divides the course of the ages. By this period of preparation called Advent, the ages before Christ and leading us to His birth are recalled; following the feast of Christmas the great events in the life of Christ and the ages that lead toward the final judgment are kept in mind. The Missal, therefore, is logical and corresponds closely to this lofty concept of history, by which the Incarnation is made the true central event in the world’s drama.

The spirit of the sacred Liturgy during Advent, full of the joyful announcement of approaching freedom, is one of holy enthusiasm, tender gratitude, and an intense longing for the coming of the Word of God in the hearts of all the children of Adam. Man is made up of spirit and flesh, and whilst the former desirous of being drawn towards truth and love, the latter understands only such good or evil as can be perceived by the senses, and must therefore be held in check by penance and by a salutary fear of the judgments of almighty God. – The Roman Missal

Recommended Advent Reading:

THE HISTORY OF ADVENT

THE MYSTERY OF ADVENT

PRACTICE DURING ADVENT

MEDITATION FOR ADVENT


 

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Issue 59  |  Advent 2022
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First Sunday of Advent

The night is passed, and the day is at hand: Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. – Rom. xiii. 12  

This Sunday, the first of the ecclesiastical year, is called, in the chronicles and charts of the middle ages, Ad te levavi Sunday, from the first words of the Introit; or, Aspiciens a longe, from the first words of one of the responsories of Matins.

The Station is at St. Mary Major. It is under the auspices of Mary – in the splendid basilica which possesses the crib of Bethlehem, and is therefore called, in ancient documents, St. Mary’s ad Praesepe – that the Roman Church recommences, each year, the sacred cycle. It would have been impossible to select a place more suitable than this for saluting the approach of the divine birth, which is to gladden heaven and earth, and manifest the sublime portent of a Virgin Mother. Let us go in spirit to this august temple, and unite in the prayers which are there being offered up: they are the very ones we also use, and which we will now explain.

[The Stations marked in the Roman missal for certain days in the year, were formerly processions, in which the whole clergy and people went to some given church, and there celebrated the Office and Mass. This usage, which dates from the earliest period of the Roman Church, and of which St. Gregory the Great was but the restorer, still exists, at least in a measure; for the Stations are still observed, though with less solemnity and concourse of people, on all the days specified in the missal.]

In the night Office, the Church commences the reading of the Book of Isaias, who, of all the Prophets, has the most distinctly and explicitly foretold the Messias; and she continues this same Book until Christmas day inclusively. Let us strive to enter into the teaching of the holy prophet, and let the eye of our faith affectionately recognize the promised Saviour in the descriptions, sometimes consoling and sometimes terrifying, under which Isaias depicts Him.

The first words of the Church, in the still midnight, are these:

Regem venturum Dominum, venite adoremus. Come, let us adore the King our Lord, who is to come.

This first duty of adoration complied with, let us listen to the oracle of the Prophet Isaias, delivered to us by the holy Church.

Lectio liber Isaiæ Prophetæ. Beginning of the Book of the Prophet Isaias.
Cap. iii et iv. Ch. iii and iv.
Visio Isaiæ, filii Amos, quam vidit super Judam et Jerusalem, in diebus Oziae, Joathan, Achaz, et Ezechiæ, regum Juda. Audite, cæli, et auribus percipe, terra, quoniam Dominus locutus est. Filios enutrivi, et exaltavi; ipsi autem spreverunt me. Cognovit bos possessorem suum, et asinus præsepe domini sui; Israel autem me non cognovit, et populus meus non intellexit. Vae genti peccatrici, populo gravi iniquitate, semini nequam, filiis sceleratis! dereliquerunt Dominum; blasphemaverunt Sanctum Israel; abalienati sunt retrorsum. Super quo percutiam vos ultra, addentes prævaricationem? omne caput languidum, et omne cor mœrens. A planta pedis usque ad verticem, non est in eo sanitas; vulnus, et livor, et plaga tumens, non est circumligata, nec curata medicamine, neque fota oleo. The vision of Isaias the son of Amos I which he saw concerning Juda and Jerusalem in the days of Ozias, Joathan, Achaz, and Ezechias, kings of Juda. Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken. I have brought up children, and exalted them: but they have despised me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’ s crib: but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not understood. Woe to the sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a wicked seed, ungracious children: they have forsaken the Lord, they have blasphemed the Holy One of Israel, they are gone away backwards. For what shall I strike you any more, you that increase transgression? the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is sad. From the sole of the foot unto the top of the head, there is no soundness therein: wounds and bruises and swelling sores: they are not bound up, nor dressed, nor fomented with oil

