According to The Telegraph:

The Victorian gown, which entered the record books having been worn by 62 babies during its lifespan, had humble beginnings. Only last year the gown’s creator was revealed to have been a young woman named Janet Sutherland, the daughter of a coal miner from Falkirk, who died in 1852 at the age of 45. Sutherland was commissioned by Queen Victoria to make the gown for the christening of her eldest daughter, Victoria, Princess Royal, in 1841….

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

The baptism of the Prince of Wales, January 25, 1842.

The baptism of the Prince of Wales, January 25, 1842.

 

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According to LiveLeak.com:

Eric Pickles said there was nothing he could do to prevent the emblem from replacing the royal crest on birth, marriage and death certificates.

The Communities Secretary warned the move was part of a Brussels plot to brand people as European citizens ‘from cradle to grave’….

He said the plan, contained in the Lisbon Treaty, was part of an insidious campaign to stamp the EU flag across all tiers of public administration and undermine nation states.

To read the entire article in LiveLeak.com, please click here.

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According to The Telegraph:

”I remember 20 years ago you could never find a really interesting cheese in this country except Cheddar,” [the Prince of Wales] said. ”But the extraordinary explosion of artisan-made cheeses has been one of the most remarkable things in this country.’’

His Royal Highness is right.

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

A wedge of fine blue Stilton cheese

A wedge of fine blue Stilton cheese

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The Siege of Belgrade (or Battle of Belgrade, or Siege of Nándorfehérvár) occurred from July 4 to July 22, 1456.

Statue of John Hunyadi in Budapest, Heroes' Square

Statue of John Hunyadi in Budapest, Heroes’ Square

After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II was rallying his resources in order to subjugate the Kingdom of Hungary. His immediate objective was the border fort of the town of Belgrade (in old Hungarian Nándorfehérvár). John Hunyadi, a Hungarian nobleman and warlord, who had fought many battles against the Ottomans in the previous two decades, prepared the defense of the fortress.

The siege eventually escalated into a major battle, during which Hunyadi led a sudden counterattack that overran the Ottoman camp, ultimately compelling the wounded Sultan Mehmed II to lift the siege and retreat. The battle had significant consequences, as it stabilized the southern frontiers of the Kingdom of Hungary for more than half a century and thus considerably delayed the expansion of the Ottoman Empire.

The Pope celebrated the victory as well, and he previously ordered all Catholic kingdoms to pray for the victory of the defenders of Belgrade. This led to the noon bell ritual that is still undertaken in Catholic churches to this day.

Since 2011, the date 22nd of July, when Christian forces led by John Hunyadi defeated the Ottoman Turks besieging Belgrade in 1456, is a national memorial day in Hungary.

Portrait of Mehmed II by Venetian artist Gentile Bellini

Portrait of Mehmed II by Venetian artist Gentile Bellini

Preparations

At the end of 1455, after a public reconciliation with all his enemies, Hunyadi began preparations. At his own expense, he provisioned and armed the fortress. Leaving in it a strong garrison under the command of his brother-in-law Mihály Szilágyi and his own eldest son László. Hunyadi then proceeded to form a relief army and an additional fleet of two hundred corvettes. The barons fearing Hunyadi’s growing power more than the Ottoman threat, leaving Hunyadi entirely to his own resources.

A Franciscan friar allied with Hunyadi, Giovanni da Capistrano, preached a crusade to attract peasants and yeomanry to Hunyadi’s cause. The recruits were ill-armed (many with only slings and scythes) but full of enthusiasm. The recruits flocked to the standard of Hunyadi, the core of which consisted of a small band of seasoned mercenaries and a few banderia of noble horsemen. All in all, Hunyadi managed to build a force of 25–30,000 men.

Siege

However, before these forces could be assembled, Mehmed II’s invasion army (160,000 men in early accounts, 60-70,000 according to newer research) arrived at Belgrade. On July 4, 1456, the siege began. Szilágyi could rely on a force of only 5,000-7,000 men in the castle. Mehmed set up his siege on the neck of the headland and started firing on the walls on June 29. He arrayed his men in three sections. The Rumelian (that is, European) corps had the majority of his 300 cannons, and his fleet of 200 or so river vessels had the rest. The Rumelians were arrayed on the right wing and the Anatolian corps was arrayed on the left. In the middle were the sultan’s personal guards, the janissaries, and his command post. The Anatolian corps and the janissaries were both heavy infantry troops. Mehmed posted his river vessels mainly to the northwest of the city to patrol the marshes and ensure that the fortress was not reinforced. They also kept an eye on the Sava to the southwest to avoid the infantry’s being outflanked by Hunyadi’s army. The Danube to the east was guarded by the spahi, the sultan’s light cavalry corps, to avoid being outflanked on the right.

St. John in the middle of the Battle

St. John in the middle of the Battle

When word of this reached Hunyadi, he was in the south of Hungary recruiting additional light cavalry troops for the army with which he intended to lift the siege. Although relatively few of his fellow nobles had were willing to provide manpower, the peasants were more than willing to do so. Cardinal Giovanni Capistrano had been sent to Hungary by the Vatican both to preach against heretics, such as Greek Orthodox Christians, and to preach the Crusade against the Ottomans. Capistrano managed to raise a large, albeit poorly trained and equipped, peasant army, with which he left for Belgrade. Capistrano and Hunyadi traveled together, but commanded separately. Between the two of them, they had roughly 40,000-50,000 men.

The outnumbered defenders relied mainly on the strength of the formidable castle of Belgrade which was at the time one of the best engineered in the Balkans. As Belgrade was designated to be the capital of the Serbian Despotate by Despot Stefan Lazarević. Ottoman raids were expected after they recovered from the heavy loss against the Mongols. Utilising advanced building techniques from Byzantine and Arab fortress designs from the period of Seljuk and Ottoman military conflicts of the mid-11th century.

The castle was designed in an elaborate form with three lines of defense: the inner castle with the palace and huge Donjon, the upper town with the main military camps with four gates and a double wall. as well as the lower town with the cathedral in the urban center and a port at the Danube. This building endeavor was one of the most elaborate military architecture achievements of the Middle Ages. After the Siege, the Hungarians reinforced the north and eastern side with an additional gate and several towers, one of which, the Nebojsa tower, was designed for artillery purposes.

John Hunyadi

John Hunyadi

On July 14, 1456, Hunyadi arrived to the completely encircled city with his flotilla on the Danube while the Ottoman navy lay astride the Danube River. He broke the naval blockade on July 14, sinking three large Ottoman galleys and capturing four large vessels and 20 smaller ones. By destroying the Sultan’s fleet, Hunyadi was able to transport his troops and much-needed food into the city. The fort’s defense was also reinforced.

But Mehmed II was not willing to end the siege and after a week of heavy artillery bombardment, the walls of the fortress were breached in several places. On July 21 Mehmed II ordered an all-out assault which began at sundown and continued all night. The besieging army flooded the city, and then started its assault on the fort. As this was the most crucial moment of the siege, Hunyadi ordered the defenders to throw tarred wood, and other flammable material, and then set it afire. Soon a wall of flames separated the Janissaries fighting in the city from their comrades trying to breach through the gaps into the upper town. The fierce battle between the encircled Janissaries and Szilágyi’s soldiers inside the upper town was turning in favour of the Christians and the Hungarians managed to beat off the fierce assault from outside the walls. The Janissaries remaining inside the city were thus massacred while the Ottoman troops trying to breach the upper town suffered heavy losses. When an Ottoman soldier almost managed to plant the Sultan’s flag on top of a bastion, a Hungarian knight named Titus Dugović (Dugovics Titusz in Hungarian) grabbed him and together they plunged from the wall. However, according to historians the name “Titus Dugović” is fictitious because it derives from falsified records.

