Saturday, May 01, 2010

Flowers for a Mary's Garden

Photo by Esther G.

You are all pure, O Mary.
And there is in you no stain of sin.

A rise my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!
For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!

- (Song 2:10-13)

Blessed are you, O Mary.
For the world's salvation came forth from you.
- New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book

Today would be a good day to start a Mary's Garden. It is the first day of the month traditionally dedicated to honoring God's Blessed Mother.  It is also First Saturday.

 It is traditional to plant flowers and plants that symbolize the Blessed Mother, Jesus, St. Joseph or an event in the life of Christ.  The flowers and plants I have included are specifically ones that symbolize an aspect of our Blessed Mother.  I have selected flowers and plants that are readily available in Hawaii.  At the bottom of this post, there is a link to the source of these plants.  There you will find other plants that you may use in your own Mary's Garden.

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The rose plant should be in every Mary's Garden.  It in itself symbolizes Our blessed Mother Mary.

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- Morning Glory (Our Mary's Mantle)

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- Peony (Mary's Rose)

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- Gypsophila: Baby's Breath (Mary's Veil)

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- Begonia (Heart of Mary)

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- Camellia (Mary's Purity)

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- Canna (Rosary Beads)

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- Carnation (Mary's Love of God)

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- Clematis Virginiana (Virgin's Bower)

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- Easter Lily (Mary's Innocence and Purity)

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- Fern (Lady's Hair)

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- Geranium (Lady Beautiful)

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- Hydrangea (Ave Maria)

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- Impatiens (Our Lady's Earrings or Mother Love)

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- Jasmine: Pikake in Hawaiian (Mary)

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- Marigold (Mary's Gold)

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- Petunia (Lady's Praise)

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- Strawberry (Fruitful Virgin)

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- Water Lily (Lady of the Lake)


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- Parsley (Our Lady's Little Vine)

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- Sage (Mary's Shawl)

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- Rosemary (Mary's Nosegay)

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- Thyme (The Virgin's Humility)

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- Marjoram (Mary's Bedstraw)

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- Spearmint (Mary's Mint)

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- Feverfew (Mary's Flower)

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- Chamomile (Lady's Flower)

Information on the plants and flowers used are from here.

For help in planting a Mary's Garden, click here or here

Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

Excerpts from Fr. Paul's homily this morning.

The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker* was proclaimed by St. Pius XII in 1955. Father believes it was the Holy Father's way of reassuring Catholic workers on a day the communist commemorated May Day.
*He assured his audience and the working people of the world: “You have beside you a shepherd, a defender and a father” in Saint Joseph, the carpenter whom God in His providence chose to be the virginal father of Jesus and the head of the Holy Family. He is silent but has excellent hearing, and his intercession is very powerful over the Heart of the Saviour.
Work should not be viewed as a punishment. Adam and Eve worked in paradise before their disobedience and ultimate expulsion. Instead, work should be viewed as a privilege. In prisons the bad prisoners are held in their cells or in isolation. The good prisoners are permitted to work.

Dear Patron of God's Church,
you are honored by her as the Worker,
the humble carpenter of Nazareth.
According to St. Teresa of Avila,
you are universal in your intercessions.

Inspire workers of all kinds
to walk ever in your footsteps as faithful servants
coupling charity with justice
and becoming true followers of Jesus.

- New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book, Catholic Book Publishing

Friday, April 30, 2010

Tell About Your Heroic Priests

From an email received today and on the Catholics Come Home website here


ATLANTA, Ga. (April 29, 2010)—The new lay Catholic outreach effort to support priests called™ is now accepting video and story submissions for the launch of its updated, interactive website.

Catholics around the country may submit written or video stories about priests who have had an impact on their own lives or who are doing heroic work—on a small or large scale—in their parish and local communities.™ is inviting all lay people to get involved in an effort to show their appreciation for their priestly fathers this Father’s Day.

Written story submissions should be 250 words or less.

Video submissions must be 100MB or smaller and can be standard or high definition. If standard definition, video dimensions should be 480x360 if 4:3 video or 640x360 if 16:9 video. For high definition, dimensions are 1280x720 (720p) or 1920x1080 (1080p). Videos can be .WMV, .AVI, .MOV, .MP4, or .MPEG files.

Please visit to submit all entries. will accept and post stories and videos on an ongoing basis, but if you would like your entry to be considered as a feature on the Father’s Day launch, it must be submitted by June 1.

For more information, visit
E-mail all questions to™ was established in Lent 2010 by the non-profit Catholic media apostolate, Catholics Come Home, Inc. ® ( Its mission is to encourage priests and promote priestly vocations.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nine Days that Changed the World

Nine Days that Changed the World: Pope John Paul II Hosted by Newt and Callista Gingrich.

H/T to Lois Lee

Regarding EMHC's Blessing Non-Communicants During Communion

Photo by Esther G.

I think every extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and pastors should read the following:
My post yesterday about deacons giving blessings prompted a reader to write:

My question is, as a eucharistic minister, would you have in your repertoire a short blessing that we can use when a non-Catholic or child comes up for a blessing during communion? I use, " May the Lord's blessings come down upon you in abundance" Acceptable?

