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We are Called Like St. Timothy to Proclaim the Gospel

St Timothy the disciple

Today, January 26, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of St. Timothy with Saint Titus. Saint Timothy was a disciple who was a friend and companion of St. Paul and traveled with Paul on his journey across Europe and Asia. In the second letter of St. Paul to Timothy, St. Paul refers to him as “his dear child” as he recalls the sincere faith of Timothy, and encourages him to continue to bring the spirit of God to the disciples. Paul also recognized Timothy for his knowledge of the Scriptures. St. Timothy was consecrated as bishop of Ephesus by St. Paul in 65 AD and served as a bishop for 15 years. St Timothy died as a martyr defending his faith and preaching the gospel of Christ. He was stoned to death when he attempted to stop the pagans from processing in worship of idols.

Reflection: St. Timothy exemplifies the response of God’s call to service and to spread the Gospel. He was a witness of the Christian faith who gave his life for Christ and The  Church. He knew God through his study of Scriptures and proclaimed the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. As St. Paul states in 2 Tm 1:7 “for God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power and love and self control.” Let us also live the Gospel proclaiming God’s Word in power and love and self control. It is fitting that we remember this wonderful saint in prayer and seek his intercession as we wear a lovely St Timothy saint medal

Bio: Marianne Buzzelli is a Catholic writer and owner of Holy Cross Necklaces which sells fine cross necklaces, saint medals, rosaries, Christian rings, religious statuary, Catholic books, and more.

 

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The Story of Our Lady of Lourdes

By Marianne Buzzelli

Our Lady of Lourdes appeared to Bernadette Soubirous on February 11, 1858 in the Grotto of Massabielle, in France. Bernadette was on her way to fetch fire wood and came to a narrow stream. As she approached the stream she heard the sound of wind, but when she looked around she saw that the trees and bushes were not moving. When she looked up to the grotto she saw a bright light and a beautiful Lady in white above the rock in the grotto. She fell to her knees, reached into her pocket, took out her rosary and began to pray. Looking up Bernadette saw the Lady with yellow roses at her feet and holding a rosary which she was praying. The Lady, Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, asked Bernadette to continue to come to the grotto, and she did. Each time more people followed her there. On February 25 the Lady instructed Bernadette Soubirous to dig a hole and drink the water that came from it. Hundreds of people watched as she drank the muddy water from the hole. By the next day water flowed from the hole that she had dug. And, on March 1, a woman drank water from the new spring and was cured of paralysis. Multiple miracles occurred as people continued to drink water from the new spring where the Lady had Bernadette dig the hole. Our Lady continued to appear to Bernadette at the grotto for a total of 18 times and numerous miraculous healings were reported. The request of Our Lady of Lourdes to Bernadette and all the pilgrims was to offer penance and   pray the rosary.  A shrine and a basilica have been constructed at the grotto and millions of pilgrims visit this shrine in France; many in search of the miracle of Lourdes. Thousands of miraculous spiritual and physical healings have been reported. Lourdes is the most visited shrine in the world.

Reflection: It is fitting that we celebrate this special feast and honor Mary’s love and grace under this marvelous title of Our Lady of Lourdes. Let us follow the request of Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes and offer penance and pray the rosary for increased holiness and the salvation of souls.

Bio: Marianne Buzzelli is a Catholic writer and owner of Holy Cross Necklaces which sells fine cross necklaces, saint medals, rosaries, Christian rings, religious statuary, Catholic books, and more.

 

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St Francis Speaks About Prayer

by Marianne Buzzelli

In the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order St. Francis exhorts his Franciscan brothers and sisters to have “prayer and contemplation be the soul of all we are and all we do”.

So how do we accomplish this? St. Thomas of Celano and St. Bonaventure describe Francis’ great zeal for prayer and how Francis would go off to be alone in his prayer, just as Jesus often did during his ministry.

