The veneration of relics is an age-old tradition in the Church, and no, we do not worship them as some people might think. It is a tradition going back to the early days of the Church to venerate them as reminders of the holiness of these great Christians. As the originator of World Youth Day, John Paul II obviously had a great connection to this event. A vial of his blood was sent to World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011 and has again been sent to World Youth Day in Rio to be venerated by the faithful.
This vial arrived in Rio in early July and will remain in Rio for several weeks after World Youth Day officially ends on July 28th so that visitors and locals alike will have the opportunity venerate his relic.
Among other relics at WYD in Rio are the body of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Blessed Chiara Luce Badano, Blessed Frédéric Ozanam and St. Antônio Galvão de Santana, the first Brazilian-born Saint.
According to Vatican sources, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at the Church of the Gesu (home Church of the Jesuits) in Rome on July 31. This is the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order. Pope Francis will celebrate the closing Mass of World Youth day in Brazil on Sunday July 28th and is due back from World Youth Day on Monday, July 29. We do not have the details of the Mass yet (the time or whether it is open to the public) but will try to find out in the next few days.
If you are in Rome, whether this July 30th or any other time, we encourage you to visit the Gesu Church. In addition to its architectural beauty (the “domed” ceiling is not actually a dome, but is painted to look like one) you can also visit the rooms next door where Saint Ignatius lived out the last 17 years of his life.
In a time when young people are under attack from so many secular sources, Blessed Pier Giorgio is truly a man for our times. He showed that a Christian can be fun-loving and devout at the same time. Born to a wealthy family, he loved to ski, smoked cigars and clown around just as most young people. His sense of humor was well-known and he loved to pray practical jokes. At the same time he let all his actions be guided by his Catholic faith.
But he was best known for his efforts at social justice and service to the poor that he exhibited throughout his short life—he died July 4, 1925 at the age of 24 from Polio. In 1981 his body was exhumed and found to be incorrupt. In 1989 Pope John Paul II traveled to visit his tomb at the family plot in Pollone, Italy before it was moved to the Cathedral in Turin. And it was Pope John Paul II who Beatified him in 1990.
During the months of July and August the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. will be offering their Summer Organ Recital Series. Performances are Sundays, July through August, at 6:00 p.m. in the Crypt Church. Admission is free although there is a goodwill offering taken. Here are the details of each performance at the Basilica and those who are performing.
July 7 Michael Lodico St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square
July 14 Peter Latona Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
July 21 Timothy Duhr Holy Trinity Parish, Georgetown
July 28 Benjamin Straley Washington National Cathedral
August 4 Russell Weismann Basilica of the Nat’l Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
August 11 Josh Stattford Saint Paul Parish, K Street & Saint John the Beloved, McLean
August 18 Adam Detzner Stanford University
August 25 Benjamin LaPrairie Basilica of the Nat’l Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Be part of this exciting event! A new film is set to be released this fall outlining the life of Brother Joseph Zoetti, a humble servant of the Lord and his creation of over 125 life-like models of various shrines and holy sites throughout the world. This is nothing short of miraculous considering that some of the materials used came from a train derailment that “just happened” to be nearby and provided him with a source of crushed marble. And he did all this in his spare time during a tumultuous era in the deep South of the U.S. which had a tiny Catholic population.
The documentary entitled “Brother Joseph and the Grotto” tells his story from the time his mother died, he emigrated to the U.S., served in many humble ways and created on the country’s most unique attractions. It includes voluminous archival materials, key interviews, stylized re-enactments and storybook illustrations.
A truly uplifting movie for our times, it is a powerful testament to this humble little hunchback who did so much with so little up until the time of his death in 1961.
The film makers are looking for supporters to help make its release an even greater success by contributing in small or large amounts. Funds will help pay for rare archival footage (like the only known motion-picture footage of Brother Joseph, captured in a Paramount Pictures newsreel and unseen for 70 years) and post-production services (like color grading) to deliver as polished a final product as possible. Their goals are modest, only $10,000, of which almost one third has already been raised. By contributing you can become a part of the New Evangelization and possibly even get your name mentioned in the film credits!
We encourage you to visit the following link to find out about their efforts and to help in any way possible.
The latest news is that the Shrine is officially closed at the moment. As of Tuesday most activities, including Masses at the Grotto, had been cancelled due to the the flooding that has taken place this week. The only Masses were in the upper Basilica of the Shrine.
The situation has worsened since then and now the Shrine is temporarily closed to pilgrims.
A new phone line is now open for information on World Youth Day 2013 in Brazil. The phone line is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., but is not toll-free so you will have to pay international phone charges. Of course if you are attending WYD 2013 and are in Brazil it will not be an international call. The number to call is (country code 55) + (21) 2122-8050. Those answering the phones will be able to communicate in Portuguese (the language spoken in Brazil), English and Spanish.
You can also email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Emails are answered in Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, French, German and Polish. Please note that many of the answers you are looking for are on the official World Youth Day website, so they ask that you go there first.
Many countries celebrate the third Sunday in May as Father’s Day but others do not. Fathers Day originated in the U.S. in the 1920’s as a counter point to Mother’s Day although it did not gain much popularity in the early days.
Perhaps one of the most notable exceptions is that of Italy. They celebrate on March 19th, Feast Day of Saint Joseph. We think this is rather fitting since Saint Joseph was the foster father of Jesus and a great example to fathers everywhere.
Regardless of where or when, we salute fathers, step-fathers, foster-fathers and God-Fathers everywhere (hope we mentioned all categories).
For an interesting look at how the Feast of Saint Joseph is celebrated not only in Italy but around the world click our webpage here.
Whether you are traveling with a group or independently, you will get more out of your visit to Brazil if you do a bit of advance planning. One thing would be to learn a few basic sentences in Portuguese. Remember, that is the official language of Brazil is Portuguese, not Spanish as in most other South American countries. A phrase book or phone app would be a wise investment. At least become familiar with some aspects of the country, emergency contact numbers, etc. Here are a few basic tips to help you prepare:
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.