Tagged: Catholic spirituality

Saint Lucy’s Feast Day: Prayers and Traditions

December 13th is the feast of Saint Lucy (283-304), a noblewoman who was born in Syracuse, Italy, during the Diocletian persecution. She made a vow of virginity and distributed her wealth to the poor. This generosity angered the pagan youth to whom she had been unwillingly betrothed and who denounced her to Paschasius, the governor of Sicily. When it was decided to violate her virginity...

Our Lady of Guadalupe: Herald of Hope for Our Nation

Image: The Virgin of Guadalupe On December 12, we celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe — one of my favorites Marian feast days. Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, brings hope into our lives. She covers us in the folds of her heavenly mantle and cradles us in her arms. Mary is the Mother who tenderly consoles us and protects us from evil. She...

Saint Nicholas: The Real Santa Claus

On December 6, the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Nicholas, the real Santa Claus. He was a priest and bishop acclaimed for his charity and his love of children and the poor. Saint Nicholas was born during the fourth century in Patra, a village on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an...

Five Favorite Advent Hymns to Celebrate the Season

While the world around us celebrates Christmas, as faithful Catholics, we live out the Advent season in our lives. We put up the Advent wreath, pray more fervently, and perform extra acts of  spiritual and corporal works of mercy. This year, I want to focus on the beauty of the Advent season and prepare for the coming on Christ at Christmas. One way to do...

Saint John Damascene: Doctor of Christian Art

December 4th is the feast of Saint John Damascene, Patristic Father and Doctor of the Church. Saint John Damascene (also known as St. John of Damascus) was born In Damascus, Syria around 676 AD into a rich family and spent the early years of his adult life serving as the official representative of the Christian community to the Muslim Caliph. He later abandoned this political...

Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle

On November 30, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, who was the first of the twelve apostles to be called by Christ. He is the patron saint of: Scotland, Russia, Barbados, Ukraine, Sicily, Greece, Cyprus, and Romania. In addition, he is the patron of: fishermen, gout, sore throats, unmarried women, and women who wish to become mothers. The symbol for St....

St. Andrew’s Christmas Novena begins November 30

Image: Adoration of the Child – Gerard van Honthorst During Advent, one Catholic tradition is to pray the St. Andrew Christmas novena. The feast of St. Andrew, which takes places on November 30, marks the end of the liturgical year and the beginning of a new year with the start of Advent. In fact, the Sunday that falls nearest to St. Andrew’s feast day is always...

St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions, Martyrs

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Andrew Dung-Lac, priest and martyr, and companions. This group of 117 Vietnamese martyrs were canonized on June 19, 1988 by Pope John Paul II. St. Andrew Dung-Lac, whose name was originally Dung An Trân,was born about 1795 in a poor and pagan family in Bac-Ninh in North Vietnam. When he was twelve the family moved to Hà-Nôi...

A Simple Prayer for Thanksgiving

Dear Lord, today we thank You for Your many blessings and gifts to us. We thank You for the precious gift of family and friends — for all those who are here with us today and those who are far away. Let us never take them for granted, but help us to show our love and for them daily through our words and actions. Thank...

Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

November 21 is the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrates the fact that the parents of Our Lady brought her to the Temple and handed her over to live there for a long period as a virgin consecrated to the Temple, contemplating God exclusively. Also known as the Dedication of the Blessed Virgin Mary,...