This is a picture of our "Lady of Fatima" statue in our dining room, along with the candle we used for the "Candle-Lighting." This statue, like our outdoor statue, shown in the "May" post, has an interesting history, also mysterious in nature. Again, too long of a story to get into right now.....but to make a long story short, it was in our home when I was a child, given away to the Catholic school I had attended, and made its way back to me about 25 years later. The little plaque on the bottom of the statue unfortunately was gone-it was in memory of my father, who passed away from a heart attack when I was 7 years old-he loved the story of Fatima. The head had broken off as well, but some wonderful person repaired it. They could have disposed of the statue and I would never have seen it again, but whoever it was, took the time to lovingly repair it with great care. I am so grateful! I cherish this statue with all my heart. She is wearing a pink mantilla of mine, which I am privileged to share with her. I felt for the Fatima Centennial, that she deserved some special ornamentation.
The candle, I recently bought at a dollar store in a Latino neighborhood, and the dish it is on was given to me as part of a set, as a wedding gift by my godmother, whose name was Mary (may she rest in peace). I just wanted to share this with all of you. You could make your own similar set-up for our next Holy Hour, June 13th!
Speaking of the next Holy Hour, I am re-thinking the promotion of it and some of the details of how it will work. The format will remain the same. I do hope to have more comments next time, but if not, even if we don't get any, I know at least 2 people will have prayed the Holy Hour-me and my husband! We actually completed it in a half-hour, but "Fatima Holy Half-Hour" just doesn't have a great ring to it! I don't really want to make it much longer-I want it to be easy for people and if you want to take the ball and run with it, adding or subtracting, that is fine. Nomen Christi seeks to empower people, not to dictate to them. Also, you really could do this at ANY time. The Fatima Centennial lasts all year.
See you next month, and please contact us if you would like email reminders. I felt very enriched by doing this and I hope that it will be a blessing to others as well over the next 6 months!
Thank you for joining our First Fatima Holy Hour! Please read the introduction on our Home Page. If you are participating, please add your voice to our comments. IN ORDER TO MAKE A COMMENT, PLEASE CLICK ON THE TITLE OF THE POST & SCROLL DOWN. IF YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY, PLEASE CONTACT US. Following is tonight's Holy Hour Format. May God bless you and may Our Lady shower graces upon you on this glorious 100th Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions!
Candle-Lighting for Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
+ Sign of the Cross +
O Jesus, we thank Thee for this beautiful Feast of Our Lady of Fatima and 100th Anniversary of her appearance to the three holy children in Fatima, Portugal. We thank Thee for our togetherness today all over the world in this joyful celebration. We light this candle for the intention of reparation to Thy Mother's Immaculate Heart, which so grieves over the sins of the world at this present hour. We especially wish to console her for the terrible injustice to unborn children, for she is Mother to all. May these little lights of ours ascend to her Queenly throne in Heaven and show her that indeed, there is still love for her on earth. Love for Thy Mother always directs us to Thee, O Jesus, our Savior, Whom she holds up to the world in her loving arms. Forgive us our sins and let us enter into this Holy Hour in a spirit of contrition and spiritual communion with Thee. We offer as well, all the intentions of those participating. Amen.
All Ye Holy Angels & Saints, Rejoice!
Saint Joseph, Pray for Us!
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Hymn: "Immaculate Mary"
(Brian Foley, Jeremiah Cummings)
Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing
You reign now in Heaven with Jesus our King
Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Maria!
In Heaven the blessed your glory proclaim
On earth we your children invoke your sweet name
Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Maria!
We pray for the Church our true mother on earth
And bless Holy Mary, the land of our birth
Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Maria!
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Fatima Reading & Prayer
The First Apparition ~ May 13th, 1917
...the three children took their flocks out to pasture in the small area known as the Cova da Iria. After lunch and the Rosary, they suddenly saw a bright flash of something like lightning, followed quickly by another flash in the clear blue sky. They looked up to see, in Lucia’s words, “A lady, clothed in white, brighter than the sun, radiating a light more clear and intense than a crystal cup filled with sparkling water lit by burning sunlight.” The children stood there amazed, bathed in the light that surrounded the apparition, as the Lady smiled and said: “Do not be afraid, I will not harm you.” Lucia, as the oldest, asked her where she came from.
The Lady pointed to the sky and said: “I come from Heaven.” Lucia then asked her what she wanted. “I have come to ask you to come here for six months on the 13th day of the month at this same hour. Later I shall say who I am and what I desire." Lucia then asked if they would go to Heaven and was told yes, she and Jacinta would go to Heaven, but Francisco would need to say many Rosaries first. The Lady then said: “Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you as an act of reparation for the conversion of sinners?” Lucia, as spokesman for all three, readily agreed. “Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.”
