It’s October: Do you know where your Rosary beads are?


About 20 hours from the time of this writing, The Year of Faith will be officially launched from Rome! Here at Patheos, we have something special planned -- and a Facebook page to keep you up-to-date on everything new, but more about that later. For now, a quick question: Do you know where your Rosary Beads are? Deacon Greg wants to know; I still have my first set. Do you? It was given to me as a first communion gift: simple black beads with a plain plastic cross. They're … [Read more...]

Mary’s Assumption Makes Sense in Light of Microchimerism


Whenever my younger son is particularly happy he lets out with a dazzling grin and it always thrills me, because I recognize therein my grandmother's smile. She died when I was ten years old, but practically at the moment of his birth, I recognized her distinctive mouth and smile in him. I frequently marvel at the fact that I see in him something of a person he never knew, and that in my grandmother, I'd been seeing a feature that likely belonged to some wild Scot that she herself never … [Read more...]

Hawaiian Folk Music, Crusades and Columns


Last night, my husband got home from an outing and watched The Descendents, starring George Clooney. Not really a Clooney fan, but he was very good, and the movie was engrossing. Hubby and I both wished that some religious perspective might have been introduced, but then that would have made it a completely different movie, so -- it is what it is. The reason I'm mentioning it at all, though is because we both commented, almost at precisely the same moment, that we were really enjoying the … [Read more...]

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

At the cross, her station keeping + + + + + + Mary’s role in the life of the church, in the Christian experience did not end with the deliverance of her placenta and the taking of her ritual bath. Rather, Mary – The Mother – walked with and monitored every part of her son’s life (as mothers do) and his ministry. Far from being a toss-off, a mere minor player in the story of Christ and the Christian experience, Mary’s life is as entwined with Christ’s at his death as it … [Read more...]

Most Excellent Vid on Mariology

Sent along by reader Vicki, who is not Catholic, this video is one of the best brief expositions I've ever seen on the theological role Mary plays in this whole pageant of salvation in which we live, and for which we seek understanding. It may seem a little long at 11 minutes, but it moves quickly and covers quite a lot of ground. Stick with it and enjoy! … [Read more...]

And now…Bernadette! And Adele!

Father James Martin graciously permits Patheos to excerpt a chapter of his wonderful book My Life With the Saints so that we can get to know St. Bernadette Soubirous, the unschooled French visionary who made the acquaintance of the Immaculate Conception: "In the Grotto of Massabieille" On a Friday evening during my first year as a Jesuit novice I wandered into the TV room to see what video was being served up. Television watching was a popular pastime for novices still on a $35.00 monthly … [Read more...]

"Hail, Full of Grace!" – UPDATED

The Annunciation by Waterhouse A little collection of links and videos appropriate to the Holy Day: Start with Deacon Greg, whose affection for Our Lady seems to have blossomed into one of his loveliest homilies: . . . one of the women said, “We’re Jewish, from up in Orange County, and we just don’t have anything like these [stained glass windows]. They’re just magnificent.” Well, she’s right. They are magnificent. But she was wrong about something else. The Jewish people do … [Read more...]

"Eve" by Madeleine L’Engle


Eve and Mary* by Sr. Grace Remington, O.C.S.O "Eve" When we left the garden we knew that it would be forever. The new world we entered was dark and strange. Nights were cold. We lay together for warmth, and because we were afraid of the unnamed animals, and of the others; we had never known about the giants, and angels gone wild. We had not been told of dwarves and elves; they teased us; we hid whenever they played. Adam held me. When my belly grew taut and began to swell I … [Read more...]

A Few Hours Off – UPDATE

15th-century Madonna Della Strada at Gesu One of our first stops in Rome was to Gesu, which was around the corner from our lodgings. I fell in love with this Madonna and Child. Amid all of the beauty of that church, and it is very grand and gorgeous, this simple image stood out. Our Lady of the Way, or Our Lady of the Road. With the liturgical year ending, the work (thankfully, blessedly) increasing, I realize I need to take a few hours away from the desk and the computer, so that I can get … [Read more...]

Full of Grace; a Gorgeous & Glorious Book

A while back I received a review galley of Judith Dupre's upcoming book, Full of Grace, Encountering Mary in Faith, Art and Life and although the proofs were in black and white, and there was no cover graphic, I could tell this book was going to be a substantive exposition on Mary in all of the ways we understand her, and a feast for contemplative eyes, as well. Full of Grace will be released on November 2, but today I was lucky enough to find it in my mailbox, and all of my expectations were … [Read more...]