This Saturday is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a feast day in the United States of America and a Holy day of obligation for Catholics to attend Mass.
Since this Holy day of obligation falls on a Saturday, it essentially means that Catholics must attend Mass twice in one weekend to satisfy both the Holy day and Sunday obligation.
This infographic provided by Old Fashioned Girl explains the various scenarios in which one would satisfy both obligations.
Unfortunately, there are those who gripe about attending mass twice in one weekend.
While I usually try to refrain from blog posts such as this, a reading from my 'Give us this Day' daily devotional sparked this entry.
I understand there are many people who do not gripe about attending Mass twice in one weekend and that there are many who attend mass daily.
(Also, there are those of us who want to attend mass each day but are unable to due to personal reasons.)
So who am I speaking of that griped about going twice in one weekend?
Before you start the canonical process to have me excommunicated, allow me to explain.
This pregnancy has caused some new, surprising and exciting (note: sarcasm) side effects. While the daily nausea has subsided, it was quickly replaced by carpal tunnel syndrome.
While the pain comes and goes, when it comes it is excruciating, debilitating and can't be alleviated. Leaving me to rely almost 100% on my husband and mother to accomplish the simplest of tasks.
When the pain subsides, it leaves a constant ache that, like the pain, can't be alleviated. Since I am pregnant, I am unable to take medications that will help reduce the pain and can only rely on ice and wrist splints that I have been wearing almost 24/7. More to come in a later journal when my hands hurt less to type.
So, when I recalled that this Saturday was a holy day of obligation, I griped.
Then, as usual, I was gently reminded to suck it up and deal. The gentle reminder came after I read about Saint Crispina, a Saint that I had heard about before but clearly needed a refresher on her history.
St. Crispina was a wife and mother of several children in Africa. She was arrested for being a Christian and in December, 304, she was put on trial before the proconsul of Theveste. During her trial she was ordered to deny Christ and worship false gods. St. Crispina refused.
“The proconsul told her she could either live a long life, or die in agony before being beheaded. Saint Crispina told him, “I would thank my God if I obtained this. I would gladly lose my head for the Lord’s sake, for I refuse to offer sacrifice to those ridiculous deaf and dumb statues.”
She was then “ordered to be executed by the sword.”
“Saint Crispina said, “Thanks be to God, Who has deigned to free me from your hands.” She made the Sign of the Cross and stretched forth her neck to the executioner.”
To read the full record of Saint Crispina (which I pray you will), please visit: https://oca.org
Saint Crispina is not the first, nor is she the last person killed for professing the Catholic faith. There are many, many people who have been persecuted and killed in the name of Jesus Christ.
Reminding myself of this makes the most severe carpal tunnel pain that I have endured seem like a scratch.
Here are just four examples of those killed or persecuted in present-day:
We are blessed in this country, beyond measure, to be able to attend mass whenever we please. We can attend mass each day at various times of the day.
So while I was ashamed at first about griping for having to attend mass twice in one weekend, I hope my humbling experience inspires you. I pray that Saint Crispina and the endless others who have died or been persecuted in the name of Jesus Christ inspire you to not only live out the Gospel but share the Good News with as many people as you can.
As, St. Pio of Pietrelcina said: "If we only knew how God regards this Sacrifice, we would risk our lives to be present at a single mass."
So, share that with someone you know. Invite them to attend mass with you.
As always, thank you for reading. Please visit and like me on Facebook! God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always!
The Feast Day of Saint Nicholas falls annually on December 6th! While much of what is known of St. Nicholas is derived of legends passed down over the years, Saint Nicholas of Myra, like many other saints, has a rich and extraordinary history. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, children, students, among others. Here is how our family celebrates Saint Nicholas Day!
Leaving Out Shoes
Last year was the first year that my son and I celebrated St. Nicholas Day. This year, like last year, my son will awake in the morning to a special treat. Before he goes to bed at night, we set out his shoes by the fireplace. In the morning, my husband and I place some treats (trail mix, a few chocolate coins, etc…), a candy cane in his shoes and an apple and an orange beside them. He was so excited last year, and I can’t wait for him to enjoy the surprise again this year! While we do tell him that mommy and daddy fill his shoes with the treats, he knows that it is because it is St. Nicholas day!
We try to attend daily Mass as much as possible, with as much as possible being the operative phrase here. If we get to daily Mass a few times each year, I consider it a win. We try extra hard to get to daily Mass on feast days. Last year we made it to Mass on St. Nicholas day and intend to try to go this year as well.
Saint Nicholas Children Book
I checked out the book, “Saint Nicholas” by Ann Tompert from the library and plan to read it during snack time. It is one of our favorite books and another that I think we may have to add to our library at home.
Candy Cane Blessings
The candy cane represents Saint Nicholas’s crozier, otherwise known as a staff or a Bishop’s staff. We said a ‘St. Nicholas Day Blessing of Candy Canes’ and our little love will get to put it on our almost bare Christmas tree.
Saint Nicholas Cookies
My son and I love to bake together, and I especially love to bake when the recipes are easy to follow and there is minimal cleanup. I used this recipe for ‘Super Soft Sugar Cookies’ by Six Sisters’ Stuff and not only is it easy to follow but the cookies are scrumptious. If all goes as planned, I will use a “Santa” cookie cutter to cut out individual cookies.
Fun and Fast Facts About St. Nick:
Saint Nicholas was born during the third century in a small village called Patara which is now a city in southern Turkey.
Nicholas was the only son of two wealthy, Christian parents but they passed away when he was young.
Nicholas learned much of his pious, generous ways from his devout parents and after they passed away, he gave away his inherited fortune in gifts to orphan children and others in need.
His uncle, a Bishop, raised him after his parents passed and continued to guide Nicholas on a Christian path.
By the time he was 19, Nicholas was ordained a priest and then eventually became Bishop of Myra.
Due to his young age when he became Bishop, Saint Nicholas was called the “Boy Bishop.”
There are many legends attributed to this great Saint. To read more, please visit the Saint Nicholas Center’s website, here.
How are you celebrating Saint Nicholas’s Feast Day? Please share with us on Facebook!
As always, thank you for reading. God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always!
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