We are coming upon one of the greatest feast of Our Lady in our times (at least for me and the millions of Mexicans around the world);
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!
Here I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes.
There is nothing I can write to express the emotion in visiting our Lady in Mexico. Every time, I have gone to see her it is as I have never seen her before and my heart aches with love for her.
Within 10 years of the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 10 million people were converted in 1530 due to this miracle.
Now the Tilma is purely a miracle and not just because we are Catholic believers. You can be an atheist and read all the scientific outcome of the tilma and believe that it’s a miracle to say the least. I am always taken away by the discoveries found on the tilma such as this one;
There is no explanation offered by NASA scientists on how the image was imprinted on the Tilma. There are no brush strokes, or sketch marks on it. The image also seems to increase in size and change colors owing to an unknown property of the surface and substance of which it is made. The colors actually float above the surface of the Tilma at a distance of 3/10th of a millimeter (1/100th of an inch), without touching it. When examined less than 10 inches of the image, one can only see the maguey cloth; the colors totally disappear.
I can’t even fathom the thought of the colors float about surface, can you? The beauty of God!
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Protectess of the Unborn . She came during a time that Aztecs were killing humans and she is still here as we are still killing humans. During Advent and this great feast day we need to recall the unborn and their mothers.
Mary appears as Our Lady of Guadalupe with a message of prayer, love and compassion. She embodies hope for the Americas just as in Advent we recognize that the pregnant Madonna carrying the Christ Child is hope for mankind. Advent is about waiting and preparing for the birth of Christ. – Theresa Thomas
This great article The Pro-Life Message of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Advent by Theresa Thomas gives us simple yet very meaningful ways to celebrate Advent as we try to protect the unborn.
One unique way to observe Advent is to use the time, among other preparations, to ponder the maternity of the Blessed Mother and the value of life from its earliest beginnings in the womb. Doing this, we will remember anew that while there was only one Savior of the world in the Divine Christ Child, who was both God and man, every person is a gift. Every life has potential and God does not make mistakes – every child is wanted and loved by Him, even if rejected by his own mother and father
(This post has a few Amazon Affiliate, therefore if you click on Amazon link and order anything, we get a small advertising fee at no cost to you.)
There are so many great books on Our Lady of Guadalupe, here are a few that we enjoy as a family.
We love this series and it’s a great read out loud; Saint Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe (Encounter the Saints (14))
There are more ideas on our Pinterest board, check them out to see other ways to celebrate!
Mexican Sopapias For St Juan Diego or Our Lady of Guadalupe
These gifts come from very pro-life catholic business, support them!
Virgin of Guadalupe,
Patroness of unborn children,
we implore your intercession
for every child at risk of abortion.
Help expectant parents to welcome from God
the priceless gift of their child’s life.
Console parents who have lost that gift
and lead them to forgiveness and healing
through the Divine Mercy of your Son.
Teach us to cherish
and to care for family and friends
until God calls them home.
Help us never to see others as burdens.
Guide our public officials
to defend each and every human life
through just laws.
Inspire us all to bring our faith into public life,
to speak for those who have no voice.
We ask this in the name of your Son,
Jesus Christ, who is Love and Mercy itself.
— 2010 Respect Life Liturgy Guide, USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.
This Christmas we are heading off to Mexico (it has been 5 years) and we will go to visit our sweet Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Rose Rosary from La Villa
If you would like me to bring back a rosary from the Villa that is made out of roses and has a small image of Our Lady, just click on Buy Now , just $8 (which includes shipping).
I pray you are having a blessed Advent season.
On November 27th, We will be celebrating the Feast of the Miraculous Medal , St. Catherine Laboure.
Did you see how humbly she was that no one knew that she was the one who brought the Miraculous Medal until after her death. What an amazing humble saint!
“Now, dear Blessed Mother, you will be my mother.”-St.Catherine Laboure said after the death of her mother.
“I knew nothing. I was nothing. For this reason God picked me out” –St. Catherine Labouré
This simple yet sweet medal has contribute to many miracles since it’s debut in the 1800’s.
