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Seasonal Devotions


Seasonal Devotions and Novenas
for the Month of February

The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary The Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple
Our Lady of Lourdes Lourdes Blessing of the Sick
The Holy Childhood of Jesus The Flight into Egypt
The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple Lenten Devotions

Prayers in Honor of the Holy Face of Jesus
Daily throughout February

"By offering My Face to My Eternal Father; nothing will be refused, and the conversion of many sinners will be obtained."
(Private revelation to Sister Mary of St. Peter)

SUNDAY: May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, and most ineffable Name of Jesus be forever praised, blessed, loved, and adored, by all the creatures of God; and may reparation be made to His Most Holy Face for all of the outrages committed against His Holy Countenance. Amen. O Divine Jesus, through the ignominies inflicted upon Thy Holy Face, save us.

MONDAY: O Divine Redeemer, consoled in Thy bitter Passion by the tender ministration of the holy woman Veronica, who wiped Thy Sacred Face and received the reward of her charity and valor by the imprint of Thy Holy Countenance upon her veil; imprint upon our hearts the remembrance of the sufferings and humiliations Thou didst endure for love of us, and keep us from ever insulting Thee again by our sins.

TUESDAY: O Almighty and Eternal God, look upon the Face of Thine only-begotten Son, Jesus. We present It to Thee with confidence, to implore Thy pardon. The All-Merciful Advocate opens His mouth to plead our cause; hearken to His cries, behold His tears, O Father God, and through His infinite merits hearken to Him when He intercedes for us poor miserable sinners. Amen.

WEDNESDAY: O good Jesus, Who hast said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you", grant us, O Lord, in virtue of Thy resplendent Face upon which the Eternal Father gazes with ineffable love, that faith which obtains all, or supply in us what may be deficient; grant us, by the pure effect of Thy charity, and for Thine eternal glory, the grace of sincere contrition for our many sins, a firm purpose of amendment, and final perseverance in Thy love. Amen.

THURSDAY: Eternal Father, I offer Thee the adorable Face of Thy Beloved Son for the honor and glory of Thy Name, for the conversion of sinners and for the salvation of the dying. Be merciful to us, O God, and reject not our prayers, when amid our afflictions, we call upon Thee and seek with love and confidence Thine adorable Face. Amen.

FRIDAY: O Lord Jesus Christ, in presenting ourselves before Thine adorable Face to ask of Thee the graces of which we stand most in need, we beseech Thee, above all, to grant us that interior disposition of never refusing at any time to do what Thou dost require of us by Thy holy commandments and Divine inspirations. Amen.

SATURDAY: Adorable Face of my Jesus, my only love, my light and my life, grant that I may know, love and serve Thee alone; that I may live with Thee, in Thee, by Thee, and for Thee. O merciful Mother, Mary most Sorrowful, let thy tender hand wipe from my soul not only the stains of sin, but also its consequences, which would paralyze the effects of thy reign in my heart. Restore to the souls of thy children the image of Jesus in all its beauty. Obtain for us great purity of heart, of body, and of mind, that we may contemplate the Face of God in Heaven forever. Amen.

V. Light of the Sacred Countenance of Jesus;
R. Shine down upon us!

Novena for the Feast of the Purification
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The following prayers are recited as a novena in preparation for the Feast of the Purification of
Our Lady - Jan. 24th through Feb. 1st - and on the Feast (Feb. 2nd).

This is one of the oldest Feasts of Our Lady. The Blessed Virgin Mary, wishing to obey the Law of Moses, went up to Jerusalem forty days after the Birth of Jesus to offer the prescribed sacrifice of a lamb or two doves. It was in the arms of His Blessed Mother that Jesus offered Himself to His Heavenly Father as Mediator and Victim for the Redemption of mankind. It is through the Blessed Virgin Mary that we too should dedicate ourselves to God's service, by doing His holy will at all times--in joy as well as in sorrow. Let us offer the works and sufferings of our lives to God through Mary's hands for the salvation of souls, especially our own.

"And Thy own soul a sword shall pierce." (Luke 2:35)

This day the Blessed Virgin Mary presented the Child Jesus in the Temple, and Simeon, full of the Holy Ghost, took Him into his arms and praised God unceasingly. Glory be to the Father...

