Have You Ever Heard of the Ancient Agnus Dei Devotion?

07/31/2016 Comments (8)

Agnus Dei discs from the collection of Gary Minella, Queens, New York. The wording on the disc on the left reads: “ECCE AGN DEI ... PECC . MUNDI” and “PIUS XI PM ... ANNO P XIV MCMXXXV”. (Photo credit: Angelo Stagnaro)

There are many blessings and advantages to being Catholic, and sacramentals are a special part of that magnificent patrimony.

I carry them with me so that I might dispense them to those in need. After all, God helps us in all our troubles, so that we're able to help others, using the same help that we ourselves have received from Him. (2 Co 1:4)

Handing someone a Miraculous Medal or a saint card or perhaps a rosary can have a profound impact upon people including upon people you don't know.

I recall being on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage in northern Spain a few years ago and my friends and I ducked into a restaurant for dinner.

The waitress took our order and returned shortly...READ MORE

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Pope Francis to Youth: Leave the Sofa and Make Your Mark on History

Full text of Pope Francis' address at the World Youth Day Prayer Vigil in Krakow.

07/30/2016 Comment
© Mazur/episkopat.pl

Pope Francis addressing a large crowd of pilgrims at the prayer vigil in Campus Misericordiae, Krakow, July 30, 2016. The organizers said an estimated 1.6 million pilgrims attended the vigil.

– © Mazur/episkopat.pl

At last night's World Youth Day prayer vigil, at the purposefully named Campus Misericordiae field in Krakow, Pope Francis urged young people to leave the comforts of what he called "sofa happiness" and, with Jesus help, put on "walking shoes" to make a mark on history.

"You might say to me: Father, but I have my limits, I am a sinner, what can I do?," the Pope said. "When the Lord calls us, he doesn’t worry about what we are, what we have been, or what we have done or not done. Quite the opposite. When he calls us, he is thinking about everything we have to give, all the love we are capable of spreading. His bets are on the future, on tomorrow. Jesus is pointing you to the future, and...READ MORE

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5 Books About St. John Paul II For WYD Weekend

07/30/2016 Comments (2)

As the young people of the world visit the many holy sites of Poland for World Youth Day, one can not help but notice the profound impact Saint John Paul II had on the country. Everywhere you turn there are commemorations to the Polish hero, making it seem that there is not one inch of Poland that the saint hasn’t influenced.

It can be a bit overwhelming and no doubt many of the young people (and adults) who walked the streets of Kraków these past few days will want to deepen their knowledge of the beloved pontiff.

Thankfully there are a host of great books devoted to the man who inspired the world and each highlight different aspects of his life. While preparing to write my own book on...READ MORE

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Taizé Wecomes World Youth Day Pilgrims

07/30/2016 Comment

Here in Krakow, where World Youth Day is in full swing, I have talked to dozens of pilgrims from around the world. Although many of them were in elementary school when St. John Paul II died, they credit the late Polish Pope with rejuvenating their faith.

After all, it was John Paul who encouraged youth, “The most beautiful and stirring adventure that can happen to you is the personal meeting with Jesus, who is the only one who gives real meaning to our lives.”

This is especially true of pilgrims from such highly secularized countries as France and Australia; they say that, inspired by John Paul and World Youth Day, they are creating vibrant Catholic communities in their parishes and...READ MORE

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World Youth Day Bracelet Initiative Highlights Power of Prayer

My Saint My Hero is bringing together young people in a unique way.

07/30/2016 Comments (1)
Adrian Marquez Alarcon of the Los Angeles Archdiocese

– Adrian Marquez Alarcon of the Los Angeles Archdiocese

A bracelet initiative is showing that prayer works, as more than 3,000 young people in California are participating in World Youth Day in Krakow.

In an official send-off, My Saint My Hero joined Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and Bishop Robert Barron in distributing bracelets to the young devotees who were Krakow-bound.

Based in San Pedro, Calif., My Saint My Hero was founded by Amy D’Ambra and Christine Rich as a prayer community that offers women meaningful work. For instance, they employ artisans in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, who hand weave the “Blessing Bracelets.”

The jewelry collection has quite an international presence. It was part of World Meeting of Families last...READ MORE

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Brexit and the Chaos in Our World Today, Love Your Enemies and Pray for Them, and More Great Links!

The Best in Catholic Blogging

07/30/2016 Comment

Click on Brexit and the Moral Vision of Nationhood: Cosmopolitans vs. Nationalists (A Highly Recommended & Profound Read) - Alastair Roberts, Mere Orthodoxy link to read more.

Brexit and the Moral Vision of Nationhood:  Cosmopolitans vs. Nationalists (A Highly Recommended & Profound Read) - Alastair Roberts, Mere Orthodoxy

Nine Mesmerizing Videos of Churches Filmed by Drone – Shaun McAfee O.P., epicPew

Love Your Enemies and Pray for Them – Dan Byron, Catholic Stand

Why Did the Vatican Reverse the Ruling on Marian Apparition in Lipa? – Shaun McAfee O.P., epicPew

The Long Unmarked Grave of Henry VIII – Reverend Patrick G. Burke, Paddy

Natural Rights and Social Duties - Mimi Teixeira, PowerBlog via the Acton Institute

Getting Home Is a Game Plan All Christians Can Embrace – Gabriel Garnica, Catholic Stand

Apostasy in England and Europe – Regis Martin, Crisis...READ MORE

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There Are No Ordinary People; You Have Never Talked to a Mere Mortal

07/30/2016 Comments (3)

Lismore Castle in County Waterford, Ireland, stood in for Northanger Abbey in the 2007 BBC film adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel. (Photo credit: Ingo Mehling, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

My family has never met a Jane Austen story we didn’t like, and that goes for screen adaptations as well. It’ll come as no surprise, then, that we were all grins when we stumbled across a film version of Northanger Abbey we’d never seen while perusing our public library’s streaming Hoopla offerings.

“What’s it rated?” I asked my wife.

“Looks good – 79% on the Tomatometer,” Nancy replied. “It’s a BBC production from 2007.”

“How’d we miss it?” I marveled. “Let’s give it a go.”

The story itself was Austen’s first completed novel, and it includes many of her characteristic plot elements: class struggle, wealth and penury, single women yearning for marriage, marriageable women yearning for...READ MORE

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Pope Francis: The Way of the Cross Opens Door to New and Fuller Life

Full texts of papal discourses on Friday afternoon.

07/29/2016 Comments (1)
© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

WYD pilgrims carry a large wooden cross during the Way of the Cross with young people at Jordan Park in Kraków's Błonia, July 29, 2016.

– © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

In Krakow this evening during a Via Crucis with young people, Pope Francis gave a catechesis on the Way of the Cross, stressing that it is not an exercise in sadomasochism. "The Way of the Cross alone defeats sin, evil and death, for it leads to the radiant light of Christ’s resurrection and opens the horizons of a new and fuller life," he said.

Earlier in the afternoon, the Pope visited the "Children's University Hospital" in Prokocim, Kraków. 

Here below are the full texts of both his discourses:



Jordan Park in Błonia, KrakówI was hungry and you gave me food, 

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, 
I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 

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