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Sunday, December 1, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : SUN. DEC. 1, 2013 - 1ST ADVENT - SHARE

2013










PEACE IS POSSIBLE SAYS POPE FRANCIS - 1ST ADVENT ANGELUS

POPE FRANCIS PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR DECEMBER

CHRISTMAS NOVENA OF ST. ANDREW - AMAZING SHARE

FREE ADVENT CALENDAR APP FROM ARCHDIOCESE

MARIAN WORKS NEVER BEFORE TRANSLATED TO ENGLISH

WHAT IS ADVENT - PREPARE FOR JESUS TO COME - FREE RESOURCES

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said on Sunday that the day will come when nations will live in peace. He said it will be a great day in which weapons will be dismantled and transformed into instruments of work: “What a great day it will be”. And this – Pope Francis said – is possible. "Let’s put a bet on hope” – he continued – on hope for peace, and peace will be possible.


Speaking to crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, the Pope recalled the passage from the prophet Isaiah who speaks of a time when swords will be broken into plows and nations will live in peace.

And reminding those present that this Sunday marks the first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year, the Pope pointed out that this is a season that renews “the horizon of hope”. He encouraged the faithful to rediscover the beauty of being on a journey towards the encounter with Jesus and called for the gift of peace.

And as the first Sunday of Advent this year also falls on World Aids Day, the Pope did not fail to make a strong appeal so that all patients affected by the disease may have access to the care they need. 

“We express our solidarity with the people affected by HIV/Aids, especially children, and we express our closeness to the many missionaries and health operators who work in silence. We pray for everyone, also for physicians and researchers. May every sick person, without exception, have access to the care he or she needs"
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

2013

POPE FRANCIS PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR DECEMBER

Vatican Radio - Pope Francis' general prayer intention for December is: "That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need".
His mission intention is: "That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Saviour's coming". SHARED FROM VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE 

2013

CHRISTMAS NOVENA OF ST. ANDREW - AMAZING SHARE


SHARE - St. Andrew Christmas NOVENA -
Starts November 30, the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, and concludes on Christmas Eve. It is piously believed to be very
efficacious. Recite 15 times a day until December 24- possibly 5 times before each meal.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

FREE ADVENT CALENDAR APP FROM ARCHDIOCESE

The Archdiocese of Sydney's social networking site xt3.com has launched its latest Advent calendar which is loaded with a variety of resources as well as being available as an app for iPhone, iPad and Andrioid devices.
This is the fifth year xt3.com has released its special Advent online calendar. It features multimedia content and reflections throughout Advent and the countdown to Christmas.
 
Xt3 Advent Calendar for 2013
Each day a new door of the calendar can be opened to reveal a daily reflection and bible quote, or video or podcast or an article or interview.
This year there is more content than ever before including a reflection on the journey of the relic of St Francis Xavier, a social justice message from Caritas Australia for Christmas, a talk on Our Lady of Guadalupe by Archdiocese of Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Peter Comensoli, resources to celebrate the birthday of Pope Francis and of course the Christmas Message from the Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell.
There is also the Christmas story told by three young girls - in their own warm, delightful and often very amusing way.
The xt3Advent Calendar has always been popular with many people and parishes, youth groups and students and has provided great resources for schools.
It has also been sourced by people in Europe, The UK, Canada and the USA in particular.
The first door of the digital calendar will open on the first Sunday of Advent, 1 December 2013.
You can follow your Advent journey no matter where you are . Simple search for "xt3 Advent" in your App store or follow the link at www.xt3.com/advent
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

2012



The Immaculate Conception – Celebrating the Blessed Virgin’s Mary’s conception as freed from all sin -

Feast: December 8

Plenary indulgence to all who shall assist at these Novenas every day, and who shall afterwards, either on the Feast-day itself, to which each Novena respectively has reference, or on some one day in its Octave, after Confession and Communion, pray to our Lord and to the Blessed Virgin according to the pious intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

NOVENA-

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

PREPARATORY PRAYER FOR EVERY DAY OF THE NOVENA.

