Maximilian I

Duke of Bavaria, 1598-1622, Elector of Bavaria and Lord High Steward of the Holy Roman Empire, 1623-1651; born at Munich, 17 April, 1573; died at Ingolstadt, 27 September, 1651.

The lasting services he rendered his country and the Catholic Church justly entitle him to the surname of “Great”. He was the son of zealous Catholic parents, William V, the Pious, of Bavaria, and Renate of Lorraine.

Maximilian I, painting by Joachim von Sandrart

Maximilian I, painting by Joachim von Sandrart

Mentally well endowed, Maximilian received a strict Catholic training from private tutors and later (1587-91) studied law, history, and mathematics at the University of Ingolstadt. He further increased his knowledge by visits to foreign courts, as Prague and Naples, and to places of pilgrimage including Rome, Loretto, and Einsiedeln. Thus equipped Maximilian assumed (15 Oct., 1597) the government of the small, thinly populated country at his father’s wish during the latter’s lifetime.

Owing to the over-lenient rule of the two preceding rulers the land was burdened with a heavy debt. By curtailing expenditure and enlarging the revenues, chiefly by working the salt-mines himself and by increasing the taxes without regard to the complaints of the powerless estates, the finances were not only brought into a better condition, but it was also possible to collect a reserve fund which, in spite of the unusually difficult conditions of the age, was never quite exhausted. At the same time internal order was maintained by a series of laws issued in 1616.

Maximilian gave great attention to military matters. No other German prince of that time possessed an army so well organized and equipped. Its commander was the veteran soldier from the Netherlands Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, who, austere himself, knew how to maintain discipline among his troops. The fortifications at Ingolstadt on the Danube were greatly strengthened, and Munich and other towns were surrounded by walls and moats. Well-filled arsenals were established in different places as preparation for time of need. Opportunity for the use of this armament soon offered itself.

Presentation of the Electorate of Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria at the Regensburg Princes 1623

Presentation of the Electorate of Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria at the Regensburg Princes 1623

The small free city of Donauwörth fell under the imperial ban for violating the religious peace. In executing the imperial decree Maximilian not only succeeded in bringing this city into subjection to Bavaria but also in re-establishing the Catholic Church as the one and only religion in it. This led to the forming (1608) of the Protestant Union, an offensive and defensive confederation of Protestant princes, in opposition to which arose in 1609 the Catholic League organized by Maximilian. Oddly enough, both coalitions were headed by princes of the Wittelsbach line: Maximilian I as head of the League, Frederick IV of the Palatinate, of the Union.

The Thirty Years’ War, during which Bavaria suffered terribly, broke out in 1619. Under Tilly’s leadership the Bohemian revolt was crushed at the battle of the White Mountain (Weissen Berg) near Prague, 8 November, 1620, and the newly elected King of Bohemia, Frederick V, forced to flee. His allies, the Margrave of Baden and the Duke of Brunswick, were defeated by the forces of Bavaria and the League at Wimpfen and Hochst (1622), as was also at a later date (1626) King Christian of Denmark.

Conditions, however, changed when Maximilian, through jealousy of the House of Hapsburg, was led in 1630 to seek the dismissal of the head of the imperial army, Wallenstein. The youthful Swedish king, Gustavus Adolphus, defeated Tilly, the veteran leader of the army of the League at Breitenfeld (1631), and in a battle with Gustavus Adolphus near the Lech, 16 April, 1632, Tilly was again vanquished, receiving a wound from which he died two weeks later at Ingolstadt. Although the siege of this city by the Swedes was unsuccessful, Gustavus plundered the Bavarian towns and villages, laid waste the country and pillaged Munich.

Duke Maximilian I in Prague after the victory on the White Mountain in 1620

Duke Maximilian I in Prague after the victory on the White Mountain in 1620

Maximilian, who since 1623 had been both Elector and ruler of the Upper Palatinate, implored Wallenstein, now once more the head of the imperial forces, for help in vain until he agreed to place himself and his army under Wallenstein’s command. The united forces under Wallenstein took up an entrenched position near Nuremberg where Wallenstein repulsed the Swedish attacks; by advancing towards Saxony he even forced them to evacuate Maximilian’s territories. The relief to Bavaria, however, was not of long duration. After the death of Gustavus Adolphus at the battle of Lützen (1632) Bernhard of Weimar, unmolested by Wallenstein, ravaged Bavaria until he received a crushing defeat at the battle of Nordlingen (6 Sept., 1634). Even in the last ten years of the war the Subscriptioncountry was not spared from hostile attacks. Consequently Maximilian sought by means of a truce with the enemy (1647) to gain for Bavaria an opportunity to recover. The desired result, however, not being attained, he united his forces to those of the imperial army, but the allied troops were not sufficient to overthrow the confederated French and Swedes, and the country once more suffered all the terrors of a pitiless invasion. The fighting ended with the capture of the Swedish generals, 6 Oct., 1648, and the Peace of Westphalia was signed at Munster, 24 Oct. of the same year.

The material benefits derived by Maximilian from his attitude in politics were meagre: the Electoral dignity, the office of Lord High Steward, and the Upper Palatinate. The abstract gains, on the other hand, appear far greater. Not only since then has Bavaria had the second place among the Catholic principalities of Germany, ranking next to Austria, but for centuries a strong bulwark was opposed to the advance of Protestantism, and the latter was, at times, even driven back. A few years after the Peace of Westphalia and eighteen months after the administration of Bavaria had been transferred to his still minor son Ferdinand Maria, Maximilian’s eventful and troublesome life closed. He was buried in the church of St. Michael at Munich. A fine equestrian statue, designed by Thorwaldsen and cast by Stiglmayer, was erected at Munich by King Louis I in 1839.

Although there was almost incessant war during his reign, and Bavaria in the middle of the seventeenth century was like a desert, nevertheless Maximilian did much for the arts, e.g. by building the palace, the Mariensäule (Mary Column), etc. Learning also, especially at the University of Ingolstadt, had in this era distinguished representatives. The Jesuit Balde was a brilliant writer both of Latin and German verse and Father Scheiner, another member of the same order, was the first to discover the spots on the sun; historians also, such as Heinrich Canisius, Matthias Rader, etc., produced important works of lasting merit.

Emperor's Courtyard, Residenz Munich

Emperor’s Courtyard, Residenz Munich

Maximilian, however, gave for more attention to the advancement of religion among the people than to art and learning. He founded five Jesuit colleges: Amberg, Burghausen, Landshut, Mindelheim, and Straubing. Besides establishing a monastery for the Minims and one for the Carmelites at Munich, he founded nine monasteries for Franciscans and fourteen for Capuchins who venerate him as one of their greatest benefactors. He also founded at Munich a home for aged and infirm Court officials, and gave 30,000 guldens for the Chinese missions, as well as large sums to the Scotch-English college of the Jesuits at Liège. His private charities among the poor and needy of all descriptions were unlimited.

Maximilian was endowed with an uncommon ability for work. He was also sincerely religious and rigidly moral in conduct; he even went beyond the permissible in his efforts to uphold and spread the faith. Maintaining like all princes of his time the axiom “Cujus regio ejus religio”, he not only put down every movement in opposition to the Church in his country but also exterminated Calvinism and Lutheranism root and branch in the territories he had acquired. Where admonition and instruction were not sufficient the soldier stepped in, and the poor people, who had already been obliged to change their faith several times with change of ruler, had now no choice but return to the Church or exile. Maximilian, in addition, never lost sight of secular advantage, as is shown by his numerous acquisitions of territory. Especially valuable was the purchase of two-thirds of the countship of Helfenstein, now a part of Wurtemberg, which as a Bavarian dependence was preserved to the Church and has remained Catholic up to the present time, notwithstanding its Protestant surroundings. Maximilian was twice married. The first marriage was childless. By his second wife Maria, daughter of the Emperor Ferdinand II, whom he married 15 July, 1635, he had two sons; the elder of these, Ferdinand Maria, as already mentioned, succeeded him.

STIEVE, Maximilian I in Allgem. Deutsche Biog., XXI (1885)21 sq., gives bibliography before 1885; cf. the statements in DOBERL, Entwicklungsgeschichte Bayerns, I (2nd ed., 1908).—HAGL, Die Bekehrung der Oberpfalz (2 vols., 1903); RABEL, Das ehemaliga Benediktiner-Adelstift Weissenohe in Jahrb. des Hist. Vereins Bomberg (1908).—For the founding of monasteries by Maximilian: EBERL, Gesch. d. bay. Kapuzinerodensprovinz 1593-1902 (1902).—DEUTINGER, Beitrage zur Geschichte des Erzbisthums Munchen-Freising, New Series, I (1901).—LAVISSE-RAMBAUD, Histoire generale, V, 508 sqq.; HIMLY, Hist. de la formation territoriale des etats de l’Europe centrale, II (1876), 164 sqq.; CORREARD, Precis d’histoire moderne et contemporaine, 36 sqq.

PIUS WITTMANN (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 377

 

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

According to All About Royal Families:

King David Kalakaua of Hawaii bestowed him the honor ‘Royal Commander of the Royal Order of the Kalakaua’.

He died on April 15th. 1889.

On February 12th. 1935, King Leopold III of Belgium wrote a letter to president Franklin D. Roosevelt to ask the return of the remains of Father Damien to Belgium.

King Albert and Queen Paola of Belgium attended [his canonization].

Father Damien is the only not-American with a statue in the United States Capitol.

To read the entire article on All About Royal Families, please click here.

St. Damien of Molokai as a young priest, before joining the lepers of Hawaii

St. Damien of Molokai as a young priest, in the year he volunteered to join the lepers of Hawaii

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

Notre-Dame de Reims, France, High Gothic, 1194-1260.

Notre-Dame de Reims, France, High Gothic, 1194-1260.

[W]hen the spiritual dimension becomes the primary element of production, it can also end up satisfying and putting in order our material necessities.

Royal Cloister at the Batalha Monastery, which is in the Gothic Stlye and built between 1448 and 1477.

