According to The Telegraph:

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh have hosted a reception in Buckingham Palace to honour 23 recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross and their families.

The Victoria Cross is…awarded “for most conspicuous bravery or some daring pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy”.

Introduced by Queen Victoria in 1856, it is awarded irrespective of rank to those serving in British and Commonwealth forces.

The George Cross…is granted in recognition of “acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger”…

To read the entire article in The Telegraph, please click here.

 

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According to the Mary Evans Picture Library:

On this day 100 years ago, the Great War claimed the life of a young and popular member of the royal family – Prince Maurice of Battenberg…the youngest son of Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg, and consequently the youngest grandchild of Queen Victoria.

It is characteristic that he was among the first to go to France… While leading an advance at Zonnebeke during the 1st Battle of Ypres, he was hit by shrapnel from a shell and died within minutes.

Maurice was buried in Ypres cemetery, his mother, Princess Beatrice [said] ‘Let him lie with his men’.

To read the entire article at the Mary Evans Picture Library, please click here.

 

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[Earlier]tentsAlfonso IX already knew of the embassy his son had sent, and was awaiting them in his tent with the wisest and most important of his noblemen. The Castilians greeted him with due respect, and the Archbishop of Toledo, reasoning in a prudent but forceful way, illustrated the harm that this war would cause to the people, and the scandal it gave to Christianity. Since the King, listening with a serious face, did not answer, Don Rodrigo finished severely: “Know that you are very unreasonable in attacking your son, who was always obedient to you. And be certain that if you enter in battle, God will be on the side of the innocent one.”

It took great courage to talk like this, but in those days faith was very great, and the threat of losing it, though well-deserved, visibly affected Alfonso, who lowered his head. Then Don Rodrigo placed the King of Castile’s letter in his hands. A page brought a candle and with this light the monarch from León read the letter:

Subscription22“Lord Father King of León, Don Alfonso, my Lord: What rage is this? Why do you wage war and harm me, when I do not deserve it? It seems that my well-being makes you sad. Rather, you should be very happy to have your son the King of Castile, for it is to your honor. There is not a ruler, Christian or Moor, that would dare come to me with a plan to do you harm. And what is the reason for this rage? You should remember, that it was you who attacked, and now we have two large opposing armies in the field and, normally, any king in such a position as yours should expect an all-out attack from us. But I cannot strike at you because you are my father and my lord. So, I am prepared to sit here and suffer with my troops until you come to your senses.”

No one breathed. Both the Castilians and Leóneses remained motionless with their eyes fixed on the King’s frowning, grim face. They anxiously followed the struggle that was taking place in the monarch’s soul; the struggle between resentment and ambition on one side and the blood’s voice and the respect for the Law of God on the other. Alfonso saw well that what we would call today “public opinion” was unanimously on the side of peace and favored King Don Ferdinand. Those moments of hesitation seemed like centuries. Finally, the King, lifting his eyes, looked at Don Rodrigo de Toledo and, still frowning, said with his disagreeable voice: “Archbishop, you will tell the King of Castile that the war is due to the fact that he has not paid the ten thousand maravedis that King Don Henry had promised me in exchange for Santibañez.”

Painting of Alfonso IX de León by José María Rodríguez de Losada.

Painting of Alfonso IX de León by José María Rodríguez de Losada.

“I assure you, Lord King, that this sum will be paid to you very quickly because I know well the King Don Ferdinand my lord. I am certain that if he has not yet done it, it is because he has had no knowledge of it.”

“If that is the case,” concluded the King of León, “there will be no difficulty on my part for peace; and I will name the archbishop of Santiago, along with the bishops of Zamora and Astorga, to negotiate it.”

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Sr. Maria del Carmen Fernández de Castro Cabeza, The Life of the Very Noble King of Castile and León, Saint Ferdinand III (New York: The Foundation for a Christian Civilization, Inc., 1987), 55-60.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 433

 

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Rewards of the Cross

October 30, 2014

When such a metaphysical spirit permeates everything, all society cannot but grow in quality and excellence. The lawyer presents a magnificent legal brief or a cobbler searches for a marvelous shoe for the sake of the beauty of their actions. The artist—so sensitive to such an outlook—produces his masterpiece and dies content even though he be not rich. Even the most modest of men, generally speaking, pursued their crafts as if they were arts and came to be great appreciators of beauty.

Huron moccasins c. 1830

Huron moccasins c. 1830. The design elements have Euorpean origins that were taught to the Huron women by the Ursuline nuns in colonial Quebec. Because of the rarity of silk, dyed moose hair was used for the embroidery work.

Indeed, writes Lewis Mumford, “The purpose of art has never been labor-saving but labor-loving, a deliberate elaboration of function, form, and symbolic ornament to enhance the interest of life itself.”* And in the practice of this art, the act of labor becomes a veritable prayer.

A Huron beaded pincushion, with moosehair embroidery in the center. Circa 1860.

A Huron beaded pincushion, with moosehair embroidery in the center. Circa 1860.

