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December 6: Memorial of St. Nicholas
"His popularity was greatest of all in Russia, where he and St. Andrew were joint national patrons. There was not a church that did not have some sort of shrine in honor of St. Nicholas and the Russian Orthodox Church observes even the feast of the translation of his relics." [EWTN]

December 7: Memorial of St. Ambrose
"Ambrose composed Latin hymns in the rhythm of 'Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,' and taught them to the people, who sang them in the church as the soldiers surrounded it. The Goths were unwilling to attack a hymn-singing congregation..." 

December 8: Memorial of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
"On this and the following eight days the Church celebrates, with particular solemnity, the immaculate conception of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary, who, from all eternity, was chosen to be the daughter of the heavenly Father, the spouse of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of the divine Redeemer, and, by consequence, the queen of angels and of men." [Catholic-Forum]

December 9: Memorial of St. Juan Diego
"After the miracle of Guadalupe, Juan Diego moved to a room attached to the chapel that housed the sacred image, after having given his business and property to his uncle; and he spent the rest of his life propagating the account of the apparitions to his countrymen." [Our Lady of Guadalupe]

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The 'fullness of grace,' which is Mary's starting point, for all others is the goal

The Gospel for Sunday, December 10, 2006
Second Sunday of Advent
Luke: 3:1-6

...In the Mother of Jesus, the first-fruits of redeemed humanity, God works great things, filling her with grace and preserving her from any stain of sin.

At Nazareth Mary was called "full of grace" by the Angel. These words express her unique destiny, but also, in a more general sense, that of every person.

The "fullness of grace", which is Mary's starting-point, for all others is the goal: for, as the Apostle Paul says, God created us to "be holy and blameless before him" (Eph 1: 4). This is why he "blessed us" before our earthly existence and sent his Son into the world to redeem us from sin. Mary is the masterpiece of this saving work, the one who was created "All fair", "All holy".

The Immaculate Virgin reminds every human being, whatever his situation, that God loves him personally, that he desires only his good and follows him constantly with a plan of grace and mercy, which culminated in Christ's redemptive sacrifice.

What happened to Mary turns our attention to Jesus Christ, the only Mediator of salvation, and helps us to see life as a loving plan with which we must cooperate responsibly. Mary is not only a model of the call, but also of the response. Indeed, she said "yes" to God at the beginning and at every successive moment of her life, fully complying with his will, even when she found it obscure and hard to accept.

...The image of Mary Immaculate, who is traditionally depicted in the act of crushing the head of the serpent, Satan, appears more eloquent than ever in this season of Advent...

...Let us turn our gaze to Mary, the sign of sure hope! May the Immaculate Virgin help each of us to be converted to Jesus, to experience the healing
power of his love...
December 4, 2006

Excerpted from Pope John Paul II�s Angelus address on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1999.

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12.07.03   Godspy says:
The 'fullness of grace,' which is Mary's starting point, for all others is the goal

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