Girl Peeling Potatoes painted by Albert Anker

As already noted in a previous post, the potato was one of the plants brought to the Old World after Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the Americas.

While the potato is used extensively throughout Europe today–German average potato consumption is 150 lbs per person per year–in its first years, the potato struggled for acceptance. In France, wheat and bread were the staples and the lowly potato was scorned.

Portrait of Antoine Parmentier painted by François Dumont

Antoine-Augustin de Parmentier (1737-1813), an eminent physician who wanted to introduce the potato into the French diet, decided that the best way to break  through the prejudice was to recruit the good offices of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. If they made the potato fashionable, the rest of society would follow suit; and follow they did.

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The religious spirit is the metaphysical spirit seen in its most refined aspect, and animated by the supernatural when dealing with the truth of the Faith.

“Gratius agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam:” I love God so much because He is God, I thank Him for being God, as if it were a favor for me.

God in glory is the point of attraction through which I turn myself entirely to Him. His glory is synonymous with grandeur, the shining solar apex of all perfections, and it multiplies these perfections by means of one another, while at the same time these perfections sing the praises of one another, culminating in an unimaginable zenith.

The influx of grace is more lively, profound, subtle, involving persuasive, and delightful that one can imagine.

Oh! Grace,
Cost what it may, we will follow thee
Through the valleys and over the mountains,
Across islands and through deserts,
Through torture and dereliction,
Through oblivion and persecution,
Through temptation and misfortune,
Through joy and glory,
We will follow thee in such a way that, even at the height of glory,
This glory will not concern us,
For we will concern ourselves only with thee.

From the moment in which a person is in a state of grace, that person is not one, but two. Grace, which is God, exists and acts, and we also exist.

It would be more or less like in religious music where you have the combination of song and instruments. So also the music of our nature and the music of Grace within us form a perfect harmony.

O Universo é uma Catedral: Excertos do pensamento de Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira recolhidos por Leo Daniele, Edições Brasil de Amanhã, São Paulo, 1997.

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St. Polycarp’s martyrdom

St. PolycarpPolycarp’s martyrdom is described in a letter from the Church of Smyrna, to the Church of Philomelium “and to all the brotherhoods of the holy and universal Church”, etc. The letter begins with an account of the persecution and the heroism of the martyrs. Conspicuous among them was one Germanicus, who encouraged the rest, and when exposed to the wild beasts, incited them to slay him. His death stirred the fury of the multitude, and the cry was raised “Away with the atheists; let search be made for Polycarp”. But there was one Quintus, who of his own accord had given himself up to the persecutors. When he saw the wild beasts he lost heart and apostatized. “Wherefore”, comment the writers of the epistle, “we praise not those who deliver themselves up, since the Gospel does not so teach us”. Polycarp was persuaded by his friends to leave the city and conceal himself in a farm-house. Here he spent his time in prayer, “and while praying he falleth into a trance three days before his apprehension; and he saw his pillow burning with fire. And he turned and said unto those that were with him, ‘it must needs be that I shall be burned alive’ “. When his pursuers were on his track he went to another farm-house. Finding him gone they put two slave boys to the torture, and one of them betrayed his place of concealment. Herod, head of the police, sent a body of men to arrest him on Friday evening. Escape was still possible, but the old man refused to flee, saying, “the will of God be done”. He came down to meet his pursuers, conversed affably with them, and ordered food to be set before them. While they were eating he prayed, “remembering all, high and low, who at any time had come in his way, and the Catholic Church throughout the world”. Then he was led away.

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Pope Benedict XIII

(PIETRO FRANCESCO ORSINI)

Pope Benedict XIIIBorn 2 February, 1649; died 23 February, 1730. Being a son of Ferdinando Orsini and Giovanna Frangipani of Tolpha, he belonged to the archducal family of Orsini-Gravina. From early youth he exhibited a decided liking for the Order of St. Dominic, and at the age of sixteen during a visit to Venice he entered the Dominican novitiate against the will of his parents, though he was the eldest son and heir to the title and estates of his childless uncle the Duke of Bracciano. Their appeal to Clement IX was fruitless; the pope not only approved the purpose of the young novice, but even shortened his novitiate by half in order to free him from the importunities of his relatives. As student and novice, the young prince was a model of humility and zeal, and devoted himself to the acquisition of ecclesiastical learning. At the age of twenty-one he was promoted to a professorship. On 22 February, 1672, he was elevated to the cardinalate by his relative Clement X. He protested strenuously against the honour, but was compelled to accept it under the vow of obedience by the General of the Dominicans, at the insistence of the pope. As cardinal he adhered strictly to the observance of the rule of his order, and never laid aside his habit. In 1675 having the choice between the Archbishopric of Salerno and that of Manfredonia (Siponto) he chose the latter because it was a poor diocese and required great exercise of pastoral zeal. His virtuous life not only overcame the opposition made by his relatives when he became a monk, but exercised such a salutary influence that in time his mother, his sister, and two of his nieces embraced the religious life in the Third Order of St. Dominic.

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Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco

The seventh of eight children, he was born on 1 December 1831 in Pagani, Salerno, in the Diocese of Nocera-Sarno, Italy, to Dr. Antonio, a pharmacist, and Stella Giordano, of noble descent. They were known for their upright moral and religious conduct, and taught their son Christian piety and charity to the poor.

He was baptized on the day he was born in the parish of S. Felice e Corpo di Cristo. In 1837, when he was only six years old, his mother died of cholera and a few years later, in 1841, he also lost his father. Fr. Giuseppe, an uncle on his father’s side and a primary school teacher, then took charge of his education.

Since 1839, the year of the canonization of St. Alphonsus Mary de’ Liguori, little Tommaso had dreamed of church and the altar; in 1847 he was at last able to enter the same diocesan seminary of Nocera which his brother Raffaele would leave after being ordained a priest in 1849.

