Showing posts from March, 2012

Pope Benedict's General Prayer Intention for April: Vocations


Blessed Jane of Toulouse

The saint of the day for March 31 is Blessed Jane of Toulouse.

Blessed Jane lived in the French town of Toulouse during the 13th century. A Carmelite monastery was founded in the same town in 1240 which exposed Jane to the Carmelite lifestyle and spirituality.

In 1265 when St. Simon Stock, a 13th century reformer of the Carmelites, was passing through Toulouse, Jane met him and requested to be affiliated with the Carmelites. Simon agreed and Jane became the first Third Order Carmelite.

Jane vowed herself to perpetual chastity and applied herself completely to the Carmelite Rule. In addition to many daily holy practices and penances, she reached out to the community and worked to help the sick and poor. One of Jane's primary missions was encouraging the boys of the town to help her serve the poor and help them discern whether or not they were called to be Carmelites.

Blessed Jane is considered to be a founder of the Carmelite tertiary order and is considered to be its first member…

Top Five Pitfalls of New Converts

According to Jenifer Fulwiler, a recent convert of five years, they include:

1. Discounting Spiritual Attack

2. Thinking that Catholics are Perfect

3. Not developing a relationship with Christ

4. Not seeking answers to tough questions

5. Not rooting yourself in a community

Read the story here.

Waiting Until Marriage is Worth It


Organic girl takes the Pill

This video points out the inconsistency of those who strive to eat a pesticide- and hormone-free diet yet take a hormone-laced contraceptive pill without thinking. Produced by the Catholic Advance, Diocese of Wichita.

NFP is so much better!

St. John Climacus

Today we commemorate St. John Climacus, a seventh century monk.

John was called Climacus (which means "of the ladder") because he wrote "Climax" also known as "The Ladder of Paradise." John was born in Palestine around the year 525. Although he was well-educated and brilliant, John decided at the at age 16 to retire to a life of solitude in Mount Sinai, which was inhabited by holy monks. There he was placed under the direction of a holy monk named Martyrius.

As a novice, John was fervent and unrelenting in his efforts for self-mastery. For the next four years, he spent his time in prayer, fasting, meditation and discernment while preparing to take solemn vows to the religious life. Through the direction of Martyrius, John curbed his vices and worked to perfect his virtues. After professing his solemn vows, John began to spend more of his time studying scriptures and the early fathers of the Church.

Martyius died when John was 35. At that time, John withd…

Pope Benedict's Must Read Messages from Cuba

Here are some great Pope Benedict quotes collected by EWTN News Director Raymond Arroyo:

TRUTH "The truth is a desire of the human person, the search for which always supposes the exercise of authentic freedom... On the other hand, there are those who wrongly interpret this search for the truth, leading them to irrationality and fanaticism; they close themselves up in "their truth", and try to impose it on others.... Each human being has to seek the truth and to choose it when he or she finds it, even at the risk of embracing sacrifices." Jose Marti Square, Havana March 28, 2012

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM "The Church lives to make others sharers in the one thing she possesses...Christ, our hope and glory. To carry out this duty, she must count on the basic religious freedom, which consists in her being able to proclaim and to celebrate her faith also in public, bringing others the message of love, reconciliation, and peace which Jesus brought to the world." Jose Ma…

St. Berthold

The saint we remember today is St. Berthold.
Berthold seems to have had a connection with the beginnings of the Carmelite Order. He was a relative of Aymeric, the Latin patriarch of Antioch who was installed in Antioch during the crusades. At the time, there were a number of hermits from the West scattered throughout Palestine, and Berthold gathered them together, founded a community of priests who settled on Mount Carmel, and became their first superior.
There is a legend that he was born at Limoges in France, studied in Paris, and was ordained a priest there. According to the legend, he accompanied Aymeric on the crusades and found himself in Antioch when it was being besieged by the Saracens. Through his urgings, the Christians in Antioch turned to prayer and penance, and the city was delivered.

What is known for certain is that St. Berthold directed the building of a monastery and church on Mount Carmel and dedicated the church in honor of the prophet Elias, who had defeated the pr…

Benedict XVI meets with Fidel Castro in half hour private meeting


The Church in Cuba


Pope St. Sixtus III

Today’s saint of the day is Pope St. Sixtus III, chosen to be the 44th pope in 432. He was born in Rome, Italy and died in 440. During his pontificate, he was falsely accused of favoring Nestorianism and Pelagianism, because of his conciliatory disposition during their controversies.