Such an economy involved arduous effort, but God rewarded this sacrifice by conferring upon society the flowering of what we consider the better things of life: education, books, art, music, charity, and culture. All these rewards, Ballwin claims, “were, in the Middle Ages, the very paving, so to speak, of the Way of the Cross.”**

The Joanina Library, part art of the University of Coimbra General Library. Photo by Trishhhh.

The Joanina Library, part art of the University of Coimbra General Library. Photo by Trishhhh.

Such artistic production finds little resonance in an industrialized world based on frenetic intemperance and unbridled consumption. However, this spirit of immolation and abnegation, found in the Way of the Cross, is like the ballast of a ship or the brake of a car. It puts things in order and gives stability to economy. With this ballast, the “Way of the Cross” economy produced results beyond all expectations and gave value, meaning, and beauty to all things human. With God’s grace, it could do so again.

Young Painter in his Studio by Barent Fabritius

Young Painter in his Studio by Barent Fabritius

* Lewis Mumford, The Pentagon of Power. Vol. 2 of The Myth of the Machine (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Javanovich, 1970), 137.

 

** Summerfield Ballwin, Business in the Middle Ages (New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 1968), 68.

 

John Horvat II, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need To Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 333-4.

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St. Wolfgang

Statue of St. Wolfgang in the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht.

Statue of St. Wolfgang in the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht.

Bishop of Ratisbon (972-994), born about 934; died at the village of Pupping in upper Austria, 31 October, 994. The name Wolfgang is of early German origin. St. Wolfgang was one of the three brilliant stars of the tenth century, St. Ulrich, St. Conrad, and St. Wolfgang, which illuminated the early medieval period of Germany with the undying splendour of their acts and services. St. Wolfgang sprang from a family of Swabian counts of Pfullingen

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Deborah the Prophetess

(also known as Debbora the Judge, Deborah the Matriarch)

Deborah the Prophetess

Deborah the Prophetess

Prophetess and judge: she was the wife of Lapidoth and was endowed by God with prophetic gifts which secured for her the veneration of the divided Israelitic tribes and gave her great authority over them. Her wisdom was first displayed in settling litigious matters submitted to her: “She sat under a palm-tree, which was called by her name, between Rama and Bethel, in Mount Ephraim, and the children of Israel came up to her for all judgment” (Judges, iv, 5). Debbora was thus a judge in the ordinary sense of the word. In the case of the other persons whose history is recorded in the book of Judges, the title seems to be given them as…

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All Saint’s Day: Is Being Noble and Leading a Noble’s Life Incompatible with Sanctity?

The current misunderstanding of nobility and the analogous traditional elites results largely from the adroit but biased propaganda spread against them by the French Revolution.  According to the revolutionaries of 1789, the nobility was essentially constituted of pleasure seekers.

The current misunderstanding of nobility and the analogous traditional elites results largely from the adroit but biased propaganda spread against them by the French Revolution. Such propaganda, continuously disseminated throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by ideological and political currents spawned by the French Revolution, has been challenged by serious historiography with growing efficacy. This propaganda, however, still clings to life in certain sectors of opinion. It is relevant, therefore, to say something about this.

St. Louis of France

According to the revolutionaries of 1789, the nobility was essentially constituted of pleasure seekers. Holding honorific and economic privileges, the nobles allegedly lived extravagantly off the merit and credit acquired by distant ancestors. This allowed them the luxury of enjoying earthly life, especially the delights of idleness and voluptuousness. This class of pleasure seekers was also highly burdensome to the nation and harmful to the poorer classes, which were hard-working, temperate, and beneficial to the common good. According to d’Argenson, “La Cour était le tombeau de la nation” (the Court was the nation’s tomb).

This led to the notion that the life of a noble, with the station and wealth that normally accompany it, induces a moral negligence that sharply contrasts with Christian asceticism. This perception contains some measure of truth. The first signs of the terrible moral crisis of our day were already visible among the nobility and the analogous elites of the late eighteenth century. It is necessary, however, to stress that this perception is much more false than true and is harmful to the good reputation of the noble class.

Saint Peter Julian Eymard has noted that “the Church annals show that a large number of saints, and the most illustrious ones, had a blazon, a name, an illustrious family; some were even of royal blood”

Saint Peter Julian Eymard has noted that “the Church annals show that a large number of saints, and the most illustrious ones, had a blazon, a name, an illustrious family; some were even of royal blood”

Many aspects of the Church’s history prove this, including the fact that she has raised a great number of nobles to the honors of the altar. She thus affirms that they followed the Commandments and the evangelical counsels to a heroic degree.

Saint Peter Julian Eymard has noted that “the Church annals show that a large number of saints, and the most illustrious ones, had a blazon, a name, an illustrious family; some were even of royal blood” (1). While several of these saints abandoned the world to more securely attain heroic virtue, others, such as the kings Saint Louis of France and Saint Ferdinand of Castile, remained amid the splendor of their lofty noble stations and therein attained heroic virtue.