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FRANÇOIS DE LORRAINE

François de Lorraine, Duke of Guise, painting by François Clouet

Second Duke of Guise, b. at the Château de Bar, 17 Feb., 1519, of Claude de Guise and Antoinette de Bourbon; d, 24 Feb, 1563. He was the warrior of the family, el gran capitan de Guysa, as the Spanish called him. A wound which he received at the siege of Boulogne (1545), won for him the surname Balafré (the Scarred). His defense of Metz against Charles V (1552) crowned his reputation. After a siege of two months the emperor was obliged to retire with a loss of 30,000 men. François de Lorraine fought valiantly at the battle of Renty (1554). The Truce of Vaucelles, signed in 1556 for a period of six years, followed by the abdication of Charles V, seemed about to end his military career.

The Siege of Calais

The dukes of Guise, however, as descendants of the House of Anjou, had certain pretensions to the Kingdom of Naples, and it was doubtless with the secret intention of defending these claims that François de Lorraine furthered an alliance between Henry II and Pope Paul IV which was menaced by Philip II. In consequence of this alliance François de Guise entered Milanese territory (Jan., 1557), marched thence through Italy, and although neither the petty princes nor the pope gave him the assistance he expected, he took the little Neapolitan town of Campli (17 April, 1557), and on 24 April laid siege to Civitella. At the end of twenty-two days, being threatened at the same time by epidemic and the Duke of Alva, he fell back upon Rome, where he reorganized his army, and was preparing to return southward, when Henry II, after the victory of the Spaniards over the Constable de Montmorency at Saint-Quentin (23 Aug., 1557), summoned him to “restore France”.

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St. Walburga

Born in Devonshire, about 710; died at Heidenheim, 25 Feb., 777. She is the patroness of Eichstadt, Oudenarde, Furnes, Antwerp, Gronigen, Weilburg, and Zutphen, and is invoked as special patroness against hydrophobia, and in storms, and also by sailors. She was the daughter of St. Richard, one of the under-kings of the West Saxons, and of Winna, sister of St. Boniface, Apostle of Germany, and had two brothers, St. Willibald and St. Winibald.

St. Richard, when starting with his two sons on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, entrusted Walburga, then eleven years old, to the abbess of Wimborne. In the claustral school and as a member of the community, she spent twenty-six years preparing for the great work she was to accomplish in Germany. The monastery was famous for holiness and austere discipline. There was a high standard at Wimborne, and the child was trained in solid learning, and in accomplishments suitable to her rank. Thanks to this she was later able to write St. Winibald’s Life and an account in Latin of St. Willibald’s travels in Palestine. She is thus looked upon by many as the first female author of England and Germany. Scarcely a year after her arrival, Walburga received tidings of her father’s death at Lucca.

During this period St. Boniface was laying the foundations of the Church in Germany. He saw that for the most part scattered efforts would be futile, or would exert but a passing influence. He, therefore, determined to bring the whole country under an organized system. As he advanced in his spiritual conquests he established monasteries which, like fortresses, should hold the conquered regions, and from whose watch-towers the light of faith and learning should radiate far and near.

Statue of Saint Walpurga in the church of Contern, Luxembourg.

Boniface was the first missionary to call women to his aid. In 748, in response to his appeal, Abbess Tetta sent over to Germany St. Lioba and St. Walburga, with many other nuns. They sailed with fair weather, but before long a terrible storm arose. Hereupon Walburga prayed, kneeling on the deck, and at once the sea became calm. On landing, the sailors proclaimed the miracle they had witnessed, so that Walburga was everywhere received with joy and veneration. There is a tradition in the Church of Antwerp that, on her way to Germany, Walburga made some stay there; and in that city’s most ancient church, which now bears the title of St. Walburga, there is pointed out a grotto in which she was wont to pray. This same church, before adopting the Roman Office, was accustomed to celebrate the feast of St. Walburga four times a year. At Mainz she was welcomed by her uncle, St. Boniface, and by her brother, St. Willibald.

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St. Conrad of Piacenza

St. Conrad of Piacenza

Hermit of the Third Order of St. Francis, date of birth uncertain; died at Noto in Sicily, 19 February, 1351. He belonged to one of the noblest families of Piacenza, and having married when he was quite young, led a virtuous and God-fearing life. On one occasion, when he was engaged in his usual pastime of hunting, he ordered his attendants to fire some brushwood in which game had taken refuge. The prevailing wind caused the flames to spread rapidly, and the surrounding fields and forest were soon in a state of conflagration. A mendicant, who happened to be found near the place where the fire had originated, was accused of being the author. He was imprisoned, tried, and condemned to death.

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As the poor man was being led to execution, Conrad, stricken with remorse, made open confession of his guilt; and in order to repair the damage of which he had been the cause, was obliged to sell all his possessions. Thus reduced to poverty, Conrad retired to a lonely hermitage some distance from Piacenza, while his wife entered the Order of Poor Clares. Later he went to Rome, and thence to Sicily, where for thirty years he lived a most austere and penitential life and worked numerous miracles. He is especially invoked for the cure of hernia. In 1515 Leo X permitted the town of Noto to celebrate his feast, which permission was later extended by Urban VIII to the whole Order of St. Francis. Though bearing the title of saint, Conrad was never formally canonized. His feast is kept in the Franciscan Order on 19 February.

STEPHEN M. DONOVAN (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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We should not be surprised that a single bottle of Romanée-Conti sometimes sells for $10,000 and more, for the Domaine Romanée-Conti (aka DRC) is one of the oldest and finest vineyards of Burgundy, France, and its wines, a veritable symbol of tradition and nobility.

Louis François de Bourbon, Prince of Conti

Louis François de Bourbon, Prince of Conti

In 1087—eight years before Blessed Urban II would call the nobility and chivalry of Europe to arms in the First Crusade—the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Vivant de Curtil-Vergy was officially restructured as a dependant priory of the famous Abbey of Cluny, some 60 miles away.

