Sunday, December 25, 2016

Away in a Manger

The Marian Shrine community wishes you a very happy Christmas.  May the peace of Christ child live in our hearts and our neighborhood and spread through the entire world.



Saturday, December 24, 2016

O Holy Night - Josh Groban



Set to scenes from The Nativity Story... O Holy Night - by Josh Groban. Video Created by Youtube channel Tonycdrive.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR THE HOMELESS



While most of us want the best phone or the biggest TV for the holidays, there are a lot of people out there who just need the basics like food and clothing. So this year, instead of shopping for people who already have a lot... I decided to spend my money shopping for people who don't have much at all. All of this was filmed with Google Glass.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe



An elder Mexican man makes his way to Mass in the early morning twilight of December 9, 1531. He is a peasant, a simple farmer and laborer, and he has no education. Born under Aztec rule, he is a convert to Catholicism, and each step he takes this morning is a step into history.

The morning quiet is broken by a strange music that he will later describe as the beautiful sound of birds. Diverting his path to investigate the sound, Juan Diego comes face to face with a radiant apparition of the Virgin Mary.

Juan Diego is 57 years old. He has just encountered the Virgin Mary on Tepeyac Hill, the site of a former Aztec Temple. His wife has died two years earlier, and he lives with his elder uncle, scratching his living from the earth as a humble peasant farmer. Why should this unlearned, man be chosen by Our Lady to carry a message to the Bishop? Perhaps because she would find none other as humble as Juan Diego.

Juan Diego is dazzled by the incredible beauty and miraculous nature of Our Lady's appearance. She appears as a native princess to him, and her words sound more beautiful than the sweetest music ever made.

Our Lady calms the startled traveler, and assures him of who she is. She instructs Juan Diego to visit his bishop and ask that a temple be built on the site of her appearance, so that she will have a place to hear petitions and to heal the suffering of the Mexican people. "Now go and put forth your best effort," Our Lady instructs.

Frightened and saddened, Juan Diego sets off in a great hurry, time is running out, and Juan Diego is afraid his uncle will die without a last confession. On the road, in his way, Our Lady appears for a third time. Upset and afraid, Juan explains himself. Our Lady replies, "Am I not your mother? ... Are you not in the crossing of my arms?" she asks.

Juan Diego is skeptical again. It's December, what flowers could grow on the summit of the hill in this cold?

Nevertheless, he obeys and atop the hill he finds a great number of flowering roses which he picks and hastily gathers into his cloak.

For the third time, Juan Diego is ushered in to see the Bishop. The skeptical cleric has waited for two days to see what sign Our Lady has for him. Juan opens his tilma, letting the roses cascade to the floor. But more than the roses, both men are astonished to see what is painted on his humble tilma - an exquisite image of Our Lady.

In the image, she stands as she appeared, a native princess with high cheekbones. Her head is bowed and her hands are folded in prayer to God. On her blue cloak, the stars are arranged as they appeared in the morning darkness at the hour of her first apparition.

Under her feet, is a great crescent moon, a symbol of the old Aztec religion. The message is clear, she is more powerful than the Aztec gods, yet she herself is not God.

At the same time Our Lady is appearing to Juan Diego, and directing him to cut the flowers on Tepeyac Hill, she also appears to his uncle, Juan Bernadino who believes he is about to die. As soon as she appears, the fever stops and Juan Bernadino feels well again. She tells Juan Bernadino, she wants to be known as "Santa Maria, de Guadalupe."

Our Lady of Guadalupe did not appear again, for her mission was complete. The temple was built and remains there today, in what is now a suburb of Mexico City. Juan Diego's tilma, woven from cactus fibers, with a shelf-life of just 30 years at best, remains miraculously preserved.

On October 12, 1945, Pope Pius XII, decreed Our Lady of Guadalupe to be "Patroness of all the Americas." Her feast day is December 12, and it is a Holy Day of Obligation in Mexico.

Our Lady of Guadalupe had this to say to Juan Diego:

"Know for certain, least of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the Master of heaven and earth. It is my earnest wish that a temple be built here to my honor.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pope Francis explains the Immaculate Conception



Pope Francis explained the meaning of the Immaculate Conception during his address before praying the weekly Angelus in St. Peter's Square, Dec. 8.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I believe in Miracles




There's a lot going on in our world right now...
And it can sometimes feel overwhelming, difficult, or even impossible to stay positive.
That's one of the reasons I am so grateful that you and I are in this community together.
A community of people who BELIEVE in something greater than our own individuality...
A community of people who BELIEVE that one person can make a difference...
And we are a community of people who BELIEVE that collectively we can change the world.
In that spirit, enjoy today's video -- about what we BELIEVE about all of that, and a whole lot more. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing your families and you a very happy Thanksgiving.
Mother Mary Loves you.

Blessed Miguel Pro

 

 

Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro’s Story

¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!) were the last words Pro uttered before he was executed for being a Catholic priest and serving his flock.
Born into a prosperous, devout family in Guadalupe de Zacatecas, Mexico, he entered the Jesuits in 1911, but three years later fled to Granada, Spain, because of religious persecution in Mexico. He was ordained in Belgium in 1925.
Fr. Pro immediately returned to Mexico, where he served a Church forced to go “underground.” He celebrated the Eucharist clandestinely and ministered the other sacraments to small groups of Catholics.
He and his brother Roberto were arrested on trumped-up charges of attempting to assassinate Mexico’s president. Roberto was spared but Miguel was sentenced to face a firing squad on November 23, 1927. His funeral became a public demonstration of faith. He was beatified in 1988.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Tackling The Boy Crisis | Michael Kimmel




In the world of gender studies, Michael Kimmel is what you might describe as an early adopter. He has spent much of the last forty years calling himself a feminist. But for a good deal of his career as an academic and writer, he has been thinking and exploring the behavior of men, and believes that feminism can be men’s salvation. In this talk, he explains why we need to rethink the way we educate our boys to prevent them from falling through the cracks.

Dr. Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s leading experts on men and masculinities. He was called “the world’s most prominent male feminist” in The Guardian newspaper in London.

He is the SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University. Among his many books are Manhood in America, Angry White Men, The Politics of Manhood, The Gendered Society and the best seller Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. With funding from the MacArthur Foundation, he founded the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook in 2013.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November 2 - All Souls Day





Pope Francis urges Christians to pray for the forgotten ones as he conducts Angelus on the day when Catholics all over the world remember the dead.

Monday, October 31, 2016

November 1 - All Saints Day

All Saints' Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven.

10 Bizarre UNEXPLAINED MIRACLES from Around the World!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Saints Simon and Jude




Today the Church celebrates the feast of Sts. Simon and Jude whose names occur together in the Canon of the Mass and are also celebrated on the same day. Possibly this is because they both preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia and Persia where it is said they had both been sent, but in actual fact we know nothing for certain about them beyond what is told us of their being called as Apostles in the New Testament. St. Jude is the author of a short Epistle which forms part of the New Testament.

