Category: Catholic Articles

Why You Need To Adopt A Saint’s Name During Baptism

Why You Need To Adopt A Saint’s Name During Baptism

Naming a child after a Saint is not new in the Catholic Tradition. If there’s one event that inspires a Christian to take on a name matching the solemnity of the occasion, Baptism is certainly that event just as it is also very important to take up a saint’s name at the sacrament of confirmation.It is important as St. John Chrysostom strongly stated in the 4th century,  encouraging parents to choose for their children names of holy men and women known for their strength and virtue. In this case, the children might look to them as role models.

Even earlier, St. Dionysius of Alexandria observed that there are many who also took names as the Apostle John, who on account of their love for him adopted his name and because they also admired, emulated him, and desired to be loved by the Lord as he was. These people took to themselves the same name, just as most children of the faithful are called Paul or Peter.

The Tradition of Giving Children Christian Names (canon law)

Many Catholics choose a saint’s name for their child’s first or middle name or even both. In the past, Canon Law required that parents have a Christian name for the child at Baptism. However, this is no longer a hard-and-fast requirement. In the current code of Canon Law, number 855 simply states:“Parents, sponsors, and the pastor are to take care that a name foreign to Christian sensibility is not given.”

For example, it would be very disturbing for a Catholic to present the name “Lucifer” or “Zeus” for an infant at his baptism, and the priest might question what intention the parents had in giving their child such a name.

However, there is a long and beautiful tradition as to why Catholics should present a saintly or biblical name for their child at Baptism, and why those who convert to Catholicism should choose one too during baptism

According to the Bible:

The Bible Provides us with many vivid examples of significant circumstances bringing about a change in name, especially in regards to moments of spiritual conversion1    When God chooses Abram to be the father of the Chosen People and asks him to be circumcised as part of this new covenant, He gives Abram a new name: Abraham.2   After wrestling with an angel and receiving the angel’s blessing, Jacob’s name is changed to Israel.3  The name changes of Simon to Peter and Saul to Paul in the New Testaments are deeply significant

In each of these cases, an important encounter with God led to the choosing of a name which reflected the solemnity of that event. When a child is baptized, he or she becomes a son or daughter of God the Father, a co-heir of Heaven through Christ the Son, and a sharer in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Catholic parents may choose a saint’s name as the child’s name when they have a child and present that name at the infant’s baptism. For those who receive baptism later in life or convert to Catholicism may choose a name to reflect his or her new status as a Christian, and this name stands as a beautiful and strong symbol and a reminder of spiritual conversion.

Reflections Of The Passion Of Christ During The Tridentine Holy Mass. 

Reflections Of The Passion Of Christ During The Tridentine Holy Mass. 



1) When the priest goes to the altar – Christ goes to the Olive Garden to pray.

2) When the priest begins the Holy Mass – Christ prays in the Olive Garden.

3) When the Priest says the Confiteor – (Latin for “I Confess”) Christ sweats blood and falls down on His face in the Garden.

4) When the priest kisses the Altar – Judas, the traitor, betrays Christ with a kiss and delivers Him to the Jews.

5) When the priest goes to the end of the Altar – Christ is brought to Annas.

6) When the priest reads the Introit – the antiphon for the entrance – Christ is slapped in the house of Annas.

7) When the priest says “Lord have mercy upon us…” – Christ is brought to Caiphas and Peter denies Him. 

8) When the priest says: “The Lord be with you…” – Christ looks at Peter and Peter converts.

9) When the priest reads the Collect, the prayer before the reading of the Gospel – Christ is brought to Pilate, the Roman prefect.

10) When the priest goes to the middle of the Altar – Christ is taken from Pilate to Herod.

11) When the priest reads the Gospel – Christ is taken back from Herod to Pilate. The Judgement of Christ.

12) When the priest uncovers the chalice – Christ is stripped of his garment.

13) When the chalice sits uncovered on the Altar – Christ is scourged at the pillar.

14) When the priest covers the chalice – Christ is crowned with a crown of thorns.

) When the priest washes his fingers – Pilate washes his hands to show that he is not responsible for the execution of Christ.

16) When the priest says: “Pray brethren, that my sacrifice…” – Pilate shows Christ to the people and says “Behold the man”.

17) When the priest says the prayer “Holy, holy, holy” before transubstantiation – Christ is condemned to death.

18) When the priest prays for the living – Christ carries the cross outside of the city.

19) When the priest holds his hands above the chalice – Veronica steps out towards Christ and wipes His face.

