Showing posts from August, 2010

New video of World Youth Day Madrid 2011

St. Raymund Nonnatus, Patron of Expectant Mothers

The saint of the day is St. Raymund Nonnatus. Raymund was born at Portella, Catalonia, Spain in 1204, the son of wealthy parents. He was delivered by caesarean section when his mother died in childbirth. Hence his name non natus (not born). In his childhood he seemed to find pleasure only in his devotions and serious duties. His father, sensing that Raymund was drawn to religious life, ordered him to manage one of the family farms. Raymund readily obeyed but spent his time with the shepherds and workers, studying and praying until his father abandoned the idea of making his son a worldly success. Raymund later joined the Mercederians, which was founded by St. Peter Nolasco, who devoted to ransoming Christians captured by the Moors. He succeeded Peter as chief ransomer and went to Algeria to ransom slaves. He remained as hostage for several slaves when his money ran out and was sentenced to be impaled when the governor learned that he had converted several Mohammedans. He escaped t

Saint Jeanne Jugan, A Saint for our Time

Saint Jeanne Jugan Sister Mary of the Cross (1792 – 1879) The saint of the day is St. Jeanne Jugan, founder of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Jeanne Jugan was born in the small, impoverished village of Cancale, Brittany, France on October 25, 1792. Her father, who was a fisherman, was at sea most of the time and her mother died when she was four years old. Her mother taught the family the truths of the faith during the French Revolution at a time when the Catholic faith was under persecution and its truths were suppressed. At age 16, Jeanne obtained work as a maid for a Christian woman who was devoted to helping the sick and the poor, and Jeanne accompanied her on these visits. As a result of this experience as well as her deep personal relationship with God, Jeanne chose to dedicate her life to God. At age 25, she left her hometown and went to a nearby city to minister to the sick and poor by working in a hospital. However, after six years of this type of work, she became ex

St. Augustine: a saint after my own heart

Today is the memorial of St. Augustine - one of my favorite saints. At age 12, I read his Confessions and was fascinated with his great love and passion for the Lord. Little did I realize at that time that eleven years later, I would stop practicing my own Catholic faith and, like Augustine, it would be the long-suffering and persistent prayers of my mother that would draw me to the heart of Jesus and back to the faith of my youth. St. Augustine was a Western Father of the Church and his conversion to Christianity is well-known as one of the most important events in the history of the Church. Augustine was born in Tagaste, Africa in 354 to Patrcius, a pagan Roman official, and to Monica, a devout Christian. Monica raised Augustine in the Christian faith, but when he went to study law in Carthage, he turned away from his Christian beliefs and led a life of immorality and hedonism. At age 15, he took a took a mistress who bore him a son, Adoedatus, which means “the gift of God,”

Saint of the Day: St. Monica, patron of wives and mothers

Today is the memorial of St. Monica, one of my favorite saints . She was a tenacious, patient and persistent prayer warrior who never gave up on her son, Augustine, a great sinner, who later became so strongly drawn to the faith that he was eventually canonized, as one of the Church's greatest teachers and philosophers and was designated as a doctor of the Church. Monica was born in 332 to Christian parents in present day Algeria to Christian parents and married at the age 13 or 14 to an older man named Patricius, who was neither wealthy nor Christian. He has also been described as an ill tempered man who was unfaithful to her. In addition, she had to deal with a live-in mother-in-law who was constantly criticizing her. She sought refuge in God through an intimate prayer life and in her three children: Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. (It is believed that two other children died in infancy.) In answer to her constant prayers, both her mother-in-law and her husband Patricius con

4th Anniversary of the Death of Community of St. John Founder

Today is not only the birthday of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta , but it is also the 4th anniversary of the death of the founder of the Community of St. John , Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, who died at the age of 93. I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting our beloved founder, Fr. Philippe, just months before he returned to his eternal reward. The following message from Sr Nirmala, the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, was sent to the Community on the day of Fr Philippe's death: "It is wonderful to hear that Fr Marie-Dominique Philippe returned to God on Aug 26, which is the Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa, the link with our beloved Holy Father John Paul II, and which is also the birthday of our Mother, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. With these three in Heaven, we can expect great things for the Church!" Fr. Marie-Dominique Philippe (1912-2006), a Dominican priest from France, taught philosophy and theology at the Saulchoir at Etiolles (t

Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa (The Black Madonna)  in Poland. The Black Madonna was painted by St. Luke the Evangelist; and it was while painting the picture, Mary told him about the life of Jesus, which he later incorporated into his gospel. The next time we hear of the painting is in 326 A.D. when St. Helen found it in Jerusalem and gave it to her son and had a shrine built for it in Constantinople. During a battle, the picture was placed on the walls of the city, and the enemy army fled. Our Lady saved the city from destruction. The picture was owned by many other people until 1382 when invading Tartars attacked a Prince Ladislaus' fortress, where the painting was located. A Tartar's arrow lodged into through the throat of the Madonna. The Prince transferred the painting to a church in Czestochowa, Poland. In 1430, the church was invaded and a looter struck the painting two times with his sword, but before he could strike it another time, he fell to th

Prayer to Our Lady for College Students

St. Thomas Aquinas O Mary, Seat of Wisdom, so many persons of common intellect have made through thy intercession admirable progress in their studies. I hereby choose thee as guardian and patron of my studies. I humbly ask thee to obtain for me the grace of the Holy Spirit, so that from now on I could understand more quickly, retain more readily, and express myself more fluently. May the example of my life serve to honor thee and thy Son, Jesus. Amen. Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!

St. Thomas Aquinas: Prayers for Students

A Prayer for Students Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance. Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. Prayer Before Studying Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance. Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and

Saint of the Day: St. Louis IX, Confessor, King of France

Today is the optional memorial of St. Louis IX, (1215-1270). Louis IX, King of France, son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, was born at Poissy, April 25, 1215. Louis was twelve years old when his father's death made him king.At that time, his mother Queen Blanche of Castile, was declared regent and remained an important influence throughout his life. Louis had tutors who made him a master of Latin, taught him to speak easily in public and write with dignity and grace. But Blanche's primary concern was to implant in him a deep regard and awe for everything related to religion. She used often to say to him as he was growing up, "I love you my dear son, as much as a mother can love her child; but I would rather see you dead at my feet than that you should commit a mortal sin." At nineteen, he married Marguerite of Provence and the couple had eleven children. Louis was a model father and his children received careful instruction from him in the Christian life

Spot-on: Fr. Barron's critique of "Inception"

As a psychologist and a theology student, I agree with Father Barron and am impressed by his critique of this very secular film:

Video: Is Obama Muslim?

Why is the country so confused about Obama's religion and what does that say about the country? Here is the link Michael Vorris mentions in the video: Related Posts on Catholic Fire: January 21, 2007:  Fox News: Barack Obama Raised as Muslim (video removed by YouTube)   Does this surprise anyone? February 11, 2007:  Pro-lifers greet pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama February 13, 2007: Barack Obama, A Very Confused Man September 11, 2007: New Survey: Voters Uneducated and Indifferent to Life and Family Issues September 8, 2008: Obama slips on TV: 'My Muslim faith' June 3, 2009: In Your Dreams, Obama...

Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle and Martyr

The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew TIEPOLO, Giovanni Battista 1722 Oil on canvas, 167 x 139 cm San Stae, Venice Today is the feast of St. Bartholomew. Saint Bartholomew is one of the Twelve Apostles, mentioned sixth in the three Gospel lists (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14), and seventh in the list of Acts (1:13). The name (Bartholomaios) means "son of Talmai" which was an ancient Hebrew name. Besides being listed as an Apostle, he is not otherwise mentioned in the New Testament. At least not under the name Bartholomew: many ancient writers, and Catholic tradition have identified Bartholomew as Nathaniel in the Gospel of John (John 1:45-51, and 21:2). The Gospel passage read at Mass on the feast of Saint Bartholomew is precisely this passage from John (1:45-51) where Nathaniel is introduced to Jesus by his friend Phillip, and Jesus says of him "Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him (1:47)." We are presented with the Apostle

