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.

Continue reading “In honor of the Solemnity of the Annunciation”

Why does the Year of Faith last 410 days instead of 365?

(A post for the Year of Faith) Several people have asked this question: Why does the Year of Faith last 410 days instead of 365?

Answer: Part of being Catholic is learning to think with the mind of the Church. She thinks liturgically about time, which differs from the civil (as in secular, not as in polite) measuring of time. The Church measures time from one liturgical or spiritually or historically important event (historically important to the Church, that is) to another, not a mere length of 365 days that carries no meaning beyond the amount of time it takes the earth to revolve once around the sun.

Looking further I found this quote at Catholic Culture.

“The opening and closing dates of the Year of Faith carry special significance. October 11, 2012, will mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II, and the Vatican notes that the special year should be “a propitious occasion to make Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church more widely and deeply known.” November 24, 2013, will be the feast of Christ the King, and the CDF underlines the importance of using the year to encourage Catholics to share the precious belief in Christ as the redeemer of the mankind.”

The dates of liturgical celebrations, even the release of documents, generally correspond to a significant date on the Church calendar or in her history. Look at a few encyclicals and other publications and you’ll see what I mean. For example, here’s what you’ll find at the end of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, the Gospel of Life:

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 25 March, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in the year 1995, the seventeenth of my Pontificate.