Pope St. Sixtus III

• approved of the Acts of the Council of Ephesus
• defended the supremacy of the pope over Illyricum, against the local bishops and Proclus of Constantinople
• restored the Basilica of Liberius, known as St. Mary Major
• beautified Saint Peter's, and the Lateran Basilica

Fr. Barron on "The Hunger Games" (Spoilers)


St. Rupert of Salzburg

The saint of the day is St. Rupert of Salzburg, a bishop and missionary who lived in the eighth century during the time of Childebert III, King of the Franks.

St. Rupert was a member of a noble Frankish family. Rupert was a lover of the truth who was well-known for his simplicity and common sense. He was pious, charitable, and pure. As bishop of Worms, Germany, he was dedicated to spreading the faith among the Germans and suceeded in converting whole regions. He took over the deserted town of Luvavum about 697, which was renamed Salzburg, Austria. Rupert founded St. Peter's Church and Abbey and the Nonnburg convent, where his sister served as the first abbess. He died on March 27, 718 at Salzburg and is venerated as the first archbishop of this major diocese in the West. Rupert is revered as the Apostle of Bavaria and Austria.

In Christian art, St. Rupert is depicted with a vessel of salt in his hand, symbolizing the universal tradition according to which Rupert inaugurated salt-…

Pope dons a sombrero in Mexico


The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

The Annunciation by Philippe de Champaigne
Today is the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. This special Feast commemorates the moment when the angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would give birth to the Child Jesus. (Lk. 1:26-38). It was the moment when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that the Incarnation of God would be fulfilled through her. This was the official announcement that the Word of God would become man.

The Annunciation heralds the beginning of our salvation. By Mary's obedient "Fiat" the earth has become heaven. "In Jesus, God has placed in the midst of barren, despairing mankind, a new beginning which is not a product of human history but a gift from above" (Pope Benedict XVI). All that our heart cries out for became flesh in Mary's wound. When we repeat the words of the angel by praying the Hail Mary, the word of God germinates in our soul. Christianity is this never-ending event of encounter with God mad…

Continuing Prayers Needed for Fr. Trigilio of EWTN

Via Maryland Coalition for Life:

On Monday, March 19th, it was announced that Father John Trigilio has been in a bad car accident and is in critical condition! He was coming back home to his parish after visiting his mother who recently had surgery and is in rehab. Please pray fervently for the total recovery of this good and faithful priest, many of you may know him from EWTN.

Update via  EWTN:

 Dear EWTN Family:

Please keep Fr. John Trigilio, Co-host of Web of Faith and Crash Course in Catholicism, in your prayers as he recovers from non-life threatening injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He is currently at home recovering and his condition continues to improve. He appreciates all the prayers!

Please join me in praying for Fr. Trugillio.

St. Catherine of Sweden

The saint of the day is St. Catherine of Sweden, the patron saint against abortion and miscarriages.

Catherine was born in 1331, the fourth of eight children, to Saint Bridget of Sweden and Ulf Gudmarsson.

At the age of seven, Catherine was sent to Risberg Convent to be educated. She desired to remain in the convent to pursue a religious vocation, but she was promised in marriage to the virtuous and pious German noble Eggard Lydersson von Kürnen, a lifelong invalid. At age 13, the two were united in the sacrament of matrimony. Although Catherine was very beautiful, she and Eggard took a mutual vow of perpetual chastity. They devoted themselves to a life of Christian perfection and active charity.

In 1348, Catherine's father died. With Eggard’s permission, Catherine joined her mother on various pilgrimages. During these pilgrimages, they visited the tombs of the martyrs the churches, and together practiced works of piety, caring for the poor and the sick. In 1349, Catherine travel…

Pope meets with reporters on Papal plane: "The Church has always sided with liberty"

March 23, 2012. ( During the flight to Mexico, Benedict XVI held a brief press conference with reporters who're traveling with him on the Papal plane.

He talked about the fond memories he has of John Paul II's travels to Mexico and Cuba. He also said that he wants to follow his predecessors footsteps in these two visits.