The root of Jesse budded; a Star rose out of Jacob; a Virgin brought forth the Saviour. O Our God, we praise Thee! Hail Mary...

O wonderful exchange! The Creator of the human race, taking upon Himself a body and a soul, deigned to be born of a Virgin, and appearing here below as man, made us partakers of His Divinity. Hail Mary...

In the bush which Moses saw burning, yet not consumed, we have a figure of the preservation of Thy glorious Virginity. O Holy Mother of God, intercede for us! Hail Mary...

Mary speaks: "I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the House of the Lord." (Ps. 121:1)

And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His Mother: "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and the rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." (Luke 2:34-35)

Hymn: O Gloriosa Virginum

O glorious Virgin, ever blest, sublime among the stars above,
Who gavest nurture from Thy breast to God, with pure maternal love.

What man hath lost through sinful Eve, the Blossom sprung from thee restores;
Thou to the sorrowing here beneath hast opened Heaven's eternal doors.

O Gate, through which hath passed the King, O Hall, whence Light shone through the gloom!
The ransomed nations praise and sing the Offspring of Thy Virgin womb.

All honor, laud, and glory be, O Jesus, Virgin-born, to Thee:
All glory, as is ever meet, to Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

Let us Pray:

Almighty, Everlasting God, we humbly beseech Thy Majesty, that, as Thine only-begotten Son was this day presented in the Temple in the form of our flesh, so Thou wouldst grant that we, too, may be presented to Thee with hearts made pure; through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Devotions in Honor of the
of Our Divine Lord in the Temple

The following devotions are recited on the Feast of the Presentation
of Our Divine Lord in the temple -- Feb. 2nd

Instruction and Reflection on the Meaning of the Presentation

Jesus, Our Savior, and His Blessed Mother were not bound by the Mosaic Law which required that every first-born son of Israel be presented to God in the Temple forty days after birth, and that the mother undergo the rite of purification after the birth of each child. Nevertheless, Jesus, the Supreme Lawgiver, and Mary, the Virgin most pure and undefiled, complied with every prescription of this law, giving us an example of profound obedience and humility, of love of poverty and holy purity.

Thus the Anointed of the Lord, the Long-desired of nations, is borne for the first time into His Temple, into His Father's house. In Mary's arms He offers Himself to His Heavenly Father to be the Victim of our Redemption, as in future He will continue to do so daily by the hands of countless priests through the centuries. But no one can tell what transpires in the Heart of the Infant Jesus; no one hears the words of self-oblation uttered by the Holy Child. Hidden in His inmost Heart is the glow of the sacrificial flame whose fragrant incense rises Heavenward. But the secret thoughts of the Child are expressed by the lips of the Mother, as she offers her beloved Son for the Redemption of mankind.

Simeon, the aged high priest, enlightened by the Holy Ghost, recognizes in this helpless Babe, the promised Messiah. Joyfully, he takes the Child in his arms and utters the beautiful canticle of the "Nunc Dimittis," which the Church prays daily in her official night prayer. He proclaims this Child to be "a Light to the revelation of the Gentiles." These words have become the motive of the liturgy for the Feast of the Presentation, in which lighted candles play so prominent a part. On this day the Church blesses the candles which are to be used by Her and by the faithful during the coming year.

Light is a symbol of Christ and of His Divine life within us--the life of sanctifying grace. The procession with lighted candles held on this day is an image of the life of a Christian, who should always keep the light of Christ burning in his soul.

"And presently the Lord Whom you seek, and the Angel of the Testament Whom you desire, shall come to His holy Temple." (Roman Breviary)

V. Behold, the Lord, the Ruler, comes to His holy Temple: Rejoice and be glad, O Sion!
R. Go forth to meet thy God!

Hymn: Quem Terra

The God Whom earth and sea and sky adore and laud and magnify,
Who o'er their threefold fabric reigns, the Virgin's spotless womb contains.

The God, Whose Will by moon and sun and all things in due course is done,
Is borne upon a Maiden's breast, by fullest heavenly grace possessed.

How blest that Mother, in whose shrine the great Artificer Divine,
Whose Hand contains the earth and sky, vouchsafed as in His ark to lie.

Blest, in the message Gabriel brought; blest by the work the Holy Ghost wrought;
From whom the Great Desire of earth took human flesh and human Birth.

