Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary Thursday, Mar 19 2009 

St Joseph

Litany of Saint Joseph

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, (have mercy on us.)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, (have mercy on us.)
God the Holy Spirit, (have mercy on us.)
Holy Trinity, One God, (have mercy on us.)

Holy Mary, pray for us!
St. Joseph, pray for us!
Renowned offspring of David, pray for us!
Light of Patriarchs, pray for us!
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us!
Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us!
Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us!
Diligent protector of Christ, pray for us!
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us!
Joseph most just, pray for us!
Joseph most chaste, pray for us!
Joseph most prudent, pray for us!
Joseph most strong, pray for us!
Joseph most obedient, pray for us!
Joseph most faithful, pray for us!
Mirror of patience, pray for us!
Lover of poverty, pray for us!
Model of artisans, pray for us!
Glory of home life, pray for us!
Guardian of virgins, pray for us!
Pillar of families, pray for us!
Solace of the wretched, pray for us!
Hope of the sick, pray for us!
Patron of the dying, pray for us!
Terror of demons, pray for us!
Protector of Holy Church, pray for us!

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world. Jesus, have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of his household. And prince over all his possessions.

Let us pray. God, Who, in Thine ineffable Providence didst vouchsafe to choose
blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother; grant, we beseech
Thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in Heaven whom,
on earth, we venearate as our protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. (Amen.)

Prayer to St. Joseph

To thee, O Blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our tribulations, and while imploring the aid of thy most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. By that love which united thee to the Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God, and by the fatherly affection with which thou didst embrace the Infant Jesus, we humbly beseech thee graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased with His Blood and to help us in our necessities, by thy powerful intercession.

Protect, O most provident Guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen children of Jesus Christ; ward off from us, O most loving Father, all taint of error and corruption; graciously assist us from Heaven, O most power protector, in our struggle with the powers of darkness; and as thou didst once rescue the Child Jesus from imminent peril to His life, so now defend the Holy Church of God from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity.

Shield each one of us with thy unceasing patronage that, imitating thy example and sported by thy aid, we may be enabled to live a good life, die a holy death, and secure everlasting happiness in Heaven. Amen.

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Feast of St. Agatha, virgin and martyr Thursday, Feb 5 2009 

Saintagatha1

From Catholic Culture: St. Agatha died in defense of her purity, in Catania, Sicily, where she was born. After Quintanus, the governor of Sicily, tried in vain to force her to consent to sin, she was imprisioned for a month with an evil woman. He then turn from sensuality to cruelty and had her breats cut off; but that night Agatha was healed by St. Peter. She was then rolled over sharp stones and burning coals, and finally taken to prison where she died while praying. Her name appears in the Roman Canon.

In iconography, Saint Agatha is often shown carrying her breasts on a platter, though later artists thought the breasts to be either bells or loaves of bread, leading to the custom of blessing bread on Saint Agatha's feast day and her patronage of bell makers.

Today I will be making Sweet Bread Rolls, which I will call St. Agatha Rolls, for dinner in honor of the great saint. Here is the recipe, which I found on allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

    Directions

    1. Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in mixer and knead for 7 minutes.
    2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch circle, spread 1/4 cup softened butter over entire round. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll wedges starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly. Place point side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.

    Prayer to Saint Agatha

    Oh St. Agatha, who withstood the unwelcome advances from unwanted suitors, and suffered pain and torture for your devotion to Our Lord, we celebrate your faith, dignity and martyrdom. Protect us against rape and other violations, guard us against breast cancer and other afflictions of women, and inspire us to overcome adversity. Oh St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr, mercifully grant that we who venerate your sacrifice, may receive your intercession. Amen 

  • Feast of Saint Blaise Tuesday, Feb 3 2009 

    Prayer to St. Blaise or Blase for protection, particularly from afflictions of the throat.

    O glorious St. Blaise, who by your martyrdom left to the Church a precious witness to the Faith, obtain for us the grace to preserve within ourselves this divine gift, and to defend — without concern for human respect — both by word and example, the truth of that same Faith, which is so wickedly attacked and slandered in these our times. You miraculously restored a little child who was at the point of death because of an affliction of the throat.

