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Showing posts from May, 2016

St. Justin Martyr: Apologist and Father of the Church

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June 1st marks the feast day of St. Justin Martyr, an early Father of the Church. He was one of the first apologists for the Christian faith and has been regarded as the leading interpreter of the theory of the Logos (the Word of God) in the second century.

Justin was born into a pagan family in Neapolis around the year 100 A.D.  After spending years studying pagan philosophies, his quest for religious truth led him to investigate the Christian religion, which he found answered the great questions of life and existence better than pagan philosophy.  Already impressed by the zeal of Christian Martyrs, he became a convert to the Christian faith at the age of thirty.

Following his conversion, Justin moved to Rome where he opened a school in which he taught the best elements of Greek philosophy in the context of Christian belief. Known as “the Philosopher,” he was the first layman to serve as an apologist -- one who defended in writing the Christian faith against the attacks and misunder…

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Die Heimsuchung Mariens (The Visitation), 1695/1696, by Luca Giordano
Luke 1:39-56
May 31 is the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which recalls Mary's visit with her cousin Elizabeth. This event is also the second joyful mystery of the rosary -- the first being the Annunciation.

Elizabeth had been barren all her life, but in the Annunciation, Mary learned that her kinswoman was miraculously expecting a child in her old age. Upon hearing this good news, Mary fervently desired to share in Elizabeth's joy and serve her during the last part of her pregnancy. So she went "with haste" to visit Elizabeth and remained with her for three months.

Mary's first action after God had come to dwell in her was one of self-denying charity. She undertook a troublesome journey in order to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Thus, she proclaimed charity to be the virtue which above all Christ brought with Him from heaven. God made Mary's visit the occasion of a wonder…

Seven Quick Takes

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1.  It's late May and this is the usual time of year that my orange lilies bloom. The rainfall we have had has nourished them and they reflect the beauty of that sustenance. Just looking at them makes me smile.

The Lily symbolizes purity and refined beauty. Based on the color or type, the Lily flower can convey different meanings.



The White lily symbolizes modesty and virginity. The orange lily represents passion. The yellow lily symbolizes gaiety. The Lily of the valley represents sweetness and purity of heart. The Easter lily is a symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I have been reading a little about lilies lately and have discovered that they have been used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. The oil extracted from lilies has healing and softening properties. Especially, when the lily fragrance oil is mixed with that of calendula, it works wonderfully for very sensitive skin.

Lily oils can be used for massage, in a bath, after a bath, for babies, dry cuticles and elbows, as…

St. Philip Neri, patron saint of joy

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May 26 is the memorial of one of my favorite saints, St. Philip Neri. He has a special place in my heart because he was on fire with love for the Lord and had a wonderful way of drawing others to the Faith -- through his warm sense of humor and charismatic personality. He treated everyone with equal dignity and respect and dedicated himself to helping others, regardless of their class or their state in life He demonstrated heroic charity and desired to bring all into a deeper relationship with the Lord. John Henry Newman, one of his followers, wrote this of him: "Nothing was too high for him, nothing too low. He taught poor begging women to use mental prayer; he protected orphans...Cardinals hung about his room, and popes asked for his miraculous aid in disease...It was was his mission to save people, not from, but in, the world."*

St. Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy on July 22, 1515, one of four children of the notary Francesco Neri. His mother died when he was ver…

Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus begins Wednesday

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The month of June is singled out for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The novena to the Sacred Heart begins on Wednesday, May 25 and ends on Thursday, June 2, the eve of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which takes place on June 3 this year.

Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of...... (here name your request)
Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

II. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you." Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of.......(here name your request) Our Father...Hail Mary....Glory Be To the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

III. O my Jesus, you have said: &quo…

Day 12: Learning to Love with the Saints Blog Tour

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Today, Storyteller, Author, Blogger, Podcaster and Radio Host Tony Agnesi reviews Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir at Finding God's Grace in Everyday Life. Tony is well-known for his inspirational writing and storytelling, so take a look to see what he has to say about Learning to Love with the Saints and while you're there, check out his other reviews, podcasts, stories, and quotes.

The Feast of Mary Help of Christians

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Today, May 24, is the feast of Mary Help of Christians.

The tradition of this devotion dates back to 1571, when Mary Help of Christians saved the whole of Christendom when Catholics throughout Europe prayed the Rosary. The great battle of Lepanto occurred on October 7th 1571. For this reason this date has been chosen as the feast of the Holy Rosary. In 1573, Pope Pius V instituted this feast in thanksgiving for the decisive victory of Christianity over Islamism.

