Category Archives: Saints

7 Quick Takes Friday

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1. Wow.  What a summer…

  • Icky weather.
  • Dad very sick.
  • No beach.
  • Pasty white skin.
  • No trips.
  • Pool only one time.
  • No barbequing
  • Pasty white skin – did I mention that?

BUT, what a fantastic summer it was anyhow!!!!  I immersed myself in learning more about my craft.  This summer was all about making myself a better artist.  Online classes are so incredible!  I absolutely love them.  I learned so much and I think I really improved and learned a TON!! I took several classes from my “idol” artists this summer.  “Paint Your Story” by Mindy Lacefield,“How to Paint Whimsical Animals” by Juliette Crane, & “HerStory” by Danielle Daniel and I’m also enrolled in a year-long course called “Serendipity” by Juliette Crane.  I also took an in-person class by the famous Donna Downey called “How to Paint Like an Artist.”  She came to a local scrap booking store called Altered Angel.   It was a blast!  My dream is to go to Donna’s studio and take a weekend long retreat/class.  Mindy Lacefield will be coming there to teach in 2014.  What a dream come true that would be!  I need to win the Lotto!

Here are some pics of what I created in those classes:

PhotoSheet 5x4 (Owl Fini,Serendip,C,9)

2.  Dad is doing so good!  He was diagnosed (finally) with a condition called “Polymyalgia Rheumatica” after 7 months of hell.  He’s taking Prednisone and it is controlling those terrible fevers and chills.  We are ever so grateful for all the prayers said on his behalf.  It just takes one determined doctor who decided to take ownership and not give up.  We are forever indebted to Dr. Stephen Szabo.  He’s our “Dr. House.”

3.  Join me and thousands of others in praying our latest Novena.  It will be to Saint Jude.  Saint Jude is the patron of Hopeless Causes and Desperate Situations.  Sign up here to get the daily prayers delivered to your email in box.  My father’s diagnosis came while praying the novena to St. Therese the Little Flower.  And we just finished the novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  What exactly is a Novena?  Click here to find out!

4.  There are only 67 days until Christmas.

5.  I’m thoroughly disgusted with our government.  All parties – don’t care who they are.  They are an embarrassment and a disgrace.  I will stop there.

6.  I am so excited!  I had someone reach out to me and ask me to give her and her granddaughter an art lesson.  I about cried.  This is part of my dream and it’s going to come true!  Very humbled and honored!

7.  Even after 2 years, I still miss my mom so much it hurts!  I think of her every day.  I talk to her.  I still cry for her.  And there are days that I still just can’t believe it.  I’ll see a picture of her and my heart will just plummet.  I have so many things I want to share with her.  I need so bad to hear her voice.

“Stars”

I lit a fire with the love you left behind
And it burned wild and crept up the mountain side
I followed your ashes into outer space
I can’t look out the window, I can’t look at this place.I can’t look at the stars
They make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars.All those times we looked up at the sky
Looking out so far, it felt like we could fly
And now I’m all alone in the dark of night
And the moon is shining, but I can’t see the light.

And I can’t look at the stars
They make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars.

Stars

Stars, they make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I can’t look at the stars.

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( Not a )Quote from Pope Francis – darn! but I still like it!

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I love this and had to share it!

4:23 pm….JUST FOUND THAT THIS IS NOT FROM POPE FRANCIS but I like it anyhow.

“We need saints without cassocks, without veils – we need saints with jeans and tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music, that hang out with their friends. We need saints that place God in first place ahead of succeeding in any career. We need saints that look for time to pray every day and who know how to be in love with purity, chastity and all good things. We need saints – saints for the 21st century with a spirituality appropriate to our new time. We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to make the needed social change.

We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it. We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theater. We need saints that are open sociable normal happy companions. we need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane. We need saints.”

St. Andrew Novena Starts Today!

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Good Morning!  Happy Friday!  I am re-posting this entry from last year.  I am going to pray this Novena once again and invite you to join in.  When I think back to this time last year, it was mostly a blur.  All I really remember is grief, sadness, sorrow and being in a daze because we had just lost my mother. BUT, I do remember praying this novena. I actually kept my prayer sheet and looking back, this Novena helped me when I was at my lowest.  It comforted me, it made me be proactive, it made me think of other people, it brought me back to a routine.  I remember it was the first time I didn’t have to pray for my mother to be healed. Instead, as hard as it was, I prayed for her soul.

