Traditional Mass

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bernard Fellay, superior of the Society of St. Pius X has stated that his group will not accept the current doctrinal preamble given to them if there are no changes to it. It was originally given to them by Cardinal Levada on October 7. More

Monday, November 28, 2011



(The translation of the Psalms and the brief introductory comments on the Psalms of this Little Office of the Blessed Virgin are taken largly from: The Psalms and Canticles by George O'Neill, S.J. [Bruce Publishing Co. 1937.] The late Father O'Neill's work has long been out of print.)

Scroll of the Psalms

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"The Psalms," says St. Augustine, "are a compendium of what is best in the Old Testament and a prophetic index of what is sublimest in the New. They are a common treasury of excellent devotion, well suited to supply everyone with what he needs. The Holy Spirit, breathing through the composition of the Psalms, and through the Synagogue transmitting them to the Church teaches and helps us to honor, praise, and invoke our Creator; not merely by precepts and examples, as in other sacred books, but by putting, so to speak, upon our lips, the very words of acceptable prayer." Thus He truly "helps our weakness; for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself pleads for us." (Rom. 8: 26). (O'Neill, S. J., Psalms and Canticles).


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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent & Christmas

Adventkranz (liturgisch)

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First Sunday of Advent
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

(From the book "Could You Explain Catholic Practices?"
by Rev. Charles J. Mullaly, S.J. - 1937)

 Advent is a season of penance, and of preparation by the Faithful
for the spiritual joy of Christmas. It is a time when the Church
admonishes us to lift our hearts to God and to trust in Him who is to
free us from our sins. As Advent is a season of penance, the color of
the vestments used at its seasonal Masses is violet and the altar is
not decorated with flowers, except on the third Sunday which is
called Gaudete, or "Rejoice Sunday," because the Introit of the Mass
of that day reminds us of the near approach of our Lord's birth:
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. Let your modesty be
known to all men. The Lord is nigh." During this season of penance, as
in Lent, the solemn celebration of marriage, that is, with Nuptial
Mass, etc., is forbidden.

 We should strive ever to emphasize the fact that Christmas is the
Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. The greeting cards we
send at the holy season should be a manifestation of our Catholic
Faith, an aid to our friends to enter into the spirit of the holy
season, and a reminder to them that we are praying that they may know
Christ more intimately and love Him more ardently. Your cards to
non-Christian friends may be a means of causing them to make
inquiries in regard to the real meaning of Christmas.

 Christmas derives its name, "Christ's Mass," from the Mass offered
in honor of the Birth of Christ. Its early English form was written
as "Christes Maesse," and in the course of the change of the English
language it eventually became Christmas. In the earliest days of the
Church this feast did not exist. Greater stress was placed on the
Feast of the Epiphany, because it commemorates the day on which our
Saviour was made known to the Gentiles, when the Wise Men came to
adore Him. The Feast of the Nativity came gradually into existence in
the fourth century. Its first mention is made by the great Christian
writer, Clement of Alexandria, about the year 200, and shows that it
was celebrated on May 20. About the year 300, the Latin Church began
to observe it on December 25, because an ancient tradition assigns
that day as the probable date of the Birth of our Savior.

 Love of the Babe of Bethlehem, who was born to redeem us, caused
Catholics, in centuries long gone by, to introduce into our churches
a representation of the crib, the Divine Babe, The Blessed Mother,
St. Joseph, and the Shepherds. St. Francis of Assisi deserves the
credit of making this practice very popular. His zeal prompted him to
place at Graccio a representation of the cave of Bethlehem. His plan
permitted the Faithful vividly to grasp the story of Bethlehem and to
realize the poverty and suffering of our Saviour in the bleak, cold
stable where He was born. The plan has spread to churches in all
parts of the world.

 On the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, it is customary to put the
statues of the Wise Men beside the crib. In the early Church, this
feast was celebrated with great solemnity because it was the day on
which our Saviour was made known to those who were not of Israel. In
the fourth century, the Feast of the Nativity came into its own and
was given first importance, though in many Catholic co
untries the
custom exists of giving all Christmas presents on the Feast of
Epiphany, since on that day the Wise Men brought gifts to our
A Christmas tree in the United States.

Image via Wikipedia

 The Christmas tree is of recent origin. It represents for us the Tree of the Cross. Bethlehem and Calvary are ever associated together in our Christian thoughts, for Christ was born to die on the Tree of Ignominy and thus redeem a sinful world. The lights placed upon the Christmas tree have for us a symbolical meaning. They portray the
Light of the World, Jesus Christ.