    Grant us your mighty protection in similar misfortunes. And, above all, obtain for us the grace of Christian mortification, together with faithful observance of the precepts of the Church, which keep us from offending almighty God. Amen.

    From Fish Eaters:

    St. Blaise (also spelled Blase and Blasius) — one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers — was a 3rd century physician who became Bishop of Sebaste, Armenia. This was the time of persecution under Licinius, so St. Blaise hid out in a cave on Mt. Argeus. From the Golden Legend:

    …the birds of heaven brought to him meat for to eat. And it seemed to him that they came to serve him and accompany him, and would not depart from him till he had lift up his hands and blessed them. And also sick men came to him and anon were cured and healed.

    Now it happed that the prince of this region sent his knights to hunt, and they could take nothing. But by adventure they came unto the desert place where S. Blase was, where they found great multitude of beasts which were about him, of whom they could take none, whereof they were all abashed and showed this to their lord, the which anon sent many knights for him, and commanded to bring him and all the christian men with him.

    And that night Jesu Christ appeared to him thrice, which said to him: Arise up and make to me sacrifice. Lo! here be the knights that come to fetch thee at the commandment of the prince. And the knights said to him: Come out from this place, the president calleth thee. And S. Blase answered: My sons, ye be welcome, I see now well that God hath not forgotten me. He went with them and continually preached, and did many miracles tofore them.

    There was a woman that had a son dying, in whose throat was a bone of a fish athwart, which estrangled him, and she brought him tofore his feet, praying him that he would make her son whole. And S. Blase put his hand upon him and made his prayer to God that this child, and all they that demanded benefits of health in his name, that they should be holpen and obtain it, and anon he was whole and guerished.

    Another woman there was that was poor which had a swine, which the wolf had borne away, and she humbly prayed to S. Blase that she might have again her swine. And he began to smile and said: Good woman anger thee not, for thou shalt have again thy swine, and anon the wolf brought again to the woman, which was a widow, her swine.

    St. Blaise was captured and taken before the prince, whose gods, Blaise informed him, were fiends. The prince was enraged and threw him in prison. The widow whose pig was returned to her killed the pig and fed Blaise with it. From the Golden Legend again: 

    And when this good widow, which by S. Blase had recovered her swine, heard thereof, she slew it, and the head and the feet with a little bread and a candle, she brought to S. Blase, and he thanked God and ate thereof, and he said to her that every year she should offer in his church a candle, and know thou that to thee and to all them that so shall do shall well happen to them, and so she did all her life, and she had much great prosperity.

    Even after imprisonment, he refused to worship the prince's gods, and for punishment his flesh torn by wool combs. He was finally beheaded, martyred along with seven women and two children.

    Because of the cure of the boy's throat when the boy was choking, St. Blaise is patron against troubles of the throat, and today our throats are blessed at Mass. The priest will bless two candles in honor of St. Blaise. The words of this blessing are:

    V. Our help + is in the name of the Lord.
    R. Who made heaven and earth.
    V. The Lord be with you.
    R. And with thy spirit. Let us pray.

    Almighty and most gentle God, Who didst create the multiplicity of things through Thine only Word, and didst will that same Word through Whom all things were made to take flesh for the refashioning of man; Thou, Who art great and without measure, terrible and worthy of praise, a Worker of wonders: the glorious martyr and bishop Blaise, not fearing to suffer all sorts of diverse tortures because of his profession of faith in Thee, was suited happily to bear the palm of martyrdom: and Thou didst grant to him, among other graces, the favor that he should by Thy power cure all kinds of illnesses of the throat: we humbly beg Thy Majesty not to look upon our sins, but to be pleased by his merits and prayers and to deign in Thy venerable kindness to bless + and sanctify + this creature of wax by the outpouring of Thy grace; that all whose necks in good faith are touched by it may be freed by the merits of his sufferings from any illness of the throat, and that healthy and strong they may offer thanks to Thee within Thy Holy Church, and praise Thy glorious name, which is blessed forever and ever. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

    R. Amen.

    Then he will hold the two, unlit blessed candles crossed over our throats, intoning:

    Per intercessionem S. Blasii liberet te Deus a malo gutteris et a quovis alio malo

    English:
    May God at the intercession of St. Blasius preserve you from throat troubles and every other evil.