Saint of the Day: St. Rose of Lima, Virgin

August 23 is the optional memorial of St. Rose of Lima, virgin. Isabella Flores de Oliva was born April 20, 1586 to Spanish immigrants in Lima, Peru. At her confirmation, she took the name of Rose, because as an infant, her face had been seen transformed by a mystical rose. She was pious from an early age. At age five, she built a small chapel for herself in the family garden. When she made her first confession, she obtained permission from her confessor to make a vow of virginity. Rose had a strong devotion for Jesus and His Holy Mother and spent long hours praying before the Blessed Sacrament. With St. Catherine of Siena as her model, Rose fasted three times a week, offered up severe penances, and when her vanity was attacked, she cut off her beautiful hair, and wore coarse clothing. She frequently deprived herself of food, water, and sleep. As a result of her exterior mortification, she had interior mystical experiences as well as long periods of darkness and desolation. For

A Personal Update and a Prayer Request

God has recently called me to follow a new path in my life -- to pursue my Master of Arts in Theology. The call has been there for several years, but just this summer, the doors were opened for me to enter without hesitation. It seems a little strange returning to college after 31 years, and I am feeling a little overwhelmed at the present time, but I feel confident that with God's grace, and if it is truly His will and not mine, that I will be successful in this new endeavor. For, "I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me." (Philippians 3:14) In your charity, would you please keep me in your prayers for success in my studies and for continued discernment for God's will in my life? The second question I am sure many of you are all asking is, "Will she continue to blog?" The answer is "yes", but blogging will not be as frequent as it has in the past, as my studies must take precedence over blogging. Hopefully, my posts here w

Saint of the Day: St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

Today is the memorial of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, abbot and doctor of the Church. Bernard, the founding abbot of Clairvaux Abbey in Burgundy, was one of the most commanding Church leaders in the first half of the twelfth century as well as one of the greatest spiritual masters of all times and the most powerful propagator of the Cistercian reform. Bernard is also known as the second founder of the Cistercians, the Mellifluous Doctor, and the last of the Fathers of the Holy Church. He was born to a noble family at Fontaines, near Dijon, France in 1090, the third of seven children, six of whom were sons. Bernard left his privileged life near Dijon, France, to join the Cistercians at the age of 22. He was well educated and so passionate about his faith that he convinced 30 of his relatives -- including all of his brothers, his uncle, and later his widowed father -- as well as many friends to join him at the abbey. Bernard first entered the abbey at Citeaux, but only three years l

Video: Fr. Mitch Pacwa interviews Archbishop Raymond Burke

Fr. Mitch has a great interview with Archbishop Burke on last night's edition of EWTN Live:

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan to mediate in mosque dispute

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has volunteered to act as a mediator in an increasingly bitter debate over plans to build a mosque near the "Ground Zero" site of the 9/11 terrorist attack. The archbishop said that he was hoping for a compromise between advocates and opponents of the Islamic-center construction project. He alluded to the success of Pope John Paul II in forging a compromise over the presence of a Carmelite convent at Auschwitz. The late Pontiff had suggested moving the convent to a site somewhat removed from the Nazi death camp. Suggesting a similar option for New York, Archbishop Dolan said: “It worked there; might work here.” ~ Via Catholic Culture. Related: Archbishop Offers to Mediate Islamic Center Controversy ( New York Times )   President Obama Defends Ground Zero Mosque! (Jimmy Akin) A Call to Common Sense (Barbara Nicolosi) The Ground Zero of Our Madness (Elizabeth Scalia -- The Anchoress)

The Fatal Formula

There is only one reason anyone makes a distinction between a human and a person, and that is to exploit an individual for some purpose. So who is making the distinction, what are the excuses for making the distinction, and what is the REAL agenda behind making the distinction? Another excellent video from American Life League :

Video: Some Clarity

Saint of the Day: St. John Eudes

Today is the optional memorial of St. John Eudes , a priest and member of a religious community, a parish missionary, founder of two religious communities and a great promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. John Eudes was born at Ri, Normandy, France, on November 14, 1601, the son of a farmer. He went to the Jesuit college at Caen when he was 14. Despite his parents' wishes that he marry, he joined the religious order of the Oratorians in France and was ordained a priest at the age of 24. John worked as a volunteer, caring for the victims of the plagues that struck Normandy in 1625 and 1631.  In order to avoid infecting his fellow religious, he lived in a huge cask in the middle of a field during the plague. At age 32, John became a parish missionary, building a reputation as an outstanding preacher and confessor. He was known for his opposition to Jansenism, which taught that human nature was corrupt, original sin rampant, and pe

The Holy Father recalls the life and legacy of St. Pius X

Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the ministry and legacy of Pope Pius X at his weekly general audience. More than 2,000 people attended the audience at his summer residence in the town of Castel Gandolfo.

