Venerable Solanus Casey Shrine | Saint Mary Magdalen Church, Brighton, Michigan | photo by Nheyob

Blessed Solanus Casey

July 30. Blessed Solanus Casey became one of Detroit’s best-known priests, even though he was not allowed to preach formally or to hear confessions. Difficulties with studies led to his being limited in some areas of ministry, but he certainly shone in others. This well-beloved friar is a modern day example of humility and perseverance.

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Blessed Stanley Rother

July 28. Blessed Stanley Rother grew up in Oklahoma on his parents' farm in what could be described as a normal environment. Life changed radically for him when he was ordained a priest in 1963, and again in 1968, when he volunteered for the missions in Guatemala. But the final change came when civil war reached his parish in 1980. He was assassinated on July 28, 1981.

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St. Andrew's and Blessed George Haydock's Catholic Church, Cottam, Lancashire, UK |photo by Skodoway (Blessed William Carter was one of their companions.)

Blessed William Carter

January 11. Born in London, Blessed William Carter was a printer who got in trouble for printing Catholic material during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Eventually brought to trial, he was convicted and hanged, drawn, and quartered on January 11, 1584.

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Chair of Saint Peter | photo by Lawrence OP | flickr.

Chair of Saint Peter

February 22. Every cathedral has a “cathedra,” a bishop’s chair that is used only by the bishop when he presides in the cathedral. It’s a symbol of his authority as chief teacher and liturgist of the diocese. So, today we celebrate the authority of the chief bishop, Saint Peter and his successors, the popes.

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The Christmas celebration in the forest of Greccio | Giotto di Bondone | Fresco in the Upper Church of Saint Francis, Assisi | photo by The Yorck Project

Christmas at Greccio

December 24. Being a man who wanted to experience things with all of his senses, Saint Francis decided one Christmas to depict the birth of Jesus with live animals and real people. This “first crèche” was created in Greccio in 1223. Our tradition of having a Christmas crèche in our homes and churches continues the practice begun all those years ago.

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Orthodox service for the Faithful Departed | Vasily Vereshchagin

Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed

November 2. Following the ancient tradition within the Church of offering prayers for the faithful departed, today we offer our prayers for all of our deceased relatives and friends, trusting in the power of prayer and the infinite mercy of God.

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The Conversion on the Way to Damascus | Caravaggio

Conversion of Saint Paul

January 25. Saint Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus was to be the turning point in his spiritual life. There he met Jesus and nothing was the same after that. Thereafter, all his zeal and energy were focused on the spread of the gospel message. We know him from his wonderful letters to the early Christian communities.

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Statue of Saint Paul in front of the facade of the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Wall, Rome | photo by Berthold Werner

Dedication of Churches of Saints Peter and Paul

November 18. St. Peter Basilica is probably the most famous church in Christendom and the largest in the city of Rome. St. Paul Outside-the-Walls is second in size only to St. Peter’s. Built over the presumed graves of these two saints, they are attractive places of prayer for the faithful.

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Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome | photo by Gary Ullah from UK

Dedication of Saint Mary Major Basilica

August 5. Saint Mary Major is one of the four major churches in Rome known as patriarchal cathedrals. It is the largest church in the world honoring Mary. This day is also known as the feast of Our Lady of Snows. By whatever title, it is a day of celebrating the Mother of God.

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Archbasilica of St John Lateran, Rome | photo by Livioandronico2013

Dedication of St. John Lateran

November 9. As the cathedral church of the diocese of Rome, Saint John Lateran is the cathedral of the pope, the bishop of Rome. Long before the Vatican was constructed, Saint John Lateran was the home of the popes and the focal point for the Church. Saint Francis visited Pope Innocent at the Lateran Palace.

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