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Jul
25
All About St. James
Posted by kenneymg on 25 July 2017 05:00 AM

James drank of the cup Jesus drank of, all too shortly after the Resurrection.  Acts 12:1 tells us that James was one of the first martyrs of the Church. Saint James is known to have died around A.D.  44, by the sword, at the command of Herod Agrippa.

Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod the Great who tried to have Baby Jesus killed, set out to do the will of the Jews by dealing harshly with local Christians. St. James was accused, and Herod then “killed James, the brother of John, with the sword.” (Acts 12:1-2). Church Historian, Eusebius, tells us that St. James’s accuser followed James to martyrdom when he converted after hearing the Saint’s confession to Herod.

James is called James the Greater because he became an apostle before another man named James.

According to legend, he spent seven years in Spain, traveling throughout the land and preaching Christianity. After he was put to death upon his return to Israel, his followers are said to have brought his body back to Spain for burial. In the ninth century, a star miraculously revealed what was claimed to be his tomb. A great shrine was build at Compostela (“Star of the Sea”), and by the eleventh century great flocks of pilgrims were visiting it. From then on, only Jerusalem and Rome attracted more pilgrims than “Santiago” (Iago is Spanish for James).

The English name “James” comes from Italian “Giacomo”, a variant of “Giacobo” derived from Iacobus(Jacob) in Latin, itself from the Greek Ἰάκωβος. In French, Jacob is translated “Jacques”. In eastern Spain, Jacobus became “Jacome” or “Jaime”; in Catalunya, it became Jaume, in western Iberia it became “Iago”, from Hebrew יַעֲקֹב, which when prefixed with “Sant” became “Santiago” in Portugal and Galicia; “Tiago” is also spelled “Diego”, which is also the Spanish name of Saint Didacus of Alcalá.

James’ emblem was the scallop shell (or “cockle shell”), and pilgrims to his shrine often wore that symbol on their hats or clothes. The French for a scallop is coquille St. Jacques, which means “cockle (or mollusk) of St James”. The German word for a scallop is Jakobsmuschel, which means “mussel (or clam) of St. James”; the Dutch word is Jacobsschelp, meaning “shell of St James”.

Fun Customs for the Feast of St. James

As to the day’s customs, because of the love the Spanish have for St. James, they adopted him as their Patron, and his Feast is a national holiday, a time of great celebration, much like the Feast of St. Patrick is for the Irish, and that of St. Joseph is for the Italians. In Compostela, there are great processions and the famous La Fachada fireworks display. And at the city’s cathedral, the city’s faithful — and many pilgrims, too, especially in Jubilee years — gather to worship. From the ceiling of this great cathedral hangs a six-foot tall 14th century censer (the “botafumeiro”) that is swung by pulleys on this day and for a few other great Feasts.“Back in the day,” the people of England who couldn’t make the pilgrimage to St. James’s shrine would gather up seashells, bits of broken colored glass, pretty stones, and flowers and such and would build little grottoes in honor of St. James on his Feast. Though I doubt many people still do this, it is a lovely custom — and one that could be easily revived!

It is also customary for the English to eat oysters today. It is said that “Who eats oysters on St James’s Day will never want!” In France, it is not the oyster that is eaten, but the scallop — named “coquilles St.Jacques” — “shells of St. James” — in his honor. A few recipes to try:

Coquilles St. Jacques à la Provençale (serves 6)

1/3 cup yellow onions, minced
1 TBSP butter
1 1/2 TBSP minced scallions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds washed bay scallops (or sea scallops, quartered)
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup sifted flour, in a dish
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP olive oil
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 small bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon thyme
6 buttered scallop dishes or baking shells
1/4 cup grated good-quality Gruyère or Swiss cheese
2 TBSP butter in 6 pieces

Cook onions in 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender and translucent but not brown. Stir in scallions and garlic and sauté slowly 1 minute more. Dry scallops and cut them into slices 1/4 inch thick. Just before cooking, sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper, roll in flour and shake off excess flour. Sauté scallops quickly in very hot 2 tablespoons butter mixed with olive oil until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Pour wine into skillet with scallops, add herbs and cooked onion mixture. Cover skillet and simmer 5 minutes. Then uncover and, if necessary, remove scallops and boil down sauce rapidly for a few minutes until slightly thickened. Correct seasoning and discard bay leaf. Spoon scallops and sauce into shells. Sprinkle with cheese and dot with butter. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to broil. Just before serving, run under moderately hot broiler 3 to 4 minutes to heat through and melt cheese.