All honor, laud, and glory be, O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee,
All glory, as is ever meet, to Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

V. "We have received Thy mercy, O God, in the midst of Thy Temple;
R. According to Thy Name, O God, so also is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth."
(Ps. 47:10-11)

Let us Pray:

O Almighty and Everlasting God, Who didst this day present Thy only-begotten Son to be received into the arms of holy Simeon in Thy holy Temple, we humbly implore Thy clemency that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless, sanctify, and enkindle with the light of Heavenly benediction these candles which we, Thy servants receiving, desire to carry lighted to magnify Thy holy Name; that by offering them to Thee, Our Lord and God, being worthily inflamed with the holy fire of Thy most sweet charity, we may deserve to be presented in the holy Temple of Thy glory; through the same Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

The Canticle of Simeon

Leader: Now a Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word, in peace;
All: For my eyes have seen Thy salvation,
Leader: Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples:
All: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and a glory for Thy people, Israel. (Luke 2:29:32)
Glory be to the Father...

"Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised: in the city of our God, in His holy mountain." (Ps. 47:2)<

"Adorn thy chamber, O Sion, to receive Christ the King: Whom a Virgin conceived, a Virgin brought forth, and remained a Virgin as before, and adored Him Whom she had brought forth." (Roman Breviary)

"This day the Blessed Virgin Mary presented the Child Jesus in the Temple; and Simeon, full of the Holy Ghost, received Him into his arms, and he blessed God forever." (Roman Breviary)

"It was the True Light that enlightens every man who cometh into the world." (John 1:9)

Let us Pray:

O Lord Jesus Christ, the True Light, Who enlightenest every man coming into this world, mercifully grant that as these lights, enkindled with visible fire, dispel the darkness of night, so our hearts, illuminated by invisible fire, that is, the brightness of the Holy Ghost, may be free from the blindness of all vice; that the eyes of our souls being purified, we may perceive those things which are pleasing to Thee and profitable to our salvation; so that after the dark perils of this world, we may deserve to arrive at the never-failing light: through Thee, Christ Jesus, Savior of the world, Who in perfect Trinity, livest and reignest, One God, forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

Devotions in Honor of the Apparitions
of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes

The following prayers are recited as a novena in preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes -- Feb. 2-10 -- and on the Feast -- Feb. 11th.

Instruction and Reflection on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

This great title of Our Lady is one of the best known to all Catholics and yet whose message is most shamefully neglected and forgotten. In accord with God's love for the poor and simple of heart, the Blessed Virgin Mary chose St. Bernadette Soubirous, a young, humble maiden of little education, as Her instrument to convey to mankind Her message of Maternal concern and urgent repentance.

It was in the year 1858 that the Mother of God appeared to this little shepherd girl, in a distant grotto, in the French foothills of the Pyrenees, commonly known as Massabieille. As with all of Our Blessed Lady's Apparitions, She appeared to the humble and those most hidden from the world, because it is in these hearts that God works His greatest wonders of grace. In a series of 18 apparitions from February to July, the Mother of God offered a message of hope, warning, and consolation, but especially one urging mankind to return to the love of Her Divine Son, through prayer, penance, and reparation for sins.

"I am the Immaculate Conception." In an age such as ours, so decadent and Godless, these words come as a ray of Hope and a pledge of victory. In no other age has Satan reaped such abundant fruit as in ours, and never has the battle for God and His Honor looked so bleak. Sin and vice have smothered the light of God's Grace, and Satan has successfully established his kingdom. When all seemed lost, God sent His Immaculate Mother to be our sole refuge.

It is only through Her that we will ever hope to obtain the grace to resist sin and Satan's snares and allurements, and persevere in Our Holy Catholic Faith. If we expect to persevere through these perilous times, our lives must be every bit as fervent as Bernadette's. Yet most of us are ensnared by complacency, and thoughtlessly take God's grace for granted. The humble faith of this young girl should be evident in our daily lives by our unquestioning obedience to the counsels of Holy Mother Church given through Her Bishop and clergy. How often do we find ourselves pridefully questioning the authority and guide set over us by God, and little by little shutting out the life of grace from our souls. How many of us lack her humility by hiding our Faith and devotion out of fear of human respect, when she gladly underwent severe questioning and rude treatment from the officials of this world for the sake of her Faith?!