After reading about some miracle, I came across one that was very interesting to me since not too long ago I watch the movie Les Miserable.
Now, if you haven’t watch this, I dare you. There are a few parts that I wouldn’t watch with your eyes nor watch this movie with younger children. But there was something in this movie from the famous book, “Les Miserables” that moved me and had me to the very end.
In the movie, one can feel the miserable living conditions of these poor people right down to your bone.
The start of this scenes shows you this conditions, of the terrible epidemic of the ravaging finger of cholera hit , in 1832 in the city of Paris.
This terrible epidemic, a disease without cure, struck hundreds and beleaguered many more.
And yet, an exceptional phenomenon was noticed. Those who devoutly wore a certain small medal around their neck were spared or relieved from the epidemic. Symptoms of the plague were observed to leave the victims and withdraw into the gutters of Paris.
A small sanctuary know as Rue de Bac in Paris, a convent of the Sisters of Charity , holds the story of many miracles due to a small object of the Miraculous Medal.
(This post has a few Amazon Affiliate, therefore if you click on Amazon link and order anything, we get a small advertising fee at no cost to you.)
This is a great book to read about St.Catherine , The Miraculous Medal: Stories, Prayers, and Devotions .
She shares stories of the Miraculous Medal’s attraction and impact.
Here is chapter book perfect for the kids to read or out aloud reading. I just love these series of books, Saint Catherine Laboure: And Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Over at Joy(Filled)family, Lena has a great post on Miraculous Medal and virtue of Humble.
Here are some cute crafts to do with the kids.
Here are some amazing gift ideas that would be just lovely on this feast day. These are Small Catholic Business; your support is greatly appreciated. Click on the picture to take you to their shop !
Immaculate Virgin Mary, mother of our Lord Jesus and our mother, we have confidence in your powerful and never-failing intercession, manifested often through the Miraculous Medal. We your loving and trustful children, ask you to obtain for us the graces and favors we ask during this novena if they will be for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
(Here privately form your petitions.)
You know, O Mary, how often our souls have been the sanctuaries of your Son who hates iniquity. Obtain for us then a deep hatred of sin and that purity of heart which will attach us to God alone so that our every thought, word, and deed may tend to his greater glory. Obtain for us also a spirit of prayer and self-denial that we may recover by penance what we have lost by sin and at length attain to that blessed abode where you are the queen of angels and of men. Amen…
For a Free Miraculous Medal
Have a Blessed Sunday,
Hair Bows of Miraculous Medal
We will be celebrating two amazing feast days in our Catholic liturgical year, All Saints and All Souls .
All Souls Day , “The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed” is set aside in the Church to honor the dead by remembering them , praying for them, and celebrating them! We believe that when one dies, ones souls will either enter Heaven, hell, or purgatory.
On All Souls Day, the ones that are waiting in purgatory, are the souls who we need to recall and to pray for!
A.W.Bouguereau, Le Jour Des Morts
One of the beauty of our faith is that it’s universal and with that one gets different styles and customs in celebrating these feast days.
The history of the Day of the Dead comes from the indigenous people, Aztecs , who have combined their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones. They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.
Their tradition of creating beautiful altars is to honor and celebrate the souls of those who have departed.
When the Spaniards came to Mexico, they educated indigenous people on the faith of the Catholic church and which now you have All Souls Day – Day of the Dead in twine with faith and culture. For example, Aztecs used to celebrate the “Day of the Dead” in the summer yet this influence of the Catholic faith, connected this celebration with All Souls Day.
When people die, many tend to forget about their souls and slowly their memories. This day brings back focus to their beloved departed family members in this colorful celebration .
I want to add that as Catholics we are not calling on any spirits to come to this table of memories or honoring our departed. This is a dangerous act that the Church teaches against it as you can see here:
2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
This post can show the how the Aztec used this custom and how the Spaniards add the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith.
Day of the Dead is a celebration of happiness and joy to remember our deceased loved ones, where sadness and sorrow are not allowed.