Near the end of the 17th century, Emperor Leopold I of Austria took refuge in the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Pasau, when 200,000 Ottoman Turks besieged the capital city of Vienna, but a great victory occurred thanks to Mary Help of Christians: on September 8th, Feast of Our Lady's Birthday, plans were drawn for the battle. On September 12, Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, Vienna was finally freed through the intercession of Mary Help of Christians. All Europe had joined with the Emperor crying out "Mary, Hel…

Day 11: Learning to Love with the Saints Blog Tour and Book Giveaway

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Today, Virginia Lieto, inspirational author, speaker, blogger, and theology professor reviews my new book, Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir and will be giving away an autographed copy! Go visit her at Virginia Lieto and enter to win!

There's only one more day for the blog tour, but you won't want to miss this last stop! On Tuesday, May 24, Tony Agnesi reviews Learning to Love with the Saints at Finding God’s Grace in Everyday Life. 

Day 10: Learning to Love with the Saint Blog Tour and Book Giveaway

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Today, Melanie Jean Juneau hosts the blog tour for my new book, Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir at Association of Catholic Women Bloggers and Joy of Nine9. She is a top notch writer and blogger, so be sure to read her review!

Here are the remaining stops on the Blog Tour and Book Giveaway for Learning to Love with the Saints:

Monday, May 23--Virginia Lieto, Review, Virginia Lieto Book Giveaway!

Tuesday, May 24 -- Tony Agnesi, Review, Finding God’s Grace in Everyday Life 


Learning to Love with the Saints: Blog Tour and Book Giveaway

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Today, Patrice Fagnant - MacArthur at Spiritual Woman hosts the blog tour for my new book, Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir. An avid reader, a gifted writer, and a seasoned reviewer, Patrice shares her honest opinion of the book.

Here are the remaining stops on the blog tour:

Sunday, May 22 -- Melanie Jean Juneau, Review, Association of Catholic Women Bloggers  and Joy of Nine  

Monday, May 23--Virginia Lieto, Review, Virginia Lieto Book Giveaway!

Tuesday, May 24 -- Tony Agnesi, Review, Finding God’s Grace in Everyday Life 

Seven Quick Takes: Book Giveaway!

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1. This has been a very busy week! My new book, Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir officially launched on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima exactly one week ago today. My shipment of books and new business cards arrived on Wednesday along with a second shipment of books  on Thursday. There have been speaking requests plus book signings and more... Whoa! It's exciting and exhausting all at the same time. In addition, I have been conducting a book blog tour this past week which extends until Tuesday, May 24.

Today, on day 8 of the blog tour, the sweet Jeannie Ewing interviews me at Love Alone Creates. She asked me some very intelligent and insightful questions, so go check it out! Be sure to enter to win a first edition, autographed copy of Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir.

If you would like to learn more about Learning to Love with the Saints and enter to win a free book,  here is the blog tour schedule:

Friday, May 13 -- Ellen Gable Hrkach, Revie…

Learning to Love with the Saints: Book Blog Tour and Giveaway

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On Day 7 of the blog tour for my new book,Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir, a long-time popular blogger whom I have known for many years, the avid reader and talented writer BarbSzyszkiewicz, also known as Franciscan Mom, reviews my book at both Franciscan Mom and Catholic Mom today. Go visit her and enter to win at both sites and enter to win a free, first edition, signed copy of my book at Franciscan Mom.

Visit these sites for the remainder of the tour:

Friday, May 20--Jeannie Ewing, Interview, Love Alone Creates 
Book Giveaway!

Saturday, May 21-- Patrice Faganant McArthur, Review, Spiritual Woman

Sunday, May 22 -- Melanie Jean Juneau, Review, Association of Catholic Women Bloggers  and Joy of Nine

Monday, May 23--Virginia Lieto, Review, Virginia Lieto, Book Giveaway!

Tuesday, May 24 -- Tony Agnesi, Review, Finding God’s Grace in Everyday Life

A reader writes: “I need advice on how to live despite the way the world projects virginity with such negativity.”

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Via Pinterest.
A female reader from Africa writes: I am on the verge of giving up. I feel very different from every other person in the world and I am wondering what reward I would get for my being chaste from birth. I have never accepted intimate relationships with anyone, part of me wonders if that is what the church preaches, part of me is unhappy, part of me finds my way of life satisfying. The other part wonders if I have a life at all. I don't exactly need a relationship, but I wonder what to do with my life when I need one. I wonder if I would join a convent when I don't get one, and I wonder if that's the life I want for myself. I need advice on how to live despite the way the world projects virginity with such negativity. I need an assurance that I am not insanely weird, and I need to know that God would be there to direct my life for the best.