Finally, Our Blessed Mother's plea for "Penance, Penance, Penance!" should be the tenor of our daily lives in this vale of tears -- reparation for sin our aim in consoling Her Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of Her Divine Son. Upon this will depend our perseverance; for in our very crosses we will find the grace to persevere and to overcome the world. Our Lady did not promise St. Bernadette happiness in this life, but promised it would be waiting for her in Heaven. So also, we must keep our eyes ever fixed on our heavenly goal as we struggle against the world to remain Our Lady's faithful servants and apostles.

"Thou hast visited the earth and hast plentifully showered it with blessings; Thou hast enriched it in many ways." (Ps. 64:10)

Today the glorious Queen of Heaven appeared on earth; today she brought to her people words of salvation and tokens of peace; today Choirs of Angels and of the faithful are filled with joy as they praise the Immaculate Conception. Glory be to the Father...

Thou art all fair, O Mary, and the original stain is not in Thee.

"Thou art the Glory of Jerusalem; Thou art the Joy of Israel; Thou art the Honor of our people." (Judith 15:10)

Truly joyful art Thou, O holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise, who with Thy virginal foot hast crushed the serpent's head. Hail Mary...

O Virgin Mary, God most high has blessed Thee more abundantly than all other women on earth. This day the Lord has honored Thee so much that Thy praise will never cease to be on the lips of men.

O Mary, perform miracles and work marvels anew! Make Thy power appear glorious! Hasten the time of our deliverance and be mindful of Thy promises. Let mankind proclaim Thy wondrous deeds. Hail Mary...

O Mary, from the very beginning Thou wast the Lord's and He loved Thee with eternal love. Call upon the Lord and speak to the King in our behalf. Deliver us from death! Hail Mary...

Mary speaks: "I chose this place and made it holy, in order that my name might be honored there, and my eyes and my heart might remain there forever." (2 Para. 7:16)

"My delights were to be with the children of men." (Prov. 8:31)

O stainless Mother of the Lord, while we Thy glory chant,
A gracious ear to us accord and heavenly favor grant.

A sad inheritance we own--In guilt our lives begin;
Exempt from Adam's fall alone, thou never knewest sin.

Prone on the earth beneath Thy heel the serpent's head remained;
Thou only dost to Heaven reveal an origin unstained.

Do Thou, whose glory takes away the shame of Mother Eve,
Accept the tribute that we pay and all our wants relieve.

From Satan's every dart and snare our weakened souls defend,
That so Thy glory we may share, in joys that never end.

To Thee, O Jesus, glory meet, the Virgin Mary's Son;
To Father and to Paraclete be equal honor done. Amen.

V. Let me praise Thee, O holy Virgin!
R. Give me strength in my conflict with Thine enemies!

Let us pray:

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary didst prepare a worthy dwelling for Thy Son, we humbly beseech Thee that we who celebrate the Apparition of the same Virgin, may obtain health of mind and body. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayers and Invocations for the Blessing of the Sick
On the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

(Based on excerpts from the original traditional ceremonies
in Latin and French at Lourdes, France)


Dear Lady of Lourdes--Health of the Sick--hear and answer our plaintive cries unto thee. Do thou, O Mary, our Queen and our Mother, intercede for us with thy Divine Son; that, as He healed the lame, the blind, and those afflicted with so many types of illness, He will now heal those present of their infirmities, as they receive the Blessing of the Sick. Just as Our Lord walked among the multitudes of Galilee and Judea, healing and blessing them, so now He walks among us in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Should it be to our spiritual good, ask thy Divine Son, dearest Mother, to heal us of those maladies which afflict us.

Yet, if it should be better for us to suffer in a spirit of loving reparation for our sins and those of others who so offend His Most Sacred Heart, then we do not ask to be cured, but rather to be granted the grace of suffering with silent resignation. Should our physical cure be the occasion of our living in such a way as to further offend Thy Divine Son, or cause sorrow to thy Immaculate Heart, then we most fervently desire NOT to be physically cured; but rather, O dearest Mother, obtain for us the grace to continue to bear our sufferings courageously and joyfully, remembering that IN THE CROSS IS OUR SALVATION.

Our request for physical healing is ONLY that we might better fulfill our daily duties and more perfectly serve Our Lord in all things.

