June 17 – Sobieski

June 17, 2024

John III Sobieski (Polish: Jan III Sobieski, Lithuanian: Jonas Sobieskis; 17 August 1629 – 17 June 1696)

Painting of John III Sobieski by Daniel Schultz

Painting of John III Sobieski by Daniel Schultz

Born at Olesko in 1629; died at Wilanow, 1696; son of James, Castellan of Cracow and descended by his mother from the heroic Zolkiewski, who died in battle at Cecora. His elder brother Mark was his companion in arms from the time of the great Cossack rebellion (1648), and fought at Zbaraz, Beresteczko, and lastly at Batoh where, after being taken prisoner, he was murdered by the Tatars. John, the last of all the family, accompanied Czarniecki in the expedition to Denmark; then, under George Lubomirski, he fought the Muscovites at Cudnow. Lubomirski revolting, he remained faithful to the king (John Casimir), became successively Field Hetman, Grand Marshal, and — after Revera Potocki’s death — Grand Hetman or Commander-in-chief. His first exploit as Hetman was in Podhajce, where, besieged by an army of Cossacks and Tatars, he at his own expense raised 8000 men and stored the place with wheat, baffling the foe so completely that they retired with great loss. When, in 1672, under Michael Wisniowiecki’s reign, the Turks seized Kamieniec, Sobieski beat them again and again, till at the crowning victory of Chocim they lost 20,000 men and a great many guns. This gave Poland breathing space, and Sobieski became a national hero, so that, King Michael dying at that time, he was unanimously elected king in 1674. Before his coronation he was forced to drive back the Turkish hordes, that had once more invaded the country; he beat them at Lemberg in 1675, arriving in time to raise siege of Trembowla, and to save Chrzanowski and his heroic wife, its defenders. Scarcely crowned, he hastened to fight in the Ruthenian provinces. Having too few soldiers (20,000) to attack the Turks, who were ten to one, he wore them out, entrenching himself at Zurawno, letting the enemy hem him in for a fortnight, extricating himself with marvellous skill and courage, and finally regaining by treaty a good part of the Ukraine.

A statue of Jan III Sobieski in Prezmyśl (South-East Poland).

A statue of Jan III Sobieski in Prezmyśl (South-East Poland).

For some time there was peace: the Turks had learned to dread the “Unvanquished Northern Lion”, and Poland, too was exhausted. But soon the Sultan turned his arms against Austria. Passing through Hungary, a great part which had for one hundred and fifty years been in Turkish hands, and enormous army, reckoned at from 210,000 to 300,000 men (the latter figures are Sobieski’s) marched forward. The Emperor Leopold fled from Vienna, and begged Sobieski’s aid, which the papal nuncio also implored. Though dissuaded by Louis XIV, whose policy was always hostile to Austria, Sobieski hesitated not a instant. Meanwhile (July, 1683) the Grand Vizier Kara Mustapha, had arrived before Vienna, and laid siege to the city, defended by the valiant Imperial General Count Stahremberg, with a garrison of only 15,000 men, exposed to the horrors of disease and fire, as well as to hostile attacks. Subscription14

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From the allocution of Pius IX to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility on June 17, 1871:

Louis VII receiving the oriflamme by Jean-Baptiste Mauzaisse

One day a Cardinal, a Roman prince, presented his nephew to one of my Predecessors, who on that occasion made a very true statement: that thrones should be upheld principally through the nobility and clergy. For there is no denying that nobility, too, is a gift from God, and although Our Lord chose to be born in a stable, in two Gospels we can read His long genealogy, showing His descent from princes and kings. You must use your privilege worthily, and keep the principle of legitimacy sacred.

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Continue, therefore, to use this prerogative wisely; one truly noble use of it would be toward those who, though belonging to your class, do not subscribe to your principles. A few loving words from good friends could have a great influence on their minds, and a few prayers an even greater one. Tolerate with a generous heart the disagreements you may encounter. May God bless you your whole life long, as I pray Him to do with all my heart.


Discorsi del Sommo Pontefice Pio IX (Rome: Tipografia di G. Aureli, 1872), Vol. I, p. 127 in Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Documents IV, p. 469.

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By Jeremias Wells

Saint Ferdinand III of Castile – Part I

King Alfonso VIII of Castile, the great leader of Las Navas de Tolosa, left two daughters who became queen mothers of two young kings, both of whom developed into illustrious warriors, crusaders, and saints. Because Alfonso’s two sons died in their youth, one from illness in 1211 and the other from a tragic accident in 1217, their sister, Berenguela, rose to the throne of Castile.