Oysters on the Half-Shell

Arrange raw, shucked oysters (see below) on the lower halves of their shells on an plate covered with crushed ice (6 oysters to the plate is the traditional way), with lemon wedges in between. To eat, add one of the following to the oyster in the shell:

  • nothing
  • a few drops of lemon
  • a few drops of Tabasco
  • a few drops of Pernod with a tiny bit of caviar
  • a little mignonette sauce (see below)

Slurp the oyster out of the shell, or use a small cocktail/oyster fork if you’re dainty. Drink the oyster’s liquor from the shell after eating the oyster itself. Serve with oyster crackers, and champagne or dry white wine.

Mignonette Sauce (enough for 3 dozen oysters)

1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 shallot, minced
white pepper to taste
salt to taste

Place wine and vinegar in saucepan and reduce to one-half. Turn off the flame and stir in the shallot, white pepper, and salt as needed. Set aside to steep until the shallot is softened.

How to Shuck An Oyster

Only eat live oysters, which you can recognize by their tightly closed shells. If a shell is opened, throw it out. Now, scrub the shells with a brush and rinse. Now put on a pair of heavy gloves! Holding the oyster so that the bottom shell is in your hand, insert the blade of a sturdy, blunt knife in between the shells as close to the hinge as you can get. Run the knife along the edges of the oyster until you get to the other side, then twist the knife to pop the shell open. Keep the shell steady so you don’t lose the liquor! On the underside of the oyster will be a little muscle that connects it to the shell. Cut that, then scoop the osyter out. Keep the liquor in the shell to drink when eating the oyster and/or to add to the mignonette sauce, if you are making some.


…As you shuck, keep an eye out for pearls! Pearls (which also, but much more rarely, form in clams and mussels) are produced when an irritant, such as a grain of sand, gets stuck in between the oyster’s mantle and shell. To protect itself, the oyster secretes the same substance that it used to line the inside of its shell with lovely nacre. The pearl is a symbol of perfection and chastity, and of evangelical doctrine (see St. Ephraem’s hyms on the Faith under the title “The Pearl“). After recounting the Parable of the Wheat and the Cockle, Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a merchant seeking a “pearl of great price”:

Matthew 13:24-29, 36-50
Another parable he proposed to them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seeds in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat and went his way. And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. And the servants of the goodman of the house coming said to him: Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence then hath it cockle? And he said to them: An enemy hath done this. And the servants said to him: Wilt thou that we go and gather it up? And he said: No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn…

…Then having sent away the multitudes, he came into the house, and his disciples came to him, saying: Expound to us the parable of the cockle of the field. Who made answer and said to them: He that soweth the good seed, is the Son of man. And the field, is the world. And the good seed are the children of the kingdom. And the cockle, are the children of the wicked one. And the enemy that sowed them, is the devil. But the harvest is the end of the world. And the reapers are the angels. Even as cockle therefore is gathered up, and burnt with fire: so shall it be at the end of the world. The Son of man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the just shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.                                                            (http://www.fisheaters.com/customstimeafterpentecost4x.html)


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Jul
23
St. Bridget of Sweden and the 15 Prayers for His Passion
Posted by kenneymg on 23 July 2017 08:00 AM

St. Bridget of Sweden (also known as Birgitta) was born June 14, 1303 to Birger Persson, a governor, judge and wealthy land owner and Ingeborg Bengtsdotter, a deeply pious woman.

She married Prince Ulf Gudmarsson a noble and pious man. They had eight children including St. Catherine of Sweden. When her husband died in 1344 she devoted herself to religious life. In 1346 she founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior.