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In 1131, the acreage that would later become the famous Domaine, was deeded to the Priory by Hugh II, Duke of Burgundy. However, it was only in 1241—during the reign of Saint Louis IX, King of France—that the monks turned the acreage into vineyards. They cultivated these vineyards for almost 350 years, selling them at last to Claude Cousin, on February 19, 1584. With the passing years, the renown of the Domain’s wines increased and the vineyard changed hands several times, being purchased on July 18, 1760 by His Most Serene Highness, Louis François de Bourbon, Prince of Conti, head of the cadet branch of the French royal family.

Romanée-Conti wine

Romanée-Conti wine

From the days of the Prince on, the Domain’s Grand Cru wines were known as Romanée-Conti.
In 1776, Louis François Joseph, the last Prince of Conti, inherited the vineyards at the death of his father, but they were confiscated during the French Revolution, and the republican government auctioned them off to the highest bidder, Nicolas Defer de la Nouerre, in 1794.

Romanée-Conti vineyard

Romanée-Conti vineyard

In the mid-nineteenth century, like many European vineyards, the Domaine Romanée-Conti was affected by the phylloxera epidemic, but it was one of the last vineyards of Burgundy to replace the old blighted vines with new ones originating from grafts on to the blight-resistant American rootstocks. This reconstitution task was only completed after World War II, in 1947.
Brie and Portobello Mushroom Recipe: https://nobility.org/2012/01/19/brie-recipes/

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February 20 – Pope Martin V

February 19, 2024

Pope Martin V

(Oddone Colonna)

John the Evangelist and Pope Martin V, painting by Masolino da Panicale.

John the Evangelist and Pope Martin V, painting by Masolino da Panicale.

Born at Genazzano in the Campagna di Roma, 1368; died at Rome, 20 Feb., 1431. He studied at the University of Perugia, became prothonotary Apostolic under Urban VI, papal auditor and nuncio at various Italian courts under Boniface IX, and was administrator of the Diocese of Palestrina from 15 December 1401, to 1405, and from 18 to 23 September, 1412. On 12 June, 1402 he was made Cardinal Deacon of San Giorgio in Velabro. He deserted the lawful pope, Gregory XII, was present at the council of Pisa, and took part in the election of the antipopes Alexander V and John XXIII. At the Council of Constance he was, after a conclave of three days, unanimously elected pope on on 11 November, 1417 by the representatives of the five nations (Germany, France, Italy, Spain and England) and took the name Martin V in honor of the saint of Tours whose feast fell on the day of his election. Being then only sub deacon, he was ordained deacon on 12, and priest on 13, and was consecrated bishop on 14 November. On 21 November he was crowned pope in the great court of the episcopal palace of Constance. (Concerning his further activity at the council see COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE.)

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Andreas Hofer

Andreas Hofer

Andreas Hofer

A patriot and soldier, born at St. Leonhard in Passeyrthale, Tyrol, 22 Nov., 1767; executed at Mantua, 20 Feb., 1810. His father was known as the “Sandwirth” (i. e., landlord of the inn on the sandy spit of land formed by the Passeyr. The inn had been in the family for over one hundred years). Hofer’s education was very limited. As a youth, he was engaged in the wine and horse trade, but he went farther afield, learned to know men of every class, and even acquired a knowledge of Italian that stood him in good stead later. After his marriage with Anna Ladurner, he took over his father’s business, which, however, did not flourish in his hands. Gifted, though not a genius, a dashing but upright young man, loyal to his God and his sovereign, he made many friends by his straightforward character; his stately figure and flowing beard contributing in no small degree to his attractiveness. When the Tyrol was handed over to Bavaria at the Peace of Presburg, the “Sandwirth” was among the delegates who escorted the departing Archduke John. Thenceforth he attended quietly to his own affairs until, in 1806, he was called to Vienna with others, and was informed of the proposed uprising in the Tyrol. At the outset of the rebellion he was by no means its chief, but acquired fame as a leader mainly by his capture of a Bavarian detachment in the marsh of Sterzing. Hofer was not engaged in the first capture of Innsbruck, being then an officer on the southern frontier with the title of “Imperial Royal Commandant”. When the French broke victoriously into the Tyrol and occupied Innsbruck, he issued a general summons to the people, which roused many patriots and drew them to his standard. The fact that the enemy, underestimating the strength of the popular party, left only a small garrison of troops, favoured their cause. After various skirmishes Hofer’s men broke into Innsbruck on 30 May. The real battle came off at Berg Isel. The “Sandwirth” took no part in the conflict; nevertheless he directed it with skill and success.

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St. Peter Damian

Doctor of the Church, Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia, born at Ravenna “five years after the death of the Emperor Otto III,” 1007; died at Faenza, 21 Feb., 1072.

He was the youngest of a large family. His parents were noble, but poor. At his birth an elder brother protested against this new charge on the resources of the family with such effect that his mother refused to suckle him and the babe nearly died. A family retainer, however, fed the starving child and by example and reproaches recalled his mother to her duty.

Left an orphan in early years, he was at first adopted by an elder brother, who ill-treated and under-fed him while employing him as a swineherd. The child showed signs of great piety and of remarkable intellectual gifts, and after some years of this servitude another brother, who was archpriest at Ravenna, had pity on him and took him away to be educated. This brother was called Damian and it was generally accepted that St. Peter added this name to his own in grateful recognition of his brother’s kindness. He made rapid progress in his studies, first at Ravenna, then at Faenza, finally at the University of Parma, and when about twenty-five years old was already a famous teacher at Parma and Ravenna. But, though even then much given to fasting and to other mortifications, he could not endure the scandals and distractions of university life and decided (about 1035) to retire from the world. While meditating on his resolution he encountered two hermits of Fonte-Avellana, was charmed with their spirituality and detachment, and desired to join them. Encouraged by them Peter, after a forty days’ retreat in a small cell, left his friends secretly and made his way to the hermitage of Fonte-Avellana. Here he was received, and, to his surprise, clothed at once with the monastic habit.