St. Jude
Patron: Desperate situations; forgotten causes; hospital workers; hospitals; impossible causes; lost causes; diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida.
Symbols: Bearded man holding an oar, a boat, boat hook, a club, an axe or a book; nearly every image depicts him wearing a medallion with a profile of Jesus, and usually with a small flame above his head; often carries a pen or sits at a writing location to make reference to the canonical Epistle; sailboat; inverted cross; square; halbert; club; loaves and fish; long cross; knotted club; boat hook; fuller's bat; lance; saw; flail; closed book; shield: red with sailboat with a cross on the mast.
St. Simon
Patron: Curriers; sawmen; sawyers; tanners.
Symbols: Boat; fish; man being sawn in two longitudinally; fish and book; oar; saw; two fishes; lance; fuller's bat; axe; cross; saw and oar saltire; fish on a boat hood; sword; shield: red background with two oars and a hatchet.

Monday, October 17, 2016

MEMORIAL OF IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, BISHOP, MARTYR

Make room for everyone
Catholics can take pride in the fact that the word catholic comes from the Greek katholikos meaning universal, complete, whole. Saint Ignatius gave us the first example of the word’s use way back in the year 107 when he wrote in a Letter to the Smyrnaeans, “. . . wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” We have a 1,900-year legacy of being an inclusive people, of making room for one and all. Now more than ever, in this age of strife and division, let’s affirm our catholic tradition.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The #1 Public Health Issue Doctors Aren't Talking About

When Lissa Rankin, MD researched what optimizes the health of the body and what predisposes the body to illness, she was surprised by what she found. When asked "What's the greatest risk factor for disease?" she found that perhaps it's not our diet, our exercise regimen, the absence of bad habits like smoking, or genetics that most profoundly affect the health of the body. To her surprise, she found that scientific evidence suggests that loneliness may be the greatest public health issue few people are talking about. We are tribal beings, and when we feel lonely, our nervous systems sense a threat, activating stress responses that predispose the body to illness. When we come together in conscious community, our nervous systems relax and the body's self-healing mechanisms activate, which may be the most important medicine we need. What is the cure for this underrepresented public health issue? Dr. Rankin's prescription may surprise you.

Lissa Rankin, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling, is a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Passionate about what makes people optimally healthy and what predisposes them to illness, she hopes to merge science and spirituality in a way that not only facilitates the health of the individual, but also uplifts the collective. Bridging between seemingly disparate worlds, Lissa broadcasts not only her unique visionary ideas, but also those of cutting edge visionaries she discerns and trusts, especially in the field of her latest research into "Sacred Medicine." Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials and also leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her daughter. She blogs at LissaRankin.com and posts regularly on Facebook.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Feeding everyone needs everyone

Alan Bjerga explores the issues surrounding world hunger and the availability of scarce resources in third-world countries.

Alan Bjerga is an American journalist, author of the book Endless Appetites: How the Commodities Casino Creates Hunger and Unrest and the 2010 president of the National Press club. He covers agricultural policy for Bloomberg News. In 2012 he joined the faculty of Georgetown University as an adjunct instructor. He has been recognized for his work covering U.S. and international agricultural issues, receiving awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the New York Press Club, the Kansas Press Association, the North American Agricultural Journalists, and the Overseas Press Club. He is also a frequent commentator on food and agricultural issues, appearing on Bloomberg Television, National Public Radio, the BBC and PBS Newshour, among other programs. Before working for Bloomberg News, Bjerga won the NAAJ's top writing award while working for the Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tinfoil cape

Kristin Geer talks about resilience in women and why some women are able to bounce forward, instead of just bouncing back from adversity. She talks about how society needs to help us cope through our predestined pivot points, and how working together can ultimately change one's perspective on the world itself.

Kristin Geer is a three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist who pivoted from television news after an ovarian cancer diagnosis and started a nonprofit to raise money for cancer research and education. She also started a television production studio, producing nationally syndicated television shows but had to pivot again, during the recession.

Kristin is a 1991 graduate of Concordia College, currently pursuing her Master’s Degree at Johns Hopkins University. Her goal is to incorporate her thesis research into a book she’s writing about pivotal transformations by women, who have not only bounced back after surviving a crisis, have gone on to turn their pain into purpose for the greater good.

Monday, September 26, 2016

MEMORIAL OF COSMAS AND DAMIAN, MARTYRS






Cosmas and Damian were brother physicians in the early church, famous for never accepting payment for their work as a way to witness to their deep Christian faith. While most of us need to earn an income off our professional skills, we also can let these saintly brother doctors inspire us to offer our skills in some volunteer or pro bono (for the public good) work. Look for a way to match your skills to society’s needs and volunteer somewhere today.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Not just another day
“Casual Fridays” began in the 1990s. Employers were trying to improve office morale without spending any money, so workers were permitted to wear jeans, T-shirts, and flip-flops to work. A look at the Communion procession in most contemporary churches this morning would indicate the idea has spread even to Sunday Mass. If formality in church attire has disappeared, what about honoring the day of the Lord by remembering, “Keep holy the Sabbath Day”? Find a way to make Sunday different from other days of the week in your home.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Interesting - LOT Polish Airlines greets 500,000th Boeing 787 passenger

LOT Polish Airlines has greeted its 500,000th Boeing 787 passenger at the Warsaw Chopin Airport with a flash mob performance by artists from the Muzyczny ROMA Theatre.

Maciek Kolodziej, the airline's five hundred thousandth passenger, was taken by surprise as everyone around him broke out into song and dance. After a rendition of ABBA’s Mama Mia in Polish, Kolodzeij was ushered onto a stage where he was given a gift bag and a complimentary cupcake featuring the company’s logo.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Padre Pio's heart on display in US, 1st time outside Italy

The heart of St. Padre Pio will be on display in Massachusetts this week, marking the first time the religious relic has ever left its home in Italy.
The Sun reports (http://bit.ly/2cJfSVK ) that the heart will be first made available for viewing Wednesday at the Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell.
The Rev. Paul Soper says honoring the relics of saints is ancient practice in the Roman Catholic faith.
St. Padre Pio was a Capuchin friar best known for possessing the Stigmata, or wounds of Jesus Christ.
He died in Foggia, Italy, in 1968 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002. The body of St. Padre Pio is believed to be partially incorrupt.
The heart can also be seen at locations in Boston and Braintree this week.
___
Information from: The (Lowell, Mass.) Sun, http://www.lowellsun.com

Sunday, September 18, 2016

TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

We pray our faith
Faith is lived. But it’s also prayed. Today Catechetical Sunday considers the theme, “Prayer: the Faith Prayed.” Perhaps the most distinguishing thing we Catholics do is gather to pray: at Mass and sacraments, the blessing before meals, the Liturgy of the Hours, or to share a Rosary. Prayer isn’t always formal or complex. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux called prayer a surge of the heart, a simple look toward heaven. Saint Francis de Sales wittily declared, “Every one of us needs half an hour of prayer each day except when we’re busy—then we need an hour.” Renew your commitment to daily prayer.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

September 17 - St. Robert Belarmine

When Robert Bellarmine was ordained in 1570, the study of Church history and the fathers of the Church was in a sad state of neglect. A promising scholar from his youth in Tuscany, he devoted his energy to these two subjects, as well as to Scripture, in order to systematize Church doctrine against the attacks of the Protestant Reformers. He was the first Jesuit to become a professor at Louvain.
His most famous work is his three-volume Disputations on the Controversies of the Christian Faith. Particularly noteworthy are the sections on the temporal power of the pope and the role of the laity. He incurred the anger of monarchists in England and France by showing the divine-right-of-kings theory untenable. He developed the theory of the indirect power of the pope in temporal affairs; although he was defending the pope against the Scottish philosopher Barclay, he also incurred the ire of Pope Sixtus V.