When asked about the situation in Cuba, Benedict XVI said the Church has always sided with freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

Given the problems of drug related violence affecting Mexico, the Pope said it's the Church's responsibility to educate people and unmask the dangers that come from idolizing money and power. He said, doing so only leads to false promises, lies and deceit.

Saint Turibius of Mongrovejo

The saint of the day for March 23 is Saint Turibius of Mongrovejo also known as St. Toribio de Mogrovejo, the great figure in the history of the Church in Latin America, the second archbishop of Lima. Together with Rose of Lima, Turibius of Mongrovejo is the first known saint of the New World, serving the Lord in Peru, South America, for 26 years.

Born in Spain and educated for the law, he became so brilliant a scholar that he was made professor of law at the University of Salamanca and eventually became chief judge of the Inquisition at Granada. He succeeded too well. But he was not sharp enough a lawyer to prevent a surprising sequence of events.

In 1580 the archbishopric of Lima, capital of Spain's colony in Peru, became vacant. He was the one person with the strength of character and holiness of spirit to heal those who had infected that area. He protested the assignment, but was overruled. He was ordained priest and bishop and sent to Peru, where he found colonialism at its w…

Abby Johnson: Every Life is Beautiful


Fr. Barron comments on Palm Sunday


21 Catholic Bishops Speaking at Nationwide Religious Freedom Rallies Tomorrow

With the Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom now just one day away, 21 Catholic bishops are scheduled to speak at various Rallies across the country.

And, an additional five bishops have provided written statements that will be read at rally sites in their dioceses.

The Catholic bishops are the ones who led the call for resistance to the HHS Mandate, and it’s so encouraging to see them supporting our response.

Bishops Attending Rallies

Most Rev. Robert J. Baker, S.T.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Birmingham
Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, Bishop of the Diocese of Oakland
Most Rev. Cirilo Flores, Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego
Most Rev. Thomas Doran, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockford
Most Rev. Kenneth Steiner, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Portland
Most Rev. John Quinn, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona
Most Rev. John Kudrick, Bishop of the Eparchy of Parma
Most Rev. David Choby, Bishop of the Diocese of Nashville
Most Rev. John Yanta, Bishop Emeritus of D…

October Baby opens this weekend

Read the review by Steven D. Greydanus at National Catholic Register.

A Vote for Life!

This weekend, when the biggest box-office hit is expected be a film based on a popular book about young people being forced to fight to the death, OCTOBER BABY hits theaters with a resounding message about the sanctity of life. Talk about a culture in need of a wake-up call!

On top of that, every ticket purchased for OCTOBER BABY is a vote for life. The producers of OCTOBER BABY have assigned 10 percent of the profits of the movie to the Every Life is Beautiful Fund, which will distribute funds to frontline organizations helping women facing crisis pregnancies, life-affirming adoption agencies, and those caring for orphans.

Learn more at

Find a theater near you.

Top Ten Films for Lent

Lent is a season of  drawing  into a deeper intimacy with Jesus. Watching sacred films during Lent is one method I use to draw closer to Christ. Here are the films I recommend watching this Lent, which have served that purpose for me:

1.  The Passion of the Christ (2004)  Oscar-winning actor-director Mel Gibson helms this epic that focuses on the last 12 hours of Jesus's life -- from the betrayal, trial and death of Jesus to his brutal crucifixion and resurrection from the tomb. Starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus, Maia Morgenstern as Jesus's mother and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene, The Passion is spoken entirely in Latin and Aramaic, and the violent Crucifixion scenes are incredibly graphic. This film moved me to tears and lifted me up spiritually in a way no other movie has.

2.  The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) Swedish actor Max Von Sydow made his English-speaking debut in this gargantuan retelling of the life of Christ from Giant director George Stevens. The much-ballyhoo…

St. Lea of Rome

The saint of the day for March 22 is St. Lea of Rome.

St. Lea was a widow who lived in fourth century Rome and died around the year 384. After the death of her husband, she retired from the world to a monastery and eventually became superior of the community there. Much of the information available concerning the life of St. Lea, who has long been honored in the Roman Martyrology, comes from a letter from St. Jerome to Marcella which compares Lea's life to that of the Counsul Praetextaus. An excerpt of this letter, the twentieth epistle of St. Jerome is found below.