20) When the priest blesses the bread and wine with the sign of the cross – Christ is nailed to the cross.

21) When the priest elevates the Host – Christ is raised on the cross.

22) When the priest elevates the Chalice – Blood flows out of the wounds of Christ.

23) When the priest prays for the dead – Christ on the cross prays quietly for mankind.

24) When the priest says: “Our Father…” – The seven words of Christ on the cross.

25) When the priest breaks the Host in two parts – Christ dies on the cross.

26) When the priest receives the Holy Communion – The burial of Christ.

27) When the priest washes his fingers and hands after the Holy Communion – The body of Christ is anointed with precious oils.

28) When the priest goes to the end of the Altar after the Holy Communion – Christ rises from the dead.

29) When the priest says: “The Lord be with you” – Christ appears to his disciples.

30) When the priest reads the last prayer, Postcommunio – Christ stays with his disciples for forty days.

31) When the priest says the last: “The Lord be with you” – Christ ascends into heaven.

32) When the priest gives the blessing – Christ sends down the Holy Ghost on the disciples.

33) Priest departs or exits the Church – The disciples go out to evangelise and spread the good news of salvation.

Translated from: Tajemnica Mszy świętej według św. Ojca Pio na podstawie Orędzi na Czasy Ostateczne które własnie nadeszły, Grzechynia 2013, p. 75-77.

How Did The Stations Of The Cross Begin? 

How Did The Stations Of The Cross Begin? 

How Did The Stations Of The Cross Begin?

One of the devotions in our parish every Lent is the Stations of the Cross. Could you please tell me the origins of this devotion?

Since Lent is a penitential season of preparation for Easter, the Stations of the Cross, which follow the path of Christ from Pontius Pilate’s praetorium to Christ’s tomb have been a popular devotion in parishes. In the 16th century, this pathway was officially entitled the “Via Dolorosa” (Sorrowful Way) or simply Way of the Cross or Stations of the Cross.

This devotion has evolved over time. Tradition holds that our Blessed Mother visited daily the scenes of our Lord’s passion. After Constantine legalized Christianity in the year 312, this pathway was marked with its important stations. St. Jerome (342-420), living in Bethlehem during the later part of his life, attested to the crowds of pilgrims from various countries who visited those holy places and followed the Way of the Cross.

Interestingly, St. Sylvia, in her “Peregrination ad loca sancta” (380), in which she described in great detail various religious practices, did not mention a particular practice or set of prayers for following the stations; however, this omission does not entail that pilgrims did not in fact follow the Way of the Cross.

Actually, the devotion continued to grow in popularity. In the fifth century, an interest developed in the Church to “reproduce” the holy places in other areas so pilgrims who could not actually travel to the Holy Land could do so in a devotional, spiritual way in their hearts. For instance, St. Petronius, Bishop of Bologna, constructed a group of chapels at the monastery of San Stefano, which depicted the more important shrines of the Holy Land, including several of the stations. (The same notion inspired the building of the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, where one can visit and see reproductions of the Bethlehem Chapel, the tomb of our Lord, and other important shrines of the Holy Land).

In 1342, the Franciscans were appointed as guardians of the shrines of the Holy Land. The faithful received indulgences for praying at the following stations: At Pilate’s house, where Christ met His mother, where He spoke to the women, where He met Simon of Cyrene, where the soldiers stripped Him of His garments, where He was nailed to the cross, and at His tomb.

William Wey, an English pilgrim, visited the Holy Land in 1462, and is credited with the term “stations.” He described the manner in which a pilgrim followed the steps of Christ. Prior to this time, the path usually followed the reverse course of ours today–moving from Mount Calvary to Pilate’s house. At this time, the reverse — going from Pilate’s house to Calvary — seems to have taken hold.

When the Moslem Turks blocked the access to the Holy Land, reproductions of the stations were erected at popular spiritual centers, including the Dominican Friary at Cordova and Poor Clare Convent of Messina (early 1400s); Nuremberg (1468); Louvain (1505); Bamberg, Fribourg and Rhodes (1507); and Antwerp 1520).

Many of these stations were reproduced by renowned artists and are considered masterpieces today. By 1587, Zuallardo reported that the Moslems forbade anyone “to make any halt, nor to pay veneration to [the stations] with uncovered head, nor to make any other demonstration,” basically suppressing this devotion in the Holy Land. Nevertheless, the devotion continued to grow in popularity in Europe.

