February 11 is the Feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, one of the most famous apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this day in 1858 a young, poor girl named Bernadette Soubirous was out collecting firewood with her sister and another friend near a grotto when she saw a vision of a lovely […]
Penitential prayers are an important Lenten devotional practice. Here is one to get you started on Ash Wednesday to help you have the right disposition of heart as your 40+ day journey begins. Find our selection of Lenten prayer and devotional books here. Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling in them. Fast […]
The Catholic players on the Carolina Panthers team won’t be missing their Sunday Mass obligation on Super Bowl Sunday. One Charlotte priest is heading to Super Bowl 50 after being invited to serve as their chaplain ahead of the big game. As reported in Charlotte’s Catholic News Herald: CHARLOTTE — Father Joe Mulligan, a warm-hearted, […]
Advent and Lent are both characterized by penance, fasting, and almsgiving. However, the penance, fasting, and almsgiving is much more pronounced and emphasized during Lent because of Our Lord’s Passion and Crucifixion. However . . .
Many people view Lent, because it is a penitential season of self-denial, as a time of forced depression. It is good to be reminded that,
“While Lent is a solemn season, it is not a somber one. The forty days are not structured to foster morbid gloominess and debilitating self-loathing; they are meant to thrust us into the heart of divine love.”
Some saints, while they were still living, had other saints appear to them from heaven to offer encouragement (for example, St. Therese of Lisieux appeared to St. Faustina). Some also had the Devil appear and physically attack them (for example, St. Padre Pio). But it’s not too common that a saint from heaven appears to another living saint to beat them up!
Lent is the time of spiritual preparation prior to the Easter season, just as Advent is for Christmas.
“Each year, Lent offers us a providential opportunity to deepen the meaning and value of our Christian lives, and it stimulates us to rediscover the mercy of God so that we, in turn, become more merciful toward our brothers and sisters. In the Lenten period, the Church makes it her duty to propose some specific tasks that accompany the faithful concretely in this process of interior renewal: these are prayer, fasting and almsgiving.” -Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Here’s a rundown of everything major you need to know about the Lenten season, the 40 days of preparation before the greatest of all Christian feasts: Easter.
At the time of Don Bosco’s death in 1888 there were 250 houses for boys founded by the Salesian Society containing 130,000 children; of these, over 6,000 became priests. The Salesian Society still exists today and is the second largest religious order in the world, continuing St. Bosco’s mission of helping and educating poor and disenfranchised youth. St. Don Bosco is also known for his many prophetic dreams. His most famous dream regards future troubles for the Church and is known as the Prophecy of the Two Columns.
St. John Bosco (Don Bosco) was an influential 19th century Italian priest who ministered to the poor and neglected boys of Turin, Italy, who were driven to a life of desperation and crime in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. Don Bosco became their mentor and spiritual director, inspiring them to a life of virtue and saving many from a future of poverty and incarceration.
These medieval parish church doors in England, flanked by two ancient Yew trees, are believed to be the inspiration for the Doors of Durin from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. These enchanting doors are the west entry of St. Edward’s Church in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire. This is a cotswold stone Norman church dating from the 11th-14th century built on the location of an older wooden Saxon church.
In the legendary story by the famous Catholic author, the Doors of Durin were the dwarf-built and elf-embellished secret doors that made the west gate leading to the land of Moria in Middle Earth.
January 28 is the feast day of perhaps the greatest intellect of the Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, known as the Angelic Doctor due to his purity of mind and body. He gave up a life of nobility and wealth to be a poor Dominican friar, at the time a new religious order, much to the consternation of his family.
One biographer notes that prior to St. Thomas Aquinas’ birth a holy hermit prophesied to his mother about her unborn child,
“He will enter the Order of Friars Preachers, and so great will be his learning and sanctity that in his day no one will be found to equal him.”