Virgin most pure, conceived without sin, all fair and stainless from thy Conception; glorious Mary, full of grace, Mother of my God, Queen of angels and of men, - I humbly venerate thee as Mother of my Saviour, who, though He was God, taught me by His own veneration, reverence, and obedience to thee, the honour and homage which are due to thee. Vouchsafe, I pray thee, to accept this Novena, which I dedicate to thee. Thou art the safe refuge of the penitent sinner; it is very fitting, then, that I should have recourse to thee. Thou art the Mother of compassion; then wilt thou surely be moved with pity for my many miseries. Thou art my best hope after Jesus; thou canst not but accept the loving confidence that I have in thee. Make me worthy to be called thy son, that so I may dare to cry unto thee,
Monstra te esse matrem.
Show thyself a mother.

Nine Ave Maria’s, one Gloria Patri, and the following Prayer.

PRAYER FOR THE FIRST DAY. Nov. 30.

Behold me at thy sacred feet, O Immaculate Virgin. I rejoice with thee, because from all eternity thou wast elected to be the Mother of the Eternal Word, and wast preserved stainless from the taint of original sin. I praise and bless the Most Holy Trinity, who poured out upon thy soul in thy Conception the riches of that privilege. I humbly pray thee to obtain for me grace effectually to overcome the sad effects produced in my soul by original sin; make me wholly victorious over them, that I may never cease to love my God.

After the Litanies, or Hymn as above, say as follows:

V. All fair art thou, O Mary.
R. All fair art thou, O Mary.
V. The original stain is not in thee.
R. The original stain is not in thee.
V. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem.
R. Thou art the joy of Israel.
V. Thou art the honour of our people.
R. Thou art the advocate of sinners.
V. O Mary.
R. O Mary.
V. Virgin most prudent.
R. Mother most clement.
V. Pray for us.
B. Intercede for us to our Lord Jesus Christ.

V. In thy Conception, O Virgin, thou wast immaculate.
R. Pray for us to the Father, whose Son was born of thee.

Let us pray.
O God, who through the Immaculate Conception of a Virgin didst prepare a worthy dwelling-place for Thy Son, we beseech Thee, who by the death of that Son, foreseen by Thee, didst preserve her from every stain of sin, to grant that by her intercession we also may be purified, and so may come to Thee.

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, graciously look down upon Thy servant N., whom Thou host chosen to be the pastor of Thy Church; and grant him, we beseech Thee, both by word and example, so to direct those over whom Thou hast placed him, that, together with the flock entrusted to his care, he may attain eternal life.

O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all holiness, listen to the pious prayers of thy Church, and grant that what we ask in faith we may effectually obtain. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The same order is to be observed en all the other days of the Novena, the Prayers for the Day alone being changed.

PRAYER FOR THE SECOND DAY. Dec. 1.

Mary, unsullied Lily of purity, I rejoice with thee, because from the first moment of thy Conception thou wast filled with grace, and hadst given unto thee the perfect use of reason. I thank and I adore the Ever-blessed Trinity, who gave thee these high gifts. Behold me at thy feet overwhelmed with shame to see myself so poor in grace. O thou who wast filled full of heavenly grace, grant me a portion of that same grace, and make me a partaker in the treasures of thy Immaculate Conception.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE THIRD DAY. Dec. 2.

Mary, mystic Rose of purity, I rejoice with thee at the glorious triumph thou didst gain over the serpent by thy Immaculate Conception, in that then wast conceived without original sin. I thank and praise with my whole heart the Ever-blessed Trinity, who granted thee that glorious privilege and I pray thee to obtain for me courage to overcome every snare of the great enemy, and never to stain my soul with mortal sin. Be thou always mine aid, and enable me with thy protection to obtain the victory over all the enemies of man’s eternal welfare.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE FOURTH DAY. Dec. 3.

Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Mirror of holy purity, I rejoice exceedingly to see how from thy Immaculate Conception there were infused into thy soul the most sublime and perfect virtues, with all the gifts of the Most Holy Spirit. I thank and praise the Ever-Blessed Trinity, who bestowed upon thee these high privileges, and I beseech thee, gracious Mother, obtain for me grace to practise every Christian virtue, and so to become worthy to receive the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE FIFTH DAY. Dec. 4.