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(October 11, 1818 – February 22, 1878)

Belgian nun. She founded the Sisters of Mary Reparatrix. She took the name Mary of Jesus.

The daughter of Émile d’Oultremont (fr) and Marie-Charlotte de Lierneux de Presles, she was born at Wégimont Castle. Her father served as Belgian ambassador to the Holy See in Rome. In 1837, she married Victor van der Linden d’Hooghvorst; the couple had four children. Her husband died in 1847.

Portrait of Bl. Émilie d’Oultremont, Mother Marie of Jesus.

In 1854, while praying at a chapel in Bauffe, she experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Feeling that she had been called to religious life, she moved to Paris and set up a small religious community in her home. In 1857, she established a convent at Strasbourg; she founded the Sisters of Mary Reparatrix later that year.

She died in Florence, Italy at the age of 59.

Mother Mary of Jesus was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1997.

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Savoir Faire, Savoir Dire

February 15, 2024

Schönbrunn Palace

The young archduchess was the sixth daughter and ninth child of Francis of Lorraine, Emperor of Germany, and of the illustrious Maria Theresa. A story is told that one evening in the early autumn of 1755, when the empress was receiving at Schönbrunn, she laughingly asked the Duke von Tarouka, “Shall I have a boy or a girl?” “A prince, without doubt, Madame,” replied the courtier. “Well,” Maria Theresa answered, “I wager two ducats that I shall give birth to a girl.” Some time after, the child was born. The Duke von Tarouka lost; he sent the amount of the bet to the empress enclosed in this ingenious quatrain of the poet Metastasio: –

“I have lost: the august girl has condemned me to pay. But if it be true that she resembles you, then all the world has gained.”

The Life of Marie Antoinette, Volume 1 By Maxime de La Rocheterie, Chapter 1, pg 1-2.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 766

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Coronation of the Virgin and the Heavenly Hosts by Jacobello del Fiore

In order that one know the inferior orders, it is necessary to know the angelic order. Still, St. Thomas affirms that it is possible for God to create beings ab eterno. Were they to exist, these non-existent beings would form a determined order, and the inferior orders, including that of the angels, would be subordinate to this order.

Therefore, there is a level between God and creation that exists metaphysically in the realm of possibility, but that was not created.

Let us imagine that, in an aristocratic republic, an artist is asked to design a coat of arms for various nobles of the republic.

Coat of Arms of John of Austria

He thinks in the following manner: I am going to imagine how the coat of arms of this republic would be if it had a king, and thus will I design it. Then, I will design the coats of arms of the nobility in function of it.

As it had no king, the coat of arms of the king does not exist in the heraldry of the republic. But in the artist’s conception it existed, and the other coats of arms were disposed in function of it. He who wants to know the other coats of arms well must know that ideal, albeit unmade, coat of arms, that exists only as a design.

The Coat of Arms given to St. Joan of Arc and her family by King Charles VII of France.

A good book on heraldry would include this coat of arms saying: all the coats of arms that exist are a participation in this one that doesn’t exist.

[Thus, those beings created ab eterno] constitute an order that doesn’t exist save in the realm of thought, yet these are the standard that does truly exist.

Something of the organizing principles of these beings governs the inferior beings. These principles exist in God, and as such they have a [rector?] effect over the inferior beings.

Coat of Arms Austria-Hungary

God caused this ideal order to be reflected and to be realized (by way of reflection) in one way or another here on earth.

The consideration of the beings created ab eterno gives us a lesson in supremacy. Meaning, it gives us a much higher and more complete idea of supremacy itself, that is God, an idea most capable of filling our soul.

O Universo é uma Catedral: Excertos do pensamento de Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira recolhidos por Leo Daniele, Edições Brasil de Amanhã, São Paulo, 1997.

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Ferdinand II

Portrait of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (1578-1637)

Emperor, eldest son of Archduke Karl and the Bavarian Princess Maria, b. 1578; d. 15 February, 1637. In accordance with Ferdinand I’s disposition of his possessions, Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola fell to his son Karl. As Karl died in 1590, when his eldest son was only twelve years old, the government of these countries had to be entrusted to a regent during the minority of Ferdinand. The latter began his studies under the Jesuits at Graz, and continued them in company with Maximilian of Bavaria at the University of Ingolstadt, also in charge of the Jesuits. According to the testimony of his professors, he displayed remarkable diligence, made rapid progress in the mathematical sciences, and above all gave evidence of a deeply religious spirit. On the completion of his studies, he took up the reins of government, although not yet quite seventeen. During a subsequent visit to Italy he made a vow in the sanctuary of Loreto to banish all heresy from the territories which might fall under his rule. He was of middle height, compact build, with reddish-blonde hair and blue eyes. His dress and the cut of his hair suggested the Spaniard, but his easy bearing towards all with whom he came into contact was rather German than Spanish. Even in the heat of conflict, a sense of justice and equity never deserted him. On two occasions, when his tenure of power was imperilled, he was unflinching and showed a true greatness of mind. Ferdinand was a man of unspotted morals, but lacking in statesman-like qualities and independence of judgment. He was wont to lay the responsibility for important measures on his counsellors (Freiherr von Eggenberg, Graf von Harrach, the Bohemian Chancellor, Zdencko von Lobkowitz, Cardinal-Prince Dietrichstein, etc.). Liberal even to prodigality, his exchequer was always low. In pursuance of the principle laid down by the Diet of Augsburg, 1555 (cuius regio eius et religio), he established the Counter-Reformation in his three duchies, while his cousin Emperor Rudolf II reluctantly recognized the Reformation.

