Bartholomew the Apostle from the Sea of Galilee

Bartholomew the Apostle from the Sea of Galilee

The Holy Apostle Bartholomew was born in Cana of Galilee and was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ.

Bartholomew the Apostle most known as related to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. After that day, he and the holy Apostle Philip started to preach the Gospel in Syria and Asia Minor. While they were spreading the gospel, they wandered through various cities, and then met up again.

In Mathew 10:2 it is written:

“These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him”.

Feast days

According to the Synaxarium of the Coptic Orthodox Church, his martyrdom is usually commemorated on the first day of the Coptic Calendar. This is the first day of the month of Thout, which is currently September 11, also corresponding to August 29 in the Julian Calendar. His feast is usually June 11 in Eastern Christianity and August 24 in the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, Anglican Communion and both forms of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

Ascension

He also witnessed the Ascension, according to the Acts 1:13, which says that “When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James”.

Preaching the nations

In each occasion he is named, he is in the company of Philip. After the Ascension, Bartholomew went on a missionary tour to India, where he also left behind a copy of the Gospel of Matthew. After India, he went to the Greater Armenia.


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Where will the resurrection happen?

resurrection

Where will the resurrection happen?

It Started in Jerusalem

Jesus’ resurrection took place in Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is believed by Christians to be the site which contains both the site of Christ’s crucifixion at Calvary and the tomb in which he was buried and resurrected. It is located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Will God’s calling will be heard from anywhere?

For most Christians, there will be no set location for the resurrection and merely being buried in the consecrated ground will mark one out for ascension. Upon the Second Coming, the Bible states

“For the hour is coming in which all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come forth” (John 5:25)

This implies the resurrection will take place across the world. However, Jerusalem continues to be a strong place of pilgrimage for those of the Christian faith to this day. While many are content to visit Jerusalem, others may desire to be buried here in the Christian quarter in the belief that they are closer to the resting place of Christ.


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Mother Mary and her miracle birth of Jesus

Mother Mary Miracle Birth Of Jesus

Jesus’s virginal conception is a miracle pertaining to Mother Mary, and is the foundation of the belief that the birth was the Holy Spirit’s miraculous work.

The Miracle in the infancy narratives

In the New Testament, there are two scriptures relating to this supernatural event, confirming Mother Mary as a single, natural parent. They are also known as the infancy narratives.

Through the prophet, the Lord said:

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” Matthew 1:18-25

The event took place before Mother Mary was agreed to marry Joseph, and after that Angel Gabriel had made known the Virgin Birth, the New Testament records Luke’s reaction as follows:

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35)

The angel also sought to reassure Joseph that he should still take Mary’s hand in marriage, despite him not playing a part in the birth:

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Luke 1:26-38)

The miracle birth is a belief which runs through Christianity, from the Orthodox to Catholic and Protestant churches.


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The Rosary is the New Must Have

The Rosary is the most recognizable form of Catholic devotion, but not just for Catholic. Sadly, it is a devotion that has fallen out of fashion for many Catholics and non-Catholics.
Even though this is unfortunate, the Rosary remains as one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal and tool for spiritual warfare and one of the most powerful aids in the pursuit of a fruitful spiritual life.

The following are reasons as to why the rosary is the new must have:

Mary’s Promises for Daily Devotion These are the fifteen promises given by Mary:

  1. To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces.
  2. Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive signal graces.
  3. The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin, and dispel heresy.
  4. The Rosary will make virtue and good works it will destroy vice, deliver from sin, and dispel heresy. The Rosary will make virtue and good works flourish and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that soul would sanctify themselves by this means.
  5. Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.
  6. Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly, reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an unprovided death. The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
  7. Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
  8. Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death, the light of God and the plenitude of His graces and will share in the merits of the blessed.
  9. I will deliver promptly from Purgatory souls devoted to my Rosary.
  10. True children of my Rosary will enjoy great glory in Heaven.
  11. What you shall ask through my Rosary you shall obtain.
  12. To those who propagate my Rosary I promise to aid in all their necessities.
  13. I have obtained from my Son that all the members of the Rosary Confraternity shall have as their intercessors, in life and in death, the entire celestial court.
  14. Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are my beloved children, the brothers, and sisters of Jesus Christ.
  15. Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.