Lucia recounted that at the same moment as she said these words, the Lady opened her hands and streamed a “light” upon the children which allowed them to see themselves in God. The Lady finished with a request: “Say the Rosary every day to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.” [She was referring to World War I.] With that, she began to rise into the air, moving towards the east until she disappeared.
The children...tried to think of ways they could make sacrifices as the Lady had asked, resolving to go without lunch and to pray the full Rosary. Francisco and Jacinta received more support from their parents than Lucia...the attitudes of the local inhabitants ranged from skepticism to utter contempt, and the children thereby suffered many insults. They would have much to suffer, just as the Lady had told them.
Text courtesy World Apostolate of Fatima, USA, slightly edited.
The first apparition of Our Lady to the children was not their first encounter with Heaven. An angel appeared to them previously, three times, and gave them two prayers, as follows:
"My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I beg pardon of Thee for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee!"
"Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners."
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Joyful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary
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Litany of Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for our dear country.
Our Lady of Fatima, sanctify our clergy.
Our Lady of Fatima, make our Catholics more fervent.
Our Lady of Fatima, guide and inspire those who govern us.
Our Lady of Fatima, cure the sick who confide in you.
Our Lady of Fatima, console the sorrowful who trust in you.
Our Lady of Fatima, help those who invoke your aid.
Our Lady of Fatima, deliver us from all dangers.
Our Lady of Fatima, help us to resist temptation.
Our Lady of Fatima, obtain for us all that we lovingly ask of you.
Our Lady of Fatima, help those who are dear to us.
Our Lady of Fatima, bring back to the right road our erring brothers.
Our Lady of Fatima, give us back our ancient fervor.
Our Lady of Fatima, obtain for us pardon of our manifold sins and offenses.
Our Lady of Fatima, bring all men to the feet of your Divine Child.
Our Lady of Fatima, obtain peace for the world.
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Let Us Pray: O God of infinite goodness and mercy, fill our hearts with a great confidence in Thy dear Mother, whom we invoke under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary and our Lady of Fatima, and grant us by her powerful intercession, all the graces, spiritual and temporal, which we need. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Nomen Christi Apostolate Prayer for World Peace
O Most Holy Trinity, look upon the work of Thy Hands with mercy and give us the peace we so desperately need. Shower Thy graces upon us like the rain, like a great flood engulfing us and end these many sorrows. Sorrow from disrespect for human life, terrorism, unrest, fear, disaster, impurity, blasphemy, occult activities, persecution of the holy, leading the innocent astray, drug addiction, people thinking they can re-order the perfect creation Thou hast made. We live in unprecedented times, uncertain times. Deliver us from all evil, visible and invisible and from all fear. Help us to prepare for the days to come and to extricate ourselves from this inauthentic culture. We pray for the triumphalism of Holy Mother Church and the salvation of all souls. Give us peace in our hearts and courage to face the future and win our Heavenly reward. Our Lady of Fatima, we love you! Pray for us! In the Holy Name of Christ, Nomen Christi. Amen.
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Closing Hymn: "Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above"
Hail, holy Queen enthroned above, O Maria.
Hail, Queen of mercy and of love, O Maria.
Triumph, all ye Cherubim,
Sing with us, ye Seraphim,
Heav'n and earth resound the hymn,
Salve, Salve, Salve, Regina.
The cause of joy to all below, O Maria.
The spring through which all graces flow, O Maria.
Angels, all your praises bring,
Earth and heaven, with us sing,
All creation echoing,
Salve, Salve, Salve, Regina.
O gentle, loving, holy one, O Maria.
The God of light became your Son, O Maria.
Triumph, all ye Cherubim,
Sing with us, ye Seraphim.
Heav'n and earth resound the hymn,
Salve, Salve, Salve, Regina.
Thank you for joining us! See you next month!
Let us re-live the extraordinary events which took place at Fatima, Portugal, 100 years ago! Let us walk together across the US and the world, in the footsteps of the three children-Lucia, Francisco & Jacinta! Join us in this joyful time of prayer, solidarity & celebration!
Please see the Home Page for more info and please spread the word! Thank you!
PS-Can't you hear the angels tuning their instruments like an orchestra before a concert, on this eve of this glorious anniversary?
Here I am, punctual as usual! (Yes, that was a joke.) Actually, my life has had a number of ups and downs lately. Let me explain what you are looking at above....
