Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata

Stigmatine Fathers & Brothers

United States of America

 

 

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Dear Friends of the Stigmatines,

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

 

 

As we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Incarnation of our Lord and Savior, we are reminded of Jesus' great love for us. He comes to bring us salvation and we are filled with gratitude for His tremendous gift of love. Each morning, the Stigmatine Fathers and indeed all priests pray the beautiful Gospel Canticle  (Luke 1. 68-79) known as the Benedictus. The last strophe of this Canticle states: "In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace." Christmas is the fulfillment of this Canticle - our Lord and Savior comes to us and, in the Sacred Liturgy of the Mass and the Divine Office, we offer Him our praise and thanksgiving. We celebrate that "what God creates, He also redeems" and Jesus brings us this gift of redemption. We adore and praise Him!

Our Holy Founder, Saint Gaspar Bertoni, also suggests another reason for Christ's Incarnation: "Our Lord descended from Heaven to show us how we should live while we are here on earth" (from A Perpetual Calendar with thoughts of St. Gaspar Bertoni, December 21st entry). What a fine thought this is. In His great humility, our Savior takes on our human flesh (John 1.14) and demonstrates what living for the glory of God really means. The Gospel narratives display Jesus' life - a life for others. May our New Year's resolution be to follow in the footsteps of Jesus - and give ourselves over for the good of others.

We also remember in this Holy Season the beautiful Solemnity of the Epiphany. This Feast calls us to a "renewed" worship of our Savior. We bring our gifts to the service of the Lord and His people. Though not "gold, frankincense or myrrh" (Prayer over the Gifts, Mass of the Epiphany) - nonetheless our own offerings of love and devotion that give praise to God for His wondrous act of love. We join the three Kings and proclaim: "We have seen his star in the East, and have come with gifts to adore the Lord" (Communion Antiphon, Mass of the Epiphany).

Truly the Christmas and Epiphany Feasts fill us with  joy - that joy that only Christ can offer us. As we celebrate these grand Holydays, please be sure that the Stigmatine Fathers remember you at the Altar and pray for you, your loved ones and all your intentions. As always, we ask you to pray to the "Lord of the Harvest" that he call more men to serve as Stigmatine Priests and Religious.

May the peace of this Holy Season be yours!

Sincerely in Christ,

The Stigmatine Fathers of Holy Spouses' Province

 

 

Last Updated: February 09, 2016