Tuesday, July 26, 2022

 


FEAST OF SAINT ANN 

Luke, Chapter 1, verse 13:

13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be AFRAID, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. 

To a Pious Jew and especially a Levi priest the knowledge that God is so holy we dare not even say His name. Notice frequently in the bible the angels will use the term, “Do not be afraid”, and this is because at times we are knowing our sinfulness may not feel worthy. Feeling unworthy is a tool the evil one often uses to discourage us from doing good works. 

I have felt this fear of being unworthy often. In the mid-seventies while still a youth in my 20’s I was chosen to be a lay Eucharistic minister while working at the South Pole in Antarctica by the priest that had come 900 miles to bring our Lord to us catholic boys working I didn’t feel worthy; come on this is Richard you know; but the Priest convinced me that it was the only way and I did want to bring “Our Lord” to my fellow brothers in Christ. 

We must remember that the evil one will sow fear in our hearts trying to convince us we are unworthy and if we listen, we become like the man who out of fear buried his talent in the ground. 

Feast of Saint Ann, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary[1]

ALL that we know of St. Ann is that she was married to St. Joachim of the tribe of David, and lived with him in all virtue and piety, but for a long time was childless. This she bore with all patience, till at last the Lord heard her supplications, and made her the mother of the most blessed Virgin. This distinction on the part of God is praise enough for her. On this account the faithful have always shown great veneration for her, and continually invoke her intercession. “Let us all rejoice in the Lord, keeping festival in honor of St. Ann, on whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and with one voice praise the Son of God. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak my works to the King.”

Prayer.

O God, Who wast pleased to confer upon St. Ann the grace whereby she became the mother of her who brought forth Thine only-begotten Son, mercifully grant that we, who keep her festival, may, through her intercession, find help with Thee.

Aspiration to St. Ann.

Hail, O blessed mother Ann! Blessed art thou, who, for our consolation, didst bear the Mother of our Redeemer. With the greatest veneration, therefore, and full of confidence, we approach thee, beseeching thee that thou wouldst supplicate our divine Savior to bestow upon us the graces which we need to follow thy ardent devotion, thy fear of God, and to render us worthy one day to behold in heaven the blessed fruit of thy virgin daughter’s womb, Jesus, and to rejoice forever in the contemplation of Him.

The Mysterious Relics of Saint Anne[2]

On Easter AD 792, Charlemagne discovered the relics of Saint Anne. Below is the account, preserved in the correspondence of Pope Saint Leo III, concerning the mysterious discovery of the relics of Saint Anne.

Fourteen years after Our Lord’s death, Saint Mary Magdalen, Saint Martha, Saint Lazarus, and the others of the little band of Christians who were piled into a boat without sails or oars and pushed out to sea to perish — in the persecution of the Christians by the Jews of Jerusalem — were careful to carry with them the tenderly loved body of Our Lady’s mother. They feared lest it be profaned in the destruction, which Jesus had told them was to come upon Jerusalem. When, by the power of God, their boat survived and finally drifted to the shores of France, the little company of saints buried Saint Anne’s body in a cave, in a place called Apt, in the south of France. The church, which was later built over the spot, fell into decay because of wars and religious persecutions, and as the centuries passed, the place of Saint Anne’s tomb was forgotten. The long years of peace, which Charlemagne’s wise rule gave to southern France, enabled the people to build a magnificent new church on the site of the old chapel at Apt. Extraordinary and painstaking labor went into the building of the great structure, and when the day of its consecration arrived, the beloved Charlemagne, little suspecting what was in store for him, declared himself happy indeed to have journeyed so many miles to be present for the holy occasion. At the most solemn part of the ceremonies, a boy of fourteen, blind, deaf and dumb from birth — and usually quiet and impassive — to the amazement of those who knew him, completely distracted the attention of the entire congregation by becoming suddenly tremendously excited. He rose from his seat, walked up the aisle to the altar steps, and to the consternation of the whole church, struck his stick resoundingly again and again upon a single step. His embarrassed family tried to lead him out, but he would not budge. He continued frantically to pound the step, straining with his poor muted senses to impart a knowledge sealed hopelessly within him. The eyes of the people turned upon the emperor, and he, apparently inspired by God, took the matter into his own hands. He called for workmen to remove the steps. A subterranean passage was revealed directly below the spot, which the boy’s stick had indicated. Into this passage the blind lad jumped, to be followed by the emperor, the priests, and the workmen. They made their way in the dim light of candles, and when, farther along the passage, they came upon a wall that blocked further advance, the boy signed that this also should be removed. When the wall fell, there was brought to view still another long, dark corridor. At the end of this, the searchers found a crypt, upon which, to their profound wonderment, a vigil lamp, alight and burning in a little walled recess, cast a heavenly radiance. As Charlemagne and his afflicted small guide, with their companions, stood before the lamp, its light went out. And at the same moment, the boy, blind and deaf and dumb from birth, felt sight and hearing and speech flood into his young eyes, his ears, and his tongue. “It is she! It is she!” he cried out. The great emperor, not knowing what he meant, nevertheless repeated the words after him. The call was taken up by the crowds in the church above, as the people sank to their knees, bowed in the realization of the presence of something celestial and holy. The crypt at last was opened, and a casket was found within it. In the casket was a winding sheet, and in the sheet were relics, and upon the relics was an inscription that read, “Here lies the body of Saint Anne, mother of the glorious Virgin Mary.” The winding sheet, it was noted, was of eastern design and texture. Charlemagne, overwhelmed, venerated with profound gratitude the relics of the mother of Heaven’s Queen.

