40 Days of Lent RSS

Jesus faced Dismas and Gestas and many other criminals on his way to Egypt. While Dismas was preparing to steal from Jesus, he experienced an Epiphany and recognized his wrongdoing. He quickly admonished the other thieves and thwarted their plans. They let Jesus and his troupe keep their belongings and proceed to Egypt.

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The story about Saint Christopher tells a legend of Christopher helping a small child crossing a raging river. Christopher was able to hoist the little boy on his shoulders and get him across the water safely. What Christopher did not know was that he had been carrying Jesus and that Jesus carried the whole world on his shoulders. It’s not surprising Saint Christopher thought the boy was very heavy.

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Ecce Homo is a Latin Phrase. It is universally associated with the image of Jesus with his head “crowned” with thorns, one of the most recognizable images of Jesus Christ. Thousands of artists have rendered their version including the famous Dutch Renaissance artist best known as Rembrandt, his first name. 

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One of the amazing things about Saint Gerard is that he was bilocational, meaning he could be in two places at one time. Wouldn’t we all love to have that skill? And can you imagine a multitasker being bilocational? “Oh! The Places They Would Go!” (With homage to Theodore Geisel, better known as “Dr. Suess,” the brilliant writer of the stories we all know and love).

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Today, we celebrate Saint Margaret of Antioch, our patron of fertility. Saint Margaret’s medal is one of the first ones we ever started hand-painting and she has always been very popular. On more than a few occasions we have received notes from women (and men) who believe our Saint Margaret medal helped with their pregnancy plans. 

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Saint Therese of Lisieux, the “Little Flower,” had this all figured out years ago. Therese found joy in doing the laundry and washing dirty dishes. That kid who won “American Idol,” Scotty McCreery, actually wrote a song about the beauty of dirty dishes. It’s nice he did that. We all need contemporary reminders every now and again, and again….

 

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Here is our “Hot Off The Press” (Ahem …. For the youngsters, back-in-the-day, way before Sirius All News All Day and Cable Television, “hot off the press” meant some big hot news was coming out about something so the publishers would rush to get it written, printed and then distributed to the people). The news would be literally and figuratively, hot off the printing press.

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The first medals we sent out came with a message on the card. It said “Wear this medal and then share it with someone you love.” The idea was to wear the medal outwardly, and then, if and when someone noticed it, to take it off from around neck and give it to them! We called it “Serenity for Sharing.” It was meant as a bit of a message that our medals were not so much about religion, per se. Instead, they were “Tokens of Hope” to offer one another, friends and strangers, alike.

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Cosmas and Damian were brothers, twins and Doctors. They were well known as healers and were one of the earliest organ transplant surgeons…. who performed their surgeries for free! Cosmas & Damian were nicknamed the “Moneyless or Silverless,” probably because of their generous spirits.

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We’ve nicknamed Saint Kevin the “Animal Whisperer.” There are countless anecdotes about the ways Saint Kevin was able to communicate with, talk to, and befriend the animals. Saint Kevin lived to be 120 years old! Kevin appreciated life in all its forms and he offers great life lessons of love, care, and compassion for all living creatures. 

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“Heavenly Father, Give me the Courage to strive for the higher goals, to flee every temptation to be mediocre. Enable me to aspire to greatness, as Pier Giorgio did, and to open my heart with joy to a call for holiness. Free me from the fear of failure. I want to be, Lord, firmly and forever untied to you. Grant me the graces I ask you through pier Giorgio’s intercession, by the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen." 

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Pope Francis has suggested we pursue the Lenten Calendar, not so much as a period of abstention and sacrifice, and more as a time for reflection. Rather than “Giving Up” candy or beer for 40 days, Pope Francis says we can best present the true meaning of Lenten Vows as a time for changing attitudes and for examining our prejudices.  

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