A feast dedicated to Mary’s conception first appeared in the 7th century and by the 12th century it was firmly established in England. In the 13th century, great thinkers such as St. Bernard and St. Thomas Aquinas debated whether Mary could have been born without original sin if, as St. Paul says, all persons are born in sin (Romans 5.12). By the 19th century, the theological debate was resolved and in 1854 Pius IX defined the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception as a dogma of faith. In 1846, the Catholic Church of the United States declared this to be its patronal feast.
This day honours the eight martyrs of North America – six Jesuit priests and two lay assistants – who died between 1642 and 1649. All came from Europe in response to a call for “missionaries to the Indians”, and all showed great courage. The first group, who died in the United States, included Isaac Jogues and the laymen Rene Goupil ...More
These men were aware of the dangers involved and of the fate of captives. Some of them were captured and escaped, but returned, persisting in their efforts to preach the Gospel to the Indigenous peoples.
Accounts of the martyrdom of Brebeuf and Lalemant survive today in the Jesuit Relations. At Auriesville, NY, and at Midland, ON, the shrines erected to the memory of the martyrs attract thousands of pilgrims annually.
The apostle Matthew has two names in the Gospels: Matthew and Levi. Since only the name Matthew is entered in any scriptural mention of the 12 apostles, it is commonly held that his name was Levi until Jesus called him to be a disciple, then he was called Matthew which means ‘gift of God’ in Aramaic.
Mark and Luke ...
Mark and Luke record that Levi, the son of Alphaeus, was sitting in the tax office when the Lord called him. A Jewish tax collector for the Romans, Matthew would have been considered impure and socially unacceptable by the Jewish community.
After Pentecost, Matthew worked in a church made up mostly of Jews who believed that Jesus was the Saviour. The Gospel bearing his name was composed around AD 85 and was written for Jewish-Christians. In it, Jesus is shown as the fulfillment of God’s Old Testament promises of a Messiah. Notice how often Matthew says, “As it is written”, or “”This is the one of whom the prophet spoke”, or “All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet”.
Tradition holds that after the Resurrection, Matthew preached in Ethiopia, where he was martyred. He is a patron saint of custom officers and accountants.
Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are three of the seven archangels who stand before God and are venerated in both Jewish and Christian traditions. While once dedicated solely to Michael (Michaelmas), this date now commemorates all three.
Michael (‘Who is like the Lord?’), considered the special protector of Israel (Dan12.1) and of the Curch, is known as the ‘...
Michael (‘Who is like the Lord?’), considered the special protector of Israel (Dan12.1) and of the Curch, is known as the ‘captain of the heavenly host’ (Rev 12.7-9).
Gabriel (‘God is mighty’) foretold the coming of the Messiah to the prophet Daniel (Dan 9). Luke records the appearances of this ‘angel of the Lord’ to Zechariah and to Mary of Nazareth (Luke 1).
Raphael (‘God heals’) identifies himself as one of the angels who bring prayers before God (Tobit12). He is associated with the healing pool in Jerusalem (John 5).