Royal Cloister at the Batalha Monastery, which is in the Gothic Stlye and built between 1448 and 1477.

This can be seen, for example, in the development of technology. It is simply false to say that technology calls for greater standardization. In pre-modern production, we note that the emphasis on the spiritual dimension curiously did not work to the detriment of the physical. On the contrary, it challenged the development of technology to meet both physical and spiritual needs.

Interior of the Cathedral in Salamanca, which contains the late Gothic style generally called Plateresque.

Interior of the Cathedral in Salamanca, which contains the late Gothic style generally called Plateresque.

Take, for example, the development of the Gothic arch, flying buttress, and stained-glass window. All of these are the practical inventions developed to aid in the primarily spiritual pursuit of beauty, symbolism, and meaning that would be expressed in the higher, better illuminated, and acoustically-designed cathedral. They also involve feats of incredible technological daring specifically developed by medieval ingenuity to meet these esthetic needs.

New Cathedral and Old Cathedral in Salamanca, Spain. It was constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries in two styles: late Gothic and Baroque. Building began in 1513 and the cathedral was consecrated in 1733. It was commissioned by Ferdinand V of Castile of Spain. It was declared a national monument by royal decree in 1887.

New Cathedral and Old Cathedral in Salamanca, Spain. It was constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries in two styles: late Gothic and Baroque. Building began in 1513 and the cathedral was consecrated in 1733. It was commissioned by Ferdinand V of Castile and declared a national monument by royal decree in 1887.

“The technicians of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, far from being traditionalists, were creating an entirely new concept of architecture, dynamic rather than static,” writes Lynn White. “In their cathedrals we see a sublime fusion of high spirituality and advanced technology.”*

Subscription22

 

* Lynn White, Jr. Machina Ex Deo: Essays in the Dynamism of Western Culture (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1968), 63.

 

John Horvat, 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), 291.

 

 

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

Vanilla planifolia orchid, also called the Flat-leaved Vanilla Orchid, is the one used for commercial vanilla production and is the only edible fruit of the orchid family. The vanilla planifolia plant produces an orchid flower that opens for only one day, though it may take as long as six weeks for the bud to develop into a flower. The orchid will flower in the morning and begin to wilt by early afternoon. Each flower has to be individually hand pollinated in order to fruit and since 1841 this method has been used.

For centuries, the vanilla bean extract was a cultural treasure enjoyed solely by the natives of Totonaca, the present state of Veracruz, in Eastern Mexico. The Persian, Macedonian, and Roman Empires all came and went without any of their rulers every tasting vanilla.  For all these centuries, no one but God and the Totonacs knew about vanilla, this exquisite and delightful fruit of man’s creative refinement of God’s creation.

All this changed rather cruelly in the mid-fifteenth century, when the Totonacs were conquered by the Aztecs. Tribute was exacted from them, but once the Aztec overlords had tasted vanilla, they wanted it included in the tribute.

A Vanilla Plantation on La Réunion Island. Small trees are used for the vanilla vines to climb and to provide shade for the vines. The trees are planted about a year or more before the vanilla cuttings are set so that they can become well established. The vines are looped over the tree at the 5-foot level and brought back down to the ground. This makes it ideal as it keeps the vines within easy reach of the workers. If allowed to grow, the vanilla plant can reach 50 to 80 feet in height. As long as the vine can grow upward, it will not flower, so the tip of the vine is cut off 9 or 10 months before the flowering season. Photo by Bouba.

A Vanilla Plantation on La Réunion Island. Small trees are used for the vanilla vines to climb and to provide shade for the vines. The trees are planted about a year or more before the vanilla cuttings are set so that they can become well established. The vines are looped over the tree at the 5-foot level and brought back down to the ground. This makes it ideal as it keeps the vines within easy reach of the workers. If allowed to grow, the vanilla plant can reach 50 to 80 feet in height. As long as the vine can grow upward, it will not flower, so the tip of the vine is cut off 9 or 10 months before the flowering season. Photo by Bouba.

Vanilla’s cultural domain thus began to spread, and it expanded further with the arrival of Hernan Cortes and the Conquistadors to the shores of Mexico,  in 1519. The subjugated Totonacs readily joined forces with the Spaniards, hoping to throw off the yoke of the hated Aztecs.  But it appears that the Conquistadors were not introduced to vanilla by their new allies, even though Cempoala was one of their main cities. It seems that this occurred in Mexico City itself, where the Conquistadors tasted xocoatl, the vanilla-flavored cocoa drink enjoyed by the Aztec emperor Montezuma and his nobles.  It filled them with wonder, and in no time, Cortes had sent it on to Spain, for the appreciation of Emperor Charles V and his court. From there it soon spread among the nobility of Europe.

Both the vanilla orchid and the vanilla bean are devoid of scent and the bean must be fermented to develop the scent and flavor. A cluster of mature vanilla pods which look like green beans. The bean will get the bulk of its full length in 4 to 8 weeks, but it takes 8 or 9 months for the beans to mature completely. The pods are filled with tiny black vanilla seeds and the entire process from planting to market can take as long as five years. After the pods are harvested, they have to be cured. Photo by Sunil Elias

A cluster of mature vanilla pods, which look like green beans, are filled with tiny black vanilla seeds. Both the vanilla orchid and the vanilla bean are devoid of scent and the bean must be fermented to develop the scent and flavor. The bean will reach 7-9 inches in 4 to 8 weeks, but it takes 8 or 9 months for the beans to mature completely. The entire process from planting to market can take as long as five years. After the pods are harvested, they have to be cured. Photo by Sunil Elias

Once the method of hand pollination was discovered in the 19th century, vanilla cultivation spread from Mexico to Madagascar, Indonesia, and Tahiti, and then vanilla extract prices dropped substantially. This notwithstanding, because there is so much manual labor in the vanilla bean’s cultivation and processing, the extract is still the world’s second most expensive spice, after saffron.  But it is largely affordable, and as a result, vanilla’s refined and aristocratic taste has now spread its cultural empire to the whole world, being enjoyed in homes and pastry shops everywhere.

Vanilla growing, curing, and processing is the most labor-intensive of all agricultural products in the world. It even exceeds saffron, the most expensive spice in the world. All the work is done by hand.

Vanilla growing, curing, and processing is the most labor-intensive of all agricultural products in the world. It even exceeds saffron, the most expensive spice in the world. All the work is done by hand.

 

divider

Cheesecake

 Cream Cheese Pie

 Makes 1              

Note from Maria Reisz Springer: 

I usually buy a prepared Graham Cracker Crust in a foil pan at the store. I serve it still warm with a dusting of powdered sugar.   The Cherry pie filling is intensified with a tsp or so of either rum or brandy, which enhances  every bite with an extraordinary flavor and delectable experience.

 cookies

Note from Nobility.org:

To make this recipe even more delicious is to make the graham cracker crust with Amaretti di Saronno by Lazzaroni Italian cookies.

Graham Cracker Crust Substitute

¾ Cup (about 20 to 25 cookies) of crushed Italian Amaretti Cookies (see note above)
1 Tablespoon, plus a teaspoon of melted butter

Crush cookies, mix with butter and spread on the bottom of a greased pie pan. Pour filling on top and bake.

Subscription13

Cream Cheese Mixture

2 – 8 oz packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese *** (room temperature is best)

1 cup of sugar

Add 3 large eggs 

Add 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract

Add 1 tsp of Almond Flavoring

 

 *** Use Only Philadelphia Cream cheese, since it gives it the best taste. Others have been tried for this recipe and none compare to Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

 

Cheesecake

Beat the  2 Philadelphia Cream cheese and the sugar together until light and smooth. Beat in one egg  at a time and mix until completely blended. Add the Vanilla and Almond extracts, mix well and pour into the prepared Graham Cracker crust.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F, for about 40 minutes or until the top begins to rise and brown and shows several cracks around the edges.

The cracks and puffed top will settle down as the pie cools.

 

Cheesecake

You can serve it when it  still warm….warmer than room temperature…with a little Cherry Pie filling…that has had some Brandy or Rum added to it…and  a dusting of powdered sugar….

Note from Nobility.org

 This recipe tastes better if served the next day. Make it the day before serving, keeping it covered in the refrigerator and leave it out before serving.

( This recipe is taken from Maja’s Kitchen and published with the kind permission of Maria Springer. Her website is:   www.majaskitchen.com)

 

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

Franz Josef

In 1850, Franz Joseph participated…as emperor in the second of the traditional Habsburg expressions of dynastic piety: the Holy Thursday foot-washing ceremony, part of the four-day court observance of Easter.

The master of the staff and the court prelates chose twelve poor elderly men, transported them to the Hofburg, and positioned them in the ceremonial hall on a raised dais. There, before an invited audience observing the scene from tribunes, the emperor served the men a symbolic meal and archdukes cleared the dishes.

The Emperor washing the feet of the poor on Holy Thursday

The Emperor washing the feet of the poor on Holy Thursday

As a priest read aloud in Latin the words of the New Testament (John 3:15), “And he began to wash the feet of the disciples,” Franz Joseph knelt and, without rising from his knees, washed the feet of the twelve old men in imitation of Christ.

Finally, the emperor placed a bag of twenty silver coins around the necks of each before the men were led away and returned to their homes in imperial coaches.

Subscription17

 

Daniel L. Unowsky, The Pomp and Politics of Patriotism: Imperial Celebrations in Habsburg Austria 1848-1916 (West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 2005), p. 29.
___________________

Also of interest:

Queen Mary washes the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday

Queen Mary Welcomes the Sick on Good Friday

For Contrast: Two Royal Attitudes to Washing the Feet of the Poor

 

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

Queen Mary I of England… and on Holy Thursday, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the most Serene Queen performed the ceremony of feet-washing, thus – Her Majesty being accompanied by the Right Reverend Legate and by the Council, entered a large hall, at the head of which was my Lord Bishop of Ely as Dean (come Decano) of the Queen’s chaplains, with the choristers of her Majesty’s chapel. Around this hall on either side there were seated on certain benches, with their feet on stools, many poor women, to the number of forty and one, such being the number of the years of the most Serene Queen. Then one of the menials of the Court having washed the right foot of each of these poor persons, and this function being also next performed by the Under Almoner, and also by the Grand Almoner, who is the Bishop of Chichester, her Majesty next commenced the ceremony in the following manner.

