The Feast of the Epiphany, the Twelfth Day of Christmas.

On the Mystic Meaning of the Gifts Offered by the Three Kings.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

On the Mystic Meaning of the Gifts Offered by the Three Kings.

Possibly, my soul, in spite of the joyful nature of the festival we celebrate to-day, it will be with a certain sadness of heart that you will kneel before the crib. In your meditation you see how the wise men present magnificent gifts to the divine Child with the intention of pleasing Him, and you yourself perhaps stand there poor and destitute, having nothing, absolutely nothing to offer. Of all that you have nothing is really your own, for all was given to you by God, with the exception of your sins, and you cannot well present them to Him. Are you then utterly destitute? Oh no, my soul; God, the call of whose grace you obeyed, has placed you in a position to offer for the divine Child’s acceptance the very same gifts whereby the three kings afforded Him pleasure; only come forward into the Redeemer’s presence and with the three wise men show your treasures; present to Him:

1st. The gold of voluntary poverty, of which you took the vow, or which it is your endeavor to practise as far as is consistent with your station and circumstances. Poverty is like gold; it is as precious, nay, far more precious than gold. Not only does it render you much freer and happier, richer and more contented here below than all the wealth of this world can make you, but it secures for you the succession to an inheritance hereafter, an inheritance of such wealth and splendor that all the treasures of earth are but dust and ashes in comparison with it. Seeing then that your poverty is really mystic gold, remember that this precious metal shines all the more brightly the more it is refined in the crucible. If you desire the offering you present to-day to be truly pure and really valuable, I exhort you to practise the poverty to which you pledged yourself; see that you stand the test of fire. It is not enough merely to make the vow; you must be poor not merely in virtue of having taken the vow of poverty, but because your daily life is a life of poverty.

Your cell, your habit, your furniture, your recreations all ought to proclaim to you that you are poor; and what is more, you must be poor in your own person or at any rate willing to be poor; poor in honors and distinctions, poor in friends and patrons, and if God so will, poor in supernatural consolations and extraordinary graces. Then you will be able like the three kings to offer gold to Jesus, who is Himself poor; pure, refined, shining gold.

2d. Present to Him also the incense of obedience. How insignificant the little grains of incense look! Any one who did not know what they were would not take the trouble to pick them up, if he found them. But under the action of fire, when placed on the glowing embers, what an agreeable, what a delicious fragrance they send up to heaven! Behold in this an emblem of obedience. The man who is perfect in obedience is quiet and modest in his ordinary demeanor; he never puts himself forward; he is ready, like Antony, to wash dishes in the kitchen if obedience imposes this duty upon him. But as soon as the test of fire is applied to his obedience, he then no longer remains hidden; whilst others who till then were considered bright examples, succumb to temptation and fall from our sight, his obedience, like the cloud of sweet perfume emitted by incense, ascends to Heaven, and with it all the other virtues germane to obedience, such as humility, renunciation, trust in God. It ascends to the throne of God on high where the Archangel Michael, exemplary in his obedience, standing on the right hand of the altar of incense, swings the censer instead of Lucifer, who was thrust out of that office on account of his disobedience. But mark one thing: The incense that emits no odor at all is worthless – that is, the man who is utterly disobedient; but the incense that does not smell sweet, which is, on the contrary, unpleasant to the senses, cannot be considered much better. That represents obedience when it is formal or the result of habit; a matter of eye-service, or arising from slavish fear or other purely human motives. Oh, do not offer such incense as that; offer the fragrant incense of willing obedience, obedience that is actuated by the love of God.

