Tag: "saints"

A 10-Day Retreat with St. Francis de Sales
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A 10-Day Retreat with St. Francis de Sales

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Lift up Your Heart: A10-Day Retreat with St. Francis de Sales by Rev. John Burns (Ave Maria Press, 2017) is an updated version of St. Francis de Sales’ meditations, originally published in 1609. Fr. Burns discovered these meditations during a time of his own spiritual searching and seeks to share them with a new generation. […]

All Saints Icon (detail)
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Is Praying to the Saints Idolatrous?

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Praying to the Saints is the opposite of idolatry.

All Saints Icon (detail)
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Does Scripture Teach Us to Pray for the Departed, and to Pray to the Saints?

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Answer: Yes.

All Saints Icon (detail)
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Three Things You’re Probably Getting Wrong About Praying to the Saints

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The Saints in Heaven are living witnesses and members of the Church.

Book Review: <i>Seven Saints for Seven Virtues</i>
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Book Review: Seven Saints for Seven Virtues

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In our modern world, it can be extremely challenging to live a virtuous life. “The concept of virtue is often considered outdated and old-fashioned, but for Catholics, becoming virtuous is essential for eternal salvation.” What, then, can we do? Thankfully, we have saints we can look to as role models in virtue as we journey […]

Imitation of the Saints
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Imitation of the Saints

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One aspect of the Catholic religion that many non-Catholics don’t understand is our devotion to the saints.  Many of our ‘separated brethren’ can’t comprehend our veneration of the Roman Church’s holiest members.  Some think that we worship them and regard us as idolaters.  This isn’t true: we believe in one God which we profess every […]

Book Review: <i>Redeeming Administration</i>
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Book Review: Redeeming Administration

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With summer vacations winding down and the world getting back to the business of school and work, it is the perfect time to read Redeeming Administration: 12 Spiritual Habits for Catholic Leaders (Ave Maria Press, 2013). Author Ann Garrido serves as a program director at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Lewis. Having been […]

Book Review: <i>Therese, Faustina, and Bernadette</i>
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Book Review: Therese, Faustina, and Bernadette

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Elizabeth Ficocelli, raised as a non-practicing Lutheran,  did not become Catholic until she was preparing to marry her Catholic boyfriend, but even as a child, she felt that God was leading her to a special mission. To fulfill that mission, Ficocelli states that “God had in store for me amazingly heavenly helpmates who would be […]

Second Sunday of Advent: How's Your New Year Going?
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Second Sunday of Advent: How’s Your New Year Going?

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The Advent season includes the feasts of many popular saints, including St. Nicholas, St. Ambrose, St. Juan Diego, and St. Lucy.  As I mentioned in my post about St. Nicholas, I didn’t learn much about the lives of the saints until I was an adult. I recognized St. Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day because they […]

Obscure Medieval Saint Still Grants Baby Requests
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Obscure Medieval Saint Still Grants Baby Requests

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When I visited a fertility clinic for diagnostic tests a few years back, the place was packed to the gills. The nervous energy pulsed through the air as women considered investing their savings for treatments. But this isn’t just another infertility story. This one includes a miracle from an obscure Medieval saint: St. Leopold of […]

Book Review: <i>Sisterhood of Saints</i>
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Book Review: Sisterhood of Saints

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Are you in need of some daily inspiration? Do you love to learn about the saints? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then Sisterhood of Saints by Melanie Rigney (Franciscan Media, 2013) is a book you will want to keep close by. Rigney writes that researching all these women changed her life. […]

When a Saint Imitates a Saint
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When a Saint Imitates a Saint

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Throughout this Year of Faith it has become abundantly clear how important it is for each of us to live and to pray like Mary.  Why?  In the introduction to his October 1954 encyclical titled Ad Caeli Reginam, Pope Pius XII explains it this way: From the earliest ages of the catholic church a Christian […]

Remembering the Martyrs of Compiegne
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Remembering the Martyrs of Compiegne

