Showing posts from January, 2015

7QT's: Art, Newman, Aquinas, and more

1. Art has always been fascinating to me, especially Catholic art. I have my own small collection of statues, paintings, crucifixes, and other objects of art. I also enjoy portrait sketching and painting myself (when I get a chance). Above is one example of a very old painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe that my mother gave me just before she entered into eternal life. Recently, I have become acquainted with a local artist, who is also a member of my parish. Born in the hill country near Trieste, Italy, to an Italian mother and American father, Rita Zaudke came to America when she was four years old. She has made many trips back to Italy since then. Inspired by the Italian people, the picturesque villages, and the elaborate architecture, she has produced a collection of beautiful paintings which reflect her love for the country. Take a look at her beautiful work HERE . 2.   For three days this past week, we had record-breaking temperatures in the 70's, so I chose to exerc

Saint John Bosco: Hero of Youth

On Jan. 31, we celebrate the feast of St. John Bosco or “Don Bosco,” a 19th century Italian priest who worked to improve the education, vocational opportunities, and faith of youth during the industrial revolution. Giovanni (John) Melchior Bosco was born in 1815 to a poor farm family in the hillside hamlet of Becchi in northern Italy.  When he was born, his mother consecrated him to the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the age of two, John lost his father. He was raised by his mother, Margaret Bosco, a hard-working woman who selflessly struggled to raise John and his two older brothers on her own. Following their father’s death, it became necessary for John and his brothers to complete the farm chores previously performed by their father to support the family. At age nine, John had a vision that foretold his vocation. In the dream, he was encircled by a crowd of boys who were fighting and cursing. He tried to calm them, first by reasoning with them, then by hitting them. Suddenly, a mys

Four saints in one family? Beatification Process of St. Therese of Lisieux's sister, opens

Pope Francis is a great devotee of St. Therese of Lisieux. Her parents, Louis and Zelie were beatified back in 2008. Now, the saint's sister, Leonia is also being considered for sainthood. The priest leading her cause for canonization, talked about her life, in a video conference chat. FR. ANTONIO SANGALLI Postulator of the cause of Leonie Martin "She was the third of nine children and probably the less talented among them. She was always put down and described as the one who didn't know how to do anything. If was hard for her to compete to (with) her sister's accomplishments.” But she was actually the first one in her family who decided to embrace a religious vocation. But she wasn't able to reach her goal. She was clumsy and short tempered and her strength wasn't always a constant. She had to leave the monastery twice. Her sister Therese, helped her out, when her self esteem was low. FR. ANTONIO SANGALLI Postulator of the cause of Leonie Martin &

St. Gildas the Wise: Monk and Missionary

The saint of the day for January 29th is St. Gildas the Wise, a sixth century British monk. Gildas was born in Scotland around the year 516 to a noble British family. He was educated in Wales under St. Iltut, and was a companion of St. Samson and St. Peter of Léon. Sometimes he is called "Badonicus" because his birth took place the year the Britons gained a famous victory over the Saxons at Mount Badon, near Bath, Somersetshire. Noted for his piety, Gildas was well-educated, and was not afraid of publicly rebuking contemporary monarchs, at a time when libel was answered by a sword, rather than a Court order. He lived for many years as a hermit on Flatholm Island in the Bristol Channel. Here he established his reputation for holiness through acts of self-denial. He also preached to Nemata, the mother of St David, while she was pregnant with the Saint. Around 547 he wrote De Excidio Britanniae ( The Ruin of Britain ). In this, he writes a brief tale of the island

St. Thomas Aquinas: "Angelic Doctor"

Today is the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, a 13th century Dominican priest, philosopher, and theologian. As a Doctor of the Church, he has been given the title "Angelic Doctor" and is the patron of Catholic universities and schools. St. Thomas ranks among the greatest writers and theologians of all time. His most important work, the Summa Theologiae, an explanation and summary of the entire body of Catholic teaching, has been standard for centuries, even to our own day. St. Thomas reflected the Dominican ideal. He was a true contemplative who shared the fruits of contemplation with others. Born of a noble family in southern Italy, Thomas was educated by the Benedictines. He was a superior student and surpassed his classmates in learning as well as in the practice of virtue. When he became old enough to choose his state of life, Thomas renounced the things of this world and chose to enter the Order of St. Dominic in spite of the opposition of his family, who had expec

