St. Ivo of Chartres

(YVO, YVES).

One of the most notable bishops of France at the time of the Investiture struggles and the most important canonist before Gratian in the Occident, born of a noble family about 1040; died in 1116.

St. IvoFrom the neighbourhood of Beauvais, his native country, he went for his studies first to Paris and thence to the Abbey of Bee in Normandy, at the same time as Anselm of Canterbury, to attend the lectures given by Lanfranc. About 1080 he became, at the desire of his bishop, prior of the canons of St-Quentin at Beauvais. He was then one of the best teachers in France, and so prepared himself to infuse a new life into the celebrated schools of Chartres, of which city he was appointed bishop in 1090, his predecessor, Geoffroy, having been deposed for simony. His episcopal government, at first opposed by the tenants of Geoffroy, ranged over a period of twenty-five years. No man, perhaps, is better portrayed in his writing than is Ivo in his letters and sermons; in both he appears as a man always faithful to his duties, high-minded, full of zeal and piety, sound in his judgments, a keen jurist, straight-forward, mindful of others’ rights, devoted to the papacy and to his country, at the same time openly disapproving of what he considered wrong. This explains why he has been sometimes quoted as a patron of Gallican Liberties and looked upon by Flaccus Illyricus as one of the “witnesses to the truth” in his “Catalogus”.

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Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet

Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet

Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet

Missionary among the North American Indians, born at Termonde (Dendermonde), Belgium, 30 Jan., 1801; died at St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., 23 May, 1873. He emigrated to the United States in 1821 through a desire for missionary labours, and entered the Jesuit novitiate at Whitemarsh, Maryland. In 1823, however, at the suggestion of the United States Government a new Jesuit establishment was determined on and located at Florissant near St. Louis, Missouri, for work among the Indians. De Smet was among the pioneers and thus became one of the founders of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus.

Subscription9His first missionary tour among the red men was in 1838 when he founded St. Joseph’s Mission at Council Bluffs for the Pottawatomies. At this time also he visited the Sioux to arrange a peace between them and the Pottawatomies, the first of his peace missions. What may be called his life work did not begin, however, until 1840 when he set out for the Flathead country in the Far North-west. As early as 1831, some Rocky Mountain Indians, influenced by Iroquois descendants of converts of one hundred and fifty years before, had made a trip to St. Louis begging for a “black-robe”. Their request could not be complied with at the time. Curiously enough, the incident excited Protestant missionary enterprise, owing to the wide dissemination of a mythical speech of one of the delegation expressing the disappointment of the Indians at not finding the Bible in St. Louis. Four Indian delegations in succession were dispatched from the Rocky Mountains to St. Louis to beg for “black-robes” and the last one, in 1839, composed of some Iroquois who dwelt among the Flatheads and Nez Percês, was successful. Father De Smet was assigned to the task and found his life-work.

He set out for the Rocky Mountain country in 1840 and his reception by the Flatheads and the Pend d’Oreilles was an augury of the great power over the red men which was to characterize his career. Having imparted instruction, surveyed the field, and promised a permanent mission he returned to St. Louis; he visited the Crows, Gros Ventres, and other tribes on his way back, travelling in all 4814 miles. In the following year he returned to the Flatheads with Father Nicholas Point and established St. Mary’s Mission on the Bitterroot river, some thirty miles south of Missoula, visiting also the Coeur-d’Alênes. Realizing the magnitude of the task before him, De Smet went to Europe in 1843 to solicit funds and workers, and in 1844 with new labourers for the missions, among them being six Sisters of Notre-Dame de Namur, he returned, rounding Cape Horn and casting anchor in the mouth of the Columbia River at Astoria. Two days after, De Smet went by canoe to Fort Vancouver to confer with Bishop Blanchet, and on his return founded St. Ignatius Mission among the Kalispels of the Bay, who dwelt on Clark’s Fork of the Columbia river, forty miles above its mouth.

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This document was found on July 14, 1873, by Father Berto while searching for some papers on St. John Bosco’s desk. Later the Saint gave it to him to be transcribed and delivered to the Emperor of Austria, Franz Joseph. As can be seen, the document is a vital message from Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Austrian Emperor.

Photograph of St. Don Bosco writing in Turin.

“Thus saith the Lord to the Emperor of Austria:

“Take heart: provide for my faithful servants and for thyself.  My ire is about to explode over all the nations of the earth, because they want to make My law be forgotten and to carry in triumph those who profane it, oppressing those who observe it.”

“Dost thou wish to be the rod of My poser? Dost thou wish to fulfill My hidden desires and to make thyself the benefactor of mankind?”

  “Support thyself on the nations of the north, but not on Prussia. Tighten relations with Russia, buy no alliance with her. Associate thyself with Catholic France. After France will come Spain. Form one sole spirit, one sole action. Maintain the greatest secrecy in face of the enemies of My Holy Name. With prudence and energy thou shalt make thyself invincible. Do not believe in the lies of those who tell thee the contrary. Do not make pacts with the enemies of the Crucified.”

“Hope and confide in Me, Who am the giver of victories to armies, the Savior of the peoples and of sovereigns.”  Amen. Amen.

(From Biografia y Escritos de San Juan Bosco [Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos (B.A.C.)] 1955.

Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 627

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St. Vincent of Lérins

Saint Vincent of LerinsFeast on 24 May, an ecclesiastical writer in Southern Gaul in the fifth century. His work is much better known than his life. Almost all our information concerning him is contained in Gennadius, “De viris illustribus” (lxiv). He entered the monastery of Lérins (today Isle St. Honorat), where under the pseudonym of Peregrinus he wrote his “Commonitorium” (434). He died before 450, and probably shortly after 434. St. Eucherius of Lyons calls him a holy man, conspicuous for eloquence and knowledge; there is no reliable authority for identifying Vincent with Marius Mercator, but it is likely, if not certain, that he is the writer against whom Prosper, St. Augustine’s friend, directs his “Responsiones ad capitula objectionum Vincentianarum”. He was a Semipelagian and so opposed to the doctrine of St. Augustine. It is believed now that he uses against Augustine his great principle: “what all men have at all times and everywhere believed must be regarded as true”. Living in a centre deeply imbued with Semipelagianism, Vincent’s writings show several points of doctrine akin to Casian or to Faustus of Riez, who became Abbot of Lérins at the time Vincent wrote his “Commonitorium”; he uses technical expressions similar to those employed by the Semipelagians against Augustine; but, as Benedict XIV observes, that happened before the controversy was decided by the Church. The “Commonitorium” is Vincent’s only certainly authentic work extant. The “Objectiones Vincentianae” are known to us only through Prosper’s refutation. It seems probable that he collaborated, or at least inspired, the “Objectiones Gallorum”, against which also Prosper writes his book. The work against Photinus, Apollinaris, Nestorius, etc., which he intended to compose (Commonitorium, xvi), has not been discovered, if it was ever written. The “Commonitorium”, destined to help the author’s memory and thus guide him in his belief according to the traditions of the Fathers, was intended to comprise two different commonitoria, the second of which no longer exists, except in the résumé at the end of the first, made by its author; Vincent complains that it had been stolen from him. Neither Gennadius, who wrote about 467-80, nor any known manuscripts, enable us to find any trace of it.

