Category: Church

ADVENT!!! Everything You Need to Know

ADVENT!!! Everything You Need to Know

Don’t Start Christmas without Advent: Here’s Everything You Need to Know!


Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year for the Catholic Church. The date for the beginning of Advent falls each year on the Sunday closest to November 30th – the feast day of Saint Andrew the Apostle. Advent means ‘to come to’ and it is a call to readiness for the coming of Jesus Christ.


Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that Advent is part of the Christmas celebration. In fact, Advent is a separate time of preparation all its own. For the Catholic Church, Christmas doesn’t begin until the first Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve. Christmas feast celebrations continue until Epiphany on January 6th, with the longer Christmas liturgical season ending on the feast of the Baptism of Jesus.

Advent is given to us as a time to prepare our souls for the coming of the Lord. Advent is to Christmas what Lent is to Easter. In modern times we are tempted to skip over the penitential aspects of Advent and focus on the joy of Christmas. This is a great tragedy. Focusing only on the joy denies the truth: the Christ Child is our Lord and Savior who will suffer and die for our salvation.


Originally, Advent was celebrated over forty days, just like the Lenten season. This has now been shortened to four weeks, but the symbolism remains. You may notice another similarity to Lent when you attend Mass; although we still sing the Alleluia before the Gospel reading, we no longer sing the song of the angels – the Gloria. We will sing this song anew with the angels on Christmas day – just as they did over 2000 years ago.

The Scripture readings during Mass remind us of all the prophecies that point to the Lord’s coming. We are called to keep watch and to leave behind our sinful ways. We also hear the recurring theme of a light shining through darkness. In Isaiah 60:19 we are reminded of this promise:

“The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.”


Since circles have no beginning and no end, the circular shape of the Advent Wreath is used to symbolize God the Father and eternal life. The wreath holds four candles which are lit over the four weeks of Advent. The light of the flame is a visual reminder that Christ is “The Light of the World” (John 8:12). There are three violet (purple) candles and one rose candle, each representing 1,000 years. Added together, the four candles symbolize the 4,000 years that humanity waited for the Savior.


Violet is a liturgical color that is used to signify a time of penance, sacrifice, and prayer. During the first, second, and the fourth weeks of Advent we light violet candles. The Third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. On this day we celebrate that our waiting for Christmas is almost over. Rose is a liturgical color that is used to signify joy, so we light the rose candle on the third Sunday of Advent.

The 4 Weeks of Advent

Traditionally, each of the four candles on an Advent wreath has their own meaning. These meanings are simply illustrated in The Four Weeks of Advent Pewter Advent Wreath.

The first Sunday of Advent symbolizes Hope with the Prophet’s Candle reminding us that Jesus is coming.The second Sunday of Advent symbolizes Faith with the Bethlehem Candle reminding us of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.The third Sunday of Advent symbolizes Joy with the Shepherd’s Candle reminding us of the Joy the world experienced at the coming birth of Jesus.The fourth Sunday of Advent symbolizes Peace with the Angel’s Candle reminding us of the message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”

When Advent Wreaths are decorated the materials often have symbolic meaning. The use of evergreens reminds us of our eternal life with Christ, holly represents the crown of thorns from the Passion of Jesus, and pinecones symbolize Christ’s Resurrection.


Advent is a great way to keep children focused on preparing for the coming of the Baby Jesus instead of on materialistic desires. Each new week of Advent begins at Mass with the lighting of a new candle on the parish Advent Wreath. Our parish family is connected to our personal family when we light our own Advent Wreath at home. Explain to your children the meaning of this week’s candle and what they should focus on during the coming week.

Our Fellowship With The Dead Is No Illusion, Says Pope Francis

Our Fellowship With The Dead Is No Illusion, Says Pope Francis

Faith in the Resurrection ‘makes us men and women of hope, not despair’

Hope in the Lord’s promise of everlasting life does not disappoint, Pope Francis has said.

“God is faithful and our hope in him is not in vain.” the Pope said in a memorial Mass homily.

Pope Francis celebrated the Mass in St Peter’s Basilica in memory of the 14 cardinals – including US Cardinal William Keeler and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor – and 137 archbishops and bishops from around the world who died in the past year. Fifteen of the bishops were from the United States and two from Canada.

These pastors generously served the Gospel and the Church, the Pope said, and “we seem to hear them repeat with the Apostle: ‘Hope does not disappoint.’”

“This hope, rekindled in us by the word of God, helps us to be trusting in the face of death,” he said. “Jesus has shown us that death is not the last word; rather, the merciful love of the father transfigures us and makes us live in eternal communion with him.”

In fact, he said, an essential characteristic of being a Christian is “a sense of anxious expectation of our final encounter with God” – an “expectant yearning” for his love, beauty, happiness and wisdom.

“The faith we profess in the Resurrection makes us men and women of hope, not despair, men and women of life, not death, for we are comforted by the promise of eternal life, grounded in our union with the risen Christ,” the Pope said.

Jesus accepted death to save those “who were dead in the slavery of sin”, he said. But because of his love, “he shattered the yoke of death and opened to us the doors of life.”

“By virtue of this divine bond of Christ’s charity, we know that our fellowship with the dead is not merely a desire or an illusion, but a reality,” Pope Francis said.

Christ Shed His Blood For ‘MANY’ Rather Than ‘ALL’ – Pope Francis Agreed

Christ Shed His Blood For ‘MANY’ Rather Than ‘ALL’ – Pope Francis Agreed

Pope Francis has appeared to wade into one of the most contentious rows over liturgical translations, and agreed with Benedict XVI that Christ shed His blood “for many” rather than “for all”.

During a Mass for cardinals who have died in the past year, the Pope said: “The ‘many’ who will rise for eternal life are to be understood as the ‘many’ for whom the blood of Christ was shed.”

Crux says that the Vatican used the quotation around “many” when distributing the text.

Francis added that “for many” better expresses the idea that people have a choice to make in this life – whether to be for God or against Him.

“Awakening from death isn’t, in itself, a return to life,” Pope Francis added. “Some in fact will awake to eternal life, others for eternal shame.”

Since the Mass was translated into the vernacular, liturgists have debated how best to translate the words “pro multis” in the prayer of Consecration. The words literally translate as “for many”, but many liturgists translated it into their own languages as “for all”.

In 2006, the Holy See gave instruction that all new vernacular editions of the Roman Missal from that point on should translate the words as “for many”, pointing out that it is also the most literal translation of the original Greek “περὶ πολλῶν” in Matthew 26:28.

The change met with opposition from some countries, most notably in Germany, prompting Pope Benedict XVI to write a personal letter in 2012 explaining why the bishops should adopt the new translation.

A new German version of the Mass was published but never officially adopted.

When Pope Francis published Magnum Principium earlier this year, devolving greater powers over translations to local bishops’ conferences, Cardinal Reinhard Marx indicated the German bishops would abandon the newer version.

This may put him at odds with the Pope. In 2007, the Argentinian bishops’ conference approved a new translation while the then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was its president. That translation had “for many” rather than “for all”.

CAUGHT ON CAMERA : The Most Holy Remains of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi

CAUGHT ON CAMERA : The Most Holy Remains of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi

The supernaturally holy nun whose in-corrupt body still is preserved.

Deep in the Basilica of San Crisogono, is a most holy chapel with a saintly coffin. Inside are the remains of Anna Maria Taigi.

Born in Sienna, Anna Maria and her family moved to Rome when she was six years old. She later married and had seven children. Known for her charity and devotion, she joined the Secular Trinitarians in 1802. Of the many holy gifts attributed to her, the most impressive was the “miracle of the mystic globe-sun.” She would have visions of a sun-shaped globe that held images of current, past, and secret events.