The days of the dead are truly a celebration of life. When children dance with caricatures of death, eat skull sugar molds and learn to respect that life is brief, they learn there is a circle to life and to not fear death and then are free to enjoy and appreciate every moment.
First, I would like to make clear that there are many meanings that go along with having an altar.
Having an altar doesn’t mean one is worshiping that soul but that one is honoring the soul. Also the Day of the Dead meanings can go from non-religious as the Aztecs did or be fill with the beauty of Catholic Faith.
Here is how we create our altar for Day of the Dead twine with our Catholic faith.
First thing is that one must create 3 levels to this altar. As you can imagine those levels represent Heaven, Earth, and Purgatory. You would set purgatory on the ground, the table would be earth and then add a tier which will represent Heaven.
To create this place boxes or crates on the table where the altar will be in a way as to create tiers. Put a tablecloth over the table and boxes so that the boxes are hidden . One also decorates by placing the papel picado around the edge of the table and each layer or anywhere on the altar. Here is an easy one to make.
First Level : Purgatory.
Create a “Purgatory” , one usually makes a cross out of candles ( represent light, faith and hope) and decorates using orange marigolds (fresh flowers remind us of the impermanence of life). Also place skull since it is a reminder of the death of our loved ones. Head over to Jenny’s blog and print out your own skull.
Second Level: Earth
.Here is where you place food such as the Bread of the Dead (here is a simple one to make) and other types of food or things that helps us to recall the memory of our loved ones. One would place water or Holy Water ( Water is a source of life and represents purity.) Sugar skulls is another thing add by the Spaniards since sugar was one of the main items they imported and they taught that the sweet skulls is a sweet reminder there is only one thing for sure in life, DEATH. We make sugar skull cookies using this cookie stamp, Fred SWEET SPIRITS Day of the Dead Cookie Cutter/Stampers, Set of 4 , I got off of Amazon. (This is an Amazon Affiliate, therefore if you click on Amazon link and order anything, we get a small advertising fee at no cost to you.)
Third Level: Heaven.
Place a crucifix on the top of the altar. You can also add an icon representing your favorite saint, candles, incense, and marigolds. Here you place pictures of those whom have departed this life in your family that you would like to honor . You may have more than one person. http://je
Head to our Pinterest board for some ideas for All Saints and All Souls/Day of the Dead.
All Souls Days with Day of the Dead, brings a focus back to the meaning of life which is to end in the arms of Our Lord for all eternity in Heaven. We are just on a journey and even after death we still are waiting to enter into Heaven. All souls need to be remembered and prayed for until the end of time!
The Church gives us many ways to pray and help the souls who are still waiting in purgatory especially during All Souls Day.
Indulgences Acts for the Poor Souls is a partial indulgence can be obtained by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the departed. One can gain a plenary indulgence visiting a cemetery each day between November 1 and November 8. These indulgences are applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory. – Read more on this beautiful day in the Life of the Church at Catholic Culture
Recall the souls of your beloved departed ones with prayers.
Have a Blessed and Joyous All Saints & Souls Day.
Here is our video showing and talking about the altar that we did live of Facebook on Oct. 26th.
“At one o’clock in the afternoon, midday by the sun, the rain stopped. The sky, pearly grey in colour, illuminated the vast arid landscape with a strange light. The sun had a transparent gauzy veil so that the eyes could easily be fixed upon it. The grey mother-of-pearl tone turned into a sheet of silver which broke up as the clouds were torn apart and the silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy grey light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds. A cry went up from every mouth and people fell on their knees on the muddy ground….
The light turned a beautiful blue, as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral, and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands. The blue faded slowly, and then the light seemed to pass through yellow glass. Yellow stains fell against white handkerchiefs, against the dark skirts of the women. They were repeated on the trees, on the stones and on the serra. People wept and prayed with uncovered heads, in the presence of a miracle they had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they.
O Dia (another Lisbon daily, edition of 17 October 1917)
100th Anniversary of the miracle of FATIMA!
Some I shall grant, and others I must deny. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended!
