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St. Gerard

Saint Gerard is the patron saint of motherhood and safe childbirth. He is also the patron saint of unborn children and the falsely accused.

Born at Muro, Italy in 1726, to a poor family, St. Gerard Majella learned the trade of the tailor to support his widowed mother. His true calling was the religious life, however, and he eventually joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, becoming a Redemptorist, in 1749. He was always obedient, seeming to know what was wanted of him without being told. St. Gerard was an angel in purity, as well as extremely wise. He had mystical abilities such as powers of prophecy, healing, bi-location and the reading of consciences. St. Gerard contracted tuberculosis and died in 1755.

St. Gerard medals are a comforting gift to pregnant mothers, especially for those who have had difficult births in the past. They are also an encouraging symbol for any who have been falsely accused.

Are You Prepared for Lent?

Easter is the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, and is considered the most important feast of the liturgical year. We prepare for Easter during Lent, a period of 40 days of fasting and prayer, starting on Ash Wednesday and concluding on Holy Thursday.

Lent is a period of prayer, fasting and penance. Useful books and materials on Lent and the Easter season will help you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for Christ’s ultimate sacrifice and supreme act of love and mercy for each and every one of us.

To help you better prepare for Easter we encourage you to consider these Meditations for Holy Week. Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday and ends with Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

St. Valentine—Priest and Martyr

Saint Valentine is the patron saint of love, young couples and happy marriages. He was also the patron saint of beekeepers, epilepsy, and travelers.

Though not much is known about him, it is believed St. Valentine was a priest in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. St. Valentine married couples and aided the Christian martyrs who were persecuted under Claudius, both of which were illegal. The emperor had him thrown in prison where it is said he cured a guard’s blind daughter and converted many members of the guard’s family. After this, the emperor had him beaten with clubs before being beheaded on February 14, 270.

Legend has it that before his death, St. Valentine wrote a letter to the guard’s daughter, signing it “From your Valentine.”

St. Valentine medals make a unique and special gift for engaged or married couples. They are also supportive medals for those who suffer from epilepsy and fainting spells.

St. Michael Medals

St. Michael, the Archangel is sometimes referred to as the prince of the seraphim, which is the first of the nine angelic orders. He was also one of the principle angels who fought against Satan. Michael, which means, “Who is like God?” in Hebrew, was the war cry of the good angels as they fought Lucifer and the fallen angels.

 

St. Michael has been mentioned by name four times in the Bible. Based on passages in the Book of Daniel, the Book of Jude, and the Book of Revelation, we know he has four offices:

 

• He fights Satan and all the fallen angels

• He protects our souls from Satan, especially at the hour of death

• He is the champion of God’s people; the Jews in the Old Law, and the Christians in the New Testament

• He acts as the angel of death, bringing souls to judgment

 

St. Michael is the patron of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police and sickness. His feast day is September 29th.

 

Since he is also the guardian of the Church, many Catholics wear St. Michael medals and pray to him for protection against evil.

St. Patrick: Apostle of Ireland

St. Patrick of Ireland is well known throughout the world. Whether people are Catholic or non-Catholic, Irish or not, we all love to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. However, this is not just a secular holiday, but also the feast day of a great saint who succeeded in converting all of Ireland to Christianity.

Although there is some confusion about the exact details of his life, it is often believed that St. Patrick was born around 387 A.D. in Kilpatrick, Scotland. His parents, Calphurnius and Conchessa, were Romans who were living in Britain and watching over the colonies there. When Patrick was a teenager, he was captured in a raiding party and taken back to Ireland as a slave. For the next several years, Patrick tended the flocks of a brutal chieftain by the name of Milchu. During this time, he found solace in his faith, praying to God several times a day.

After six years of slavery, Patrick heard a voice telling him to go to the coast and leave Ireland. After walking some 200 miles to Killala Bay, Patrick found a ship ready to sail to Britain. After obtaining passage and returning home, he was reunited with friends and family. However, after his time spent in Ireland, he was determined to become a priest and one day convert the Irish people. Under St. Germaine’s (Bishop of Auxerre), guidance, St. Patrick was ordained into the priesthood and began missionary work.

After several years defending the faith against paganism and heresy, Patrick became a bishop and returned to Ireland to convert the Irish. When he was a slave as a young man, Patrick learned the Celtic tongue and developed a thorough understanding of Druidism from his master, a high priest. This knowledge allowed him to talk to the Irish and teach them about Christianity and redemption. Though he met some resistance and hostility from the Druids and some of the kings, St. Patrick’s understanding of their beliefs allowed him to incorporate their symbols (such as fire and the sun) into his miracles, which aided in their conversion.

