Honoring Joselito

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Steven and I attended ten o’clock Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Taft, TX.

Invitation

On December 4, 2012, Grand Knight of Council 15512, Herman Rodriguez, extended an invitation to all fourth-degree Knights of Columbus within the diocese to assist at the presentation and veneration of the first-class relic of Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río (Joselito) on the eighty-fifth anniversary of his death, February 10, 2013.

Although Steven and I had learned about the persecution of priests in Mexico from a Franciscan at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hebbronville, TX, we’d never heard of Joselito until we viewed For Greater Glory (2012) last year.OLG11709-bk

Sympathetic to Joselito’s story and very much interested in his relic, Steven responded right away.

My wife and I will be delighted to attend the ceremony, and I’ll be falling out in full regalia with you.  It will be an honor.

Honoring Joselito

We’d awaited our first visit to Taft with great anticipation.  What excitement to finally see the church, show support for the parish, and enjoy the festivities.  Parishioners were welcoming, everyone was cordial, and Father Lopez was everywhere all at once.  Mass was standing room only, and most in attendance took part in the solemn procession.

I’d been anxious about barking dogs running out onto the streets as we circled the block, but the ??????????neighborhood was so peaceful that we were able to focus on the rosary before returning to church for the icing on the cake.

Spending quality time one-on-one with Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río through his precious relic was very special, so no one rushed.  Some sat as others waited their turn in line.  Some observed while others quietly conversed.  Father Ed Roche sang to a child before reminiscing with us about Father Mike Jordan, a fellow SOLT, in heaven since July 2012.  Yet the smiles on the two Dominicans, Sisters Patricia and Elena whom we met before leaving church, reflected our collective joy most of all.

As Steven and I talked about the celebration on our drive home, he chuckled.  “I’m in awe of the Knights.  I don’t know how they got the neighbors to keep their pets quiet and out of sight, but they pulled it off!  Simply amazing.”

Honoring Joselito, thanks to the concerted efforts of the Immaculate Conception Church community, was a momentous occasion that we were blessed to have experienced.

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Prayers

Devotion…  I do not wish to fight, live, or die except for you, my Lord, and for your holy Church.  Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, be at my side in the agony of this poor sinner.  Grant that my last shout on earth and my first canticle in heaven be ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

Petition…  Blessed José Luis, watch over, defend and protect all of the children whose innocence is threatened from all sides by evil, direct their hearts to all that is good and holy, and instill in their hearts a living faith and confidence in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, our King and Lord.  Amen.

St. Pio of Pietrelcina…  O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence and trust in your divine mercy and [for] the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings which bring immense goodness to our souls and that of your Church.

Help us to love you with a pure and contrite heart and to humble ourselves beneath your cross as we climb the mountain of holiness, carrying our cross that leads to heavenly glory.

May we receive you with great faith and love in Holy Communion and allow you to act in us as you desire for your greater glory.

O Jesus, most adorable heart and eternal fountain of divine love, may our prayer find favor before the Divine Majesty.

To Mary, help of Christians…  Most holy and immaculate Virgin, help of Christians, mother of the Church, we place ourselves under your motherly protection.  We promise to be faithful to our Christian vocation and to work for the greater glory of God and the salvation of our souls and those entrusted to us.

Salesians-prayersWith faith in your intercession we pray for the Church; our family and friends; youth, especially those most in need; and all men.

You were St. John Bosco’s teacher.  Show us how to imitate his virtues, especially his union with God; his chastity, humility, and poverty; his love for work and temperance; his goodness and total giving of self to others; and his loyalty to the Holy Father and the Church.

Grant, O Mary, help of Christians, the graces which we need (mention here).  May we serve God with fidelity and generosity until death.  Help us and our dear ones to attain the boundless joy of being forever with our Father in heaven.  Amen.

To St. John Bosco…  In need of special help I appeal with confidence to you, O St. John Bosco, for I require not only spiritual graces, but also temporal ones, particularly (state here).

You had such great devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary, help of Christians, and always had compassion for those who were in suffering.  Please obtain from Jesus and his heavenly mother the grace I now request, as well as a sincere resignation to the will of God.

