Undoing the Knot of Clerical Scandals

By Peter Darcy | On Jul 1, 2019 | No Comments

The Catholic priesthood is undoubtedly experiencing a profound crisis at this moment. The vast majority of good priests are tainted by the scandals, but Our Lady, Mother of Priests, does not give up hope for them, even though the world and some Catholics do. She can free the clergy of the weight of scandal and bring the priesthood back to…

The Church’s First Novena

By Peter Darcy | On Jun 1, 2019 | No Comments

Ascension Thursday begins what we may call the Church’s first novena. It is the nine-day period between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday in which the disciples were locked in the Upper Room, united in prayer with Our Lady, and obedient to the Lord’s wishes: “to wait for ‘the promise of the Father’” (Acts 1:4). This novena is like a yearly…

How to Memorize the Litany of Loreto

By Peter Darcy | On Dec 5, 2018 | No Comments

Need a challenge for Advent? How about memorizing the Litany of Loreto? Since the 16th Century the faithful have prayed this exquisitely beautiful litany in honor of Our Lady that lays out many of the titles of Mary evident in Catholic doctrine and devotion. This Litany, named for its origin in Loreto, Italy, is a treasure trove of Marian imagery…

Our Lady as Spiritual Vessel

By Peter Darcy | On May 10, 2018 | No Comments

For many years I struggled to understand the “vessel” images applied to the Virgin Mary in the Litany of Loreto. In the Litany she is described variously as a “spiritual vessel,” a “vessel of honor,” and a “singular vessel of devotion.” These are gracious but mysterious descriptions, to be sure. Pope St. John Paul II finally solved the problem I…