Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What comes between Thanksgiving and Advent?

Was your answer shopping? There is much more going on than shopping! 
Thanksgiving is such a beautiful holiday! The focus is on giving thanks and being with loved ones.  It has withstood the commercializing of so many other holidays--especially Christmas.  However it seems to be at risk with Black Friday creeping into Thanksgiving day. I was going to do a post on Thanksgiving Day, instead I went to Mass, had brunch with the other Sisters in my house, watched the Macy's Day parade, talk to lots of family members on the phone, went to St. Agnes to have dinner with our Sisters there, came home had evening prayer and hung out. Yes, that is a great way to spend Thanksgiving Day!

So this week is a series of feast days for the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Today we celebrate the feast of the Miraculous Medal. It was originally called the medal of the Immaculate Conception. Do you know the story about how Blessed Mother appeared to St. Catherine Laboure, DC back in 1830 a couple of times? (If not, you can find it here.) Blessed Mother told Catherine to have the medal made. The Church wouldn't decree the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception until 1854. The medal became known as the miraculous medal by public acclaim because of the many people who experienced miracles. Yes, go to your mother if you need the extra support to get something!

The day after that feast is that of St. Catherine Laboure.  Quite fitting I think. Catherine spent her life in humble service working at a home for elderly men. No one except her confessor and superior back in the dayknew that she was "the one" that Blessed Mother appeared to. The Sisters knew the apparition had been to a novice but nothing more than that.  There was much speculation over the years as to who it had been. Catherine never shared that she was "the one" and she avoided a straight answer when someone asked her directly.

Finally, we have the Anniversary of the Founding of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul on November 29, 1633 in Paris, France.

The two painting above are of women from the time period of our founding. You will see the similarity between them and our first Sisters in the drawings below.  Our Sisters were not middle or upper class women--in those days only those with a large dowery could qualify to be a Sister.  The Daughters of Charity were founded to continue the work of the members as servants of those who are poor.  Today, we seek to imitate the virtues of these first Sisters by living and serving in a spirit of humility, simplicity and charity.
Please pray for us as we seek to serve those living in poverty and on the margins of society.  As St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise drew attention to the issues of their times to the middle and upper class--may we do the same.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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