This is my beloved Blessed Mother statue in my yard, which I have had for about 17 years. There is a whole story associated with this statue that is too much to go into right now-maybe some other time! Let's just say it has a mysterious history. You may be able to see faint tears coming down from the eyes, which developed after I purchased it. The flowers, my husband gave me yesterday to console me on the passing of my beautiful black & white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, named Obi. I had an extremely close bond with this dog and I have been beside myself for the past week after having to make that gut-wrenching decision that most pet owners eventually have to make. I never knew how hard it would be.
I decided to share my flowers with Our Lady and give them to her for her month of May. Nomen Christi Apostolate has been dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima and I am very excited about the 100th Anniversary coming up as well-May 13th! It is Mothers Day weekend and also a Saturday, which of course, is the day of the week associated with Our Lady. Coincidence? The rosary you see around her neck I purchased yesterday when walking around Huntington Station, NY, while my car was being serviced. I was walking through a Latino neighborhood and found that rosary for $3.00. I feel it was a little gift from Heaven as well, for my grief. I have not been blogging the past month because my dog was so sick, all I could think about was taking care of him. We tried to save him, but he was old and not responding to treatment. If his little doggie soul goes on, I have commended it to Saint Francis, to take care of until we can be reunited in Heaven. Call me crazy, but I believe love makes all things possible. Who are we to put limits on God?
I also have been busy with a brand new concept which I am writing a book about and am not yet ready to announce. So, you'll just have to keep coming back if you want to know what it is....unless I scrap the whole idea, which is always a possibility-but I don't think I will. I've learned that not every idea is a good one, but I think I've hit the jackpot on this one. It will take time to develop, so don't expect anything soon. Ok....hint....its a "Life Improvement" program to help people achieve balance in their lives. I am using myself as the initial guinea pig right now. If all goes well, I will then do workshop trials which you may be able to participate in. I'll keep you posted....
As usual, I have picked some of the feasts I find interesting in the month ahead....here goes...and have a blessed Month of May (please see prayer on Home page)! (If you want to do something on behalf of the loss of my dear dog, please pray for someone somewhere who is grieving with a loss and has no one to turn to. Thank you, my friends.)
5/1-St. Joseph the Worker/St. Peregrine, 1345-patron of cancer patients
5/2-St. Athanasius, 373-Doctor of the Church
5/3-Sts. Philip & James the Less, 61, 62/Finding of the Holy Cross
5/4-St. Monica, 387-mother of St. Augustine/Feast of the Holy Shroud
5/6-First Saturday (great time to start this devotion which was instituted by Our Lady of Fatima!)
5/7-Good Shepherd Sunday
5/9-St. Gregory Nazianzen, 389-Doctor of the Church
5/10-St. John of Avila, 1569-Doctor of the Church
5/11-Sts. Philip & James the Less (trad)
5/13-100th Anniversary of the First Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal/St. Robert Bellarmine, 1621-Doctor of the Church/Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament
5/14-St. Matthias, 65 (Mothers Day-pro-life intentions)
5/15-St. Isidore the Farmer, 1130 (we like him!)/St. Dymphna, 7th C-Martyr for purity, patron of mental disorders
5/16-St. Simon Stock, 1265-Seer of the Brown Scapular (another devotion associated with Fatima)
5/22-Rogation Day (see previous post)
5/24-Rogation Day/Our Lady Help of Christians
5/25-Ascension Thursday/St. Bede the Venerable, 735-Doctor of the Church
5/27-St. Augustine of Canterbury, 604/St. Bede the Venerable (trad)/Our Lady Queen of Apostles
5/28-Ascension of Our Lord/St. Augustine of Canterbury (trad)
5/30-St. Joan of Arc, 1431
5/31-Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary/Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Church dedicates this month to Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It is a time to renew our appreciation for this great privilege. It is easy, when we receive Him every week, to begin to take this for granted. But we must guard against this, lest the precious Body of Christ be taken from us! How can we deepen our love and devotion to the Holy Eucharist this month? We may receive Him more frequently, we may perform any of the many Eucharistic devotions, we may visit Him in Adoration, we may begin the Nine First Fridays Devotion (given to Saint Margaret Mary, which requires that Holy Communion is received on nine consecutive first Fridays), we may make reparation to Him for all the outrages against this great Sacrament (see prayer on Home page from the LItany of Reparation to Our Lord in the Blessed Eucharist)...just a few ideas!
What other unique features does this month of April bring to us? It is a month of special weeks: the traditional Passion Week, Holy Week and the joyful Easter Week. We celebrate 3 Doctors of the Church, 2 20th Century saints (both Italian women!) and the Major Rogation Day, a traditional day of prayer and fasting, very similar to the Ember Days, but with a different origin.
