Saints Anne and Joaquim

July 21, 2009

Grandparents of Jesus – Feast Day August 26

Saints Anne and JoaquimWhen the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, she was praying.  Anne had kept her word to the Lord; she never forgot the promise she had made.  She had consecrated this child to the Temple because of His generous miraculous gift to her; she had filled this child of her golden age with the traditions and hopes of  her people, the coming of the Messiah.  So although it was Mary who said yes to the Angel, it was her Mother Anne’s teaching and grooming which prepared Mary to receive this messenger from God and say yes!Grandparents are the story tellers!  As Grandma Anne related to her grandchild Jesus the stories of their people, the Jews, did her heart tremble as she realized that this young shoot of Jesse’s tree would someday die for the salvation of the world?  Did Simeon’s words: He will be responsible for the rise and fall of many, trouble her as she saw Him growing into manhood?  Could she foresee His climb up the infamous steps that became holy because He walked upon them?  Or had God in His infinite mercy spared her from this piercing wound, the crucifixion of her most precious grandchild?

How did Anne feel when Mary unfolded the happenings in Bethlehem, the shepherds who had followed the star to where the Angels told them the King of the world was to be born?  What were Anne’s thoughts as Mary excitedly told her of the Magi and their reverence, and what were Anne’s misgivings when she saw Myrrh, the ointment of death, as one of the gifts?  Or was she enjoying the gift  of being grandparents too much, and chose to shut all fear out of her heart, at least for this priceless moment?

Jesus performed His first miracle through the intercession of His Mother Mary, at Cana.  She had intervened on behalf of a newly married couple; to some a small matter, but to Mary it was important to them and so it was important to her and her Son.  When Jesus spoke to Mary, telling her it was not His time, Mary cared so very much for her children she encouraged him to perform this miracle which pivoted Him to the Cross.

When Jesus said yes, He showed His love and deep regard for His Mother; when His Mother said yes, over and over again, she showed her love for the children He would give her, in the biggest and the smallest moments of their lives.

Jesus loved His Mother; it only stands to reason that Jesus, perfect Son, was also perfect Grandson and being Love itself loved His Grandmother.  As Love never dies, that Love did not die, and you can see it in the faith of these 100s of thousands of pilgrims who come to seek the intercession of St. Anne, Grandma, knowing He listens and cares.

A little background on Joachim and Anne.  We know that he was privileged to offer sacrifice in the Temple, and that he was a generous giver to the Temple and to the poor.  We also know that Joachim and Anne are related to Elizabeth and Zechariah, and it is believed that their son John the Baptist and his parents were Essenes, a tribe that left Jerusalem to settle out in the desert, away from the distractions of that bustling city.  The Essenes were responsible for the scrolls containing the book of Isaiah that were found in Qumran, in the Holy Land.  So, it is obvious that when God has a plan, He puts all his knights in place and great Chess Player that He is sets out to win, in His case – souls!  Joachim and Anne knew their Faith, loved their God and looked forward to the fulfillment of His Promise of a Savior.  As Jesus was sent to a spotless virgin, conceived immaculately; so it stands to reason, His Mother would be sent to extraordinary parents who would care for her, protect and guide her.

Humble and gentle Saints, so like St. Joseph – Jesus’ foster father, Joachim and Anne Jesus’ grandparents are in the background, as they would desire.  But we all know, especially as we begin to mature, that we are a sum of all our ancestors who came before us.

