January 8
The Epiphany of the Lord



St. André Bessette (Feast Day January 6)

August 9, 1845 – January 6, 1937

Brother André was born in Canada near Montreal. He had a life-long devotion to St. Joseph. As a young adult, he entered the Congregation of Holy Cross. Much like Blessed Solanus Casey, he was given the humble job of doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal and had an incredible gift of healing. When an epidemic broke out at a nearby college, André volunteered to nurse; not one person died. The trickle of sick people to his door became a flood. He died at the age of 92 and is buried in the basilica he helped to build. He was canonized a saint in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. 

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·      Why do the Magi pay homage to the baby Jesus?

·      What kind of gifts do they bring to him? What do these gifts symbolize?

·      What gift would you give to the baby Jesus?

·      What inspires you about the story of St. André Bessette?

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Chalk the Door!

The chalking of the doors is a centuries-old practice used to celebrate Epiphany throughout the world. Take chalk of any color and write the following above the entrance of your home: 20 + C + M + B + 23. The letters represent the initials of the Magi — Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat: “May Christ bless the house.” The plus signs represent the cross, and the “20” at the beginning and the “23” at the end mark the year. This inscription asks Jesus to bless those homes so marked and those that live there throughout the entire year.

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French Epiphany King Cake (Galette des Rois)

La galette des rois is a traditional pie the French like to prepare to celebrate the Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas when the wise men visit the baby Jesus. According to this Christian tradition, the galette des rois was to “draw the kings” to the Epiphany. La galette is traditionally filled with frangipane, a sweet cream made of almonds, eggs, butter, sugar, and a lucky charm (la fève) hidden inside. Whoever gets and eats the slice with the fève inside is crowned king or queen for the day.

Almond Cream Filling:

½ cup almond (meal/ground)

¼ cup sugar (granulated)

1 egg

3 Tbsp butter (softened)

¾ tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp flour (all-purpose)


17-ounce puff pastry (thawed)

1 batch almond cream filling

1 egg (beaten)

Optional: plastic baby Jesus figure

2 Tbsp sugar (confectioners')


* If nut allergies are a problem, use an apple pie filling as a substitute for almond cream.

How to Make Almond Cream Filling: Using a food processor, combine the first six ingredients to form a smooth, creamy paste.

How to Make the Cake: Preheat the oven to 425 F. Roll out the sheets of puff pastry and cut out two 11-inch circles. Place one of the circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon the filling on the puff pastry and spread it to within 1 ½ inches of the edge of the circle. If desired, hide the toy in the filling. Place the second pastry circle on top of the filling, crimping or pressing the edges of the pastry to seal the cake. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and bake it for 15 minutes. Dust the cake with the powdered sugar and bake it for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, until it turns golden brown. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes on the baking sheet. If desired, top the cake before serving with a round of gold paper to be used as the "crown."  Cut the cake into even slices and crown the one who finds the baby Jesus as the "king" or "queen" with the gold paper round atop the cake. (Be sure to supervise children to ensure that no one tries to consume the baby Jesus figure.)

From https://www.thespruceeats.com/cinnamon-galette-des-rois-recipe-1375043

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Lord Jesus,

Today we celebrate your kingship over all the nations. Just as the Three Wise Men gave gifts to you that day, we present our family as a gift to you. Bless our home and help our family to be a light to our friends and family so that through us, they can meet you. Amen.

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The Presentation and Preparation of the Gifts at Mass is when members of the assembly bring the gifts of bread and wine to the altar. (CCC 1350-1351) When that happens, we offer ourselves along with the bread and wine to Jesus. Today, when the gifts are presented at Mass, offer yourself to Jesus.

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Think of someone who may be going through a difficult time. Present a small gift from your family to let them know you care. Gift ideas could include hand-made cards, fresh-baked cookies, or whatever your family thinks is appropriate.

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The word “Epiphany” means manifestation. The feast of the Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God, and king of the nations. It celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (Magi) from the East who represent neighboring pagan nations that welcome the Good News of salvation through the birth of Jesus. (CCC 528)

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