Halloween begins the celebration of Catholic, and therefore Christian, holy days that remind the faithful of the reality of heaven and hell, the saints and the damned, demons and angels, and the holy souls suffering in purgatory. Catholics historically believed that on these “Days of the Dead”, their annual feast, the veil between heaven, hell, and purgatory is the thinnest (that means you might even see some souls you know!).
The Holy Souls in Purgatory are members of the Church who await the purification of their souls before joining the saints in heaven for all eternity. The souls in purgatory cannot pray for themselves, they cannot do anything to hasten their entrance into heaven. But we can pray for them. St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) was a bishop, founder of the Redemptorists, Doctor of the Church, and patron saint of moral theologians. He composted the following novena (9 days of prayer for a particular intention) for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Prayers for the faithful departed pleases God, who makes use of our prayers to help purify these souls that He loves. It is an act of charity that we can give for those we have known and loved, for our ancestors who gave us life, for those souls whose memory is lost, and for those who have no one else to pray for them. Here are some ideas for praying for these suffering (and often neglected) souls, especially during the month of November dedicated to their memory.
What are the first things you think of when you think of a Carmelite nun? The majority of Catholics would probably think about things like: Silence Solitude Sacrifice Lots of Prayer Lots of Saints Fasting Holiness Bare feet Words that probably DON’T come to mind are: Humor Love of books Friendship And yet these last […]
Throughout his life, especially during his years as pope, John XXIII was known for his genuine joy and a magnificent sense of humor. Considering his story, that is a striking quality and virtue to possess. John XXIII used humor in various types of moments to keep himself humble, to shed new light on situations, or simply to make those with him crack a smile.
On September 19, 1846—the century following the diabolical French Revolution—Our Lady appeared to two shepherd children, Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvat, in La Salette, France. She was weeping, and she told them of a time of impending trial for France as well as for the whole world. Our Lady first spoke to the two children together before entrusting them individually with a secret.
September 12th is the feast day of the Most Holy Name of Mary. In the Catholic Bible, names are very important and often contain carry great significance. When names are providentially given by God as recorded in Sacred Scripture, they are often a clue to His future plans for that person. So, what does the name “Mary” mean?
St. Roch was born with an unusual and deep red mark on his chest in the shape of a cross, a sign that the Blessed Virgin Mary had heard and answered his mother’s prayers for her barrenness to be healed. As a child St. Roch was deeply religious, fasting twice a week after the example of his pious mother. His parents died when he was twenty years of age, after which he gave his inheritance to the poor, handed the government of the city over to his uncle, and began a new life as a poor mendicant pilgrim.
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.
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.