Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Thanksgiving ABC's

Borrowing this idea from Allen Hunt's Blog, I have created my own Thanksgiving ABC List. Some are fun, some are serious, all are heartfelt. Well, maybe not the zoom.. that was pure silliness, but I couldn't come up with a better word for "Z"! Maybe next year, if I remember to continue this! Anway, here are my "Thanksgiving ABC's":

My Thanksgiving ABC’s

A - Audrey and Aaron, two special people who are awesome!
B - Butter Pecan Ice Cream… the BEST flavor ever!
C - Cousins – the Joneses and the Shooks, and all their extended families… I appreciate you more than you know
D - Dogs! So many have blessed my life Wimby, Punkin, Poohbear, Spencer and many more
E - Effie, my Mother in-law
F - Fletchers, our dear friends
G - Garret aka Gear-itttt! Love you honey
H - Haswell & Herman… my family heritage…
I - Internet… so awesome and a great way to stay connected
J - Julia & Jack, my parents… who I will love forever
K - Kindle… I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Kindle
L - Logan aka Logie-Wan! Love you sweetie
M - Mary, Mother of God
N - Newfoundland Dogs, Cora, Sadie, Sailor, Kira, Neiko, Ben & Yelda, as well as all the Fosters who stayed with us
O - Oz, Wizard of… one of my favorite movies as a child
P - Pepsi, Diet… of which I love and drink too much of
Q - Quests…. Love them, whether on games or In real life…
R - Russell, my beloved husband
S – Sister, my sister Lilli… who is very dear to me
T - Trinity, God the Father, His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit
U - University of Dayton… where I work, where I began my faith journey, where I am blessed
V - Vatican, I hope to visit some day
W - Wisconsin, a special place, filled with loving and awesome memories
X - XAN, Memories and friends… many of whom I've reconnected with on Facebook
Y - Yahoo, my email… love it!
Z - Zoom! I love to zoom zoom zoom!
While looking at this list, I am once again reminded that even with life's bumps in the road, I am very blessed. I wish all my loved ones, my friends, neighbors and colleagues a very joyous Thanksgiving. For those of you are traveling, Godspeed. For those of you who are cooking, cook well, and remember to rest and take time to enjoy. For those of you celebrating with family, enjoy each other... family is precious, and so many will be alone on this day. And for those of you who will be alone... know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless you all.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I have spent the better part of this week wallowing. I've been feeling sorry for myself because my feelings were hurt by some careless, albeit rude words spoken to me a few days ago. I knew immediately that Jesus would as me to "turn the other cheek" and I made a fairly lame attempt to do so. I spent a lot of time regaling other friends with my "tail of woe" and as most good friends would do they shared my outrage and offered words of support, which I greatly appreciated. One would think that I would feel uplifted by their support, yet I was trapped in this awful place, reveling in the misery and toxicity of anger and self pity. It's as if I was a child, lashing out and having a temper tantrum because my feelings were hurt! There are times when anger has it's place. Yet in this instance it was misguided. In retrospect, the original insult seems so pathetically small!

I have only been hurting my self. My conscious kept niggling at me, telling me I was off track and that I needed to let it go. It was time to remember that I'm an adult and to act like one! I prayed to Jesus and to Our Blessed Mother for help. All prayers are answered, in God's own way. I was praying about something else that was causing me great concern... alternating between Hail Mary's and The Lord's Prayer. As I said the words of the "Our Father" I suddenly got a mental jolt. It's hard to describe the sensation... I was whispering the prayer:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 6:9-13

As I got to the words:

and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,

I knew... I knew that my prayer had been answered and that God was letting me know what I needed to know. As I pondered this, I suddenly realized that all that negative energy inside of me was fading.. and fading fast. Suddenly all that was left was peace, and that sensation was awesome. I hadn't expected to get an answer to my former prayer while praying about something different, but I did!

Luckily, I was paying attention this time! And all the pouting, the need to plot and to plan on how "I'll show them" are clearly a waste of time and completely not necessary!

God of Love,
I thank You for the people in my life
who are easy to love.
I thank You for my family and friends
who understand my actions,
who support me in my decisions,
and whose presence can lift the burden of a thorny day.

Help me with those who are difficult to love.
When they come at me with criticism
and wild expectations,
when they ignore me
or try to bend me to their will,
let me recognize their flaws and their dangers.
But then let me remember your attitude toward them,
and lead me to see them
in the light of Your love.