King Alfonso VIII of Castile

However, realizing that it was improper for a woman to occupy the throne in this most chivalrous state, she renounced her kingdom to her first born son, Ferdinand III, then only eighteen.  Blanche, the second daughter, married King Louis VIII of France who, after an exhausting campaign against the remnant of the Albigensian rebellion, died in 1226. Since Louis, his oldest boy, was only twelve at the time, the Queen acted as regent while the young King slowly assumed the control of government during the next two decades. In a remarkable display of piety, both Kings saw the necessity of renouncing any earthly comfort to further the interests of Christendom and their own realms.

Youth of Ferdinand of Castile

Because the future King’s parents were related within the forbidden degree of consanguinity — they were second cousins — Pope Innocent III insisted they separate and, as a result, young Ferdinand was brought up at the court of his grandfather. The serenity of the boy’s life was shattered when a terrible malady overtook him at the age of ten. Consumed by a high fever and horrible restlessness, the devout lad could not eat, sleep, or take any rest. When the poor child developed large repulsive sores which caused unrelieved pain, death seemed imminent. Dona Berenguela took him to a chapel of Our Lady where she prostrated herself on the cold tile floor in front of the main altar and prayed throughout the night. When her servants returned the following morning, they found the boy sleeping soundly.  As a consequence of the miraculous cure, San Fernando from then on dedicated himself to the service of the Blessed Virgin.

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B. Structuralism and Pre-tribal Tendencies

A Sami Family, Norway.

To the extent that one sees the structuralist movement as a more or less exact (but, in any event, precursory) figure of the Fourth Revolution, one must view certain phenomena generalized over the last decade or two as preparing and driving the structuralist impetus.

Thus, the overthrow of the traditions of dress in the West, increasingly eroded by nudism, obviously tends toward the appearance and consolidation of habits that will tolerate, at most, the cincture of feathers worn by certain tribes, substituted, where the cold demands it, with coverings somewhat like those used by the Laplanders.

Amazon Indian 1964

The rapid disappearance of the rules of courtesy can only end up in the absolute simplicity (to use only this qualifier) of tribal manners.

The growing dislike for anything that is reasoned, structured, and systematized, can only lead, in its last paroxysms, to the perpetual and fanciful vagabondage of jungle life, alternating, likewise, with the instinctive and almost mechanical performance of some activities absolutely indispensable to life.

Not a homeless encampment, but Occupy Wall street demonstration.

The aversion to intellectual effort, notably to abstraction, theorization, and doctrinal thought, can only induce, ultimately, a hypertrophy of the senses and of the imagination, resulting in the “civilization of the image,” about which Paul VI felt duty-bound to warn mankind.1

A makeshift garden in the central part of Cal Anderson Park, with tents in the background, on June 17, 2020. This was part of the BLM/CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) protests. Photo by Benjamin Morawek

Also symptomatic are the ever more frequent idyllic eulogies of a cultural revolution that will generate a postindustrial society, still ill-defined but whose first specimen would be — some say is — Chinese communism.

1 “We well know that modern man, overwhelmed by speeches, gives signs of being increasingly tired of listening and, worse still, of being irresponsive to words. We are also aware of the opinions of numerous psychologists and sociologists who affirm that modem man has already transcended the civilization of the word – which has become practically inefficacious and useless – and lives today in the civilization of the image” (Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, December 8, 1975, Documentos Pontificios, 6th ed. [Petropolis: Vozes, 1984], no. 188, p.30).

 

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Part III, Chapter III, pg. 159-160.

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To make peace, she surrendered her son’s rights to the throne

 

(born at Coimbra, October 4, 1178 – died at Lorvão, June 18, 1250)

Blessed Theresa

Queen of Léon as the first wife of King Alfonso IX of León. She was the oldest daughter of Sancho I of Portugal and Dulce of Aragon.

Bl. Theresa of Portugal, Queen of Castile.

Bl. Theresa of Portugal, Queen of Castile.

Theresa was the mother to three of Alfonso’s children—two daughters and a son, who was the heir of the kingdom until his death in 1214—but when her marriage to Alfonso was declared invalid because they were first cousins, she returned to her home in Lorvão, Kingdom of Portugal. There, she founded a Benedictine monastery. Soon after, she converted the monastery into a large Cistercian convent, with over 300 nuns.

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In 1230, Alfonso died after having several children with a second wife, Queen Berengaria of Castile. This second marriage was also annulled because Berengaria was Alfonso’s first cousin once removed. With two invalidated marriages, there was dispute among the children as to who would inherit the throne. Theresa stepped in and allowed Ferdinand III of Castile, Berengaria’s eldest son, to take the throne of León. After the succession dispute, Theresa returned to Lorvão and finally made her vows after years of living as a nun. She died in the convent on June 18, 1250 of natural causes.

The tomb of Bl. Theresa of Portugal at the Lorvao Monastery.

The tomb of Bl. Theresa of Portugal at the Lorvao Monastery.

On December 13, 1705 Theresa was beatified by Pope Clement XI’s papal bull Sollicitudo Pastoralis Offici, along with her sister Sancha of Portugal.