Well, actually, no. As I replied: technically, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion shouldn't be giving blessings, and I know quite a few priests who think the practice of doing this at communion, even by the ordained, is wrong.

A good explanation comes from Denver's Archbishop Charles Chaput:
Read the rest here Blessings From Lay People

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Feast of St. Louis de Montfort

St. Louis de Montfort is best known for his True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I hope you will find the following as interesting as I did.

St. Louis de Montfort
I, the undersigned, the greatest of sinners, will that my body be buried in the cemetery and my heart under the step of the altar of the Blessed Virgin. I confide to his Lordship the Bishop of La Rochelle and to Father Mulot my small pieces of furniture and my mission books, to be preserved for the use of the four Brothers who joined me in a life of obedience and poverty; namely, Brother Nicholas of Poitiers, Brother Philip of Nantes, Brother Louis of La Rochelle, and Brother Gabriel, who is at present with me, for as long as they continue to renew their annual vows, and for the use of those whom divine Providence will call into the same community of the Holy Spirit. I give all the statues of the Calvary and the cross to the house of the Sisters of the Incurables at Nantes. I have no private money belonging to me, but there are 135 pounds belonging to Nicholas of Poitiers to pay for his keep after he has finished his stay with us.

Fr. Mulot will give the following monies from the common fund: ten crowns to James, if he decides to leave; ten crowns to John, if he also decides to leave; ten crowns to Mathurin, if he decides to leave and not renew the vows of poverty and obedience. If there is anything remaining in the purse, Fr. Mulot will use it like a good father for the Brothers and for himself. As the house at La Rochelle is reverting to its natural heirs, there will only be left for the community of the Holy Spirit the house at Vouvant, which was given to me by Madame de la Brulerie by an agreement, the conditions of which Fr. Mulot must fulfil; and the two pieces of land given by the Lieutenant of Vouvant's wife, and a small house given by a good lady of rank. If there is no possibility of building there, it should be put at the disposal of the Brothers of the community of the Holy Spirit to conduct charity schools.

I give three of my banners to Our Lady of Patience at La Siguinière, and the other four to Our Lady of Victories at La Garnache, and to every parish of Aunis where the Rosary is still being said I give one of the banners of the holy Rosary. I give to Fr. Bouris the six volumes of sermons of La Volpillière, and to Fr. Clisson the four volumes of the "Catechism for Country People." If there is anything owing to the printer, he can be paid from the fund. Should there be anything over, Fr. Vatel must be given what belongs to him, if his Lordship decides that this is right.

This is my Last Will, and I make Fr. Mulot my executor giving him full right to dispose as it seems good to him of the chasubles, chalice and other church and mission articles, for the benefit of the community of the Holy Spirit.

Written during the mission at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, this 27th day of the month of April, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen. All the pieces of furniture at present at Nantes are for the use of the Brothers who run the school, as long as the school remains there.

Louis Marie de Montfort Grignion

N.F. Rougeou, Dean of Saint-Laurent

F. Triault, priest, curate

Provided courtesy of the Montfort Fathers © All Rights Reserved.

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All Rights Reserved


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Reflection: Jesus' Infancy and Childhood

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There is not much information we can learn from Jesus' childhood.  This is the thought I had yesterday when meditating on the fifth Joyful mystery.

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I could not really focus my meditation on the child Jesus being lost in the temple. Usually I focus my thoughts on Him unintentionally causing His parents much sorrow because He had to answer to a higher calling.  Instead, I found myself wondering the reasons God had for keeping Jesus' young life hidden from us.

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The more I pondered the reasons, the more it made sense that these years were intentionally not written about in the four books of the Gospel. It could very well be that God kept those memories exclusively for Mary, His most Blessed Mother.  What mother cannot relate on how some memories or events in our child's life are just too precious to share with just anyone? Even in a couple of scriptural passages we learn that "Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart." (Scripture Source) Just imagine what other treasured events or memories our Lady kept in her heart!

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I thought about the beauty of the infant Jesus.  I think as children we were taught that He was the most beautiful baby in the world.  We also know that the angels heralded His birth and that only certain people, like the shepherds, the three wise men, Simeon, and Anna were privy to witness His humble arrival and to acknowledge Him as king and Messiah.

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What was the toddler Jesus like? Did little Jesus, in His eagerness to explore the big world around Him, get into mischief?  Did Mary have to experience the "terrible twos" of her curious yet divine Son?  I wondered if the Blessed Mother had to child-proof their home in order to prevent the toddler Jesus from accidentally injuring Himself.

I pictured our blessed Mother grabbing her beloved toddler in her arms and  smothering Him with lots of kisses because He was so cute and irresistible, just like in that well-known painting.  He was Her baby boy!

Was it during this time that He learned to call Mary His mother, Dieya, which is mom in Aramaic.  Or did He instead call her EE-Ma, the Hebrew term for Mom.  Both are used the Jewish people.  (Note:  I want to thank my friend Vicky for helping me with the translations.  She is Israeli and did a little research for me).

