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St. Catherine of Siena is my patroness, didn’t you know? My name, Trena, is a diminutive of Catherine. When I was little this was a source of frustration for me. I remember my mother showing me a picture of St. Catherine in a children’s saint book. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t get a princess saint to go along with my name. The picture showed her kneeling in a dungeon like room, wounds in her hands, and a habit that was decidedly that lacked a flowing veil due to the huge crown of thorns on her head. All the other female saints in the book seemed to have delicate, jeweled crowns like I would prefer. She didn’t look very understanding, or, well, let’s face it pretty. She looked like she was in a lot of pain. The thought that flitted through my head was while my Mom was explaining St. Catherine to me was, “of all the princesses in this book, you chose this sad, painful looking person to be my saint?”

Now that I am older, I realize what an awesome patroness she is. She doesn’t act like a simpering princess either, she’s acts like a queen. She’s a doctor of the Church, co-patron of Italy, and one of the six patrons of Europe. She never takes no for an answer. She bosses people around like no ones business. I think she may have bossed God around, just a little (and I am inclined think God liked it). She’s a mover and a shaker. Seriously, she marched to France to tell the Pope to go back to Rome. Who even does that?

Furthermore, she was so humble and brave that although she received the wounds of the stigmata, she asked Christ to make the invisible so no one else would know. Sure enough, after she died they appeared for all the world to see.

So, happy feast day!

(Disclaimer, I think the picture is one of St. Catherine of Siena. Someone is probably going to tell me it’s someone else. But I like it.)

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nashville sisters

I have exciting news! One of my good friends has discerned that she is called to the religious life, and she has been accepted to the Nashville Dominicans with hopes to enter this Fall. You may have visited her blog, Lifeinthegap. She is an amazing individual! There is one hitch, she needs to pay down all her student loans in order to enter. Quickly. Could you help a little? In the past 24 hours almost a 1/5 of the total amount has been raised, but there is a lot more to go! Visit her fundly site here: https://fundly.com/help-mary-beth-enter-the-convent?ft_src=widget_campaign_card

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When I moved into my current house a badly painted statue of Our Lady of Fatima was already residing there. You can’t really tell from the picture above, but her eyes were terrifyingly black and had the strange quality of following you where ever you might be in the room. Kinda like those old portraits that always seem to be hanging in dark dusty hallways.

I had a little free time last Saturday and I decided to give Our Lady a makeover.  I can’t think of a mother that wouldn’t be pleased with a makeover, so I bought some acrylic paint and set to work. I painted the entire statue with three coats of this paint in 515 Vintage White:

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I dabbed the last coat on with a foam makeup applicator so that there wouldn’t be any streaks from the paintbrush and to give the statue a nice matte finish. Finally I gave her crown a good polish and put it back on her head.

The result is lovely! Now “Scary Mary” looks serene and quite lovely! Having her all one color really calls attention to the drapery of her garments and the sweetness of her face. What do you think?

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I purchased this poster of Michelangelo’s Delphic Sibyl while I was living in Rome. I finally had a chance to frame it and hang it up! Such an amazing combination of feminine strength, beauty, and colours!

Some will point out that Michelangelo didn’t use female models, and this isn’t what women look like, and if he discriminated against women by not using them as figure models. For starters, Michelangelo didn’t use women as figure models because it wasn’t the thing to do at the time, no one used female models. True, women don’t look exactly like the Delphic Sibyl, I’ve never seen forearms like that on any woman of my acquaintance. But I have seen women hold their arms they way the Sibyl holds her’s, and I have seen that graceful turn of the neck, and the foot in demi-pointe while seated. Maybe Michelangelo didn’t use female models, but he certainly paid homage to the powerful motion and grace of the female figure. Her body alone, from way up high on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, communicates the wisdom, intellegence, and wonder women may exude.

Happy feast of the Annunciation! Today is the day we celebrate Christ’s incarnation in the womb of the Virgin Mary! The song I am about to share with you is technically a Christmas song, but I think it fits today’s feast! And it is one of my favorites!

I’ve included the lyrics because they are so beautiful, I don’t want you to miss a word. My favorite line is the very first: The angel Gabriel from heaven came His wings as drifted snow his eyes as flame.

  1. The angel Gabriel from heaven came His wings as drifted snow his eyes as flame “All hail” said he “thou lowly maiden Mary, Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!
  2. “For know a blessed mother thou shalt be, All generations laud and honor thee, Thy Son shall be Emanuel, by seers foretold Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!
  3. Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head “To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said, “My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name.” Most highly favored lady. Gloria!
  4. Of her, Emanuel, the Christ was born In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say: “Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

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Easter Friday! One of the few Fridays of the year that is completely free from any penitential acts, and, in fact, should be treated like a Sunday! Feast! Eat meat! Have dessert after every meal! The Lord has truly risen!

(And your probably wondering, “great, what is with the half-eaten croissant?” Well, I forgot to take a picture before I ate it, and the crumbs look so flaky, you get a better idea of how wonderful it was.)

So this is what I’ve been up to . . .

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Okay, so all the Irish-y stuff happened before I went MIA, but I never had a chance to show you!

This photo has been making the rounds on the internet, you’ve probably already seen it, but I wanted to share it again. Pictured here is Bl. John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis. Note: There has been some discussion as to if the man in the middle is in fact Cardinal Bergoglio. I google the photo several times, and found a couple of newspapers carrying it and captioned as being Benedict XVI, Francis, and John Paul II. However, this does not mean the media is infallible (are we shocked?), nor am I for that matter. If in fact the third man in the photo is not Bergoglio, well, my friends, you have experienced a true sacred-monkeys-in-the-Vatican-moment! 🙂 In the mean time, just appreciate the photo for what it is worth.

(Do we call him Pope Francis or Pope Francis I? I think it is Pope Francis until there is a Pope Francis II, and then he would be Francis I. Just like a John Doe, doesn’t become John Doe Sr. until there is a John Doe Jr., but I don’t know for sure. Need to do some research on that one.)

This morning Pope Francis visited the basilica of Mary Major in Rome, to pray to our Lady. If you haven’t been (or even if you have) to Mary Major, check out the 3D views here, it is an amazing church!

The Installation of Pope Francis as Bishop of Rome is scheduled for March 19, 2013 – the feast of St. Joseph. They should reveal his coat of arms them, I can’t wait to see what it will be!

We have a new pope! Pope Francis! Formerly Cardinal Jorge Marie Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aries!

The Sistine Chapel awaits the Princes of the Church as they assemble to select a new pope. Keep the cardinals in your prayers during this time!

Here is some information you might find useful during the conclave:

How a Pope is Elected (via Joan in Ordinary Time).

When the new pope is announced the first name you will hear is the given first name of the Pope, in Latin. Here is a cheat sheet of all the cardinals first names in Latin.

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