Feast of the Holy Family

The feast of the Holy Family, which is situated appropriately between Christmas and New Year’s Day, serves as a context for the events it bridges: the birth of Christ and the octave of Mary. Living in a loving manner sometimes can be most difficult within the family (the domestic Church), where intimate conflicts yield deep wounds, and where routine and familiarity can breed contempt and complacency. So we look to the Holy Family as models of fraternal love in a world of fractured family life and institutions. You’ll find the entire reflection online.

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: The Magnificat

We pray it as part of the Liturgy of Hours, and we hear it proclaimed in the Gospel reading on the feast of the Visitation — May 31 — but I’m not sure most Catholics stop often enough to think about what a beautiful gift we have in Mary’s Magnificat. This post by Our Sunday Visitor editorial director for periodicals Gretchen Crowe reminds us of its importance.

Common Marian flowers

There are over 1,100 flowers that honor Mary. Here are a few that you may be familiar with, with their medieval names after their common names. Amaryllis – “Beautiful lady” […]