Spiritual Safari Guide

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Copyright 2016. Karen Sheehy. All Rights Reserved.

What are holy days of obligation? The Code of Canon Law provides the following general norm for the Latin Rite of the universal Church: Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery, or Mass, is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost of holy day of obligation in the universal Church. Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Holy Mary Mother of God and her Immaculate Conception and Assumption, Saint Joseph, the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul and finally, All Saints.

On December 13, 1991 the members of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the  United States of America made the following general decree concerning holy days of obligation for Latin rite Catholics: In addition to Sunday, the following days to be observed as holy days includes:

  1. January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
  2. Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the solemnity of the Ascension
  3. August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  4. November 1, the solemnity of All Saints
  5. December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
  6. December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

NOTE: Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Sunday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.


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Click on the link below to find a monthly listing of not only the readings and Catholic saints of the day, but also suggested daily prayers and reminders for all Catholic holy days of obligation.


Note: Consists of three readings on Sundays and two on other days of the week.

  1. The first reading, usually taken from the Old Testament, can also come from the book of Acts during the Easter Season.
  2. The second reading always comes from the New Testament, usually from the Pauline Epistles.
  3. The third reading is always taken from one of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).


Catholic saints are human people who lived extraordinary lives of holiness. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts for the spreading of God's Kingdom. God calls each of us to be saints! Click on the link below to learn more about the Catholic Church's featured saint for the day.