3d. Offer also the myrrh of chastity. Myrrh possesses the special property of preserving the body from decomposition and decay, and hence it is an apt symbol of chastity. For that is the virtue which not only preserves the body in its pristine purity and virginity, which not only invests it with a peculiar charm and subtle power, so that the sight of a chaste youth, a modest maiden is most pleasing and even impresses wicked men with involuntary reverence and respect, but it is the virtue which pre-eminently preserves the soul in the original beauty wherein God created it, and keeps it from spiritual decay. “O how beautiful is the chaste generation with glory,” we read in Holy Scripture; and on the other hand, how hideous, how foul a sight is impurity! But observe this well: myrrh is extremely bitter, and chastity likewise is bitter; it costs human nature many a conflict, many a struggle, a great amount of self-denial to practise it. As myrrh comes from the stony deserts of Arabia, so the flower of chastity only flourishes on the stony soil of mortification, of fasting, of an austere rather than an easy life. David was chaste when in his shepherd-days he slept under the blue vault of heaven; how sad was his fall when his crowned head was pillowed on soft velvet cushions! Wherefore bring an offering to-day in this respect also to the Infant Jesus; offer Him the bitter myrrh of chastity and you will then have presented to Him the very same gifts which the three kings presented for His acceptance.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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holy name_________________________________________________

Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, brightness of eternal light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, sun of justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Angel of great counsel, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of us, have mercy on us.
Jesus, God of peace, have mercy on us.
Jesus, author of life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, example of virtues, have mercy on us.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our refuge, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the poor, have mercy on us.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us.
Jesus, true light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us.
Jesus, infinite goodness, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our way and our life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, light of Confessors, have mercy on us.
Jesus, purity of Virgins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, crown of all Saints, have mercy on us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the neglect of Thine inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus.
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy most divine life, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy labors, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Cross and dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy death and burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let Us Pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who has said, Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you, mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.

Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name, for Thou never failest to help and to govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast love: who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.

- Raccolta 113 An indulgence of 7 years. A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions, for the daily and devout recitation of this litany (S. C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S. P. Ap., Jan. 2, 1933).
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Prayer in honor of the Most Holy Name

O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. You are the the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.

O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that your Name may be blessed for all times. – Thomas A. Kempis

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Prayer of Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God entitled:

“The Golden Arrow”

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Amen.

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Prayer in honor of the Holy Name

O my Jesus, Thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities. If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I am in affliction, Thy name will Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me. If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me. Hitherto I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love. Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.

Most holy Virgin, obtain for me the grace of invoking the name of Thy Son Jesus in all my necessities, together with thine own, my Mother Mary; but let me invoke them always with confidence and love, so that I may be able also to say to thee as did the devout Alphonsus Rodriguez: “Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for you; may I die for you; may I be wholly yours, and in nothing my own!” O my beloved Jesus! O Mary, my beloved Lady! give me the grace to suffer and to die for your love. I will be no longer my own, but altogether yours; yours in life, and yours in death, when I hope by your help to expire saying, Jesus and Mary, help me! Jesus and Mary, I recommend myself to you; Jesus and Mary, I love you, and I give and deliver up to you my whole soul.

The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. p. 163 (Imprimatur 1927)

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Twelfth Night Prayer for the Twelfth Day of Christmas.

O Jesus! Son of the Virgin Mary, infuse into my soul grace, wisdom, charity, chastity, and humility, that I may love Thee perfectly, praise Thee, serve Thee, and eternally rejoice and glory in Thee, with all who devoutly honor and fervently invoke Thy holy name, O Jesus.

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Copyright © 2013-2015. Holy Cross Publications. All rights reserved.

January 5th, the Eleventh Day of Christmas.

On the Pilgrimage of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

On the Pilgrimage of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem.

The three kings have left Jerusalem and now, animated with fervent desire and holy longing, they take the road leading from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, proceeding onward towards the goal of their long journey. Imagine that you see these three travellers on the road, and imagine also what their thoughts and feelings were at that time. Then consider:

1st. That the three kings departed from Jerusalem immediately. They did not allow themselves to be detained an hour longer than was necessary at Herod’s brilliant court; they devoted none of their time to inspecting the splendors of the royal city and its yet more glorious marble temple, but as soon as they had received the information they required they forthwith set out on the way to Bethlehem. They knew only too well how difficult a thing it is to find God in the mansions of the great, amid the turmoil of crowded streets. Nay, more, how often it happens that when we have found God and His grace, we lose Him again in intercourse with the world, in the society of the votaries of the world. Observe this, my soul: “In silence and quiet the devout soul goes forward, and becomes the more familiar with her Creator, the further she lives from all worldly tumult” (Imit. Book i. ch. 20); the further the wise men left Jerusalem behind, the nearer they drew to Jesus.

