The Best Headache Treatment Tip For You


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Last night I felt a very bad migraine coming on. I usually take a Maxalt at bedtime, but that was a few hours away. I thought to bear with the pain until that time, so we began to make a very light dinner of French Onion Soup with shredded Jack Cheese, and saltine crackers. It was very welcome, as I wasn’t feeling very good. I didn’t think anymore about it until this morning. To my surprise, I realized I didn’t take my Maxalt last night. It was then I began to wonder about the healing properties of the humble onion. So, I began a search of the Internet. This is part of an article that I found:

(The) “Onion is known to be a miracle-cure for headache. Let the tears overflow through your eyes, anyway they were about to flow on account of the unbearable headache, and soon you will wonder where this headache has gone. The cost of the onion will not exceed the professional charges of the medical practitioner, whatever may be the market trend!” (Javier Fuller)

So, next time you feel a migraine coming on, you might want to select Campbell’s French Onion Soup rather than reaching for the Maxalt.

Have a great day!


The Mother of All Languages

Updated April 15, 2011 12:01 a.m. ET

The world’s 6,000 or so modern languages may have all descended from a single ancestral tongue spoken by early African humans between 50,000 and 70,000 years ago, a new study suggests.

The finding, published Thursday in the journal Science, could help explain how the first spoken language emerged, spread and contributed to the evolutionary success of the human species.
Cave art may have been spurred by the evolution of complex language. Quentin Atkinson, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and author of the study, found that the first migrating populations leaving Africa laid the groundwork for all the world’s cultures by taking their single language with them—the mother of all mother tongues.
“It was the catalyst that spurred the human expansion that we all are a product of,” Dr. Atkinson said. About 50,000 years ago—the exact timeline is debated—there was a sudden and marked shift in how modern humans behaved. They began to create cave art and bone artifacts and developed far more sophisticated hunting tools. Many experts argue that this unusual spurt in creative activity was likely caused by a key innovation: complex language, which enabled abstract thought. The work done by Dr. Atkinson supports this notion.
His research is based on phonemes, distinct units of sound such as vowels, consonants and tones, and an idea borrowed from population genetics known as “the founder effect.” That principle holds that when a very small number of individuals break off from a larger population, there is a gradual loss of genetic variation and complexity in the breakaway group. 

Dr. Atkinson figured that if a similar founder effect could be discerned in phonemes, it would support the idea that modern verbal communication originated on that continent and only then expanded elsewhere. In an analysis of 504 world languages, Dr. Atkinson found that, on average, dialects with the most phonemes are spoken in Africa, while those with the fewest phonemes are spoken in South America and on tropical islands in the Pacific. The study also found that the pattern of phoneme usage globally mirrors the pattern of human genetic diversity, which also declined as modern humans set up colonies elsewhere. Today, areas such as sub-Saharan Africa that have hosted human life for millennia still use far more phonemes in their languages than more recently colonized regions do.
“It’s a wonderful contribution and another piece of the mosaic” supporting the out-of-Africa hypothesis, said Ekkehard Wolff, professor emeritus of African Languages and Linguistics at the University of Leipzig in Germany, who read the paper.
Dr. Atkinson’s findings are consistent with the prevailing view of the origin of modern humans, known as the “out of Africa” hypothesis. Bolstered by recent genetic evidence, it says that modern humans emerged in Africa alone, about 200,000 years ago. Then, about 50,000 to 70,000 years ago, a small number of them moved out and colonized the rest of the world, becoming the ancestors of all non-African populations on the planet.
The origin of early languages is fuzzier. Truly ancient languages haven’t left empirical evidence that scientists can study. And many linguists believe it is hard to say anything definitive about languages prior to 8,000 years ago, as their relationships would have become jumbled over the millennia. But the latest Science paper “and our own observations suggest that it is possible to detect an arrow of time” underlying proto-human languages spoken more than 8,000 years ago, said Murray Gell-Mann of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, who read the Science paper and supports it. The “arrow of time” is based on the notion that it is possible to use data from modern languages to trace their origins back 10,000 years or even further.
Dr. Gell-Mann, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist with a keen interest in historical linguistics, is co-founder of a project known as Evolution of Human Languages. He concedes that his “arrow of time” view is a minority one.
Only humans have the biological capacity to communicate with a rich language based on symbols and rules, enabling us to pass on cultural ideas to future generations. Without language, culture as we know it wouldn’t exist, so scientists are keen to pin down where it sprang from.
Dr. Atkinson’s approach has its limits. Genes change slowly, over many generations, while the diversity of phonemes amid a population group can change rapidly as language evolves. While distance from Africa can explain as much as 85% of the genetic diversity of populations, a similar distance measurement can explain only 19% of the variation in phonemic diversity. Dr. Atkinson said the measure is still statistically significant.
Another theory of the origin of modern humans, known as the multiregional hypothesis, holds that earlier forms of humans originated in Africa and then slowly developed their anatomically modern form in every area of the Old World. This scenario implies that several variants of modern human language could have emerged somewhat independently in different locations, rather than solely in Africa. Early migrants from Africa probably had to battle significant odds. A founder effect on a breakaway human population tends to reduce its size, genetic complexity and fitness. A similar effect could have limited “the size and cultural complexity of societies at the vanguard of the human expansion” out of Africa, the paper notes.