St FerdinandTo complete the refutation of this perception, which seeks to degrade the nobility, its customs and lifestyles, we thought it advisable to enquire about the proportion of nobles who were canonized by the Church.

A specific study on this subject could not be found. Some investigators have broached the subject without undertaking specific and exhaustive research. They based their calculations on registers that they themselves present as incomplete. University of Rouen professor André Vauchez published a study, La Sainteté en l’Occident aux Dernieres Siècles du Moyen Age (2), based on the processes of canonization and on medieval hagiographic documents, that merits particular attention. He analyzes the investigations de vita, miraculis et fama ordered by popes between 1198 and 1431. Of a total of 71 investigations, 35 concluded that the persons examined deserved to be elevated to the honors of the altar, which the Church did in the Middle Ages.(3)

The statistics furnished by Vauchez follow:

Processes of canonization ordered between 1198 and 1431

(71 cases)

Nobles                                  62.0%

Middle Class                       15.5%

People                                    8.4%

Social origin unknown       14.1%

Saints canonized by Popes of the Middle Ages (35 cases)

Nobles                                     60.0%

Middle Class                          17.1%

People                                       8.6%

Social origin unknown          14.3%

Even if very interesting, this data does not offer a complete picture, since it relates to a very small number of people and to a relatively short period. An investigation encompassing a larger number of people over a longer period was necessary—not that it would exhaust the subject. Nevertheless, some weighty difficulties arose.

Some of the Noble Saints Canonized between 1198 and 1431; Top, L to R: St. Robert of Molesme, St. Dominic de Guzmán, St. Lawrence O’Toole. Bottom Row: St. Francis of Assisi, St. Elisabeth of Hungary & St. Hugh of Lincoln

First, there is no official list of the saints venerated in the Catholic Church. This is explicable and is related to the very history of the Church and the gradual perfecting of Her institutions. The veneration of saints had its start in the Catholic Church with the homage paid to the martyrs. Local communities honored some of their members who were victims of persecutions. Of the…

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Blessed John Bodey

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Martyr, born at Wells, Somerset: 1549; died at Andover, Wilts., 2 November, 1583. He studied at Winchester and New College, Oxford, of which he became a Fellow in 1568. In June, 1576, he was deprived, with seven other Fellows, by the Visitor, Horne, Protestant Bishop of Winchester. Next year he went to Douay College to study civil law, returned to England in February, 1578, and probably…

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St. Hubert

Saint HubertusConfessor, thirty-first Bishop of Maastricht, first Bishop of Liège, and Apostle of the Ardennes, born about 656; died at Fura (the modern Tervueren), Brabant, 30 May, 727 or 728. He was honored in the Middle Ages as the patron of huntsmen, and the healer of hydrophobia (rabies). He was the eldest son of Bertrand, Duke of Aquitaine, and grandson of Charibert, King of Toulouse, a descendant…

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Photo of Porta Pia in 1870.

Photo of Porta Pia in 1870.

It was a dark and gloomy morning, pouring rain, when this little army of some five thousand men filed out of the Porta Pia in a colorful parade, Pius IX’s Swiss General Rafael de Courten’s papal troops leading and the French contingent bringing up the rear….

Famous since classical times as a suburban retreat some twenty kilometers away from Rome, Mentana had known its share of history, thanks to its position on one of the major routes to the capital city. The battle that engulfed…

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According to Hello!DailyNews:

“The 88-year-old monarch, who is Canada’s head of state, revealed that she was ‘shocked and saddened’.
A single gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, opened fire at the national war memorial in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, killing Canadian soldier Nathan Crillo.”

To read the entire post at Hello!DailyNews, please click here.

State Opening 2010: Leaving Parliament The Queen and Prince Philip descend the stairs leading from the House of Lords to Sovereign’s Entrance, following the State Opening of Parliament. Photo by UK Parliament

State Opening 2010: Leaving Parliament
The Queen and Prince Philip descend the stairs leading from the House of Lords to Sovereign’s Entrance, following the State Opening of Parliament. Photo by UK Parliament

 

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[Earlier]

Archbishop of Toledo, Don Rodrigo Ximénez de la Rada

Archbishop of Toledo, Don Rodrigo Ximénez de la Rada

A few hours later the King left at the head of his army in the direction of the town besieged by the King of León. Accompanying him were the Archbishop Ximénez de la Rada and the Bishops Don Maurice and Don Tello. Astonished, the prelates and the noblemen watched their lord, for it was strange and painful to see a son, and such a son, forced to wage war against his father. Ferdinand went enraptured with his eyes fixed on heaven. In that gaze was an intense and constant prayer. As his confidence increased, his attitude became loving and trustful rather than anxious and full of anguish. At first, this calm and serene attitude of their King in the midst of a trial so repulsive to his filial piety confused everyone. But, little by little, he prevailed upon them and won their hearts so that in the end they developed a great respect for his spirituality. They expected, almost without realizing it, that this young King who acted like a saint would perform some wonder. Men of firm and ingenious faith, they knew how to see the Providence of God in the course of events. And certainly, God never left confused those who trusted in Him. The Archbishop, who had known Ferdinand since childhood, kept studying him attentively. He finally concluded that if he had greatly loved the winner of the Navas, he was going to love his grandson even more.

