Christmas: January 9th
Wednesday Christmas Weekday; Venerable Pauline-Marie Jaricot
Other Commemorations: Sts. Julian and Basilissa, martyrs (Hist)
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In 1818 a young French lay woman, Pauline Marie Jaricot, founded the Association for the Propagation of the Faith, officially recognized on 3 May 1822. Pauline is "the foundress of the largest aid agency for the missions in the entire history of the Catholic Church," which later became the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and was conferred the title "Pontifical" by Pius XI in 1922. — Vatican websiteShe also was the foundress of the Association of the Living Rosary. She died on January 9, 1862 and was declared venerable on February 25, 1963. It is also the feast of Sts. Julian and Basilissa, husband and wife martyrs in the 4th century.
Christmas Weekday - Day Sixteen
St. Francis initiated the beautiful practice of displaying a Christmas crib or creche. He built it in a cave on a bleak mountain near the village of Greccio. News of what he was doing spread all over the countryside and a steady stream of men, women and chldren came by night carrying torches and candles to light their way.
"It seemed like midday," wrote someone who was there, "during that midnight filled with gladness for man and beast, and the crowds drawing near, so happy to be present for the renewal of the eternal mystery." Francis himself sang the Gospel story in a voice which was "strong and sweet and clear," says the observer. "Then he preached to the people, most movingly, about the birth of the poor King in little Bethlehem." — Excerpted from Christmas
- Day Sixteen activity (St. Francis and the Creche)
- Day Sixteen recipe (Double Chocolate Mocha Biscotti)
Venerable Pauline-Marie Jaricot
Pauline Marie Jaricot was born to a very pious Catholic family in Lyons, France, July 22, 1799, and grew up dreaming of becoming a great missionary. Through her brother she developed a real concern for the Asian missions, and at age 17, she began to lead a life of unusual abnegation and self-sacrifice, and on Christmas Day, 1816, took a vow of perpetual virginity. At age 18, she composed a treatise on the Infinite Love of the Divine Eucharist.
- Read more about Pauline-Marie Jaricot here and here.
- Read the Letter written by Pope John Paul II for the bicentenary of the birth of Ven. Pauline-Marie Jaricot.
- Learn more about The Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
- Have your children offer extra prayers for the missions or make a small sacrifice for priests and nuns in mission countries.
Sts. Julian and Basilissa
St. Julian and St. Basilissa, though married, lived, by mutual consent, in perpetual chastity; they sanctified themselves by the most perfect exercises of an ascetic life, and employed their revenues in relieving the poor and the sick. For this purpose they converted their house into a kind of hospital, in which they sometimes entertained a thousand poor people. Basilissa attended those of her sex, in separate lodgings from the men; these were taken care of by Julian, who from his charity is named the Hospitalarian. Egypt, where they lived, had then begun to abound with examples of persons who, either in the cities or in the deserts, devoted themselves to the most perfect exercises of charity, penance, and mortification.