Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Lady of the Southern Cross

How — and why — do we celebrate Mary’s birthday?

The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8) is one of the most tender and natural feasts on the Church calendar. And although we date the liturgical feast to at least the sixth century, we can actually trace the celebration much farther back.  After all, don’t you think Jesus celebrated Mary’s birthday? Join Him in the […]

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

Daily Catholic Quote — St. Ephrem

A Daily Quote to Inspire Your Catholic Faith “Through Eve, the beautiful and desirable glory of men was extinguished; but it has revived through Mary.” (St. Ephrem the Syrian, Deacon and Doctor of the Church) The Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary is August 22. The Optional Memorial of St. Ephrem, Deacon and Doctor of the Church […]

Encountering the Word — Matthew 1:23

“Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emman′u-el” (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:23) Encountering the Word is your source for daily inspiration, encouragement, and guidance from God’s Holy Word in the Bible. Help spread the Gospel. Share on Facebook and other social media. Print this entry

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan —Christopher West

Overcome by Praise

Have you ever been in awe of how St. Paul and the early Christians could be singing songs of praise from prison (Acts 16:5)? Or how Daniel, after hearing that he was not to worship His God on pain of death, went to his home and facing Jerusalem, “…prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” […]

"The Assumption of the Virgin" (detail) by Guido Reni

Celebrating the Assumption of Mary

On August 15th of each Liturgical Year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the United States, the Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation unless it  falls on a Saturday or Monday, in which case the precept to attend Mass is abrogated: “Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, […]

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

Flower of Carmel

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, […]

The Annunciation (St. Gabriel and the Blessed Virgin Mary) by Paolo de Matteis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The First Disciple

The devotion of the Brown Scapular originates in the history of Our Lady of Mount Carmel when Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock in the 1200s presenting to him the scapular and promised: “This is a privilege for you and your brethren: whoever dies wearing it, will be saved.” This tradition falls within the context of our Catholic faith […]

St. Robert Bellarmine Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Robert Bellarmine

A Daily Quote to Inspire Your Catholic Faith “When we appeal to the throne of grace we do so through Mary, honoring God by honoring His Mother, imitating Him by exalting her, touching the most responsive chord in the sacred heart of Christ with the sweet name of Mary.” (St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor) The Optional Memorial of St. […]

"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo

The Ascension of the Lord and Our Mission

Years before that first Ascension Thursday, God entered into His own creation as the God-man, Jesus. He came as a humble babe, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. His birth took place in a stable that housed livestock. Little is recorded of His early years; He was a thirty-year-old when He began His public ministry. […]

"Adoration of the Magi" (detail) by Jan de Bray [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Epiphany—God Has Come for You

OUR SEARCH FOR GOD It is likely that each of us here actively seeks the Lord. Jesus instructs us to seek Him, saying, “Seek and you will find.” Man and woman’s search for God is a recurring story through the ages as we try to discover the meaning of our lives. While meditating on the Fifth Joyful Mystery of the […]