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Advent and Christmas Wisdom From St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul (1581 - 1660), born in France, was sold into slavery and went on to become an apostle to the poor and suffering, including galley slaves. His life and work became the inspiration for several religious communities and societies of apostolic life down through the centuries, including the well-known St. Vincent de Paul Society—so common in parish life. Vincent did not write a great deal, but gave many spiritual conferences to his confreres. This volume draws upon these to offer readings and prayers arranged for Advent and Christmas (ed. John E. Rybolt, SM). Available in paperback and Kindle editions.

Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting (Mother Mary Francis P.C.C.)

Famous for her 1956 bestseller A Right to be Merry with its humorous description of convent life, Mother Mary Francis served as Abbess of the Poor Clares in Roswell, New Mexico for over 41 years, helped to found four Poor Clares monasteries and lead the restoration of two others. Mother Mary Francis intended to collect the Advent conferences she had given to her sisters into a book, but died before she could complete Come, Lord Jesus. So the sisters themselves selected these conferences from 1967 to 2001, which extend thrrough the whole Advent Season and teach the double art of active preparation and patient waiting for the Lord's coming.

Donkey Bells: Advent and Christmas (Seasonal Customs Vol. 1) (Catherine Doherty)

Catherine de Hueck Doherty (1896-1985) was a well-known Catholic social worker, speaker and activist. Born into the minor Russian nobility, she was brought up in the Russian Orthodox Church and became Catholic after coming to America (having narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Russian Revolution). As the founder of Madonna House Apostolate, she pioneered the implementation of the Church's teachings on social justice. She is also known for having revived many historical Christian traditions. In this volume, she relates many stories, meditations, traditions and customs (including recipes) for the seasons of Advent and Christmas, some reflecting her upbringing in pre-Revolution Russia.

In Conversation with God: Meditations for Each Day of the Year (7 Volume Set) (Fr. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal)

This seven-volume set of meditations for the entire liturgical year has sold over two million copies in various languages. Fr. Fernandez, a Spanish Opus Dei priest, draws from Scripture, the Catechism and the saints to illuminate the liturgical season and the daily Mass readings, following all three cycles of the liturgical year. Each volume is small and portable, making it easy to bring to Adoration.

Lucia: Saint of Light (Katherine Bolger Hyde)

Long revered in both East and West, St. Lucia is an early virgin martyr whose life and legacy shine as a light of faith, hope, and compassion in the darkness of winter and sin. Lucia, Saint of Light introduces young readers to both her life and her delightful Christmas-related festival as it is traditionally celebrated in Sweden and around the world on December 13. Daria Fisher's warm and vivid illustrations will make this book a favorite with children and parents alike. Brighten your home this winter with the festival of Lucia, Saint of Light!

Our Lady of Guadalupe (Carmen Bernier-Grand, Tonya Engel)

(Feast Dec. 12) This is a great retelling of the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe for children. Tonya Engel's atmospheric oil-and-encaustic illustrations make the 16th-century Mexican landscapes vividly present to the imagination. Includes an informative author's note giving more historical details about the Guadalupe story.

Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love (Carl Anderson, Eduardo Chavez)

(Feast Dec. 12) This book, published in 2009, is a good introduction to the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, and Eduardo Chavez, who was the postulator for the canonization of St. Juan Diego. The authors set the appearance of the Patroness of the Americas in the context of the barbaric Aztec civilization which had preceded Christianity in Mexico, explain its historical impact and ongoing relevance, and answer the objections of skeptics. The book also includes a theological treatment of Mary as Mediatrix, with reference to the Guadalupe apparitions.

The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale (Aaron Shepard, Wendy Edelson)

Van Amsterdam the baker was well known for his honesty as well as for his fine Saint Nicholas cookies. He always gave his customers exactly what they paid for—not more and not less. So, he was not about to give in when a mysterious old woman came to him on Saint Nicholas Day and insisted that a dozen is thirteen! Professional storyteller Aaron Shepard presents this traditional tale from Dutch colonial New York with wonderful old-world-style illustrations by Wendy Edelson. Bonus recipe for St. Nicholas Christmas Cookies included.

The Legend of Saint Nicholas (Anselm Grun, Giuliano Ferri)

Many stories are told about Saint Nicholas—stories about his generosity and his miracles, stories about the concern he showed for those in poverty. This warm, inviting book tells many of these stories, both familiar and lesser-known. It recounts how he ended a famine by multiplying grain from a merchant ship and how he walked on water to rescue sailors from a terrible storm. And, of course, it tells the story of how Nicholas gave his inheritance to prevent a desperate man from selling his daughters into slavery. This book does not explain the connection between Nicholas and Santa Cllaus, instead focusing on the stories about the original holy man.

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