For the next three to four decades, St. Patrick continued to spread the Gospel and watch over the Irish until his death on March 17, 461.

Saint Patrick is not only the patron saint of Ireland, but also engineers and against snakes. For this reason,St. Patrick medals are popular among engineers and those who are afraid of snakes.

I love this photo! It reminds us that nuns can have fun just like the rest of us.

I love this photo! It reminds us that nuns can have fun just like the rest of us.

A Brief History of St. Christopher

St. Christopher is a popular saint, though little facts are known about him. It appears he may have been a 3rd century martyr, and the existence of a martyr named Christopher was revealed by a Jesuit, Nicholas Serarius, in his treatise on litanies and in a history of sacred pictures by Molanus. In addition, there is a small church dedicated to the martyr St. Christopher and St. Gregory the Great mentions a monastery of St. Christopher.

Legend has it that the prayers of a pagan king’s wife were answered and she gave birth to a healthy son named Offerus. He grew in exceptional size and strength and endeavored to serve only the strongest and most courageous of masters. At first he served a heathen king, but soon realized he feared the devil. He then served the devil, but realized he feared the symbol of the cross. He then decided to serve Christ and found an old abbot who baptized him, Christopher, or “Christ-bearer,” and instructed him on how to serve God faithfully. From then on he would use his great physical strength to assist travelers crossing a treacherous river. One night a voice called him to service. When he arose, he saw it was a small child. As he carried Him across the raging waters, he felt his burden becoming heavier, as if the weight of the whole world was upon his shoulders. When he spoke of this to the child, He answered that He was Christ and did carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. He also told Christopher that his service was pleasing to Him. Later, Christopher was put into prison for failing to worship the pagan gods. He was tortured and beheaded, becoming one of the many early Christian martyrs.

His statues have been placed at churches, home entranceways and bridges, “Whoever shall behold the image of St. Christopher shall not faint or fall on that day.” He is patron of Baden, Brunswick, Mecklenburg, and several other cities. Besides his patronage of travellers, he is invoked by bookbinders, gardeners, mariners and more. He is also invoked against lightning, storms, epilepsy and pestilence. St. Christopher medals are usually depicted with him holding the Christ Child and a staff. His feast day is July 25.

Rosary Prayers in Latin

The Prayers of the Rosary in Latin
(rosarium virginis mariae)

 

Signum Crucis (Sign of the Cross in Latin)
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

 

Symbolum Apostolorum (Apostles Creed in Latin)
Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae; et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum; qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine; passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus; descendit ad infernos; tertia die resurrexit a mortuis; ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis; inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum; Sanctam Ecclesiam Catholicam; Sanctorum communionem; remissionem peccatorum; carnis resurrectionem; vitam aeternam. Amen.

 

Oratio Dominicae / Pater noster (Our Father in Latin)

Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur Nomen Tuum. Adveniat regnum Tuum, fiat voluntas Tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris, et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

 

Salutatio Angelica / Ave Maria (Hail Mary in Latin)
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum; Benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

 

Doxologia Minor / Gloria Patri (Glory Be in Latin)
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc et’semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

Oratio Fatima / O mi Iesu (Fatima Prayer in Latin)
O mi Iesu, remitte nobis peccata nostra! Libera nos ab igne inferiori. Miserere animis in purgatorio, maxime desertissimis.

 

Salve Regina
Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae; vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus, exsules, filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes, in hac larimarum valle. Eia ergo advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos, ad nos converte. Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende. O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria!V- Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genitrix.
R- Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

 

Oremus
Deus, cujus Unigenitus per vitam, mortem, et resurrectionem suam nobis salutis aeternae comparavit: concede, quaesumus; ut, haec mysteria sacratissimo beatae Mariae Virginis Rosario recolentes, et imitemur quor continent, et quod promittunt assequamur. Per eumdum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.Gratiam tuam quaesumus, Domine,mentibus nostris infunde, ut qui, angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus per passionem eius et crucem, ad resurrectionem gloriam perducamur, per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

The Evolution of the Rosary

The devotion of the rosary can be traced back to the 9th century, when monks would recite the 150 psalms of the bible as part of their daily worship.  Over time people became drawn to this beautiful, synchronized form of prayer.   Although many people desired to make this prayer a part of their own worship, the psalms were very difficult to memorize, and copies of the Psalter, which is the book the psalms were contained in, were not readily available.  Due to this fact, an alternative was proposed to the people, that they recite a series of 150 “Our Father” prayers in place of the 150 Psalms.

