Queenship of Mary and Happy Anniversary!

Queenship of Mary

Today we celebrate the Queenship of Mary. It is a lovely feast day and you can find out more about it here, here and here. I’m not planning a big celebration for this feast; however, just the usual: mass, decade of the rosary, having Andrew coloring this page, and a nice dinner and dessert.

BUT, what makes today really special is that today is my husband and my wedding anniversary! It’s hard to believe that we have been married eight years already. Time has flown by and there have been many ups and downs; but, there is no doubt or question in my mind that Michael is the man God intended for me. 🙂

One of the big things that stands out for me about our wedding day is that during the wedding mass (when the couple traditionally go to say a prayer at the feet of Our Lady) we publicly made the total consecration to Jesus through Our Lady according to the St. Louis de Montfort devotion. We said the prayer out loud together and then Father came to us to sign it in front of everyone. It was a special moment for us.

 

Sts Joachim and Ann, Grandparents of Jesus

Saint Anne

(P.S. This is a re-post, with some slight revisions, from last year.)

Today is the feast day of Saints Joachim and Ann, grandparents of Jesus and mother of Mary! Since there’s no St. Carol (what a shame!), and my middle name is Ann, I’ve taken St. Ann as my name day. 🙂

There’s not a lot known about Saint Ann, but tradition (with a small “t”) has it that Saints Joachim and Ann were rich, but very devout. They prayed a long time for a child and their prayers were answered in a big way! Imagine being parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Here’s some other information about St Ann (and St. Joachim) as seen through the mystics.

The Legend

My home church growing up was Saint Ann’s in Keansburg, NJ. I discovered several years ago that supposedly, soon after St. Ann’s was built, St. Ann appeared to several parishioners. According to what I was told, she appeared several days in a row. She never spoke, but just looked down from above the church. I don’t know if any of this is true, but it’s certainly a nice thought!

Celebrating the Day

Last year, Andrew colored a picture of Saint Ann, which I found on Waltzing Matilda’s website. We read about the life of St Ann and St. Joachim. We went to mass, prayed the rosary and thanks to a gift card I had received, we treated Andrew to a movie.

This year, I’m getting the special treat. 🙂 My in-laws are taking Andrew, along with a couple of cousins on a day long motor home trip.  They are going to spend the day as pirates, and have a mini camp-out. In the meantime, I get to have almost the whole day to myself! I have some work, retreat/prayer time and down time planned and I am going to enjoy every minute of it. 🙂

Prayer to Saint Ann (found in Picture book of Saints)

“O God, You bestowed on St. Ann such grace that she was found worthy to become the mother of Mary, who brought forth Your Only-begotten Son. Grant that we may be helped by her intercession. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen”

Saint Ann, pray for us!

(P.S. I want to do a special shout-out to my friend, Anne, who is also celebrating her feast day with me. Happy name-day, dear friend!)

Saint JoachimSaint Joachim

There is even less known about Saint Joachim than there is of Saint Ann – except that he was wealthy, pious and the father of Mary. In my research, though, I discovered that there is knighthood order dedicated to Saint Joachim; however, after reading some questionable things, I’m not comfortable linking to the website.

Prayer to Saint Joachim (found on about.com)

“O great and glorious Patriarch, Saint Joachim, what joy is mine when I consider that thou wast chosen among all God’s holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God, and to enrich our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy! By this singular privilege, thou hast become most powerful with both the Mother and her Son, so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us; with great confidence I have recourse to thy mighty protection and I commend to thee all my needs and those of my family, both spiritual and temporal; and especially do I entrust to thy keeping the particular favor that I desire and look for from thy fatherly intercession. And since thou wast a perfect pattern of the interior life, obtain for me the grace of interior recollection and a spirit of detachment from the transitory goods of this life, together with a lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me in like manner a sincere devotion and obedience to Holy Church and the sovereign pontiff who rules over her: to the end that I may live and die in faith and hope and perfect charity, ever invoking the holy names of Jesus and Mary, and may I thus be saved. Amen.”