Our Father….  Hail Mary….  Glory be….

To St. Thérèse…  O little Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who during your short life became a mirror of angelic purity, love of God, and wholehearted abandonment to his will, plead my case before his holy throne now that you possess the Lord you so deeply loved.

Make my troubles your own.  You promised to spend your heaven doing good on earth.  Intercede for me in my hour of need (mention grace desired), if it is for the greater glory of God and the good of my soul.

Dear Little Flower, obtain for me the blessing that I may have strength in the trials of life and be defended at the hour of my death.  Lead me to a happy eternity.  Amen.

May 21, 2014

I am innocent, and I die innocent.  I forgive with all my heart those responsible for my death, and I ask God that the shedding of my blood serve the peace of our divided Mexico (St. Christopher Magallanes).

June 3, 2014

Martyrs of Uganda, pray for the faith where it is in danger and for Christians who must suffer because of their faith.  Give them the same courage, zeal, and joy you showed.  And help those of us who live in places where Christianity is accepted to remain aware of the persecution in other parts of the world.  Amen.

June 28, 2014

For the Church the martyrs have always been a seed of life….  By their example they have shown us and made smooth for us, so to speak, the path to the future (St. John Paul II).

June 30, 2014

Around these men with their holy lives, there are gathered a great throng of the elect who, though victims of jealousy, gave us the finest example of endurance in the midst of many indignities and tortures….  But they courageously finished the course of faith and despite their bodily weakness won a noble prize (Pope St. Clement I about the first martyrs).

August 31, 2014

Time is but a period.  It passes like the lightning flash.  Suffering passes with time; suffering, then, is very short (Venerable Bartholomew of Martyrs).

September 2, 2014

“Remember that knowledge without morals is the soul’s ruination” (St. John Bosco).

September 20, 2014

There is no place for selfishness— and no place for fear!  Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands.  Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice (Pope St. John Paul II).

October 25, 2014

The martyrs gave up all they had, even life itself, to keep their faith in God.  And I?  Do my words and deeds reflect my faith, even when little difficulties come up? (Daughters of St. Paul).

October 26, 2014

Christ should reign first and foremost in our soul.  But how would we reply if he asked us: “How do you go about letting me reign in you?”  I would reply that I need lots of his grace.  Only that way can my every heartbeat and breath, my least intense look, my most ordinary word, my most basic feeling be transformed into a hosanna to Christ my king (St. Josemaría Escrivá).

November 6, 2014

Does our life become from day to day more painful, more oppressive, more replete with sufferings?  Blessed be [God] a thousand times who desires it so.  If life be harder, love makes it also stronger; and only this love, grounded on suffering, can carry the Cross of my Lord, Jesus Christ (Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro).

November 22, 2014

Arise, soldiers of Christ.  Throw away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light (St. Cecilia).

November 26, 2014

Not all of us are called to undergo martyrdom, but we are all called to a life of Christian virtue.  Now virtue demands courage….  It demands from us daily, assiduous, unremitting effort to our very last breath; and so it can be called a slow and continuous martyrdom (Pope Pius XII).

January 21, 2015

“Christ will guard his own” (St. Agnes).

January 26, 2015

Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him (2 Timothy 2:3-4).

January 31, 2015

What tenderness there is in Jesus’ love for man!  In his infinite goodness he established, with each of us, bonds of sublime love!  His love has no limits! (St. John Bosco).

“Trust all things to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary, help of Christians; and you will see what miracles are” (St. John Bosco).

February 5, 2015

Not only does the shedding of blood constitute martyrdom, but the perfect service of a soul devoted to the Lord is a daily martyrdom” (St. Jerome).

February 6, 2015

After Christ’s example, I forgive my persecutors.  I do not hate them.  I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow-men as a fruitful rain (St. Paul Miki).

February 9, 2015

I give myself completely to Jesus so that he can use me just as he wishes.  I want every word I write, everything I read, everything I do at my desk, and all my work in school to be done for the glory of God (St. Miguel Febres Cordero).

