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Hopeless? Turn to Saint Philomena

One of the most popular saints among Catholics is Saint Philomena, patroness of impossible causes.  As Saint John Vianney said: “To Saint Philomena God refuses nothing.”   Or as Pope Gregory XVI said:  “Whatever you ask from her, she will obtain for you”.

Her shrine in Italy at Mugnano de Cardinale, Avellino, is a short distance from Naples.  Churches around the world will honor her on her Feast Day August 11th.

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Confused about the Great Pardon of Assisi?

August 1 & 2 are the dates to obtain a plenary indulgence through the Great Pardon of Assisi. 

If you are confused about how to obtain the Great Pardon of Assisi, you are not alone.

Various websites have various versions:  Some say the great pardon of Assisi cannot be obtained at just any parish church, but must be at a Franciscan church, while others say it can be any Catholic church.  We have confirmed that you can receive the Great Pardon of Assisi at any Catholic church in the world.   Originally it was confined to those who could actually visit Assisi or any other Franciscan church, but in many cases this is not possible, and so it was later changed to include any Catholic church.(subject to the usual conditions, of course).

 

To learn about the Great Pardon of Assisi, check out our page here.

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Pope Francis declares Mission San Buenaventura a Basilica

The Mission’s website reads:

“With all praise and glory to God, Pope Francis has elevated Mission San Buenaventura to the status of a Minor Basilica, the first basilica in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Archbishop Jose Gomez was notified of this status by a communication from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Our parish, now titled Mission Basilica San Buenaventura, is the sevneth minor basilica in Alta California and numbers 88th in the United States.”

“We are most grateful to His Holiness, Pope Francis for this honor and to Archbishop Jose Gomez for his unwavering support for this petition. Bishop Robert Barron who also supported this petition, was installed as Episcopal Vicar for the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region in 2015 at our Mission. The formal date for the celebration of this milestone for the people of God in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and all people of good will in the City of San Buenaventura and the County of Ventura is pending.”

Here is the official website for the Mission San Buenventura Basilica

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Ban on cruising in U.S. waters extended

The Centers for Disease Control had banned cruising in U.S. waters through July 24, 2020. For those cruise ports that are in U.S.waters, that meant no cruises departing from the U.S. whatsoever.  That would also apply, of course, to Transatlantic crossings docking in the U.S.

Under the new extension, cruising will not resume until October 1 at the earliest.  We suspect that even this date is highly likely to change.

The Canadian government has also come down hard:  it is banning all large cruise ships that carry more than 100 people until Oct 31, 2020.  Again we suspect that will not be the last we hear.

The Miami Herald reports that since June 23, some 1,000 cruise ship crew members have developed either confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus while living aboard mostly empty ships waiting off the U.S. coast.  Click here for the video from the Miami Herald  (external link).

Although this is a disappointment for passengers, it is an absolute tragedy for many crew members.  These men and women are often from impoverished countries and rely on earnings to help support their families back home.  While quarantined  in port, they are not receiving any pay…and in many cases they are not able to return to their home countries.  It is a nightmare scenario.

We would hope there might be some way to help these crew members….and we would like to hear from you if you have any information or are aware of any organized efforts to help them financially.  We’d be happy to post it on our site.  Of course, your prayers should come first.

Find out about cruises for Catholics on our cruise page.

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Youth Festival in Medjugorje is NOT CANCELLED

The International Prayer Encounter of the Youth -(Youth Festival) is an annual event held in Medjugorje  each year that attracts upwards of 100,000 young people.  Scheduled for August 1-6, it was cancelled and now is back on.

The theme of this year’s prayer encounter is “Come, and you will see“ (John 1, 39).

It will be much different from the Youth Festivals of the past due, of course, to the Covid-19 epidemic.  ….Many programs of the international spiritual retreats have been cancelled

Most of the program from Medjugorje is being now sent to the world via electronic media so that people can tune in from wherever they might be.  This year’s Youth Festival will be live streamed online. Depending on the development of virus, all gatherings would be according to the instructions of the institutions in charge.

Let us continue to be united in the same spirit in the school of Our Lady and let us rejoice that we would be connected together in Medjugorje, both in our hearts and in our spirit.

