Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview
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Advent: December 1st

Monday of the First Week of Advent; Bl. Charles de Foucauld (in some places)

Other Commemorations: St. Eligius (RM)

MASS READINGS

December 01, 2014 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Keep us alert, we pray, O Lord our God, as we await the advent of Christ your Son, so that, when he comes and knocks, he may find us watchful in prayer and exultant in his praise. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

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And God seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times, It repented him that he had made man on the earth. And being touched inwardly with sorrow of heart, He said: I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, from man even to beasts, from the creeping thing even to the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Today is the feast of Blessed Charles Eugène de Foucauld, a French Catholic religious and priest, who lived among the Tuareg in the Sahara in Algeria. He was assassinated in 1916 outside the door of the fort he built for the protection of the Tuareg, and is a martyr. His inspiration and writings led to the founding of the Little Brothers of Jesus among other religious congregations. He was beatified on 13 November 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Historically today is the feast of St. Edmund Campion, Jesuit martyr, one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, also called "the Pope's Champion".

Jesse Tree ~ Adam and Eve



St. Charles de Foucauld (Brother Charles of Jesus)
Saint Charles de Foucauld was born in Strasbourg, France on September 15th, 1858. Orphaned at the age of six, he and his sister Marie were raised by their grandfather in whose footsteps he followed by taking up a military career.

He lost his faith as an adolescent. His taste for easy living was well known to all and yet he showed that he could be strong willed and constant in difficult situations. He undertook a risky exploration of Morocco (1883-1884). Seeing the way Muslims expressed their faith questioned him and he began repeating, “My God, if you exist, let me come to know you.”

On his return to France, the warm, respectful welcome he received from his deeply Christian family made him continue his search. Under the guidance of Fr. Huvelin he rediscovered God in October 1886. He was then 28 years old. “As soon as I believed in God, I understood that I could not do otherwise than to live for him alone.”

A pilgrimage to the Holy Land revealed his vocation to him: to follow Jesus in his life at Nazareth. He spent 7 years as a Trappist, first in France and then at Akbès in Syria. Later he began to lead a life of prayer and adoration, alone, near a convent of Poor Clares in Nazareth.

Ordained a priest at 43 (1901) he left for the Sahara, living at first in Beni Abbès and later at Tamanrasset among the Tuaregs of the Hoggar. He wanted to be among those who were, “the furthest removed, the most abandoned.” He wanted all who drew close to him to find in him a brother, “a universal brother.” In a great respect for the culture and faith of those among whom he lived, his desire was to “shout the Gospel with his life”. “I would like to be sufficiently good that people would say, “If such is the servant, what must the Master be like?”

On the evening of December 1, 1916, he was killed by a band of marauders who had encircled his house.

He had always dreamed of sharing his vocation with others: after having written several rules for religious life, he came to the conclusion that this “life of Nazareth” could be led by all. Today the “spiritual family of Charles de Foucauld” encompasses several associations of the faithful, religious communities and secular institutes for both lay people and priests.

—Excerpted from the Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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St. Eligius
Eligius, a goldsmith at Paris, was commissioned by King Clotaire to make a throne. With the gold and precious stones given him he made two. Struck by his rare honesty, the king gave him an appointment at court, and demanded an oath of fidelity sworn upon holy relics; but Eligius prayed with tears to be excused, for fear of failing in reverence to the relics of the Saints.

On entering the court he fortified himself against its seductions by many austerities and continual ejaculatory prayers. He had a marvellous zeal for the redemption of captives, and for their deliverance would sell his jewels, his food, his clothes, and his very shoes, once by his prayers breaking their chains and opening their prisons. His great delight was in making rich shrines for relics.

His striking virtue caused him, a layman and a goldsmith, to be made Bishop of Noyon, and his sanctity in this holy office was remarkable.

He possessed the gifts of miracles and prophecy, and died in 665.

—Excerpted from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

Patron: Horses, jockeys, veterinarians, craftspeople (of all trades), electricians, computer scientists, mechanics, miners, security guards, gas station workers, taxi cab drivers, farmers, servants, and coin collectors

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