Celebrating the Feast of Michael and All the Angels

Celebrating the Feast of Michael and All the Angels

Celebrating the Feast of Michael and All the Angels

The Feast of Michael and All Angels is also known as Michaelmas. It falls on September 29 every year. The day is close to the equinox and is also related to the shortening of days.

Introducing the Three Archangels
Angels are pure spirits. They are God’s messengers or servants. Angels are on a higher order as compared to humans because they are heavenly or celestial beings. They do not rely upon matter for their activity or existence. However, they are different from saints, which humans can become. Also, angels are immortal and have will and wisdom.

The liturgy celebrates the feast of three archangels according to the Church’s tradition. Michael was the archangel who defeated Satan and his evil angels in a fierce battle to defend God’s friends. He protects humankind from the trap of the devil. Gabriel is the Strength of God and revealed the birth of Lord Jesus Christ to Mary and Zachariah the birth of John the Baptist.

Gabriel’s greeting to Mother Mary is one of the most frequent and common prayers of Christians. It goes like this- “Hail, full of Grace.” Raphael (the Medicine of God) took care of Tobias during his journey.

History of Michaelmas
The roots of this feast date back to as early as the third century. The day was then transformed from a pagan spring festival into a feast day. However, it was only in the fifth century when it emerged as an official feast day. A basilica was built near Rome to honor Saint Michael on September 30. Celebrations started on the eve of that day, and the practice continues.

Celebrations, Traditions, and Customs
As mentioned in the beginning, many nations refer to the day as “Michaelmas.” It is also a harvest feast day. In England, the day marked the election of magistrates, recruitment of servants, and start of university and legal terms. The day also marks the opening of the hunting season for deer and other games. In certain European countries such as Austria, Denmark, and Germany, people drink a wine called “Saint Michael’s Love” on this day.

The foods that people eat for this day differ from country to country. For example, in the British Isles, people ate a fattened goose for prosperity on this day. In Scotland, a big, scone-like cake called St. Michael’s Bannock was the traditional fare.

French like to eat Gaufres or waffles for the day while Italians have gnocchi. Christians celebrate the day to support the wealth and prosperity of the family for the coming year.

You can enjoy direct access to the sites of the Holy Land through The Salvation Garden. Send your prayers, and we will be pleased to direct them to your chosen church in the Holy Land. We only urge donations so that we can make all necessary arrangements such as security and travel.

Please enter your special prayer request here.

Celebrating the Feast of Michael and All the Angels

The Significance of the Nativity of Mary, Mother of God

The Significance of the Nativity of Mary, Mother of God

The Significance of the Nativity of Mary, Mother of God

The Bible does not mention anything about the birth of Mother Mary. However, we do know about her birth. Ann and Joachim, Mary’s parents, possibly looked at her just once to realize how special she was. Her parents revered God a lot and were full of gratitude and thankfulness for being gifted with such a precious child.

Mary was brought up as God’s child.She was taught to serve and love God. Gabriel, the angel told Mary that she was the one chosen to give birth to Jesus Christ. Mary was deeply troubled and exclaimed, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. …nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary was a great believer of God. She had deep trust and faith in Him, hence, she agreed to the divine plan.

What is the Feast of Nativity?

The feast of Nativity of Mary, Mother of God, is celebrated on the eighth of September every year. Typically, the church has the custom to celebrate a saint’s feast day on the day they pass away. The day is commemorated as their entry into happiness forever. However, Mary made an entry into the world without committing any sin. The church had been celebrating her birth since the sixth century. It decided to choose a September birth for her because the Eastern Church starts its Church year with September.

Significance of the Nativity

Here are some of the key reasons why the nativity of Mary is so significant for Christians:

Dawn of Our Salvation
The Nativity of Mother Mary is a reason to rejoice as the day is regarded to be the “dawn of our salvation.” In 1974, Pope Paul VI mentioned so in the document Marialis Cultus.

Time for Reflection
Celebrating birthdays not only brings joy to the celebrant but also their friends and family. Next to Jesus Christ’s birth, the birth of Mother Mary brings the highest possible happiness to the planet. Every time, we celebrate the Nativity, we are certain of increasing peace and satisfaction in the world in general and in our hearts in particular.

Celebrating Mary’s Birthday also means Honoring Jesus Christ
The birthday of Mother Mary is special because, without her and her desire to serve God, things would have been so different. The history of salvation would not have been the same without her.

No one knew who Mary was when she was born. However, every time we celebrate her birth, we also remember and honor our Lord Christ. After all, Mary brought our Lord into this world. The Nativity is thus meant to honor Mary, as well as, her son Jesus. We must not forget that the almighty has created every individual with a special purpose and a lot of love.

The Salvation Garden offers direct access to the holy sites of Jerusalem. Please send your prayers and we will place themat your selected site(s)in the Holy Land. We only ask that you help us make this delegation possible by donating towards making arrangements, including travel and security. May the Lord hear our Prayers. Amen.

Please write your special prayer request here.

The Significance of the Nativity of Mary, Mother of God

Praying for Healing and Miracles in the Holy Lands of Christ, our Lord

Praying for Healing and Miracles in the Holy Lands of Christ, our Lord

That God holds the power of healing and performing miracles has been well-documented throughout the Bible. But when things don’t happen the way we would have liked them to happen, it doesn’t mean God hasn’t answered your prayer. It just means that we’ve failed to listen to him. Everything happens for a reason. Even if it seems massively unfair to our petty senses. The scope of God’s work is vast and literally, spans all of creation. We cannot command or control his wishes. But we can choose how we behave, live, and pray. That is the fundamental lesson that Christians have to realize. That we live to spread love, kindness, goodness, and faith.