 Our modern Santa Claus, a crude, ridiculous figure,
can be traced back to that gentle lover of children--St. Nicholas. This Saint's feast is celebrated on December 6, and parents and friends gave
children presents on that day. The Dutch settlers in New York brought this custom with them to the New World, and the giving of presents on
December 6 and on Christmas Day became somewhat confused. St. Nicholas was contracted into "Santa Claus" and, with the increasing
pagan idea of the Yuletide, became the rollicking, bewhiskered figure so alien to the true Christmas spirit.

 Let our children look to the Christ Child for their Christmas presents. There is no need of deception here, and of shattering childish faith. The Christ Child exists; He loves the little ones and He wishes them to love Him. We have no use in a Catholic home for the fraudulent Santa Claus and the pagan Christmas he now symbolizes. Let the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ be for young and
old a day of spiritual joy and of close union with the Saviour whom we love.

Come to me, O Divine Savior, vouchsafe to be born in my heart.
Grant that, taught by Thine example, and assisted by Thy grace, I may be poor in spirit and humble of heart. Keep me chaste and obedient.
I wish to live but for Thee. O Mary, my Advocate and Mother, obtain
by thy prayers forgiveness of my past offences and holy perseverance
unto death. St. Joseph, do thou also pray for me, that I may become
daily more pleasing to Jesus. Amen.

Prayer to Obtain Favors

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

(To be recited fifteen times a day from the Feast
of St. Andrew (Nov. 30) until Christmas)

Sincerely in Christ,
Our Lady of the Rosary Library
"Pray and work for souls"

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This First Sunday of Advent or the Fourth before Christmas, is the first day of the Liturgical Year. The Mass prepares us this day for the double coming (adventus) of mercy and justice. That is why St. Paul tells us, in the Epistle, to cast off sin in order that, being ready for the coming of Christ as our Saviour, we may also be ready for His coming as our Judge, of which we learn in the Gospel. Let us prepare ourselves, by pious aspirations and by the reformation of our life, for this twofold coming. Jesus our Lord will reward those who yearn for Him and await Him: "Those who trust in Him shall not be confounded." 

INTROIT (Ps. 24. 1-3; Ibid. 4)
To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed. Neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded. Ps. Show, O Lord, Thy ways to me, and teach me Thy paths. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Arise in Thy strength, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and come: from the dangers which threaten us because of our sins, be Thy presence our sure defense, be Thy deliverance our safety for evermore. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

The Blessed Virgin May appeared to the young Sister Catherine Laboure while she was at prayer with the Sisters in a chapel in Paris. Our Lady appeared in an oval frame, standing on a globe of the world. She was dressed in a white robe with a blue cloak edged with silver, having as it were diamonds in Her hands from which fell streams of golden rays upon the earth. A voice was heard saying: "These rays are the graces that Mary obtains for men." Then golden words formed around the oval: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee!" The oval picture then turned around, and on the reverse side the Sister saw the letter M, with a cross above it, having a crosspiece at its base, and below the letter the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the former surrounded by a crown of thorns, and the latter pierced with a sword. Then the voice said: "A medal must be struck on this pattern; the persons who shall carry it with indulgences attached to it, and shall offer the above prayer, shall enjoy a very special protection from the Mother of God."
The medal was struck and spread all over the world, and immediately the most wonderful conversions and cures attested to its miraculous efficacy. Devout Catholics everywhere attest to its wonder-working power!

O Lord Jesus Christ, who wast pleased that the most Blessed Virgin Mary Thy Mother, immaculate from her first conception, should shine resplendent with miracles beyond number; grant, that, ever imploring her patronage, we may attain the joys of everlasting life; Who livest and reignest . . .
EPISTLE (Rom 13. 11-14)
A reading from the Epistle of the blessed apostle Paul to the Romans. Brethren, knowing the time, that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is past, and the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gradual: (Ps. 24. 3, 4)
None of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded. Show, O Lord, Thy ways to me, and teach me Thy paths.

Alleluia: (Ps. 84. 8)
Alleluia, alleluia. Show us O Lord, Thy mercy: and grant us Thy salvation. Alleluia.

Gospel: (Luke 21. 25-33)
Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke.
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves: men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved; and then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand." And He spoke to them a similitude: "See the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh; so you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen I say to you, this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away."

