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Rosary is a Marian devotion, meaning a devotion in honor to the Blessed Virgin Mary, practiced mostly by Roman Catholics. The phrase “Ad Jesum Per Mariam” or “To Jesus through Mary” is popular among Catholics. we show devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and ask her to bring our prayers to her Son, Jesus Christ. Rosary was designed to work as meditation on the life of Jesus Christ. When we pray the rosary, our minds are fixed in the significant and joyful, sorrowful, and glorious events during Jesus’s ministry.

However, this practice is being condemned by many anti-Catholics mainly because of two misunderstanding: the prayer is not biblical and the prayer contradicts the scriptures because the 53 Hail Marys (or 203 in the full rosary) are vain repetitions. This post focuses on the second reason.

The Bible verse they would use for this claim against the Holy Rosary is Matthew 6:7. “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.” This was part of Jesus’s discourse concerning prayer in the Sermon of the Mount.

Defending the Rosary against “vain repetitions”

If you too love the Holy Rosary, here is how to defend the Holy Rosary (against false claim that it is vain repetition) without getting into a debate and without risking your friendship with the claimant. This list is developing so make sure you subscribe to this blog for updates.

  1. Matthew 6:7 – Let us use the same verse they use by understanding the context more. Actually, they have this as “In praying, don’t use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking.” (KJV) The Bible versions does not matter to us Catholics because we know that this warning was for all prayers and not specific to the Holy Rosary. We must remember that Jesus was merely warning the people (Jews) around him in general against doing good in order to be seen. Also, pagans babbles with a long list of divine names hoping one of those gods would answer their prayers. Catholics are not pagans. We also do not repeat meaningless words because the words we say in the rosary are from the Bible. So this verse per se is not something that is against the recitation of the Holy Rosary.
  2. Matthew 15:7-9. Speaking of vain repetitions, Jesus spoke strongly against those people who honor God with their lips but with their hearts far from him thus worshiping him in vain. This is not the case when we pray the rosary because when we say it we meditate Jesus’s life (the second person of the Holy Trinity). Our minds and hearts are with him while we recite the same words of the angel Gabriel and Mary’s cousin Elizabeth.
  3. Matthew 5:3-11. The Lord Jesus Christ gave us the beatitudes by repeating the same first phrase “Blessed are the …. for…” nine times.
  4. Luke 18:1-8. The Parable of The Widow and the Unrighteous Judge. The widow kept coming to the judge (God) repeating the same words, “Vindicate me against my adversary!” The parable concludes that God will vindicate his elect who cry to him day and night.
  5. Luke 11:1-4. According to Jesus, when we pray, meaning every single time we pray, we should include and repeat The Lord’s Prayer. This is the reason in all our prayer, whether personal or communal, we include and repeat the Our Father. In the Holy Rosary, we say the Lord’s Prayer 6 times (or 21 times in the full rosary).
  6. Matthew 26:44. In Jesus agonizing prayer in the garden, he prayed a third time, saying the same thing again. “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!” If then the Lord can repeat, it is logical that we also can do the same.
  7. Revelation 4:8. The four living creatures, each of them with six wings, were covered with eyes inside and out. Day and night they do not stop exclaiming: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come.”
  8. Psalm 136:1-26. This is a striking defense we have for the defense of the repetition of the words when praying the Holy Rosary. You may refer your friend directly to this part of the Holy Scripture. Psalms means “psalter” or “book of praises”. The psalmist in chapter 136 repeated “for his mercy endures forever” twenty-six times in 26 successive verses.
  9. Luke 6:12. Jesus went out to the hills to pray all night in preparation of his selection of the twelve apostles. This does not indicate that he prayed using repetitive words but we can speculate that he did. Who can pray without repeating any word or phrases in an eight-hour long night prayer?

No human being cannot not repeat the words used from previous prayer.

No human being cannot not repeat the words used from previous prayer. That’s the truth. The words we use to express our petitions as human beings are limited and we are asked to pray without ceasing (1 Thes 5:17). Thus, there is no way a person cannot not repeat what was prayed in his/her lifetime.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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THE CODE OF CANON LAW
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Per Pope Paul VI, Canon Law is of its very nature pastoral because it is the law of the Church and that its juridical aspect manifests and is of service to the divine life of the faithful especially in the matter of charity.

Catholic Encyclopedia‘s definition: Canon law is the body of laws and regulations made by or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members.

This is my own timeline version on how the Church came up with our current Code of Canon Law of 1983.

