Salome stepdaughter of Herod Antipas (The Dancing Lady)

The unrighteous Salome, (flourished 1st century ad), according to the Jewish historian Josephus, the daughter of Herodias and stepdaughter of Herod Antipas, tetrarch (ruler appointed by Rome) of Galilee, a region in Palestine. In Biblical literature she is remembered as the immediate agent in the execution of John the Baptist.

According to Mark 6:21–29 a daughter of Herodias danced before Herod and her mother Herodias at the occasion of his birthday, and in doing so gave her mother the opportunity to obtain the head of John the Baptist. Even though the New Testament accounts do not mention a name for the girl, this daughter of Herodias is often identified with Salome. According to Mark’s gospel Herodias bore a grudge against John for stating that Herod’s marriage to her was unlawful; she encouraged her daughter to demand that John be executed.

According to the Gospels of Mark (6:14–29) and Matthew (14:1–12), Herod Antipas had imprisoned John the Baptist for condemning his marriage to Herodias, the divorced wife of his half brother Herod Philip (the marriage violated Mosaic Law), but Herod was afraid to have the popular prophet killed.

Salome was a young woman whose mother Herodias was under attack from an outsider, John the Baptist. Her response was to be protective of her mother. She stood by her mother and the interests of the Herodian family.Read More »

The Story of Mary Magdalene and the First Easter Egg

Mary Magdalene has a special place among Jesus’ disciples.

It was St. Mary Magdalene‘s great love for Christ that kept her standing at the foot of the Cross, weeping and grief-stricken, until her Savior died. It was her heartbreaking pain of loss that drove her to his tomb at the first light of day in order to anoint his body.

As a reward for her great love and faithfulness, she is the privileged person to whom Jesus first appeared on Easter Sunday morning; she was the very first witness of the Resurrection.

It was Mary Magdalene, a woman, who went and told the twelve Apostles that Jesus had risen from the dead; for this she is called “Apostle to the Apostles.”

After Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension, Mary Magdalene continued her mission as an evangelizer, contemplative, and mystic in the heart of the Church.

According to tradition, after Jesus’ Ascension into heaven, the Magdalene—a wealthy woman of some importance—boldly presented herself to the Emperor Tiberius Caesar in Rome to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ, with an egg in hand to illustrate her message.

Holding the egg out to him, she exclaimed for the first time what is now the universal Easter proclamation among Christians, “Christ is risen!”Read More »

A Letter From God

Good morning,

As you got up I watched and hoped you would talk to me. Just a few words, such as thanking me for something good in your life yesterday or last week would do.


But I noticed you were busy selecting the right clothes for work. I waited again to hear from you. When you ran around the house collecting papers, I knew there would be a few minutes to stop and say hello, but you never slowed down.


I wanted to tell you that I could help you accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible if you would just spend some of each day with me. At one point, you waited fifteen minutes in a chair with nothing to do. I waited to hear from you.

***Read More »

#LittlePilgrimage 30. Our Lady of Victory Cathedral Daimyo-machi, Fukuoka, Japan

25 June 2017. It was cloudy in Fukuoka, Japan. Me and my friend were on our holiday in Kyushu island, Japan.

Weekly Mass for me is a habit, something I do regularly. But attending Mass during holiday has became one of my favorite activity! It started since I accidentally attended a local Mass in Hong Kong. Since then, I tried to always visit the church during the holiday. But attend the Mass is not always easy to do, especially if I traveled with a non-Catholic friend.

But here I was in Japan, and my Catholic friend agreed to join me for a Mass.

#LittlePilgrimage 30. Our Lady of Victory Cathedral Daimyo-machi, Fukuoka, Japan, 〒810-0041 Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka, Chuo Ward, Daimyo, 2 Chome-7-7.

In 1896, a small wooden chapel was built on the site where the present church is located. In 1938, the number of faithful from Fukuoka rose sharply, and then there was the need to expand the chapel premises. The church was rebuilt and reinforced with red brick.

In 1984 he began a new restructuring of the cathedral. In 1986 the church was demolished and a modern concrete church was built in its place. The old church only remained the main altar.

The church follows the Roman or Latin rite and is the main church of the Catholic diocese of Fukuoka (Dioecesis Fukuokaensis; カトリック福岡教区) which was created in 1927 with the Papal brief Catholicae Fidei under the pontificate of Pope Pius XI.Read More »

The Story of the Three Kings

This is a story about what happened to the three Kings, (called Magi), before they went to Bethlehem and after they went to Bethlehem.