 

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This terrible enemy has a name: It is called the Revolution.

Its profound cause is an explosion of pride and sensuality that has inspired, not one system, but, rather, a whole chain of ideological systems. Their wide acceptance gave rise to the three great revolutions in the history of the West: the Pseudo-Reformation, the French Revolution, and Communism.2

A Homosexual pride march, June 18, 2011. Rainbow flag outstretched in March in front of the government of Les Minimes, Toulouse, Central Pyrenees, France. Photo by Guillaume Paumier.

Pride leads to hatred of all superiority and, thus, to the affirmation that inequality is an evil in itself at all levels, principally at the metaphysical and religious ones. This is the egalitarian aspect of the Revolution.
Sensuality, per se, tends to sweep aside all barriers. It does not accept restraints and leads to revolt against all authority and law, divine or human, ecclesiastical or civil. This is the liberal aspect of the Revolution.

Both aspects, which in the final analysis have a metaphysical character, seem contradictory on many occasions. But they are reconciled in the Marxist utopia of an anarchic paradise where a highly evolved mankind, “emancipated” from religion, would live in utmost order without political authority in total freedom. This, however, would not give rise to any inequality.

One of the signs at the Women’s March 1-21-17. Photo by Edward Kimmel.

The Pseudo-Reformation was a first revolution. It implanted, in varying degrees, the spirit of doubt, religious liberalism, and ecclesiastical egalitarianism in the different sects it produced.

The French Revolution came next. It was the triumph of egalitarianism in two fields: the religious field in the form of atheism, speciously labeled as secularism; and the political field through the false maxim that all inequality is an injustice, all authority a danger, and freedom the supreme good.

In 1990, a campaign to free Lithuania from Communist Russia, which amounted to an incredible 5,218,520 signatures collected worldwide. Each petition sheet had twenty signatures on the front and twenty more on the back. One of the many campaigns over the years by the TFP, both in the US and abroad.

Communism is the transposition of these maxims to the socioeconomic field.

These three revolutions are episodes of one single Revolution, within which socialism, liturgicism, the politique de la main tendue (policy of the extended hand), and the like are only transitional stages or attenuated manifestations.

*          *          *

2. Cf. Leo XIII, apostolic letter Parvenu á la vingt-cinquième année, March 19, 1902, in Fr. John J. Wynne, S.J., The Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII (New York: Benziger Bros., 1903) pp.559-560.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Introduction, Pages 3-4.

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St. Romuald

Statue of St. Romuald in Wigry, Poland.

Born at Ravenna, probably about 950; died at Val-di-Castro, 19 June, 1027.

St. Peter Damian, his first biographer, and almost all the Camaldolese writers assert that St. Romuald’s age at his death was one hundred and twenty, and that therefore he was born about 907. This is disputed by most modern writers. Such a date not only results in a series of improbabilities with regard to events in the saint’s life, but is also irreconcilable with known dates, and probably was determined from some mistaken inference by St. Peter Damian.

In his youth Romuald indulged in the usual thoughtless and even vicious life of the tenth-century noble, yet felt greatly drawn to the eremetical life.

At the age of twenty, struck with horror because his father had killed an enemy in a duel, he fled to the Abbey of San Apollinare-in-Classe and after some hesitation entered religion. San Apollinare had recently been reformed by St. Maieul of Cluny, but still was not strict enough in its observance to satisfy Romuald. His injudicious correction of the less zealous aroused such enmity against him that he applied for, and was readily granted, permission to retire to Venice, where he placed himself under the direction of a hermit named Marinus and lived a life of extraordinary severity.

Investiture of St. Romuald, Painting by Tommaso Dolabella

 

About 978, Pietro Orseolo I, Doge of Venice, who had obtained his office by acquiescence in the murder of his predecessor, began to suffer remorse for his crime. On the advice of Guarinus, Abbot of San Miguel-de-Cuxa, in Catalonia, and of Marinus and Romuald, he abandoned his office and relations, and fled to Cuxa, where he took the habit of St. Benedict, while Romuald and Marinus erected a hermitage close to the monastery. For five years the saint lived a life of great austerity, gathering round him a band of disciples. Then, hearing that his father, Sergius, who had become a monk, was tormented with doubts as to his vocation, he returned in haste to Italy, subjected Sergius to severe discipline, and so resolved his doubts. For the next thirty years St. Romuald seems to have wandered about Italy, founding many monasteries and hermitages. For some time he made Pereum his favourite resting place.

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Herbert Vaughan

June 17, 2024

His Eminence Herbert Alfred Vaughan.

