Showing posts from September, 2013

St. Therese of Lisieux, Friend and Intercessor

by Jean M. Heimann, M.A. Theology October 1st is the feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a saint who is very dear to my heart. Over the years, she has been a close friend and a powerful intercessor for me. Let me share a little about one of my favorite saints with you and why she is so special to me. I first learned about St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus when I was 15 years old, a sophomore in a Catholic high school. In English class, her autobiography, Story of a Soul, was one of the options on our required reading list. As I read her love for Jesus and learned of her "Little Way", I couldn't help but admire and desire to emulate this beautiful saint, who expressed so much joy in the midst of suffering. I cheered when this young woman who was my age when she acted with such strong faith and determination and did the forbidden, speaking out when she was told to remain silent, pleading with the Pope to let her enter Carmel. I was fascinated with the poetic way she

Bishops push for conscience protections in government funding

Washington D.C., Sep 30, 2013 / 01:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Leaders of the U.S. bishops have written to lawmakers insisting on the importance of including religious liberty protections and the conscience rights of health care workers as part of government funding negotiations. “Protection for conscience rights in health care is of especially great importance to the Catholic Church, which daily contributes to the welfare of U.S. society through schools, social services, hospitals and assisted living facilities,” wrote Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley of Boston and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore in a Sept. 26 letter. The bishops wrote regarding the federal contraception mandate – issued by the Department of Health and Human Services – which requires employers to provide employee health coverage for sterilization and contraception, as well as drugs which can cause early abortions. While the mandate has a narrow exemption for religious employers, many Catholic institutions

The Pope's Monthly Prayer Intentions for October

The Holy Father's monthly prayer intentions for the month of October are for: People in Despair. That those feeling so crushed by life that they wish to end it may sense the nearness of God's love. World Mission Day . That the celebration of World Mission Day may help all Christians realize that we are not only receivers but proclaimers of God's word.  

John Paul II and John XXIII to be declared saints on April 27th

September 30, 2013. ( It's official. Pope Francis has announced that he will canonize both John Paul II and John XXIII, on April 27th, 2014. The date is quite symbolic. It coincides with the Feast Day of Divine Mercy, which has a strong connection to John Paul II. The Polish pontiff was the first to mark that celebration and he passed away on the day in which the Church celebrated that very Feast Day back in 2005. At first it was believed that Pope Francis would canonize his predecessors on December 8th, but that date was later moved to April 27th, because milder temperatures will make it easier for pilgrims to travel to Rome.

St. Jerome

September 30th is the feast of St. Jerome. Translator of the Bible into its official Latin version (the Vulgate), brilliant scholar, monk, traveller, teacher, letter writer, and consultant to Popes and Bishops, St.Jerome is one of the most important figures in the history of the Church. St. Jerome was born in Dalmatia (near Aquileia, north of Rome) around 340 to a wealthy Christian family. At the age of 20, Jerome was sent to study in Rome, where he became fluent in Latin and Greek and developed a love for the classical writers. Here he acquired many worldly ideas, made little effort to control his pleasure-loving instincts, and lost much of the piety that had been instilled in him at home. He travelled throughout western Europe with a friend but that ceased when he had a conversion experience in Trier and decided to become a monk. He joined a community in Aquileia in 370, where he met some who would become his close friends and others his enemies. When the community disbanded, h

Canonization date of John Paul II and John XXIII expected on Monday

September 29, 2013. ( Monday September 30th: That's the date when Pope Francis is expected to announce exactly when John Paul II and John XXIII will be declared saints of the Catholic Church. So far, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, has only said that they will both be canonized on the same date. The Congregation also said that the ceremony will take place in 2014, but it really hasn't given any more details.   Interestingly, the person who has revealed the most is the Pope himself. On board his papal flight from Brazil to Rome, he told journalists that the canonization date will most likely be on Sunday April 27th, which marks the feast day of Divine Mercy. Ample time is also needed to work with local authorities, to they can plan accordingly for the hundreds of thousands of people who are expected to travel to Rome. In the case of John XXIII, who convened the Second Vatican Council, Pope Francis waved the requirement of a second miracle, which

Preparations finalized for meeting between Pope Francis and eight Cardinal commission