Saint Joachim, pray for us!

Linked to Saints & Scripture Sunday.

(Photo credit: Artsome-studio)

A Prayer for Fathers

This Sunday we will celebrate  the Feast of the Holy Trinity and Father’s Day. If you are looking for ideas on  how to celebrate Father’s Day in your family, americancatholic.org has some ideas and articles for dads here.

Let us pray for all fathers, living and deceased, using this lovely prayer written by Pope John XXIII that I found at Catholic Online:

Prayer for Fathers

“St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste husband of Mary, you passed your life in loving fulfillment of duty. You supported the holy family of Nazareth with the work of your hands. Kindly protect those who trustingly come to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, their hopes. They look to you because they know you will understand and protect them. You too knew trial, labor and weariness. But amid the worries of material life your soul was full of deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with God’s Son entrusted to you and with Mary, his tender Mother. Assure those you protect that they do not labor alone. Teach them to find Jesus near them and to watch over him faithfully as you have done.”

And for the feast of the Holy Trinity: Here is the opening prayer from the mass in honor of the Blessed Trinity:

Let us Pray [to the one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that our lives may bear witness to our faith]
Father, you sent your Word to bring us truth and your Spirit to make us holy.
Through them we come to know the mystery of your life.
Help us to worship you, one God in three Persons, by proclaiming and living our faith in you.
We ask you this, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, true and living, for ever and ever.

(Linked to Fearless Friday.)

King Grandpa

When my father-in-law turned 72 last week, Andrew insisted that grandpa wear the Chuck-E Cheese crown that he (Andrew) had gotten at his own birthday party. It just barely fits!

Grandpa and A

King Grandpa

Happy Grandpa

King Grandpa blowing his horn!

(Linked to WW HQ.)

My Top 10 Fondest Memories From Childhood

In this past Sunday’s Sunday Snippets, I read one of Kathleen@ So Much to Say, So Little Time‘s posts about her experience in looking for a new car. In her post, she shared some awesome pictures of the vehicles her grandparents used to cart around 10 children before the days of SUVs.

Reading her experience and looking at those pictures brought back some wonderful memories; so for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I thought for fun I’d share a few of them with you. 🙂

1. Going to the Drive-in. This was the first memory I thought of when I read Kathleen’s post. This was back in the day when seat belts were non-existent and drive-in movie theaters were the norm. (I’m giving away my age here, aren’t I?!!) My parents would jam-pack me, my sister, my brother and a bunch of my cousins (along with beach chairs, blankets and snacks!) and head to our local drive-in. It was a steal. Once price per car for TWO movies! Truth be told, most of us wouldn’t last through the second movie; our eyes just wouldn’t stay open. 🙂

2. Hide-and-go-Seek in the dark. This was a double thrill because we got to stay up late AND play one of our favorite games. 🙂 We usually played this game inside, but sometimes we’d play outside, too. Playing in the dark definitely made finding the “hiders” that much more difficult!

3. My First Holy Communion. After all these years, I still remember my first communion like it was yesterday. I was so excited and nervous beforehand, and so happy. After the mass, my Aunt Virginia, who was a waitress at the time, brought me to the kitchen to sow off my communion dress to her co-workers. I have a picture of my dad scooping me up in his arms and gave me a big kiss. I felt like such a princess!

4. Thriller with Aunt Flo. Some of my (ahem) younger readers may or may not be familiar with Michael Jackson or his Thriller album. Well, me and many of my cousins were big Michael Jackson fans in our pre-teen years. My Aunt Flo (may she rest in peace), had the Thriller video and would do the most hilarious imitation of the graveyard scene!

5. Hitting the boardwalk with Papa. Growing up my parents would go in on renting a bungalow for a week with some family and friends in Keansburg, NJ near the boardwalk. One year, right before I started high school, my godfather’s dad (whom everyone called “papa”) came with us and one night he took me to the boardwalk. I don’t remember going on the rides, but it was a special time of playing the games, getting something to eat and just talking with him.

