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Copyright © 2013, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - December, 2013 [Plain text version]

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* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of December: Dedicated to the Immaculate Conception

* Advent / Christmas Resources

* Following the Example of the Three Kings: Offer Jesus 'Gifts' This Christmas

* Liturgical Feasts in December

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Believe That the Earliest Christians Read the Bible?

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Dear Friend,

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel." (Isa. 7:14)

Greetings during this joyful time of year in which we prepare to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of our blessed Lord Jesus. We wish you and your loved ones a most holy & joyous Advent and Christmas followed by a blessed new year.

Thanks again for your support of our site and newsletter.

Warmest regards,

Your Friends at

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"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Mt. 3:2) [DR Trans: "Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."]

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MCS News & Notes

* The maintenance window on our server has been updated. To view our current maintenance window, please visit

* Good news: We have made progress on the redesign of our database-driven pages. At this time, we estimate that the redesign of database-driven pages is close to 50% complete. Recently updated pages include the Baltimore Catechism Selections, Patron Saints Index, Liturgical Feasts, MCS Daily Digest, Catholic Web Links, and User Posts. We hope to complete the redesign of the remaining database-driven pages over the next few weeks/months. As indicated previously, the new pages may be more integrated than before, with a number of pages allowing searches directly from the view page. For help with the new view/search pages, please visit . Please visit some of the newly completed pages and let us know what you think. Some newly designed pages can be found at these locations...

Baltimore Catechism Selections -

Patron Saints Index (by name) -

Liturgical Feasts (by date) -

MCS Daily Digest -

Catholic Web Links - [Please Note: Although the links pages have been redesigned, the links themselves have *not* been updated. We hope to get to an update sometime after the site redesign is finished]

Prayer Requests (sample user posts page) -

* Reminder: For your free 2014 liturgical calendar-flier (Jan.-Dec.), please visit and click your choice of "fliers" links [Note: Fliers are based on the traditional calendar]

* A spiritual bouquet is free & 'truly Catholic gift that will be appreciated by all'. You can print a free spiritual bouquet card at . [Note: This is a .pdf file. To use: Print card (preferably on colored paper or color the image by hand), fold to 4.25" x 5.5" ("A Special Gift..." should appear in front)]

* Did you have difficulty accessing our site towards the end of November? Our host had another major outage that affected our server (we were offline for over 8 hours this time). According to a telephone support agent, it was caused by a network outage at their datacenter. As mentioned previously, we need to stick with our host for the time being for various reasons (e.g. amount of time required to change, expenses involved in change, increased costs of the change in the future, possible compatibility issues while our site is undergoing redesign, etc.), despite the degraded service we've received since they forced us to switch servers. We do sincerely regret the accessibly issues and hope they will be resolved soon. In the meantime, if you experience prolonged or repeated problems accessing our site (outside of our maintenance window), please let us know.

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The Month of December: Dedicated to the Immaculate Conception

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"Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee." (Cant. 4:7)

"The commemoration of the mystery of the Most Holy Virgin, conceived immaculate and immune from all stain of original sin, should, in the first place, urge us to that innocence and integrity of life which flees from and abhors even the slightest stain of sin." (Pope Pius XII, "Fulgens Corona", 1953 A.D.)

"[The Church] did not hesitate to present for the public devotion and veneration of the faithful the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin. By this most significant fact, the Church made it clear indeed that the conception of Mary is to be venerated as something extraordinary, wonderful, eminently holy, and different from the conception of all other human beings" (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854 A.D.)

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Related Resources...