Bellarmine was made a cardinal by Pope Clement VIII on the grounds that "he had not his equal for learning." While he occupied apartments in the Vatican, Bellarmine relaxed none of his former austerities. He limited his household expenses to what was barely essential, eating only the food available to the poor. He was known to have ransomed a soldier who had deserted from the army and he used the hangings of his rooms to clothe poor people, remarking, "The walls won't catch cold."

Among many activities, he became theologian to Pope Clement VIII, preparing two catechisms which have had great influence in the Church.

The last major controversy of Bellarmine's life came in 1616 when he had to admonish his friend Galileo, whom he admired. Bellarmine delivered the admonition on behalf of the Holy Office, which had decided that the heliocentric theory of Copernicus (the sun as stationary) was contrary to Scripture. The admonition amounted to a caution against putting forward—other than as a hypothesis—theories not yet fully proved. This shows that saints are not infallible.

Bellarmine died on September 17, 1621. The process for his canonization was begun in 1627 but was delayed until 1930 for political reasons, stemming from his writings. In 1930, Pope Pius XI canonized him and the next year declared him a doctor of the Church.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

When Jesus was put on the cross to die, his punishment was intended to humiliate him and his followers and to extinguish his message once and for all. But that didn’t happen. Instead, he rose from the dead, exalted by the Father, and his Good News has been shared on every continent for more than 2,000 years. Today, crosses grace our churches and homes. We even wear crosses as jewelry that identifies us as believers. The name of this feast says it well: The cross is a sign of exaltation. When you rise in the morning and retire at night, make the sign of the cross.

Monday, September 12, 2016

MEMORIAL OF THE MOST HOLY NAME OF MARY

At Jesus’ conception Mary’s good name (and her life) would be in jeopardy should it become known that she was pregnant while unmarried. Yet her name falls upon us today not as disgrace, but as all grace. Just speaking her name—often in the prayer “Hail Mary”—brings comfort to many in dire straits. Another traditional prayer, the Memorare, says, “never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.” Call upon Mary. She has been there, and she hears you.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Pope Francis accepts gift of potholder from Hingham child

By Reenat Sinay Globe Correspondent 
A Hingham couple on a religious pilgrimage to the Vatican was lucky enough not only to spot Pope Francis, but to watch his face light up as he received a gift from their daughter.
“I cried, I absolutely cried, I honestly could not believe it,” said Maura Naughton. “I never in a million years thought that I could actually get something to him.”

Naughton and her husband Laurence arrived in Rome Tuesday with a group of more than 30 others from the Boston area. They attended a general audience with the pope on Wednesday.
“As soon as we told our children that we were going to Rome for an audience with the pope, our 9-year-old, Megan, said ‘I’m going to make the pope some presents,’” Naughton said.
Megan, who goes to St. Paul Parish in Hingham, chose to go the practical route and made Francis a potholder.
“It came from place of such innocence and sweetness and hope,” said Naughton. “She thought we’d walk right up to the pope and give it to him.”
However, the pontiff’s weekly general audiences regularly draw crowds in the thousands and last just two hours.
“I was in a line 5 feet deep behind another line of people who get to shake hands with him,” Naughton said.
As luck would have it, the Naughtons were standing next to an Italian couple who was able to pass the gift to a priest in the line ahead of them.
“He looked at us like we were crazy and took the potholder,” she said. “He gave it to the pope and pointed back at me, and the pope held it up and smiled and waved.”
Naughton said that by this time “he had been given so many gold chalices” and other gifts, that “for him to take the time to hold up this gift made by a child was so special.”
He “looked joyful and happy and very genuine,” she added. “It was a moment in time that you can’t recreate, something none of us will ever forget.”
The Naughtons broke the news to Megan Wednesday and said she was “very excited.”
Wednesday also happened to be Naughton’s 46th birthday, and she says she could not have asked for a better gift.
“It was divine intervention that I was next to these people,” she said. “It was quite a birthday present.”
Reenat Sinay can be reached at reenat.sinay@globe.com.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Honest liars

By providing content, resources, and connections, Dr. Cortney Warren's goal is to support anyone who is brave enough to live a more conscious life. For when we are honest about who we really are, we have the opportunity to change.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

A gang leaders moment with Mother Theresa

Copied from the Chicago Sun times.
Article byMitch Dudek  @mitchdudek | email


Before Mother Teresa grabbed his hand, perhaps the most powerful thing Demetrius Ford ever held was a gun.
Ford ran a street gang out of the Henry Horner Homes, a cluster of high rise housing projects located in the shadow of what is now the United Center. Warring street gangs regularly shot at each other from adjacent buildings.
“We were shooting from building to building. Kids couldn’t go outside. I couldn’t even go out to the store without somebody going with me with two or three guns for protection,” Ford recalled last week.
“I had to tell two or three hundred guys a day what to do. It was just really, really dangerous and there was a lot of hits out to kill me and I was giving hits on the opposition,” he said.
A few feet from the violence plagued buildings was St. Malachy’s Church, where, as the gang wars played out next door, a parish priest wrote Mother Teresa a letter asking for help. In response, she sent four nuns to the church to establish a soup kitchen there in 1983.
A few months later, a priest from the church who’d come to know Ford gave him a job doing odd jobs, like cooking, cleaning and handy work around the rectory.
Ford was ready for a change. He was in his early 20s and a lot of people were dying around him.
“But in the gang thing, you can’t just walk away,” he said.
Through the church, he began to organize peaceful barbecues and dances for youth in the neighborhood. However, most attendees, at first at least, also came from the same gang.
Ford was at the church in 1985 when word spread that Mother Teresa was coming to Chicago to visit. Ford was 22 years old the day she arrived.
He, along with a priest, found a spot on the landing of a staircase Mother Teresa would be walking down.
“She saw us and she stopped,” Ford said. “She grabbed my hand, and I’m all nervous. People taking pictures. And she said ‘Let me pray for you.’ And so I was like ‘Wow, you know I need to be praying for you.’ And she said. ‘No. Let me pray for you.’ And she grabbed my hands in hers and everything got quiet. And that was like the changing point in my life. I was like really feeling down and low. I was running from the police at the time and there were a million awful things going on in my life. And at that moment I just felt relief.” he said.
“The funny thing was she had kneeled down, and her being older, I tried to help her up because I didn’t know what she was doing,” Ford recalled.
A couple of days later, Ford, while working in the rectory, encountered Mother Teresa again. This time she was alone in the kitchen area. Ford served her a cup of coffee before she was to meet with the pastor and the two chatted for a minute.
“She told me I was going to be a changed person. That God is calling me. He’s waiting on me. That a lot of people are going to follow me. That I got a good heart and God just wants me to do the right thing because I can bring a lot of people to Christ. I was sitting here crying and stuff and she got to crying and she kept saying it was okay and God has a hand on me. She was telling me something about a black cloud was following me, which was the enemy, which was the devil I guess, and that he’s pulling on me at the same time, but God is going to have his way and she told me just keep praying.
“And then even when the pastor came she kept looking back at me and I brought her another cup of coffee and she grabbed my hand again and said ‘Let me pray for you.'”
A few months later, with the help of a youth minister from the church, Ford signed on to a truce between the feuding gangs that helped end the shooting.
That was 31 years ago. Ford is now 53. He’s good with his hands and does construction jobs when he can find them, like dry-walling or installing windows. He never married or had kids. He stays with family members mostly.
He’s confident Mother Teresa would be proud of how he’s lived since their encounter.
“She’d be proud. I stayed alive. I did get out of the gang. I pray every night. I be myself now. She showed me that. And kindness motivates me now.”
“Before I was terrible. It was the card we was dealt being born and raised in the projects. My older brothers was gang-bangers and so I was trying to hold up a name, a legend that was going on for years and years, and it was the thing to do back then. If you weren’t a part of it, you were nothing.”
Ford said his life now is up and down.
“My life still has a lot of turmoil here and there. But I don’t really go to jail anymore, I don’t gang bang any more. I don’t be out on the street getting drunk all night messing with the girls all night any more. I try to live more of a stable life. But, once again, it’s off and on. Ain’t nothing perfect.
“I’m looking for a good job and just hoping things get better. I don’t have a house or a car or other things people strive for, but I’m happy with who I am.  And I always think about Mother Teresa to know that she touched my hand and prayed for me and she showed that she really cared for me and there was no strings attached, that’s something that I’ll never forget, and I feel blessed, not more than anyone else, but I feel blessed, just to serve her a cup of coffee was a privilege. That was something to always feel good about.”
Ford’s life might have gone another direction had he not met Mother Teresa.
“I might be dead or locked up or doing some crazy s—,” he said.
“l really believe she’s a saint and I really believe she’s watching over me. I believe in spirits and they really watch you and try to lead you in the right direction. When you touch someone’s hand and they pray for you, it’s a connection that cannot be broken. Her spirit will always be with me.”
 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

