Wisdom from a little book about Marian feasts

+JMJ+ May is the month devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 2019 I wrote a series, a post for (almost) every day in May. This time around I’ve been doing some spiritual reading, going through my shelf of Marian books and I thought I’d share a longish quote from a book about Marian feasts. I’ll include links to the book at the end of the post.

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May, the Month of Mary

+JMJ+  This year is flying by! It’s the month of Mary already again and I need to change the sidebar and a couple of other things. Hey, it’s only the second day of the month, that’s early for me. I usually think about it sometime toward the end of the first week. Sigh. I’ve linked a couple of videos below and added a couple more links in the notes and links section at the end. Our non-Catholic friends and family almost always give us a hard time about the Mother of God. Maybe something here will help you answer when they question you.

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Our Lady of Fatima

+JMJ+ I’m working on a post about Fatima but I’m not ready to publish it on the blog yet. So tonight I’m going to link to a couple of posts about Fatima from a series I did a while back, Something About Mary Every Day in May.

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Our Lady of the Rosary is also Our Lady of Victory

+JMJ+ Today, October 7, 2021, is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. If you don’t know about the Battle of Lepanto, I’ll let Sensus Fidelium tell you about it in a video linked below. You can also read about it on a page at Catholic Culture which I’ll also link below. It’s been an important day for me over the years. When I was away from the Church for about a year and then came back as a tearful prodigal who realized how stupid I was for leaving, I went to confession and Mass on October 7th. I did not even remember what feast day it was until after I slipped into the pew (yes, I genuflected first). Our Lady has been there for me many times. She is much more faithful than I have been.

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In honor of the Solemnity of the Annunciation

Today, well, now tonight, is the feast of the Annunciation. (Posts in the Story of Salvation series will begin again soon. Next Thursday is Holy Thursday and I’m thinking about doing a post for that or for Holy Week or Good Friday. Not sure yet.) Tonight I’m sharing some of the beautiful artwork inspired by the Biblical account of the Annunciation. This does not even scratch the surface of the treasures of sacred art that artists have created down through the centuries. Oh, and if you haven’t seen them yet, there are galleries for each Mystery in the Rosary Project. See especially the gallery for the First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation.

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On the Rosary

The Vision of St. Dominic, by Bernardo Cavallino, ca. 1640.

May is the month of the Blessed Virgin Mary and this is the third post of May 2020 related to the Blessed Virgin (not a series, just a post). Tonight I’m going to share a few passages from a book about the Rosary that a friend of mine shared on Twitter. (For the life of me I can’t remember if it was Mike or someone else now, sorry! When I find out, I’ll update this note.) The book is The Rosary Guide for Priests and People, by Fr J. Procter, FI, S.T.L., published in 1901. I do ❤️ good, old, Catholic books!

Now I’ve read before about the word “bead” coming from the word bede, meaning to pray. (I do tend to look up the etymology of words, a habit from when I got my first dictionary in the fourth grade, a red Thorndike-Barnhart hardback that I read every day after school. I wonder if it’s still around here somewhere. But I digress.) I knew that way back in the far distant past, people counted prayers by means of pebbles and by things resembling our modern day rosaries. (Or the beads connected by string or metal. The Rosary proper refers to the prayers and meditations, not really the beads.)

But the author mentions some things I didn’t know or at least don’t remember reading before. 

Bede is “the past participle of the Saxon word biddan, which means to pray. We have a relic of it to-day in the Flemish ‘bidden fur uns’ so familiar to the ear of the Saxon in his visits to Belgian churches, and in the German ’bitten’ and ‘bitte.’ A ‘bead’ was originally a prayer. To ‘bid the beads’ was to say one’s prayers. A ‘bede (or bead)-roll’ was a list of those to be prayed for. A ‘bead- house’ was an almshouse for beadsmen, a ‘beads man’ living there on condition of his praying for the soul of the founder. A’ beadsman’ might also be one who voluntarily prayed for another. In the ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ Proteus says to Valentine:

"When thou dost meet good hap; and in thy danger,
If ever danger do environ thee, 
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy beadsman, Valentine."
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Our Lady of Fatima and the Errors of Russia, Part 2

May is the month devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I’m doing a post each Monday in May about the Blessed Virgin. Last week I began to share something Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote in his 1948 book, Communism and the Conscience of the West. It’s just as relevant today as it was then. In fact, it’s downright prophetic. Here, then is part two of a two-part series on Our Lady of Fatima and the errors of Russia. I’m re-posting the link to the video of Archbishop Sheen wherein he talks about some of the same things he wrote about in the book. (You can read part one here.)

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Our Lady of Fatima and the Errors of Russia

May is the month devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, so I’m doing a post each Monday in May about the Blessed Virgin. I want to share something Archbishop Sheen wrote in his 1948 book, Communism and the Conscience of the West. It’s just as relevant today as it was then. In fact, it’s downright prophetic. Here, then is part one of a two-part series on Our Lady of Fatima and Russia. (You can read part two here.)

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The NT shows Mary as the Ark of the Covenant

This is the last of the Something About Mary Every Day In May (2019) series.

Growing up as a young Methodist I heard very little about the Blessed Virgin Mary. After discovering the Catholic Church I began to hear about her a lot. But I didn’t know what to make of all the things I was hearing, and I made the not uncommon mistake of thinking that I didn’t need to pay much attention to all of that because all that mattered was the truly important stuff. This is an understandable mistake for a newcomer to Catholicism to make, but over the years I’ve heard plenty of Catholics mistake the Marian doctrines of the Church for lower level unnecessary (even optional) doctrines, too. I’ve heard Catholics and non-Catholics alike say, “as long as we agree on the essential things we’re all okay,” but that’s just it: we do not agree on the essentials. We don’t even agree on what the essentials are.

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The Mother of Jesus

I just discovered a treasure trove of audio: Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s Life is Worth Living talks in MP3 format and especially for our series on Mary, his talk on The Mother of Jesus. I’m listening to it now. In these Life is Worth Living radio talks, Archbishop Sheen is not speaking before a live audience but is, if memory serves, sitting at a desk and speaking into a microphone. The recordings would then be pressed onto discs. (Disks? I can never remember which spelling is which, and I think I’ve read conflicting things anyway.) The audio can be scratchy at times but I don’t care. I feel like he’s sitting down and talking with me. (Links and notes at the end of this post.)

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Bishop Sheen, Fatima, and the Conscience of the West

I never got to watch Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen when I was growing up. I think I’d only heard about him and I’d seen photos of him. Sometime around my conversion (give or take a few years) I saw his program, Life is Worth Living, on EWTN and realized what I’d been missing. (Video of Bishop Sheen below, links at the end of this post.)

Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal, 100 year anniversary. Free wallpaper from WallPaperCave.

At that time I still didn’t now what to make of Marian apparitions and it would be some years before I would dip my toe in the water. But now that I have, one apparition in particular means a lot to me. In Catholic-speak I would say I have devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. This talk by Archbishop Sheen will go some way in revealing why I like him so much and why Fatima means so much to me and not just me but countless others. And to the world, whether it knows it or not. Especially now.

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Queen Mother, Mary and Rachel

Contrary to what many non-Catholic Christians charge, we do not honor Mary at the expense of Jesus. We do not give her too much honor thereby taking away from the honor due her Son, as if it were some zero sum game with only so much honor to go around. “Oh, no, I’ve given too much honor to Mary, now I don’t have enough left to give Jesus, oh, no!”

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