A frantic intentness outwards

Because today’s gospel reading is about Jesus meeting the disciples on the road to Emmanus, I’ve been remembering this painting that I saw during my latest visit to Paris.

Communion des Apôtres was painted by Henry Lerolle (1848-1929) in the year 1878 for Saint François-Xavier where it remains to this day. Continue reading “A frantic intentness outwards”

On the anniversary the Virgin Mary Appeared to a Jewish Atheist who became a Catholic priest

Today marks the anniversary of the fascinating conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne that occurred on Thursday, January 20, 1842. I have been learning his story gradually, throughout my travels to Rome and Jerusalem. Continue reading “On the anniversary the Virgin Mary Appeared to a Jewish Atheist who became a Catholic priest”

A Protestant and a Catholic discuss 465-year-old relic of St. Francis Xavier’s Arm

I arrived to Toronto to visit my Protestant friend for the week. She greeted me wishing me a happy new year and asking how I’d spent it.

“Well,” I explained, “At the conference from which I just came, we venerated a relic of St. Francis Xavier’s right arm, the arm with which he baptized 100,000 people.” Her first question was not “Why do Catholics venerate relics?” but rather “So, how did his arm come off?”

Continue reading “A Protestant and a Catholic discuss 465-year-old relic of St. Francis Xavier’s Arm”

Shabbat for Christians

Last Christmas, I was searching for a book to take with me on Christmas holidays. I asked God, the Divine Librarian, to help me choose one. Since I was going to France, a book that had been on my shelf but that I had not yet read caught my eye when I read the back cover. That book was, From the Kippah to the Cross, the conversion story of Jean-Marie Élie Setbon. Continue reading “Shabbat for Christians”