Finally the army went past Medina del Campo to a place where they could see Castrejón surrounded by the enemy. The white tents from León contrasted with the reddish brown of the soil. Facing them, the King of Castile ordered his men to encamp, and as soon as he dismounted, he called the prelates and the most distinguished of the noblemen to explain his plan. He took out a parchment he had brought with him and gave it to Ximénez de la Rada.

“Your Excellency,” he said, “take this letter to the King of León, my father and lord.” He added in general to the others, “You, go with the Archbishop to the King of León and try to persuade him to desire peace. Know that you will do a great service to God and to myself, and that I will greatly appreciate it.”

They bid farewell, thanking the King for the trust placed in them, and promising to use prudence and to spare no effort. Don Ferdinand, as soon as he saw that they had left, called his squires and warned them, “Watch that no one interrupts me, unless something very important occurs, until the Archbishop returns.” He then disappeared behind the tapestry that divided the tent in two.

St. Ferdinand III

St. Ferdinand III

In the meantime the Archbishop and his companions mounted their horses and rode toward the encampment of León. They had not ridden even half way when they saw a group similar to their coming toward them from the León side. It was already past sundown, so they could not see them clearly until they had met.

They then recognized the archbishop of Santiago with the bishops of Zamora and Astorga, accompanied by other noblemen of León. They greeted each other with great courtesy. The archbishop of Santiago said to his counterpart from Toledo, “Your coming seems to be peaceful, Archbishop.”

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“The King of Castile desires peace very much, and even though his strength is great, he does not want to make war against his father and lord.”

“I tell you, Archbishop, that God sent you at the right time. The one who instigated this unjust war, Don Alvaro Nuñez de Lara, is sick in bed, and so he will not be able to do more harm.”

It was not difficult for the Castilians to believe that it was by God’s intervention that Don Alvaro was ill. Seeing the good dispositions of the ambassadors from León, they gained new hope of achieving their goal, and together they rode in the direction of the royal tent.

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Sr. Maria del Carmen Fernández de Castro Cabeza, The Life of the Very Noble King of Castile and León, Saint Ferdinand III (New York: The Foundation for a Christian Civilization, Inc., 1987), 55-60.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 432

 

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Pursuit of Excellence

October 27, 2014

With Christ as the perfect model, this “Way of the Cross” economy also served God’s glory by awakening in men a passionate pursuit of excellence for excellence’s sake.

carving

To medieval man, this pursuit of excellence was an arduous task, not unlike a Way of the Cross that ultimately led not to profits but to God. He believed he could give glory to God by making His creation even more excellent. By making beautiful things, the artisan’s sacrifice taught all society to love excellent things as a way that they might know and love God more. In this way, even the most modest things in Christian civilization tended to have a certain splendor, so that all creation could better sing the glory of God and thereby elevate souls towards Him.

Sacred Heart Church in Newark, NJ

One could see this in the craftsman who set about his arduous tasks motivated by this higher ideal. “The laborer toiled not merely to win sustenance,” writes Richard Weaver, “but to see this ideal embodied in his creation.”* The perfume-maker, for example, was motivated by a desire to produce a most excellent perfume. It was with great metaphysical joy that he made more effort and accepted less money in this quest to leave mankind a better perfume.

Interior of J.B. Filz Sohn perfume shop in Vienna. Family owned since 1809 and becoming the Court Perfumer of the Imperial family, receiving the privilege of Hoftitels.

Interior of J.B. Filz Sohn perfume shop in Vienna. Family owned since 1809, supplying not only the Nobility and the upper middle class with cologne, but also the Imperial Court. Becoming the Court Perfumer of the Imperial family, Wilhelm Filz received from the Emperor the privilege of Hoftitels in 1872.

 

* Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), 73.

 

John Horvat II, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need To Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 332-3.

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Saint Alfred the Great

King Alfred the Great, painting by Samuel Woodforde.

King Alfred the Great, painting by Samuel Woodforde.

In this incomparable prince were united the saint, the soldier, and the statesman in a most eminent degree. Sir Henry Spelman (Conc. Brit.) gives us his character in a rapture. “O, Alfred,” says he, “the wonder and astonishment of all ages! If we reflect on his piety and religion, it would seem that he had always lived in a cloister; if on his warlike exploits, that he had never been out of camps; if on his learning and writings, that he had spent his whole life in a college; if on his wholesome laws and wise administration, that these had been his whole study and employment.”

It may be doubted whether ever any king showed greater abilities on a throne; but in this circumstance he was perfectly happy,—that all his wonderful achievements and great qualifications were directed and made perfect by the purest motives of piety and religion, and a uniform heroic sanctity. Alfred was the fourth and youngest son of Ethelwolph, the pious king of the West-Saxons, and second monarch of all England.