Cardinal, and third Archbishop of Westminster; b. at Gloucester, 15 April, 1832; d. at St. Joseph’s College, Mill Hill, Middlesex, 19 June, 1903; he came of a family which had been true to the Catholic Faith all through the ages of the persecution. Its members had suffered for their faith in fines and imprisonment and double land taxes. Sometimes, too, they suffered for their politics. In the Civil War they sided with Charles I and were nearly ruined. After the Stuart rising in 1715, John Vaughan of Courtfield refused to take the oath of allegiance to the House of Hanover, and two years later his name appears in a list of “Popish Recusants Convict”. When “Prince Charlie” in 1745 raided south to Derby, two of the Vaughans rode back with him to Scotland, and fought by his side at Culloden. Driven into exile, both took service under the Spanish king, and the younger rose to the rank of field-marshal. The son of the elder brother, the great-great-grandfather of the cardinal, was allowed to come back to England and to resume possession of the family estates at Courtfield, in Herefordshire.

Photograph of one of his brothers, Roger William Bede Vaughan, who became Archbishop of Sydney, Australia.

Colonel John Vaughan, the cardinal’s father, married, in 1830, Eliza, daughter of Mr. John Rolls, of the Hendre, Monmouthshire, and an aunt of the first Lord Llangattock. Mrs. Vaughan became a convert to the Catholic Faith shortly before her marriage and was, in many ways, a remarkable woman. It was her habit to spend an hour every day in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, begging of God that He would call her children to serve Him in the choir or in the sanctuary. In the event all her five convents, and of her eight sons six became priests, three of them bishops. Herbert, the eldest born, went to the Jesuit College at Stonyhurst in the spring of 1841, and remained until the summer of 1847. From Stonyhurst he went to the Jesuit College at Brugelette, in Belgium, for three years. From an early age his thoughts had been turned to the priesthood. His mother, writing when he was only fourteen, said she was confident that he would be a priest. His father’s dearest wish was to see him win distinction as an English soldier, but when he was only sixteen he had made up his mind to give himself to the Church. On leaving Brugelette he went to the Benedictines at Downside Abbey for twelve months as an ecclesiastical student. In the autumn of 1851 he arrived in Rome to attend the lectures at the Collegio Romano, and there for a time he shared lodgings with the poet, Aubrey de Vere. The student years in Rome were a time of trial and difficulty. Wretched and incapacitating health made the labour of study a constant strain. In the intimate diary which he kept at this time he constantly reproaches himself for his excessive impetuosity in speech and action. He was ordained, at the age of twenty-two, on 28 October, 1854, at Lucca, and said his first Mass in Florence at the Church of the Annunziata on the following day.

The youngest of the Vaughan siblings, John Stephen Vaughan, who became titular Bishop of Sebastopolis and Auxiliary Bishop in Salford, England.

During all his student years he had hoped to be a missioner in Wales, but at Cardinal Wiseman’s call he now accepted the position of vice-president at St. Edmund’s College, Ware, the principal ecclesiastical seminary for the south of England. He went there in the autumn of 1855, after spending some months in a voyage of discovery among the seminaries of Italy, France, and Germany. Though not yet at the canonical age for the priesthood, and younger than some of the students, he was already vice-president at St. Edmund’s. The position, a difficult one in any case, was made impossible when it became known that the had recently become an Oblate of St. Charles and therefore was a disciple of Manning. At once he was involved in the controversy between Wiseman and his chapter which darkened and embittered the last years of the cardinal’s life. Wiseman was the friend and protector of Manning, and Vaughan was regarded as the representative of a man suspected of a wish to bring all the ecclesiastical education of Southern England under the control of the Oblates. Litigation followed in Rome, and the Oblates eventually withdrew from St. Edmund’s. Vaughan looked back upon his work at St. Edmund’s with a sad sense of frustration. The disappointment worked in two ways. He began to look for external work in the immediate present and, for the future, he dreamed dreams. He collected money and built a church in the county town, Hertford, and founded a mission at Enfield. But he wanted to do something great for God. Since he was a boy his constant prayer had been that whatever else was withheld he might live an intense life. He resolved to consecrate himself to the service of the Foreign Missions. Blessed [now St.-tr. note] Peter Claver was his ideal hero and saint, and his first purpose was to go himself to Africa or Japan.

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Carthusian Martyrs – the Second Group

After little more than a month after the first group, it was the turn of three leading monks of the London house: Doms Humphrey Middlemore, William Exmew and Sebastian Newdigate, who were to die at Tyburn, London on the 19 June. Newdigate was a personal friend of Henry VIII, who twice visited him in the prison to persuade him to give in, in vain.