We need to get this message in grave in our souls. We must amend our lives and ask pardon. We must stop offend our Lord . He gives us His merciful love but we need to open up this grace and live our lives as such!
So how are you going to celebrate? Here are some ideas we are planning to celebrate!
Book & movie:
We will enjoy reading and watching Our Lady of Fatima story.
(Read to the end of the post for a give away ends tomorrow morning in time for the celebration )
.(This is an Amazon Affiliate, therefore if you click on Amazon link and order anything, we get a small advertising fee at no cost to you.)
So Let’s get ready to celebrate the beauty of Our Faith and God’s gifts to us, Our Blessed Mother. Let’s pray and fast for our families, friends and the world!
Have a blessed celebration.
With the Love of Christ,
Head over to enter to win the book and movie. Winner will be pick tomorrow by 9am and items will be ship same day!
Enter at a Rafflecopter giveaway
We will soon be celebrating the feast day of these two great saints, St. Therese and St. Faustina. I never thought much of these two saints as being sister saints until last year. Last November, a book change me in a profound way , 33 Days to Merciful Love: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Consecration to Divine Mercy .(This is an Amazon Affiliate, therefore if you click on Amazon link and order anything, we get a small advertising fee at no cost to you.)
It was the first time that I had notice how St.Therese and St. Faustina message of Divine Mercy was truly one in the same. Their hard work of showing the world that God’s love is a merciful love, will fill one to the ends of times.
Their main purpose was to show through their lives and words and words of Christ;
that God’s mercy is for all sinners.
St. Therese advice to her sister, ” Do not fear, the poorer you are the more Jesus will love you. He will go far, very far in search of you, if at times wander off a little and Jesus message to St.Faustina, ” The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My Mercy” are just a glimpse of that message for us.
Father George W. Kosicki has a very interesting article on the Similarities in the Lives of St. Therese and St. Faustina. One aspects of their similarities, that I believe units them as sister saints is the one of suffering for souls.
In St. Thérèse’s Oblation to Merciful Love she thanks God for the grace of passing through “The Crucible of suffering.” In her Passion of suffering and darkness in her dying of tuberculosis, she said:
“It’s only to save souls that I want to suffer.” On the day of her death, she exclaimed: “Never would I have believed it was possible to suffer so much! Never, never! I can only explain it by the ardent desires I have had to save souls (see Bp. Guy Gaucher, The Passion of Thérèse Lisieux, p. 183-185).
In hundreds of entries in her Diary, St. Faustina records her reflections and those of our Lord on suffering for the salvation of souls, especially sinners. She also died of tuberculosis. Like St. Thérèse, her attitude toward suffering can be summarized in an equation: Suffering + Love = Joy
Saint Faustina echoes the response of St. Thérèse in the amount and extent of suffering:
O Christ, if my soul had known, all at once, what it was going to have to suffer during its lifetime, it would have died of terror at the very sight; it would not have touched its lips to the cup of bitterness. But as it has been given to drink a drop at a time, it has emptied the cup to the very bottom. O Christ, if You Yourself did not support the soul, how much could it do of itself? We are strong, but with Your strength; we are holy, but with Your holiness. And of ourselves, what are we? — less than nothing … My Jesus, You suffice me for everything else in the world. Although the sufferings are severe, You sustain me. Although the times of loneliness are terrible, You make them sweet for me. Although the weakness is great, You change it into power for me. (Diary, 1655)
These sister saints died at a young age in a painful sufferings while offering it up for souls with Jesus.
Honor them today and everyday by showing God’s merciful love in all you meet. Celebrate them!
Here are some great gifts ideas of St. Therese and St. Faustina. Please support small Catholic business! Click on the image of the gift you want more information and it will take you to their store!
Have a blessed feast day filled with God’s Mercy and His peace.