To Thee have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait for Thee shall be confounded.

May, O Lord, these Sacred Rites enable us, whom by Thy mighty power Thou hast cleansed from sin, to come pure in heart before Thee who art their author. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Moved by the petition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in answer to whose prayers Jesus Christ Thy Son worked His first miracle, enable us, Lord God, to minister the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of this Thy Son with pure hearts, and thus be counted worthy of Thy eternal banquet. Through the same our Lord . . .
The Lord will give goodness: and our earth shall yield her fruit.

May we in the midst of Thy holy temple, O Lord, receive of Thy mercy, who seek with fitting honour to welcome the coming festival of our Redemption. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

O Lord God almighty, who givest us all things through the Immaculate Mother of Thy Son, enable us by the aid of this mighty Mother to escape the dangers of this time and come to life everlasting. Through the same . . .

Friday, November 25, 2011


(The translation of the Psalms and the brief introductory comments on the Psalms of this Little Office of the Blessed Virgin are taken largly from: The Psalms and Canticles by George O'Neill, S.J. [Bruce Publishing Co. 1937.] The late Father O'Neill's work has long been out of print.)


"The Psalms are very ancient religious poems of unsurpassed excellence with which the religion of the Old Testament has enriched the world. 
David dictating the Psalms, book cover. Ivory,...

Image via Wikipedia

They are hymns of great variety, and in them every religious sentiment finds expression. Little wonder, then, that they loomed large in the religious life of the people. They worshiped God by the singing of the Psalms. And justly. In the Psalms God Himself teaches us how to pray and worship, for they were written under the direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Our Lord, too, and His Apostles used the Psalms in prayer. Taught by the example and precepts of Christ and of the Apostles, the Church introduced the Psalms into her liturgical prayer, of which they now form the major part. Many a saint in heaven today owes his exceptional glory to the devout recitation of these inspired prayers, the Psalms." 
(Rev. B. A. Hausmann, S. J. The New Psalter).

[To be continued]

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Virgin and Martyr

The "Acts" of St. Cecilia say that she was brought up as a Christian amidst all the luxury of a patrician family in pagan Rome. Though she had vowed virginity, her father forced her to marry a young pagan named Valerian. Cecilia told Valerian of her vow, and he was converted by a vision
 of her guardian angelLater, Valerian and his brother Tiburtius (also a convert) were beheaded for having given burial to Christian martyrs. When Cecilia interred the bodies of Valerian and Tiburtius at her villa on the Appian Way, she herself was arrested. After the persecutors had tried unsuccessfully to suffocate her in the bathroom of her own home, she was beheaded. St. Cecilia has been chosen as the saint of musicians because of the following sentence in her "Acts," "While the instruments were playing [at her wedding feast] profane music, Cecilia sang rather to God in her heart."

INTROIT Ps. 118:46-47
I spoke of Your testimonies before kings, and I was not ashamed; I meditated on Your commandments, which I loved dearly. 
118:1 Blessed are they who are undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. 
Glory be . . .

We are made happy, O God, by the annual feast of Your blessed virgin martyr Cecilia. May we be inspired by the example of Your saint, as we honor her in this Mass. Through Our Lord . . .

LESSON Eccli. 51:13-17
O Lord my God, You have exalted my dwelling place upon the earth and I have prayed for death to pass away. I called upon the Lord, the Father of my Lord, that He would not leave me in the day of my trouble, and in the time of the proud without help. I will praise Your name continually, and will praise it with thanksgiving, and my prayer was heard. And You have saved me from destruction, and have delivered me from the evil time. Therefore I will give thanks, and praise You, O Lord our God. 

GRADUAL Ps. 44:11, 12, 5
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear, for the king greatly desires your beauty. V. In your splendor and your beauty, make ready, ride on triumphant, and rule.

Alleluia, alleluia! VMatt. 25:4, 6
The five wise virgins took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And at midnight a cry arose, "Behold, the bridegroom is coming, go forth to meet Christ the Lord."

GOSPEL Matt. 25:1-13
At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable, "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride. And five of them were foolish and five wise. But the five foolish, having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: 'Behold the bridegroom cometh. Go ye forth to meet him.' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise: 'Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out.' The wise answered, saying: 'Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go ye rather to them that sell and buy for yourselves.' Now whilst they went to buy the bridegroom came: and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage. And the door was shut. But at last came also the other virgins, saying: 'Lord, Lord, open to us.' But he answering said: 'Amen I say to you, I know you not.' Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour."