Queen Mary touching the sick with the golden coin called an angel. The illustration dates from Queen Mary’s reign.

Queen Mary touching the sick with the golden coin called an angel. The illustration dates from Queen Mary’s reign.

At the entrance of the hall there was a great number of the chief dames and noble ladies of the court, and they prepared themselves by putting on a long linen apron which reached the ground, and round their necks they placed a towel, the two ends of which remained pendant at full length on either side, each of them carrying a silver ewer, and they had flowers in their hands, the Queen also being arrayed in like manner. Her Majesty knelt down on both her knees before the first of the poor women, and taking in the left hand the woman’s right foot, she washed it with her own right hand, drying it very thoroughly with the towel which hung at her neck, and having signed it with the cross she kissed the foot so fervently that it seemed as if she were embracing something very previous. She did the like by all and each of the other poor women, one by one, each of the ladies her attendants giving her in turn their basin and ewer and towel, and I vow to you that in all her movements and gestures, and by her manner, she seemed to act thus not merely out of ceremony, but from great feeling, and devotion. Amongst these demonstrations there was this one remarkable, that in washing the feet she went the whole length of that long hall, from one end to the other, ever on her knees.

Queen Mary I painted by Hans Eworth

Queen Mary I painted by Hans Eworth

Having finished and risen on her feet, she went back to the head of the hall, and commenced giving in turn to each of the poor women a large wooden platter, with enough food for four persons, filled with great pieces of salted fish, and two large loaves, and thus she went a second time distributing these alms.
She next returned a third time, to begin again, giving to each of the women a wooden bowl filled with wine, or rather, I think hippocras; after which, for the fourth time, she returned and gave to each of those poor people a piece of cloth of royal mixture for clothing (un pezzo di panno mischio di reale per vestire).

Queen Mary I of England painting by Artist English School

Queen Mary I of England painting by Artist English School

Then returning for the fifth time she gave to each a pair of shoes and stockings; for the sixth time she gave to each a leathern purse, containing forty-one pennies, according to the number of her own years, and which in value may amount to rather more than half an Italian golden crown; finally, going back for the seventh time, she distributed all the aprons and towels which had been carried by those dames and noble ladies, in number forty-one, giving each with her own hand.

Painting of Queen Mary I by Antonis Mor

Painting of Queen Mary I by Antonis Mor

Her Majesty then quitted the hall to take off the gown which she had worn, and half an hour afterwards she returned, being preceded by an attendant carrying the said gown, and thus she went twice round the hall, examining very closely all the poor women one by one, and then returning for the third time, she gave the said gown to the one who was in fact the poorest and most aged of them all; and this gown was of the finest purple cloth, lined with martens’ fur, and with sleeves so long and wide that they reached the ground.
During this ceremony the choristers chanted the Miserere, with certain other psalms, reciting at each verse the words –

In diebus illis mulier quæ erat in civitate peccatrix.

Subscription4

Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts Relating, to English Affairs, Existing in the Archives and Collections of Venice: and in Other Libraries of Northern Italy, Vol. 6, Part 1, Pg. 434 – 435.

The above story of [Queen Mary I’s] Maundy of 1556 is given in part of a letter dated 3 May 1556. It was written by Marco Antonio Faitta, the Secretary to Cardinal Reginald Pole (then the Papal legate in England and, what was to be, its last Roman Catholic Primate), to Dr. Ippolite Chizzola, a Doctor of Divinity, in Venice.

 

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

Queen Mary I praying before blessing the rings in the tray on her left. The illustration dates to her reign.

Queen Mary I praying before blessing the rings in the tray on her left. The illustration dates to her reign.

On [Good] Friday morning the offertory was performed according to custom in the Church of the Franciscan Friars, which is contiguous to the palace. After the Passion, the Queen came down from her oratory for the adoration of the Cross, accompanied by my lord the right reverend Legate, and kneeling at a short distance from the Cross moved towards It on her knees, praying before It thrice, and then she drew nigh and kissed It, performing this act with such devotion as greatly to edify all those who were present.

Her Majesty next gave her benediction to the rings, the mode of doing so being as follows: An inclosure (un riparo) was formed for her Majesty to the right of the high altar by means of four benches placed so as to form a square, into the center of which she again came down from her oratory, and placing herself on her knees within this inclosure, two large covered basins were brought to her, filled with rings of gold and silver, one of these basins containing rings of her own, whilst the other held those of private individuals (particolari), labelled with their owners’ names. On their being uncovered she commenced reciting a certain prayer and psalms, and then taking them in her two hands (pigliandoli a mano per mano), she passed them again and again from one hand to the other, saying another prayer, which commenced thus:—

Sanctifica, Domine, annulos istos.”

Credit: Science Museum, London – Metal ring, English, 1308-1558. Rings such as this one were traditionally blessed by the sovereign on Good Friday.

This being terminated, her Majesty went to bless the scrofulous, but she chose to perform this act privately in a gallery, where there were not above 20 persons; and an altar being raised there she knelt and recited the confession, on the conclusion of which her Majesty turned towards my Right Reverend Lord the Legate, who gave her absolution; whereupon a priest read from the Gospel according to St. Mark, and on his coming to the words— “Super ægros manus imponet et bene habebunt,” she caused one of those infirm women to be brought to her, and kneeling the whole time she commenced pressing, with her hands in the form of a cross, on the spot where the sore was, with such compassion and devotion as to be a marvel, and whilst she continued doing this to a man and to three women, the priest kept ever repeating these words:

Super ægros manus imponet et bene habebunt.”

Then on terminating the Gospel, after the words—

In principio erat verbum,”

and on coming to the following, namely,—

Erat lux vera quæ illuminat omnem hominem in hunc mundum,”

Queen Mary I pressing the coins to the sick.

Queen Mary I pressing the coins to the sick.

then the Queen made the sick people again approach her, and taking a golden coin called an angel, she touched the place where the evil showed itself, and signed it with this coin in the form of the cross; and having done this, she passed a ribbon through a hole which had been pierced in the coin, and placed one of these round the neck of each of the patients, making them promise never to part with that coin, which was hallowed, save in case of extreme need; and then, having washed her hands, the towel being presented to her by my Lord the Right Reverend the Legate, she returned to her oratory.

Having been present myself in person at all these ceremonies, her Majesty struck me as affording a great and rare example of goodness, performing all those acts with such humility and love of religion, offering up her prayers to God with so great devotion and affection, and enduring for so long a while and so patiently so much fatigue; and seeing thus, that the more her Majesty advances in the rule of this kingdom, so does she daily afford fresh and greater opportunities for commending her extreme piety, I dare assert that there never was a queen in Christendom of greater goodness than this one, whom I pray God long to save and prosper, for the glory of His Divine Honor, and for the edification and exaltation of His Holy Church, not less than for the consolation and salvation of the people of this island.

Queen Mary I

I will not omit telling you that on Holy Thursday alms were distributed here in the Court to a great amount, to upwards of 3,000 persons; and this reminds me that my Right Reverend Lord the Legate, having sent in advance to Canterbury to make great provision for his entry, which subsequently, for certain reasons, the Queen refused on any account to permit, his Right Reverend Lordship then caused all his provisions to be distributed amongst the poor, 2,000 of whom were reckoned, and these alms were taken to their houses; nor do I include herein the alms given to many other poor people, who had flocked to Canterbury from the neighborhood; all which causes the indigent population there (quel povero popolo) now to await his Right Reverend Lordship with greater anxiety than ever.

London, 3rd May 1556.

 Subscription15

Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts Relating, to English Affairs, Existing in the Archives and Collections of Venice: and in Other Libraries of Northern Italy, Vol. 6, Part 1, Pg. 435 – 437.

The above story of [Queen Mary I’s] Good Friday of 1556 is given in part of a letter dated 3 May 1556. It was written by Marco Antonio Faitta, the Secretary to Cardinal Reginald Pole (then the Papal legate in England and, what was to be, its last Roman Catholic Primate), to Dr. Ippolite Chizzola, a Doctor of Divinity, in Venice.

 

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

King Philip II of Spain washed the feet of the poor every Holy Thursday. Painting by a follower of Alonso Sanchez Coello.

King Philip II of Spain washed the feet of the poor every Holy Thursday. Painting by a follower of Alonso Sanchez Coello.

In February, he returned to Castile, arriving in time to observe Holy Week at San Lorenzo, and to wash the feet of the poor on Holy Thursday “with his usual great tenderness and humility.” On Good Friday he adored the wood of the True Cross and pardoned several men who had been condemned to death, bowing down to adore “the sacred wood where our Redemption was accomplished, and begging the King of Kings Who placed Himself there for our good, to pardon him his sins, as he forgave those deaths.” Then he confessed. On Easter Sunday he received Holy Communion with great devotion, and gained the plenary indulgence granted by Pope Gregory XIII. He then went back to Madrid to attend to his ordinary business.

(…)

Maundy Thursday Royal washing of beggars feet

Maundy Thursday Royal washing of beggars feet

So Elizabeth continued, every Maundy Thursday, to wash the feet of beggars, as her sister had done. It was symbolic of that shriveling of the Catholic spirit under the outer husk of the new political Church of England that she disdained to touch the feet of the poor wretches until they had first been scrubbed with hot water and soap and well sprinkled with sweet-smelling herbs by yeomen of the laundry. Philip II continued to abase himself before the common human clay, as Christ had done. So long as Spain had kings, there would be such reminders of the unchanging truth of Christianity. The kings of England would end by not washing the feet at all, dolling out a few coins instead. It was only an imaginary Christianity, a travesty, that Elizabeth clung to, half-despisingly.

William Thomas Walsh, Philip II (Rockford, Ill.: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1987), pp.  615, 295.

 

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

St. Robert

Founder of the Abbey of Chaise-Dieu in Auvergne, born at Aurilac, Auvergne, about 1000; died in Auvergne, 1067.

