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...

St. John Paul II and St. Faustina: Apostles of Mercy

St. John Paul II and St. Faustina: Apostles of Mercy

Dear John Paul II and Sr. Faustina, This past summer I saw you both painted in Cracow, under the rain that gushes forth from the heart of Jesus in the painting of the Shrine of the Divine Mercy. You were actively collaborating in the spreading of the ocean of mercy that is reaching the entire world. Dear Faustina, Jesus Himself revealed to you that the showering of love and Sacraments is ongoing: “My daughter, write that the greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy; [urge] all souls to trust in the unfathomable abyss of My mercy, because I want to save them all. [Let] the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. I desire trust from My creatures. Encourage souls to place great trust in...

His hand on mine

His hand on mine

“It wasn’t easy to go to confession that day. I was twenty-two years old, and despite the fact that time has passed since then, I still remember it well. I was at the Shrine of Loreto. I was drawing near to this sacrament, prepared to receive a scolding and to be humiliated; I would never have thought that I could instead receive a precious gift. I felt alone, as if I had to appear before a judge. And yet, as soon as I knelt down, the friar who was waiting for me in the confessional, perhaps sensing my discomfort, placed his hand on mine and didn’t let go for the whole time of the confession. That gesture helped me to feel closeness and understanding, and it encouraged me to open up. I felt as if the sins I was confessing lost their power over my heart, and in...

His mercy endures forever

His mercy endures forever

“Oh happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer.” On this Divine Mercy Sunday, we can again savor these words from the Exsultet that were proclaimed at the Easter Vigil Mass just one week ago. As we, like Thomas, place our doubting humanity within Jesus’ wounded side, we are reminded that “by His wounds we are healed” (Is. 53:5). It is from His open side, wounded because of His great love, that the blood and water of His mercy rain upon us. Let us allow the words of Psalm 118 to reecho in our hearts, today and every day: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His mercy endures forever.”