After our 40 days of penance and the contemplation of Our Lords terrible sufferings, may be all celebrate a happy and holy Easter Sunday. What a great joy! Isn't it wonderful to be Catholic? Here's a sampling of this month's feasts:
4/1-First Saturday-Our Lady of Fatima requested that we observe the First Saturdays
4/2-Passion Sunday, commencing Passion Week
4/4-Saint Isidore of Seville, 636-Doctor of the Church
4/7-First Friday/Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary-say the Seven Sorrows Chaplet, it's a wonderful devotion!
4/9-Palm Sunday, commencing Holy Week/Saint Mary of Cleophas, 1st Century
4/10-Saint Ezechiel, 6th Century BC-Old Testament Patriarch
4/11-Saint Leo the Great,461-Doctor of the Church/Saint Gemma Galgani, 1903
+++ EASTER TRIDUUM +++
4/14-Good Friday-fast and abstinence
4/15-Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil
4/16-Easter Sunday, The Solemnity of Solemnities, commencing Easter Week-Happy Easter!/Saint Bernadette, 1879
4/21-Saint Anselm, 1109 (Easter Friday is a solemnity, therefore no penance is required)
4/23-Divine Mercy Sunday-Saint Faustina, pray for us! What a beautiful day of devotions!/Quasimodo Sunday
4/25-Saint Mark, 74/Major Rogation Day-great day to do special prayers and crafts with children relating to the season of Spring
4/26-Our Lady of Good Counsel
4/28-Saint Louis de Montfort, 1716/Saint Gianna Molla, 1962
4/29-Saint Catherine of Siena, 1380-Doctor of the Church
4/30-Saint Catherine of Siena (trad)
this blog provides both new and traditional feasts
How much does God love us? What is the Father's most precious possession? His Only-Begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Whom He gave to us. Whom He sacrificed for us. In a most terrible way. Not only that. He keeps sacrificing Him....until the end of time....in the Holy Eucharist. Christ literally is held within people's hands. You may or may not agree with Communion in the hand, but the fact is, the Church allows it.....so He allows it. Complete vulnerability. His Body, Soul and Divinity. Its difficult to even comprehend.
So the point is...what is your most precious possession? Think about it. Meditate on it. It may not take you long.....or it may take a few minutes. Would you be willing to offer this to God? Would you be willing to appropriately reciprocate His love? This is the ultimate Lenten exercise, the real proof of your love for God. Better than giving up some worldly pleasure. Better than any prayer or devotion. Better than spending all day on Good Friday in church.
Will you give Him your most precious, prized possession?
And it doesn't mean He will even ask for it. That's not the point. Would you give it if He asked for it? Can you do this?
From today's traditional Mass:
"O God, Who from among all the Angels didst choose the Archangel Gabriel to announce the Mystery of Thine Incarnation: mercifully grant that we who keep his feast on earth may feel the effect of his patronage in Heaven...
We who have partaken of the Mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, O Lord our God, implore Thy pity: that as by the message of Gabriel we have known Thine Incarnation, so, by his help we may obtain the benefits of the same."
The words of Saint Gabriel himself:
"Hail, full of grace: the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women....Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God: behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His Name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father: and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end....The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God."
From Litany of Saint Gabriel:
"O blessed Archangel Gabriel, we beseech thee, intercede for us at the throne of Divine Mercy in our present necessities, that as thou didst announce to Mary the Mystery of the Incarnation, so through thy prayers and patronage in Heaven we may obtain the benefits of the same, and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living. Amen."
As beautiful and glorious as the Archangel Gabriel is, he, like all the holy, is merely a reflection of the beauty and brightness of the Most Holy Trinity. Just like the Moon reflects the Sun....we mere creatures reflect the glory of God. The feast of Saint Gabriel appropriately is followed tomorrow by the feast of the Annunciation (in both the old and new calendars)....Hail, full of grace!....a joyful mid-Lenten feast, bringing to mind the Cycle of Christmas in the midst of our Cycle of Easter this year, reminding us of the beginnings of these great happenings 2,000 years ago.
Image courtesy https://www.etsy.com/listing/207823219/saint-gabriel-archangel-the-annunciation
Sometimes, by the time I get around to writing about something, it's already old news. Its amazing these days, how a big event could take place and literally a week later, no one is talking about it. So, what's the stupid old news I want to provide a random thought about? The Oscars. Yes, stupid and old. The night they were on, I was sitting in a booth in an Italian restaurant waiting for my veggie pizza and there it was, on the big screen right in front of me. For a moment, I had a macabre fascination, like rubber-necking when you pass a car accident. You just can't help yourself, even though you know you might see something you don't want to. When I finally came to my senses, I moved to the other side of the booth and felt a great sense of relief, like I had just been dangling off the edge of a cliff and someone rescued me. After all, why would I be interested in watching a bunch of creepy people giving themselves awards? They don't have the great sacrament of Penance. All they can do to assuage their guilt is praise themselves. When we don't worship God anymore, we make men our gods. Do they know how foolish they look? Grown women posing in their princess dresses like 4-year-olds, our modern-day clowns and jesters (freak show might be more like it) preaching to us about politics, a collection of drug-addicts and adulterers, people who can't even run their own lives, telling us what we should think. Theater....of the absurd.....