February 26, 2015

Bear patiently the bad temper of other people, the slights, the rudeness that may be offered you….  When you are weary, don’t give way to bad temper yourself.  Bear any illness with resignation, even thanksgiving, to God in your heart (St. John Bosco).

May 12, 2015

“It is not the torture, but the cause, that makes the martyr” (St. Augustine of Hippo).

June 21, 2015

“There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials” (St. Aloysius Gonzaga).

December 26, 2015

The Church sees in the sacrifice of the martyrs their birth into heaven.  Therefore, today we celebrate the birth of Stephen, which in its depths springs from the birth of Christ.  Jesus transforms the death of those who love him into a dawn of new life! (Pope Francis).

January 20, 2016

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church” (Tertullian).

July 6, 2016

Because the martyrs were devout men and women, fire, flame, wheel, and sword seemed to be flowers and perfume to them.  If devotion can sweeten the most cruel torments and even death itself, what must it do for virtuous actions? (St. Francis de Sales).

December 26, 2016

“The love that brought Christ from heaven to earth raised Stephen from earth to heaven” (St. Fulgentius of Ruspe).

Stephen prayed for his persecutors, who had not been able even to listen to the name of Christ, when he said of those very men by whom he was being stoned: “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.”  And we see the result of this prayer in the case of the apostle, for Paul, who kept the garments of those who were stoning Stephen, not long after became an apostle by the grace of God, having before been a persecutor (St. Ambrose).

January 27, 2017

“Do now what you wish to have done when your moment comes to die” (St. Angela Merici).

January 31, 2017

All for God and for his glory.  In whatever you do, think of the glory of God as your main goal (St. John Bosco).

February 19, 2017

“For the greater glory of God, the important thing is not to do many things, but to do all things well” (St. Bernadette Soubirous).

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Links of interest…  Biographies of new Blesseds (2005)…   Blessed Anacleto González Flores…  Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río: about / beatification / biography / blessed / facebook / feast / martyr / martyrdom / memorial / patron (ECyD) / pray for / sainthood (16 Oct 2016) / story…  Catholic martyrs: 20th century…  Christian martyrs (more)…  Cristero War (La Cristiada)…  Exposition of relics…  Five saints whose patronage came from the way they died…  For Greater Glory (background)…  Fr. Robert Barron: redemptive suffering…  Immaculate Conception Church: diocese page / facebook / parish…  Mexican martyr’s miracle helped save hometown girl…  Mexico: forgotten pain / government versus the Catholic Church / lessons taught / of saints & sinners / persecution of Christians…  Sacred relics…  Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Knights of Columbus, & martyrs…  St. John Bosco: conquering souls for Christ / danger of tolerancememorial / supernatural visit…  St. Thomas More: A saint for the persecuted church…  Ten inspiring quotes from St. Irenaeus…  Treasures of the Church: about relics (video) / expositions / healing / prayer requests…  What the blood of the martyrs means for us…  the Word among us

WP posts…  Franciscan experience…  Franciscan treasures…  Grapes of generosity…  Historic nuggets…  Holy relics…  St. Anthony…  Vaquero Fest Saturday

Holy relics

On Valentine’s Day 2009, Junebug and Gary (left) and the lovely Ning and Sam joined us for a special dinner.  And, as usual, “the gang”— our family through Why Catholic? at St. Paul’s in Flour Bluff— had a fantabulous time!

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Junebug’s prompting

That evening Junebug excitedly told us about visiting a chapel with the Legion of Mary.  She didn’t recall its name or much else other than having been (and still is) in awe of all the relics there.  “You just have to go see it!  It’s such a special place!” Junebug remarked, adding that she’d never known about relics until then.

“I know just what you mean!” I said.  “I didn’t know anything about relics until I received mine from Father Roderick.  And I treasured them until I gave them away.  Thanks so much for telling me about the chapel!  I’ll have to visit to take photos for my blog.”

