Showing posts from September, 2014

St. Jerome: Father and Doctor of the Church

Today, September 30, is the feast of St. Jerome, a Father and Doctor of the Church. 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 hi

Pope St. John Paul II on Spiritual Combat

"‘Spiritual combat’ is [an] element of life which needs to be taught anew and proposed once more to all Christians today. It is a secret and interior art, an invisible struggle in which (we) engage every day…” ~ Pope St. John Paul II (Vatican Archives: Address of the Holy Father, May 25, 2002) Related Posts: A Prayer for Consecrating Your Home to St. Michael the Archangel Feast of the Archangels: Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

A Prayer for Consecrating Your Home to St. Michael the Archangel

Traditional Consecration Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel  Oh most noble Prince of the Angelic Hierarchies, valorous warrior of Almighty God and zealous lover of His glory, terror of the rebellious angels, and love and delight of all the just angels, my beloved Archangel Saint Michael, desiring to be numbered among your devoted servants, I, today offer and consecrate myself to you, and place myself, my family, and all I possess under your most powerful protection. I entreat you not to look at how little, I, as your servant have to offer, being only a wretched sinner, but to gaze, rather, with favorable eye at the heartfelt affection with which this offering is made, and remember that if from this day onward I am under your patronage, you must during all my life assist me, and procure for me the pardon of my many grievous offenses, and sins, the grace to love with all my heart my God, my dear Savior Jesus, and my Sweet Mother Mary, and to obtain for me all the help necessary

Feast of the Archangels: Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

Today is the feast of the Archangels: Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. These three Archangels are the only angels named in Sacred Scripture and all three have important roles in the history of salvation. Michael's name means "Who is like God? "  St. Michael’s name is mentioned four times in the Bible: twice in Daniel and once in both the Book of Revelation and the Epistle of St. Jude. In the book of Revelation 12:7-9, we read of a great war that took place in heaven, in which Michael and his angels battled with Satan and the other fallen angels (devils). Michael became the great champion of faithfulness to God and the victor over evil. Today, he is our protector. He guards the people of God, defends the souls of the just, and brings the souls to their final judgment.  To combat the forces of evil in our world today, we pray the St. Michael the Archangel prayer.  Pope Leo XIII composed the prayer after experiencing a horrific vision of attacks against the Church

St. Vincent de Paul, Apostle of the Poor

September 26 is the memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, the 17th century French priest known for his apostolic work among the poor and marginalized. Born to a poor family in Pouy in the southwest 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 opposed Jansenism and helped reform orders of priests and re

Sts. Cosmas and Damian, patron saints of pharmacists, physicians, and surgeons

Gerard Seghers, Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian (17th century) Today, 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

Fr. James Kubicki: The Diamond

A beautiful reflection from Fr. James Kubicki:

St. Vincent Strambi: Fearless Advocate for Religious Freedom

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

Horrific Black Masses Continue in Secret -- Why We Must Know and Keep Praying

Why is Satan's vehement hatred directed at the Eucharist and the Catholic Mass?  By Janet Moore The Last Thing I Want to Talk About On this beautiful day the last thing I want to think about, let alone talk about, is the black mass that was offered in the public Civic Center in OKC at 7pm September 21, 2014.  Maybe you’re the same way. However, there is a burning fire inside me that leads me to speak against this and do all I can to expose it, in order to stop the outpouring of evil that is being called forth to flow from this horrific event.  I cannot be silent. There is too much at stake – there is too much evil involved. Whether Catholic or not, whether Christian or not, all people of good will should feel outraged at this event which calls upon Satan and his evil forces to come upon our homes and families, our cities, our nation and the world! Why are We Still Talking About This? You may ask, Why do you say that? Isn't it too late?  Didn't it already

Feast of Our Lady of Ransom (Our Lady of Mercy)

Today, September 24, 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 three separate visions to St. Peter Nolasco, St. Raymund of Penafort, and King James I 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 ranso

Novena to St. Therese of Lisieux begins today

The novena to St. Therese of Lisieux , the Little Flower, begins today, February 23 and is recited for nine days. St. Therese is a powerful intercessor. The novena prayer I recite most often is the novena Rose Prayer below. I like it because it is both short and effective. Novena Rose Prayer O Little Therese of the Child Jesus Please pick for me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me as a message of love. O Little Flower of Jesus, ask God to grant the favors I now place with confidence in you hands ( mention your special prayer request here ) St. Therese, help me to always believe as you did, in God's great love for me, so that I may imitate your "Little Way" each day.  Here are two other novena prayers to recite: St. Therese Feast Day Novena Prayer St. Therese, Flower of fervor and love, please intercede for us. Fill our hearts with your pure love of God. As we approach and celebrate your feast day, make us more

