Archive for the ‘Feast Days’ Category

Mary Queen of Heaven

In the Catholic calendar, May is a month where we pay special homage to Mary our Mother, Our Blessed Lady. Here are some ideas on how to do that throughout the month:

  1. Attend daily Mass – if you are unable to attend Mass every day, try going an extra day or two during the week.
  2. Pray the rosary every day – Our Lady of Fatima urged the seers to pray the rosary every day, during each of her six apparitions in Portugal. Are you a bit rusty when it comes to praying the rosary? Check out EWTN’s guide , install a rosary app on your smartphone, ask a friend or family member to pray it with you, or pray the rosary with Mother Angelica and her Sisters . And if you’re unable to pray the rosary, why not start with a decade a day!
  3. Put a picture of Mary in every room, and every time your eyes fall on her, offer up a little prayer.  And if you don’t have that many pictures  of Mary (I don’t!) google ‘Mother Mary’ and print off your favourites.
  4. Talking about favourite pictures of Mary, choose your top picture and use is as the wallpaper or background to your phone/ tablet/ laptop/ work computer for the month! This makes for a great starting point for evangelisation when a friend or colleague catches a glimpse of your screen!
  5. Make a pilgrimage – you don’t have to go all the way to Lourdes, Fatima or Mexico City! Plan a week-end to Knock or Walsingham, or go visit a local shrine or grotto- and invite your friends! Take a picture and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram  AND Pinterest!
  6. Mary Prayer FocusCreate a prayer focus– a statue of Mary, some candles, rosary beads, a bible… and if you don’t have a statue of Mary, May is the time to get one! Veritas sell statues of Mary from e4.50 (and deliver free in Ireland!)
  7. Blue is the Marian colour, so, wear something blue every day– that way you’ll start your day by thinking about honouring our Heavenly Mother! And, if you don’t have many blue clothes, a good back up is blue nail varnish! Another opportunity to tell people about Mary when people comment on the  interesting colour of your nails!
  8. Read about Mary! Pope John Paul II wrote Redemptoris Mater, an encyclical on the blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the pilgrim Church. Or, just look up ‘Mary’ in the index in your Catechism or YouCat, and work your way through. Also, when he was cardinal, Pope Emeritus Benedict wrote an excellent book about  Mary entitled “Mary: The Church at the Source, with Hans Urs von Balthasar.
  9. Celebrate! Share the Marian love with colleagues and bring in some celebratory cakes into work to share! @UKCatholicGirl wrote a great blog post about what happened when she decided to buy cakes to share in the law firm’s office where she worked, to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. You could do this on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima (13th May) or  the Visitation (31st May), or any other day… just because its the month of Mary!
  10. Watch a film about Mary– and invite some friends round and watch The 13th Day, Lourdes, or The Story of Bernadette.
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St Catherine of Siena is an amazing Italian 14th century saint and Doctor of the Church. At the age of seven, she consecrated her virginity to Christ and she became a Dominican Tertiary aged 16. A mystic, philosopher and theologian, she worked to bring the papacy back from Avignon, France to Rome.

Below are 10 quotations of St Catherine, taken from “The Letters of Catherine of Siena” and “Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue”

10 Quotes from St Catherine of Siena

  • “Do not be satisfied with little things, because God wants great things!”  Letter T127
  •  There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.
  • “Is God not more ready to forgive than we are to sin?” Letter T178
  • “Holy Spirit, come into my heart, and in your power draw it to you.” Prayer 6
  • “You, God, made yourself lowly and small to make us great!” Dialogue 134.
  • “It is only through shadows that one comes to know the light.” Prayer 24
  • “A full belly does not make for a chaste spirit.” Dialogue, 125.
  • “Out of darkness is born the light.” Letter T211
  • “The soul is in God and God in the soul, just as the fish is in the sea and the sea in the fish.” Dialogue 2
  • “The human heart is always drawn by love.” Dialogue 26

 

 

Happy Feast Day, St Francis!

Posted: January 24, 2013 in Feast Days
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St Francis de Sales

Today is the feast day of St Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Confessor and Doctor of the Church. He is the patron saint of writers and journalists.

A man of great wisdom, here are three of my favourite quotes:

Why are you surprised when the weak turn out to be weak, and the frail, frail? When you turn out to be sinful? When you fall be gentle with your frail, weak heart. Lift up your heart gently; accept your failure without wallowing in your weakness. Admit your guilt in God’s sight. Then with good heart, with courage and confidence in His mercy, start over again.

Be who you are, and be that perfectly well!


The measure of love is to love without measure

The Holy Father welcoming journalists

At Mass today, on the feast of the Epiphany, the priest ended his sermon with a wonderful meditation by Howard Thurman, an American civil rights activist. As Christmas-tide draws to a close, it prompts us to consider our work as adopted sons and daughters of God.

“When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.”

Today is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God! She is the “New Eve,” since Eve’s disobedience ushered sin into the world while Mary’s “yes” and obedience ushered the Savior into the world!

Mary, the new Eve

Eve and Mary, the new Eve

Santa vs Jesus

Posted: December 24, 2010 in Feast Days, Video
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Although we know the true meaning of Christmas, sometimes we can’t help but occasionally let that meaning slip from our minds. This fun and friendly video acts as  a gentle reminder.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Feast Days, Video
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The Immaculate Conception by Murillo, 1660, Museo del Prado, Spain. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the conception of Mary, Mother of God. She was concieved without ant stain of origional sin. Catholics are not the only ones who celebrate Mary’s purity; the Islamic tradition recognises Mary’s spotlessness in the Qur’an.

The Miraculous Medal is also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception. It was manifested by Saint Catherine Labouré, after instructions from the Virgin Mary in a vision. When the Miraculous Medal came into circulation, healings and blessings were attributed to it.

Why not pray the rosary today, or sing your favourite Marian hymn…