If we could see inside others hearts

Every day, every moment, is an oppportunity to let go of what no longer serves us and let it die...
And to embrace what brings out the best in ourselves and others.

Today's video, "If We Could See Inside Each Others' Hearts" is an opportunity to do that.

It is a profound look at life, in 4 minutes. This one will have you welling up with tears as the camera wanders and shows the inner lives of people around us as they do their daily tasks. Most of it is set in a hospital, where there is so much worry, sadness, some joy, bad news, good news, no news, anxiety, fear -- just like our own lives...

Magnified.
We’ve all been there. We've all experienced at least one of these people’s lives, and that's what brings the message of this video so close to home.
We ALL have our stories. Others have theirs.  But we never really know, we don't fully connect, because most of us walk around keeping most of our thoughts and feelings to ourselves.

Still...

If we could see inside other peoples' hearts, this is what we'd see..

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Body Language




Allan Pease is an Honorary Professor of Psychology at ULIM International University, who researches and studies selling relationships and human communication. He teaches simple, field-tested skills and techniques that get results. And he delivers his message in a humorous way, which motivates people to want to use. Allan's own experience and record in the field of selling, motivating and training is equalled by few others. He is a born achiever, starting his career at the age of 10. Globally known as "Mr Body Language", his programs are used by businesses and governments to teach powerful relationship skills. His messages are relevant to any area of life that involves winning people over and getting them to like you, co-operate, follow you or say 'yes'.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August 30 - What about justice?

Some folks view religion as the rulebook. Do things God’s way or be sorry! Yet Saint Augustine wrote, “It is easier for God to hold back anger than mercy.” Rule-based souls will wonder: If God is merciful, what happens to justice? Pope Francis has an answer: “If God limited himself to only justice, he would cease to be God, and would instead be like human beings who ask merely that the law be respected. But mere justice is not enough. God does not deny justice. He rather envelopes it and surpasses it with an even greater event.” Mercy makes us bigger people!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

August 27 - St. Monica



The circumstances of St. Monica’s life could have made her a nagging wife, a bitter daughter-in-law and a despairing parent, yet she did not give way to any of these temptations. Although she was a Christian, her parents gave her in marriage to a pagan, Patricius, who lived in her hometown of Tagaste in North Africa. Patricius had some redeeming features, but he had a violent temper and was licentious. Monica also had to bear with a cantankerous mother-in-law who lived in her home. Patricius criticized his wife because of her charity and piety, but always respected her. Monica’s prayers and example finally won her husband and mother-in-law to Christianity. Her husband died in 371, one year after his baptism.
Monica had at least three children who survived infancy. The oldest, Augustine (August 28) , is the most famous. At the time of his father’s death, Augustine was 17 and a rhetoric student in Carthage. Monica was distressed to learn that her son had accepted the Manichean heresy (all flesh is evil)  and was living an immoral life. For a while, she refused to let him eat or sleep in her house. Then one night she had a vision that assured her Augustine would return to the faith. From that time on, she stayed close to her son, praying and fasting for him. In fact, she often stayed much closer than Augustine wanted.
When he was 29, Augustine decided to go to Rome to teach rhetoric. Monica was determined to go along. One night he told his mother that he was going to the dock to say goodbye to a friend. Instead, he set sail for Rome. Monica was heartbroken when she learned of Augustine’s trick, but she still followed him. She arrived in Rome only to find that he had left for Milan. Although travel was difficult, Monica pursued him to Milan.
In Milan, Augustine came under the influence of the bishop, St. Ambrose, who also became Monica’s spiritual director. She accepted his advice in everything and had the humility to give up some practices that had become second nature to her (see Quote, below). Monica became a leader of the devout women in Milan as she had been in Tagaste.
She continued her prayers for Augustine during his years of instruction. At Easter, 387, St. Ambrose baptized Augustine and several of his friends. Soon after, his party left for Africa. Although no one else was aware of it, Monica knew her life was near the end. She told Augustine, “Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.” She became ill shortly after and suffered severely for nine days before her death.
Almost all we know about St. Monica is in the writings of St. Augustine, especially his Confessions.



Comment:

Today, with Internet searches, e-mail shopping, text messages, tweets and instant credit, we have little patience for things that take time. Likewise, we want instant answers to our prayers. Monica is a model of patience. Her long years of prayer, coupled with a strong, well-disciplined character, finally led to the conversion of her hot-tempered husband, her cantankerous mother-in-law and her brilliant but wayward son, Augustine.

Quote:

When Monica moved from North Africa to Milan, she found religious practices new to her and also that some of her former customs, such as a Saturday fast, were not common there. She asked St. Ambrose which customs she should follow. His classic reply was: “When I am here, I do not fast on Saturday, but I fast when I am in Rome; do the same and always follow the custom and discipline of the Church as it is observed in the particular locality in which you find yourself.”

Friday, August 26, 2016

August 26 - St. Joseph Calasnz




From Aragon, where he was born in 1556, to Rome, where he died 92 years later, fortune alternately smiled and frowned on the work of Joseph Calasanz. A priest with university training in canon law and theology, respected for his wisdom and administrative expertise, he put aside his career because he was deeply concerned with the need for education of poor children.
When he was unable to get other institutes to undertake this apostolate at Rome, he and several companions personally provided a free school for deprived children. So overwhelming was the response that there was a constant need for larger facilities to house their effort. Soon Pope Clement VIII gave support to the school, and this aid continued under Pope Paul V. Other schools were opened; other men were attracted to the work and in 1621 the community (for so the teachers lived) was recognized as a religious community, the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools (Piarists or Scolopi). Not long after, Joseph was appointed superior for life.
A combination of various prejudices and political ambition and maneuvering caused the institute much turmoil. Some did not favor educating the poor, for education would leave the poor dissatisfied with their lowly tasks for society! Others were shocked that some of the Piarists were sent for instruction to Galileo (a friend of Joseph) as superior, thus dividing the members into opposite camps. Repeatedly investigated by papal commissions, Joseph was demoted; when the struggle within the institute persisted, the Piarists were suppressed. Only after Joseph’s death were they formally recognized as a religious community.



