Tag: lent

Why The Church Veils (Covers) The Crucifix And The Holy Images During Passiontide.

Why The Church Veils (Covers) The Crucifix And The Holy Images During Passiontide.



As the Church gradually approaches the commemoration of the death of Christ (Good Friday), certain changes become apparent, which may prompt the faithful to ask certain questions: why is this so? What is the significance? Etc. Among these notable changes is the veiling of the crucifix and holy images in the Church. As with the custom of the Church in many regions, the veiling takes place right from the eve of the Fifth Sunday of Lent. 

In other words, the veiling ought to have taken effect right from Saturday evening. However, in other regions, the veiling begins with Thursday of the “Easter Triduum” Triduum is a Latin word meaning “a space of three days”; it a period of three consecutive days on which specified devotions etc. are observed. In this case, the days before Easter, namely, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are referred to as Easter Triduum.

Returning to the issue on ground – veiling; the Catholic Encyclopedia describes this custom as follows: “Before Vespers of Saturday preceding Passion Sunday [i.e. the 5th Sunday of Lent], the crosses, statues, and pictures of our Lord and of the saints on the altar and throughout the church are veiled”. Crosses are unveiled after the Good Friday ceremonies. All other images and pictures retain their covering, no matter what feast may occur, until the Gloria in Excelsis of Holy Saturday.” Neither the Stations of the Cross nor stained glass windows are ever veiled. The bishops’ conference may decide if the veiling during this period should be obligatory within its territory.

Having said this, what can we say to be its significance? Put differently, why does the Church veil the cross and images in these final days of Lent, a time when she is most intent on meditating upon the Lord’s sorrowful passion?

There are two interpretations: the mystical and spiritual interpretation.

Abbot Gueranger enlightens us with a Mystical interpretation of the Gospel which, in former times, was read on this Sunday: “As Christ hid from the rage of the Jewish authorities (John 8:59), so now he is hidden from the world in preparation for the mysteries of his passion”. Therefore, the presentiment of that awful hour (of our Saviour’s passion) leads the afflicted mother Church to veil the image of her Jesus – the cross is hidden from the eyes of the faithful. The statues of the saints, too, are covered; for it is but just that, if the glory of the Master be eclipsed, the servant should not appear. 

“The interpreters of the liturgy tell us that this ceremony of veiling the crucifix during Passiontide, expresses the humiliation to which our Saviour subjected Himself, of hiding Himself when the Jews threatened to stone Him, as is related in the Gospel of Passion Sunday (John 8:46-59, They took up stones, therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple [John 8:59]). Therefore, the Church begins this solemn rite with the Vespers of the Saturday before Passion Sunday.”

In the case of the Spiritual sense, Dom Gueranger continues to direct us to acts of devotion for the Cross: “Twice during the course of the year, that is, on the feasts of its Invention and Exaltation, this sacred Wood will be offered to us that we may honour it as the trophy of our Jesus’ victory; but now, it speaks to us but of His sufferings, it brings with it no other idea but that of His humiliation.” Considering that, in the season of our Lord’s passion, all the strength of our devotion should be directed to the Cross of Christ, we may be surprised that the images of the Cross are to be covered in these days. However, when we recognize that we now venerate the Cross not so much as an emblem of victory (as in the Triumph of the Cross) but as an instrument of humiliation and suffering, we will soon understand the spiritual realities which are conveyed through the covering of the crosses. This is because, in his passion, our Saviour’s divinity was almost totally eclipsed, so great was his suffering. Likewise, even his humanity was obscured – so much so that he could say through his prophet: I am a worm and no man (Psalm 21:7). His face and whole body were so disfigured by the blows and scourges that our Jesus was scarcely recognizable! Thus, the wounds he endured hid both his divinity and his humanity. For this reason, we veil the crosses in these final days of Lent – hiding our Saviour under the sad purple cloth.

Having established these, it would not be out of place to import the explanation of the prominent “angelic doctor” (Thomas Aquinas) of the medieval era about Good Friday and the Eucharist. According to him: 

“the figure ceases on the advent of the reality, but this sacrament [i.e. the Eucharist] is a figure and a representation of our Lord’s Passion; and therefore on the day on which our Lord’s Passion is recalled as it was really accomplished, this sacrament is not consecrated.” (ST III, q.83, a.2, ad 2). 

In an analogous way, it is fitting that, as the liturgical year recalls the events leading up to the Crucifixion, the Church should hide the effigies of the Cross from the vision of her faithful.

