In her own life Mary experienced the coming of Angels as messengers from God and helpers on earth. She did so first during the Conception and Infancy of her Son Jesus. At the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel announces to her that she will be the Mother of the Messiah who will be the Son of God. In the light of the knowledge that Angels were from God, she believes the Angel’s message and consents to become the mother of God’s Son.
She then hears from Joseph of the messages he receives via the Angel of the Lord concerning her mode of conception and, later, the way to outwit the wicked Herod. At the Visitation, Mary meets her cousin Elizabeth who also benefited from an Angelic mission. After the birth of Jesus, shepherds, alerted by an Angelic choir come to meet the Child and to tell Mary and Joseph what had been told to them about Him. “Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart” (Lk 2: 19 f) – including the appearance of the Angels!
Mary was also familiar with Angels by the fact that Jesus alluded to them at various times in his preaching. In addition to having intimate dealings with the Angels (Mt 4:11; Lk 22:43), Mary’s Son mentioned them as real and active beings.
He showed that they watched over human beings and always view the face of His Father (Mt 18:10), which no human can do. Moreover, their life escapes subjection to the flesh (Mt 22:30).
They are at Christ’s service, and He can demand their intervention during the time of His Passion (Mt 26:53). They will also be the executors of the Last Judgement (Mt 13: 39, 49; 24:31), and they always share in the Divine Joy when sinners repent (Lk 15:10). Hence, Mary was well versed on the subject of Angels.
The above post is an Excerpt from the book Dictionary of Mary
This is an interesting book that is equal to a short summary about the Blessed Virgin Mary!
Written by foremost Marian scholars, it defines very simply yet lucidly the most important Catholic teachings about Mary.
This book is truly indispensable to all who sincerely desire a better understanding of Our Blessed Mother and who wish to derive the benefits accruing from true devotion to her.
Find out more: Dictionary of MARY
The Psalms have a strong attraction – to believers and non believers alike – because they reflect our deepest experiences as human beings. They are full of the highs and lows of everyday life, the triumphs and losses, our strengths and weaknesses, the beautiful and the painful. They also point to our human search for a merciful and loving God.
Praying with these ten Psalms of Mercy will help us come more deeply into God’s presence and reveal God’s mercy and tenderness for each one of us.
The Psalms of Mercy is one of a series of eight books, the official catechetical resource for the Jubilee of Mercy created by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization at the request of Pope Francis.
As Pope Francis says, we are, as a Church, called to “echo the word of God that resounds strong and clear as a message and a sign of pardon, strength, aid, and love.” These books are a guiding light for individuals and parishes to answer that call.
St. Benjamin, Martyr (Feast Day – March 31) The Christians in Persia had enjoyed twelve years of peace during the reign of Isdegerd, son of Sapor III, when in 420 it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of Abdas, a Christian Bishop who burned the Temple of Fire, the great sanctuary of the Persians. King Isdegerd threatened to destroy all the churches of the Christians unless the Bishop would rebuild it.
As Abdas refused to comply, the threat was executed; the churches were demolished, Abdas himself was put to death, and a general persecution began which lasted forty years. Isdegerd died in 421, but his son and successor, Varanes, carried on the persecution with great fury. The Christians were submitted to the most cruel tortures.
Among those who suffered was St. Benjamin, a Deacon, who had been imprisoned a year for his Faith. At the end of this period, an ambassador of the Emperor of Constantinople obtained his release on condition that he would never speak to any of the courtiers about religion.
St. Benjamin, however, declared it was his duty to preach Christ and that he could not be silent. Although he had been liberated on the agreement made with the ambassador and the Persian authorities, he would not acquiesce in it, and neglected no opportunity of preaching. He was again apprehended and brought before the king. The tyrant ordered that reeds should be thrust in between his nails and his flesh and into all the tenderest parts of his body and then withdrawn. After this torture had been repeated several times, a knotted stake was inserted into his bowels to rend and tear him. The martyr expired in the most terrible agony about the year 424.
Considered by some historians to be the founder of the Carmelite Order. He was born in Limoges, France, and proved a brilliant student at the University of Paris. Ordained a priest, Berthold joined his brother, Aymeric, the Latin patriarch of Antioch, in Turkey, on the Crusades.
During this time he had a vision of Christ denouncing the evil ways of the soldiers. At the time, there were a number of hermits from the West scattered throughout Palestine.
Some accounts hold that in 1185 he came to Mount Carmel, built a small chapel there, and gathered a community of hermits who would live at his side in imitation of the prophet Elijah.
This community has been thought to have given rise to the Order of Carmelites, but this is not supported by evidence and is discounted by historians of the Order. Berthold lived out his days on Mount Carmel, ruling the community he had founded for forty-five years until his death in 1195
Source: Catholic.org, Wikipedia
St. Margaret Clitherow, a woman of great beauty and zeal was born in Middleton, England, in 1555, to protestant parents. She married a well to do grazer John Clitherow, with whom she had 2 children. Her charming personality and cleaver mind led her to harbor fugitive priests. Due to this she was imprisoned by hostile authorities.
She was constantly tested and forced to denounce her faith however Margaret was relentless and stood firm in what she believed in. After multiple attempts to make her deny God, she was finally sentenced to death on March 25 1856. Her death sentence was to be carried out in a gruesome manner by getting her pressed top death.
The extent of her holiness and faith in God can be seen when she writes a letter to her friend saying “The sheriffs have said that I am going to die this coming Friday; and I feel the weakness of my flesh which is troubled at this news, but my spirit rejoices greatly. For the love of God, pray for me and ask all good people to do likewise.” Her feast day is celebrated on March 26th.
One of my favorite verses from the Holy Bible. So often in life we focus on the pursuit of money and neglect God. We may not do it on purpose but it is a reality that we cannot ignore. Our thoughts and actions might revolve around the pursuit of materialistic things and at the end of the day, there is a feeling of emptiness.
While it is important to work on your business or daily needs in life, we should always remember who our creator is. Jesus so rightly says that ” No one can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money”.
The need of the hour is to give your best at what you do but always be focused on God and not get lost in the material temptations of the world.
Legend has him an Irishman noted for his military feats who was convinced by his sister St. Fanchea to renounce his warring activities and marry. When he found his fiancee dead, he decided to become a monk and went on pilgrimage to Rome, where he was ordained.
He returned to Ireland, built churches at Drogheda, and then secured from his brother-in-law King Oengus of Munster the island of Aran, where he built the monastery of Killeaney, from which ten other foundations on the island developed.
With St. Finnian of Clonard, Enda is considered the founder on monasticism in Ireland. His feast day is March 21