DAY 46 - MARY, QUEEN ASSUMED INTO HEAVEN, PRAY FOR US
PRAY A ROSARY
- Rosary of the Day: Glorious Mysteries
- Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Joyful Mysteries
FEAST OF SAINT MICHAEL
So Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said: I am young, and you are very old; therefore I held back and was AFRAID to declare to you my knowledge.
A person’s age does not bring wisdom-but wisdom does come to those who are open to the workings of the spirit of God.
· Elihu comes out of nowhere.
· He's only mentioned in these passages, but his speech adds a new layer to Job's friends' words, so pay attention.
· He starts by stating that he is younger than the other three, and that he is only speaking out of concern for Job. Fair enough.
· Elihu then tells Job that he (Job) isn't necessarily a sinner, but that his misfortunes are just part of a cycle of divine power that cannot be questioned or understood. It just is.
· This guy is clearly very chill. He basically tells Job that he's not necessarily a sinner just because he is being punished, but his reaction to that punishment is an expression of foolishness.
· So, yeah…he's calling Job a fool.
Feast of Saint Michael
SAINT MICHAEL is the prince of the heavenly armies, who first contended against the proud Lucifer. The holy Church honors him as a particular defender, and the faithful call upon him in all dangers of soul and body, but they particularly implore his intercession at the hour of death, in order that, after having, according to his example, courageously fought against Satan, they may receive the crown of victory, and that their souls may by him be brought before the throne of God. Let us also venerate him, and, full of confidence, cry out with the holy Church, “Holy archangel Michael, protect us in battle that we may not perish in the tremendous judgment.”
O God, Who with wonderful order dost direct the ministry of angels and of men, mercifully grant that our life on earth may be protected by those who ever minister before Thee in heaven. Amen.
EPISTLE. Apocalypse i. 1-5.
In those days God made known the things which must shortly come to pass and signified, sending by His angel to His servant John, who hath given testimony to the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever He hath seen. Blessed is he that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy: and keepeth those things which are written in it. For the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia : Grace be unto you and peace from Him that is, and that was, and that is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, the first-begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth, Who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins, in His own blood. This epistle is read to-day because St. Michael so bravely contended against the sedition of Satan, and, after gaining the victory, drove him and his adherents from heaven.
GOSPEL. Matt, xviii. 1-10.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest Thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus calling unto Him a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. And he that shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Wo to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless, wo to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
Great prince of heaven, St. Michael, to thy protection I commend my soul and body, and, by the glory which thou possesses in heaven, I beseech thee that thou wouldst ever assist me, particularly at the close of my life; that thou wouldst strengthen my faint-heartedness, and obtain for me from God the remission of my sins, and an entire submission to His holy will, that my soul may depart full of comfort. Then receive it, and bring it, under the guidance of the holy angels, before the face of God, to enjoy the contemplation of Him for all eternity. Amen.
St. Michael, Champion of the Church
The Church of God has always considered Saint Michael as its special protector. The archangel himself has acknowledged this to Constantine after the completion of a church in his honor saying,
Michael, the chief of the angelic legions of the Lord of hosts, the protector
of the Christian religion, who whilst thou wast battling against godless
tyrants, placed the weapons in thy hands.”
Assuredly, St. Michael will not fail to come to the aid of our Holy Church. His assistance shall be forth coming in these troubled times when legions of evil are visible throughout the world exciting the minds of men. We behold their activities in the events of the media and the world-wide propaganda against morality and religion everywhere. Yet, despite this we are beneath his mighty leadership and with the aid of his own unvanquishable legions we shall not fail.
Michaelmas (September 29th) 
The anniversary of the dedication of St. Michael the Archangel's basilica outside of Rome by Pope Boniface II in 530 A.D. affords the Church the opportunity to honor one of its most significant saints. Tradition holds that Michael is the heavenly spirit who cast Satan and his minions into Hell after their revolt from God. As the "Governor of Heaven" (Praepositus Paradisi), he is ranked only below the Mother of God in the Confiteor. The Roman church also identifies him as the angel whom St. John saw in heaven standing near the altar of God and offering the prayers of the saints like an odor of sweetness (see the offertory blessing of incense at a High Mass). He is also singled out in the Requiem Mass as the banner-bearer who leads the departed to purgatory and heaven (see offertory prayers). Finally, Michael's victory over the devil's army renders him not only the patron saint of souls, but of Christian soldiers. All of this leads to the conclusion that Michael is one of our most potent allies and helps us see why the Roman rite has traditionally venerated him with such affection and respect.
Consequently, Michaelmas (pronounced "mikk-el-mes") was one of the great public holidays and religious feasts of early and medieval Europe. Saint Michael's parades, Michael's fairs, Michael's Plays, etc. would in many places constitute the climax of autumn harvest celebrations. Michaelmas also coincided with the "quarter days" in Northern Europe, one of the four times in the year when free men would sit in court, make laws, and pay rents.
