Author: Vincent

Is it okay to wear a rosary around your neck?

Is it okay to wear a rosary around your neck?

Guess what! There is no rule against wearing rosaries around your neck. Many people think it’s wrong, but let’s consider some other examples. Dominican and Franciscan friars hang the rosary from their belts. Some people wear rosary bracelets, and some even wear rosary rings. You might also hang a rosary from your rear view mirror or your bedpost. None of those things seems wrong. So, is it right to wear rosaries around our necks?

The answer: no and yes. We have to examine why a person would wear it. First of all, the rosary is not a piece of jewelry. Yes, many rosaries are very beautiful and look very much like a necklace, but the truth is, they are not. Wearing it as a decoration, even if you happen to be Catholic, is wrong.

Next, the rosary is not a magic talisman. Some people wear the rosary around their necks because they believe that it provides protection or blessing. This is superstitious, and therefore wrong. Indeed, the rosary is in fact a powerful weapon against evil, but that comes from praying it, not wearing it. The physical beads on a string are only a device to help you keep count.

Finally, some people might wear the rosary (or hang it in their car) as a symbol of their faith. I once knew a guy who kept the rosary in his pocket but purposefully let the cross dangle out so people could see it. This is not wrong, but we must bear something in mind. The (physical) rosary is not a primarily tool for evangelization, but a tool for prayer.

The only reason a person should ever wear a rosary is that he actually prays it. If you pray the rosary (everyday or close to everyday), then feel free to wear the rosary, just as you might a rosary bracelet or ring. That’s not because you earn some kind of right to wear it by praying it. Rather, wearing it might be a convenient reminder to pray. Let’s not be so concerned with whether or not we should wear the rosary. (I keep mine in my pocket.) More important is this: PRAY THE ROSARY!

Yes, you can believe it!

Mary Most Popular and Largest Shrines

Mary Most Popular and Largest Shrines

Mary's Shrine
Mary’s Shrine
A Shrine to the Virgin Mary is a shrine marking an apparition or other miracle ascribed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It could also be a site on which is centered a historically strong Marian devotion. Shrine to the Virgin Mary is also called Marian Shrine.

Are you a Marian devotee? These sites are absolutely a must-see for you!

A Shrine to the Virgin Mary is a shrine marking an apparition or other miracle ascribed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It could also be a site on which is centered a historically strong Marian devotion. Shrine to the Virgin Mary is also called Marian Shrine.

Here are the most famous and the biggest Shrines of the Virgin Mary from the different parts of the world.

Our Lady of Lourdes

The “Our Lady of Lourdes” in France is perhaps the most popular Shrine of the Virgin Mary. With a population of about 15,000 people, it receives about 5,000,000 pilgrims annually and within France only Paris has more hotel rooms than Lourdes.

Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparition said to have appeared before various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France. The apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes started on February 1858 when a 14-year-old peasant girl told her mother that she had seen a “lady” in a cave while gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. It has been reported that the “lady” appeared 17 times more on the same year.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe or Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is a very popular and celebrated Roman Catholic icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe. According to tradition, a young converted Aztec indigenous peasant named Juan Diego had a vision of young woman in a hill in Tepeyac Desert in Mexico and he was told to build a church on the hill in December 1531.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is housed in the Basilica of Guadalupe, one of the most visited Catholic shrines in the world. It is the country’s most popular religious and cultural image, with the titles “Queen of Mexico”, “Empress of the Americas”, and “Patroness of the Americas”. This Basilica the world’s third largest Catholic Church.

Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima or Nossa Senhora de Fátima in Portuguese is a well-known and famous title given to the Virgin Mary. According to tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in apparitions to 3 shepherd children named Lucia dos Santos, Jacinta Marto and Francisco Marto is 1917 6 times.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima is one of the world’s largest Marian shrines and is one of Portugal’s most visited religious edifices. The title of Our Lady of the Rosary is also sometimes used to refer to the same apparition.

Our Lady of the Pillar

The “Our Lady of the Pillar” is housed in the Basilica-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar or Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Spanish. This popular Catholic Church is located in Zaragoza in Aragon, Spain.

The Basilica venerates Blessed Virgin Mary and praised as Mother of the Hispanic Peoples Pope John Paul II. It is reputed to be the first church dedicated to Mary in history.

Our Lady of La Salette

An apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary was reported by 2 shepherd children named Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvat in 1846 at La Sallette, a small mountaintop village in France

The image of the “Our Lady of La Sallette” is contained on the church on the hill. La Salette, like the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, remains one of the most famous Marian apparitions of modern times.

