Visions of Mary

Some images from our book Visions of Mary.
We wanted Visions of Mary to be a book about how the Virgin Mary affects people in their everyday lives. In some countries and in many homes and businesses in the United States, images of Mary are displayed among other family photographs. For this reason, we deliberately chose not to use the great art works and paintings that have been created in her honor. Rather, we sought photographs of “everyday Marys.”. mary1

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Thank you to the many people involved!
Lisa Silvestri
Hong Digital
Dr. Joseph Sciorra
Larry Raccioppo
Dana Salvo
Diane Block
Father Eugene Carrella
Micki Cesario and husband Michael
Monastery of Saint Mina
Zeitun Coptic Outreach Center
Shrine of Akita, Japan

 

The Holy Spirit

IMG_7105The Holy Spirit was present during each stage of Christ’s life. When the angel appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus, he declared: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Lk 1:35).

Later on, at the baptism of Jesus, which marked the beginning of His public ministry, the Holy Spirit was present and, on this occasion, could be seen in material form. “When Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him” (Mt 3:16). During His ministry, Jesus taught about the Holy Spirit and had a relationship with Him. Furthermore, He urged His disciples to receive Him in their lives.

Saint Rosalia of Palermo

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No other woman is so beloved as Palermo’s own Saint Rosalia. When you come to visit, you’ll see her image everywhere you look. Of course, you’ll find her in churches, but I’m talking about everywhere.

Our Saint Rosalia is beautiful in all her different representations.

Today, she rests in the Monte Pellegrino Hermitage. Her bones are kept in the reliquary of the Cathedral. And you can find the lovely Van Dyck portrait of Saint Rosalia that is on display in the Palazzo Abatellis.

Wherever you find her portrait, you’ll find flowers offered about her image. According to legend, when Saint Rosalia performed miracles, bystanders noticed the sweet odor of flowers that emanated from her presence.

For those of you who are interested, I’m gonna tell you a short recap of the life and work of Saint Rosalia. Old Don Tano is pretty old, but not old enough to be present at any of the famous miracles performed by our own Santa Rosalia.

But I read you know. Besides, here in Palermo, everybody knows the legend and all the stories that surround the lovely Saint Rosalia.

Our Lady was born in 1126 right here in Palermo, a daughter of the aristocracy. Her father was Count Roger I.

In those days, it was normal for the parents to arrange suitable marriages for their children. But Saint Rosalia refused to accept a husband from the many choices offered her. She felt a greater, more important call, so instead of allowing herself to be married, she cloistered herself in a convent.

But soon felt that there was too much gossip and petty jealousy much like it had been at court, so then Saint Rosalia installed herself in a little cave. The cave in Pellegrino Mountwas the property of her father. Saint Rosalia was to remain in her cave until her death.

But during her lifetime she performed a number of miracles. During a 1624 plague, in one of her most famous appearances, she showed herself to a soap maker.

She bade him suggest to the cardinal that her bones be brought to a procession so she could stop the plague.

Today she is our Sicilian heroine and The Festino di Santa Rosalia (The Feast of Saint Rosalia). Many visitors including traveler scientist Patrick Brydone, insist this is the most beautiful popular feast in all of Europe.

These colorful festivities take place on the evening of July 14th when Saint Rosalia’s relics resting in a grand chariot are paraded from the Old Town to the Marina, culminating in a grand spectacle of fireworks.

The most outstanding feature of the procession is the magnificent chariot. Shaped like a vessel it houses the statue of the Santuzza (Little Saint). Each year a new chariot is constructed just for this momentous event.

Actually, the chariot is the equivalent of a moving stage. It is about thirty-three feet long and wide. Oxen pull the chariot (although originally we understand elephants did that job).

Roses, angels, putti (cherubs) and Tritons blend together in gold and baroque colors decorate this wonderful chariot, while people continue to dance around the procession creating their own amazing choreography with lighting effects.

And in the meantime, everyone constantly keeps shouting Viva Palermo and Santa Rosalia(Hurrah for Palermo and Santa Rosalia!)

The following day (July 15th) Saint Rosalia’s relics are carried all around and finally returned to the Cathedral to be blessed by the Archbishop of Palermo.