Book Review -- Practical Theology: Spiritual Direction from Saint Thomas Aquinas

Spiritual direction has been an essential part of Catholic tradition since the earliest days of the Church when desert fathers were sought out for their wisdom and guidance. Today, a renewed interest in attaining personal holiness and an ever-increasing attraction to monastic spirituality has put spiritual direction in the spotlight. In 2012, Emmaus Road Publishing released Navigating the Interior Life: Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God by Executive Director of the National Catholic Register, Dan Burke. In it, Burke emphatically emphasized the importance and necessity of spiritual direction for Catholics in their spiritual journey. Now Peter Kreeft, a seasoned author whom I greatly admire for his natural genius on topics of faith, has written a book on spiritual direction that Dan Burke describes as “his opus.” In Practical Theology: Spiritual Direction from Saint Thomas Aquinas , Kreeft has combined 358 useful insights from Aquinas’ masterpiece, the 4000 page Summa

St. Angela Merici: Founder of the Urusulines, Religious Educator of Women

Today is the optional memorial of St. Angela Merici, the foundress of the Ursulines, the the first teaching congregation of women in the Church. It was a new, almost revolutionary foundation for its time, as it focused primarily on the education of women. Her foundation led to the emancipation of women not only in the Church, but in society as well. Women were educated so as to transform society by educating their own family in the faith and living out that faith in their lives.  Angela was born to a family of minor nobility on March 21, 1474 at Desenzano, Lake Garda, Italy and died on January 27, 1540 in Brescia. Her parents died when she was only ten years old. Together, with her older sister, she moved to the nearby town of Salo, to live with her uncle. When her sister died quite suddenly without receiving the last sacraments, Angela was deeply upset. At the age of 15, she became a third order Franciscan and increased her prayers and sacrifices for the repose of her

Pope Francis: women first and foremost in transmitting faith

Image a gift that passes from generation to generation, through the beautiful work of mothers and grandmothers, the fine work of the women who play those roles... It occurs to me: why is it mainly women, who to pass on the faith? Simply because the one who brought us Jesus is a woman. It is the path chosen by Jesus. He wanted to have a mother: the gift of faith comes to us through women, as Jesus came to us through Mary. ~ Pope Francis in his homily at Monday morning Mass, January 26th at in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican.

Novena to St. Blaise Begins Today

The feast of St. Blaise is February 4. He is one of fourteen holy helpers and is the patron of:   physicians, sick cattle, and wild animals because of his care for them. He is invoked against afflictions of the throat and against numerous other physical ailments, which include: angina, bladder diseases, blisters, coughs, dermatitis, dropsy, eczema, edema, fever, goiters, headaches, impetigo, respiratory diseases, skin diseases, snake bites, stomach pain, teething pain, toothaches, ulcers, and whooping cough. PREPARATORY PRAYER  Almighty and Eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life

Sts. Timothy and Titus: St. Paul's Companions and Co-workers in Evangelization

Today, January 26, is the memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus. Both men were close colleagues with St. Paul in his missionary journeys and perpetuated his work among the Gentiles. Timothy and Titus were converted to Christianity by Paul, and became his companions and helpers. Paul made both men bishops and assigned Timothy to the Church in Ephesus, and Titus to the Church in Crete. He wrote them “pastoral” epistles, giving advice for both pastors and parishioners. Timothy, “brother and co-worker for God in the gospel of Christ” (1 Thes 3:2) was young (Paul writes “Let no one have contempt for your youth” in 1 Timothy 4:12a), and somewhat shy, but had great zeal for spreading the faith. He has been viewed by some as the "angel of the church of Ephesus" (Rev 2:1-17). He joined Paul in the joy of the privilege of preaching the gospel, but also  suffered much because of it. St. Timothy was stoned to death thirty years after St. Paul's martyrdom for refusing to worship

Fr. Barron on Atheism and Philosophy

In a recent article published in the online journal “Salon,” philosophy professor John Messerly claims that religion has a "smart-people problem." Is this the case? Fr. Robert Barron responds.

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival

March for Life 2015 -- Rally on the National Mall Go HERE for More Photos. Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at RAnn’s Place for Sunday Snippets, where we share our blog posts from the previous week.  My posts from this past week include the following:  St. Francis de Sales: Model Evangelist 7 QT: The Saint, the March, and the Book Top Twelve Ways to observe the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children St. Agnes: Model of Chastity The Top Three Reasons to March for Life St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr Prayer to End Abortion (English and Spanish) St. Canute: King of Kindness, Wisdom, Charity, and Courage