Top Ten Quotes from Padre Pio (St. Pius of Pietrelcina)

"Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer." "Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God's heart. You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips, but with your heart. In fact on certain occasions you should only speak to Him with your heart." "Do you not see the Madonna always beside the tabernacle?" "The longer the trial to which God subjects you, the greater the goodness in comforting you during the time of the trial and in the exaltation after the combat. " "Keep close to the Catholic Church at all times, for the Church alone can give you true peace, since she alone possesses Jesus, the true Prince of Peace, in the Blessed Sacrament." "Fear not because God is with you." "Prayer is the oxygen of the soul." "Who can assure us that we will be alive tomorrow? Let us listen to the voice of our conscience, to the voice of the r

The Miraculous Bond between Pope St. John Paul II and St. Padre Pio

Pope John Paul II was eager to see that Padre Pio was canonized. The canonization to took place in record time on June 16, 2002. However, the two future saints shared a close bond long before the canonization process. Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope St. John Paul II) met Padre Pio (St. Pius of Pietrelcina) only once in 1947. At that time, he had been a young priest (for less than a year) studying in Rome.  He went to San Giovani Rotundo to meet the mystic with the stigmata and managed to have his confession heard by Padre Pio.  He also attended the famed Capuchin’s Mass. Apparently, the two visited and spoke at length, although no one knows the content of their conversation. In 1962, when Karol Wojtyla’s long-time friend, Dr. Wanda Poltawska, became seriously ill from cancer, the future Pope, wrote to Padre Pio, requesting prayer for her.  He had the letter hand delivered. The monk’s response to the messenger was: "To this one I cannot say no.” In late November, 1962, Bis

The Pope listens to two survivors of Communist persecution in Albania

The memory of those Christians who gave their lives during the Communist persecution in Albania was very present during the meeting of Pope Francis with the Albanian priests and religious people. "Our martyr died crying 'Long live the Pope!' and we also want to cry it out together.” A 84-year-old Albanian priest told Pope Francis how he faced hard labor in a concentration camp for 27 years. A nun who had to live in clandestinity also gave her testimony, and couldn’t help getting emotional when she greeted Pope Francis. The Pope himself set aside his written speech and improvised another one. He made a comment on the Gospel of the day, that talked about the consolation that God brings to his people. For the Pope, the priest and nun that shared their experiences were living examples of martyrdom. He explained how they survived religious persecution. POPE FRANCIS "We can ask them: how did you survive so much suffering? And they will answer what we read on o

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival

Welcome to Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival! We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other and answer a question. Be sure to visit RAnn at This, That and the Other Thing to check out the great posts from other bloggers participating in Sunday Snippets this week. Question of the week:  What is your favorite formal (memorized) prayer? My Answer:  Anima Christi Here are my best posts from this past week: On the Feast of Our Lady of La Sallete, A Message of Hope St. Andrew Kim Taegon and St. Paul Chong Hasang and their companions, Korean Martyrs St. Joseph of Cupertino: A "Stupid" Man or a Spiritually Gifted Saint? St. Robert Bellarmine: Theologian, Cardinal, and Doctor of the Church Our Lady of Sorrows: Feast Day and Devotions

St. Andrew Kim Taegon and St. Paul Chong Hasang and their companions, Korean Martyrs

Today 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. Quotes for Reflection "We have received baptism, entrance

7 Quick Takes: A Week of Blessings

Our Lady of La Salette 1 .   Happy Feast Day of Our Lady of La Salette !  2. A prayer that I have been praying for daily for three months was answered today and I thank God for that! I received a check that was over three months late and was beginning to wonder if it would ever come. I was praying novenas to St. Joseph and St. Therese and today when I asked my Facebook friends to join me in prayer that it arrive in today's mail, it did! 3. Something happened to me recently that was a little "miraculous." I had been shopping in Aldi for groceries, and when I went to check out, my debit card would not work. I thought I had put in the wrong pin number. The clerk told me to run it again, which I did, and it still wasn't working. I started to try it again and he said the machine wouldn't take it. While I stood there, wondering what to do next (and saying a quick prayer), as I didn't have the cash to pay for the groceries, the woman behind me paid for the

