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Behind the Catholic Counter

The Third Day of Christmas – Feast of St. John the Evangelist

Saint John the Evangelist

Who was Saint John the Evangelist? December 27th is the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, frequently referred to as “the Beloved Disciple” in the Gospels. He was one of the first disciples called by Christ and is considered the author of the Gospel of John, at least the first of the Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. He …

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The Second Day of Christmas – St. Stephen’s Day

Saint Stephen

Who was Saint Stephen? St. Stephen was the first martyr in the Church and is the patron saint of deacons. Dissatisfaction concerning the distribution of alms from the community's fund having arisen in the Church, seven men were selected and specially ordained by the Apostles to take care of the temporal relief of the poorer members. Of these first seven …

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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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Our Lady of Guadalupe Holds a Secret

Our Lady of Guadalupe Holds a Secret

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” Revelation 12:1 (Entrance Antiphon for Our Lady of Guadalupe) The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on the cloak of Saint Juan Diego on December 12, 1531. That the picture is still perfectly preserved nearly 500 years later is a testament to its miraculous origins.

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The Immaculate Conception: Patron of the US

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

OnThe Immaculate Conceptions December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX promulgated the infallible dogma of the Immaculate Conception. This ex cathedra statement made official the eternal sinlessness of Mary, showing that from the moment of the creation of her soul she was granted a unique grace from God to be excluded from the stain of original sin, enabling her to carry Jesus Christ in her womb.

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Saint Nicholas – History and Traditions

Saint Nicholas

The legendary figure of Santa Claus originated at least partially from the myths surrounding Saint Nicholas of Myra (or of Bari), who lived during the fourth century and died December 6, 345 or 352. While there are a great many miracles and events attributed to St. Nicholas, almost all that is known with certainty about him is that he was …

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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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Christ the King Sunday

Why we celebrate Christ the King

Christ the King Sunday, the final Sunday of the Liturgical year, is a feast day that focuses on the authority of Christ. While the problems our world faces today differ from the particular events that inspired Pope Pius XI to establish this feast in the 1920s, his message and call to honor Christ the King in a society that denies the authority of Our Lord is no less pertinent now than it was then.

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Top Ten Advent Songs

Top Advent Songs

The season of Advent is fast approaching, but outside the Church, almost no one will notice. Before Thanksgiving dinner is even digested, we will be inundated with Christmas sales, Christmas TV specials, and of course, Christmas music. We’ll hear plenty of renditions of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and White Christmas. If we’re lucky we’ll get some religious …

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