"Who will praise the blessed Lea as she deserves? She renounced painting her face and adorning her head with shining pearls. She exchanged her rich attire for sackcloth, and ceased to command others in order to obey all. She dwelt in a corner with a few bits of furniture; she spent her nights in prayer, and instructed her companions through her example rather than through protests and speeches. And she looked for…

Eduardo Verastegui stars in new film on Mexico's religious persecution: "For Greater Glory"

March 21, 2012. ( On April 20th a film that deals with a key part of Mexico's history with Catholicism will be released in Mexico. The movie, is called “For Greater Glory.” The cast includes big Hollywood names like Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, and Peter O' Toole.

The film deals with Mexico's so called “Cristero War,” which broke out in 1926. The war was fueled by religious persecution, but people fought back, hence the name “Cristeros” for Christ.

Among the actors is Eduardo Verastegui, who plays the role of a martyr named Anacleto Gonzalez. He was a family man who died forgiving his murderers.

The film is directed by Dean Wright who worked on big name films like 'The Chronicles of Narnia' and 'Lord of the Rings'. In the US it will be released on June 1st.

In fact, a preview of the movie was shown at World Youth Day in Madrid. Also Mexico's former president, Vicente Fox, recently saw the film after showing interest in the project.…

St. Nicholas of Flue

Today, the universal church celebrates the feast of St. Nicholas of Flue. During his lifetime, the Swiss saint had 10 children, became a hermit and later prevented a civil war.

Nicholas was born in 1417 near the Lake of Lucerne in Switzerland. He married at the age of 30 and had 10 children. In addition to his duties as a husband and a father, Nicholas donated his talents and time selflessly to the community and always strove to give an excellent moral example to all.

The saint was also able to devote much of his private life to developing a strong relationship with the Lord. He had a strict regime of fasting and he spent a great deal of time in contemplative prayer.

Around the year 1467, when he was 50 years old, Nicholas felt called to retire from the world and become a hermit. His wife and children gave their approval, and he left home to live in a hermitage a few miles away. While living as a hermit, Nicholas soon gained a wide reputation on account of his personal sanctity and ma…

A Catholic Student's Response to the HHS Mandate


St. Maria Josefa of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today's saint of the day is St. Maria Josefa of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 1 in the Jubilee Year 2000, St Maria Josefa was the Foundress of the Institute of the Servants of Jesus of Charity.

"Do not believe that caring for the sick consists only in giving them medicine and food; there is another kind of care which you should never forget, that of the heart which seeks to adapt to the suffering person, going to meet his needs.” These are the words of one whose mind and heart were fully seized of a mission, Saint Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus. The mission: to be a “neighbor” to the sick and the suffering in the world.

Maria Josefa was the eldest daughter of Bernabe Sancho and Petra de Guerra. Born on September 7, 1842 in Vitoria, Spain, she lost her father when she was barely 15. Very early in life, she nurtured a strong devotion to the Eucharist, the Sacred Heart and our Blessed Mother. She was deeply inclined towards solitude; h…

Benedict XVI celebrates his feast day quietly

March 19, 2012. ( March 19th is the feast day of St. Joseph. The adoptive father of Jesus, who cared for him and the Virgin Mary.

The day is actually a holiday at the Vatican, since St. Joseph is the patron of the Catholic Church, and of course, since it's also the feast day of the Pope, Joseph Ratzinger. But this year, the day will be celebrated calmly, since the Pope is getting ready for his upcoming trip to Mexico and Cuba in late March.

Pope Benedict XVI: Who is St. Joseph?

March 19, 2012. ( Monday, March 19th is the feast day of St. Joseph. Benedict XVI talked about this saint during a general audience held on December 28, 2011.

His humble and sincere love for his betrothed and his decision to join his life to Mary’s attracted and introduced him, “a just man”, to a special intimacy with God. Indeed, with Mary and later, especially, with Jesus, he began a new way of relating to God, accepting him in his life, entering his project of salvation and doing his will. After trustfully complying with the Angel’s instructions “Do not fear to take Mary your wife” — he took Mary to him and shared his life with her; he truly gave the whole of himself to Mary and to Jesus and this led him to perfect his response to the vocation he had received.

As we know, the Gospel has not recorded any of Joseph’s words: his is a silent and faithful, patient and hard-working presence. We may imagine that he too, like his wife and in close harmony with her, lived …

St. Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary, foster father of Jesus, and patron of the universal Church

Today is the solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary, foster father of Jesus, and patron of the universal Church. On May 31, we honor St. Joseph as the patron of workers.

