What is a vademecum (Latin = “go-with-me”)? It is something to be kept constantly with us, as in, for example, a guidebook. In the spiritual life a vademecum is a good spiritual book which serves as a companion to our souls. The Holy Scriptures themselves should be our first and best vademecum in life. Having particular passages or verses close to us, especially when we learn them by heart, creates our own personal vademecum out of the larger trove of Sacred Scripture. These Scripture verses become our companions on the way.

I would like to suggest some particular verses of Scripture to memorize as building blocks for our vademecum.

1. The Benedictus, the Canticle of St. Zachary (Luke 1:68-79).
2. Our Lady’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).
3. The Nunc Dimittis, the Canticle of St. Simeon as he holds the Christ Child in his arms (Luke 2:29-32).

These three Gospel Canticle are prayed each day in the Church’s liturgy of the Divine Office: the Benedictus at Morning Prayer (Lauds), the Magnificat at Evening Prayer (Vespers), and the Nunc Dimittis at Night Prayer (Compline). Each of these Gospel Canticles is a Hymn of Praise and Thanksgiving for the Redemption of Christ.

Another important set of verses worth committing to memory is the Beatitudes as we find them in St. Matthew’s Gospel (Matt. 5:3-13) They are the words with which Christ begins His Sermon on the Mount, and that place is known in Galilee to this day as the Mount of Beatitudes. Even translations into modern-day English still capture the cadence of Christ’s words (He would have been speaking in Aramaic). They are beautiful poetry and instill in our hearts the highest ideals of the Gospel. 

(Fr. Higgins)









About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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"If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter."
- St. Therese of Lisieux (+1897)

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