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February 15 – Pope Lucius II

February 15, 2024

Pope Lucius II

(Gherardo Caccianemici dal Orso)

Born at Bologna, unknown date, died at Rome, 15 February, 1145. Before entering the Roman Curia he was a canon regular in Bologna. In 1124 Honorius II created him Cardinal-Priest of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. From 1125-1126 he was papal legate in Germany where he took part in the election of King Lothair III in 1125, was instrumental in the appointment of St. Norbert as Bishop of Magdeburg in July, 1126, and helped settle the quarrel concerning the filling of the See of Wurzburg, after Bishop Gebhard had been deposed by papal authority in 1126. During the pontificate of Innocent II (1130-43) we find him three times as legate in Germany, viz., in the years 1130-1, 1133-4, and 1136. In all these legations he loyally supported the interests of Innocent II, and it must be ascribed chiefly to his exertions that Lothair III made two expeditions to Italy for the purpose of protecting Innocent II against the antipope, Anacletus II. Towards the end of the pontificate of Innocent II he was appointed papal chancellor and librarian. He was elected and consecrated pope at Rome on 12 March, 1144, to succeed Celestine II who had reigned only five months and twelve days.

Pope Lucius II, coat of arms

The new pope took the name of Lucius II; shortly after his accession he had a conference with King Roger of Sicily at Ceperano early in June, 1144, for the purpose of reaching an understanding with the king regarding his duties as a vassal of the Apostolic See. Roger’s demands, however, were so extravagant that Lucius on the advice of his cardinals rejected them. The king now had recourse to arms and Lucius was forced to conclude a truce on terms that were dictated by Roger. In Rome affairs were even less promising. Lucius, indeed, had succeeded in dissolving the senate which had been reluctantly established by Innocent II and which had practically wrested the temporal power from the pope, but encouraged by the success of King Roger of Sicily, the republican faction now elected Pierleoni, a brother of the antipope Anacletus, as senator and demanded that the pope should relinquish all temporal matters into his hands. After vainly calling upon Emperor Conrad for protection, Lucius II marched upon the Capitol at the head of a small army but suffered defeat. If we may believe the statement of Godfrey of Viterbo in his “Pantheon” (Muratori, “Script. rer. Ital.”, VII, 461; and P.L., CXCVIII, 988) Lucius II was severely injured by stones that were thrown upon him on this occasion and died a few days later. At a synod held in Rome during May, 1144, he settled the prolonged dispute between the Metropolitan of Tours and the Bishop of Dol by making the latter suffragan of the former. He requested Abbot Peter of Cluny to send thirteen of his monks to Rome and upon their arrival gave them the monastery of St. Sabas on the Aventine on 19 January, 1145. He founded a few other monasteries in Italy and Germany and was especially well disposed towards the recently instituted Order of the Premonstratensians. His epistles and privileges are printed in P.L., CLXXIX, 823-936.

JAFFE, Regesta pontificum Romanorum (Leipzig, 1885-8); WATTERICH, Pontificum Romanorum vitae (Leipzig, 1862), 278-281; HEFELE, Conciliengeschichte, V (Freiburg, 1886), 492 sq.; GRISAR in Kirchenlex., also the histories of the city of Rome by GREGOROVIUS and VON REUMONT.

MICHAEL OTT (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Francis Anthony Drexel

Francis Anthony Drexel, the father of St. Katharine Drexel

Banker, b. at Philadelphia, U.S.A., 20 June, 1824; d. there 15 Feb., 1885. He was the oldest son of Francis Martin Drexel, a Tyrolese by birth, and by profession a portrait-painter and musician, who in 1837 turned his attention to finance, and founded the house of Drexel & Co. in Philadelphia with connections with the firms of J. S. Morgan & Co. of New York, and Drexel, Harjes & Co. of Paris. Associated with him were his sons Francis Anthony, Anthony Joseph, and Joseph William. Francis Anthony began his financial career at the age of thirteen, and at his father’s death in 1863 became the senior member of the firm, and was recognized as one of America’s foremost financiers. The house of Drexel & Co. was in the public estimation unalterably associated with the strictest integrity and the most broadminded liberality. At critical periods it came generously to the support of the public credit. Francis A. Drexel’s growing fortune did not alienate him from religion or harden his heart against the appeals of charity. He remained to the end poor in spirit, and regarded his vast wealth merely as a Divinely lent instrument for doing good. In his exercises of piety and his copious distribution of charities, he was ably seconded by his second wife, Emma Bouvier Drexel, who died before him. His children by his first wife, who was Hannah J. Langstroth, were Elizabeth, who died 26 September, 1890, and was the wife of Walter George Smith, of Philadelphia, and Katherine, who entered religion and founded the congregation of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Coloured People (q.v.).

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Ven. Luis de Lapuente

(Also, D’Aponte, de Ponte, Dupont).

Born at Valladolid, 11 November, 1554; died there, 16 February 1624. Having entered the Society of Jesus, he studied under the celebrated Suarez, and professed philosophy at Salamanca. Endowed with exceptional talents for government and the formation of young religious, he was forced by impaired health to retire from offices which he had filled with distinction and general satisfaction. The years that followed were devoted to literary composition. Though not reckoned among Spanish classics, his works are so replete with practical spirituality that they claim for him a place among the most eminent masters of asceticism. Ordaind priest in 1580, he became the spiritual director of the celebrated Marina de Escobar, in which office he continued till his death. In 1599 he devoted himself with great charity to the care of the plague-stricken in Villagarcia. Of remarkable innocence of life, he not only avoided all grievous sin, but bound himself by vow, some years before his death, to avoid as far as human weakness permitted even venial faults. Besides a mystical commentary in Latin on the Canticle of Canticles, he wrote in Spanish: ” Life of Father Baltasar Alvarez”; “Life of Marina de Escobar”; “Spiritual Directory for Confession, Communion and the Sacrifice of the Mass”; “The Christian Life” (4 vols.), and “Meditations on the Mysteries of Our Holy Faith”, by which he is best known to English readers. This last work has been translated into ten languages, including Arabic. A few years after his death, the Sacred Congregation of Rites admitted the cause of his beatification and canonization.