St. Thomas of Celano said “… The man of God, who was already holy because of his holy intention, was accustomed to enter the cave, while his companion waited outside, and inspired by a new and extraordinary spirit he would pray to his Father in secret. He acted in such a way that no one would know what was happening within. Wisely taking the occasion of the good to conceal the better, he consulted God alone about his holy purpose. He prayed with all his heart that the eternal and true God guide his way and teach him to do His will. He endured great suffering in his soul, and he was not able to rest until he accomplished in action what he had conceived in his heart. …”

St. Bonaventure, presented this description of the constant, deep prayer of St Francis,
“The servant of Christ knowing that he was in his body a pilgrim and an exile from the lord, had already become, for the charity of Christ wholly insensible to the desire of earthly or exterior things, lest he should remain without the consolation of true love; and so praying without intermission he endeavored to keep his spirit in the continual presence of God. And great, assuredly, was his consolation in prayer, while he contemplated the whole circle of the mansions of the angels, with whom he was already a fellow citizen, and with fervent desires sought his Beloved, from whom he was only divided by the wall of the flesh. And this prayer was also a great help to him in all his works, wherein he distrusted his own endeavors; and trusting wholly in prayer, rested all his thoughts upon the Lord.” We hear in these words also how Francis desired so much to know and live totally within the Divine Providence of God, how he prayed without intermission, and of his union with Christ, his beloved.

Of all of the writings by the friends of St Francis describing his method of prayer the one that is most indicative of his life was written by Thomas of Celano, the first biographer of St. Francis. He said this about Francis and his life of prayer: “He does not so much pray, as he becomes himself a prayer”.

Reflection: St Francis was a saint known to be closest to union with Jesus and His cross. He even carried the stigmata, the wounds of Christ on his body which he offered for souls. He was united to Jesus in his work for the poor, his life devoted in imitation of Christ, and his constant prayer. He truly radiated Christ to all who encountered him. How wonderful that it seems that St Francis not only accomplished the mission we are all given on earth – to know, love, and serve God totally, accepting the Divine Will of God. But, he also seemed to have accomplished our eternal goal of union with God. For St Francis united every action and thought to the will of God in imitation of His Divine Son, Jesus. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to follow the example of St. Francis in conforming ourselves to Jesus in such a way that we too may not only have a life of deep prayer, but become a living prayer. You can learn more about the life and prayer of St. Francis as you listen to The Little Flowers of St Francis. This wonderful collection of stories on 4 CDs will truly inspire your prayer life.

Bio:  Marianne Buzzelli is a Catholic writer and owner of Holy Cross Necklaces which sells fine cross necklaces, saint medals, rosaries, Christian rings, religious statuary, Catholic books, and more.

 

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The Baptism of Our Lord

Solemnity today – January 9, 2011

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord by St. John the Baptist in the Jordan River. On this occasion we again see the manifestation of Jesus in His humanity and divinity. We hear The Father’s voice from heaven announce Jesus as His Son and the descent of the Holy Spirit above Jesus in the form of a dove, as we hear in today’s Gospel of Mark 1: 9-11,  “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove;  and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”

 It is at this scene of the baptism of Jesus that we are witness to the Blessed Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And, at the moment of His baptism by water His mission as The Messiah (anointed one) was revealed. We hear in Acts 10:38, “ God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power”.  God the Father did the anointing of Jesus, the Son, with the Holy Spirit.

Reflection: On this day in which we commemorate the baptism of Our Lord we also reflect on the significance of our own baptism. It is in the sacrament of baptism that we are reborn into the life of Christ and His Church and we are forgiven of original sin, we receive sanctifying grace, and we become temples of the Holy Spirit. What a glorious event to recall the date on which we became united with Christ. And, as we journey here on earth we strive to remain united with Christ in a state of sanctifying grace, to know Him in prayer, to develop a deeper relationship with Him, and to radiate Christ to the world. We can pray to the Blessed Trinity and commemorate the life of Jesus as we pray the life of Christ on this beautiful Gold Amethyst Swarovski Crystal Rosary.

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The Epiphany of The Lord – The 3 Magi Visit The Infant Jesus in Bethlehem

Feast day January 6

Today we commemorate and celebrate the day on which the 3 magi or 3 kings traveled from the Orient, following a star to Bethlehem to give homage to the newborn king. Sacred Scripture tells us that the 3 kings brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to honor Our Lord.

Church Fathers tell us that these gifts have symbolic meaning in addition to the expression of honor. The gold symbolized Our Lord’s earthly rule as a king. The frankincense symbolized His divinity as the incense would rise to heaven in prayer, acknowledging Him as God. The myrrh symbolized that one day he would die. Myrrh was used for the anointing of Jesus’ body after His death.

The observance of the feast of the Epiphany was first recorded by Ammianus Marcellinus, a fourth-century Roman historian. It was also the significance of this feast day is God being manifested as a human child, that is, the mystery of the incarnation.

Reflection: We commemorate the event in history in which Our Lord Jesus was acknowledged as king and God and first presented with precious gifts. Thus, it is a day in which we all contemplate that we also are to give our gifts to Our Lord. Christ has given us the most precious gifts of life, grace, and eternal salvation. What gifts will we give Him? He asks us to give him our lives, our families, our relationships, our fear, our joy, our trust, our acceptance of His Will, and most of all our love. What a wonderful way to honor the Infant Jesus in prayer before a beautiful Infant of Prague statue.

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Honor Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on the Feast of the Holy Family

 

Today we celebrate the feast of The Holy Family in which we honor Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Veneration of the Holy Family was recorded in history to have begun in the 17th century by a Canadian bishop, Francois de Laval. And, the feast day was dedicated to the Holy Family in 1893 by Pope Leo XII.

It is most fitting that we honor the most perfect of all families and to do so within the octave of the birth of Jesus, our Savior. We honor Mary who gives us the example of perfect love and whose heart is most like that of her Son, Jesus – meek and humble. We honor Joseph, who was chosen by God to be the foster father of Jesus because of his tender heart and great humility. Both Mary and Joseph, with great faith, responded to their call to be the parents of Jesus and to guide Him during his childhood.

Reflection: Let us pray to The Holy Family and ask them to guide our family and keep us on the path to holiness.  Dear Holy Family help us love one another more, and help us to build peace within our family.  And, Jesus, let us see You in each other everyday.  And, we can express our devotion and honor for the Holy Family as we display this beautiful Holy Family Figurine.

 

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St. John Instructs Us to Walk as Christ Walked

St. John the evangelist surely tells it as it is. I love this quote from the second letter of St. John, chapter 2, verses 3-7  “And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He who says “I know him” but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him;  but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him:  he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

How many of us represent ourselves as followers of Christ, Christians, religious, or even holy. And, yet, as St. John so correctly states, if we say we know Christ but, fail to love our neighbor, we are liars. For, to know Him is to be united with Him. And, we cannot be united to Christ if we do not love unconditionally all of those who God has placed in our lives. St. John further explains that we abide in Him and His commandments when we walk as He walked. In walking as He walked we understand that we are to live in service to our neighbors, perform acts of love and mercy.

What a wonderful word of instruction St. John gives us in the first reading of today’s liturgy as he reminds us to obey God’s commandments, walk as Christ walked, and  then find the love for God perfected in us. Let us express our love for dear St. John the evangelist who was so loved by Jesus as we wear a beautiful St. John saint medal.

 

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St. Lucy – Virgin and Martyr

St. Lucy was born in Sicily of noble parents in 283 AD. Her father died at a young age and she was raised by her mother, Eutychia. She was a devoted Christian and consecrated herself to God in a pledge of virginity. She desired to devote her life and all of her belongings to the poor. Her mother, however, betrothed her to marry a pagan man. Lucy refused to marry him. In his anger the pagan man informed the Roman governor Paschius that Lucy was a Christian. Paschius had her sentenced to a brothel. However, Lucy retained her virginity and refused to cooperate with the demands of the brothel to make her act as a prostitute. She was given the strength by God which allowed her to withstand their attempts to move her. In their anger, Lucy was sentenced to death. She escaped death by burning, but was finally killed by the sword as a martyr and virgin.