Comment:

No one knew better than Joseph the need for the work he was doing; no one knew better than he how baseless were the charges brought against him. Yet if he were to work within the Church, he realized that he must submit to its authority, that he must accept a setback if he was unable to convince authorized investigators. While the prejudice, the scheming, and the ignorance of men often keep the truth from emerging for a long period of time, Joseph was convinced, even under suppression, that his institute would again be recognized and authorized. With this trust he joined exceptional patience and a genuine spirit of forgiveness.

Quote:

Even in the days after his own demotion, Joseph protected his persecutors against his enraged partisans; and when the community was suppressed, he stated with Job, to whom he was often compared: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; /blessed be the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21b).

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The power of introverts



In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

Friday, August 19, 2016

August 19 - Social Experiment about women



An FBI forensic artist drew two sets of sketches:
(1) How women see themselves and
(2) How other people described those very same women.
In one of the most famous Dove films, Real Beauty Sketches explores the gap between how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. Each woman is the subject of two portraits drawn by FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora: one based on her own description, and the other using a stranger’s observations. The results are surprising…

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August 17 - Where Charity Ends

“Charity begins at home.” Few of us doubt the wisdom and the primary duty of taking care of our families, neighborhoods, and communities. But for many, the obligation of charity can often appear to end at home as well. We may be reluctant to put our funds at the disposal of another needy parish, or to assist someone else’s family with our limited resources. But what if we took seriously the human family as genuine sisters and brothers? When home and family are expansive notions, then charity at home goes a long, long way.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

August 11 - St. Clare

St. Clare of Assisi was born in Assisi on July 16, 1194, as Chiara Offreduccio, the beautiful eldest daughter of Favorino Sciffi, Count of Sasso-Rosso and his wife Ortolana. Tradition says her father was a wealthy representative of an ancient Roman family and her mother was a very devout woman belonging to the noble family of Fiumi.

As a young girl, Clare dedicated herself to prayer. At 18-years-old, she heard St. Francis of Assisi preach during a Lenten service in the church of San Giorgio and asked him to help her live according to the Gospel. On Palm Sunday in 1212, Clare left her father's home and went to the chapel of the Porziuncula to meet with Francis. While there, Clare's hair was cut off and she was given a plain robe and veil in exchange for her rich gown.

Clare joined the convent of the Benedictine nuns of San Paulo, near Bastia, under Francis' orders. When her father found her and attempted to force her back into his home, she refused and professed that she would have no other husband than Jesus Christ. In order to give her the greater solitude she desired, Francis sent Clare to Sant' Angelo in Panzo, another Benedictine nuns monastery.

Overtime, other women joined them, wanting to also be brides of Jesus and live with no money. They became known as the "Poor Ladies of San Damiano." They all lived a simple life of austerity, seclusion from the world, and poverty, according to a Rule which Francis gave them as a Second Order. St. Clare and her sisters wore no shoes, ate no meat, lived in a poor house, and kept silent most of the time. Their lives consisted of manual labor and prayer. Yet, they were very happy, because Our Lord was close to them all the time.

San Damiano became the center of Clare's new order, which was then known as the "Order of Poor Ladies of San Damiano." For a brief period of time, the order was directed by St. Francis himself and by 1216, Clare became the abbess of San Damiano. Ten years after Clare's death, the order became known as the Order of Saint Clare.

While serving as the leader of her order, Clare defended them from the attempts of prelates to impose a rule on them that more closely followed the Rule of Saint Benedict than Francis. Clare was so devoted and dedicated to Francis that she was often referred to as "alter Franciscus," or another Francis. She encouraged and aided the man she saw as a spiritual father figure, and took care of him as he grew old.

Following Francis' death, Clare continued to promote her order, fighting off every attempt from each pope trying to impose a rule on her order that would water down their "radical commitment to corporate poverty."

In 1224, an army of rough soldiers from Frederick II came to attack Assisi. Although very sick, Clare went out to meet them with the Blessed Sacrament on her hands. She had the Blessed Sacrament placed at the wall where the enemies could see it. Then on her knees, she begged God to save the Sisters.

"O Lord, protect these Sisters whom I cannot protect now," she prayed. A voice seemed to answer: "I will keep them always in My care." In that moment, a sudden fright struck the attackers and they fled as fast as they could without harming anyone in Assisi.

St. Clare became sick and suffered great pains for many years, but she expressed that no pain could trouble her. So great was her joy in serving the Lord that she once exclaimed: "They say that we are too poor, but can a heart which possesses the infinite God be truly called poor?"

On August 9, 1253, Pope Innocent IV declared Clare's rule would serve as the governing rule for Clare's Order of Poor Ladies. Two days later, Clare died at 59-years-old. Her remains were placed in the chapel of San Giorgio while the church dedicated to her remains was being built. At Pope Innocent's request, the canonization process for Clare began immediately, and two years later in 1255, Pope Alexander IV canonized Clare as Saint Clare of Assisi.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The secret of becoming mentally strong

Everyone has the ability to build mental strength, but most people don't know how.
We spend a lot of time talking about physical strength and physical health, but much less time on mental strength and mental health.
We can choose to perform exercises that will help us learn to regulate our thoughts, manage our emotions, and behave productively despite our circumstances - the 3 basic factors of mental strength. No matter what your goals are, building mental strength is the key to reaching your greatest potential.

Amy Morin is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist. Since 2002, she has been counseling children, teens, and adults. She also works as an adjunct psychology instructor.

Amy’s expertise in mental strength has attracted international attention. Her bestselling book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, is being translated into more than 20 languages.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Mount Tabor and the Feast of the Transfiguration

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them."
A must-see destination for all the pilgrims who visit the Galilee, it is mostly local Christians who visit Mount Tabor on August 6, the liturgical Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. There, they experience a day of celebration and faith, in the place where, according to a very ancient tradition, Jesus was transfigured before the astonished eyes of Peter, James and John.

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Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1 - FEAST OF ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

What’s your gift to the world?
Vincent Van Gogh said, “The best way to know God is to love many things.” Alphonsus Liguori embodied this wisdom, as a prolific spiritual author as well as an accomplished musician, poet, and painter. With more than 100 works on spirituality to his name, his writings have been translated into dozens of languages and thousands of editions, making him one of the most widely read Catholic authors of all time. When we discover our gifts and use them to serve God, our works multiply. What are your gifts and how will you put them in service to the world?

