World at Prayer blog
Reflections of Family and Faith
"The family that prays together stays together." - Venerable Patrick Peyton
Blessed Virgin Mary | Family Traditions | family blessing
Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. On this day, the launching of a new year, it has been a tradition in many Catholic cultures for the father or grandfather to bless the children one by one.
celebration | feast-day | holy-family
It is always exciting to flip through photos on your phone, pick your favorites, send them to your family and friends, and share a smile (or two) about the joyful memories you had together. Today, just like our old photos, we recall the moments shared during Christmas week.
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Celebrating family life | Holy lives of inspiration
“Do you believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree?” (Under the fig tree is code for learning to know God and His ways in the scriptures.) Nathanael is flabbergasted and wide-eyed in surprise at what Jesus has disclosed about him. “You will see greater things than this. You will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Celebrating family life | Learn more about our faith
Below is the beautiful “Exhortation Before Marriage” from the 1962 Roman Ritual. In the Catholic marriage rite before Vatican Council II, many priests used this to form at least part of their sermon.
The wedding of Princess Diana (Lady Diana Spencer) in 1981 was watched by 750 million people. She died in an accident at 36 years old on August 31, 1997. More than 2.5 billion people watched her funeral in 1997. At her funeral, singer Elton John brought tears to the eyes of hundreds of mourners in Westminster Abbey when he sang: “Candle in the Wind, Goodbye England’s Rose.”
Holy lives of inspiration | Learn more about our faith
Each July 29, the Church traditionally celebrated an obligatory memorial mass of St. Martha, sister of Mary and Lazarus. But on February 2, 2021, Pope Francis expanded this memorial to include Martha’s sister and brother, Mary, and Lazarus. They were close friends of Jesus.