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St. Michael
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. Advertise Now

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PHOTO OF THE MONTH

PHOTO OF THE MONTH

REFLECTIONS

"Jesus' Baptism"

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John's baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the "baptism" of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus' baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God's suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father's will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God? Read More »

HISTORY OF THE SACRED SCAPULAR

Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel (the Madonna of the Scapular) goes back all the way to the 8th century B. C. It was than that the great prophet Elias ascended the holy mountain of Carmel in Palestine, and began there a long tradition of contemplative life and prayer. It is amazing to realize that centuries before Christ was Born, Holy Elias and his followers had mystically dedicated themselves to God’s Mother-to-come, Mary, Queen of Mount Carmel. Nearly three thousand years later, that tradition of prayer, contemplation, and devotion to Mary continues to live and prevail in the Catholic Church.

On the Feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, the spiritual descendants of Elias and his followers came down from Mount Carmel Fittingly, they were the first that day to accept the message of Christianity and to be baptized by the Apostles. When, at last, they were presented to Our Lady, and heard her message, they were overcome with a sense of majesty and sanctity which they never forgot. Returning to their mountain, they erected the first chapel ever built in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. From that time, devotion to God’s Mother was handed down by the hermits on Mount Carmel as a treasured spiritual legacy.

If you wear Mary’s Scapular, you should be introduced to St. Simon Stock. You may already know him from his picture (along with Our Lady’s) on your scapular. In the year 1241, the Baron de Grey of England was returning from the Crusades in Palestine; he brought with him a group of religious from Mount Carmel, among them, Simon Stock of Kent, England, returning from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Upon arrival, the baron presented the monks with a manor house, where Simon later experienced the now famous vision of Mary promising salvation to all Carmelites who wore the scapular. As the Holy Virgin handed St. Simon the woolen scapular, she spoke these words: “This shall be the privilege for you and all Carmelites, that whosoever dies wearing this garment shall not suffer eternal fire; he shall be saved. Wear the scapular devoutly and perseveringly. It is my garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of me, and I in turn, am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.” Simon’s vision led to the widespread devotion to Mary over the next centuries of wearing the scapular in her honor. In time, the Church extended this magnificent privilege to all the laity who are willing to be invested in the Scapular of the Carmelites, and who perpetually wear it.

Many Catholics are invested in the scapular at the time of their First Holy Communion; in the case of the converts the vesting concurs with their Profession of Faith. When a person is enrolled in the Confraternity of the Scapular and vested in that tiny habit of wool, the priest says: “Receive this blessed scapular and ask all the most holy Virgin that, by her merits, it may be worn with no stain of sin and may protect you from all harm and bring you into everlasting life.”

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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

February 31
FEAST DAY OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES

On this day we also remember and offer prayers for those who are sick and suffering. Read More »

February 17
SEVEN FOUNDERS OF THE ORDERS OF SERVITES

Seven members of Florentine Confraternity founded the Order of Servites of the blessed Virgin Mary. Read More »

February 21
PETER DAMIAN

Bishop and Doctor of the Church. "Let us faithfully transmit to posterity the example of virtue which. Read More »

February 22
CHAIR OF ST. PETER

Since early times, the Roman Church has had a special commemoration of the primatial authority of St. Peter. Read More »

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