"The Church presents to us the 'first fruits' of these 'true Christians,' those who by their works, and even by their death, having sung the glory of the Redeemer. We see them in the retinue of the divine Child, like angels on earth, who unite their hymn to that of the angels in heaven."
"O God, by foreseen merits of the death of Christ, You shielded Mary from all stain of sin and preserved the Virgin Mother immaculate at her conception so that she might be a fitting dwelling place for Your Son. Cleanse us from sin through her intercession so that we also may come to You untainted by sin."
- Collect for the Immaculate Conception -
"Holy Church, our Good Mother, after having exalted with fitting praise all Her children who now rejoice in heaven, strives also to help all those who still suffer in purgatory,
and to this end intercedes with all Her power before Christ, Her Lord and Spouse,
in order that as speedily as possible they may join the society of the elect in heaven."
"I saw a great multitude which no man could number,
of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands: and they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God!"
- Revelation 7:9 -
"Send forth flowers, as the lily, and yield a smell, and bring forth leaves in grace,
and praise with canticles, and bless the Lord in His works."
Communion Antiphon (Eccus. 39:19)
In Spain in the year 1218 A.D., the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in separate visions to St. Peter Nolasco, St. Raymond of Penafort, and King James I of Aragon, asking them to establish an Order to liberate Christians who had been kidnapped by the Moors, transported to African prisons, and cruelly tortured to deny their faith in Christ.
"Let us adore the Savior,
who gave his Mother a share in His passion."
Invitatory Antiphon for Our Lady of Sorrows
"Hail the Cross, our only Hope."
This is the exclamation which rises in the hearts of Christians today, as we celebrate the blessed Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
"Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, proclaims joy to the whole world,
for from you arose the glorious Sun of Justice, Christ our God;
he freed us from the age-old curse and filled us with holiness;
he destroyed death and gave us eternal life."
- Lauds of the Nativity Benedictus Antiphon
On this fifth day during the Octave of Our Mother's birth, we celebrate the feast of her most wonderful name: Maria. It is this name which bears such sweetness that we call upon in times of trouble, anguish, temptation, and supplication - but also in joy and thanksgiving. Today let us unceasingly offer her name as a prayer to heaven - like sweet roses rising up from earth to find their place within the crown upon Our Lady's head ... "Mary, sweet Mary, my dearest Mother Mary ... " Let us too offer her the prayer of her Holy Name, the Ave Maris Stella.
In our community, August 22 tends to be one of our favorite days of the liturgical year. For on this day, Holy Mother Church celebrates two great Marian feasts.