On the Feast of Our Lady of La Sallete, A Message of Hope

On Friday, September 19, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of La Salette. On this day, we recall the apparition in which Our Lady appeared to two children in France. On Saturday, September 19, 1846, the feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows at about 3:00 in the afternoon, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on the mountain of La Salette in the French Alps to fifteen-year-old Melanie Calvat and eleven-year-old Maximin Giraud, two young shepherds. The Blessed Mother appeared in a resplendent light as a beautiful woman dressed in an unusual costume, seated on a stone, her face buried in her hands, crying. She then stood up and crossed her arms. Around her neck, she wore a chain containing a crucifix with a hammer and pincers on either side. She told the children not to be afraid but reassured them that she had great news to share. She gave them a public message and asked them to make her message known to all her people. In her message, Our Lady called the townspeople to repent of their s

St. Joseph of Cupertino: A "Stupid" Man or a Spiritually Gifted Saint?

September 18 is the feast day of St. Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1663),  If you have watched the film "The Reluctant Saint" , you know just how endearing this sweet Franciscan saint was and what strong humility he had. Joseph’s father was a poor carpenter who died prior to his birth. His mother, Francesca Panara, was unable to pay the debts, so the creditors evicted her from her home. She gave birth to Joseph in a stable at Cupertino, Italy. When Joseph was eight years old, he began receiving ecstatic visions that left him staring into space with his mouth wide open. Children made fun of him and called him "the gaper."  He was poorly educated and could scarcely read or write, which led others to think of him as stupid. In addition, his continual ecstasies made it difficult for him to concentrate on any task.  When he was seventeen, he decided he wanted to become a monk or friar. Joseph applied for admission to the Friars Minor Conventuals, but was rejected d

Pope paves way for canonization of Sri Lanka's 1st saint

Pope Francis has cleared that way for the canonization of Sri Lanka's first saint. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints stated that the Pope had approved a vote by the Ordinary Session of Cardinals and Bishops in favor of canonizing Blessed Joseph Vaz. For the second time in his papacy, Pope Francis bypassed the second miracle required by candidates for canonization. The only other time the Pope has done this was for the canonization of Pope St. John XXIII. Blessed Joseph Vaz was born in Goa, India in 1651. He spent most of his life as a missionary in Sri Lanka, ministering to the faithful during the Calvinist persecution. He was beatified on January 21st, 1995 by St. John Paul II during his Apostolic visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka. Pope Francis is expected to declare Blessed Vaz a saint during his visit to Sri Lanka in January.

St. Robert Bellarmine: Theologian, Cardinal, and Doctor of the Church

Today is the feast of St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), Italian cardinal and theologian. One of the great saints of the Jesuit order, he has also been declared a Doctor of the Church and the patron of catechists. Robert Bellarmine was born on October 4, 1542 in the Tuscan town of Montepulciano. He was the third of ten children born to Vincenzo Bellarmine, a nobleman, and Cinthia Cervini, sister of Pope Marcellus II. As a young man, Robert was educated by the Jesuits and in 1560; he entered the Jesuit order himself. He studied philosophy for three years in Rome, then taught humanities at Florence and Mondovi until 1567, when he began a study of theology at Louvain that lasted until 1569. In 1570, Robert was ordained to the priesthood in Belgium, where his sermons attracted crowds of both Catholics and Protestants. In 1576, he returned to Italy and took up an academic position addressing theological controversies. As a member of the Society of Jesus, he ranks among its grea

Archbishop Chaput is 'hopeful' that Pope Francis will go to Philadelphia

"It's a very big undertaking. Philadelphia has deep religious roots. And Pope Francis is very well loved both within and outside the Catholic Church in the United States.” Also present at the conference was the Riley family from Philadelphia who are involved in the preparations for the World Meeting of Families. They noted that the city is an appropriate meeting point for people of different cultures. PENELOPE RILEY Daughter "I go to Catholic school in Philadelphia and I think that everyone would love to come and visit and see all the different cultural differences there in comparison to Rome.” The theme of the World Meeting of Families, "Love is our mission: the family fully alive”,  will be at the center of several initiatives that will help prepare for the event. Among them is a catechesis on the family as well as the commissioning of a painting of the Holy Family. ARCH. CHARLES J. CHAPUT Archbishop of Philadelphia (USA) "It's exciting. We