These words of the holy prophet, or rather of God who speaks to us by the prophet, should make a deep impression on the children of the Church, at this opening of the holy period of Advent. Who could hear without trembling this voice of our Lord, who is despised and unknown even at the very time when He is coming to visit His people? Lest men should be terrified at the splendour of His majesty, He divested Himself of it; and far from acknowledging the divine power of Him who thus humbled Himself out of love to them, these men have refused even to know Him; and the crib where He lay after His birth, had, at first, but two dumb animals to honour or notice it. Do you feel, Christians, how just are the complaints which your God here makes? And how your indifference for all His love is an insult? He calls heaven and earth to witness; He utters anathema against the sinful nation, His ungrateful children. Let us honestly confess that we, too, have not known the value of our Jesus’ visit to us, and that we have but too faithfully imitated the obduracy of the Jews, who heeded not the bright light when it burst upon their darkness. In vain did the angels sing on that December night; in vain did shepherds receive and welcome the invitation to adore the Babe and know Him; in vain did the Magi come from the east, asking where they were to find the crib of the King that was born. At this last example, the city of Jerusalem was somewhat moved; but the astonishment was only for a moment, and the old indifference soon stifled the good tidings.

Thus it is, O Jesus, that Thou comest unto darkness, and darkness does not comprehend Thee. We beseech Thee, let our darkness comprehend the light, and desire it. The day will come when Thou wilt disperse the spiritual and voluntary darkness of men by the awful light of Thy justice. Thy glory, O sovereign Judge, will be magnificent on that day, and we love to think upon Thy having it: but during these days of our life on earth, deliver us from Thy wrath. We are one great wound from the sole of the foot unto the top of the head; Thou knowest not where to strike: be, then, a Saviour, O Jesus, in this coming, for which we are now preparing. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is sad: come, and raise up this head which shame and vile passions bow down to the earth. Come, and comfort this heart oppressed with sin and fear. We confess it, our wounds are deep and sore; come, thou good Samaritan, pour in Thy soothing oil and heal them.

The whole world is in expectation of its Redeemer; come, dear Jesus, show Thyself to it by granting it salvation. The Church, Thy bride, is now commencing another year, and her first word is to Thee, a word which she speaks in the anxious solicitude of a mother for the safety of her children; she cries out to Thee, saying: ‘Come!’ No, we will go no farther in our journey through the desert of this life without Thee, O Jesus! Time is passing quickly away from us; our day is perhaps far spent, and the shades of our life’s night are fast coming on; arise, O divine Sun of justice. Come! guide our steps and save us from eternal death.


MASS

While the priest is approaching the altar, there to offer up the holy sacrifice, the Church opens her chants by this beautiful one, which so well expresses her confidence as the beloved bride of Jesus. Let us repeat it together with her, and let the heart be in harmony with our voice, for the Saviour comes to each of us in proportion to the earnestness of our longing for Him.

Introit
Ad te levavi animam meam: Deus meus, in te confido, non erubiscam; neque irrideant me inimici mei, etenim universi qui te exspectant non confudentur. To thee have I lifted up my soul: in thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on thee shall be confounded.
Ps. Vias tuas, Domine, demonstra mihi: et semitas tuas edoce me. Ps. Show, O Lord, thy ways to me, and teach me thy paths.
℣. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum.
Amen.
℣. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Repeat: Ad te levavi. Repeat: To thee.

After the Kyrie eleison, the Priest embodies in the following prayers, called on that account the Collects, all the desires and petitions of the Church for this first Sunday:

Collect
Excita quæsumus, Domine, potentiam tuam et veni: ut ab imminentibus peccatorum nostrorum periculis, te mereamur protegente eripi, te liberante salvari. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Exert, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy power, and come: that by thy protection we may be freed from the imminent dangers of our sins, and be saved by thy mercy. Who liveth and reigneth with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
℟. Amen. ℟. Amen.