2d. Consider how the star which had withdrawn its light from the three Magi all at once shone out again on them with its full radiance. That which they had lost in the great and opulent city, amid its magnificence and its turmoil, they found again on the lonely road to Bethlehem. Lay that well to heart, and meditate upon it. You too have left Jerusalem, that is, the world, for the purpose of finding Jesus in the quiet Bethlehem of a life of retirement, or perhaps the life of the cloister. Observe that the beauteous star of spiritual consolation, of devotion, the power of realizing God’s presence, will only shine upon you, as the guiding star did on the wise men, in solitude and seclusion. As soon as you return to Jerusalem, when “the desires of sense draw thee to walk abroad, what dost thou bring back when the hour is past, save a weight upon thy conscience and dissipation of heart?” No, my soul, in your cell alone will you find what you will often lose out of it, just as the three kings saw the star again in Bethlehem for which in Jerusalem they sorrowfully looked in vain.

3d. Consider how the star which had been going before them suddenly stopped over the house where the Infant Jesus lay, and the three kings found themselves at the end of their journey. Picture them to yourself at this moment when their goal was reached; try to enter into their thoughts, their emotions, to feel yourself what they felt and thought when they stood on the threshold of the lowly house. See them getting ready the gifts they had brought to give pleasure to the divine Child; see them wiping off the dust of the road, so as to present themselves before Him with due respect, and do you also cleanse your conscience to-day, and endeavor to find some gifts of a spiritual nature, some good works, so that on the morrow you may approach the crib with the three kings, and not only kneel before the Infant Jesus in their company, but with them adore Him with holy reverence; like them open your treasures and offer Him your gifts.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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holy name_________________________________________________

Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, brightness of eternal light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, sun of justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Angel of great counsel, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of us, have mercy on us.
Jesus, God of peace, have mercy on us.
Jesus, author of life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, example of virtues, have mercy on us.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our refuge, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the poor, have mercy on us.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us.
Jesus, true light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us.
Jesus, infinite goodness, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our way and our life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, light of Confessors, have mercy on us.
Jesus, purity of Virgins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, crown of all Saints, have mercy on us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the neglect of Thine inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus.
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy most divine life, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy labors, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Cross and dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy death and burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let Us Pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who has said, Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you, mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.

Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name, for Thou never failest to help and to govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast love: who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.

- Raccolta 113 An indulgence of 7 years. A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions, for the daily and devout recitation of this litany (S. C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S. P. Ap., Jan. 2, 1933).
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Prayer in honor of the Most Holy Name

O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. You are the the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.

O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that your Name may be blessed for all times. – Thomas A. Kempis

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Prayer of Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God entitled:

“The Golden Arrow”

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Amen.

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Prayer in honor of the Holy Name

O my Jesus, Thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities. If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I am in affliction, Thy name will Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me. If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me. Hitherto I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love. Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.

Most holy Virgin, obtain for me the grace of invoking the name of Thy Son Jesus in all my necessities, together with thine own, my Mother Mary; but let me invoke them always with confidence and love, so that I may be able also to say to thee as did the devout Alphonsus Rodriguez: “Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for you; may I die for you; may I be wholly yours, and in nothing my own!” O my beloved Jesus! O Mary, my beloved Lady! give me the grace to suffer and to die for your love. I will be no longer my own, but altogether yours; yours in life, and yours in death, when I hope by your help to expire saying, Jesus and Mary, help me! Jesus and Mary, I recommend myself to you; Jesus and Mary, I love you, and I give and deliver up to you my whole soul.

The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. p. 163 (Imprimatur 1927)

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Blessed be the Most Holy Name of Jesus!

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Twelfth Night Prayer for the Eleventh Day of Christmas.

When in the agony and cold sweat of death, when I shall give the last look to heaven for mercy, may the parting sigh of my soul be Jesus, sweet Jesus.
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Copyright © 2013. Holy Cross Publications. All rights reserved.