Elusive treasure

Junebug’s exuberant insistence that I “visit the chapel out by the Lexington” stayed with me until May of last year.  That’s when, in driving around trying to locate it, I accidentally stumbled across the small, well-kept chapel on the corner of who knows where in the vicinity of the USS Lexington.

Yet, within moments my joy downgraded a couple of degrees.  Our Lady Star by the Sea was locked, and no one was at its adjacent office.

To further dampen my enthusiasm, I’d forgotten my Coolpix; so I had to rely on my antiquated cell phone to photograph the chapel’s exterior.  Not a good idea at all, I found out later, ’cause I couldn’t email the photos to my Yahoo account.

Still, things worked out fine.  I learned the name of the chapel and its location, so the visit wasn’t a total loss.

Now it’s just a matter of attending weekend Mass, Saturday at five-thirty or Sunday at nine, so I can finally see the relics that catapulted Junebug into OMG mode.

Shared keepsakes

StA-relic72210aLike Junebug, I’d never known about holy relics until— surprise, surprise— I received two third-class St. Anthony relics in the mail from Father Roderick, head of Franciscan Mission Associates (FMA) at the time.

A relic is an object or a personal item of religious significance, carefully preserved with an air of veneration as a tangible memorial….  A third-class relic is any object that is touched to a first- or second-class relic.  StA-relic72210bMost third-class relics are small pieces of cloth (Wikipedia, 2011).

“Relics refer to the body tissues of saints, items worn or used by them, and things that have come in contact with the originals” (Father James G. Ward, CM in the Association of the Miraculous Medal Bulletin, October 2010, p. 3).

The veneration of relics, most strictly the material remains of a saint or holy person after his death, has a long tradition in the Catholic Church….  St. Thomas Aquinas would explain that the relics “excite to love.”  It is really the saint who is being honored, and the relic assists the giving of that honor through both a visible sign and a physical link with the saint (St. Anthony Shrine, 2009).

I treasured my two St. Anthony relics but eventually gave them away to a couple of acquaintances whose life stories were filled with such despair that I thought the relics would give them hope.

By then Father Robert had become director of FMA, so I wrote him a letter requesting another relic and— wouldn’t you know it— he sent two that I carried with me, knowing I’d give them away as well.

St. Anthony chaplets

August, 2010, I gifted my two relics to Sabrina (left) and Ruth (right) with a note in the St. Anthony booklet that I created specially for them.

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Segy, our youngest, has always said, “The best gifts are those I want so very badly to keep but give away instead.”

In 1998, I wrote to Father Robert at Franciscan Mission Associates.

In 1985, Father Roderick sent me two St. Anthony relics.  But, over the years, as I met others in great need, I gave them away.  And now that I don’t have one, I feel empty.  So may I please have another relic?

And I was surprised, just as I’d been the first time, to receive not one but two.  But, even though I’ve treasured my two relics all this time, I’ve always wondered when the time would come that I’d have to part with them again as before.

Looking through my Companion Prayers booklet on July 22nd, I suddenly took note of the St. Anthony chaplet prayers and the Miraculous Responsory for the first time.  I’d added the latter to my “St. Anthony” post, but it just hadn’t registered till that moment.

I decided to customize a chaplet just right for me and attach not a regular medal, but the St. Anthony relic I’d carried around all these years.

Then I had an epiphany.

Since I had a second relic still in its original little bag I thought, Ruth and Sabrina!  I’ll bead three identical chaplets, place the relics on theirs, and use a different St. Anthony medal on mine.  I’ll write to Father Robert again and request another relic for my chaplet.  Hopefully, he’ll send two.

Sooo…  On Tuesday, July 23rd, I began using the chaplets.  I’ve taken turns with each one so that, when you pray on your own, you’ll know I’m praying with you, too.

Heart’s desire

FMA8410aI have to admit that it was very difficult to part with my last two
St. Anthony relics.  In fact, that’s what kept me from beading the chaplets sooner.  God knew how I felt, though.

Right when I was having serious qualms about giving them away, I received a perfectly timed relic prayer card in the mail from FMA.

In the days that followed I internalized what I’ve experienced before: God always knows and provides just what we need (Matthew 6:8).

Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to him.  That is all the doing you have to worry about (St. Jane Frances de Chantal).

Holy relics

How amazing that, since finding Our Lady Star by the Sea and gifting my St. Anthony relics, I’ve become aware of other holy relics: St. Elizabeth Seton’s at Sacred Heart Church in Nacogdoches, Venerable Margaret Parigot’s on Sister’s prayer card from the Flower of Carmel Monastery in Australia, St. Peregrine’s through Father Ralph at Stella Maris in Lamar, and Venerable Julia Navarrete’s through Sister Maxie at the Missionary Daughters’ Solemn Place of Prayer in Kingsville.  Then, as a very special gift from the Anthonians in November, I received a seventy-five minute video commemorating the exhibition of St. Anthony’s remains at the Basilica in Padua, Italy.

So I have to wonder…

Has parting with my treasured St. Anthony relics helped me find more along the way?

            

               

           

May 13, 2011

Joyfully, I received Venerable Father Casey’s relic badge, which I showed Junebug at Michael’s Confirmation.  I’ll be ordering another to surprise her with, as I think it’ll make her day.

       

September 13, 2011

Wow!  How amazing is it to find right here on my computer desk exactly what I’ve wanted for months?  To think that I’ve had St. Jude’s relic for a very long time and didn’t even know it till this morning.

Will wonders never cease!

October 4, 2011

I just received a letter from Franciscan Mission Associates in time for All Souls Day.  Father Primo has replaced Father Robert, who served for the past fifteen years.  I guess it’s time to write that letter I’ve been putting off and wish Father Robert well on the next chapter in his book of life.

       

If you’d like to request a St. Anthony relic, contact Franciscan Mission Associates at P.O. Box 598, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551-0598.

January 21, 2012

Steven and I drove to Stella Maris for the second time, and we arrived early enough to converse with Father Ralph before evening Mass.  I asked if he had his St. Peregrine first-class relic, and he did!  What a thrilling experience to hold it and pray for his intercession.

               

January 22, 2012

I went by Mary Ellen’s house to drop off both her St. Anthony relic chaplet and her Child Jesus chaplet, and she showed me the third-class relic she has of the nun who founded the Incarnate Word Order.  I didn’t have my camera with me, so I’ll take a photo another time.

April 8, 2012

I finally got the chance to take the photos of Mary Ellen’s third-class relic of Venerable Jeanne Chézard de Matel (1596-1670), foundress of the Incarnate Word (IWBS) Order.

Oh, happy day!

     

April 29, 2012

“Be careful what you wish for” certainly comes to mind, only in a good way this time.

On revisiting the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus at St. Pius V in Chicago, I discovered a treasure overlooked in the past.  St. Jude’s first-class relic!  His arm!

               

July 2, 2012

What unexpected surprises!  St. Teresa of Avila relics from Sister in Australia!

               

September 29, 2012

From Sister, timely St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus treasures received for October 1st!

               

January 13, 2013

Steven and I visited the Tepeyac Shrine in San Antonio for the second time and discovered that the Grotto Sanctuary has a first-class relic: Part of St. Eugene de Mazenod’s heart!

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February 10, 2013

??????????This morning Steven fell out as a Knight of Columbus participating in the veneration of José Sánchez del Río’s first-class relic at Immaculate Conception Church in Taft, TX.  Ten o’clock Mass was followed, first, by a procession around the neighborhood and then by visits to the front of the altar to spend one-on-one time in prayer with the relic.

Worth noting is that Joselito died eighty-five years ago today.

June 14-16, 2013

When Steven learned that Father Mario from the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy would be in Rockford, IL, he quickly made plans for us to attend Mass and the veneration of St. Anthony’s first-class relics at St. Anthony of Padua Church.  And we had a phenomenal time!

Father Mario captivated all of us with wonderful stories about St. Anthony and gifted many present with relics touched to St. Anthony’s tongue.  In the photo on the left, the reliquary in the forefront holds tissue from inside St. Anthony’s cheek; the one on the altar, part of his floating rib.