Video: Angry Atheists

EMILY's List uses women dressed as bears to rally against pro-life candidates

Read my comments in red. A pro-abortion group’s campaign against former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin uses women dressed as bears to claim she does not speak for women. In response, a leader of a pro-life women’s group said the campaign shows the group is “running scared” and criticized it for calling pro-life women candidates “backwards-looking.”  EMILY’s List, which backs pro-abortion candidates, launched its “Sarah Doesn’t Speak for Me” campaign on Tuesday at the National Press club to counter Palin’s influence and to oppose her favored candidates.   Of course, Sarah Palin doesn't speak for them -- they are in favor of killing babies on demand. One ad used in the campaign shows several actresses wearing bear noses and furry hoods with bear ears. Trying to affect a playful demeanor, they responded to the Palin’s statement that “mamma grizzlies” attack when their cubs are threatened. Don't they look ridiculous in these hideous costumes? LOL! Read the full story. Here

Saint of the Day: St. Helena

The saint of the day is St. Helena. Empress mother of Constantine the Great.  She was a native of Bithynia, who married the then Roman general Constantius I Chlorus about 270. Constantine was born soon after, and in 293, Constantius was made Caesar, or junior emperor. He divorced Helena to marry co Emperor Maximian’s stepdaughter. Constantine became emperor in 312 after the fateful victory at Milvian Bridge, and Helena was named Augusta, or empress. She converted to  Christianity  and performed many  acts  of charity, including building churches in  Rome  and in the Holy Land.  On a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Helena discovered the True Cross.  She is believed to have died in Nicomedia.  Her porphyry sarcophagus is in the Vatican Museum.  Geoffrey of Monmouth, England, started the legend that Helena was the daughter of the king of Colchester, a tradition no longer upheld.  In liturgical art Helena is depicted as an empress, holding a cross. Saint Helena is the patroness of difficu

Video: Little Girl Inspires Hope and Healing

The inspiring story of 5-year-old Elena Desserich, a pediatric brain cancer victim. Elena left love notes hidden throughout her house, in which her parents keep finding, even 2 years after her death.

Pro-Life teen wins freedom of speech case in federal court (video)

PTL for this free speech victory! KFSN Fresno covers a Merced, CA teenager's First Amendment victory to wear her pro-life t-shirt to school. Read the story about this case.

Video: The Jews

Is the Old Covenant still in effect? Here's a clue: there's a new covenant.

Saint of the Day: St. Hyacinth, "Apostle of Poland"

St. Hyacinth was a Dominican missionary called “the Apostle of Poland.” Born in Oppeln, Poland, he studied at Krakow, Prague, and Bologna and received the title of Doctor of Law and Divinity. Accompanying his uncle, Bishop Ivo Konski of Krakow, to Rome, he there met Saint Dominic and was among the first to be enrolled in the new Order of Friars Minor. He received the Dominican habit in 1220 from St. Dominic. Hyacinth founded communities in Sandomir, Kracow, and at Plocko on the Vistula in Moravia. He extended his missionary work through Prussia, Pomerania, and Lithuania; then crossing the Baltic Sea he preached in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Russia, reaching the shores of the Black Sea. During an attack on a monastery, Hyacinth managed to save a crucifix and statue of Mary, though the statue weighed far more than he could normally have lifted. He died in Krakow, Poland, on August 15, 1257, and was canonized in 1594. St. Hyacinth is the patron of Poland.