Write to Gautam Naik at


Exploring the Famous Legend of St. George and the Dragon


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Exploring the Famous Legend of St. George and the Dragon

30 APRIL, 2016 – 00:49 DHWTY

St. George is perhaps one of Christianity’s most famous saints, and is best-known as the patron saint of England. Apart from this well-known fact, St. George is also the patron saint of a number of other countries, including Portugal, Georgia, Lithuania, and Greece. The most popular tale regarding this saint is the one in which he slays a dragon. Thus, St. George is most commonly depicted as a knight mounted on a horse and in the process of spearing a dragon. This image has inspired many artists over the years, and has been portrayed on various coats of arms.

St. George’s Early Life

St. George is believed to have lived during the latter part of the 3rd century AD and served as a soldier in the Roman army. Most sources agree that this saint was born in Cappadocia, an area which is located in modern day Turkey. The parents of St. George are said to have been Christians, and he inherited this faith from them. It has been claimed that after the death of St. George’s father, his mother returned to her hometown in Palestine, taking the saint with her. St. George then joined the Roman army, and eventually obtained the rank of Tribune.

Portrait of St. George by Hans von Kulmbach, circa 1510.

Portrait of St. George by Hans von Kulmbach, circa 1510. (Public Domain)

St. George’s Protest

The persecution of Christians by the Emperor Diocletian at the beginning of the 4th century AD was objected to by St. George, who resigned from his military office as a sign of protest. When the emperor’s order against the Christians was torn up by St. George, Diocletian was furious. In an attempt to force St. George to renounce his Christian faith, he was imprisoned and tortured by the emperor’s men. The saint, however, refused to reject his faith. Seeing that their efforts were of no use, St. George’s jailers had him dragged through the streets of Diospolis (known also as Lydda) in Palestine and beheaded.

Saint George dragged through the streets of Diospolis, by Bernat Martorell, 15th century.

Saint George dragged through the streets of Diospolis, by Bernat Martorell, 15th century. (Public Domain)

The story of St. George’s life would have been quite similar to that of his many contemporary martyrs, i.e. refusing to give up their Christian faith in the face of a persecuting pagan emperor, and paying for it with their lives, if it had not been for one particular tale.

It was St. George’s combat with a dragon that set him apart from most of his fellow martyrs. The best known form of this legend is said to be found in the Legenda Aurea (translated as ‘Golden Legend’), which was written during the 13th century by Jacobus de Voragine, an Italian chronicler and archbishop of Genoa.

