The Holy Rosary is an enormous source of grace and protection, one of the most powerful sacramentals of the Catholic Church. Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the children to whom Our Lady appeared at Fatima, once said, “There is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families . . . that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”
Because of Our Lady’s great promises to those who wore the Brown Scapular, the scapular devotion spread to the laity, generally worn as two small square pieces of brown wool connected by cords, with one square resting on the chest and one on the back. Since then, the Brown Scapular has been recognized as a source of great graces for those who, living holy lives, wear the Brown Scapular with devotion during life and at the time of death.
In 1672, Christ appeared to a French Visitation nun, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Over a series of visits, Our Lord revealed to St. Margaret Mary the importance of devotion to His Sacred Heart. He asked that His heart, wounded on the cross and continually wounded by ingratitude of men for his sacrifice for them, be venerated and adored as an embodiment of His Divine mercy and love.
When Imelda Lambertini was five years old, she asked to receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time. She loved Christ deeply, to the point of wondering, “Can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?” However, as it was the year 1327, her request was out of the question. At that time children were not allowed to receive Holy Communion until they were at least 12 years old. But she persisted.
On May 13th, 1917, Our Lady appeared for the first time to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. Between May and October she appeared five more times. She urged the children to pray the rosary daily for peace in the world and to make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. Over the course of these visits and several preceding visits by an angel, five prayers were given to Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta.
St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is one of the most loved saints of the Church. As the guardian and protector of the Holy Family, St. Joseph was entrusted by God with the greatest of responsibilities – earthly provision for the Son of God Incarnate and the Immaculate Conception. Because of his faithfulness he is one of the greatest intercessors in heaven, a supreme model for doing God’s will in humility, faith, and obedience. His mission continues in heaven as the patron and protector of the Universal Church.
It has finally arrived on the horizon . . . the day of your child’s First Holy Communion. You’ve probably been waiting and preparing for this moment for quite some time. You’ve labored to raise your little one in the Catholic faith, and now they’re taking their next big step! It’s pretty exciting to know that your child is soon to receive the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
It’s easy to go off the deep end with wedding planning … So how do you keep the right perspective in preparing for marriage?
There are plenty of opportunities for spiritual growth in college. But you have to take them, even search for them. They won’t always be dished out to you. College is a time to actively pursue Catholicism.
Help fill the new couple’s home with faith-based heirlooms to brighten their marriage. Great choices include couple’s rosaries, a beautiful marriage blessing, or a gift piece such as a serving platter, frame or a set of toasting flutes. Since the bride will likely have a new last initial, anything personalized or monogrammed would be thoughtful, too.