Monday, November 15, 2010

November, a month of lists...

November is a busy month... there's alot to do, and lists need to be made. And, NO! If you're thinking of "Making that list, checking it twice" lists, shopping lists, and Christmas lists, that's not what I meant. Well, not really... maybe towards the end of the month that would make sesnse. But there's so much going on in November, way before the onslaught of the annual "Christmas Rush".

At the beginning of the month, we had election day. After dutifully gathering my lists of candidates and ballots, I headed to the polls and cast my vote. I find this very helpful while voting... I can pay close attention to the mechanics of voting and make sure that I vote accurately and efficiently. The key, of course is to "remember the list!"

With Halloween behind us, the focus is on the upcoming holidays. People often "skim over" Thanksgiving and focus on Christmas as though it was the big prize at the end of the journey. It's not of course. Nor is Thanksgiving. There is so much preparation in to planning a feast for the family... whether there be two or twenty+. This warrants a couple of lists, the first being a menu of sort, and then obviously, a grocery list. And once the actually cooking has commenced, another list is born... a score card of sorts... a schedule really of when to cook what. It's quite complicated, and I leave this to the pros... Russell and his Mom.

And then, of course, for me, the most important list.... a "Gratitude List" of all my blessings and things that I have to be grateful for. After all, isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about? Not parades or football games, not the "Black Friday" ads in the daily paper, but a time to give Thanks to God for our blessings. So if you're reading this, won't you join me in contemplating what to put on your Gratitude List? I will begin mine, and share on Thanksgiving. There's so much that comes to mind, with little contemplation.

And once I have this list complete, I might just start on the December lists....

God Bless you and yours,


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Verteran's Day - 2010

I think of many things when November 11th rolls around each year. The first thought I think of is, my Grandfather... who was born on November 11th. He died when I was 6 and I have a few memories of him; all wonderful ones of course. The sad thing is, as I'm writing this, I'm trying to remember if he was a Veteran. I'm pretty sure he was... and this is something I'll have to find out!

The second thing I think of is my Father, who was a Veteran. He served in the United States Navy during the Korean War. He enlisted with his first cousin and best friend on the heels of World War II, when patriotism was soaring. They both left college to serve, and both returned to college at the end of their 4 years. My Father never saw battle, but he was emphatically proud to be an American, and proud to have served his country.

The third thing I think of is my own childhood... growing up during the Viet Nam era... hearing whispers of my parents when a friends son had been killded or wounded in combat. I remember eagerly ordering my POW bracelet, and wearing it proudly. I wish I could remember the name of the soldier on that bracelet, or his fate. I remember when the war ended and feeling relieved. I was not aware, however, of the way the soldiers were treated upon coming home. It was a while until I realized that soldiers returning home from Viet Nam were not treated the same way as soldiers from previous battles.

I remember Desert Storm, and watching it every night on tv. I remember Arthur Kent aka "The Scud Stud", a correspondent for NBC who reported live every night.... and I thought was very cute. It was the worst kind of reality tv... a train wreck that you couldn't look away from... that I was compelled to watch every single night, terrified, yet dazzled at the same time. And of course, I remember our most recent and ongoing wars in Iraq and now Afghanistan. They are absolutely horrible, and I cringe when I watch the news and see young men and women shipping out.

These are terrifying times, and at times devastating to families all accross this nation. Movies and television often romanticize war... but there is nothing remotely romantic about war. War is a "necessary evil", and our soldiers are fighting to preserve our freedom, and the freedom of those around the world. Thank you to all the Men and Women who have served in the past, who are serving now and who will serve in the future. God Bless them all.

In closing, here is a prayer (from the New St. Joseph People’s Prayer Book ) for all who serve, past, present and future:

Prayer on Veterans Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ,

those whom we honor today are examples of your words:“Greater love than this no one has: that he lay down his life for his friends.” They gave up their lives in defense of freedom for their loved ones and their country.

Teach me to appreciate the virtue of patriotism -a true and Christian love of country. Let me love my country not to follow it blindly but to make it the land of goodness that it should be. Let my patriotism be such that it will not exclude the other nations of the world but include them in a powerful love of country that has room for all others too. Amen

Friday, November 05, 2010

It's that time again....

