“Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20)
Miracle at Lourdes
In 2016, a little girl who was born deaf visited Lourdes with her mother and told her: “I hear now." According to an article by Giuseppi Nardi, after they attended the Eucharistic procession on May 11 and returned to their hotel, the child could hear. Her mother said: "We stood in disbelief in front of her. From an adjoining room we called her several times with a soft voice and have found that she could really hear us. Above all, she now speaks very clearly, very different than before."
The miracle was reported to the Bureau and, praying before Our Lady’s statue, the little girl said "I thank you, dear Mother, for what you have done to me."
Nardi continued, “The doctors examined her in detail, then the mother. They performed listening tests. Investigations have since continued in Italy and are still underway. Doctors in Genoa have presented to their astonishment, a cure of the hearing organs. There was also a change in character that took place. The previously very closed, introverted, girl has now become wholly different.
“In Lourdes one proceeds with caution and accurate investigations are necessary before a miracle is recognized. The surveys will therefore take some time to complete. The girl and the family are certainly happy and grateful.”
“To adore our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament requires falling to my knees, realizing how small I am. Even more, it requires going out in faith and in smallness, offering myself to him who offers himself to me . . . . As we assimilate what all this means, how could our disposition be any other than adoration? This is interpersonal communication of the most intimate kind, offered by God and received by us in total powerlessness.” (Thomas Acklin, OSB)
I take my leave, with sorrow, of Him I love so well;/I look my last upon His small and radiant prison-cell;
O happy lamp! to serve Him with never ceasing light!/O happy flame! to tremble forever in his sight!
I leave the holy quiet for the loudly human train,/And my heart that He had breathed upon is filled with lonely pain.
O King, O Friend, O Lover! What sorer grief can be/In all the reddest depths of Hell than banishment from Thee?
But from my window as I speed across the sleeping land/I see the towns and villages wherein His houses stand.
Above the roofs I see a cross outlined against the night,/And I know that there my Lover dwells in His sacramental might.
Dominions kneel before Him, and Powers kiss His feet,/Yet for me He keeps His weary watch in the turmoil of the street:
The King of Kings awaits me, wherever I may go,/O who am I that He should deign to love and serve me so?
By Alfred Joyce Kilmer
Prayer During a Pandemic
Lord Jesus, Hear our pleas, our good shepherd and divine physician. We implore your mercy in the wake of an outbreak of serious illness and disease. Guide our efforts to prevent contagion and make preparations to care for those most vulnerable. Assist all professionals and volunteers who work to eradicate the epidemic now spreading. May our actions be marked by your steadfast love and selfless service and never by panic or fear. Bestow your comfort and healing to the sick, sustain and strengthen them by your grace. May they know your closeness as they carry the cross of illness. And may all you have called from this life come to worship you eternally with all the saints as you grant consolation and peace to their mourners. Amen. Holy Mary, Health of the Sick, pray for us. St. Joseph, Hope of the Sick, pray for us. St. Rocco, protector against epidemics, pray for us. (OurSundayVisitor.com)
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God & World Day of Peace— Feast, Jan. 1
“While we sing to your divine Child, O great Mother of God, we praise you as his living temple. The Lord who upholds the universe came to dwell in your womb and sanctified and glorified you and taught everyone to cry out to you: Rejoice, tabernacle of the Word of God! Rejoice, holiest of all the saints! Rejoice, golden ark of the covenant! Rejoice, treasury of divine life! Rejoice, precious diadem of Christian rulers! Rejoice, pride and joy of devout priests! Rejoice, impregnable rampart of the Church! Rejoice, invincible wall of the kingdom of God! Rejoice, giver of victory over evil! Rejoice, destroyer of all who attack us! Rejoice, healing of minds and bodies! Rejoice, salvation of souls! Rejoice, unwedded bride!” (5th century Byzantine Hymn).
Sts. Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops, Doctors, Cappadocia (4th century)—Feast, Jan. 2
“[St.] Basil reminds us that to keep alive our love for God and for men, we need the Eucharist, the appropriate food for the baptized, which can nourish the new energies that derive from Baptism (cf. “De Baptismo” 1, 3: SC 357, 192). It is a cause of immense joy to be able to take part in the Eucharist (cf. “Moralia” 21, 3: PG 31, 741a), instituted ‘to preserve unceasingly the memory of the One who died and rose for us’ (“Moralia” 80, 22: PG 31, 869b). -Pope Benedict XVI, August 1, 2007
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Widow, Mother, Convert, Religious, U.S. (1774-1821)—Feast, Jan. 4
Following her husband’s death, St. Elizabeth and her small children stayed with the Filicchi family in Italy. Although Elizabeth was not yet Catholic, she found solace praying in the family’s chapel where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved. She later came to believe in the true presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and converted. St. Elizabeth prayed that Jesus might take her heart and “lock it up forever in His little Tabernacle.”
