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Daily Catholic Question

What is "the love of St. John"?

In at least some religious houses on December 27, the Feast of St. John, the religious superior blesses wine which is then drunk at the meal. The old Roman Ritual contained a blessing of wine for this feast. This commemorates the legend that once, while at Ephesus, John was given a cup of poisoned wine to drink. Before drinking, he blessed the cup and the poison departed the cup in the form of a serpent.

According to Francis X. Weiser in the Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs (Harcourt Brace), as late as 1952 Catholics in Central Europe brought wine and cider to church for blessing on the feast of St. John. They then took it home and some of them poured a bit of the blessed wine or cider into every barrel in the cellar.

The blessed wine is called by some the "love of St. John." In some places the bride and groom at a wedding are given a sip to drink. In other cases a sip of the wine is given to a dying person as a sacramental.

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Friday, August 8, 2014
Daily Catholic Question for 8/7/2014 Daily Catholic Question for 8/9/2014


Scholastica: Twins often share the same interests and ideas with an equal intensity. Therefore, it is no surprise that Scholastica and her twin brother, Benedict (July 11), established religious communities within a few miles from each other. 
<p>Born in 480 of wealthy parents, Scholastica and Benedict were brought up together until he left central Italy for Rome to continue his studies. </p><p>Little is known of Scholastica’s early life. She founded a religious community for women near Monte Cassino at Plombariola, five miles from where her brother governed a monastery. </p><p>The twins visited each other once a year in a farmhouse because Scholastica was not permitted inside the monastery. They spent these times discussing spiritual matters. </p><p>According to the <i>Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great</i>, the brother and sister spent their last day together in prayer and conversation. Scholastica sensed her death was close at hand and she begged Benedict to stay with her until the next day. </p><p>He refused her request because he did not want to spend a night outside the monastery, thus breaking his own Rule. Scholastica asked God to let her brother remain and a severe thunderstorm broke out, preventing Benedict and his monks from returning to the abbey. </p><p>Benedict cried out, “God forgive you, Sister. What have you done?” Scholastica replied, “I asked a favor of you and you refused. I asked it of God and he granted it.” </p><p>Brother and sister parted the next morning after their long discussion. Three days later, Benedict was praying in his monastery and saw the soul of his sister rising heavenward in the form of a white dove. Benedict then announced the death of his sister to the monks and later buried her in the tomb he had prepared for himself.</p> American Catholic Blog In all the sacraments, Christ gives to us the transforming power of his love, which we call “grace.” But in the Eucharist, and only in the Eucharist, Jesus gives us even more. He gives us his entire self—Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. Of course, the proper response to a gift of this magnitude is gratitude.

Your Imperfect Holy Family

 
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This feast of the Lord has appeared on the Roman calendar since 1457.

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May God bless you today with gentle surprises.

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Does your priest remind you of St. John Vianney? Send an e-card to thank him for his ministry.




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