Most of the reliable information on St. Joseph is contained in the first two chapters of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Here we discover that Joseph was of royal descent from David, that the family was from Bethlehem in Judea and that Joseph, who was a builder, had moved from Bethlehem to Nazareth in Galilee.

Joseph was engaged to Mary and upon learning that she was pregnant; he had plans to divorce her. Described in Matthew as a righteous man, he intended to dismiss her quietly. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream to tell him, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (MT 1:20-21). "When Joseph wo…

St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about 385 AD. His given name was Maewyn.

Until he was 16 he considered himself a pagan. He was kidnapped from the British mainland at that time by a group of Irish raiders who sold him into slavery. He escaped from slavery after six years and returned to his homeland. There he heard the call to return and bring Christianity to Ireland, so he went to Gaul and studied in the monastery under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for a period of twelve years.

He was ordained a priest, consecrated a bishop and returned to Ireland around 435 AD. Patrick was quite successful at winning converts, which led to clashes with the Celtic Druids. He was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He travelled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion of the Irish country to Christianity. In thirty-three years, he successfully converted Ireland. Af…

St. Eusebia, Benedictine Abbess

Today's saint is St. Eusebia (637-680), a Benedictine abbess, the daughter of Sts. Adalbald and Rictrudis and the great-granddaughter of Saint Gertrude the Elder.

Eusebia's father was murdered when she was eight. Following his death, she was sent to the abbey of Hamage, Doudi, France, which her great-grandmother had founded and served as abbess. Gertrude died when Eusebia was twelve years old and she was elected to replace her. Rictrudis, realizing her daughter had no hope of governing the abbey, but wanting to keep it under the protection of a noble house, merged Hamage with her own house of Marchiennes, and ordered all the sisters to move in together under her rule. Many of the uprooted sisters, including Eusebia, were unhappy with this order as it kept them from obeying Saint Gertrude‘s last request. After much time and debate, the dissident sisters were permitted to return to their old house, taking Gertrude‘s relics with them, and taking Eusebia as their abbess. The delay…

Obama's Plan for Abortion on Demand at Our Expense

This doesn't shock me. I actually suspected that something like this was in the making -- the devil is relentless. But, if God's people unite, we can bring a halt to this evil. We MUST pray, fast, and do penance to stop put an end to this. And, yes, if you aren't already, now is the time to become politically pro-active.


The Obama Administration has taken another step in what amounts to a four-year plan to make abortion-covering health insurance, subsidized by the federal government, commonly available in the United States.

The latest action came on March 12, when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a lengthy regulation that spells out how some of the components of the massive 2010 Obama health care law (“ObamaCare”) will be implemented.

The new rule — consuming 644 pages, including HHS’s commentary — is concerned mainly with the “exchanges,” which are the government-operated health insurance markets that must be established in ever…

The Truth About Contraception: I Have a Say


Conscience Claws


The HHS Mandate is Anti-Woman

The Catholic Information Center and the women's web-magazine Altcatholicah co-sponsored the panel discussion, "Women Challenging the HHS Mandate." Here, panelist Gloria Purvis discusses how the HHS Mandate is anti-Woman and how Catholics need to get speak up on the issue.

Video: Catholics Fight Obamacare

Americans from all walks of life demonstrate their rejection for Obamacare and its attack on the Catholic Church. TFP Student Action volunteers tour cities to oppose Obamacare.

St. Louise de Marillac, Patron of Widows and Social Workers

Today's saint is St. Louise de Marillac. Louise was born near Meaux, Auvergne, France, on August 12, 1591. Born out of wedlock, Louise never knew her mother, but was raised by her father, a member of the aristocracy. When her father married, Louise had a difficult time adjusting and was sent to be a resident student at a Dominican convent where her aunt was a religious.

When Louise was about sixteen years old, she believed she had a call to the religious life, but, after consulting her spiritual director, she decided not to pursue it. Instead, she married Antoine Le Gras. The couple had a son and Louise devoted most of her time in her motherly duties.