St. John Neumann, Redemptorist Priest, Bishop, Bohemia (1811-1860)—Feast, Jan. 5
“I have one desire, that of being near you in the Blessed Sacrament. You are the sweet bridegroom of my soul. My Jesus, my love, my all, gladly would I endure hunger, thirst, heat, and cold to remain always with you in the Blessed Sacrament ... To you I consecrate all the powers of my soul and body, my whole being. Would that I could infuse into all hearts a burning love for you. What great glory would be given to you here on earth, if every heart were an altar on which every human will were laid in perfect conformity with your will to be consumed by the fire of your love.”
St. Andre Bessette, Holy Cross Brother, Miracle Worker, Canada (1845-1937)—Feast, Jan. 6
“If the soul is sick, one must begin by treating the soul. Do you have faith? Do you believe that God can do something for you? Go confess yourself to the priest…then go to communion” (St. Andre).
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord—Feast, Jan. 10
St. Victorian of Asan, Abbot, Italy (d. 558)—Feast, Jan. 12
Due to his love of the Holy Eucharist, we know that perpetual adoration took place at Lugo, Spain in the 6th century. “In this [chapel], more frequently and fervently, he [daily] poured forth his prayers before that indescribably Sacrament of divine goodness, and commended to God the health of the whole Church.”
St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, Virgin & Religious, France (1620-1700)—Feast, Jan. 12
A native of France, St. Marguerite was called by God to travel to Canada and teach during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. She founded the Sisters of Notre Dame to instruct girls and formed them in modesty.
St. Agnes, Virgin & Martyr, Patroness of Youth and Rape Victims, Rome (3rd or 4th century)—Feast, Jan. 21
“Saint Agnes, consolation of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, pray for us./Saint Agnes, bride of the Savior of the world, pray for us./Saint Agnes, reviving the dead young man through your prayers, pray for us./Saint Agnes, placed in the tabernacle of eternal glory, pray for us./ Saint Agnes, experienced Patroness in various adventures, pray for us.” (Excerpts from the Litany of St. Agnes)
Day of Penance for Violations to the Dignity of the Human Person—Feast, Jan. 22
"A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.” (St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae). Offer Holy Hours of Eucharistic Adoration for a culture of life! Contact us to order our Prayer for Life Card, item D-13, today.
St. Marianne Cope, Franciscan sister, a Foundress of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse, NY, USA, (1838-1918)—Feast, Jan. 23
St. Marianne was born in Germany and grew up in Utica, NY. She offered to go to the leper colony of Molokai, Hawaii, and spent 35 years of her life ministering there. “When Mother Marianne made her famous statement that she was hungry for the work, it was not because she needed more to do.It was because she knew that her own deep hunger pangs for the true bread of life would be better satisfied if she met the Eucharistic Lord in those she fed, in those she clothed, in those she nursed, and in those least of the least whom she set free from a prison of self-pity, no matter how justified it might be. Who will make the rest of the world as hungry as was our beloved St. Marianne?”(Bishop Larry Silva) St. Marianne drew her strength from Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle—Feast, Jan. 25
“St. Paul tells us that faith comes from listening. In a daily Holy Hour, we wait for Him to speak—and He does!” (Ven. Fulton J. Sheen).
St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Doctor of the Church, Italy (c. 1225-1274)—Feast, Jan. 28
“No other sacrament (except the Holy Eucharist) has greater healing power; through it sins are purged away, virtues are increased, and the soul is enriched with an abundance of every spiritual gift.” (St. Thomas)
The Presentation of the Lord—Feast, February 2
St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, Armenia (d. 316)—Feast, February 3
St. Blaise was martyred under Licinius. He is remembered for healing a choking child, which is why there is a “Blessing of the Throats” in the church today. St. Blaise’s intercession is sought by the sick, especially those with illnesses of the throat. St. Blaise intercede for us that we may know the healing Presence of Jesus!
