Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. This solemn dogma was defined by Blessed Pope Pius IX on December 8th, 1854:

"The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." —Catechism of the Catholic Church

COLLECT PRAYER FOR TODAY: O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son, grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from every stain by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession, we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.


May we join our hearts to hers today and everyday as we ask for her help and care along the Way. Mother, lead us to your Son. 


Feature Image: Peter Paul Reubens, 1629


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Novena to St. Joseph - January 15th
Dear Friends and Family, Please join us in our annual re-consecration to St. Joseph which is to be prayed from January 15th to the 23rd. For those who are members of Apostoli Viae, we ask you to join with our community intentions. It is always best to state them out loud and then offer our own intentions in the chat below this post so we can all pray for one another. For the repose of the souls of Cardinal Pell and Pope Benedict XVI. For the Holy Father, that he would truly be a holy father both for his salvation and that of the Church. For the Synod on Synodality, that it would be directed by God through faithful leadership to become a holy exercise that honors the authentic magisterium and unity in the Church. For our diocesan fathers, our bishops and priests, that they would be men of deep prayer and union with God and His Church and that the faithful would be protected and nourished, and the unfaithful be brought to repentance and healing. For our earthly fathers that we would all follow Jesus in His prayer and self-giving for the salvation of our families and the Church. For those who have suffered fatherlessness or have been wounded by those who should have been better fathers that they would find healing and help in the Catholic Church. For those without spiritual directors that would find help in St. Joseph until they find a suitable spiritual father. For our High Calling priestly formation and discernment program that it would expand and prepare the hearts of all the men to be exemplary fathers as priests. MEMORARE TO SAINT JOSEPH (Repeated at the End of Each of the Prayers for the Day) Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who implored thy help and sought thy intercession were left unassisted. Full of confidence in your power I fly unto thee and beg thy protection. Despise not, O Guardian of the Redeemer, my humble supplication, but in thy bounty, hear and answer me. Amen. Day One: Saint Joseph, Powerful Intercessor Dearest Saint Joseph, after Mary, you are the most powerful intercessor before God. I know with all my heart that Jesus will listen to you with special interest as you bring my intentions to Him. Because of this, I especially want to entrust myself to your fatherly care, as did Jesus Himself. While in the past, I may have brought to you one of my intentions here or there, from this day forward, I want to give you my all. I want to forever entrust to you all of my needs and cares, trusting that you will bring them, with Mary, to your Son, Jesus. Beloved Saint Joseph, as the best of fathers, the one whom God chose to be the virginal father of His Only Son, Jesus, I am confident that you know my needs better than I ever could. I give you permission, and ask you to care for me as your child. I trust that you will do everything in your power to make my life beautiful for God. I trust that you will watch over me, and that your prayers will guide, bless, and protect me. I know in my heart that you will care for me with the same love and tenderness with which you cared for Jesus. Saint Joseph, Powerful Intercessor, please pray for me and all my intentions.  Day Two: Saint Joseph, Loving Spouse of Mary Beloved Saint Joseph, when the angel told you, “Do not be afraid to take Mary for your wife,” (Mt 1:20) you weren’t afraid. You trusted God, and now you truly are the husband of Mary. After Jesus, you are the dearest person to her heart. Saint Joseph, as my spiritual father, I ask you to bring my petitions and my life to Mary. You are truly my spiritual parents. Just as any good father wants to see his children love their mother, I know you will help me know and love my spiritual mother more. By your powerful prayers, I ask you to help me realize what a gift I have in Mary. Pray for me that I will better appreciate her motherly role in my life. Saint Joseph, I know that you love her. I know it makes you happy to see her children love her with all their heart. Therefore, as I prepare to consecrate or re-consecrate myself totally to your fatherly care, I beg you to help me fully appreciate my Mother Mary. Saint Joseph, Loving Spouse of Mary, please help me to love my spiritual mother even more. Day Three: Saint Joseph, Good Provider Dearest Saint Joseph, as the foster father of Jesus, you provided for his human needs. Through the work of your hands, he had food to strengthen him, a house