What are the Twelve Days of Christmas?

December 24, 2007

We have posted a brief article explaining them on our main store site.

Most Advent and Christmas items are at least 20% off through Epiphany!

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How Many Things Can Go Wrong Before Christmas?

December 21, 2007

I can’t count them all.


A Couple of Videos to Help Get You in the Christmas Mood

December 21, 2007

Trans-Siberian Orchestra does the Pachelbel Canon

And if you can stomach it, Happy Life Day from the Star Wars crew.

The scariest thing about the Life Day special is that it was TWO HOURS long. The five minutes that are on display here are too much to stand on their own.


St. Alphonsus Liguori – Are You Preparing for Christmas in Your Heart?

December 12, 2007

“The Jews solemnized a day called by them dies ignis, the day of fire with which Nehemias consumed the sacrifice, upon his return with his countrymen from the captivity of Babylon. Even so, and indeed with more reason, should Christmas day be called the day of fire, on which a God came as a little child to cast the fire of love into the hearts of men. ‘I came to cast fire on the earth.’ So spoke Jesus Christ, and truly so it was . . .

It is a custom with many Christians to anticipate the arrival of Christmas . . . by fitting up in their homes a crib to represent the birth of Jesus Christ; but there are few who think of preparing their hearts, so that the infant Jesus may be born in them . . . Among those few, however, we would be reckoned, in order that we too may be made worthy to burn with that happy flame which gives contentment to souls on this earth, and bliss in heaven. Let us consider . . . how the Eternal Word had no other end in becoming man than to inflame us with his divine love. Let us ask light of Jesus Christ and of his most holy mother, and so let us begin.”

– St. Alphonsus Liguori


Last minute gift ideas for Christmas. We recommend and we offer  Priority Mail and FedEx shipping options to get your gifts to you on time!

His Central Writings and Speeches

The Essential Pope Benedict XVI: His Central Writings and Speeches

Lessons from G.K. Chesterton Author:  Dale Ahlquist

Common Sense 101: Lessons from G.K. Chesterton

 

Author: Dale Ahlquist

Fr. John R. Willis, S.J.The Teachings Of The Church Fathers   Author: Fr. John R. Willis, S.J.

The Teachings Of The Church Fathers

 

Author: Fr. John R. Willis, S.J.

Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.

Inside the Bible: An Introduction to Each Book of the Bible

 

Author:  Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.

Ignatius Catholic Bible, RSV Second Catholic Edition

Ignatius Catholic Bible, RSV Second Catholic Edition

Bonded Leather

Abbot Vonier

A Key to the Doctine of the Eucharist

 

Author: Abbot Vonier

 

 

Last minute CD gift ideas! Choose Priority Mail or FedEx.

 

Catholic Marian Classics, CD   The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx, Conductor

Catholic Marian Classics, CD

 

The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx, Conductor

Sing, Ye Heavens: Hymns for All Time, CD  Author: John Rutter

Sing, Ye Heavens: Hymns for All Time, CD

 

Author: John Rutter

Noel, CD   Author: Josh Groban

Noel, CD

 

Author: Josh Groban

Giovanni Pierluigi Da Palestrina, CD  Sung by the Gloriae Dei Cantores. Directed by Elizabeth C. Patterson

Giovanni Pierluigi Da Palestrina, CD

 

Sung by the Gloriae Dei Cantores. Directed by Elizabeth C. Patterson

 

 

Last minute DVD gift ideas! Choose Priority Mail or FedEx.

Becket, DVD  Starring Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, and Sir John Gielgud

Becket, DVD

 

Starring Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, and Sir John Gielgud

Saint Rita DVD  Starring Vittoria Belvedere and Martin Crewes

Saint Rita DVD

 

Starring Vittoria Belvedere and Martin Crewes

Mission to Love, DVD

Saint John Bosco: Mission to Love, DVD

A Man for All Seasons, DVD

A Man for All Seasons, DVD

The Academy Award winning drama about the conflict between St. Thomas More and King Henry VIII.  Starring Paul Scofield, Robert Shaw, and Orson Welles.