Combat with a Dragon

In the account of the Legenda Aurea, St. George is said to have passed by a city called Silene, which is in the province of Libya. Beside this city was a pond, and in this pond lived a “dragon which envenomed all the country”. The people of the city decided to feed the beast with two sheep each day so that it would not harm them. When the dragon’s appetite was not satiated, the people of the city began sacrificing human beings to it,

“Then was an ordinance made in the town that there should be taken the children and young people of them of the town by lot, and every each one as it fell, were he gentle or poor, should be delivered when the lot fell on him or her.”

Saint George and the Dragon by Gustave Moreau, 1889/1890.

Saint George and the Dragon by Gustave Moreau, 1889/1890. (Public Domain)

One day, the lot fell on the king’s daughter, who was prepared to be offered to the dragon. It was during this time that St. George passed by the city, and saw the princess. When he enquired as to what going on, St. George was told about the dragon, and he decided to slay the beast. The battle with the dragon, as described by de Voragine, is as follows:

“Thus as they spake together the dragon appeared and came running to them, and S. George was upon his horse, and drew out his sword and garnished him with the sign of the cross, and rode hardily against the dragon which came towards him, and smote him with his spear and hurt him sore and threw him to the ground. And after said to the maid: Deliver to me your girdle, and bind it about the neck of the dragon and be not afeard. When she had done so the dragon followed her as it had been a meek beast and debonair.”

St. George brought the dragon to Silene, converted the king and his people to the Christian faith, and then slayed the dragon.

St. George on Horseback, Meister des Döbelner Hochaltars, 1511/13, Hamburger Kunsthalle.

St. George on Horseback, Meister des Döbelner Hochaltars, 1511/13, Hamburger Kunsthalle. (Public Domain)

It has been said that St. George’s military prowess made him popular amongst the knights of Medieval Europe, especially following the crusades. During the First Crusade, for example, an apparition of St. George is said to have aided the crusaders during their successful siege of Antioch in 1098.

Another popular myth was that the English king Richard the Lionheart saw a vision of St. George during his siege of Acre, which lasted from 1189 to 1191. The king then rebuilt a church in honor of the saint in Lydda, and adopted his emblem (a red cross on a white background) as England’s arms. This myth, however, was disproved during the 1990s.

Featured image: Paolo Uccello’s Saint George and the Dragon. Photo source: Public domain.

By Wu Mingren


Campbell, J., 2015. St George’s Day: When is it, who is England’s patron saint – and why isn’t it a bank holiday??. [Online]
Available at:

Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend [Online]

[Caxton, W. (trans.), 1483. Jacobus de Voragine’s The Golden Legend.]

Available at:

Morris, M., 2009. Slaying Myths: St George and the Dragon. [Online]
Available at:

The BBC, 2009. Saint George. [Online]
Available at:

The Royal Mint Limited, 2016. St George the Dragon Slayer: the legend. [Online]
Available at:

Thurston, H., 1909. St. George. [Online]

Available at: See more at:

DNA evidence has shown that most men in Europe descend from just three Bronze Age males


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By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

First Published: 12:01AM BST 20 May 2015

 Almost two out of three modern European men (64 per cent) were descended from just three Bronze Age males

Most European men descend from just three Bronze Age dominant forefathers who began a ‘population explosion’ several thousand years ago. 

A research team from the University of Leicester looked at the DNA sequences of 334 men from 17 European and Middle Eastern populations. 

The study shows that almost two out of three modern European men (64 per cent) were descended from just three males. 

Archaeologists have been puzzled about whether European populations started to surge in the stone age or later. But the new research appears to suggest that there was a rapid expansion of communities in the succeeding Bronze Age.

It appears that that between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago there was a raid explosion in the size of populations from the Balkans to the British Isles. 

Professor Mark Jobling from the Department of Genetics at Leicester University said: “The population expansion falls within the Bronze Age, which involved changes in burial practices, the spread of horse-riding and developments in weaponry. 
“Dominant males linked with these cultures could be responsible for the Y chromosome patterns we see today.” 

Now the team is hoping to study skeletal remains to see if they can pinpoint the exact period that triggered the sudden population expansion.

