Feast Day Celebrations

 Feast Day Celebrations


Saint John the Baptist
Feast Day: June 24


Cousin of Jesus, Christ. Son of Zachary, a priest of the order of Abia whose job in the temple was to burn incense; and of Elizabeth, a descendent of Aaron. An angel brought Zachary the news that Elizabeth would bear a child filled with the Holy Spirit. John, the name means God is gracious; gift of God.

Began his ministry around age 27, wearing a leather belt and a tunic of camel hair, living off locusts and wild honey, and preaching a message of repentance to the people of Jerusalem. He converted many, and prepared the way for the coming of Jesus. Baptized Christ, after which he stepped away and told his disciples to follow Jesus.

Imprisoned by King Herod. He died a victim of the vengeance of a jealous woman; he was beheaded. Buried at Sebaste, Samaria. His relics are in Saint Sylvester's church, in Rome, Italy, and at Amiens, France.


Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre
Feast Day: September 8


Around 1608 two brothers, Rodrigo and Juan de Hoyos, and a ten-year- old slave boy named Juan Moreno, left Santiago del Prado, Cuba in search of salt to preserve meat for the copper miners. Halfway across the Bay of Nipe they put in for the night to wait out a strong storm. The next morning a small white bundle floated across the water toward them. It was the statue of Our Lady. It was attached to a board, was completely dry, and bore the inscription I am the Virgin of Charity. A shrine was built immediately, and instantly became a pilgrimage destination.


Declared the patroness of Cuba by Pope Benedict XV in 1916. Crowned solemnly in the Eucharistic Congress at Santiago de Cuba in 1936. Pope Paul VI raised her sanctuary to a basilica in 1977. Pope John Paul II solemnly crowned her again in 1998.
"Our Lady guides and sustains, as in times past, the steps of her sons and daughters towards our heavenly homeland, and she encourages them to live in such a way that in society those authentic moral values may reign which constitute the rich spiritual heritage received from your forebears. With gratitude, we turn to her, as did her cousin Elizabeth, and say: "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord" (Lk 1:45). In these words lies the secret of the true happiness of individuals and peoples: to believe and proclaim that the Lord has done marvelous things for us and that his mercy is from generation to generation on those who are faithful to him." 

Pope John Paul II, in his homily at Santiago de Cuba
24 January 1998


Our Lady of High Grace
Feast Day: January 21


Alfonso and Antonio Trejo, two of the first Europeans settlers on Santo Domingo, brought the portrait to the island some time prior to 1502, and eventually donated it to the parish church at Higuey. It's first shrine was finished in 1572, and in 1971 it was moved to its present Basilica. The image was crowned on the 15 of August, 1922 during the pontificate of Pius XI. On the 25 of January, 1979 by Pope John Paul II who crowned the image with a gold and silver tiara, his gifts to the Virgin. The Dominicans see the image as exemplifying Our Lady watching over the island and the growth of Christianity there. The feast day is marked by services, all-night vigils, singing, dancing, and festivals in many of the towns.
Legend says that the pious daughter of a rich merchant asked him to bring her a portrait of Our Lady of Altagracia from Santo Domingo, but no one had heard of that title. The merchant, staying overnight at a friend's house in Higuey, described his problem as they sat outdoors after dinner. An old man with a long beard, who just happened to be passing by, pulled a rolled up painting from his bindle, gave it to the merchant, and said, "This is what you are looking for." It was the Virgin of Altagracia. They gave the old man a place to stay for the night, but by dawn he was gone, not to be seen again. The merchant placed the image on their mantle, but it repeatedly disappeared only to be found outside. They finally returned it to the church.


Our Lady of Guadalupe
Feast Day: December 12


The Blessed Virgin appeared on Saturday, 9 of December 1531 to a neophyte named Juan Diego, who was hurrying down Tepeyac hill to hear Mass in Mexico City. She sent him to Bishop Zumárraga to have a temple built where she stood. She was at the same place that evening and Sunday evening to get the bishop's answer. The bishop did not immediately believed the messenger, had him cross-examined and watched, and he finally told him to ask the lady who said she was the mother of the true God for a sign. The neophyte agreed readily to ask for sign desired, and the bishop released him.

