Bethlehem: Jesus’ Birthplace

On May 25, Pope Francis will visit here, one of the world’s most visited Christian shrines. The Friars Minor have been here since 1347. The current basilica incorporates a 12th-century church built over a fourth-century basilica constructed over an even earlier shrine. Sharing the use of this basilica with...

Was Jesus Really Plan B?

The majority of Christian theologians and preachers have seen Jesus’ incarnation as a response to the sin of Adam and Eve: no sin, no incarnation. In effect, that makes the Incarnation Plan B. Blessed John Duns Scotus, a Franciscan theologian who died in 1308 and was beatified in 1993, saw this...

God’s Powerful Word

This year’s snowfall set a new record for Cincinnati and some other places in the Midwest. Snow increases the cost of keeping highways safe and drivable. Crews must plow and treat the roads if they are to be kept reasonably passable. The cost of the ice melt and the cost of spreading it strain budgets....

Nazareth: Mary’s ‘Yes’

This month’s feast of the Annunciation will be celebrated very solemnly in Nazareth. On the site of a Judeo-Christian synagogue (third century), a Byzantine basilica (fifth century), and a Crusader church (13th century), the Franciscans built a modest church in 1730. They had acquired the Grotto of the...

Reflections on the Stigmata

I begin my reflections on the mystery of the stigmata (bodily marks resembling the wounds of the crucified Christ) by confessing that the first person I think of as having such bodily marks, apart from Jesus, is St. Francis of Assisi, who died in 1226. As the founder of the Franciscan Order, St. Francis is...

Good Things Are Happening at SAM!

St. Anthony Messenger, one of the nations’s leading Catholic magazines, has taken a bold step in the digital era. The magazine now offers a digital edition each month—FREE to its print subscribers—which can be accessed via a computer, iPhone, iPad, Android, or Playbook. What’s so fun about...

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