Monthly Archives: November 2013
The above Christmas Novena is to be prayed starting November 30th straight through to Christmas Day and prayed 15 times a day. You can divide it up: 5 in the morning, 5 at noon and 5 at night or all at once. It is piously believed thta whoever recites St. Andrew’s Christmas Novena 15 times a day from St. Andrew’s feast day of Nov. 30th until Christmas Day will obtain what is asked. Imprimatur: Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York 2/6/1897.
The novena is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in the honor of the birth of His Son at Christmas. It is attributed to Saint Andrew given the prayers traditionally begin on his feast day. It is also often called the Christmas Anticipation Novena.
The feast day of St. Andrew also marks the end of the liturgical year and the beginning of the new one on the first Sunday of Advent. Prayer is an essential part of Advent. Reciting this special novena prayer each day is a simple yet beautiful way to celebrate the spiritual significance of the Advent season and to experience a deeper conversion to Jesus. The St. Andrew Christmas novena is commonly found in many Advent prayer books which are also loaded with many other beautiful prayers and traditions for this time of year.
St. Andrew, the Apostle:
“The Apostle Andrew was born at Bethsaida, a town of Galilee, and was the brother of Peter. He was a disciple of John the Baptist, and heard him say of Christ, Behold the Lamb of God, whereupon he immediately followed Jesus, bringing his brother also with him. Some while after, they were both fishing in the Sea of Galilee, and the Lord Christ, going by, called them both, before any other of the Apostles, in the words, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. They made no delay, but left their nets, and followed him. After the death and Resurrection of Christ, Andrew was allotted Scythia as the province of his preaching, and, after labouring there, he went through Epirus and Thrace, where he turned vast multitudes to Christ by his teaching and miracles. Finally he went to Patras in Achaia, and there also he brought many to the knowledge of Gospel truth. Aegeas the Proconsul resisted the preaching of the Gospel, and the Apostle freely rebuked him, bidding him know that while he held himself a judge of his fellow men, he was himself hindered by devils from knowing Christ our God, the Judge of all.
Then Aegeas, being angry, answered him, Boast no more of this thy Christ. He spake words even such as thine, but they availed him not, and he was crucified by the Jews. Whereto Andrew boldly answered that Christ had given himself up to die for man’s salvation ; but the Proconsul blasphemously interrupted him, and bade him look to himself, and sacrifice to the gods. Then said Andrew, We have an altar, whereon day by day I offer up to God, the Almighty, the One, and the True, not the flesh of bulls nor the blood of goats, but a Lamb without spot: and when all they that believe have eaten of the Flesh thereof, the Lamb that was slain abideth whole and liveth. Then Aegeas being filled with wrath, bound the Apostle in prison. Now, the people would have delivered him, but he himself calmed the multitude, and earnestly besought them not to take away from him the crown of martyrdom, for which he longed and which was now drawing near.
Some short while after, he was brought before the judgment seat, where he extolled the mystery of the cross, and rebuked Aegeas for his ungodliness. Then Aegeas could bear with him no longer, but commanded him to be crucified, in imitation of Christ. Andrew, then, was led to the place of martyrdom, and, as soon as he came in sight of the cross, he cried out: O precious cross, made so fair and goodly by the sweet body of my Lord, how long have I desired thee! how warmly have I loved thee! how constantly have I sought thee! And, now that thou art come to me, how is my soul drawn to thee! Welcome me from amongst men, and join me anew to my Master, that as by thee he redeemed me, so by thee also he may take me unto himself. So he was fastened to the cross, whereon he hung living for two days, during which time he ceased not to preach the faith of Christ, and, finally, passed into the Presence of him the likeness of whose death he had loved so well. All the above particulars of his last sufferings were written by the Priests and Deacons of Achaia, who bear witness to them of their own knowledge. Under the Emperor Constantine the bones of the Apostle were first taken to Constantinople, whence they were afterwards brought to Amalfi. In the Pontificate of Pope Pius II, his head was carried to Rome, where it is kept in the Basilica of St. Peter.”
— From the 1911 Breviary of St Pius X (1955 ed)
“Blessed Denis and Blessed Redemptus died for their faith on November 29th, 1638. Both of these two men are interesting as they were late vocations, having both had successful careers before becoming Carmelite friars. And both earned the title of the first martyrs of the Carmelite Reform.
Blessed Denis of the Nativity was born Denis Berthelot at Honfleur, France on December 12, 1600. As a young man he sailed abroad to Spain, England and America, becoming a skilled pilot, and a cartographer. Because of his valor and genius, he became first pilot of the kings of France and Portugal. Some of his cartography, the Maritime Tables, is still preserved in the British Museum.
In 1635, he joined the Carmelite community in Goa where he was an example of virtue to all. He was graced with the gift of contemplation.
Blessed Redemptus of the Cross was born Thomas Rodrigues da Cunha in Portugal in 1598. His early career before becoming a Carmelite included military service in India at Goa where he too joined the Carmelites and became a lay brother.
Shortly after the Ordination to the priesthood of Blessed Denis, the Portuguese ambassador to the sultan of Achen wanted Bl. Denis to join him as a spiritual guide, as well as a Maritime expert, and someone versed in the Malayan language. Father Denis, in turn, took as companion, Brother Redemptus.
However, the sultan of Achen imprisoned them. They were tormented and their persecutors tried mightily to convince them to renounce their Catholic faith and become Muslims. This they steadfastly refused to do and they suffered a cruel death for their Christian faith on November 29, 1638. Their last words were: “Jesus, Mary.” Blessed Denis is commemorated today particularly in the diocese of Bayeux-Lisieux.”