Study lead author Chiara Batini, from the University of Leicester’s Department of Genetics, added: “Given the cultural complexity of the Bronze Age, it’s difficult to link a particular event to the population growth that we infer. 
“But Y-chromosome DNA sequences from skeletal remains are becoming available, and this will help us to understand what happened, and when.” 

The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.


Word Definition: Zephyr


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* a very slight or gentle wind

Full Definition: 

* 1 a : a breeze from the west 
b : a gentle breeze

* 2 : any of various lightweight fabrics and articles of clothing

Examples: * a summer zephyr gently stirred her hair

Origin: Middle English Zephirus, west wind (personified), from Latin Zephyrus, god of the westwind & zephyrus west wind, zephyr, from Greek Zephyros & zephyros.
First use: 1611

Zephyr: air, breath, puff, waft, breeze

(c) Merriam-Webster Dictionary App

Bible may be older than previously thought, hi-tech analysis indicates


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Tue, 12 Apr 2016, 08:05 AM

Inscriptions dating to 600 BCE suggest widespread literacy at the time of Kingdom of Judah, say Tel Aviv University researchers.

Scholars have long debated how much of the Bible was composed before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah, in 586 BCE.

While experts agree that key biblical texts were written starting in the 7th century BCE, the exact date of the compilation of these books remains in question.

Now, a groundbreaking new study by Tel Aviv University (TAU) published in theProceedings of the [US] National Academy of Sciences this week, sheds important new light on the debate.

“There’s a heated discussion regarding the timing of the composition of a critical mass of biblical texts,” said Prof.

Israel Finkelstein of TAU’s Department of Archeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, who led the research with Prof. Eliezer Piasetzky, of the university’s School of Physics and Astronomy.

“But to answer this, one must ask a broader question: What were the literacy rates in Judah at the end of the First Temple period? And what were the literacy rates later on, under Persian rule?” According to the study, the researchers determined that widespread literacy was required for the massive undertaking, and it provides empirical evidence of that literacy in the final days of the Kingdom of Judah.

A profusion of literate individuals in Judah may have set the stage for the compilation of biblical works that constitute the basis of Judahite history and theology, such as the early version of the books of Deuteronomy to Second Kings, according to the researchers.

Using cutting-edge computerized image processing and machine learning tools, the TAU team analyzed 16 inscriptions unearthed at an excavation in the remote fort of Arad, and deduced that the texts had been written by at least six authors.

The content of the inscriptions disclosed that reading and writing abilities existed throughout the military chain of command, from the highest echelon, all the way down to the deputy quartermaster of the fort.

Fascinating Native American Contributions 

21 March 2016

By K. H.

1. The U.S. Constitution is partially based upon the Great Law of Peace, the constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy.


In 1988, the United States Congress passed a resolution to recognize the influence of the Iroquois League upon the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

2. Native Americans made the oldest cotton cloth ever found.


Cotton cloth has been unearthed by archaeologists from caves in Mexico which date back as far as 8,000 years ago. Remains of both cotton cloth and cotton bolls were found.

3. The Cherokee, like many tribes, traced their families through the mother. As a result, women often held leadership roles.


Women of great influence became known as “Ghigau,” meaning Beloved Woman, the highest role to which a Cherokee woman could aspire. The name also translates into War Woman and was often awarded to courageous women warriors.

4. Even though most Native Americans live in the west today, the single city with the largest population is New York.


5. Christopher Columbus was not the first to meet the Native Americans, the Vikings were.5

First making their way to North America in the 11th century, archaeological evidence suggests they encountered Native American some 500 years before Columbus arrived.

6. The English language has adopted countless Native American words.


Some examples include: barbecue, cannibal, caribou, chipmunk, chocolate, cougar, hammock, hurricane, mahogany, moose, opossum, potato, skunk, squash, toboggan and woodchuck.

Skip to content7. The 1894 Census Bureau estimated more than 40 “official” Indian Wars in the United States that cost the lives of some 19,000 white and 30,000 Native American men women, and children.