Kindly share with other Catholics…


~By Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri.

Lenten Prayer for Spiritual Renewal – Pray Now

Lenten Prayer for Spiritual Renewal – Pray Now

God, heavenly Father,
look upon me and hear my prayer
during this holy Season of Lent.
By the good works You inspire,
help me to discipline my body
and to be renewed in spirit.

Without You I can do nothing.
By Your Spirit help me to know what is right
and to be eager in doing Your will.
Teach me to find new life through penance.
Keep me from sin, and help me live
by Your commandment of love.
God of love, bring me back to You.
Send Your Spirit to make me strong
in faith and active in good works.
May my acts of penance bring me Your forgiveness,
open my heart to Your love,
and prepare me for the coming feast
of the Resurrection of Jesus.

Lord, during this Lenten Season,
nourish me with Your Word of life
and make me one
with You in love and prayer.

Fill my heart with Your love
and keep me faithful to the Gospel of Christ.
Give me the grace to rise above my human weakness.
Give me new life by Your Sacraments, especially the Mass.

Father, our source of life,
I reach out with joy to grasp Your hand;
let me walk more readily in Your ways.
Guide me in Your gentle mercy,
for left to myself I cannot do Your Will.

Father of love, source of all blessings,
help me to pass from my old life of sin
to the new life of grace.
Prepare me for the glory of Your Kingdom.
I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.


Muslim Woman Attends Church Service… Donates Dozens Of Beverages To Christian Widows In Solidarity With Lent

Muslim Woman Attends Church Service… Donates Dozens Of Beverages To Christian Widows In Solidarity With Lent

A Muslim woman, attended a church service in southern Kaduna, Northern Nigeria last Sunday with the aim of sharing some cartons of Tea-break Items to the church widows and orphans, in other to encourage them, while calling on them to pray for peace and stability of the country. This is In solidarity with the 40 days fasting and prayers which is embacked by Christians world –wide.

Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani who is a peace builder and interfaith promoter in Nigeria west Africa, says she came to the church with some package of Tea break Items which include Cartons of Three crown and liptons Yellow Lebel Tea, to share for the widows and orphans, to strengthening them and support them in the daily fasting and prayers.

She pointed out that, last year during the 6 weeks Lenten period, she bailed out 10 Christian youths in kaduna convict prison, so as to enable them go back home and do their fasting at home with friends, family, and other relatives, with joy and happiness like every other Christian around the world, and according to her this is a method of promoting peace building, inter-religious Tolerance and better understanding among different faith based organization in Nigeria.

Ramatu added that supporting the widows and orphans with beverages and other Gifts will give them more strength in devoting their total time in praying to Almighty God for the peace and unity of the country, because the purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and self-denial.

Gift-giving is one of the good manners that maintains and strengthens relations between the giver and the recipient, and The importance of fasting cannot be over emphasized. 

She said that, Muslims around the world cannot forget how Pastor Yohanna Buru do always help Muslim Destitutes & the prison inmates with Food to eat during the 30 Days of the holy month of Ramadan, Bailing large number of Muslim youth prisoners out for the sake of Ramadan.

Ramatu said: “we are worshipping One God Allah, and both muslims and Christians are from one Family (brothers and sisters), and both have their holy Books which are Bibles and Qur’an, both believes in paradise and hell, therefore, we are all one family under One God. Christians are my brothers and sisters and as a Muslim, I love visiting them, because both religions preach peace, tolerance and Harmony. Attending the church service doesn’t make me become a Christian. As a Muslim I have several Bibles at home and I read them to enable me know how to relate with my brothers and sisters that are Christians.”

She says, the impact of the previous ethno-religious and political crises in the state that claimed hundreds of lives and properties was a serious setback to peaceful co-existence in Kaduna and northern Nigeria at large, hence the need for clerics from both religions to preach sermons that foster unity and peaceful co-existence.

She further indicated that, she is also going to distribute the same gift to some Christian inmates in kaduna, and some parts of Northern Nigeria, so as to enable them devote their total time, in praying for peace and stability of the country.

She then called for the creation of institutes of comparative studies in the country, saying the institutes would promote better understanding, religious tolerance, forgiveness, reduce blasphemy tendencies and continuously preach peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians.

Additionally, She noted that there were more than 6,000 religions in the world, most of which were different from the literate Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) that many people think of when they hear the word “religion.” “In order to make statements or generalisations about religion, the concept of religion, rather than a specific religion or group of religions, we need to engage in comparative study of religions so as to reduce ethno-religious attacks and blasphemy,” she added.