So, here it is:

I was invited to pray the St. Andrew Christmas Novena this year.  Wanted to invite you to do so also.   The St. Andrew prayer is a special “Christmas Novena” which is prayed every day from November 30th (today on the Feast Day of St. Andrew) until Christmas. Everyone has special intentions and petitions that need prayer and also prayers of thanks for something special that God has already answered. I can’t think of a more beautiful way to spend the Christmas season. It is OK to enjoy the spirit of the season with gifts, decorating and baking…but we must never lose sight of what this time of year is really all about.

The prayer must be said 15 times a day. You can say the prayer all at once; or divide up through the day.

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires {state your intention(s) here}, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)

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+MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897

God Bless you, and Merry Christmas!

Definition of VOUCHSAFE

transitive verb
1 a : to grant or furnish often in a gracious or condescending manner b : to give by way of reply <refused to vouchsafe an explanation>
2 : to grant as a privilege or special favor

St. Andrew Novena Starts Today!

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I was invited to pray the St. Andrew Christmas Novena this year.  Wanted to invite you to do so also.   The St. Andrew prayer is a special “Christmas Novena” which is prayed every day from November 30th (today on the Feast Day of St. Andrew) until Christmas. Everyone has special intentions and petitions that need prayer and also prayers of thanks for something special that God has already answered. I can’t think of a more beautiful way to spend the Christmas season. It is ok to enjoy the spirit of the season with gifts, decorating and baking…but we must never lose sight of what this time of year is really all about.

The prayer must be said 15 times a day. You can say the prayer all at once; or divide up through the day.

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires {state your intention(s) here}, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

God Bless you, and Merry Christmas!

Definition of VOUCHSAFE

transitive verb
1 a : to grant or furnish often in a gracious or condescending manner b : to give by way of reply <refused to vouchsafe an explanation>
2 : to grant as a privilege or special favor

“Go Fish” Friday: My 4-Way and St. Michael Medals

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It seems as if everywhere I go, people always compliment me on my necklace. Some know what it is and others don’t. Its always a topic of conversation at the grocery store checkout, at a restaurant, at the hair salon, anywhere I am face to face with someone, they always notice my Medals and either say they are pretty or ask what they are. Maybe its because they’re big (I don’t do dainty! LOL!) and maybe because people are just drawn to them. I wear a 4-Way medal and then a separate Saint Michael Medal on the same chain. Saint Michael is my patron saint. I can’t tell you how long I’ve worn them, but it’s been many, many years. Anytime you see a picture of me, I have them on. I do not take them off. Do I think they are lucky charms? NO. Do I think that if I take them off something bad will happen? NO. You know me better than that by now.

The Four Way Medal is also known as a Cruciform, and also a Scapular Medal.  It takes the latter name from the medal at the top. Traditionally, the Scapular Medal features the Sacred Heart of Jesus on one side and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on the other side.

A 4-Way Medal is a combination of 4 popular Catholic medals – it includes The Scared Heart medal (top), Saint Joseph medal (right), a Miraculous Medal (bottom) and a Saint Christopher medal (left). Mine also includes a dove in the middle signifying the Holy Spirit.

SACRED HEART MEDAL: Also known as “Sacred Heart of Jesus” this medal signifies one of the most popular Catholic devotions to Jesus’ physical heart. His undying love for you and for me, and the suffering heart of Christ. Many people have a devotion to the Sacred Heart. You see a lot of artwork depicting Jesus’ Sacred Heart. You can read more about it here.

Below is a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that I have hanging in my home.  “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in YOU!”