St. Bridget is known for the revelations she received on the wounds and passion of Jesus, known as the 15 Prayers of St. Bridget.
She died July 23, 1373 and was canonized on October 7, 1391.

From Benedict XVI General Audience, 10/27/10

Our catechesis today is on Saint Bridget of Sweden.  Born in thirteen hundred and three, she grew up steeped in the faith.  She and her husband had eight children, and dedicated themselves with great fervour to the spiritual life and their children’s Christian formation.  Bridget was the driving force behind her and her husband’s “conjugal sanctity”, and became a model for many women through the ages of how to be the spiritual centre of the family.  Following her husband’s death, Bridget renounced further marriage in order to deepen her union with the Lord, through prayer, penance and works of charity.  She gave away her possessions and lived in a monastery.  In her prayer, she experienced many intense mystical experiences.  In thirteen forty-nine, she made a pilgrimage to Rome, to obtain Papal approval for a religious order of both men and women which she intended to found, and, while in Rome, she lived a life of intense apostolic prayer and activity.  Bridget died in thirteen seventy-three, and was canonized eighteen years later.  She is a significant reminder of a united Western Christendom, a powerful example of feminine sanctity, and was proclaimed co-Patroness of Europe by the Venerable John Paul the Second, during the Great Jubilee.  May her intercession help unite all Christians, and draw the people of Europe to an ever greater appreciation of their unique and invaluable Christian heritage.

15 Prayers of St. Bridget

1st Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! You have proved that You have no greater desire than to be among men, even assuming human nature at the fullness of time for the love of men. I recall all the sufferings of Your life especially Your Passion.

I remember, O Lord, that during the Last Supper with Your disciples, having washed their feet, You gave them Your Most Precious Body and Blood, and, while consoling them, You foretold Your coming Passion.

I remember the sadness and bitterness which You experienced in Your Soul as You said, My Soul is sorrowful even unto death.

I remember all the fear, anguish and pain that You did suffer in Your delicate Body before the torment of the Crucifixion, when, after having prayed three times, bathed in a sweat of blood, You were betrayed by Judas, arrested by the people of a nation You had chosen and elevated, accused by false witnesses and unjustly judged by three judges.

I remember that You were despoiled of Your garments and clothed in those of derision, that Your Face and Eyes were covered, that You were beaten, crowned with thorns, a reed placed in Your Hands, that You were crushed with blows and overwhelmed with insults and outrages. In memory of all these pains and sufferings which You endured before Your Passion on the Cross, grant me before my death a true contrition, a sincere and entire confession, worthy satisfaction and the remission of all my sins. Amen.

2nd Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember the horror and sadness which You endured when Your enemies surrounded You, and by thousands of insults, spits, blows, lacerations and other unheard-of cruelties tormented You. In consideration of these torments and insulting words, I beg You to deliver me from all my enemies, visible and invisible, and to bring me, under Your protection, to the perfection of eternal salvation. Amen.

3rd Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember the very bitter pain You did suffer when the executioners nailed Your Sacred Hands and Feet to the Cross by blow after blow with big blunt nails, and, not finding You in a sad enough state, to satisfy their cruelty they enlarged Your Wounds, and added pain to pain, stretching Your Body on the Cross and dislocated Your Bones by pulling Them on all sides. I beg of You by the memory of this most loving suffering of the Cross to grant me the grace to love You. Amen.

4th Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I Remember the bruises You suffered and the weakness of Your Body, which was distended to such a degree that never was there pain like Yours. From the crown of Your Head to the soles of Your Feet there was not one spot on Your Body which was not in torment. Yet, for getting all Your sufferings, You did not cease to pray to Your Heavenly Father for Your enemies, saying: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Through this great mercy and in memory of this suffering, grant that the remembrance of Your most bitter Passion may effect in us a perfect contrition and the remission of all our sins. Amen.

5th Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember the sadness which You experienced when, foreseeing those who would be damned for their sins, You suffered bitterly over these hopeless, lost and unfortunate sinners.