to give him shelter, and clothes to keep him warm. Still, from heaven, you continue to work. Indeed, the loving labor of your prayers provides for all the members of the Body of your Son. As I prepare to consecrate or re-consecrate myself completely to you, I ask you to please provide for me and my loved ones. Through your prayers, please make sure that we always have food to eat, a roof over our heads, and clothes to wear. Please pray that in times of abundance or need, we will never forget God, that we will always be grateful for His gifts, and that we will never be a slave to things like food or money, pleasure or power. Finally, help us always to remember and be generous with the poor. Saint Joseph, with you as my spiritual father, I will do my best not to give in to useless anxiety about my job, money, or material things. I believe you will always make sure I have what I need, and as a good father, I ask that you indulge me a bit by even providing for my material wants, provided they don’t take me away from Jesus. Saint Joseph, Good Provider, please provide for my needs through your powerful prayers.  Day Four: Saint Joseph, Strong Guard Beloved Saint Joseph, when I think that God gave me my guardian angel and Saint Michael to protect and defend me, I am not afraid. When I think that you, who are even more powerful before God, are my spiritual father, the Terror of Demons, who protected the Baby Jesus from Herod, then I am completely at peace. Saint Joseph, please pray that I will have the peace that comes from trusting in your fatherly protection. I believe that you will protect me from my enemies, seen and unseen. I believe that you will protect me from bodily and spiritual harm. I trust in your fatherly care. Saint Joseph, I will do my best not to give in to fear, knowing that you are praying for me as with a child who has formally consecrated himself to your fatherly care. Saint Joseph, Strong Guardian, please defend me with your prayers.  Day Five: Saint Joseph, Who Did God’s Will Dear Saint Joseph, you were profoundly docile to God's will, even in the most difficult of circumstances. I want to also do God’s most perfect will, but I know that, on my own, I will fail. I need your help. I trust that with you as my spiritual father, you will guide me to always do God’s most perfect will. I want to reach the degree of glory that God has prepared for me in heaven. I want to bear fruit that will last. I want to be a saint. Help me, Saint Joseph. You see how weak and sinful I am. Teach me, good father. Help me to follow the commandments, and make my heart sensitive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. I know that as I entrust myself to your care, you will guide me and show me how to always do God’s will. Redirect the stream of my life if it ever departs from God’s most perfect will. Saint Joseph, who did God’s will, please always keep me in God’s most perfect will.  Day Six: Saint Joseph, Who Suffered with Love As the day draws closer when I will fully consecrate (or reconsecrate) myself to you, Saint Joseph, I cannot help but notice how you suffered with love. You suffered darkness and confusion when Mary was found with child. You suffered the sacrifice of your flesh as you lovingly offered up the absence of bodily intimacy in marriage. You suffered a sword in your heart, with Mary, when Simeon foretold the passion of your Son. You suffered stress and uncertainty when you had to escape with your family to Egypt and lived as a foreigner. You suffered crushing anxiety when your Son was lost for three days. You daily suffered fatigue and bodily aches from your manual labor. Worst of all, your fatherly heart grieved at knowing that you could not be there for Jesus and Mary when their darkest hour would one day come. Saint Joseph, thank you for what you suffered in God’s service, in union with your Son, for my salvation. I love you, Saint Joseph. Thank you for your yes. Please help me to suffer with love as you did. When I suffer, help me not to complain. Help me not to forget love. Help me not to forget others. Dear Saint Joseph, through my suffering, watch over my weak heart: may it not harden but rather become more merciful. Help me to remember all of God’s children who are suffering in the world, and help me to offer my suffering for them and for the good of the Church. I am counting on you, Saint Joseph. I know you will be with me, helping me to suffer with love. Saint Joseph, who suffered with love, please help me to suffer with a love like yours. Day Seven: Saint Joseph, Pure of Heart Purest Saint Joseph, I want to be a saint, and saints need to be pure of body and soul. Guard me, protect me, and defend me from temptations against purity. I rely on you, Saint Joseph. Don’t let me fall. Don’t let my eyes or thoughts wander. If they do, please bring them back to Jesus. I trust in you, Saint Joseph. You lived purely with Mary, despite her beauty. Help me to see the beauty of others with your own pure vision. If I fall, help me to find God’s mercy and free me from any bondage to such sin. 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