Battle of Belgrade

Battle of Belgrade

Battle

The next day something unexpected happened. By some accounts, the peasant crusaders started a spontaneous action, and forced Capistrano and Hunyadi to make use of the situation. Despite Hunyadi’s orders to the defenders not to try to loot the Ottoman positions, some of the units crept out from demolished ramparts, took up positions across from the Ottoman line, and began harassing enemy soldiers. Ottoman spahis (provincial cavalry) tried without success to disperse the harassing force. At once, more Christians joined those outside the wall. What began as an isolated incident quickly escalated into a full-scale battle.

John of Capistrano at first tried to order his men back inside the walls, but soon found himself surrounded by about 2,000 Crusaders. He then began leading them toward the Ottoman lines, crying, “The Lord who made the beginning will take care of the finish!”

Capistrano led his crusaders to the Ottoman rear across the Sava river. At the same time, Hunyadi started a desperate charge out of the fort to take the cannon positions in the Ottoman camp.

Part of Belgrade Fortress from the 17th century.

Part of Belgrade Fortress from the 17th century.

Taken by surprise at this strange turn of events and, some chroniclers say, paralyzed by some inexplicable fear, the Ottomans took flight. The Sultan’s bodyguard of about 5,000 Janissaries tried desperately to stop the panic and recapture the camp, but by that time Hunyadi’s army had also joined the unplanned battle, and the Ottoman efforts became hopeless. The Sultan himself advanced into the fight and killed a knight in single combat, but then took an arrow in the thigh and was rendered unconscious. After the battle, the Hungarian raiders were ordered to spend the night behind the walls of the fortress and to be on the alert for a possible renewal of the battle, but the Ottoman counterattack never came.

Under cover of darkness the Ottomans retreated in haste, bearing their wounded in 140 wagons. They withdrew to Constantinople.

Turkish miniature of the siege of Belgrade 1456

Turkish miniature of the siege of Belgrade 1456

Aftermath

However, the Hungarians payed dearly for this victory. Plague broke out in the camp, from which John Hunyadi himself died three weeks later (August 11, 1456). He was buried in the Cathedral of Gyulafehérvár (now Alba Iulia), the capital of Transylvania.

As the design of the fortress had proved its merits during the siege, some additional reinforcements were made by the Hungarians. The weaker eastern walls, where the Ottomans broke through into the upper town were reinforced by the Zindan gate and the Heavy Nebojsa tower. This was the last of the great modifications to the fortress until 1521 when Sultan Süleyman eventually captured it.

Noon Bell

Pope Callixtus III

Pope Callixtus III

Pope Callixtus III ordered the bells of every European church to be rung every day at noon, as a call for believers to pray for the defenders of the city. The practice of the noon bell is traditionally attributed to the international commemoration of the victory at Belgrade and to the order of Pope Callixtus III, since in many countries (like England and the Spanish Kingdoms) news of the victory arrived before the order, and the ringing of the church bells at noon was thus transformed into a commemoration of the victory. The Pope didn’t withdraw the order, and Catholic churches still ring the noon bell to this day.

In the history of Oxford University, the victory was welcomed with a peals of bells and great celebrations in England too. Hunyadi sent a special courier (among others), Erasmus Fullar, to Oxford with the news of the victory.

Stone in the Kalemegdan park, in Belgrade, with engraved inscription on the place where Catholic forces under command of Yanosh Huniady won the battle against the Turks in the year 1456.

Stone in the Kalemegdan park, in Belgrade, with engraved inscription on the place where Catholic forces under command of Yanosh Huniady won the battle against the Turks in the year 1456.

Follow Up

The victory stopped the Ottoman advance towards Catholic Europe for 70 years, though they made other incursions such as the taking of Otranto in 1480–1481 and the raid of Croatia and Styria in 1493. Belgrade would continue to protect Hungary from Ottoman attacks until the fort fell to the Ottomans in 1521.

After the Siege of Belgrade stopped the advance of Mehmed II towards Central Europe, Serbia and Bosnia were absorbed into the Empire. Wallachia, the Tartar Khanate of Crimea, and eventually Moldavia were merely converted into vassal states thanks to strong military resistance to Mehmed’s attempts at conquest. There were several reasons why the sultan did not directly attack Hungary and why he gave up the idea of advancing in that direction after his unsuccessful siege of Belgrade. The mishap at Belgrade indicated that the Empire could not expand further until Serbia and Bosnia were transformed into a secure base of operations. Furthermore, the significant political and military power of Hungary under Matthias Corvinus no doubt had something to do with this hesitation. Mehmed was also distracted by resistance from two semi-independent vassals to the north of the Danube, over whom he was attempting to exercise greater authority.

While Hunyadi’s victory at Belgrade and the lasting legacy of his political decisions (Vlad III the Impaler and Stephen III both came to power under Hunyadi, and he went to great lengths to have his son Matthias placed on the throne) rendered the daunting Mehmed II far less of a threat to Christendom, his ultimate dream of a Christian reconquest of Constantinople would never be realized. Hunyadi had chosen to stay out of the Siege of Constantinople because he was militarily unprepared to fight Mehmed’s mighty army at the time, and instead opted to protect Hungary and fortify the Balkans. Matthias did not share the concept of a great war against the Ottomans and was too embroiled in political disputes with the Holy Roman Empire to his West to be the aggressive warrior his father was, so his role was limited mostly to defending his own territory and letting the Balkan leaders bear the brunt of the struggle against the Ottoman Empire.

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While fierce resistance and Hunyadi’s effective leadership ensured that the daring and ambitious Mehmed the Conqueror would only get as far into Europe as the Balkans, the sultan had already managed to transform the Ottoman Empire into what would be one of the most feared powers in Europe (as well as Asia) for centuries. Most of Hungary was eventually conquered in 1526 at the Battle of Mohács. Ottoman expansion into Europe continued with menacing success until the Siege of Vienna in 1529, and Ottoman power in Europe remained strong and still threatening to Central Europe at times until the Battle of Vienna in 1683.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 404

 

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St. Thomas Aquinas pictured with a flaming sword pointed at the devil who lays defeated under St. Thomas' feet.

St. Thomas Aquinas pictured with a flaming sword pointed at the devil who lays defeated under St. Thomas’ feet.

A hierarchical and anti-egalitarian spirit is part and parcel of being a Catholic, as is evidenced in the writings of many popes and theologians, with special mention of St. Thomas Aquinas—upon whom Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira bases much of his argumentation. It is not without good reason that he does so:

1. St. Thomas Aquinas was solemnly praised in official documents by at least 70 popes throughout the centuries.

2. Pope Pius XI, in the encyclical Studiorum ducem (June 29, 1923), recalls that at the Council of Trent—convened to dispute Protestant errors—there were only two books on the altar available for consultation: The Holy Bible and the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Pope Pius XI

Pope Pius XI

3. The Code of Canon Law promulgated by Benedict XV recommended that all teaching in seminaries be done according to the method and doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas.