At this time, the number of the stations varied. William Wey’s account has 14 stations, but only five correspond to our own. Some versions included the house of Dives (the rich man in the Lazarus story), the city gate through which Christ passed, and the houses of Herod and Simon the Pharisee. 

In 1584 a book written by Adrichomius entitled, Jerusalem “sicut Christi Tempore floruit,” gives 12 stations which match those in our present version. This book was translated into several languages and circulated widely. In the 16th century, devotional books appeared especially in the Low Countries, which had 14 stations with prayers for each one.

At the end of the 17th century, the erection of stations in churches became more popular. In 1686, Pope Innocent XI, realizing that few people could travel to the Holy Land due to the Moslem oppression, granted the right to erect stations in all of their churches and that the same indulgences would be given to the Franciscans and those affiliated with them for practicing the devotion as if on an actual pilgrimage. Pope Benedict XIII extended these indulgences to all of the faithful in 1726.

Five years later, Pope Clement XII permitted stations to be created in all churches and fixed the number at 14. In 1742, Pope Benedict XIV exhorted all priests to enrich their churches with the Way of the Cross, which must include 14 crosses and are usually accompanied with pictures or images of each particular station. The popularity of the devotion was also encouraged by preachers like St. Leonard Casanova (16761751) of Porto Maurizio, Italy, who reportedly erected over 600 sets of stations throughout Italy.

To date, there are 14 traditional stations: Pilate condemns Christ to death; Jesus carries the cross; the first fall; Jesus meets His Blessed Mother; Simon of Cyrene helps to carry the cross; Veronica wipes the face of Jesus; the second fall; Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem; the third fall; Jesus is stripped of His garments; Jesus is nailed to the cross; Jesus dies on the cross; Jesus is taken down from the cross; and Jesus is laid in the tomb.

Because of the intrinsic relationship between the passion and death of our Lord with His resurrection, several of the devotional booklets now include a 15th station, which commemorates the Resurrection. A plenary indulgence is granted for those who piously exercise the Way of the Cross, actually moving from station to station where they are legitimately erected and while mediating on the passion and death of our Lord (“Enchiridion of Indulgences,” No. 63).

Those who are impeded from visiting a church may gain the same indulgence by piously reading and meditating on the passion and death of our Lord for one-half hour. The continued importance of the stations in the devotional life of Catholics is attested by both Pope Paul VI, who approved a Gospel-based version of the stations in 1975, and Pope John Paul II, who has also written his own version.


How Did The Stations Of The Cross Begin? By Fr. William Saunders.

St. Therese Of Lisieux And The Feast Of The Annunciation.  

St. Therese Of Lisieux And The Feast Of The Annunciation.  


St. Therese especially loved the mystery of the Annunciation, and celebrated it every year. At the first inquiry into Therese’s sanctity in 1910, her sister Celine testified:

“She had a particular devotion for the mystery of the Incarnation, which she would observe devotedly every 25th March. She loved to contemplate Jesus in his childhood. She once said, “I should like to die on 25th March, because it was on that day that Jesus was the smallest”.

In 1888, the feast of the Annunciation, transferred because of Lent, was celebrated on April 9, the day Therese entered the Lisieux Carmel. God must have understood that her “yes” to her Carmelite vocation would be a profound echo of Mary’s “yes.”

Therese’s understanding of what happened when the angel Gabriel came to Mary is remarkably realistic and down-to-earth.  In July 1915, her sister Pauline, Mother Agnes of Jesus, testified at the second process:

“She was very simple and had little experience of evil. Fearful of discovering it, as she acknowledges in her autobiography, she entrusted the protection of her purity to the Blessed Virgin and Saint Joseph. Later on, she came to understand that everything is pure for the pure of heart. Seeing that she knew about the realities of life, I asked her who had enlightened her. She said that she had discovered them without even looking, from observing nature, the flowers and birds”. She added, “The Blessed Virgin knew all these things. For she said to the angel, on the day of the Annunciation, “How will this be, since I know not a man?” Knowing things is not evil. All that God has made is very good and very noble. Marriage is a beautiful state for those whom God has called to it; it is sin which distorts and soils it.”

Therese emphasized that Mary, who was purity itself, knew the facts of life when the angel came to her, and that there was nothing wrong with her having that knowledge; Therese, the wise and innocent child of God’s mercy, understands with Mary that God has made nothing that is not very good.

St. Therese Of Lisieux, Pray For Us!


Saint Therese of Lisieux: A Gateway.

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