The Feast of the Presentation of Mary: Popular Piety or Historical Event?

The Presentation of Mary in the Temple

Many Catholic sources claim that the Presentation of Mary has no historical basis. The account is only found in apocryphal (and historically unreliable) literature. The importance of the feast day, it is said, has only theological significance due to it’s connection to the Immaculate Conception and the fact that the Mary was in fact consecrated to God as a Holy Virgin.

However, there was a Catholic mystic, a prolific visionary, who has written an account of visions she received of the Presentation of Mary. This mystic and visionary wrote extensively about the life of Christ as well as the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her family, along with many other biblical figures. This mystic is Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, a nun, stigmatist, visionary, and ecstatic who was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

Without a Flinch: The Heroic Martyrdom of St. Barlaam of Antioch

The Martyrdom of St. Barlaam of Antioch

St. Barlaam of Antioch (also known as St. Barlaam the Martyr or St. Barlaam of Caesarea) was an early 4th century martyr with a glorious story of fortitude in the face of torture and an unlikely champion of the Church. St. Barlaam was an elderly, uneducated peasant jailed for his Christian faith as part of the persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. When his trial arrived he was scourged, racked, and tortured for days in an attempt to force him to apostatize. After each inhumane trial he was asked to renounce his Christian faith. He refused.

How to Celebrate Advent Like a Catholic

Celebrate Advent Like a Catholic

Does it seem to you that each year the holiday season gets busier and busier, and we get further and further away from the true meaning of the Advent and Christmas season?

The best way to combat this tendency is to adopt or renew Advent traditions in the home. Whether you are single, a busy parent with kids, or empty-nesters, you can celebrate Advent like you are actually anticipating the coming of Christ—which is the whole point. It’s a spiritual journey!

20 Ways to Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

How to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Prayers for the faithful departed pleases God, who makes use of our prayers to help purify these souls that He loves. It is an act of charity that we can give for those we have known and loved, for our ancestors who gave us life, for those souls whose memory is lost, and for those who have no one else to pray for them.

Here are some ideas for praying for these suffering (and often neglected) souls, especially during the month of November dedicated to their memory:

A Catholic’s Guide to Halloween

Catholics and Halloween

Catholics and Halloween . . . is it a good or a bad mix? Here’s the scoop. Q: Should we as Catholics celebrate Halloween? A: Halloween is YOUR holiday! Reclaim it!   HALLOWEEN FACTS   Halloween is short for All Hallow’s Eve. It is the evening vigil of All Saints (All Hallows) Day – a […]

The First Marian Apparition in Church History: Our Lady of the Pillar


October 12th, in addition to being Columbus Day, is also the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar, patroness of all Hispanic peoples. While not one of the most widely known titles of Our Lady, it is the oldest, and has a most fascinating story that you will be delighted to read.

Tradition has it that the Blessed Virgin Mary, sometime before her bodily Assumption into heaven, appeared to the Apostle St. James the Elder while he was living and preaching in Spain.

It’s Universal Guardian Angel Appreciation Day!

guardian angels

October 2nd is the Feast of the Guardian Angels for the universal Catholic Church. Although guardian angels have been venerated since the early days of the Church, it wasn’t until the 17th century that Pope Clement X extended the feast day to the universal Church.

So, today is the day to tell your guardian angel “Thank You” for their daily guidance, and “Thank You” to God for assigning a heavenly protector to your personal care. Be sure to have a guardian angel sacramental handy to increase your devotion to your guardian angel and help you to remember to them throughout the day.

The Feast of the Holy Archangels: Their Identity & Mission

The Feast of the Archangels St. Gabriel, St. Michael, and St. Raphael

September 29 is the Feast of the Archangels. Although there are seven archangels (Tobit 12:15, Rev. 8:2), only three are mentioned by name in the Catholic Bible: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael. Only one, St. Michael, is specifically called an archangel.

According to Catholic tradition, the archangels are an order of angels within a hierarchy of angelic hosts. There are nine orders, or choirs, of angels.

7 Quotes from the Saints on the Holy Name of Mary

Holy Name of Mary

Blessed Virgin MarySeptember 12th is the feast day of the Most Holy Name of Mary. In the Catholic Bible, names are very important and often contain carry great significance. When names are providentially given by God as recorded in Sacred Scripture, they are often a clue to His future plans for that person. A few names that had great significance in the Bible are Abraham (“father of a multitude), Sarah (“mother of nations”), Israel (“having power with God”), Peter (“rock”) , and of course Jesus (“God saves”). So, what does the name “Mary” mean?