For more information about Saints Anne and Joaquim click here

Father Leopold, Apostle of the Confessional

July 19, 2009

Father Leopold, Apostle of the Confessional
Saint Leopold MandicWhen Leopold had dreamed of the priesthood, his eyes traveled over the Adriatic Sea to far-off lands to bring the Gospel of Hope to brothers and sisters starving and thirsting for this Lord Who died for them. He was not to even travel from village to village, like Father Francis and Saint Anthony (Saint of Padua), proclaiming the Good News. He was not even called to prepare others for this mission, by founding institutions or teaching in seminaries. Instead the Lord placed him in a tiny pulpit, a tiny room with no window to the outside world, with no air or light, freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer.
Unlike the thrones of kings, this future Saint sat hours upon hours ministering to God’s subjects in an old broken down chair that was as feeble as the body it held on its lap. A simple kneeler is still beside the rickety armchair, awaiting the contrite. Our Lord Crucified hanging on a wooden cross is above the prie-dieu,[1] a reminder of that God Who loved us so, He asked His Father, with His last words, to forgive us our sins. And then in this small cell looking down lovingly, on priest and penitent, there is a picture of Our Lady, the Mother of God who interceded at Cana and continues to intercede for Her children on earth with Her Beloved Son Jesus. As our Mother we can still see Her there, ready to help all seeking forgiveness, to reconcile with God the Father and Jesus Her Son.
In this tiny cell, for most of forty years, spending more than twelve hours of love per day, he waited and received thousands of penitents, streaming in without interruption, one after another to receive the Sacrament of Penance. Here there was no class distinction; the poor asked for forgiveness kneeling on the same prie-dieu as the rich; the famous turned to God for His Salvific Mercy, alongside the infamous; priests, bishops and religious confessed to Father Leopold (fifty priests the day before he died); professors lined up beside their students – all children of God seeking forgiveness.
The hardest hearts of stone were converted into hearts for Christ alone. Conversions came about through this little friar who was not eloquent, his voice at times hardly audible. His compassion transformed even those most hardened by years of unrepentant sinning; they began the long road to changing their lives, as they became convinced, through this humble messenger, that God loved them even when they were sinning. Upon discovering this unconditional love of the Lord, a love they had never known, true healing came about; they received the fullness of the compassionate gift of Reconciliation, and then the Life-eternal Gift of Our Lord truly Present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Oh, if only our priests would remember how great is the gift they have received, the gift of administering the Sacraments to the faithful! If only we, the Mystical Body of Christ, knew the priceless treasures Jesus left us, those Seven Sacraments we receive through the consecrated hands of these Ambassadors of Christ, then we truly would be one as Jesus prayed to the Father.[2]
[2]cf Jn 17:20-23

For more information about Saint Leopold Mandic click here

April 16, 2008

We are committed to bringing you the stories of the lives of the Saints and Blesseds.
We believe they are the true role models for our times and they have so much to offer us.

During his visit to America this month, Pope Benedict XVI told the young men and women assembled at St. Joseph’s Seminary on April 19 that they should study the Saints, the true role models for our time.

Pope Benedict told the young, “God is our origin and our destination, and Jesus the way. The path of that journey twists and turns ─ just as it did for our saints ─ through the joys and the trials of ordinary, everyday life: within your families, at school or college, during your recreation activities, and in your parish communities.”
“How then can we as believers help others to walk the path of freedom which brings fulfillment and lasting happiness? Let us again turn to the saints. How did their witness truly free others from the darkness of heart and mind? The answer is found in the kernel of their faith; the kernel of our faith. The Incarnation, the birth of Jesus, tells us that God does indeed find a place among us. Though the inn is full, he enters through the stable, and there are people who see his light. They recognize Herod’s dark closed world for what it is, and instead follow the bright guiding star of the night sky. And what shines forth? Here you might recall the prayer uttered on the most holy night of Easter: “Father we share in the light of your glory through your Son the light of the world … inflame us with your hope!”
“At times, however, we are tempted to close in on ourselves, to doubt the strength of Christ’s radiance, to limit the horizon of hope. Take courage! Fix your gaze on our saints. The diversity of their experience of God’s presence prompts us to discover anew the breadth and depth of Christianity. Let your imaginations soar freely along the limitless expanse of the horizons of Christian discipleship. Sometimes we are looked upon as people who speak only of prohibitions. Nothing could be further from the truth! Authentic Christian discipleship is marked by a sense of wonder. We stand before the God we know and love as a friend, the vastness of his creation, and the beauty of our Christian faith.”

And how shall we know them?
How shall we know who to follow? How shall we know who will lead us to Eternal Life with Jesus, beginning here on Earth?

We have spent the last 30 years traveling the four corners of the Earth to bring you over 200 Saints and Blesseds and we are not finished yet!
Saints like Dominic Savio, Patron Saint of Youth said, “No compromise!”
We must seek the truth which will set us free. How will we know who speaks the truth, who would lead us to Eternal Life with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The truth lies between the pages of the Saints we have written about and the programs we have made over the last 22 years on EWTN.

For a complete lisiting and information on the Saints and Blesseds we have written about and made programs on click this link

This week we completed the editing of Blessed Angela of Foligno, a blessed who considered herself a great sinner.
After she turned to the Lord she was named a “Theologian to the Theologians” by her peers.
We feel this Blessed is very important for our times. You may check out more information at Thanks

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