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Our Lady Help of Christians, Statue at the Headquarters of the American TFP

This commemoration was introduced in the liturgical calendar by decree of Pope Pius VII on September 16, 1815, in thanksgiving for his happy return to Rome after a long and painful captivity in Savona and France due to Napoleon’s tyrannical power.

By order of Napoleon, Pius VII was arrested, 5 July, 1808, and detained a prisoner for three years at Savona, and then at Fontainebleau. In January, 1814, after the battle of Leipzig, he was brought back to Savona and set free, 17 March, on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, the Patroness of Savona.

The journey to Rome was a veritable triumphal march. The pontiff, attributing the victory of the Church after so much agony and distress to the Blessed Virgin, visited many of her sanctuaries on the way and crowned her images (e.g. the “Madonna del Monte” at Cesena, “della Misericordia” at Treja, “della Colonne” and “della Tempestà” at Tolentino). The people crowded the streets to catch a glimpse of the venerable pontiff who had so bravely withstood the threats of Napoleon. He entered Rome, 24 May, 1814, and was enthusiastically welcomed.  (McCaffrey, “History of the Catholic Church in the Nineteenth Cent.”, 1909, I, 52).

The invocation “Help of the Christians” is very old, having been included in the Litany of Loreto by Pope Saint Pius V in 1571, as a token of gratitude to the Most Holy Virgin, by virtue of Christendom’s’ victory in the famous battle of Lepanto.

*      *      *

During five years of captivity, Pius VII appealed continuously to Our Lady under the invocation of “Help of Christians”. From 1809 to 1812, the Pontiff remained imprisoned in the Italian city of Savona, then making a vow to crown an image of the Mother of Mercy existing there, should he obtain his freedom.

Château de Fontainebleau Photo taken by Carolus

In 1812, the Pope was taken to Paris, remaining a prisoner in Fontainebleau, where he suffered enormous sufferings and humiliations inflicted by the French tyrant.

But in the course of time, events began providentially to overturn the fortunes of the despot.

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Thus the Cid returned from the land of the Moors and from his exile to Castile. The king received him with many honors, and gave him seven castles with their lands. He also signed a promise that the Cid should keep forever for himself and his descendants whatever castles, towns, and places he might win from the Moors or from others. Thus the Cid was again high in the favor of the king.

Now King Yahia, who was the grandson of Alimaymon, reigned in Toledo. It is to be remembered that Alimaymon was the friend of Don Alfonso, who received him when he fled from Don Sancho, and that Don Alfonso had sworn to do no evil to Alimaymon nor to his sons, but the grandson Yahia was not mentioned in the oath. At this time Alimaymon was dead, and his son Hocem also, and Yahia, the grandson, was on the throne.

Almoravid drummer used in great number’s to demoralize the enemy.

This Yahia was a bad king, insolent, cruel, and he oppressed his people so that they could bear his yoke no longer. Neither did he make any effort to protect his subjects from their enemies, who came and spoiled the land as they pleased, and his people went to him and said, “Stand up for your people and your country, or we must find a king who will do so;” but he paid no attention to what they said.

When his people found that they could hope nothing from Yahia, certain of them went to the king of Badajoz, saying that if he would come and be their protector, they would deliver the city of Toledo into his hands. But others who dwelt in the city sent to Don Alfonso urging him to win Toledo, as he could do so, as he was no longer bound by his oath. Then both kings came, but the king of Badajoz arrived first, and the gates were opened to him.

Statue of Alfonso VI of Castile in Toledo, Castile-La Mancha, Spain

But soon after Don Alfonso came, and the king of Badajoz, knowing that he could not withstand Alfonso, fled, and Don Alfonso followed him into his own kingdom and compelled him to submit. King Alfonso then overran the country about Toledo, despoiling it; and he did this for four years, so that he was the master of the land.

In all these battles the Cid helped his king. The son of the Cid was slain,—a young man who was well beloved, and who promised to be much like his father.

King Don Alfonso had for several years cut down the vines and trees and destroyed the harvests in the country around Toledo, so that the people were not able to store up provisions in that city; and now Alfonso made ready to lay siege to that place. When this news was known, men came from all parts of his kingdom to take part, and King Sancho Ramirez of Aragon came also with the best of his knights; there came also Germans, Italians, Frenchmen, and men from other countries, for this war against one of the chief strongholds of the Moors interested all the Christians of Europe. This was the greatest force of Christians ever gathered till that time in Spain, and it was the greatest effort ever made against the Moors.

 

The triumphal entrance into Toledo of King Alfonso VI. Photo by Selim230.

Of this whole mighty army the Cid was leader. In the spring the host began to march, and when they came to the ford of the Tagus, the bravest feared to pass through the swollen river, for it was a great torrent. But there was a Benedictine monk in the camp named Lesines, who, being mounted on a mule, led the way and passed safely.

Though Toledo was the chief stronghold of the Moors, and they defended it as long as they could, knowing it was the very heart of their empire, and though the flower of the soldiery of Spain and all Christendom took part in that great siege, unfortunately the details of this conflict have been forgotten, and the chroniclers omitted to tell them. But we know that there was a long siege, and that many struggles took place, and that the army of Alfonso was at last almost in despair of accomplishing their purpose. Then it is told that when Don Cabrian, the bishop of León, was engaged in prayer for the success of the Christian army, St. Isidro appeared to him, saying that in fifteen days the city should be surrendered. So it came to pass, for the gates were opened on May 25th, 1085. The first Christian banner that entered the city was that of the Cid, and the Cid was made the first Christian governor of Toledo.

Calvin Dill Wilson, The Story of the Cid: For Young People (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1901), 113–17.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 828

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Pope St. Boniface IV

Son of John, a physician, a Marsian from the province and town of Valeria; he succeeded Boniface III after a vacancy of over nine months; consecrated 25 August, 608; d. 8 May, 615 (Duchesne); or, 15 September, 608-25 May, 615 (Jaffé). In the time of Pope St. Gregory the Great he was a deacon of the Roman Church and held the position of dispensator, i.e., the first official in connexion with the administration of the patrimonies. Boniface obtained leave from the Emperor Phocas to convert the Pantheon into a Christian Church, and on 13 May, 609 (?) the temple erected by Agrippa to Jupiter the Avenger, to Venus, and to Mars was consecrated by the pope to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs. (Hence the title S. Maria Rotunda.) It was the first instance at Rome of the transformation of a pagan temple into a place of Christian worship. Twenty-eight cartloads of sacred bones were said to have been removed from the Catacombs and placed in a porphyry basin beneath the high altar. During the pontificate of Boniface, Mellitus, the first Bishop of London, went to Rome “to consult the pope on important matters relative to the newly established English Church” (Bede, H. E., II, iv). Whilst in Rome he assisted at a council then being held concerning certain questions on “the life and monastic peace of monks”, and, on his departure, took with him to England the decree of the council together with letters from the pope to Lawrence, Archbishop of Canterbury, and to all the clergy, to King Ethelbert, and to all the English people “concerning what was to be observed by the Church of England”. The decrees of the council now extant are spurious. The letter to Ethelbert (in William of Malmesbury, De Gest. Pont., I, 1464, ed Migne) is considered spurious by Hefele (Conciliengeschichte, III, 66), questionable by Haddan and Stubbs (Councils, III, 65), and genuine by Jaffé [Regest. RR. PP., 1988 (1548)].