Far more important than obtaining a physical cure, O Virgin Immaculate, we beg of thee to ask our Eucharistic King to grant to all of us a SPIRITUAL CURE -- the healing of our many infirmities of soul, by which we so offend His goodness and love! Finally, dear Mother of Mercy, do thou obtain for us, in this as in all things, the grace to embrace the Adorable WILL OF GOD. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Our Lady, Health of the Sick, pray for us.
O Mary, Conceived without Sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
St. Joseph, pray for us!
St. Bernadette, intercede for us.

The Act of Contrition is now fervently and slowly prayed by all.

During the Blessing of the Sick, the Priest Cries out to Our Lord
The Following Supplications, Repeated Fervently by the Faithful:

Lord, we adore Thee!
Lord, we believe in Thee!
Lord, we hope in Thee!
Lord, we love Thee!
O Jesus, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God!
Thou art the Bread which cometh from Heaven!
Blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord!
Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God!
Hosanna in the Highest!
Thou art My Lord and My God!
Lord, we believe, but increase our Faith!
Lord, increase our love!
Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me whole!
Lord, that I may see!
Lord, that I may hear!
Lord, that I may walk!
Lord, heal me of the sickness of self love!
Lord, heal me of the cancer of pride!
Lord, heal me of the sickness of self pity!
Lord, heal me of the cancer of self will!
Lord, deliver me from the spirit of the world!
Most Precious Blood of Jesus, cleanse our hearts of all sin!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Jesus, King of Mercy, save us!
O Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, pray for us!
O Mary, Mother of God, intercede for us!
Comfort of the afflicted, pray for us!
O Mary, show Thyself to be our Mother!
O Mary, Conceived without Sin, heal our sinful souls!
Queen of the Missions, convert the unbelieving!
Queen of All Hearts, convert us!
O Mary, Health of the Sick, grant us health of soul and body!
Our Lady of Lourdes, teach us the spirit of penance!
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, reign over our hearts!
Queen of the Angels, defend us against our enemies!
Queen of Martyrs, strengthen the courage of the persecuted!
Lord, we believe, but increase our Faith!
O Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, preserve the unity of Thy Mystical Body!
Lord, Increase the spirit of Charity throughout the Church!
Lord, Increase the holiness of the members of Thy Church!
Lord, preserve Thy remnant Flock!
Lord, guide and sustain our Most Reverend Bishop!
Lord, inspire our clergy and Religious to greater fervor!
Lord, send to our Congregation many holy religious vocations!
Lord, convert us, lest we perish!
O Jesus, Bread of Life, be Thou our food!
O Jesus, Light of the World, enlighten our minds!
O Jesus, all powerful, support our weakness!
O Jesus, make us love one another!
Lord, Thou art the resurrection and the life!
Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me whole!
Jesus, Son of David, have pity on us!
Virgin most powerful, pray for us!i

SING: Parce Domine, parce populo tuo: ne in aeternum, irascaris nobis. (repeat three times)

Lord, we bless Thee!
Lord, we adore Thee!
Lord, have mercy on us!

Lourdes Ave

Immaculate Mary, our hearts are on fire!
That title, so wondrous, fills all our desire!

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

In grief and temptation, in joy and in pain,
We'll seek thee, our Mother, nor seek thee in vain.


For poor, sick, afflicted, thy mercy we crave.
And comfort the dying, thou light of the grave.


We pray, dearest Mother, for those who now stray,
From Jesus and Mary on heresy's way.


At death's solemn moment, O Mother be nigh.
As children of Mary, please teach us to die.

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

Devotions for the Feast of the Holy Childhood
of Our Divine Lord

Feast: February 13th
The indicated portions are recited throughout the entire month of February.