While at prayer, Louise had a vision in which she saw herself serving the poor and living the vows of religion in community. She wrote this experinence down on parchment and carried it on her person as a reminder that despite her difficulties, God was guiding her life. In that vision a priest appeared to her, whom she later identifi…

US bishops decry ‘illegal and unjust’ HHS mandate, call for prayer and penance

Via Catholic Culture:

Decrying the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate as “a mandate to act against our teachings” and “a violation of personal civil rights,” the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement calling upon “the Catholic faithful, and all people of faith, throughout our country to join us in prayer and penance for our leaders and for the complete protection of our First Freedom--religious liberty.”

“The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, gathered for its March 2012 meeting, is strongly unified and intensely focused in its opposition to the various threats to religious freedom in our day,” the statement began. “To address the broader range of religious liberty issues, we look forward to the upcoming publication of ‘A Statement on Religious Liberty,’ a document of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. This document reflects on the history of r…

Pope calls the Virgin Mary a teacher of prayer

( Benedict XVI traveled in the pope-mobile through St. Peter's Square, greeting thousands of pilgrims attending the general audience.

During the catechesis, the pope said the prayer of early Christians made it possible for the rapid spread of the Gospel. They learned from the Virgin Mary the importance of prayer and recollection.

Benedict XVI
“In all the events of her life, from the Annunciation through the Cross to Pentecost, Mary is presented by Saint Luke as a woman of recollected prayer and meditation on the mystery of God’s saving plan in Christ.”

The pope highlighted how Mary lived through the death of her Son and waited for the Resurrection in silence and dialogue with God. He said she is an example of the need of prayer to proclaim the Gospel.

Benedict XVI
“Let us entrust to her every moment of our own lives, and let her teach us the need for prayer, so that in loving union with her Son we may implore the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the spread of the…

Inspirational Video: The Right Choice


Bishops declare day of fasting for religious liberty

The bishops of Pennsylvania have declared March 30 to be a day of prayer, fasting, and abstinence for religious liberty.

“The assault by the federal government on constitutionally guaranteed religious liberty continues,” the bishops said in a letter to the faithful. “Our concern and alarm flows from a mandate of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which punishes the Church for its firmly held beliefs and consistent teaching.”

“Recognizing the efficacy of prayer and fasting as well as the challenges we face in overcoming the recent attack on our religious freedom, we, the Bishops of Pennsylvania, request that all Catholics dedicate the regular Lenten Friday practice of prayer and abstinence as well as the additional practice of fasting on Friday, March 30, to the preservation of religious liberty,” the letter continued. “On that day, offer your sacrifice for the cause of religious liberty, that the Church may be granted the basic right to practice what she preaches, and …

St. Matilda

Today is the feast of St. Matilda, the Queen of Germany and wife of King Henry I. She was born in Engern, Westphalia, Germany in 895 to Count Detrich and his wife, Reinhild. Raised by her grandmother, an abbess, she entered into an arranged marriage with King Henry the Fowler of Saxony in 913. Matilda became the mother of: Otto I, Emperor of Germany; Henry, Duke of Bavaria; St. Bruno, Archbishop of Cologne; Gerberga, who married Louis IV of France; Hedwig, the mother of Hugh Capet. As queen, Matilda was humble, holy, and very generous -- always ready to help the poor and the down-trodden.

Following her husband's death, Matilda made an unsuccessful attempt to secure the throne for her favorite son Henry, but his elder brother was elected and crowned in 936. Later, the two brothers joined in persecuting their mother, whom they accused of having impoverished the crown by her lavish almsgiving. To satisfy them, she renounced the possessions the deceased king had left her, and retired…

Ordained as a Priest at 80

For nearly half a century, Gérard Lafrenière was devoted to his wife, and, by all accounts, fulfilled his vows to love, honour and cherish her. Yet, he had another love, too.

In 2009, two years after his wife of 49 years, Gisèle Viau, died, Lafrenière fulfilled the vocation that had been with him since childhood. He became a Catholic priest, with his wife's blessing. Read his story here.

Creative, fast paced pregnancy video is a hit on the web

March 13, 2012. ( Most couples document a pregnancy by taking pictures, but one young couple decided to take a more creative route. The nine month pregnancy is summarized in a quick two minute video. Through fast paced images, the couple keeps track of the woman's womb, up until the baby's birth.

“If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?”...

I found this over at Adrienne's Corner and thought I would revisit this again. It's been so long -- I don't even recall my initial answers.