Mary, bright Moon of purity, I congratulate thee in that the mystery of thy Immaculate Conception was the beginning of salvation to the human race, and was the joy of the whole world. I thank and bless the Ever-blessed Trinity, who did so magnify and glorify thy Person. I entreat thee to obtain for me the grace so to profit by the Death and Passion of thy dear Son, that His Precious Blood may not have been shed upon the cross for me in vain, but that after a holy life I may be saved.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE SIXTH DAY. Dec. 5.

Mary Immaculate, brilliant Star of purity, I rejoice with thee, because thy Immaculate Conception brought exceeding joy to all the angels in Paradise. I thank and bless the Ever-blessed Trinity, who enriched thee with this privilege. Enable me also one day to take part in this heavenly joy, praising and blessing thee in the company of angels world without end. Amen.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVENTH DAY. Dec. 6.

Mary immaculate, rising Morn of purity, I rejoice with thee, and I am filled with admiration at beholding thee confirmed in grace and rendered sinless from the first moment of thy Conception. I thank and praise the Ever-blessed Trinity, who elected thee alone from all mankind for this especial privilege. Holiest Virgin, obtain for me an entire and lasting hatred of sin, as the worst of all evils, that I may rather die than ever again commit a mortal sin.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE EIGHTH DAY. Dec. 7.

Mary, Virgin, Sun without stain, I congratulate thee, and I rejoice with thee, because God gave unto thee in thy Conception a greater and a more abundant grace than He gave to all His angels and His saints together, even when their merits were most exalted. I thank and admire the immense beneficence of the Ever-blessed Trinity, who hath dispensed to thee alone this privilege. O, enable me too to correspond with the grace of God, and never more to receive it in vain; change my heart, and help me to begin in earnest a new life.
Litanies, &c., as before.

PRAYER FOR THE NINTH DAY. Dec. 8.

Immaculate Mary, living Light of holiness, Model of purity, Virgin and Mother, as soon as thou wast conceived thou didst profoundly adore thy God, giving Him thanks, because by means of thee the ancient curse was blotted out, and blessing was again come upon the sinful sons of Adam. Let this blessing kindle in my heart love towards God; and do thou inflame my heart still more and more, that I may ever love Him more constantly, and afterwards eternally enjoy Him in heaven, there to thank and praise Him more and more fervently for all the wondrous privileges conferred on thee, and to rejoice with thee for thy high crown of glory.
Litanies, &c., as before.

MARIAN WORKS NEVER BEFORE TRANSLATED TO ENGLISH

SPECIAL TO JCE : An Abiding Anchor -

A friend and I stopped to have a conversation one night after I finished teaching the RCIA class at my parish. We talked about how wonderfully made children with special needs are; how important they are to remind an ever calloused society what it means to sacrifice and love with a tenderness that can only come from caring for the most basic needs of another. She mentioned a young man and his family with whom she had become very close.

"People are afraid to engage him," she noted sadly, "they just don't know what to say."

Having a child with special needs, I understood her statement as fact. People are indeed afraid to engage because they fear the unknown, they fear offending, they are simply afraid of being uncomfortable and exposed.

"How did you overcome this obstacle?" I inquired.

"I got to know the son, by getting to know his mother," she beamed.

I looked her square in the eye and smiled knowingly.

She appeared momentarily perplexed, and then realized what she had said. In one sentence, she was given the grace, through a seemingly unrelated conversation, to understand Marian devotion!
St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary brings the believer to new heights of love and devotion of Jesus by fostering a deep and abiding intimacy with His mother,Theotokos.

He writes:
We fasten our souls to Your hope, as to an abiding anchor. It is to Her that the saints who have saved themselves have been the most attached and have done their best to attach others, in order to persevere in virtue. Happy, then, a thousand times happy, are the Christians who are  now fastened faithfully and entirely to Her, as to a firm anchor! (Treatise on True Devotion, n. 175).
Tethering our souls to the most perfected human creation -- Mary -- the woman so blessed as to be chosen, and then respected by God in her free choice to carry the the Son of God, will offer us graces beyond measure. She was the first to know God intimately, to contemplate the living God from within. Hers is an experience unlike any other, an experience from which we can gain both grace and wisdom.

Confidently, we should pursue a relationship with Jesus by getting to know His Mother. She will bring to light things about her Son that could be found no where else. And, with the establishment of that abiding relationship with the Mother of God, devotion to Jesus, The Holy Trinity, Mother Church, and all things holy will increase exponentially.