St. Francis de Sales: Model Evangelist

St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), a theologian and the patron saint of writers has long been my mentor and model, and one of my most powerful intercessors. As a theologian and a writer, I look to him for guidance and for assistance in my work. His unique methods of evangelization have also greatly inspired me. As Catholics, we are all called to be missionaries and witnesses to the truth by virtue of our Baptism. St. Francis de Sales is a saint whose virtues we can learn from and emulate, when it comes to sharing the Gospel message with others. Francis was born at the Chateau de Sales in Swiss Savoy (modern France) on August 21, 1567, to a noble family. He was a frail and delicate child, but very intelligent, humble, kind, loving, patient and gentle, obedient, and truthful. At the age of thirteen, Francis studied theology at the University of Paris and immediately afterward earned a doctorate in law. His father desired that he become a lawyer and politician. However, he felt cal

7 QT: The Saint, the March, and the Book

1. The saint of the day is St. Marianne Cope (1838-1918), a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, who was canonized Oct. 21, 2012. She is the first Franciscan woman from North American to be canonized, and only the 11th American saint. She was one of ten children born to a German farm family who immigrated to upstate New York. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis at the age of twenty-four and the following year made her religious profession. She served as a teacher and principal in several elementary schools in New York State, a task which she had intended to do for the rest of her life, but God had other plans, At the age of 32, she began a new ministry as a nurse-administrator at St Joseph's in Syracuse, N.Y., where she served as head administrator for six years. In 1877, she was elected Mother Provincal, when she received a request from the Sandwich Islands to send sisters to care for the sick. At the age of forty-six, Mother Marianne traveled to Hawaii wi

Top Twelve Ways to observe the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

The over 56 million abortions since the 1973 decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton reflect with heartbreaking magnitude what Pope Francis means by a “throwaway culture.” However, we have great trust in God’s providence. We are reminded time and again in Scripture to seek the Lord’s help, and as people of faith, we believe that our prayers are heard. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the "Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”: “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.” As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fa

St. Agnes: Model of Chastity

January 21 is the feast of St. Agnes, a virgin, who was martyred at the age of thirteen in 304.  She is invoked as the patron of young girls and serves as a excellent model of chastity. Born to a Christian family of Roman nobility during the third century, St. Agnes matured into a beautiful, graceful young woman.  By the age of twelve, she was already receiving several suitors to ask for her hand in marriage; however, she had developed a deep spirituality which guided her to consecrate her virginity to God. Thus, she turned each suitor away, explaining that Christ was her only spouse. She was even willing to accept death rather than give up her consecrated virginity to marry. Living as a Christian during the politically charged time of the Diocletian persecution of Christians in Rome, she was under the constant threat of torture and death. A Roman prefect desired that Agnes marry his son. Embittered by her second rejection to marry his son, the prefect turned her in to

The Top Three Reasons to March for Life

This week, America memorializes the 57 million innocent lives lost to abortion since January 22, 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court imposed abortion on all 50 states through the unjust Roe v. Wade decision. We also remember the many mothers — and fathers — whose lives have been devastated by abortion. In the following video, National Director of 40 Days for Life David Bereit shares the Top Three Reasons to ‎March for Life‬. Be sure to share this with others. Thank you! Here is a listing of all the places 40 Days for Life will be.

St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr

The saint of the day for January 20 is St. Fabian, pope (236-250) and martyr. Eusebius, a historian, recounted that Fabian was a layperson, most likely a farmer, who came to Rome, when the people were electing a successor to Pope Anterus. As a layperson, he may have come for the same reason many still come to Rome today during a papal election: concern for the future of the faith, curiosity about the new pope, a desire to grieve for the pope who had passed. Seeing all the important people gathered to make this momentous decision must have been overwhelming. Which one would be the new pope? Someone known for power? Someone known for eloquence? Someone known for courage? Suddenly during the discussion, a dove descended from the ceiling. But it didn't settle on "someone known" for anything at all. The dove, according to Eusebius, "settled on [Fabian's] head as clear imitation of the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove upon the Savior." Ther

Prayer to End Abortion (English and Spanish)

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life, And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters. I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the Resurrection of Your Son. I am ready to do my part in ending abortion. Today I commit myself Never to be silent, Never to be passive, Never to be forgetful of the unborn. I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, And never to stop defending life Until all my brothers and sisters are protected, And our nation once again becomes A nation with liberty and justice Not just for some, but for all, Through Christ our Lord. Amen!  En Español: Oración para abolir el aborto Dios Padre, te agradezco por el obsequio de mi vida, por las vidas de todos mis hermanos y hermanas. Sé que no hay nada que destruya la vida más que el aborto, y me regocijo al saber que Tu has conquistado la muerte con la Resurrección de Tu Hijo. Estoy listo para pon