Things to do:
· This is a good feast to learn more about the angels. Children especially are fascinated by these celestial beings. The best place to start is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 328-336 to see the teachings of the Church on angels. John Paul II also did a Catechesis on the Angels during his General Audiences from July 9 to August 20, 1986.
· Find the passages in the Bible about angels, in particular the passages about Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
· Read the section on angels in the Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy. The document examines the doctrine and devotions of the angels. Devotion to angels is good, but also can have deviations.
Devotion to the Holy Angels gives rise to a certain form of the Christian life which is characterized by:
· devout gratitude to God for having placed these heavenly spirits of great sanctity and dignity at the service of man.
· an attitude of devotion deriving from the knowledge of living constantly in the presence of the Holy Angels of God — serenity and confidence in facing difficult situations, since the Lord guides and protects the faithful in the way of justice through the ministry of His Holy Angels. Among the prayers to the Guardian Angels the Angele Dei is especially popular, and is often recited by families at morning and evening prayers, or at the recitation of the Angelus.
217. Popular devotion to the Holy Angels, which is legitimate and good, can, however, also give rise to possible deviations:
· when, as sometimes can happen, the faithful are taken by the idea that the world is subject to demiurgical struggles, or an incessant battle between good and evil spirits, or Angels and daemons, in which man is left at the mercy of superior forces and over which he is helpless; such cosmologies bear little relation to the true Gospel vision of the struggle to overcome the devil, which requires moral commitment, a fundamental option for the Gospel, humility and prayer;
· when the daily events of life, which have nothing or little to do with our progressive maturing on the journey towards Christ are read schematically or simplistically, indeed childishly, so as to ascribe all setbacks to the devil and all success to the Guardian Angels. The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.
· Also read All About the Angels.
· Memorize the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Although no longer formally recited after Mass, our Holy Father John Paul II has encouraged us to recite this prayer daily. Read about this prayer. Here is the Regina Caeli message from April 24, 1994 during which the pope encouraged this prayer.
· In honor of St. Gabriel, Learn the Angelus and recite it daily. Traditionally, the prayer is prayed at the 6:00 and 12:00 hours (am and pm). There is a partial indulgence attached to those who pray this prayer.
· Read the Book of Tobit for the story of St. Raphael helping Tobit and Tobias.
· Make some recipes related to Michaelmas. Of special mention is the St. Michael Bannock from Scotland, roast goose and stuffing from Britain, waffles from France, and roast duck from Germany or France, gnocchi from Italy. Blackberries, apples and carrots also play a large role on this feast in various countries. Other ideas: make an angel food cake, devil's food cake or angel hair pasta. Decorate with white, symbolizing the angels, or use other symbolic colors (see above). Non-dessert items: deviled eggs, deviled meats, etc.
· Try to find the Michaelmas daisy, a purple aster, to use for decoration. It also comes in other colors, including white, but purple is the most popular. It usually blooms in late summer until October. The official name is Aster novi-belgii, but is also known as New York aster. If you find plants or seeds to plan for next year's garden. This site has photos and gardening information for the Michaelmas daisy.
Folklore in the British Isles suggests that
Michaelmas day is the last day that blackberries can be picked. It is said that
when St. Michael expelled Lucifer, the devil, from heaven, he fell from the
skies and landed in a prickly blackberry bush. Satan cursed the fruit, scorched
them with his fiery breath, and stamped and spat on them, so that they would be
unfit for eating. A traditional Irish proverb says:
On Michaelmas Day the devil puts his foot on the blackberries.
If you have access to blackberries, make this the last picking and eating. Perhaps make a blackberry pie? See Michaelmas Pie for a great recipe.
The Catholic Tradition of Harvest Feasts of Thanksgiving
The High Middle Ages (approximately 1000 to 1250 A.D.) marked the beginning of harvest feasts of thanksgiving with Catholic nations. These festivals were attached to particular saint or feast days. Not all days were celebrated everywhere, but they would vary in different countries throughout the liturgical year. Each date links to the CatholicCulture.org page on which the sidebar provides further information in the sections of Activities, Prayers, Recipes, etc. for the feast day:
- St. Peter in Chains, or Lammas or Loaf-Mass Day, August 1 in the 1962 Extraordinary Form calendar—Lammas is Anglo-Saxon origin, celebrating the first fruits of the summer wheat or grain harvest in the northern English speaking countries of Europe. The Roman Ritual included a Blessing of the Harvest to use on this feast or the Transfiguration.
- Feast of the Transfiguration, August 6—This feast corresponds with the Jewish feast of Booths or Tabernacles. Both in Eastern churches and in Rome have the blessing of grapes, raisins and other fruits, wine and also blessing and incorporating the wheat grains in the celebration, particularly wheat pilaf. For more information, see my two previous commentaries on the Transfiguration.