Behind her the virgins shall be led to the king; her friends shall be brought to you with gladness and joy; they shall be led into the temple of the king, Our Lord.

May this offering, established to atone for our sins and bestow Your peace, O Lord, make us always worthy of Your forgiveness through the intercession of Your virgin martyr Cecilia. Through Our Lord . . .

Let the proud be put to shame for having unjustly harmed me; but as for me, I will observe Your commandments and Your precepts, that I may not be confounded.

O Lord, You have feasted Your family with the Food of Heaven. May we always be refreshed through the intercession of Your saint whose feast we celebrate this day. Through Our Lord . . .

Stefano Maderno's Martyrdom of Saint Cecilia, ...Martyrdom of St. Cecilia in Rome. Image via Wikipedia
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Monday, November 21, 2011


An ancient tradition holds that Our Lady was conducted by her parents to the Temple at Jerusalem to be consecrated entirely to God when she was three years old. This meeting of the ancient Temple of God and the new "Temple of the Savior" reminds us of the continuity between the Old Law and the New. For Mary, the Mother of God's new People, was the personification and completion of all that was good in the Old Testament. Her Magnificat shows that she was steeped in the Scriptures and Law of her fathers: Even as He spoke to our fathers -- to Abraham and to his posterity forever"
(St. Luke 1:55).

Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, except

O God, You willed that the blessed ever-virgin Mary, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, should be presented in the temple on this day. May we be worthy through her intercession to be presented in the temple of Your glory. Through Our Lord . . . in the unity of the same Holy Spirit.

O Lord, through Your mercy and the intercession of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary, let this offering bring us prosperity and peace now and forever. Through our Lord . . .

O Lord, grant that we who have received the Sacrament of our salvation may be protected through the intercession of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary, in whose honor we have offered this Sacrifice to Your majesty. Through our Lord . . .

Friday, November 18, 2011


(The translation of the Psalms and the brief introductory comments on the Psalms of this Little Office of the Blessed Virgin are taken largly from: The Psalms and Canticles by George O'Neill, S.J. [Bruce Publishing Co. 1937.] The late Father O'Neill's work has long been out of print.)


Crucified Christ

Image via Wikipedia

Perpetually in use as the great ritual and devotional hymns of the people of God under the Old Law, the Psalms were most familiar to our Divine Lord. They were dear to His Sacred Heart, and on the Cross itself the divine lips prayed in the opening words of the greatest of all the Psalms prophetic of His Sacred Passion. St. Augustine says explicitly that on Golgotha our Lord recited the Psalm that begins with these words: "O God, my God, look upon me! Why hast thou forsaken me?" (Psalm 21, 2). [Psalm 22, 2].
[To be continued]

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Into the Silence

I just had the privilege of again spending several days in Norcia, Italy.

There, Father Cassian Folsom, a friend from the early 1990s in Rome, has had the courage and vision to found and lead a now-flourishing Benedictine monastery of about 20 monks (not all of them solemnly professed).

They celebrate the liturgy in both the old and the new forms, in Latin.

Along with my friend Al Mac Elrath, from New Jersey, I was invited to join the monks for lunch, and to talk at length with Father Cassian. (One conversation, which focused on Pope Leo the Great's Christmas Sermon of 440 A.D., will be transcribed and made into a CD.)

Cassian was born in southern Connecticut, in the United States, where I was also born. So I take a certain pride in his remarkable initiative, and would like to do what I can to help it succeed.

This initiative is well known to Pope Benedict. This morning in Rome, I ran into one of the Pope's closest collaborators, and mentioned I had just been in Norcia. She immediately said, smiling with evident joy: "With Father Cassian?"

Cassian's initiative is one of the "points of light" in the Church and world today -- and I thought I would mention it in this letter, when the rest of the world is talking about "points of shadow," like the shocking images Benetton here in Italy, using photoshop, has displayed publicly, showing the Pope kissing a Muslim Imam, or the shocking and extremely dangerous corruption that now seems to run throughout our entire financial system (I am referring to the MF Global collapse, which has rendered suspect the entire futures and options markets).

Norcia (Nursia in English) is the place where St. Benedict, the founder of Benedictine monasticism, was born. It is now the place where Benedictine monasticism is once again alive -- the monastery there was closed in 1810, and remained closed until Cassian went there in 2000 and reopened the monastery, virtually alone.