  • 1250 BC – The Ten Commandments

    In the Exodus event, when the people of God were escaping from Egypt to the promised land, God wrote ten laws in a stone plate and gave them to the people through Moses. Hundreds of Mosaic laws were derived from these commandments to their tiniest details. Jesus and Paul during their ministries criticized these derived laws that have little to no relevance to the original commandments.

  • AD 30-33 – Jesus’s New Commandments of Love

    Jesus reaffirmed these commandments in Mark 10:19 and Matthew 5. He gave the Church two new but same commandments of love – love of God (the first three commandments) and the love of neighbors (the other seven commandments). Reference verses: Luke 10:27; Matthew 22:37-40; Mark 12:28-34.

  • AD 33-98 – The Apostolic Times

    The apostles, including Paul, gave dispositions and ordinances as to how the Church has to be governed. Only few of these have been included in the New Testament. Paul said that the Law of Moses was a custodian or disciplinarian confined for the faith that was to be revealed in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:24-25). In 1 Timothy 3, Paul set the qualities that a bishop should possess and keep for the good of the Church. Other dispositions and ordinances that were not written in the New Testaments were the words of the apostles. The people considered their words law too and there was a need for these words to be put in writing.

  • AD 98-1100s – Pseudo-apostolic Collections

    After the death of the apostles, alternatives were made to the authority of the apostles in order to deal with heretics. The pseudo-apostolic writings contains not only Christian doctrines but also many moral, liturgical, and disciplinary norms. The Pesudo-apostolic collections include the Didache (2nd century), Didascalia Apostolorum (3rd century), Traditio Apostolica of Hippolytus (around 3rd century), The Apostolic Constitutions (4th century), and the Canones Apostolorum (5th-7th century).

  • AD 1140 – Gratian’s Decree

    Gratian was an Italian Camaldolese monk who taught practical theology (Canon Law) in monasteries at Bologna. In the year 1140, he published the “harmony of discordant laws” or Concordantia Discorantium Canonum. He put the entire mass of church legislation of the Latin Church in proper order. He also removed those canons that were no longer applicable in his times. Later on the book was called Gratian’s Decree. It dealt with many areas like the sources of law, elections, simony, law of procedure, ecclesiastical property, monks, schismatics, sacraments and sacramentals, etc.

  • AD 1234 – The Decretals of Gregory IX

    With the help of St. Raymond of Pennafort, new papal law were added to the Gratian’s Decree and this was called The Decretals of Gregory IX. It dealt with judges, trials, clergy, marriage, and crime. This was promulgated in the year 1234 and it became the first authentic collection of the Church.

  • AD 1298 – Liber Sixtus (The Book Six)

    A supplement to the Decretals of Gregory IX was promulgated by Pope Boniface VIII. Liber sixtus was the result of this supplement plus the five books of the the decretals.

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  • AD 1305-14 – Liber Septimus (The Constitutions of Clement)

    Pope Clement V added one book to the previous six books. This was promulgated by his successor Pope John XXII. It was called Seventh Book or Liber Septimus.

  • AD 1500s – Extravagantes

    These were two other decretals circulating outside the other compilations. John Chapuis was an expert canonist who edited these two collections containing the Extravagantes of John XXII and the Extravagantes Communes. The latter were the decretals issued by different Popes in the last half of the 15th century.

  • AD 1580s – Corpus Iuris Canonici (The Body of Canon Law)

    This was the official collection of canons for the Latin Church. The Body of Canon Law contains the previous six decretals or constitutions.

  • AD 1917 – The Code of Canon Law of 1917

    The purpose of the 1917 Code of Canon Law was to unify and purify the then existing laws of the Church. It was appropriate that a new codification of all the laws of the Church be done in order to have an official Code of Canon Law that would apply to the circumstances of those times in the Church. Before the 1917 Code of Canon Law there were set of decretals from many different sources and from time to time new canons would be added that need codifications. Pope Pius X, with same motive-to bring order out of the chaos-as his predecessor Pope IX, directed that all Church laws up to his time should be brought together into one clear and orderly whole. That those abrogated and antiquated laws no longer pertaining to present times were to be deleted. And that the rest of the laws should adjust to the circumstances of their times. It was a laborious task during his pontificate but with the help of an appointed commission of Cardinals, bishops, and Canon Law experts (Canonists), the Church was able to come up with an authentic, universal, one, exclusive, juridical, special, organic, well ordered, complete and harmonious Code of Canon Law of 1917.