September 29, 2013. ( Six months after Pope Francis' election, his approach and the focus of his pontificate are becoming clearer. One of the most significant events will be the first meeting between the Pope and the eight Cardinals that will advise him on changes to the governance of the Church and the Roman Curia.   In the past few months leading to this meeting, each Cardinal has been gathering information from the bishops in their region. Between October 1st and 3rd, they will meet inside the Vatican. And on October 4th, the Cardinals will travel with Pope Francis for his firs visit to Assisi. But who are these eight Cardinals?  Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga , Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is the group's coordinator. He speaks various languages and has worked numerous times with Pope Francis, most tellingly, when they drafted the Aparecida Document in 2007. The same goes for Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz , from Chile. He just turned 80 ye

St. Vincent de Paul

On September 27th the Catholic Church remembers Saint Vincent de Paul , the French, 17th century priest known as the patron of Catholic charities for his apostolic work among the poor and marginalized. Born to a poor family in Pouy in the soutwest of France in 1581, Vincent was an intellectually gifted youth who began his theological studies at the age of 15 and was ordained at the age of 20. On a voyage to the Holy Land, Vincent's ship was boarded by pirates and he was captured and sold into slavery in Africa, where he was held for two years before he converted his master to Christianity and was freed. He returned to France and was appointed to a parish near Paris, from where he began to initiate and organize missions for the poor, destitute, forgotten, sick, uneducated, and unemployed. He founded the Congregation of Priests of the Mission and the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity and sent priests to Africa to minister to and ransom slaves. He vigorously oppose

Novena to St. Francis of Assisi begins today

Say once a day for nine days, beginning on September 26 and ending on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. A PRAYER FOR PEACE (To be said after every day's Novena) Lord, make me an instrument of peace Where there is hatred,Let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master grant that I may Not so much seek to be consoled As to console; To be understood, As to understand; For it is in giving that we Receive, it is in pardoning that We are pardoned. And it is in Dying that we are Born to Eternal life. DAY 1 O God, come to my assistance. Prayer: Heavenly Father, You know all things and nothing is hidden from You. In Your mercy and kindness, and through the intercession of Saint Francis, come to my aid in my present distress and grant my humble petition (mention your request). Amen. Your offering today: Show yo

Pope Francis: to know Jesus, you must speak the languages of the heart, mind and action

September 26, 2013. ( Pope Francis explained during morning Mass at  Casa Santa Marta that to get to know Jesus, means that you must complicate your life. And that you cannot get to know him by flying “first class” in life. POPE FRANCIS “You cannot know Jesus without getting oneself involved with Him, without betting your life on Him.” The Pope added that there are three languages everyone must speak to get to know Jesus. They are the languages of the heart, the mind, and of action. POPE FRANCIS “Yes, you have to come to know Jesus in the Catechism – but it is not enough to know Him with the mind: it is a step. However, it is necessary to get to know Jesus in dialogue with Him, talking with Him in prayer, kneeling. If you do not pray, if you do not talk with Jesus, you do not know Him. You know things about Jesus, but you do not go with that knowledge, which He gives your heart in prayer. Know Jesus with the mind - the study of the Catechism: know Jesus with

Vatican marks 30 years of Charter on Family Rights with presentation on women's dignity

September 26, 2013. ( Back in 1983, Pope John Paul II authorized the Vatican to prepare a document that addressed the role of the family in modern society. After months of work, they came up with the Charter of the Rights of the Family.   Three decades later, the Pontifical Council for the Family is getting ready to mark the Charter's 30th anniversary, with a special presentation on how the document impacts women today. DR. HELEN ALVARÉ Professor of Family, Religion and Law (USA) “The Church has a credible witness in our charity, a credible witness in our words and a real balance between what women are actually demanding, between what they actually want, and between what women, children and the poor actually need.” The charter addresses individual rights like the freedom for a man and women to have a family through marriage, and to have children. But it also calls on societies to respect certain rights, like the protection of life from conception to natur

The Little Sisters of the Poor and the HHS Mandate

The Little Sisters of the Poor are an international Roman Catholic Congregation of women Religious founded in 1839 by St. Jeanne Jugan. They operate homes in 31 countries, where they provide loving care for over 13,000 needy elderly persons. Although the Little Sisters' homes perform a religious ministry of caring for the elderly poor, they do not fall within the government's narrow exemption for "religious employers." Accordingly, beginning on January 1, the Little Sisters will face IRS fines unless they violate their religion by hiring an insurer to provide their employees with contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. I am continuing to pray for the defunding of Obamacare and its horrific HHS mandate, which threatens to punish so many innocent people -- like these Sisters, who care for the poor and elderly and the people they serve. This is so wrong. I agree with Helen Alvare who states:  It’s beyond ridiculous for any government to bel

Evangelization and the Secret Weapon of St. Francis de Sales

Read my latest article "Evangelization and the Secret Weapon of St. Francis de Sales" at the New Evangelizers.

Sts. Cosmas and Damian

Friday, September 26, is the optional memorial of Sts. Cosmas and Damian. Cosmas and Damian were twin bothers born in Syria in the third century. They were also doctors, and they became known as “the holy moneyless ones” because they cared for the sick free of charge. The strange practice of accepting no money for medical care was their way of embodying God’s providential love and care for his people. And folks took notice.             The twin brothers were arrested on September 27, during the persecution of Christians by Diocletian in 303. Soon after, the faithful brothers defied death by water, fire and crucifixion before they were finally beheaded in Cilicia, along with their three brothers. They were buried in Cyrrhus, Syria.               Veneration to Cosmas and Damian began immediately. The faithful asked for their intercession, especially in matters of physical illness. St. Gregory of Tours spoke about the twin brothers in this way: “These two physicians cured as many

Cardinal Burke: No Communion for Nancy Pelosi and Pro-Abortion Politicians

I certainly agree with Cardinal Burke on this. It only makes sense. However, I will continue to lift up Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues in my daily prayers for their conversion and the salvation of their souls. Catholics and pro-life advocates of other religious persuasions have wondered for years why House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has been an ardent abortion activist for years, continues to receive communion. In a new interview with The Wanderer, a Catholic newspaper, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, sheds light on Pelosi and communion. He issues a call for pro-abortion politicians to be denied the sacrament — saying that Catholic Canon law must be applied to them. From the interview: Q. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when recently questioned at a press briefing about the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did in murdering a baby born alive at 23 weeks as compared to the practice of aborti

Pope's General Audience: Embrace unity within the Church. Don't Gossip.

September 25, 2013. ( During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis talked about unity within the Church. He explained that having Catholic communities in different cultures and environments is a strength that needs to be nourished and protected. He also warned against the damage that comes with petty gossip. POPE FRANCIS “You can't imagine just how much parishes and communities are affected by gossip. It causes pain, gossip causes pain. A Christian who is on the verge of gossiping, should bite his tongue Am I right? A Christian must bite his tongue! This would do good, because when the tongue swells one cannot speak or gossip.” With thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope made it a point to ask the crowd very direct questions. He specifically addressed  their commitment to strengthen the unity of the Church at home and abroad. POPE FRANCIS “I will ask you all a question. Everyone answer in silence, in your hearts. How many of

Real Silence

A reflection for September 25:

Evangelization Quote: Modern heart must be won by radical love

“The modern heart can only be won back by a radical witness of Christian discipleship – a renewed kind of shared community life obedient to God’s Commandments, but also on fire with the Beatitudes lived more personally and joyfully by all of us." ~ Archbishop Charles J. Chaput  , Philadelphia

SAINT Blog Tour, Sept. 25 – Oct. 4, 2013

We’re pleased to announce the launch of a blogger tour for SAINT by Lino Rulli. Widely known for his wit and humor as the host of “The Catholic Guy” on SiriusXM Radio, Lino Rulli has released, SAINT: Why I Should Be Canonized Right Way. This book is a follow-up to SINNER , which was released in 2011; also from Servant Books. If Rulli has his way, he will be canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday, which, allegedly, is when Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be canonized in Rome. (The official announcement will be next week- Sept. 30.)  Rulli provides evidence for his cause (and yours) in SAINT. Each day during this SAINT blog tour- Sept. 25 through Oct. 4 - one of 10 participating blogs will post unique content relating to the book. As readers follow along on this virtual book tour, they will have a chance to read/ listen to excerpts from SAINT as well as print and Skype interviews with Rulli. They’ll get honest reviews from Catholic bloggers, and have a chanc