St. Humphrey Middlemore

St. Humphrey Middlemore

St. Humphrey Middlemore

English Carthusian martyr, date of birth uncertain; died at Tyburn, London, 19 June, 1535. His father, Thomas Middlemore of Edgbaston, Warwickshire, represented one of the oldest families in that county, and had acquired his estate at Edgbaston by marriage with the heiress of Sir Henry Edgbaston; his mother was Ann Lyttleton, of Pillaton Hall, Staffordshire. Attracted to the Carthusian Order, he was professed at the Charterhouse, London, ordained, and subsequently appointed to the office of procurator. Although few details of his life have come down, it is certain that he was greatly esteemed for his learning and piety by the prior, [Saint] John Houghton, and by the community generally. In 1534 the question of Henry VIII’s marriage with Anne Boleyn arose to trouble conscientious Catholics, as the king was determined that the more prominent of his subjects should expressly acknowledge the validity of the marriage, and the right of succession of any issue therefrom. Accordingly, the royal commissions paid a visit to the Charterhouse, and required the monks to take the oath to that effect.

Chapter House at Parkminster has several paintings of the sufferings of the English Carthusian martyrs. This painting shows one monk hanging while another forgives the man who is about to execute him.

Chapter House at Parkminster has several paintings of the sufferings of the English Carthusian martyrs. This painting shows one monk hanging while another forgives the man who is about to execute him.

Father [John] Houghton and Father Humphrey refused, and were, in consequence, imprisoned in the Tower; but, after a month’s imprisonment, they were persuaded to take the oath conditionally, and were released. In the following year Father John was executed for refusing to take the new oath of supremacy, and Father Humphrey became vicar of the Charterhouse. Meanwhile, Thomas Bedyll, one of the royal commissioners, had again visited the Charterhouse, and endeavored, both by conversation and writing, to shake the faith of Father Humphrey and his community in the papal supremacy.

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In the summer of 1530, Ignatius came to London. That year was a fatal one to England. The question of the divorce was agitating not this country alone, but the whole Christian world. The most celebrated Universities were consulted on the subject, and by means of bribery and intrigue, not to say open violence, favorable answers, real or pretended, were obtained from Oxford and Cambridge, as well as from Bologna, Padua, and Ferrara. In Germany, however, not a single public body, including even Protestant consistories, could be induced to espouse the cause of Henry — perhaps not to displease the Emperor Charles — and at Paris the different Faculties, despite the known wishes and expressed commands of Francis, remained decidedly hostile; until by dexterous management a plurality of voices was secured in a single instance, and an attested copy of the vote thus extracted was forwarded to England, and published by Henry as the free and formal decision of the whole University. To a menacing remonstrance dictated by Henry, but which purported to come from the English nation. Pope Clement replied that he was ready to show the King every indulgence compatible with justice, but that he would not violate the immutable commandments of God. Henry was embarrassed, and even declared in private his intention of abandoning his purpose, when he was confirmed in his resolution by the unscrupulous counsels of one bold, bad man.

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St. Anthony of Padua

Franciscan Thaumaturgist, born at Lisbon, 1195; died at Vercelli, 13 June, 1231. He received in baptism the name of Ferdinand.

Later writers of the fifteenth century asserted that his father was Martin Bouillon, descendant of the renowned Godfrey de Bouillon, commander of the First Crusade, and his mother, Theresa Tavejra, descendant of Froila I, fourth king of Asturia. Unfortunately, however, his genealogy is uncertain; all that we know of his parents is that they were noble, powerful, and God-fearing people, and at the time of Ferdinand’s birth were both still young, and living near the Cathedral of Lisbon.

Having been educated in the Cathedral school, Ferdinand, at the age of fifteen, joined the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, in the convent of St. Vincent, just outside the city walls (1210). Two years later to avoid being distracted by relatives and friends, who frequently came to visit him, he betook himself with permission of his superior to the Convent of Santa Croce in Cóimbra (1212), where he remained for eight years, occupying his time mainly with study and prayer. Gifted with an excellent understanding and a prodigious memory, he soon gathered from the Sacred Scriptures and the writings of the Holy Fathers a treasure of theological knowledge.

In the year 1220, having seen conveyed into the Church of Santa Croce the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs, who had suffered death at Morocco, 16 January of the same year, he too was inflamed with the desire of martyrdom, and resolved to become a Friar Minor, that he might preach the Faith to the Saracens and suffer for Christ’s sake. Having confided his intention to some of the brethren of the convent of Olivares (near Cóimbra), who came to beg alms at the Abbey of the Canons Regular, he received from their hands the Franciscan habit in the same Convent of Santa Croce. Thus Ferdinand left the Canons Regular of St. Augustine to join the Order of Friars Minor, taking at the same time the new name of Anthony, a name which later on the Convent of Olivares also adopted.

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here is a tendency nowadays to depict saints as people who bypass the realities of life and somehow attain sanctity with little effort.

Here we have two pictures of Saint Anthony of Padua. The first is a fresco in the basilica dedicated to the saint in Padua, Italy, and it is the oldest known depiction of the great thirteenth century apostle and miracle worker. In this picture, we see a powerfully built Franciscan, his expression young though mature, serious and determined.