St. Agatha, Virgin, Martyr, Patroness of Nurses, Breast Cancer, Italy (251)—Feast, February 5
Consecrated to Jesus at a young age, St. Agatha refused the advances of the Roman Governor. She was brutally tortured, then left to die. Miraculously healed, the Governor sentenced her to death by burning. St. Agatha prayed to be faithful to Jesus to the end. Dear Virgin and Martyr, whom the Church recalls in her liturgy, you heroically resisted the temptation of an evil ruler. Subjected to long and horrible tortures, you remained faithful to your heavenly Spouse. Encourage nurses, those suffering from cancer, victims of sexual violence and natural disaster. Help them to find hope, peace and strength in Jesus, like you.
St. Paul Miki, Jesuit Religious, & Companions, Martyrs, Japan (d. 1597)—Feast, February 6
St. Paul was the first Japanese religious and martyr. Following the missionary life and death of St. Francis Xavier, Christians in Japan numbered 200,000. Missionaries were ordered to leave the country. St. Paul, the son of an affluent Japanese military chief, and the majority of Jesuit missionaries remained clandestinely. The Jesuits did not want to leave the faithful without the Holy Eucharist and Sacraments. St. Paul was a gifted speaker and defended the faith against Buddhists, while preparing for the priesthood. St. Paul was crucified along with two other Jesuits and 23 other Christians.
St. Josephine Bakhita, Religious, Africa (1869-1947)—Feast, February 8
St. Scholastica, Benedictine, Abbess, Miracle Worker, Italy (480-547)—Feast, February 10
St. Scholastica was a great prayer warrior. Her life was centered on the Holy Eucharist and the recitation of the psalms. Prayer asking St. Scholastica’s help: O God, to show us where innocence leads, you made the soul of your virgin Saint Scholastica soar to heaven like a dove in flight. Grant through her merits and her prayers that we may so live in innocence as to attain to joys everlasting. This we ask through our Lord.
St. Claude de la Colombiere, Priest, Jesuit, France (d. 1682)—Feast, February 15
Spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, St. Claude was inspired during adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to promulgate the message of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as revealed to St. Margaret Mary. He spent many Holy Hours in Eucharistic Adoration.
Ash Wednesday—“Return to the Lord, your God” (Joel 2:12), February 17
The following meditation is from Hermann Cohen, a Jewish atheist and concert pianist, who fell in love with the Blessed Sacrament and converted to Catholicism. He later became a Carmelite monk.
“Jesus Christ today! Today I am weak. I need strength from above to brace me. Jesus Christ comes down from Heaven and becomes the Eucharist, the Bread of the strong. Today I am poor. I need a roof to shelter my head. Jesus becomes a House, the House of God and the Gate of Heaven, the Most Holy Eucharist. Today I am hungry and thirsty. I need food to fill my soul and heart, drink to slake my burning thirst. Jesus becomes the bread and wine of the Eucharist! The grain of the elect and the wine that begets virgins. Today I am sick. I need a soothing balm to heal my soul’s wounds. Jesus pours Himself out over my soul, like a costly ointment, offering Himself to me in the Eucharist. Thou hast anointed my head with oil; God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Today I must offer a pleasing sacrifice to God. Jesus Himself becomes that sacrifice. He is the Eucharist. Today, I am persecuted. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation. I shall become terrible to my enemies. I have lost my way. He is my guiding star. I lack courage. He lifts me up. I am sorrowful. He consoles me. I am abandoned. He remains with me to the end of time. I stand in ignorance. He teaches and enlightens me. But, above all, I need love. No earthly love will soothe my heart. For this reason, Jesus conceals Himself in the Eucharist. Jesus loves me. His love is sufficient to me. He satisfies me and bathes me in an ocean of love.”
St. Margaret of Cortona, Mother, 3rd Order Franciscan, Italy (1247-1297)—February 22
St. Margaret was a repentant sinner. She wrote of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist: “This morning my soul is greater than the world since it possesses You, You whom heaven and earth do not contain.”
St. Gabriel Possenti, Patron of Clerics & Youth, Italy (1838-1862)—Feast, February 27
St. Angela of Foligno, Widow, Mother, Secular Franciscan, Italy (1248-1309)—Feast, February 28
St. Angela was very privileged to be able to adore the Lord daily. At times she saw Him in the Sacred Host in the form of a beautiful child, or as the Crucified Savior, or in His glory. Once when a priest was unable to bring her Communion to adore and receive, the angels brought the Sacred Host to her. St. Angela lived on Holy Communion as her only daily food for twelve years!