Through this abyss of compassion and pity and especially through the goodness which You displayed to the good thief when You said to him, This day you will be with Me in Paradise, I beg of You that at the hour of my death to show me mercy. Amen.

6th Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember the grief which You suffered when, like a common criminal, You were raised and fastened to the Cross, when all Your relatives and friends abandoned You, except Your Beloved Mother who remained close to You during Your agony and Whom You entrusted to Your faithful disciple when You said,

Woman, behold Your son. Son behold your Mother.

I beg You by the sword of sorrow which pierced the soul of Your Holy Mother, to have compassion on me in all my afflictions and tribulations, both of body and spirit, and to assist me in all my trials and especially at the hour of my death. Amen.

7th Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember Your profound gesture of love from the Cross when You said, I thirst, and Your suffering from the thirst for the salvation of the human race. I beg You to inflame in our hearts the desire to tend toward perfection in all our actions and to extinguish in us all worldly desires. Amen.

8th Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember the bitterness of the gall and vinegar which You tasted on the Cross for love of us. Grant us the grace to receive worthily Your Precious Body and Blood during our life and at the hour of our death that It may be a remedy of consolation for our souls. Amen.

9th Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember the pain You endured when, immersed in an ocean of bitterness at the approach of death, insulted, outraged by the people, You cried out in a loud voice that You were abandoned by Your Father, saying: My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Through this anguish I beg You not to abandon me in the terrors and pains of my death. Amen.

10th Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember that for our sakes You were immersed into an abyss of suffering. In consideration of the enormity of Your Wounds, teach me to keep, through pure love, Your Commandments, which are a wide and easy path for those who love You. Amen.

11th Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember Your Wounds which penetrated to the very marrow of Your Bones and to the depth of Your Being. Draw me away from sin and hide me in Your Wounds. Amen.

12th Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember the multitude of Wounds which afflicted You from Head to Foot, torn and reddened by the spilling of Your Precious Blood. O great and universal pain which You suffered in Your Flesh for love of us! What is there You could have done for us which You have not done?

May the fruit of Your sufferings be renewed in my soul by the faithful remembrance of Your Passion and may Your love increase in my heart each day until I see You in eternity, You Who are the treasury of every real good and joy, which I beg You to grant me in Heaven. Amen.

13th Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember the pain You endured when all Your strength, both moral and physical, was entirely exhausted; You bowed Your Head, saying: It is consummated.

Through this anguish and grief, I beg You to have mercy on me at the hour of my death, when my mind will be greatly troubled and my soul will be in anguish. Amen.

14th Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember the simple and humble recommendation You made of Your Soul to Your Eternal Father, saying, “Father, into Your Hands I commend My Spirit,” and when, Your Body all torn and Your Heart broken, You expired. By this precious death, I beg You to comfort me and give me help to resist the devil, the flesh and the world, so that, being dead to the world, I may live for You alone. I beg of You at the hour of my death to receive me. Amen.

15th Prayer

Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.

O Jesus! I remember the abundant outpouring of Blood which You shed. From Your Side, pierced with a lance by a soldier, Blood and Water poured forth until there was not left in Your Body a single Drop; and finally the very substance of Your Body withered and the marrow of Your Bones dried up.

Through this bitter Passion and through the outpouring of Your Precious Blood, I beg You to pierce my heart so that my tears of penance and love may be my bread day and night. May I be entirely converted to You; may my heart be Your perpetual resting place; may my conversation be pleasing to You; and may the end of my life be so praiseworthy that I may merit Heaven and there with Your saints praise You forever. Amen.

 

 


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Jul
21
Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Posted by kenneymg on 21 July 2017 08:07 AM

 Saint Lawrence was Italian and a Capuchin with great teaching, writing, and leadership abilities. His writings include a commentary on Genesis, several treatises against Luther, and nine volumes of sermons. He preached in many regions of Europe and died in Lisbon.

Lawrence (Lorenzo) of Brindisi was most gifted in languages. In addition to his native Italian, he had complete reading and speaking ability in Latin, Hebrew, Greek, German, Bohemian, Spanish and French.