When she died in 1837 it was only a few days before pilgrims started to visit her resting place despite a cholera epidemic (which some believe she was holding off while alive). In 1868 her coffin was opened and though her clothes had deteriorated, her body was found to be incorrupt. When examined again in 1920, she had begun to decompose and so her visible hands and face were covered in wax replicas. Pope Benedict the XV declared her protector of families and mothers in 1920. Special masses are still held in her chapel to this day.

After having seen in mysterious sun the loss of so many souls, the Blessed Anna Maria turned with great fervor to the Most Holy Virgin, when she heard dedicated to her from on high the following prayer, which was later enriched by Pius VII through a decree of March 6, 1809, with a hundred days’ indulgence for each day, and a plenary indulgence once a month for those who after having approached the holy Sacraments shall recite it every day.

Kneeling at thy most holy feet, O great Queen of Heaven, I venerate thee with the deepest respect and I confess that thou art the daughter of the Divine Father, the Mother of the Divine Word, and the Spouse of the Holy Ghost. Thou art the Treasurer and the Dispenser of mercies. Thy most pure heart, abounding in charity, sweetness, and tenderness for sinners, is the reason wherefore I call thee Mother of divine piety. Therefore with great trust I present myself to thee, mother most loving, in my affliction and distress, and I beseech thee to make me experience the truth with which thou lovest me, granting to me the grace wherefore I supplicate thee, if it is in accordance with the Divine Will, and to the advantage of my soul. Oh! Turn, I beseech thee, thy most pure eyes towards me, and those especially who have recommended themselves to my prayers.

Consider the cruel war which the devil, the world, and the flesh wage upon our souls and how many perish there from. Remember, most tender mother, that we are all thy sons redeemed with the most precious Blood of thy Only Begotten Son. Deign to supplicate with the greatest fervor the Most Holy Trinity, so that I may be granted the grace of being triumphant over the devil, the world, and all my evil passions; that grace by which the just may be sanctified the more, sinners converted, heresies overthrown, infidels enlightened and the Jews converted.
Ask, O most loving mother, this grace through the infinite goodness of the Most High God, through the merits of thy most holy Son, through the milk thou didst give Him, through the cares with which thou didst serve Him, through the love with which thou didst love Him, through the tears which thou didst shed, through the pain thou didst suffer in His most holy passion. Obtain for us the great gift that the entire world may form one people and one Church to give glory, honor, and thanks to the Most Holy Trinity and to thee who art our Intercessor. May this grace be granted us by the Power of the Father, the Wisdom of the Son, and the Virtue of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

The’ extreme peril, Mother,
of thy children behold;
to thee all is granted,
Have pity, O Mother.
Powerful Virgin, pray for us, Hail Mary, etc.
(To be repeated three times)
Eternal Father, Increase ever more in the hearts of the faithful, devotion to Mary, your Daughter. Glory, etc.
Eternal Son, Increase ever more in the hearts of the faithful, devotion to Mary, your Mother. Glory, etc.
Eternal Spirit, Increase ever more in the hearts of the faithful, devotion to Mary, your Spouse. Glory, etc.

Prayer given by Our Blessed Mother to Blessed Anna Maria Taigi

Prostrate at thy feet,
O Great Queen of Heaven,
we venerate thee with
the deepest reverence and
we confess that thou art the
Daughter of the Father,
the Mother of the Divine Word,
the Spouse of the Holy Ghost.
Thou art the storekeeper
and the almoner of the Divine Mercies…
For this reason,
we call thee Mother of Divine Compassion.
Behold us here in affliction and anguish.
Deign to show us thy true love.
We beg thee to ask the Holy Trinity
most fervently to grant us the grace
ever to conquer the devil,
and the world and our evil passions;
the efficacious grace that sanctifies the just,
converts, sinners,
destroys heresies,
enlightens infidels and
brings all men to the true faith.

Obtain for us this great gift that all the world may form but one people united in the One True Church.

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