St. Mary Magdalene, Apostles to the Apostles

St. Mary Magdalene, Apostles to the Apostles

During the Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016, by request of Pope Francis, the memorial of St. Mary Magdalene was elevated in the liturgical calendar to the level of a feast day. The greatness of this saint, who was already acknowledged by St. Thomas Aquinas as Apostola apostolorum — the “Apostle to the Apostles” — is now celebrated on July 22 as a feast day on the same liturgical level as the other Apostles. Mary Magdalene has been given this eminent title of “Apostle” because of her unique and singular privilege of being the first to have witnessed the Risen Christ. Why has her feast been given this dignity? It is because the Church wants to give special attention to this woman, who showed an immense love for Christ and who was immensely loved by Christ. We see in...

My heart is yours now

My heart is yours now

On this Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we strive to open our hearts that we might receive this gift with greater receptivity. Today if we are unable to be in His physical presence in the Eucharist, we remember that He dwells faithfully within our hearts and will never abandon us. “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is. 43:5). Come to Me, to receive what you have always longed for. My heart is yours now. Come to Me today, as you are: no need to perform, to earn, to appear. Come to Me with your worries and distractions, your weariness and your stress, your joys and your thankfulness. You have My undivided attention. So, let down your guard and come, come to Me as you are. Today I desire to look at you, My child. Today I want to remind...

St. Cecilia, Apostle of Love

St. Cecilia, Apostle of Love

St. Cecilia is one of those great saints who receives a great amount of devotion, especially from musicians. As a matter of fact, I chose her for my confirmation saint because I played the piano! She was born in Rome in the 2nd or 3rd century to a noble family. After having made a vow of virginity to God, she was given in marriage by her parents to a pagan nobleman named Valerian. On the evening of their wedding, she shared with him that an angel was guarding her virginity, and that if he was baptized, he would be able to see the angel. At this, Valerian was converted and went to be baptized by Pope Urban I. At his return, he witnessed the angel, and shortly after, Valerian’s brother Tibertius also converted. Cecilia, Valerian and Tibertius were dedicated to...

St. Paul, Apostle of Freedom

St. Paul, Apostle of Freedom

In 1993 during my last year of studies at the Lateran, I was struck by the course on New Testament exegesis, particularly the writings of St. Paul. Prof. Romano Penna, an internationally acclaimed expert on Paul, fascinated us with this man who untiringly proclaimed the Gospel. One student stood out above the rest: Giuseppe Pulcinelli, who became Prof. Penna’s successor. The friendship that the Lord gave me in these years with Msgr. Pulcinelli has led me to read many of his theological writings and to admire evermore Paul whose name is found on 13 of 27 books in the New Testament. Fr. Salvatore, our founder, has also had a particular interest in Paul for his apostolic fervor. If we Apostles are not “Paulists” we can’t be “infected” with Paul’s zeal. What is the...

Being a light for others

Being a light for others

When he had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either. But later, as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;...