Mary of the Month (February 2013)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

Anyone who has studied Christian art, or just wandered through one of the art galleries in Italy, will quickly notice that a very popular subject for a painting is “Mary with the Baby Jesus and Saints.” Here is a version of that theme, done in mosaic. From the crypt of Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem.

Can you live with one pair of shoes?

Benjamin Life on Planet Earth

I recently returned from a 10 day pilgimage to the Holy Land, and I will post more about that trip as I have time to sort through the experiences. Part of the packet of information given to me in preparation for the trip included travel tips from the 1920’s. Regarding what you need to pack, the author suggested that you …

“I can do whatever I want” = false

Benjamin Society Today

“I am free to make my own choices” is a statement that is rings true to us. The fact that we have freedom is evident not only in our sense of our own life, but also because all the people around us, most of the time, act as if they had free will. In our Secular Modern society, this statement …

Mary of the Month (November 2012)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

Students of art history will notice that this stone relief, featuring Mary and the Child Jesus with Sts. Peter and Paul, is very medieval in its design and execution. This carving sits over the door of the sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel in Puglia, southern Italy. Although the figures are a little worn by the weather, they still stand …

Mary of the Month (September 2011)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

The patroness of the cathedral of Madrid is the Blessed Virgin Mary, venerated by locals (and pilgrims) in this image of the Virgen de la Almudena. The unusual name for Mary apparently comes from the Arabic word, al-mudayna (the citadel), indicating a part of the city of Madrid, a city which was founded by the Moors. The Virgin was one …

Mary of the Month (June 2011)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

This image is from a shrine to Mary outside the town of Nepi, which is north of Rome towards Viterbo. Before Christianity came to the area there was a temple to the goddess Diana, but in the year AD 520 some monks destroyed the temple and built a monastery and a basilica on top of its ruins. Two of these …

Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help

Benjamin Being Catholic

Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, made history on December 8th, 2010. He became the first bishop in the United States to formally approve an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1859, Our Lady had appeared three times to a young Belgian farm girl at a spot north east of Green Bay. The third time, …

Mary of the Month (Nov 2010)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

One of the Church’s favorite ways to depict Our Mother is with saints, because the saints demonstrate how Mary is a mother not only to Jesus, but to each of us. She spends her time and energy helping her children to respond to God and to become like Jesus, and the saints show most clearly the fruit of her prayers. …