It is right that we should also beg, during this holy season, the all-powerful mediation of Her who, at first, was the sole depository of the great secret which was to give life to the world. Let us then say with the Priest:

In Honor of the Blessed Virgin
Deus, qui de beatæ Mariæ Virginis utero Verbum tuum Angelo nuntiante, carnem suscipere voluisti: præsta supplicibus tuis; ut, qui vere eam Genitricem Dei credimus, ejus apud te intercessionibus adjuvemur. O God, who wast pleased that thy Word, when the Angel delivered his message, should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, give ear to our humble petitions, and grant that we who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her prayers.

To this is immediately added one of the following Prayers:

Against the Persecutors of the Church
Ecclesiæ tuæ, quæsumus, Domine, preces placatus admitte: ut, destructis adveritatibus et erroribus universis, secura tibi serviat libertate. Per Dominum. Mercifully hear, we beseech thee, O Lord, the prayers of thy Church: that, all oppositions and errors being removed, she may serve thee with a secure liberty. Through, &c.
For the Pope
Deus, omnium fidelium Pastor et Rector, famulum tuum N. Quem Pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præsse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quæsumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus præest, proficere; ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Dominum. O God, the Pastor and Ruler of all the faithful, look down, in thy mercy, on thy servant N., whom thou hast appointed Pastor over thy Church; and grant, we beseech thee, that both by word and example, he may edify all those that are under his charge; and with the flock entrusted to him, arrive at length at eternal happiness. Through, &c.
Epistle
Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos. Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle, to the Romans.
Cap. xiii. Ch. xiii.
Fratres, scientes quia hora est jam nos de somno surgere. Nunc enim propior est nostra salus, quam cum credidimus. Nox præcessit, dies autem appropinquavit. Abjiciamus ergo opera tenebrarum, et induamur arma lucis. Sicut in die honeste ambulemus: non in comessationibus, et ebrietatibus, non in cubilibus, et impudicitiis, non in contentione, et æmulatione: sed induamini Dominum Jesum Christum. Brethren, know that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy: but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Savior, then, who is coming to us is the clothing which we are to put on over our spiritual nakedness. Here let us admire the goodness of our God, who, remembering that man hid himself after his sin, because he was naked, vouchsafes himself to become man’s clothing, and cover with the robe of his Divinity the misery of human nature. Let us, therefore, be on the watch for the day and the hour when he will come to us, and take precautions against the drowsiness which comes of custom and self-indulgence. The light will soon appear; may its first rays be witness of our innocence, or at least of our repentance. If our Savior is coming to put over our sins a covering which is to hide them forever, the least that we, on our part, can do is to retain no further affection for those sins, else it will be said of us that we refused our salvation. The last words of this Epistle were those which caught the eye of St. Augustine, when, after a long resistance to the grace which pressed him to give himself to God, he resolved to obey the voice which said to him: Tolle lege; take and read. They decided his conversion; he immediately resolved to abandon the worldly life he had hitherto led, and put on Christ Jesus. Let us begin this very day, and imitate this Saint. Let us long for that dear and glorious Clothing, with which the mercy of our heavenly Father is so soon to cover us, and say with the Church these touching words, which we cannot repeat too often during this time of the year:

