"He who carries God in his heart bears heaven with him wherever he goes." St. Ignatius of Loyola
“At this point in the season, we always stand teetering between a fuller engagement of the real point and purpose of Advent or getting swept away in the often overwhelming material preparations. Gaudete Sunday invites us to pause in the midst of the activity and breathe deeply. The material celebrations of Christmas come and go each year. But if we let the rich invitation of Advent seep to the core of our hearts, we actually find ourselves freed to prepare more intentionally and celebrate more fully with family and friends.”
—Fr. John Burns
"Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:19
Pope St. Damasus I
Saint of the Day
Pope St. Damasus I (306-384 A.D.) was born into a Christian family in Rome. He became a deacon and served at the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Rome where his father served as priest. After the death of Pope Liberius, Damasus was elected Pope in the year 366 A.D. Violence broke out as a rival pope was also elected, and the two factions fought to enforce their candidate. Damasus was confirmed as the rightful pope by the Roman Emperor, and the anti-pope was banished from the city. Pope Damasus chose the scripture scholar St. Jerome as his personal secretary, to whom he commissioned the translation of the Bible into Latin (the Latin Vulgate). It was during Damasus’ reign that Christianity was declared the religion of the Roman state. Pope Damasus also called the Council of Rome in 382 A.D. to clarify the canon of Sacred Scripture. He opposed heresy, worked to preserve the catacombs, and advocated for devotion to the Christians martyred under the Roman persecutions. His feast day is December 11.
The Third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. Advent is a penitential season of abstinence, sacrifice, and prayer in order to prepare our souls for the advent or coming of the Lord. On Gaudete Sunday we celebrate that our hopeful anticipation for the coming of Christ at Christmas is almost over. Rose is the liturgical color used to signify joy, therefore we light the rose Advent candle on the third Sunday of Advent and the priests wear rose vestments. Gaudete Sunday corresponds to Laetare Sunday during the season of Lent. The third candle on the Advent wreath – a pink or rose one – is often called theShepherd’s Candle and symbolizes Joy. It helps us remember to be joyful at the coming birth of Jesus.See More About Today's Feast
Month of the Immaculate Conception
Devotion of the Month
The month of December is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Chosen before time to be the Mother of God Incarnate, Jesus Christ, God created Mary perfect and full of grace, preserving her from the stain of Original Sin. Mary Immaculate is the most beautiful fruit of the work of redemption accomplished by her Son, thereby making her the perfect model of holiness for all Christians.Find a Devotional or Sacramental
Prayer for the Dead
In your hands, O Lord, we humbly entrust our brothers and sisters.
In this life you embraced them with your tender love;
deliver them now from every evil and bid them eternal rest.
The old order has passed away: welcome them into paradise,
where there will be no sorrow, no weeping or pain,
but fullness of peace and joy with your Son and the Holy
Spirit forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Prayer for the Holy Father
Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant, Pope Francis, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation; that, of Thy gift, he may ever desire that which is pleasing unto Thee and may accomplish it with all his might. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary.