Traditions surrounding Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra and “the real Santa Claus,” whose feast day is December 6, recall his legendary love for God, children, and the poor. Here are some ways to honor the memory of this ancient gift-giver, offsetting the commercialization of Christmas and re-centering the season’s true spirit on Jesus.
November 27th each year commemorates the manifestation of Our Lady’s Miraculous Medal. This sacramental, known and beloved worldwide, arose from the humblest of origins, in keeping with those of the Virgin whose image it bears.
Food always has been one of our basic necessities, but during these days approaching Thanksgiving, food takes on an even greater, more meaningful significance than usual. Shopping for and readying all the elements of the traditional holiday menu become matters of prime importance as we prepare to celebrate with family and friends. Read the rest…
Saint Francis of Assisi (1182 – 1226) – we know all about him. The gentle garden figure, bird perched on his shoulder, rabbits at his feet; the peace prayer hymn we sing at Mass; his Canticle of the Sun, praising God for all facets of Creation; the lover of poverty simply clad in a rough brown robe.
“O Jesus, my Love, my Life … I would like to travel over the whole earth to preach Your Name and to plant Your glorious Cross on infidel soil. But O my Beloved, one mission alone would not be sufficient for me. I would want to preach the Gospel on all five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles. I would be a missionary, not for a few years only but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages.” (Story of a Soul)
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.