Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Preparation of St. Rose of Lima

St. Rose, reflecting one day on the charity which St. Catherine of Siena had shown towards Jesus Christ, hidden under the form of a beggar, in depriving herself of her garments to clothe Him, thought she might imitate her by making a sort of spiritual and mysterious garment for the Infant Jesus of several acts of virtue. This is the formula, which was found in her own handwriting:

+ Jesus +
“This year, 1616, by the grace of my Savior, and under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I will clothe My Divine Jesus, whom the Church will soon represent to us born naked, in a manger, exposed to all the severity of winter. I will make Him an under garment of fifty Litanies, of nine hundred pair of beads, which I will recite, and of five days of abstinence from every sort of nourishment, in honour of the adorable mystery of the Incarnation. I will compose his swaddling clothes of nine visits to the most Blessed Sacrament, of nine Psalters of the Blessed Virgin[1], and of nine fasting days, to honor the nine months during which He was enclosed in her chaste womb. His covering shall consist of five days passed without eating or drinking; of five visits to the most Blessed Sacrament, and of as many Rosaries in honor of His birth in this world. His bands shall be made of three chaplets of our Lord[2]; of five days abstinence from food, and of five stations which I will make before the most Blessed Sacrament[3]. For the fringes and borders of His swaddling clothes and bands, I will make thirty-three extra communions; I will assist at thirty-three Masses; I will spend thirty-three hours in mental prayer; I will recite thirty-three times the Our Father, thirty-three times the Hail Mary, Creed, Glory Be, and Hail Holy Queen, each; I will also recite thirty-three Rosaries, I will fast thirty-three days, I will take three thousand stripes of the discipline, in honor of the thirty-three years he spent on earth. Lastly, I offer as a gift to my dear Jesus, my tears, my groans, and all the acts of love which I shall make. With this I offer my heart and soul, that there may be nothing in me which is not entirely consecrated to Him.

1. The Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary by St. Bonaventure is found at:
2.  The Chaplet of Our Lord composed by Blessed Michael of Florence is at:
3. A Station consists of a Visit to the Blessed Sacrament with the following prayers:
Long Live Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. And may He be loved by all.
Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be five times, and
Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be once for the intention of the Pope.

The Life of Saint Rose of Lima
by Father Jean Baptist Feuillet