The Miraculous Power of the Eucharist and Prayer in our Fight Against Evil

Ongoing Miracle of the Eucharist in SnnBtarem By Guest Blogger Janet Moore Thoughts of the mighty and miraculous power of God kept coming into my prayer yesterday, while begging God to stop the black mass scheduled to take place in Oklahoma City September 21st. Particularly, thoughts of the Eucharistic Miracle of Santarem that occurred in 1255, whose miraculous Presence continues to this day.  It is a true story of a woman who obtained a consecrated Host in order for it to be used for evil purposes. The Host started bleeding profusely as the woman was taking the Host to a sorceress. People on the streets thought something terrible had happened to her as blood poured forth from the veil in which she was concealing the Sacred Host. Scared, she went home and hid the Host in the bottom of a trunk.  That night, a brilliant light began to emanate from the trunk -- the light was so dazzling that it awakened the woman and her husband. The woman then proceeded to tell her husband what

Pope: World War III underway

Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian, Martyrs

Today is the memorial of Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian. These two contemporaries, martyred in 253 and 258 respectively, were linked by one particular issue: what to do with those Christians who lapsed through fear in time of persecution, and then wished to return? An influential Roman priest, Novatian, maintained that they could not be forgiven (along with murderers, adulterers and those in second marriages). Cornelius and Cyprian strongly took the opposite view. A Roman priest, Cornelius was elected Pope in 251 to succeed Fabian, at the time of the persecution of the Christians by the Emperor Decius. Novatian denied the Church’s authority to forgive serious sins, such as abandoning the faith during a time of danger. Novatian even had himself consecrated as a rival bishop of Rome, thereby becoming an anti-pope. Pope Cornelius, backed by St. Cyprian and Saint Dionysius, upheld the Church’s teaching, and allowed sinners to do penance and return to the Church. In 253, St. Cornelius was

Pope presides over marriage ceremony of 20 couples

One by one, the brides walked alongside their fathers, into St. Peter's the grooms waited for their soon to be wives. A total of 20 couples, all of them from Rome, were married by Pope Francis. POPE FRANCIS "It is a demanding journey, at times difficult, and at times turbulent, but such is life!” It's the first time in 14 years that a Pope has celebrated a public wedding ceremony in the Basilica. He said that even though there will be challenges, marriage is a gift and the foundation of society. "He reminded me of so many things that you tend to forget after being married for so long. It's a way to renew the enthusiasm and energy.” "It was beautiful ceremony!” Gaetano di Sangi is one of hundreds of guests, who made their way to Rome, to celebrate the big day with the newlyweds. His nephew was married and family flew in from New York. "We need the Pope to do these things in this period of moral and social decay.” Interes

Our Lady of Sorrows: Feast Day and Devotions

September 15 is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. This feast is dedicated to Mary, Mother of God, and her union with the sufferings of her Divine Son, Jesus. In her suffering as co-redemptrix, she reminds us of the tremendous evil of sin and shows us the way of true repentance. The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows commemorates the seven great sorrows which Mary lived in relation to her Son, as they are recorded in the Gospels or through tradition. The Seven Sorrows are: The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35) The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15) Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)  Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17) Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30) The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37) The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47) The Blessed Virgin Mary grants seven graces to the souls who honor her daily by s

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival on the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross

Welcome to Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival! We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other and answer a question. Be sure to visit RAnn at This, That and the Other Thing to check out the great posts from other bloggers participating in Sunday Snippets this week. Question of the week :With which ministries/activities within your parish are you involved? Answer: In my parish, I am currently serving as: an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, an EWTN media missionary, a member of the parish newspaper staff, and as a prayer intercessor. I am also a member of the Respect Life committee. Here are my best posts from this past week: St. John Chrysostom, Early Father, Doctor, and Bishop of the Church Fr. Robert Barron: "The Giver" and Recovering Our Christian Memory Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary St. John Gabriel Perboyre, Missionary and Martyr St. Nicholas of Tolentino: Patron of Babies, the Dying, an

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: The Saints speak on Suffering and the Cross

Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This feast is also called the Triumph of the Cross, Elevation of the Cross, Holy Cross Day, Holy Rood Day, or Roodmas. The public veneration of the Cross of Christ originated in the fourth century, beginning with the miraculous discovery of the cross on September 14, 326, by Saint Helen, mother of Constantine, while she was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem -- the same day that two churches built at the site of Calvary by Constantine were dedicated. In the Western Church, the feast came into prominence in the seventh century, after Emperor Heraclius of Constantinople recaptured the cross of Christ from the Persians and returned it to Jerusalem. On this feast day, we honor the Holy Cross by which Christ redeemed the world. The Cross -- because of what it represents -- is the most potent and universal symbol of the Christian faith. We revere the instrument by which Jesus Christ, Our Lord, saved us. Once an object of scorn, the

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