St. Robert print by Raphael Sadeler & Marten de Vos

St. Robert print by Raphael Sadeler & Marten de Vos

On his father’s side he belonged to the family of the Counts of Aurilac, who had given birth to St. Géraud. He studied at Brioude near the basilica of St-Julien, in a school open to the nobility of Auvergne by the canons of that city. Having entered their community, and being ordained priest, Robert distinguished himself by his piety, charity, apostolic zeal, eloquent discourses, and the gift of miracles.

Subscription16For about forty years he remained at Cluny in order to live under the rule of his compatriot saint, Abbé Odilo. Brought back by force to Brioude, he started anew for Rome in order to consult the pope on his project. Benedict IX encouraged him to retire with two companions to the wooded plateau south-east of Auvergne. Here he built a hermitage under the name of Chaise-Dieu (Casa Dei). The renown of his virtues having brought him numerous disciples, he was obliged to build a monastery, which he placed under the rule of Saint Benedict (1050).

Leo IX erected the Abbey of Chaise-Dieu, which became one of the most flourishing in Christendom. At the death of Robert it numbered 300 monks and had sent multitudes all though the center of France.

The Abbey at La-Chaise-Dieu

The Abbey at La-Chaise-Dieu

Robert also founded a community of women at Lavadieu near Brioude. Through the elevation of Pierre Roger, monk of Chaise-Dieu, to the sovereign pontificate, under the name of Clement VI, the abbey reached the height of its glory. The body of Saint Robert, preserved therein, was burned by the Huguenots during the religious wars. His work was destroyed by the French Revolution, but there remain for the admiration of tourists, the vast church, cloister, tomb of Clement VI, and Clementine Tower.

A. FOURNET (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

St. Stephen Harding

Confessor, the third Abbot of Cîteaux, was born at Sherborne in Dorsetshire, England, about the middle of the eleventh century; died 28 March, 1134. He received his early education in the monastery of Sherborne and afterwards studied in Paris and Rome. On returning from the latter city he stopped at the monastery of Molesme and, being much impressed by the holiness of St. Robert, the abbot, joined that community. Here he practised great austerities, became one of St. Robert’s chief supporters and was one of the band of twenty-one monks who, by authority of Hugh, Archbishop of Lyons, retired to Cîteaux to institute a reform in the new foundation there.

Cîteaux Abbey

Cîteaux Abbey

When St. Robert was recalled to Molesme (1099), Stephen became prior of Cîteaux under Alberic, the new abbot. On Alberic’s death (1110) Stephen, who was absent from the monastery at the time, was elected abbot.

The number of monks was now very reduced, as no new members had come to fill the places of those who had died. Stephen, however, insisted on retaining the strict observance originally instituted and, having offended the Duke of Burgundy, Cîteaus’s great patron, by forbidding him or his family to enter the cloister, was even forced to beg alms from door to door.

Subscription2

It seemed as if the foundation were doomed to die out when (1112) St. Bernard with thirty companions joined the community. This proved the beginning of extraordinary prosperity. The next year Stephen founded his first colony at La Ferté, and before is death he had established thirteen monasteries in all. His powers as an organizer were exceptional, he instituted the system of general chapters and regular visitations and, to ensure uniformity in all his foundations, drew up the famous “Charter of Charity” or collection of statues for the government of all monasteries united to Cîteaux, which was approved by Pope Callistus II in 1119.

In 1133 Stephen, being now old, infirm, and almost blind, resigned the post of abbot, designating as his successor Robert de Monte, who was accordingly elected by the monks. The saint’s choice, however, proved unfortunate and the new abbot only held office for two years.

St. Stephen Harding

Stephen was buried in the tomb of Alberic, his predecessor, in the cloister of Cîteaux. In the Roman calendar his feast is 17 April, but the Cistercians themselves keep it on 15 July, with an octave, regarding him as the true founder of the order. Besides the “Carta Caritatis” he is commonly credited with the authorship of the “Exordium Cisterciencis cenobii”, which however may not be his. Two of his sermons are preserved and also two letters (Nos. 45 and 49) in the “Epp. S. Bernardi”.

G. ROGER HUDLESTON (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

Bl. Marie de l’Incarnation

Bl. Marie of the Incarnation, O.C.D. , also as Madame Acarie

Bl. Marie of the Incarnation, O.C.D. , also as Madame Acarie

Known also as Madame Acarie, foundress of the French Carmel, born in Paris, 1 February, 1566; died at Pontoise, April, 1618. By her family Barbara Avrillot belonged to the higher bourgeois society in Paris. Her father, Nicholas Avrillot was accountant general in the Chamber of Paris, and chancellor of Marguerite of Navarre, first wife of Henri IV; while her mother, Marie Lhuillier was a descendant of Etienne Marcel, the famous prévôt des marchands (chief municipal magistrate). She was placed with the Poor Clares of Longchamp for her education, and acquired there a vocation for the cloister, which subsequent life in the world did not alter. In 1684, through obedience she married Pierre Acarie, a wealthy young man of high standing, who was a fervent Christian, to whom she bore six children. She was an exemplary wife and mother.

Subscription3

Pierre Acarie was one of the staunchest members of the League, which, after the death of Henry III, opposed the succession of the Huguenot prince, Henry of Navarre, to the French throne. He was one of the sixteen who organized the resistance in Paris. The cruel famine, which accompanied the siege of Paris, gave Madame Acarie an occasion of displaying her charity. After the dissolution of the League, brought about by the abjuration of Henry IV, Acarie was exiled from Paris and his wife had to remain behind to contend with creditors and business men for her children’s fortune, which had been compromised by her husband’s want of foresight and prudence. In addition she was afflicted with physical sufferings, the consequences of a fall from her horse, and a very severe course of treatment left her an invalid for the rest of her life.

St. Teresa of Avila appearing to Madame Acarie.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century Madame Acarie was widely known for her virtue, her supernatural gifts, and especially her charity towards the poor and the sick in the hospitals. To her residence came all the distinguished and devout people of the day in Paris, among them Mme de Meignelay, née de Gondi, a model of Christian widows, Mme Jourdain and Mme de Bréauté, future Carmelites, the Chancellor de Merillac, Père Coton the Jesuit, St. Vincent of Paul, and St. Francis of Sales, who for six months was Mme Acarie’s director. Subscription7 The pious woman had been living thus retired from the world, but sought by chosen souls, when, toward the end of 1601, there appeared a French translation of Ribera’s life of St. Teresa. The translator, Abbé de Brétigny, was known to her. She had some portions of the work read to her. A few days later St. Teresa, appeared to her and informed her that God wished to make use of her to found Carmelite convents in France. The apparitions continuing, Mme Acarie took counsel and began the work. Mlle de Longueville wishing to defray the cost of erecting the first monastery, in Rue St. Jacques, Henry IV granted letters patent, 18 July, 1602. A meeting in which Pierre de Bérulle, future founder of the Oratory, St. Francis of Sales, Abbé de Brétigny, and the Marillacs took part, decided on the foundation of the “Reformed Carmel in France”, 27 July, 1602. The Bishop of Geneva wrote to the pope to obtain the authorization, and Clement VIII granted the Bull of institution, 23 November, 1603. The following year some Spanish Carmelites were received into the Carmel of Rue St. Jacques, which became celebrated. Mme de Longueville, Anne de Gonzague, Mlle de la Vallieres, withdrew to it; there also Bossuet and Fenelon were to preach. The Carmel spread rapidly and profoundly influenced French society of the day. In 1618, the year of Mme Acarie’s death, it numbered fourteen houses.

Carmel de Pontoise

Carmel de Pontoise

Mme Acarie also shared in two foundations of the day, that of the Oratory and that of the Ursulines. She urged De Bérulle to refuse the tutorship of Louis XIII, and on 11 November, 1611 she, with St. Vincent de Paul, assisted at the Mass of the installation of the Oratory of France. Among the many postulants whom Mme Acarie received for the Carmel, there were some who had no vocation, and she conceived the idea of getting them to undertake the education of young girls, and broached her plan to her holy cousin, Mme. de Sainte-Beuve. To establish the new order they brought Ursulines to Paris and adopted their rule and name. M. Acarie having died in 1613, his widow settled her affairs and begged leave to enter the Carmel, asking as a favour to be received as a lay sister in the poorest community. In 1614 she withdrew to the monastery of Amiens, taking the name of Marie de l’Incarnation. Her three daughters had preceded her into the cloister, and one of them was sub-prioress at Amiens. In 1616, by order of her superiors, she went to the Carmelite convent at Pontoise, where she died. Her cause was introduced at Rome in 1627; she was beatified, 24 April, 1791; her feast is celebrated in Paris on 18 April. DU VAL, La vie admirable de la servante de Dieu, soeur Marie de l’Incarnation connue dans le monde sous le nom de Mdme Acarie (Paris. 1621; latest edition, Paris, 1893); HOUSSAYE, M. de Bérulle et les Carmélites de France (Paris, 1875); DE BROGLIE, La bienheureuse Marie de l’Incarnation, Madame Acarie (Paris, 1903).

A. FOURNET (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

Pope St. Leo IX

Pope St. Leo IX

Pope St. Leo IX

Pope St. Leo IX earnestly spread the Cluny reform

Born at Egisheim, near Colmar, on the borders of Alsace, 21 June, 1002, Pope St. Leo IX died on 19 April, 1054. He belonged to a noble family which had given or was to give saints to the Church and rulers to the Empire. He was named Bruno. His father Hugh was first cousin to Emperor Conrad, and both Hugh and his wife Heilewide were remarkable for their piety and learning.

When five years of age, he was committed to the care of the energetic Berthold, Bishop of Toul, who had a school for the sons of the nobility. Intelligent, graceful in body, and gracious in disposition, Bruno was a favorite with his schoolfellows. Whilst still a youth and at home for his holidays, he was attacked when asleep by some animal, and so much injured that for some time he lay between life and death. In that condition he saw, as he used afterwards to tell his friends, a vision of St. Benedict, who cured him by touching his wounds with a cross. This we are told by Leo’s principal biographer, Wibert, who was his intimate friend when the saint was Bishop of Toul.