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page) -

* Immaculate Conception / Sinlessness Reflections (quotes from popes & saints) -

* Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception -

* Some Reasons to Honor the Blessed Virgin Mary -

* Some Thoughts on the Blessed Virgin Mary -

* Marian Facts -

* Marian Prayers -

* Popular Marian Devotions -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Reflections) -

* Marian Scriptural References -

* Marian Encyclicals (click link: "The Blessed Virgin Mary") -

* Marian Apologetics -

* Mary, Our Mother Section -

* Marian Coloring Pages -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

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"It was fitting that Jesus Christ should have such a mother as would be worthy of Him as far as possible; and she would not have been worthy, if, contaminated by the hereditary stain even for the first moment only of her conception, she had been subject to the abominable power of Satan." (Pope Pius XII, "Fulgens Corona", 1953 A.D.)

"I consider that the blessing of a fuller sanctification descended upon her, so as not only to sanctify her birth, but also to keep her life pure from all sin; which gift is believed to have been bestowed upon none other born of woman. This singular privilege of sanctity, to lead her life without any sin, entirely benefited the queen of virgins, who should bear the Destroyer of sin and death, who should obtain the gift of life and righteousness for all." (St. Bernard, Doctor of the Church)

"The devotion to the most blessed Virgin Mary is indeed of long standing among the faithful of Christ who believe that her soul, from the first instant of its creation and infusion into her body, was preserved immune by a special grace and privilege of God from the stain of original sin, in view of the merits of her Son, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of our human race, and who, in this sense, esteem and solemnly celebrate the festivity of her conception...We renew the Constitutions and decrees published by Roman Pontiffs in favor of the opinion that asserts that the soul of the blessed Virgin Mary at its creation, and at its infusion into her body, was blessed by the grace of the Holy Spirit and was preserved from original sin." (Pope Alexander VII, 1661 A.D.)

"It was due to His own infinite sanctity that God should suspend, in this instance, the law which His divine justice had passed upon all the children of Adam. The relations which Mary was to bear to the Divinity, could not be reconciled with her undergoing the humiliation of this punishment. She was not only daughter of the eternal Father; she was destined also to become the very Mother of the Son, and the veritable bride of the Holy Ghost. Nothing defiled could be permitted to enter, even for an instant of time, into the creature that was thus predestined to contract such close relations with the adorable Trinity: not a speck could be permitted to tarnish in Mary that perfect purity which the infinitely holy God requires even in those who are one day to be admitted to enjoy the sight of His divine majesty in heaven" (Dom Gueranger)

"From the very beginning, and before time began, the eternal Father chose and prepared for his only-begotten Son a Mother in whom the Son of God would become incarnate and from whom, in the blessed fullness of time, he would be born into this world. Above all creatures did God so love her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of His divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully." (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854 A.D.)

Prayer for the Immaculate Virgin Mary's Intercession: "In thy Conception, O Virgin Mary, thou wast immaculate; pray for us to the Father whose Son Jesus, after He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, thou didst bring forth into the world." (Raccolta)

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Advent / Christmas Resources

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"The name Advent [from the Latin word 'Adventus', a coming] is applied, in the Latin Church, to that period of the year, during which the Church requires the faithful to prepare for the celebration of the feast of Christmas, the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ." (Dom Gueranger)

"The Child that is born of Mary and is couched in the Crib at Bethlehem, raises his feeble voice to the Eternal Father, and calls him, My Father! He turns towards us and calls us My Brethren! We, consequently, when we speak to his Father, may call him Our Father! This is the mystery of adoption, revealed to us by the great event [of Christmas]. All things are changed, both heaven and on earth: God has not only one Son, he has many sons; henceforth we stand before this our God, not merely creatures drawn out of nothing by his power, but children that he fondly loves. Heaven is now not only the throne of his sovereign Majesty; it has become our inheritance in which we are joint-heirs with our brother Jesus, the Son of Mary, Son of Eve, Son of Adam, according to his Human Nature, and (in the unity of Person) Son of God according to his Divine Nature. Let us turn our wondering and loving thoughts first to this sweet Babe, that has brought us all these blessings, and then to the blessings themselves, to the dear inheritance made ours by him. Let your mind be seized with astonishment at creatures having such a destiny! And then let our heart pour out its thanks for the incomprehensible gift!" (Dom Gueranger)