St. Canute: King of Kindness, Wisdom, Charity, and Courage

By Jean M. Heimann The saint of the day is St. Canute. He was the illegitimate son of King Sweyn Estrithson of Denmark and the nephew of King Knud of England. He succeeded his older brother Harold to the throne of Denmark in the year 1080. As the King of Denmark, he was known as Knud IV. He married Adela, sister of Count Roberts of Flanders. King Canute was gifted with wisdom, charity, and kindness; he was also an excellent athlete, an expert equestrian, and a great general. At the onset of his reign, he led a war against the barbarians and his army defeated them. In the splendor of his success, kneeling at the foot of the altar, he surrendered himself and his kingdom to Jesus Christ, the King of kings. Through his kingdom, he spread the gospel message, constructed churches, and maintained missionaries. Turmoil arose in his kingdom due to the laws he had made championing the Church and he fled to the Island of Fünen. Dissidents went to the church of Saint Alban where Canute

Pope Francis to families in the Philippines: be examples of holiness, prayer

 Pope Francis told families in the Philippines Friday that they should take time to rest and to pray together and to be examples of holiness.  On the second day of his five day trip to the Asian archipelago, Pope Francis told tens of thousands of people gathered for a meeting with families that the world “needs good and strong families” to overcome threats of poverty, materialism, destructive lifestyles, and those caused by separation due to migration. In his discourse, delivered at the “Mall of Asia Arena,” Manila’s principle sports arena, the Pope said “the Philippines needs holy and loving families to protect the beauty and truth of the family in God’s plan.” Below, please find the the full text of the Pope's adress (including his off-the cuff remarks in Spanish which were translated into English) Dear Families, Dear Friends in Christ,  I am grateful for your presence here this evening and for the witness of your love for Jesus and his Church.  I thank Bishop Reyes

Saint Anthony of the Desert: Founder of Monasticism

The saint of the day for January 17 is St. Anthony of the Desert (c. 251–356), a religious hermit and monk, who is known as the founder of monasticism. His rule of order was one of the first to create guidelines for monastic living. He became a monk at age 20 and withdrew into total solitude on a desert mountain near the Nile River. His only food was bread and water, which he never tasted before sunset, and sometimes only once in two, three, or four days. He wore sackcloth and sheepskin, and often knelt in prayer from sunset to sunrise. Here, in the desert, he overcame extreme temptations of the devil, and emerged about 20 years later from total seclusion to instruct nearby hermits in the ways of monasticism. He demonstrated the power of Christ to touch lives by healing the sick, providing spiritual guidance, casting out demons, and preaching. Many were attracted to monasticism by his example. Athanasius's Life of St. Antony [Anthony] perpetuated his story. Anthony inspired m

Check out the music Pope Francis heard when he arrived in the Philippines

You have got to love it! It sure looks like Pope Francis did! One of the first things Pope Francis saw upon arriving in Manila, was unique choreography dance carried out by children and teenagers. The music was combined with a phrase in Spanish, which translates to 'Welcome Pope Francis.' The second song, had a more modern twist to it. Young women wearing white skirts and yellow tops, to represents the Vatican's flag colors, danced to techno music as Pope Francis greeted state authorities.

The Pope in the Philippines: I admire the “heroic strength” of Filipinos during typhoon Haiyan

Pope Francis met Filipino political leaders at the Presidential Palace in Manila. In his speech, he stressed he wants to give his support to the victims of typhoon Haiyan, adding that he admires them for their "heroic strength” during and after the natural disaster. The Pope also highlighted that democracies should always back the family, protecting the "inalienable right to life” of the elderly, sick and unborn. READ THE POPE'S FULL SPEECH: Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you, Mr President, for your kind welcome and for your words of greeting in the name of the authorities and people of the Philippines, and the distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps. I am most grateful for your invitation to visit the Philippines. My visit is above all pastoral. It comes as the Church in this country is preparing to celebrate the fifth centenary of the first proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on these shores. The Christian message has had an immense influence on

St. Berard and Companions: Martyrs

On January 16, from the Franciscan calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Berard and companions. Six Franciscan friars accepted from St. Francis of Assisi an assignment to go to Morocco. They were to announce Christianity to the Muslims. Friars Berard, Peter, Adjutus, Accursio and Odo traveled by ship in 1219. Morocco is in the northwest corner of Africa and the journey was long and dangerous. The group arrived at Seville, Spain. They started preaching immediately, on streets and in public squares. People treated them as if they were crazy and had them arrested. To save themselves from being sent back home, the friars declared they wanted to see the sultan. So the governor of Seville sent them to Morocco. The sultan received the friars and gave them freedom to preach in the city. But some of the people did not like this. They complained to the authorities. The sultan tried to save the friars by sending them to live in Marrakech, on the west coast of Morocco. A Christian prince

Blog Archive

Show more