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During the period between 1789 and 1799, France was deep in the throes of revolution with forces of change advocating for democratic reforms. With the downfall of the monarchy in 1792, the Committee of Public Safety became the governing body. From September 1793 – July 1794, France lived in the period famously known as The […]

The Life and Formation of Saint Thomas Aquinas
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The Life and Formation of Saint Thomas Aquinas

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Born in Aquino, Italy, in 1225, at “the Roccasecca, the castle whose name means ‘dry rock or fortress’”, Saint Thomas Aquinas is thought to have been “one of the most powerful thinkers in the history of Western civilization”.[i]  In 1231, Thomas was sent by his parents to the Benedictine abbey of Monte Cassino, “in the […]

Raising the Bar for Lent
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Raising the Bar for Lent

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Years ago, a local newspaper columnist praised the fare of TV prime-time viewing.  She supported modern examples of broken families as being the sitcom subject of choice.  Betty, the columnist, cheered the portrayal of brokenness in place of idealistic programs such as “Leave it to Beaver,”  “Father Knows Best,” or the “Brady Bunch.”  There were […]

Book Review: <i>My Sisters the Saints</i>
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Book Review: My Sisters the Saints

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“Is this all there is?” Colleen Carroll Campbell found herself asking that universal question midway through college.  Every generation needs to discover the role of faith in their lives and to seek answers to the hard questions such as the meaning of life and the role of suffering. While human nature may remain fairly consistent, […]

Silence Amid Chaos
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Silence Amid Chaos

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I attended a half-day Advent conference entitled The Silence of Mary.  The morning was a much needed retreat from the maddening rush and noise of a city caught up in pre-Christmas frenzy.  It was also the day after the horrific school shooting in Connecticut and the stabbing of 22 school children and one elderly woman […]

Images of Christ in the Modern Age
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Images of Christ in the Modern Age

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Now is as good a time as any to remind myself that the last couple centuries have not been all doom and gloom; that the saints of the Church are as numerous in the last few hundred years as they were in ancient and medieval times. Why do I say this?  Because I sometimes get […]

How God Makes Beauty from Barrenness
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How God Makes Beauty from Barrenness

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The weather was still chilly on the May morning when I found myself pacing in a northern-Wisconsin parking lot, trying to find a sweet spot in the gray sky overhead where my cell phone would work. My mother and I were traveling together, taking a break from visiting my grandmother in her Green Bay nursing […]

What Would Women Saints Say?
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What Would Women Saints Say?

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It’s busy season for debates over the role of women in Christianity. First, there was the so-called “war on nuns,” the high-profile skirmish between the Vatican and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Then followed Harvard divinity professor Karen King’s revelation of a now widely discredited papyrus suggesting that Jesus had a wife. Now comes […]

A Saint in the Making
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A Saint in the Making

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This week I’ve been reading about the “back stories” of the saints. It can be easy, sometimes, to think of holy people in two-dimensional, sanitized terms. Earthbound angels who floated through life, never contradicting, never offending . . . warm and appealing and endlessly agreeable. Yet “niceness” is not a theological virtue, and those who […]

When Life is Hard: Thoughts on Failure
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When Life is Hard: Thoughts on Failure

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Some days in life are just so stinkin’ hard. The most difficult part of hard days is the part I play in them. The failures that are mine, all mine. If I have twenty balls up in the air and manage to keep ten of them up, hoorah for me! But still I drop the […]

Saints are Back in Style
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Saints are Back in Style

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This month is a momentous one for saints in the Catholic Church. After naming two new doctors of the church this past Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI will canonize seven new saints on Oct. 21. Among them are Marianne Cope, a Franciscan sister who founded hospitals in New York before nursing lepers in Hawaii, and Kateri […]

Making a Mystic a Doctor of the Church
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Making a Mystic a Doctor of the Church

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With the October 7th announcement that Pope Benedict XVI will pronounce that 12th century German mystic St. Hildegard of Bingen is a doctor of the church—as well as announcing that same honor being bestowed upon St. John of Avila—there is a renewed interest in the understanding of “mysticism” with our church. The church’s history with mystics actually […]

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