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What was the five year old Jesus like?  Did He attend school with the Teachers in the temple at that age or even a little older?  Did Mary and Joseph teach Him at home?  How did she teach Jesus to pray?  Did St. Joseph lead the little family in prayer?  There are so many questions left unanswered yet we can only imagine how it was for the Holy Family during Jesus' childhood.

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As an adult we can see by the Gospel stories that Jesus was masculine yet gentlemanly and compassionate.  Was it St. Joseph's influence on Him as a child, that helped to develop Jesus as adult or was it solely His Father's influence?

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The more I pondered, the more I realized this is all so private.  Is it any wonder that we do not know what happened during those hidden years of our beloved Lord?

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There have been stories of Jesus as a young boy in the apocryphal gospel of Thomas. That boy Jesus in that book was depicted as being mean spirited. The following is one instance:
... After that He was again passing through the village; and a boy ran up against Him, and struck His shoulder. And Jesus was angry, and said to him: You shall not go back the way you came. And immediately he fell down dead. And some who saw what had taken place, said: Whence was this child begotten, that every word of his is certainly accomplished? And the parents of the dead boy went away to Joseph, and blamed him, saying: Since you have such a child, it is impossible for you to live with us in the village; or else teach him to bless, and not to curse: for he is killing our children.

And Joseph called the child apart, and admonished Him, saying: Why do you do such things, and these people suffer, and hate us, and persecute us? And Jesus said: I know that these words of yours are not your own; nevertheless for your sake I will be silent; but they shall bear their punishment. And straightway those that accused Him were struck blind. And those who saw it were much afraid and in great perplexity, and said about Him: Every word which he spoke, whether good or bad, was an act, and became a wonder. And when they saw that Jesus had done such a thing, Joseph rose and took hold of His ear, and pulled it hard. And the child was very angry, and said to him: It is enough for you to seek, and not to find; and most certainly you have not done wisely. Do you not know that I am yours? Do not trouble me...
 Source: New Advent's The Infancy Gospel of Thomas (Note: This gospel is not considered to be divinely inspired.)

We may not know much about the child Jesus, but we do know that the bond between the Mother and Son one that started at the moment of His conception and still exists to this day.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Catholic Baby Boomers

There is a lot of truth in this particular video.  My husband and I know we were cheated out of authentic Catholic teaching in the Masses we attended as kids and also in CCD.

I'm sure the intentions were not all bad but we were not taught the faith the way we should have been nevertheless.

New Book by Theotokos Books

Donal Foley of Theotokos Books alerted me about a new book published by them. It is entitled Marthe Robin & the Foyers of Charity.

I must admit I was not familiar with Marthe Robin or the Foyers of Charity. But after read a little about her, thanks to Donal, I look forward to learning more about her.

I wanted to share the information on this book now before I read it because I think you would benefit from it now rather than waiting for me to complete reading the book and then waiting for the book review.

Therefore, I will share what Donal has to say about the new book:
Marthe Robin & the Foyers of Charity

Marthe Robin & the Foyers of Charity by Martin Blake is now available!

This book looks at the life of Marthe Robin, the French mystic, who, with Fr Georges Finet, co-founded the Foyer of Charity community at Châteauneuf-de-Galaure in southeastern France in 1936. There are now 75 Foyer communities throughout the world, and their work involves a priest, the Father of the Foyer, giving 5 day retreats in silence, during which the members of the community look after the needs of the retreatants and pray for them.

“Martin Blake is to be warmly thanked and congratulated on writing this informative and highly readable biography of Marthe for English-speaking readers. It is truly a ground-breaking work …” From the foreword by Mgr Keith Barltrop

In reading Marthe Robin & the Foyers of Charity readers will learn about:

The early life and mission of Marthe Robin
How she gradually became paralysed and was confined to bed
How she lived Christ’s passion every week for fifty years
How she met Fr Georges Finet and they founded the First Foyer in l936
Details of the witness of some of the 100,000 visitors she received
What prominent French thinkers and Priests thought of Marthe
How Marthe encouraged many of the new Ecclesial Communities
Her death in 1981, and development of the Foyer movement

“The Foyers give an authentic doctrinal and spiritual teaching in a climate of silence, charity, and devotion to Mary, which opens souls to conversion, deepens their life with God and leads them to the apostolate.” - Pope Paul VI

To order a copy of Marthe Robin and the Foyers of Charity please visit:

Theotokos Books or your local bookseller.

Enquiries from Bookshops are welcome - 35% discount plus free shipping for orders of 5 copies or more, UK and USA, (6 copies Ireland and Europe). For more details please email:

Marthe Robin and the Foyers of Charity is paperback-softcover, Demy Octavo size (8.5 in. x 5.5 in.), has 13 chapters, and 160 pages. ISBN 9780955074622.

Extracts from the book, including the Foreword, Preface, Introduction and the first chapter, can be seen here

It costs £7.95 / $11.95 / 8.95 euros, (approx. £10 incl. p & p if ordered online).

Note: If you live in the U.S. and would like to order from Theotokos Books, please email Donal directly. It makes ordering and shipping to the U.S. easier. That is what I did on a previous occasion.