About Today

September 29

Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

Feast

“Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” [1]

Today is the feast day of Sts Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels. They are mentioned by name in Sacred Scripture in the books of Tobit, Daniel, Luke, 1 Thessalonians, Jude, and Revelation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, “…the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels.” John Paul II, in a General Audience, reminds us that the name of each Archangel reflects a facet of the nature of God. St. Michael’s name means ‘Who is like God?,’ St. Gabriel’s ‘power of God,’ and St. Raphael’s ‘God heals.’ To angels, God has entrusted a special mission with human beings at the center. [2][3][4]

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

[1] Revised Standard Version, s.v., “The Psalms.”
[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 328-336.
[3] Benedict XVI, Homily, September 29, 2007.
[4] John Paul II, Angels Participate in the History of Salvation, August 6, 1986.
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

September 14

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Feast

“Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross,” (Phil.2:5-8). [1]

Today we honor the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and Jesus’ triumph upon it. In today’s feast, we are reminded of God’s plan of Salvation and His work to raise up humankind through the saving power of Jesus Christ. In Christ on the Cross, sin is overcome and we are offered a new life, with Christ at the center. According to a traditional account, the relics of the holy cross were discovered by St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, in 326 when she was on a pilgrimage in Jerusalem. The relics were captured by Persians but later returned in 628 and now reside at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. [2][3][4]

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

[1]Revised Standard Version s.v., “Philippians, The Letter of Saint Paul to the.”
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “Archeology of the Cross and Crucifix.”
[3] Benedict XVI, Homily, September 15, 2008.
[4] John Paul II, Homily, September 14, 1988.
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

September 8

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Feast

Today we celebrate the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Romanus, a sixth-century lyricist in the Eastern tradition, first refers to the feast. The tradition spread and was celebrated in Rome within a century. The Protoevangelium of James, an apocryphal gospel from the 2nd century, tells us the account of Our Lady’s birth. Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anna, longed for a child. Anna prayed to the Lord and in response, God sent an angel telling her she’d conceive. When Mary was born, the couple rejoiced, vowing to make their daughter a gift unto the Lord. Her birth becomes, as John Paul II wrote, “…the purest dawn of our Redemption,” as her life brought forth the coming of our Savior. [1][2][3]

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

[1] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “The Protoevangelium of James.”
[3] John Paul II, General Audience, September 8, 2004.
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

August 24

Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

Feast

“Nathanael said to him, ‘How do you know me?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’ Nathanael answered him, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’” (Jn 1:48-49). [1]

Today marks the Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle. St. Bartholomew, whose name means ‘son of Talmay,’ is listed as one of Jesus’ twelve disciples. He is mentioned sixth in the Gospel’s of St’s Matthew, Mark, and Luke and seventh in Acts. In St. John’s Gospel, Nathanael is listed where St. Bartholomew’s name is in other three lists. Therefore, as there is no central narrative about St. Bartholomew; most scholars believe he may be Nathanael. As for Nathanael, we see his relationship with Christ reflecting a deep and truth faith. He opens his heart and professes that Jesus is the Son of God. As Pope Benedict XVI states, this is, “…an important first step on the journey…to Jesus.” Also, in Nathanael’s proclamation, we hear Jesus’ hypostatic union referenced; Jesus’ divinity as the Son of God and Jesus’ humanity as the King of Israel. We are reminded to honor both of these aspects of Christ as we grow in relationship with Him. [2][3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Revised Standard Version, s.v., “John, The Gospel according to.”
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Bartholomew.”
[3] Benedict XVI, General Audience, October 4, 2006.
[4] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 464-469.
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

August 15

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Solemnity

“’Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.’ The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians…’”[1]

Today the Church honors the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother’s principal feast and a holy day of obligation. Jesus took up and received His Mother in the sum totality of her being, a joyous union of God-bearer and Son. The earliest record of this is from the 5th -6th century, presumed written by St. John, in a work entitled De Obitu S. Dominae. Additional accounts are written by Joseph of Arimathea, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, and St. Melito of Sardis, with commentaries penned by Albert the Great, St. Aquinas, and St. Bonaventure. Therefore, in 1950, Pope Pius XII issued the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus declaring “… to the glory of Almighty God, who poured into the Virgin Mary in honor of his special favor of his Son… the immaculate Mother of God ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” Our Mother’s Assumption is celebrated in both eastern and western traditions and is perpetually honored as the Fourth Glorious Mystery in the Holy Rosary. [2][3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 966.
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “The Feast of the Assumption.”
[3] St. John, “The Dormition of the Holy Theotokos,” quoted by Prof. Stephen J. Shoemaker, http://pages.uoregon.edu/sshoemak/texts/dormindex.htm
[4] Pius XII, Deus Munificentissimus [Mary’s Glorification with Taking the Sky in Body and Soul], 1950.
Source: Divineoffice.org Evening Prayer I