Between 612-615, St. Columban, then living at Bobbio in Italy, was persuaded by Agilulf, King of the Lombards, to address a letter on the condemnation of the “Three Chapters” to Boniface IV, which is remarkable at once for its expressions of exaggerated deference and its tone of excessive sharpness. In it he tells the pope that he is charged with heresy (for accepting the Fifth Council, i.e. Constantinople, 553), and exhorts him to summon a council and prove his orthodoxy. But the letter of the impetuous Celt, who failed to grasp the import of the theological problem involved in the “Three Chapters”, seems not to have disturbed in the least his relation with the Holy See, and it would be wrong to suppose that Columban regarded himself as independent of the pope’s authority. During the pontificate of Boniface there was much distress in Rome owing to famine, pestilence, and inundations. The pontiff died in monastic retirement (he had converted his own house into a monastery) and was buried in the portico of St. Peter’s. His remains were three times removed-in the tenth or eleventh century, at the close of the thirteenth under Boniface VIII, and to the new St. Peter’s on 21 October, 1603. For the earlier inscription on his tomb see Duchesne; for the later, Groisar, “Analecta Romana”, I, 193. Boniface IV is commemorated as a saint in the Roman Martyrology on 25 May.

Liber Pontificalis (ed. DUCHESNE), I, 317; JAFFÉ, Regesta RR. PP. (2nd ed.), I, 220; Acta et Epistolæ in MANSI, X, 501; PAUL THE DEACON, Hist. Longobard., IV, 36 (37); GASQUET, A Short History of the Catholic Church in England (London, 1903), 19; HUNT, A History of the English Church from its Formation to the Norman Conquest (London, 1901), 42; MANN, Lives of the Popes, I, 268-279; VON REUMONT, Gesch. der Stadt Rom (Berlin, 1867), II, 156, 165; GREGOROVIUS, II, 104; LANGEN, 501.

THOMAS OESTREICH (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Louis-Hector de Callières

Thirteenth Governor of New France; born at Cherbourg, France, 1646; died 26 May, 1705. He was the son of Jacques de Callières and Madeleine Potier de Courey. He ranked as captain in the regiment of Navarre. He came to Canada in 1684, and was appointed Governor of Montreal at the demand of the Sulpicians who were Seigneurs of the island. The situation of the colony at that time was most critical, owing to Frontenac’s departure, the weakness of Governor de la Barre, and the woeful error of the French government in sending to the galleys in France some Iroquois chiefs captured at Cataracoui (Kingston). In 1689 Callières proposed to Louis XIV to invade New England by land and sea, and obtained the reappointment of Frontenac as governor. In 1690 he marched to the defense of Quebec, when it was besieged by Phipps. A valiant and experienced soldier, he aided Frontenac in saving New France from the Iroquois and in raising the prestige of the French flag. He was one of the first to receive the Cross of St. Louis (1694). Having succeeded Frontenac in 1698, he devoted all his skill and energy to the pacification of the Indians. The treaty of Montreal (1701), agreed to by representatives of all the tribes, was the crowning result of all his efforts. This treaty is considered as Callières’ chief title to fame. That same year he sent Lamothe-Cadillac to found Detroit. One of the most conspicuous figures in Canadian history, he left a reputation of disinterestedness, honour, and probity.

GARNEAU, Histoire du Canada (Montreal, 1882); FERLAND, Cours d’histoire du Canada (Quebec, 1882); SULTE, La Famille de Callières (Montreal, 1890).

LIONEL LINDSAY (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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THE APOSTLE OF ROME

St. Philip Romolo Neri

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Filipe_de_Nery.JPG

Statue of Philip Neri in Congregados Church, Braga, Portugal. Photo by Joseolgon.

Born at Florence, Italy, 22 July, 1515; died 27 May, 1595. Philip’s family originally came from Castelfranco but had lived for many generations in Florence, where not a few of its members had practised the learned professions, and therefore took rank with the Tuscan nobility. Among these was Philip’s own father, Francesco Neri, who eked out an insufficient private fortune with what he earned as a notary. A circumstance which had no small influence on the life of the saint was Francesco’s friendship with the Dominicans; for it was from the friars of S. Marco, amid the memories of Savonarola, that Philip received many of his early religious impressions. Besides a younger brother, who died in early childhood, Philip had two younger sisters, Caterina and Elisabetta. It was with them that “the good Pippo”, as he soon began to be called, committed his only known fault. He gave a slight push to Caterina, because she kept interrupting him and Elisabetta, while they were reciting psalms together, a practice of which, as a boy, he was remakably fond. One incident of his childhood is dear to his early biographers as the first visible intervention of Providence on his behalf, and perhaps dearer still to his modern disciples, because it reveals the human characteristics of a boy amid the supernatural graces of a saint. When about eight years old he was left alone in a courtyard to amuse himself; seeing a donkey laden with fruit, he jumped on its back; the beast bolted, and both tumbled into a deep cellar. His parents hastened to the spot and extricated the child, not dead, as they feared, but entirely uninjured.

From the first it was evident that Philip’s career would run on no conventional lines; when shown his family pedigree he tore it up, and the burning of his father’s house left him unconcerned. Having studied the humanities under the best scholars of a scholarly generation, at the age of sixteen he was sent to help his father’s cousin in business at S. Germano, near Monte Cassino. He applied himself with diligence, and his kinsman soon determined to make him his heir. But he would often withdraw for prayer to a little mountain chapel belonging to the Benedictines of Monte Cassino, built above the harbour of Gaeta in a cleft of rock which tradition says was among those rent at the hour of Our Lord’s death. It was here that his vocation became definite: he was called to be the Apostle of Rome. In 1533 he arrived in Rome without any money. He had not informed his father of the step he was taking, and he had deliberately cut himself off from his kinsman’s patronage. He was, however, at once befriended by Galeotto Caccia, a Florentine resident, who gave him a room in his house and an allowance of flour, in return for which he undertook the education of his two sons. For seventeen years Philip lived as a layman in Rome, probably without thinking of becoming a priest. It was perhaps while tutor to the boys, that he wrote most of the poetry which he composed both in Latin and in Italian. Before his death he burned all his writings, and only a few of his sonnets have come down to us. He spent some three years, beginning about 1535, in the study of philosophy at the Sapienza, and of theology in the school of the Augustinians. When he considered that he had learnt enough, he sold his books, and gave the price to the poor. Though he never again made study his regular occupation, whenever he was called upon to cast aside his habitual reticence, he would surprise the most learned with the depth and clearness of his theological knowledge.