He was born on July 22, 1559, and died exactly 60 years later on his birthday in 1619. His parents William and Elizabeth Russo gave him the name of Julius Caesar, Caesare in Italian. After the early death of his parents, he was educated by his uncle at the College of St. Mark in Venice.

When he was just 16 he entered the Capuchin Franciscan Order in Venice and received the name of Lawrence. He completed his studies of philosophy and theology at the University of Padua and was ordained a priest at 23.

With his facility for languages he was able to study the Bible in its original texts. At the request of Pope Clement VIII, he spent much time preaching to the Jews in Italy. So excellent was his knowledge of Hebrew, the rabbis felt sure he was a Jew who had become a Christian.

While the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 had slowed the advance of Muslim forces in Europe, they still controlled most of Hungary. Emperor Rudolph was determined to drive them out. In 1601 St. Lawrence was appointed chaplain to the military and sent by the emperor to Germany to ask for assistance. The Duke of Brittany and many German soldiers joined the army and began planning an attack on Albe-Royal, a walled city with a garrison of 80,000 Turks. The emperor’s army only had 18,000 men but Saint Lawrence gave a rousing speech and led the attack on horseback holding a crucifix.

The Turks lost 30,000 men defending the city but there were still so many left after the city fell that they reorganized for a counter-attack a few days later. Saint Lawrence again led the army and holding up the crucifix declared, “Forward! Victory is ours.” The army was again victorious and after the battle the general and army as a whole attributed their success to the courage and miraculous protection of Saint Lawrence who, in spite of leading the army in both assaults armed only with a crucifix, was never wounded.

Lawrence’s sensitivity to the needs of people—a character trait perhaps unexpected in such a talented scholar—began to surface. He was elected major superior of the Capuchin Franciscan province of Tuscany at the age of 31. He had the combination of brilliance, human compassion and administrative skill needed to carry out his duties. In rapid succession he was promoted by his fellow Capuchins and was elected minister general of the Capuchins in 1602. In this position he was responsible for great growth and geographical expansion of the Order.

Lawrence was appointed papal emissary and peacemaker, a job which took him to a number of foreign countries. An effort to achieve peace in his native kingdom of Naples took him on a journey to Lisbon to visit the king of Spain. Serious illness in Lisbon took his life in 1619.

In 1956 the Capuchins completed a 15-volume edition of his writings. Eleven of these 15 contain his sermons, each of which relies chiefly on scriptural quotations to illustrate his teaching.

Adapted from AmericanCatholic.org and the Catholic Encyclopedia at newadvent.com.

He was beatified in 1783 by Pope Pius VI, canonized in 1881 by Pope Leo XIII, and declared a doctor of the Church by Pope Saint John XXIII in 1959. His feast day is July 21, in both the ordinary and extraordinary forms.

In art he is typically portrayed on horseback leading the army or embracing the Child Jesus. He is the patron saint of Brindisi, Italy.

His beautiful Litany of St. Lawrence can be prayed here

For St. Lawrence items, click here

 


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Jul
14
What Are the Different Types of Rosaries?
Posted by Ian on 14 July 2017 10:18 AM
Many of us are familiar with the standard, five decade rosary, the centuries-old favorite devotion of Roman Catholics throughout the world. An ornate crucifix on a strand of rosary beads is an image that most associate with devout and faithful prayer. But sometimes confusion arises with other terms, such as “chaplet” or “Franciscan rosary.” Aren’t they all the same? Well, not quite. The term rosary is used for various sets of prayers counted on beads, but the prayers may vary from those used in the Dominican Rosary – the most widely known form of the rosary. Additionally, there are some rosaries that use the standard prayers, but serve a specific purpose, like the wedding rosary. Here is some clarification on some of those different rosary terms.

Five Decade Rosary

Glass White Cloissonne Pewter RosaryThe five decade rosary is the one most people picture when they hear the word rosary. It consists of a crucifix, then a short set of 5 beads, for praying the Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, and a Glory Be, and then a rosary center, followed by a loop of 5 decades (sets of ten beads) to count the Hail Marys prayed as one meditates on the mysteries of the rosary, with a bead for praying the Our Father between each decade. This traditional rosary (both the physical strand of beads and the prayer) is also known as the Dominican Rosary, due to St. Dominic’s role in encouraging and spreading devotion to the holy rosary at the request of the Blessed Mother.

