Tuesday, 20 February 2018

 

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Những tài liệu này thuộc quyền sở hữu của Trường Thánh Tôma Thiện. Khi sử dụng, quý vị đồng ý chỉ sử dụng trong việc giáo dục, không sử dụng cho việc kinh doanh dưới bất cứ hình thức nào. Quý vị cũng đồng ý sẽ không sao chép, thay đổi nội dung hoặc phân phối nếu chưa có sự chấp thuận của trường.

Nếu quý vị thấy tài liệu này hữu ích trong công việc giáo dục các em, xin giúp chúng tôi trang trải chi phí cho việc biên soạn để chúng tôi có thể tiếp tục cung cấp các tài liệu miễn phí trong tương lai. Xin chân thành cảm ơn quý vị.

FEBRUARY 2 - PRESENTATION OF THE LORD

Forty days after Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph brought him to the great Temple in Jerusalem. There they presented Baby Jesus to the Heavenly Father. That was the Jewish law. The Holy Family obeyed it with loving hearts.

This was a very popular feast called Candlemas in past centuries and candles were blessed and carried in procession, to show the entry of Jesus as the light of the world.

While they were in the Temple, Mary also attended the Purification ceremony which was another custom. After the birth of their children, all Jewish mothers were supposed to go to the Temple for this ceremony. Mary did her duty cheerfully. She teaches us to be humble and obedient as she was.

A holy old priest of the Temple named Simeon learned from God that the Infant Jesus was truly the Savior. He held Mary’s Son Jesus in his arms with joy and awe. “My own eyes are looking at my salvation,” he exclaimed.

God allowed him recognize Jesus as the Savior and Simeon put his trust in the little Child. Imagine what Mary and Joseph were thinking. Then, inspired by God, Simeon told Mary that she would have to suffer very much. He was talking about the terrible pain our Blessed Mother would feel when Jesus died on the cross.

This feast of the Presentation reminds us that we belong to God first of all. Because he is our Father and Creator, and we owe him our loving obedience.

FEBRUARY 4 - ST. JANE VALOIS

St. Jane was a princess and the daughter of King Louis XI of France and Charlotte of Savoy. Since the king wanted a son, he was very disappointed when Jane was born deformed. He did not even want his little daughter to live at the palace. When the princess was just five years old, she was sent to live with other people.

Although she was not wanted by her own father, Jane was good and gentle with everyone. She was convinced that Jesus and Mary loved her. Jane also believed that the Lord would use her to do good in his name. And she was right.

When she grew up, Jane decided that she did not want to marry. She had given herself to Jesus and his Blessed Mother. But her father forced her to marry the duke of Orleans for political reasons. Jane accepted God’s will and was a devoted wife for twenty-two years.

After the duke became king, however, he sent Jane to live by herself in a far-off town-ship. The queen did not let herself become resentful. Instead, she exclaimed: “God be praised! He has permitted this that I may serve him better than I have up until now.”

Jane lived a prayerful life. She practiced penances and acts of kindness. She gave all her money to the poor. She even started an order of sisters called the Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She spent the rest of her life joyfully for Jesus and his Mother. St. Jane died in 1505.

Reflection: Let us pray for the gift of seeing hardships as opportunities to strengthen our faith in Christ, and may we respond to every hardship by giving it an eternal value.

FEBRUARY 3 - ST. BLASE

St. Blase was an Armenian who came from a rich family and was given a Christian education. As a young man, Blase thought about all the sufferings and troubles in the world. He found that only spiritual joys can make a person really happy.

He became a priest and then bishop of Sebaste in Armenia which is now modern Turkey. Blase worked wholeheartedly to make his people holy and happy. He prayed and preached; he tried to help everyone.

Later he lived in a cave on Mount Argeus. He had the gift of healing and both men and animals were brought to him to be healed. According to legend, sick animals would come to him on their own for help, but would never disturb him at prayer.

When the governor, Licinius, began to harass the Christians, St. Blase was captured. He was sent to prison to be beheaded. On the way, people crowded the road to see their beloved bishop for the last time. He blessed them all, even the pagans.

A poor mother rushed up to him. She begged him to save her child who was choking to death from a fishbone. The saint whispered a prayer and blessed the child. He worked a miracle that saved the child’s life. That is why St. Blase is called upon by all who have throat diseases. On his feast day, we have our throats blessed. We ask him to protect us from all sicknesses of the throat.

In prison, the saintly bishop converted many non-believers. No torture could make Blase give up his faith in Jesus. Thrown into a lake to drown, Blase stood on the surface and invited his persecutors to walk out and prove the power of their gods; they drowned. When he returned to land, he was beheaded. Now St. Blase is with Jesus forever.

FEBRUARY 5 - ST. AGATHA

A beautiful Christian girl named Agatha lived in Sicily in the third century. The governor heard of Agatha’s beauty and brought her to his palace. He wanted to make her commit sins, but she was brave and would not give in. “My Lord Jesus Christ,” she prayed, “you see my heart and you know my desire. I am all yours. Save me from this evil man. Make me worthy of winning out over the devil.”

The governor then sent Agatha to the house of a wicked woman and hoped she would become bad too. But Agatha had great trust in God and prayed all the time. She kept herself pure. She would not listen to the evil ideas of the woman and her daughters.

After a month, she was brought back to the governor. He tried again to win her. “You are a noblewoman,” he said kindly. “Why have you lowered yourself to be a humble Christian?”

“Even though I am a noble,” answered Agatha, “I am a slave of Jesus Christ.” “Then what does it really mean to be noble?” the governor asked. Agatha answered, “It means to serve God.”

When he realized that she would not sin, the governor became angry. He had Agatha whipped and tortured. As she was being carried back to prison she whispered, “Lord, my Creator, you have protected me from the cradle. You have taken me from the love of the world and given me patience to suffer. Now receive my soul.” Agatha soon died a martyr at Catania, Sicily, in the year 250.

Hạnh Các Thánh


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