Friday, July 29, 2016

July 29 - Feast of Martha

Remarkable Martha
Martha, sister of Lazarus and Mary, is mainly remembered because she wanted Mary to help her prepare and serve a meal for their guest, Jesus. But scripture also describes Martha as a strong woman who repeatedly speaks her mind: She tells the Lord he should have come earlier to prevent the death of Lazarus; she tries to tell Jesus what to do when he summons Lazarus from the tomb; and, perhaps most amazingly, she is a woman who admits to the Lord that she knows he is the Messiah. She could be the patron of women and men who yearn to speak the truth that is borne of faith and to trust in God’s power to do all things.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 26 - St. Joachim and Ann

Wow, Patron Saints for grandparents. We know what an important job grand parenting is, God worked especially hard to find this ideal set for Jesus.
Born to the tribe of Judah and the royal house of David, Saints Ann and Joachim were a devout, religious couple. They shared a wealthy, comfortable life in Nazareth with plans to be the world's best parents. Their deep faith and close knit family offered just the perfect environment to raise a child of God.
But, years slipped by and no babies arrived.
Petitions, Prayers and Promises followed!
Twenty long years!!

Finally, an angel appeared with God's special plan. Ann and Joachim had been selected to raise the beautiful baby girl, they called Mary, who was to be the Virgin Mother of the Christ Child.

They were overjoyed and with great love and gratitude devoted their lives to the preparation of their little girl for the greatest honor that could ever be. They fulfilled their promises to God.

When Mary was three years old, they made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem, the day we know as the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They taught and trained their young Mary until she was ready to fulfill her role in the Scriptures.

Ann and Joachim are hardly mentioned in Scripture, this private couple, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grandparents of Jesus Christ, simply fulfilled God's Plan to the best of their ability. How better could they have served Him?

Saints Ann and Joachim are celebrated on JuIy 25 as the Patron Saints of Grandparents, Mothers and Fathers and are often viewed in liturgical art as an elderly couple with a book instructing Mary.

Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25 - FEAST OF JAMES, APOSTLE

Front and center
The scallop shell is the emblem of Saint James because, with grooves that radiate out to the edges, the shell symbolizes the journey of faith. James was with Jesus through thick and thin: He was one of the first disciples to be called at the Sea of Galilee and one of the few to witness the Transfiguration. His mission eventually took him to the ends of the earth, and he was the first of the apostles to be martyred. But remember, just as the grooves of the scallop shell lead out, they also point back to the center. On your own journey, like James, center yourself in Christ.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

July 23 - FEAST OF BRIDGET, RELIGIOUS

Share from your abundance—and your poverty
When you read that 14th-century Bridget of Sweden married at the age of 14, it is easy to disregard her life because it is so different from your own. How could her life speak to yours? But the driving force in Bridget’s life was not marriage at 14 but her wish to give all she had to the poor. From her family home to the monastery she founded to the streets of Rome where she eventually lived, she was consumed by the desire to share the little she had with those in need. Her life reminds us that whether we are giving or receiving, Christ is present in our poverty. Look for an opportunity to be generous today.

Friday, July 22, 2016

July 22 - St. Mary Magdalene

St. Mary Magdalene is one of the greatest saints of the Bible and a legendary example of God's mercy and grace. The precise dates of her birth and death are unknown, but we do know she was present with Christ during his public ministry, death and resurrection. She is mentioned at least a dozen times in the Gospels.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

No arms, no legs, no problem

"I was eight years old, and I did want to end my life. I felt hopeless. Broken. Alone. It's like it was pointless. There was no point to my life."

That quote is from Nick Vujicic – a man with no arms and no legs. More importantly than what he doesn't have though, I'm interested in the thing he seems to have that eludes many of us: long term happiness.

With that in mind, let's consider this: If a eight year old boy who wanted to die – because he had no arms and no legs – could find happiness, is it possible that we could as well? If so, what would it take?

I thought long and hard about what I would write to you today. How could I begin to even answer that question? It would take pages, perhaps even a book or series of books. Then I realized... some questions are better answered in a different way. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so what might a video be worth?

I am sure you will be touched just as I have been... by this incredibly inspiring 5-minute video of Nick sharing a bit about his life, as well as showing off a few things he can do.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

FEAST OF APOLLINARIS, BISHOP, MARTYR

Keep the stories alive
Apollinaris lived in the first century, was the first bishop of Ravenna, Italy, and was a martyr as well. That’s all we really know for sure. So how to celebrate so obscure a person, and why? Some say that as long as someone remembers your name, you are not really gone. Perhaps that is why we put names on gravestones. Pray for your dearly departed and visit their graves—and take children along if you can. Pass on the stories of your ancestors, especially stories of their faith. If you don’t know any stories, is there still someone alive you may ask?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thought for the Day

Live dangerously; make friends
Saint Francis de Sales wrote that “friendship is the most dangerous of all love.” Why? “Because other loves can exist without communication, exchange, closeness.” Not friendship, though. To love a friend is to open yourself to them—warts and all—to communicate and to be a better person because of it. As the Book of Sirach says, “Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter; whoever finds one finds a treasure.” A good friend is priceless, deepening your faith, calling you to see Christ in the world, and allowing you to be your best self. Martha, Mary, and their brother Lazarus had this kind of friendship with Jesus. Choose to live dangerously: Make friendships that matter.

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18 - St. Camillus de Lellis

Saint Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614) was an Italian priest who founded the Camillians, a religious order dedicated to the care of the sick. But that's not where this story begins. Let's listen in to Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

July 16 - Our Lady of Mount Carmel

In the year 1251, St. Simon Stock had the apparition of Our Lady of Mt Carmel. Our Lady gave to St. Simon Stock the Brown Scapular as a Sign of Salvation.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

July 14 - St. Kateri Tekakwitha

St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church. She was born in 1656, in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon. Her mother was an Algonquin, who was captured by the Mohawks and who took a Mohawk chief for her husband.

She contracted smallpox as a four-year-old child which scarred her skin. The scars were a source of humiliation in her youth. She was commonly seen wearing a blanket to hide her face. Worse, her entire family died during the outbreak. Kateri Tekakwitha was subsequently raised by her uncle, who was the chief of a Mohawk clan.

Kateri was known as a skilled worker, who was diligent and patient. However, she refused to marry. When her adoptive parents proposed a suitor to her, she refused to entertain the proposal. They punished her by giving her more work to do, but she did not give in. Instead, she remained quiet and diligent. Eventually they were forced to relent and accept that she had no interest in marriage.

At age 19, Kateri Tekakwitha converted to Catholicism, taking a vow of chastity and pledging to marry only Jesus Christ. Her decision was very unpopular with her adoptive parents and their neighbors. Some of her neighbors started rumors of sorcery. To avoid persecution, she traveled to a Christian native community south of Montreal.

According to legend, Kateri was very devout and would put thorns on her sleeping mat. She often prayed for the conversion of her fellow Mohawks. According to the Jesuit missionaries that served the community where Kateri lived, she often fasted and when she would eat, she would taint her food to diminish its flavor. On at least one occasion, she burned herself. Such self-mortification was common among the Mohawk.

Kateri was very devout and was known for her steadfast devotion. She was also very sickly. Her practices of self-mortification and denial may not have helped her health. Sadly, just five years after her conversion to Catholicism, she became ill and passed away at age 24, on April 17, 1680.

Her name, Kateri, is the Mohawk form of Catherine, which she took from St. Catherine of Siena.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 21, 2012. She is the patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile and Native Americans.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July 6 - St. Maria Goretti

Born on October 16 1890 in Corinaldo, in the Ancona Province in Italy, her farmworker father moved his family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio. When he died of malaria, Maria's mother had to struggle to feed her children.

