The Battle of Vienna – 11 September 1683

The Battle of Vienna is a huge, imposing oil canvass that stands 9m by 4.5m in the John Sobieski room of the Vatican Museums. The masterpiece recounts the ending of the Turkish siege of Vienna by the Catholic army led by the Polish King, John Sobieski, on the 11th September 1683. The polish painter, Jan […]

The Handing of the Keys

Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci, better known as Pietro Perugino (1450-1523), was an Umbrian painter of the High Renaissance who realised the exceptional fresco entitled ‘The Handing of the Keys to St Peter’ between 1481/2 in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, Rome. The fresco forms part of a series of mural decorations that gave the Sistine […]

You Are Peter

‘Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against […]

Prayer to Mary, Queen of Heaven by Pope Pius XII

  “We have decided to institute the liturgical feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen. This will afford a climax, as it were, to the manifold demonstrations of Our devotion to Mary, which the Christian people have supported with such enthusiasm. […] As We have already mentioned, Venerable Brothers, according to ancient tradition and the […]

The Solemnity of the Assumption (Ap 12:1-18)

On the 15th August the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption. We would like to reflect with you on this beautiful feast using the first reading from the Solemnity which is taken from the 12th chapter of the Book of Apocalypse and also using part of a homily given by the Holy Father Pope […]

Prayer for the Solemnity of the Assumption

  Prayer To The Blessed Virgin Mary on the Solemnity of the Assumption By Pope Pius XII On the Occasion of the Proclamation of the Dogma of the Assumption Pope Pius XII dedicated this beautiful prayer to Our Blessed Mother. O, Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and Mother of Men, we believe with all the […]

The Dormition of the Virgin Mary

The splendid mosaics in the apse of St Mary Major’s Basilica in Rome narrate the life story of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Of particular interest is the “Dormitio Mariæ”, the Dormition of Mary, which is found just below the central mosaic. The mosaic depicts the Marian mystery that the Eastern Church refer to as the […]

Novena for the Feast of the Assumption – Day 9

Novena for the Feast of the Assumption  “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”… (1 Cor 15:54-55) After we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory […]

Novena for the Feast of the Assumption – Day 8

Novena for the Feast of the Assumption  “Who is this that comes up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved?” (Song 8, 5) San Bonaventura was entirely certain that, as God had preserved the most holy Virgin Mary from the violation of her virginal purity and integrity in conceiving and in childbirth, […]