Our Lady of Aparecida

The Our Lady of Aparecida is the Patroness of Brazil. It is housed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Aarecida in the town of Aparecida in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is also called Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Who Appeared. Lady Aparecida was officially declared as ” world’s the largest Marian Temple” in 1984. As of 1999, the number of pilgrims was 6.6 million.

Our Lady of Good Health

The Our Lady of Good Health is contained in the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health located in the town of Velankanni in the Tamil Nadu state of India.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Vailankanni, also known as the “Lourdes of the East,” is one of the most frequented religious sites in India receiving about 2 million pilgrims very year.

Our Lady of Manaoag

The Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is a 17th century Catholic ivory icon. It is formally called Nuestra Señora del Santissimo Rosario de Manaoag which means Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag. It is one of the most popular and widely visited Catholic Pilgrimages in the country.

The Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, which is housed in the Manaoag Cathedral, is one of the most venerated Marian images of Mary in the Philippines. Mary, under this title, is officially known as the patroness of the sick, the helpless and the needy. The Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag is located 200 km north of Manila in Manaoag, Pangasinan.

Knock Shrine

Knock Shrine is a major Catholic pilgrimage site located in the village of Knock, County Mayo in Ireland. It is also the country’s National Shrine and claimed there was an apparition of the Virgin Mary together with St. Joseph, St. John and Jesus Christ in 1879.

Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland Basilica.

Shrine of the Holy Shrine

The Shrine of the Holy House or Santuario della Santa Casa is a Catholic pilgrimage site in Loreto, Italy. It contains the house in which the Blessed Virgin Mary lived. It is a popular tourist destination for non-Catholics as well.

Our Lady of Tinos

Our Lady of Tinos or “The All-Holy Bringer of Good News” is the major Marian shrine in Greece. It is located in the town of Tinos on the island of Tinos. According to tradition, the site is where the Virgin Mary appeared to the nun St. Pelagia. The beautiful church is often called the same, and is considered a protectress of seafarers and healer of the infirm.

Our Lady of Peace

The Our Lady of Peace is housed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro, a Catholic minor basilica. It is located in Yamoussoukro, administrative capital of Cote d’Ivoire. Guinness World Records lists it as the world’s largest church in the world followed by St. Peter’s Basilica. This edifice has an area of 30,000 m² and is 158 m in height. This awesomely huge church can accommodate 18,000 worshippers, compared to 60,000 for St. Peter’s

Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major

The Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome is the largest Catholic Marian Church in the city. The basilica is owned by the Holy See and enjoys extraterritorial status similar to that of foreign embassies. The building is patrolled internally not by Italian police but by police agents of Vatican City State

Catholic Church Holy Days of Obligation

Catholic Church Holy Days of Obligation

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HOLY DAYS OF OBLIGATION IN THE CHURCH

On holy days of obligation, Catholics are obliged to participate in Mass. Every Sunday is a holy day of obligation, as are six other days throughout the year.

The following days must also be observed:

    • the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    • the Epiphany,
    • the Ascension,
    • the Body and Blood of Christ,
    • Holy Mary the Mother of God,
    • her Immaculate Conception,
    • her Assumption,
    • Saint Joseph,
    • Saint Peter and Saint Paul the Apostles,
    • and All Saints.

Vatican City

These ten are the exact holy days of obligation that are celebrated in Vatican City, but there is variation elsewhere (including in Italy). The reason is that the Code of Canon Law goes on to state:

Can.  1246 §2. With the prior approval of the Apostolic See, however, the conference of bishops can suppress some of the holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday.

Country with fewest Holy Days

Thus different countries celebrate different holy days of obligation (apart from Sunday, which they all celebrate).

  • The country with the fewest number of holy days of obligation seems to Hong Kong, which has only one: Christmas.
  • Canada has two: Christmas and Mary, Mother of God.
  • The United States, by contrast, has a fairly robust eight holy days of obligation, though two to three have been transferred to Sundays (depending on where you live).

The details can be a little bewildering though, so here is a complete, up-to-date list of the holy days of obligation in the United States:

  • January 1: The Feast of Mary, the Mother of God

  • 40 days after Easter Sunday: Ascension Thursday

  • August 15: Assumption of Mary into heaven

  • November 1: All Saints’ Day

  • December 8: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception

  • December 25: Christmas, the Nativity of Our Lord

In the United States, Christmas Day (December 25) and the Immaculate Conception (December 8) are always days of obligation. Christmas and Easter (which always falls on Sunday) are the highest-ranking holy days, and the Immaculate Conception is the feast for the United States.