St. Philip

He now devoted himself entirely to the sanctification of his own soul and the good of his neighbour. His active apostolate began with solitary and unobtrusive visits to the hospitals. Next he induced others to accompany him. Then he began to frequent the shops, warehouses, banks, and public places of Rome, melting the hearts of those whom he chanced to meet, and exhorting them to serve God. In 1544, or later, he became the friend of St. Ignatius. Many of his disciples tried and found their vocations in the infant Society of Jesus; but the majority remained in the world, and formed the nucleus of what afterwards became the Brotherhood of the Little Oratory. Though he “appeared not fasting to men”, his private life was that of a hermit. His single daily meal was of bread and water, to which a few herbs were sometimes added, the furniture of his room consisted of a bed, to which he usually preferred the floor, a table, a few chairs, and a rope to hang his clothes on; and he disciplined himself frequently with small chains. Tried by fierce temptations, diabolical as well as human, he passed through them all unscathed, and the purity of his soul manifested itself in certain striking physical traits. He prayed at first mostly in the church of S. Eustachio, hard by Caccia’s house. Next he took to visiting the Seven Churches.

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RCR – Chapter VIII

May 20, 2024

CHAPTER VIII

 The Intelligence, the Will, and the Sensibility in the Determination of Human Acts

The previous considerations call for an explication on the role of the intelligence, the will, and the sensibility in the relations between error and passion.

Plunder of a church during the French Revolution. Painting by Victor-Henri Juglar.

It could seem that we are affirming that every error is conceived by the intelligence to justify some disorderly passion. Thus, a moralist who affirms a liberal maxim would always be moved by a liberal tendency.

That is not what we think. The moralist may arrive at a liberal conclusion solely through weakness of the intelligence affected by Original Sin. In such a case would there necessarily be some moral fault of another nature, carelessness, for instance? This is a question beyond the scope of our study.

What we do affirm is that, historically, this Revolution had its ultimate origin in an extremely violent ferment of the passions. And we are far from denying the great role of doctrinal errors in this process.

Boissy d’Anglas saluting the head of deputy Féraud, 1st prairal An III (20th of May 1795), by Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard, taken by Rama.

Authors of great worth — de Maistre, de Bonald, Donoso Cortes, and so many others — have written numerous studies on these errors and the way each was derived from the other, from the fifteenth to the sixteenth century, and so on till the twentieth century. Therefore, it is not our intention to insist on this matter here.

It does seem to us, however, particularly opportune to focus on the importance of the passional factors and their influence in strictly ideological aspects of the revolutionary process in which we find ourselves. For, as we see it, little heed is paid to this point. On account of this, people do not see the Revolution in its entirety and consequently adopt inadequate counter-revolutionary methods.

We will now add something about the way in which passions can influence ideas.

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In May, 1505, [Christopher Columbus] set out for the court of the Catholic King. The glorious Queen Isabella had passed to a better life the previous year. Her death caused the Admiral much grief; for she had always aided and favored him, while the King he always found somewhat reserved and unsympathetic to his projects. This was clearly shown by the reception that His Majesty accorded him. He received him courteously and professed to be restoring all his rights and privileges, but it was his real design to take them all away…. His Highness and the serene Queen had dispatched the Admiral on his voyage of discovery. Now, however, that the Indies were giving signs of that which they were to become, the Catholic King begrudged the Admiral the large share that he had in them by virtue of his capitulations with the Crown. The King wished to regain absolute control over them and dispose as he pleased of the offices that were only the Admiral’s to grant. He therefore proposed to negotiate a new capitulation with the Admiral, but God would not permit it, for at that very time the most serene King Philip I came to the throne of Spain. And even as the Catholic King departed from Valladolid to receive him, the Admiral, who was much afflicted by the gout and by grief at seeing himself fallen from his high estate, as well as by other ills, yielded up his soul to God on the Day of the Ascension, May 20, 1506, in the city of Valladolid….

Photo of the tomb of Christopher Columbus at the cathedral of Seville, Spain, by Paul Hermans.

[His body was afterwards borne to Seville and buried in the principal cathedral of that city with funereal pomp. By order of the Catholic King, over his tomb was placed an epitaph in the Spanish language that read:

TO CASTILE AND LEÓN

COLUMBUS GAVE A NEW WORLD

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 599

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St. Bernardine of Siena

Image of St Bernardine of Siena at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Friar Minor, missionary, and reformer, often called the “Apostle of Italy”, b. of the noble family of Albizeschi at Massa, a Sienese town of which his father was then governor, 8 September, 1380; d. at Aquila in the Abruzzi, 20 May, 1444. Left an orphan at six Bernardine was brought up with great care by his pious aunts. His youth was blameless and engaging. In 1397 after a course of civil and canon law, he joined the Confraternity of Our Lady attached to the great hospital of Santa Maria della Scala. Three years later, when the pestilence revisited Siena, he came forth from the life of seclusion and prayer he had embraced, to minister to the plague-stricken, and, assisted by ten companions, took upon himself for four months entire charge of this hospital. Despite his youth Bernardine proved fully equal to this task, but the heroic and unremitting labour it involved so far shattered his health that he never completely recovered. Having distributed his patrimony in charity, Bernardine received the habit of the Friars Minor at San Francesco in Siena, 8 September, 1402, but soon withdrew to the Observantine convent of Columbaio outside the city. He was professed 8 September, 1403 and ordained 8 September, 1404. About 1406 S. Vincent Ferrer, while preaching at Alexandria in Piedmont, foretold that his mantle should descend upon one who was then listening to him, and said that he would return to France and Spain leaving to Bernardine the task of evangelizing the remaining peoples of Italy.

St. Bernardine of Siena preaching in the Campo. Painted by Sano di Pietro

St. Bernardine of Siena preaching in the Campo. Painted by Sano di Pietro

Nearly twelve years passed before this prediction was fulfilled. During this period, of which we have no details, Bernardine seems to have lived in retirement at Capriola. It was in 1417 that his gift of eloquence was made manifest and his missionary life really began at Milan at the close of that year. Thenceforth, various cities contended for the honour of hearing him, and he was often compelled to preach in the market places, his auditors sometimes numbering thirty thousand. Bernardine gradually gained an immense influence over the turbulent, luxurious Italian cities. Pius II, who as a youth had been a spellbound auditor of Bernardine, records that the saint was listened to as another Paul, and Vespasiano da Bisticci, a well-known Florentine biographer, says that by his sermons Bernardine “cleansed all Italy from sins of every kind in which she abounded”. The penitents, we are told, flocked to confession “like ants”, and in several cities the reforms urged by the saint were embodied in the laws under the name of Riformazioni di frate Bernardino. Indeed, the success which crowned Bernardine’s labours to promote morality and regenerate society, can scarcely be exaggerated. He preached with apostolic freedom, openly censuring Visconti, Duke of Milan, and elsewhere fearlessly rebuking the evil in high places which undermined the Quattrocento. In each city he denounced the reining vice so effectively that bonfires were kindled and “vanities” were cast upon them by the cartload. Usury was one of the principal objects of the saint’s attacks, and he did much to prepare the way for the establishment of the beneficial loan societies, known as Monti di Pietà.