Gradual
Universi qui te exspectant, non confundentur, Domine. None of them that wait on thee shall be confounded, O Lord.
℣. Vias tuas, Domine, notas fac mihi: et semitas tuas edoce me. Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. Show, O Lord, thy ways to me: and teach me thy paths. Alleluia, alleluia.
℣. Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam: et salutari tuum da nobis. Alleluia. ℣. Show us, O Lord, thy mercy: and grant us thy salvation. Alleluia.
Gospel
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam. Sequel of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
Cap. xxi. Ch. xxi.
In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Erunt signa in sole, et luna, et stellis, et in terris pressura gentium prae confusione sonitus maris, et fluctuum: arescentibus hominibus prae timore, et exspectatione, quæ supervenient universo orbi: nam virtutes cælorum movebuntur: et tunc videbunt Filium hominis venientem in nube cum potestate magna et majestate. His autem fieri incipientibus, respicite, et levate capita vestra: quoniam appropinquat redemptio vestra. Et dixit illis similitudinem: Videte ficulneam, et omnes arbores: cum producunt jam ex se fructum, scitis quoniam prope est æstas. Ita et vos cum videritis haec fieri, scitote quoniam prope est regnum Dei. Amen dico vobis, quia non præteribit generatio haec, donec omnia fiant. Cælum et terra transibunt: verba autem mea non transibunt. At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves; Men withering away for fear, and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved; And then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand. And he spoke to them in a similitude. See the fig tree, and all the trees: When they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh; So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away, till all things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Thou art to come, then, O Jesus, in all the terror of the Last Judgment, and when men least expect thee. In a few days, thou art coming to us to clothe our misery with the garment of thy mercy; a garment of glory and immortality to us; but thou art to come again on a future day, an din such dread majesty that men will wither away with fear. O my Savior! condemn me not on that day of the world’s destruction. Visit me now in thy love and mercy; I am resolved to prepare my soul. I desire that thou shouldst come and be born within me, so that when the convulsions of nature warn me of thy coming to judge me, I may lift up my head, as thou biddest thy faithful disciples do, who, when the rest of men shall tremble at the thunder of thy Judgment, will have confidence in thee, because they have thee in their hearts.

During the offering of the Bread and Wine, the Church, with her look steadfastly fixed on Him who is to come, keeps to her sweet canticle:

Offertory
Ad te levavi animam meam: Deus meus, in te confido, non erubescam; neque irrideant me inimici mei: etenim universi, qui te exspectant, non confundentur. To thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed; neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on thee shall be confounded.

After the oblation, she silently presents to God the petitions of all her children by the following Prayers:

Secrets
Hæc sacra nos, Domine, potenti virtute mundatos, ad suum faciant puriores venire principium. Per Dominum. Grant, O Lord, that these sacred mysteries may cleanse us by their powerful virtue, and bring us with greater purity to him, who was the author and institutor of them. Through, &c.
Of the Blessed Virgin
In mentibus nostris, quæsumus, Domine, veræ fidei sacramenta confirma; ut qui conceptum de Virgine Deum verum et hominem confitemur, per ejus salutiferæ Resurrectionis potentiam, ad æternam mereamur pervenire lætitiam. Strengthen, we beseech thee, O Lord, in our souls the mysteries of the true faith: that we who confess him that was conceived of a Virgin, to be true God and true man, may, by the power of his saving Resurrection, deserve to come to eternal joys.
Against the Persecutors of the Church
Protege nos, Domine, tuis mysteriis servientes: ut divinis rebus inhærentes, et coropore tibi famulemur et mente. Per Dominum. Protect us, O Lord, while we assist at thy sacred mysteries: that being employed in acts of religion, we may serve thee both in body and mind. Through, &c.
For the Pope
Oblatis, quæsumus, Domine, placare muneribus: et famulum tum N. quem Pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præsse voluisti, assidua protectione guberna. Per Dominum. Be appeased, O Lord, with the offering we have made: and cease not to protect thy servant N., whom thou hast been pleased to appoint Pastor over thy Church. Through, &c.

After the Communion of the Priest and people, the Choir sings these beautiful words of David in praise of the sweetness of the divine Fruit, whom our Earth is going to bring forth, and who has just given himself, by anticipation, to his faithful servants. This Earth, which is ours, and which, as the prophet Isaias says, opens and buds forth the Savior, is the Blessed Virgin Mary made fruitful by the dew of heaven.

Then follow the concluding prayers of thanksgiving.

