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The Feasts of the Nativity and Holy Family: Various readings

The Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos

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

Scripture readings in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms

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

At Christmas we are not bystanders

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

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

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

Scripture readings in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms

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

Scripture readings in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms

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

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