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Nativity of Mary & Jesus

This is a rather different Christmas video. We started from Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Archangel Gabriel, the visitation of Mary to Elizabeth and Zachariah, the parents of John the Baptist and finally we dealt with the birth of Jesus.

Quite an elaborate story which we hope you’ll enjoy and share with your family and friends.

Video Source: http://www.youtube.co/watch?v=qW3lwY67mhM

Article:

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The present Feast forms a link between the New and the Old Testament. It shows that Truth succeeds symbols and figures and that the New Covenant replaces the Old. Hence, all creation sings with joy, exults, and participates in the joy of this day…. This is, in fact, the day on which the Creator of the world constructed His temple; today is the day on which by a stupendous project a creature becomes the preferred dwelling of the Creator” (Saint Andrew of Crete).

“Let us celebrate with joy the birth of the Virgin Mary, of whom was born the Sun of Justice…. Her birth constitutes the hope and the light of salvation for the whole world…. Her image is light for the whole Christian people” (From the Liturgy).

As these texts so clearly indicate, an atmosphere of joy and light pervades the Birth of the Virgin Mary.

1. Historical Details about the Feast

The origin of this Feast is sought in Palestine. It goes back to the consecration of a church in Jerusalem, which tradition identifies as that of the present basilica of St. Ann.

At Rome the Feast began to be kept toward the end of the 7th century, brought there by Eastern monks. Gradually and in varied ways it spread to the other parts of the West in the centuries that followed. From the 13th century on, the celebration assumed notable importance, becoming a Solemnity with a major Octave and preceded by a Vigil calling for a fast. The Octave was reduced to a simple one during the reform of St. Pius X and was abolished altogether under the reform of Pius XII in 1955.

The present Calendar characterizes the Birth of Mary as a “Feast,” placing it on the same plane as the Visitation.

For some centuries now, the Birth has been assigned to September 8 both in the East and in the West, but in ancient times it was celebrated on different dates from place to place. However, when the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (which has a later origin than that of the Birth) was extended to the whole Church, the Birth little by little became assigned everywhere to September 8: nine months after the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

2. At the Heart of Salvation

As we know, the Gospels have not transmitted to us anything about the birth of the Virgin Mary. Their attention is completely centered on the mystery of Christ and His salvific mission.

The birth of Mary is recounted by the Protevangelium of James (5:2), an apocryphal writing from the end of the 2nd century. Subsequent tradition is based on this account.

The description – although in the manner of an apocryphal document – obviously presents an important historical event: the birth of the Mother of the Lord.

But the problem that concerns us here is the significance of this event. In the case of all the Saints, the Church commemorates their birthday on the day of their return to the Lord. However, in the cases of St. John the Baptizer and the Blessed Virgin, it also celebrates the day of their earthly birth. This is a singular fact already emphasized in ancient times, for example, by Paschasius Radbertus (d. about 859).

The reason for this fact is not found primarily in the greatness or the privileges of the persons involved but in the singular mission that was theirs in the History of Salvation. In this light, the birth of the Blessed Virgin is considered to be – like that of John the Baptizer – in direct relationship with the coming of the Savior of the world. Thus, the birth and existence of Marysimilar to and even more than those of the Baptizer – take on a significance that transcends her own person. It is explained solely in the context of the History of Salvation, connected with the People of God of the Old Covenant and the New. Mary’s birth lies at the confluence of the two Testaments – bringing to an end the stage of expectation and the promises and inaugurating the new times of grace and salvation in Jesus Christ.

Mary, the Daughter of Zion and ideal personification of Israel, is the last and most worthy representative of the People of the Old Covenant but at the same time she is “the hope and the dawn of the whole world.” With her, the elevated Daughter of Zion, after a long expectation of the promises, the times are fulfilled and a new economy is established (LG 55).

The birth of Mary is ordained in particular toward her mission as Mother of the Savior. Her existence is indissolubly connected with that of Christ: it partakes of a unique plan of predestination and grace. God’s mysterious plan regarding the incarnation of the Word embraces also the Virgin who is His Mother. In this way, the Birth of Mary is inserted at the very heart of the History of Salvation.

3. Christological Orientations

The Biblical readings of the Feast have a clear Christological- salvific orientation that forms the backdrop for contemplating the figure of Mary.

Micah 5:1-4a. The Prophet announces the coming of the Lord of Israel who will come forth from Bethlehem of Judah. The Mother of the Messiah, presented as one about to give birth, will give life to the prince and pastor of the house of David who will bring justice and peace. She will work with the Messiah to bring forth a new people.

Romans 8.28-30. This passage does not speak directly about Mary but about the believer justified by the grace of Christ and gifted with the indwelling of the Spirit. He or she has been chosen and called from all eternity to share Christ’s life and glory. This is true in a privileged manner for Mary, Spouse and Temple of the Holy Spirit, Mother of God’s Son, and intimately united with Him in a Divine plan of predestination and grace.

Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23. The meaning of this seemingly and genealogy is theologically profound: to place Jesus, the MessiahLord, within the dynastic tree of His people. He is a descendant, and in fact “the descendant,” of Abraham (cf. Gal 3:16) and the Patriarchs in accord with the promises, and He is the semi-heir of the Prophets. The ring that united Christ with His people is Mary, Daughter of Zion and Mother of the Lord.

The virginity stressed by the Gospel text is the sign of the Divine origin of the Son and of the absolute newness that now breaks forth in the history of human beings.

The Christological-salvific purpose and tone dominate not only the Bible readings but also the Eucharistic Celebration and the Liturgy of the Hours.

It has been observed that, although the texts of this Feast’s celebration are less rich than those of other Marian feasts, they do have one outstanding characteristic: “The number of themes is rather restricted, [but] there are extremely numerous invitations to joy” (J. Pascher).

Indeed, joy pervades the whole of this Feast’s liturgy. If many “will rejoice” at the birth of the precursor (cf. Lk 1:14), a much greater joy is stirred up by the birth of the Mother of the Savior. Hence, this is a Feast that serves as a prelude to the “joy to all people” brought about by the Birth of the Son of God at Christmas and expressed by the singing of hymns and carols.

Added to this theme of joy on this Marian Feast is that of light because with Mary’s birth the darkness is dispersed and there rises in the world the dawn that announces the Sun of Justice, Christ the Lord.

Article Source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/N/nativityoftheblessedvirginmary.asp#ixzz25VkisOib

Other Sources:
A. Valentini – Birth of Mary
The historical and theological foundations of the celebration of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8th).

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

G                            D            G
Hark! The Herald angels sing glory to the newborn king
G                              D               G
Peace on earth and mercy mild. God and sinners reconciled.
D             G             D                 G
Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies,
E               C              G                 D     G
With th'angelic host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem!
E                C            G            D        G
Hark! The Herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn king.

G                                 D              G
Christ, by highest heav'n adored, Christ the everlasting Lord.
G                             D                G
Late in time behold Him come, offspring of the virgin's womb.
D                   G             D                  G
Veiled in flesh the God-head see, Hail the incarnate Deity.
E                   C             G           D   G
Pleased as Man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel!
E                C            G            D       G
Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn king.

G                          D                G
Mild he lays his glory by. Born that man no more may die.
G                                D                 G
Born to raise the sons of earth. Born to give them second birth.
D                  G             D                 G
Risen with healing in His wings, light and life to all He brings.
E               C              G                    D         G
Hail the Son of Righteousness! Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace!
E                C            G            D       G
Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn king.

Miraculous Prayer to St. Joseph in Any Urgent Need

This Miraculous Prayer from he 16th century has brought help to many in their hours of greatest need. Jesus listened to St. Joseph while on earth and still listens to him now when he intercedes for our needs.

Video Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KATMUie5fNI&feature=related

 

Blessed Pier Giorgio

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is a saint for the modern world, and especially for the young people of our time. Born in 1901 in Turin, Italy, his time on earth was short-only 24 years-but he filled it passionately with holy living. Pier Giorgio was a model of virtue, a “man of the beatitudes,” as Pope John Paul II called him at the saint’s beatification ceremony in Rome on May 20, 1990. He was described by friends as “an explosion of joy.” As Pier Giorgio’s sister, Luciana, says of her brother in her biography of him, “He represented the finest in Christian youth: pure, happy, enthusiastic about everything that is good and beautiful.”

Prayer for the courage to be great

Heavenly Father, give us the courage to strive for the highest goals, to flee every temptation to be mediocre.

Enable us to aspire to greatness, as Pier Giorgio did, and to open our hearts in joy to your call to holiness.

Free us from the fear of failure.

We want to be, Lord, firmly and forever united to You.

Grant us the graces we ask You through Pier Giorgio’s intercession, by the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ

 

Pier Giorgio Frassati – I want to live

Pier Giorgio Frassati (6 April 1901 – 4 July 1925) was a young Italian catholic lay. He was a great mountaineer, climbed the Alps and the Valle d’Aosta. He has been beatified by the pope John Paul II.

“Keeping his gaze fixed on eternal life, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who died in 1925 at the age of 24, said: “I want to live and not just get along!” and on the photo of an ascent sent to a friend, he wrote: “Toward on high,” alluding to Christian perfection, but also to eternal life”. Benedict XVI

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is a saint for the modern world, and especially for the young people of our time. Born in 1901 in Turin, Italy, his time on earth was short-only 24 years-but he filled it passionately with holy living. Pier Giorgio was a model of virtue, a “man of the beatitudes,” as Pope John Paul II called him at the saint’s beatification ceremony in Rome on May 20, 1990. He was described by friends as “an explosion of joy.” As Pier Giorgio’s sister, Luciana, says of her brother in her biography of him, “He represented the finest in Christian youth: pure, happy, enthusiastic about everything that is good and beautiful.”

To our modern world which is often burdened by cynicism and angst, Pier Giorgio’s life offers a brilliant contrast, a life rich in meaning, purpose, and peace derived from faith in God. From the earliest age, and despite two unreligious parents who misunderstood and disapproved of his piety and intense interest in Catholicism, Pier Giorgio placed Christ first in all that he did. These parental misunderstandings, which were very painful to him, persisted until the day of his sudden death of polio. However, he bore this treatment patiently, silently, and with great love.