Statue of St. Alfred the Great in Winchester, England.

Statue of St. Alfred the Great in Winchester, England.

He was born at Wantage, in Berkshire, in 849. His wit, beauty, and towardly disposition endeared him from his infancy to the whole kingdom…

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Col. John W. Ripley: Uncommon Valor

By Jeremias Wells
colonel-john-ripley
An American Knight

When a society no longer respects and honors the fighting men willing to shed their blood for its principles, the fault lies not with the fighting men but with society itself. Ingratitude is a subtle vice, but a vice nevertheless. Saint Thomas Aquinas says that a debt of gratitude is a moral debt required by virtue. In recent decades, the American view of moral justice has been sadly lacking.

Civil society has not always been so callous. Ever since the rise of Christian culture, Christendom has held its warrior-knights in high esteem. Not only that, they were a basic, creative force that molded Western civilization, as a study of the Crusades will attest. A knight of the Middle Ages went to war in a spirit of self-immolation for the glorification of the Church or the common good of temporal society.

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Saint Sigebert

King and martyr, date of birth unknown; died about 637, was the stepbrother of Earpwald, king of the East Angles.

St SigebertDuring the reign of Redwald he lived an exile in Gaul where he received baptism and became an ardent Christian. Earpwald died about 627, and East Anglia seems to have relapsed into anarchy and heathenism for some three years until Sigebert returned thither, about 631, and became king. He at once set about the conversion of his people, being greatly assisted…

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St. Dorothea of Montau, recluse, born at Montau, 6 February, 1347, died at Marienwerder, 25 June, 1394.

Cell of St. Dorothea of Montau in Kwidzyn. Photo by Marcin N

Cell of St. Dorothea of Montau in Kwidzyn. Photo by Marcin N

At the age of seventeen she married the sword-cutler Albrecht of Danzig, a hot-tempered man, whose nature underwent a change through her humility and gentleness. Both made frequent pilgrimages to Cologne, Aachen, and Einsiedeln, and they intended (1390) to visit Rome also; but Albrecht was prevented by illness and remained at home where…

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St. Marcellus the Centurion, Martyr

The birthday of the emperor Maximian Herculeus was celebrated in the year 298, with extraordinary feasting and solemnity. Pompous sacrifices to the Roman gods made a considerable part of this solemnity.Saint MarcellusMarcellus, a Christian centurion or captain of the legion of Trajan, then posted in Spain, not to defile himself with taking part in those impious abominations, cast away his military belt at the head of his company, declaring aloud that he was a soldier of Jesus Christ, the eternal King. He also threw down his arms and the vine-branch, which was the mark of his post of centurion…

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Mary Elizabeth a Court Repington, Lady Herbert of Lea

Mary Elizabeth a Court Repington, Lady Herbert of Lea

Mary Elizabeth Ashe à Court-Repington was born in Richmond, Surrey, on July 21, 1822. She was the only daughter of Lieutenant-General Charles Ashe à Court-Repington, member of Parliament, and the niece of William à Court, 1st Baron Heytesbury, British Ambassador to the Russian Imperial Court at St. Petersburg.

In August 1846, at the age of 24, she married

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The King received an unusual message one day. He was in his chamber when one of his noblemen quickly entered the room with the strange news that the lord of Vizcaya was waiting outside, disguised as an oxherd and very tired.

Saint Ferdinand IIIDon Lope, disguised! Because it was so unusual, Ferdinand anxiously ordered him to enter immediately. Seeing him, he said, “What is this, Don Lope?”

“I bring you bad news, Lord King,” answered the count, kissing his hand.

Ferdinand sensed, both by his face and his manner of greeting, that the count was coming to him like a shipwrecked person to the shore. “What has happened to you?”” he asked, increasingly alarmed.

“Lord, Don García Fernández and other noblemen are besieged in Castrejón and are insistently asking your help.”

“By the Count Alvaro?”

“And also by the King of León, your father.”

“My Lady Holy Mary, help me! Besieged by my own father!”

As poor Ferdinand, overcome with dismay, covered his face with his hands, Don Lope continued: “I was there with them, and we took counsel among ourselves to decide how to notify you of our predicament. We decided that one of us would disguise himself as a commoner and come to you, as we cannot expect help from anyone else.”

“From the Creator, Don Lope, because He has always helped me,” said the young King seriously, in spite of his anguish. “Count,” he added, getting up and taking the hands of the suffering nobleman firmly into his own, “remain assured I will help my own as I must.”

Subscription12What would he do? First he would seek light where he had always found it, at the feet of “his Counselor.” He sent word to his mother that he would await her at the chapel door.

Doña Berenguera was frightened at this unexpected request, and even more so when she noticed that he was suffering from a profound mental disturbance.

“Mother,” he said simply in a low and disturbed voice, “the King of León, my father, has besieged Don García and other noblemen in Castrejón.”

