How to choose a First Communion Dress
Posted by Ian on 17 March 2017 10:30 AM
Selecting a First Communion Dress for your daughter’s First Holy Communion can be time consuming task. Here are some tips to make sure you save time and get the perfect dress for such a wonderful occasion.
Look at the different styles available.
First Communion dresses come in a wide variety of styles and materials. Sleeves can be short, long or none at all and some dresses have a cute bolero vest.
Dresses also can be floor length or shorter and your daughter will probably have an opinion about what she likes best.
Dresses can range in price from around $50 to over $300. Are you planning on having this dress available for multiple daughters? Will your daughter wear this dress more than once? First Communion dresses usually make good Easter dresses later. Just add a pastel sash!
If this is a one time shot consider spending less. Department stores typically have inexpensive dresses that are perfectly suitable for a one time use.
If the dress is going to be worn more, consider spending a little more from a company like Lito Children’s Wear. The dresses are good quality and all the ones carried by Aquinas and More are made in the United States. These dresses range in price from $80 up to $120.
If you are looking for heirloom quality to pass on for generations, go with Embroidered Heirlooms. These dresses are gorgeous and have those classic details like piping and smocking that you won’t find in many places anymore. You will pay for the quality. These dresses are typically over $300 and you have to order early since the company is small.
Consider where the dress is made
Unfortunately, most First Communion dresses are made in China. These dresses are typically less expensive but if you have an option, why not get a dress made in a country that doesn’t have a policy of state-forced human rights abuses?
Fortunately, it is possible to buy dresses at reasonable prices made in the United States.
If you can’t walk into a store to buy a dress, make sure you measure your daughter carefully so that you get the right size dress.
Some stores may not let you exchange a dress if you make a mistake but at Aquinas and More we will be happy to make an exchange for you if the dress isn’t the right size.
Remember that tea length dresses are higher than ankle but lower than knee height.
Measurements are taken from the shoulder to the bottom hem of the dress.
Does your daughter’s doll want to share in the special day?
What girl wouldn’t want to dress up her American Girl-size doll just like her? Lito makes matching doll First Communion dresses for several of their First Communion dress styles. What a great gift for your daughter!
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What’s Your Catholic Passion – Helping the Poor
Posted by Ian on 14 February 2017 10:34 AM
Before his ordination he volunteered to be transferred to Pueblo, CO because the area was in great need of priests.
During his life he served in numerous parishes throughout Colorado and even helped organize a credit union for St. Joseph's parish in Salida.
His love of the poor and those in special need of healing was always his primary concern.
Father Gallagher died in 2015 while visiting his family in Iowa.
The vestment purchased in his memory is a Celtic Knot chasuble from Theological Threads.
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Love endures all things . . and never fails. St. Valentine’s Day is February 14.
Posted by Ian on 14 February 2017 04:00 AM
St. Valentine's Day is February 14th.
Do you know the story behind this holiday?
St. Valentine of Rome, a martyr, was a priest or possibly a bishop in 3rd century Rome. Some sources list St. Valentine of Rome and St. Valentine of Terni as separate men, but most scholars believe them to have been the same person. Little is known about the history of St. Valentine, but he is believed to have been a physician, imprisoned for giving aid to jailed martyrs. However, as with many of the early martyrs, little is known aside from his name, Valentinus; that he was killed for the Faith; and that he was buried at the Via Flaminia north of Rome. He was beaten and beheaded around the year 269 A.D. Valentine’s name and feast on the 14th of February was first established in 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who named Valentine among those “… whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.”
There are several legends about St. Valentine, but as Pope Gelasius I indicated, his actual acts cannot be known. The most well-known legend of the saint’s life is also sometimes cited as the basis for the later card-sending tradition.
According to legend, Valentine, along with St. Marius, aided the Christian martyrs during the Claudian persecution. In addition to his other edicts against helping Christians, Claudius had also issued a decree forbidding marriage. Valentine, a priest or a bishop, defied this decree and he urged young lovers to come to him in secret so that he could join them in the sacrament of matrimony. When Valentine was discovered, he was arrested, but the emperor first attempted to convert Valentine to Roman paganism rather than execute him.
Of course, Valentine remained steadfast in his faith, and even tried to convert Emperor Claudius to Christianity, and so the emperor then condemned him to death. In the time before Valentine was executed, he was tended by the jailer, Asterius, and his blind daughter, who was very kind to Valentine and brought him food and messages. The legend states that Valentine became friends with and converted both Asterius and his daughter, and miraculously restored the girl's sight.
