January 1
Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God



The Blessed Virgin Mary (Feast Day January 1)

First Century

Mary is the Mother of God because she is the Mother of Jesus, true God and true Man (CCC 495,496; Council of Ephesus, 431 AD). Because of this, she, more than anyone else, can lead us to her Son. No one knows Jesus or can relate to him as well as she does. Mary was conceived without sin by her parents St. Joachim and St. Anne, and she was married to St. Joseph. In addition to today’s solemnity, the Church celebrates the following events of her life: her Immaculate Conception (December 8), the visit by the angel Gabriel, who told her she would become Jesus’ mother (Annunciation, March 25), her visit to her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist (Visitation, May 31), and her Assumption into heaven (August 15). All of these are celebrated as feast days in the liturgical year. Mary is our spiritual Mother and is considered the Queen of Heaven. Mary prays on our behalf to her son Jesus. She is the patron saint of all humanity. 

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·      What was it like for the shepherds to see the baby Jesus?

·      The shepherds share about their encounter with Jesus with others. What would you tell others about Jesus?

·      Jesus’ name means “God saves.” Why is this name fitting for Jesus?

·      Mary prays on our behalf to Jesus. What are some prayers you’d like to ask of Mary?

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Make a Calendar

This is a great project because there’s no right way to make one, and it’s a fun keepsake that will hang around for an entire year. Keep it simple or get super crafty— it’s all up to your imagination. Invite family members to draw or paint a scene for each month. Print out a calendar from an online web page such as https://www.calendarlabs.com/. One by one, glue the pages behind the drawing so that when it flips upward, you’ll have the right picture and month. For example, the calendar days for January should be glued to the February picture, the calendar days for February should be glued to March, and so on. Once you’ve glued all the calendar pages to the drawings, laminate each page or place each page into a plastic folder sleeve.

Put the pages in order. Staple across the top (or use a three-hole punch and string to tie the pages together) to create a flip book. Open your calendar to January. Punch one hole at the top and hang it on the wall. Enjoy!

Alternatively, check out https://www.todaysparent.com/family/crafts/5-calendar-crafts-for-kids/#gallery/5-calendar-crafts-for-kids/slide-3 for variations on this craft.

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Tiramisu is Italian for "pick me up." This recipe, made with ladyfingers, will help you to celebrate our Lady today.

For the cream:

4 large egg yolks

½ cup granulated sugar, divided

¾ cup heavy cream

1 cup mascarpone (8 ounces)

For the assembly:

1 ¾ cups good espresso or very strong coffee

2 Tbsp rum or cognac

2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

About 24 ladyfingers (from one 7-ounce package)

1 to 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, for shaving (optional)

Using an electric mixer in a medium bowl, whip together egg yolks and ¼ cup sugar until very pale yellow and about tripled in volume. A slight ribbon should fall from the beaters (or whisk attachment) when lifted from the bowl. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, wiping out the medium bowl used to whip the yolks and set aside.

In the medium bowl, whip cream and remaining ¼ cup until it creates soft-medium peaks. Add mascarpone and continue to whip until it creates a soft, spreadable mixture with medium peaks. Gently fold the mascarpone mixture into the sweetened egg yolks until combined.

Combine espresso and rum in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Using a sifter, dust the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish (an 8x8-inch dish, or a 9-inch round cake pan would also work here) with 1 Tbsp cocoa powder. Working one at a time, quickly dip each ladyfinger into the espresso mixture -- they are quite porous and will fall apart if left in the liquid too long -- and place them rounded side up at the bottom of the baking dish. Repeat, using half the ladyfingers, until you’ve got an even layer, breaking the ladyfingers in half as needed to fill in any obvious gaps. Spread half the mascarpone mixture onto the ladyfingers in one even layer. Repeat with remaining espresso-dipped ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.

Dust top layer with remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder. Top with shaved or finely grated chocolate, if desired.

Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (if you can wait 24 hours, all the better) before slicing or scooping to serve.

From https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018684-classic-tiramisu

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The Magnificat

Pray the Magnificat together. This is the canticle of Mary. In Scripture, the hymn is found after the jubilant meeting of Mary, pregnant with Jesus, and her relative Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist (See Luke 1: 46-55). Recite the prayer or find a sung version of the prayer.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,

my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:

the Almighty has done great things for me,

and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him

in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,

he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,

and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel

for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers,

to Abraham and his children forever.


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Go to the manger display at your church to discover who else met the baby Jesus. 

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Create a list of New Year’s Resolutions that will help your family grow in faith and spend quality time together.

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Julius Caesar established January 1 as the first day of the year in 45 B.C.

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