SAINT JOSEPH MEDAL: Of course, everyone knows who Saint Joseph is…he was Our Lady’s husband. He was Jesus’ “foster” father or His “earthly” father. Saint Joseph is the patron saint of workers. Many in my family have been named after Saint Joseph and we have great devotion to him. My paternal Grandfather, Father and one of my brothers were all named after Saint Joseph. I have cousins named after him and also many have Joseph as their middle names in my family. My Grandmother started to paint, cast and teach ceramics after my 50 year old Grandpa died. One of my memories was always seeing a ceramic caroler figurine that she brought out at Christmas time.  She painted this figurine. In the little bitty songbook that the woman was holding, my Gram wrote “Oh Joseph Dear, Oh Joseph Mine” – at that time she was mourning her Joseph, just as Mary mourned for her Joseph way back when.  “Joseph Dear, Oh Joseph Mine” is also called “Song of the Crib” by Josef Lieber. Mannheim Steamroller has popularized this song. Saint Joseph is very special to our family.

You can read more about Saint Joseph here.

THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL: The Miraculous medal is also known as the “Medal of the Immaculate Conception.” It was designed by Our Lady herself.

TAKEN FROM: The Association of the Miraculous Medal

The Meaning of the Front Side of the Miraculous Medal:
Mary is standing upon a globe, crushing the head of a serpent beneath her foot. She stands upon the globe, as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her feet crush the serpent to proclaim Satan and all his followers are helpless before her (Gn 3:15). The year of 1830 on the Miraculous Medal is the year the Blessed Mother gave the design of the Miraculous Medal to Saint Catherine Labouré. The reference to Mary conceived without sin supports the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary—not to be confused with the virgin birth of Jesus, and referring to Mary’s sinlessness, “full of grace” and “blessed among women” (Luke 1:28)—that was proclaimed 24 years later in 1854.

The Meaning of the Back Side of the Miraculous Medal
The twelve stars can refer to the Apostles, who represent the entire Church as it surrounds Mary. They also recall the vision of Saint John, writer of the Book of Revelation (12:1), in which “a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars.” The cross can symbolize Christ and our redemption, with the bar under the cross a sign of the earth. The “M” stands for Mary, and the interleaving of her initial and the cross shows Mary’s close involvement with Jesus and our world. In this we see Mary’s part in our salvation and her role as mother of the Church. The two hearts represent the love of Jesus and Mary for us. (See also Lk 2:35).

SAINT CHRISTOPHER MEDAL: St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. Not much is known about him. Christopher means “Christ-bearer” – his original name was Offero. He was martyred in c251.
More on St. Christopher can be found here.

One day he carried a small child across the stream; the child’s weight nearly crushed him. When they arrived on the other side, the child revealed himself as Christ, and he was so heavy because he bore the weight of the world on himself. He then baptized Offero with water from the stream. Christopher’s service at the stream led to his patronage of things related to travel and travelers, people who carry things, etc. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

What is on the back of the 4-Way medal?

The back top has the rest of the Sacred Heart Medal which is Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Creating the Scapular part of the medal. Our Lady of Mount Carmel also has huge significance in our family. That was our family’s parish…the parish my father and his brothers and sister were raised in. My Grandpa sang the “Ave Maria” in that church. He was buried from that church. Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Niles, Ohio is also where I was baptized. We have fond memories of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – The “festival” at that church was a weekend of rides, games, sausage and pepper sandwiches, smelts, cheese puffs and french fries with vinegar. It was something we looked forward to every summer. The feast day is the 16th of July. I have an “Infant of Prague” statue in my bedroom that my maternal Grandmother won at that festival. I took that Infant when she passed away. It is one of my most cherished possessions. Look for a blog on “The Infant of Prague” coming soon!

Also on the back of the 4-Way is the back of the Miraculous Medal which I explained above.

In the middle are the words: “I am a Catholic, in case of an accident, please call a priest.” Obviously in case of emergency or accident a Catholic would want their priest. They would administer the Sacrament of the Sick or in case of possible death, Last Rites.

Now on to Saint Michael…Saint Michael is an Archangel.  In Hebrew the name Michael means “He who is like God.” Michael is described as the prince of light, leading forces of God against the darkness of evil. He is described as the “viceroy of heaven”.

Prayer of St. Michael: St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle.  Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.  My God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do Thou O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, by the power of GOD cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits that prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.  AMEN!

Until next time, as always…”Go Fish!”

