devotion

Simbang Gabi is Filipino Advent tradition honoring the Blessed Mother

Parishioners Kevin Eulalia, left, Fely Eulalia and Merlinda Eulalia served Filipino delicacies after a Simbang Gabi Mass Dec. 18. Simbang Gabi is a novena of Masses honoring Mary. The tradition of Simbang Gabi traces back to the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the Philippines about 500 years ago. At the time, they had a tradition of celebrating pre-Christmas novena Masses in honor of the Annunciation.

Lily Elznic has fond childhood memories of celebrating Simbang Gabi growing up in the Philippines.

She and her family, who lived about an hour outside of Manila, would head to church for Mass in the early hours of the morning — for nine days straight.

"With all our friends in the neighborhood, we'd all go to the church," she said. "Along the way we'd watch the (Christmas) lights on the houses. After Mass, there would be a line on the street with food vendors — all of our favorite foods. Every morning it was a celebration."

Long lines show a deep devotion to Padre Pio

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A police officer genuflected. A man wearing a suit made the sign of the cross. A woman wrote a prayer intention and placed it in a box. Schoolchildren held holy cards against the relics of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, better known as Padre Pio.

The line was long in the early morning of Sept. 27 at Assumption Church in south St. Louis County, which hosted the relics of the beloved Capuchin Franciscan priest from Italy who was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002. It's one stop on a nationwide tour in 18 U.S. dioceses. Mass was to be celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Mark Rivituso that evening.

Tragedy prompts family to turn to saints, start company to share devotion

Joe and Colleen Klinker came up with the idea of Tiny Saints to explain the concept of death and heaven to their children after the stillborn birth of a daughter. They have since begun selling the charms.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Small, colorful plastic Catholic saints can be seen hanging from key chains, zippers and backpacks alongside Hello Kitty and Pokemon.

They're called Tiny Saints, and founders Joe and Colleen Klinker conceived the idea as they explained the death of their stillborn daughter, Melody Paige, to her older siblings.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Devotion to Christ’s passion begets a deep love for Jesus

On Nov. 20, we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The most powerful image in the universe isn't a national flag or a coin or a monument. The most powerful image in the universe is the crucifix of Jesus Christ, the image of power over the entire created universe.

All three readings for this Sunday give a glimpse of what that power really is. In the first reading, it's the image of King David being anointed to be king over Israel. Up until now he was king of Judah, but now his reign extends to all of God's holy people in the chosen land.

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