St. Begga

stbegga2This saint was daughter of Pepin of Landen, eldest sister to St. Gertrude of Nivelle, and married Ansegise, son to St. Arnoul, who was some time mayor of the palace, and afterwards bishop of Metz. Her husband being killed in hunting, she dedicated herself to a penitential state of retirement, and, after performing a pilgrimage to Rome, built seven chapels at Anen on the Meuse, in imitation of the seven principal churches at Rome. There she also founded a great nunnery in imitation of that which her sister governed at Nivelle, from which she was furnished with a little colony who laid the foundation of this monastery, and lived under her direction. Many holy virgins were trained up by them in the perfect practice of piety. The rich monastery of Anden was afterwards converted into a collegiate church of thirty-two canonesses of noble families, with ten canons to officiate at the altar. It is situate in the forest of Ardenne, in the diocese of Namur. St. Begga departed to our Lord in the year 698, and is named in the Roman Martyrology.

(Source: Butler”s Lives of the Saints)

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Octave Day of the Immaculate Conception

sotd thumbnailOn the feast of the Immaculate Conception we welcome the dawn of the day as the herald of the ardently desired coming of the Sun of Justice i.e., of the birth of Our Savior, to which Mary”s feast is a beautiful preparatory festival. Hence the feast fits admirably into the time of Advent. The stronger our longing for the divine child, the more rapturous is our joy in the Mother of God. The All holy could not but be born of a most pure virgin. “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God” – thus the Church has Mary pray. The Epistle depicts God”s wisdom, to which Mary most nearly approaches: “He that shall find me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord.” May we not say this of our Blessed Lady “whose name is Mary,” and to whom the angel said, “Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women”? The Church brings the mass to a beautiful close: “May the sacraments which we have received, O Lord our God, repair in us the wounds of that sin from which Thou didst in a singular manner preserve the Immaculate Conception of Blessed Mary.

(Source: The New Roman Missal, Rev. F. X. Lasance)