You should also pray the rosary every day because it lets you know your mother better, which then lets you know Jesus better.
The rosary also has power against the evil and will protect you, hence making it the new must-have.
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Reconnect With Nature And Spiritual Opportunity

Reconnect with nature and spiritual opportunity

Nature is God’s Creation

Nature is peaceful, and it gives you an opportunity to reconnect with your inner self. But how does this relate to Christianity? Well, being one of God’s creations, nature is simply one of the many ways to experience the spiritual bond we have with Him. However, this spirituality requires to be constantly replenished, and

it can be done through offering prayers to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Creation is Salvation

Our Salvation comes from Him for He died on the Cross to save us from our sins. The son of God came reincarnated and lived among us. Born into a family like any other, making it easier for us to connect with him. He further died for our sins, freeing each one of us from bondage. Therefore, each time we run to the son, we are saved, forgiven of all sins.

Holy Land is a connection to God

To get that renewal of your salvation, a trip to the Holy Land can be quite useful. The Holy Land is a segment found in the Middle East, a sacred place where pilgrims travel to pray and get that spiritual nourishment. There are also plenty of scenic wonders of nature that you get to explore, while at it.

Pray as a connection to God

Prayer is significant in your daily life as a Christian. Prayer strengthens your faith. It is in talking to Jesus that you can show you adore Him, confess all your transgressions, pray for others, family and friends, and thank Him for all the graces in your life.

The new places you can discover within yourself

The new places you can discover within yourself

Trying to figure out who we are from within and what we want out of life can be a challenging step. However, at the end, life beats us hard enough that we remain with no option but to admit the truth, that indeed we need to find ourselves.

During this moment in life, we are able to surrender something much bigger than ourselves, and this allows us to start the journey again. The only difference is that at this time, we are present and we are ready to face life once again.

However, the path of trying to figure out who we are from within requires a determination so as to stay committed to the trials, to hang on and keep moving forward. As it even gets tougher, we have to commit to moving forward. This also allows us to travel and go through the darkest paths inside of ourselves and see everything we’ve hidden, locked, covered up and repressed.

The following are some of the steps that you can take in order to find yourself from within:

The power of prayer

Turning all your attention and focusing on prayer is a powerful tool you can use to discover yourself from within.

Accept yourself above else

You have to resolve to make peace with who you really are so that you can show yourself to the world.

Know that perfect is not real

You have to understand that no one is perfect, and nobody is. You have to know that when it comes to human beings, the words flawless only exist in the dictionary.

Accept everything

You have to learn to stop judging and drop all the expectations of what you want. Don’t expect people to behave in a certain way or things to happen in a particular way.

Be selfish

You need to find the balance between 50% selflessness and 50% selfishness. Take your me time, know when you need it and learn how to give it to yourself.

Use everyone else as a mirror

You have understood that any quality which you are attracted to, or not attracted to, you do not lack.

Connect your core

Your core is what stabilizes you, physically, emotionally and mentally. For example, when you notice a negative thought, engage your belly. Draw your stomach in, and uphold it, then take some deep breaths and you will immediately center yourself in a powerful way

Finally, you have to make everything about love and gratitude. Love changes your perspective and gratitude can help you to attract more of what you want.

Mother Mary the Merciful and Compassionate

Mother Mary the Merciful and Compassionate

Mercy and compassion are two of the words most commonly associated with the Mother of Christ, and two traits that many invoke when asking for her divine intercession. This is arguably because she is a perfect example of each.

Vessel of mercy

After all, it is Mary who acted as the vessel of mercy. Mother of Jesus Christ, it is her to whom we cry out during that so oft repeated prayer:

“Hail Holy Queen,

Mother of Mercy,

Our life, our sweetness, and our hope…”

The child of an Immaculate Conception, she was perfectly fashioned by God to bring his mercy into the world in the form of his Son.

This is a gift that she gave to us all willingly. Despite the shame of unwed motherhood in a time when society was so heavily prejudiced against such women, and the undeserved initial disappointment of her betrothed, Joseph, she endured all to deliver a child who would cleanse the world of its sins and lead by shining example.

Through her, we thus received Divine Mercy in its purest form: undeserved, unmerited, yet given to us by God with this blessed woman willingly acting as a divine vessel.

Compassion against all odds

It is in her that we see pure and unadulterated compassion too. Ever willing to intercede on behalf of those who invoke her, she brings the gentlest and most tender qualities of femininity to our religion, being a great mother to us all.

