Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October the Month of the Holy Rosary

October of 2013, my husband and I traveled to Italy to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. This statue of Our Lady of the Rosary with the Christ Child is in Santa Sophia Minerva, Rome, a church replete with famous statues, paintings and the tombs of Fra Angelico and St. Catherine of Siena. 

The rosary is a simple and beautiful prayer. I think of it as the Blessed Mother's photo album. The rosary is made up of 20 photos, snapshots, divided into four chapters called mysteries of the life of Our Lord and his Blessed Mother. It begins with the Joyful Mysteries, the Annunciation, God's invitation to Mary to be the mother of the Savior of the world and her humble acceptance. You can page through the joyful mysteries picturing the Visitation, Nativity, Presentation, and Finding in the Temple while you say the Our Father, Ten Hail Marys, and Glory Be. The second chapter of Mary's photo album are the Luminous Mysteries, added by Pope St. John Paul in 2005. In it we see the Baptism of the Lord, the Wedding Feast at Cana,
 the Proclamation of the Good News, the Transfiguration and the Institution of the Eucharist as we say the accompanying prayers. The third chapter is the Sorrowful Mysteries. Again as you turn the page, you view  the Agony in the Garden, the Scourging, the Crowning with Thorns, the Carrying of the Cross, and the Crucifixion while praying the Our Father, Hail Marys and Glory Be. And finally victory with the five Glorious Mysteries: the Resurrection, Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven, the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, the Assumption of Mary, and the grand finale, Mary is Crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth. We finish the rosary with the beautiful prayer, the Hail Holy Queen. An amazing, instructive, and wonderful photo album of our Mother who loves to sit with her children and page through as she teaches us about the life of her Son, Our Lord Jesus and her life with Him as He lived and walked this earth, offering His life for us so that we might have eternal life.

Below is a fun cupcake rosary you can make with your family or a class of students. Pray the rosary together in honor of Mary, for your special intentions, and then enjoy a luscious cupcake. Children are wonderfully creative when decorating these tasty treats.

 Students decorating a cupcake rosary. Look at the 
different styles that have been made.

This cupcake rosary was decorated by an adult. You can see the difference between it and the students' rosary. Both are beautiful, but the students are more creative.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Archangels

 September 29 is the feast of the Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Our youngest son is named Michael. I attended St. Michael Elementary and High School. Last spring a wonderful exhibit of Byzantine art in Washington, D.C. featured this amazing icon of St. Michael. The word angel means "messenger of God." The name Michael  means "Who is like God?" St. Michael is a powerful intercessor and protector of mankind. For me and many others there are strong and familial ties to this archangel who battled Lucifer and his minions.
My grandchildren and I had fun making St. Michael's Marbles. A tasty and healthy treat made from oatmeal, peanut butter, honey and raisins. It is a no-bake St. Michael "energy ball" as my grandchildren like to call them. Below are some pictures of the children making the tasty treat. The simple recipe follows and then we end with the St. Michael Prayer.

St. Michael's Marbles


2 cups of oatmeal
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
6 ounces of raisins

Mix well and shape into "marbles". Yum.  This recipe is adapted from Catholic Traditions in Cooking by Ann Ball.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel, 
defend us in battle. 
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. 
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, 
and do thou, 
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, 
by the power of God, 
thrust into hell Satan, 
and all the evil spirits, 
who prowl about the world 
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.