St. Vincent Strambi

The saint of the day for September 25 is St. Vincent Strambi, Passionist priest and bishop. Vincent Strambi was born in Civitavecchia, the port city of Rome on January 1, 1745, the only child of the pharmacist Giuseppe Strambi and his wife Eleonora who survived infancy.  He was a happy and athletic child who manifested a strong interest in spirituality. When he was fifteen, he received the clerical "tonsure" and entered the diocesan seminary at nearby Montefiascone. Two years later, he decided to continue his studies in Rome. The following year, he attended the Dominican house of studies in Viterbo to study theology. Prior to his ordination he was named rector and professor within his seminary, Montefiascone. While on his ordination retreat, he met St. Paul of the Cross and immediately decided to become a Passionist. Paul of the Cross named him professor of theology, patristics and preaching. Traveling throughout most of Italy, he endeavored to promote the Christian

Benedict XVI writes letter about Jesus to an atheist

September 24, 2013. ( Once again, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has picked up a pen and paper.  In an eleven-page letter addressed to atheist Piergiorgio Odifreddi, Ratzinger defends Jesus as a historic figure, explaining that the Jesus of the Gospel existed in real life. In his letter, Benedict XVI addresses a reference Odifreddi made about Ratzinger's book 'Introduction to Christianity.' In fact, the atheist describes Theology as science fiction. Ratzinger objects to Odifreddi's statements, arguing that when he speaks about Jesus, he does so with low accuracy. He then advises the Italian atheist to read Martin Hengel's four-volume writings about Jesus. In his response letter, Benedict XVI says that just like mathematics, Theology has its own method, which includes both reason and religion.  He adds that if separated, each one of these can be dangerous. Odifreddi also criticizes cases of sexual abuse in the Church. Benedict XVI acknowledges

Feast of Our Lady of Ransom

Today, in many parts of the world, the Catholic Church commemorates the feast of Our Lady of Ransom, also known as Our Lady of Mercy or Nuestra Señora de la Merced. The Blessed Virgin appeared in 1218 in separate visions to St. Peter Nolasco, St. Raymund of Penafort, and James, king of Aragon, asking them to found a religious order dedicated to freeing Christian captives from the barbarous Saracens or Moors, who at that time held a great part of Spain. On August 10, 1218, King James established the royal, military and religious Order of our Lady of Ransom (first known as the Order of St. Eulalia, now known as the Mercedarian Order ), with the members granted the privilege of wearing his own arms on their breast. Most of the members were knights, and while the clerics recited the divine office in the commanderies, they guarded the coasts and delivered prisoners. This pious work spread everywhere and produced heroes of charity who collected alms for the ransom of Christians, and oft

Book Review – An Omelet fit for a King

by Maria Stewart, Bezalel Books , paperback, 24 pages, released August 29, 2013. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Chrisian and Catholic bookstores. An Omelet fit for a King is a charming children’s tale containing a catechetical lesson.  It is a well-written and colorfully illustrated story about a poor, but cheerful peasant girl, Teresa, who lives with her widowed father. Life on the farm has not been easy for them, as they have had to deal with the death of Teresa’s mother, the hard labor involved in farming, and strong storms which have stripped their fields and destroyed their farm. However, there is a silver lining in the midst of all these clouds and, as the story opens, Teresa and her father are happily reminiscing about it.  Out of these trials, Teresa has learned the true meaning of humility.  Even better, she will soon be passing on this gift to another character in the story who is in dire need of it. This enjoyable and inspiring story focuses on the Sc

Pope Francis on the spirit of true charity

Pope Francis discussed the spirit of true charity while visiting the Italian island of Sardinia, September 22.

St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio): Priest, Mystic, and Stigmatist

Today is the memorial of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968). St. Pio is one of my favorite saints. Miracles happened everyday of his life. He was a priest, a mystic, and a stigmatist who possessed many rare and mysterious gifts. He was bi-locational, that is, he appeared in two places at one time. He was able to communicate with others through mental telepathy. When he thought of them, they began to smell the scent of violets, which they associated with him. In the Confessional, he was able to tell people their sins in detail, even those which they did not confess to him. Through the simple means of touch, he was able to heal others. God had blessed him with an abundance of gifts that he used wisely to build up the body of Christ and to convert sinners. Padre Pio was born in 1887 in the small village of Pietrelcina in southern Italy, the son of a shepherd. His baptized name was Francesco (Francis) Forgione. He joined the Capuchin friars at the age of 16 and was ordained as a p

