2024 Spring Appeal – “This is My Body…This is My Blood.”

Ember Wednesday of Advent

Ember Wednesday of Advent

Feria IV Quattuor Temporum in Adventu

Four times a year, once in each season, the Church traditionally sets aside a Wednesday, a Friday and a Saturday as days of penance, to consecrate each season to God. These days are called the Ember Days, from the Latin Quatuor Tempora, meaning “four times”. Ember Week of Advent, which also always follows St. Lucy’s Day, begins on the Wednesday after Gaudete Sunday—the Third Sunday of Advent—and begs for God’s blessing upon the season of winter. This winter Embertide punctuates the preparatory season of Advent, emphasizing penance during the final anticipatory days before the great feast of Our Lord’s Nativity and the joyous season of Christmastide that follows.

Ember Wednesday, like Ember Saturday, would traditionally be a day of fasting and partial abstinence from meat. St. Leo the Great, like others, emphasizes also the importance of almsgiving, saying “Let the abstinence of him that fasts, become the meal of the poor man.” Though only the current code of the Church is binding today, it is certainly of great spiritual benefit to voluntarily unite oneself with the ancient practices of the Church in at least some small way, imitating the many known and unknown saints of times past. In this way, one takes greater part in the living, breathing, and praying of the timeless Body of Christ throughout the centuries.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for December 20th

THE vigil of St. Thomas, apostle.

At Rome, the holy martyrs Liberatus and Bajulus.

At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Ammon, Zeno, Ptolemy, Ingen, and Theophilus, soldiers, who, standing near the tribunals, and seeing a Christian trembling under the torture and almost on the point of apostatizing, endeavored to encourage him by their looks and by signs, and when for this reason the whole people raised an outcry against them, they rushed forward, and declared themselves Christians. By their victory, Christ, who had given to them such fortitude, triumphed most gloriously.

At Gelduba, St. Julius, martyr.

In Arabia, the holy martyrs Eugene and Macarius, priests. For reproving Julian the Apostate for his impiety, they received a most severe scourging, were banished to a vast desert, and finally were put to the sword.

At Antioch, the birthday of St. Philogonius, bishop, who was called by the will of God from the practice of law to the government of that church. With the saintly bishop Alexander and other auxiliaries, he engaged the first combat for
the Catholic faith against Arius, and, being renowned for merits, rested in the Lord. His festival was commemorated by St. John Chrysostom with an excellent panegyric.

At Brescia, St. Dominic, bishop and confessor.

In Spain, the departure from this world of St. Dominic de Sylos, abbot, of the Order of St. Benedict, most renowned for the miracles he wrought for the deliverance of captives.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

More Saints and Seasons

Upcoming Schedule