Bruno became a canon of St. Stephen’s at Toul (1017), and though still quite young exerted a soothing influence on Herimann, the choleric successor of Bishop Berthold. When, in 1024, Conrad, Bruno’s cousin, succeeded the Emperor Henry I, the saint’s relatives sent him to the new king’s court “to serve in his chapel”. His virtue soon made itself felt, and his companions, to distinguish him from others who bore the same name, always spoke of him as “the good Bruno”.

Castle of the Counts of Eguisheim - birthplace of Pope St. Leo IX photo by Mschlindwein

Castle of the Counts of Eguisheim – birthplace of Pope St. Leo IX photo by Mschlindwein

In 1026 Conrad set out for Italy to make his authority respected in that portion of his dominions, and as Herimann, Bishop of Toul, was too old to lead his contingent into the peninsula, he entrusted the command of it to Bruno, then a deacon. There is reason to believe that this novel occupation was not altogether uncongenial to him, for soldiers seem always to have had an attraction for him.

While he was thus in the midst of arms, Bishop Herimann died and Bruno was at once elected to succeed him. Conrad, who destined him for higher things, was loath to allow him to accept that insignificant see. But Bruno, who was wholly disinclined for the higher things, and wished to live in as much obscurity as possible, induced his sovereign to permit him to take the see. Consecrated in 1027, Bruno administered the Diocese of Toul for over twenty years, in a season of stress and trouble of all kinds.

He had to contend not merely with famine, but also with war, to which as a frontier town Toul was much exposed. Bruno, however, was equal to his position. He knew how to make peace, and, if necessary, to wield the sword in self-defense.

Great Battle, by Grizzli

Great Battle, by Grizzli

Sent by Conrad to Robert the Pious, he established so firm a peace between France and the empire that it was not again broken even during the reigns of the sons of both Conrad and Robert. On the other hand, he held his episcopal city against Eudes, Count of Blois, a rebel against Conrad, and “by his wisdom and exertions” added Burgundy to the empire. It was whilst he was bishop that he was saddened by the death not merely of his father and mother, but also of two of his brothers. Amid his trials Bruno found some consolation in music, in which he proved himself very efficient.

The German Pope Damasus II died in 1048, and the Romans sent to ask Henry III, Conrad’s successor, to let them have as the new pope either Halinard, Archbishop of Lyons, or Bruno. Both of them were favorably known to the Romans by what they had seen of them when they came to Rome on pilgrimage. Henry at once fixed upon Bruno, who did all he could to avoid the honor which his sovereign wished to impose upon him. When at length he was overcome by the combined importunities of the emperor, the Germans, and the Romans, he agreed to go to Rome, and to accept the papacy if freely elected thereto by the Roman people. He wished, at least, to rescue the See of Peter from its servitude to the German emperors. When, in company with Hildebrand he reached Rome, and presented himself to its people clad in pilgrim’s guise and barefooted, but still tall, and fair to look upon, they cried out with one voice that him and no other would they have as pope. Assuming the name of Leo, he was solemnly enthroned 12 February, 1049. Before Leo could do anything in the matter of the reform of the Church on which his heart was set, he had first to put down another attempt on the part of the ex-Pope Benedict IX to seize the papal throne. He had then to attend to money matters, as the papal finances were in a deplorable condition. To better them he put them in the hands of Hildebrand, a man capable of improving anything.

Pope St. Leo IX then began the work of reform which was to give the next hundred years a character of their own

Pope St. Leo IX then began the work of reform which was to give the next hundred years a character of their own

He then began the work of reform which was to give the next hundred years a character of their own, and which his great successor Gregory VII was to carry so far forward. In April, 1049, he held a synod at which he condemned the two notorious evils of the day, simony and clerical incontinence. Then he commenced those journeys throughout Europe in the cause of a reformation of manners which gave him a pre- eminent right to be styled Peregrinus Apostolicus. Leaving Rome in May, he held a council of reform at Pavia, and pushed on through Germany to Cologne, where he joined the Emperor Henry III. In union with him he brought about peace in Lorraine by excommunicating the rebel Godfrey the Bearded. Despite the jealous efforts of King Henry I to prevent him from coming to France, Leo next proceeded to Reims, where he held an important synod, at which both bishops and abbots from England assisted. There also assembled in the city to see the famous pope an enormous number of enthusiastic people, “Spaniards, Bretons, Franks, Irish, and English”. Besides excommunicating the Archbishop of Compostela (because he had ventured to assume the title of Apostolicus, reserved to the pope alone), and forbidding marriage between William (afterwards called the Conqueror) and Matilda of Flanders, the assembly issued many decrees of reform. On his way back to Rome Leo held another synod at Mainz, everywhere rousing public opinion against the great evils of the time as he went along, and everywhere being received with unbounded enthusiasm.

Subscription14.1In January, 1050, Leo returned to Rome, only to leave it again almost immediately for Southern Italy, whither the sufferings of its people called him. They were being heavily oppressed by the Normans. To the expostulations of Leo the wily Normans replied with promises, and when the pope, after holding a council at Spoleto, returned to Rome, they continued their oppressions as before. At the usual paschal synod which Leo was in the habit of holding at Rome, the heresy of Berengarius of Tours was condemned-a condemnation repeated by the pope a few months later at Vercelli. Before the year 1050 had come to a close, Leo had begun his second transalpine journey. He went first to Toul, in order solemnly to translate the relics of Gerard, bishop of that city, whom he had just canonized, and then to Germany to interview the Emperor Henry the Black. One of the results of this meeting was that Hunfrid, Archbishop of Ravenna, was compelled by the emperor to cease acting as though he were the independent ruler of Ravenna and its district, and to submit to the pope. Returning to Rome, Leo held another of his paschal synods in April, 1051, and in July went to take possession of Benevento. Harassed by their enemies, the Beneventans concluded that their only hope of peace was to submit themselves to the authority of the pope. This they did, and received Leo into their city with the greatest honor. While in this vicinity, Leo again made further efforts to lessen the excesses of the Normans, but they were crippled by the native Lombards, who with as much folly as wickedness massacred a number of the Normans in Apulia. Realizing that nothing could then be done with the irate Norman survivors, Leo retraced his steps to Rome (1051).

Pope Leo raised what forces he could among the Italian princes and declared war on the Normans

Pope Leo raised what forces he could among the Italian princes and declared war on the Normans

The Norman question was henceforth ever present to the pope’s mind. Constantly oppressed by the Normans, the people of Southern Italy ceased not to implore the pope to come and help them. The Greeks, fearful of being expelled from the peninsula altogether, begged Leo to co-operate with them against the common foe. Thus urged, Leo sought assistance on all sides. Failing to obtain it, he again tried the effect of personal mediation (1052). But again failure attended his efforts. He began to be convinced that appeal would have to be made to the sword. At this juncture an embassy arrived from the Hungarians, entreating him to come and make peace between them and the emperor. Again Leo crossed the Alps, but, thinking he was sure of success, Henry would not accept the terms proposed by the pope, with the result that his expedition against the Hungarians proved a failure. And though he at first undertook to let Leo have a German force to act against the Normans, he afterwards withdrew his promise, and the pope had to return to Italy with only a few German troops raised by his relatives (1053). In March, 1053, Leo was back in Rome. Finding the state of affairs in Southern Italy worse than ever, he raised what forces he could among the Italian princes, and, declaring war on the Normans, tried to effect a junction with the Greek general. But the Normans defeated first the Greeks and then the pope at Civitella (June, 1053). After the battle Leo gave himself up to his conquerors, who treated him with the utmost respect and consideration, and professed themselves his soldiers.

Though he gained more by defeat than he could have gained by victory, Leo betook himself to Benevento, a broken-hearted man. After the battle of Civitella Leo never recovered his spirits. Seized at length with a mortal illness, he caused himself to be carried to Rome (March, 1054), where he died a most edifying death. He was buried in St. Peter’s, was a worker of miracles both in life and in death, and found a place in the Roman Martyrology.

WIBERT and other contemporary biographers of the saint in WATTERICH, Pont. Rom. Vitæ, I (Leipzig, 1862); P. L., CXLIII, etc.; ANSELM OF REIMS, ibid., CXLII; LIBUIN in WATTERICH and in P. L., CXLIII; see also BONIZO OF SUTRI; ST. PETER DAMIAN, LANFRANC, and other contemporaries of the saint. His letters are to be found in P. L., CXLIII; cf. DELARC, Un pape Alsacien (Paris, 1876); BRUCKER, l’Alsace et l’é au temps du pape S. Léon (Paris, 1889); MARTIN, S. Léon IX (Paris, 1904); BRÉHIER, Le Schisme Oriental au XIe Siecle (Paris, 1899); FORTESCUE, The Orthodox Eastern Church (London, 1907), v; MANN, Lives of the Popes, VI (London, 1910).

HORACE K. MANN (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

St. Alphege

(or Elphege), Saint, born 954; died 1012; also called Godwine, martyred Archbishop of Canterbury, left his widowed mother and patrimony for the monastery of Deerhurst (Gloucestershire).

St. Alphege being asked for advice.

St. Alphege being asked for advice.

After some years as an anchorite at Bath, he there became abbot, and (19 Oct., 984) was made Bishop of Winchester. In 994 Elphege administered confirmation to Olaf of Norway at Andover, and it is suggested that his patriotic spirit inspired the decrees of the Council of Enham. In 1006, on becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, he went to Rome for the pallium. At this period England was much harassed by the Danes, who, towards the end of September, 1011, having sacked and burned Canterbury, made Elphege a prisoner.

On 19 April, 1012, at Greenwich, his captors, drunk with wine, and enraged at ransom being refused, pelted Elphege with bones of oxen and stones, till one Thurm dispatched him with an axe. Elphege’s body, after resting eleven years in St. Paul’s (London), was translated by King Canute to Canterbury.