January 4th, the Tenth Day of Christmas.

On the Journey of the Three Wise Men from the East.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

On the Journey of the Three Wise Men from the East.

In commencing your meditation, my soul, see that you fully grasp this memorable fact, that while in Bethlehem, the actual birthplace of Christ, scarcely any notice was taken of the Saviour born in its midst; that while in Jerusalem, only a few miles distant, in the temple wherein Simeon and Anna were known to be expecting the promised salvation, He was either superciliously ignored, or deemed altogether unworthy of attention, the birth of Christ was made known by means of a star to three men, thousands of miles away in a remote and foreign country. Immediately they set out and came with haste to see the Infant Christ, as did the shepherds, only with this difference, that the strangers from the East had to spend as many days on their journey as the shepherds had to take steps, in order to reach the stable where our Lord was laid. Accompany the three Magi in spirit, on the way thither, and consider:

1st. The joy that they felt when they saw the star going before them to guide and direct them. See here the reward of faith. In undoubting faith without delay they set forth on their journey, and what a journey it was! They had to go to a country a hundred miles distant, to travel across deserts and through dense forests; over steep mountains and rapid streams, and this at an epoch when there were no conveniences for travelling, no level roads, no means of conveyance. A toilsome journey indeed was that! But their faith was stronger than all these obstacles; and as soon as they obeyed the call of faith, the guiding star appeared to them, imparting consolation and courage for their pilgrimage.

If grace urges you, my soul, to undertake a work which is pleasing to God but arduous to perform, begin it in steadfast faith and firm confidence in Him from whom the impulse comes, and you will soon find that through Him that will become easy which was difficult, that will become practicable which appeared impossible of execution.

2d. Consider that the three wise men follow the star whithersoever it conducts them. They do not turn aside either to the right hand or to the left, they do not follow what they may consider their own better judgment, they do not allow themselves to be persuaded by the arguments of others to swerve from the road wherein the star leads them. What a useful lesson you may learn from their conduct, my soul. Your life on earth is a journey to the promised land, and from time to time our Lord permits a bright star to appear to you for your guidance. The sound human reason wherewith He has endowed you is such a star; so is the light of the true faith, the Catholic religion, whereby you are surrounded; so are the inspirations and enlightenments of the Holy Ghost wherein you rejoice; also the admonitions and injunctions of your Confessor, your Superior, the constitutions of your Order, all of which are the voice of God speaking to you. These stars one and all would guide you by the most direct way to Jesus, as surely as the star did the wise men, if you would only follow their guidance as literally as the three kings followed the star; never deviating to the right hand or to the left, in accordance with what you may suppose to be your own superior knowledge or that of others.

3d. Consider how the sudden disappearance of the star did not disconcert the three Magi. It would have been no wonder had they felt dismayed on perceiving that, as they drew near to Jerusalem, their faithful guide was no longer visible in the heavens. It was God’s will to try their faith which had already been sufficiently rewarded, and moreover to give them occasion to apply for an explanation to the Scribes and learned men in Jerusalem, and thus direct their attention to the birth of Christ. How well the wise men stood the test! They did not allow themselves, even by the disappearance of their guide, to be diverted from the accomplishment of the object of their journey; they chose rather to awaken alarm and excite the minds of men in Jerusalem than to desist from their efforts to find the Christ. From this learn, my soul, what you ought to do, if the star of divine consolation is suddenly withdrawn from your sight, if all at once the darkness of night closes in upon your soul, if your prayers, your religious exercises cease to afford you any satisfaction. Oh, then do not omit a single one of your accustomed devotions or good works; remember how the three wise men unwaveringly pursued their search for the Messias, and the star will reappear to you as it reappeared to them. Meanwhile offer this fervent petition to Almighty God:

Do with me, my God, according to Thy divine good pleasure, and cast me not away on account of the sinfulness of my life, which is better, more fully known to no one than to Thee.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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holy name_________________________________________________

Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, brightness of eternal light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, sun of justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Angel of great counsel, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of us, have mercy on us.
Jesus, God of peace, have mercy on us.
Jesus, author of life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, example of virtues, have mercy on us.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our refuge, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the poor, have mercy on us.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us.
Jesus, true light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us.
Jesus, infinite goodness, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our way and our life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, light of Confessors, have mercy on us.
Jesus, purity of Virgins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, crown of all Saints, have mercy on us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the neglect of Thine inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus.
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy most divine life, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy labors, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Cross and dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy death and burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let Us Pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who has said, Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you, mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.

Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name, for Thou never failest to help and to govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast love: who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.

- Raccolta 113 An indulgence of 7 years. A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions, for the daily and devout recitation of this litany (S. C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S. P. Ap., Jan. 2, 1933).
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Prayer in honor of the Most Holy Name

O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. You are the the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.

O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that your Name may be blessed for all times. – Thomas A. Kempis

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Prayer of Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God entitled:

“The Golden Arrow”

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Amen.

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Prayer in honor of the Holy Name

O my Jesus, Thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities. If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I am in affliction, Thy name will Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me. If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me. Hitherto I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love. Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.

Most holy Virgin, obtain for me the grace of invoking the name of Thy Son Jesus in all my necessities, together with thine own, my Mother Mary; but let me invoke them always with confidence and love, so that I may be able also to say to thee as did the devout Alphonsus Rodriguez: “Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for you; may I die for you; may I be wholly yours, and in nothing my own!” O my beloved Jesus! O Mary, my beloved Lady! give me the grace to suffer and to die for your love. I will be no longer my own, but altogether yours; yours in life, and yours in death, when I hope by your help to expire saying, Jesus and Mary, help me! Jesus and Mary, I recommend myself to you; Jesus and Mary, I love you, and I give and deliver up to you my whole soul.

The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. p. 163 (Imprimatur 1927)

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St. Titus, ora pro nobis.

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Twelfth Night Prayer for the Tenth Day of Christmas.

May the adorable name of Jesus be the sweet and daily music of my soul, and the seal of my heart.

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Copyright © 2013-2015. Holy Cross Publications. All rights reserved.

January 3d, the Ninth Day of Christmas.

On the Power of the Name of Jesus.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

On the Power of the Name of Jesus.

There is a pleasing tradition concerning St. Ignatius the martyr, which tells us that when the saintly Bishop was thrown to the wild beasts, the ferocious animals, although they tore him limb from limb, did not venture to touch his heart, because the name of Jesus was inscribed upon it. Now in order to acquaint yourself more fully with the power of the name of Jesus, which tames even the bloodthirsty brutes, you will do well to consider:

1st. That this name, as St. Bernard asserts, is like honey, which by its sweetness removes all bitter flavor from the mouth. For the invocation of the holy name gives solace to the troubles of the soul, and renders sweet and agreeable what is bitter and harsh. Like the wood which Moses once cast into a stream that was bitter to the taste, and which counteracted the bitterness of the water, and made it a palatable drink, so the sacred name of Jesus possesses the power to sweeten the bitter waters of affliction. The name of Jesus, says St. Augustine, is to those who love God a most pleasant sound, sweet beyond all sweetness; and the seraphic St. Francis declares that as often as he heard the name of Jesus, it was as if his mouth were filled with the most delicious honey. Were you, my soul, to invoke this sweet name more frequently and with greater devotion, most certainly your words would not be so bitter, your judgments not so severe, your strictures would not be characterized by such animosity.

2d. Consider how this name charms the ear like a melodious song, the dulcet sounds of which enrapture the heart. You need only think of all that Jesus is to us:

Jesus is our Father;
Jesus is our faithful pastor;
Jesus is our teacher;
Jesus is our spiritual food and drink;
Jesus is our way, our truth and our life;
Jesus is our physician;
Jesus is our consolation;
Jesus is our ransom;
Jesus is our final reward and our everlasting crown.

Say, my soul, does not every one of these words fall like a note of music on the ear, and does not each one contain in itself abundant matter for meditation? Wherefore instead of lending your ear to idle and unprofitable words, listen to this wondrous and melodious sound, the name of Jesus; and thereby render yourself worthy to utter that name with your expiring breath, so that it may be your last song, and amid its harmonious sounds your soul may gladly escape from its mortal prison.

