Category Archives: Saints

St. Patrick’s Day Dispensation

Just a reminder: Taken from – The Daily Vine

“This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Lenten Friday. After consideration of the traditions often related to this festive holiday, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo is granting a dispensation of abstinence from meat on March 17 for local and visiting faithful in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Cardinal DiNardo is asking Catholics who are required to abstain from meat on Friday to do an extra act of charity or penance in exchange for eating meat.”

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!

Elizabeth Seton had no extraordinary gifts. She was not a mystic or stigmatic. She did not prophesy or speak in tongues. She had two great devotions: abandonment to the will of God and an ardent love for the Blessed Sacrament. She wrote to a friend, Julia Scott, that she would prefer to exchange the world for a “cave or a desert.” “But God has given me a great deal to do, and I have always and hope always to prefer his will to every wish of my own.” Her brand of sanctity is open to everyone if we love God and do his will.

Feast of the Holy Family

This year, since there is no Sunday within the octave of Christmas (since Christmas itself fell on a Sunday), the feast of the Holy Family is celebrated on December 30.

Coming as it does just a few days after the feast of the Nativity, it is no great surprise that the vast majority of the imagery associated with the Holy Family over the centuries depicts the family during the infancy of Jesus.  Certainly there is nothing wrong with this, but I do wonder whether or not these kinds of images are actually helpful to the majority of families who might want to look to the Holy Family for inspiration and strength in their daily lives.  Infancy, after all, is but a short time in the life of a family.

Holy Family with Jesus as an infant

During the time of the Catholic Reformation, when devotion to St. Joseph increased, a smaller but significant collection of religious imagery began to depict an older Jesus apprenticing at woodworking under the tutelage of Joseph. Sometimes the the Holy Family is completed with Mary present, engaged in some other form of labor.  As beautiful as some of these images are, and as helpful as they are in reminding us of the dignity of labor, they do not, however, depict the Holy Family engaged as a family in a family activity per se.

Holy Family at work

It is therefore with great interest that I contemplate this early 17th century image of the Holy Family.

Artist: Callot, Jacques (French, 1592 – 1635) Title: The Holy Family at Table (Le Bénédicte) c. 1628 etching and engraving 1969.15.106 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Here, for a change, we have an image of a family engaged together in a family activity – a meal, perhaps a Sabbath meal – with Jesus a child but no longer an infant. Each family member is present and engaged in common activity. There is an explicit evocation of the Paschal mystery in the caption, which translates to: “Come dear boy, drink the cup, another awaits you that will not fall from your hand except in death.”

On this feast of the Holy Family, may families all over the world come to realize that it is within their daily lives as families that they are called to holiness and that the Holy Family is not just for Christmas cards, but can be source of inspiration and grace in their ordinary family lives.


Saturdays: In Honor of the Virgin Mary

mary solemnity

Historical Background of the Saturdays in Honor of Mary

“To dedicate Saturday in honor of Mary is an ancient custom.  It is based on a legendary account that Jesus appeared to Mary on the Saturday, the day after His death.  He did so to reward her for her steadfast faith in His divinity, which did not waver under the Cross.  Another strain of devotional thought explains that Divine Wisdom, becoming flesh of the Virgin Mary, rested (Saturday=Sabbath=day of rest) in Mary as on a bed.

‘One of the oldest customs traced to honoring Mary on Saturday in the Church of Rome took place on the Saturday before “Whitsunday” [White Sunday].  The newly-baptized members of the Church were led from St. John’s baptistry of the Lateran to Mary’s great shrine on the Esquilin, St. Mary Major [built under Pope Liberius 352-66].  St. John of Damascus’ († 754) writings testify to the celebration of Saturdays dedicated to Mary in the Church of the East.  The liturgical books of the ninth and tenth centuries contain Masses in honor of Mary on Saturday.”

Excerpt taken from:  You can go to this University of Dayton website for more information on this and other Marion days.