Nativity of St. John

Posted June 22, 2018 at 12:00 am

The fact that the Nativity of St. John the Baptist is celebrated only days after the summer solstice is no coincidence. 

From his birthday on June 24, three days after what is traditionally considered the longest day of the year, the sun will gradually begin it annual descent and the days become shorter. 

Three days after the winter solstice is Christmas Day, when days start to become longer and when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The timing of these days is significant because St. John is considered as the lamp, but Christ is the true light of the world, thus fulfilling St. John’s prophecy, “He must increase, I must decrease.”

In some areas, St. John’s Day was considered the first day of

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    Saint with a buzz

    The story of St. Rita of Cascia never fails to create a buzz.

    A holy Italian mystic who was born in 1381, St. Rita is often associated with bees. The day after her baptism, when she was five years old, a swarm of white bees reportedly swarmed around her mouth and even alighted on her lips. They were seen to enter and leave her partially open mouth but amazingly she was not harmed nor did she utter a whimper.

    Witnesses believed the event to be a mystery, although they could not explain it.

    Bees would

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    Kateri Indian rosary

    The Kateri Indian rosary is a chaplet associated with St. Kateri Tekakwith, known as the “Lilly of the Mohawks,” and is promoted by the Tekakwitha League.

    The chaplet is traditionally used as a private devotion and made in two patterns, the first being a cross and the other with a medal of St. Kateri and three beads. The cross is made of staurolite, which is a mineral naturally formed in the shape of a cross.

    According to Indian legend, on

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    The Spirit of Pentecost

    As Catholics, we relished in the anticipation of Advent, sacrificed during Lent and were joyful in the resurrection of Easter  

    We will soon celebrate Pentecost, the most spiritually enriching feast of the liturgical year but perhaps the most difficult to understand. The Nativity brought the birth of Jesus, Lent the crucifixion, and, of course, three days later the resurrection.  

    Pentecost, which comes from the Greek word for 50th, since Pentecost is 50 days after Easter, is rooted in the Old Testament and was referred

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    St. Winifred’s Well

    Perhaps one of the more unusual shrines, albeit certainly one where thousands of people make annual pilgrimages, is that of St. Winifred in Wales. 

    According to legend, in 660 Caradoc, the son of a local prince, severed the head of St. Winifred after she refused his advances. Legend says a spring rose from the spot where her head fell. 

    St. Winifred was later restored to life by her uncle St. Beuno, a well-known seventh century Welsh Abbot who is credited for

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    Paschal candle

    Shortly before the start of the Easter Vigil Mass, the faithful gather outside, in front of the church, to celebrate what is one of the most sacred moments of the Easter season.

    It is then the priest lights the paschal candle outside in a metal bowl called a brazier. During this time, the eucharistic prayer, “Praeconium Paschale,” is chanted by the deacon, who then carries the candle into the dark church during the opening procession.

    Those few moments are rich

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    Vessels with a purpose

    The Mass itself is a beautiful celebration, one of sacrifice and celebration. It’s also a sum of many components, including the vessels, each of which serves a significant role in what is a beautiful celebration.

    Perhaps the most sacred is the chalice, which will hold the consecrated body and blood of Christ. The presiding priest might use his own personal chalice, or one provided by the parish. A priest’s personal chalice typically holds some type of significance.

    A member of a religious

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