May, when the earth blooms in springtime beauty, is an ideal time for our thoughts and sentiments to be directed towards this supremely lovely Queen of Heaven and Earth, who busily labors from her heavenly throne to conquer hearts, minds, and souls for the greater glory of her Son. So, how can you honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in a special way this month, and allow her to conquer your own heart? Here are nine ideas.
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.
Gianna was an adventurous woman who loved skiing and mountaineering. She studied medicine in college while also serving others through Catholic Action and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She earned degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949. After opening her own medical clinic she gave special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly and the poor, inspiring her to specialize in Pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952.
Pope St. John Paul II was well known for having a deep and abiding love for the Blessed Virgin Mary. His devotion to her was evident in all that he did: his teaching, his prayer life, even his papal motto and coat of arms were dedicated to the Blessed Mother. When he was nearly fatally shot during his papacy he credited the intercession of the Virgin Mary, specifically Our Lady of Fatima, with the miraculous save of his life.
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.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Confirmation establishes us more deeply in our relationship to God as his children, unites us more closely to Jesus Christ, pours out the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit into our soul, strengthens our bond with the Catholic Church, and gives us the power we need to be true soldiers of Christ through living, sharing, and defending our Faith.
In light of these remarkable gifts bestowed on us through this special sacrament of the Holy Spirit, here are 30 saint quotes to help those being Confirmed to be strengthened in their Catholic faith and to live it out fully with love and joy.
Mental illness can be extremely trying for those who are affected by it, or who must encounter it on a daily basis. Depression, for instance, can make the simple act of getting out of bed overwhelming. Although there are considerable ways to approach treatment, from medication to “talk therapy,” there is also a spiritual component that should not be overlooked.
Saint Pope John Paul II said, “Whoever suffers from mental illness ‘always’ bears God’s image and likeness in himself, as does every human being. In addition, he ‘always’ has the inalienable right not only to be considered as an image of God and therefore as a person, but also to be treated as such.”
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.