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The next day, upon which De Soto was hoping to see the chief, a large company of Indians came, fully armed and in war-paint, with the purpose of attacking the Christians. But when they saw that the Governor had drawn up his army in line of battle, they remained a cross-bow shot away for half an hour, discussing the situation. They did not like the look of the men in iron and on horseback….

Hernando de Soto

De Soto wished above everything else to avoid fight…. He wished to make friends with the Indians. As it seemed difficult to do that, he advanced slowly, by short stages, turning a little to the north to avoid the natives, and to find a good approach to the Great River. They reached it on May 21st [1541], a Saturday.

There has been a good deal of discussion as to the exact spot at which De Soto looked first with astonished eyes upon that volume of water….

Discovery of the Mississippi by William H. Powell. Hernando De Soto seeing the Mississippi River for the first time. This painting hangs in the US Capitol rotunda. Edited by Nobility.org.

What is infinitely more important than establishing—if it can be established—the exact location of the discovery is a vivid realization of the valor and hardihood of the pioneers who had persisted in advancing through the wilderness, in the face of furious opposition, and after having endured, within four months, the successive disasters of Mabilla and Chicaça. To the loyalty, fortitude and courage of the Spanish army admiration is due; but there are no words to be said of its commander, the brain, the heart, and the unfaltering will of the expedition.

Theodore Maynard, De Soto and the Conquistadores (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1930), pp. 228-230.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 179

Nobility.org Editorial Comment: —

One of the tactics of the promoters of the Cultural Revolution is to silence, smear, despise, and destroy our heroes.
These subversives understand the importance of History, Tradition, heroic role models, great leaders, and the good influence they can exert over hearts and minds. Thus, they labor to completely discredit the memory of these great figures from our nation’s past.
Nobility.org strives to do the opposite, calling attention to the good example of these great men and women who stood out like beacons in the course of History. They deserve our respect, gratitude, admiration and emulation.

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St. Charles Joseph Eugene de Mazenod

St. Eugène de MazenodBishop of Marseilles, and founder of the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, b. at Aix, in Provence, 1 August, 1782; d. at Marseilles 21 May, 1861. De Mazenod was the offspring of a noble family of southern France, and even in his tender years he showed unmistakable evidence of a pious disposition and a high and independent spirit. Sharing the fate of most French noblemen at the time of the Revolution, he passed some years as an exile in Italy, after which he studied for the priesthood, though he was the last representative of his family. On 21 December, 1811, he was ordained priest at Amiens, whither he had gone to escape receiving orders at the hands of Cardinal Maury, who was then governing the archdiocese of Paris against the wishes of the pope. After some years of ecclesiastical labours at Aix, the young priest, bewailing the sad fate of religion resulting among the masses from the French Revolution, gathered together a little band of missionaries to preach in the vernacular and to instruct the rural populations of Provence. He commenced, 25 January, 1816, his Institute which was immediately prolific of much good among the people, and on 17 February, 1826, was solemnly approved by Leo XII under the name of Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

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St. Rita of Cascia

Saint Rita's birthplace at Roccaporena, near Spoleto, Italy.

Saint Rita’s birthplace at Roccaporena, near Spoleto, Italy.

Born at Rocca Porena in the Diocese of Spoleto, 1386; died at the Augustinian convent of Cascia, 1456. Feast, 22 May. Represented as holding roses, or roses and figs, and sometimes with a wound in her forehead.

St. RitaAccording to the “Life” (Acta SS., May, V, 224) written at the time of her beatification by the Augustinian, Jacob Carelicci, from two older biographies, she was the daughter of parents advanced in years and distinguished for charity which merited them the surname of “Peacemakers of Jesus Christ”. Rita’s great desire was to become a nun, but, in obedience to the will of her parents, she, at the age of twelve, married a man extremely cruel and ill-tempered. For eighteen years she was a model wife and mother. When her husband was murdered she tried in vain to dissuade her twin sons from attempting to take revenge; she appealed to Heaven to prevent such a crime on their part, and they were taken away by death, reconciled to God. She applied for admission to the Augustinian convent at Cascia, but, being a widow, was refused. By continued entreaties, and, as is related, by Divine intervention, she gained admission, received the habit of the order and in due time her profession. As a religious she was an example for all, excelled in mortifications, and was widely known for the efficacy of her prayers.

Saint Rita's incorrupt body at her tomb at Cascia.

Saint Rita’s incorrupt body at her tomb at Cascia.

Urban VIII, in 1637, permitted her Mass and Office. On account of the many miracles reported to have been wrought at her intercession she received in Spain the title of La Santa de los impossibiles. She was solemnly canonized 24 May, 1900.

The National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia in the South Philadelphia neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1907 by the Augustinian Friars. The shrine has a first class relic of St. Rita, along with her habit. Photo by Beyond My Ken. Click on the photo to be directed to the shrine.

The National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia in the South Philadelphia neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1907 by the Augustinian Friars. The shrine has a first class relic of St. Rita, along with her habit. Photo by Beyond My Ken. Click on the photo to be directed to the shrine.

FRANCIS MERSHMAN (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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The Battle of Fontenoy, 11th May 1745, painted by Horace Vernet.

The Battle of Fontenoy, 11th May 1745, painted by Horace Vernet.

During the battle of Fontenoy, some officers urged Louis XV to leave the battlefield, thus avoiding unnecessary exposure of his royal person to the dangers. He turned down their advice concerned with the harmful effect his leaving would have on the morale of his troops. Right then, the Marshal de Saxe rode up and the king put the issue before him, asking his opinion. The Marshal was indignant and said:

— Your Majesty, who was the coward who gave you this counsel? If we were having this conversation prior to the battle’s start, that is what my advise would have been too, but it is too late now, and besides our situation is not desperate.

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Jacques Necker, Galerie de l’ancienne cour (Maestricht: J. E. Dufour, 1787), Vol. 3, 104. (Nobility.org translation.)

 

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 440

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Modern society obsessively avoids suffering, risk and danger. It secures everything with seatbelts and safety rails, air conditions the summer heat, prints warnings on coffee cups and advises that that safety glasses should be used while working with hammers.
Certainly such precautions have prevented misfortune. However, since heroism and excellence are born from confronting rather than avoiding suffering and peril, the mania for safeguards has also diminished the notion of these qualities.
This is unfortunate since only those intrepid souls who confront danger, endure suffering and overcome obstacles merit mention in the annals of history. A shining example is the leper king, Baldwin IV of Jerusalem.