Hang in there! Don’t give up! God is with you and will give you the grace you need to keep you strong in the battle. I a…

Pope St. John I

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Today, May 18, we commemorate the feast of Pope St. John I. He was a martyr for the faith, imprisoned and starved to death by a heretical Germanic king during the sixth century.

Pope St. John was born a Tuscan, the son of Constantius. He was an archdeacon for several years before being elected Pope on the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. He was a colleague and confidant of the philosopher Boethius.

In 525, Pope John was sent to Constantinople by King Theodoric of the Ostrogoths to reverse the edict of the Emperor Justin against the Arians two years earlier, which required Arians to give back churches which they had taken from orthodox Catholics. Theodoric was himself an Arian and a strong defender of Arianism (a heresy which arose in the 4th century that denied the divinity of Christ).

Although Theodoric desired a reversal of Justin’s policy, Pope John did not comply with his wishes, refusing to support heresy, and only counseled the Emperor Justin to be calmer in his fanatical de…

Day 6: Learning to Love with the Saints Blog Tour and Book Giveaway

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On Day 6 of the blog tour for my new book, Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir, a long-time blogger whom I have known for many years, the extraordinary Esther Gefroh at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii reviews my book. She is a sweet, humble, loving lady, a fervent Catholic, and a powerful prayer warrior. What are you waiting for? Go visit her! While you're there, check out the great graphics and phenomenal prayers posted on the right side of her site. 

Visit these sites for the remainder of the blog tour:

Thursday, May 19 -- Barb Szyszkiewicz, Review, Franciscan Mom,
Book Giveaway! and Catholic Mom 

Friday, May 20--Jeannie Ewing, Interview, Love Alone Creates 
Book Giveaway!

Saturday, May 21-- Patrice Faganant McArthur, Review, Spiritual Woman

Sunday, May 22 -- Melanie Jean Juneau, Review, Association of Catholic Women Bloggers  and Joy of Nine

Monday, May 23--Virginia Lieto, Review, Virginia Lieto, Book Giveaway!

Tuesday, May 24 -- Tony Agnesi, Review, Finding God’s Grac…

Book Giveaway -- Learning to Love with the Saints Blog Tour

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Today, on Day 5 of the blog tour, the charming and gifted Nancy Ward at JOY Alive in our hearts reviews my new book Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir. She is also offering a GREAT GIVEAWAY! She will be giving away a first edition, signed copy of my new book, Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir. Visit her website, read her review, and enter to win!

Visit these sites and enter to win more prizes during the book blog tour:

Wednesday, May 18 -- Esther Gefroh, Review, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii

Thursday, May 19 -- Barb Szyszkiewicz, Review, Franciscan Mom,
Book Giveaway! and Catholic Mom 

Friday, May 20--Jeannie Ewing, Interview, Love Alone Creates 
Book Giveaway!

Saturday, May 21-- Patrice Faganant McArthur, Review, Spiritual Woman

Sunday, May 22 -- Melanie Jean Juneau, Review, Association of Catholic Women Bloggers  and Joy of Nine

Monday, May 23--Virginia Lieto, Review, Virginia Lieto, Book Giveaway!

Tuesday, May 24 -- Tony Agnesi, Review, Finding God’s…

Day 4: Giveaway and Blog Tour for Learning to Love with the Saints

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Today, the lovely Lisa Mladinich, the author of True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life,interviews me at Amazing Catechists, where she is giving away a FREE paperback copy ofLearning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir and atPatheos. So Be sure to enter to win!

This is what Lisa has to say about Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir:
"Jean M. Heimann's Learning to Love With the Saints is wise and full of beauty, a memoir to be savored and brought to prayer. Read it and be blessed, and then share it with someone you love." 

Visit these sites for the remainder of the blog tour:

Tuesday, May 17—Nancy HC Ward, Review, Joy Alive in our Hearts
Book Giveaway!

Wednesday, May 18 -- Esther Gefroh, Review, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii

Thursday, May 19 -- Barb Szyszkiewicz, Review, Franciscan Mom  
Book Giveaway! and Catholic Mom

Friday, May 20--Jeannie Ewing, Interview, Love Alone Creates
Book Giveaway!