In addition to the official Indian Wars, there were hundreds of skirmishes between the settlers and the Native Americans that resulted when pioneers pushed westward, trespassing upon traditional Native American lands.

8. The first kidnapping in America took place when Italian explorers kidnapped a Native American child to bring to France in July, 1524.


9. The red dye that was the most valuable export from the New World in the 16th century and was used on British uniforms in the Revolutionary War was developed by Native Americans.


The process in which dried cactus-eating insects could be turned into red dye – called cochineal – was developed centuries ago.

10. Some time between 600-1450 AD in Arizona, the Hohokam were constructing one of the most sophisticated irrigation networks ever created using pre-industrial technology.


11. Native Americans cultivated and developed many plants that are very important in the world today, including white and sweet potatoes, corn, beans, tobacco, chocolate, peanuts, cotton, rubber and gum. They also invented popcorn!


12. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, American Indians were remarkably free of serious diseases and rarely died from illness.


However, as Europeans and colonists began to arrive, bringing with them measles, scarlet fever, typhoid, typhus, influenza, whooping cough, tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria, chicken pox, and small pox. Epidemics over the years killed millions of people.

13. Many old Native American villages, located on waterways and trails, would eventually become trading posts and then small villages as pioneers moved westward.


Today, some are the sites of large cities such as of Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; St. Louis, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Pocatello, Idaho, and countless others.

14. Native Americans were some of the first developers of anesthetics, using coca, peyote, datura and other plants for partial or total loss of sensation or consciousness during surgery.

Immigrant doctors who came to America were unaware of these techniques until the mid-19th century. Before this, they performed surgery after giving the patients alcohol or knocking them out.

15. Native Americans were the first people to make maple syrup, using basically the same method which is used today.


16. During World War II, the Japanese Army could not break the secret code of the U.S. Military. The code was simply a group of Navajo volunteers speaking their Native American language on their field radios.



God’s Special Weapon Against Evil: Spiritual Mothers


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From the Catholic Exchange

JANUARY 27, 2016

God’s Special Weapon Against Evil: Spiritual Mothers

By Kathleen Beckman

There is a most beautiful, vital vocation within a vocation that is “largely unknown, scarcely understood and, consequently, rarely lived, not withstanding its fundamental importance”: spiritual motherhood for priests. “It is a vocation that is frequently hidden, invisible to the naked eye, but meant to transmit spiritual life.”(Mauro Cardinal Piacenza, Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests & Spiritual Motherhood, 2013, p 12,13).Cardinal Piacenza further explains the reason why now is the time to emphasize this vocation for the broader Church, “The present situation of the Church in a secularized world and the subsequent crisis of faith has the pope, bishops, priests and faithful looking for a way forward. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly clear that the real solution lies in the interior renewal of priests, and in this context the so-called “spiritual maternity for priests” assumes a special role. Through being “spiritual mothers”, women and mothers participate in the universal motherhood of Mary, who as mother of the Supreme and Eternal High Priest, is also the mother of all priests of all times.”

Other Mary’s

From the heart of the Church comes a call to imitate Mary in transmitting spiritual life to souls. A trumpet sounds, a need arises, and the role of Catholic womanhood is called forth. Where are the “other Mary’s”? I’ve often reflected on why the Lord Jesus, when He ascended to the Father, left behind His holy Mother at the start of the Church? Her presence, prayer, encouragement, wisdom, and exhortation; her feminine lovemust have strengthened the Apostles. Her maternal holiness and prayer helped to form the first clergy.In the words of Fr. John Cihak, “The Blessed Virgin Mary’s role is to call out of the priest this celibate “agape” to help him become a husband to the Church and a spiritual father—a strong father, even in his weakness. She does this at the foot of the Cross by drawing the priest out of his own pain to offer pure masculine love in the midst of her own feminine love. This scene becomes the icon of the relationship between the priest and the Church.” (Fr. John Cihak article, “The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Role in the Celibate Priest’s Spousal and Paternal Love”, quoted by Beckman, Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization, p 54, 55.) The lesson for spiritual mothers: the more we reflect the heart of Mary, the more God can use us to spiritually call forth from men the masculine ideal of Christ-like spiritual fatherhood.The role of a Catholic woman might be summed up in a word: MARY. Motherhood (physical and spiritual) Adoration (first duty to God) Resourceful (wise, creative) Yes to God (serving the divine will). Some women will transmit life physically, but all women of faith can be life bearers: Christ-bearers. What does Catholic womanhood have to do with the clergy? We can learn from several female saints whose lives bear witness to the beauty of spiritual maternity for priests.