A Childhood Cut Short
Baldwin IV was born in Jerusalem of King Amalric and Queen Agnes of Courtney in 1161. Intellectually and physically gifted as a boy, he seemed well equipped to inherit the Crusader kingdom. This is how chronicler and royal tutor William of Tyre described his childhood:

“He made good progress in his studies and as time passed he grew up full of hope and developed his natural abilities. He was a good-looking child for his age and more skilled than men who were older than himself in controlling horses and in riding them at a gallop. He had an excellent memory and he loved listening to stories.”1

One day the tutor made a frightening discovery. While roughhousing with friends, Baldwin never cried out in pain, even when the other children dug their fingernails into his arm. Knowing how tough the nine-year-old prince was, William of Tyre first assumed that Baldwin was restraining himself, but closer observation revealed that his arms were entirely numb – a telltale symptom of leprosy.

Four years later, King Amalric died suddenly. Despite his sickness, Baldwin was crowned king by the unanimous decision of the High Court of Jerusalem.2 Since he was only thirteen, his nearest relative, Miles of Plancy, became regent. Shortly thereafter, Miles was murdered and Raymond of Tripoli replaced him.

Raymond of Tripoli managed escalating tensions between the Crusader kingdom and its Muslim enemies through a policy of appeasement. He established full peace with Saladin in 1175. The treaty greatly favored the Muslim leader. Jerusalem had agreed not to support the Sicilians who were attacking Saladin’s power base in Egypt and the latter had free reign to build up his forces through conquest in Syria, where his trajectory revealed plans to encircle the Crusader kingdom. Saladin continued his quest with impunity, until governmental change in Jerusalem put a stop to his marauding joyride.
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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bobola.jpg

Saint Andrew Bobola earned the name “Hunter of Souls” due to his tireless zeal and missionary travels.

Martyr, born of an old and illustrious Polish family, in the Palatinate of Sandomir, 1590; died at Janów, 16 May, 1657. Having entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Wilno (1611), he was ordained in 1622, and appointed preacher in the Church of St. Casimir, Wilno. After making his solemn vows, 2 June, 1630, he was made superior at Bobruisk, where he wrought wonders by his preaching and distinguished himself by his devotion during an epidemic of the plague.

In 1636 he began his work in the Lithuanian missions. During this period Poland was being ravaged by Cossacks, Russians, and Tatars, and the Catholic Faith was made the object of the concerted attacks of Protestants and schismatics. The Jesuits, in particular, had much to endure. Bobola’s success in converting schismatics drew upon him the rage of those in high authority, and the adherents of the Greek Pope decided to centralize their forces in Polesia.

A Catholic nobleman of this province offered the Jesuits a house at Pinsk, and here Father Bobola was stationed. The schismatics vainly endeavoured in every manner to hinder him in the exercise of his apostolic duties, extending their persecutions to attacks upon his person.

On 16 May, 1657, he was seized by two Cossacks and severely beaten. Then tying him to their saddles, they dragged him to Janów where he was subjected to incredible tortures. After having been burned, half strangled, and partly flayed alive, he was released from suffering by a sabre stroke. (cfr. 1907 Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Bishop Joseph Raphael Crimont, S.J.

Bishop Joseph Raphael Crimont, S.J. (1858-1945), Bishop of Alaska, was from France and he knew members of St. Therese of the Child Jesus’ family. He said Mass in the Infirmary where St. Therese had died twenty-eight years before. At the Mass the Little Flower’s three sisters received Communion from the Bishop. Earlier in the summer the Bishop first met Mother Agnes (Martin) when they began a lasting friendship. Bishop Crimont knew of St. Therese’s devotion to the missions while she was living and he placed the entire Alaskan mission under her protection five years prior to her canonization.

While Bishop Crimont was in Rome for St. Therese’s canonization on May 17, 1925, the Sacred Congregation decreed St. Therese the Queen and Patroness of Alaska, a title the Bishop had offered her five years earlier. From this time on his devotion to the Little Flower became one of the great influences of his life. Beginning with the reading of “Histoire d’un Ame,” many things contributed to feed the devotion: blessings obtained by himself, miracles told by others, important favors received by Father Ruppert.

Situated on 46 acres, the Shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux overlooks the Lynn Canal in Juneau, Alaska. The first mass was held in 1941. Photo by gillfoto.

After the visit to Lisieux, the Bishop distributed many relics of the Little Flower and did much to spread devotion to her. Application of a relic to a Sister Superior of Douglas brought immediate cure of a serious illness. An insane woman in Juneau when shown a picture of the Little Flower fell asleep the first time in over a week. Her cure was also immediate and permanent.

Dogsled Apostles by A. H. Savege

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 592

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Malta, Senglea with Gardjola tower

On the morning of August 18th the excessively heavy bombardment of Senglea warned them that an attack was imminent. It was not slow to develop. The moment that the rumble of the guns died down, the Iayalars and Janissaries were seen streaming forward across the no-man’s-land to the south. The attack developed in the same way as on previous occasions, with a mass assault on the bastion of St. Michael. Piali, meanwhile, held back his troops from Birgu according to plan. Mustapha waited anxiously to see if the Grand Master was to be lured into sending some of his garrison across the bridge to reinforce hard-pressed Senglea.

The Grand Harbour

Jean Parisot de la Valette

La Valette clearly expected some trick, and was not to be caught. At last, having failed to draw off the Christians as he had hoped, Mustapha gave his engineers the order to spring the mine under Castile.

Although La Valette had known that the Turks were mining towards his walls he had been unable to discover the exact position. The blow, when it fell, was not unexpected but it was none-the-less devastating in its effect. With a gigantic rumbling crash the mine went up, and a great section of the main wall of the bastion fell with it. The dust cloud was still spilling outwards into the ditch, when Piali’s troops poured forward en masse.

For a moment panic ensued among the defenders. The wounded staggered back from the breach and in the general confusion it seemed as if the position was surely lost. Hardly had the smoke cleared away, than the first wave of Turks were over the ditch and had gained a foothold. Their banners were planted on the torn and tottering rampart. Their spearhead began to drive forward into the very town itself. The bell of the Conventual Church was rung—a pre-arranged signal that the enemy was within the fortifications. A Chaplain of the Order, Brother Guillaume, seeing the Turkish standards waving over Castile rushed to the Grand Master.

Fort St. Angelo

“All is lost,” he cried. “We must retreat to St. Angelo.” It was a moment when a flicker of indecision would have spelled ruin. La Valette, who was in his command post in the small square of Birgu, did not hesitate. “…This intrepid old man, placing only a light morion on his head and without waiting to put on even his cuirass, rushed boldly to meet the infidels.” Seizing a pike from a soldier standing nearby, he called on his staff to follow him and led the way towards the bastion of Castille.