This is what the world does to us....its like a many-tentacled evil octopus (yes, I just said that-go easy on me-I'm trying to get through this day without Advil)....attacking us from all angles, even when we are innocently waiting for a pizza, reaching around our throats. We must use our heavenly sword to cut the tentacles, free ourselves....the fact is, we are indeed dangling off a cliff....and below is hellfire. If it were an actual cliff, would you go right up to the edge? Or would you stay far from the edge? We must remind ourselves, in this increasingly pagan, atheistic culture, of the spiritual dangers all around us. What is the true answer? I believe the answer is radical: a new culture. But that's another post for another day!
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How do I know there is a God? Coffee. Its the thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. When I take those first few sips of that divine liquid, hot and fresh....yes, I know there must be a God. If you're not a coffee drinker....no idea what you're missing!
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And another morning contemplation: There is a sparkling white marble staircase that leads straight to Heaven. Each and every day, we as faithful Roman Catholics, ascend one step higher...now that's exciting! Better than coffee and better than....the Oscars!
Saint Joseph's feast is March 19th (and the 20th this year) and this month is also dedicated to him. How can we honor Saint Joseph this month? You can say the short prayer on our Home page and perhaps memorize it....and share it with others! Of course there are many other wonderful prayers and devotions to Saint Joseph. Also, if you don't have a statue of him in your home, now might be the time to get one.
Lent has commenced, the beautiful yearly time of spiritual renewal that we all need-how wise is Mother Church! The photo above is the window in my dining room....my husband made fun of me last weekend when I decorated the window-he said, "Some people, they're always putting the Lent decorations up early!" I don't know what's funnier, the fact that I put them up early or the fact that I put up Lent decorations. So, I know you all know about no meat on Fridays, but do you know that traditionally, meat was eaten only at one meal each day of Lent (except Sundays)? I have never successfully kept to that before, but I am going to try this year....the real issue is forgetting, so I have marked my calendar to remind myself and am hoping for the best. Dear Lord, guide us in observing a holy Lent, which is pleasing to Thee and may we be that much closer to Heaven at the celebration of Thy glorious Resurrection!
And...we have the Ember Days of Lent as well. This is a time of prayer and penance for the coming season of Spring (we can pray for Saint Isidore's intercession, whose feast is the 22nd), a Christianized version of pagan customs. On these days, I love to read the masses in the traditional missal. It is sad the Ember Days have largely been lost-this is what I mean when I say it is time to create new traditions-be creative with it!
What else is going on this month? We have three Doctors of the Church, three people involved in Christ's Crucifixion and death, several Marian feasts and Saint Patrick's Day. Saint Gabriel's feast is appropriately, the day before the Annunciation. It is also interesting to note that the Annunciation and the feast of Saint Dismas fall on the same day, giving us a perspective from Our Lord's conception to his death. And let us not forget to retire from our penance and be joyful on Laetare Sunday....remembering that its really all about the Resurrection and an eternity in Heaven!
3/1-Ash Wednesday-Fast and abstinence
3/3-Saint Katharine Drexel, 1955
3/6-Saints Felicitas & Perpetua, Martyrs, 203
3/7-Saints Felicitas & Perpetua (new)/Saint Thomas Aquinas,"The Angelic Doctor," Doctor of the Church, 1274
3/8-Ember Wednesday in Lent
3/10-Ember Friday in Lent
3/11-Ember Saturday in Lent
3/12-Saint Gregory the Great, Pope, Doctor of the Church, 604/Saint Theophanes the Chronicler, 817
3/15-Saint Longinus, Pierced the Heart of Our Lord
3/17-Saint Joseph of Arimathea, Provided the Tomb for Christ/Saint Patrick, Patron of Ireland, 461
3/18-Our Lady of Mercy/Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, 386
3/20-Saint Joseph (new, transferred)
3/22-Saint Isidore the Farmer, 1130
3/23-Our Lady of Victories
3/24-Saint Gabriel the Archangel
3/25-The Annunciation of Our Lord/Saint Dismas, "The Good Thief"
(this blog provides new and traditional feasts)