Here are my five:
JesusBlessed Virgin MarySt. Thomas AquinasSt. Catherine of SienaSt. Joan of ArcOnly five? I can think of so many others. 
Just five more: St. Therese of LisieuxPope John Paul IISt. Teresa of AvilaPope Benedict XVIBlessed Mother Teresa of CalcuttaNow that's more like it!
Whoever is reading this is tagged. Five or ten -- whichever you prefer.

St. Roderick/Rodriguez of Cordoba, Martyr

The saint of the day for March 13 is St. Roderick.

St. Roderick, also known as Rodriguez, was a Christian in Moorish Spain in the 9th century. He had a Moslem brother and another with no religion. One day he tried to break up a fight between his brothers but they turned on him and seriously beat him. The Moslem brother, seeking further revenge, announced to authorities that Roderick had converted to Islam. When Roderick awoke, he was questioned about it, but he claimed his allegiance to Christ. The Moslem authorities took this to be apostasy, deciding Roderick was denying his new Moslem faith. He was imprisoned for several months, and then martyred in 857 by beheading.

Saint Seraphina of San Gimignano

Today's saint is a great inspiration for those who suffer from poverty and illness, especially young people. She is the patron of the disabled and those who are physically challenged.

Seraphina was born to a poor family in San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy in 1238. Her father died when she was very young and her widowed mother went to work, leaving her alone at home. She was an attractive girl with a cheerful, congenial nature and a deep empathy for others -- sharing half her food with those less fortunate than herself. She spent her time alone sewing, spinning, and praying.

At the age of ten, Seraphina suffered from diseases, which caused her to become paralyzed from the neck down and which disfigured her body. She became totally dependent on her mother and had to be carried around on a wooden plank, which is where she spent her days -- flat on her back. She suffered immensely and lost her good looks, developing sores on her face, arms, and legs. In spite of her sufferings, she rema…

Saint John Olgilvie

Today, the universal Church celebrates the life of Saint John Ogilvie, a former Calvinist who was martyred in Scotland during the Protestant Reformation.

St. John Ogilvie was born of a noble Scottish family in 1579 and was raised a Calvinist. John converted to Catholicism at the age of 17 at the Scots College in Louvain, Belgium. He attended several Catholic schools and soon discovered a call to join the Jesuits. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Bohemia in 1599 and was ordained in Paris in 1610, the year before the last two Jesuits working in Scotland were obliged to leave as persecution intensified. He returned to Scotland in 1614 with a fellow Jesuit and they made converts in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

John was betrayed by a potential convert, imprisoned, interrogated, then tortured for the names of active Catholics. He gave no information. “Your threats cheer me; I mind them no more than the cackling of geese,” he told his captors. Asked if he feared to die Father John replied, “No m…

St. Frances of Rome

Today is the optional memorial of St. Frances of Rome.

St. Frances of Rome is one of the great mystics of the 15th century. She was born in Rome to a noble family in 1384 and died in Rome on March 9, 1440. She desired to enter the convent, but in obedience to her parents was instead married at age twelve to a young nobleman named Lorenzo de' Ponziani. Frances was a good wife and homemaker, and the mother to three children.

As a lay person, she became an Oblate with the Benedictine Oblate Congregation of Tor di Speechi and led the life of a religious, without taking formal vows. She spent much of her time in prayer and in doing works. She was humble, detached, and advanced in a life of contemplation. She had the supernatural gift of visions, miracles, and ecstasy and saw the bodily image of her guardian angel. She had visions of heaven and hell and foresaw the Western schism. She also possessed the gift of reading consciences.

Frances was known for her great works of charity to th…

It's a Girl! Documentary Film -- Official Trailer

In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called "gendercide".

St. John of God, servant of the poor and sick

St. John of God was born on March 8, 1495 in a small village in the south of Portugal called Montemor-o-Novo. At the age of eight, he left home and was raised by a Spanish family in Oropesa. John spent most of his life as a wanderer, working as a shepherd, soldier, a religious bookseller and laborer, traveling in Europe and North Africa.

When St. John of God settled in Granada around the age of forty he was so deeply moved by a homily of Blessed John of Avila, that he gave away all his worldly possessions to the poor and went about the city beating his breast, begging for God’s mercy. His conversion experience was so dramatic in its intensity that he was locked up in a lunatic asylum, where he was flogged and placed in solitary confinement.