 

Over time, as this form of prayer became increasingly popular, people began to devise methods to keep track of the prayers.  Eventually, a long rope containing 50 knots began to be used, and slowly evolved into a string of beads. 

 

As Lay People, and the Clergy, assumed this devotion as part of their prayer life, they began to recite the “Angelic Salutation” (the first part of what we now know as the “Hail Mary”).  The popularity of this prayer led to the adoption of the 50 Angelic Salutations, said on each of the 50 beads. 

 

In the early 12th or 13th century, theologians began to recognize the hidden mysteries of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, contained within each of the Psalms.  They began to compose a series of praises that honored Jesus as He was represented in each Psalm.  In addition to these mysteries of Christ, 150 Psalters honoring Mary were added to emphasize her special role in the plan of salvation.  In order for these Psalters to fit the existing prayer string, they were divided into sets of 50 and were referred to as “Rosariums”.  The word “rosarium” refers to roses, or a bouquet of roses, which, in regards to the rosary, represents a collection or “bouquet” of prayers.

 

It was in 1520 that Pope Leo X officially acknowledged the rosary.  However, it was not until 1569 that the rosary was universally accepted and, promulgated by Pope St. Pius V who encouraged its use to combat the evil taking place in the world at the time.  In 1571 Pope Pius V officially declared the feast of Our Lady of Victories, now known as the feast of the Most Holy Rosary, which is celebrated on October 7th.

 

In 1917 the Blessed Mother appeared to the children of Fatima and declared herself as Our Lady of the Rosary.  Through her apparitions at Fatima, Mary implored the world to turn their hearts back to God by urging each and everyone to “Pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace in the world … for she alone can save it.” (Our Lady, July 13, 1917).  Mary introduced 15 promises to those who responded to this request faithfully. 

 

In 2002, with his apostolic letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Pope John Paul II introduced the fourth set of mysteries to the rosary.  These mysteries are known as the “Luminous” or “Mysteries of Light”, which carry us from the infancy to the public life of Jesus.  It is in these mysteries that we can, in a more profound way, come to know Christ during His ministry here on Earth.  At the same time, it is through these mysteries that we are given a peak into Christ’s mission of redemption, and His establishment of the universal Church.

Finding the Right Rosary

Although the true importance of a rosary is the praying, we still enjoy saying those beautiful prayers with an attractive rosary in our hands. However, it is not just the shape, size and color, but the texture and overall feel of the beads that makes one rosary better than another. We need to be able to pray the rosary with as little distraction as possible—and if the beads are too big or too small, or too rough, we may not be able to focus. Taking factors into consideration, it is no wonder people have a difficult time finding the perfect rosary for a loved one. 

 

The first question you should ask yourself when selecting a rosary to purchase, is what type of functionality do you, or the person you are buying for want in a rosary?

Depending on the function you would like your rosary to have, Rosary.com has many different rosaries at a broad range of prices to satisfy every customer.   Here are just a few questions you can ask yourself when buying a rosary

 

Are you looking for an elaborate rosary to keep on display during times you are not engaging in prayer?

There are many styles of exquisite, high quality rosaries, from sterling silver and Swarovski crystals, to 14K gold and freshwater pearls.  It is wonderful to pray such a lovely prayer on a beautiful rosary!

 

Are you looking for a rosary for a man or a woman?

There are a variety of rosaries that would be suitable for both men and women, as well as some that are made more specifically for a man’s use or vice versa.  For example, a black wood bead rosary would be perfect for a man, and rosary bracelets are a wonderful choice for a woman.

 

Are you looking for a rosary to keep in your purse, pocket, or car as you travel?

If you are looking for a rosary to keep on you at all times, you can easily find simple and affordable, yet durable rosaries that make wonderful travel companions to withstand the day-to-day hustle and bustle, as well as the convenient auto rosaries to keep in your car.

 

Are you looking for a rosary for a child?

There are many children’s rosaries available for purchase online.  Depending on whether you are buying a rosary for a Baptism, or First Communion, or just a gift for a special child, the right rosary is just a click away.