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* Advent (Topic Page) -

* Christmas (Topic Page) -

* Make Your Own Advent Calendar -

* Advent / Christmas Prayers -

* Advent / Christmas Practices (See 'Traditional Practices', 'Advent / Christmas') [Page also contains fasting / abstinence info.] -

* Advent / Christmas Activities (See 'Holiday Activities') -

* Incarnation / Nativity Reflections -

* Incarnation / Birth of Jesus Reflections -

* Bible Prophecies: Coming of Christ / Supremacy & Facts About Upcoming Messiah -

* Scripture References (Marian Scriptural References) -

* Biblical References / Divinity of Christ / Etc. (Non-Catholics Section, apologetics) -

* Definitions (Advent, Christmas, Christmastide, Etc.) -

* O Antiphons (12/17-12/23) -

* Coloring Pages (Christmas Bells, Christmas Candles, Christmas Card, Nativity, Etc.) -

* 'Spiritual Bouquet' Card - "a great Christmas gift" (See 'Other') -

* Word Search (Christmas) -

* Catholic Travel: Collages (Incl. Bethlehem) -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

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Reminder: Don't forget to check the MCS Daily Digest each day. During Advent, the MCS Daily Digest may contain various items to help prepare for Christmas. Visit the MCS Daily Digest at

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Advent Prayer: "I adore Thee, O incarnate Word, the true Son of God from all eternity, and the true Son of Mary in the fullness of time. As I adore Thy divine Person and the sacred Humanity thereto united, I feel myself drawn to venerate likewise the poor Crib that welcomed Thee, when Thou wast a little Child, and which was, in very truth, the first throne of Thy love. Would that I could fall prostrate before it with the simplicity of the shepherds, with the faith of Joseph, and the love of Mary! Would that I too could bend low to venerate this precious memorial of our salvation with the spirit of mortification, poverty and humility, with which Thou, the Lord of heaven and earth, didst choose a manger to be the resting place of Thy dear limbs! And do Thou, O Lord, who didst deign in Thine infancy to be laid in this manger, pour into my heart a drop of that joy which must have been experienced at the sight of Thy lovely infancy and of the wonders that accompanied Thy birth; by virtue of this Thy holy birth, I implore Thee to give peace and good-will to all the world, and, in the name of all mankind, to render perfect thanksgiving and infinite glory to Thine eternal Father, with whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Thou livest and reignest one God, world without end. Amen." (Raccolta)

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Following the Example of the Three Kings: Offer Jesus 'Gifts' This Christmas

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The following is taken from a 1908 edition of Thomas à Kempis' "Prayers and Meditations on the Life of Christ". The publication bears an imprimatur. [Note: We have made some capitalization, punctuation & spelling changes, and have combined paragraphs below.]

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I bless Thee, and give thanks to Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of the kings of the earth, for Thy glorious Manifestation of Thyself to the three Kings. For after that Thou hadst been born in Bethlehem of Judaea, Thou wast not slow in revealing Thy Majesty to men who came from afar; and having led them by a heavenly light to Thy humble resting-place, Thou didst manifest to them Thy holy poverty.

O my God, mighty and wonderful, Who alone orderest all things here below, and workest mightily in heaven above, Thou thoughtest it no scorn to be seen in Thy poverty and neglect by so many kings and nobles, if only Thou mightest be to us a pattern of humility. Having for our sakes chosen Thy resting-place, and Thy apparel, Thou didst make no change in them, but didst show Thyself in them, alike to shepherds and to kings.

I praise Thy gracious mercy for these firstfruits of the Gentile world, and for Thy call to these strangers, whom, by a secret inspiration of Thy grace, Thou didst draw from Eastern lands to behold the light of faith. Among the princes of Israel were found none who made ready, with such reverence and trust, to seek the place of Thy Nativity: far more lively was the faith, far more fervent the devotion, of those strangers to the Covenant.