 

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May 18 – Martyr of Envy

May 16, 2024

Pope St. John I Died at Ravenna on 18 or 19 May (according to the most popular calculation), 526. A Tuscan by birth and the son of Constantius, he was, after an interregnum of seven days, elected on 13 August, 523, and occupied the Apostolic see for two years, nine months, and seven days. We […]

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May 18 – St. Eric, King of Sweden, Martyr

May 16, 2024

St. Eric, King of Sweden, Martyr Eric [1] was descended of a most illustrious Swedish family: in his youth he laid a solid foundation of virtue and learning, and took to wife Christina, daughter of Ingo IV, king of Sweden. Upon the death of King Smercher in 1141, he was, purely for his extraordinary virtues […]

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May 19 – He saw the action and purposes of Providence in all historical events

May 16, 2024

Jan Dlugosz (Lat. LONGINUS). An eminent medieval Polish historian, b. at Brzeznica, 1415; d. 19 May, 1480, at Cracow. He was one of the twelve sons born to John and Beata. He received his primary education in Nowy Korczyn, then entered the Academy of Cracow, where he studied literature and philosophy. He was ordained priest […]

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May 19 – Patron of lawyers

May 16, 2024

St. Ives (St. Yves) St. Ives, born at Kermartin, near Tréguier, Brittany, 17 October, 1253; died at Louannee, 19 May, 1303, was the son of Helori, lord of Kermartin, and Azo du Kenquis. In 1267 Ives was sent to the University of Paris, where he graduated in civil law. He went to Orléans in 1277 […]

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Prince perplexed by reception of communists in Vatican

May 13, 2024

10 years ago, Prince Bertrand wrote this article…Worth reading again… According to TFP.org: Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza expressed his perplexity and concern in a reverent and filial letter to Pope Francis. “Brazilians are largely aware that it was thanks to the entreaties of Pope Leo XIII, and in spite of the serious political drawbacks that […]

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Medieval Noble Parents Gave Their Boys Heroic Role Models

May 13, 2024

“Your mother, my child, has correctly quoted the familiar sayings which are in vogue amongst young people. But it is with the prouder words which have sprung forth from the hearts of our poets, and which will one day attain to the dignity of proverbs, that I would have you to do. These are more […]

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May 13 – “Can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?”

May 13, 2024

Blessed Imelda Lambertini (1322 – May 13, 1333) is the patroness of First Holy Communicants. Imelda was born in 1322 in Bologna, the only child of Count Egano Lambertini and Castora Galuzzi. Her parents were devout Catholics and were known for their charity and generosity to the underprivileged of Bologna. As a very young girl, […]

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May 15 – Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac

May 13, 2024

Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac (December 27, 1556 – February 2, 1640) was founderess of the order The Company of Mary Our Lady. She was born in Bordeaux, France in 1556 to a prominent family. Her father, Richard de Lestonnac, was a member of the French Parliament while her mother, Jeanne Eyquem, was the sister of […]

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May 14, 1264: Simon de Montfort Defeats King Henry III at Battle of Lewes

May 13, 2024

The Battle of Lewes was one of two main battles of the conflict known as the Second Barons’ War. It took place at Lewes in Sussex, on 14 May 1264. It marked the high point of the career of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, and made him the “uncrowned King of England”. The […]

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May 15 – William Lockhart

May 13, 2024

William Lockhart Son of the Rev. Alexander Lockhart of Waringham, Surry; b. 22 Aug., 1820; d. at St. Etheldreda’s Priory, Eby Place, Holborn, London, 15 May, 1892. He was a cousin of J. G. Lockhart, the well-known biographer of Sir Walter Scott. After studying first at Bedford Grammar School and, afterwards under various tutors, he […]

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The Queen’s German prince and the beef recipe in his honor

May 9, 2024

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha married his first cousin, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, when they were both 20. Contrary to today’s contraceptive culture, nine children blessed their marriage. He administered ably and expanded the patrimony of the British royal family. He championed the abolition of slavery and strove to eliminate child labor […]

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Longing For The Marvelous and Sacralizing Daily Life as a Way of Drawing Closer To God

May 9, 2024

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira   I have insisted many times here that we should have a longing for the marvelous. The series on Europeanization, which I do here about once a month, are aimed precisely at awakening in us a taste for the marvelous, which, in the artistic field, Europe has developed to an […]

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Noblesse Oblige – Part 2

May 9, 2024

By Anthony Charette Part I Spiritual Tug-of-War Katharine’s correspondence in this period clearly indicates a frustrated soul on fire with love of God and trying to fly over all the obstacles standing in the way of her vocation. Bishop O’Connor, still her spiritual advisor, initially advised caution and patience. Eventually, he revealed his conclusions: She […]

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May 9 – Isaias, Prophet and Historian, Sawn in Two

May 9, 2024

From the Prophet himself (i, 1; ii, 1) we learn that he was the son of Amos. Owing to the similarity between Latin and Greek forms of this name and that of the Shepherd-Prophet of Thecue, some Fathers mistook the Prophet Amos for the father of Isaias. St. Jerome in the preface to his “Commentary […]

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Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, Count de Rochambeau

May 9, 2024

May 10 – French or American? Marshal, born at Vendôme, France, 1 July, 1725; died at Thoré, 10 May, 1807. At the age of sixteen he entered the army and in 1745 became an aid to Louis Philippe, Duke of Orleans, subsequently commanding a regiment. He served with distinction in several important battles, notably those […]

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May 11 – Martyr of the House of Rochester

May 9, 2024

Blessed John Rochester Priest and martyr, born probably at Terling, Essex, England, about 1498; died at York, 11 May, 1537. He was the third son of John Rochester, of Terling, and Grisold, daughter of Walter Writtle, of Bobbingworth. He joined the Carthusians, was a choir monk of the Charterhouse in London, and strenuously opposed the […]

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Carthusian Martyrs, the Third Group

May 9, 2024

The Third Group The next move was to seize four more monks of community, two being taken to the Carthusian house at Beauvale in Nottinghamshire, while Dom John Rochester and Dom James Walworth were taken to the Charterhouse of St. Michael in Hull in Yorkshire. They were made an “example” of on 11 May 1537, […]

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The Dauphin’s heroism at Fontenoy

May 9, 2024

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

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What Is the Symbol of Nobility and Power? And Why?

