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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HAIL, MARY, FULL OF GRACE: A New Look at the Annunciation

On March 25—exactly nine months before Christmas—the Catholic Church commemorates the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel appeared to a young Jewish girl and told her that God would like her to be the mother of the Savior.  “How can this be,” Mary responded, “since I know not man?”Contemporary artist John Collier tells the story of the Annunciation in a fresh way in this painting, which can be found in the narthex of St. Gabriel Catholic Church in McKinney, Texas.In Collier’s “Annunciati … [Read more...]

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The Exaltation of the Cross

On September 14, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Cross.This picture, the Exaltation of the Cross, is taken from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry)—the most important illuminated manuscript of the 15th century.Dating back to around 1410 A.D., the richly decorated book contains prayers to be said at each of the canonical hours of the day.  There are 416 pages in all, with 131 large miniatures as well as elaborately dec … [Read more...]

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