St. Nicholas, by Titian, 1563
Prayer to Saint Nicholas
O good St. Nicholas, you who are the joy
of the children, put in my heart the spirit of childhood,
which the gospel speaks, and teach me to seed happiness around me.
You, whose feast prepares us for Christmas,
open my faith to the mystery of God made man.
You, good bishop and shepherd, help me to find my place in the Church
and inspire the Church to be faithful to the gospel.
O good St. Nicholas, patron of children, sailors and the helpless,
watch over those who pray to Jesus, your Lord and theirs,
as well as over those who humble themselves before you.
Bring us all in reverence to the Holy Child of Bethlehem,
when true joy and peace are found.
Francis Xavier, by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1670
“It is not the actual physical exertion that counts towards one’s progress, nor the nature of the task, but by the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken.”
St. Francis Xavier
“Advent is the season of the presence and expectation of the eternal. For this very reason, it is in a particular way a period of joy …joy in the fact that God made himself a Child. This joy, invisibly present within us, encourages us to journey on with confidence.”
Pope Benedict XVI
Prayers for Lighting the Advent Wreath Candles
From A Prayer Book of Catholic Devotions
All powerful God, Increase our strength of will for doing good that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming and call us to his side in the kingdom of heaven, where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, forever and ever.