According to Church tradition St. Gabriel is one of the seven archangels, and one of only three angels mentioned by name in the Catholic Bible (the others are St. Michael and St. Raphael). St. Gabriel is also thought to have been the angel who appeared to St. Joseph, and the herald angel who announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds on Christmas night. If this is true, then St. Gabriel appears five times in the Bible, and possibly a sixth: Because of St. Gabriel’s special role of announcing the Messiah, he is also believed to be the archangel who will announce the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time.
St. Joseph is one of the most loved saints because he is the man who God chose among all others to be the special guardian of the Incarnate Jesus Christ and His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. He is the human guardian of the Holy Family.
One of our most popular-selling books is The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary by St. Anne Catherine Emmerich. St. Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) was a nun, mystic, and visionary who had the grace of unusual glimpses with remarkable detail into the life of the Holy Family.
Although we have no words spoken by Joseph recorded in Scripture, the stories of his life, upon reflection, reveal much. From Scripture we can see that Saint Joseph was a righteous man who demonstrated the virtues of compassion, faith, and love of Jesus. He shows his compassion in that he planned on divorcing Mary quietly when he discovered that she was pregnant. He also demonstrates his faith numerous times, especially in fleeing into a strange land away from everything he knew in order to protect his wife and unborn foster child.
This beautiful prayer of St. Patrick was his lorica, Latin for ‘body armor’. It is more popularly known as “St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate” which he composed in preparation for his spiritual battle, and ultimate victory, over paganism in Ireland. St. Patrick went into battle with the demons of the Druids with the body-armor of Christ, and won Ireland for the Catholic Church.
St. Patrick is well-praised and celebrated for his missionary work in Ireland. He spent around forty years converting the native Irish who were entirely pagan and druidic prior to his arrival with his missionaries. This was his calling and his life’s greatest work, which was blessed by God. St. Patrick is clearly a model evangelist because of how he challenged the people of that time. He challenged their demons and their unholy traditions, and Christ ultimately won out the day.
Praying the rosary is one of the best-known methods for reflecting on the passion of Christ. But there are also some other wonderful ways to meditate on the sufferings of Jesus, which may be helpful to try. Here are three spiritual practices you may not have considered before:
Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling in them. Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life. Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light. Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
This physical sign commemorates the beginning of our Lenten season of sacrifice and spiritual growth. If you are like me, it is not uncommon for your Ash Wednesday cross to turn into a smudge. When going out in public, you may receive a question or comment about your forehead being “dirty”. It’s easy to be vague and shy away from giving an answer about the meaning of this mark of sacrifice. But this year challenge yourself to be prepared to fully answer their questions. Here are three ways to respond to remarks about the smudge on your forehead:
Jesus taught us clearly that there is no resurrection without the Cross, and Lent is the Church’s great spiritual journey as she, the Bride of Christ, joins her Divine spouse in His great suffering on our behalf. Basically, you don’t get the joy of Easter without the self-sacrifice of Lent; the disciples of Jesus follow in his footsteps . . . including the bloody ones. Here’s a rundown of everything major you need to know about the Lenten season, the 40+ days of penance to prepare our hearts Easter, the greatest of all Christian feasts.
After the final apparition on October 13, 1917, in which tens of thousands of people witnessed the Miracle of the Sun, the three children attempted, as much as was possible, to return to their regular way of life. Which, of course, would never be normal again. They were forever changed, and left off their childish games and diversions in order to pray and meditate on all the mysteries that had been revealed to them.