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Pilgrim Year of Preparation- December 2015


3 – Feast of St. Francis Xavier, S.J.

One of the patrons of WYD Madrid (2011) and patron of missionaries and foreign missions

7 – Pearl Harbor Day 

Commemorating the lives lost when the United States was drawn into World War II in 1941; on this day, pray for harmony among all nations.

Hanukkah Begins

An overview shows the Western Wall, right, with the gold-covered Dome of the Rock in the background of the Old City of Jerusalem Sept. 24. The Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine, holds significance to Muslims, Jews and Christians. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters

8 – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Patronal Feast Day of the United States of America, celebrating Mary’s conception free from original sin; on this day, Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to begin the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

9 – Feast of St. Juan Diego

Received the vision of Our Lady of Guadalupe; patron of indigenous peoples; beatified (1990) and canonized (2002) by St. John Paul II.

12 – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Patroness of the Americas, celebrating the extraordinary vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary given to St. Juan Diego in 1531 in Mexico. Our Lady of Guadalupe

13 – Gaudete Sunday

Third Sunday of Advent; the rose candle is lit as a sign of joyful expectation of Christ’s coming.

Year of Mercy: Opening of Holy Doors

All dioceses are invited to open their cathedral Holy Doors on this day in local celebrations; Pope Francis will open the Holy Door at the Basilica St. John Lateran in the Diocese of Rome

17– Pope Francis' Birthday

Wish our Holy Father a happy birthday with your prayers, or send him a handwritten letter.

20 – St. John Paul II institutes World Youth Day

On this day in 1985, in an address to the College of Cardinals in Rome, St. John Paul II reflected on the recent gatherings of young people (on Palm Sunday in 1984 and 1985) and declared: “The Lord blessed those meetings in an extraordinary way so that, for years to come, we shall establish a World Youth Day…”

23 – Feast of St. John Cantius

Fifteenth century Polish priest, scholastic, and theologian; patron of Jagiellonian University in Krakow, and one of the patrons of Poland

24 – Christmas Eve

Pray for the coming of Christ into the world.

25 – Christmas Daychristmas-tree-st-peters-square-2011-cns-paul-haring

Merry Christmas! Celebrate Christ’s birth with great joy today. “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:5) 

Anniversary of Pope Francis' Baptism 

Read some of His Holiness' thoughts on his baptism, as well as the priest that baptized him here.

26 – Feast of St. Stephen

 First martyr for the faith (Acts 7) and patron of deacons; in the Greek Orthodox tradition, St. Stephen is the patron saint for young adults.

27 – Feast of the Holy Family

 Celebrating the Holy Family of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus of Nazareth; pray for your family today, and for all families around the world.

holy family window home page iStock

31 – New Year’s Eve

 On this day, pray in thanksgiving for all that God has given to you in 2015, and pray for openness to what the Lord has in store for 2016.

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