The solemn announcement, spoken of by the prophet, has been proclaimed in Sion: the solemn fast of Lent, the season of expiation, the approach of the great anniversaries of our Redemption. Let us, then, rouse ourselves, and prepare for the spiritual combat.
The holy season of Septuagesima which takes up the bulk—and sometimes the entirety—of the time between Candelmas and Ash Wednesday may yet be little known, however there is another, more common name for this period of time: “carnival”.
"O Mother, it is to your heart that I come to lay down the anguish of my heart;
it is there that I draw strength and courage."
- St. Bernadette
All feasts of Our Lady are celebrated with joy and affection by the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa, but a few enjoy particular devotion; one such is Our Lady of Lourdes. The presence of Our Lady in this apparition to the humble St. Bernadette Soubirous is moving on many accounts: Our Lady’s maternal solicitude for poor sinners, and towards St. Bernadette herself; her encouragement of obedience towards ecclesiastical authority; and her humility in identifying herself with her first great gift of grace, her Immaculate Conception.
Graciously hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy people,
that we, who are justly afflicted for our sins,
may for the glory of Thy Name be mercifully delivered.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ …"
- Collect: Septuagesima Sunday
Lights and Shadows
by a Marian Sister of Santa Rosa
Mary and Joseph went up the temple to pray,
And for the life of God’s newborn son to pay.
A ransom from death for us sinners, unrepentant,
Two turtle doves for His own life are there presented.
Simeon sings of the swords that are yet to pierce
The Heart of Our Lady—blades merciless and fierce.
Anna proclaims, “The Messiah has come at last!”
The blood shall be smeared on the doors of our souls
That the destroyer may not our lives grasp.
See the little turtle doves, innocent and sweet,
Cooing and at being sold, turning the other cheek.
Behold how their lives are twin tokens of Father’s love-
As God the Father hands over to save our souls His dearest loves:
His Son and His Jericho Rose—His purest doves.
In Ramah soon, a cry will be heard, as never heard ‘fore nor since
As Mary and Joseph make haste to protect the Blessed Sacrament.
The light of the star that three Magi led from their treasures’ to paupers’ tent,
To the Light of the Gentiles, heaven-sent
(Hush…hear the rip of fabric—the veil of the Holy of Holies is rent…)
Led too, did it not, to death of these Holy Innocents;
And see now, foreshadowed, the tragedy high
Of crucified Innocence.
Let all mortal flesh be silent and stand in wondered loss
For cast by the Light of Nations—lo! The shadow of the cross ...
"What was family life in Nazareth like? In the home of the Holy Family in Nazareth, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph sanctified their ordinary life, without doing anything spectacular or newsworthy. They led a life that was to all appearance the same as that of their neighbors, a life that was important, not because of the material things they did, but because of the love that they put into these things, in perfect union with the Will of God the Father."
- St. Josemaria Escriva
Hymn from Vespers of the feast of the Holy Family
Blest light of all the heavenly hosts,
Sole hope of them that well on earth,
The purest love that ever graced
A home, did smile upon thy birth.
Mary, dear Mother, who but thee
Was ever yet so rich in grace?
Didst nourish Christ upon thy knee
And fold him in a sweet embrace?
And Joseph, chosen out to guard
The Virgin with thy gentle might,
The Infant Jesus smiled on thee
And called thee father as by right.
You, who to save a guilty race
Were born of David’s noble line
O hear the humble prayers of all
Today, who gather round your shrine.
The sun now wends his way to rest
And earth is veiled in shadows gray;
Yet hearts a-fire with joy and love
Still bid us linger on to pray.
O may the grace of that sweet home
Which held the earthly Trinity.
Be shed abroad upon the world
And bless the Christian family.
O Jesu, born of a Virgin bright,
Immortal glory be to thee;
Praise to the Father infinite
And Holy Ghost eternally.
Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love Thee.