Franciscan Rosaries

Franciscan CrownThe Franciscan Rosary can refer to two different rosaries associated with the Franciscan order. One is the Franciscan Crown, sometimes called a seven decade rosary. As the name suggests, it consists of 7 decades, rather than 5, plus two additional Hail Mary beads, for a total of 72 Hail Mary beads. When praying the Franciscan Crown rosary, one is to meditate on the seven joys of Mary, one joy per each decade. The seven joys are the Annunciation, the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, the Nativity of Jesus, Epiphany, the presentation of Jesus in the temple, the Resurrection of Jesus, and the Assumption & coronation of Mary.
The Franciscan Rosary can also refer to a fifteen-decade rosary. Prior to 2002, when Pope John Paul II instituted the addition of the 5 luminous mysteries, the three sets of the mysteries of the rosary (glorious, sorrowful, and joyful) added up to a total of 15 mysteries. When one would pray a fifteen decade rosary, all fifteen mysteries were meditated upon. One could simply use a standard size rosary and continue around the loop to pray the full fifteen, or now twenty, decades, but a strand of rosary beads consisting of 15 decades of beads was common as well. Franciscan rosary is also a term that may be used to describe a standard five decade rosary with a Franciscan Tau cross in place of the crucifix many are accustomed to seeing.

Chaplets

St. Dymphna ChapletThe word chaplet simply comes from the French word for Rosary, which is chapelet, but the term has now come to be associated with specific sets of prayers, intended to ask the help of Mary, Jesus, or the saints. The standard five decade rosary is in fact a chaplet, but chaplets can vary in size, in pattern or grouping of beads, and in the prayers said on each bead. Typically, the basic prayers, such as the Hail Mary and Our Father are still recited, but chaplets commonly also include prayers to a specific image of Christ or Mary, a particular saint or angel, or a litany. Often, a chaplet is based on a certain intention, and so prayers to the patron saint of that intention or subject will be included.
Divine Mercy ChapletOne of the most common chaplets in recent years is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a chaplet Jesus instructed St. Maria Faustina to pray. It can be said anytime, especially for the dead or dying, but is also often said as part of the Divine Mercy novena which lasts from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday. Another popular chaplet is the St. Joseph Chaplet, a set of prayers asking for the protection and intercession of St. Joseph.

Servite Chaplet or Rosary

Seven Sorrow RosaryThough it can be prayed by anyone, the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Mary is especially connected to the Servite Order (also called Servants of Mary) and so this unique chaplet is commonly referred to as the Servite Rosary. Rather than decades, it consists of seven sets of seven beads; the sets of seven beads are called ‘weeks.’ Where the Franciscan Crown is focused on the seven joys of Mary, the Servite chaplet is focused specifically on the seven sorrows, or dolors, of Mary. These are the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the loss of Jesus in the temple, Mary meeting Jesus on the road to Calvary, the Crucifixion, Jesus being taken down from the cross, and the laying of Jesus’s body in the tomb. The intent behind the Servite rosary is a devotion to Mary and the real pain she suffered in watching and sharing in Jesus’s pain, as we are called to share in Jesus’s suffering as well.

Wedding Rosary

Lasso RosaryThe wedding rosary, also called a lasso, or lazo, rosary is an over-sized rosary formed of two rosaries joined together at the center. The lasso rosary will share a crucifix, the first five beads, and the rosary center, with two, rather than one, loops of 5 decades each. The lasso rosary is part of a wedding ceremony, especially in Hispanic culture, where the loops of the rosary are put over the head of the bride and groom by the priest. This is symbolic of the joining of the two in God; their prayer lives will now be joined as well. Since the rosary is to be placed over the heads of both the bride and groom, the beads are typically oversized with larger spaces between beads in order to make the rosary long enough. While the use of the lasso rosary is largely figurative, it can also be used after the wedding for the husband and wife to pray the rosary together.