$600,000 in Prizes to be Awarded to Life Saving Heroes

Gerard Health Foundation Announces Second  “Life Prizes” Natick, MA – Up to $600,000 will be awarded to individuals or organizations that have worked to save human lives and will be honored for their life saving principles and practices at an invitation-only ceremony in January hosted by the Gerard Health Foundation as part of their second Life Prizes program. The inaugural awards and ceremony in 2009 were unprecedented in size and magnificence. More than 1,200 VIPs, students and pro-life activists gathered to honor the winners. Celebrity participation included Master of Ceremonies Laura Ingraham and popular Christian rock band BarlowGirl. Again in Nobel Prize-like fashion, the 2009 - 2010 “Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Life Prizes” awards will formally recognize winners at a spectacular ceremony and reception to be held in Washington DC on January 22, 2011. The 2009 – 2010 winners will be selected based upon their success in saving human lives through efforts includ

Inspiring Catholics to Vote

Hat tip: Matthew Archbold at Creative Minority Report

Italian physician says ella should be absolutely 'condemned'

Reacting to the recent approval in Europe and the U.S. of the new drug ella, Lucio Romano, president of the Rome-based Science and Life Association, said today on Vatican Radio that the pill should be absolutely “condemned.” Pro-life groups in the United States have denounced the drug because it has been marketed internationally as an emergency contraceptive, while claims have emerged that it acts instead as an abortifacient. Ella was approved on August 13 by the FDA for distribution in the U.S. and was approved for European distribution in May. In an interview with Vatican Radio that aired on August 16, Romano, who is a gynecologist, said the news of the approval is “dramatic” in that it is furthering the societal acceptance of a drug that acts as an abortifacient. Romano explained that if the pill is taken when ovulation and fertilization have already occurred, the drug then “impedes the implantation of the embryo.” Romano added that the approval of the drug shows how abortion

Benedict XVI: "Love of the Virgin is Beginning of Christianity"

During the feast of the Assumption, the Pope prayed the Angelus with pilgrims who traveled to Castel Gandolfo.

FDA Approves Dangerous 'Ella' Abortion Drug as Contraception

Another disastrous and dangerous drug has been released by the FDA, driven by politics. LifeSiteNews reports: The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Friday afternoon HRA Pharma’s “ella,” a new drug billed as an advanced form of "emergency contraception," for sale and distribution in the United States. However, pro-life advocates have raised the alarm on the drug’s safety and testing, and say ella is little more than a chemical abortion drug similar to RU-486, remarketed to the public as contraception. The FDA’s unanimous decision allows the drug to be marketed in the United States as an “occasional” emergency contraception, taken by a woman up to five days after sexual intercourse. The FDA warned, however, that it was unsafe for women to use ella more than occasionally, as they had no data on its safety over the long term. They also warned that women should be ruled out as pregnant before being prescribed ella, and women experiencing lower abdominal pain

Saint of the Day: St. Stephen of Hungary

Today is the optional memorial of St. Stephen of Hungary (977-1038). Stephen was the son of the Magyar chieftain Geza and succeeded him as leader in 997. Born a pagan, Stephen was baptized at age 10, along with his father, and was raised as a Christian. In 996, at age 20, he married Gisela, the daughter of Duke Henry II of Bavaria and devoted much of his reign to the promotion of the Christian faith. He gave his patronage to Church leaders, helped build churches, and was a proponent of the rights of the Holy See. Stephen also crushed the pagan counterreaction to Christianity, and converted the so-called Black Hungarians after their failed rebellion. In recognition of his efforts, Stephen was crowned king of Hungary in 1000, receiving the cross and the crown from Pope Sylvester II. His crown and regalia became beloved symbols of the Hungarian nation, and Stephen was venerated as the ideal Christian king. The secret of St. Stephen's amazing success in leading his people to the

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrates her being taken up body and soul into heaven when her earthly title was finished. It first began to be celebrated as a feast day in the Eastern Church after the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431) proclaimed Mary the Mother of God. By the sixth century, the feast celebrated Mary’s Dormition, “her falling asleep”. The western church began to celebrate this feast around 650. The Church’s teaching on the Assumption was formally proclaimed a doctrine by Pope Pius XII in 1950. In today’s society, many idolize sensuality, materialism, and self-indulgence. In contrast, the celebration of the feast of the Assumption Our Blessed Virgin Mary turns our eyes away from these temporary, earthly attachments and directs our focus on the dignity and destiny of our human body and the beauty and dignity of womanhood. It turns our eyes upon the true life which awaits us beyond the grave – eternal life. May we take heart that one day our bodies and

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