Subscription1

His principal feast is kept on the 19th of April; that of his translation on the 8th of June.

He is sometimes represented with an axe cleaving his skull.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. PLUMMER (Oxford, 1892-99); THIETMAR, Chronicle, in P. L., CXXXIX, 1384; OSBERN, Vita S. Elphegi in WHARTON, Anglia Sacra, II, 122 sqq.; Acta SS., April, II, 630; Bibl. Hag. Lat., 377; CHEVALIER, Repertoire, I, 1313; FREEMAN, Norman Conquest, I, v; BUTLER, Lives of the Saints, 18 April; STANTON, Menology, 19 April; HUNT in Dict. Nat. Biogr., s. v. AElfheah.

PATRICK RYAN

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

Friar Minor and missionary, born at Ascoli in the March of Ancona in 1234; died there, 19 April, 1289.

He belonged to the noble family of Milliano and from his earliest years made penance the predominating element of his life.

Bl. Conrad of Ascoli

Bl. Conrad of Ascoli

He entered the Order of Friars Minor at Ascoli together with his townsman and lifelong friend, Girolamo d’Ascoli, afterwards minister general, and later pope under the title of Nicholas IV. Having completed his studies at Perugia, Conrad was sent to Rome to teach theology. Later he obtained permission to go to Africa, where he preached with much fruit through the different provinces of Libya and worked numerous miracles. He was recalled from Africa to go on a mission to the King of France, then at war with Spain, and subsequently he became lector of theology at Paris.

The Incorrupt body of Blessed Conrad of Ascoli in the Church of San Francesco in Ascoli Piceno, Italy. Photo by Revares.

The Incorrupt body of Blessed Conrad of Ascoli in the Church of San Francesco in Ascoli Piceno, Italy. Photo by Revares.

When not engaged in teaching, Conrad preached to the people or ministered to the sick in hospitals. In 1288 he was summoned to Rome by the new pope, Nicholas IV, who wished to make him cardinal, but Conrad died on the way after reaching his native city, being then fifty-five years of age.

Subscription18

Nicholas IV was deeply grieved at the loss of his saintly friend, on whose counsel and zeal he had counted so much, and declared that Conrad’s death was a great loss to the Church. The people of Ascoli erected a splendid tomb over the remains of Blessed Conrad. In 1371, when his body was removed to the new church of the Franciscans, it was found incorrupt and gave forth a sweet odour. Pius VI approved the cultus of Blessed Conrad. His feast is kept in the Order of Friars Minor on 19 April.

STEPHEN M. DONOVAN

Print Friendly
Share

{ 1 comment }

Louis IX, as prisoner, refuses Emir Octaï’s offer. Painting by Guillaume Guillon-Lethière

When they saw that they could not prevail over the good king [St. Louis IX of France] by threats, they came back to him and asked how much money he would give to the soldan [of Egypt], besides surrendering Damietta. And the king replied that if the soldan would accept a reasonable sum, he would advertise the queen to pay it for their deliverance. And they asked: “How is it that you will not tell us definitely that these things shall be done?” And the king replied that he did not know if the queen would consent, seeing she was his lady and the mistress of her actions. Then the counselors returned and spoke to the soldan, and afterwards brought back word to the king that if the queen would pay a million besants of gold, which are worth five hundred thousand livres, the soldan would release the king.

King St. Louis IX, prisoner in Egypt, painted by Georges Rouget.

King St. Louis IX, prisoner in Egypt, painted by Georges Rouget.

And the king asked them, on their oath, whether the soldan would release them, provided the queen consented. So they went back once more and spoke to the soldan, and on their return, made oath that the soldan would release the king on these conditions. And now that they had taken the oath, the king said and promised to the emirs, that he would willingly pay the five hundred thousand livres for the release of his people, and surrender Damietta for the release of his own person, seeing it was not fitting that such as he should barter himself for coin. When the soldan heard this he said: “By my faith, this Frank is large-hearted not to have bargained over so great a sum! Now go and tell him,” said he, “that I give him a hundred thousand livres towards the payment of the ransom.”

Subscription5

Geoffroy de Villehardouin and Jean de Joinville, Memoirs of the Crusades, trans. Sir Frank Marzials (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., n.d.), 220.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 376

 

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

A fancy meal

[L]et us look at the goal of production. We produce to fill a need. While this can be done by simply supplying the minimum necessary to fill a physical necessity, it will not necessarily satisfy certain human desires that vary from person to person, or address spiritual appetites for beauty, excellence, or refinement. Such desires correspond to man’s constant desire to discover ways to better his situation.

Dining area in the Sala Terrana at the Austrian Petronell Castle.

Area in the Sala Terrana at the Austrian Petronell Castle.

We need to eat, for example, yet any food can fill our stomachs. However, we experience a special joy when we are given delicious or well-presented food that suits our tastes. We need clothes to protect our bodies. We experience a special delight in wearing tasteful clothes that fit us well instead of ill-fitting or ugly garments. This delight corresponds to the higher spiritual element of production, which gives to the product those intangible things that please the soul and aid in the practice of virtue.

Men's clothing

That is to say, generally speaking there is a physical and spiritual dimension to any need that varies in intensity from person to person. To the degree that both dimensions are satisfied, production accomplishes its purpose.

We note that modern mass production places most of its emphasis on the physical dimension to the detriment of the spiritual. We do not affirm that it completely ignores the spiritual since it will often add elements of taste and beauty to products.

Photo of grocery store in Hong Kong by Shmingkamsle.

Photo of grocery store in Hong Kong by Shmingkamsle.

Nevertheless, the spiritual aspect tends to diminish as standardization increases. Art, beauty, or quality are all elements that are most likely to be sacrificed on the altar of efficiency. The principal goals of mass production are maximum efficiency, broadest appeal, and economy of scale. The machine becomes the choice means of production since it can endlessly replicate the production process. The result is mass standardization where, writes Tibor Scitovsky, “the monotony of mass-production work is fully matched by the monotony of its product.”*

Subscription13

* Tibor Scitovsky, The Joyless Economy: An Inquiry into Human Satisfaction and Consumer Dissatisfaction (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976), 249.

 

John Horvat, 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), 289-90.

 

 

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

Saint Lydwine

In 1380, Saint Lydwine was born in the small town of Schiedam in Holland. Her father was a wealthy noble named Peter, and her mother was from a poor family who worked their own farm. Her father’s family lost their fortune, and the whole family was reduced to poverty.

At that time, all of Christendom groaned under the weight and confusion of the Great Schism. At 15, while ice-skating with her friends, Lydwine broke a rib, forcing her into a bed she would never leave.

At age 15, she fell on the ice and was bedridden for the rest of her life.

At age 15, she fell on the ice and was bedridden for the rest of her life.

Over the next 38 years, she would frightfully endure every known ailment of the time with the exception of leprosy. Swollen with liquids, her stomach would expand to such an extent that she appeared to be with child; intolerably sensitive, her eyes would shed blood whenever they were struck by light and transfixed by agony, she bore the side wound of Christ’s passion through the stigmata.

Although in the onset of her sickness, she was given to despair, and rejected this torrent of sufferings, she soon became inflamed with an intense love of God that no pain could extinguish. Then, crippled by the agony of her infirmities, she donned a hair shirt and took to an insufficiently thin mattress of straw strewn on the floor, to augment her already unspeakable pain.

The invasion of the soldiers called Picardiërs (1425)

The invasion of the soldiers called Picardiërs (1425)

Perhaps the worst of all her sufferings was the persecution she suffered from some members of the clergy, who denied her the sacraments. One priest, Dom André, even calumniated her, and later met an untimely end. Prophetically, Saint Lydwine warned Dom André of his impending death and threatened that if he did not repent of his habit of stealing and make proper restitution, he would be damned. With this, he went into fit of rage and “died with foam on his lips in an excess of anger against the saint.”

Compensating her many sufferings, Saint Lydwine was graced with a heavily mystical spiritual life. She was often taken to the earthly paradise, and held colloquies with Our Lord, Our Lady, the angels and saints.

St. Lydwine giving alms from her purse, which was always full

St. Lydwine giving alms from her purse, which was always full

By the time of her death, her body bore all the repugnant signs of a lifetime of suffering. However, upon dying, she was miraculously restored to all the former youth and beauty she possessed before her illnesses.

Joris Karl Huysmans, her biographer, applies the sufferings of Saint Lydwine directly to the moral crisis aborning at the time. He shows that despite some technical advances, the Renaissance was essentially the rebirth of paganism. He then described the reactionary legion of men called by Divine Providence to fight against the errors of this new historical epoch. He cleverly divided this legion into three levels, each with a specific function.

The first consisted of the Franciscans and preaching orders who evangelized and confessed the Faith. The next was made up of the cloistered orders, whose prayers insured the success of the first level. Saint Lydwine belonged to the last level, where those suffering souls, seemingly detached from events of the time, bought the graces from God to decide the course of history.

The heavenly hosts appear before Lydwine and her family

The heavenly hosts appear before Lydwine and her family

 

Saint Lydwine and Our Times

Immersed in the moral corruption and decay of modern society, we wonder if there still exist expiatory victims whose continual mortification holds back the chastising hand of God, allowing Him to bestow undeserved graces and blessings upon a sinful world. There certainly has never been a time more in need of them.

Subscription21

However, in addition to these special souls, our society as a whole must look to the cross as means of union with Christ. As the Church has always taught, we must all “take up our crosses and follow Him.” Then, we will find true joy, conquer the errors of our days and together with Saint Veronica Giulani, exclaim: “Long live the Sacred Cross: Long live suffering!”

(Source)

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

St. Peter Gonzalez

Statue of Bl. Peter González (also called St. Elmo) in the Church of Saint Cajetan in Santiago de Compostela.

Statue of Bl. Peter González (also called St. Elmo) in the Church of Saint Cajetan in Santiago de Compostela.