Once again, it's time to "fall back". On Sunday, November 7, 2010, at 2:00 AM, we need to set our clocks back one hour. Luckily, the phrase, "spring forward, fall back" helps remind us of which way the hour hand needs to move! Some say that Benjamin Franklin invented Daylight Savings time when he was in France. He was known for is saying "Early to bed, early to rise, makes you healthy wealthy and wise". He suggested that by going to bed an hour earlier, people would save themselves from burning so many wax candles.

I found the following information about Daylight Savings time from About.Com:

How Daylight Saving Time Works

During late Winter we move our clocks one hour ahead and "lose" an hour during the night and each Fall we move our clocks back one hour and "gain" an extra hour. But Daylight Saving Time (and not Daylight Savings Time with an "s") wasn't just created to confuse our schedules.

The phrase "Spring forward, Fall back" helps people remember how Daylight Saving Time affects their clocks. At 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March, we set our clocks forward one hour ahead of Standard Time ("Spring forward," even though Spring doesn't begin until late March, several weeks after the start of Daylight Saving Time). We "Fall back" at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November by setting our clock back one hour and thus returning to Standard Time.

The change to Daylight Saving Time ostensibly allows us to use less energy in lighting our homes by taking advantage of the longer and later daylight hours. During the eight-month period of Daylight Saving Time, the names of time in each of the time zones in the U.S. (map) change as well. Eastern Standard Time (EST) becomes Eastern Daylight Time, Central Standard Time (CST) becomes Central Daylight Time (CDT), Mountain Standard Time (MST) becomes Mountain Daylight Time (MDT), Pacific Standard Time becomes Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), and so forth.

History of Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II the federal government again required the states to observe the time change. Between the wars and after World War II, states and communities chose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time is four weeks longer since 2007 due to the passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005. The Act extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November, with the hope that it would save 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced use of power by businesses during daylight hours.

Unfortunately, it is exceedingly difficult to determine energy savings from Daylight Saving Time and based on a variety of factors, it is possible that little or no energy is saved by Daylight Saving Time.

Arizona (except some Indian Reservations), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa have chosen not to observe Daylight Saving Time. This choice does make sense for the areas closer to the equator because the days are more consistent in length throughout the year.

So remember to set your clocks back before you go to bed on Saturday! And, while you're at it, this is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors as well! Enjoy the extra hour of sleep!!! I know I will!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Book Review: "The Five People You Meet In Heaven"

I just finished reading "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" by Mitch Albom. I read it reluctantly because I normally don't read books that are either sad and/or about death. I read this book after it was recommended to me by a friend. Thanks Rick :)

I loved it. I cried, which Rick told me I would do. The fact that I was reading the end in a laundromat surrounded by strangers wasn't even embarrassing. There I sat, with tears streaming down my face with a stupid grin on my face. And I simply did not care. I was wrapped up in the end of a wonderful story, that ended well despite the sometimes sad, tragic story. Yes, I got my happy ending,

And that is life. We have our joys and our heartbreaks. We have our happy times and devastatingly tragic times. You really can't have one with out the other.. and yes, I do subscribe to the the philosophy that the bad times help to make the good times even more wonderful... they help us to appreciate things. Society needs to appreciate things more. It's so easy to get wrapped up in feeling bad about our problems, our existence. It's so easy to wallow in self pity, so easy to be a victim.

And this is what struck me about this book. The main character was a man named Eddie. The books starts a short time before his death. As the pages turn, we travel backwards and forward in time, and between Eddie's life on Earth and his new life in heaven. This book kept my mind hopping- it never let me get bored. It kept me wanting to turn to the next page and find out what was going to happen. Eddie had is share of bad times. His childhood had it's traumas from an alcoholic father. He survived the brutality and tragedy of World War II. He fell in love and married the love of his life. He thought he was stuck working at a place he never wanted to end up in, and living in his family's old apartment for most of his life.

When he got to heaven, and learned the lessons that were waiting for him there. He learned that his life had had purpose all along. He learned all the good behind the bad. And even when learning about bad things that he had no knowledge of, there was still good that came from that.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book are:

Eddie: Does God know I am here? She answered: "yes"

"Lost love is still love. It takes a different form, that's all. You can't see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it.
--Eddie's Wife"

"Holding anger is a poison...It eats you from inside...We think that by hating someone we hurt them...But hatred is a curved blade...and the harm we do to others...we also do to ourselves."

