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  • Kerala: Devotion to St. Sebastian as a powerful intercessor
    Posted: April 3, 2018 - 11:52am

    In the days leading up to January 20, a number of churches in central Kerala are abuzz with activities to honor St. Sebastian. For many Catholics in the region, and some people from other faiths as well, St. Sebastian is regarded as the most powerful heavenly intercessor of all. Prayers to him are considered even more efficacious than those to Jesus and Mary. Accordingly, his parish feasts are among the most elaborate in Kerala, where annual parish feasts are an enormously important part of people’s religious lives.

  • Христос Родився! Christ is Born! Ukrainian Catholic Christmas in Ontario
    Posted: February 1, 2018 - 1:43pm

    Like Orthodox Christians, Ukrainian Catholics in Canada celebrate the Nativity according to the old Julian calendar, on January 6. The celebration of the Incarnation traditionally begins at home with a 12-course meal that starts on Christmas Eve, January 6, as soon as the youngest member of the family spots the first star in the evening  sky.

  • Vernacular Christianity in the Armenian Catholic Church
    Posted: January 24, 2018 - 2:54pm

    Despite the recent reinstitution of church structures, unofficial places of worship have retained their popularity and are visited both en masse during seasonal pilgrimages and individually in times of difficulty and need.

  • Aesthetics of Armenian Catholic Churches
    Posted: January 24, 2018 - 2:42pm

    Armenian Catholic churches are characterized by architectural simplicity. Most were built in the second half of the 19th century, after Armenian Catholics moved to the areas they now inhabit from Western Armenia, their historic homeland, which was then a part of the Ottoman Empire. The temples are usually hall churches, small in size, with stone walls and wooden roof structure. These humble buildings were erected from the meager funds of local rural communities.

  • Time of Prayer: The Rosary and the Cross
    Posted: January 24, 2018 - 2:25pm

    After a period of persecutions in 1920-1930s, the Armenian Catholic Church was outlawed in Soviet Armenia and Georgia, and its believers were denied access to religious services. In Georgia, however, where a few local communities managed to save their churches from closure, people still gathered for common prayer. Since the late 1980s, when first Catholic priests returned to Armenia and Georgia, a difficult process of reestablishing parish communities and reviving devotional practices (such as receiving the sacraments or praying the Rosary) has started.

  • Santo Niño feast in Malolos honors hundreds of Holy Child images
    Posted: November 16, 2017 - 5:01pm

    Malolos is home to a revered image of the Santo Niño, but this feast is also notable because more than 200 other images of the Santo Niño, some traditional and some quite imaginative, are processed along with it.

  • Bustos, Bulacan celebrates Santo Niño with joyful feast
    Posted: November 16, 2017 - 3:59pm

    A festive procession followed by high Mass celebrate the Santo Niño, the child Jesus, in Bustos, Bulacan on the third Sunday of January. Though not as large as the celebrations in Cebu and Malolos, the joyful feast in Bustos is important to local residents.

  • Tig Sinulog: Dancing and Praying to Santo Niño in the Philippines
    Posted: November 16, 2017 - 1:38pm

    Outside the basilica year-round, tig sinulog women in yellow blouses and red skirts sell candles and pray to the Santo Niño on behalf of others, taking on the roles of “the spirit medium, the benign counselor, the friend, the grandmother, the servant, the withdrawn laborer.”

  • Feast for Santo Niño and Sinulog is Cebu's biggest event
    Posted: November 15, 2017 - 2:34pm

    Every January in the central Philippines city of Cebu, 1.5 to 3 million people gather for a series of masses, parades, water and land processions, beauty contests, street dances and concerts, fireworks and other events that celebrate the feast of the Santo Niño — the Holy Child — of Cebu. Drawing visitors from throughout the region, the city doubles in size for the celebration, which is the biggest event of the year in Cebu.

  • Santo Niño and Sinulog: Philippines' mass-scale devotion to child Jesus
    Posted: November 9, 2017 - 3:37pm

    Mass-scale devotion to the Santo Niño, or Holy Child, is unique to the Philippines. In Cebu, devotion reaches a fever pitch early in January, when crowds celebrate Sinulog, named for a ritual dance inspired by and performed for the Santo Niño.

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