I glorify Thy Holy Name for Thy wondrous enlightenment of Gentiles; for so gloriously didst Thou sent forth Thy light into the hearts of those men of the East, who as yet were sitting in darkness, that without thinking of the length of their journey, they followed with a trust which knew no doubt, the leading of Thy sign from heaven.

I reverently join the Holy Magi in adoring Thee; and following them step by step, I would devoutly offer to Thee their three precious gifts, each containing a deep mystery. For, falling at Thy feet, they offered to Thee gold in token of Thy kingly dignity, frankincense as doing homage to Thy Divine Majesty, myrrh as confessing Thy submission to the law of death. Wherefore, O my Lord Jesus Christ, most gracious King of Kings, Ruler of Heaven and of earth, accept, I beseech Thee, at the hand of Thy servant, the mystic offering, which I now humbly present to Thee, through the intercession of the Holy Kings.

I offer to Thee in the first place right faith, firm hope, and pure charity, in which I trust that I may continue to the end. I believe that Thou art the King of Heaven and of Earth: I adore Thee as very God, the Only-Begotten of the Father: I confess that, for my salvation, Thou didst take of the Virgin Mary a mortal Body. Accept further, I beseech Thee, also these other gifts, each having in itself a sweet-smelling savor. Lo, I give to Thee that which also I received from Thee, namely all my worldly goods, which I renounce for love of Thee. I would not in this life have anything of my own. I wish to be content with common food and simple raiment. This is in a moral sense my oblation of pure gold.

I would add also the gift of frankincense, by which I mean the incense of devout prayer; beseeching Thee, with sighs and tears, for the forgiveness of my sins; praising and thanking Thee for the good gifts Thou hast bestowed upon me; and grieving for all who are in trouble or distress. This, surely, is the burning of fragrant incense, acceptable to Thee.

I offer to Thee also, in figure, myrrh, in memory of Thy most bitter Passion, praying that I too may have grace to run in the way of perfection by the austerity of my self-mortification. For, as often as, for love of Thee, I call to mind the bitterness of Thy Passion, I offer to Thee, in figure, the choicest myrrh: and whenever I overcome in myself evil desires, and renounce my own will, I bruise, as best I may, in the mortar of my heart, fragrant myrrh, that so from thence may come forth a sacrifice acceptable to Thee. Oh, how happy should I be, if I could offer to my Jesus a bundle of myrrh, by gathering together into one all the labor, all the sorrow, and all the bitterness of Thy Passion! For it is by such a mingling of myrrh and frankincense that the faithful soul is moved to earnest efforts after amendment, to acts of penance, and to the mortification of corrupt desires.

I give thanks to Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, for the high sanctity [of Epiphany], which Thou didst adorn with three mighty wonders. For on this day Thou didst lead three kings to the Manger in Bethlehem; on this day Thou wast baptized of John in the river Jordan; on this day Thou didst turn water into wine at the marriage at Cana in Galilee -- by all which things Thou didst plainly manifest Thyself to be both God and man.

I pray Thee, therefore, O my meek and gracious Lord, that Thou wouldst never suffer me to be led astray by Herodian wiles, that is to say by worldly honors, and the allurements of the flesh; but that, through the merits of the Holy Kings, and the prayers of Thy most chaste Mother, and under the protection of Thy angelic host, Thou wouldest lead me, together with the Blessed Kings, along the way that leadeth to the Heavenly Country, there to behold Thee in Thy everlasting glory.

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Also Try...