Here is a film trailer which gives a glimpse of the monastic life in the monastery. By clicking on the following link, you will go to the monastery's web page, and there you can click on the video trailer, and view it. I recommend you take the five minutes or so to do it.

We are working with Father Cassian to bring pilgrims to the monastery, to experience the liturgy and life, as part of our program of pilgrimages to the sources of our faith, which also include Assisi, Subiaco, Manoppello, and the Vatican itself. Please write if you would like further information about how to join us.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bishop and Confessor

Gregory, one of the Fathers of the Church, was converted to the faith by Origen about the year 232. He then returned to his native city of Neocaesarea in Asia Minor, and was made its bishop. At that time there were only 17 Christians in the city, but Gregory's apostolic zeal was such that before his death there were only 17 non-Christians left. Gregory was aided in his apostolate by an extraordinary gift of miracles. A legend relating that he once caused the removal of a mountain from the spot where he wished to build a church is alluded to in today's Gospel. He died about the year 270.

Mass of a CONFESSOR BISHOP, except

O Almighty God, grant that our solemn celebration of the feast of Your confessor bishop Gregory may increase our devotion and bring us closer to our salvation. Through Our Lord . . .

GOSPEL Mark 11:22-24
At that time, Jesus answering, said to His disciples: "Have faith in God. Amen I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Arise, and hurl thyself into the sea,' and does not waver in his heart, but believes that whatever he says will be done, it shall be done for him. Therefore I say to you, all things whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you shall receive, and they shall come to you."

O Lord, may Your saints everywhere be a source of joy for us, and may we feel the power of their intercession with You as we solemnly recall the deeds of their lives. Through Our Lord . . .

O Almighty God, may the expression of our gratitude to You for all Your Gifts bring us even greater benefits, through the intercession of Your blessed confessor bishop Gregory. Through Our Lord . . .

St. Gregory the Wonderworker, Bishop of Neocae...St. Gregory the Wonderworker. Image via Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Folio 91v - Psalm XXIV

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(The translation of the Psalms and the brief introductory comments on the Psalms of this Little Office of the Blessed Virgin are taken largly from: The Psalms and Canticles by George O'Neill, S.J. [Bruce Publishing Co. 1937.] The late Father O'Neill's work has long been out of print.)


The Psalms are the words of God teaching men how to pray. They were written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. They have been embodied in the liturgy of the Church, and their accents touch the hearts of men. They respond to all the changes of the human spirit, and answer its every need. They are a mighty symphony of praise and jubilation ascending continually to the Throne of God from every nation.
[To be continued]
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Gertrude was a 13th-century Cistercian mystic of Helfta, near Eisleben in Saxony. The book of her life and revelations, which she was asked to write in a vision of God, has been praised by scholars and saints alike. A very intelligent woman, Gertrude was early attracted to secular learning, but after the first of her numerous visions she restricted her reading to the Holy Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church. Her whole life was centered on the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Divine Office. She was one of the first to whom our Lord revealed the mystery of His Sacred Heart; He also asked her to develop a deep love for the cross and to pray for the conversion of souls.

Mass of a VIRGIN except

COLLECTO God, the heart of the holy virgin Gertrude was a happy abode that You prepared as Your own. Cleanse our hearts from the stains of sin and let us share in her eternal happiness through the merits and prayers of this saint. Through Our Lord . . .

Accept this gift,O Lord, from a people dedicated to You. We offer it in honor of Your Saints for the help we have received from them when we were in trouble. Through our Lord . . .

O Lord, You have feasted Your family with the food of heaven. May we always be refreshed through the intercession of Your Saint whose feast we celebrate this day. Through our Lord . . .

Saint Mechtilde of Helfta

Born to a pious, powerful Thuringian noble family; her older sister was a nun. Convent educated from age seven, Mechtilde became a nun at Rodersdorf, Switzerland. She moved to the Helfta monastery in 1258 where her sister served as abbess. Teacher and choir director at the convent school at Helfta. Visionary and mystic. Novice mistress for Saint Gertrude the Great who wrote The Book of Special Grace about Mechtilde’s teachings; she was initially terrified that the book might cause trouble, but Christ appeared to her in prayer and told her not to worry. She became a much sought spiritual advisor to her sister nuns, laity and learned Dominicans. May have been the inspiration for the character Matelda in Dante’s