HENRY J. SWIFT (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Barnabas of Terni

(Interamna)

The hermitage of Eremo delle Carceri at Monte Subasio, in Umbria, Italy.

Friar Minor and missionary, d. 1474 (or 1477). He belonged to the noble family of the Manassei and was a man of great learning, being Doctor of Medicine and well versed in letters and philosophy. Despising the honours and vanities of the world, he entered the Order of Friars Minor in the Umbria province of the order and practised, with unusual fervour, every virtue of the religious life. After devoting himself assiduously to the study of theology, Barnabas began to preach with wonderful success, but a severe illness obliged him to abandon this work. Although gifted with the grace of prayer and contemplation in an eminent degree, he was almost continually employed in different offices of importance, for which his prudence, kindness, and affability well fitted him. By word and example he proved himself a zealous promoter of that branch of the order known as the Observance. He died at the hermitage of the Carceri on Mount Subiaco at an advanced age and his remains were deposited there in the Chapel of St. Mary Magdelene. He is commemorated in the Franciscan martyrology on 17 February. To Barnabas belongs the honour of having established the first of the celebrated monti di pietà, or charitable loan-institutions, designed to protect poor people against the outrageous usury of the Jews. After consulting his fellow religious Fortunatus Coppoli, who had been an eminent jurisconsult, and with the generous co-operation of the wealthy Perugians, Barnabas established the first monte di pietà in their city in 1462. Violent opposition ensued, but Barnabas and Fortunatus prevailed over their enemies at a public disputation. Barnabas next extended his work to other cities; it was enthusiastically taken up by several great Franciscan missionaries, and in their day, the monti di pietà wonderfully improved the social conditions of Italy.

Wadding, Annales Minorum (2d ed.), XIV, 93, XV, 318; Holzapfel, Die Anfanger der Montes Pietatis (Munich, 1903), 35 passim.

Thomas Plassmann (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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February 17 – He suffered a three-fold death agony

February 15, 2024

Blessed Francis Regis Clet A Lazarist missionary in China; b. 1748, martyred, 18 Feb., 1820. His father was a merchant of Grenoble in France, his mother’s name was Claudine Bourquy. He was the tenth of fifteen children. The family was deeply religious, several members of it having consecrated themselves to God. Francis attended the Jesuit […]

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February 18 – Fra Angelico brought part of heaven to earth

February 15, 2024

Blessed Fra Angelico A famous painter of the Florentine school, born near Castello di Vicchio in the province of Mugello, Tuscany, 1387; died at Rome, 1455. He was christened Guido, and his father’s name being Pietro he was known as Guido, or Guidolino, di Pietro, but his full appellation today is that of “Blessed Fra […]

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St. Frideswide – February 12

February 12, 2024

St. Frideswide (FRIDESWIDA, FREDESWIDA, Fr. FRÉVISSE, Old Eng. FRIS). Virgin, patroness of Oxford, lived from about 650 to 735. According to her legend, in its latest form, she was the child of King Didan and Safrida, and was brought up to holiness by Algiva. She refused the proffered hand of King Algar, a Mercian, and […]

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Tadeusz Kosciuszko – February 12

February 12, 2024

Tadeusz Kosciuszko Polish patriot and soldier, b. near Novogrudok, Lithuania, Poland, 12 February, 1752; d. at Solothurn, Switzerland, 15 October, 1817. He was educated at the military schools of Warsaw and Versailles, and attained the rank of captain in the Polish army. When the American Revolution broke out he embarked for the scene of conflict […]

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Saint Eulalia of Barcelona – February 12

February 12, 2024

Saint Eulalia of Barcelona A Spanish martyr in the persecution of Diocletian (February 12, 304), patron of the cathedral and city of Barcelona, also of sailors. The Acts of her life and martyrdom were copied early in the twelfth century, and with elegant conciseness, by the learned ecclesiastic Renallus Grammaticus (Bol. acad. hist., Madrid, 1902, […]

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February 13 – St. Catherine de Ricci

February 12, 2024

St. Catherine de Ricci, Virgin (AD 1522 – 1589) The Ricci are an ancient family, which still subsists in a flourishing condition in Tuscany. Peter de Ricci, the father of our saint, was married to Catherine Bonza, a lady of suitable birth. The saint was born at Florence in 1522, and called at her baptism […]

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St. Fulcran – February 13

February 12, 2024

St. Fulcran Bishop of Lodève; died 13 February, 1006. According to the biography which Bernard Guidonis, Bishop of Lodève (died 1331), has left us his saintly predecessor, Fulcran came of a distinguished family, consecrated himself at an early age to the service of the Church, became a priest, and from his youth led a pure […]

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February 14 – Renounced Earthly Nobility To Obtain Heavenly Nobility

February 12, 2024

Sts. Cyril and Methodius These brothers, the Apostles of the Slavs, were born in Thessalonica, in 827 and 826 respectively. Though belonging to a senatorial family they renounced secular honors and became priests. They were living in a monastery on the Bosphorus, when the Khazars sent to Constantinople for a Christian teacher. Cyril was selected […]

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Louis XVI Gives a Marriage Dowry to 100 Poor French Girls

February 8, 2024

On February 9th, 1779 (in the narrative of Louise de Grandpré, to whom the study of Notre Dame has been a veritable passion), a large crowd pressed towards the cathedral; the ground was strewed with fresh grass and flowers and leaves; the pillars were decorated with many coloured banners. In the choir the vestments of […]

