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.
Church & Faith
“Put faith into practice by thinking on these four truths: God is always present. Nothing happens without His permission or outside of His will. Anything we do to others we do to Him. All kindness and goodness are in Him.” -St. Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes
St. Catherine de Ricci (1522-1590) was a Dominican nun born in Florence, Italy. She was a great mystic with an intense devotion to the sufferings of Jesus. For many years Catherine would go into ecstasy from noon every Thursday through 4 p.m. on Friday, experiencing in a mystical manner the sufferings of Christ during his Passion. She was also given the spiritual gift of the stigmata; Christ’s wounds would appear on her body throughout the course of the ecstasy.
February 11 is the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, one of the most famous apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this day in 1858 a young, poor girl named Bernadette Soubirous was out collecting firewood with her sister and another friend near a grotto when she saw a vision of a lovely lady.
In 1597, Paul Miki and his twenty-six companions were crucified for their Christian faith in Nagasaki, Japan. A Japanese layman, Saint Paul Miki was born into a Japanese noble family and heir to a great inheritance and position in Japanese society. He was was converted to Christianity by Saint Francis Xavier.
Connected to Simeon’s prophecy, on this day the Church has a special ritual involving a procession and the blessing of candles, the candles being a symbol of Christ whose birth illumined the world’s darkness. Since ancient times the Doctors of the Church have given special meaning to the candles used in Candlemas as a symbol of the Incarnate Christ: the beeswax is a symbol of His pure body, the wick His soul, and the flame His divinity.
“The entire enemy fleet closes in to intercept and sink the flagship at all costs. They bombard it with everything they have: books and pamphlets, incendiary bombs, firearms, cannons. The battle rages ever more furious. Beaked prows ram the flagship again and again, but to no avail, as, unscathed and undaunted, it keeps on its course. At times a formidable ram splinters a gaping hole into its hull, but, immediately, a breeze from the two columns instantly seals the gash.”
January 28 is the feast day of perhaps the greatest intellect of the Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, known as the Angelic Doctor due to his purity of mind and body. He gave up a life of nobility and wealth to be a poor Dominican friar, at the time a new religious order, much to the consternation of his family.
One biographer notes that prior to St. Thomas Aquinas’ birth a holy hermit prophesied to his mother about her unborn child,
“He will enter the Order of Friars Preachers, and so great will be his learning and sanctity that in his day no one will be found to equal him.”
January 27, 1945 is a day etched in history. On this day the Russian army liberated the Nazis’ largest and infamously cruel concentration camp located in south-western Poland–Auschwitz. It is estimated that at minimum 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945; of these, at least 1.1 million were murdered.
Among those who were killed at Auschwitz are two Catholic saints, St. Maximilian Marie Kolbe and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein).
One of the most fundamental moral teachings of the Catholic Church, which has come into stark conflict with the spirit of the world today, is the God-given sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. In modern times, the widespread rejection of such a fundamental truth sparked the faithful to start the pro-life movement.