Catholic Meme Monday— Issue 98

Hope you had a blessed week!

Time for another Catholic Meme Monday. ✝️🙏

😆😆😆
Don’t mess with the timeline! 🙏🙂😆
Have the heart of a child. ♥️🙏
Hope you had a blessed Feast of Saint Padre Pio. 🙏
😆😆😆
🙏✨🙏✨
Did you know this about encyclicals?
🐔😆
This gem I found on the The Office Memes with Catholic Themes Facebook page.
I laughed so much at this because Creed’s reaction in this episode matches the Gospel scene perfectly. 😆
The Holy name of Jesus. 🙏🙏🙏
Punny! 😆😆😆

That’s all I have this week. Stay tuned for next week’s Catholic Meme Monday. Receive updates straight to your email inbox by subscribing to The Simple Catholic blog.

P.S. If you prefer receiving quality Catholic humor in daily doses follow me on Instagram @thesimplecatholic.

Thank you for sharing!

A 620 Word Interview with the Founder of Catholic Family Crate


Editor’s Note: Matthew Chicoine interviewed Elissa Tiprigan, founder of Catholic Family Crate via phone call on September 4th, 2023. Some of the questions have been rearranged and edited to provide the best reader experience without losing any  integrity of the answers given.


Describe your faith journey:

I’m a cradle Catholic and attended Catholic schools through middle school. We went to youth groups and went to a few Steubenville conferences. My husband and I got married and moved to Denver. We were awakened to the richness of the Catholic Church through the witness of large Catholic families. In my adult life, I learned more about our faith. It’s not just a Sunday experience but it’s a joyful and beautiful and a rich history.

When was Catholic Family Crate created?

We started it in 2018.

What led up to the creation of Catholic Family Crate?

My oldest was two at the time and I was learning more about the liturgical feasts (I knew about Advent and Lent). I felt overwhelmed with wanting to share all these rich Catholic traditions. My sister experienced a Catholic community in Steubenville and I was talking with her on the phone about how to learn about the faith. I started to research saint feast days. My sister suggested a monthly Catholic subscription box. For about a year or two I was hoping someone else would develop a company to create a subscription box for Catholics.

Logo provided by Catholic Family Crate.

Enter in Catholic Family Crate. I formulated a team: my parish priest Fr. Luis Granados, DCJM- our theologian, a few writer friends, and a couple friends who were Catholic Montessori teachers.

Eventually we hired our own artist to help us create more of our own content. At the end of every box we provided a survey. The most popular items our customers selected were the items we created.

I was on a date with my husband at Barnes & Noble and remember telling him how we couldn’t find high quality Catholic products that were affordable. I wanted my kids to have good quality Catholic resources.

After the fourth box, it became apparent we needed to switch to include all our own products.

In 2019 we adjusted our mission statement: to provide high quality and affordable Catholic resources.

Do you have a specialized illustrator for your products?

Yes, since 2019 we hired an illustrator, new writer, and a new theologian.

I didn’t have a desire to be a business owner when I began this journey. It started as a need to fill for my family. I said “yes” to the little “yeses” God sent my way.

How did find your illustator?

We found her through Instagram. We also have had various graphic designers helped with colors and backgrounds when it comes to mass production.

What’s your favorite product you have created for Catholic Family Crate?

Our Pray by Sticker Book. It’s 10 different Catholic images. You match up the stickers with the numbers on the page. At the end you have a beautiful Catholic mosaic. It is an opportunity to keep your child busy with screen-free activity.

Image provided via email by Elissa, Founder of Catholic Family Crate.

I’ve played with your Catholic Playing Cards and enjoyed the artwork and the saints you picked. Describe the symbolism and intention beyond the cards.

We planned to have the Jesus as the King, Mary as the Queen, Joseph as the Jack, and the Holy Spirit as the Ace. We did plan to have a diversity of older and modern saints along with having an equal number of male and female saints.

I could see doing other card themes such as boy and girl saint decks or a Marian deck.

What other products do you have in the works?

A Bingo deck for Catholic-themed party, an oversized activity sheet for the Doctors of the Church, and A Card Ring-Doctors of the Church Edition.

Why should you be Catholic?

Because of the Eucharist.