This is her truest purpose: to mother, to nurture, to care, and to listen. In our darkest days, it is to her ears that we direct our pleas, and with ultimate compassion, she chooses to hear us all from her heavenly throne: always there, always waiting, and ever benevolent.


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The connection between the rosary and the Holy Land

Since the Rosary is composed with “Our Father and the Hail Mary”, it was, therefore, without doubt, the first prayer and the principal devotion of the faithful.

The prayer of Christ and the Angelic Salutation, which are the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary”, are in use all over the centuries, from the time of the apostles and disciples down to the present, and will continue to be used for centuries to come. Both prayers are composed of substance in principle which reflects our devotion and faith.

The beginning of the Rosary

It was only in the year 1214 that the Church received the Rosary in its present form and according to the method that is used today. It was given to the Church by St. Dominic, who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners.
When Saint Dominic saw that the gravity of people’s sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, he withdrew into the forest and prayed continuously for three days and three nights. His body was lacerated and fell into a comma.
At this moment our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said,
“Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?”
“Oh, my Lady,” answered Saint Dominic, “you know far better than I do because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation.”
Then our Lady replied, “I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.”

Saint Dominic inspiration

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, instructed by the Blessed Virgin as well as by his own experience, Saint Dominic preached the Rosary for the rest of his life. He preached it by his example as well as by his sermons, in cities and in country places, to people of high station and low, before scholars and the uneducated, to Catholics and to heretics.
The Rosary, which he said every day, was his preparation for every sermon and his little tryst with our Lady immediately after preaching.
In the 4th century, the prayer rope used by the Desert Fathers to count repetitions of the Jesus Prayer was seen to be a form of the rosary. Details of the connection of the rosary and the holy land are sketchy.
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The history and origin of the Rosary

The history and origin of the Rosary

The rosary is one of the most fundamental and cherished prayer tools in Christianity. Mostly identified with the Catholic Church, but also in use by the Orthodox and Protestants.
“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners”, was an addition to the “Hail Mary” prayer. Who said it?

Basic Structure and purpose

Praying the Rosary is introduced by four prayers:

  1. The Creed
  2. Our Father
  3. Three Hail Marys
  4. The Doxology (“Glory Be”)

The prayer is concluded with the Salve Regina.
Since Praying, in general, involves recitation of prayers the prayer can use as an assistance. The beads allow the person to focus on the words instead of the counting.In the Catholic rosary, there are five decades consisting of the Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, and the Doxology. During this recitation, the person is able to meditate. The meditation is about the saving mysteries of our Lord’s life and the faithful witness of our Blessed Mother.

Origin and Tradition

The usage of “prayer beads” and the repeated recitation of prayers aid in meditation and has a long history. The use of beads stems from the earliest days of the Church and has roots in pre-Christian times.
According to tradition, the origin of the modern rosary started at the beginning of the 13th Century. The Blessed Mother Mary appeared to Saint Dominic in the church of Prouille, and said to him:

“Wonder not that until now you have had such little fruit from your labours. You have spent them on a barren soil, not yet watered with the dew of divine grace. When God willed to renew the face of the earth he began by sending down the fertilizing dew of the Angelic Salutation. Preach my Rosary composed of one hundred and fifty Aves, and you will obtain an abundant harvest.”

Later in the 15th century, a Dominican priest had a plan to reestablish the use of the Rosary. The priest was Blessed Alanus de Rupe, a theologian, and a learned preacher. His addition to the Rosary was the “15 Promises” of Mother Mary to any Christian who uses the Rosary as a prayer instrument.

The 16th Century

In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Rosary was approved by the Catholic Church. The Dominican Pope Pius V issued the papal bull Consueverunt Romani Pontifices, which established the devotion to the Rosary.

The Rosary is an instrument with a reassuring effect. We can see that on troubled days, the Marian devotion of the Rosary helps with regaining your strength. Saint Peter Canisius, a Doctor of the Church, who is credited with adding the sentence “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners” to the Hail Mary, was an ardent advocate of the rosary and promoted it (and its Marian devotion in general) because he believed that the Rosary was the best way to re-establish the status of the Church.

Where are The Churches of Mother Mary in the Holy Land?

Where are The Churches of Mother Mary in the Holy Land?

Mother Mary’s journeys had a great impact on Jesus, but while we can find many sites related to his footsteps, what do we know about hers? Here are some highlights on Mother Mary’s main stations in life and the Churches we can visit today.

