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Yearly Archives: 2016

The Fifth Day of Christmas – Feast of St. Thomas Becket

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, the Catholic Church remembers St. Thomas Becket, the other Thomas who was martyred for the Catholic Faith in England by a king named Henry over matters of Church governance.Thomas was born in London on the 21st of December in either 1117 or 1118 to Gilbert Becket and Matilda Roheise. His parents were buried in …

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The Feast of Saint Lucy

Saint Lucy

According to tradition, St. Lucy was born near the end of the 3rd century in Syracuse, Sicily, to a Roman father (who would die while she was quite young) and a Greek mother, Eutychia. The traditional stories describe the family as wealthy and connected to nobility, but from an early age the pious Lucy hoped to devote all her time and worldly goods to doing God's work and helping the poor.

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Not Everyone Can Be A Missionary. St. Francis Xavier had what it takes.

Not everyone can be a missionary. St. Frances Xavier had what it took.

Today is the Feast of Saint Francis Xavier! Known as perhaps the greatest missionary since Saint Paul, Saint Francis was one of the founders of the Society of Jesus, along with Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and spent a great deal of his life in India and the Far East, including Japan, China, Indonesia, and the islands of the Indian Ocean.

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An Irreverent History of Christmas Cards

An Irreverent History of Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards, official items printed with a Christmas message and sent to wish others a "A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.", were first printed in England in 1843 making them as old as the opera Don Pasquale, the United Free Church of Scotland, the British colony of Natal, a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and your grandmother's fruit cake.

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Advent Symbols and Celebrations – Part I

Traditions of Advent Part 1

Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and of hope, a preparation for the coming of the Messiah. The word Advent comes from the Latin advenio, meaning "to come to,"; it refers to the coming of Christ. Here are three expressions of piety to help us get ready this season.

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Start the Oplatki Family Christmas Tradition

Start the oplatki tradition in your family

Among Catholic families in Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, the start of the traditional Wigilia (Christmas Eve Vigil) meal begins with the Oplatki, Oblatky, or Plotkele, a thin Communion-like rectangular wafer made of unleavened bread and stamped with different Christmas symbols. Some families call it the “bread of Love” and it is widely known in English-speaking countries simply as the Christmas wafer. Some eastern German families are also known to use a wafer called Opladen in their Christmas cooking.

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You aren’t getting the most out of Advent.

Advent Reading Essentials

In modern society, the Advent season has come to be treated as no more than the shopping and baking period between Thanksgiving and Christmas morning. While there is of course nothing wrong with either shopping or baking, it is important to take time to remember the meaning and significance of this liturgical season. It is a busy time of year, to be sure, but with a concise, yet insightful Advent meditations book every one can, and should, take a little time each day to pray and reflect on the deep meaning of the Advent season – in regards to both preparing for the anniversary of Christ’s birth and preparing for Christ’s second and final coming.

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Oh, When the Saints

Communion of Saints

From the earliest days of the Church, Christians venerated martyrs on the anniversary of their deaths by celebrating Mass on their tombs. Over the next few centuries relics began to be transferred between dioceses and memorials for several martyrs were celebrated in common. During the persecutions of Diocletian in the early 300s so many Christians were killed that it became impossible to create separate memorials for each so joint memorials became common.

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Caught! Trying to get martyred by Moors

Teresa of Avila

Today is the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila! A very well-known saint and a Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa is perhaps most famous as one of the co-founders of the Discalced Carmelites, along with Saint John of the Cross and her many books, including The Interior Castle. However, she was alive during a very tumultuous period of history, and had a much more colorful life than many realize:

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