We need to change from Theoretical approach of peace to practical peace, we need more conference on interfaith in Nigeria and Africa”.

She concluded by saying,

‘Some Nigerian Muslims have stood in solidarity with Christians on social media Platforms by Twitting and posting on Facebook, Instagram, YOUTUBE, LinkedIn, Google+, Vimeo, Live-Streaming, Microblogging, Periscope, Blogging on what they will give-up until the completion of the 40 days fasting, as a sign of total solidarity with Christians round the world which is aimed at boosting mutual respect, love, forgiveness, and encouraging peaceful co-existence in all African countries”.

According to the Muslims on social media #NigerianMuslims4Lent. This is just to let Christians know that Muslims are their best friends and brothers.

Receiving the Gifts, the General Overseer of Christ Evangelical Intercessory Fellowship Ministry, Pastor Yohanna Buru, thanked Hajiya Tijjani for the gesture and urged other Nigerians to learn how to tolerate, accommodate and live in peace with one another irrespective of religious background.

Pastor Buru also called on all citizens to shun all issues that lead to ethno-religious and political crisis.

According to him, the church cannot forget the donation of 50 copies of Bible it received from a group of Muslim women in February 2016 during the international Inter-faith week; saying, this is geared towards promoting religious tolerance.

Buru said: ‘the same woman donated dozens of chairs to the church and other utensils which are used for cleaning the environment of the church, with the aims of promoting peace and Tolerance among Muslims and Christians. The Muslims are our brothers and neighbors not enemies; we must join hands together to live in peace, and harmony because we all have Holy books (Qur’an and Bible) that teach us love and peace.”

He stressed that it is time all preachers redoubled their efforts in teaching their followers the right ways and obey the teaching of the holy books so as to end the activities of extremists and terrorists hiding under religion.

Adding also that every year, hundreds of Muslims join Christians in breaking the fast of lent in his house with other Christians and other traditional believers, according to him, the aim is just to promote religious tolerance and better understanding.

Also responding, Reverend Titus Asiyaku said: ‘It was surprising seeing a Muslim woman “performing miracle” through peace mission,’ while encouraging on every Nigerian to also find means of forgiving one another, in order to live in peace and harmony.

Exclusive! Nigerian Religious Stigmata Undergo Horrifying Pains Of The Passion Of Christ As Large Consecrated Host Comes Out Of Her Mouth (Pictures)

Exclusive! Nigerian Religious Stigmata Undergo Horrifying Pains Of The Passion Of Christ As Large Consecrated Host Comes Out Of Her Mouth (Pictures)

Large Host comes out of the mouth of Sr. Martina Of The Divine Wounds

The remote Village of Enugu – Ezike in Enugu State Nigeria witnessed the horrifying pains of the Passion of Christ through Sr. Martina, a Stigmata and Religious Founder of the Congregation of Divine Wounds.
The Nun is one of the few souls privileged to share in the passion of Christ every Lenten season especially Thursdays between 11pm (Gethsemane hour) – Friday 3am. 

On Thursday 8th March around 12am, Sr. Martina began to experience the Agony Christ went through at the Garden of Olives. She started bleeding through her head and eyes, amidst unbearable pains. 

Catholicsonline in a telephone conversation with Evang. Elisha Ayogu the man in charge of her prayer ministry, confirmed the story:

‘What Sr. Martina passed through between Thurday 8 to Friday 9 is real! She has been experiencing the passion of Christ for many years especially during the Lenten Season, particularly every Thursday 12midnight to Friday 3am’.  

He further stated that: 

‘She begins to bleed through her head and Eyes on Thursday night through Friday. Around 3am Friday, Consecrated Host comes out through her mouth. Formerly, she use to bleed on her hands and feet, after pleading with the Lord for many years to take away the pains and stigmata, part of her request was granted last year, and for the first time the bleeding in her hands and feet stopped, but Jesus told her that he will not take away the bleeding on her head and eyes until she dies’. 

St. Martina bleeding through her eyes

When I asked him how many times the Nun experiences these pains, He said: 

‘She usually pass through the pains of the passion 3 periods in a year, the first is every Thursday and Friday of Lent, the second is on All Saints Day and the third is on All Souls Day’.

St. Martina going through the horrifying pains of the Scourging at the Pillar

He further stated that Sr. Martina, returned from Rome February 2018, where she went to pursue the approval of her Congregation The Divine Wounds. 

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