3d. Consider how this name is a wonderful protection and a salutary medicine. Our Lord Himself says: “If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it you.” (St. John xvi. 23.) And in fact, if you are assailed by the temptations of the devil, call upon Jesus for succor, for His name is a terror to the spirits of evil. If you are a poor, unhappy sinner, send up your humble petition to Jesus. He is your Saviour, He came to seek and to save those that were lost. If you are wholly unclean, covered from head to foot with the leprosy of sin, go to Him, for He has prepared for you a fountain filled with blood from His precious wounds, wherein you may cleanse your soul from all its stains; if you have wandered from the right way, call upon Jesus, for He goes in search of the lost sheep; finally when you are in your last agony, invoke the name of Jesus with your last breath, for He will be your light in that dread hour when the shades of darkness close around you; and even in death He will be your life. Behold, my soul, all that the name of Jesus is. Oh, how sweet, how agreeable, how powerful is that holy name! And since that name is contemned, hated, blasphemed by thousands, what will you do both now and in the time to come in reparation, in expiation; what will you do to promote the greater glory of the holy name of Jesus?

 PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

- Meditations on the Life, Teaching, and Passion of Jesus Christ

(Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur: New York, December 31, 1900)

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holy name_________________________________________________

Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, brightness of eternal light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, sun of justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Angel of great counsel, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of us, have mercy on us.
Jesus, God of peace, have mercy on us.
Jesus, author of life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, example of virtues, have mercy on us.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our refuge, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the poor, have mercy on us.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us.
Jesus, true light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us.
Jesus, infinite goodness, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our way and our life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, light of Confessors, have mercy on us.
Jesus, purity of Virgins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, crown of all Saints, have mercy on us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the neglect of Thine inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus.
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy most divine life, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy labors, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Cross and dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy death and burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let Us Pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who has said, Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you, mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.

Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name, for Thou never failest to help and to govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast love: who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.

 - Raccolta 113 An indulgence of 7 years. A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions, for the daily and devout recitation of this litany (S. C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S. P. Ap., Jan. 2, 1933).
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Prayer in honor of the Most Holy Name

O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. You are the the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.

O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that your Name may be blessed for all times. – Thomas A. Kempis

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Prayer of Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God entitled:

“The Golden Arrow”

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Amen.

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Prayer in honor of the Holy Name

O my Jesus, Thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities. If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I am in affliction, Thy name will Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me. If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me. Hitherto I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love. Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.

Most holy Virgin, obtain for me the grace of invoking the name of Thy Son Jesus in all my necessities, together with thine own, my Mother Mary; but let me invoke them always with confidence and love, so that I may be able also to say to thee as did the devout Alphonsus Rodriguez: “Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for you; may I die for you; may I be wholly yours, and in nothing my own!” O my beloved Jesus! O Mary, my beloved Lady! give me the grace to suffer and to die for your love. I will be no longer my own, but altogether yours; yours in life, and yours in death, when I hope by your help to expire saying, Jesus and Mary, help me! Jesus and Mary, I recommend myself to you; Jesus and Mary, I love you, and I give and deliver up to you my whole soul.

The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. p. 163 (Imprimatur 1927)

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St. Genevieve, ora pro nobis.

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Twelfth Night Prayer for the Nineth Day of Christmas.

O blessed Virgin, beseech thy Son to imprint in my heart that esteem and love of this holy name, which He imprinted in thine.

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Copyright © 2013. Holy Cross Publications. All rights reserved.

January 2d, the Eighth Day of Christmas.

On the Name of Jesus.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

On the Name of Jesus.