4. St. Thomas, along with other saints, has the authority of a Doctor of the Church, having been made a Doctor by another saint: Pope St. Pius V.

Following are some of the examples of popes praising St. Thomas Aquinas:

John XXII, in the XIVth century, declared: “His doctrine is miraculous because it exceeds human capacity to take things as far as he did.” He further declared: “St. Thomas Aquinas, by himself, illuminated the Church more than all the other doctors combined.”

Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical Aternae Patris (1789), compared St. Thomas Aquinas to a sun. “It (the Summa) warms the world with the splendors of its virtues and fills it with the irradiation of its doctrine.”

Pope St. Pius X

St. Ignatius of Loyola establishes that one love and profess St. Thomas Aquinas’s doctrine as one of his litmus tests of “being in consonance with the Church.”

Pope Pius XI did more than all the others by making St. Thomas Aquinas a Universal Doctor of the Church.

Pope Pius XII’s writings have innumerable references to St. Thomas Aquinas.

Pope Paul VI, in a Discourse given at Fossanova on September 14, 1974, the occasion of the seventh centenary of St. Thomas’s death, asked himself: “Thomas, our Teacher, what lesson can you give us?” He answered with these words: “Trust in the truth of Catholic religious thought, as defended, expounded, and offered by him to the capacities of the human mind.”

Pope Pius XII

Pope Pius XII

Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical Fides et Ratio (September 14, 1998), stated that “the Church has been justified in consistently proposing St. Thomas as a master of thought and a model of the right way to do theology.”

Finally, Pope Benedict XVI extolled St. Thomas Aquinas in three General Audiences in June 2010 and called the Summa Theologica a masterpiece.

To base one’s arguments, therefore, on St. Thomas Aquinas is indisputably to argue with great authority.

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Tradition, Family Property Association, ed., Egalitarianism: The Metaphysical Value and Religion of Our Days – Social Leveling…Total Leveling (Glasgow: Tradition, Family, Property Association, 2011), xvii-xix.

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St. Lorenzo da Brindisi

(Also: Lawrence, or Laurence, of Brindisi.)

St. Lawrence of Brindisi

Born at Brindisi in 1559; died at Lisbon on 22 July, 1619. In baptism he received the names of Julius Caesar. Guglielmo de Rossi — or Guglielmo Russi, according to a contemporary writer — was his father’s name; his mother was Elisabetta Masella. Both were excellent Christians. Of a precocious piety, Lorenzo gave early evidence of a religious vocation. The Conventuals of Brindisi were entrusted with his education. His progress in his studies was very rapid, and, when barely six, he had already given indication of his future success in oratory. Consequently, he was always the one chosen to address, in accordance with the Italian custom, a short sermon to his compatriots on the Infant Jesus during the Christmas festivities. When he was twelve years of age his father died. He then pursued his studies at Venice with the clerics of St. Mark’s and under the supervision of one of his uncles. In 1575 he was received into the Order of Capuchins under the name of Brother Lorenzo, and, after his profession, made his philosophical and theological studies at the University of Padua. Owing to his wonderful memory he mastered not only the principal European languages, but also most of the Semitic tongues. It was said he knew the entire original text of the Bible. Such a knowledge, in the eyes of many, could be accounted for only by supernatural assistance, and, during the process of beatification, the examiners of the saint’s writings rendered the following judgment: “Vere inter sanctos Ecclesiae doctores adnumerari potest.”

St. Lawrence

Such unusual talents, added to a rare virtue, fitted Brother Lorenzo for the most diverse missions. When still a deacon he preached the Lenten sermons in Venice, and his success was so great that he was called successively to all the principal cities of the peninsula. Subsequently, thanks to his numerous journeys, he was enabled to evangelize at different periods most of the countries of Europe. The sermons he left fill no less than eight folio volumes. He adopted the method of preaching in favour with the great Franciscan missionaries, or rather with apostolic workers of all times, who, aiming primarily to reach men’s hearts and convert them, always adapt their style of discourse to the spiritual needs of their hearers. Brother Lorenzo held successively all the offices of his order. From 1596 to 1602 he had, as general definitor, to fix his residence in Rome. Clement VIII assigned him the task of instructing the Jews; thanks to his knowledge of Hebrew and his powerful reasoning, he brought a great number of them to recognize the truth of the Christian religion. His saintliness, combined with his great kindliness, completed the preparing of the way for the grace of conversion. His success in Rome caused him to be called to several other cities, where he also baptized numerous Jews. At the same time he was commissioned to establish houses of his order in Germany and Austria. Amid the great difficulties created by the heretics he founded the convents of Vienna, Prague, and Graz, the nuclei of three provinces. At the chapter of 1602 he was elected vicar-general. (At that time the Order of Capuchins, which had broken away from the Observants in 1528 and had an independent constitution, gave its first superior the title of vicar-general only. It was not until 1618 that Pope Paul V changed it to that of minister general). The very year of his election the new superior began the visitation of the provinces. Milan, Paris, Marseilles, Spain, received him in turn. As his coming was preceded by a great reputation for holiness, the people flocked to hear him preach and to receive his blessing. His administration characterized by wise firmness and fatherly tenderness, was of great benefit to the order. At the Chapter of 1605 he refused to undertake for a second term the government of his brethren, but until his death he was the best adviser of his successors.

So great was his love for the Eucharist that often he would undergo mystical experiences including ecstasies.

So great was his love for the Eucharist that often he would undergo mystical experiences including ecstasies.

It was on the occasion of the foundation of the convent of Prague (1601) that St. Lorenzo was named chaplain of the Imperial army, then about to march against the Turks. The victory of Lepanto (1571) had only temporarily checked the Moslem invasion, and several battles were still necessary to secure the final triumph of the Christian armies. Mohammed III had, since his accession (1595), conquered a large part of Hungary. The emperor, determined to prevent a further advance, sent Lorenzo of Brindisi as deputy to the German princes to obtain their cooperation. They responded to his appeal, and moreover the Duke of Mercœur, Governor of Brittany, joined the imperial army, of which he received the effective command. The attack on Albe-Royal (now Stulweissenburg) was then contemplated. To pit 18,000 men against 80,000 Turks was a daring undertaking and the generals, hesitating to attempt it, appealed to Lorenzo for advice. Holding himself responsible for victory, he communicated to the entire army in a glowing speech the ardour and confidence with which he was himself animated. As his feebleness prevented him from marching, he mounted on horseback and, crucifix in hand, took the lead of the army, which he drew irresistibly after him. Three other Capuchins were also in the ranks of the army. Although the most exposed to danger, Lorenzo was not wounded, which was universally regarded as due to a miraculous protection. The city was finally taken, and the Turks lost 30,000 men. As however they still exceeded in numbers the Christian army, they formed their lines anew, and a few days later another battle was fought. It always the chaplain who was at the head of the army. “Forward!” he cried, showing them the crucifix, “Victory is ours.” The Turks were again defeated, and the honour of this double victory was attributed by the general and the entire army to Lorenzo.

