Rafka Press LLC is an Arizona limited liability company, founded in 2006. We publish books for Catholics of all ages. We specialize in children’s fiction, spiritual reading, marriage, and family life. Rafka Press only publishes new or reprinted works that are completely faithful to the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church. The Spencer Family Mystery series is our first set of books.
Rafka Press is named after St. Rafka of Hamlaya (sometimes spelled Himlaya), Lebanon, a holy Maronite nun who was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2001. The following information is from the Most Rev. Francis M. Zayek, S.T.D., J.C.D., Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of St. Maron, USA.
Lily of Himlaya
Rafka was born in Himlaya, a small village near Bickfaya, Lebanon, on June 29, 1832. She was given the name Petronilla as a reminder that she was a daughter of St. Peter, on whose feast day she entered the world.
The Land of Rafka
The Land of Rafka is Lebanon: a country, torn by years of war, in search of peace and tranquility. The wealthy, big powers have brought their conflicts there; they are trying to resolve them there. The greatness of that Land lies in the fact that it has always been a land of refuge. The Land of Rafka is the land of the Canaanites and the Phoenicians, and is mentioned with enthusiasm and wonder more than sixty times in Holy Scripture.
Like Therese of Lisieux, Rafka, “The Little Flower of Lebanon,” the “Purple Rose,” the “Silent and Humble Nun,” had to tell her life story to her Mother Superior some months before her death. Obedience to this request is the reason why today we are able to know something about this woman, who sought for nothing else but to be forgotten by men and live only for God.
Rafka suffered for 17 years as a blind paralytic. Only God knew how much she had to endure. Her pain was continuous night and day, yet the other sisters never heard her murmuring or complaining. She often told them that she thanked God for her sufferings, “...because I know that the sickness I have is for the good of my soul and His glory” and that “the sickness accepted with patience and thanksgiving purifies the soul as the fire purifies gold.”
She was always quiet and calm, smiling; enduring even the greatest pain with patience, hoping in the Lord who promised to increase the glory of His faithful servants in Heaven (Luke 21:19).
By her patience, she can be compared to the greatest of the saints.
Much more information on St. Rafka can be obtained by simply typing her name into any search engine in your web browser.
The founders of Rafka Press LLC are humbled to be associated with St. Rafka, and consider her the Patroness of our business. Saint Rafka, pray for us! Thank you for benefits already bestowed!
The Rafka Press logo is a Lebanese cedar tree with the words “sapientia, humanitas, traditio” surrounding it. The cedar tree represents Lebanon, a traditionally Catholic country (with the eastern Maronite and Melkite Catholic rites, not the Roman rite). The Latin language comes from the ancient Roman Empire and is the official language of the Church. The three words in Latin mean the following:
humanitas: Refinement; culture; the refinement of humanity
The values that Rafka Press wishes to uphold and hand down to others are exactly those values that built Western Civilization. Wisdom, which is greater than mere knowledge; a civilizing refinement of culture; and tradition. These are the values upon which our forefathers built up Western Civilization and the traditional Catholic culture of the Middle East. A civilization built upon the Redeeming love that Jesus Christ gave us from the Cross.
This love of Jesus Christ is all that really matters. The Church and her sacramental life are vehicles a soul can use to love God now, and be happy with Him forever in Heaven.
Love begets beauty; love begets tradition. This is why our forefathers in the medieval ages built great churches, and it is why today in modern America and Europe there is so much ugliness. Consider the rise of gross tattoos and other aberrations in just the past 20 years. Consider the confusion of gender roles and the massive breakup of families. Truly, western nations are dying. They broke from their Christian past and are therefore losing their wisdom, their refinement, their tradition.
With a cedar tree from the East and the Latin words from the West, the Rafka Press logo incorporates elements from both Catholic cultures.
Saint Rafka, pray for us.