Christmas Traditions: Las Posadas

One of the most beautiful Christmas traditions brought to our Community by our sisters from Latin America is ‘Las Posadas’. This tradition emulates the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem. As we know from the Scriptures, “there was no room for them in the inn.” (Lk 2:7) After searching everywhere for a […]

Christmas Traditions: Bambinelli Sunday!

The third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday because, in the words of the entrance antiphon, we are called to, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.” (Ph 4:4-5) In St Peter’s Square, Rome there is another tradition that emphasises the closeness of the Lord and brings […]

The Proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception

Francesco Podesti (1800 –1895), the skilled painter and portrait artist, was entrusted with the task of realising a work to commemorate the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the Vatican. The work was to be frescoed onto the walls of the Borgia Tower, in a room that is adjacent to Raphael’s Fire […]

Christmas Traditions: The Nativity Scene

On Christmas Eve 1223, in Greccio, a small place approximately 60km to the northeast of Rome, the practice of creating Nativity scenes was born. The first, requested by St Francis, was a live re-creation of the cave of Bethlehem complete with a living ox, ass and donkey!   It is thought that the poverello of […]

St Cecilia – A love song for our time

Since the 4th Century the Church has honored St Cecilia, a Virgin, spouse and martyr who is often remembered as the Patron Saint of musicians. Surprisingly to some, Cecilia was no musician! Her “song” was that of love, love of Christ and Christian witness and this music can still strike a chord that resonates with […]

We Don’t Need Another Hero!

On the Solemnity of All Saints the Church presents all those men and women who have lived their Christian lives to an heroic level and now are enjoying the eternal beatitude in heaven. It is, one might say, a roll call of the Church’s heroes! In this Solemnity, the Church places before us all those […]

Church of the Most Holy Name of Mary at the Trajan Forum

In this month of September, we celebrate the memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary and, in the city of Rome, there is a magnificent Church dedicated to her name in the Trajan Forum. In 1683, the news of the siege of Vienna arrived in Rome and this brought with it the expectation that […]

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 […]

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 […]