Pope Francis: Social communications is for bringing others to Christ

MUST-read: Pope Francis' insightful address today on social media: (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday addressed the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Pope Francis said the goal of the Church for its communications efforts is “to understand how to enter into dialogue with the men and women of today in order to appreciate their desires, their doubts and their hopes.” The Holy Father said we must examine if the communications of the Church are helping others to meet Christ. “The challenge is to rediscover, through the means of social communication as well as by personal contact, the beauty that is at the heart of our existence and our journey, the beauty of faith and of the encounter with Christ,” he said. Read more

Novena to St. Therese of Lisieux begins Sunday

Novena to St. Therese of Lisieux September 22 - 30

St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Today is the feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. St. Matthew was born at Capernaum. He was working as a tax collector when Jesus called him to be one of the twelve apostles. He wrote his gospel in Hebrew. His gospel, with its familiar references to the messianic prophecies, throws light on the continuity between the covenants. Moreover, his vocation is one of the most popular episodes in the life of Jesus, because of the personality of the one called the tax collector and the revelation of redeeming love that concludes and crowns the story. Matthew's position as tax collector equated with collaboration with the enemy by those from whom he collected taxes. Jesus' contemporaries were surprised to see Christ with a traitor, but Jesus explained that he had come "not to call the just, but sinners." "Mark and Luke call Matthew by his Jewish name Levi and Mark says that he was "the son of Alphaeus" (Mark 2:14). He may have been the brother of

Pope Francis celebrates 60 years since discovering his vocation as priest

September 20, 2013. ( It was September 21, 1953 and Jorge Mario Bergoglio was 17 years old. That day, at a church in the Flores neighborhood of Buenos Aires, he heard God's calling to become a priest. Now, as the leader of the Catholic Church, he will celebrate sixty years since he discovered his priestly vocation. He entered the Buenos Aires seminary and a few years later, became a Jesuit. But he clearly recalls the moment that forever changed his life:  the conversation he had with an unknown priest who heard his confession at the Church of San Jose decades ago. Now, the complete story of Pope Francis can be seen in a new ROME REPORTS documentary: 'Francis, The Peoples Pope'. It narrates his life story from his early childhood, up until his election as the leader of Catholicism.

Pope on defending life: It's not just about religion, it's about science and reason

September 20, 2013. ( The Pope met with the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations. The group came to Rome for a conference on maternal health and gynecology. During his remarks, the Pope brought up once again the issue of a “throwaway culture.”   POPE FRANCIS “A general mentality of what's useful, the 'throwaway culture,' that today enslaves the hearts and the intelligence of so many, comes at a great price. It demands the elimination of human beings, especially if they are physically or socially weak. Our response to this mentality is a 'yes' to life, directly and without hesitation.” In his lively speech, the Pope added that the right to life is the first right of any person, and that each child denied the right to life because of an abortion has the face of God. For this reason, the Pope asked to the doctors present to look after the human life in all its stages. POPE FRANCIS “My dear friends, You are called to care

St. Andrew Kim Taegon, St. Paul Chong and companions, Korean martyrs

Today, September 20, is the memorial of St. Andrew Kim Taegon, priest and martyr, St. Paul Chong, martyr, and companions. During the persecutions of 1839, 1846, 1866, and 1867, one hundred and three Christians in Korea gave their lives as martyrs. The martyrs included clergy, but were, for the most part, members of the laity. They consecrated the rich beginnings of the Church in Korea with their blood. Among them were Fr. Andrew Kim of Taegon, the first Korean priest and pastor, and Paul Chong of Hasang, a lay apostle. St. Andrew Kim Taegon was born into a noble Korean family. He traveled to China to become a Catholic priest and he was ordained in Macao. When he returned to Korea, as the first native priest, he was arrested, tortured, and eventually beheaded. Paul Chong Hasang was a seminarian, aged 45. As a layman, he was one of the great founders of the Catholic Church in Korea. He was persecuted before he could be ordained. Reflection : "We have received baptism, ent

Vatican launches catechesis phone app on eve of worldwide catechism conference

September 19, 2013. ( The Vatican is once again looking for new ways to spread the new evangelization. It's now preparing to launch a new phone app to help with catechism education, as it prepares to welcome hundreds of participants to the World Day for Catechists.   As part of the events for the Year of Faith, the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization organized the World Day and the World Congress for Catechists. It'll take place from September 25th to the 29th. MSGR. RINO FISICHELLA President, Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization “First of all we need to recognize the role that they play within the Church and the life of the Church. But secondly, I think it's very important for us the challenge that is coming.” Msgr. Fisichella says catechists are vital to the Church in parts of the world like Latin America and Africa, where there are not enough priests for every parish. He especially highlighted the role