  • AD 1983 – The Code of Canon Law of 1983

    Pope John XXIII in 1959 first intended to revise the 1917 Code and set up a commission of cardinals for the job in the year 1963. This was postponed because of the Second Vatican Council . The commission completed their work in 1971 and for seven years different drafts were given to bishops all over the world for consultation. In 1980, a compiled draft, in one volume with all the canons arranged in sequential order, was presented to the members of the commissions. It was then evaluated and another draft was again circulated to the bishops for world wide consultation. The evaluated draft was completed and submitted on July of 1981. The final draft was presented to the pope on October 29, 1981. The pope with a small group of canonists studied the final draft and made several changes. Finally, after 24 years, a new Code of Canon Law was promulgated on January 25, 1983 by Pope John Paul II.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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Theology courses can now be availed via distance learning. Yes! It is possible to study Theology without quitting your job. You can opt to have short certificates, diplomas, undergraduate degrees, master degrees, and doctorate degrees. Many universities and religious schools offer distance learning to people interested in learning more about the Christian faith.

This one school in India run by the Society of Jesus is my top recommendation for those who are starting to do formal theology education. I chose this one because everything can be done online and the two exams can be arranged at a location near you. Here is everything you need to know about it:

Course: Diploma in Theology (DipTh) via Distance Learning

Course Outline: There are two phases. One phase per year (normally) and each phase is composed of 30 credits – a total of 60 credits. Each module is equal to one credit (for elective courses) or two credits (main courses) so there are at least 15 modules per phase. Important topics such as Introduction to Scriptures and Theology of the Triune God are covered in the curriculum.

Dedicated Time required: 10 – 20 hours per week for up to two years

Location: Vidyajyoti College of Theology’s Institute of Religious Studies, 4-A, Raj Niwas Marg, Delhi – 110054. Website: http://www.vjdepth.in/courses

Qualification: At least Secondary / High School graduate with above average level in English, computer and internet savvy.

Mode of Study: The school director will send and email with modules and response sheets. You are given at least a month to complete two modules. Each module has six questions that you need to respond before you can proceed with the next set of modules. There is no interaction with other learners.

Language: English only

Exams: One written exam per phase so there is a total of two exams. There are exam centers in India and Kuala Lumpur. For those who are not in these regions, exams can be arranged with a parish priest or a Jesuit priest near you.

Tuition: 250 US Dollars all-in, bank transfer to an India bank

Application: Submit a letter of intent to director@vjdepth.in. Should you be qualified, you will then be required to pass some documents and the instructions for the tuition payment. The course will start immediately after your payment is received.

Studying with Vidyajyoti has really improved my knowledge in God, in Jesus Christ, His Church and her teachings. I am on my last modules of the second phase and hopefully I can finish my studies in few months. My next step is getting a Bachelor Degree in Theology and I am looking at either doing it traditionally at a normal school or doing it online again but with DOMUNI Universitas which is run by the Dominicans.

I hope this blog post has helped you with your decision. Do help me share this info to others.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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We’re Misunderstanding the Bible When…

1. We think we are the first ones to understand God’s message.

We think we are the first ones to understand God’s message and that there were no true Christians before us. No! The Bible has existed since the fourth century after Christ and it has been read by billions of people. Out of these, surely millions possessed higher intellect than we do and they humbly kept their faith in line with the Catholic Church. “Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation,” (2 Peter 1:20). Paul said in Galatians 1:8 that even if an angel from heaven should preach to us a gospel other than the one that the apostles preached (including Sacred Traditions), let that one be accursed! So it is clear that private interpretation is prohibited and we should stick to what had been preached from the beginning of Christianity. Interpreting it on our own would be a way to found another strange sect.

2. We think that every word is an instant problem-solver today.

No! The Word of God is indeed life-giving but that does not mean whatever difficulties we have today will disappear by reading the Bible. In Biblical Hermeneutics, we encounter the word “exegesis” which means the process of finding the meaning or meanings a biblical text had for its own author and for its original readers. We have to ponder what their problems were and what God wanted them to understand. From there, we can then reflect the messages shed on the present time and circumstances.

3. We think that God taught everything from the beginning.

No! God taught his people for more than fifteen centuries from Abraham to the apostles but not everything. As per Paul, the teachings followed by the Jews were custodian laws until Christ came (Galatians 3:24-25). Other words for custodian are disciplinarian, tutor, or guide. As Christians, we have the full revelation in Christ – the Word of God. We should believe in Christ and observe all things whatsoever He had commanded us (Matthew 28:20).

4. We think that God did not have in mind the coming of his Son in the Old Testament.

No! From the very first message which God gave his people, he had in mind the coming of Jesus Christ and the mystery of his cross and resurrection. We need to read and understand the Old Testament in this light. References to Jesus, his person and mission, are mentioned in the Old Testament especially in the Book of Psalms and the Book of Prophet Isaiah.

5. We think that the most important is not clearly taught.

No! Although some parts of the Sacred Scriptures that actually have a little to teach and were written in a sophisticated way according to an old literary style, we should not cling to these strange sentences to the point of forsaking what is clear and fundamental. 2 Peter 3:16 reminds us that there are some things hard to understand (in Paul’s letter) that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures.

6. We think that reading what we do not yet know is better than reading it continually.

No! We should read the bible continually as proof of our love and faithfulness to God. If we persevere, God will give us all the understanding we need.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

Reference: The Christian Community Bible: Catholic Pastoral Edition, page 7.

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Have you ever thought of overcoming the pleasures of this world and live a life of penance and prayer? Have you actually ever started doing it but it did not really last that long? If so, you are not alone.

I live in a city where everything is easily accessible. I meant legal things like foods, entertainment, sports, etc. Nowadays we don’t need to walk or travel to satisfy our senses. Foods and drinks arrive at your doorstep, movies and games can be enjoyed at home.

Many times I resolved to reduce or detach myself from these temporal enjoyments to give way to a more meaningful life in Christ. But it is very difficult to be consistent especially in terms of food and drink intake. I could do a week or two and then after that I would lose track of it and would need to start from the beginning. So I turn to spiritual reading to gain encouragement from saintly people of the past. I read a chapter about the development of monasticism in a theology course I am taking and knew about this man who ‘lived outside the world’ for 37 years.

His name is Simeon and he was from Syria. He lived in the years 390-459. He was called ‘stylite’ (means pillar) because he lived for 37 years atop a narrow column raised around 60 feet above the desert floor. He lived a life of penance, prayer, and preaching. He survived the hot summers and cold winters in the desert for almost four decades.

I also watched a movie in YouTube about him. Luis Buñuel’s “Simón del desierto” 1965, is a 45-minutes Mexican film about his life. It highlights his battle against the devil who was trying to distract him to embrace the pleasures the world can offer. But Simeon was determined and, with God’s grace, he managed to stay up on his pillar.

People of different kinds and ages came to him for advice and prayer. One time he prayed over a man who lost both hands. God heard his prayers and the man’s hands reappeared. God does use holy people as intercessors.

Priesthood did not attract the saint. One time he asked for a blessing from a bishop, he was offered a blessing and an ordination to priesthood. Simeon humbly rejected the ordination and only asked for the blessing. He said he was a sinful man and was not worthy to receive that grace allotted for the priests of God.

Many Christians were inspired by him and became stylites themselves taking up the life of ascetics. They considered ascetical discipline as a preparation for a life of prayer and through renunciation of the world and ascetical practices they believe they would be more closer to God and gain eternal life.

I am reminded by Simeon’s life and virtues whenever I face challenges in my spiritual life. There is no other life better than living a life like Christ’s, life of no excess and life of no luxury. Simon is a great role model of this kind of life. We too can overcome the world with God’s help and the intercession of the saints.

Saint Simeon, please pray for us especially those of us enslaved by the sin of gluttony, lust, greed, or envy. Amen.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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11 BOOKS THAT MAY ALSO HELP KEEP YOUR FAITH ALIVE
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The Holy Bible

For us Christians, the Sacred Scriptures contain the Word of God and, because they are inspired, they are truly the Word of God (DV24, CCC135). The Holy Bible is a product of the Sacred Tradition handed to us by the Holy Apostles and the first disciples of Jesus. It was compiled only in 380 A.D. by Pope Saint Damasus I. The Holy Bible is the only book that sold at least five billion copies. Bibles are everywhere; they are in houses, in schools, in offices, and in other establishments.

The version that I prefer is the Christian Community Bible: Catholic Pastoral Edition because of its easy to understand translation and commentaries. This is the book that I read almost every day. I cannot imagine life without the Bible.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Bible has been read by billions of people before us and has been interpreted officially by that Church that Jesus built. Private interpretation is prohibited (2 Pt 1:19) to avoid a divided Christianity into different sects and cults. There is only one God and One Church. The church came up with catechisms to sum up the beliefs of the faithful. This copy of the official Catechism of the Catholic Church (one in Spanish) is a work of Cardinal Ratzinger during the pontificate of Pope Saint John Paul the Great.

The Starved and The Silent

A holy priest, now a Venerable Servant of God, went to Korea to carry out missionary works. The country, recovering from the devastating war was at one point one of the poorest countries in the world. Monsignor John Phillip Aloysius Schwartz or Father Al wrote his own account of his own struggles and the many kinds of suffering of the Korean people. The heartbreaking story of his young friend Michael Rhi is the highlight of the book.

YouCat or Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church

Created especially for the young ones, this abridge version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church comes in an easy to read question and answers form accompanied by tidbits of interesting trivia in the side notes – a must have for the youth. I love the layout, fonts styles, and the images in the book.

Las Cronicas de Narnia

This is Spanish for ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’. It’s one of C.S. Lewis’s best sellers that contains seven interrelated stories. Films were made for the three of those stories namely, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), Prince Caspian (2008), and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010). The fourth film The Silver Chair is on its way. Narnia is my first choice of all works of fiction out there because of its strong Christian messages.

The Sermons of the Cure of Ars

When I feel the need of something to boost my lukewarm soul I turn to the words of Saint John Marie Vianney, the Cure of Ars. His sermons are so striking one could imagine being admonished by God himself. Some would say his messages does not apply to our own times but for me personally they remind me of the God’s love for each of us.

The Liturgy of the Hours

I have this one volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours bought by my wife for my birthday. Other names for this is The Divine Office or The Breviary. They are mostly used by the religious and the ordained but the laity are also encouraged to pray it. I love praying and reading the Liturgy of the Hours especially the first readings of the day. I love the fact that old testimonies, letters, sermons of great saints of the Church are made available and accessible for us to read.

Handbook of Catholic Apologetics

Authored by Dr. Peter Kreeft and Fr. Ronald Tacelli this book is a must have for Catholics especially those who are doing studies in Apologetics, Philosophy, and Theology. I heard one time in the radio Trent Horn (Catholic Answers apologist) saying this is one of the books that has helped him in his studies in the past and would recommend it to everyone.

Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul

Saint Faustina wrote in her diary her private conversations with Jesus. Her hand written account was converted to a book and this became the result. She wrote her life story from her childhood days until the time she received the message of the Divine Mercy and started to propagate the devotion.

Cries of Jesus from the Cross: A Fulton Sheen Anthology

I recently received this book from Catholic Answers. I was surprised to see and love its content. Our dear Venerable Fulton J Sheen links the seven last words of Jesus from the cross to the deadly sins of anger, envy, lust, gluttony, and pride. He counters these vices with the practice of virtues in order to overcome them.

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Marcelino

I was fortunate to grab this 1960 copy of this book in a church book sale in Malaysia. It’s a story of a young orphan boy left (when he was infant) in a Franciscan monastery because of civil unrest in the nearby village. The boy became a joy of the entire community despite of his misbehavior. Things changed after an encounter with someone alive who has been staying for a while in the friary’s upper room. I wont go further :-).

I already knew about the story in a Spanish movie Marcelino: Pan y Vino prior to reading the book but I assure you I appreciated the story even more when I read it.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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Villa Elma Lucban Quezon Province Philippines
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A used-to-be private property has opened its gates for public in the city of Lucban, Quezon. This beautiful site is located right at the slope of a mountain facing the peak of the mysterious Mount Banahaw and is just a 15 minutes ride from the town proper. Villa Elma is a family owned property with sculptures and statues like those of Kamay ni Hesus along the Lucban-Tayabas road. In fact, some of the figures in both locations look exactly the same.

The thing that I like most in Villa Elma is the serenity of the place. I could hear the birds of different kinds singing all day long. And since the whole place is filled with flowers and trees, countless butterflies and insects can be spotted. It’s really a perfect place to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation. I could also hear water running down the side of the mountain. Indeed a fitting place for prayer, meditation, and reflection.

The other feature of the place is the option to stay for a night. They have some rooms available at a reasonable rate and I can tell you, you will never be disappointed with the deal. The rooms are very spacious and some of them with terraces. I was told by their care taker that high-ranking Philippine Officials have stayed in the place for a retreat and for leisure.

They offer food orders during daytime and you can enjoy it served at your room or at their canteen. They offer local dishes like the Pancit Lucban and Longanisang Lucban which are the best sellers in the area.

The most memorable moment I had there was swimming in a natural non-tiled pool of spring water. The water is so fresh you can actually drink it. Only I dared to dip in the water while my wife and kids enjoyed a shower of spring water nearby.

We had an enjoyable experience at the place and so I am confident you will also have the same. Learn more about the place via their website http://www.villaelma.com.ph/store/c1/Featured_Products.html.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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The Praying Lensman - Catholic Tag
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After my conversion years ago, I have been wanting to wear something that is designed by myself, something of religious significance that is wearable in public. I also thought of having something unique that I could give as gift to my Catholic friends who are passionate about their faith. So I ended up with a simple dog tag design with features you see in the photos.

Thoughtfully designed for Catholics, this dog tag comes with a dose of apologetics and part of the creed we profess at Mass. So not only that I have important bible verses handy with me but I also can show the world the joy of being a member of this One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

The tag has the emblem of the papacy with the crossed keys that symbolizes the keys of Peter – our first pope. The three crowns in the emblem represent the power of the Pope as “father of kings”, “governor of the world” and “Vicar of Christ”. The gold cross on a globe surmounting the crown or tiara signifies the sovereignty of Jesus. You can read more about the emblem here.

These are the important Bible verses and Catechism paragraph numbers that are engraved in black at the back of the tag:

  • Matthew 16:18 – “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
  • Matthew 28:18-20 – “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
  • John 21:15 – When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
  • CCC 811-870 – The Catechism paragraphs that explain the Church in detail.

This dog tag is made of nickel plated stainless steel. The texts are engraved while the logo is printed directly on the tag. It comes with one stainless and one regular iron ball chains in its pouch.

You may message me if you like this design and you want to have one or if you want to give it to someone as a gift. It’s a perfect and a unique piece of gift you can give to anyone regardless of the occasion. Items are limited and are only available in few areas such as Singapore, Manila, and Lucena.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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Jonel Painagan Esto The Praying Lensman
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Hello, readers! My name is Jonel and I go by an alias “The Praying Lensman” which is also the name of my blog. “Praying” because I believe in one, almighty, and munificent God. “Lensman” because I capture photos and short videos as a hobby. The plan is merging these two interests into one through this blog.

I am a husband and a father of three and I depend on a job to support my growing Christian family. Thus, I will be blogging about parenting, work life, Christianity, and other topics under the sun.

I speak four tongues including Spanish, Filipino, and Cebuano so you are free to drop a comment on my posts using any of these. I am not a native nor an excellent English speaker so I will be blogging using simple and plain English. I do wish to improve so I welcome and appreciate polite corrections.

Truth is in my veins and will only be blogging with the truth. I despise anything that is fake that sometimes I become aggressive when dealing with them especially when the victim is Christ or his One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

I tend to exhaust all my resources before publishing a post. If you do find anything on my post that you think is not accurate please do not hesitate to contact me immediately so we can work together and correct it to minimize the impact it can cause to the souls of the readers.

I am open to suggestions and new ideas. I would like to hear from you the topics you would be interested in that you want to see in this blog. You can drop a comment on my posts or send me a message via my social media account.

Thank you and let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

Some posts about by personal life…

Jonel Painagan Esto The Praying Lensman

Welcome to My Blog!

I am a husband and a father of three and I depend on a job to support my growing Christian family. Thus, I will be blogging about parenting, work life, Christianity, and other topics under the sun.

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St. John Vianney and Jonel Vianney Esto
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Saint John Vianney and my son Jonel Vianney

Saint John Vianney has been my hero since my childhood. He was a holy priest in a small county in France called “Ars”. He lived a simple life and found no pleasure in foods and other earthly pleasures. He heard confession more than 12 hours a day and he could read the hearts and mind of the penitents. Many sinners were converted during his ministry. This was the reason why he was called “The Cure of Ars”. He died 1859 and canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925. He is a patron of confessors and the patron of parish priests.

At one point in my life I wanted to follow his footsteps and desired to be a priest. However, I was called instead to bring up a family of my own with souls to protect and guide. My wife and I got married in 2014 and shortly after that our first child, a boy, was conceived. I told my wife about Saint John Vianney and how he changed my life for good. It did not take much to convince her and she willfully agreed to honor God by naming our son with a name of one of his holy saints.

So this is our son, “Uno” (his nickname). He is five years of age now. He is struggling socially with Autism Spectrum Syndrome but he is improving day by day. Thanks to my wife’s untiring efforts and the intercessions of Saint John Vianney.

Saint John Vianney, please continue to pray for our Uno and all of us!

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