His brief experience of this kind of treatment made him feel very compassionate toward the poor, the sick and the suffering; thus, he devoted the rest of his life to caring for those in need.John's work was motivated by his great love of God a…

HHS Mandate Threatens Little Sisters of the Poor elder care

Here's  another story just in that stirs my ire toward the HHS mandate -- forcing Roman Catholic nuns who serve the poor and the elderly to do the unconscionable  --  subsidize sterilization, contraception, and abortion-causing drugs for their employees. Unbelievable! This is a total violation of  conscience rights and religious freedoms. Are we living in the United States of America, where we are guaranteed freedom of religion under the first amendment, or are we living under some kind of bizarre dictatorship? Let's pray, fast, and be politically pro-active to put an end to this nonsense. This is Lent and the time to act is now.

Via CNA: 
The Little Sisters of the Poor say the HHS contraception and sterilization mandate threatens their continued ministry to the impoverished elderly. They are “strongly objecting” to the federal rule and say it should be repealed as soon as possible.

“Because the Little Sisters of the Poor cannot in conscience directly provide or collaborate in…

Three Favorite Religious Books

Esther, my dear friend at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii, has a meme up on her three favorite religious books. I wasn't tagged for this, but decided I want to do it, as I wait on my final exam. It's something quick and fun and it's been ages since I have taken part in a meme. Here are my three favorites, apart from the Bible, of course, which is my favorite book and not in the same category as these:

1.  Lives of the Saints Nihil Obstat: John M.A. Fearns, S.T.D., Censor Liborum Imprimatur: Francis Cardinal Spellman Archbishop of New York New York: John J. Crawley (1954)

2.  The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

3.  Those Who Saw Her:  Apparitions of Mary --by Catherine M. Odell

There are many others I enjoy, but these three have a special place in my heart. My favorite authors are: Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, St. Francis de Sales, Pope John Paul II, and of course, Fr. Marie-Dominique Philippe. I had better stop there, as there are ma…

Superficial Preaching

This does not seem to be a problem in the Wichita diocese, but it certainly is in other areas of our country. This a great video and well worth watching.

International Womens' Day 2012

March 7, 2012. ( March 8th marks International Women's Day. It's a time to recognize the contributions women make to society and also a time to see what improvements are needed.

So, precisely to highlight the issue, the Holy See addressed the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York. There, a Vatican delegation talked about the rights of women who live in rural areas...rights that unfortunately are often ignored.

During the speech, the delegation said these women often work long hours, which usually go unpaid. They have poor nutrition, lack access to water, healthcare and are exposed to violence, even when pregnant.

The Vatican's message was echoed by Chile's former president Michelle Bachelet, who now serves as the executive director of UN Women.

Michelle Bachelet
UN Women, Executive Director
“They are farmers, entrepreneurs and leaders and their contributions sustain the families, communities, nations and all of us. Y…

Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, Women of Faith and Courage

Today's saints are Sts. Perpetua and Felicity. Perpetua was a convert to Christianity who was born to a noble pagan family. She was martyred along with her maid and friend, Felicity in Carthage in 203 A.D.

The two women were arrested and imprisoned, along with three other Christians. Perpetua was 22 years old, with a son a few months old; Felicity was pregnant at the time of the arrest. Their only crime was defying Emperor Septimus Severus' prohibition of conversions to Christianity.

The account of their martyrdom and courage, The Suffering of Perpetua and Felicity is one of the earliest historical accounts of Christianity. It is one of the great treasures of martyr literature, an authentic document preserved for us in the actual words of the martyrs and their friends. Perpetua wrote a vivid account of what happened.

"While I was still with my companions, and my father in his affection for me was trying to turn me from my purpose by arguments and so weaken my faith, '…

A Note of Thanks to My Readers

Thank youto all those who are voting forCatholic FiredailyHERE for Best Catholic Blog and thank you to all those who are voting daily for Jean M. Heimann (@CatholicFire) for Best Catholic to Follow on Twitter HERE.

I apologize for the light blogging lately. I have been ill for about three weeks now and have just finished a fourteen page research paper. Now, once I have finished my final exam, I will have maybe one day off to rest (I hope) before the next class begins. I am still weak, but am feeling like I have joined "the land of the living" once again.

Thanks so much for your prayers!

God bless you, friends! :)