“Woman: God’s special weapon in His fight against evil”

St. Edith Stein helps us to understand the unique role of woman in God’s plan. Always the role of woman is best revealed in the life of the Virgin Mary. Her singular dignity to be the Mother of Christ reveals the thought of God regarding the dignity of women. He chose women to be cooperators in creating new life. In light of how much the fallen angels despise and fear the Virgin Mary, we better understand the teaching of St. Edith Stein: The intrinsic value of woman consists essentially in exceptional receptivity for God’s work in the soul. For an understanding of our unique feminine nature, let us look to the pure love and spiritual maternity of Mary. This spiritual maternity is the core of a woman’s soul. Wherever a woman functions authentically in this spirit of maternal love, Mary collaborates with her. This holds true whether the woman is married or single, professional or domestic or both, a Religious in the world or in the convent. Through this love, a woman is God’s special weapon in His fight against evil. Her intrinsic value is that she is able to do so because she has a special susceptibility for the works of God in souls—her own and others. She relates to others in His spirit of love. Here, a great woman and saint of the Church broadens spiritual motherhood beyond the walls of the cloister or convent where for centuries beloved women Religious Sisters interceded for priests; and thankfully, continue to this present time. More recently, Fr. Raniero Cantalamesa addresses the movement of the Holy Spirit: “God calls some souls to the even higher task of atoning for priests…only men can be priests, but the wisdom of God has kept aside a task for women, and even a higher task in a certain sense, which the world does not understand and thus rejects with distain: that of forming priests and of contributing to raising the quality, not quantity, of Catholic priesthood. The Lord is calling the faithful in ever growing numbers to pray, to offer sacrifices, in order to have holy priests. A concern, a passion, for holy priests has spread as a sign of the times though today’s Church” (Fr. Cantalamessa, OFM, Sober Intoxication of the Spirit: Part Two quoted by Beckman, Praying for Priests, p 18-19). We turn to Mary to understand how women of faith who are called to be spiritual mothers become God’s special weapon in His fight against evil. We’ll consider the ten evangelical virtues of Mary that form a powerful arsenal of spiritual arrows to mortally wound the fallen angels; those demons who “prowl the earth like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

The ten evangelical virtues of Mary:
* Most Pure (Mt 1:18, 20, 23, Lk 1:24,34)
* Most Prudent (Lk 2:19; 51)
* Most Humble (Lk 1:48)
* Most Faithful ( Lk 1:45; Jn 2:5)
* Most Devout (Lk 1:46-47; Acts 1:14)
* Most Obedient (Lk 1:38; 2:21-22; 27)
* Most Poor (Lk 2:7)
* Most Patient (Jn 19:25)
* Most Merciful (Lk 1:39, 56)
* Most Sorrowful (Lk 2:35)

Marian virtues perpetuate the victory of her Son Jesus Christ and can render Satan’s corrupting vices impotent. Satan fears Mary. Why? He knows God is omnipotent. But Mary is a lowly creature favored by God, raised to such a level of dignity and influence that her little heel can crush Satan’s head. He can’t get over this! In many rites of major exorcism in which I have participated on the team assisting the exorcist priest, Mary responds to the plea of the priest to help him cast out demons. Frequently, the Virgin Mary’s presence is the finishing touch to evict the evil one. A woman who identifies with Mary is His special weapon in His fight against evil. The humble Mother of the Eternal High Priest is gathering a little army of daughters who attain to her virtues. God uses Mary’s daughters as righteous arrows against the malice of the devil.

