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Medieval

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Annunciation & Mary’s Fiat – Bernard of Clairvaux

Bernard here dramatically celebrates Mary's Fiat, or statement of consent in response to the announcement by the archangel Gabriel, behold the handmaiden of the Lord; "let it me done to me according to your word."  Appropriate for Advent or for the Solemnity of the Annunciation...

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St. George, Martyr – Peter Damian

Peter Damian on St. George.  The veneration of Saint George, the courageous soldier of Christ and martyr,  began as early as the fourth century at Lydda in Palestine, where a church was built in his honor.  From antiquity this veneration has spread throughout both the...

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Cross Exemplifies Every Virtue – Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest theologians in the history of the church, here focuses on the passion of Jesus Christ not only to redeem us but also to teach us.  Indeed, the cross exemplifies every virtue and teaches us all we have to know...

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Mary’s Magnificat – Bede

Bede the Venerable, one of the greatest Christian writers of the early Middle Ages, here reflects on the Magnificat, the Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary proclaimed during her visitation of her cousin Elizabeth and sung every night in the Church's evening prayer, part of...

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The Visitation & Mary’s Magnificat – Bede

Writing in the early 8th century, Bede explains why the Magnificat, Mary's prayer on the occasion of her Visitation of Elizabeth, is used daily in the liturgy of the hours (a.k.a the divine office) for evening prayer....

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Three Comings of the Lord – Bernard of Clairvaux

St. Bernard of Clairvaux says there are three comings: Advent prepares not just for the first coming of Christ to Israel, or even the second at the end of time. There is a third coming between these two in which Jesus comes in spirit...

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Council of Orange on Grace

The second Council of Orange was a small synod of only 14 bishops, presided over by St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles, held in what is now south-eastern France.  It confronted issues of faith, grace, free-will and predestination in order to solve lingering debates over Pelagianism...

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Meditate on the Mysteries – Bernard of Clairvaux

St. Bernard of Clairvaux here helps us meditate on the mysteries that are the heartbeat of the rosary.  The celebration of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7  invites all to meditate upon the mysteries of Christ, following the example of...

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Humility and Charity – Francis of Assisi

Francis of Assisi is one of the most well-known and widely loved Catholic saints of all time. He thought it often necessary to use words to preach the gospel, and what follows is the heart of his simple message based on humility and charity....

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Call of Matthew the Tax Collector – Bede

St. Bede the Venerable on the call of Matthew, Tax Collector turned disciple, apostle & evangelist. Matthew, originally called Levi, was, as a publican, excommunicated from the life of the synagogue and shunned in Jewish society....