* Advent (Topic Page) -

* Christmas (Topic Page) -

* Reflections -

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Liturgical Feasts in December

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for December as they appear at

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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December 2 - St. Bibiana (T)

December 3 - St. Francis Xavier (T)

December 3 - St. Francis Xavier (N)

December 4 - St. Barbara (T)

December 4 - St. Peter Chrysologus (T)

December 4 - St. John Damascene (N)

December 5 - St. Sabbas (T)

December 6 - St. Nicholas of Myra (or Bari) (T)

December 6 - St. Nicholas of Myra (or Bari) (N)

December 7 - St. Ambrose (T)

December 7 - Vigil of the Immaculate Conception (T)

December 7 - St. Ambrose (N)

December 8 - The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T) *

December 8 - The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N) *

December 9 - St. Juan Diego (N)

December 10 - St. Melchiades, pope (T)

December 11 - St. Damasus I, pope (T)

December 11 - St. Damasus I, pope (N)

December 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe (T)

December 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe (N)

December 13 - St. Lucy of Syracuse (T)

December 13 - St. Lucy (N)

December 14 - St. John of the Cross (N)

December 16 - St. Eusebius of Vercelli (T)

December 21 - St. Thomas, apostle (T)

December 21 - St. Peter Canisius (N)

December 22 - St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (T)

December 23 - St. John of Kanty (John Cantius) (N)

December 24 - Vigil of the Nativity (Christmas Eve) (T)

December 25 - Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas) (T) *

December 25 - St. Anastasia (T)

December 25 - The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) (N) *

December 26 - St. Stephen the First Martyr (T)

December 26 - St. Stephen, First Martyr (N)

December 27 - St. John, apostle & evangelist (T)

December 27 - St. John, apostle & evangelist (N)

December 28 - The Holy Innocents (T)

December 28 - The Holy Innocents (N)

December 29 - St. Thomas of Canterbury (T)

December 29 - St. Thomas Becket (N)

December 31 - St. Sylvester I, pope (T)

December 31 - St. Sylvester I, pope (N)

* Holy Day of Obligation [Note: The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary falls on a Sunday this year]

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, see below and try here: . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at


12/1/13 - First Sunday in Advent

12/8/13 - Second Sunday in Advent

12/15/13 - Third Sunday in Advent (Gaudete Sunday)

12/18/13 - Ember Wednesday in Advent (T)

12/20/13 - Ember Friday in Advent (T)

12/21/13 - Ember Saturday in Advent (T)

12/22/13 - Fourth Sunday in Advent

12/29/13 - Feast of the Holy Family (N)

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'Catholic Trivia'

1. What emblem is associated with St. Joseph?

2. Which Spanish king fought against heresy and was known for his devotion to Mary?

3. Where does Jesus command the Apostles to write Scripture?

4. What does St. Augustine say is the sole purpose of life?

5. Where in Scripture does St. Peter's rebuke end in death?

6. What does St. Robert Bellarmine say is useful for those who value their salvation?

7. Who was the first African pope?

8. Who in Genesis wrestled with an angel?

9. What do "consecration-crosses" refer to?

10. What does St. Augustine say are the three unions in this world?



1. St. Joseph is associated with a lily.

2. St. Ferdinand III, king of Castile, Spain, fought against heresy and was known for his devotion to Mary.

3. Jesus never commanded the Apostles to write Scripture.

4. "The sole purpose of life in time is to gain merit for life in eternity." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

5. St. Peter's rebuke ends in death two times, in Acts 5:1-11.

6. "Nothing can be imagined more useful than for those who value their salvation to examine their consciences diligently twice every day, morning and night." (St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church)

7. The first African pope was St. Victor I (d.c. 199).

8. In Genesis, Jacob wrestled with an angel.

9. "Consecration-crosses" refer to twelve small crosses on walls of a church which mark where the building was anointed.

10. According to St. Augustine, "There are three unions in this world: Christ and the Church, husband and wife, spirit and flesh."


For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest at

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Believe That the Earliest Christians Read the Bible?

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

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Note: Text below is taken from

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: Do You Believe That the Earliest Christians Read the Bible? [Note: Topic is directed at Protestants]


* How could the earliest Christians have read the Bible when the first word of the New Testament wasn't written until years after Christ's death?