There are additional writings which indicate that Lucy also endured additional torture prior to her death for refusing to lose her virginity. As she was a woman of great beauty and recognized for her beautiful eyes, the governors’ men tortured her by gouging out her eyes. But, God performed a miracle and restored her eyes.

St. Lucy was added to the Canon of The Mass in the 6th century by Pope Gregory the Great as a great virgin and martyr saint. She is often pictured holding a tray with her eyes on it. She is the patron saint for vision and disorders of the eyes. Her feast day is Dec. 13.

 

For Reflection: St. Lucy exemplifies the great love that the saints have for God. They are willing to endure pain, torture, and even death to live according to His commandments and His divine will. Let us strive to imitate the great love and fortitude of St. Lucy as we follow God’s will for our lives. And, you can express your faith, devotion, and love for St. Lucy as you wear this beautiful St. Lucy saint medal.

 

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St. Andrew Christmas Novena to Obtain Favors

Infant Jesus

The St. Andrew Christmas Novena is named for the date on which it begins every year –  the Feast of St. Andrew the apostle, November 30. It is a petition to God in honor of the birth of His Son, Jesus, Our Savior. It is piously believed that whoever faithfully recites this novena 15 times per day from November 30 until Christmas Day will obtain a request that is asked.

This novena was given the Imprimatur by Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York, 1897

 

St. Andrew Christmas Novena Prayer to Obtain Favors:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment

In which the Son of God was born

Of the most pure Virgin Mary,

At midnight, in Bethlehem,

In the piercing cold.

In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God

To hear my prayer and grant my desires,

Through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ,

And of His Blessed Mother.

Amen.

 

For Reflection: Advent is the season to prepare for the coming of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is very fitting that we praise and bless the moment of the birth of Jesus – the most holy of all moments in the history of mankind, with this special prayer every day of Advent until Christmas. And, as we commemorate this special moment of the birth of Jesus in prayer daily, we humbly hope that God will answer our petition. As you pray this Christmas Novena in petition and as a commemoration of the birth of Jesus how wonderful to look upon a beautiful Infant Jesus figurine.

 

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St. Leo The Great

Feast Day:      November 10

St. Leo the Great was Pope from 440 – 461. He was born and lived in the city of Tuscany, Italy. During this period Europe and the Catholic Church were under attack both physically and spiritually. The great Roman Empire was now being attacked and overrun by Attila the Hun. After conquering and destroying much of northern Italy, Attila marched toward Rome expecting to conquer that city as well. However, he was met by Pope St. Leo the Great who persuaded him to withdraw and leave the city of Rome unharmed. And, 2 years later Pope St. Leo was able to negotiate and prevent another attack by vandals and protect the city of Rome.

Beyond his leadership and negotiation skills, the greatest accomplishments by St. Leo the Great were the many wonderful writings he contributed as one of the early Church Fathers: 143 letters and 96 sermons.  The most popular of these was the Tome which declared the doctrine of Incarnation, defining at the Council of Chalcedon, in 451, that Jesus Christ is one Divine Person with two complete natures – a human nature and a divine nature.

He was named declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIV. And, he actively fought against heresies which were threatening The Church of the 5th century, among them was the heresy of Pelagianism which denied original sin and Christian grace. It was through his great writings and his leadership that he was able to significantly impact the direction and acknowledgement of the role of the papacy as head of the Church.

For Reflection:  St. Leo the Great exemplifies the response of a holy person to the call which God gives to each of us at Baptism – to know God, love God, and serve God. We know God as we see and hear Him in His Word (the written Word of The Gospel and The Word made flesh in Jesus, His Son). We love God in His creation – every person and creature. We serve God as we love and serve His creatures –  everyone we encounter each day (our family, friends, neighbors, strangers, the poor, homeless). And, God asks us to proclaim His Word and His love to all the world.

You can express your love and devotion to your Christian faith, the saints, and St. Leo the Great as you wear a lovely   St. Leo saint medal.

Bio: Marianne Buzzelli is a Catholic Secular Franciscan, writer, and entrepreneur, dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ and to the love of Jesus, Mary, our saints, and The Church.

 

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