Communion
Dominus dabit benignitatem: et terra nostra dabit fructum suum. The Lord will give his goodness: and our earth shall yield her fruit.
Postcommunion
Suscipiamus, Domine, misericordiam tuam in medio templi tui: ut reparationis nostræ ventura solemnia congruis honoribus præcedamus. Per Dominum. May we receive, O Lord, thy mercy in the midst of thy temple: that with due honor we may prepare for the approaching solemnity of our reparation. Through, &c.
Of the Blessed Virgin
Gratiam tuam, quæsumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde: ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui Incarnationem cognovimus, per Passionem ejus, et Crucem, ad Resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ thy Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may, by his Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.
Against the Persecutors of the Church
Quæsumus, Domine Deus noster: ut quos divina tribuis participatione gaudere, humanis non sinas subjacere periculis. We beseech thee, O Lord our God, not to leave exposed to the dangers of human life, those whom thou hast permitted to partake of these divine mysteries.
For the Pope
Hæc nos, quæsumus Domine, divini Sacramenti perceptio protegat: et famulum tuum N. quem Pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præsse voluisti, una cum commisso sibi grege salvet semper et muniat. Per Dominum. May the participation of this divine Sacrament protect us, we beseech thee, O Lord; and always procure safety and defense to thy servant N., whom thou hast appointed Pastor over thy Church, together with the flock committed to his charge. Through, &c.
 

– The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger

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How To Make The Five First Saturdays

 
 
   Our Lady of Fatima Chapel
     Massachusetts Mission of the SSPX-MC


              

 

  The Five First Saturdays

“To whoever embraces this devotion, I promise salvation.”

 

On December 10th 1925, the Most Holy Virgin appeared to Sister Lucia. By Our Lady’s side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was the Child Jesus. The Most Holy Virgin rested her hand on Sister Lucia’s shoulder and as she did so, she showed her Heart encircled by thorns, which she was holding in her other hand.

At the same time, the Holy Child said:

“Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment and there is none to make an act of reparation to remove them.”

Then, the Most Holy Virgin said:

“Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and announce in my name that I promise to assist, at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who:

(1) On the First Saturday of five consecutive months,
(2) Shall confess,
(3) Receive Holy Communion,
(4) Recite five decades of the Rosary and
(5) Keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary,
(6) With the intention of making reparation to me”

– Conditions of the Promise –

Why Five First Saturdays? Our Lord Himself gave the answer to Sister Lucia:

“My daughter, the reason is simple. There are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

1 – Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception;

2 – Blasphemies against her virginity;

3 – Blasphemies against her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize her as the Mother of men;

4 – The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children, indifference or scorn or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother;

5 – The offense of those who outrage her directly in her holy images.

Here, My daughter is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to ask for this little act of reparation…” 

+ THE CONFESSION +

Sister Lucia asked Our Blessed Lord:

My Jesus!  Many souls find it difficult to confess on Saturday. Will Thou allow a confession within eight days to be valid?

He replied: “Yes. It can even be made later on, provided that the souls are in the state of grace when they receive Me on the First Saturday and that they had the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

Sister Lucia replied: “My Jesus! And those who forget to form this intention?”

 “They can form it at the next confession, taking advantage of their first opportunity to go to confession.”

In brief, therefore:

(a) The confession should be made as close as possible to the First Saturday;

(b)  We must be sorry for our sins, not only because we have offended God but also with the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

+ THE HOLY COMMUNION +

If one cannot fulfill all the conditions on a Saturday, can it be done on Sunday? Our Lord gave the answer to Sister Lucia:

“The practice of this devotion will be equally acceptable on the Sunday following the First Saturday when My priests – for a just cause, allow it to souls.”

Important: It is to His priests – not to the individual conscience that Our Lord gives the responsibility of granting this additional concession.

THE ROSARY +

Since it is a question of repairing for offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, what other prayer could be more pleasing to Our Lady than that which she requested the people to recite every day?

+ THE 15 MINUTE MEDITATION +

This is in addition to the recitation of the Rosary.

It requires, in Sister Lucia’s words:

“…to keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.”

Note: It is not required to meditate on all fifteen mysteries. Meditation on one or two is sufficient.

+ THE INTENTION OF MAKING REPARATION +

“You, at least, try to console me.” 

Without this general intention – without this will of love which desires to make reparation and consolation to Our Lady – all these external practices are worth nothing for the Promise.


” …I promise salvation” 

“To all those who, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months, fulfill all the conditions requested, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their soul.”

This little devotion practiced with a good heart, is enough to procure – ex opere operato, so to speak; as with the sacraments – the grace of final perseverance and eternal salvation!

Heaven for eternity for five Holy Communions!

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