To-day consider briefly at the commencement of your meditation what you and thousands and millions of your fellow men feel and experience when they utter the name of Jesus. Consider how this name inspires one with holy joy, another with abject terror; how in uttering the name of Jesus one heart is kindled with the flame of ardent affection, while another melts into tears of compunction. And if your heart burns within you when you think of or call upon that sacred name, consider:

1st. The name Jesus is a precious name. This we see without difficulty, from the fact that the blessings for the world attached to this name were dearly purchased and earned, inasmuch as the price paid for them was no other than the precious blood of the eternal Son of God. As Jacob did not receive the honorable surname of Israel until he had wrestled with the angel of God, so the Son of God did not take the name of Jesus until He had shed His blood in the circumcision. That is what makes this name so precious and so dear to us. For just as a man values and delights far more in some appellation given him as a reward for his chivalrous deeds than the name that is his by birth, so although the various names which the Saviour can claim on account of the union of His human and divine nature are honorable and excellent in the eyes of men, yet none is so precious to them as the name of Jesus, which He purchased with His own blood.

You, my soul, have exchanged the name given to you for no merit of your own at the baptismal font, or which you inherited from your parents, for your name in Religion, and that was not given to you altogether without your deserving it, for to leave the world is in itself a meritorious act. On that account this name ought to be precious to you above all else; it ought to become daily more precious to you, because, as Jesus day by day through fresh acts of sacrifice, enhanced the value of the name He purchased by His first sacrifice, so you by daily acts of self-conquest can render the name given you in Religion on the occasion of your first sacrifice ever dearer to yourself and more pleasing in God’s sight.

2d. Consider that the name of Jesus is a saving name. St. Luke speaking of it says: “There is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved.” (Acts iv. 12.) Who can estimate aright the benefits, the saving blessings which are attached to this name! Pass in review, my soul, this day, all the favors conferred on mankind, the miracles that have been wrought, the deeds of charity performed, the conversions effected in the name of Jesus! Think how that name alone is our solace in suffering, our hope in the hour of death, our strength in temptation, our succor in danger, and light in our darkness; then fall down and adore this sacred and saving name, giving thanks to God for all the graces bestowed upon you in and through that holy name of Jesus.

3d. Consider that the name of Jesus is a sacred name. No man or angel, not the highest of the cherubim can bear this name, but God alone. From all eternity it was destined to be the name of the incarnate Son of God, and one of the celestial princes who stand before the throne of God was selected as the messenger who should first proclaim it to man. Hence you may conclude how holy and sacred is the name of Jesus. If the Jews in early times held the name of Jehovah in such reverence that no man dared to utter it except the high priest alone, and the people fell on their faces to the ground when they heard the name of God, in what profound veneration ought not you, my soul, to hold the precious and salutary name of Jesus? What has been your conduct in this respect hitherto? Ask yourself that question, and then in conclusion reflect that you too bear a hallowed name, that is, the name of a saint. You have already contemplated, in the first point of this meditation, the manner whereby you can make the name you bear precious and dear to you; now as the fruit of your meditation resolve further to render your name salutary as well, by so regulating your life and your actions that at the mere sound of your name every one who knows you will experience a feeling of respect or affection or gratitude; that by the good example you give, your name may be an occasion of edification and not of scandal to your fellow men. Strive after this to the utmost of your power, but do all in the name of Jesus.

 

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

- Meditations on the Life, Teaching, and Passion of Jesus Christ

(Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur: New York, December 31, 1900)

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St. Stephen, ora pro nobis.

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An offering of the Precious Blood for Souls

O my God, I beg of Thee in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, through the merits of the Precious Blood offered Thee in every Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, to grant that this day one mortal sin may be averted, one soul in doubt may be converted to the truth, one soul about to die in sin may receive the grace of repentance and a happy death, and the deliverance of that Soul in Purgatory which is nearest Heaven. I wish by this offering to console the Heart of Jesus in agony for the souls lost through the teaching of error against the true Church of Christ Jesus, Our Lord. Amen.

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Twelfth Night Prayer for the Eighth Day of Christmas.

I thank Thee, O good Jesus, for the will which Thou hadst to save us, accepting the office with the name, of Savior; fulfill it, O Lord, effectually in me; and seeing Thou art Jesus, Esto mihi Jesus. Be to me Jesus, be my Savior.

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Copyright © 2013-2014. Holy Cross Publications. All rights reserved.