Instruction and Reflection on the Holy Childhood of Jesus

To be read on the Feast and every Sunday throughout February

Jesus, having been found by His Parents in the Temple, answered their loving concern with the simple words: "Did you not know that I must be about the work of My Father?" Yet, Jesus then "went down to Nazareth and was subject to them." Rather than spending the years of His Childhood in manifesting His Divine Power, He preferred to teach mankind, by His own example, the sublime virtues of humility, obedience, simplicity, and hiddenness, which so endear us to the Eternal Father. Later He said: "Unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." This sublime lesson is reflected in the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, as she made the exclusive choice of three uneducated shepherd children, entrusting to them the most important message of the twentieth century. As we meditate upon the profound humility of the Son of God-made-Man in His blessed Childhood, let us also be resolved to conduct ourselves with the simplicity, faith, and humility of a child as we strive to "be about the work of our Father" in fervently living the teachings of Our Divine Lord, and in obeying our Holy Mother the Church, for "of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us... full of grace and of truth." (John 1:14)

"The shepherds went with haste, and they found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger."(Luke 2:16)

"When His parents had brought in the Child Jesus... Simeon also received Him into his arms and blessed God." (Luke 2:28)

"And when they had fulfilled all things as prescribed in the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth." (Luke 2:39)

"Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, though He was by nature God, did not consider being equal to God a thing to be clung to, but emptied Himself, taking the nature of a slave and being made like unto men." (Phil. 2:5-7)

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father...

Daily Hymn: "O Lux Beata Coelitum" -- Alternate with "Jesus Unto Thee I Flee"

O Highest Hope of mortals, Blessed Light of saints above,
O Jesus, on whose Boyhood home smiled with kindly love.

And thou who gently nursed Him, O Mary, highly graced,
Amidst His peaceful slumber, whose arms thy God embraced.

And thou of all men chosen to guard the Virgin's fame,
To whom God's Son refused not a father's gracious name.

Born for the nations' healing, of Jesse's lineage high,
Behold the suppliants kneeling, O hear the sinners' cry!

The sun, returned to evening dusks all the twilight air:
We, lingering here before Thee, pour out our heartfelt prayer.

Thy home was as a garden made glad with fairest flowers;
May life thus blossom sweetly in every home of ours.

Jesus, to Thee be glory, the Maiden-Mother's Son,
With Father and with Holy Ghost, while endless ages run. Amen.

V. Enlighten us, O Lord, by the example of Thy Holy Family;
R. And guide us in the way of peace.

Reflection to be read on the Feast, and on Tuesdays,
Thursdays, and Saturdays throughout February

When Jesus was twelve years old, He accompanied them for the first time. When they were returning, the Boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem and His Parents did not know it. And not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem in search of Him. After three days they found Jesus in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. The Mother of Jesus said to Him, 'Son, why hast Thou done so to us? Behold, Thy Father and I have been seeking Thee sorrowing.' And Jesus said to her, 'How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about the work of My Father?' And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age, and grace, before God and men." (Luke 2)

"O man, learn to obey. O thou who art of earth, learn to be subject. Thou who art dust, learn to submit. The Evangelist, speaking of your Creator, says, 'And He was subject to them'; without doubt, to Mary and to Joseph. Blush for shame, O proud man of ashes. God humbles Himself, and do you exalt yourself? God subjects Himself to men, and do you set yourself above your Creator? . . . O man, if you do not think it below your dignity to imitate the example of men, certainly it will not be unworthy of you to follow the example of your Creator. If you perhaps cannot follow Him wherever He goes, endeavor at least to follow Him in the obedience in which He came down to you." (St. Bernard)

"Just as by the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners, so also by the obedience of the One, the many will be constituted just." (Rom. 5:19)

Prayer in Honor of the Holy Childhood of Our Divine Lord
Daily throughout February, the Month of the Holy Childhood

O Divine Infant, Who, after the wonders of Thy Birth in Bethlehem, wishing to extend to the whole world Thine infinite mercy, didst call the Three Holy Kings by heavenly inspiration to Thy crib, which was thus converted into a throne of royal grandeur, and didst graciously receive those holy men, who were obedient to the Divine call and hastened to Thy feet, acknowledging Thee as the Prince of Peace, the Redeemer of mankind, and the very Son of God; ah, renew in us the proofs of Thy goodness and almighty power; enlighten our minds, strengthen our wills, and inflame our hearts to know Thee, to serve Thee, and to love Thee in this life, meriting thus to enjoy Thee eternally in the life to come. Amen.

Devotions in Honor of the Flight into Egypt

Feast: February 17th; these devotions are recited
as a Triduum, Feb. 14-16, & on the Feast.

