Back in the Middle Ages, many Catholics began observing special devotions around a particular theme each month. Today, many families are reviving this practice as part of the way they observe the liturgical calendar at home. By practicing monthly devotions, the core values of the faith will become more alive within your family. The beauty of monthly devotions is that there is no set way to celebrate. So, be creative, make it fun, and adapt your celebration to your own family.
Jesus said, “Among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist”. Each year on June 24 the Catholic Church honors the birth of John by reflecting on his unique role as the precursor of Jesus. The solemnity held on that date praises John as a worthy example of what it means to be a follower of Christ. A solemnity is the most significant feast the Church can establish. While other saints are remembered with feast days to remember their deaths, St. John the Baptist, like Our Lady, is honored with solemnities to recall both his birth and his death.
Among the many glorious feast days of our Catholic faith, Corpus Christi is arguably one of the richest! This is so because of what we’re celebrating — namely, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1324). It is also so because of the circumstances that led to the proclamation of the feast, which involved a nun, a priest, a bishop and a Eucharistic miracle. Teaching Catholic Kids tells the story.
The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus falls on the 19th day after Pentecost (a Friday), and the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary follows on the next day. If you’ve heard of devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary but aren’t quite sure what they’re all about, in the post you’ll find a brief introduction and a few ideas for what your family might do.
Chicago history buffs will tell you that their city was founded in 1790 by a successful trapper and fur trader named Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. Less well known is du Sable’s background — he was black and Catholic. Traditionally, most African Americans have been members of Protestant denominations, yet African-American Catholics have been a presence in this country since the earliest days of settlement, and they have played a fascinating part in the story of America and of the Church in the United States. Read more history in the full post.