Beautiful Catholic jewelry is always a wonderful gift idea. Most of our jewelry is in stock and ready to ship out right away.
Choose Priority Mail or FedEx. Please click here to browse our huge selection of Catholic jewelry:

Special Notice – All Advent and Christmas items are now on sale at 15% off!

Aquinas and More Catholic Goods Shipping Deadlines. Please consult this chart to receive your purchases before Christmas Day (applies to in
stock items only):

* USPS Standard Shipping Deadline is December 14

* FedEx Ground Shipping Deadline is December 17

* USPS Priority Mail Deadline is December 19

* FedEx 2-Day Deadline is December 20 (Noon, Mountain time)

* After noon on December 20, please call us toll free (866) 428-2820

 

Mary’s virginal motherhood in God’s plan

“The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men.

Mary’s’ virginity manifests God’s absolute initiative in the Incarnation. Jesus has only God as Father. ‘He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature which he assumed …. He is naturally Son of the Father as to his divinity and naturally son of his mother as to his humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures.’

Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary’s womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: ‘The first man was from earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.’ From his conception, Christ’s humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God ‘gives him the Spirit without measure.’ From ‘his fullness’ as the head of redeemed humanity ‘we have all received, grace upon grace.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 502-504

Beautiful Christmas Ornaments are in stock now! Order today to have them on your Christmas tree this year. Choose Priority Mail or FedEx to receive them in time. . .

 

Baby Jesus in the Manger Christmas Ornament

Baby Jesus in the Manger Christmas Ornament

Pope Benedict XVI Christmas Ornament

Pope Benedict XVI Christmas Ornament

Pope John Paul II Christmas Ornament

Pope John Paul II Christmas Ornament

Limited Edition!

Flight to Egypt Pewter Ornament

Flight to Egypt Pewter Ornament 

 

Christmas pins are in stock now! Order yours today and and proudly profess that Christ is at the heart of your Christmas celebration. Choose Priority Mail or FedEx to receive them in time.

Jesus is the Heart of Christmas, Swarovski Pin

Jesus is the Heart of Christmas, Swarovski Pin 

Keep Christ in Christmas Swarovski Pin

Keep Christ in Christmas Swarovski Pin

Celebrate the Gift of Jesus, Swarovski Pin

Celebrate the Gift of Jesus, Swarovski Pin

Jesus is the Reason for the Season, Swarovski Pin

Jesus is the Reason for the Season, Swarovski Pin

Beautiful, hand-carved olive wood Nativity Sets from the Holy Land are in stock now. These intricately carved small Nativities are made by Christian families in Bethlehem. Choose Priority Mail or FedEx to receive them in time.

Olive Wood Nativity with Bell Tower

 

Olive Wood Nativity with Bell Tower

Round Base Olive Wood Nativity

Round Base Olive Wood Nativity

To browse our selection of beautiful Catholic art, including paintings and icons, please click here.

To browse our complete 2008 Calendar selection, including perpetual calendars, please click here.

To browse our complete selection of Lionheart Catholic apparel, please click here.

Joy is the True Gift of Christmas

“With the angel’s greeting to Mary – ‘kaire’ in the Greek, which means ‘be joyful’ – the New Testament begins,” he said. “We could say that the first word of the New Testament is ‘be joyful,’ ‘be happy,’ in other words, ‘joy.’ This is the true meaning of Christmas: God is near us, so near that He became a child.”

The Holy Father then highlighted how “we realize that today’s world, where God is absent, is dominated by fear, by uncertainty.” Nonetheless, “the words ‘be joyful because God is with you and with us,’ truly open a new time.”

“Joy is the true gift of Christmas, not the expensive gifts that call for time and money. We can communicate this joy simply: with a smile, a kind gesture, a little help, forgiveness. And the joy we give will certainly come back to us.…Let us pray that this presence of the liberating joy of God shines forth in our lives.”