This is a powerful, uplifting book. I came away from it feeling exhilarated and humbled at the same time. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day - Vote

I have always loved this painting. I remember it hanging in one of my elementary school classrooms. At the time, I didn't understand the full meaning of what the fight for liberty meant. These men fought for our liberty... for our "unalienable rights" which include Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. As citizens of the United States of America, one of our "rights" is the right to Vote. So please, do not throw this "right" away.

By not voting, you are throwing your right way. You are waiving your right to complain! So get out there, and vote!

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

God Bless America!

Monday, November 01, 2010

All Souls Day

I took a bit of an expedition this weekend. I have shared in an earlier blog that I went to the cemetery and placed a pumpkin on my father's grave. It was a gorgeous fall day, and I drove around looking at the fall colors and at the variety of grave markers.... some old.. some very contemporary. I had to wonder about the people buried there... who comes to visit their graves, to pay them respect, and most importantly, to pray for them. My own family has quite a large plot there... and as I looked at their graves, and "spoke to them" it occured to me that as All Soul's Day is soon, that I should be praying for them!

What is All Soul's Day all about anyway? Here is a great exlpanation from the "Women for Faith and Family's" website:

From the beginning, Christians have prayed for the dead and have undertaken works of penance on their behalf. There is scriptural basis for this intercessory prayer for the sins of others and for the dead in the Old Testament. Job's sacrifices purified his sons (Job 1:5); and Judas Maccabeus "made atonement for the dead that they be delivered from their sin" (II Macc 12:46). The tradition in the Church of having Masses said for the dead began in the earliest times. The pre-Christian Roman religion, which held that some form of life continued after death, gave votive offerings to the gods for the dead at three specified times: the third, seventh and thirtieth day after death. This practice of praying for the departed on these same days was adopted ("inculturated") by the early Christians -- and continued in the Church for nearly 2000 years: the Church offered Masses for the deceased person on the third, seventh and thirtieth day after death.

Beginning in the year 998, All souls -- the "faithful departed" -- were officially remembered in the Church's prayers on the evening of November 1, and with Requiem Masses, Masses for the dead, on November 2. All Souls Day is now a feast of the universal Church. (The word "requiem" is Latin for "rest".) Following the Second Vatican Council, all Masses celebrated on All Saints day observe that feast, not "All souls". Three Masses may still be said on All Souls Day. The first two are Masses for Burial, and the third is a Mass for the Dead. Black vestments may be worn on this day.

We pray for the faithful departed, those who have been baptized, but who need to be completely purified of all stain of sin before they come into full union with God in Heaven. In other words, most of us. The Church's teaching about Purgatory, the place of purification, is explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (§1030-1032)

Here are a couple of prayers that can be said every night at bed time, or whenever you pray, for your deceased loved ones:

Heavenly Father, You sent Christ Jesus your Son to wash away the sins of all mankind through His perfect sacrifice,and you cleansed our departed brothers and sisters in the waters of baptism. May His perfect sacrifice free them from the power of death and give them eternal life. In your mercy, O Lord, grant them eternal rest, and may perpetual light shine on them forever. +



Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,and let perpetual light shine upon them.May they rest in peace.


All Saint’s Day, 2010

All Saint’s Day comes on the heels of Halloween, and right before “All Soul’s Day”. All Saints Day is a holy day of obligation… it is a solemnity where Catholics pay homage to all the Saints in heaven. EWTN describes All Saints Day as:

“The church in this great festival honours all the saints reigning together in glory; first, to give thanks to God for the graces and crowns of all his elect: secondly, to excite ourselves to a fervent imitation of their virtues by considering the holy example of so many faithful servants of God of all ages, sexes, and conditions, and by contemplating the inexpressible and eternal bliss which they already enjoy, and to which we are invited: thirdly, to implore the divine mercy through this multitude of powerful intercessors: fourthly, to repair any failures or sloth in not having duly honoured God in his saints on their particular festivals, and to glorify him in the saints which are unknown to us, or for which no particular festivals are appointed. Therefore our fervour on this day ought to be such that it may be a reparation of our sloth in all the other feasts of the year; they being all comprised in this one solemn commemoration, which is an image of that eternal great feast which God himself continually celebrates in heaven with all his saints, whom we humbly join in praising his adorable goodness for all his mercies, particularly for all treasures of grace which he has most munificently heaped upon them. In this and all other festivals of the saints God is the only object of supreme worship, and the whole of that inferior veneration which is paid to the saints is directed to give sovereign honour to God alone, whose gifts their graces are: and our addresses to them are only petitions to holy fellow creatures for the assistance of their prayers to God for us. When, therefore, we honour the saints, in them and through them we honour God, and Christ, true God and true man, the Redeemer and Saviour of mankind, the King of the Saints, and the source of all their sanctity and glory.”

