Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th century bishop famous for his generosity to the poor and protection of the wronged. He was a miracle worker, most known for appearing to sailors caught in a storm at sea and raising three young boys from the dead. He is the patron saint of a great many causes, professions, cities, and countries; most notably he is the patron saint of children, sailors, prisoners, and maidens seeking to marry.
November 30 is the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle. St. Andrew was the very first disciple called by Our Lord, and he is the one who got his brother, St. Peter, to become Jesus’ disciple too. We all know how the rest turned out.
The feast day of St. Andrew also marks the end of the liturgical year and the beginning of the new one on the first Sunday of Advent.
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:
The Holy Rosary is an enormous source of grace and protection, one of the most powerful sacramentals of the Catholic Church. Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the children to whom Our Lady appeared at Fatima, once said,
“There is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families . . . that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”
Let’s face it, keeping distractions at bay during Mass is a difficult task for just about everyone.
We’re human. We live in a fast-paced world. We have so many things bouncing around in our minds that we bring into Mass, not including the distractions we’re bombarded with after we find our seat in the pew. And if we have little ones – multiply that by ten.
It takes an almost heroic amount of effort to keep our minds from wandering away from the most important thing happening in our world in that moment—Jesus Christ coming to us in the flesh.
But, nevertheless, it is possible to at least limit some of our distractions at Mass with these simple yet practical tips:
We’d have to have our heads in the sand to not notice that things are getting bad out there. If you’re a Christian reading the top trending stories from all over the world, it should make you want to fall down on your knees and pray.
When Christians and Christianity itself is being marginalized, persecuted, and attacked, it is a strong indication that the world needs Christ more than ever. Persecution has always been the Church’s call to arms–spiritual arms.
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.
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
At Mass and other liturgical services we see the altar servers and priests swinging censers, sending clouds of incense wafting through the air. In Catholic liturgy, everything symbolizes a theological truth.
So, what does incense symbolize?
Incense has been used in Christian liturgy from its earliest centuries. In fact, it was a part of the Jewish tradition that came before it, a use that was commanded by God himself and recorded in Sacred Scripture.