Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas and Star of the New Evangelization.

Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church,
who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection,
hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust,
and present it to your Son Jesus, our sole Redeemer.

Mother of Mercy,
Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice,
to you, who come to meet us sinners,
we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love.
We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys,
our infirmities and our sorrows.

Anniversary of Fulton Sheen’s Death

Fulton Sheen Memorial GraphicToday marks the 38th anniversary of the death of the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, one of my spiritual fathers and patron of this website, whose cause for canonization has unfortunately been suspended.

I would invite you to join me in praying fervently for his cause to be reopened. I believe that many more souls would be saved as a result of this great apostle being raised to the altars.

Prayer for the Canonization of Fulton J. Sheen

“Heavenly Father, source of all holiness, You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication. You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton J Sheen. He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people.

If it be according to Your Will, for the honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls, we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Immaculate ConceptionToday is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, which celebrates one of the great (and oftentimes misunderstood) mysteries of our faith, namely, that the Virgin Mary, from the moment of her conception, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin. This  Marian dogma was infallibly defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854:

We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful.”

– Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus

Here are a few informative videos clips which discuss the Immaculate Conception. Enjoy!

“Secrete Santa”

Handpainted Manna Bottle, Bari image St. Nicholas Center Collection

Handpainted Manna Bottle, Bari image
St. Nicholas Center Collection

You’re probably wondering if the title of this post contains a typo. It doesn’t. I’ll explain why in a moment. As many of you know, today is the feast of St. Nicholas, the fourth-century Greek Bishop of Myra in Lycia (part of modern-day Turkey) who in the United States and other parts of the world has become identified with Santa Claus.

In the last few days, in anticipation of his feast as well as Christmas, a number of bloggers have commented on the many fantastical legends associated with this most beloved saint, most of which are apocryphal. However, there is one little-known fact about old St. Nick that I think you will find fascinating: The bone relics of St. Nicholas secrete manna.

St. Nicholas died December 6, A.D. 343 in Myra, and his bones were later transferred to a tomb in Bari, upon which the Cathedral of St. Nicholas was built. From the time of his death to the present day, an oily substance, known as the manna of St. Nicholas (Manna di S. Nicola), which is highly valued for its medicinal powers, is said to come forth from them.