His Name Is John: Happy Birthday, John the Baptist!

When the time  arrived for Elizabeth  to have her child she gave birth to  a son. Her neighbors and  relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced  with her. When they came on  the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to  call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother  said in reply, “No. He will be  called John.” But they answered  her, “There is no one  among your relatives who has this name.” So they made  signs, asking his … [Read more...]

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The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Where Did That Devotion Come From?

Today, nineteen days after Pentecost, the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. But where did that tradition originate?Devotion to the wounded heart of Jesus has its origins in the eleventh century, when pious Christians meditated on the Five Wounds of Christ.  There grew up among the faithful  prayers to the Sacred Heart, prayers to the Shoulder Wound of Christ—private devotions which helped Christians to focus on the passion and death of Christ, and thu … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis Gets a White Rose of His Very Own

Visitors to the Vatican Gardens and the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo will soon enjoy the fragrance of roses. Two French rose growers have come together to cultivate a new variety of white rose, which they have named "Pope Franciscus" in honor of the pontiff. Croix Dominique and Jacques Ranchon, horticulturists from Bourg-Argenal in the Loire region, developed the new rose. The breeders then sought permission to name the rose in honor of Pope Francis. In March 2014, they sent a … [Read more...]

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