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Even higher…

February 8, 2024

The principals that exist in the various orders of being are a repetition of the higher principles that exist in the general order of beings. Therefore, in order to know well the order of a being it is necessary to know the order of beings superior to it, because the order of one level of […]

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February 8 – Mary Queen of Scots

February 8, 2024

Mary Queen of Scots Mary Stuart, born at Linlithgow, 8 December, 1542; died at Fotheringay, 8 February, 1587. She was the only legitimate child of James V of Scotland. His death (14 December) followed immediately after her birth, and she became queen when only six days old. The Tudors endeavored by war to force on […]

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February 8 – Saint John of Matha, a strong and mighty Angel

February 8, 2024

Saint John of Matha Founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity. He was born into Provencal nobility in 1154 at Faucon-de-Barcelonnette, France. As a youth, he was educated at Aix-en-Provence, and later studied theology at the University of Paris. While in Paris, he was urged by a vision during his first Mass to […]

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February 9 – Johann Georg von Eckhart

February 8, 2024

Eckhart, Johann Georg von (called Eccard before he was ennobled), German historian, b. at Duingen in the principality of Kalenberg, September 7, 1664; d. at Würzburg, February 9, 1730. After a good preparatory training at Schulpforta he went to Leipzig, where at first, at the desire of his mother, he studied theology, but soon turned […]

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February 9 – Marianus Scotus

February 8, 2024

MARIANUS SCOTUS, Abbot of St. Peter’s at Ratisbon, born in Ireland before the middle of the eleventh century; died at Ratisbon towards the end of the eleventh century, probably in 1088. In 1067 he left his native country, intending to make a pilgrimage to Rome. Like many of his countrymen, however, who visited the Continent, […]

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February 9 – Mother of the Orphans

February 8, 2024

Margaret Haughery, “the mother of the orphans”, as she was familiarly styled, b. in Cavan, Ireland, about 1814; d. at New Orleans, Louisiana, 9 February, 1882. Her parents, Charles and Margaret O’Rourke Gaffney, died at Baltimore, Maryland, in 1822 and she was left to her own resources and was thus deprived of acquiring a knowledge […]

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February 9 – Patroness of those suffering from toothaches

February 8, 2024

St. Apollonia A holy virgin who suffered martyrdom in Alexandria during a local uprising against the Christians previous to the persecution of Decius (end of 248, or beginning of 249). During the festivities commemorative of the first millenary of the Roman Empire, the agitation of the heathen populace rose to a great height, and when […]

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February 11 – St. Benedict of Aniane

February 8, 2024

St. Benedict of Aniane Born about 745-750; died at Cornelimünster, 11 February, 821. Benedict, originally known as Witiza, son of the Goth, Aigulf, Count of Maguelone in Southern France, was educated at the Frankish court of Pepin, and entered the royal service. He took part in the Italian campaign of Charlemagne (773), after which he […]

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February 10 – He fought socialism in both its Nazi and Soviet form, and paid for it with his life

February 8, 2024

BL. ALOJZIJE STEPINAC was born into a large Catholic family on 8 May 1898 in Krasic. After graduation from high school in 1916, he completed military service during World War I. In 1924 he decided to study for the priesthood and was sent to Rome, where he attended the Pontifical Germanicum-Hungaricum College. He earned doctorates […]

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February 10 – God Gave Her What Her Brother Would Not

February 8, 2024

St. Scholastica, Virgin (c. 480 – 10 February 547) This saint was sister to the great St. Benedict. She consecrated herself to God from her earliest youth, as St. Gregory testifies. Where her first monastery was situated is not mentioned; but after her brother removed to Mount Cassino, she choose her retreat at Plombariola, in […]

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February 5 – St. Agatha

February 5, 2024

St. Agatha   One of the most highly venerated virgin martyrs of Christian antiquity, put to death for her steadfast profession of faith in Catania, Sicily. Although it is uncertain in which persecution this took place, we may accept, as probably based on ancient tradition, the evidence of her legendary life, composed at a later […]

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February 5 – He put the Bible to verse and prose

February 5, 2024

St. Avitus (Alcimus Ecdicius). A distinguished bishop of Vienne, in Gaul, from 490 to about 518, though his death is place by some as late as 525 or 526. He was born of a prominent Gallo-Roman family closely related to the Emperor Avitus and other illustrious persons, and in which episcopal honors were hereditary. In […]

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February 6 – St. Dorothea

February 5, 2024

St. Dorothea Virgin and martyr, suffered during the persecution of Diocletian, 6 February, 311, at Caesarea in Cappadocia. She was brought before the prefect Sapricius, tried, tortured, and sentenced to death. On her way to the place of execution the pagan lawyer Theophilus said to her in mockery: “Bride of Christ, send me some fruits […]

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February 6 – Pope Clement XII

February 5, 2024

Pope Clement XII (LORENZO CORSINI). Born at Florence, 7 April, 1652; elected 12 July, 1730; died at Rome 6 February, 1740. The pontificate of the saintly Orsini pope, Benedict XIII, from the standpoint of the spiritual interests of the Church, had left nothing to be desired. He had, however, given over temporal concerns into the […]

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February 6 – “No priest, no Mass”

February 5, 2024

Edmund Plowden Born 1517-8; died in London, 6 Feb., 1584-5. Son of Humphrey Plowden of Plowden Hall, Shropshire, and Elizabeth his wife, educated at Cambridge, he took no degree. In 1538 he was called to the Middle Temple where he studied law so closely that he became the greatest lawyer of his age, as is […]

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February 7 – Liberal to Anti-liberal

February 5, 2024

Pope Blessed Pius IX (GIOVANNI MARIA MASTAI-FERRETTI). Pope from 1846-78; born at Sinigaglia, 13 May, 1792; died in Rome, 7 February, 1878. BEFORE HIS PAPACY His early years. After receiving his classical education at the Piarist College in Volterra from 1802-09 he went to Rome to study philosophy and theology, but left there in 1810 […]