He remained silent, lacking the courage to resolve the dilemma: either take up the sword against his father or abandon his subjects. She joined her hands and lowered her head in dismay, for the first time in her life unsure of what advice to give him. For a few moments mother and son remained like this, mute as if petrified. Finally, Ferdinand broke the silence, saying, “Let us go to my Counselor because He can lead us out of this predicament.”

Kneeling before the altar, Ferdinand looked fixedly and in anguish at Christ. Little by little, his face became serene, and when, a half hour later, he touched Doña Berenguera lightly on the shoulder to prompt her to leave, his eyes already reflected a firm and certain confidence.

“I repent now of my little faith, as Christ is a very noble King. He does not want me to become discouraged through lack of confidence in Him. I must defend my own, but do not worry.”

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Buy it today!

 

Sr. Maria del Carmen Fernández de Castro Cabeza, The Life of the Very Noble King of Castile and León, Saint Ferdinand III (New York: The Foundation for a Christian Civilization, Inc., 1987), 55-60.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 431

[to be continued]

 

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“Way of the Cross” Economy

October 23, 2014

The economic implications of this spirit were particularly reflected in a “Way of the Cross” economy, where the need for sacrifice and restraint in supplying human needs coincided with the consuming ideal of seeking the Cross of Christ. Medieval man looked for ways to offer up his sacrifices in the economic dealings of every day. […]

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October 24 – Confessor to the Queen

October 23, 2014

St. Antonio María Claret y Clará Spanish prelate and missionary, born at Sallent, near Barcelona, 23 Dec., 1807; died at Fontfroide, Narbonne, France, on 24 Oct., 1870. Son of a small woollen manufacturer, he received an elementary education in his native village, and at the age of twelve became a weaver. A little later he […]

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October 25 – The original hood

October 23, 2014

Hugh Capet King of France, founder of the Capetian dynasty, born about the middle of the tenth century; died about 996, probably 24 October. He was the second son of Hugh the Great, Count of Paris, and Hedwig, sister of Otto I, German Emperor, and was about ten years old when he inherited from his […]

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October 25 – Memorial of Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, Many of Them Nobles

October 23, 2014

February 27 – Are You Hiding a Priest? May 4 – They believed in the religious exemption, but only at first May 22 – Queen’s Confessor                June 19 – Execution of second group of those who believed in the religious exemption, but only at first August 30 – She smuggled a priest out of prison

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October 25 – Crispin and Crispian and the baron of Renty

October 23, 2014

Martyrs of the Early Church who were beheaded during the reign of Diocletian; the date of their execution is given as 25 October, 285 or 286. It is stated that they were brothers, but the fact has not been positively proved. The legend relates that they were Romans of distinguished descent who went as missionaries […]

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October 27 – The Christian King Who Invaded Arabia

October 23, 2014

St. Elesbaan, King of Ethiopia, Confessor The Axumite Ethiopians, whose dominions were extended from the western coast of the Red Sea, very far on the continent, were in the sixth century a powerful and flourishing nation. St. Elesbaan their king, during the reign of Justin the Elder, in all his actions and designs had no […]

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100 years later, Queen honors WWI fallen

October 20, 2014

According to the BBC: The Queen laid a wreath at the Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red exhibit…. By 11 November – Armistice Day – there will be 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each British and colonial death…. Stage designer Tom Piper, who helped create the poppy installation, said the Queen described the artwork […]

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The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh pay tribute to WWI heroes

October 20, 2014

According to BBC.com … The Queen laid a wreath at the Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red exhibit, where each poppy commemorates a fallen WWI serviceman. By 11 November – Armistice Day – there will be 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each British and colonial death. The Tower of London was where more than […]

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The Dauphin’s heroism at Fontenoy

October 20, 2014

During the battle of Fontenoy, when French soldiers were being mowed down, the Dauphin positioned himself at the front of some troops and, sword in hand, shouted: —   “Frenchmen, forward! Let’s fight for the honor of France!” Some who were close to the Crown Prince cautioned that his life was too precious to risk in […]

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Making a Sacrifice

October 20, 2014

When these dedicated sectors flourished, the spirit of their constant personal self-sacrifice and restraint permeated and set the tone for all society and helped all to control and counter their disordered passions. It was by this spirit that the barbarians were gradually both restrained by force of arms and tamed by prayer and penance under […]

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October 21 – How the Bastard Son of the King Became the Hammer of Muslim invaders

October 20, 2014

Charles Martel Born about 688; died at Quierzy on the Oise, 21 October, 741. He was the natural son of Pepin of Herstal and a woman named Alpaïde or Chalpaïde. Pepin, who died in 714, had outlived his two legitimate sons, Drogon and Grimoald, and to Theodoald, a son of the latter and then only […]

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October 21 – His feastday is the day of his marriage, not of his death

October 20, 2014

Blessed Karl, Emperor of Austria (Also known as Carlo d’Austria, Charles of Austria) Born August 17, 1887, in the Castle of Persenbeug in the region of Lower Austria, his parents were the Archduke Otto and Princess Maria Josephine of Saxony, daughter of the last King of Saxony. Emperor Francis Joseph I was Charles’ Great Uncle. […]

