Friday, July 31, 2020

Value the gift of our children

Parents holding their child's hand

Married couples always long to have children of their own. Children are blessings that make married life meaningful and fruitful. 

Receiving gifts, awards and recognition from world renowned leaders always make it to the headlines and becomes unique memories of our life time. So how much more valuable are the precious lives of our children whom we received from the very own hands of our Heavenly Father? Yes, the Lord has entrusted them to us for the span of their earthly life, to return to Him when asked of us. 

Pope Francis says 
"Children are always gifts, even in tough circumstances"


Lord Jesus thank you for the gift of our beautiful children. We receive it from your very own hands. Thank you for trusting us to raise your children as our very own. Lord, grant us wisdom to raise them, love them and guide them especially in times of trials. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

By Greena Pallithanam, OH

St. Alphonsus Ligouri

On August 1st, it is the feast day of St. Alphonsus Ligouri! He is the patron saint of moral theologians, arthritis, and vocations. 

He was born into a devout noble catholic family in Naples, Italy. From a young age, he devoted himself to God. At age of 18, he joined the Confraternity of our Lady of Mercy, volunteering his time to works of mercy and compassion, caring for the sick at the hospital for “incurables”. Obeying his father’s wishes, he studied to become a lawyer. Although he was a successful lawyer, he was not satisfied. He left the profession and entered into priesthood. 

As a priest, he dedicated himself completely to the service of the poor and the abandoned. With this mission in mind, he sought other brothers who were called as he was and formed a religious order called Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, commonly known as the Redemptorists. He was later appointed a bishop.

God had him defend moral theology and strongly fight against Jansenism, which was a popular heresy in his time. St. Alphonsus Ligouri had a great devotion to the life of Jesus, especially of His Passion, and the Blessed Mother Mary. From this devotion, he was inspired to write more than 100 spiritual books.

He was sickly for most of his life, but especially as he got older, he suffered from arthritis with great pain that confined him to a wheelchair. Yet through these difficulties, he persevered in prayer and intercession of our Blessed Mother. Because of his deep prayer life and intimacy with the Lord and the Blessed Mother, he was titled “Doctor of prayer” in the Catholic Church, when the Church declared him as a doctor of the Church after his death. 

Fun facts: 

  • St. Alphonsus loved to paint! Here are some of his paintings that show his devotion to Jesus and the Blessed Mother.

  • St. Alphonsus Ligouri wrote many prayers inspired by the Holy Spirit. We actually have been praying a prayer written by Him especially as many of us have not been able to attend Holy Mass: Act of Spiritual Communion. 
  • Another saint who was inspired by St. Alphonsus, and later professed his vows as a Redemptorist in front of him was St. Gerard Majella
  • St. Alphonsa professed her final vows as a Franciscan Clarist nun on St. Alphonsus’ feast day, and in honor of him, she took him as her patron and took his name.

By Tina Makkanal