The Catholic Church encourages us to build a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and live out the gifts of the Holy Spirit through a spiritual movement known as the Charismatic Movement. When the Holy Spirit came to the disciples during Pentecost, he presented gifts that they could use for sharing the good news of salvation and building the Kingdom of God.
For those born Catholic, images of Christ’s crucifixion and death are not pleasant to look at or to think about. Many adults and young people alike find the fact that Jesus’ death and suffering was actually a victory over Satan. How can being scourged and dying in such a horrifying manner be considered a victory?
When people talk about Holy Week, the days that come to most people’s minds is Good Friday, Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. However, Catholics should be aware that it comprises of more days than that. This day, Maundy Thursday, is an excellent example.
Catholics from all corners of the globe each have their own unique customs and places of worship as they celebrate Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. Today, let us explore their cultural traditions and see how our brothers and sisters in different countries share our faith.
In Catholic Tradition, there is more to St. Joseph than his mere presence in the Nativity Scene. His story and his saintly virtues also go beyond the story of Christmas. He is a role model of Christian Fatherhood in the face of today’s many modern adversities.
Out of the Church’s many saints, St. Patrick is one of the few who have also attained the status of historical legend and national icon. He is also a great example of a dedicated missionary who, above all else, put the spread of Christ’s message as his only purpose in life.
Although, Martin Luther King Jr. may be the most famous of all people to advocate for the plight of minorities in the United States, he wasn’t the first. Nearly a century before the civil rights movement, there was Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People.
St. Sebastian is a very popular patron saint as he is the patron saint of Athletes and Soldiers. Due to his unwaiving commitment to Christ and the courageous way he faced his martyrdom, he serves as an example of true love of God. He is usually depicted standing in front of a tree with an arrow pierced through him.
We are part of God’s spiritual family but this does not make us perfect or immune to our sinful nature. Our rights and responsibilities as Catholics guide us in how we express and exercise our faith in the world.
Let us look at what the first two great commandments are and what they mean:
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton married a wealthy businessman and was mother to five children. When her husband passed away she established a school in Boston, Massachusetts, to educate her children. She also opened a Catholic girl’s school in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the patron saint for Loss of Parent or Child.
There are many Catholic symbols that we can use in our everyday lives to remind us of our faith. Some choose to wear religious items for this purpose and one of the most popular example is the four and five way medal. These devotional medals are beautiful proclamations of our devotion to God.
We pray for Saint Lucy’s intercession in our lives for the preservation of the light of our eyes. She’s the patron saint of the blind and visually impaired.
Saint Juan Diego is the patron saint of Americans and Natives. Juan Diego was a married farmer with no children. He converted to the Faith at an older age. He is most known for his vision of Our Lady in a small town north of Mexico City. She left behind an image that became known as Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Saint Juan Diego is the patron saint of indigenous peoples. He is not just recognized as the first Roman Catholic indigenous saint from the Americas, he is well known for having seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary four times. We celebrate his feast day every year on December 9.
Families often have traditions that capture their faith in God and cultivate their love for one another. These include special gatherings on religious holidays like Christmas, Easter, and All Saints’ Day. Traditions, ideally, should focus on values and relationships rather than material things. Parents can use these traditions as teachable moments to highlight Catholic faith and values.