May 6, 2024

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira In our day, the sword has been surpassed as a weapon of war by far more potent arms. The modern soldier gives little thought to sharpening his sword for battle. Inadequate to defend its bearer against more lethal weaponry, the sword has been virtually eliminated from twentieth-century arsenals. Yet, on […]

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Blessed Francis de Montmorency Laval

May 6, 2024

Blessed Francis de Montmorency Laval First bishop of Canada, born at Montigny-sur-Avre, 30 April, 1623, of Hughes de Laval and Michelle de Péricard; died at Quebec on 6 May, 1708. He was a scion of an illustrious family, whose ancestor was baptized with Clovis at Reims, and whose motto reads: “Dieu ayde au primer baron […]

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Noblesse Oblige – Part 1

May 6, 2024

By Anthony Charette In recent years tons of printed material have been expended to criticize and commiserate with the social condition of the American Indian. Given all the accounts in the liberal press, their condition during these years has deteriorated and the selfsame pres offers no viable solution, other than more welfare dollars and the […]

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May 7 – St. John of Beverley

May 6, 2024

St. John of Beverley Bishop of Hexham and afterwards of York; b. at Harpham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire; d. at Beverley, 7 May, 721. In early life he was under the care of Archbishop Theodore, at Canterbury, who supervised his education, and is reputed to have given him the name of John. He […]

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May 7 – The Pope who adopted two princes

May 6, 2024

Pope St. Benedict II Date of birth unknown; died 8 May, 685; was a Roman, and the son of John. Sent when young to the schola cantorum, he distinguished himself by his knowledge of the Scriptures and by his singing, and as a priest was remarkable for his humility, love of the poor, and generosity. […]

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May 8 – Patron in War

May 6, 2024

Well known is the apparition of St. Michael the Archangel (a. 494 or 530-40), as related in the Roman Breviary, 8 May, at his renowned sanctuary on Monte Gargano, where his original glory as patron in war was restored to him. To his intercession the Lombards of Sipontum (Manfredonia) attributed their victory over the Greek […]

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COMMENTARY – The Vatican Ostpolitik

May 2, 2024

[previous] On reading these lines about Ostpolitik, someone could ask if the enormous changes that took place in Russia resulted from an ingenious move by the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Perhaps the Vatican, on the basis of the best information, foresaw that communism, corroded by internal crises, would begin in its turn to self-destruct. And to encourage […]

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May 2 – Economist

May 2, 2024

St. Antoninus Archbishop of Florence, b. at Florence, 1 March, 1389; d. 2 May, 1459; known also by his baptismal name Antoninus (Anthony), which is found in his autographs, in some manuscripts, in printed editions of his works, and in the Bull of canonization, but which has been finally rejected for the diminutive form given […]

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May 2 – St. Athanasius

May 2, 2024

St. Athanasius Bishop of Alexandria; Confessor and Doctor of the Church; born c. 296; died 2 May, 373. Athanasius was the greatest champion of Catholic belief on the subject of the Incarnation that the Church has ever known and in his lifetime earned the characteristic title of “Father of Orthodoxy”, by which he has been […]

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May 3 – Élisabeth Leseur

May 2, 2024

Élisabeth Leseur Servant of God Born     16 October 1866 Paris, France Died     3 May 1914 (aged 47) Paris, France Élisabeth Arrighi Leseur (October 16, 1866–May 3, 1914), born Pauline Élisabeth Arrighi, was a French mystic best known for her spiritual diary and the conversion of her husband, Félix Leseur (1861–1950), a medical doctor […]

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May 4 – They believed in the religious exemption, but only at first

May 2, 2024

The Carthusian Martyrs were the monks of the London Charterhouse, the monastery of the Carthusian Order in central London, who were put to death by the English state in a period lasting from the 19 June 1535 till the 20 September 1537. The method of execution was hanging, disembowelling while still alive and then quartering. […]

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May 5 – Arrested for refusing Napoleon a “Te Deum”

May 2, 2024

Niccolò Antonio Zingarelli Composer, born at Naples, 4 April, 1752; died at Torre del Greco, 5 May, 1837. Having studied at the Loreto Conservatory under Fenaroli and Speranza, his first opera, “Montesuma”, was given at San Carlo, 13 August, 1781. He then went to Milan, where he remained until 1794, when he took up the […]

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Post-mortem of a Revolution

May 2, 2024

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

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St. Hugh the Great – In 11th century Christendom, no king or bishop dare oppose him

April 29, 2024

Saint Hugh the Great, Abbot of Cluny, born at Semur (Brionnais in the Diocese of Autun), 1024; died at Cluny, 28 April, 1109. His early life The eldest son of Count Dalmatius of Semur and Aremberge (Aremburgis) of Vergy, Hugh was descended from the noblest families in Burgundy. Dalmatius, devoted to war and the chase, […]

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A Knight’s Tenth Commandment: Combat All Evil, Defend All That Is Good

April 29, 2024

We must confess that the Tenth Commandment of chivalry has not been clearly formulated by our poets, and that we owe it to the Church as a matter of fact. “To combat all evil, to defend all good,” would not have come naturally to the minds of those descendants of Germans who had not been […]

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April 30 – “Thank God for the victory”

April 29, 2024

Pope Saint Pius V Born at Bosco, near Alexandria, Lombardy, 17 Jan., 1504 elected 7 Jan., 1566; died 1 May, 1572. Being of a poor though noble family his lot would have been to follow a trade, but he was taken in by the Dominicans of Voghera, where he received a good education and was […]

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April 30, 2017 – 170th anniversary of the Archduke who discovered how to defeat Napoleon

April 29, 2024

Today in History – April 30th, 1847 – Archduke Charles of Austria, Duke of Teschen Archduke Charles (full name in German: Karl Ludwig Johann Joseph Lorenz) of Austria was born on September 5th. 1771 in Florence (then the Grand Duchy of Tuscany). His parents were Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor and Infanta Maria Luisa of […]

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May 1 – St. Sigismund, King of Burgundy

April 29, 2024

This saint was son of Gondebald, the Arian king of the Burgundians; but embraced the Catholic faith through the instructions of St. Alcimus Avitus, bishop of Vienne. (1) He succeeded to the kingdom of his father in 516, and in the midst of barbarism lived humble, mortified, penitent, devout, and charitable, even on the throne; […]

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Did Cervantes Kill Chivalry?

April 25, 2024

By Ben Broussard *   Four hundred years ago, the famous Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra passed away. He has since been heralded as one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language. However, word of his death had little impact on Castilian society. No public honors or national mourning marked the funeral of […]

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April 25-26 – Mother of Good Counsel, who inspired the Albanians to resist the Turks

April 25, 2024

January of 1467 saw the death of the last great Albanian leader, George Castriota, better known as Scanderbeg. Raised by an Albanian chief, he placed himself at the head of his own people. Subsequently, Scanderbeg inflicted stunning defeats on the Turkish army and occupied fortresses all over Albania. With Scanderbeg’s death, the Turkish army, finally […]

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MacArthur warns Congress of military defeat’s dire consequences for America

April 25, 2024

General MacArthur, sitting before the Committee of Military Affairs in the House of Representatives, on April 26, 1933, spoke in firm tones… If ever there were more prophetic words, they are not recorded in history…. “There is nothing more expensive than an insufficient army. To build an army to be defeated by some other fellow’s […]

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April 26 – His ears were nailed to the pillory

April 25, 2024

Venerable Edward Morgan Welsh priest, martyr, b. at Bettisfield, Hanmer, Flintshire, executed at Tyburn, London, 26 April, 1642. His father’s Christian name was William. Of his mother we know nothing except that one of her kindred was Lieutenant of the Tower of London. From the fact that the martyr was known at St. Omer as […]

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