Tuesday, March 19, 2013

St Joseph, Husband of Mary

As one of the 2 known feastdays of St Joseph (the other one being May 1), today we honour him as St Joseph, Husband of Mary.  Under this title, we celebrate him as the loving, compassionate and caring husband of Our Lady and foster father of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, and guardian of the Holy Family.  St Joseph was a man of great faith and trust in God, and is described in scripture as "a righteous man" (Mt 1:18).  We also venerate him as the Patron and Protector of the Universal Church which, for us Catholics, is a particularly relevant role in this time of uncertainty, with the newly-elected Pope Francis.  So on this day of special graces obtained by our faithful guardian and patron, we pray: 

To Thee, O Blessed Joseph
(by Pope Leo XIII, with partial indulgence attached to prayer)

To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of thy most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also.  Through that charity which bound thee to the immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which thou embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg thee to graciously regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by His Blood, and with thy power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us and from heaven, assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness; and, as once thou rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity;  shield, too, each one of us by thy constant protection, so that, supported by thy example and thy aid, we may be able to live piously, to die holy, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven.  Amen.

Sancte Ioseph, Familiarum columen, ora pro nobis!

Sancte Ioseph, Protector sanctae Ecclesiae, ora pro nobis!

Happy nameday for Roadrunner and me!

After Mass for the solemnity of St Joseph  we each lit a candle and said some prayers for Tatay through the intercession of St Joseph, Patron of Fathers.

Couldn't resist photo ops with St Joseph and the Christ-Child

"Sancte Ioseph, ora pro nobis!"

Bobbles, the great cake dismantler

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy St Patrick's Day!

The celebration of St Patrick's Day is one that is rather popular in Australia, but one that has also become an event to observe for our family each year. 

St Patrick is one of the more popular saints for children, not excluding ours.  His life and faith is a shining example for Catholics, and so honouring him on his feastday has become, for us, a tradition - somewhat. 

Our day was highlighted with Holy Mass which we attended in the evening and where we HAD to go in green, of course, in remembrance of the holy saint.  Back home we wrapped up our celebration with a sharing of a St Patrick egg custard pie (the only thing I could think of preparing given the narrow window I had to whip something up between our late arrival from weekend camping at 5:30pm that day and leaving for Mass at 7pm).  "St Patrick-izing" the pie simply involved putting in a couple of drops of green food colouring to my usual custard mixture.

With shamrock being a known symbol for St Patrick (who had used this three-leaves-in-one-stem to teach the pagans of his time about the Holy Trinity), the boys had on some fun shamrock neckties and the girls - shamrock headpieces. 

With the pie looking a little foreign (compared to the egg custard pie that I normally make), the kids were naturally a little iffy, at first, to try it as they did not know what to expect, despite assurances from me that it was the normal family favourite that they were all used to.  A couple voiced out that it looked like a minty pie of some sort.  But thanks to our adventurous little Bobbles, after he spooned in a mouthful and everyone saw the expression in his face, they all quickly followed suit and dug in, happy to find that it was the same familiar taste, albeit tinted green!

From our family to yours, we hope you had a blessed St Patrick's Day! 

(Kuya Patrick, happy name day to you!)

St Patrick, enlightener of Ireland, pray for us!

"Bobbles, not just yet!!!"

Bobbles:   Mmmm, yumyum!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

2013 Family Photo Session

Friday, March 15, 2013

Musica Sacra

Since we started discovering the beauty and richness of our Catholic faith through the Traditional Latin Mass, I have grown to love sacred music, particularly those sung in Gregorian Chant.  Personally, I think it enhances the Church's Liturgy and gives it so much more depth.  Hence, it is capable of uplifting our worship and deepening our prayer and meditation, rendering it more profound and therefore fruitful.

This is exactly the reason why, for this blogsite, I HAD to include sacred music.  I wanted it incorporated in such a way that it would play in the background as soon as the page was opened.  I remember a while back when I discovered MIXPOD, I felt like having won the lottery because this was exactly how I was going to be able to put the musical feature onto the page.  Once on, it was great having it for several months, until Mixpod closed up for good.  My disappointment over this happening was enough to keep me away from accessing the page, much less publishing new posts altogether (although my constantly busy schedule had a lot to do with my inability to visit my blogsite, as well).

Today I am so happy that after doing some research online, trialling this and that, and tweaking here and there, I finally managed to re-incorporate beautiful liturgical hymns in Gregorian Chant back into my blogpage. 

Sacred music has transcended both time and space, and is truly an experience in itself.  Traditional liturgical hymns in Latin which date back from the time of early Church fathers and great saints are especially spiritually powerful and moving.  Sacred music is such a part of our ancient heritage and tradition as Catholics, and listening to it and using it for meditation can even sometimes give us the feeling of being reconnected with our earliest predecessors in the faith, particularly the saints and martyrs!

Qui enim cantat laudem, non solum laudat, sed etiam hilariter laudat; qui cantat laudem, non solum cantat, sed et amat eum quem cantat. In laude confitentis est praedicatio, in cantico amantis affectio… 

For he who sings praise, does not only praise, but also praises joyfully; he who sings praise, not only sings, but also loves Him whom he is singing about/to/for. There is a praise-filled public proclamation in the praise of someone who is confessing/acknowledging (God), in the song of the lover.

- St Augustine

Thursday, March 14, 2013


White smoke from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel:  "We have a pope!!!"

Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio (from Argentina) is elevated as Pope Francis.

"Yay, we have a new pope!!!" (Watching EWTN's coverage of the historic event)

We unite our prayers with that of Catholics around the world for the new Sovereign Pontiff:  Pope Francis.  On this month of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, we entrust the new leader of the Catholic Church to St Joseph's care, guidance and protection.  May the Holy Father uphold Truth as Christ instituted it.  And may Christ, the Pastor Bonum, Himself, work through Pope Francis in shepherding His flock.

Vivat Papa!!!