The second is a holy card bought in the souvenir shop of the same basilica. This depiction is obviously not inspired by the fresco. Here we see a delicate, rosy cheeked young man, his face devoid of the natural masculinity necessarily brought on by the preacher’s arduous life. His is sentimental, of soft countenance, devoid of the personality and strength of character necessary for climbing the mountain of perfection.

Anthony was born Ferdinand of Bouillon of a Portuguese noble family. Early in life he engaged in the pursuit of virtue and suffered vicious attacks from the devil in an attempt to break his resolve. At fifteen he joined the Augustinians, and applied himself to prayer and intense study.

Since childhood, Ferdinand harbored the ardent desire to lay down his life for his Lord and his Faith. Hearing of the martyrdom in Africa of five Franciscan missionaries he knew, he joined the Franciscans hoping for the same fate, and took the name Anthony. Soon after, he was sent with a companion to Africa but Providence had other designs. On landing, Anthony fell ill and returned to Portugal. A violent storm re-routed his ship to Italy where, making use of his brilliant eloquence, he defended his order against evil machinations.

After a life of intense apostolate, astounding miracles and constant preaching against the enemies of the Church, for which he was named “Hammer of Heretics,” the saint died exhausted by his labors at only 36. He was canonized shortly after his death in view of the irrefutable miracles he performed in life and in death.

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by Diane Moczar

Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide of Luxembourg, June 14, 1894 – January 24, 1924.

Of all the rulers of western European countries in the first quarter of the twentieth century, few are as unknown to British and American historians as Marie Adelaide, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg during World War I. The small size of her realm alone does not explain history’s neglect; by all accounts Marie Adelaide was an extraordinary personality whose short and tragic life was spent amid revolutionary turmoil and the chaos of the Great War. She has been called both a failure and a saint, and there is evidence for both views.

What follows is a brief summary of the career of the Grand Duchess which I hope to develop more fully as documentary sources become available.1 Although short accounts of her reign are given in various general histories of Luxembourg, especially those in French, German, and Luxembourgeois, the only full length biography in any language appears to be Edith O’Shaughnessy’s Marie Adelaide—Grand Duchess of Luxemburg, Duchess of Nassau, published in 1932 and long out of print. Unfortunately this work contains almost no precise documentary references. The author, now deceased, often relied on apparently undocumented, sometimes anonymous eyewitness accounts of key events in the life of her heroine, and perhaps was herself a confidante of the grand duchess. To the enigma of Marie Adelaide is thus added the mystery of Edith O’Shaughnessy and her sources—a necessary further research project for the modern biographer.2

Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide of Luxembourg, 1914 Zurich

Marie Adelaide was born on June 14, 1894 and died on January 24, 1924, ruling Luxembourg from 1912 (when she came of age at eighteen) until her forced abdication in 1919. After her resignation she roamed Europe in a vain search for spiritual peace, unsuccessfully attempting convent life first with the Carmelites and then with the Little
Sisters of the Poor before dying in exile, apparently of an illness contracted while working with the poor in Rome. On these few facts all sources agree, but not on much else.

No sooner had she come to the throne in a wave of popularity, the first sovereign in two centuries to be born on Luxembourg soil and a very beautiful and devout young woman, than her devotion to the Church and to her duties as a Catholic ruler landed her in bitter controversy. In a speech on her coronation day she had stated, “. . . I will be faithful to the noble motto of our ancient house: I will stand fast! [Je maintiendrai]”3

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Croia

Castle of Skanderbeg Photo by Stefan Kühn

Castle of Skanderbeg Photo by Stefan Kühn

A titular see of Albania. Croia (pronounced Kruya, Albanian, “Spring”) stands on the site of Eriboea, a town mentioned by Ptolemy (III, xiii, 13, 41). Georgius Acropolites (lxix) mentions it as a fortress in 1251. A decree of the Venetian senate gave it in 1343 to Marco Barbarigo and his wife. In 1395 it was held by the Castriots (Mas-Latrie, Trésor de chronologie, 1773), and it was the birthplace of the Lion of Albania, the national hero, George Castriota or Scanderbeg (died 17 Jan., 1468).

It was captured by Mohammed II 14 June, 1478, and the whole population was slaughtered together with the Venetian garrison, except the few who embraced Mohammedanism.

The remains of the castle above of city of Kruja, Albania.

The remains of the castle above of city of Croia, Albania.

