You probably keep all kinds of things stashed away in your car, especially if you spend a lot of time commuting . . . but does your stash include reminders of your holy faith? The automobile is probably the most dangerous place where we spend a significant amount of time. We all know how potentially devastating it could be if something bad happened to our vehicle, or if we were involved in an auto accident. Our vehicles are closely tied to our livelihood, and they also carry our most priceless treasures – our spouses, children, family, and friends. Make sure your vehicle is blessed for spiritual protection and decked out with signs of your Catholic faith, which encourages you to PRAY and ask the saints for their holy intercession on a daily basis. It’s also a great way to evangelize!
Life is not always easy, and in desperate times people are thirsty for miracles. Everybody has problems, and everybody looks for help at least with the basics of health and protection. So people pray for the healing of a sick person, to have prosperity in the business, to get out of economic problems, to find their better half, etc. This is when Catholics start to invoke the name of their favorite patron saints. We pray to saints because they are already in heaven, and they can intercede for us.
One of our coworkers, Jessica, recently purchased a new vehicle, and she wanted to have it blessed by a priest. Below is the video of the full Rite of Blessing for a new vehicle given at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC.
Jessica believes this blessing was providential, because later that same day, on her drive home from work, she nearly missed smashing into another vehicle. She has no idea how she avoided the collision, and has no doubt that she was saved from that would-be serious accident were it not for the blessing.
It is not a coincidence that Catholic Latinos are highly devoted to the Virgin Mary. It is a heritage from Spain and it is due to the series of mystical manifestations that occurred throughout the histories of these countries.
There is a long list of Marian devotions in Latin America; they are almost innumberable. Some titles of Our Lady represent a whole nation, with other titles for nearly every town, city, and region. Read 20 Marian Devotions by Country in Latin America.
Out of all the many Marian devotions in Latin America, below are the top four most popular:
The Virgin Mary’s Feast day in Latin America is a big deal. Catholic Latinos celebrate a lo grande with processions, hymns, fireworks, and cultural events in her honor. It is part of the culture, a tradition; it the Spanish heritage, and a way of living where you may hear people exclaiming ¡Virgen Santísima! in everyday conversation.
It is not a coincidence that the majority of Latinos are Catholics and highly devoted to the Virgin. It is a heritage brought from Catholic Spain combined with a series of Marian apparitions and mystical manifestations that occurred during the history of these countries.
Christians are being persecuted for their faith, to a heightened degree, all over the world. What can we do about it?
First and foremost, we must stay close to Christ through frequenting the Sacraments, through personal prayer, and through devotion to his Blessed Mother. She will teach us how to be united with Christ more perfectly, and how we should personally respond to the crises that surround the Church and her faithful.
Whenever we face times of great trial, the Blessed Virgin Mary is always the one to whom the Church collectively turns in times of great trial.
“When you see the storm coming, if you seek safety in that firm refuge which is Mary, there will be no danger of your wavering or going down.”
–St. Josemaria Escriva
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.
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.
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:
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.