Maria's mother, brothers, and sisters worked in the fields while she cooked, sewed, kept the house clean, and watched her youngest sister Teresa. Though the family's circumstances were extremely difficult, they were very close and loved God.

On July 5, 1902, Maria was sitting outside the steps of her home sewing her 18-year-old brother or neighbor -it is unclear which - Alessandro's shirt while he threshed beans in the barnyard. As she concentrated on her sewing, Alessandro surprised her and grabbed her from her steps. When he tried to rape her, Maria cried that it was a mortal sin and warned he would go to hell.

When Alessandro persisted, she fought him and screamed, "No! It is a sin! God does not want it!" At her words, Alessandro began to choke her and she said she would rather die than submit. Upon hearing her words, Alexander pulled out a knife and stabbed her eleven times. When she attempted to reach the door, he stabbed her three more times then fled.

Teresa woke to the sounds of her sister's cries and began to cry. Maria's family returned home and found her bleeding on the floor. They quickly took her to the nearest hospital in Nettuno, where she underwent surgery without anesthesia.

Unfortunately, her wounds were beyond the surgeon's ability to help. Halfway through the surgery, the man asked her, "Maria, think of me in Paradise."

As she lay on the table, she looked up at him and said, "Well, who knows which of us is going to be there first?"

She did not realize how terrible her situation was, and the surgeon replied, "You, Maria."

She said, "Then I will think gladly of you." She also mentioned concerns for her mother. The next day, Maria forgave Alessandro and said she wanted to see him in Heaven with her. She died that day while looking upon an image of the Virgin Mary and holding a cross to her chest.

Shortly after Maria's family discovered her, Alexander was captured and questioned. He admitted Maria was a physical virgin as he was unable to assault her and he was sentenced to thirty years. He also admitted he had attempted to persuade her to accompany him to bed on several occasions in the past and had attempted to rape her before.

Alessandro remained unrepentant for his actions until he had a dream that he was in a garden. Maria was there and gave him lilies, which immediately burned in his hands. When he woke, he was a changed man. He repented his crime and living a reformed life. When he was released 27-years-later, he went directly to Maria's mother and begged her forgiveness, which she gave, saying, "If my daughter can forgive him, who am I to withhold forgiveness?"

Maria Goretti was beatified by Pope Pius XII in a ceremony at Saint Peter's Basilica on April 27, 1947.

Three years later, on June 24, 1950, Maria was declared a saint and Alessandro was present in the St. Peter's crowd to celebrate her canonization. He later became a laybrother of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, where he lived in a monastery and worked as its receptionist and gardener until his death.

Saint Maria is called a martyr because she fought against Alessandro's attempts at sexual sin; however, the most important aspects of her story are how she forgave her attacker - her concern for her enemy extending even beyond death - and the miracle her forgiveness produced in his life.

Saint Maria's body can be found in the crypt of the Basilica of Nostra Signora delle Grazie e Santa Maria Goretti in Nettuno. Though several claim her body is incorrupt, she has been proven to be corrupt. Her body is kept in a statue which lies beneath the altar and has been mistaken to be all of her remains.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Miracle at Lourdes

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Divine Healer is with thee! Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, JESUS! Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us suffering sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Friday, June 24, 2016

June 24 - John the Baptist


John the Baptist was a contemporary of Christ who was known for evangelization and his baptizing of Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist was born through the intercession of God to Zachariah and Elizabeth, who was otherwise too old to bear children. According to scriptures, the Angel Gabriel visited Elizabeth and Zachariah to tell them they would have a son and that they should name him John. Zachariah was skeptical and for this he was rendered mute until the time his son was born and named John, in fulfillment of God's will.

When Elizabeth was pregnant with John, she was visited by Mary, and John leapt in her womb. This revealed to Elizabeth that the child Mary carried was to be the Son of God.

John began public ministry around 30 AD, and was known for attracting large crowds across the province of Judaea and around the Jordan River. When Jesus came to him to be baptized, John recognized him and said, "It is I who need baptism from you."

Jesus told John to baptize Him anyway, which he did, whereupon the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God was seen like a dove. The voice of God spoke, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

John instructed his followers to turn to Christ, calling Him the "Lamb of God" and these people were among the first Christians.

Following his baptism of Christ, John's popularity grew so much that he alarmed King Herod. Herod ordered him arrested and imprisoned.

John spoke with Herod on several occasions and condemned his marriage to his half-brother's wife.

This condemnation would be his downfall as King Herod promised to grant a wish to his daughter. In revenge for John the Baptist's condemnation of her mother's scandalous marriage to Herod, she asked for John's head. King Herod reluctantly obliged. John the Baptist died sometime between 33 and 36 AD.

John the Baptist's feast day is June 24, and the anniversary of his death is August 29 and is sometimes celebrated with a second feast. John the Baptist is the patron saint of Jordan, Puerto Rico, French Canada and many other places.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Jim Caviezel Testimony (Actor who played Jesus in the Passion of Christ Film)

Amazing testimony and words of Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ film, which is the highest grossing R-rated film in history (and rightly so) just like the Holy Bible is the world’s best-selling book (and rightly so). Jim Caviezel is being interviewed by Dave Cooper.

This interview is highly inspiring. He talks about how God's Providence allowed him to suffer several very painful injuries and illnesses when filming which allowed him to participate in and portray Christ's Passion in a deep and real way. He tells about the shocking fact that he was struck by lightning at one point in the production. He gives advice to all Catholics about the seriousness of living the Faith, not trying to "fit in" with our neo-pagan society, and the necessity, joy, and honor of suffering for Jesus Crucified for the salvation of souls. His testimony is amazing and real.

The first commenter for the above video wrote: “Truly profound and breathtaking!”

Please Note: At one point in his talk, Jim said, “You are all going to Heaven.” A critic might object, “What if there was someone in the audience who hates Christ and will never repent. So is Jim saying that he is going to Heaven too?” Of course such an unrepentant person who hates God chooses Hell with their free will (as Jim said in his talk, “God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, they choose that place”) and Jim’s statement cannot apply to them. So how are we to understand Jim’s sentence? First off, it is obvious from the context that Jim was addressing those among the audience who are of good will who desire to repent, live a virtuous life, and to take the necessary actions to reach Heaven. Furthermore, Jim expanded or qualified this statement later in his talk where he said that “God is asking for more conversion” and he reminded the audience that Heaven or Hell is a choice (on a related topic, he said that those in the production of the movie who were “fence-sitters” with regards to God who claimed they hadn’t made a choice were in reality making a choice by the mere fact that they were fence-sitting). A person chooses Heaven or Hell with their free will and manifests their choice by the way they lead their life and by their actions, words, thoughts, and prayers. One must want Heaven to reach there and to reach it requires effort just like anything worthwhile in the natural world. Our Lord told us in the Gospels that arriving at Heaven requires the person to receive sanctifying grace through baptism (which of course is ordinarily sacramental baptism by water, but in rare cases can include baptism of blood or authentic baptism of desire), repenting of their sins, and living a virtuous life where they preserve this grace. Hence, Jim’s statement must be understood with these qualifiers for his statement to be correct.