The example of an ordinary wife and mother

Here’s a practical example in the ordinary life of a Catholic wife and mother of five young sons. She has answered the call to spiritual maternity for priests. Recently, in an interview we did for the Foundation of Prayer for Priests, she shared that when she is making her children’s lunches, desiring to feed them the most nutritious food, she also considers the priest who desires to feed God’s flock the imperishable food of the Eucharist. Then she offers up her tiredness for him. I asked her how praying for priests has impacted her life as wife and mother. She shared that, at first, she did not fully understand the priest. He was set apart for God and a bit mysterious. When she realized that the Holy Spirit was quickening her heart to pray for her parish priest, the Holy Spirit began to teach her how to pray for him. She came to understand that the priest is a spiritual father of the Catholic family entrusted to him. He is charged with the care of parishioner’s souls but is subject to weariness and spiritual warfare also. During the Mass she observed more carefully the reverent gestures of the priest and began to see more of Jesus on the altar. Also, in recognizing the priest’s spiritual paternity, her appreciation of her husband’s role as spiritual father for the family grew. When we pray for the priests, the Sanctifier pours graces of wisdom, knowledge and understanding upon us. Thus, we become more like Mary—attuned to the things of God. Priests and laity have a mutual need to mirror holiness for one another. Often this takes place in a silent, hidden, real and transformative way.

“The priest is the target of the devil’s malice”

“The priest is a marked man, the target of the devil’s malice. Don’t pray for priests superficially. Pray fervently. We priests need your prayers and sacrifices” – these words of Fr. William Casey are confirmed by Fr. John Hardon, “…No words I can use would be too strong to state that the Catholic priesthood needs prayer as sacrifice as never before since Calvary. Priests experience pressures with a violence and a virulence such as no one else, but a priest can understand. One saint after another has declared that the devil’s principle target on earth is the Catholic priest. Priests need special graces from God. We ask why pray for priests? We should pray for priests and bishops, because this has been the practice of the Church since apostolic times. It’s a matter of truth. It is a divine mandate.” (Fr. John Hardon, The Value of Prayer and Sacrifice for Priests,The Real Presence Association, quoted by Beckman, Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization, p 21). Priests are the spiritual head of the Body of Christ and therefore; Satan aims to spiritually decapitate the Body of Christ in mockery of the Eternal High Priest. Some spiritual writers refer to Mary as the spiritual neck of the Church connecting the members of Christ’s body with the head, the priests in “persona Christi”—a beautiful analogy. Spiritual motherhood of priests is our response of love for Jesus Christ. This Year of Mercy is an opportune time to practice a vital spiritual work of mercy: spiritual adoption of priests. May the Lord help you to discover this beautiful vocation within your vocation to His glory.

Visit for more information on spiritual motherhood, fatherhood and spiritual warfare. This article contains excerpts from Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization.image: Praying for Priests. Tagged as: Edith Stein, Mary, praying for priests, spiritual motherhood138

The Author: Kathleen Beckman

Kathleen Beckman, L.H.S. President and co-founder of the Foundation of Prayer for Priests (, has served the Church for the past 25 years as a Catholic evangelist, author, radio host, Ignatian trained retreat director and speaker. Over the past 15 years she has served with priests in the Church’s healing, deliverance and exorcism ministry. She has leadership roles for Catholic apostolates including the Pope Leo XII Institute for Priests, Magnificat, a Ministry to Catholic Women, and Radio Maria’s “Living Eucharist & Mercy” program. She’s often featured on EWTN radio and TV programs related to her books on healing and holiness through sacramental life. A writer for Catholic Exchange, Sophia Institute Press published her last two books, (2014) Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization and (2015) God’s Healing Mercy. A wife, mother and grandmother, Kathleen lives in Southern CA where she and her husband are business

5 Reasons Why YOUNG Catholics Should Pray a Daily Rosary

5 Reasons Why YOUNG Catholics Should Pray a Daily Rosary

Posted on March 20, 2012 by Mary| 56 Comments

Let’s be honest. The rosary isn’t the most popular prayer amongst our age group. It’s the prayer that we sometimes got guilt-tripped into reciting on long car rides with the family, or guilt-tripped into reciting while at the Lenten prayer service, or guilt-tripped into reciting when…well, you get the picture. For many of us, the rosary is pretty much just the result of a guilt trip.

