Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Devotion to the Holy Family flourished in the Renaissance. The leading artists of the time – Michelangelo, Raphael, El Greco, Rembrandt, Rubens, to name a few – often portrayed the Holy Family in their work. When this feast day was instituted in 1921, it was... read more

Holy Innocents

The ‘Holy Infants’ are the male children recorded slain by King Herod in Matthew’s Gospel. This unique episode in Jesus’ life is not found in any other document, secular or religious, yet this incident, along with the account of the flight into Egypt, presents the... read more

St. John

Also known as John the Divine, the apostle John was the son of Zebedee and the brother of James, and a fisherman. John was very close to Jesus and was present at the Transfiguration, the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the Agony in the Garden. John is the “beloved... read more

St. Stephen

This celebration dates back to about the 4th century. Because his name is Greek, it is assumed Stephen was a Jew of the diaspora (Jewish communities outside Israel) who had resettled in Jerusalem. Stephen is the first-named among the seven deacons chosen to minister... read more

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A feast dedicated to Mary’s conception first appeared in the 7th century and by the 12th century it was firmly established in England. In the 13th century, great thinkers such as St. Bernard and St. Thomas Aquinas debated whether Mary could have been born without... read more

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