The Creche

The tradition of setting up a Nativity scene dates back to 1223, when St. Francis of Assisi re-created the stable of Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth.  As this was a novelty, Francis first sought the permission of the pope himself, and was allowed to make the arrangements in a hermitage outside the little town of Greccio, located in the Italian region of Lazio.  At midnight,Continue reading “The Creche”

The Magnificat

When the Virgin Mary consents to the news from the Angel Gabriel that God had chosen her to be the Mother of the Savior, the Gospel of Luke tells us that, after the angel departed, she made haste to the hill country of Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth.  Gabriel had told her that her cousin was also miraculously with child.  Before this, Elizabeth had beenContinue reading “The Magnificat”

Liturgy, Part 5

Pope (emeritus) Benedict XVI is widely considered to be one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the past 100 years.  One of his most famous books is entitled The Spirit of the Liturgy, which he published in the year 2000 as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, five years prior to his election to the papacy.  Among the topics that Ratzinger examines in that book is the relationship of the liturgy to timeContinue reading “Liturgy, Part 5”

The Immaculate Conception

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is the feast in which we celebrate the special grace given to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was preserved from the stain of Original Sin from the moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, St. Anne.  The life of grace begins for you and me atContinue reading “The Immaculate Conception”