About Elissa:

Elissa Tiprigan is the founder of Catholic Family Crate. Catholic Family Crate makes Catholic educational resources, games, art, stickers, subscription boxes, and more to make growing in the Catholic faith easy and fun. They are on a mission to revolutionize Catholic resources and make them affordable, accessible, high-quality, and engaging. In her mind, she’s an accidental entrepreneur, but she’s grateful for God’s wild plan for her life. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and four children.

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Mary the Ultimate (Wonder)Woman!


Editor’s Note: Originally published May 1st, 2019. I wrote this article for Voyage Comics.


Wonder Woman

According to the dictionary, the word wonder defined as “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.” Being the among the central tenets of the Christian faith, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI spoke of the Incarnation eloquently in his General Audience on January 9th, 2013. He declared,

Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin” (Constitution Gaudium et Spes, n. 22). Thus it is important to recover our wonder at the mystery, to let ourselves be enveloped by the grandeur of this event: God, the true God, Creator of all, walked our roads as a man, entering human time to communicate his own life to us (cf. 1 Jn 1:1-4). And he did not do so with the splendour of a sovereign who dominates the world with his power, but with the humility of a child.

Harbingers of Hope

On a dark night in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, a wondrously obedient young woman gave birth to the physical manifestation of God’s wonder—Jesus Christ! The event of God becoming man never ceases to amaze me. Mark Twain once wrote, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” I find myself drawn to the concept that reality is odd, weird, peculiar, and problematic. Seeming senseless suffering occurs daily throughout the globe: wars, famine, and violation of human rights.

Over the past year, I have delved into the DC Comics Universe— the realm of Superman, Batman, The Flash, and Green Lantern.  Most recently, I began reading about Wonder Wonder. Created in 1941, she has become the quintessential heroine. The 2017 film Wonder Woman breathed life into the DC Cinematic Universe. Wonder Woman is arguably the most wondrous event for DC comics since Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy earlier this century.

Mary Devil's enemy

Comic books invoke wonder and awe. I am reminded to be grateful for creative genius involved in comics. I do not worship this genre of literature, however, I do honor it as points to the Real and Truth Author of All of Reality. As a Catholic reading Wonder Woman comics, the titular character’s penchant for peace, continual pursuit of truth, and advocate for the poor remind me of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

To read the rest of the article visit: Voyage Comics.

Related Links

Is Tolkien’s “Varda” the best representation of Mary in Middle-Earth?

How Mary is also the “Queen of Heroes”

Why Blessed Virgin Mary is the Devil’s Greatest Enemy

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How Saint Patrick’s Breastplate Will Shield You on Your Spiritual Journey

Saint Patrick lived in the 5th century and was a Christian missionary. He was instrumental in converting Ireland to Christianity. Known most for his usage of the shamrock to help explain the Trinity, Patrick’s successfully converted the pagans.

Saint Patrick

Several posts on this feast day focus on “little known facts” or about whether Saint Patrick was actually Irish. I’m going to do something a bit different. Saint Patrick’s Breastplate prayer always provided me with great comfort. This article will examine the various aspects of his prayer.

Here’s the short version of the prayer (for the long version check out the link in the related resources at the end of this article):

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Put on the Armor of God

Immediately, I think of Saint Paul’s description in Ephesians 6:10-18. The Bible acts as a defense against the temptations of the devil and the world. Reading and listening to the Word of God shields one with truth. The Devil enjoys sowing discord and twisting truth to fit his desire― draw people away from God.

Saint Patrick Breastplate

Christ is always with us but sometimes it can be easy to forget. Sometimes we push God away or turn our back on Him. Saint Patrick’s breastplate prayer uses directional words to help remind one of the closeness of Jesus. Jesus is beside you. He is with you. On the right and left. Christ’s presence envelops you as a protection like how armor surrounds a soldier in battle.

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

In Matthew 22:39 Jesus tells the Pharisees, “The second (greatest commandment) is like it (the first): You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Saint Patrick loved God first, but he followed the second great commandment too. He served the Irish peoples by leading them out of the errors of paganism and towards the truth of the Gospel.

In praying Saint Patrick’s Breastplate prayer, one is reminded to see God in others. It’s easy to get frustrated at strangers who commit a wrong: cutting you off in traffic, providing less than helpful advice at a call center, or even those who annoy you at church. Patrick was a foreigner in Ireland (contrary to popular views he wasn’t Irish!). But he accepted God’s call to spread the message of Jesus Christ as Savior.

