St. Mary Magdalene stood by Our Lord at the foot of the Cross, alongside St. John and the Blessed Mother, and the next morning went to Christ’s tomb to anoint his body. As a reward for her great love and faithfulness, she is the first recorded witness of Jesus’ Resurrection. It was Mary Magdalene who informed the twelve Apostles that Jesus rose from the dead, and for this she is called “Apostle to the Apostles.”
It isn’t always easy to pray for joy in work, but when I do, I almost always receive some consolation. However, even if I feel nothing but drudgery about the work I am doing, I can at least offer it up for my own sins and those of the whole world.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis’ St. Valentine’s Day audience held over 10,000 young couples engaged to be married. One couple sent a question to the Pope, which he addressed during the audience: “Many feel that the challenge of living together forever is beautiful, enchanting, but very demanding, almost impossible. We ask your word to enlighten us on this.”
Saint Camillus de Lellis is an example how God often plants the seeds of your life’s mission among the ordinary, even sinful, circumstances in which you find yourself. It is never too late to amend your life and endeavor to become a saint; in the end, by the grace of God, all things truly will work together for your good and His glory.
While some amount of stress has been shown to be good for us, too much stress is unhealthy. An Ohio State University study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that dealing with persistent, long-term stress (like that from a toxic boss, caring for an elderly parent, or dealing with financial difficulties) can actually change your genes, leading to an increase in inflammation.
Many faithful men went to Mt. Carmel to live as hermits in imitation of the Prophet Elijah. Over time a community developed informally. By the 1200’s this group desired to order their lives around a structured Rule. At the direction of St. Albert, then Patriarch of Jerusalem, they were given a Rule of Life. They lived in general solitude as they prayed and fasted, but they built a church and came together for prayer during the day. They named the church after Our Lady under the title of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
Pope John Paul II had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary from his childhood, and, as such, he faithfully wore a scapular. He is reported to have worn a brown scapular since he was a boy, and he insisted that doctors not remove it during his emergency surgery following the assassination attempt on his life on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, 1981.
Kateri trekked over 200 miles through rough terrain, a two month, undoubtedly difficult due to her poor eyesight, to reach the Christian settlement. There she desired to live a life of prayer and penance. She declined marriage and lived as a single woman with deep faith, offering her sufferings and life to Christ. Her great sanctity, virtue, mystical prayer life, and love for Christ amazed the Jesuits and everyone who knew her. It is said that people loved to be around her and listen to her speak because her soul radiated the beauty and peace of God.
A noble warrior-king of the Middle Age who did battle with barbarian hordes, wielded the spiritual power of a sword-relic, fought alongside saints and angels, strengthened his army with miraculous bread, rescued a failing civilization, united a kingdom under his holy rule, and crowned by the Pope himself—the story of St. Henry II and his virtuous queen, St. Cunegundes, is a real-life, epic drama that reads like something that could have given Tolkien inspiration for his Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Intercede for us, your children in America, as we pray for our nation, our military, and our families. We pray for our government leaders, that they will make just decisions and govern us in accordance with truth and the principles upon which our nation was founded.