Things to Do[3]

·        See more about the Shrine of Sainte Anne de Beaupré in Quebec, Canada. Several relics of St. Anne are also located in this shrine. Take a video tour of the Shrine here accompanied by beautiful Gregorian chant.

·        Foods related to St. Ann and Joachim: It seems shellfish, particularly lobster, is one traditional type of food served in France for this feast day.

The Modern Church Also Honors Saint Joachim on this day.[4]

St. Joachim, the father of the Blessed Virgin, was a native of Nazareth, a little town in Galilee. His parents, though occupying a humble position in the world, were descendants of the holy king David. It was not without inspiration that, at his circumcision, the name of Joachim was given him; it means “Preparation for the Lord,” or, as others translate it, a preparation for the arrival of the Lord. It has been understood by many to signify that he would have a daughter whom he would prepare, by a holy education, to be the mother of Our Lord. Arriving at the years of manhood, he married Anna, a virtuous and chaste maiden of Bethlehem, whom, without doubt, God gave special graces, as she was chosen by Him to be the mother of the Queen of Heaven. Joachim and Anna continued, after their union, to serve God with the greatest fidelity. The most perfect charity and harmony reigned in their dwelling. They had divided their possessions into three parts.

The first they devoted exclusively to the honor of God and to the adornment of the Temple; the second, to the poor; and the third they kept for themselves. One thing saddened the lives of Joachim and Anna. They had been married many years without being blessed with a child, and their advancing age made them despair of ever having one. Barrenness was considered a great disgrace and Joachim lived under that cross for many years. He never ceased to implore God with tears, prayers, and fasts to remove it from him; but it seemed that he was not heard, which gave him great grief. He, however, never murmured against the Almighty, but, submitting to His will, continued his prayer. It is also believed that he and his spouse made a vow that, if they were blessed with a child, they would consecrate it to His service. St. Epiphanius relates that, one day, while St. Joachim was praying, an angel appeared to him and assured him that God had heard his prayer, and that a daughter should be given him, who would become the mother of the promised Messiah. The angel informed him also of the name which God had destined for her. When he heard this, the joy of St. Joachim was beyond all description. He went immediately to tell his spouse of it, who, according to some authors, had received the same revelation. Both gave fervent thanks to the Almighty and praised His mercy. The angel’s prophecy was fulfilled, and St. Anna gave birth to a daughter, who was born free from the stain of original sin, full of the Holy Spirit, blessed above all women, and destined by heaven to be the mother of the only begotten Son of God. St. Joachim, renewing his thanks to the Almighty, redoubled his zeal in His service. As soon as the lawful time arrived, St. Joachim and his holy spouse carried their new-born child into the temple and offered her with great devotion to God, redeemed her again according to the custom, and returned with her to their home. Three years they kept their daughter with them, after which they brought the tender child, who was, however, gifted with the full use of mind, into the Temple of Jerusalem, and having consecrated her, with the usual ceremonies, to the service of the Almighty, gave her in charge of the priests for education and instruction. In this manner, St. Joachim fulfilled his vow and showed how truly he loved God. For although his love for his daughter, no doubt, surpassed the love of most parents for their children, yet he deprived himself of that which was most dear to him on earth and consecrated it to the Most High. It cannot be doubted that God rewarded his self-sacrificing love with great graces and favors. After having made this sacrifice to the Almighty, Joachim and Anna lived for many years in great sanctity. It is believed that St. Joachim expired in the eightieth year of his age.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY

SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

CHAPTER ONE-THE SACRAMENTS OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION

Article 1 THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM

IN BRIEF

1275 Christian initiation is accomplished by three sacraments together: Baptism which is the beginning of new life; Confirmation which is its strengthening; and the Eucharist which nourishes the disciple with Christ's Body and Blood for his transformation in Christ.

1276 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Mt 28:19-20).

1277 Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. In accordance with the Lord's will, it is necessary for salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by Baptism.

1278 The essential rite of Baptism consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

1279 The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ.

1280 Baptism imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual sign, the character, which consecrates the baptized person for Christian worship. Because of the character Baptism cannot be repeated (cf. DS 1609 and DS 1624).

1281 Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptized (cf. LG 16).

1282 Since the earliest times, Baptism has been administered to children, for it is a grace and a gift of God that does not presuppose any human merit; children are baptized in the faith of the Church. Entry into Christian life gives access to true freedom.

1283 With respect to children who have died without Baptism, the liturgy of the Church invites us to trust in God's mercy and to pray for their salvation.

1284 In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pours water on the candidate's head while saying: "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Growth of Catholic Families and Households

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·       Pray Day 2 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops

·       Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: July

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Let Freedom Ring Day 20

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary




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