Tag Archives: Saints

( 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.)

Imprimatur
+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!”

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!

“Go Fish” Friday – Mary Had A Little Lamb…

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After I hit the “publish” button last Friday on my “Go Fish” Friday article, I had an additional few points that I wished I had made.

…I believe that the misconceptions and misinformation out there about Catholicism comes from Catholics too.  Yep, us Catholics.  We are not as knowledgeable about our faith as we should be.  We do not defend the church or give good answers when people ask us about why we do what we do.  Example:  “Are you a Christian?”  Answer:  “NO, I’m Catholic.”  WHAT???  Come on!!  Some of us have no clue.  Bad Catechesis throughout the years has contributed to this.  Our teachers, whether they be our parents (who should be the main educators about our faith), Catholic school teachers, priests, nuns, lay people who are teaching the faith have not done the best of jobs.  But, the good news is I think that it’s getting better and better.

I did not truly know why I did what I did or believed what I believed until I was in my early 30’s.  If someone would have asked me a question regarding Catholicism before that time, I would not have been able to answer them intelligently on most topics.  Not that I am a “know it all” now.  I am definitely not.  Believe me.  The beautiful thing about Catholicism is that you can learn something new every single day.  This awesome Church of ours has such beautiful mystery, history, and such an amazing story (the Holy Scriptures) that we will never ever know it all.  But, we need to know the basics.  You need to know that yes, Catholics are Christians, we were the first Christians.  That is documented history.  We believe in the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Know what the true presence is.   You get the picture.  The basics of the faith must be known and understood.  Not just “done.”  Know why we do what we do and believe what we believe.

I had a “re-awakening” or some would say a conversion experience in my early 30’s.  I know it was the Holy Spirit…a baptism with fire…fire that made me absolutely fall in love with my faith.  From that point on, I made it my mission to research and learn everything I could about Catholicism.  It took 30+ years for me to be ready to open my heart and mind and figure out why I believed what I believed.  I learned it on my own.  I sought the information that wasn’t given to me.  I listened to podcasts (Catholic Answers Live, Mother Angelica Live,  The Journey Home…just to name a few.) I read great books, I asked a lot of questions.  I prayed for wisdom and understanding.  I prayed the Rosary.  I sat in front of the Blessed Sacrament a lot.  My love for my church grew and grew.  I still have that unquenchable thirst for knowledge and for the Mass.  I love the Mass.

Another thing I wanted to add was by no means do I think I’m going to change anyone’s thinking or beliefs about Catholicism in these blogs.  If you are against the church, you’ll probably always be against the church.  If you are open, then maybe you will read what I write and let it marinate a bit.  I simply want to shed light on things.  This is not about arguing a point or shoving things down people’s throats.

So, lets talk about today’s topic…

One of my favorite quotes is: “No Mary, No Jesus.  Know Mary, Know Jesus.”  I just love that because its so true.  Think about it.  Marian faith always points to Christ.  Mary cannot overshadow or be separated from her son.

The topic of the Blessed Virgin Mary is very vast.  I’m not going to go into a whole lot here, but I will talk about a few key points and also give you some good solid Catholic resources so that you can do your own reading and research.  I know that Marian doctrines are some of the most bothersome of the Catholic Church’s teachings for a lot of people.  I am not going to delve into heavy duty church doctrine.  It would take forever and one topic leads into another and you can’t discuss one without discussing the other…you get the picture.  Plus, I’m not a heavy duty church doctrine kinda gal.  If you are curious about Mary (our Mother), definitely get in front of some good solid Catholic resources.  Orthodox Catholic resources.  Don’t go to a non-Catholic source, because chances are, they are filled with untruths and we are right back where we started.  Maybe…if you are game, ask Mary if she could give you a little help with this!  Ask her if its all a bunch of sinful, pagan idolatry to ask her to intercede for you.  She’ll answer you.  She never fails us.

Catholics are constantly accused of worshiping Mary. Let me just say right off the bat, we do not worship her.  We love her, we ask for her intercession, we honor her.  She is the Mother of our Savior.  She’s our Mother.  She bore the Word in her womb and the Word became flesh.  Don’t you agree that is a big deal?  To Catholics, it is.

Question #1 – Why do you pray to Mary? I think the first thing to discuss here is that when the word PRAY is used, people automatically think that it means worship.  It does not.  Another word for prayer is “supplication.” Asking humbly…an earnest petition.  We believe that Mary and the Saints in heaven can hear us.  They have God’s ear.  Scripture states that those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth.  Mary intercedes for us.  Read Revelation 5:8.  Asking someone to pray for you in no way violates the truth that Christ is the one mediator.  You ask me to pray for you and I ask people to pray for me all the time.  Catholics take it one step further, we ask the Saints in Heaven to pray for us too.  Mary is a Saint in Heaven.  Some will throw out 1 Timothy 2:5 as a retaliation.  This scripture states that Christ is the only mediator.   However, they do not include the beginning of chapter 2 – they leave out verses 1-4.  Paul says that Christians should intercede: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Clearly, then, intercessory prayers offered by Christians on behalf of others is something “good and pleasing to God,” not something infringing on Christ’s role as mediator.

Take a look at this tract from Catholic Answers:  http://www.catholic.com/library/Praying_to_the_Saints.asp

and

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2007/0701clas.asp

#2 Why do you have pictures of her and statues of her?  Why do you kneel in front of them? Isn’t that worship? – Again, No, it isn’t worship.  Why do you have pictures of your deceased family and friends in your home?  It’s simply to remember and honor them.

The act of kneeling does not always mean that the person kneeling is performing an act of worship. Catholics kneel in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary to show her respect and honor and to pray for her intercession; they are not kneeling to worship her.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Do_Catholics_Worship_Statues.asp

There are many, many other questions about Mary.  The truth is out there.  Go fish!

 

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Let it settle into your bones…

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Saw this today and wanted to share it with you.

Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila:

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
And pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones
And allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.