Juan was occupied all Monday with Bernardino, an uncle, who was dying of fever. On Tuesday 12 of December 1531, Juan ran to nearby St. James's convent for a priest. To avoid the apparition and the untimely message to the bishop, he slipped round where the well chapel now stands. But the Blessed Virgin crossed down to meet him and said, "What road is this thou takest son?" She reassured Juan about his uncle, to whom she also briefly appeared and instantly cured. He asked for the sign required. Mary told him to go to the rocks and gather roses. Juan knew it was neither time nor the place for roses, but he went and found them. Gathering many into the lap of his tilma, a long cloak or wrapper used by Mexican Indians. The Holy Mother rearranged the roses, and told him to keep them untouched and unseen until he reached the bishop. When Juan met with Zumárraga, Juan offered the sign to the bishop. As he unfolded his cloak the roses, fresh and wet with dew, fell out. Juan was startled to see the bishop and his attendants kneeling before him. The life size figure of the Virgin Mother, just as Juan had described her, was glowing on the Wilma. The picture was venerated, guarded in the bishop's chapel, and soon after carried in procession to the preliminary shrine.

The Virgin of Guadalupe is for all of US:

We Catholics in the North sometimes think that Our Lady of
Guadalupe somehow "belongs" just to the people of Mexico.
But that's not so! Pope John Paul clarified that misunderstanding
in "The Church in America," where he said:
"In the prayer composed for the Special Assembly for America
of the Synod of Bishops, Holy Mary of Guadalupe is invoked as
'Patroness of all America and Star of the first and new evangel-
ization.' It is my heartfelt hope that she, whose intercession was
responsible for strengthening the faith of the first disciples, will by
her maternal intercession guide the Church in America, obtaining
the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as she once did for the early
Church, so that the new evangelization may yield a splendid
flowering of Christian life."

An excerpt from The Journey, a publication of Parish Support Ministries




Our Lady of Divine Providence
Feast Day: November 19

Originated in Italy in the XIII century. A very popular devotion which later passed to Spain, where a shrine was built in Tarragona, Catalonia. When Gil Esteve Tomas, was named bishop of Puerto Rico, he brought with him this devotion which he had become acquainted with during his seminary years. The bishop place his diocese in the hands of Divine Providence, for he found the cathedral nearly in ruins and the finances of the diocese in similar conditions. The bishop's trust and work bore fruit quickly; in less than five years the cathedral church had been restored, and immediately worship of the Virgin of Providence was established there.

Mary leans over the Child, who in an attitude of complete trust sleeps peacefully on her lap. The Virgin's hands are folded in prayer while she gently supports her Son's left hand. The whole carving suggests tenderness, abandonment, devotion, and peace. Pope Paul VI, by a decree signed on November 19, 1969, declared Our Lady Mother of Divine Providence principal patroness of the island of Puerto Rico. In this document it was also decreed that the Virgin's solemnity be transferred from January 2 to November 19, the day that the island was discovered. The intention was to join together the two great loves of the Puerto Ricans: love of their gorgeous island and love for the Mother of God. The oldest carving, which dates from 1853, was the one chosen to be solemnly crowned during the meeting of the Latin American Bishops Council (CELAM), that took place in San Juan de Puerto Rico on November 5, 1976. On the eve of this event, the image was vilely burnt in the Parish of Little St. Therese in Santurce. And in this condition, the image was crowned amid the emotion and tears of thousands of her children and in the presence of cardinals, archbishops and bishops from all Latin America. The burnt statue was sent to Spain to be restored and is presently awaiting the construction of the projected grand national sanctuary, where it will be placed.








The information provided was complied from the Catholic Forum website. For more information please go to: www.catholicforum.com/saints