– Pope Benedict XVI commenting on the scene of the Annunciation, as recounted in the Gospel of St. Luke, during his homily for the fourth Sunday of Advent in 2006.


What Catholic gifts could I give this Christmas?

December 2, 2007

Catholic gift-giving ideas for this Christmas Season

“Go back to that night when Divine Light, in order to illumine the darkness of men, tabernacled himself in the world he had made, and you will see that only the simple and the learned found him, namely, the shepherds and the wise men. The angels and a star caught up in the reflection of that Light, as a torch lighted by a torch, and passed it on to the watchers of sheep and the searchers of the skies. And lo! as the shepherds watched their flocks about the hills of Bethlehem, they were shaken by the light of the angels . . . And lo! as wise men from beyond the land of Media and Persia searched the heavens, the brilliance of a star, like a tabernacle lamp in the sanctuary of God’s creation, beckoned them on to the stable where the star seemed to lose its light in the unearthly brilliance of the Light of the World.”

– Archbishop Fulton Sheen in “Advent and Christmas with Fulton J. Sheen

A New Dictionary Of Saints; Of the Eastern and Western Church    Author: Michael Walsh

A New Dictionary Of Saints; Of the Eastern and Western Church

 

Author: Michael Walsh

Ann Ball

Encyclopedia Of Catholic Devotions And Practices

 

Author: Ann Ball

Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Mary   Authors: Monica Dodds, Bill Dodds

Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Mary

 

Authors: Monica Dodds, Bill Dodds

The Book of Catholic Prayer; Prayers for Every Day and All Occasions  Compiled by Father Sean Finnegan

The Book of Catholic Prayer; Prayers for Every Day and All Occasions

 

Compiled by Father Sean Finnegan

Amy Welborn

Loyola Kids Book Of Heroes: Stories Of Catholic Heroes And Saints Throughout History

 

Author: Amy Welborn

A Young Person's Guide to the Faith  Author: Fr. Geoffrey Bliss, S.J.

My Path to Heaven: A Young Person’s Guide to the Faith

 

Author: Fr. Geoffrey Bliss, S.J.

 

 

To browse more books for gift-giving ideas, please click here.

To browse more Children’s books for gift-giving ideas, please click here.

DVD gift-giving ideas

Life of Christ in the Mysteries of the Rosary (set of three DVDs)  Produced by Fr. Patrick Peyton

Life of Christ in the Mysteries of the Rosary (set of three DVDs)

 

Produced by Fr. Patrick Peyton

The Father Damien Story

An Uncommon Kindness: The Father Damien Story, DVD


Apparitions at Fatima, DVD

Apparitions at Fatima, DVD


Credo DVD; John Paul II

Credo DVD; John Paul II

The Knight of Assisi, DVD

Francis: The Knight of Assisi, DVD

Bernadette, The Princess of Lourdes

Bernadette, The Princess of Lourdes, DVD

 

“To the shepherds, the angel announced the birth of Jesus as the Messiah promised to Israel: ‘To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’ From the beginning he was ‘the one whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world,’ conceived as ‘holy’ in Mary’s virginal womb. God called Joseph to ‘take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit,’ so that Jesus, ‘who is called Christ,’ should be born of Joseph’s spouse into the messianic lineage of David.

Jesus’ messianic consecration reveals his divine mission, ‘for the name ‘Christ’ implies ‘he who anointed,’ ‘he who was anointed’ and ‘the very anointing with which he was anointed.’ The one who anointed is the Father, the one who was anointed is the Son, and he was anointed with the Spirit who is the anointing. His eternal messianic consecration was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John, when ‘God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power,’ ‘that he might be revealed to Israel’ as its Messiah. His works and words will manifest him as ‘the Holy One of God.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 437, 438

 

More Great Gift Ideas for this Christmas Season:

 

2008 Mary and the Saints Calendar

2008 Mary and the Saints Calendar

Immaculate Conception Music Box

Immaculate Conception Music Box

Breakfast Blend Coffee   Roasted by Monks!

 

Breakfast Blend Coffee

 

Roasted by Monks!