- Feast of the Assumption, August 15—In many Germanic countries this is thanksgiving harvest for first fruits, herbs and flowers, with the Roman Ritual including a Blessing of Fruits and Herbs for this feast. For more information, see my post on the Assumption.
- Feast of St. Bartholomew, August 24—Because St. Bartholomew is the patron of shepherds and husbandmen, in Britain this was another harvest feast for shepherds and farmers. Lamb and mutton are the traditional foods for this feast.
- Feast of the Nativity of Mary, September 8—For certain regions like Goa, this feast marked the end of the summer harvest. The Roman Ritual included a blessing of seeds and seedlings for the fall planting. In France the winegrowers brought grapes to be blessed and called this feast “Our Lady of the Grape Harvest.” In the Austrian Alps this was “Drive-Down Day,” bringing herds of cattle and sheep from their summer pastures. After the work, the thanksgiving festivities would begin.
- Feast of St. Michael or Michaelmas, September 29—In England this was a “quarter day” and huge harvest feast, with a roasted goose as the centerpiece.
- Solemnity of All Saints, November 1—All Saints’ Day was originally on May 13 in Rome, but the feast day was transferred to November 1, right at the time of harvest to provide food for the pilgrims traveling to Rome. I wouldn’t say this was an official harvest feast, but the timing was around the harvest. I have also included it because of Father Joseph Minihan’s article: The Church’s Thanksgiving Day.
- Feast of St. Martin or Martinmas, November 11—For most of the European continent Martinmas was the biggest and final fall harvest feast. The festivities were especially for the wine harvest and the great winter slaughters of animals. The feasting usually centered around a Martinmas goose accompanied with apples. Advent used to be 40 days in length, beginning a few days after St. Martin’s. There were more strenuous requirements of fasting and abstinence, so Martinmas would also be a celebration to use up fats and meats in preparation for Advent, similar to Fat Tuesday before Lent. See my previous post, Feastday Highlights: 11-11, Honoring the Real St. Martin of Tours.
- Feast of St. Leopold, November 15—Most of Austria would wait for their fall harvest feast until St. Leopold’s day, as he is the patron saint of Austria. Today was also referred to as “Goose Day” in Austria.
- Feast of St. Andrew, November 30—In Britain also known as “Andermess,” this marks the end of autumn and the last harvest feast. In later centuries when Advent was shortened, November 30 marked the beginning of the Advent season. See more information in my previous post, Anticipating Christmas, Beginning with St. Andrew.
35 Promises of God cont.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:38-39
Consecration to St. Joseph
Today is my Annual Renewal of my consecration-for those making their first Consecration we will end this series of reflections on the importance of St. Joseph in our salvation on the Feast of ALL SAINTS. I have a separate section in this blog for the Total Consecration to St. Joseph here.
St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716) popularized a consecration to Jesus through Mary, recognizing that placing one’s life into the hands of Mary as mother and queen would provide a surer way of coming close to her Son. De Montfort developed a 33-day preparation period and act of consecration, renewing one’s baptismal vows, on a major feast day of Our Lady. Drawing upon this important devotional practice, Father Donald Calloway proposes a similar consecration to her spouse, St. Joseph, in his new book, Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father (Marian Press, 2020). The book leads through a 30-day preparation period through its three sections, the first of which examines Joseph’s titles in his litany, the second of which looks at the wonders related to his life and role in the Church, and the final of which offers prayers to him. Although his arrangement may be new, the book contains acts of consecration to St. Joseph written by St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Bernadine of Siena, and St. Peter Julian Eymard.
Father Calloway explains the importance of this devotion to St. Joseph and why one should make a consecration to him: It “means that you acknowledge that he is your spiritual father, and that you want to be like him. To show it, you entrust yourself entirely to his paternal care so that he can lovingly help you acquire his virtues and become holy. Total consecration to St. Joseph means you make a formal act of filial entrustment to your spiritual father so that he can take care of your spiritual wellbeing and lead you to God. The person who consecrates himself to St. Joseph wants to be as close to their spiritual father as possible, to the point of resembling him in virtue and holiness Saint Joseph, in turn, will give those consecrated to him loving attention, protection, and guidance”. For those who have already done the consecration to Jesus through Mary, Father Calloway recommends this consecration as well: “God desires that all his children be committed to the love and care of a mother and a father” (ibid.).
Father Calloway rightly points out that now is the time of St. Joseph. We need Joseph right now as a protector of the Church so that she may experience renewal. We also need him as a protector of purity and the sanctity of family. We need him as a guide for working and living in the world in faith and obedience. In order to strengthen our daily devotion to him, I would also propose the following prayer based on the Bible’s references to his role (including the prefigurement of the Old Testament):
Joseph, Son of David, you are the just man the Lord placed over His house. You did what the angel commanded and so we go to you in time of need. O adopted father of Jesus, pray to your Son for us. Amen.
Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph
The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.
· Iceman’s Total Consecration to Mary-Day 19
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
 St. Michael and the Angels, Tan Books, 1983.