Today, the Church recalls this sobering truth: the life of Mary of Nazareth, although filled with many joys, was underscored with sorrows beyond our imagining. Traditionally, the list of the Sorrows of Our Lady is comprised of seven.
Oh, what joy in heaven on that day!
On the Franciscan calendar, August 2nd marks a very special Marian feast day, one which commemorates the remarkable connection between Our Lady of the Angels and Saint Francis of Assisi. The story behind this connection is well worth telling.
Our heavenly Father knows well how to delight His creatures’ human senses. This is never more evident than in spring, when nature, God’s own handiwork, surrounds us not only with the beauty of plants in full flower, but also with their aroma. Hyacinth, lavender, lilac, and sweetpea are just a few of the many varieties that fall into this fragrant category, blossoming at various times during the months of spring.
The beauty of the month of May is reflected not only in nature but also in its dedication to Our Lady and in recognition of our earthly mothers. Additionally, it is the traditional time of great rejoicing as colleges and universities across the country celebrate commencement ceremonies.
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As a Lieutenant in the U. S. Navy Chaplain Corps, Father Vincent Capodanno finally reached a much-anticipated goal, arriving in Vietnam during Holy Week, 1966. While he couldn’t know it at the time, stepping onto Vietnamese soil initiated his journey to his own personal passion, his own way of the cross, at the same time that the Passion of Jesus was being commemorated.
As a devout Jew and a man of deep faith, Joseph of Nazareth would have been highly familiar with the Scriptural promises of a Messiah. While he surely prayed for His coming, the humble carpenter never could have foreseen the crucial role he himself would play in the daily life of this Messiah for whom he longed.
“Then I said, ‘Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips’…Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with it. ‘See,’ he said, ‘now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.’” (Isaiah 6:5 – 7)