Nevertheless, if pain, grief, depression, illness, loss, or disaster is beyond what you can physically bear, God will grant you relief should you ask for it.

According to the Book of Psalms, 6:2-4:

“Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long? Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.”

Here’s a small prayer for healing, inspired from the psalms, and many theologians who have come after, experienced the joy of living and praying in Christ, and penned down their thoughts in writing.

O Loving Father, You have blessed us by sending your only son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to suffer and be sacrificed for our sins. I believe in Jesus, and am whole-heartedly prepared to forgive those who have sinned against me as I expect you to forgive me for my sins. I’m pained to say that my grief, my illness, and my suffering, are beyond what I can bear. I surrender myself to you, thus, O healer of sin, and forgiver of mortal pelf. Please help me overcome my weaknesses, take away my pain by replacing it with your eternal hope and joy from the kingdom beyond. Please help heal my loved ones. Please help end violence and injustice in this world. May the healers and the leaders of this world, be moved to act. Through the most holy, Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, I pray for these wishes to come true. May the Lord hear our prayers. Amen.

The same can be used as a prayer for a miracle – urgent or otherwise. Here, in the holy lands, the Salvation Garden praying community continues to pray steadfastly for relief from illness, rescue from violence, and peace on earth. We hope that God will listen to our prayers in the lands and churches where Jesus Christ himself lived, preached his glorious ministry, performed miracles, healed the sick, and practiced a life of untiring love and fortitude. He also suffered for it, under cruel and relentless regimes, was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day, he rose again and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Like the Psalms, 107:19-20 tell us:

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them.”

We can carry your prayer requests for respite from pain and sickness, and prayers for miracles, to the holiest churches and sites within the Holy Lands. We only ask that you help us make this delegation possible by donating towards making arrangements, including travel and security. May the Lord hear our Prayers. Amen.

 

Celebrating the Baptism of Jesus Christ on the banks of the Jordan

Celebrating the Baptism of Jesus Christ on the banks of the Jordan

Significance of the Baptism of Jesus at Qasr al Yahud along the Jordan

The shallow waters of the lower Jordan, flowing through meandering plains, is also the site of one of Christianity’s most holy sites – the site of the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Also known by its Arabic name – the Qasr al Yahud – the waters of the Jordan at this point, just south of where the Yarmuk joins the Jordan, are considered holy beyond measure.

The Significance of the Baptism of Jesus Christ

This is because the Baptism of our Lord marks a watershed event, where Jesus first recognizes and accepts the fate that must befall him. In that moment of his blessed cleansing, the Holy Spirit descends upon him in the form of a white dove, and God, the Father’s own voice is heard, acknowledging pride in his divine son.

According to Mark 1:9-11:
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you, I am well pleased.”

This is perhaps the only moment that the Trinity is seen together in one glorious scene, as famously depicted by Aert de Gelder, the last of Rembrandt’s pupils while in Amsterdam, in 1710.

Jesus’ baptism is markedly different from ordinary baptisms, which are a reaffirmation of sin and being cleansed therefrom. The son of God had no sins to repent but he chose to accept the fate of his painful death by crucifixion and, thereby his glorious resurrection, three days later.

The Gospel of Matthew 3:13-15 explains this point further.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.

Accepting Christ, Rejecting Sin, and Becoming Part of his Family

But perhaps, no one has explained the significance of the Baptism of Christ better than the late Pope Benedict the Sixteenth. According to him, for the rest of us, baptism means being accepted into the family of God. This is because baptism means communion with the one who conquered death and holds in his hands the keys to life. Accepting Christ means being part of his circle and being showered with his eternal love far beyond death.

As the late Pope so eloquently puts it, “And if we can say that love and truth are sources of life, are life itself – and a life without love is not life – we can say that this companionship with the One who is truly life, with the One who is the Sacrament of life, will respond to your expectation, to your hope.”

Why Pilgrims Still Throng the Site of the Baptism on the Banks of the Jordan

Why Pilgrims Still Throng the Site of the Baptism on the Banks of the Jordan

Today, the muddy waters of the River Jordan have been drained and dammed for power and irrigation. But pilgrims still throng the points south of the Yarmuk to bathe and baptize themselves and be part of the experience of a lifetime – one they believe will give them power over sin, grief, worry, and doubt. For these are the holy lands and waters where Jesus himself lived, walked, cleansed, and caught fish.

To be part of this joyous ritual is to partake in a divine experience – where prayers are heard and answered – sorrows taken away and the spirit truly cleansed. The Salvation Garden praying community is proud of leading a delegation to this third most holy site in Christianity – where Jesus is believed to have first been spiritually reborn.

Pilgrimage is very limited due to pandemic-related restrictions, but we insist on carrying on. As we celebrate the spiritual rebirth of Jesus Christ and the beginning of his Ministry in Christianity’s third holiest site, we invite you to join us in prayer.

The Salvation Garden Team to Carry your Prayers to the Jordan

We are taking with us a limited number of personal prayer requests, which we will pray standing on the banks of the River Jordan and then set those prayer letters to float on the holy water.

If you send your prayer request and select the Baptism of Jesus option (after the Continue button), you will receive a photo of your printed request with the River Jordan at the site of baptism, plus a photo of the floating prayers upon the water.

Not far from Jericho, the heat there can reach over 110 degrees, yet neither sun nor vapid weather has managed to sap the strength in prayer of the Christian faithful. Such a prayer delegation would take an entire day, in harsh conditions, and it also requires security arrangements. Thank you so much for participating as your donations help turn this journey into a reality.

Please click here to send us your prayer request.

Significance of the Baptism of Jesus at Qasr al Yahud along the Jordan

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