St. Lawrence

Having resigned his office of vicar-general in 1605, he was sent by the pope to evangelize Germany. He here confirmed the faith of the Catholics, brought back a great number to the practice of virtue, and converted many heretics. In controversies his vast learning always gave him the advantage, and, once he had won the minds of his hearers, his saintliness and numerous miracles completed their conversion. To protect the Faith more efficaciously in their states, the Catholic princes of Germany formed the alliance called the “Catholic League”. Emperor Rudolph sent Lorenzo to Philip III of Spain to persuade him to join the League. Having discharged this mission successfully, the saintly ambassador received a double mandate by virtue of which he was to represent the interests of the pope and of Madrid at the court of Maximilian of Bavaria, head of the League. He was thus, much against his wishes, compelled to settle in Munich near Maximilian. Besides being nuncio and ambassador, Lorenzo was also commissary general of his order for the provinces of Tyrol and Bavaria, and spiritual director of the Bavarian army. He was also chosen as arbitrator in the dispute which arose between the princes, and it was in fulfillment of this role that, at the request of the emperor, he restored harmony between the Duke of Mantua and a German nobleman. In addition to all these occupations he undertook, with the assistance of several Capuchins, a missionary campaign throughout Germany, and for eight months travelled in Bavaria, Saxony, and the Palatinate.

The relics of St. Lawrence da Brindisi at the Villafranca del Bierzo, Spain.

The relics of St. Lawrence da Brindisi at the Villafranca del Bierzo, Spain.

Amid so many various undertakings Lorenzo found time for the practices of personal sanctification. And it is perhaps the greatest marvel of his life to have combined with duties so manifold an unusually intense inner life. In the practice of the religious virtues St. Lorenzo equals the greatest saints. He had to a high degree the gift of contemplation, and very rarely celebrated Holy Mass without falling into ecstasies. After the Holy Sacrifice, his great devotion was the Rosary and the Office of the Blessed Virgin. As in the case of St. Francis of Assisi, there was something poetical about his piety, which often burst forth into canticles to the Blessed Virgin. It was in Mary’s name that he worked his miracles, and his favourite blessing was: “Nos cum prole pia benedicat Virgo Maria.” Having withdrawn to the monastery of Caserta in 1618, Lorenzo was hoping to enjoy a few days of seclusion, when he was requested by the leading men of Naples to go to Spain and apprise Philip III of the conduct of Viceroy Ossuna. In spite of many obstacles raised by the latter, the saint sailed from Genoa and carried out his mission successfully. But the fatigues of the journey exhausted his feeble strength. He was unable to travel homeward, and after a few days of great suffering died at Lisbon in the native land of St. Anthony (22 July, 1619), as he had predicted when he set out on his journey. He was buried in the cemetery of the Poor Clares of Villafranca.

The process of beatification, several times interrupted by various circumstances, was concluded in 1783. The canonization took place on 8 December, 1881. With St. Anthony, St. Bonaventure, and Blessed John Duns Scotus, he is a Doctor of the Franciscan Order.

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The known writings of St. Lorenzo of Brindisi comprise eight volumes of sermons, two didactic treatises on oratory, a commentary on Genesis, another on Ezechiel, and three volumes of religious polemics. Most of his sermons are written in Italian, the other works being in Latin. The three volumes of controversies have notes in Greek and Hebrew. [Note: In 1959 Pope John XXIII proclaimed St. Lorenzo da Brindisi a Doctor of the Universal Church. His feast is kept on 6 July.]

F. Candide (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Arbogast

(Gaelic Arascach).

St. Arbogast

St. Arbogast has been claimed as a native of Scotland, but this is owing to a misunderstanding of the name “Scotia”, which until late in the Middle Ages really meant Ireland. He flourished about the middle of the seventh century. Leaving Ireland, as so many other missionaries had done, he settled as a hermit in a German forest, and then proceeded to Alsace, where his real name, Arascach, was changed to Arbogast. This change of name was owing to the difficulty experienced by foreigners in pronouncing Irish Christian names; thus it is that Moengal, Maelmaedhog, Cellach, Gillaisu, Gilla in Coimded, Tuathal, and Arascach were respectively transformed into Marcellus, Malachy, Gall, Gelasius, Germanus, Tutilo, and Arbogast. St. Arbogast found a warm friend in King Dagobert II of Austrasia, who had been educated at Slane, in Meath, in Ireland, and was restored to his kingdom on the demise of King Childeric II. Monstrelet authenticates the story of King Dagobert in Ireland; and the royal exile naturally fled to Slane in order to be under the ægis of the Ard-Righ (High­-King) of Ireland, at Tara. On Dagobert’s accession to the throne of Austrasia, Arbogast was appointed Bishop of Strasburg, and was famed for sanctity and miracles. It is related that the Irish saint raised to life Dagobert’s son, who had been killed by a fall from his horse. St. Arbogast died in 678, and, at his own special request, was buried on the side of a mountain, where only malefactors were interred. The site of his burial was subsequently deemed suitable for a church. He is commemorated 21 July.

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Grattan Flood, Irish Saints; Boschius in Acta SS. (1727), July, V, 168-177; Burgener, Helvetia Sancta (1860), I, 56-58; Hist. litt. de la France (1735), III, 621-622; Postina, in Römische Quartalschrift (1898), XII, 299-305; Analecta Bolland., XVIII, 195; Bibl. hagiogr. Lat. (1898), 106, 1317; O’Hanlon, Lives of Irish Saints, VII (21 July); Wattenbach, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen, 6th ed.; Grandidier, Hist de l’église de Strasbourg (1770), I, 199.

W. H. Grattan-Flood (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Wandrille

Stained glass window in Clichy, France. Picture by GFreihalter

Stained glass window in Clichy, France. Picture by GFreihalter

[Abbot of Fontenelles, in Normandy.]  He was nearly related to Pepin of Landen and Erchinoald, the two first lords in the kingdom of Austrasia; and in his youth was made count of the palace under Dagobert I. He was humble on the highest pinnacle of honors, and mortified amidst pleasures. To retrieve himself from the dissipation and other ill effects, of which hurry and much conversation with the world are dangerous occasions, he frequently…

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St. Bridget of Sweden

The most celebrated saint of the Northern kingdoms, born about 1303; died 23 July, 1373.

St. Catherine of Sweden (right) and her Mother, St. Bridget of Sweden(left). Painting from the Högsby church in Smalandia.

St. Catherine of Sweden (right) and her Mother, St. Bridget of Sweden(left). Painting from the Högsby church in Smalandia.

She was the daughter of Birger Persson, governor and provincial judge (Lagman) of Uppland, and of Ingeborg Bengtsdotter. Her father was one of the wealthiest landholders of the country, and, like her mother, distinguished by deep piety.

St. Ingrid, whose death had occurred about twenty years before Bridget’s birth, was a near relative of the family. Birger’s daughter received a careful religious training, and from her seventh year showed signs of extraordinary religious impressions and illuminations. To her education, and particularly to the influence of an aunt who took the place of Bridget’s mother after the latter’s death (c. 1315), she owed that unswerving strength of will which later distinguished her…

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According to The Telegraph:

A ten-day royal visit to Australia by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George has triggered a rise in the nation’s support for the monarchy, especially amongst younger Australians.