However, despite what preconceived notions or feelings you may have towards the rosary, I submit to you that it should be a regular part of your daily life as a young Catholic. Why? Five main reasons:

1. In the fight against temptation and against Satan, a wimpy and sporadic prayer life simply will not do.

What does the prayer life of most people our age look like? Most likely: whatever we feel like that day. This is, quite simply, a recipe for disaster, and a fast-track to grave sin.

If you’re not accustomed to it, developing the habit of praying a daily rosary (or any consistent daily prayer) is difficult. Because of this, we can easily come up with a thousand reasons why getting in a rosary every day is just not all that important. The Catechism describes this battle of prayer:

2725 Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and he himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in his name. The “spiritual battle” of the Christian’s new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer.

So, we turn to the one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal: the rosary.

“The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.” -Saint Josemaria Escriva

“No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary: either they will give up sin or they will give up the Rosary” -Bishop Hugh Doyle

2. Because “World Peace” isn’t just a go-to answer for beauty pageant contestants

Prayer may be described both as an internal struggle and as a spiritual battle, but as Christians, we are always faced with the task of bringing the peace of Christ to a confused and hurting world. How are we even to begin to go about this?

Mary literally gave us the answer to this herself. And then she made the sun dance.

If you’re not familiar with Mary’s apparitions at Fatima, she appeared several times to three children at the beginning of the twentieth century. Her message:

Our Lady stressed the importance of praying the Rosary in each of Her apparitions, asking the children to pray the Rosary every day for peace. Another principal part of the Message of Fatima is devotion to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, which is terribly outraged and offended by the sins of humanity, and we are lovingly urged to console Her by making reparation. She showed Her Heart, surrounded by piercing thorns (which represented the sins against Her Immaculate Heart), to the children, who understood that their sacrifices could help to console Her.

Again and again, Mary has appealed to us in her apparitions to pray the rosary daily. Why not do as she says?

3. Because Jesus listens to his mom

We see this in John’s account of the gospel, when Jesus transforms the water into wine after Mary tells him they had run out at the wedding (John 2:1-11). In a similar way to the Old Testament, when the King listened to and respected the Queen Mother, so Jesus respects and listens to his Mother, Mary, Queen of Heaven.

“And the king said to her, ‘Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you” -1 Kings 2:20

Of course we can go straight to Jesus, but he has given us his Mother as well (John 19:27). And as we know from the gospel, Jesus hastens to answer his Mother’s requests.

4. Miracles Happen

“Among all the devotions approved by the Church, none has been so favored by so many miracles as the devotion of the Most Holy Rosary.” -Pope Pius IX

Books could be filled (and, in fact, have been filled) with stories of miraculous healings, conversions, and other events brought about by the regular recitation of the rosary. There’s no reason to expect the rosary not to bring about some dramatic and powerful change in your life as well.

5. Because meditation helps us to “see for the first time”

The rosary is meant to be the “epitome of the entire Gospel”. When we pray the rosary, we are engaging in the practice of mediation

CCC 2708: Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him.

Mediation is meant to lead us as a step along the way to true knowledge of the Lord, to personal union with Jesus. As GK Chesterton said, “If you look at a thing 999 times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it for the 1000th time, you are in danger of seeing it for the first time.” This is what we attempt to do in mediation – to see for the first time. We meditate on the stories of the Gospel as we pray with Mary to help us see Jesus for the first time, to fall in love with Him by meditating upon his life.

So get the beads out and start praying! You won’t regret it

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