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October 21 – The Tale of Saint Ursula, the “Little Bear”

October 20, 2014

Once upon a time, there was once a just and most Christian King of Britain, called Maurus. To him and to his wife Daria was born a little girl, the fairest creature that this earth ever saw. She came into the world wrapped in a hairy mantle, and all men wondered greatly what this might […]

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October 22 – St. Wendelin of Trier

October 20, 2014

Born about 554; died probably in 617. His earliest biographies, two in Latin and two in German, did not appear until after 1417. Their narrative is the following: Wendelin was the son of a Scottish king; after a piously spent youth he secretly left his home on a pilgrimage to Rome. On his way back […]

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October 23 – The amazing story of San Juan Capistrano and the Siege of Belgrade

October 20, 2014

St. John of Capistrano Born at Capistrano, in the Diocese of Sulmona, Italy, 1385; died 23 October, 1456. His father had come to Naples in the train of Louis of Anjou, hence is supposed to have been of French blood, though some say he was of German origin. His father dying early, John owed his […]

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October 23 – Gentle Birth, But Not Gentle Death

October 20, 2014

Blessed Thomas Thwing Martyr. Born at Heworth Hall, near York, in 1635; suffered at York, 23 Oct., 1680. His father was George Thwing, Esq., of Kilton Castle and Heworth, nephew of Venerable Edward Thwing; his mother was Anne, sister of the venerable confessor Sir Thomas Gasciogne, of Barnbrow Hall. Educated at Douai, he was sent […]

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Dom Duarte de Meneses: A great captain who was obedient unto death

October 16, 2014

When King Afonso V of Portugal was in Ceuta he made some incursions into the lands of the Moors. On one of these raids into the mountains, he was surprised by numerous enemies and resolved to withdraw and spend the night in Tetouan. Upon reaching the city he saw that his troops were retreating in […]

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A “Way of the Cross” Society

October 16, 2014

Lest we be accused of glorifying the past, any dream of an ideal society cannot exclude the reality of hardship and suffering that comes from God’s punishment of our first parents: “With labor and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life” (Gn 3:17). Dreams become nostalgic and romantic fantasies if they […]

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Recipe – Paletta di Mandorla

October 16, 2014

This recipe from the Umbria region of Italy is served on the feast day of St. Francis. It is supposedly one of the few foods that St. Francis let himself really enjoy. The recipe, according to tradition, originated with St. Clare.   Paletta di Mandorla (Almond Slices) 1 cup butter 1 1/2 cup sugar 4 […]

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October 17 – St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

October 16, 2014

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Religious of the Visitation Order. Apostle of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, born at Lhautecour, France, 22 July, 1647; died at Paray-le-Monial, 17 October, 1690. Her parents, Claude Alacoque and Philiberte Lamyn, were distinguished less for temporal possessions than for their virtue, which gave them an honourable position. […]

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October 17 – The Battle of Cholet

October 16, 2014

The Battle of Cholet was fought on 17 October 1793 during the French Revolutionary Wars, between French Republican forces under General Léchelle and French Royalist Forces under Louis d’Elbée. The battle was fought in the town of Cholet in the Maine-et-Loire department of France, and resulted in a Republican victory. D’Elbée was wounded and captured; […]

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October 18 – A day that sparked the Crusades

October 16, 2014

Destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre On October 18, 1009, under Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, orders for the complete destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection, were carried out. The measures against the church were part of a more general campaign against Christian places […]

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October 18 – Adopted nobility

October 16, 2014

Pope Pius III (Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini). B. at Siena, 29 May, 1439; elected 22 Sept., 1503; d. in Rome, 18 Oct., 1503, after a pontificate of four weeks. Piccolomini was the son of a sister of Pius II. He had passed his boyhood in destitute circumstances when his uncle took him into his household, bestowed […]

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October 19 – From Spain to Rome, Barefoot

October 16, 2014

St. Peter of Alcántara Born at Alcántara, Spain, 1499; died 18 Oct., 1562. His father, Peter Garavita, was the governor of the place, and his mother was of the noble family of Sanabia. After a course of grammar and philosophy in his native town, he was sent, at the age of fourteen, to the University […]

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The Princess of Lamballe displays her magnanimity

October 13, 2014

In 1783, Montgolfier was preparing an experimental flight of his hot air balloon and planned to place live animals inside the basket. The laborer he employed insisted that he wanted to do the trip himself, but the inventor ruled this out as too risky and the rash endangering of the man’s life. At last the […]

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Post-mortem of a Revolution

October 13, 2014

French Revolution The last thirty years have given us a new version of the history of the French Revolution, the most diverse and hostile schools having contributed to it. The philosopher, Taine, drew attention to the affinity between the revolutionary and what he calls the classic spirit, that is, the spirit of abstraction which gave […]

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Why celebrate Columbus Day?

