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The Liturgical Year

The Ninth Day of Christmas – The Feast. of St. Basil the Great

Saint Basil the Great

Who was Saint Basil the Great? St. Basil was Bishop of Caesarea (an area now in eastern Turkey) in the fourth century and is one of the foremost Doctors of the Church who, along with St. Athanasius, is noted as an outstanding defender of Christian orthodoxy during the Arian heresy – a heresy that denied the Divine Nature of Christ, …

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If Mary Isn’t the Theotokos, the Mother of God, Who is She?

The Mother of God the Theotokos

On December 31 we usher in the New Year with late night champagne, half-baked resolutions and epic movies. But in the midst of this activity the Church asks us to celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Theotokos – the Mother of God; a feast day of epic proportions and fulfilled covenants, a dogma that sheds as much light on the nature of …

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The Fifth Day of Christmas – Feast of St. Thomas Becket

Saint Thomas Becket

 Who was Saint Thomas Becket? On December 29, the Catholic Church remembers St. Thomas Becket, the other Thomas who was martyred for the Catholic Faith in England by a king named Henry over matters of Church governance. Thomas was born in London on the 21st of December in either 1117 or 1118 to Gilbert Becket and Matilda Roheise. His parents were buried in Old St. Paul's Cathedral. When …

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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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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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