Wed 22nd Oct 2014 | Last updated: Tue 21st Oct 2014 at 16:13pm

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Spiritual Life

The Spanish abbot who liberated Christian slaves

The Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos

Saint of the week

St Dominic of Silos (December 20) is an example of the remarkable possibilities open to low-born talent in the medieval Church

Daily readings: December 19 – 25

The week ahead

Scripture readings in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms

At Christmas we are not bystanders

Nativity, by Philippe de Champaigne (CNS photo/Philipp Bernard, Reunion des Musees Nationaux/Art Resource)

The word this week

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 7:10-14; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-24

The saint who was tormented by her conscience

The duomo in Brescia, where St Maria tended to the sick

Saint of the week

St Maria di Rosa (December 15) founded the Handmaids of Charity and died at the age of 42, exhausted by her good works

Daily readings: December 12 – 18

The week ahead

Scripture readings in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms

‘The eyes of the blind shall be opened, the tongues of the dumb sing for joy’

The word this week

Third Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 35: 1-6; James 5: 7-10; Matthew 11: 2-11

Daily Readings December 5 to December 11

The week ahead

Scripture readings in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms

Advent summons us to the joyful hope Isaiah refused to abandon

The word this week

Second Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 11: 1-10; Romans 15: 4-9; Matthew 3: 1-12

The Doctor of the Church who was reluctant to be a bishop

The Doctor of the Church who was reluctant to be a bishop

Saint of the week

St Ambrose was reluctantly made a bishop, but embraced Christianity to become one of the most prominent ecclesiastics of his time

The martyr who gave up worldly fame for the scaffold

Saint of the week

St Ralph Sherwin (December 1)