Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Saint Valentine's Day!

In 270 A.D. Emperor Claudius issued an edict forbidding marriage because he believed that married men made poor soldiers, not wanting to leave their families to go to battle. Bishop Valentine disagreed with the emperor and invited young lovers to come to him in secret to be married. When Claudius found that he was performing secret marriage ceremonies, he was incensed. He had Valentine seized and brought before him. When Valentine refused to change his views and renounce Christianity, he was put in prison to await execution. In February of 270, Valentine was clubbed, stoned, and then beheaded.

Tradition tells us that while Valentine was in prison he corresponded with those under his care by sending little letters and love notes to those in his parish. He would always close his letters with the signature, “From your Valentine”.

Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all!

May the LORD bless you and keep you!
May the LORD let his face shine upon you,
and be gracious to you!
May the LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!
-Numbers 6:24-26

 Blog submitted by Bart Tesoriero

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12

Our Lady of Guadalupe

When the Spanish conquistadors came to Mexico in the 1500’s, they found primarily indigenous peoples who worshiped their own gods, even to the extent of human sacrifice. The Franciscan and Dominican missionaries had great difficulty winning souls to Jesus, partially because of the poor example of the Spanish soldiers.

Juan Diego was an Aztec Catholic living near Mexico City. Juan’s birth name was Cuauhtlatoatzin-the Talking Eagle. As he walked the seven miles to Mass on the morning of December 9th, he heard a voice calling to him. He looked up to see a beautiful young maiden dressed as an Aztec Princess appearing in a golden beam of light. The beautiful lady said she was the Virgin Mary, Mother of God. She requested Juan to have the bishop build a church on the hill of Tepeyac, so she could show God’s compassion through her to his people.

Juan related the request to Bishop Juan de Zumárraga. Somewhat skeptical, the bishop asked for a sign. The next morning, Juan took a different route, trying to avoid the lady until he could get a priest to administer the last rites to his dying uncle. Suddenly the Virgin Mary appeared, asking him, “Juanito, why are you walking this strange way?”

With tears streaming down his face, Juan told the beautiful lady of his dying uncle. She smiled at him and tenderly told him he had nothing to fear, as God would cure him. She then directed Juan to pick lovely red Castilian roses which miraculously bloomed that cold December day on the hillside. Amazed, Juan picked the roses. The beautiful lady then kindly arranged them in his tilma, and told him to show them to no one but Bishop Zumárraga.

The Bishop’s staff tried to discourage Juan from his mission, even attempting to see what he guarded so carefully in his tilma. However, he courageously stood his ground and insisted he must see the bishop. Finally the bishop himself came out to see what was the matter. When he saw the bishop, Juan knelt humbly before him.

“Here is the sign you requested,” Juan said, letting the roses fall from his tilma.

But the bishop and his shocked attendants looked beyond the roses. To their surprise and wonder, the image of a beautiful Aztec Lady was imprinted on the tilma! Falling to his knees, Bishop Zumárraga accepted the sign and fulfilled Mary’s wish by building a church in her honor, where her image was enshrined.  

In the next decade, eight million Indians converted to Jesus because of this lovely lady who looked like them. They realized that God, who is not a respecter of persons, loved them as much as the European Spaniards, and that His Son had died for them as well. And from then on Our Lady of Guadalupe, “La Alma de la Gente”, took her rightful place in the souls of her children.

In 2002 at the canonization of Saint Juan Diego, Pope John Paul II declared Our Lady of Guadalupe the Patroness of both continents of the one America.

Felicidades y Feliz Navidad!

By - Bart Tesoriero, Author/Editor, Aquinas Press

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy All Saints Day!

Today the Church honors all the Saints who live now in heaven with Jesus, His Father and the Holy Spirit.

The earliest observance of this day was a commemoration of “all the Martyrs” in the fourth century. Later, when Christians were free to worship according to their conscience, the Church acknowledged other paths to sanctity besides dying for the Faith. In the early centuries the only criterion for sainthood was popular acclaim, even when the bishop's approval became the final step in placing a commemoration on the calendar. The first papal canonization occurred in 993 AD; the lengthy process now required to prove extraordinary sanctity took shape over the past 500 years. Today's feast honors the obscure as well as the famous—the saints each of us have known.

“After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands....
One of the elders said to me, ‘These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’”

-Revelation 7:9, 14

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

An adorable new toy for Catholic kids!

An Ark with five animals that make noises: 

The giraffe crinkles, lion rattles, monkey squeaks, parrot squawks, and elephant trumpets.

Kids love it!