Saturday, May 21-- Patrice Faganant McArthur,…

NOVENA TO MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS

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St. John Bosco was the greatest propagator of the devotion to Mary Help of Christians, whose feast day is May 24.  He consistently recommended the novena to Mary Help of Christians to all who came to him.  Many extraordinary favors were granted to those who followed St. John Bosco's advice.
Prayer
O Mary, You love me with a Mothers heart. Just as you held your son Jesus in your arms you hold me in your care. Help in my need; Protect me day by day; and through your Motherly intercession, May I become ever more aware of the breath of God living within me. Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for us. Amen
First Day
O Mary, you readily agreed to the Angel’s request when you were asked to be the mother of God’s Son, and throughout your life your one desire was to do the will of your Father in heaven. Help me always to be obedient and humble. May I, like you, always have the generosity to follow Jesus, wherever he calls.
(add your personal intentions)
Hail Mary, full of grace…
V. Pray for us, O…

Learning to Love with the Saints Blog Tour and Book Giveaway: Day 3

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Today, the very talented writer and novelist Carolyn Astfalk at My Scribbler's Heart blog is reviewing Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir and hosting a Giveaway. Be sure to visit her to learn more about the book and enter to win a copy.

Here is the blog tour schedule:

Friday, May 13 -- Ellen Gable Hrkach, Review, Plot, Line, and Sinker   

Saturday, May 14 -- Rosemary Bogdan, Review, A Catholic Mother’s Thoughts  
Book Giveaway!

Sunday, May 15 -- Carolyn Astfalk, Review, My Scribbler’s Heart Blog 
Book Giveaway!

Monday, May 16 -- Lisa Mladinich, Interview, Patheos Book Giveaway!

Tuesday, May 17—Nancy HC Ward, Review, Joy Alive in our Hearts 
Book Giveaway!

Wednesday, May 18 -- Esther Gefroh, Review, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii 

Thursday, May 19 -- Barb Szyszkiewicz, Review, Franciscan Mom  
Book Giveaway! and Catholic Mom  

Friday, May 20--Jeannie Ewing, Interview, Love Alone Creates  
Book Giveaway!

Saturday, May 21-- Patrice Faganant McArthur, Review, Spiritual Woman 

Pentecost: The Birthday of the Church

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On the day of Pentecost, "suddenly from up in the sky there came a noise like a strong, driving wind which was heard all through the house where they were seated. Tongues as of fire appeared, which parted and came to rest on each of them. All were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to express themselves in foreign tongues and make bold proclamation as the Spirit prompted them" (Acts 2:2-4).

Happy Birthday!


Learning to Love with the Saints Blog Tour and Book Giveaway: Day 2

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Today, Rosemary Bogdan at A Catholic Mother’s Thoughts is giving away a paperback copy of my new book, Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir.Be sure to visit her to learn more about the book and enter to win a copy.

Here is the blog tour schedule:
Friday, May 13 -- Ellen Gable Hrkach, Review, Plot, Line, and Sinker   
Saturday, May 14 -- Rosemary Bogdan, Review, A Catholic Mother’s Thoughts   Book Giveaway!
Sunday, May 15 -- Carolyn Astfalk, Review, My Scribbler’s Heart Blog  Book Giveaway!
Monday, May 16 -- Lisa Mladinich, Interview, Patheos 
Tuesday, May 17—Nancy HC Ward, Review, Joy Alive in our Hearts  Book Giveaway!
Wednesday, May 18 -- Esther Gefroh., Review, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii 
Thursday, May 19 -- Barb Szyszkiewicz, Review, Franciscan Mom     Book Giveaway! and Catholic Mom  
Friday, May 20--Jeannie Ewing, Interview, Love Alone Creates   Book Giveaway!
Saturday, May 21-- Patrice Faganant McArthur, Review, Spiritual Woman 
Sunday, May 22 -- Melanie Jean Juneau, …

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway for "Learning to Love with the Saints"

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Friday, May 13, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, marks the launch of my new book, Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir. We will be giving away paperback books and sharing reviews from some very talented writers and bloggers.

Here is the blog tour schedule:

Friday, May 13 -- Ellen Gable Hrkach, Review, Plot, Line, and Sinker  

Saturday, May 14 -- Rosemary Bogdan, Review, A Catholic Mother’s Thoughts 
Book Giveaway!

Sunday, May 15 -- Carolyn Astfalk, Review, My Scribbler’s Heart Blog
Book Giveaway!

Monday, May 16 -- Lisa Mladinich, Interview, Patheos 

Tuesday, May 17—Nancy HC Ward, Review, Joy Alive in our Hearts
Book Giveaway!

Wednesday, May 18 -- Esther Gefroh., Review, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii 

Thursday, May 19 -- Barb Szyszkiewicz, Review, Franciscan Mom  
Book Giveaway! andCatholic Mom 

Friday, May 20--Jeannie Ewing, Interview, Love Alone Creates
Book Giveaway!

Saturday, May 21-- Patrice Faganant McArthur, Review, Spiritual Woman 

Sunday, May 22 -- Melanie Jean Juneau, R…