Today we celebrate the birth of our Holy Mother, Mary! We don’t usually celebrate the birthdays of the saints but rather we celebrate the day they died, because that is the day they were born into the joys of heaven. But the birth of Mary, our Blessed Mother, is special. We celebrate her birthday because she came into this world full of grace and because she was to be the Mother of Jesus. If we have Mary, we have Jesus. Whoever is very faithful to her is very close to the heart of Jesus. We honor Mary’s birth and life as the new Eve and co-redemptrix in our salvation history.
I found out about a great devotion to “Maria Bambina” or “Baby Mary”. In Milan there is a beautiful image of the Infant Mary referred to as “Maria Bambina”. A Franciscan nun made the statue out of wax sometime before 1730. She later gave it to others and after passing through many hands it was finally given to the Sisters of Charity in Lovere, Italy. In 1876 they brought it to their motherhouse in Milan (where it has stayed ever since). By this time, the statue had become worn and gray.
Happy Labor Day! Well, it’s the last day of summer vacation and I am a little sad. So, I decided I wanted to start a new tradition…it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I finally got around to doing it this year!
I made the (little) kids Schultuetes!
The tradition of the Schultuete or “school cone” dates back to 1810 and is one of the most celebrated and long-standing traditions in Germany. At the beginning of every school year, children all over Germany set off to their first day of school with their Schultuete filled with little gifts, school supplies and sweets.
They loved them! Now we are ready to start the new school year! 🙂
God gave us marriage and defined it. Now the Supreme Court re-defines marriage and we’re supposed to accept it as “The Law of the Land”.
County clerks refusing to accept this as law and denying marriage licenses to same sex couples are being told to resign or face penalties. The truth is they should be supported by state officials and applauded by God-fearing Americans.
I want to put this in perspective, on several levels: Continue reading
September is the month of Our Lady of Sorrows. We remember Mary’s suffering and broken heart as she watched her son mocked, beaten, scourged, and put to death. She is our model for uniting our suffering to Christ on the cross. This month would be a great time to practice the Seven Dolors Devotion.
Seven Sorrows of Mary:
- The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34-35)
- The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
- The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:45-51)
- Mary meets Jesus Carrying the Cross (Luke 23:27-31)
- The Crucifixion (John 19:25-27)
- The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross (Luke 23:50-56)
- The burial of Jesus (Mark 15:46-47)
St. Augustine was born in Tagaste in modern Algeria. He was the son of St. Monica and as mentioned in my post yesterday spent many years living an unholy life, yet he was one of the most intelligent persons who ever lived. Monica prayed daily for her son’s conversion.
After finishing school, Augustine went to Milan and became a professor. Augustine often listened to the sermons of Ambrose which had a great impact on him. Finally, he was convinced that Christianity was the true religion. Yet he did not become a Christian right away because he thought he could never live a pure life. One day, he read the life of St. Anthony of the Desert which is a story about two men who had suddenly changed and became good Christians. He went to the garden and prayed to be free from his sins and he heard a child’s voice chanting, “Take up and read.” Thinking that God wanted him to hear those words he opened his Bible and read the first thing his eyes fell upon, Romans, chapter 13. Paul says to stop living bad lives and live like Jesus. It’s what Augustine needed! Augustine then gave up his life of sin and began a new life.
St. Monica is a patron saint for mothers and wives. As all mothers know, raising kids can be tough. And as Catholic moms one of our primary goals should be to raise our kids to be saints. We teach our children to pray, to follow the commandments, to go to church on Sundays and Holy Days, and to receive the sacraments. We hope that by leading by example and instilling the faith in our kids they will continue on that path as they get older. But that doesn’t always happen. And once they grow up and become adults they may go astray. So, the best thing to do…PRAY! St. Monica knows all about that and that is why she is such a great saint to turn to when you feel like you need a shoulder to lean on…she’s been there and done that…but she never gave up!
St. Monica was born in the year 332 in Tagaste, North Africa. She had a conversion experience at a young age and lived a life of virtue. Her parents gave her in marriage to a non-Christian man, Patricius. Patricius was not a great husband. He came home drunk every day and had a violent temper and Monica was often the victim of his anger. And he was unfaithful. Monica’s life was full of trials but she endured her trials with patience and kindness. She prayed daily for the conversion of her husband. Her patience and strong faith paid off and Patricius accepted the Christian faith a year before his death. He admitted that he admired her strong faith and it was her ongoing kindness towards him that changed him.