A prayer in praise of the saints:

How shining and splendid are your gifts, O Lord
which you give us for our eternal well-being
Your glory shines radiantly in your saints, O God
In the honour and noble victory of the martyrs.
The white-robed company follow you,
bright with their abundant faith;
They scorned the wicked words of those with this world's power.
For you they sustained fierce beatings, chains, and torments,
they were drained by cruel punishments.
They bore their holy witness to you
who were grounded deep within their hearts;
they were sustained by patience and constancy.
Endowed with your everlasting grace,
may we rejoice forever
with the martyrs in our bright fatherland.
O Christ, in your goodness,
grant to us the gracious heavenly realms of eternal life.

Unknown author, 10th century

My personal reflections:

In honor of All Saint’s Day, I thought that I would share a few Saints that I feel very close to.

St. Anthony of Padua:

I have a special affinity for Saint Anthony has bailed me out alot! I am forever losing things. Russell is forever losing things. As a small child, my Mother told me to always pray to St. Anthony whenever I was looking for something lost. And it always worked. About Saint Anthony (from

Anthony’s wealthy family wanted him to be a great nobleman, but for the sake of Christ he became a poor Franciscan. Priest.

When the remains of Saint Berard and his companions, the first Franciscan martyrs, were brought to be buried in his church, Anthony was moved to leave his order, enter the Friars Minor, and go to Morocco to evangelize. Shipwrecked at Sicily, he joined some other brothers who were going to the church in Portiuncula. Lived in a cave at San Paolo leaving only to attend Mass and sweep the nearby monastery. One day when a scheduled speaker failed to appear, the brothers pressed him into speaking. He impressed them so that he was thereafter constantly travelling, evangelizing, preaching, and teaching theology through Italy and France.

A gifted speaker, he attracted crowds everywhere he went, speaking in multiple tongues; legend says that even the fish loved to listen. Miracle worker. One of the most beloved of saints, his images and statues are found everywhere - though none of them portray him as a heavy-set man, which some reports claim he was. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946.

One source of the well-known patronage for the recovery of lost objects comes from a legend that, long after Anthony’s death, his old prayer book was kept as a treasured relic, and one day it disappeared. People prayed for help in finding the lost item, a novice found it and returned it; he later admitted that he had “borrowed” the book and returned it after receiving a vision of an angry Anthony.

St. Dwynwen

In choosing a Saint for my confirmation name, I researched all sorts of wonderful Saints. I was drawn to St. Dwynwen because I feel like we have so much in common. We're both romantics.. passionate about our beliefs, and have a love for animals. It seemed fitting to take her name as my confirmation name. About St. Dwynwen (from

Beautiful, pious and virtuous daughter of the 5th century Welsh king, Brychan of Brecknock. A certain Maelon fell in love with her, and wished to marry her. Though Dwynwen returned his love, her heart was set on becoming a nun, and she rejected him. She dreamt she was given a sweet drink which saved her from his attentions, but which turned the poor young man to ice. Realising that Maelon couldn’t help his love for her, she prayed that he be restored to life, that all lovers should find happiness, and that she never have the desire for marriage. Dwynwen became a nun and lived on Llanddwyn Island on the western coast of Ynys Mon (Anglesey), an area accessible only at low tide.

Her well, a fresh-water spring called Ffynnon Dwynwen, became a wishing well and place of pilgrimage, particularly for lovers because of the story above. The tradition grew that the eel in the well could foretell the future for lovers - ask questions and watch which way they turn. Women would scatter breadcrumbs on the surface, then lay her handkerchief on water’s surface; if the eel disturbed it, her lover would be faithful. All this led to her connection with animals, which eventually led to the tradition that her intercession could heal injured animals.