    Then he will make a sign of the Cross over us.

    Feast of St. John Bosco, confessor Saturday, Jan 31 2009 

    Please stop by Catholic Cuisine to get a few ideas for celebrating the feast of St. John Bosco.

    Stuffed Peppers

    Bachelor Buttons

    Happy feast of St. Nicholas Saturday, Dec 6 2008 

     

    IMG_0282

    The kids got chocolate coins, Glory Stories, goldfish crackers, beef jerky, bottles of hot sauce, razors for the older girls, tape measurers for the boys, socks, hot cocoa, and apple sauce. It's so much fun to see their faces 🙂

    St. Catherine of Alexandria, virgin and martyr Tuesday, Nov 25 2008 

    Catherine alexandria 

    Artist: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
    Title: St Catherine of Alexandria

    Today is a very special feast day in our family. St Catherine of Alexandria, one of the "Fourteen Holy Helpers," is the patron saint of many things, most importantly educators, schoolchildren, students, teachers and apologists. We have been formally homeschooling for 12 years, although we as parents start educating our children from birth. I will be invoking the help of this most powerful saint, especially during the most difficult days of homeschooling.

    Prayer to St. Catherine of Alexandria:

    Glorious St. Catherine, virgin and martyr, help me to imitate your love of purity.  Give me strength and courage in fighting off the temptations of the world and evil desires.  Help me to love God with my whole heart and serve Him faithfully.

    O St. Catherine, through your glorious martyrdom for the love of Christ, help me to be loyal to my faith and my God as long as I live.  Amen

    Here is a great idea for dinner tonight. 

    Salad

    Mini Wheels Pasta Salad.

    1 (16-ounce) box Barilla Piccolini Mini Wheels

    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use

    2 cups frozen green peas

    1 pound chicken breast, diced (optional)

    5 to 6 slices (about 1 cup) of bacon, cut into strips

    2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

    1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed (may substitute shredded)

    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    Salt to taste
    1. Cook pasta for 6 minutes; drain and drizzle with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and spread on a cookie sheet to cool.
    2. Boil green peas in salted water for five minutes, drain and cool.
    3. In a skillet over medium heat; cook chicken in remaining olive oil for 4 to 5 minutes or until cooked through, season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool.
    4. Cook bacon until crispy, drain fat.
    5. Combine all ingredients, let sit 30 minutes before serving.

    Serves 4 to 6.

    Recipe provided courtesy of Barilla.

     

    Traditional feast of St.Margaret Mary Friday, Oct 17 2008 

    Marg

    In the apparitions to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Jesus gives these twelve promises for those who are devoted to His Sacred Heart.

    The Twelve Promises of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary for those devoted to His Sacred Heart:

    1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
    2. I will establish peace in their families.
    3. I will console them in all their troubles.
    4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
    5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
    6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
    7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
    8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
    9. I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
    10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
    11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
    12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

    "Look at this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth."

    Saint Margaret Mary discussion questions Thursday, Oct 16 2008 

    1. When was St. Margaret Mary born?  July 22, 1647

    2. Where was she born? Burgundy, France

    3. How old was she when her father died? She was 8 years old.

    4. What happened when her father died?  An aunt moved in to their home.

    5. How were Margaret Mary and her mother treated by her aunt?  They were made to suffer very much.

    6. How did Margaret Mary handle the suffering?  She would hide in her garden to cry and pray.

    7. What else did St. Margaret Mary do in her garden?  She would bring beggar children into the garden to try to teach them

    8. What happened when she was 11?  She became very sick.

    9. How long did her illness last?  Her illness lasted 4 years.

    10. What happened while she was ill? She developed a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and decided to enter a convent.