Reflections on Tradition

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This Holiday season I have been all about tradition.  I don’t really know what came over me… maybe its my age or the fact that my 88 year old Gram spent Christmas with us this year.  Or, that the people who are normally in charge of these things weren’t able to physically carry them out this year.  All I know is I wanted to make sure our family kept up with the traditions that we all grew up with.  Most of them are food related.  I baked our family’s Hungarian Christmas cookie recipes that everyone loves so much…Nut, poppy seed and apricot roll, snowballs, thumbprints, pecan tassies and the like and I loved every second of it.  New Year’s day our tradition is to eat Hungarian Pork and Sauerkraut (Székely Gulyas.)  We also have a tradition of taking blessed hay from the Nativity Scene at church and putting it in our wallets to assure we will not be broke in the new year!  LOL!  Its become so important to me that our traditions never fade away.

This got me to thinking about the church and tradition.  The three pillars of the Church’s Authority are:  1. Sacred Scripture (The Holy Bible) 2. Sacred Tradition (Our History passed down through out the ages) 3. The Living Magisterium (the teaching authority of the Church.)

The word “Tradition” comes from the Latin word ‘trado, tradere’ which means to hand over, to deliver, or to bequeath.

There are “big T” Traditions like in the 3 pillars above and there are “little t” traditions in Catholicism.  Big T Traditions = The early church before the bible, Tradition that is closely connected with doctrine.  Big T Tradition refers to Sacred Tradition. It is the teachings that were handed down by the apostles and are every bit as authoritative, binding, and infallible as Sacred Scripture. Together, they are the Word of God also known as the Deposit of Faith.  Tradition complements rather than contradicts scripture. It is not subject to change, and is part of our deposit of faith.

“Little t” traditions are the ones I like the most. Here are some examples that I personally hold on to:

  • Praying the Rosary
  • Praying Novenas
  • Wearing medals  (I always wear a Saint Michael medal and a 4 Way medal – I NEVER take them off)
  • Wearing scapulars (There is a scapular on my 4 way medal)
  • Devotion to specific Saints (My faves include:  St. Rita, St. Padre Pio, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Faustina, St. Anthony and of course our Mother Mary)
  • Prayers such as “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” or “Daily Offering” that we were taught as kids.
  • Keeping Holy Water in the House and using it – Every night we bless ourselves with Holy Water from Lourdes – thanks Lynn!  I have been also known to regularly douse my home when it just feels “wrong” inside.  I also douse my car before a long road trip.
  • Making a small cross on our foreheads when we pass a Catholic Church
  • Not taking our Christmas stuff down until after Epiphany
  • Lighting the Advent Wreath
  • Eating Fish on Fridays
  • Lighting candles

Keep the traditions alive, they are so important!  Our faith is so much like our family…in fact, we are a family, one family, one body in Christ!  I love it!  Makes me feel secure and loved.

The Holy Innocents

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Today is the feast of the Holy Innocents.  Who are the “Holy Innocents?” Taken from UCatholic:

Herod “the Great,” king of Judea, was unpopular with his people because of his connections with the Romans and his religious indifference. Hence he was insecure and fearful of any threat to his throne. He was a master politician and a tyrant capable of extreme brutality. He killed his wife, his brother and his sister’s two husbands, to name only a few.Matthew 2:1-18 tells this story: Herod was “greatly troubled” when astrologers from the east came asking the whereabouts of “the newborn king of the Jews,” whose star they had seen. They were told that the Jewish Scriptures named Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born. Herod cunningly told them to report back to him so that he could also “do him homage.” They found Jesus, offered him their gifts and, warned by an angel, avoided Herod on their way home. Jesus escaped to Egypt.

Herod became furious and “ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.” The horror of the massacre and the devastation of the mothers and fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah,/sobbing and loud lamentation;/Rachel weeping for her children…” (Matthew 2:18). Rachel was the wife of Jacob/Israel. She is pictured as weeping at the place where the Israelites were herded together by the conquering Assyrians for their march into captivity.

The Holy Innocents are few, in comparison to the genocide and abortion of our day. But even if there had been only one, we recognize the greatest treasure God put on the earth—a human person, destined for eternity and graced by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Let us remember all the unborn, the children who’ve died, the HOLY INNOCENTS.  Holy Innocents, pray for us!