With the Love of Christ,
Cecilia @Hair Bows 4 Life
Saint Rose of Lima by Claudio Coello (1642–1693),
Saint Rose of Lima, the first canonized saint of the New World ,is a beauty and pure saint. Her feast day is coming up on August 23rd.
she was remarkable for a great reverence, and pronounced love, for all things relating to God. This so took possession of her that thenceforth her life was given up to prayer and mortification. She had an intense devotion to the Infant Jesus and His Blessed Mother, before whose altar she spent hours. She was scrupulously obedient and of untiring industry, making rapid progress by earnest attention to her parents’ instruction, to her studies, and to her domestic work, especially with her needle.” – Catholic Encyclopedia
A role model for today’s young ladies to obey, work hard, and love endless.
I am always amazed of the new things I learn of these saints during my research for the series of Sundays with the Saints. Did you know that St. Rose of Lima, foretold the exact date of her death? And so great were the numbers who came to her wake that they had to postpone the funereal for days.
“Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.” St. Rose of Lima
Reading this quote of her gives us so much hope and peace in these days, where suffering is everywhere and it seems that our crosses are heavy. Yet if we use this ladder with love and joy, we are sure to reach our goal; HEAVEN!
St. Philomena.. oh, a dearest saint of mine. We just celebrated her feast day on August 11th but I wasn’t able to get my act together to write a post so I add-on here with St.Rose of Lima. These two lovely young lady are so much alike, ladies in roses.
St. Philomena is prayed to by people of diverse ages, culture and social standing around the world. The young virgin who was martyred at age 13, willingly traded her earthly life for heavenly salvation and continues her work today promoting the virtues of purity and sanctity among the world’s youth and bringing the faithful closer to our Blessed Mother and Jesus Christ. It would seem she was held in quiet reserve by God for nearly seventeen centuries and summoned at a time when so much uncertainty and absence of faith abound. – Sanctuary of St. Philomena
St. Philomena is such a dear saint to me. During the hardest time of my life, after losing Benedicto, we were bless to attend a very special mass at church in Philadelphia of the Shrine of St. Philomena (which has a first class relic of her), were the pastor of the Shrine in Italy where her body is , was attending this mass. The mass was pack to the max and we were there waiting for the start of the procession. I recall praying to her asking her to help me during this time of suffering and lose. A few minuets later, this over whelming smell of roses over came me. I had to take a quick seat due to the impact of the smell. I knew that she was there, she was bringing me a rose off the cross of Christ. I had this healing that knowing that this suffering is full of the sweetness and love of Christ.
Here are few books worth having in your library to celebrate their feast day.
St. Rose of Lima: The Story of the First Canonized Saint of the Americas (Stories of the Saints for Young People Ages 10 to 100) . My kids love this book, it such an easy read and nice read aloud (even the older ones stay behind to listen to it. )
I was honor to review this book. My young daughters enjoyed this take on Saint Philomena through the story of Sister Marie. Sister Marie does a lovely job of teaching about St.Philomena to our young readers. This books gives a great an example of living out virtues through Sister Marie as she tends to the poor, sick, helpless as well bring knowledge of an amazing saint. I sure hope that Author Christine Henderson continues to bring other saints to our readers through Sister Marie.
Here are some sweet crafts that can be added to celebrating their feast days.
Who doesn’t like lovely snacks to go along with a feast day!
Here are some gift ideas from small Catholic Business. Please support these amazing ladies.
St. Rose of Lima felt doll from My Little Felt Friends.
St. Philomena necklace from Sagely Sparrow.
A St. Rose of Lima necklace or St.Philomena bracelet over at Ave Maria Faith Crafts
St. Rose of Lima rosary bracelet from Rosary Heart and Home.
St.Philomena Rosary Chaplet from Come Holy Spirit Rosaries.
Saint Rose of Lima Wood Figure – Handmade & Hand painted – from In the Loft , Sue Dow
St. Rose of Lima Sleepy Doll by Marzipantz
I pray that you find this post helpful in celebrating more saints. You might be interest in our Immaculate Heart of Mary post as August is the month of Immaculate Heart.
As I am gearing up to start school next Monday, check out Back to School Big Sale we are having over at Hair Bows 4 Life .
With God’s merciful Love,
Did you know that Our Blessed Mother has a feast day dedicate to her for everyday of the year? We are truly bless!