Created by Casimir Valla, a devotee who made his Consecration to Jesus through Mary more than two decades ago, his site had a title that should ring familiar:  unique in its purpose, it was designed to promote and help foster Marian devotion by making available works never before translated into English. 

The books are not only valuable on a personal level to deepen ones own spiritual devotion, but are magnificent resources through which to share the devotion with others. Perhaps as the season of Advent draws nearer, these books might be a source of inspiration to you or to someone you love, deepening the understanding of who Mary is as the Mother of God, and our Mother, while also increasing appreciation for the Incarnation and birth of Our Savior.

 For more information and to order your own copies, please visit:

 "We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor Him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek - Jesus, her Son."--Saint Louis de Montfort
BY: 
Kathy DiNovis Vestermark
Catholic wife and mother - MA in Theology - Catechetical Diploma. 
Catholic Distance University
Faculty Member, Student Life Coordinator at Catholic Distance University · Jul 2011 to present

ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH - BARTHOLOMEW I MEETS POPE FRANCIS

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a Message to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, in order to mark the Patronal feast of the Church the Patriarch leads – the Feast of St Andrew the Apostle. “With the heartfelt affection reserved for beloved brothers,” writes Pope Francis, “I offer my prayerful best wishes to Your Holiness, to the members of the Holy Synod, to the clergy, monks and all the faithful, and – together with my Catholic brothers and sisters – join your own prayer on this festive occasion.” 
Writing for the first time as Pope to mark this feast, Pope Francis assures the Patriarch of his intention to pursue fraternal relations between the Church of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, saying that it is for him a source of great reassurance to reflect on the depth and the authenticity of our existing bonds, the fruit of a grace-filled journey along which the Lord has guided the Churches at Rome and at Constantinople since the historic encounter in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, the fiftieth anniversary of which we will celebrate shortly. 

Pope Francis also writes of the concern he shares with the Patriarch for the many people who are suffering due to violence and war, hunger, poverty and grave natural disasters, especially for situation of Christians in the Middle East and for their right to remain in their homelands. “Dialogue, pardon and reconciliation,” writes Francis, “are the only possible means to achieve the resolution of conflict.” 

Noting the present context of the 1700th anniversary of Constantine’s Edict, which put an end to religious persecution in the Roman Empire in both East and West, and opened new channels for the dissemination of the Gospel, Pope Francis writes, “Today, as then, Christians of East and West must give common witness so that, strengthened by the Spirit of the risen Christ, they may disseminate the message of salvation to the entire world,” adding that there is an urgent need for effective and committed cooperation among Christians in order to safeguard everywhere the right to express publicly one’s faith and to be treated fairly when promoting the contribution which Christianity continues to offer to contemporary society and culture.

Below, please find the official English text of the Message.

******************************************

To His Holiness Bartholomaios I
Archbishop of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarch

“Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, 
from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph 6:23)

After welcoming with joy the delegation which Your Holiness sent to Rome for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, it is with the same joy that I convey, through this message entrusted to Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, my spiritual closeness on the feast of Saint Andrew, Peter’s brother and the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. With the heartfelt affection reserved for beloved brothers, I offer my prayerful best wishes to Your Holiness, to the members of the Holy Synod, to the clergy, monks and all the faithful, and – together with my Catholic brothers and sisters – join your own prayer on this festive occasion.

Your Holiness, beloved brother in Christ, this is the first time that I address you on the occasion of the feast of the Apostle Andrew, the first-called. I take this opportunity to assure you of my intention to pursue fraternal relations between the Church of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It is for me a source of great reassurance to reflect on the depth and the authenticity of our existing bonds, the fruit of a grace-filled journey along which the Lord has guided our Churches since the historic encounter in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, the fiftieth anniversary of which we will celebrate shortly. God, the source of all peace and love, has taught us throughout these years to regard one another as members of the same family. For indeed we have one Lord and one Saviour. We belong to him through the gift of the good news of salvation transmitted by the apostles, through the one baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity, and through the holy ministry. United in Christ, therefore, we already experience the joy of authentic brothers in Christ, while yet fully aware of not having reached the goal of full communion. In anticipation of the day in which we will finally take part together in the Eucharistic feast, Christians are duty-bound to prepare to receive this gift of God through prayer, inner conversion, renewal of life and fraternal dialogue.