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13 - St. Anthony of Padua



Called the Wonder Worker because of the numerous miracles attributed to him while he was living and since his death. He is one of the most popular saints in the Catholic Church and is implored as the patron of lost things and a hundred other causes. He was a preacher and theologian and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Eucharistic Miracle

"I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world." The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying:

"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

Then Jesus said to them:

"Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day." (Jn 6.51-55)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

June 4 - Sacred Heart of Mary



In the midst of the second world war Pope Pius XII put the whole world under the special protection of our Savior's Mother by consecrating it to her Immaculate Heart, and in 1944 he decreed that in the future the whole Church should celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is not a new devotion. In the seventeenth century, St. John Eudes preached it together with that of the Sacred Heart; in the nineteenth century, Pius VII and Pius IX allowed several churches to celebrate a feast of the Pure Heart of Mary. Pius XII instituted today's feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the whole Church, so as to obtain by her intercession "peace among nations, freedom for the Church, the conversion of sinners, the love of purity and the practice of virtue" (Decree of May 4, 1944).

Friday, June 3, 2016

June 3 - Sacred Heart of Jesus

"Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in the Holy Eucharist, I place my trust in you".

Thursday, June 2, 2016

June 2 - You are more beautiful than you think - 3 mins

In one of the most famous Dove films, Real Beauty Sketches explores the gap between how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. Each woman is the subject of two portraits drawn by FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora: one based on her own description, and the other using a stranger’s observations. The results are surprising…

Watch and see why...

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June 1 - Month of the Sacred Heart



The month of June is dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. This month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green.
This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward.

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of June 2016
Universal: That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 31 - Feast of the Visitation

The feast of the Visitation recalls to us the following great truths and events: The visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth shortly after the Annunciation; the cleansing of John the Baptist from original sin in the womb of his mother at the words of Our Lady's greeting; Elizabeth's proclaiming of Mary—under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost—as Mother of God and "blessed among women"; Mary's singing of the sublime hymn, Magnificat ("My soul doth magnify the Lord") which has become a part of the daily official prayer of the Church. The Visitation is frequently depicted in art, and was the central mystery of St. Francis de Sales' devotions.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Tribute

A tribute to the men and women who gave their lives fearlessly defending the freedoms we all enjoy. God bless them.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

May 29 - Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi (Body and Blood of Christ) is a Eucharistic solemnity, or better, the solemn commemoration of the institution of that sacrament. It is, moreover, the Church's official act of homage and gratitude to Christ, who by instituting the Holy Eucharist gave to the Church her greatest treasure. Holy Thursday, assuredly, marks the anniversary of the institution, but the commemoration of the Lord's passion that very night suppresses the rejoicing proper to the occasion. Today's observance, therefore, accents the joyous aspect of Holy Thursday.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 26 - St. Philip Neri

St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) was born in Florence and died in Rome. He lived a spotless childhood in Florence. Later he came to Rome and after living for fifteen years as a pilgrim and hermit was ordained a priest. He gradually gathered around him a group of priests and established the Congregation of the Oratory. He was a man of original character and of a happy, genial and winning disposition. A great educator of youth, he spent whole nights in prayer, had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and burned with an unbounded love for mankind. He died on the feast of Corpus Christi.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 24 - FEAST OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS

Wishing you a very Happy Feast of Mary Help of Christians.  May our Blessed Mother always watch over you.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 22 - Trinity Sunday

The fundamental dogma, on which everything in Christianity is based, is that of the Blessed Trinity in whose name all Christians are baptized. The feast of the Blessed Trinity needs to be understood and celebrated as a prolongation of the mysteries of Christ and as the solemn expression of our faith in this triune life of the Divine Persons, to which we have been given access by Baptism and by the Redemption won for us by Christ. Only in heaven shall we properly understand what it means, in union with Christ, to share as sons in the very life of God.
The feast of the Blessed Trinity was introduced in the ninth century and was only inserted in the general calendar of the Church in the fourteenth century by Pope John XXII. But the cultus of the Trinity is, of course, to be found throughout the liturgy. Constantly the Church causes us to praise and adore the thrice-holy God who has so shown His mercy towards us and has given us to share in His life.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

May 15 - Pentecost explained in Lego

After Jesus had ascended to heaven from Mt. Olivet, the apostles and disciples returned to the Holy City. They remained together in the Upper Room or Cenacle, the place where Jesus had appeared to them and which may well be called the first Christian church. About a hundred and twenty persons were assembled there. They chose Matthias as an apostle in place of the unhappy Judas; they prayed and waited for the Paraclete. Ten days had passed, it was Sunday, the seventh Sunday after the resurrection. At about nine o'clock in the morning, as they were together praying fervently, the Holy Spirit descended upon them. Note how all the great theophanies in Christ's life occurred during the course of prayer. After His baptism, for instance, when Jesus was praying the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove; likewise, it was during prayer at night that the transfiguration took place on Tabor. Surely too it was while Mary was praying that Gabriel delivered his message, and the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. Pentecost followed precedent. The small community of Christians had prepared themselves through prayer for the coming of the Paraclete.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

May 14 - St. Matthias

Mathias was one of the first to follow our Savior; and he was an eye-witness of all His divine actions up to the very day of the Ascension. He was one of the seventy-two disciples; but our Lord had not conferred upon him the dignity of an apostle. And yet, he was to have this great glory, for it was of him that David spoke, when he prophesied that another should take the bishopric left vacant by the apostasy of Judas the traitor. In the interval between Jesus' Ascension and the descent of the Holy Ghost, the apostolic college had to complete the mystic number fixed by our Lord Himself, so that there might be the twelve on that solemn day, when the Church, filled with the Holy Ghost, was to manifest herself to the Synagogue. The lot fell on Mathias; he shared with his brother-apostles the persecution in Jerusalem, and, when the time came for the ambassadors of Christ to separate, he set out for the countries allotted to him. Tradition tells us that these were Cappadocia and the provinces bordering on the Caspian Sea.

Friday, May 13, 2016

May 13 - St. Mary mazzarello

She was born in Mornese, to a peasant family who worked in a vineyard. She was the eldest of ten children of Joseph and Maddalena Calcagno Mazzarelli. When she was fifteen she joined the Association of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, run by her parish priest, Father Domenico Pestarino; it was a precursor to the founding of the Salesian Sisters.

The Daughters were known for their charitable works and Mary soon set herself apart for her sound judgment, dedication, joy, and love of the young. Wherever she went the village children were drawn to her like a magnet, eager to hear her stories, or to ask her a multitude of questions about the Christian faith.
When she was 23 a typhoid epidemic hit Mornese and villagers started rapidly dying. Soon her uncle and aunt were taken ill and Mary volunteered to care for them and their many children. After a week they were healed, but when she returned home Mary became ill with typhoid herself. She received the last rites of the Church and recovered, but the illness left her weak. The strength which had formerly sustained her in the fields was no more. Mary was now thin and frail; a shell of her formerly robust self.
Her practicality led her to find other means to sustain herself, so she took an apprenticeship as a seamstress in the town and worked diligently at the craft. Like John Bosco, the skills which she learned in her youth she was later able to pass onto those who would come after her. After she recovered from her illness, in the month of October, Mary was walking in her village and was suddenly astounded to see before her a large building with a courtyard and many girls playing and laughing. A voice said to her, “I entrust them to you.”
At the same time St John Bosco had a similar experience where he was shown a group of girls abandoned in a courtyard. The same voice said to him, “These are my daughters; take care of them.” Mary was to become the co-founder of a religious order to care for young girls, just as the Salesian priest and brothers cared for young boys.