How to observe the powerful Seven Sundays devotion to St. Joseph

Over the centuries there have developed numerous devotions to St. Joseph. One of the most powerful devotions is called the Seven Sundays Devotion. It provides an opportunity to draw closer in your relationship with God by contemplating the joys and sorrows of St. Joseph.

St. Joseph is well-known for his great intercessory power, as St. Teresa of Avila attests:

I have never known anyone who … honored him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue, for he helps in a special way those souls who recommend themselves to him.

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Do you want to sanctify your life in simple ways? Try praying the Angelus

Finding time to pray is certainly difficult. As I have advocated before, it is essential to create your own daily schedule of prayer. However, sometimes we don’t know where to start and only have a vague idea of what we want to do.

One excellent idea that will get you started and help sanctify your day in a simply way is by taking up the ancient practice of the Angelus.

But what is the Angelus? How do I pray it devoutly?

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Want to draw closer to the Blessed Virgin Mary? Then this manual is for you

There is a rich history in the Catholic Church of pious devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary. These devotions were all born out of a deep love of our Blessed Mother and were aimed at helping the faithful draw close to Mary so as to draw closer to Christ.

However, during the past 50 years most of these devotions fell out of style and children attending catechism classes were barely taught how to pray the rosary. This has led to a void in the Catholic Church that is not easily filled and a person who wants to explore these various Marian traditions typically has to scour old book stores to find an ancient book of devotions.

That is, until now.

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The beauty of a forgotten Advent tradition: the “Rorate Mass”

The Rorate Mass is a beautiful tradiation worth preserving for future generations. Here is my article at Aleteia:

The season of Advent falls each year in the dark month of December and it is a month when we see the general theme of the liturgical season being echoed in nature. Darkness has crept over the world, and is increasing each day. Yet, there is hope for soon the days will begin to lengthen and the sun will conquer the night. The earth reveals that there is a light in this dark place and that Light reigns victorious.

The Church makes this truth more visible with an ancient tradition (often forgotten) called the “Rorate” Mass. This votive Mass during Advent in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary receives its name from the first words of the opening chant in Latin, Rorate caeli, or in English “Shower, O heavens.”

The Mass is most often celebrated in communities devoted to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (aka, the “Latin Mass”), but is also an option for parishes that celebrate Mass in the vernacular.

What is peculiar to this celebration of the Eucharist is that it is traditionally celebrated in the dark, only illuminated by candlelight and typically just before dawn. The symbolism of this Mass abounds and is a supreme expression of the Advent season.

First of all, since the Mass is normally celebrated right before dawn, the warm rays of the winter sun slowly light up the church. If timed correctly, by the end of Mass the entire church is filled with light by the sun. This speaks of the general theme of Advent, a time of expectation eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Son of God, the Light of the World. In the early Church Jesus was often depicted as Sol Invictus, the “Unconquered Sun,” and December 25 was known in the pagan world as the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Unconquered Sun). Saint Augustine makes reference to this symbolism in one of his sermons, “Let us celebrate this day as a feast not for the sake of this sun, which is beheld by believers as much as by ourselves, but for the sake of him who created the sun.”

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Why We Need Rose Vestments

On one Sunday each Advent and Lent, the priest will come out of the sacristy wearing rose vestments and inevitably makes some sort of comment about how the color of his vestments should not be classified as “pink,” but rose.  Often the priest is somewhat embarrassed, especially when his parishioners give their pastor a hard time.

Photo by Brett Crandall (Wikipedia)

Yet, the use of rose vestments during the sacred liturgy of the third Sunday of Advent has been a part of the Church’s tradition for many centuries and is a tradition we must hold onto. Rose gives us joy and a promise of hope; our world is in need of both.

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Why Satan Hates the Brown Scapular

Is the Brown Scapular simply a lucky “charm” that bestows salvation on those who wear it? While there are many “promises” to the wearers of this scapular, we must always keep in mind that the Brown Scapular does not grant someone access to eternal life no matter what kind of life they live. In fact, it soon becomes an irritant to those straying away from the Faith and is one of the first items to be taken off. The Brown Scapular is an amazing channel of graces from Heaven, but we must learn to use it properly.

First of all, here is a quick history of the Brown Scapular:

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Our Lady Star of the Sea: A Sure Guide to Everlasting Shores

The next item in our “Captain’s Desk” that is essential before embarking on our journey to Everlasting Shores is the sextant. In our quest the sextant is devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Historically, the sextant was a vital instrument in determining a seafarer’s location on the sea. He would use this tool by measuring angular measurements between celestial bodies and the horizon. The seafarer would take advantage of the numerous navigational stars that would give him the measurements necessary to discover where he was on his nautical chart.

In a similar way to a sailor at sea who uses the stars for guidance, Mary, the Mother of God is often called Star of the Sea. It is she who is one of the most sure guides on the journey to Eternal Beatitude.

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