There was a prophet called Balaam who prophesied saying, “A star shall spring out of Jacob and a man shall rise upon Israel and shall be Lord of all folk.” Because of this prophecy, many great lords and other people of India desired greatly to see that star.

In the land of India where the three Kings lived, was a very high hill called Vaus. On this hill twelve of the greatest astronomers, were asked to watch the stars day and night to see if any unusual light or star showed up in the sky, which they had never seen before.

Then one day something very unusual happened. On the same night and the same hour that Our Lord was born, a new star shone in the sky and it was as bright as the sun. It came and stood still over the Hill of Vaus and would not move. When the sun was most hot and most high, there was no difference between the brightness of the star and the brightness of the sun. And the star had in it the likeness of a Baby Boy and above Him was the Sign of the Cross. A voice came from the star saying: “Unto us is born this day, the King and Lord that folk have long sought. Go then and seek Him and do Him worship.”

All the people of the country were greatly amazed when they saw this wonderful star and heard the voice out of the star. When the twelve astronomers saw the miraculous star, with the Baby King bearing the sign of the cross, they joyfully ran to tell the wisemen of the land all that they had seen and heard.

Now at that time there were three good kings who ruled in India and when the astronomers told them about the miraculous star, they were truly glad. And though each of the kings lived far from each other, they all saw the star at the same hour and the same time. Then each of the three kings decided to go on a journey to see the Baby King which they had seen in the star, and do as the voice from the star had told them to do.




Each of the three kings prepared great and rich gifts for their journey. They loaded horses, camels and mules with treasures and took with them a great crowd of people. And they also took along tents and bedding and much food for the journey there, and the journey home.

As each of the three kings left their kingdom the star went before them to guide them; even though they all came from different directions! They rode over many lands and passed through many kingdoms, cities and towns. And even though they came to some dangerous places, neither one of the kings had a difficult time; they were able to carry on with their journey in peace and quiet. And what’s more, the three kings never rested night or day, and they did not eat or drink until they came to Bethlehem.

After twelve days when the three Kings were almost at Jerusalem, God worked a very great miracle so that the three Kings could meet with each other before going to Bethlehem. Melchior with his host of people and animals came first to the outskirts of Jerusalem, near the hill of Calvary. Beside this hill three roads came together to form one road, which led to Jerusalem.

God caused a dark cloud to descend upon the world. Melchior and his host could no longer see the star; so they waited. Along came Balthazar and he could no longer see the star, so he and his host waited. After a time, God lifted the cloud and Melchior and Balthazar started making their way to the main road leading to Jerusalem. Casper and his host were also making their way to Jerusalem and where the three roads join with the main road to Jerusalem, the three kings met each other.

Then God worked another miracle; even though the three Kings spoke different languages, they could all understand each other and they told each other that they were following the star to see the Baby King. They followed the star to Jerusalem and after meeting Herod they followed the star to Bethlehem. As they got closer to the stable where Jesus was, the star shone brighter! And when they arrived in Bethlehem the star lit up the place where Jesus, Mary and Joseph were staying.

Melchior, the King of Nubia and Arabia, offered gold to the Baby Jesus because He was a King. Balthazar, the King of Saba, offered frankincense to the Baby Jesus because He was God, and Caspar, the King of Tharsis, offered the Baby Jesus myrrh, because He became man and would die in order to save people from their sins.




When the three Kings left the Holy Family, they stayed that day in Bethlehem and told the people of that city and the people of the surrounding country about the Child Jesus and how the star had guided them from the East to Bethlehem. At night when the three Kings were sleeping, an Angel came and warned them that they should not return to Herod, (as Herod wanted to kill the Baby Jesus), so they went home by another way. As the three Kings travelled through different towns and cities on their way home, they preached to the people about the Baby Jesus, the Star, and all they had seen and heard and done.

Even though it had only taken thirteen days for the three Kings to travel to Bethlehem, it took them two years to return home! When they reached their kingdoms, they preached to their people and told them all that they had heard and seen and done on the way. And they made in all their temples a star, in the same form and likeness as it had appeared to them. Because of this, many pagans left their errors and their false idols and worshiped the Child Jesus.

The three Kings also built a beautiful chapel on the Hill of Vaus, in India, and promised each other that they would meet there every year. This chapel was also visited by many people from different lands.