Instruction and Reflection on the Flight into Egypt

The infamous Herod, seeing that he had been confounded by the Three Holy Kings, took measures to destroy the Infant Jesus. But God watched over those to Whose care He had been confided, and warned them of Herod's designs. We see in this the Providence of God for His servants. He does not promise to spare them afflictions and persecutions; but He does promise to watch over and direct them by lawful superiors, and act in such a manner that all things work together for their good. He knows how also, when it seems good to Him, to baffle the plots of the wicked. However, God's beneficent designs for us in calamities are thwarted when we fail to be submissive to those whom He has placed over us, to guide and direct us according to His Holy Will.

We see in Joseph and Mary a wonderful and entire obedience, with a perfect submission of judgment. The Angel exacted from them an act of blind obedience by concealing from them the length of their exile, but Joseph and Mary promptly and generously arose that very night and embraced the inscrutable Will of the Eternal Father. Let us implore the Holy Family to impart to us the grace to understand clearly the beautiful lessons contained in their example in this trial of their Flight into Egypt, and to give us courage and zeal to model our obedience on theirs.

"An Angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying, 'Arise, and take the Child and His Mother, and fly into Egypt, and be there until I shall tell thee... It will come to pass that Herod will seek the Child to destroy Him." (Matt. 2:13)

"Joseph arose, and took the Child and His Mother by night, and withdrew into Egypt." (Matt. 2:14)

"The foxes have dens, and the birds of the air have their nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." (Matt. 8:20) Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory be...

"An Angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 'Arise, and take the Child and His Mother, and go into the land of Israel.' And he went and settled in a town called Nazareth; that there might be fulfilled what was spoken through the prophets, 'He shall be called a Nazarene.' " (Matt. 2:20,23)

"And the Child grew and became strong. He was full of wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him." (Luke 2:40)

Hymn: "O Lux Beata Coelitum"(as above) -- Alternate with "Jesus Unto Thee I Flee"

Let us Pray:

O Lord, we offer Thee a sacrifice of propitiation and humbly beseech Thee to firmly establish our families in Thy peace and grace through the intercession of the Virgin Mother of God and blessed Joseph; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Devotions in Honor of the Finding
of Our Divine Lord in the Temple

Feast: February 26th; These devotions are recited
as a Triduum, Feb. 23-25, & on the Feast.

Instruction and Reflection on the Finding in the Temple

By remaining unknown to His Parents in Jerusalem, in spite of the suffering which they felt and which He felt Himself, Jesus wished to teach men to put the interests of God's glory above natural affections, even the most lawful ones, and to change the natural attachment to friends and relatives into a supernatural and spiritual one. Joseph and Mary truly loved Jesus with all their hearts; He was all in all to them, He was the Life of their life. When they lost His sweet Presence, the world became a melancholy desert to them. How great must have been their agony! Why is it that when we have lost the sweet Presence of Jesus by sin, we are so little afflicted by sorrow? Is it not because He is far from being all to us? It is, as the Imitation of Christ says, because we are unmortified and dissipated, attached to the things of this world, and tepid in God's service. Mary and Joseph teach us never to rest till we have found Jesus again, whenever we have lost Him through mortal sin, or by the lesser alienation of even venial sin, or through our lack of diligence and fervor in His service. And Jesus teaches us on His side to let all considerations about parents and families give way to the service of God, to Whom we ought to devote ourselves entirely and before all things.

"The Parents of Jesus were wont to go to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. When Jesus was twelve years old, He accompanied them for the first time." Our Father...

"When they were returning, the Boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem and His Parents did not know it. And not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem in search of Him. After three days they found Jesus in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. The Mother of Jesus said to Him, 'Son, why hast Thou done so to us? Behold, Thy Father and I have been seeking Thee sorrowing.' " Hail Mary...

"And Jesus said to her, 'How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about the work of My Father?' " (Luke 2) Glory be...

"And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age, and grace, before God and men." (Luke 2)

Hymn: "O Lux Beata Coelitum"(as above) -- Alternate with "Jesus Unto Thee I Flee"

Let us Pray:

O Lord Jesus, help us, whom Thou dost deign to refresh with Thy holy Presence in Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, ever to follow the example of Thy Holy Family, that having lived in a blessed union with Thee; Thy glorious Virgin-Mother and good St. Joseph may be near us at the hour of death, and that through Thee we may be found worthy to be received into our everlasting home, Who livest and reignest forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

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