Popularly known as St. Elmo, b. in 1190 at Astorga, Spain; d. 15 April, 1246, at Tuy. He was educated by his uncle, Bishop of Astorga, who gave him when very young a canonry. Later he entered the Dominican Order and became a renowned preacher; crowds gathered to hear him and numberless conversions were the result of his efforts. He accompanied Ferdinand III of Leon on his expeditions against the Moors, but his ambition was to preach to the poor. He devoted the remainder of his life to the instruction and conversion of the ignorant and of the mariners in Galicia and along the coast of Spain. He lies buried in the cathedral of Tuy and was beatified in 1254 by Innocent IV.

San Telmo confessor to King Saint Ferdinand III, painting at the Church of San Telmo, Gran Canaria.

San Telmo confessor to King Saint Ferdinand III, painting at the Church of San Telmo, Gran Canaria.

St. Elmo’s fire is a pale electrical discharge sometimes seen on stormy nights on the tips of spires, about the decks and rigging of ships, in the shape of a ball or brush, singly or in pairs, particularly at the mastheads and yardarms. The mariners believed them to be the souls of the departed, whence they are also called corposant (corpo santo). The ancients called them Helena fire when seen singly, and Castor and Pollux when in pairs.

St. Pedro Gonzalez

[Note: Despite the common epithet "Saint," Peter Gonzalez (or Gonzales) was never formally canonized, although his cult was confirmed in 1741 by Pope Benedict XIV. The diminutive "Elmo" (or "Telmo") belongs properly to the martyr-bishop St. Erasmus (d. c. 303), one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, of whose name "Elmo" is a contraction. However, as St. Erasmus is the patron of sailors generally and Peter Gonzalez of Spanish and Portuguese sailors, they have both been popularly invoked as "St. Elmo."]

Subscription19

BUTLER, Lives of the Saints; HARRIS, The Dioscuri in Christian Legends (London, 1903); DRESSEL, Lehrbuch der Physik (Freiburg, 1895).

FRANCIS MERSHMAN (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

Just a few of the many martyrs during the French Revolution († 1792-1799)

16 April 1794 in Avrillé, Maine-et-Loire (France)

The cruel blade of the guillotine was indifferent to the service that generations of France's illustrious lineages had given to the country.

The cruel blade of the guillotine was indifferent to the service that generations of France’s illustrious lineages had given to the country.

Pierre Delépine
layperson of the diocese of Angers
born: 24 May 1732 in Marigné, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Jean Ménard
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: 16 November 1736 in Andigné, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Renée Bourgeais veuve Juret
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: 12 November 1751 in Montjean, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Perrine Bourigault
layperson of the diocese of Angers
born: 07 August 1743 in Montjean, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Madeleine Cady épouse Desvignes
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: 07 April 1756 in Saint-Maurille de Chalonnes-sur-Loire, Maine-et-Loire (France)

Martyrs of the French RevolutionMarie Forestier
layperson of the diocese of Angers
born: 16 January 1768 in Montjean, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Marie Gingueneau veuve Coiffard
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: ca. 1739 in (?)
Jeanne Gourdon veuve Moreau
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: 08 October 1733 in Sainte-Christine, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Marie Lardeux
layperson of the diocese of Angers
born: ca. 1748 in (?)

Subscription20
Perrine Laurent
layperson of the diocese of Angers
born: 02 September 1746 in Louvaines, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Jeanne Leduc épouse Paquier
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: 10 February 1754 in Chalonnes-sur-Loire, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Anne Maugrain
layperson of the diocese of Angers
born: 12 April 1760 in Rochefort-sur-Loire, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Françoise Micheneau veuve Gillot
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: 19 May 1737 in Chanteloup-les-Bois, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Jeanne Onillon veuve Onillon
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: 19 April 1753 in Montjean, Maine-et-Loire (France)

Martyrs of the French RevolutionMarie Piou épouse Supiot
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: 19 May 1755 in Montrevault, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Perrine Pottier épouse Turpault
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: 26 April 1750 in Cléré-sur-Layon, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Marie-Genevieve Poulain de la Forestrie
layperson of the diocese of Angers
born: 03 January 1741 in Lion-d’Angers, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Marthe Poulain de la Forestrie
layperson of the diocese of Angers
born: 02 October 1743 in Lion-d’Angers, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Renée Rigault épouse Papin
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: 14 May 1750 in Saint-Florent-le-Vieil, Maine-et-Loire (France)

Women helping the injured during the French Revolution

Women helping the injured during the French Revolution

Marguerite Robin
layperson of the diocese of Angers
born: 22 December 1725 in Montjean, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Marie Rechard
layperson of the diocese of Angers
born: 29 April 1763 in Montjean, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Marie Roger veuve Chartier
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: 14 January 1727 in Montjean, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Madeleine Sallé épouse Havard
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: ca. 1751 in (?)
Renée Sechet veuve Davy
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: 28 December 1753 in Montjean, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Françoise Suhard veuve Ménard
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: February 5, 1731 in Saint-Gemmes-d’Andigné, Maine-et-Loire (France)
Jeanne Thomas veuve Delaunay
layperson of the diocese of Angers; married
born: ca. 1730 in (?)

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

According to The Telegraph:

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will introduce Prince George to parents and babies of all stripes, including a gay couple and a single mum, at their next public engagement in New Zealand.

…meeting the royal visitors will be gay fathers Jared and Ryan Mullen and their daughter Isabella. Jared, from Oregon, US, and Ryan, from Australia, were chosen to represent the growing numbers of same-sex couples in New Zealand…

…the Duke and Duchess did not specifically ask to meet a gay couple, leaving the choice of parents entirely down to Plunket.

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

Nobility.org Editorial Comment:—

The homosexual revolution’s goal is to change public morality so that homosexual acts are accepted as “normal.” And because the homosexual movement and its allies understand clearly the gains to be reaped when they can show “acceptance from,” and tap into the prestige of royalty, nobility, and prominent members of the Catholic hierarchy, they pursue every opportunity that presents itself. That is what has occurred now in New Zealand, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brought Prince George to play with the children of ten other couples intended to be a cross-section of society. The group included a two-man pair who say they are married.

Nobility.org encourages its readers to reject the efforts of the homosexual revolution to subvert the sacred institutions of marriage and family, and the norms of public morality,  and not to allow themselves to be influenced by this bad example given by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in going along with it.

Print Friendly
Share

{ 0 comments }

Allegiance to Canada, or to Canada’s Queen?

April 10, 2014

According to the Globe and Mail: Ontario’s top court is set to grapple with whether…an oath to the Queen…is constitutional. The Queen, Ottawa argues, is at the top of Canada’s constitutional order and therefore represents the right to dissent. “Each of the appellants objects to taking the oath because of their subjective belief that the [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Six Knights Are Punished for Disrespect at Mass

April 10, 2014

On the eve of Shrove Tuesday I beheld a marvel, of which I will now tell you; for on that day was buried by Lord Hugh of Landricourt, who was with me, carrying a banner. There as he lay on a bier in my chapel, six of my knights were leaning on sacks full of [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Self-Respect and Defending Ourselves from Massification

April 10, 2014

As we have seen, a certain standardization is needed to ensure adequate production. To insist that all production be adapted to the individual is not realistic. We must also avoid the opposite extreme of affirming that all products can be standardized indifferently without harming the individual. How standardization affects us differs as each individual is [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 10 – Friend of Cluny

April 10, 2014

St. Fulbert of Chartres Bishop, born between 952 and 962; died 10 April, 1028 or 1029. Mabillon and others think that he was born in Italy, probably at Rome; but Pfister, his latest biographer, designates as his birthplace the Diocese of Laudun in the present department of Gard in France. He was of humble parentage [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 11 – He excommunicated the king, who murdered him as he celebrated Mass

April 10, 2014

Saint Stanislaus of Cracow In pictures he is given the episcopal insignia and the sword. Larger paintings represent him in a court or kneeling before the altar and receiving the fatal blow. His parents, Belislaus and Bogna, pious and noble Catholics, gave him a religious education. After the death of his parents he distributed his [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 12 – St. Teresa of the Andes

April 10, 2014

Saint Teresa of the Andes, O.C.D. (July 13, 1900 – April 12, 1920), also known as Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes (Spanish: Teresa de Jesús de los Andes), was a Chilean nun of the Discalced Carmelite order. She was born Juana Enriqueta Josefina de los Sagrados Corazones Fernández y Solar in Santiago, Chile [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 12 – Crusader in every sense of the word

April 10, 2014

Bl. Angelo Carletti di Chivasso Moral theologian of the order of Friars Minor; born at Chivasso in Piedmont, in 1411; and died at Coni, in Piedmont, in 1495. From his tenderest years the Blessed Angelo was remarkable for the holiness and purity of his life. He attended the University of Bologna, where he received the [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 13 – This Prince Defied His Family

April 10, 2014

St. Hermengild Date of birth unknown; died 13 April, 585. Leovigild, the Arian King of the Visigoths (569-86), had two sons, Hermengild and Reccared, by his first marriage with the Catholic Princess Theodosia. Hermengild married, in 576, Ingundis, a Frankish Catholic princess, the daughter of Sigebert and Brunhilde. Led by his own inclination, and influenced [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 13 – Born blind, lame, deformed, hunchbacked and dwarfed

April 10, 2014

Blessed Margaret of Castello (1287–1320) is the patroness of the poor, crippled, and the unwanted. She was born blind, lame, deformed, hunchbacked and a dwarf, into a family of nobles in the castle of Metola, in southeast of Florence. As a child, her parents Parisio and Emilia imprisoned her for 14 years so no one [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Spy Princess honored

April 7, 2014

According to The Times of India: The year 2014 has seen a massive increase in interest in the life story of the Indian princess. Noor…landed in France in June 1943 and worked for a resistance network in Paris, under the code name Madeleine. She survived a wave of arrests among her SOE contacts but declined [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Breaking With Tradition: The Queen Did Not Wear Black When Visiting the Pope

April 7, 2014

According to The Guardian: …for the Queen’s visit this week, soundings were obviously taken inside the Vatican about whether it would be OK for the Queen to wear one of her signature brightly coloured outfits, and the word came back that would be absolutely fine. Which is yet another of those subtle but hugely significant [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Republicanism expiration date