If you do get to come to Palermo during these festivities and fail to attend — well, that would be a mortal sin’. I’ll come to your hotel in person and make you drink Marsala until you pass out! So be careful! This is one show you’ll never see anyplace else; only here in Palermo.

As an added bonus, during the festival, the Old Town fills with street food vendors who offer the best dishes on the Sicilian menu.

Above from https://wearepalermo.com/news/feast-saint-rosalia/

Wonderful story in March 26 nytimes. link below https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/arts/design/van-dyck-metropolitan-museum-virus.html

 

The Annunciation

700px-Leonardo_Da_Vinci_-_AnnunciazioneMary is the virgin-mother who fulfills Isaiah 7:14 in a way that Isaiah could not have imagined. She is united with her son in carrying out the will of God (Psalm 40:8-9; Hebrews 10:7-9; Luke 1:38).

Together with Jesus, the privileged and graced Mary is the link between heaven and earth. She is the human being who best, after Jesus, exemplifies the possibilities of human existence. She received into her lowliness the infinite love of God. She shows how an ordinary human being can reflect God in the ordinary circumstances of life. She exemplifies what the Church and every member of the Church is meant to become. She is the ultimate product of the creative and redemptive power of God. She manifests what the Incarnation is meant to accomplish for all of us.

Annunciation of the Lord

From The Franciscan Media

Mother Cabrini

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“We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone.”
—St. Frances Xavier Cabrini 1850-1917

The first American citizen to be named a saint, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini never desired to travel to, much less spend her life in her adopted country of the United States of America. Born Maria Francesca Cabrini in northern Italy, she intended to use her schoolteacher’s degree to work as a missionary in China. Suffering through a smallpox epidemic which killed her parents, she was turned down by two convents she attempted to join. When she was finally accepted by one, she was sent to a small town to run an orphanage which was eventually closed. Enthralled by the works of Saint Francis Xavier, the Jesuit Missionary, she took his name and founded an order of nuns, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Many were shocked to see how quickly her new order was approved by the Pope. Instead of granting her wish to continue her namesake’s work in China, Pope Leo XIII told her, “Your China will be the United States.”

At that time 50,000 Italian immigrants lived crammed in a filthy ghetto in New York City. There was no one there to help or intercede for them. Arriving with six other nuns, Mother Cabrini was told to go home by the archbishop of New York. Instead, she moved her nuns into the Italian slums and immediately opened an orphanage. Through her personal tenacity as well as her willingness to live among the poor, Mother Cabrini set an impressive example for those trying to enact social reforms. Gifted with an innate business sense, and due to the great success her order had in caring for the destitute and displaced, Mother Cabrini was able to raise money from all levels of society. Within a few short years the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart had opened orphanages, schools, hospitals and nurse’s homes throughout the United States, Central America, Argentina, Brazil, France, Spain, England and Italy. She became a United States citizen in 1909. Though she was a tireless worker and an excellent administrator, Mother Cabrini felt the most important part of her day was the time she spent in mediation. Devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she felt great strength was to be found in humility, obedience and a quiet atmosphere. In her own case, by following the Pope’s orders at the expense of her personal dreams, she found more success in her mission than she could ever imagine was possible. At the time of her death, she had sixty seven foundations and over thirteen hundred missionaries carrying out her work.

Prayer
O loving Savior, infinitely generous, seeking only our interest, from your Sacred Heart, came these words of pleading love: “Come to me all you that labor and are burdened and I will refresh you.” Relying on this promise of your infinite charity, we come to you and in the lowliness of our hearts earnestly beg you to grant us the favor we ask in this novena, (mention your request here) through the intercession of your faithful servant, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini.
Amen

Everyday Miracles

IMG_0156Share your everyday miracles with us.

I went into a church to say some prayers before going to work on the weekend.
I had taken my lunch in a plastic ziplock bag with me. I placed the bag next to me on the pew and closed my eyes and knelt. I was think about two things— I wished I had an extra $20.00 to donate to St. Anthony’s bread and the other that I had judged a friend mother who had recently died to harshly and I was asking for forgiveness. When I opened my eyes and sat back down on the pew I found a $20.00 bill and folded sheets of paper clipped to my plastic lunch bag (the sheets had forgiveness prayers on them).
—Santa Russo