6. Rockin’ the rides with Big Aunt Betty. Speaking of the boardwalk: As kids, we always thought Big Aunt Betty was old; but, looking back she must have only been in her 60s. Anyhoo, whenever she came to an amusement park with us, be it Coney Island or Great Adventure, she would go on almost every ride with us – including the roller coasters! It was so amazing to us! Then again, Big Aunt Betty was an amazing lady. 🙂

7. Early mornings at Sandy Hook. You can’t be raised in NJ and not go the beach. During the summer, my dad would get us up and out by 6am on many of the weekends to get to Sandy Hook beach. It gave us the opportunity to beat the traffic, get a good spot near the water before the crowds, and enjoy a little of the cooler weather before the sun came bearing down.  we always had such a blast – in spite of the sun burn I’d get EVERY TIME.

8. Walking to the roller rink. (Or riding our bikes.) The roller rink has been long gone from Airport Plaza, but before we had a car, my parents would sometimes walk us the 3 miles (seemed so much longer!) to roller rink to skate. This was even before the days of [gasp!] roller blades, when we skated on 4 wheels. It was cheap fun and good exercise. The hard part was walking back after we tired ourselves out from skating!

9. Family barbeques at Veteran’s Park. Between Veteran’s Park and the swim club next door, we had hours of fun over the summer growing up. The best were the years we had family gatherings with the extended family and friends for a day of swimming, eating, and games.

10. Sledding in Holmdel Park. The hills at Holmdel Park have always been perfect for sledding – and still are! The best part of sledding of course, was the hot chocolate to warm us up afterwards!

I look back and I realize what a grace it was to have such a good childhood. My parents weren’t rich, and struggled at times, but managed to provide us with what we needed – and more. There were definitely more good times than bad. I am truly blessed.

Now it’s your turn. Come share your fondest memories with us in the comments. I’d love to hear them!

(Also linked to Works for me Wednesday, since remembering the good ole times works for me!)

A Prayer for Fathers

“St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste husband of Mary, you passed your life in loving fulfillment of duty.
You supported the holy family of Nazareth with the work of your hands.
Kindly protect those who trustingly come to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, their hopes.
They look to you because they know you will understand and protect them. You too knew trial, labor and weariness.
But amid the worries of material life your soul was full of deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with God’s Son entrusted to you and with Mary, his tender Mother.
Assure those you protect that they do not labor alone. Teach them to find Jesus near them and to watch over him faithfully as you have done.”

– Pope John XXIII

(This and other Catholic prayers can be found at catholic.org)

Special Family Time

This weekend we went to visit my husband’s Auntie Ceil who is ill. It was quite a trip being six hours away, but so worth it! My in-laws (father-in-law is Auntie Ceil’s brother) drove down from NJ with my husband’s grandmother who is visiting  from Italy and Auntie Ceil’s other brother and his wife in their motor home; we drove up from GA.

We had such a wonderful, grace-filled time! Auntie Ceil may be frail, but she is as sharp as can be! Her faith is as strong as can be as well and I am so inspired by her.

Of course, my son was in his glory in getting the undivided attention of all the adults in the house. He even got to stay up until 10pm which is way, way past his bedtime. 🙂

We talked, shared stories and celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday. My husband and in-laws took Andrew to the club-house pool while the others rested or cooked; and I got to read an actual grown up book for a while!

On the way home yesterday, I was so filled with the goodness of the Lord for the gift of family. Living so far from all of our family (mine and my husband’s) is hard sometimes, and having time with them like like we did this weekend makes me realize just how precious they are to me.

I was also convicted. It is so easy to get caught up with daily life that I often don’t take the time I could to stay in touch with my family and friends. I should, and that needs to change. I’m not someone who likes to talk on the phone, but that’s no excuse. The deepened relationships that result from the time invested is so worth it!