A Newspoll survey found support for Australia becoming a republic has dropped to 40 per cent, the lowest level in 20 years and well below a peak of 52 per cent in 2000.

Just 17 per cent of 18 to 34 year olds now strongly support a republic.

The 10-day trip around the nation marked the royal couple’s first official visit to Australia…

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

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According to RCI:

Members of the Ceremonial Guard and dignitaries of the Royal 22e Régiment are to stand guard at Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Palace and the Tower of London on 14, 16 and 18th of July.

The Quebec-based R22R…and are Canada’s only completely Francophone regiment.

It was also a first for the King’s Guard Sentinels outside Buckingham, and St James to receive commands, not only from a non-British unit, but also in French

Raised in October of 1914, at the beginning of the Great War, the R22R is celebrating their centennial this year.

To read the entire article on RCI, please click here.

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King Jan III Sobieski meets Emperor Leopold I. Painting by Artur Grottger

King Jan III Sobieski meets Emperor Leopold I. Painting by Artur Grottger

On the day after Sobieski’s conference with Zierowski, unknown to them both, a messenger set out at top speed on the long journey from Vienna. Count Thurn covered 350 miles in 11 days, and arrived at the royal residence of Wilanów outside Warsaw on 15 July. Austria was being invaded, its capital city was in danger, he reported, and the Emperor appealed to the King of Poland for help….

Our Lady of Czestochowska

The King left Warsaw on 18July and reached Cracow on the 29th…. [S]obieski had to visit Our Lady of Czestochowa, then and now the greatest shrine in Poland, to beg her good offices for the coming campaign….

It was time to go, and right to go, on the day of Our Lady’s Assumption the 15th August.

 

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John Stoye, The Siege of Vienna: The Last Great Trial Between Cross & Crescent (New York: Pegasus Books, 2007), 131, 138.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 403

 

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Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira, in his masterly work Revolution and Counter-Revolution, demonstrates that the chaos of the modern world has a cause. It is a profound cause that begets all the evils of the modern world. It has, if you will, its own personality, its own reason for being; and its name is “the Revolution.”

Pansexuality flag or Pansexual pride flag. Three horizontal stripes of color, from the top: pink, yellow, light blue. The blue portion of the flag represents those who identify as male (regardless of biological sex), The pink represents those who identify as female (regardless of biological sex), and the yellow portion, found in between the blue and pink portions, represents those who identify as both genders, neither gender, or a third gender; such as genderqueer and agender. The yellow also represents non-binary attraction between the male and female genders.

Pansexuality flag or Pansexual pride flag. Three horizontal stripes of color, from the top: pink, yellow, light blue. The blue portion of the flag represents those who identify as male (regardless of biological sex), The pink represents those who identify as female (regardless of biological sex), and the yellow portion, found in between the blue and pink portions, represents those who identify as both genders, neither gender, or a third gender; such as genderqueer and agender. The yellow also represents non-binary attraction between the male and female genders.

Revolution is the name of the evil that started with Humanism and the Renaissance, passing through the French Revolution and many other evils, bringing chaos and disorder until our days. The world is being shaken and convulsed by one single Revolution. All the others to which historians give diverse names are but aspects of one single Revolution. It follows, necessarily, that this single Revolution must have an aspect related to a deformed attitude of the human spirit in a fundamental point. Once this fundamental error is made clear, one would easily understand its resulting errors.

Polyamory. Three bathroom-style person images (female, non-binary, male) holding hands.

Polyamory. Three bathroom-style person images (female, non-binary, male) holding hands.

What is this fundamental error? What is the goal of the Revolution? It is an egalitarian movement that aims to eliminate all inequality. By eliminating all inequality, it can establish total equality, which is total disorder. The total equality of the Revolution lies in its opposition to everything which is superior and anything which is not equal.

Equal Marriage Rights logo

Equal Marriage Rights logo

Sadly many people follow this egalitarian movement, whether consciously or unconsciously. It is, therefore, a duty to warn the great majority of Catholics about this movement.

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Tradition, Family Property Association, ed., Egalitarianism: The Metaphysical Value and Religion of Our Days – Social Leveling…Total Leveling (Glasgow: Tradition, Family, Property Association, 2011), xiv-xv.

 

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Pope St. Leo IV

(Reigned 847-55)

Pope St. Leo IVA Roman and the son of Radoald, was unanimously elected to succeed Sergius II, and as the alarming attack of the Saracens on Rome in 846 caused the people to fear for the safety of the city, he was consecrated (10 April, 847) without the consent of the emperor.

Leo received his early education at Rome in the monastery of St. Martin, near St. Peter’s. His pious behaviour attracted the notice of Gregory IV, who made him a subdeacon; and he was created Cardinal-Priest of the church of the Quatuor Coronati by Sergius II.

As soon as Leo, much against his will, became pope, he began to take precautions against a repetition of the Saracen raid of 846. He put the walls of the city into a thorough state of repair, entirely rebuilding fifteen of the great towers. He was the first to enclose the Vatican hill by a wall. To do this, he received money from the emperor, and help from all the cities and agricultural colonies (domus cultae) of the Duchy of Rome. The work took him four years to accomplish, and the newly fortified portion was called the Leonine City, after him. In 852 the fortifications were completed, and were blessed by the pope with great solemnity.

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Whilst the work of refortifying the city was in progress, a great fleet of the Saracens sailed for Rome, seemingly from Sardinia, but it was completely destroyed off Ostia by the allied fleets of Rome, Naples, Amalfi, and Gaeta, and by a tempest (849). When the rebuilding of the walls of Rome was accomplished, Leo rebuilt Portus, and handed it over to a number of Corsican exiles, whom the ravages of the Saracens had driven from their homes. Other cities too in the Roman duchy were fortified, either by the pope himself or in consequence of his exhortations. Leo also endeavoured to make good the damage which the Saracen raid of 846 had done to the different churches. St. Peter’s had suffered very severely, and though as a whole it never again reached its former magnificence, Leo managed to make it in parts at least more beautiful than it had been before. St. Martin’s, where he had been educated, the Quatuor Coronati, of which he had been the priest, the Lateran Palace, the Anglo-Saxon Borgo, Subiaco, and many other places both in Rome and out of it were renovated by the energetic Leo. It was by this pope that the church of S. Maria Nova was built, to replace S. Maria Antiqua, which the decaying Palace of the Caesars threatened to engulf, and of which the ruins have recently been brought to light.

In 850 Leo associated with Lothair in the empire his son Louis, by imposing on him the imperial crown. Three years later “he hallowed the child Alfred to king [says an old English historian] by anointing; and receiving him for his own child by adoption, gave him confirmation, and sent him back [to England] with the blessing of St. Peter the Apostle.”

The Battle of Ostia in an 1829 engraving.

The Battle of Ostia in an 1829 engraving.

The same year (853) he held an important synod in Rome, in which various decrees were passed for the furtherance of ecclesiastical discipline and learning, and for the condemnation of the refractory Anastasius, Cardinal of St. Marcellus, and sometime librarian of the Roman Church. Equally rebellious conduct on the part of John, Archbishop of Ravenna, forced Leo to undertake a journey to that city to inspire John and his accomplices with respect for the law. It was while engaged in endeavouring to inspire another archbishop, Hincmar of Reims, with this same reverence, that Leo died.