Our joy in celebrating the feast of the Apostle Andrew must not make us turn our gaze from the dramatic situation of the many people who are suffering due to violence and war, hunger, poverty and grave natural disasters. I am aware that you are deeply concerned for the situation of Christians in the Middle East and for their right to remain in their homelands. Dialogue, pardon and reconciliation are the only possible means to achieve the resolution of conflict. Let us be unceasing in our prayer to the all-powerful and merciful God for peace in this region, and let us continue to work for reconciliation and the just recognition of peoples’ rights.

Your Holiness, the memory of the martyrdom of the apostle Saint Andrew also makes us think of the many Christians of all the Churches and Ecclesial Communities who in many parts of the world experience discrimination and at times pay with their own blood the price of their profession of faith. We are presently marking the 1700th anniversary of Constantine’s Edict, which put an end to religious persecution in the Roman Empire in both East and West, and opened new channels for the dissemination of the Gospel. Today, as then, Christians of East and West must give common witness so that, strengthened by the Spirit of the risen Christ, they may disseminate the message of salvation to the entire world. There is likewise an urgent need for effective and committed cooperation among Christians in order to safeguard everywhere the right to express publicly one’s faith and to be treated fairly when promoting the contribution which Christianity continues to offer to contemporary society and culture.

It is with sentiments of profound esteem and warm friendship in Christ that I invoke abundant blessings on Your Holiness and on all the faithful of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, asking the intercession of the Virgin Mother of God and of the holy apostles and martyrs Peter and Andrew. With the same sentiments I renew my best wishes and exchange with you a fraternal embrace of peace.


From the Vatican, 25 November 2013
Shared from Radio Vaticana

SUNDAY MASS ONLINE : 1ST OF ADVENT DEC. 1, 2013

First Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 1

Reading 1           IS 2:1-5

This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz,
saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come,
the mountain of the LORD’s house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Responsorial Psalm                                       PS 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls,
prosperity in your buildings.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Because of my brothers and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Reading 2                   ROM 13:11-14

Brothers and sisters:
You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,
not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

Gospel                      MT 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

TODAY'S SAINT: DEC. 1: ST. EDMUND CAMPION

St. Edmund Campion & Companions
ENGLISH JESUIT MARTYR
Feast: December 1


Information:
Feast Day:December 1
Born:January 24, 1540, London
Died:December 1, 1581, Tyburn, England
Canonized:October 25, 1970 by Pope Paul VI