ROME REPORTS releases a special program about John Paul II's miracle

September 19, 2013. ( There's a miracle behind this face. On April 8th 2011, Floribeth Mora woke up with a headache so strong she had to be taken to the emergency room.   FLORIBETH MORA “I was hospitalized. They told me I had a brain hemorrhage.” The doctors didn't have good news for Floribeth's husband. They told him her days were limited. But that was before John Paul II came into the picture. Now, in a special program produced by ROME REPORTS, they share the human drama they went through and the unexpected outcome of their story. A heartwarming and emotional story that saved her life and paved the way towards John Paul II's canonization. EDWIN ARCE Floribeth's husband “I try not to remember those difficult moments because they were filled with pain.” FLORIBETH MORA “Then, I suddenly hear a voice in my room that tells me: 'Rise.' I got up and went into the kitchen, where my husband asked me what I was doing. I told him: '

“This Time” is a powerful pro-life, pro-adoption video

Former "Kansas" lead singer and producer John Elefante is using his newest single "This Time," to share the story of his adopted daughter's birth, and in the process, bring some attention to Online for Life (OFL), an educational non-profit working to rescue babies from abortion so they can live to make their mark on the world. "I can't imagine life without my daughter, Sami, and it just breaks my heart that pregnant young women much like her birth mother, instead of choosing life for their babies, are denying them the chance to be born," Elefante said. "If our song can in any way bring attention to this issue and encourage those who are considering abortion to choose life through options such as adoption, then we couldn't be happier." H/T: National Right to Life News

Our Lady of La Salette

On September 19, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of La Salette. On Saturday, September 19, 1846, the feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows about 3:00 in the afternoon, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on the mountain in La Salette, France to fifteen-year-old Melanie Calvat and eleven-year-old Maximin Giraud, two young shepherds. Mary appeared in a resplendent light as a beautiful woman dressed in a strange costume, seated on a stone, her face buried in her hands, crying. The beautiful lady then stood up and crossed her arms. She told the children not to be afraid but reassured them that she had great news to share. She gave them both a public message and asked them to make her message known to all her people. Our Lady called the townspeople to repent of their sins and to turn back to Christ.  The Blessed Mother told them: "If my people do not wish to submit themselves, I am forced to let go of the hand of my Son. It is so heavy and weighs me down so much I can no longer keep

Fr. Barron comments on CATHOLICISM: The New Evangelization

St. Januarius, the Miracle Saint

The saint of the day for September 19th, is St. Januarius, bishop and Martyr. St. Januarius is said to have been born in Naples and to have been bishop of Beneventum (just east of Naples), who, with his companions, suffered martyrdom in the persecution of Diocletian at Naples in 303. They were first thrown to the lions in the arena, but none of the beasts would attack them, so they were beheaded. The Christian women collected the blood of St. Januarius in a glass vial and placed it in his tomb. St. Januarius has been invoked against volcanic blasts since 1631, when a violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius threatened Naples. The people of the city prayed to him to help them, and the flow of lava stopped. But the enduring fervor for this saint of the volcanoes is rooted in an inexplicable event known as “the miracle of the liquefaction.” The main patron saint of Naples, St. Januarius is celebrated there on three feast days each year. The blood is made to "work" six times o

Pope's Audience: The Church instills values in Her children, just like any mother would

September 18, 2013. ( During Wednesday's general audience, the Pope compared the Church to a mother. With thousands of people in St. Peter's Square, the Pope explained that through the 10 commandments, the Church tries to instill values in Her children, just like any mother would. He also added that the Church is always at Her children's side, vowing to pray and protect them throughout life. SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH: "Dear Brothers and Sisters: today I wish to return to the image of the Church as our Mother, by reflecting on all that our earthly mothers do, live and suffer for their children.  First, our mothers show us, through their tenderness and love, the correct path to follow in life, so that we may grow into adulthood.  So too the Church orients us on the path of life, indicating the way that leads to maturity.  Second, our mothers know how and when to accompany us with understanding through life and to help lead us bac

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