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Behind the Catholic Counter

8 Things You May Not Know About Good Friday

8 Things you may not know about Good Friday

It is Good Friday. The day of the Crucifixion. If you haven't seen the movie The Passion of Christ, we recommend it as a solemn preparation for the Good Friday Stations and Service. Here are eight bits of history and tradition about this most somber of days on the liturgical calendar.

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Who is the father of modern education?

Jean Baptiste de La Salle

Also known as the “father of modern education,” Jean Baptiste de La Salle was born at Reims in April, 1651 to a wealthy French family. He was deeply involved with his Catholic faith early on: at age eleven he received the tonsure (the shaving of some or all of the hair off the scalp as a form of religious devotion or humility) and became the Canon of Reims Cathedral at sixteen. De La Salle was ordained a priest when he was 27 and then received a doctorate in theology two years later.

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A rose vestment by any other name… What is Laetare Sunday?

Laetare Sunday

“Laetare” comes from a line in the Latin liturgy for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, "Laetare Jerusalem" which means, “Rejoice, Jerusalem!” Since the fourth Sunday falls toward the middle of Lent, it’s a day set aside as “Laetare Sunday” to remember the joy that is coming on Easter Sunday. Once upon a time, the pope would bless golden roses at this time of year, which were sent to Catholic heads of state; that’s where the tradition of rose vestments seems to have originated. Many a priest wishes they had gone for the gold, but they didn’t. Sorry, guys.

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What Does the Annunciation Mean for You?

Is the Annunciation an isolated incident, something that happened to our Blessed Mother Mary and that we acknowledge once a year in celebration? Or is the message of the Archangel Gabriel and the response given by the young virgin to whom he brought it intended to speak to us even today?

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Reclaiming Liturgical Days: St. Patrick’s Day

There are a number of well known holidays that have their roots in our rich Catholic faith. Many of these holidays are celebrated differently in our modern day culture than the true Catholic roots would suggest they be celebrated or honored. St. Patrick's Day is one such holiday. While St. Patrick's Day is most well-known in our current culture for a day of drinking and frivolity, that is most certainly not the true importance of the day. As we form our families and raise our children, let us do our best to reclaim these important Catholic days and return them to their original glory.

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Who Remembers Ember Days?

Ember Days

After the Second Vatican Council, it wasn’t uncommon to hear people say, “We don’t do that anymore”—a common response based on the erroneous assumption that Vatican II threw out just about everything in favor of Latin-free liturgies and statue-free churches. That wasn’t the case, but it is definitely true that, in Catholicism, there are devotional practices that have fallen in and out of fashion over the centuries. One such concept—Ember Days.

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3 Tips for Evangelizing Like Saint Patrick

How to evangelize like Saint Patrick

Some people say that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. But wouldn’t it be great if everyone were like St. Patrick on St. Patrick’s Day? If instead of, “Hey! Let’s find a bar and have a few beers!” we’d say, “Hey! Let’s find a bar, buy a round for some people and talk to them about Christ and His Church.”

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Four ways to live like Saint Frances of Rome

Four ways to live like Saint Frances of Rome

We all know the current Francis of Rome. But before him, there was a “Frances” of Rome. She was an uptown girl of noble birth—a holy girl, wholly unimpressed by her position. She wanted to devote her life to Jesus Christ.

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