About Today

December 28

The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

Feast

“In full right do we celebrate the heavenly birthday of these children. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then are justly hailed as “infant martyr flowers”; they were the Church’s first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.”[1]

Today we honor the Holy Innocents, the young boys who were killed by king Herod. Hearing of the birth of the Infant Jesus, Herod issued a decree massacring these children in a vain attempt to destroy the Savior, whom he feared might grow to be a rival king. Today, we honor these tiny martyrs and pray with them for all the children in the world. [2][3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] From a sermon of Saint Augustine, The Holy Innocents
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “Holy Innocents.”
[3] F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 658.
[4] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

September 21

Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Feast

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts,” (Is. 55:8-9). [1][2]

When Jesus called St. Matthew he left everything, rose and followed Him. The Son of Man’s selection of St. Matthew, as a publican and tax-collector, emphasizes an important point in the plan of Redemption. Jesus invites all men to the Supper of the Lamb; regardless of culture, circumstance, or sinful past. St. Matthew was the son of Alpheus, a Galilean, and is one of the four Evangelists. His name means ‘gift of God’ in Hebrew and his emblem is a winged-man. [3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Version, s.v., “Isaiah, The Book of.”
[2] Benedict XVI, Angelus, September 21, 2008.
[3] Benedict XVI, General Audience, August 30, 2006.
[4] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Matthew.”
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

August 10

Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

Feast

Saint Lawrence was a deacon in the Church in the 3rd century. He suffered martyrdom during Emperor Valerian’s persecution, shortly after Pope Saint Sixtus II and Companions were killed. Saint Ambrose of Milan wrote about Saint Lawrence and said when the prefect of Rome demanded the Church’s treasures, Saint Lawrence brought forth the poor, widowed, maimed and lepers; declaring them greater than any treasure the emperor could possess. Constantine the Great built an oratory over his burial site which was enlarged and beautified with successive rulers. It remains today as the basilica of San Lorenzo. [1][2]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Lawrence.”
[2] Herbert J. Thurston, S.J. and Donald Attwater, Butler’s Lives of the Saints Volume 3 (Indiana: Ave Maria Press, Inc., 1956), 297.
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

January 1

Mary, the Holy Mother of God

Solemnity

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to Aaron and his sons, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel; you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them” (Num 6:22-27). [1]

Today is the Octave of Christmas, the Solemnity of Mary – the Holy Mother of God, and the World Day of Peace. As we remember the ancient blessing God gave the Israelites, may we be reminded of the Incarnation. For through the Incarnation of the Son of God through Mary His Mother, the peace that the world cannot give begins to be among us. “Christian belief in the transcendent destiny of every human being gives urgency to the task of promoting peace and justice for all. [2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., “Numbers, The Fourth Book of Moses Commonly Called.”
[2] Benedict XVI, Homily, January 1, 2009.
[3] Benedict XVI, Financial Times, December 20, 2013.
Source: Divineoffice.org Evening Prayer I

About Today

December 28

Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

Feast

“Be subject to one another
out of reverence for Christ”
(Ephesians 5:21).[1]

Today we celebrate the Holy Family comprised of the child Jesus, Mary Most Holy, and St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Together, they model a Christian family focused on both “human and supernatural virtues.” May the patterns of love and mutual care in this house of Nazareth elevate the love and peace in our own homes. [2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., “Ephesians, The Letter of Paul to the.”
[2] John Paul II, Angelus, December 29, 2002.
[3] F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 658.
Source: Divineoffice.org