Since the thirteenth century Croia has been a Latin suffragan of Dyrrachium (Durazzo). Farlati (Illyricum sacrum, VII, 411-432) mentions fourteen bishops from 1286 to 1694 (Gams,( 404; Lequien, III, 955, incomplete); Eubel (I, 224; II, 156) adds four names and corrects some data. Croia is to-day the chief town of a kaimakamlik in the vilayet of Scutari, with about 10,000 inhabitants, all Mussulmans. The Venetian citadel, 1500 feet above the sea, is still preserved together with Turkish guns and bells dating from the days of Skanderbeg. Croia is renowned among the Bektashi dervishes for the tombs of many of their saints.
HOPF, Chroniques gréco-romanes; DEGRAND, Souvenirs de la Haute-Albanie (Paris, 1901), 215-227.

S. Pétridès (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Photo of the Trooping the Colour, June 14, 2008 by JessicaC.

Photo of the Trooping the Colour, June 14, 2008 by JessicaC.

From every side of the parade grounds, with habitual and quite natural enthusiasm, a huge crowd watches a trooping of the Queen’s Royal Grenadiers in their ceremonial uniforms. New military tactics forced uniforms like these into obsolescence long ago. Nevertheless, these black trousers, red coats with white belts, gloves and ornaments topped with distinguished bearskin hats, are preserved for higher moral ends. Maintaining the tradition of the armed forces and showing people the splendors of military life.

Glory must be expressed in symbols. Indeed, God uses symbols to manifest to men His own grandeur. In this, as in all else, we must imitate God. Thus we see the Royal Grenadiers’ uniforms and their impeccably rhythmic and aligned marching. One senses the pride with which the standard-bearer carries the national flag and the troop commander indicates the direction of the parade. One can almost hear the beating of the drums and the sound of the trumpets. All of these symbols express the moral beauty inherent in military life along with the elevation of sentiments, the willingness to shed one’s blood; the strength for striving, risking and winning; the discipline, gravity and heroism.

There is glory, and true glory, shining in this whole ambience.

But after all, is glory only this? Does glory consist just in dressing in anachronistic uniforms, executing maneuvers having no relation to modern battle, playing drums and trumpets and advancing with firm step to give oneself and others the impression that one is a hero? Does glory consist in advancing “courageously” on a field without obstacles or risks, launching attacks against a nonexistent enemy, having the only reward the inebriating applause of a crowd?

Is this glory, or is this theatrics?

Give me tomorrow

Photo by David Douglas Duncan

The young American soldier seen here from the Korean War illustrates another aspect of military glory. Entirely immersed in the tragedy of armed warfare, he seems not to have a defined age; he has the vigor of youth, but his freshness and brilliance are gone. His skin, toughened by endless days under the sun and endless nights of wind and storms, seems to have taken on an almost leather-like firmness. He hasn’t the least concern about the elegance of his attire.

His clothing serves to shield him from the harsh elements and to facilitate quick and agile movements whether he is in the mud, thickets or advancing over steep hills — all under the relentless action of battle.

Everything in this man is ordered towards fighting, resisting and advancing. The light of a smile is rarely seen on his face. His gaze appears to be fixed in ceaseless vigilance against men and the elements.

This man is not concerned with grand movements or theatrical gestures. He concentrates on the thousand details characterizing the real daily life of soldiers. He does not want to play a great role, showing off for himself or for others. He wants only the victory of a great cause. It is this that explains his seriousness, his dignity, and his will to resist.

Although permeated to his last fibers by great exhaustion and pain, his inflexible resistance of soul and body overcomes his weariness. He feels his pain vividly, but accepts it to its ultimate consequences out of love for the cause for which he fights.

This is the painful and perhaps tragic face of military life. Yet, this is where the merit is and where glory is born.

Beautiful uniforms, gleaming weapons, cadenced marching, great parades with trumpets and drums and the endless applause of enraptured crowds are legitimate and even necessary appearances, but only to the extent that they express a desire to fight and sacrifice for the common good. All of these would amount to nothing but theatrics were it not for authentic and proven courage, such as that of the Queen’s Royal Grenadiers.

Subscription2True, these are considerations of a natural order. However, from them we may draw conclusions that reach a higher sphere.

The life of the Church and the spiritual life of each faithful Catholic are ceaseless struggles. Sometimes God gives souls admirable moments of interior or exterior consolation, and sometimes He gives His Church days of splendid, visible and palpable grandeur.

However, the true glory of the Church and of the faithful comes from suffering and from fighting.

It is an arid fight, with neither palpable beauty nor defined poetry. In this fight, one sometimes advances in the night of anonymity, in the mud of indifference or misunderstanding amidst storms and bombardment unleashed by the conjugated forces of the devil, the world and the flesh. Be certain that this fight fills the angels of Heaven with admiration and attracts the blessings of God.

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The Northern Crusades

June 13, 2024

The Battle of Lyndanisse was a battle which helped King Valdemar II of Denmark establish the territory of Danish Estonia during the Northern Crusades. Valdemar II defeated the Estonians at Lyndanisse (Estonian: Lindanise), during the Northern Crusades, by orders from the Pope.

