Mary & the Saints

"The Temptation of St. Anthony" - by Lucas van Leyden
(detail; click for full image)"The Temptation of St. Anthony" - by Lucas van Leyden (detail; click for full image)

The Real St. Anthony

January 17 is the Memorial of St. Antony, Abbot (A.D. 251-356). St. Athanasius (A.D. 296-373) is the great Church Doctor who stood against the world in defense of the “Trinitarian doctrine, whole and undefiled” thus earning the title “contra mundum.” He battled the Arian heresy as fearlessly and steadfastly as his mentor St. Anthony (A.D. 251-356) lived out the devout […]

"Childhood of Christ" (detail) by Gerrit van Honthorst"Childhood of Christ" (detail) by Gerrit van Honthorst

Good Saint Joseph Can Turn Up Anywhere!

One day about seven years ago my friend Lisa noticed something strange poking up in her yard. She bent down and took a closer look and decided she should dig it up to find out what it could be. To her surprise it was a statue of Saint Joseph the Worker who had been buried face down! Yes, she was […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Is Mary God’s Mother?

Each January 1st (on the Octave of Christmas), the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  I receive more comments and questions from non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, about the Church’s Marian practices and teachings than just about any other topic. Some want to know where we can find these teachings in the bible. Some even suggest that Catholics pay […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Knowing Mary Through the Bible: Mary’s Question — a Vow?

“How can this be since I do not know man?” (Lk. 1:34) Mary has only one question for the angel Gabriel. And it’s a question that provides a beautiful window into Our Lady’s unique spiritual life, but one we might overlook if we don’t read the Annunciation account carefully: Mary says to the angel, “How can this be since I […]

"The Virgin in Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato"The Virgin in Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato

The Truth About Mary

by Sister Sophia, OCD Our Lord entrusts each of us into the care of the most blessed of all women—Mary, His mother. Sammy was a playful boy, like most of the five-year olds in my kindergarten classroom. Almost three feet tall with dark, dark eyes and dark, dark hair, Sammy possessed a smile that radiated from his soul. He came […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

The “Problem” with Praying to the Saints

At one time in my life I viewed Christians as shallow people blindly following silly rules. As I was to discover, these perceptions were not only wrong, they were worlds away from reality. The root cause of my misconception was my confident ignorance. Until I allowed Christians to speak to me and define their faith in their words, I was unable to get anywhere […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

Do Catholics Really Pray To Mary and the Saints in Heaven?

I overheard a conversation after a morning bible study at my parish about praying to Mary and the Saints.  It went something like this (names changed)… “Thanks so much for inviting me, Beth. You have a wonderful group here. I have a question, though. I hope it doesn’t offend you, but being non-Catholic, I just don’t understand this praying to […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

The Problem with “Praying to Saints”

At one time in my life I viewed Christians as shallow people blindly following silly rules. As I was to discover, these perceptions were not only wrong, they were worlds away from reality. The root cause of my misconception was my confident ignorance. Until I allowed Christians to speak to me and define their faith their words, I was unable […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

A Constellation of Saints

There are as many saints as there are stars in the sky… The night sky in its magnificent beauty has beckoned to me ever since I was a small child. At night, especially on a summer’s night, I would slip away and sit on our front porch, or better still, I would lie on the grass and just look up […]

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

“Flower of Carmel” — One of the Most Beautiful Prayers Ever Written

Every year on July 16th, 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 […]