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Who Was Saint Patrick?

Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Patrick, the patron of Ireland and one of the best-loved saints in the Catholic Church. Sometimes it seems that Patrick can't be separated from the myths about him and the cultural trappings associated with his feast day: the snakes and shamrocks, the green beer, corned beef and cabbage.
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Physical Pain and Moral Suffering

In his apostolic letter Salvifici Doloris, St. John Paul II says that “suffering is almost inseparable from man’s earthly existence.” He defines two kinds of suffering: physical suffering and moral suffering. The distinction is based on the double dimension of the human being, the bodily and spiritual elements of humanity.
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Mary: A Portrait of Hope and Faith

And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." —Luke 1:38 Think of all that Mary just learned: She will soon be expecting a baby, this child is the long-awaited Messiah who will restore Israel’s kingdom and bring the history of the world to its climactic moment, she will conceive not through natural means but by the Holy Spirit, and the child will be the divine Son of God. 
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Follower of Saint Francis: Rhett Engelking, OFS

Image: Angel Acevedo | unsplash In Saint Francis’ “Canticle of the Sun,” the saint proclaims, “Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth/Who feeds us and rules us . . .” How might Saint Francis view the current state of the environment and people’s relationship with nature?
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Models of Mercy: Saint Joseph

My mother raised my sisters and brothers and me in the Catholic faith. While my dad supported her “nonnegotiable” decision, he wasn’t baptized until just before my seventeenth birthday. That was an extremely moving day for all of us, especially my mother. She had never forced my dad to believe, but she did provide him with an outstanding example of what it means to be a person of faith and service.
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Year of Mercy: Prayers for Life and Death

Image: Regola - S. Maria dell'Orazione e Morte, Wikimedia Commons. If a pilgrim walking to Rome for a Holy Year fell mortally ill far from home or a poor tenant farmer died working in a field or an unidentifiable victim of murder was found, a group of courageous Christians buried these anonymous or forgotten dead with dignity.
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How Much Does God Love You?

Image: Marco Basaiti, Call of the Sons of Zebedee. Academia of Venice. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. —Jeremiah 31:3 Although he had absolutely nothing to gain from it, God wanted to share his very life with man. As a result, he began the process of creation. In the first two chapters of the book of Genesis, we see how the Lord created the heavens and the earth from nothing. He then populated the earth with numerous creatures. The Father's act of generosity culminated with the creation of man.
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Year of Mercy: Visiting the Sick in the Jungle

Image: Taryn Hill, a second-year resident from Austin, Texas, examines a young girl at a clinic in Akawini, Guyana, March 18. (CNS photos/Bob Roller) WAKAPOA, Guyana (Catholic News Service)—The indigenous families living in this South American jungle village came early to see the American doctors running a free health clinic. They paddled dugout canoes for miles on the placid waters of the Wakapoa Creek, gave their names and sat on wooden benches to wait for what may be their only doctor's appointment in a year. Nylon hammocks and silky mosquito nets in which the doctors slept hung on the walls around them.
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Lenten Recipes: Rolled Sole with Fennel and Citrus

Hospitality is an important ministry of Benedictines, but also with that comes the need for a spirit of flexibility! You never know when a guest can appear needing a meal or a place to spend the night. Being a Type-A personality and a perfectionist, this gift is not something that comes naturally to me. My life at the Villa was a wonderful time for me to breathe and let God take the reins.
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Christ: Our Remedy for Suffering

Image: Jayakumar Ananthan. “Just offer it up.” Some of us grew up hearing this phrase from our Catholic parents. Even if we heard that phrase repeatedly, we most likely didn’t understand fully what it meant. Certainly this is a foreign phrase to our Protestant brothers and sisters. It sounds strange—after all, what does God want with my broken arm or seven stitches in my knee?
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