At the time Our Lord ascended into Heaven, He sent St. Thomas the Apostle into India to preach there, the Word of God. Now as St. Thomas preached the Word of God in the temples of India, and performed many miracles by the sign of the cross, he found in every temple a star which had been painted and formed in the likeness of the star that had appeared to the three Kings on the night when Christ was born.

The three Kings had prayed that they would not die until they had been baptised. So when they heard that a disciple of Christ had come to their lands and was preaching to the people about the works of the Lord, they set out to meet him. Even though they were very old, they dressed themselves in fine garments and went to see St. Thomas. They also took with them other lords and princes and a great crowd of people.

When Thomas saw the three Kings, he received them with great joy and told them all about the life of Christ and what He had taught to his disciples. Then the Kings told St. Thomas how they had gone to Bethlehem to see the Baby Jesus. Thomas was very touched by their story and baptised the three Kings and all the people who had come with them. Suddenly the three Kings were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to preach the word of God to all the people. Then the three Kings went with St. Thomas to the Hill of Vaus, and there St. Thomas blessed the chapel which the three Kings had built. St. Thomas and the three Kings preached to the people in that chapel about the Christian faith and the star that had appeared to the three Kings. And later, around the chapel of Vaus, the three Kings built the Catholic city of Suwella.

When St. Thomas had preached and converted the people of that area to the Christian faith, he then ordained the three Kings as priests and consecrated them as Bishops. And they ordained other priests and consecrated more Bishops to serve God. St. Thomas went on to preach in other cities and towns of India and in time he was martyred.

Two years before the three Kings died, they called together all the Kings and Princes and Bishops of their lands and chose from among them a man who would be the spiritual leader of the people; and who would take the place of St. Thomas the Apostle.

The three Kings lived together like monks in Suwella, for the next two years. Then before the end of the second year, a little while before Christmas, a wonderful star appeared above the city of Suwella. By this star they knew that they would die soon. So they built a large tomb in the church there, where they could be buried. They all said Mass on Christmas day. Eight days after Christmas, Melchior; who was 116 years old, said Mass and then died. Three days later, Balthazar; who was 112 years old, said Mass and then died. And six days later, Casper; who was 109 years old, said Mass and also died.

The three Kings bodies remained incorrupt for many years, and the star appeared over Suwella until the bodies of the Kings were moved away. A long time after the death of the three Kings, the Catholic faith was practised in the city of Suwella and in all the kingdoms of the East. But as the years passed, the people of India fell again into their pagan religion. They forgot about the three Kings and as God’s punishment, the bodies of the three Kings turned to dust!

St. Helen took the bodies of the three Kings to Constantinople, where her son was the Emperor. After the death of St. Helen the bodies of the three Kings were taken to Milan Italy. Some time later, Archbishop Rainald took the bodies of the three Kings to a church in Cologne, Germany, where they still are today!

    The End

Where Is Your Bethlehem?

joseph-maryJoseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem… He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  Luke 2:4, 5


As the crow flies, it was a journey of approximately 100 kilometers but traveling over hills, through villages and around rivers would likely have made the trip even longer. Christmas pictures always show Mary riding a donkey but we really have no idea of their mode of travel. In any case, whether on foot or on the back of a swaying brown animal, it wasn’t an easy journey, especially for a women nearing the end of her pregnancy.

Why did she go? True, government officialdom decreed a census and that everyone must go to one’s “own city,” the place their families called home, for this official registration and counting. Perhaps Mary was also quite ready to leave the village of Nazareth where tongues were wagging about her pregnancy and unmarried status.

But Mary and Joseph knew they were going far from family and into a city whose streets would be clogged with traveling strangers. They were assured of no warm welcome, no cozy place to birth the expected child. Perhaps they hoped for a small house or a distant relative or a way for Joseph to earn money for their keep, but in almost every way, they were traveling into the unknown. The journey was long and hard, the destination uncertain.

Nearly nine months before their arrival in Bethlehem, Mary spoke life-changing words to God, words that were to comfort her in the many uncertain years ahead. “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” With those simple words of faith, she could endure the long journey on the back of a donkey, the cold streets of Bethlehem, the staring faces of strangers, and even the crude stable with its straw-lined manger.

Where is your Bethlehem? Has the path been long, the people uncaring, the circumstances burdensome? When we submit ourselves as servants to a loving God, we can—in quietness and confidence—add “May it be to me as you have said” no matter the place or position in which we find ourselves.