* How could the earliest Christians have read the Bible when the actual canon of the Bible (list of inspired books) wasn't settled for many years?

* How could the earliest Christians have read the Bible when most of them were illiterate?

* How could the earliest Christians have read the Bible when converts were produced at a much faster rate than hand-written copies of the Bible could ever have been produced (remember that there were no computers, copiers, printers, etc. at that time)?

* How could the earliest Christians have read the Bible when Scripture itself is clear that Christians existed before any single book of the New Testament could ever have been penned?

* How could the earliest Christians have read the Bible when they were being persecuted and logistics would have made the collecting of all books difficult or impossible?

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"The Church was gathered and the faith was believed before every any part of the New Testament was put in writing." (St. Thomas More)

"It is needful also to make use of Tradition; for not everything can be gotten from Sacred Scripture. The holy Apostles handed down some things in the Scriptures, other things in Tradition." (St. Epiphanius of Salamis, c. 374 A.D.)

"When Apostles like Paul - whose letters pre-date the written Gospels - refer to Scripture, they refer to what Christians now call the Old Testament. The early tradition of the Church was oral rather than written, and the New Testament writings are, as Father Philip Hughes notes 'supplementary to the basic knowledge which they presuppose.' The Biblical canon of what was true, valuable, binding, and instructive took centuries to compile and assess. The Bible as we have it today assumed its general form by the end of the second century. The canon of St. Athanasius was agreed upon by the end of the fourth century and became the definitive, authoritative canon for the Western Church with Pope Innocent I's approval of it in 405." (Crocker)

"The New Testament writings, however, are not the foundations of the Church, or even, in a manner of speaking, its operating manual. The Church precedes them. The New Testament consists of teaching tools about Jesus (the Gospels), a history (The Acts of the Apostles), letter of correction and instruction (such as Paul's epistles), and what some consider a symbolic condemnation of the Roman emperor Nero (Revelation), under whose persecution St. Peter and St. Paul were martyred. The New Testament was assembled to serve a Church already functioning and growing ... The original gospel tradition was oral... At the earliest, the first written gospels date two decades after the death of Jesus... There was also the difficulty of establishing the canon." (Crocker)

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For more apologetics resources, please visit

For bible Q & A, please visit

For bible-related apologetics, please visit

For more on the bible, please visit

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In Closing...

"May we receive Thy mercy, O Lord, in the midst of Thy temple: that we may with becoming honor prepare for the approaching solemnities of our redemption. Through our Lord." (Postcommunion, First Sunday of Advent)

"The dew of heaven being sprinkled on thee, thou, without losing the flower of thy purity, didst in a new manner give to the world a new flower. The Word co-equal with the Father, entering thy virginal body, took for our sakes a body in the secret of thy womb." (Adam of St. Victor)

"Let us be glad in the LORD, dearly-beloved, and rejoice with spiritual joy that there has dawned for us the day of ever-new redemption, of ancient preparation, of eternal bliss. For as the year rolls round, there recurs for us the commemoration of our salvation, which promised from the beginning, accomplished in the fullness of time will endure for ever; on which we are bound with hearts up-lifted to adore the divine mystery: so that what is the effect of God's great gift may be celebrated by the Church's great rejoicings." (Pope St. Leo the Great)

"The holy Fathers, true witnesses of the divinely revealed doctrine, wonderfully understood what St. Paul the Apostle had quite clearly declared; namely, that the mystery of love was, as it were, both the foundation and the culmination of the Incarnation and the Redemption. For frequently and clearly we can read in their writings that Jesus Christ took a perfect human nature and our weak and perishable human body with the object of providing for our eternal salvation, and of revealing to us in the clearest possible manner that His infinite love for us could express itself in human terms." (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956 A.D.)

"After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." (Mt. 2:9-11)

"And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, the glory as it were of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (Jn. 1:14)

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