Holy Days for Europe

Europe has four more holy days than the United States observes: January 6 (Epiphany), March 19 (St. Joseph), Corpus Christi (Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which is the Sunday after Pentecost, which is 50 days after Easter), and the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul (June 29)

How old was Elizabeth when she gave birth to John?

How old was Elizabeth when she gave birth to John?

Image result for where in the bible is the visitation of mary to elizABETH

The Gnostic Elizabeth

In the Mandaean Gospel of John the Baptizer, Elizabeth is called Enishbai. Because the Mandaeans hold John and not Jesus to be the true teacher, she is more important than Mary, who is mentioned but briefly. In this source we learn that Elizabeth was 88 years old when she gave birth to John:

“My father,” says Yahyā (John), “was ninety and nine and my mother eighty and eight years old. Out of the basin of Jordan they took me. They bore me up and laid me in the womb of Enishbai. ‘Nine months,’ said they, ‘thou shalt stay in her womb, as do all other children.’ No wise woman,” said he, “brought me into the world in Judæa, and they have not cut my cord in Jerusalem. They made for me no picture of lies, and for me hung up no bell of deceit. I was born from Enishbai in the region of Jerusalem.”

Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist and the wife of Zechariah, according to the Gospel of Luke. A righteous woman of a priestly lineage, she conceived her son miraculously as an old woman, after her husband received a revelation while serving at the Temple of Jerusalem.

During her pregnancy, she and Zechariah provided hospitality to Mary, the mother of Jesus, who visited the couple immediately after receiving her own revelation that she, too, would miraculously conceive a son. Elizabeth acted prophetically in greeting Mary by sensing that her young cousin would be “the mother of my Lord.”

Family background

According to Luke 1:36, Elizabeth was related to Mary. The word used in the Greek original to describe their kinship is suggenes, a blood relative. Traditionally, they are believed to have been cousins. St. Hippolytus of Rome affirmed that Mary’s mother (Saint Anne) and Elizabeth’s mother (Sobe) were sisters.

Luke reports that Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron the priest (Luke 1:5). She and her husband Zechariah were “righteous before God, living blamelessly” (1:6). Like several other providential women in the Bible, Elizabeth was barren. Luke mentions that she was also old, being “far advanced in years.”

Miraculous conception

Zechariah, having been chosen by lot for the honor to minister at the altar of incense in the Temple of Jerusalem was visited by the Angel Gabriel, who told him that Elizabeth would have a son who “will be great in the sight of the Lord” (1:15) and would be inspired by the “spirit and power of Elijah.”

Zechariah expressed doubts that such a thing could be possible, because, “I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” Gabriel caused him to lose the power of speech because of his doubt.

Nevertheless, after Zechariah returned to their home in the hill country of Judea, both he and Elizabeth proved equal to the task.

Overjoyed, Elizabeth declared, “The Lord has done this for me. In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” To ensure the success of her pregnancy, she secluded herself for five months.

Elizabeth and Mary

In the sixth month, however, Elizabeth received an unexpected visit from of her young cousin, Mary (1:39).

Gabriel had visited Mary in Nazareth and informed that she, too, would conceive a son, even though she had not yet “known a man.” (1:34) Asked how such a thing could happen, he informed Mary of Elizabeth’s own miraculous pregnancy.

Mary immediately left Nazareth for the hill country in response. The visit had a powerful effect on Elizabeth, as her fetus became agitated, and she prophesied:

Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (1:41-43)

Elizabeth and Zechariah then provided hospitality to Mary for three months, but as the time for Elizabeth to give birth neared, Mary returned to Nazareth.

The birth of John

Zechariah confirms Elizabeth’s statement: “His name is John.”

After this, Elizabeth gave birth to a son, and when the extended family, not including Mary, gathered for his circumcision eight days later, she named him John. The relatives protested on the grounds that none of the child’s ancestors had been so named. At this point Zechariah confirmed the name through the use of a writing tablet, and his power of speech miraculously returned. He too then prophesied, predicting:

You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. (Luke 1:76-77)

John would indeed go on to be a famous prophet in Christian tradition, being the forerunner of Jesus who baptized many thousands at the Jordan River and testified to Jesus as the son of God. Outside of the New Testament, John is mentioned in the works of the historian Josephus. Luke reports John’s reputation to be so great that, “The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. (3:15)