Every day is a holiday in the Catholic Church. In their latest collaboration, Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Aquilina examine the history and traditions behind both favorite and forgotten holidays, from Christmas to Easter, from the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity to the Feast of the Holy Angels
Catholic faith is festive, and the Catholic faithful count their days by celebrating the mysteries of Jesus’ life. There is a message to be found in the passing of days, weeks, and seasons. Through the feasts, ordinary Christians learn the life of Christ, share it, and come to imitate it.
This book continues the work the authors began in their books The Mass and The Church, exploring the meaning and purpose of the most basic and beloved aspects of Catholic life. Each chapter uncovers the biblical origins and development of one of the great feasts or fasts — Advent, Epiphany, the Holy Angels, all the Marian feasts, and even this very day. The calendar can be a catechism for Catholics who know how to live it.
“The feasts form us,” write the authors, “They help to make us and remake us according to the pattern of the life of Jesus Christ. We number our days as we walk in his footsteps, from his birth to his baptism, from his passion to his resurrection, from his Ascension to his sending of the Spirit to make us saints. We do this faithfully every year, and it defines us as who we are.”
“Cardinal Wuerl and Aquilina show us the transformative spiritual power in the Church’s original and most ancient feasts. This is a book to be prayed with and meditated on. Because when we understand the meaning of the Church’s liturgical feasts, we know better the great dignity and destiny we have as children of God.”
- Most Reverend José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles
About Cardinal Donald Wuerl
Donald W. Wuerl is the sixth and current Archbishop of Washington D.C., previously serving as Bishop of Pittsburgh. He grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and later studied at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio and the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. He continued his priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and the Pontifical Gregorian University. After his ordination he recieved a Ph.D. in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.
About Mike Aquilina
MIKE AQUILINA is the author of over 20 books, including The Mass of the Early Christians and Fire of God’s Love: 120 Reflections on the Eucharist. He appears regularly on EWTN with Scott Hahn.
"In this highly approachable volume, co-authors Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina have combined sound research with pastoral sensitivity to take readers on a journey of discovery and inspiration through the Church’s liturgical year. Beginning with the fundamental question of why the Church has always celebrated the Eucharist on Sundays, all the way to the origins of feasts of more recent vintage, such as Divine Mercy Sunday, this fine work reminds us that the feasts and seasons we celebrate are not just arbitrary events. Rather, we discover how the Church year is the Church’s time-honored way of inviting present-day Christians to learn about, be challenged by, and find hope for the future through the unfolding of the Paschal Mystery in time and the witness of all the saints, upon whom 'we rely for unfailing help'" (Quotation taken from Eucharistic Prayer III). – Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville & President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
“This gracefully written book will serve not only as splendid explanation of the church’s feasts and solemnities but also as an illuminating introduction to the faith itself. Mike Aquilina and Cardinal Wuerl have once again shown their prowess as champions of the new evangelization.” – Robert Barron, author of Catholicism
“We have to weigh every opportunity and know the times, says the early martyr St. Ignatius of Antioch. He encouraged the Christian communities to meet more regularly for the Eucharist. The book, The Feasts: How the Church Year Forms Us as Catholics, is a thorough and very readable guide through the Church's Feast Days, beginning with Sunday, the Lord's Day! The book invites us to be formed in a genuine Catholic identity and ethos through these beautiful and significant celebrations of our Liturgical Calendar. Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Aquilina help us to weigh every opportunity for witness to Jesus. The authors show us how the Feast Days become a connatural way to learn the Faith so that we will be intelligent and credible witnesses for the Faith.” – Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
"Catholics are a people of celebration. More than anything else - we celebrate! The Feasts is a fabulous book that will teach you the what, when, where, how, and why of the celebrations that are a the center of our incredible faith. The genius of Catholicism is all around, but often it goes unnoticed. The Church year is full of celebrations - feasts - and they seek to remind us of what matters most. Enjoy this book. It will help you to celebrate in new and profound ways." – Matthew Kelly - Founder of DynamicCatholic.com and author of Rediscover Catholicism