St. Francis of Assisi

I've been an animal lover my entire life, and therefore have been aware of St. Francis of Assisi since I was a young girl. I'd pray to him whenever one of our pets was ill or lost. It was not until years later that I really learned about St. Francis. Knowing his story has made me ever more devoted to him. About St. Francis (from

Son of Pietro Bernadone, a rich cloth merchant. Though he had a good education and became part of his father’s business, he also had a somewhat misspent youth. Street brawler and some-time soldier. Captured during a conflict between Assisi and Perugia, Italy, he spent over a year as a prisoner of war. During this time he had a conversion experience, including a reported message from Christ calling him to leave this worldly life. Upon release, Francis began taking his faith seriously.

He took the Gospels as the rule of his life, Jesus Christ as his literal example. He dressed in rough clothes, begged for his sustenance, and preached purity and peace. His family disapproved, and his father disinherited him; Francis formally renounced his wealth and inheritance. He visited hospitals, served the sick, preached in the streets, and took all men and women as siblings. He began to attract followers in 1209, and with papal blessing, founded the Franciscans based on a simple statment by Jesus: “Leave all and follow me.” In 1212 Clare of Assisi became his spiritual student, which led to the founding of the Poor Clares. Visited and preached to the Saracens. Composed songs and hymns to God and nature. Lived with animals, worked with his hands, cared for lepers, cleaned churches, and sent food to thieves. In 1221 he resigned direction of the Franciscans.

While in meditation on Mount Alvernia in the Apennines in September 1224, Francis received the stigmata, which periodically bled during the remaining two years of his life. This miracle has a separate memorial on 17 September.

In the Middle Ages people who believed to be possessed by Beelzebub especially called upon the intercession of Saint Francis, the theory being that he was the demon’s opposite number in heaven.

St. John The Baptist

Before I even decided to become Catholic, I remember Russell expression is appreciation and affection for John The Baptist... the "wild man in the wilderness". As I learned more about him, I was drawn to him as well. His faith, his conviction and his devotion to Christ was dazzling. One of my favorite Gospels is the Baptism of our Lord, Jesus Christ, where John The Baptist baptized Jesus. About St. John the Baptist (from

Cousin of Jesus Christ. Son of Zachary, a priest of the order of Abia whose job in the temple was to burn incense; and of Elizabeth, a descendent of Aaron. As Zachary was ministering in the Temple, an angel brought him news that Elizabeth would bear a child filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment of his birth. Zachary doubted and was struck dumb until John’s birth.

Prophet. John began his ministry around age 27, wearing a leather belt and a tunic of camel hair, living off locusts and wild honey, and preaching a message of repentance to the people of Jerusalem. He converted many, and prepared the way for the coming of Jesus. He Baptized Christ, after which he stepped away and told his disciples to follow Jesus.

Imprisoned by King Herod. He died a victim of the vengeance of a jealous woman; he was beheaded, and his head brought to her on a platter. Saint Jerome says Herodias kept the head for a long time after, occasionally stabbing the tongue with his dagger because of what John had said in life.

St. Mary Magdalene

I adore Mary Magdalene. Her devotion to Christ was amazing. She is the patron saint of many, including women and converts. Her name was my second choice of confirmation names. About St. Mary Magdalene (from

We have very little solid information about Saint Mary, and both scholars and traditions differ on the interpretation of what we do know. She was a friend and follower of Jesus. Filled with sorrow over her sin, she anointed Christ, washed his feet with her hair. He exorcised seven demons from her. She was visited by the Risen Christ.

There are also arguments about her life after the Crucifixion. The Greek Church maintains that she retired to Ephesus with the Blessed Virgin Mary and lived there the rest of her life. A French tradition says that Mary, Lazarus, and some companions came to Marseilles, France, evangelized and converted the whole Provence region, and then retired to live 30 years as a penitent hermitess at La Sainte-Baume.

Oh, some things we do know for certain - Mary wasn’t Jesus’ wife or mistress, she wasn’t the mother of His child, she didn’t found a royal dynasty or separate branch of Christianity, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam.

In conclusion...

My source of information on these wonderful saints is Be sure to visit the site to learn about these saints and others.

There are so many Saints.. so many amazing stories of Christian men and women. I'm learning about them slowly, and I know so little. I do know that I am eager to learn more. So perhaps next year I will post about 5 more. God's Blessings to you all.