    11. What order did she join? The Order of the Visitation.

    12. What happened while she lived in the convent? Our Lord began appearing to her.

    13. What revelations did she receive? She received revelations of the Sacred Heart.

    14. When did she die? October 17, 1690

    15. Of what is she the patron saint? She is the patron saint against polio, devotees of the Sacred Heart, loss of parents, and polio patients.

    St. Teresa of Avila discussion questions Wednesday, Oct 15 2008 

    St. Teresa of Avila is one our favorite saints. This morning after reading to the kids from Saints for Young Readers for Every Day, I came up with a few questions to help us remember a few important details about her life.

    1. Where was St. Teresa born? Avila, Spain

    2. When was she born? March 28, 1515

    3. What did Teresa and her brother Rodrigo love to read when they were young? The lives of the saints and martyrs.

    4. What did the two children secretly set out to do? To go to the land of the Moors.

    5. What else did they decide to do? They decided to become hermits in their garden.

    6. Were they able to do this? No. They could not get enough stones together to build their huts.

    7. What happened to Teresa when she became a teenager? She changed and became worldy.

    8. Why did this happen? She read many novels and foolish romances and she lost her love of prayer.

    9. What did she think about then? She began to think about dressing up to look pretty.

    10. What happened after she recovered from a bad illness? She read a book about the great St. Gerome and made up her mind to become a bride of Christ.

    11. How old was she when she entered the Carmelite convent? 19

    12. What did she do with the help of St. John of the Cross and Peter of Alcantara? She reformed most of the Carmelite convents in Spain and founded a few new ones.

    13. What spiritual books did she write? The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila: The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus, The Way of Perfection, and Interior Castle.

    14. When did St. Teresa die? October 4, 1582

    15. What was she declared in the church? The first woman Doctor of the Church.

    16. Of what is she the patron saint? Headaches, loss of parents, Spain.

    Feast of St. Teresa of Avila Wednesday, Oct 15 2008 

    Stteresaavila

    Let nothing affright thee,
    Nothing dismay thee.
    All is passing,
    God ever remains.
    Patience obtains all.
    Whoever possesses God
    Cannot lack anything
    God alone suffices.-St. Teresa of Avila

    In honor of the feast of St. Teresa of Avila, we are going to make and St.Teresa’s Bread for breakfast and Paella for dinner.

    St. Teresa’s Bread– from A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz

    This dish, which makes a tasty breakfast or branch, is a first cousin to French toast, but with a flavor and texture all its own.

    Ingredients

    2 cups milk
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 good piece of lemon peel
    12 slices Italian/French bread 1/2-3/4 inch thick
    3 eggs
    Pinch of salt
    Cinnamon-sugar for sprinkling on the toast
    Olive oil for frying

    Directions

    Combine the milk with the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon peel. Simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes, until the milk has become well flavored. Place the bread in a large flat dish or pan, and strain the milk over it.

    Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl with a pinch of salt. With a spatula, lay the slices of bread in the egg, turning them to coat both sides. Beat additional eggs and salt together if necessary to finish coating bread slices. Fry the bread in the olive oil until it is browned and crusty on both sides.

    Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

    Yield: 4-6 servings

    Paella

    Ingredients

    8 oz. Italian sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
    15 raw chicken tenders or strips
    1 pound large shrimp – peeled and deveined
    1 onion, chopped
    1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
    1 large stalk celery, with leaves, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
    2 cups uncooked long grain rice
    2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes, juice reserved
    2 bay leaves
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
    3 1/2 cups chicken broth

    Directions

    Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Fry Italian sausage pieces in the pan until brown on all sides. Remove sausage, and fry the chicken strips in the sausage drippings until browned. Remove chicken and saute onions, green pepper, celery, and garlic for 5 minutes, or until tender.
    Stir in the uncooked rice, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, oregano and turmeric. Cook and stir for 1 minute, then mix in the reserved tomato juice and chicken broth. Add chicken pieces, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
    Add sausage to the mixture, and continue to simmer for 15 minutes, then stir in the shrimp; cover and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through.

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