Thursday, February 28, 2013


A couple hours left until the seat of Peter is vacant. As I type this I'm watching the soon to be His Holiness Bnedict XVI, Pontifex Emeritus, board the helicopter for Castel Gandalfo.
Pope Benedict wasn't the reigning pope when I was born, or the pope that was reigning most of my life, but he was the Pope that saw my "conversion" from a misinformed Catholicism to a stronger and a more aware faith. I will miss him.

Update: Papa Benedict just made what is perhaps his last public speech, a brief thanks for support, and bidding the folks good night.

Buenas noches y Adios, Benedicto, que Dios te bendiga y la Virgen te cubra con su manto.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Muñequitos Monasticos: Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate

Among the two female branches of the Franciscans of the Immaculate family are the Sisters of the Immaculate. They can be found in contemplation, in apostolates, in the convents,  in parishes, on the television and radio.

Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate post here

Monday, February 25, 2013

El Cardenalito

At the church were I normally attend Mass there is this cardinal that has been trying for weeks to enter the sanctuary through a window. Adjacent to the window is the altar and the Crucifix that hangs above it. You can see it hover and strike against the glass during the Holy Mass. I couldn't help but think of the following song

El Cardinalito

Chorus - Estando en la cruz nuestro Redentor
a sacarle espinas llegó un pajarito 
manchó su plumaje con sangre de Cristo 
y por eso es rojo 
y por eso es rojo el cardenalito 

Si el Niño está triste se contentará
y si el Niño llora se consolará. 
La Virgen lo arrulla con su dulce manto, 
y un cardenalito le brinda su canto
y un cardenalito le brinda su canto

Chorus - 

El cardenalito cruzó el ancho mar 
cruzando fronteras llegó hasta Belén 
y le dijo al Niño que aquí en Puerto Rico 
toditos los niños lo adoran también 
toditos los niños lo adoran también 

Chorus - 

Cantaba en su jaula triste un cardenal
cuando un preso canta es por no llorar
Llegó un muchachito, la puertas abrió
y a la libertad contento voló.
y a la libertad contento voló.

Synopsis of song:
The Chorus describes that while on the cross, a cardinal came to remove thorns from our Redeemer. When removing the thorns it stained it's plumage with Christ's blood, and this is why it's red. First  verse is about how the Christ child will be comforted by the Holy Virgin and the cardinal's song. Second verse is about how the the cardinal crossed the ocean and frontiers to reach Bethlehem and tell the Christ Child how the children of Puerto Rico adore Him as well. Third verse is about a cardinal is in a cage singing but singly only to keep from crying. Then a boy releases it from the cage to fly away happily to it's freedom.

This is the New World take of the story of the European Goldfinch, which is seen in many sacred paintings, whose facial plumage was stained by Christ's blood while it removed the thorns.


Saturday, February 16, 2013


Quadregesima is Latin for "the fortieth". In the Latin Church it referred to the 40 days of fasting and prayer prior to Christmas, Easter and the feast of St. John the Baptist. Today it refers to the period before Easter. In the English speaking world, the Teutonic word for spring time, Lent,  is used instead of a derivative of Quadregisima. The Italian, Spanish and French for example, use Cuaresima, Cuaresma and Carême respectively.

It's hard to think of a spring time when the temperature is still frigid (well, around here sometimes) and the trees are all bare, especially when lent falls so early. It's also hard when this time period is often though of as going into the desert. On the official calender the Spring Equinox falls on March 20, a week or so before Easter Sunday, so the vast majority of Lent falls during winter, but maybe the Teutons were more phenomenological than astronomical and noticed that the time prior to the Feast of Our Lord's Resurrection saw the blossoming of the flora despite the axis of the Earth (or the reaction a large rodent from a tiny little town in western Pennsylvania).

Monday, February 11, 2013

Notre Dame de Lourdes

I drew this 2 years to the day on an online drawing program embedded on a Catholic forum. Fun times.

Domina Nostra, ora pro nobis

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Martyrs Near and Far

On the 5th of February in Nagasaki, Japan, the city infamously known for the one of the atomic bombs of WWII,  26 Jesuits,  Franciscans and various Faithful were martyred for their faith. Previous to their executions, they had a piece of their left ear cut off and for weeks they were paraded through different cities with someone shouting their crimes. They were offered freedom if they renounced Christianity, all declined. They were crucified on a hill overlooking Nagasaki. Almost 300 years later, when Christian missionaries returned to Japan, it had initially looked like there was no trace of Christianity left, but they found that thousands secretly preserved the Faith.

Omnes Sancti Martyres ora pro nobis

For more on the story and individual martyrs, here is the website to the 26 Martyrs Museum.

Today in the old calender is the Feast of St. Dorothy of Caesarea, virgin and martyr. It is said that on her way to the execution a Roman official named Theophilus jokingly said to her something like "Bride of Christ, send me some fruit from your Bridegroom's garden." She said she would and right before she was put to death she saw a vision of a child carrying three apples and three roses (or wearing a   headdress smelling of fruits and flowers) and ask the child to go to Theophilus. This converted Theophilus, and he too became a martyr.

Sancta Dorothea ora pro nobis

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Freeing Captives

Out of the Mercedarian convent in Montpellier were Blessed Alfonso de Meneses  and Blessed Dionisio de Vilaregut. Together they rescued 316 people from the Moors in Játiva and Granada. These were pre-congregation saints, not sure what patronages are attributed to them, but I would think for the Year of Faith they would be good intercessors for those held captive by lack of faith.

Beati Alphonsus et Beaiti Dionysius ora pro nobis