October 13, 2014

Columbus and Divine Providence by Jeremias Wells Christopher Columbus certainly ranks as one of the greatest men of achievement the world has ever known, and also justly one of the most renowned, for the entire history of Europeans in America originated from his vision, religious sense and adventurous spirit. As can be expected in a […]

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October 15 – St. Bruno of Querfurt

October 13, 2014

St. Bruno of Querfurt (Also called BRUN and BONIFACE). Second Apostle of the Prussians and martyr, born about 970; died 14 February, 1009. He is generally represented with a hand cut off, and is commemorated on 15 October. Bruno was a member of the noble family of Querfurt and is commonly said to have been […]

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October 15 – Interior Castle

October 13, 2014

St. Teresa of Avila Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada, born at Avila, Old Castile, 28 March, 1515; died at Alba de Tormes, 4 Oct., 1582. The third child of Don Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda by his second wife, Doña Beatriz Davila y Ahumada, who died when the saint was in her fourteenth year, Teresa […]

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October 15 – Casimir Pulaski

October 13, 2014

Casimir Pulaski Patriot and soldier, born at Winiary, Poland, 4 March, 1748; died on the Wasp, in the harbour of Savannah, 11 Oct., 1779; eldest son of Count Joseph Pulaski and Maria Zislinska. His father, a noted jurist, reared him for the bar, and he received his military training, as a youth, in the guard […]

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October 16 – Marie Antoinette

October 13, 2014

Queen of France. Born at Vienna, 2 November, 1755; executed in Paris, 16 October, 1793. She was the youngest daughter of Francis I, German Emperor, and of Maria Theresa. The marriage of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette was one of the last acts of Choiseul’s policy; but the Dauphiness from the first shared the unpopularity […]

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October 16 – Marie Antoinette, Archduchess of Austria, Queen of France and Capetian Widow

October 13, 2014

Most Reverend Monsignor Director of this Academy, Gentlemen Academicians: A simple listing of the titles with which she was known during her short life as Marie Antoinette of Habsburg, and later Marie Antoinette of Bourbon, brings to memory the series of extraordinary and unforeseen events that together make up the fabric of the most interesting […]

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October 16 – Duchess and saint

October 13, 2014

St. Hedwig Duchess of Silesia, born about 1174, at the castle of Andechs; died at Trebnitz, 12 or 15 October, 1243. She was one of eight children born to Berthold IV, Count of Andechs and Duke of Croatia and Dalmatia. Of her four brothers, two became bishops, Ekbert of Bamberg, and Berthold of Aquileia; Otto […]

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Queen moves out. Tourists move in. Who gets the criticism for not making money?

October 9, 2014

According to The Telegraph: …the Queen moved into the seven-bedroom Craigowan Lodge…about a mile away from [Balmoral] castle. The arrangements were made so the estate could stay open to the public for its normal seasonal period of April to July. The 88-year-old monarch’s move to Craigowan was prompted by the growing need to maximise tourist […]

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Labour: Royals “just like everyone else”

October 9, 2014

According to The Telegraph: The Queen and the royal family will have to pay a mansion tax on their portfolio of country estates if Labour is elected, Ed Balls has said. The shadow chancellor said that royals will not be exempt and will have to pay the taxes “just like everyone else” for properties which […]

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Prince of Wales saves wool farmers

October 9, 2014

According to the Sunday Express: When the Prince of Wales conceived his Campaign for Wool crusade five years, bringing together all sectors of the industry, farmers were being paid less for a fleece than it cost to shear. Today wool prices have tripled. “The primary aim of the Campaign is to increase the demand for […]

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Turenne’s horse leads the way

October 9, 2014

When he died on the battlefield, the Marshall de Turenne was riding a magnificent horse, which was well-known and admired by his soldiers. Deprived of their leader, the officers were momentarily at a loss as to what to do, when the soldiers spoke up: — “Put the Commandant’s horse in the front and we will […]

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The Great Works of Men

October 9, 2014

Great dreams are born of those who unite around sublime ideals. When we forsake our dreams, we put ourselves in the hands of bureaucrats in a regime of mediocrity. This is because these great dreams are never the work of social planners, but rather the joint effort of great men, true elites, and peoples. Each […]

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October 10 – What if you come from a family of bad nobility?

October 9, 2014

St. Francis Borgia (also known as Francisco de Borja y Aragon), born 28 October, 1510, was the son of Juan Borgia, third Duke of Gandia, and of Juana of Aragon; died 30 September, 1572. The future saint was unhappy in his ancestry. His grandfather, Juan Borgia, the second son of Alexander VI, was assassinated in Rome […]

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October 10 – St. Paulinus, Archbishop of York

October 9, 2014

St. Paulinus Archbishop of York, died at Rochester, 10 October, 644. He was a Roman monk in St. Andrew’s monastery at Rome, and was sent by St. Gregory the Great in 601, with St. Mellitus and others, to help St. Augustine and to carry the pallium to him. He laboured in Kent — with the […]

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