English Jesuit and martyr; he was the son and namesake of a Catholic bookseller, and was born in London, 25 Jan., 1540; executed at Tyburn, 1 Dec., 1581. A city company sent the promising child to a grammar school and to Christ Church Hospital. When Mary Tudor entered London in state as queen, he was the schoolboy chosen to give the Latin salutatory to her majesty. Sir Thomas White, lord mayor, who built and endowed St. John's College at Oxford, accepted Campion as one of his first scholars, appointed him junior fellow at seventeen, and, dying, gave him his last messages for his academic family. Campion shone at Oxford in 1560, when he delivered one oration at the reburial of Amy Robsart, and another at the funeral of the founder of his own college; and for twelve years he was to be followed and imitated as no man ever was in an English university except himself and Newman. He took both his degrees, and became a celebrated tutor, and, by 1568, junior proctor. Queen Elizabeth had visited Oxford two years before; she and Dudley, then chancellor, won by Campion's bearing, beauty, and wit, bade him ask for what he would. Successes, local responsibilities, and allurements, his natural ease of disposition, the representations, above all, of his friend Bishop Cheyney of Gloucester, blinded Campion in regard to his course as a Catholic: he took the Oath of Supremacy, and deacon's orders according to the new rite. Afterthoughts developing into scruples, scruples into anguish, he broke off his happy Oxford life when his proctorship ended, and betook himself to Ireland, to await the reopening of Dublin University, an ancient papal foundation temporarily extinct. Sir Henry Sidney, the lord deputy, was interested in Campion's future as well as in the revival which, however, fell through. With Philip Sidney, then a boy, Campion was to have a touching interview in 1577.
As too Catholic minded an Anglican, Campion was suspected, and exposed to danger. Hidden in friendly houses, he composed his treatise called "A History of Ireland" Written from an English standpoint it gave much offence to the native Irish, and was severely criticized, in the next century, by Geoffrey Keating In his Irish history of Ireland. Urged to further effort by the zeal of Gregory Martin, he crossed to England in disguise and under an assumed name, reaching London in time to witness the trial of one of the earliest Oxonian martyrs, Dr. John Storey. Campion now recognized his vocation and hastened to the seminary at Douai. Cecil lamented to Richard Stanihurst the expatriation of "one of the diamonds of England" At Douai Campion remained for his theological course and its lesser degree, but then set out as a barefoot pilgrim to Rome, arriving there just before the death of St. Francis Borgia; " for I meant", as he said at his examination, "to enter into the Society of Jesus, thereof to vow and to be professed". This he accomplished promptly in April (1573), being the first novice received by Mercurianus, the fourth general. As the English province was as yet non-existent, he was allotted to that of Bohemia, entering on his noviceship at Prague and passing his probation year at Brunn in Moravia. Returning to Prague, he taught in the college and wrote a couple of sacred dramas; and there he was ordained in 1578. Meanwhile, Dr. Allen was organizing the apostolic work of the English Mission, and rejoiced to secure Fathers Robert Parsons and Edmund Campion as his first Jesuit helpers. In the garden at Brunn, Campion had had a vision, in which Our Lady foretold to him his martyrdom. Comrades at Prague were moved to make a scroll for P. Edmundus Campianus Martyr, and to paint a prophetic garland of roses within his cell. Parsons and Campion set out from Rome, had many adventures, and called upon St. Charles Borromeo in Milan, and upon Beza in Geneva. Campion was met in London, and fitly clothed, armed, and mounted by a devoted young convert friend. His office was chiefly to reclaim Catholics who were wavering or temporizing under the pressure of governmental tyranny; but his zeal to win Protestants, his preaching, his whole saintly and soldierly personality, made a general and profound impression. An alarm was raised and he fled to the North, where he fell again to writing and produced his famous tract, the "Decem Rationes". He returned to London, only to withdraw again, this time towards Norfolk. A spy, a former steward of the Roper family, one George Eliot, was hot upon his track, and ran him and others down at Lyford Grange near Wantage in Berkshire on 17 July, 1581.
Amid scenes of violent excitement, Campion was derisively paraded through the streets of his native city, bound hand and foot, riding backwards, with a paper stuck in his hat to denote the " seditious Jesuit". First thrown into Little Ease at the Tower, he was carried privately to the house of his old patron, the Earl of Leicester; there he encountered the queen herself, and received earnest proffers of liberty and preferments would he but forsake his papistry. Hopton having tried in vain the same blandishments, on Campion's return to the Tower, the priest was then examined under torture, and was reported to have betrayed those who had harboured him. Several arrests were made on the strength of the lie. He had asked for a public disputation. But when it came off in the Norman chapel of the Tower, before the Dean of St. Paul's and other divines, Campion had been denied opportunity to prepare his debate, and had been severely racked. Thus weakened, he stood through the four long conferences, without chair, table, or notes, and stood undefeated. Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, who was looking on in the flush of worldly pride, became thereby inspired to return to God's service. The privy council, at its wits' end over so purely spiritual a "traitor", hatched a plot to impeach Campion's loyalty, and called in the hirelings Eliot and Munday as accusers. A ridiculous trial ensued in Westminster Hall, 20 Nov., 1581. Campion, pleading not guilty, was quite unable to hold up his often-wrenched right arm, seeing which, a fellow prisoner, first kissing it, raised it for him. He made a magnificent defence. But the sentence was death, by hanging, drawing, and quartering: a sentence received by the martyrs with a joyful shout of Haec dies and Te Deum. Campion, with Sherwin and Briant, who were on a separate hurdle, was dragged to Tyburn on 1 December. Passing Newgate arch, he lifted himself as best he could to salute the statue of Our Lady still in situ. On the scaffold, when interrupted and taunted to express his mind concerning the Bull of Plus V excommunicating Elizabeth, he answered only by a prayer for her, "your Queen and my Queen". He was a Catholic Englishman with political opinions which were not Allen's, though he died, as much as ever Felton did, for the primacy of the Holy See. The people loudly lamented his fate; and another great harvest of conversions began. A wild, generous-hearted youth, Henry Walpole, standing by, got his white doublet stained with Campion's blood; the incident made him, too, in time, a Jesuit and a martyr.
Historians of all schools are agreed that the charges against Campion were wholesale sham. They praise his high intelligence, his beautiful gaiety, his fiery energy, his most chivalrous gentleness. He had renounced all opportunity for a dazzling career in a world of master men. Every tradition of Edmund Campion, every remnant of his written words, and not least his unstudied golden letters, show us that he was nothing less than a man of genius; truly one of the great Elizabethans, but holy as none other of them all. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 9 December, 1886, and canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970. Relics of him are preserved in Rome and Prague, in London, Oxford, Stonyhurst, and Roehampton. A not very convincing portrait was made soon after his death for the Gesù in Rome under the supervision of many who had known him. Of this there is a copy in oils at Stonyhurst, and a brilliantly engraved print in Hazart's "Kerckelycke Historie" (Antwerp, 1669), Vol. III (Enghelandt, etc.), though not in every copy of that now scarce work.
SOURCE: EWTN