There will be challenges, especially regarding visitors from the U.S.A.  Certain restrictions by the European Union are limiting…and almost forbidding…entrance to the E.U.  See our blog post here.

There are some loopholes, so if you are traveling with a group check to see what arrangements have been made.

You can visit the official website for the Youth Festival here.

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European Travel Ban hits U.S. travelers hard

Effective July 1, all non-essential travel from the U.S.A. to the European Union’s 27 member states has been banned.  There are only a few exceptions, and these will probably not apply to you.

Note that the ban is based on residency……not citizenship. Someone arriving from the U.S., who is a citizen or resident in the EU–or in one of the countries listed below, can enter.

Also banned are residents of Brazil, Russia and India.

 

 

The following 27 countries are members of the European Union:

Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus
Czechia
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden

 

Residents of the following countries that are not members of the E.U. are allowed entry:

Algeria
Australia
Canada
Georgia
Japan
Montenegro
Morocco
New Zealand
Rwanda
Serbia
South Korea
Thailand
Tunisia
Uruguay
China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity)

Just to add to the confusion, each country will determine its own specific way of enforcing the ban.  It is not known how long this ban will be in effect, but obviously it will spoil most travel plans for the summer and probably in to the fall.

And, as usual, everything keeps changing, so we will do our best to keep you updated.

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A virtual pilgrimage on the Way of St. James (Santiago de Compostela)

Walking The Way of Saint James is a wonderful experience for those who are able to make it.  It has been closed during the Coronavirus pandemic, but is now back open.

But for those who cannot make it, The Camino de Santiago Virtual Challenge is the next best thing.

Here is how it works:

♦ You set up your own deadline (up to 78 weeks) and you can do it solo or as a team. Cross the finish line and you will receive a “finishers” medal (if you walk the physical Way, you normally have a passport stamped at various places along the way and get “finished” when you reach Santiago de Compostela.

♦  Each time you complete a distance based exercise activity such as running, walking, cycling etc you advance along the map from France to Spain.

It is a great way to stay fit during these strange times of partial shut-downs.

The catch is, it’s not free.  It costs to participate (includes the medal)  You can find out more and sign up here.

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Miracle Approved….Carlo Acutis one step closer to Sainthood

According to the Vatican News Service, on February 21, 2020, PopeFrancis received His Most Reverend Eminence Cardinal Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

During the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the same Congregation to promulgate the Decrees concerning a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Carlo Acutis.  This young man, who died at age 15 had an amazing devotion to the Eucharist and detailed Eucharistic Miracles throughout the world.  He is buried in Assisi.

The miracle involved the healing of a Brazilian child suffering from a rare congenital anatomic anomaly of the pancreas in 2013. The Medical Council of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes gave a positive opinion of the miracle in November 2019.

With Pope Francis’ approval of the miracle, Carlo Acutis can now be beatified (declared Blessed)…one step closer to Sainthood.

The Beatrification will take place on October 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

You can read more about him here.

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Ever Hear of a “Tenner Rosary” ?

History of the Tenner Rosary:

It is a long and tragic story, but during the period from about 1537 to 1714, persecution of Catholics in Ireland (and elsewhere in Great Britain) became government policy.  Catholic clergy in Ireland were expelled, and those who did not leave were forced into hiding.  If found, they were subject to instant execution. As a result, the priests had to be hidden in private homes (sometimes in a “priest hole”) and Mass had to be held in secret…sometimes in the countryside on “Mass Rocks” as well as privately in homes.

All Catholic items were forbidden including statues, stained glass windows and even possession of a rosary was illegal.

There were many martyrs during this period: 17 of whom were beatified in 1992, including Thomas Beckett.

 

The Tenner Rosary:

Tenner Rosaries
Find Tenner Rosaries in our store

The faith was kept alive, of course, and many were able to practice private devotions without any penalties.  For those wishing to have a rosary, a “tenner rosary” was the perfect choice:  it was easy to hide so that if someone unknown to you were to approach, it could be quickly tucked away.  Tenner rosaries have a crucifix, the Our Father and 10 rosary beads.

Of course, those times are in the past, but sometimes it is convenient to carry a small rosary rather than one with all five decades, especially when traveling.  And in the time of the Corona Virus, the more rosaries you say the better, in our opinion.

You can find a great selection of Tenner Rosaries here in our store.