Category Archives: Catholic Traditions

Get Inspired to Make Your Own Mary Garden

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Since medieval times it has been common for monasteries and convents to have enclosed gardens as a reflective retreat space. It served as a little oasis from community life in which to think, read, sit, walk, and pray in silence.

As the faithful meditated on the life of Jesus and Mary in the Gospels, the particular characteristics of certain plants and herbs would remind them in one way or another of these various biblical events. The life of faith colored the understanding of nature. Continue reading

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The Feast of the Ascension & the Holy Spirit Novena to Pentecost

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The Feast of the Ascension, also called Ascension Thursday, follows 40 days after Easter Sunday and is a Holy Day of Obligation. The Feast of the Ascension is probably treated in many places today as one of the ho-hum feast days, but historically it was a major feast (thus, its status as a holy day of obligation). In order to think of it and treat it with the same reverence as Christians of days past, it helps to reflect on it more deeply. Continue reading

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11 Rules for Latinos to Keep You & Your Kids Rooted in the Catholic Faith

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While most Latinos are raised Catholic as children, fewer and fewer of them are staying Catholic as adults, or raising their kids Catholic – even though the Catholic faith remains the dominant religion among Latinos. This is why a strong sacramental practice and a deep prayer life are necessary tools to keep yourself close to Christ and the Church he founded. As parents, you need to guide your child’s steps too. You might not know everything, but when you teach, you learn, too. So, let’s get familiar with these practical rules to help you and your child stay rooted in the Catholic Faith: Continue reading

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May 3rd: The Day of the Cross (Día de la Cruz) Latino Catholic Tradition

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The “Day of the Cross” is a popular part of religious and cultural identity in many Latin American countries. “Holy Cross Day” is based on an old liturgical feast celebrating the discovery of the true cross of Christ. The day is honored with processions, singing, and hundreds of decorated crosses along roadsides and other public places. Continue reading

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Do Latinas Wear Mantillas? One Reluctant Woman’s Journey

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I was born and raised Catholic, but I considered the use of veils during Mass as an old-fashioned tradition for older women and Evangelicals (in Latin America Protestant Evangelical women use them the most).

Then one day my husband, a faithful Catholic, gave me a fine purple mantilla imported from Spain. I was offended! What was he trying to say?! Continue reading

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The Story of Mary Magdalene and the First Easter Egg

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Painting Easter eggs is a beloved ancient tradition for Eastern Catholic churches as well as Orthodox. The eggs are often dyed red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross.

The Easter eggs are then blessed by the priest at the end of the Easter vigil and distributed to the faithful. The shell of the egg represents the sealed Tomb of Christ, and cracking the shell represents Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Historically, Christians would also abstain from eating eggs during a strict Lent, so Easter was the first chance to eat eggs again after a long period of abstinence. In some cultures it is also common to paint wooden Easter eggs and hand them out as gifts to friends and family. Continue reading

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Is First Communion a Tradition or a Conviction Among Latinos?

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Parents shop for their boys fine attire and the perfect dress for girls – sometimes so fancy that it looks like an early wedding ceremony! There is nothing wrong with that unless we lose sight of the real meaning and think that it is all about la fiestecita. So, there is a question: is First Communion just a tradition, or a religious conviction? Continue reading

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You Might Be a Latino if You Do This for Lent

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In Latin America it is a strong tradition to celebrate Lent in a deep and vivid way. It is often characterized by reviving the Passion of Christ through dramatizations and processions in the main streets. Thousands of people, old and young, join in the celebrations that last late into the night.

There are also many other cultural traditions associated with Lent. If you are a Latino, here is a fun list that you may find familiar! Continue reading

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Why Do We Do Penance for Lent? The Two Big Reasons

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Penance simply means the repentance of sins by taking some form of action in reparation for that sin. Just as we sinned by actually committing or omitting something we shouldn’t have, so we should do penance by actually committing or omitting something to make up for it. The reason for this is that doing penance turns our hearts and souls away from sin and back on the right path towards God and towards a life of holiness. Continue reading

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¿Por qué ir a los santos si podemos ir a Jesucristo?

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Más de lo mismo pero aquí va en pocas palabras. Se venera a los santos para que intercedan por nosotros y nuestras súplicas lleguen a Dios. Ya desde los primeros tiempos de la religión cristiana se respetaba y oraba por … Continue reading

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