On August 3rd (which happens to be my son’s 12th birthday) is the Feast day of Our Lady of Bows.
Our Lady of Bows was a shrine in London. It is related that in the year 1071 Mary’s image there had been carried away by a storm, together with more than 600 houses. It fell uninjured with such violence that it broke into the pavement, and sunk more than 20 feet into the earth, whence it was never possible to draw it out. –Roman Catholic Saints
I found it so interesting that even bows have our Lady’s blessing on them.
Yet, I have to admit that the shrine takes its name from the unusual Norma arches, or bows which were considered a novelty, not hair-bows.
Just amuse me and let me celebrate with some hair bows!
(Read to the end to check out our Major Back to School Sale)
St. Mary-le-Bow, City of London
It’s interesting history behind the Bells of Mary , is sure worth your time.
As well, it has had a rough history. The shrine has been destroyed 5 times; in 1071, was the tornado, in 1196 there was a fire, in 1271 the tower of church collapsed, in 1666 a great fire destroyed it and later is was completely destroyed by the German’s in WWII .
The shrine was rebuilt in 1964 and what a beauty it is!!
I would love to hear music coming out that Beautiful Organ!
August The Month of Immaculate Heart of Mary
The church dedicates August to Immaculate Heart of Mary. Before Vatican II , the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was celebrated on August 22nd.
St. John Eudes is considered the father of devotion to Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope Pius X and his feast day is August 19th.
St. John brought people to love Christ and the Virgin Mary by speaking tirelessly about their Heart,
the sign of the love God shows for us and the communion to which we are called.
He wrote an amazing book to help others increase their devotion to Heart of Mary , The Admirable Heart of Mary , where he reveals a most pure and maternal of all hearts in its corporal and spiritual pulsations, while demonstrating how this human heart was divinized by the one Divine Heart of God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Here are some links of coloring pages, crafts, food, and gifts to celebrate all month-long!
Nancy over at Do Small Things with Love has a free cross stitch pattern.
Then one can light it all month-long during prayers or when saying the Novena to Immaculate Heart of Mary (a very nice kid’s print out to say this novena).
Here is Lacy’s famous tie-dy shirts from Catholic Icying craft.
You can’t go wrong with ideas from Catholic Cuisine, here are few of my favorites.
Here are some amazing gift ideas for your home, your family, or as gifts for loved ones during this month of Immaculate Heart of Mary.
These gifts come from small catholic businesses from amazing ladies. Show your support, shop SCB!
I pray that you have a blessed month of August.
May Immaculate Heart of Mary bring you love, peace, and joy into your homes!
With the God’s Merciful Love,
We are getting ready to start another school year at the end of August, so we are having our BIGGEST Sale of the Year..
Today, the church honors the parents of Our Blessed Mother, St. Joachim and St. Anne, grandparents to Our Lord.
We are bless to know that we have St. Joachim and St. Anne as patron saints of grandparents and infertile couples.
Perfect time as we are also in the midst of NFP Awareness Week, Natural Family Planning.
NFP as stated by NFP Interenational is ,
NFP is a way of following God’s plan for achieving and/or avoiding pregnancy. It consists of ways to achieve or to avoid pregnancy using the physical means that God has built into human nature.
The key point here is following God’s plan and some times, God’s plan doesn’t go along with our plan. I can understand that to core of my being . Our NFP story isn’t much to tell really. We didn’t really focus on it before we got married nor did we think 4 months later, we would be blessed with being pregnant. All my life, All I dream of was to have a large family to fully love .
My case with NFP wasn’t always a happy one. I have to say that I had a love-hate relationship with it. I mean I thought, I am pro-life, open to life always, why did I need NFP.
But God in his great wisdom shares with me another take on NFP.
I imagine that it was going to be easy to have more children. Then we lost our very first son, Pablo de Cruz . It was a surprise pregnancy (I think all pregnancy are a surprise) yet again but one that we were so happy to see! The lost was a cut to core of my soul. NFP got really interesting since I really wanted to know what was going on with my body, why was I not pregnant again. We use NFP to help us achieve pregnancy with our healthy son.
