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.

The Kneeling Santa: Where Popular Culture & Religious Devotion Meet

Kneeling Santa Figure

The Kneeling Santa was made popular by Christians who want to harmonize the love children have for Santa Claus (the popular rendition of the historic St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children) with the true meaning of the Advent and Christmas season—the birth of the world’s savior, Jesus Christ. If you’re looking for that combination of American culture and tradition without sacrificing deeper religious reverence, the Kneeling Santa collection is for you.

VIDEO: St. Maria Goretti’s Relics Venerated by Thousands in Charlotte

St. Maria Goretti Relics

From September to November 2015, the relics of St. Maria Goretti were sent from her basilica in Nettuno, Italy, to the United States on a “Pilgrimage of Mercy.” The tour went to various parishes in the eastern half of the United States, and the video below shows highlights from her stop at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, on October 24-25, 2015. The tour will continue in the western half of the country in early 2016.

A Story of Great Mercy: St. Maria Goretti & Alessandro Serenelli

The Story of St. Maria Goretti and Alessandro Serenelli

St. Maria Goretti was born in 1890, one of six children from an impoverished farming family in Corinaldo, Italy. In 1899 her father, Luigi Goretti, moved the family to Le Ferriere di Conca, 40 miles from Rome, to work as a sharecropper.

In exchange for farming work they shared a residence with another poor family, the Serenelli’s, in a landowner’s abandoned factory. Anything above their crop quota the families could keep for their own needs. In this way they survived poverty and hunger, working side by side.

The farmland was poor, swampy, mosquito infected, and difficult to work. One day Luigi Goretti was bitten by a mosquito carrying the malaria virus and tragically died eleven days later in 1900. Maria was just nine years old.

Pray a Novena to the Patron Saint of Hope: St. Jude

St. Jude Novena

St. Jude Thaddeus, relative of Jesus and one of His 12 Apostles, is the patron saint of hopeless situations and impossible causes, and it is said that his novena prayed by the desperate has never been known to fail. Those who come to him in faith in their time of need have always been given some sign, grace, answer, or consolation that their prayers were heard.

The Remarkable Martins: The Miracle that Made Saints Louis & Zelie

Saints Louis and Zelie Martin

This Sunday, October 18th, Pope Francis will canonize the first-ever married couple, Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux. Those closest to the couple, especially their children, knew of their great sanctity during their earthly life; and now they’ve let the Church and the whole world know that they’re in heaven […]