The History of Saint Valentine's Day
The romantic nature of February 14 seems to have been attached to the date long after it was recognized as the feast day of St. Valentine. Still, several centuries before pre-printed, mass-produced greeting cards existed, men and women sent notes, tokens, and cards to their loves on St. Valentine’s Day. The tradition certainly was in place by the late 15th century, with French and English literature indicating the practice dated at least to the 14th century. However it is less certain exactly how St. Valentine’s Day came to be recognized as the romantic holiday it is today. There are multiple ideas on how the custom evolved.
The legend that describes St. Valentine’s imprisonment mentions a letter he sent to the Jailer Asterius’s daughter on the eve before he was executed. According to the legend, the farewell message was affectionately signed “From Your Valentine,” a phrase now popular on Valentine greeting cards everywhere.
One aspect is referenced in the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer. It was a popular belief in the middle ages that birds would choose their mates mid-way through the second month of the year – the 14th of February – and that day was seen as consecrated to lovers. In Chaucer’s 14th century poem Parliament of Fowls is the line “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day, Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.” This is often recognized as the earliest known written reference to the sending of notes to a loved one on St. Valentine’s Day.
Some years later, the reference to Valentine’s Day and birds was mentioned again in one of the Paston Letters (a collection of letters and other papers exchanged among members of the gentry Paston family and their acquaintances between 1422 and 1509):
“And, cousin mine, upon Monday is Saint Valentine's Day and every bird chooses himself a mate, and if it like you to come on Thursday night, and make provision that you may abide till then, I trust to God that ye shall speak to my husband and I shall pray that we may bring the matter to a conclusion.”
To browse the complete selection of items in our St. Valentine's Day Specialty Store, please click here.
“God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator's eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.”
Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: “It is not good that the man should be alone.” The woman, “flesh of his flesh,” his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a “helpmate”; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been “in the beginning”: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
– from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1604, 1605
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered,
it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never fails.”
– St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 13:4
A Simple Prayer to Saint Valentine
Dear Saint and glorious martyr, teach us to love unselfishly and to find great joy in giving. Enable all true lovers to bring out the best in each other. Let them love each other in God and in God each other. Amen.
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What is Candlemas?
Posted by Ian on 02 February 2017 06:15 AM
Candlemas – History and Meaning
In the Roman Rite, Candlemas is another name the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The principal Mass for this great feast is preceded by the blessing of candles, hence the name, from Candle Mass.
According to the Mosaic law of the Old Testament, a woman who has given birth to a son was considered unclean for 7 days (double this time if she had a daughter) and she was to remain for 33 days “in the blood of her purification” which meant the time she was excluded from the temple. When the time of waiting was over, forty days, she was to bring a sacrifice to the temple. After offering her sacrifice, and having a priest pray over her, she was considered clean.
Forty days after the birth of Our Lord, His Blessed Mother complied with the Mosaic law, she ritually redeemed her first born son, and was purified by the prayer of St. Simeon the just, in the presence of Anna the prophetess. This awesome event, the first solemn introduction of Our Lord into His Father's House, has ever been a great feast in the Church.
In the Roman Rite, the blessing of the candles takes place before the Mass. The celebrant is dressed in purple vestments, stands on the epistle side of the holy altar, and blesses the candles. Five prescribed orations are sung or recited as the candles, of pure beeswax, are sprinkled and incensed. The candles are then distributed to the congregants and the Canticle of Simeon, the Nunc dimitus, is sung. Between each verse of the Canticle, “Lumen ad revelationem gentium et gloriam plebis tuae Israel” is sung. Following this a procession takes place, with the candles lighted and carried in hand, while all sing “Adorna thalamum tuum, Sion” – composed by St. John of Damascus, an early Father of the Church. The solemn procession represents the entry of Our Lord, who is the Light of the World, into the holy Temple of Jerusalem.
The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Candlemas, was celebrated in the earliest times in the Church at Jerusalem and from there the observance of the feast spread throughout the Christian world.
This article brought to you by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. Written by Mike Davis.
Sources for this article include:
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What is the Douay-Rheims Bible
Posted by Ian on 31 January 2017 11:01 AM
The Holy Bible, faithfully translated into English out of the authentic Latin. Diligently conferred with the Hebrew, Greek and other Editions.
History of the Douay-Rheims Bible