St. Katharine Drexel, Religious, America (1858-1955)—Feast, March 3
“My sweetest joy [is] to be in the presence of Jesus in the holy sacrament.” “All is yours when you have our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.” “Lose no opportunity for kind thoughts, kind words and kind actions like the mercy Jesus exercises in the Blessed Sacrament. He has a welcome for all.” “The offspring of this intensity of love for our Eucharistic Lord should be a consuming zeal for the gathering of souls into the fold of Christ.” “May you be instruments more and more to implant in their souls virtues taught and practiced by our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.”
St. John of God, Religious, Ptn. of Heart Patients, Portugal (1495-1550)—Feast, March 8
“The Son of God came for sinners, and we are obliged to promote their conversion, to exhort them, and to sigh and pray for them.” St. John of God’s love of the Blessed Sacrament was so great that once he spent so much time in adoration that he had to be carried away. Although he strayed from his faith as a youth, St. John returned and spent his life in total care of the poor, sick and suffering.
St. Frances of Rome, Ptn. of Laity, Widows, Oblates, Motorists, Italy (1384-1440)—Feast, Mar. 9
St. Frances lost two of her three children to the plague at an early age. She was later widowed and became a religious, founding the Congregation of Mt. Olivet. She led a life of deep faith, prayer and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, even while fulfilling her duties as a lay person. She had mystical experiences, including a vision of Mary and the Baby Jesus, as well as her guardian angel.
St. Louise de Marillac, Mother & Religious, France (1591-1660)—Feast, March 15
Widowed, St. Louise was left alone to raise her son. The spiritual daughter of St. Vincent de Paul, Louise began to help in his work with the poor and the sick. Later, with his guidance, she founded and wrote the rule for the Daughters of Charity. At that time in France, the poor, the sick, and even babies, were often abandoned in the streets. Louise worked to care for them and is often invoked to intercede for pregnant women in crisis and the lives of the unborn. St. Louise wrote of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, from Whom she drew her strength: “Give Yourself wholly to me please, O my God . . . that I adore in this most Holy Sacrament, take entire possession of me. O sweet Jesus! O good Jesus! my God and my all, have mercy on all the souls redeemed by Your precious Blood.”
St. Patrick, Bishop and Patron of Ireland (d. 461)—Feast, March 17
St. Patrick wrote: “I give unceasing thanks to my God, who kept me faithful in the day of my testing. Today I can offer him sacrifice with confidence, giving myself as a living victim to Christ, who kept me safe through all my trials.” After he was freed, St. Patrick returned to Ireland and brought the true faith.
St. Joseph, Patron of Universal Church, Spouse of Blessed Virgin Mary—Feast, March 19:
St. Catherine of Genoa, Wife & Mystic, Italy (1447-1510)--Feast, March 22
Known for her love of the Blessed Sacrament, and revelations on the poor souls, St. Catherine wrote, “Sacrament of my God, my Jesus, my life and my love, how I love to be with Thee. Ah, how necessary art Thou to my heart! How sweet and tender are the sentiments Thou excitest in my soul! God of love, divine object of all earthly happiness, what peace I enjoy when near Thee! What holy joy, what transports even amidst the troubles and sorrows of my offenses. Before Thee the universe is in a profound silence! Before Thee all things are as nothing to me; Thou alone, O my Jesus, art all to me.”
Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord—Feast, March 25
“In an instant the Holy Spirit overshadows her [Mary], making her a living ciborium privileged to bear within herself for nine months the Guest who is the Host of the world” (Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen).
St. Margaret Clitherow, Wife, Mother, Martyr, England (d. 1586)—Feast, March 26
St. Margaret is called a Martyr of the Eucharist, because she was tortured and executed during the Catholic persecution for hiding priests and providing a place for them to secretly celebrate Mass. It is because of the great courage of martyrs like St. Margaret that the Catholic faith remains today.
Palm Sunday—March 28
“Through perpetual [Eucharistic] adoration Jesus longs to open up the floodgates of His merciful love on a troubled world. He longs to heal a broken humanity. Otherwise, He continues to weep in spirit and say: ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you slay the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I wanted to gather your children together as a mother bird collects her young under her wings, and you refused me! Your temple will be abandoned I say to you, you shall not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’” (Luke 13:34-36). (From our A-5 pamphlet “Worthy Is the Lamb”)
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