December 25th to January 1st
HOLY MOTHER CHURCH observes the feast of Christmas with an octave. During these eight days she gathers around the crib those who have shed their blood for Christ. In union with these saints of Christmas-tide ask for the special grace to become as "little children" so as one day to be able to enter the kingdom of heaven.
First Day - Christmas
O sweet Jesus, Who didst become a little child for us, having been born of the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, give us the grace to imitate Thy humility, purity, patience, and charity, so that we may become more pleasing to Thee.
Sweet Infant Jesus, be Thou my love!
Second Day - St. Stephen
O St. Stephen, first of the glorious army of martyrs to shed thy blood for Christ, and who didst plead with our Lord for the forgiveness of thy persecutors, obtain for us the grace to imitate thee and to learn to love our enemies.
St. Stephen, pray for us!
Third Day - St. John, Apostle
O St. John, beloved Apostle of Christ, lover of the Incarnate Word, favorite Evangelist, obtain for us a great love for Jesus, a tender devotion to Mary, and courage to remain steadfast in all trials and sufferings of body, mind and soul.
St. John, pray for us!
Fourth Day - Holy Innocents
O all you Holy Innocents, who gave your lives for the Child Jesus, obtain for us the grace to profess our faith not only with our tongue, but mostly by our lives and through our actions, so that like you we may give praise and glory to God.
All you Holy Innocents, pray for us!
Fifth Day - St. Thomas of Canterbury
O great St. Thomas glorious Confessor, who didst fall a victim to the sword of the wicked in the defense of the Church, obtain for us the grace always to defend the divine rights of the Church and never to be ashamed of our faith.
St. Thomas of Canterbury, pray for us!
Sixth Day - Of the Octave of Christmas
Grant we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that as the Saviour of the world, Who was born on this day, is the Author of our divine generation, so He may Himself be to us the giver of immortality.
Sweet Infant Jesus, be Thou my love!
Seventh Day - St. Sylvester
O great St. Sylvester, Pope and Confessor, under whose pontificate the Church began to enjoy the great boon of liberty; obtain for us a great love and devotion to the Divinity of Christ which thou didst defend so ardently.
St. Sylvester, pray for us!
Octave Day - The Circumcision
O sweet Jesus, in Whose Holy Name every knee should bow in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, give unto us a perpetual fear and love of Thy Holy Name, that we may praise and magnify it forever.
O God, Who by the fruitful virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary hast bestowed upon the human race the reward of eternal salvation ; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may experience her intercession for us, through whom we have been made worthy to receive the author of life, Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who with Thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
Aspirations to the Infant Jesus
O sweet Jesus, with the angels let me praise Thee; with the shepherds let me see Thee; with St. Joseph let me find Thee.
O sweet Jesus, with Thy holy Mother I will embrace Thee; with the Magi I will adore Thee.
O sweet Jesus, with Thy spouses let me love Thee; with the servants let me serve Thee, live for Thee, honor Thee, and follow Thee.
O sweet Jesus, with all Thy chosen friends especially the saints of Christmas-tide, let me proclaim Thee, suffer for Thee, and finally die for Thee, O Jesus, Who art my Model, my Master, and my King. Amen.
Nihil Obstat John A. Schullen, S.T.D. Censor Liborum + Imprimatur ALBERT G. MEYER, S.S.J.
Archbishop of Milwaukee
Feast of St. Albert, November 15, 1955