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The month of December is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. With most of the month being taken up by the season of Advent, the month’s devotion to the Immaculate Conception highlights as an important time of preparation, for both Jesus and Mary, as she was prepared by God to be sinless so that she would be worthy of being the Mother of God.
The month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, commemorating the naming of the child Jesus following his birth at Christmas. The feast has historically been celebrated at various points through January and so the whole month has been dedicated to devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus.
The month of May is dedicated to Our Blessed Lady, the Blessed Virgin, Queen of Heaven and Mother of the Church. The pious practice of honouring Mary during May has been especially recommended by the Popes. Parishes often have a daily recitation of the Rosary during May and crown the statue of Mary with beautiful flowers representing Mary’s beauty and virtue. It is also a reminder to strive to imitate Mary’s beauty and virtue.
The month of July is dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus. The Precious Blood is the ransom Christ paid for the redemption of mankind. Without His Precious Blood, there is no remission of sin. The devotion is a call to repentance and reparation. Pope Pius IX instituted the feast in 1849 but the devotion is as old as Christianity.
The month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, referring to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin.
It’s a devotion to her joys, sorrows and virtues. It’s a devotion to her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus Christ, and her motherly love for all mankind.
The Immaculate Heart is traditionally depicted pierced with seven swords or wounds, in homage to the seven dolors of Mary and roses, usually red or white, wrapped around the heart.
While the devotion to Jesus’ Sacred Heart is directed to his divine love for humanity, the devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart is directed to her love for Jesus and God.
The month of September is dedicated to Seven Sorrows of Mary, a Catholic devotion which focuses on the sorrows Mary faced during her life.
The devotion began in the 13th century, originally in monastic circles. It centres on the imperfect life Mary was forced to endure, even as someone spared from sin by God’s grace. Despite being free from the stain of Original Sin, she still bore pain, humiliation and sorrow throughout her life.
The devotion focuses on seven key sorrows from Mary’s life including the Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2), the Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2), the Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem (Luke 2), Mary's meeting Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, (Fourth station of the Cross), the Crucifixion of Jesus on Mount Calvary (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and especially John 19), Jesus being Taken Down from the Cross (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19), and the Burial of Jesus by Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19).
The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. The rosary is one of the most well-known Catholic devotions and because October includes the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the whole month is dedicated towards this powerful devotion.
Solemnity of Christ the King – 26 November 2023
The Sunday, the last of the Liturgical Year, the Church celebrates the Feast of Christ the King.
This is also called the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
This feast, designed to give special recognition to the dominion Christ our Lord has over all aspects of ur lives, was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925.
While World War I had ended in 198, there was not true widesprewad peace and tranquility. Ther world was rejecting Christ and was being dominated by secularism and material advantage.
Pope Pius XI dedicated his pontificate to “The Peace of Christ in the Kindgom of Christ”.
In 1925, the Church celebrated a jubilee year in honour of the 1,600th anniversary of the Council of Nicaea. The council fathers taking part in that ancient gathering in A.D. 325 had affirmed the full divinity of Jesus Christ as God the Son, one in being with God the Father. Their pronouncement became a creed that was later expanded into what we now call the Nicene Creed, which we still profess at Mass every Sunday.
Throughout the anniversary year, Pope Pius constantly emphasized the kingship of Christ as declared in the Creed: “His kingdom will have no end.” He stressed that theme throughout the year as it repeatedly appeared in the Church’s celebrations of the Annunciation, the Epiphany, the Transfiguration and the Ascension. As part of the Holy Year, which was afforded great attention and pomp by the Vatican, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flocked to Rome, demonstrating great fervour for their faith.
On Dec. 11 of the jubilee year, and in order to acknowledge perpetually the supremacy of Jesus Christ over all men, nations and earthly allegiances, the pope issued the encyclical Quas Primas, which added the feast of “Our Lord Jesus Christ the King” to the annual Church liturgical calendar.
The encyclical provided for the feast of Christ the King to be held each year on the last Sunday of October. This date, a week before All Saints’ Day and four weeks before Advent, was carefully chosen: It reminded the people that Jesus Christ is not only King of this world, reigning among nations today; He is also the eternal King, glorified by the saints in heaven, who will one day come to judge all humankind.
We pray on this feast day that leaders and nations would recognise that they are bound to submit and give respect to Christ the King; and that nations see that the Church has the right to freedom, and immunity from the state. In these times when we are challenged in our faith and our ability to worship together, let us remember that Jesus Christ is Our King who reigns forever.
For ourselves we should honour and recognise Jesus as our ‘Sovereign King’ and emulate His total gift of self, perfectly embodied on the Cross. In imitation of our thorn-crowned King, wecan help bring love and relief to those who suffer, and help to proclaim the Good News of the Reign of Christ in the world today.
The month of November is dedicated to the Souls in Purgatory. During the first few days of the month, the faithful focus in particular on prayer for the deceased, both those in purgatory and those in heaven, however they are encouraged to continue this devotion through the rest of the month.