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.
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.
He was especially known for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and for being a great promoter of the Holy Rosary, so much so that he is called “The Pope of the Rosary.” Pope St. Pius V was given this title for two reasons: for penning an important papal document on the rosary and for establishing a rosary feast day, two important steps in solidifying this powerful tool of prayer for the universal Church.
Though often associated with healing, St. Bernadette has an important lesson to teach us about suffering. She endured sickness throughout her life. As a child she suffered from severe asthma and was weak and sickly. Added to that was the pain that being a visionary caused her—the jealousy, suspicion, and rejection of others. Throughout much of her time living with the Sisters of Nevers she struggled with a very painful tubercular tumor in the bone of her right knee.
As Catholics, we know that the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith: it is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pope Francis said, “The Eucharist is at the heart of ‘Christian initiation’, together with Baptism and Confirmation, and it constitutes the source of the Church’s life itself. From this Sacrament of love, in fact, flows every authentic journey of faith, of communion, and of witness.”
For children who are preparing to receive Holy Communion for the first time, this is a big deal. And for all of us, no matter how many times we have received Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, it should always be a big deal.
According to Church tradition St. Gabriel is one of 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 (even though Scripture is silent on the names of these angels).
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 as prophesied in this Bible verse: “For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” (1 Thes. 4:16)
Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, a simple, uneducated, young Polish nun received a special call. On the night of Sunday, 22 February 1931, while she was in her cell, Jesus appeared to Sr. Faustina for the first time as the “King of Divine Mercy” wearing a white garment with red and pale rays emanating from his heart. For four years she recorded Jesus’ words, her visions, and her own thoughts and prayers in a personal diary.
Easter is a glorious time to be Catholic. There is nothing more wonderful than to participate in than the various liturgies of the Easter Triduum, the holiest time of year. This is the solemn three-day period, from the night of Holy Thursday to the Easter Vigil, when the Church accompanies her Savior in His Passion, death, and resurrection.
Painting Easter eggs is a beloved ancient tradition for Eastern Catholic churches as well as Orthodox. The eggs are often dyed red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross. The Easter eggs are then carried to the church in baskets to be blessed by the priest at the end of the Easter vigil before being distributed to the faithful. Historically, Christians would abstain from eating eggs during a strict Lent, so Easter was the first chance to eat eggs again after a long period of abstinence. The egg represented the sealed Tomb of Christ, and cracking the shell represented Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Alleluia! He is risen! This is the most joyous feast of the year. Christ’s death and resurrection is the foundation of the Christian Faith.
The Church is now filled with the light of Christ. It is no longer silent as we join our songs of praise with the choirs in heaven.