Noah's Ark Plush Playset 

Includes a coloring sheet 
Surface Washable 
Plush 11" L

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi
Feast Day: October 4

Patron of Animals and All Who Care for the Earth

Saint Francis was born as the son of a wealthy merchant in Assisi
in 1182. He loved to sing songs and party with his friends. 
One day, Jesus spoke to Francis from the crucifix in the tiny
chapel of San Damiano. He said, “Go, rebuild My Church.”
Francis fell in love with Jesus. He gave away his rich clothing and
wore a simple robe. He cared for the sick and needy. He taught
that everything God made, like the sun, the moon, the animals
and plants, is good. God wants us to take good care of our earth.
Captivated by his sincerity and fervent heart, men and women,
 began to follow Francis.Together they cared for others, 
especially the poor, and began to spiritually rebuild the Church.

The pope blessed Saint Francis and his followers.Saint Francis 
prayed and preached much. He was the first person in history 
to receive stigmata—the wounds of Jesus,
and died with the words, “Welcome, Sister Death!”

Prayer to Saint Francis for the Care of our Earth

Dear Saint Francis, you loved Jesus with all your heart. You
allowed Him to live His life through you. Please bless all who
care for others as you did. Bless those who care for the earth and
all God’s creatures. Help us to love one another. Amen.

Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us

-Bart Tesoriero

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Day by Day with Pope Francis

Start each day with an inspiring 

quote from Pope Francis!

Day by Day with Pope Francis features selections from the homilies, public addresses, letters and other writings of the Holy Father addressed to the world since the beginning of his papacy. These quotations offer words of hope, comfort, inspiration, courage,and incentive.

Day by Day with Pope Francis will help remind you of Gods great love and mercy,
 and of his desire to be in friendship with you....

This calendar on your desk or night table will give you the chance to meditate 
on his words and internalize his message each day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Dear friends,

Today, May 13th, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Here is the story:

On May 13th, 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three little shepherds in the village of Fatima, Portugal. Seven-year old Jacinta, her nine-year-old brother Francisco, and their ten-year-old cousin Lucia were tending their sheep in a field called the Cova da Iria. Suddenly they saw a bright flash of light. A beautiful Lady, dressed in white and gold, appeared on a cloud over a small oak tree. A golden cord hung around her neck. Her hands were joined in prayer and she held a pearl rosary.

Mary told the children that she had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child in our century. Coming at a time when civilization was torn asunder by the untold violence of World War I, Mary promised that Heaven would grant peace to the entire world if her requests for prayer, reparation, and consecration were heard and obeyed.

Mary explained that war is a punishment for sin. She warned that if people continued to disobey God’s Will, they would suffer consequences of war, hunger, and persecution of the Church. She also prophesied that Russia would “spread her errors” of atheism and materialism across the earth. Our Lady of Fatima repeatedly emphasized the necessity of praying daily, especially the Rosary, of wearing the Brown Scapular, and of performing acts of reparation and sacrifice. She also promised a sign on October 13th as proof of her messages.

A heavy rain fell all night and into the morning as a great crowd of more than 70,000 people gathered at the Cova on October 13th, 1917.  The Lady appeared to the children for the last time, more radiant than ever. “Her face was brighter than the sun,” said Francisco. “I am the Lady of the Rosary,” the Virgin Mary said. “I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not continue to offend Our Lord, who has been so deeply offended. They must pray, especially the rosary.” She said that if people amended their lives, the war would end soon. She then left the children, raising her hands toward the sky.

Someone cried, “Look at the sun!” The children looked up and saw Mother Mary with Saint Joseph and the Infant Jesus. They saw Jesus blessing the people. Meanwhile, the people were able to look at the sun without hurting their eyes. It appeared as a silver disc, and began spinning in the sky. As it danced, it cast off great shafts of colored light which flashed and fell upon the sky and the earth. Men and women fell to their knees and prayed as brilliant colors fell on the trees and stones. Suddenly, the sun began to zigzag! It started to fall like a wheel of fire upon the people. They cried out in fear and asked Jesus and Mary to save them. After a few moments, the sun returned to its place. The people rejoiced and praised God for the “Miracle of the Sun.”

On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot in the chest and in the abdomen at point blank range in St. Peter’s Square. He credited his miraculous escape from death to the intervention of Our Lady of Fatima. One year later he traveled to Fatima, and placed the bullet in the crown resting upon the statue of Mary there. He said, “One finger fired the bullet, but another guided its path.”

Less than 7 years later, the Berlin Wall fell without a bullet being fired, and Communism collapsed across the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.