Divinity Board Game    The New Catholic Catechism Learning System

Divinity Board Game

 

The New Catholic Catechism Learning System

IHS T-shirt

IHS T-shirt

IHS Ball Cap

IHS Ball Cap

Catholic Latin Classics, CD   Author: Richard Proulx

Catholic Latin Classics, CD

 

Author: Richard Proulx

Theotokos Great Grace

Theotokos Great Grace

 

To browse our selection of beautiful Catholic art, including paintings and icons, please click here.

To browse our selection of beautiful Catholic jewelry, including patron saint medals, please click here.

To browse our complete 2008 Calendar selection, including perpetual calendars, please click here.

To browse our complete selection of Lionheart Catholic apparel, please click here.

Is There Room in the Inn of My Heart?

“The Mother of Christ teaches us to recognize the time of God, the favorable moment when he comes into our life and asks for a prompt and generous response. The mystery of the Holy Night, which occurred historically 2,000 years ago, becomes a reality as a spiritual event in the ‘today’ of the liturgy. The Word, who took up dwelling in Mary’s womb, comes knocking at the door of every person’s heart with particular intensity at this and at every Christmas.”

– Angelus message of the late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, December 19, 1999.


A Pro-Life Source for Poinsettias

November 24, 2007

A while back I mentioned that the largest supplier of poinsettias in the United States likes to give lots of money to Planned Parenthood. A commenter pointed us to a company that does good with their business. Thanks Kristin!


The History of Christmas Cards

November 21, 2007

Christmas Cards, official items printed with a Christmas message and sent to wish others a “A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.”, were first printed in England in 1843 making them as old as the opera Don Pasquale, the United Free Church of Scotland, the British colony of Natal, a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and your grandmother’s fruit cake.

First Christmas CardSir Henry Cole commissioned John Callcott Horsley to create the first Christmas card. Sir Cole must have had a lot of friends and a lot of free time since he had 1000 printed. Unfortunately, he didn’t give thought to the sensibilities of the times setting off what could be one of the earliest politically correct protests when temperance groups objected to the image on the card depicting a child drinking wine with his family. In our family we believe that children shouldn’t have liquor until they are at least three so the temperance protest is understandable. It should also be noted that the first card didn’t actually include an image of anything religious proving that the English are a bunch godless heathens only interested in selling tea and the worst food on the planet.

Actually, if you look carefully at the card you will see some unhappy figures on the edges. Sir Cole was very concerned about the poor in England and wanted to remind his friends to do something charitable during the Christmas season so he had these cards sent instead of handwriting individual letters. (This is true). (So was most everything else I said so far).

Americans, always quick to copy the British in everything except military tactics, started mailing cards in 1845/6 but had to import them from Europe for thirty years until a someone figured out that yes, Christmas cards can be printed outside of the British Isles. Louis Prang, a German immigrant, started selling multi-colored Christmas cards in Europe in 1865 and started selling them in the United States in 1875. Within six years he was producing over five-million cards a year. That’s equivalent to 10% of the US population at the time.

The first home-photograph card was introduced by Kodak in 1902 which has made it possible for everyone to see how great your family and dog look in matching sweaters.

The first White House Christmas card was sent in 1953 when Dwight Eisenhower was president. Just another reason why everyone liked Ike. The cards were sent to 2000 of his most personal friends. White House Christmas cards now get sent to about 1.6 million people which kind of takes away the thrill of getting one.

If you send Christmas cards, you aren’t alone. The average US household receives an estimated 20 cards a year, down from 27 in the 80’s and 1.9 billion, yes that’s with a “b”, Christmas cards are sent in the US each year.

We recommend visiting the Christmas card gallery to see some examples of antique cards.

This history was culled from Wikipedia, Christmas in St. Charles, Emotion Greeting Cards and our seven-week-old daughter, Maria who thinks Christmas cards taste great.

If you want to help the US get to 2 billion cards sent each year, we recommend browsing our Christmas card section with a giving heart.

You might also like our posts on Saint making and All Saints Day.

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