There are several holy sites in today’s Israel, which are sacred to Christians all over the world. Some of them are churches pertaining to the Mother Mary.

In the North

The Church of the Annunciation, sometimes known as the Basilica of the Annunciation, is a place of worship in the northern Israeli town of Nazareth. The Annunciation happened there, while Mary was taking water from a spring. Therefore the site features the Grotto of the Annunciation, and some say that Mary’s childhood home was in that cave. Today, there is a modern 20th-century church with two stories at the site. The first shrine at the Church of the Annunciation is said to date back to the 4th century.

In Jerusalem

The Church of the Assumption which is dated back to the 5th century is also located in Holy Land. According to the Christian tradition, Mary’s Tomb is found in this church. The church is at the bottom of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. There is also a niche which is dedicated to St. Joseph, Mary’s husband. The church is located in Jerusalem’s Old City Walls; not far from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. To the right of the church is a passageway which leads to the Grotto of Gethsemane, which is the site where Jesus gave his last lessons to his disciples.


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What is the Holy Hour?

Prayer is relevant anytime and anywhere. But when we make it one of our weekly or daily routines, we achieve much more.

The Holy Hour is a routine we received from Jesus.

 

Jesus’s Request

The practice of the Holy Hour started when Jesus appeared to Saint Margaret Alacoque in 1674 during her hour of prayer. This was not the first time Jesus appeared to her. However, on this particular occasion, Christ asked her to spend an hour meditating on His sufferings every Thursday and Friday night. According to St. Margaret, the Holy Hour was to be observed between 11pm to 12am. During this period, St. Margaret was sharing the agony and sufferings of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Basically, the practice of the Holy Hour stands on 3 principles:

  1. The union with the suffering of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
  2. The remedial prayer
  3. The gestures of self-humiliation.

The Concept and the Garden

The concept of the Holy Hour is based on the Gospel of Matthew during Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane just before his crucifixion. This is how the Gospel of Matthew 26:38-40 captures the events that took place that night:

38 “Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
39 “And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
40 “And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?”

According to St. Margaret, Jesus made it clear that He wishes His faithful friends to become partakers of that sorrow unto death which he suffered in the Garden of Olives.
His followers should also join with Jesus in the humble prayer which He prayed to His Father at the time.

His followers should also join with Jesus in the humble prayer which He prayed to His Father at the time.

Modern Tradition

The Holy Hour remained strictly confined within the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In 1911, it received the right to aggregation for the whole world and is now encouraged in the Catholic tradition. Also, Mother Teresa practiced the Holy Hour as a daily routine. According to her:

“Every Holy Hour we make so pleases the Heart of Jesus that it will be recorded in Heaven and retold for all eternity.”

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What makes the Rosary a prayer tool?

Rosary

What makes the Rosary a prayer tool?

What do we know about the contemporary uses of the Rosary? Is it a tool? Is it a companion? Is it just beautiful? How can we work with the Rosary on our daily routine?

The names of the Rosary

Paul VI called the Rosary a compendium of the Gospel. Padre Pio called the Rosary beads a weapon of extraordinary power against Satan.

The gentle repetition – Prayer of Rosary

The Rosary is a powerful and spiritual tool for prayer. While today it is popular to pray, many people have overlooked the Rosary. We see more and more people indicating they pray more and often. The reasons are for mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Many people, including some Catholics, may overlook the rosary as a prayer tool. It is simple, but its gentle repetition of its prayers makes it an excellent tool to moving in deeper prayer. It gives us an opportunity to be able to open ourselves to God’s word and refine our interior being by turning our minds to the life of Christ.

The Mysteries of the Rosary

Praying the Rosary can teach us because we can learn about ourselves in relation to our God. We can achieve this by being able to focus on the lives of both Christ and Mary, during prayer on the mysteries. For example, Mary herself was a great model for the daily practice of prayer. By receiving the word of God through Gabriel and pondering over the word in her heart, it allowed her to take the events surrounding her externally and praying for them. This also is the essence of prayer, having God’s word and praying over it.

God’s Grace

Saint Padre Pio says that “Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces are given by God pass through the Blessed Mother” while Saint Josemaria Escriva says that, “The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results”.

The power of the Rosary

Perhaps the greatest use of the rosary as a powerful tool was demonstrated by Pope Pius XI when he said, “The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin […] If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors”.


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