One Decade Rosary

The one decade rosary is, as it sounds, a rosary consisting of only one decade. The idea behind the one decade rosary is that it is easy to carry around and use for prayer. After the crucifix on a one decade rosary, the initial 5 beads (for saying the Our Father, 3 Hail Marys and a Glory Be) are commonly represented with only one bead. After the rosary center is one decade, one set of ten beads. Some chaplet instructions come with a one decade rosary, and you can also use a one decade rosary to pray five, or even the full 20 mysteries, by circling around and using the ten beads to count for as many decades as needed. The one decade rosary closely resembles the prayer beads or prayer ropes which have been in use in the Eastern churches (both Catholic and Orthodox) from the earliest years.
There are also a few specific types of one decade rosaries:

Auto Rosary:

Franciscan Auto RosaryThis one decade rosary is the same as one described above but with one difference. Rather than a continuous unbroken loop, there is a clasp in the middle of the set of ten beads. This is in place so that the rosary may be hooked around a rearview mirror, and used for prayer in the car. The clasp is also useful for clipping the rosary to the steering wheel while praying so you do not drop the beads while driving.

Rosary Bracelet:

Rosary BraceletThis is a one decade rosary meant to be worn on the wrist. The bracelet varies slightly from the appearance of the standard one decade rosary. The rosary bracelet has one decade plus one Our Father bead, but rather than a center and a dangling crucifix, there will often be a miraculous medal and small, charm sized crucifix or cross hung together, or a cross shaped bead in place of the hanging crucifix. The bracelet is not intended to be a fashion statement but rather a way to easily bring a rosary with you, to be used for prayer. In the Middle Ages and beyond, it was not uncommon for people to hang a rosary from their waist, which they could easily reach for and use to pray with at any time. Many religious orders still do this, but for many other people, hanging a long rosary from their waist would be impractical. However, the rosary bracelet can be worn easily and so it can be used anywhere as a prayer aid.

Rosary Rings and Finger Rosaries

Finger RosaryA rosary ring can be an actual wearable ring, or it can also be a small, mini one decade rosary to tuck into a wallet or purse, or on a key ring. These non-wearable rings are also called finger rosaries. Similar to the bracelet, there is a crucifix, followed by ten little bumps or beads for the decade. The idea of a small, easily transportable rosary one could reach for and pray with anytime stands true for the rosary ring as well.

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Jul
11
What do you know about St. Benedict?
Posted by Ian on 11 July 2017 06:30 AM

Saint Benedict of Nursia, a figure known famously for being a hermit and for his monastic life, was an extremely influential man during the fifth and sixth centuries A.D. While many people recognize him as the founder of the Benedictine order, in fact Saint Benedict had a profound and lasting impact on the Catholic Church as a whole and not just on one small group of religious. A man of tremendous character, Saint Benedict lived an eventful life:

 

  • Saint Benedict wrote The Rule of Saint Benedict, a set of precepts governing monastic life. As the Rule dictates a moderate path between individual ardor in faith and communal institutionalization, it has gained much popularity over the centuries.
  • Saint Benedict originally studied rhetoric in Rome, but found the lifestyle of the city too degenerate for his tastes. He left, not originally intending to become a hermit, though after a time settled with Romanus, another hermit, in a cave outside of Enfide; he lived thusly for three years.
  • Saint Benedict did not intend to found an order, so to speak, with his monastic precepts. It wasn’t until the later Middle Ages that the term “Order of Saint Benedict” came into existence.
  • Together with Saints Cyril and Methodius, Saint Benedict is one of the co-patron saints of Europe.
  • During his time as a hermit, a group of pious men came to Saint Benedict and begged him to be their abbot; when they proved unwilling to live up to his holy standard, they tried to give him poisoned wine. While he was praying over the cup, it shattered and spilled the deadly drink onto the ground.
  • The Medal of St. Benedict is one of the most popular devotionals. It has complex symbolism so we created an interactive page to show you all the parts!

The Medal of St. Benedict


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