The last two weeks of Advent are laden with celebrations both traditional and popular, making it one of the most action-packed few weeks of the Church year. Here are seven traditional practices your family might want to try during the “heart” of Advent, or at least acknowledge in some small way.
Veneration of Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast day is December 12, is not limited to Catholics of Hispanic heritage. Indeed, she is the patroness of all America: North, Central and South, as Pope Pius XII designated in 1945. How did this come about? Find out online.
Saint Francis Xavier was born in Spain, but became the first missionary Jesuit. His first journey was to India, but he expanded his travels and ministry to Malaysia, Japan and even China. He baptized tens of thousands people and built more than forty churches. It’s said he was responsible for more conversions to Christianity than any one single person since St. Paul the Apostle. Learn more about him online.
On November 21, we celebrated the memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, observed by the universal Church since the sixteenth century. This day celebrates a moment, like her birth, we don’t know much about historically. The important thing to remember about this feast is the theme that Mary is the new Temple, in whom God has come to dwell in the person of Jesus Christ. Find a prayer and short video online.
It’s hard to find a more substantial definition of missionary zeal than a 72-year-old French nun serving in an eighteenth-century Potawatomi mission. And that’s exactly what the godly missionary, Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, whose feast is celebrated November 18. She wanted to do, even though her life seemed to be going in a different direction at first. Her story is an illustration of the greatness that can come from trusting in God’s providence. Read her biography online.