"Great love can change small things into great ones, and it is only love which lends value to our actions." St. Faustina Kowalska
"And it is only by the observance of the first and greatest commandment that we can keep the second. The more we love God, the more we shall love man; the less we love God, the less we shall, in the true sense of the word, love man. Our love will become capricious, fitful, and unreliable—not charity, but passion. If you feel that your love for your fellowman is dying out in the fumes of selfishness, there is but one way to revive it: strive for, pray for, the love of God. As the heart turns toward its source, it will be quickened and expanded. There is no true, no lasting spirit of charity apart from the practice of religion. Therefore, we cannot keep those commandments which teach us our duty to men unless we are keeping those which teach us our duty to God." — Fr. Basil W. Maturin, p. 160
"I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep thy word. I do not turn aside from thy ordinances, for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way." Psalm 119:101-4
St. Manettus and the Seven Founders of the Order of Servites
Saint of the Day
St. Manettus (d. 1268), also known as St. Benedict dell’Antella, was one of the Seven Founders of the Order of Servites. Between 1225 and 1227 in the city of Florence, Italy, seven cloth merchants from the city's prominent families joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They desired to live a penitential life dedicated to her title of Mother of Sorrows. Our Lady appeared to the seven men on the feast of the Assumption in 1233, asking them to live a life of seclusion and prayer. They obeyed and lived an austere life for many years. Mary appeared to the seven again in 1240, giving them a black habit and a scroll titled "Servants of Mary," and asking them to found a religious order following the Rule of St. Augustine. The Servites became one of the five original mendicant religious orders. Their special charism is devotion to the Passion of Jesus and the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Only one of the seven founders lived to see the order formally approved by Rome in 1304. It has since spread throughout the world and remains active to this day. The feast day of its Seven Holy Founders of the Order of Servites (Servants of Mary) is February 17.
In biblical times it was common to sprinkle ashes on the head as a sign of repentance and humility. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, which is the time we contemplate our relationship with God and identify the areas in our spiritual life that need work. The ashes are a physical reminder of our Lenten journey; by receiving the ashes on our heads and keeping them on through the day, we are recognizing that life passes away on earth. Therefore we strive during Lent to turn away from sin, refocus our lives on following God's commandments, and look towards the Kingdom of Heaven.See More About Today's Feast
Month of the Passion
Devotion of the Month
The month of February is traditionally dedicated to the Passion of Our Lord in anticipation of the liturgical season of Lent. In this month, we begin to meditate on the mystery of Jesus' sufferings which culminated in his death on the Cross for the redemption of mankind. Saints who had a special devotion to Christ's passion include St. Francis of Assisi, who was the first known saint to receive the stigmata; St. John of the Cross; St. Bridget of Sweden; and St. Catherine of Siena.Find a Devotional or Sacramental
Prayer for the Dead
In your hands, O Lord, we humbly entrust our brothers and sisters.
In this life you embraced them with your tender love;
deliver them now from every evil and bid them eternal rest.
The old order has passed away: welcome them into paradise,
where there will be no sorrow, no weeping or pain,
but fullness of peace and joy with your Son and the Holy
Spirit forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Prayer for the Holy Father
Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant, Pope Francis, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation; that, of Thy gift, he may ever desire that which is pleasing unto Thee and may accomplish it with all his might. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary.