The catacomb are an underground Christian and/or Jewish cemetery consisting of a passage ways with recesses for tombs, as constructed outside of the ancient Rome. In the catacombs, the early Christians may have hid so that they would not be put in prison or killed for their faith in Christ. Pictures were painted in the catacombs of different bible stories of the Old and New Testaments. In the very Early Church Mass was celebrated in the catacombs on the tombs of the martyrs. Today we have an altar stone and a relic* that is placed in the altar to remind us of the church family that has passed (they have died but they are alive in heaven) and the humble church beginnings in the Catacombs.
*Relic: A relic is something connected with a saint or blessed, including a part of their body (e.g. hair or a piece of bone), their clothing, or an object that the person used or touched.
It is not the kind of relic or how big it is that is important, but rather the faith and prayer that the relic occasions. By the communion of saints, it is that person who is close to us, blessing and praying for us.
The veneration(to give honor and reverence) of relics is an ancient custom dating from the reverence shown at the graves of the martyrs even in the time of the apostles.(http://www.motherteresa.org/09_relics/relics.htm)
“In all, relics remind us of the holiness of a saint and his cooperation in God’s work; at the same time, relics inspire us to ask for the prayers of that saint and to beg the grace of God to live the same kind a faith-filled life.” (Fr. W. Saunders, “Keeping Relics in Perspective”, © 2003 Arlington Catholic Herald)
Two popes were buried in the Catacomb of Priscilla: Pope Marcellinus (296 – 304) and Pope Marcellus I (308 – 309)
Virtual Tour: http://www.bemydisciples.com/catacombs-priscilla
Why is the right hand of a bishop held in a particular manner when blessing?
The two upraised fingers signify the two natures of Our Lord: divine and human.
The three fingers that are ‘curved’ signify the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
It’s a statement of belief in two key elements of Catholic belief, Our Lord being human and divine in His nature, and Three Persons, One God in the Trinity,
Holywaterblessing4 – We are making Holy Water Bottles. We are using the maple syrup bottles from CrackerBarrel, making a new label, and filling them with holy water from the holy water reservoir at church.
“Lord, God Almighty, creator of all life, of body and soul, we ask you to bless this water: as we use it in faith forgive our sins and save us from all illness and the power of evil. Lord, in your mercy give us living water, always springing up as a fountain of salvation; free us, body and soul, from every danger, and admit us to your presence in purity of heart.”
-the Prayer of Blessing of Water in the Sacramentary
About Saint Patrick:
About Blessed Mother Teresa:
Our Prayer Partner Sisters: St. Emma’s Benedictine Nuns