Drive Out the Serpent(s)

Saint Patrick drives snakes out of Ireland

Hiss-terical

The above image is a p(f)unny way to describe how Saint Patrick drove out the snakes from Ireland. Joking aside, it was because of his cooperation with God’s will Patrick had the ability to perform such a miracle (herpetologists might disagree). Christ with me. Those opening words to the Breastplate prayer can give us hope. The battle and journey through life doesn’t have to be done alone. God is with us. He was (and still is in Heaven) with Saint Patrick during his early years when he was captured as a slave. And God was with Patrick as he drove the snakes (and the pagan ideologies) out of Ireland.

Saint Patrick prays for us to put on the armor of God, to love God and fellow men, and to rely on Jesus to help us drive out the spiritual serpents in our lives. Amen.

Related Links

Saint Patrick Breastplate Prayer: Long Version

A Better Way to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

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6 Epic Facts About The Saint Behind Santa Claus

G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.” I certainly think that he would have (and hopefully you will) chuckle at the following joke: What do you call Santa when he has no money? Saint ‘Nickel-less’. Get it? Nicholas?

If you enjoy wordplay, you’re welcome! However, if you find such repartee revolting, I apologize, and implore you to still read on.

Ironically, Nicholas came from a wealthy family (more about that later). Some believed his family riches provided means for him able to make generous visits through the night delivering anonymous gifts to the less unfortunate in his city.

Below are six common (or maybe not so common!) facts about the Catholic saint later popularized and associated with Santa Claus. Regardless of whether you heard of these facts before or not, they are still epic!

Santa Clout punched the heretic

saint nick arius meme

Nicholas had such a fervor for the faith that he slugged the heretic priest Arius in the face as he was leading Christians astray by denying the divinity of Christ.

Hearing things like this about saints also gives hope that Heaven is possible even those with quick and short-fused tempers.

He participated in the Council of Nicaea

Nicholas was among the bishops who attended the 1st Ecumenical Council at the city of Nicaea in the early 4th century.

The significance of this council includes the formal declaration of the faith in the Nicene Creed—a profession uttered every Sunday Mass!

Saint Nick Arian meme

Imprisoned for his Catholic faith

Similar to his contemporary, Saint Athanasius, Nicholas also was jailed for his persistence in pursuing and evangelizing the truth of the Gospel.

This should not be of great surprise since Nicholas lived in the most tumultuous times in Catholic Church history. Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in 312 A.D. But the Diocletian persecution of the turn of the century in 303 A.D. led to Nicholas being among numbers of Christians sent to prison for refusing to renounce Jesus Christ.

His tenacity for refusing to commit apostasy even in the face of persecution is legendary. Nicholas’s faith and strength is on par with Saints Peter, Paul, Athanasius, and other bold proclaimers of the Good News!

The manna of Nicholas

manna of st. Nicholas

A legend began in Myra that every year on the feast day of Nicholas, the bones of the saint secrete a hyaline watery substance.

Known as the “Manna of Nicholas,” this substance is believed to have healing effects. If you want to find out more information about this interesting relic, check out this site.

He had philanthropic parents

The generosity of the bishop of Myra is well documented. What you may not have known is that his parents’ generosity strongly influenced him.

According to Lumen Gentium, “The family is, so to speak, the domestic church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children; they should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care vocation to a sacred state.”

Nicholas’ parents both perished as a result of an epidemic. But the morals, character, and faith they instilled in him at a young age served him for the rest of his life.

A panoply of patronages

The final of the six epic facts about Nicholas relates to his ability to appeal to a variety of individuals. Along with being known as the patron saint bringing joy to child, Old Saint Nick also helps the following groups: merchants, haberdashers, longshoremen, brewers, pawnbrokers, judges, and archers.

Saint Nicholas

Nicholas exhibited true love of God and neighbor through his anonymous gift-giving, especially to impoverished children. The bishop of Myra exuded holiness in all facets of his life.

Together with his ability to give, and give generously, Nicholas withstood persecution and staunchly defended the divinity of Christ against the assault of Arianism.

Some may call him magical, but the true charm of Nicholas came from his profound love of Jesus.

Let us all model Nicholas this Advent and Christmas seasons mirroring the love of God for others to see!

Related Links

Who is St. Nicholas?

