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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


James of the Marche: Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! 
<p>James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances. </p><p>James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence. </p><p>With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching. </p><p>To combat extremely high interest rates, James established <i>montes pietatis</i> (literally, mountains of charity)--nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects. </p><p>Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476 and was canonized in 1726.</p> American Catholic Blog We all have fears, but we don’t have to be afraid. Jesus is always with us to protect us and give us courage. We only have to remember that the battle is the Lord’s. When Jesus gives us the victory, let’s be sure to thank Him and praise Him for what He has done.

 
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