Veils over sacred images keep our minds on the promise of Easter. It seems strange that during the most sacred time of year Catholics cover everything that is beautiful in their churches, even the crucifix. Shouldn’t we be looking at the painful scene at Calvary while we listen to the Passion narrative on Palm Sunday? Veiling… Continue reading Why do Catholics cover crucifixes and statues during Holy Week?
The Catholic Church has been very clear on where your Guardian Angel receives its name. In recent years it has been popular among many Christians to either name your Guardian Angel, or pray a novena to discover its name. This devotion often has miraculous stories attached to it, where people claim that they discovered the… Continue reading Should you name your Guardian Angel?
The history of Lent is complex, as it took many centuries to develop before it became what it is today. Was the season of Lent always 40 days long? Were the apostles the ones responsible for establishing it? If not them, who did? During the first few centuries of the Church, Christians were often persecuted… Continue reading What was Lent like in the early Church?
The number 40 has deep biblical roots. Each year the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church celebrates Lent with 40 days of prayer and fasting before the great celebration of Easter. This number is very symbolic and has deep ties to multiple biblical events. Number 40 in the Bible The first mention of… Continue reading Why does Lent last 40 days?
Full Question: Are there sins that cannot be pardoned? ANSWER: “but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.” Mark 3:29. IMPLICATION: The above texts are words of Christ on this subject, showing that there are “Unpardonable sins”, which are sins against the Holy… Continue reading Are there really sins that cannot ever be pardoned?
These are the events in Joseph’s life that led him to rejoice. A devotion connected to the 7 Sorrows of St. Joseph, the 7 Joys of St. Joseph, reflects upon those happy events in his life that led him to rejoice. The tradition stems from a popular story about two Franciscans who were caught… Continue reading What are the 7 Joys of St. Joseph?
This devotion recognizes seven events in Joseph’s life that were difficult for him to endure. Many Catholics are familiar with the 7 Sorrows of Mary, a devotion honoring particular events in Mary’s life that caused her suffering, but few know about a similar devotion for St. Joseph. Read more: How to pray the Chaplet… Continue reading What are the 7 Sorrows of St. Joseph?
While the prayer is essentially straight from the Bible, Christians did not put the two verses together until the 11th century. In the Gospel of Luke, we find the two principal verses that make up the frequently used “Hail Mary” prayer. The first part of the prayer is derived from the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel… Continue reading When did Christians start praying the Hail Mary?
Ashes have a long tradition in the Catholic Church, finding its roots in the Old Testament. Ash Wednesday in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church is focused, not surprisingly, on the imposition of ashes on all the faithful who attend Mass or a prayer service. This ceremony is relatively brief, but has rich symbolism that… Continue reading What is the symbolism of ashes on Ash Wednesday?
St. Luke the Evangelist is described as a “physician” and used medical terms in his Gospel. Credited as writing one of the four Gospels, St. Luke is often described as a the patron saint of doctors and physicians. Why is that? Traditionally, St. Luke is believed to be a “physician,” according to the practice of Greek… Continue reading Was St. Luke a medical doctor?
It is both a novena prayer and a physical relic kept in a church in Rome. One of the most popular devotions to St. Joseph is called the “Holy Cloak Novena.” It consists of a series of prayers said for 30 consecutive days, in memory of the 30 years that some believe St. Joseph… Continue reading What is the Holy Cloak of St. Joseph?
Art tells one story, history says another. Often certain biblical phrases don’t get translated very well. Take for example the common translation of Matthew 13:55. The people of Nazareth question Jesus’ divine power by asking, “Is he not the carpenter’s son?” This is, of course, in reference to Joseph, who is traditionally known as… Continue reading What did St. Joseph actually do as a carpenter?
His departure is known as the perfect example of a “happy death.” Little is known factually concerning the life of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus. He is mentioned only a few times in the Gospels, and never says a word. However, most biblical scholars believe Joseph died prior to Jesus’ crucifixion. This… Continue reading How did St. Joseph die?
Was he an old widower or a strapping young man? We don’t hear much about St. Joseph in the Bible. He is simply described as the “husband of Mary,” a “carpenter,” and a “just man” in the Gospel accounts. Neither his age nor his death is ever mentioned in Scripture. However, various traditions help… Continue reading How old was St. Joseph when Jesus was born?
Full Question What are some examples of venial sins? Answer The Catechism describes two main types of venial sin. First, one commits venial sin when “in a less serious matter [than mortal sin], he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law” (CCC 1862). In other words, if one does something… Continue reading What are some examples of venial sins?
The main sources of our familiar artistic depictions of St. Joseph are, interestingly, not canonical. The Patron of the Universal Church is barely mentioned in the Gospels. In fact, John and Mark do not mention him at all, and Luke only refers to St. Joseph twice –once in Jesus’ genealogy, to establish his belonging to… Continue reading Why is Saint Joseph depicted as an old man in art?