After our son was born, we were yet blessed again with a pregnancy 8 months later which I gave birth to sweet baby girl. There was no time nor energy to really get into the NFP and 20 months later baby girl number 3.
I felt that I was living my dream, even thu it was crazy with 3 kids in diapers at one time and a six-year-old but I love it. Every minute it. I wanted more.
A year later after our latest baby girl was born, we lost a girl, Martha . It was hard times for me. It took a lot of time with NFP and trying to follow God’s plan. Fast forward two more years, pregnant with a sweet baby boy who never seen the beauty of this side of heaven . Losing Benditico was the most suffering I had ever endure in my whole life. No- one was meant to deliver a silent baby, NO-ONE was to endure that.
But in His greatest wisdom, He holds us through our suffering so that we can bring souls to His Mercy.
God must have really needed my suffering for some great cause that one day I pray that I will truly understand as once again, a year and half later, we lost our last son, Juan Deigo.
For a very long time, I felt so alone in the sense since I had four beautiful children whom am I to feel the pain of sub-infertile , to complain, to ache , to want more. I felt, I had too many for the secular world and not enough for the Catholic world…
There wasn’t much left in my core . I took NFP as an enemy for whatever crazy reason. I saw others who prevent pregnancy as selfish, lack of love. I was dead wrong. But since God out does us in generosity, He heal me in my brokenness and show me, that I don’t need another child, I needed HIM! Him alone. After that freeing moment , I never look at NFP or anyone else situations the same.
I just looked with love and mercy.
After 8 long years, I do have now a sweet baby girl who is the joy of my life along with her brother and 3 sisters. I am so blessed that I can’t even begin to count. But I have felt the hell of not achieve pregnancy for a long time and losing part of my heart to my Heavenly children. I have pray endlessly to this couple whom we celebrate today!
God is all good. His plan is perfect.
Now, remember we all have a story to tell, not inventory to count.
With the Love of Christ,
Cecilia @Hair Bows 4 Life
June 27th is the feast day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The story behind this beautiful icon is just stunning, it’s a story of obedience.
One night the Blessed Virgin appeared to the man in a dream, warning him not to keep the picture. Twice she appeared to him with this message, and both times he disregarded her warning. The third time she told him that if he continued to disobey her, he would die a miserable death. This time the man tried to persuade his wife to give up the painting, but she refused. Our Lady appeared to the man again to tell him of his impending death; within a short time, he became sick and died.
You can read more on this story over at this beautiful site of The Religious Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen.
Have you ever noticed the sandal hanging from our Lord’s feet?
Father James M. Sullivan explains the story behind the loosened sandal in Magnificat.
“The story behind the loosened sandal is an important one. The angels appeared to Christ, showing him the means by which he would die. Possessing both a child’s fear and a child’s trust in his mother, he ran to her, as fast as his feet could carry him, so fast in fact that the strap of one sandal loosened just as Christ jumped into his Mother’s waiting arms. It was then, at that moment, that he could finally look at his cross and the suffering that awaited him. By being close to her Immaculate Heart, his own Fear was strengthened.
WOW. What a beautiful image for us to use daily.
That if we run to our Mother Mary, that we stay close to her Immaculate Heart, we will be given the strengthen to face any fear, any suffering that awaits us.
Once again, Christ is the example that we need to follow close and faithfully. He shows once again, that we must trust in His Mother and run to her arms.
This coloring page will be a great help for children to see the meanings behind the symbols of this beautiful icon.
Christ’s hands, turned palms down into His Mother’s, indicate that He has placed the graces of the Redemption in her keeping. Our Lady’s hand does not clasp those of her Son, but remains open, inviting us to put our hands in hers along with those of Jesus. – Sister Mary Agatha, CMRI
O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let thy name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on thee, for, in all my needs, in all my temptations I shall never cease to call on thee, ever repeating thy sacred name, Mary, Mary. – EWTN
With the Love of Christ,
Cecilia @Hair Bows 4 Life