Mary & the Saints

"The Virgin at Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Mary and the Saints are Powerful Intercessors

Last Tuesday was the Solemnity of All Saints, a celebration of those who have died and attained Heaven. We remembered those who are undergoing purgation on Wednesday—on All Souls Day. In the featured article by Dr. Marcellino D’ambrosia on All Saints Day, we read that God desires all of us to become saints. Today, I would like to look at the Catholic practice of […]

Holding Mary’s Hand in the Rosary

As Our Lady of the Rosary, Mary smiles at me the same way I smile at my seven-year-old struggling to learn to spell words and write sentences or my four-year-old beginning to form shapes and lines that make sense. She was given the title after appearing to Saint Dominic in 1208 in a church in Prouille, France. Later, in 1571, Pope Pius […]

"The Crowning of the Virgin by the Trinity" (detail) by Velázquez

Decoding the Woman of the Apocalypse

Who is the Woman of Apocalypse 12 Decoding the woman in 12 is not an easy task.[1 ] Although a strong Catholic tradition sees Mary in this woman who appears in heaven “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet” and wearing “a crown of twelve stars,” most Biblical scholars today rule out a Marian interpretation. Instead, they […]

Something for Everyone: Living the Dominican Four Pillars

  This past fall I was blessed to begin formation with my local Lay Dominican chapter, happily coinciding with the opening of the 800th Jubilee of the Order of Preachers. My husband and I count a few Dominican friars among our friends, but it wasn’t until I met sisters that I recognized my attraction to all things Dominican. As it […]

"The Piazza and Church of Santa Maria Maggiore" by Giovanni Paolo Pannini

Turning to Mary in Pain: Our Lady of the Snows

It was a special Christmas.  Our family, who lived fifteen hundred miles away, was coming to visit, and our almost-three-year-old daughter was beside herself.  Santa took a back seat to her cousins, and with good reason. We used the week together to make many memories and take hundreds of pictures.  I remember the look of wonder on my nine-year-old niece’s face […]

Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles

La Negrita, Costa Rica’s Our Lady of Angels

I don’t remember who it was who encouraged me to start talking to my guardian angel.  It was certainly after I became Catholic, because prior to that I would have laughed out loud in the face of such a blatant absurdity.  The only reason I was open to this idea of talking to my angel was because of a book […]

Our Lady of Consolation (cropped) -- By Ramon FVelasquez (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Cowgirl Mary, Complete with a Great Hat

When we first decided to take our oldest daughter to a nearby horse farm for a pony ride, we were both thinking it would just be a fun way to pass an afternoon.  We had no idea that it would bring us closer together as a couple, that it would turn into a destination for so many afternoons.  We would […]

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

“Flower of Carmel” — A Truly Beautiful Prayer

Every year on July 16, Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order.  If you want to know how we feel about Mary, our Mother, spend a few minutes reflecting on one of the most beautiful prayers ever written, the Flos Carmeli. Most of us pray—before meals, morning and/or night prayers, […]

"Our Lady of Carmel" (detail including Sts Teresa of Avila and Simon Stock) by Pietro Novelli

Humility in the Dirt with Our Lady of Mount Carmel

I think Mary must have been a gardener, and not just because it seems like a thrifty use of her first century time. I imagine her kneeling down, maybe using an old cloth to cushion her knees, and getting dirt under her fingernails. I think of her as a gardner throughout our human history too. A little trouble in France? […]

"The Holy Cave" where Our Lady of Covadonga appeared to Pelayo

Hope for the World: Our Lady of Covadonga

I never used to like history.  Then one of my best friends introduced my husband to a book that was more story than history book.  My husband read it in record time, which was remarkable given his limited reading time and his tendency not to read for pleasure.  On the other hand, I am a bookworm of addictive proportions.  My […]