Pier Giorgio prayed daily, offering, among other prayers, a daily rosary on his knees by his bedside. Often his agnostic father would find him asleep in this position. “He gave his whole self, both in prayer and in action, in service to Christ,” Luciana Frassati writes. After Pier Giorgio began to attend Jesuit school as a boy, he received a rare permission in those days to take communion daily. “Sometimes he passed whole nights in Eucharistic adoration.” For Pier Giorgio, Christ was the answer. Therefore, all of his action was oriented toward Christ and began first in contemplation of Him. With this interest in the balance of contemplation and action, it is no wonder why Pier Giorgio was drawn in 1922 at the age of 21 to the Fraternities of St. Dominic. In becoming a tertiary, Pier Giorgio chose the name “Girolamo” (Jerome) after his personal hero, Girolamo Savonarola, the fiery Dominican preacher and reformer during the Renaissance in Florence. Pier Giorgio once wrote to a friend, “I am a fervent admirer of this friar (Savonarola), who died as a saint at the stake.”

Pier Giorgio was handsome, vibrant, and natural. These attractive characteristics drew people to him. He had many good friends and he shared his faith with them with ease and openness. He engaged himself in many different apostolates. Pier Giorgio also loved sports. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved hiking, riding horses, skiing, and mountain climbing. He was never one to pass on playing a practical joke, either. He relished laughter and good humor.

As Luciana points out, “Catholic social teaching could never remain simply a theory with [Pier Giorgio].” He set his faith concretely into action through spirited political activism during the Fascist period in World War I Italy. He lived his faith, too, through discipline with his school work, which was a tremendous cross for him as he was a poor student. Most notably, however, Pier Giorgio (like the Dominican St. Martin de Porres) lived his faith through his constant, humble, mostly hidden service to the poorest of Turin. Although Pier Giorgio grew up in a privileged environment, he never lorded over anyone the wealth and prestige of his family. Instead, he lived simply and gave away food, money, or anything that anyone asked of him. It is suspected that he contracted from the very people to whom he was ministering in the slums the polio that would kill him.

Even as Pier Giorgio lay dying, his final week of rapid physical deterioration was an exercise in heroic virtue. His attention was turned outward toward the needs of others and he never drew attention to his anguish, especially since his own grandmother was dying at the same time he was. Pier Giorgio’s heart was surrendered completely to God’s will for him. His last concern was for the poor. On the eve of his death, with a paralyzed hand, he scribbled a message to a friend, reminding the friend not to forget the injections for Converso, a poor man Pier Giorgio had been assisting.

When news of Pier Giorgio’s death on July 4, 1925 reached the neighborhood and city, the Frassati parents, who had no idea about the generous self-donation of their young son, were astonished by the sight of thousands of people crowded outside their mansion on the day of their son’s funeral Mass and burial. The poor, the lonely, and those who had been touched by Pier Giorgio’s love and faithful example had come to pay homage to this luminous model of Christian living.

Pier Giorgio’s mortal remains were found incorrupt in 1981 and were transferred from the family tomb in the cemetery of Pollone to the Cathedral of Turin.

Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/blpiergiorgiofrassati.asp#ixzz25VX8FpBT
More Resources:
Pope John Paul II – Pier Giorgio Frassati: Beatification Homily
In his beatification homily, the Holy Father quoted the words of St. Peter, “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,” and described Pier Giorgio as “a living witness and courageous defender of this hope in the name of Christian youth of the twentieth century.”Bishop Anthony Fisher – Bishop Fisher’s Homily on Feast of Blessed Frassati
Here is the homily Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney gave 4 July 2008 at St. Benedict’s Church on the feast of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati in the presence of his relics. Cardinal George Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, presided at the Mass. The Blessed was invoked as patron of the 23rd World Youth Day.

Conforming to Christ in a Noisy World – Jeff Cavins

Clip from “Walk With Eternity on Your Mind: How to Think and Live Differently” by Jeff Cavins
July 2010
Defending the Faith Conference, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Cardinal George on Religious Freedom

Cardinal Francis George talks about threats to religious freedom in the United States. This is an excerpt of Cardinal George and program host Todd Williamson from the June/July 2012 cable TV program, The Church, the Cardinal and You.

The Year of Faith by Richard Lane – Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ

EWTN Global Catholic Television Network:

EWTN Live – Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ – Richard Lane – The Year of Faith

Lord I Give You My Heart

G          D/F#  Em
This is my desire

   C   G    D/F#
To ho--nour You

Em             D/F# G
Lord, with all my   heart

          Fmaj9    C  C/D
I worship You

G          D/F#   Em
All I have with---in me

  C    G   D/F#
I give You praise

Em         D/F#  G
All that I ado___re

      Fmaj9     C    C/D
Is in You

Chorus:

G                   D/F#
Lord, I give You my heart

               Am7
I give You my soul

  C        C/D     G
I live for You alone

G                   D/F#
Every breath that I take

                  Am7
Every moment I'm awake

      C    C/D  D      G
Lord, have Your way in me