Another man who, till his death (851), defied the authority of the pope was Nomenoe, Duke of Brittany. Anxious to be independent of the imperial authority Nomenoe, in defiance both of Leo and Charles the Bald, not only deposed a number of bishops, but made new ones, and subjected them to a metropolitan see (Dol) of his own creation. It was not till the thirteenth century that the Archbishop of Tours recovered his jurisdiction over the Breton bishops. For consecrating a bishop outside his own diocese, St. Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople, had suspended Gregory Asbestas, Bishop of Syracuse. St. Ignatius, who succeeded St. Methodius, in consequence forbade Gregory to be present at his consecration. This led Gregory to break all bounds. St. Ignatius accordingly caused him to be deposed, and begged the pope to confirm the deposition. This, however, Leo would not do, because, as he said, Ignatius had assembled bishops and deposed others without his knowledge, whereas he ought not to have done so “in the absence of our legates or of letters from us”. Despite the fact that Leo was then in opposition to the Patriarch of Constantinople, one of his dependents, Daniel, a magister militum, accused him to the Frankish Emperor Louis of wishing to overthrow the domination of the Franks by a Greek alliance. Leo had, however, no difficulty in convincing Louis that the charge was absolutely groundless. Daniel was condemned to death and only escaped it by the intercession of the emperor. Shortly after this Leo died, and was buried in St. Peter’s (17 July, 855).

He is credited with being a worker of miracles both by his biographer and by the Patriarch Photius. His name is found in the Roman Martyrology.

Pope St. Leo IV

Liber Pontificalis, ed. DUCHESNE, II, 106 sq.; his letters in P.L., CXV, CXXIX; the letters of Hincmar in P.L., CXXVI; the annals of Hincmar etc. Mon. Germ. Hist.: Script., I; Life of St. Ignatius and other documents in LABBE, Concilia, VIII; cf. LANCIANI, The Destruction of Ancient Rome (London, 1901), 132 sq.; THURSTON, The Roman Sacring of King Alfred in The Month (Oct., 1901); FORTESCUE, The Orthodox Eastern Church (London, 1907), 136 sq.; DE BROLO, Storia della Chiesa in Sicilia (Palermo, 1884), II, 265 sq.; MANN, Lives of the Popes, II (London, 1902), 258 sqq.

Horace K. Mann (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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The Sixteen Blessed Teresian Martyrs of Compiègne

Carmelites of Compiegne

Guillotined at the Place du Trône Renversé (now called Place de la Nation), Paris, 17 July, 1794. They are the first sufferers under the French Revolution on whom the Holy See has passed judgment, and were solemnly beatified 27 May, 1906. Before their execution they knelt and chanted the “Veni Creator”, as at a profession, after which they all renewed aloud their baptismal and religious vows. The novice was executed first and the prioress last. Absolute silence prevailed the whole time that the executions were proceeding. The heads and bodies of the martyrs were interred in a deep sand-pit about thirty feet square in a cemetery at Picpus. As this sand-pit was the receptacle of the bodies of 1298 victims of the Revolution, there seems to be no hope of their relics being recovered. Their names are…

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Execution of Tsar Nicholas II and his family

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia with the family (left to right): Olga, Maria, Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna, Anastasia, Alexei, and Tatiana. Photo taken in 1913.

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia with the family (left to right): Olga, Maria, Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna, Anastasia, Alexei, and Tatiana. Photo taken in 1913.

In the early hours of 17 July 1918, the royal family was awakened around 2:00 am, told to dress, and led down into a half-basement room at the back of the Ipatiev house. The pretext for this move was the family’s safety — that anti-Bolshevik forces were approaching Yekaterinburg, and the house might be fired upon. There are also unsubstantiated claims that the family was led to the basement under the pretense that family photographs would be…

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Godfrey of Bouillon

The Archangel St. Gabriel appearing to Godfrey of Bouillon telling to march on Jerusalem, promising him victory. Painting by Johann Friedrich Overbeck

The Archangel St. Gabriel appearing to Godfrey of Bouillon telling to march on Jerusalem, promising him victory. Painting by Johann Friedrich Overbeck

Duke of Lower Lorraine and first King of Jerusalem, son of Eustache II, Count of Boulogne, and of Ida, daughter of Godfrey the Bearded, Duke of Lower Lorraine; born probably at Boulogne-sur-Mer, 1060; died at Jerusalem, 18 July, 1100 (according to a thirteenth-century chronicler, he was born at Baisy, in Brabant; see Haigneré, Mémoires lus à la Sorbonne, Paris, 1868, 213).

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Saint Arnulf of Metz

Statesman, bishop under the Merovingians, born c. 580; died c. 640.

An image of Saint Arnold (Arnulf) of Metz watching over the beer brewing. "From man's sweat and God's love,beer came into the world."

An image of Saint Arnold (Arnulf) of Metz watching over the beer brewing. “From man’s sweat and God’s love,beer came into the world.”

His parents belonged to a distinguished Frankish family, and lived in Austrasia, the eastern section of the kingdom founded by Clovis. In the school in which he was placed during his boyhood he excelled through his talent and his good behaviour. According to the custom of the age, he was sent in due time to the court of Theodebert II, King of Austrasia (595-612), to be initiated in the various branches of the government. Under the guidance of Gundulf, the Mayor of the Palace, he soon became so proficient that he was placed on the regular list of royal officers, and among the first of the kings ministers. He distinguished himself both as a military commander and in the civil administration; at one time he had under his care six distinct provinces. In due course Arnulf was married…

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Blessed Hroznata of Bohemia

Founder of the Monasteries of Teplá and Chotěšov, born (c) 1170, died July 14, 1217.

Bl. Hroznata

In the happy reign of Premysl, – also called Ottacar, – king of Bohemia, among the other magnates of the kingdom the first place at court, next to the king’s magnificence, was held by Hroznata, the descendant of an illustrious and princely line. The high position conferred by his birth he so adorned by the beauty of his character and his virtues, being made more excellent by his judgment and bountiful natural gifts, that he was revered by all with ardent affection. Possessing not learning only, but abundance of worldly goods, he would relieve from his own resources the needs of the destitute around him with farsighted beneficence. He was…

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St. Macrina the Younger
St. Macrina the Younger (fresco in Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev)

St. Macrina the Younger (fresco in Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev)

Born about 330; died 379. She was the eldest child of Basil the Elder and Emmelia, the granddaughter of St. Macrina the Elder, and the sister of the Cappadocian Fathers, Sts. Basil and Gregory of Nyssa. The last-mentioned has left us a biography of his sister in the form of a panegyric (“Vita Macrinae Junioris” in PG XLVI, 960 sq.). She received an excellent intellectual training, though one based more on the study of the Holy Bible than on that of profane literature. When she was but twelve years old, her father had already arranged a marriage for her with a young advocate of excellent family. Soon afterwards, however, her affianced husband died suddenly, and Macrina resolved to devote herself to a life of perpetual virginity and the pursuit of Christian perfection. She exercised great influence over the religious training of her younger brothers, especially St. Peter, afterwards Bishop of Sebaste, and through her St. Gregory received…

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July 19 – Penitent Nobility

July 17, 2014

St. Arsenius Anchorite; born 354, at Rome; died 450, at Troe, in Egypt. Theodosius the Great having requested the Emperor Gratian and Pope Damasus to find him in the West a tutor for his son Arcadius, they made choice of Arsenius, a man well read in Greek literature, member of a noble Roman family, and [...]

