Saint of the Day ~ December 18

OUR LADY of the EXPECTATION

Today, the Church commemorates the feast of Our Lady of the Expectation. Since the seventh century, this particular day, one week from the Feast of the Nativity, has had a particularly heightened link to the anticipation of the Most Holy Birth of the Christ Child, the Eternal Word made flesh, in that it was set aside to honor the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Expectation.

It has been some time since the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25th), which celebrates Mary’s “Fiat” and the coming of the Word of God in the flesh, but we have not yet reached Christmas, which rejoices in the wonders of God’s Love for us through the Birth of Jesus Christ.

This feast of Our Lady of the Expectation takes the opportunity to contemplate the great longing and anticipation of Advent, in which “all creation is groaning in labor pains” (Romans 8:22), through the eyes of her who, above all creatures, longed to see the face of Christ, and whose expectation of the Holy Birth was truly profound in every fiber of her body.

While the festivities of Christmas last only a short time, the love that Mary had for her Son, which overflowed in such expectation, did not end at His Birth but continued to grow and deepen in new ways.

In these last days of Advent, may we unite ourselves to Our Heavenly Mother and ask her to teach us the patience and gentleness needed to bear Christ in our hearts, trusting that the Word will bear fruit in our own lives.

We commemorate this special feastday of Our Blessed Mother on December 18.

(From dominicanajournal.org and catholicism.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for the Blessed Virgin Mary)

“Lord God, give to Your people the joy of continual health in mind and body. With the prayers of the Virgin Mary to help us, guide us through the sorrows of this life to eternal happiness in the life to come.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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