Before Father Mario retired for the evening, he did something totally unexpected: He blessed Steven and me with the small reliquary!

We were so taken with Father Mario that I wanted to bring him home with us, but he has places to go and people to see.  Building community within God’s kingdom is what traveling with St. Anthony is all about, so they’re off to Great Britain next.

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The following morning, despite the pounding rain and the heavy traffic, we made our way back to Chicago where we not only spent time at the Dominican Shrine of St. Jude at St. Pius V (like last year), but also visited the Claretian National Shrine of St. Jude at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

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Then we drove to Detroit where we attended nine o’clock Mass at St. Bonaventure Church on Sunday and delighted in the Solanus Casey Center the entire day.

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What an extraordinary experience!

July 1, 2013

Oh, happy day!  St. Pio’s relic!  Thank you, Sister dearest!

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November 21, 2013

Surprise, surprise!  In today’s mail, I received a treasure trove from our niece.

Found this [tiny, old envelope].  Thought of you.  Not sure what it is, but you will know.  Love you.  Sue

Um, yes!  Not one, but two relic badges of then Servant of God, now Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos who needs only one more step to reach sainthood.

After a brief period of parish ministry in Detroit, Michigan, he was assigned in 1866 to the Redemptorist community in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Here also, as pastor of the Church of St. Mary of the Assumption, he was known as a pastor who was joyously available to his faithful and singularly concerned for the poorest and the most abandoned.  However, his ministry in New Orleans was destined to be brief. In September of that year, exhausted from visiting and caring for victims of yellow fever, he contracted the disease.  After several weeks, he died on October 4, 1867, at the age of forty-eight years and nine months (Wikipedia, 2013).

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March 28, 2014

Hip hip hooray!  An unexpected St. Anthony relic from the Anthonians!

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April 18, 2014

Thanks to Diana at Franciscan Mission Associates for expeditiously sending me not just the lovely relic for Sid’s St. Anthony chaplet, but also the prayer card!  Sidney Davis, whom we met at the Solanus Casey Center last week, loved his priceless treasures!

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May 24, 2014

Thanks to Father Thomas Franks, OFM-Cap for St. Pio’s precious relic!  The Shrine of St. Pio of Pietrelcina is located at the Church of St. John the Baptist in New York City.  (The address is on “Credits” page.) 

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October 11, 2014

Thanks again, Father Tom, for the wonderful relic cards from St. Pio’s shrine!

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November 9, 2015

“For even now miracles are wrought in the name of Christ, whether by his sacraments or by the prayers or relics of his saints” (St. Augustine).

Links of interest…  Legion of Mary…  Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish: diocese page / parishes online…  Relics: about (chapelmore) / altar of (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton) / badge (Venerable Solanus Casey) / feast (more) / first-class / four categories / holy / incorruptibles (how can a corpse be incorruptible – saints) / more than I thought I’d ever know (blog post) / of the past & the present / priest martyrs of Mexico / process of beatification & canonization / remains / sacred artifacts / saints / what is…  St. Anthony: basilica (virtual tour) / bones a guide to the living / relics (on display in Padua)…  St. Paul the Apostle Church: facebook / website…  Why Catholic

WP posts…  St. Anthony of Padua: Saint of miracles / Si quaeris miracula…  St. Eugene de Mazenod: Heart of hearts / Memory lane…  St. Elizabeth Seton: Right at home…  St. José Sánchez del Río: Honoring Joselito…  St. Jude: Forever grateful / October novenaSt. Anthony Claret / St. Jude novena…  St. Peregrine: Healing service / Memorable as ever / Powerful intercessor / Prayers and blessings / Saintly connections / Stella Maris / St. Peregrine relic…  St. Teresa of Avila: Gift of love / Seven dwelling places…  St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus: Budding relationships…  Venerable Father Casey: Capuchin church stations / God’s master plan / Mercy and justice / Solano, Solanus, Solani / St. Bonaventure Church…  Today’s Beatitudes…  Venerable Julia Navarrete (of the thorns of the Sacred Heart)…  Venerable Margaret (of the Blessed Sacrament)