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In Pursuit of Saints Francis and Clare
Christopher Heffron

A first-time pilgrim in Italy visits some of the places most significant to these two holy radicals.

The Ongoing Legacy of Oscar Romero
Peter Feuerherd

Archbishop Oscar Romero may have been murdered three decades ago, but his presence lives on in El Salvador.





Pope Benedict XVI: Five Years and Counting
Five people who have seen the pope in action offer personal reflections. By King Abdullah II, Shimon Peres, Nancy Wiechec, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, O.F.M.Cap., and Helen Osman

The Prayerfulness of Rain
Rain helps this author slow down and connect with God. By Gerald Schiffhorst

Our Lady of Pilar
A beloved Marian shrine in northeast Spain has been drawing pilgrims for almost 2,000 years. By Lori Erickson

Fiction: All Are Welcome
A tiny baby teaches a huge lesson. By Marjorie Flathers


to St. Anthony Messenger Print Edition




Visitation: This is a fairly late feast, going back only to the 13th or 14th century. It was established widely throughout the Church to pray for unity. The present date of celebration was set in 1969 in order to follow the Annunciation of the Lord (March 25) and precede the Nativity of John the Baptist (June 24). 
<p>Like most feasts of Mary, it is closely connected with Jesus and his saving work. The more visible actors in the visitation drama (see Luke 1:39-45) are Mary and Elizabeth. However, Jesus and John the Baptist steal the scene in a hidden way. Jesus makes John leap with joy—the joy of messianic salvation. Elizabeth, in turn, is filled with the Holy Spirit and addresses words of praise to Mary—words that echo down through the ages. </p><p>It is helpful to recall that we do not have a journalist’s account of this meeting. Rather, Luke, speaking for the Church, gives a prayerful poet’s rendition of the scene. Elizabeth’s praise of Mary as “the mother of my Lord” can be viewed as the earliest Church’s devotion to Mary. As with all authentic devotion to Mary, Elizabeth’s (the Church’s) words first praise God for what God has done to Mary. Only secondly does she praise Mary for trusting God’s words. </p><p>Then comes the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Here Mary herself (like the Church) traces all her greatness to God.</p> American Catholic Blog Someone once told Pope Francis that his words had inspired him to give a lot more to the poor. Pope Francis’s response was to challenge the man not to just give money, but to roll up his sleeves, get his hands dirty, and actually reach out and help.

Proclaiming the Gospel of Life by Fr. Frank Pavone

 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
The Visitation
Mary’s song of joy on this occasion traces all her blessings to God’s generosity.

St. Joan of Arc
The piety of this 15th-century military heroine was not appreciated until centuries after her death.

Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Ultimately it is the Eucharist that feeds us and leads us to the heavenly banquet.

Ven. Pierre Toussaint
This former slave is one of many American holy people whose life particularly models Christian values.

Memorial Day (U.S.)
This weekend remember all those who have fought and died for peace.


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