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July 20 – Carolingian Reformer

July 17, 2014

St. Ansegisus Born about 770, of noble parentage; died 20 July, 833, or 834. At the age of eighteen he entered the Benedictine monastery of Fontanelle (also called St. Vandrille after the name of its founder) in the diocese of Rouen. St. Girowald, a relative of Ansegisus, was then Abbot of Fontanelle. From the beginning [...]

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Certain souls only become great when the winds of misfortune blow upon them

July 14, 2014

         “There are certain souls who only become great when blown upon by the winds of misfortune.  Marie Antoinette, who was inconsequent as a princess and unpardonably frivolous in her life as a queen, nonetheless, was surprisingly transformed before the surge of blood and misery that flooded France. Historians will be consumed by admiration upon [...]

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Charles V, the Duke of Alba, and Martin Luther

July 14, 2014

When the Protestants refused to accept the decrees of the Council of Trent, Charles V resolved to wage war, defeating them in the battle of Mühlberg on April 24, 1547. The duke of Alba was the commanding general of his troops. Having entered Württemberg, the Emperor asked to see the tomb of Luther, the friar [...]

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What Ever Happened to the Liberty Promised in 1789?

July 14, 2014

In his classic work on the French Revolution, Pierre Gaxotte shows the abysmal difference that exists between the respect shows by the Ancien Regime for the legitimate liberties of the individual and the family and the strong inclination of the modern State to meddle in the intimate lives of its citizens, a tendency which appeared [...]

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Prince Charles awards Military Cross to “The Bomb Magnet”

July 14, 2014

According to the Mirror: Warrant Officer Class 1 Patrick Hyde – nicknamed The Bomb Magnet – has been awarded a Military Cross in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace Patrick, 38, was given his MC by Prince Charles… Afterwards, the senior soldier – who is Regimental Sergeant Major of the 4th Battalion The Rifles – gave [...]

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A Recipe From The Crusaders

July 14, 2014

July 15th is the anniversary of the conquest of Jerusalem by Duke Godfrey of Bouillon and the First Crusade (1099). We thus offer our readers this panforte (strong bread) recipe, which tradition says hails from Crusader days. Fruits, nuts and honey, all commonly available to Crusaders, are among panforte‘s ingredients. As you bake and enjoy panforte, think of [...]

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July 14 – St. Vincent

July 14, 2014

St. Vincent (MALDEGARIUS). Founder and abbot of the monasteries of Hautmont and Soignies, born of a noble family at Strepy les Binche, Hainault, early in the seventh century; died at Soignies, 14 July, 677. That he was not of Irish descent, as stated by Jean du Pont and some Irish writers, has been proved by [...]

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July 14 – St. Francis Solanus

July 14, 2014

South American missionary of the Order of Friars Minor; born at Montilla, in the Diocese of Cordova, Spain, 10 March, 1549; died at Lima, Peru, 14 July, 1610. His parents, Matthew Sanchez Solanus and Anna Ximenes, were distinguished no less for their noble birth than for their virtue and piety. When Francis was twenty years [...]

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July 14 – The Lily of the Mohawks

July 14, 2014

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks Kateri Tekakwitha was daughter of Kenneronkwa, a Mohawk chief, and Tagaskouita, a devout Roman Catholic Algonquian woman. She was born in the Mohawk fortress of Ossernenon near present-day Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Kateri’s mother was baptized and educated by French missionaries in Trois-Rivières, like many of Abenaki [...]

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July 15 – After conversion, he ordered the statues of the pagan gods chopped up and burned

July 14, 2014

St. Vladimir the Great Grand Duke of Kiev (Kieff) and All Russia, grandson of St. Olga, and the first Russian ruler to embrace Christianity, b. 956; d. at Berestova, 15 July, 1015. St. Olga could not convert her son and successor, Sviatoslav, for he lived and died a pagan and brought up his son Vladimir [...]

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July 16 – Alfonso VIII of Castile crushes the Moors at Las Navas de Tolosa

July 14, 2014

The Almohads, the new dynasty of Moroccan fanatics who had subdued all the Moslems in al Andalus, launched an all-out attack on the Christians by moving a huge army north into south central Spain. The impetuous Alfonso VIII of Castile, without waiting for reinforcements, attempted to bar the way at Alarcos. On July 18, 1195, [...]

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July 16 – Catholic Spain’s fate in the balance at the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa

July 14, 2014

The following year was a memorable one for all Spain. King Alfonso of Castile, in face of the Almohade danger, had launched an alert to Christendom; answering it, the Christian princes had assembled not only from Spain but also from other countries. Pope Innocent III proclaimed a Crusade against the Moors of Spain and bestowed [...]

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King Saint Ferdinand Rides to the Conquest of Córdoba

July 10, 2014

A page who entered quickly took him from his thoughts…. “Lord, Ordoño Alvarez de Asturias has come in great haste and says he has happy and marvelous news to give you.” “Ordoño Alvarez, who is stationed at the frontier? Tell him to enter immediately as my door is always open for my knights.” The young [...]

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Idealizing a Life Together

July 10, 2014

In this atmosphere of cohesiveness and especially that of grace, the members of a society begin to idealize their life together. Some authors have referred to this sense of imagined perfection together as the creation of “utopias.” We feel this action is much better expressed in terms of how social units create their own myths, [...]

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July 10 – Seven Holy Noble Brethren

July 10, 2014

Saints, martyred in Rome, in 150. According to legend, they were the sons of Saint Felicitas, and suffered martyrdom under Emperor Antoninus. Januarius, Felix, and Philip were scourged to death; Silvanus was thrown over a precipice; Alexander, Vitalis, and Martialis were beheaded. Feast, Roman Calendar, 10 July. St. Felicitas, Martyr The earliest list of the [...]

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July 10 – Charlemagne Was Punished for His Rudeness to Her

July 10, 2014

St. Amalberga A virgin, very much revered in Belgium, who is said to have been sought in marriage by Charles, afterwards Charlemagne. Continually repulsed, Charles finally attempted to carry her off by force, but though he broke her arm in the struggle he was unable to move her from the altar before which she had [...]

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July 11 – The noble saint who fled the world, but the world ran after him

July 10, 2014

Saint Benedict of Nursia Founder of western monasticism, born at Nursia, c. 480; died at Monte Cassino, 543. The only authentic life of Benedict of Nursia is that contained in the second book of Saint Gregory’s “Dialogues”. It is rather a character sketch than a biography and consists, for the most part, of a number [...]

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July 12 – St. John Gualbert and the Vallumbrosan Order

July 10, 2014

The name is derived from the motherhouse, Vallombrosa (Latin Vallis umbrosa, shady valley), situated 20 miles from Florence on the northwest slope of Monte Secchieta in the Pratomagno chain, 3140 feet above the sea. I. THE FOUNDER St. John Gualbert, son of the noble Florentine Gualbert Visdomini, was born in 985 (or 995), and died [...]

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July 13 – The Crusaders attack Jerusalem

July 10, 2014

The attack began the night of July 13, [1099,] and the defenders let loose a hail of stones and rivers of Greek fire…. The battle hung in the balance during the morning hours of July 15. Archers shot blazing firebrands to drive the defenders from the walls, but the siege towers were battered and burned. [...]

