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September: Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary
The month of September (Overview - Calendar) is dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Devotion to the sorrows of the Virgin Mary dates from the twelfth century, when it made its appearance in monastic circles under the influence of St. Anselm and St. Bernard. The Cistercians and then the Servites undertook to propagate it. It became widespread in the fourteenth and especially the fifteenth centuries, particularly in the Rhineland and Flanders, where Confraternities of the Sorrowful Mother sprang up. It was in this context that the first liturgical formularies in her honor were composed. A provincial council of Mainz in 1423 made use of these in establishing a "Feast of the Sorrows of Mary" in reparation for Hussite profanations of her images.
In 1494 the feast appeared in Bruges, where the Precious Blood of Christ was venerated; later on it made its way into France. It did not, however, become widespread in France before Benedict XIII included it in the Roman Calendar in 1727 and assigned it to the Friday before Palm Sunday.
Some Churches had previously celebrated this feast during the Easter season. Others, however, celebrated the Joys of the Blessed Virgin during the Easter season, as is still done today at Braga. In some places it was entitled "Recollection of the Feasts and Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary."
Excerpted from The Church at Prayer, Vol. IV A.G. Martimort.
Fr. Faber on the Seven Sorrows
God vouchsafed to select the very things about Him which are most incommunicable, and in a most mysteriously real way communicate them to her. See how He had already mixed her up with the eternal designs of creation, making her almost a partial cause and partial model of it. Our Lady's co-operation in the redemption of the world gives us a fresh view of her magnificence. Neither the Immaculate Conception nor the Assumption will give us a higher idea of Mary's exaltation than the title of co-redemptress. Her sorrows were not necessary for the redemption of the world, but in the counsels of God they were inseparable from it. They belong to the integrity of the divine plan. Are not Mary's mysteries Jesus' mysteries, and His mysteries hers? The truth appears to be that all the mysteries of Jesus and Mary were in God's design as one mystery. Jesus Himself was Mary's sorrow, seven times repeated, aggravated sevenfold. During the hours of the Passion, the offering of Jesus and the offering of Mary were tied in one. They kept pace together; they were made of the same materials; they were perfumed with kindred fragrance; they were lighted with the same fire; they were offered with kindred dispositions. The two things were one simultaneous oblation, interwoven each moment through the thickly crowded mysteries of that dread time, unto the eternal Father, out of two sinless hearts, that were the hearts of Son and Mother, for the sins of a guilty world which fell on them contrary to their merits, but according to their own free will.
— Fr. Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross.
Catholic Prayer: September Devotion: Our Lady of Sorrows
September 2016 - Overview for the Month
The month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, whose memorial the Church celebrates on September 15. September falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green.
The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of September 2016
Universal: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize. (See also www.apostleshipofprayer.net)
Feasts for September
The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of September are:
3. Gregory the Great, Memorial
4. Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
8. Birth of Mary, Feast
9. Peter Claver (USA), Memorial
11. Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
12. Most Holy Name of Mary, Opt. Mem.
13. John Chrysostom, Memorial
14. Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Feast
15. Our Lady of Sorrows, Memorial
16. Cornelius and Cyprian, Memorial
17. Robert Bellarmine, Opt. Mem.
18. Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
19. Januarius, Opt. Mem.
20. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions, Memorial
21. Matthew, Feast
23. Pio of Pietrelcina, Memorial
25. Twenty-Six Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
26. Cosmas and Damian, Opt. Mem.
27. Vincent de Paul, Memorial
28. Wenceslaus; Lawrence Ruiz and Companions; St. Simón de Rojas O.SS. (Spain), Opt. Mem.
29. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Feast
30. Jerome, Memorial
Focus of the Liturgy
The Gospels for the Sundays in September 2016 are taken from St. Luke and are from Year C, Cycle 2.
September 4th - 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple."
September 11th - 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time - This Gospel relates the parable of the Prodigal Son.
September 18th - 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time - The parable of the dishonest steward is the subject of this Gospel.
September 25th - 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time The Gospel tells the parable of Dives and Lazarus.
