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Behind the Catholic Counter

The Third Day of Christmas – Feast of St. John the Evangelist

John the Evangelist

Who was Saint John the Evangelist? December 27th is the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, frequently referred to as “the Beloved Disciple” in the Gospels. He was one of the first disciples called by Christ and is considered the author of the Gospel of John, at least the first of the Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. He …

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The Second Day of Christmas – St. Stephen’s Day

St. Stephen, the first martyr

Who was Saint Stephen? St. Stephen was the first martyr in the Church and is the patron saint of deacons. Dissatisfaction concerning the distribution of alms from the community's fund having arisen in the Church, seven men were selected and specially ordained by the Apostles to take care of the temporal relief of the poorer members. Of these first seven …

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Our Lady of Guadalupe Holds a Secret

Our Lady of Guadalupe Holds a Secret

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” Revelation 12:1 (Entrance Antiphon for Our Lady of Guadalupe) The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on the cloak of Saint Juan Diego on December 12, 1531. That the picture is still perfectly preserved nearly 500 years later is a testament to its miraculous origins.

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About Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

On December 12, the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in memory of the series of apparitions of Mary, the Virgin of Guadalupe to a Mexican peasant, St. Juan Diego, in the 16th century. The actual words that Mary spoke when identifying herself in the native language meant “she who crushes the stone serpent”; at the time the primary god of the native pagan religion in the area was a stone serpent. However, to the Spanish that had recently come to Mexico, it sounded like the Spanish word Guadalupe, the name of a favorite image of Mary in Spain.

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The Immaculate Conception: Patron of the US

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

OnThe Immaculate Conceptions December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX promulgated the infallible dogma of the Immaculate Conception. This ex cathedra statement made official the eternal sinlessness of Mary, showing that from the moment of the creation of her soul she was granted a unique grace from God to be excluded from the stain of original sin, enabling her to carry Jesus Christ in her womb.

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Advent Symbols and Celebrations – Part II

Advent Symbols and Traditions Part II

Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and of hope, a preparation for the coming of the Messiah. The word Advent comes from the Latin advenio, meaning "to come to"; it refers to the coming of Christ. As with Part I, here are three more expressions of piety to prepare the way of the Lord.

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What you should know about Advent

The History of Advent

What is Advent? The word ‘Advent' is from the Latin ‘Adventus,' which means ‘coming.' Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year (in the Western churches), and encompasses the span of time from the fourth Sunday before Christmas, until the Nativity of Our Lord is celebrated. The first Sunday of Advent is the Sunday nearest the feast of St. …

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Top Ten Advent Songs

Top Advent Songs

The season of Advent is fast approaching, but outside the Church, almost no one will notice. Before Thanksgiving dinner is even digested, we will be inundated with Christmas sales, Christmas TV specials, and of course, Christmas music. We’ll hear plenty of renditions of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and White Christmas. If we’re lucky we’ll get some religious …

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