POPE FRANCIS CELEBRATES 1ST ADVENT VESPERS WITH STUDENTS

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday continued the long-standing papal tradition of celebrating the Vespers for the first Sunday of Advent with the students and educators of Rome’s universities.

Hundreds filled St. Peter’s Basilica for the service, which includes the handing over of an icon of Mary, Seat of Wisdom – patron of university students – from a Brazilian to a French delegation. The icon, by renowned iconographer Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik, has been taken to university chaplaincies across Brazil so that students could gather before it in prayer, and will now travel in the same way around France. 

In his homily, the Pope spoke of God’s intervention in our lives as “an expression of His fidelity”. God intervenes because human nature is fragile. But He is, above all, faithful to Himself and “to the work He has begun in each one of us”, always bringing it to completion. “This gives us great confidence and security: a confidence that rests in God and requires our active collaboration and bravery to face the challenges of the present moment”, he said. “Dear university students, your will and your abilities, combined with the power of the Holy Spirit who came to dwell within each one of you on the day of your Baptism, allow you to be not spectators, but protagonists of contemporary events.”

Pope Francis told the university students that they are called to confront their great challenges “with inner strength and the courage of the Gospel”. “The socio-cultural context in which you are placed is sometimes weighed down by mediocrity and boredom”, he said. “We must not resign ourselves to the monotony of everyday life, but cultivate big projects, to go beyond the ordinary: do not steal the enthusiasm of youth! It would be a mistake to be imprisoned by the uniform of weak thought.”

The Pope urged students not to be affected by prevailing opinions nor to lower ethical standards, but to be faithful to Christian ethical and religious principles. In doing the latter, he said, “you will find the courage to go even against the tide”. “The commitment to walk in faith and to behave in a manner consistent with the Gospel accompanies you in this time of Advent, to live out authentically the feast of the Nativity of the Lord.”
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA


Latin ad-venio, to come to.
Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30 November) and embracing four Sundays. The first Sunday may be as early as 27 November, and then Advent has twenty-eight days, or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days.
With Advent the ecclesiastical year begins in the Western churches. During this time the faithful are admonished
  • to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
  • thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and
  • thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world.

Duration and ritual

In the Massthe Gloria in excelsis is not said. The Alleluia, however, is retained. During this time the solemnization of matrimony Benediction) cannot take place; which prohibition binds to the feast of Epiphany inclusively. The celebrant and sacred ministers use violet vestments.   An exception is made for the third Sunday (Gaudete Sunday), on which the vestments may be rose-coloured.   Flowers and relics of Saints are not to be placed on the altars during the Office and Masses of this time, except on the third Sunday. 
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SOURCE USCCB

Historical origin

The preparation for the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord was not held before the feast itself existed, and of this we find no evidence before the end of the fourth century, when, according to Duchesne [Christian Worship (London, 1904), 260], it was celebrated throughout the whole Church,    Several synods had made laws about fasting to be observed during this time,. 

Advent Resources
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