Highlights of the Month
During September, as in all of Ordinary Time (formerly known as Time After Pentecost), the Liturgy does not focus on one particular mystery of Christ, but views the mystery of Christ in all its aspects. We follow the life of Christ through the Gospels, and focus on the teachings and parables of Jesus and what it means for us to be a follower of Christ. During Ordinary Time we can concentrate more on the saints and imitate their holiness as Christ's followers.
Month of the Harvest
Since man is both a spiritual and physical being, the Church provides for the needs of man in his everyday life. The Church's liturgy and feasts in many areas reflect the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall and winter). The months of August, September, October and November are part of the harvest season, and as Christians we recall God's constant protection over his people and give thanksgiving for the year's harvest.
The September Ember Days were particularly focused on the end of the harvest season and thanksgiving to God for the season. Ember Days were three days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting and almsgiving at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year. The ember days fell after December 13, the feast of St. Lucy (winter), after the First Sunday of Lent (spring), after Pentecost Sunday (summer), and after September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (fall). These weeks were known as thequattor tempora, the "four seasons."
Since the late 5th century, the Ember Days were also the preferred dates for ordination of priests. So during these times the Church had a threefold focus: (1) sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving; (2) giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and (3) praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Since the reorganization of the Roman calendar in 1969 after the Second Vatican Council, Ember Days are still retained in principle, but how and when they are to be observed is at the discretion of each country's Episcopal Conference. There is no longer set Mass readings for the Ember Days in the Ordinary Rite.
Another harvest feast is September 29, the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Before the revision of the calendar, this used to be only the feast of St. Michael. In many countries this day was referred to as "Michaelmas" and is celebrated with traditional foods and customs.
By Jennifer Gregory Miller, 2003.
Explanation of Ember Days
Three days set apart for fasting, abstinence, and prayer during each of the four seasons of the year. They were the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after St. Lucy (or Lucia, d. 304) (December 13), the First Sunday of Lent, Pentecost, and the feast of the Holy Cross (September 14). Since the revision of the Roman calendar in 1969, Ember Days are to be observed at the discretion of the National Conference of Bishops. Moreover, their observance may be extended beyond three days and even repeated during the year. Possibly occasioned by the agricultural feasts of ancient Rome, they came to be observed by Christians for the sanctification of the different seasons of the year, and for obtaining God's blessing on the clergy to be ordained during the Embertides. (Etym. Anglo-Saxon oemerge, ashes.) — Modern Catholic Dictionary by John A. Hardon, SJ, Doubleday, 1980.
Sat, Sep 24
Topic: Follow Me: Taking Up Our Cross and Following the Lord
Keynote by Dr. Susan Muto, renowned author and professor
At St. Paul Cathedral Parish Social Hall — check-in begins at 9:00am
Attendees are encouraged to celebrate Mass at the Cathedral either prior to 8:15am or after 12:05pm the retreat. There is no cost to attend, but free-will offerings will be accepted. A continental breakfast will be provided. To register, please contact Julia Pasquale at email@example.com or at 412-915-3590 by Fri, Sep 16.
Catholic Pilgrimage to Mexico’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Shine over the Feast Day & Mexico City
Thu, Dec 8 - Tue, Dec 13
$2,194.00 per person including air from Pittsburgh. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Daily. Holy Mass everyday. For a flyer or more information, please call Cathie or Mike Milano at 1-800-773-2660.
- SEP 17
Saturdays 6:30-8:00am, Sep 17 - Dec 17Read more
- OCT 1
Holy Trinity’s time slot to pray is Sat, Oct 1 from 3:00-7:00pm.Read more
- OCT 1
- OCT 1
Sat, Oct 1 through Mon, Oct 31Read more
- OCT 2
at St. Paul Cathedral, 111 Boulevard of the Allies, PittsburghRead more
- OCT 2
at Epiphany Church, 184 Washington Place, Uptown, PittsburghRead more
- OCT 5
- OCT 8
to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DCRead more
- OCT 11
- OCT 15
Classes offered at several parishes in the diocese.Read more
- OCT 15
We must ask God to save America through the Rosary of His Most Holy Mother.Read more
- OCT 20
Consultation Sessions: Thu, Oct 20 and Mon Oct 24 from 7:00-9:00pmRead more
- NOV 11
at the Airport HyattRead more