April 7, 2014

According to The Telegraph: At last year’s federal election, a party representing republicans received just 2,997 votes – far less than that received by the pirate party, the sex party or a party for smokers’ rights. As around the world people conduct national struggles and vie for greater independence, Australians have been snuggling ever closer [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

A king, a queen, and England’s Easter dilemma

April 7, 2014

When Finan died, leaving Bishop Coman—like himself, Irish by birth and a monk of Iona—as his successor at Lindisfarne, the dispute became at once open and general. Wilfrid had succeeded in sowing agitation and uncertainty in all minds; and the Northumbrians had come so far as to ask themselves whether the religion which had been [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Dependency and Charity

April 7, 2014

When this dependency is practiced with the fervor of Christian charity, we witness an excellence in the love of neighbors that goes beyond that of exercising patience and forbearance towards them. It also means admiring in others that which we ourselves lack. Charity includes taking delight in the qualities and richness of others, even experiencing [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 7 – Father of Modern Pedagogy

April 7, 2014

St. John Baptist de la Salle Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, educational reformer, and father of modern pedagogy, was born at Reims, 30 April, 1651, and died at Saint-Yon, Rouen, on Good Friday, 7 April, 1719. The family of de la Salle traces its origin to Johan Salla, who, [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 8 – Don Bosco’s Prince

April 7, 2014

Blessed Augusto Czartoryski He was born on 2 August 1858 in Paris, France, the firstborn son to Prince Ladislaus of Poland and Princess Maria Amparo, daughter of the Queen of Spain. The noble Czartoryski Family had been living in exile in France for almost 30 years, in the Lambert Palace. Here, with the hope of [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 8 – Together with a noble who escaped the Terror, she founded the Sisters of Notre Dame

April 7, 2014

St. Julie Billiart (Also Julia). Foundress, and first superior-general of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur, born 12 July, 1751, at Cuvilly, a village of Picardy, in the Diocese of Beauvais and the Department of Oise, France; died 8 April, 1816, at the motherhouse of her institute, Namur, Belgium. She was [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 9 – She persuaded her husband the Count to become a monk

April 7, 2014

St. Waudru She was daughter to the princess St. Bertille, elder sister to St. Aldegondes, and wife to Madelgaire, count of Hainault, and one of the principal lords of King Dagobert’s court. After bearing him two sons and two daughters, she induced him to embrace the monastic state at Haumont, near Maubeuge, taking the name [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Security breach for Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

April 3, 2014

According to the Mirror: Exact details of William and Kate’s New Zealand tour have been published online, in an “idiotic” move that could put them at risk of terrorism. The royals arrive there on Monday, but the country’s Governor General… tweet[ed] precise information of where the public can see them, including timings and maps of [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Terrorists to target Queen of England?

April 3, 2014

According to the Mirror: Security surrounding the monarch was tonight stepped up after al-Qaeda chiefs urged terrorists to blow up sports events she is most likely to go and see. An article on English-language online magazine Inspire, produced by the terror group…says: “In the beginning of summer we have Cheltenham and [at] the end of [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Ceremonial horses commemorated with statue

April 3, 2014

According to The British Monarchy: …The Queen…attend[ed] the unveiling of a Windsor Greys statue in Windsor Town Centre. Windsor Greys are a breed of horse which has been used by the Royal family since Victorian times to draw carriages. They…are still used at events such as Royal Ascot, Trooping the Colour and to draw the [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Libyan government takes steps toward constitutional monarchy

April 3, 2014

According to Magharebia: “The return of the al-Senussi monarchy is now the solution and guarantee for the return of security and stability to Libya,” Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz said… “Contacts have already been made, and we’re in touch with dignitaries and tribal chiefs in Libya, and also with the grandson of King al-Senussi, Prince Mohammed, [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Portuguese gallantry in the baron of Alvito’s reply

April 3, 2014

The king of Portugal sent the baron of Alvito on a diplomatic mission to the Emperor Charles V, King of Spain. The baron entered Castile accompanied by a glittering retinue of eighteen knights. At one point, a Castilian who was astonished at the number of knights asked them: —    “Do you gentlemen intend to conquer [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Finding the Balance Between Dependence and Self-Sufficiency

April 3, 2014

Such a concept differs greatly from that of the individualist man whose autonomy prevents him from recognizing his natural limits and the weaknesses of his fallen nature. He is a self-made man beholden to no other. This is well expressed in the ravings of Jean-Paul Sartre, who wrote that “no man should have to be [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 3 – The man they trusted to collect the Crusader tax

April 3, 2014

St. Richard of Wyche Bishop and confessor, born about 1197 at Droitwich, Worcestershire, from which his surname is derived; died 3 April, 1253, at Dover. He was the second son of Richard and Alice de Wyche. His father died while he was still young and the family property fell into a state of great delapidation. [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 4 – Grandmother of the Templars

April 3, 2014

Saint Aleth of Dijon Mother of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, she belonged to the highest nobility of Burgundy. Her husband, Tescelin, was lord of Fontaines. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was the third of her seven children.  At the age of nine years, Bernard was sent to a much renowned school at Chatillon-sur-Seine, kept by the [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 4 – Patron Saint of Transitions

April 3, 2014

St. Isidore of Seville Born at Cartagena, Spain, about 560; died 4 April, 636. Isidore was the son of Severianus and Theodora. His elder brother Leander was his immediate predecessor in the Metropolitan See of Seville; whilst a younger brother St. Fulgentius presided over the Bishopric of Astigi. His sister Florentina was a nun, and [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 5 – St. Æthelburh and the Rose Named After Her

April 3, 2014

Saint Æthelburh (died 647), also known as Ethelburga, Ædilburh and Æthelburga (Old English: Æþelburh), was an early Anglo-Saxon queen consort of Northumbria, the second wife of King Edwin. As she was a Christian from Kent, their marriage triggered the initial phase of the conversion of the pagan north of England to Christianity. Æthelburh date of [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 5 – Soul on Fire

April 3, 2014

St. Vincent Ferrer Famous Dominican missionary, born at Valencia, 23 January, 1350; died at Vannes, Brittany, 5 April, 1419. He was descended from the younger of two brothers who were knighted for their valor in the conquest of Valencia, 1238. In 1340 Vincent’s father, William Ferrer, married Constantia Miguel, whose family had likewise been ennobled [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 6 – With his head split open, he wrote on the ground with his own blood: “Credo”

April 3, 2014

St. Peter of Verona Born at Verona, 1206; died near Milan, 6 April, 1252. His parents were adherents of the Manichæan heresy, which still survived in northern Italy in the thirteenth century. Sent to a Catholic school, and later to the University of Bologna, he there met St. Dominic, and entered the Order of the [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 6 – He wrote the genealogy of the Danish kings to disprove the alleged impediment of consanguinity

April 3, 2014

St. William of Ebelholt (Also called William of Paris, or William of Eskilsöe) Died on Easter Sunday, 1203, and was buried at Ebelholt. He was educated by his uncle Hugh, forty-second Abbot of St-Germain-des-Pres at Paris; and having been ordained subdeacon received a canonry in the Church of Ste-Geneviève-du-Mont. His exemplary life did not commend [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Some 800-year traditions cost only £3.50 a year

March 31, 2014

According to the Royal Central: On March 27th 2014, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a reception in the City of London to mark the 800th anniversary of the Royal Watermen. When the Royal Watermen came into being in the reign of King John, the river was a busting highway and the [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Paid Labour calls for expulsion of unpaid Lords

March 31, 2014

According to The Telegraph: The last hereditary peers would face expulsion under Labour plans to reform the House of Lords. All hereditary peerages would be abolished and no more should be created, the report adds. However, some hereditary peers could return to the House of Lords as life peers if they are judged to be [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Gradual erosion of Britain’s royal power

March 31, 2014

According to The Telegraph: The royal prerogative is now exercised by the prime minister of the day, the Crown merely assenting to his actions. It is possible that one other prerogative has now been surrendered, perhaps unintentionally, by Mr Cameron. The right to declare war (or to go to war without any declaration) has historically [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Marie Antoinette’s majesty in face of the abominable charge of incest

March 31, 2014

Even if the Revolutionary Tribunal could have subpoenaed Mallet or the Emperor or Fersen, it would have meant little to the result. Her guilt, if it was guilt so to scheme against the nation, was certain: what yet remained in doubt was the political necessity of such a trial at such a moment, the limit [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

Dependency Is Necessary For Perfection

March 31, 2014

[D]ependency is an important part of our personal development since we cannot perfect ourselves alone. We depend on community—especially the family, intermediary associations, and the Christian State—to supply our deficiencies and thus reach the perfection of our essentially social nature. So important is community that Heinrich A. Rommen emphatically writes, “Any kind of seclusion from [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 1 – Precursor of Our Lady of Fatima

March 31, 2014

St. Nuno De Santa Maria Álvares Pereira (1360-1431)   NUNO ÁLVARES PEREIRA was born in Portugal on 24th June 1360, most probably at Cernache do Bomjardin, illegitimate son of Brother Álvaro Gonçalves Pereira, Hospitalier Knight of St. John of Jerusalem and prior of Crato and Donna Iria Gonçalves do Carvalhal. About a year after his [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 1 – St. Hugh of Grenoble

March 31, 2014

Bishop and Confessor The first tincture of the mind is of the utmost importance to virtue; and it was the happiness of this saint to receive from his cradle the strongest impressions of piety by the example and care of his illustrious and holy parents. He was born at Chateau-neuf, in the territory of Valence [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 1 – Blessed Karl, Emperor of Austria

March 31, 2014

(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. Charles was given an expressly [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →

April 2 – St. Francis of Paola and the Bartlett Pear

March 31, 2014

The Bartlett pear is called “The Good Christian” in France, after St. Francis of Paola introduced it ‘poire bon chretien’ (good Christian pear) “Said to have originated in Calabria in southern Italy, Bartletts probably were introduced to France by St. Francis of Paola. St. Francis brought a young tree as a gift for King Louis [...]

Print Friendly
Share
Read the full article →