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July 13 – Saintly Elite

July 10, 2014

Blessed Marie-Azélie  née Guérin (23 December 1831 – 28 August 1877) was a French laywoman and the mother of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux. Her husband was Blessed Louis Martin. Marie-Azélie Guérin was born in Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, Orne, France and was the second daughter of Isidore Guérin and Louise-Jeanne Macé. She had an older sister, Marie-Louise, who [...]

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July 13 – Good King Henry

July 10, 2014

St. Henry II German King and Holy Roman Emperor, son of Duke Henry II (the Quarrelsome) and of the Burgundian Princess Gisela; b. 972; d. in his palace of Grona, at Gottingen, 13 July, 1024. Like his predecessor, Otto III, he had the literary education of his time. In his youth he had been destined [...]

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July 13 – Author of “The Golden Legend”

July 10, 2014

Bl. Jacopo de Voragine (Also DI VIRAGGIO). Archbishop of Genoa and medieval hagiologist, born at Viraggio (now Varazze), near Genoa, about 1230; died 13 July, about 1298. In 1244 he entered the Order of St. Dominic, and soon became famous for his piety, learning, and zeal in the care of souls. His fame as a [...]

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July 13 – Saint Mildthryth

July 10, 2014

Saint Mildthryth (694–716 or 733), also Mildrith, Mildryth or Mildred, was an Anglo-Saxon abbess. Mildthryth was the daughter of King Merewalh of Magonsaete, a sub-kingdom of Mercia, and Eormenburh (Saint Eormenburga), herself the daughter of King Æthelberht of Kent, and as such appearing in the so-called Kentish royal legend. Her sisters Milburh (Saint Milburga of [...]

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What the new 65,000-ton Royal Navy aircraft carrier represents

July 7, 2014

According to The Telegraph: …HMS Queen Elizabeth represents…a union of peoples more precious than rubies. A British ship built in a Scottish dockyard, named by our Queen for the defence of the entire realm reflects how much stronger every constituent part of the United Kingdom is by staying together. The Defence Secretary has warned of [...]

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Video: Ancient Knights of the Thistle service in Edinburgh

July 7, 2014

The Order of the Thistle honors men and women who have held public office or who have contributed in a significant way to national life and is the highest honor in Scotland. Photos here.

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Baroness Herbert of Lea: a convert to the Catholic faith

July 7, 2014

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 [...]

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The Birth of Society from Unity

July 7, 2014

[A]ll stable human relations can give rise to these powerful links that call to mind the intense spirit of the family.  To the degree that a social unit develops this bonding, it contributes firmness, resilience, and quality to the social fabric. Moreover, when nurtured by the Commandments and evangelical counsels, this natural society acquires a [...]

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July 7 – Only two cardinals dared to stand with the pope

July 7, 2014

Blessed Pope Benedict XI (Nicholas Boccasini) Born at Treviso, Italy, 1240; died at Perugia, 7 July, 1304. He entered the Dominican Order at the age of fourteen. After fourteen years of study, he became lector of theology, which office he filled for several years. In 1296 he was elected Master General of the Order. As [...]

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July 7 – The Princess who left court and entered a forest monastery

July 7, 2014

St. Edelburga, Virgin, also called St. Æthelburh of Faremoutiers. She was daughter to Anna king of the East Angles, and out of a desire of attaining to Christian perfection, went into France, and there consecrated herself to God in the monastery of Faremoutier, in the forest of Brie, in the government of which she succeeded [...]

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July 7 – Prince Abbots

July 7, 2014

Sts. Willibald and Winnebald (WUNIBALD, WYNNEBALD). Members of the Order of St. Benedict, brothers, natives probably of Wessex in England, the former, first Bishop of Eichstätt, born on 21 October, 700 (701); died on 7 July, 781 (787); the latter, Abbot of Heidenheim, born in 702; died on 18 (19) December, 761. They were the [...]

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July 8 – The Pope who fought the democrats

July 7, 2014

Pope Blessed Eugene III Bernardo Pignatelli, born in the neighbourhood of Pisa, elected 15 Feb., 1145; died at Tivoli, 8 July, 1153. On the very day that Pope Lucius II succumbed, either to illness or wounds, the Sacred College, foreseeing that the Roman populace would make a determined effort to force the new pontiff to [...]

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July 9 – St. Veronica Giuliani

July 7, 2014

Born at Mercatello in the Duchy of Urbino, Italy, 1660; died at Città di Castello, 9 July, 1727. Her parents, Francesco Giuliana and Benedetta Mancini, were both of gentle birth. In baptism she was named Ursula, and showed marvelous signs of sanctity. When but eighteen months old she uttered her first words to upbraid a [...]

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Locals protest tourists

July 3, 2014

According to the London Evening Standard: Residents are protesting over plans to build a visitor centre for the boat that was the centrepiece of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. They are furious at plans to put the Gloriana, a rowbarge, in a Norman Foster-designed dry dock and boathouse in woodland at Orleans Park in Richmond. [...]

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Video: Pope Francis Receives King Felipe VI of Spain

July 3, 2014

According to The Royal Correspondent: On the morning of Monday, June 30, 2014, His Holiness Pope Francis held a private audience inside the papal library at the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican with Their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain. According to the Vatican News Agency, during today’s 40-minute meeting discussions focused [...]

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García Moreno Saves Ecuador From Invasion and Treason

July 3, 2014

General Flores had quitted Ecuador, humiliated but not resigned. After a time he determined to equip a body of mercenary troops and try to reconquer the country. It was in the year 1846. He was at the Spanish Court, where his noble presence and his clever conversation captivated not only the princes, but Queen Cristina [...]

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How to Form a Consensus

July 3, 2014

The best example of how a consensus is formed is the family. Amid the joys and sufferings of life together, the family is such a source of intense cohesion that even non-family members such as close friends can be assimilated into it with a high degree of adherence and affinity. The whole family is enriched [...]

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July 4 – Unsung American Hero

July 3, 2014

St. Anthony Daniel Huron missionary, born at Dieppe, in Normandy, 27 May 1601, slain by the Iroquois at Teanaostae, near Hillsdale, Limcoe County, Ontario, Canada, 4 July, 1648. After two years’ study of philosophy and one of law, he entered the Society of Jesus in Rome, 1 October, 1621. Sent to Canada in 1633 he [...]

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July 3 – The Pope Who Condemned His Predecessor, But Not For Heresy

July 3, 2014

Pope St. Leo II Pope (682-83), date of birth unknown; d. 28 June, 683. He was a Sicilian, and son of one Paul. Though elected pope a few days after the death of St. Agatho (10 June, 681), he was not consecrated till after the lapse of a year and seven months (17 Aug., 682). [...]

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July 4 – Patroness of victims of adultery, jealousy and unfaithfulness

July 3, 2014

ST. ELIZABETH was daughter of Peter III,  king of Aragon, and granddaughter of James I, who had been educated under the care of St. Peter Nolasco, and was surnamed the Saint, and from the taking of Majorca and Valentia, Expugnator or the Conqueror. Her mother, Constantia, was daughter of Manfred king of Sicily, and grandchild [...]

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