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Teach Them Young

February 1, 2024

Another time, the winter having been excessively severe in Vienna, and all work consequently suspended, the suffering among the working classes was very great. As they were discussing it one evening at the palace in the family drawing-room, Marie Antoinette approached her mother, and gave her a box. “There are fifty-five ducats,” she said; “’t […]

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Two ways: using or despising creatures

February 1, 2024

God Our Lord gave us creatures that they may serve us in our attaining Himself. Thus, it is fitting that culture and art, inspired by the Faith, make evident all the beauties of irrational creation and the splendors of talent and virtue possessed by the human soul. This is what is called Christian Culture and […]

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February 1 – “The sublime genius of the man”

February 1, 2024

Saint Ephraem (Ephrem, Ephraim) Born at Nisibis, then under Roman rule, early in the fourth century; died June, 373. The name of his father is unknown, but he was a pagan and a priest of the goddess Abnil or Abizal. His mother was a native of Amid. Ephraem was instructed in the Christian mysteries by […]

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February 1 – She and Saint Patrick were “one heart and one mind”

February 1, 2024

Saint Brigid of Ireland Born in 451 or 452 of princely ancestors at Faughart, near Dundalk, County Louth; d. 1 February, 525, at Kildare. Refusing many good offers of marriage, she became a nun and received the veil from St. Macaille. With seven other virgins she settled for a time at the foot of Croghan […]

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February 2 – “Though in chains, he is as gay as a little bird”

February 1, 2024

St. Théophane Vénard (JEAN-THÉOPHANE VÉNARD.) French missionary, born at St-Loup, Diocese of Poitiers, 1829; martyred in Tonkin, 2 February, 1861. He studied at the College of Doue-la-Fontaine, Montmorillon, Poitiers, and at the Paris Seminary for Foreign Missions which he entered as a sub-deacon. Ordained priest 5 June, 1852, he departed for the Far East, 19 […]

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February 3 – His crime was to call the queen a schismatic

February 1, 2024

Blessed John Nelson English Jesuit martyr, b. at Skelton, four miles from York, in 1534; d. at Tyburn, 3 February, 1577-78. He went to Douay in 1573, and two of his four brothers followed his example and became priests. He was ordained priest at Binche, in Hainault, by Mgr Louis de Berlaymont, Archbishop of Cambrai, […]

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February 4 – Probably the most learned man of his age

February 1, 2024

  (Hrabanus, Rhabanus) Abbot of Fulda, Archbishop of Mainz, celebrated theological and pedagogical writer of the ninth century, born at Mainz about 776 (784?); died at Winkel (Vinicellum) near Mainz on 4 February, 856. He took vows at an early age in the Benedictine monastery of Fulda, and was ordained deacon in 801. A year […]

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February 4 – Patron of Armenia

February 1, 2024

Gregory the Illuminator Born 257?; died 337?, surnamed the Illuminator (Lusavorich). Gregory the Illuminator is the apostle, national saint, and patron of Armenia. He was not the first who introduced Christianity into that country. The Armenians maintain that the faith was preached there by the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddaeus. Thaddaeus especially (the hero of the […]

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February 4 – Sent into Muslim lands, he sought to preach to the Sultan

February 1, 2024

St. Joseph of Leonessa In the world named Eufranio Desiderio, born in 1556 at Leonessa in Umbria; died 4 February, 1612. From his infancy he showed a remarkably religious bent of mind; he used to erect little altars and spend much time in prayer before them, and often he would gather his companions and induce […]

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January 29 – Noble enough to cover five contemporary kings with invective

January 29, 2024

St. Gildas Surnamed the Wise; born about 516; died at Houat, Brittany, 570. Sometimes he is called “Badonicus” because, as he tells us, his birth took place the year the Britons gained a famous victory over the Saxons at Mount Badon, near Bath, Somersetshire (493 or 516). The biographies of Gildas exist — one written […]

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January 30 – Dom Guéranger

January 29, 2024

Prosper Louis Pascal Guéranger Benedictine and polygraph; b. 4 April, 1805, at Sablé-sur-Sarthe; d. at Solesmes, 30 January, 1875. Ordained a priest 7 October, 1827, he was administrator of the parish of the Missions Etrangères until near the close of 1830. He then left Paris and returned to Mans, where he began to publish various […]

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January 30 – Pope St. Felix IV

January 29, 2024

Pope St. Felix IV (Reigned 526–530). On 18 May, 526, Pope John I (q.v.) died in prison at Ravenna, a victim of the angry suspicions of Theodoric, the Arian king of the Goths. When, through the powerful influence of this ruler, the cardinal-priest, Felix of Samnium, son of Castorius, was brought forward in Rome as […]

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January 30 – Sir Everard Digby

January 29, 2024

Sir Everard Digby Born 16 May, 1578, died 30 Jan., 1606. Everard Digby, whose father bore the same Christian name, succeeded in his fourteenth year to large properties in the Counties of Lincoln, Leicester, and Rutland. Arrived at man’s estate, he was distinguished for his great stature and bodily strength as well as for his […]

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January 30 – St. Martina

January 29, 2024

St. Martina Roman virgin, martyred in 226, according to some authorities, more probably in 228, under the pontificate of Pope Urban I, according to others. The daughter of an ex-consul and left an orphan at an early age, she so openly testified to her Christian faith that she could not escape the persecutions under Alexander […]

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January 31 – St. John Bosco Meets His First Noble Patroness

January 29, 2024

Juliette Colbert, a native of Vendée, had married Marquis Tancredi Falletti of Barolo, and of her it could be said, even as we read of Tabitha in the Acts of the Apostles: “This woman had devoted herself to good works and acts of charity.” Indeed, she used her abundant wealth to help the working classes […]

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