The first missionary religious congregation for women in the history of the Church and the world is the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary founded in 1877 by BL. Mary of the Passion, now in the 139th year of its course.

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Tu Bishvat


Tu Bishvat (Hebrew: ט״ו בשבט‎) is a minor Jewish holiday, occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat (in 2012 this occurred from sunset on February 7 through sunset on February 8). It is also called "The New Year of the Trees" or (Hebrew: ראש השנה לאילנות, Rosh HaShanah La'Ilanot‎). Tu Bishvat is one of four "New Years" mentioned in the Mishnah.[1] Tu Bishvat is considered by secular Israeli Jews and organizations to be the Jewish equivalent of Arbor Day,[12][15] and it is often referred to by that name in international media.[16] Ecological organizations in Israel and the diaspora have adopted the holiday to further environmental-awareness programs.[17][18] On Israeli kibbutzim, Tu Bishvat is celebrated as an agricultural holiday.[19 Thus the 15th of Shevat became the date for calculating when the agricultural cycle began or ended for the purpose of biblical tithes.[4]


Agriculture is esteemed in every culture and religion. Every created person realizes that we have to live by the work of our hands... sowing and reaping on the land, in the mind and above all in the heart.

Along with our Jewish friends, let us rejoice, as more trees are planted this day, enhancing our environment. The greenery around let it revive the hope that every tree gives of growing upward,

spreading its branches outward,

 giving shadow and shelter to all alike

and above all bearing the destined fruit in abundance

and in gratitude for letting it be.

A tree is indeed a silent teacher.

 Lord, help us to learn from the trees.

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