According to tradition, towards the end of her life the Blessed Virgin moved from Jerusalem to Ephesus (in modern-day Turkey). No longer able to retrace the steps of her Son’s passion where they actually occurred, she set up an identical Stations of the Cross on her property using stones and markings. This became the first devotional Stations of the Cross. This is described in detail by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich according to her visions.
Church & Faith
May 22 is the feast day of St. Rita, an Augustinian nun from 14th century Cascia, Italy. She is the patroness of impossible causes and hopeless circumstances because of her difficult and disappointing life. Through her trials God used her in remarkable ways, not only while she lived, but now from heaven she assists those who plead for her intercession for their own seemingly impossible and hopeless circumstances.
A sacrament is an outward sign of an invisible spiritual reality. Because humans are a unity of a physical body and a spiritual soul, God uses the means of physical objects and rituals to convey spiritual truths that we cannot detect using our senses.
This outward sign functions as a channel through which God imparts sanctifying grace into the soul. The sacraments are seven in number and have their source in the saving work of Jesus in his passion, death, and resurrection, and were established by Him for the sanctification of every member of His Church.
From time to time in the history of the Church, Mary has personally appeared to certain holy men and women to give them a particular devotion to her, with attached graces and promises. In some cases the devotion is meant to be spread to the whole Church and involves an object, or sacramental, given to the faithful as a physical sign of her loving intercession.
Marian Gardens were small plots of ground dedicated to growing shrubs, herbs, and flowers that were representative of Mary and various events from her life. This was quite easy to do, as literally hundreds of plants were given Marian names in remembrance of Mary’s saintly life and glorious virtues.
May 15 is the feast day of St. Dymphna, a young woman of great courage. She is the patroness of the mentally and emotionally ill and other nervous disorders. How did this come to pass? Read the incredible and heart-wrenching story of St. Dymphna below.
In her apparitions the Blessed Mother always has a mission, a specific message, to proclaim. What was the message of Our Lady of Fatima to the world? According to this Message of Fatima Document from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Fatima is undoubtedly the most prophetic of modern apparitions.”
When Imelda Lambertini was five years old, she asked to receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time. She loved Christ deeply, to the point of wondering, “Can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?” However, as it was the year 1327, her request was out of the question. At that time children were not allowed to receive Holy Communion until they were at least 12 years old. But she persisted.
St. Florian (c. 250-304 A.D.) was a commander in the Roman army serving under the Emperor Diocletian in present-day Austria. Among his duties was the organization of firefighting brigades. He was secretly a Christian and became famous for miraculously saving a town from being destroyed by fire; after he prayed and threw a single bucket of water on the blaze, it was extinguished.
St. Peregrine Laziosi (d. May 1, 1345) was a Servite priest (Order of the Servants of Mary) who was the victim of a spreading cancer in his leg, and was scheduled for an amputation. He spent the night before the operation in prayer, and in answer he received a vision of Christ who touched the diseased area of his leg.