How St. Nicholas was the first “Secret Santa”

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Saint Teresa of Avila Pray for Us!

Saint Teresa of Avila

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among my favorite saints is the Spanish Carmelite nun Teresa of Avila. Her spirituals works bring peace and comfort to my life. I discovered a simple, but powerful prayer, a poem Saint Teresa wrote, that brings comfort in distressing times.


Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.


We thank God for the wonder witness of the life of Saint Teresa of Avila. May we look to her as a faithful spiritual toward Jesus Christ. St. Teresa pray for us!

Related Links

How Saint Teresa of Avila Cut Through My Exterior with Her Interior Castle

Spiritual Surgeons— Clean Out the Wounds of Your Soul with Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa of Avila: Catholic Miracles

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How Saint Rita of Cascia’s Story is Impossibly Beautiful

The process pearls are created is a wonder of wonder. A speck of sand or small piece of a shell finds it’s way inside an oyster. Due to the irritant, the oyster secretes a substance called nacre. It covers the irritant and over time (on average seven years) the nacre builds up to form a beautiful pearl.

Rita of Cascia— Beautifully Holy Saint

God often works in a person’s spiritual life like a grain of sand provokes the oyster. Over the course of time, God allows individuals to suffer, participate in the Passion of His Son Jesus Christ, as a means to grow in holiness. One of the greatest saints whose life mirrored the beauty of a pearl is Saint Rita of Cascia.

Rita of Cascia

Rita was born in 1381 in the republic of Cascia. In the local dialect her name meant “pearl” (what a coincidence!). Growing up, Rita became acquainted with the Augustinian nuns of St. Mary Magdalene Monastery. Their lifestyle attracted Rita but her parents wanted her to marry. Rita had an arranged marriage to Paolo Mancini and had two sons.

The political climate of her time was volatile (not unlike today). Fighting between families broke out often.  Rita’s husband was murdered as a result of this violence. She already was following the will of God when she gave forgiveness to her husband’s murderers. Shortly after, both of her sons fell seriously ill and died. Instead of allowing the loss of her entire family cripple her spiritually, Rita plunged further into trusting God’s Providence.

Rita sought to join the religious life after 18 years of marriage. Initially, the Augustinian nuns rejected her requests because Rita’s extended family still refused to forgive her husband’s killers. Her peacekeeping and persistence finally helped her family (and others in the region) reconcile and give up hatred.

At the age of 36, Rita was accepted into the religious life under the Rule of Saint Augustine. She lived out this vocation for forty years. Shortly before dying, Rita received one of the wounds of Christ— the crown of thorns.

Patron Saint of Impossible Causes

One of the things Rita of Cascia is most known for is her patronage of impossible causes. God works in mysterious and wonderful ways. He allowed Rita to experience the full gamut of life: daughter, wife, mother, widow, and religious nun. Seemingly ordinary vocations, the process by which God allowed Rita to follow those paths was anything but ordinary.

Rita of Cascia crown of thorns

Forgiving those who have hurt you may seem like an impossible task sometimes. How can you find it in your heart to show mercy to those who bitterly rejected or hated you? Rejection is a natural part of life. But continual rejection? It can make even the most ardent wills downcast and doubt God’s plan.

Three years ago, my wife and I thought she was going to miscarry our youngest daughter. She had some bleeding and other same signs as our previous miscarriages. We implored the intercession of many saints—Rita of Cascia was one of them. Since Mother’s Day 2017, my wife and I had never forgotten to include Saint Rita in our nightly litany.

Rita is an excellent saint to petition for help. We all experienced chaos, tumult, and confusion the past year. No matter your circumstance please take refuge in the fact God uses all things for good (Romans 8:28).


Dear St. Rita,
during your entire life on earth
you found your happiness by following the will of our heavenly Father.

Help me to be as trusting of God in all His plans for me.
Help me this day to give myself to Him as you did,
without limit, without fear, without counting the cost.

Help me to be generous in serving the needs of others,
patient in all difficulties,
forgiving toward all who injure me.

Help me to learn more deeply the great mystery of the Cross of Jesus,
so that by embracing it as you did,
I may come to experience its power to heal and to save. Amen.

Related Links

St. Rita of Cascia: Hope for the Impossible!

Rita of Cascia: Catholic Answers

Prayers to St. Rita

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