The Battle

King Valdemar II of Denmark

King Valdemar II of Denmark

Valdemar II, along with Archbishop Anders Sunesen of Lund, Bishop Theoderik of Estonia, and his vassals Count Albert of Nordalbingia and Vitslav I of Rügen, sailed to the northern Estonian province of Revalia at the beginning of June. The crusading army camped at Lyndanisse and built a castle there, named Castrum Danorum, which the Estonians called Taani-linn (later Tallinn), meaning Danish castle. The Estonians sent several negotiators, but they were only playing for time as they assembled an army large enough to fight the Danes. [2]

On 15 June, 1219, the Estonians attacked the Danes near the castle, right after suppertime. They advanced from five different directions and completely surprised the crusaders, who fled in all directions. Bishop Theoderik was killed by the Estonians, who thought he was the king. The Danes were saved by their Wendish vassals, as Vitslav lead a quick counterattack which stopped the Estonian advance. This gave the crusaders time to regroup, and the Estonians were routed.

Dannebrog

Archbishop Anders Sunesen at the Battle of Lyndanisse & the Dannebrog falling from the sky.

Archbishop Anders Sunesen at the Battle of Lyndanisse & the Dannebrog falling from the sky.

Legend holds that during the battle of Lyndanisse, in the Danes’ hour of need, the Danish flag, the Dannebrog, fell from the sky and gave them renewed hope. As the Estonians attacked the Danish stronghold, the Danes were hard pressed. Anders Sunesen, the Archbishop of Lund, raised his hands to the sky in prayer, and the defenders held tight as long as his hands were raised. As Archbishop Sunesen became exhausted, he eventually had to lower his arms, and the Estonians were on the verge of victory. Then, a red flag with a white cross fell from the sky, and gave the Danes the victory.

This account builds on two different versions from the early 16th century, of an even older source. According to legend, Denmark received its national flag, the Dannebrog, during the battle. This legend is mentioned in History of the Kings and heroes of the Danes in the last three volumes (14-16) which describe Danish conquests on the south shore of the Baltic Sea and the Northern Crusades. The Latin volumes of Danorum Regum heroumque Historiae, were edited by Danish Canon, Christiern Pedersen, and published by Jodocus Badiuson March 15, 1514.

Battle of Lyndanisse and Dannebrog falling from the sky. Painting by Christian August Lorentzen.

Battle of Lyndanisse and Dannebrog falling from the sky. Painting by Christian August Lorentzen.

This older source set the emergence of Dannebrog as a battle in Livonia in 1208. But the Franciscan monk Peder Olsen (c. 1527) rectified the year as 1219. The legend became affixed to the Battle of Lyndanisse. The legend of Dannebrog as originating in the Northern Crusades holds true, as the red flag with a white cross originated as a crusader symbol.

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Nobility.org Editorial comment: —

God is not indifferent to heroism.
From the Cross that appeared in the sky at the battle of the Milvian bridge, with the inscription “In hoc signo vincis,” to numerous accounts of the Virgin Mary, St. George, St. James the Greater, or angels appearing, there is an abundance of historical reports on extraordinary phenomena occurring during battles.
Rejecting the sarcastic cynicism of skeptics and agnostics, a country like Denmark favored by one of these miraculous interventions should rightly treasure it, thank God for His providential assistance, and teach its young generations to always show this appreciation and gratitude.

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[Saint] Julitta (aka Saint Julietta) was a noble lady of Lycaonia. By order of the Prefect Alexander, she was arrested because she was a Christian, and brought before his tribunal.

She had a little boy named Cyrus, who at this time was only five or six years old. He was a beautiful child, and the pride of his mother’s heart. People who looked upon his angelic countenance thought he was more like one of the blessed spirits of God in Heaven than a child of this world.

When Julitta was led to the tribunal of the Governor, he asked her name and where she came from. She gave him only one answer to all his questions. She said : “I am a Christian.”

St. Julitta and St. Quiricus before the judge. Painting by Borghese di Piero

St. Julitta and St. Quiricus before the judge. Painting by Borghese di Piero

Then the Governor became very angry, and ordered her to be scourged.

All this time the child was in his mother’s arms. When the Governor had given this order he commanded the child to be brought to him. It was with the greatest difficulty that this could be done, for when the boy saw what they were going to do, he put his little arms round his mother’s neck, and clung more closely to her.

When the child was brought to the Governor, he made him sit upon his knees, and tried to stifle his cries by caressing him. But the little boy would not be pacified. He stretched out his arms towards his mother, and made every effort to get back to her again.

Mother and child MartyrsIn the meantime, the executioners began to scourge Julitta, and while they were scourging her, the only words she said were these: “I am a Christian.”

“I am a Christian too,” said the child.

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June 16 – St. Benno

June 13, 2024

Bishop of Meissen, b., as is given in biographies written after his lifetime, about 1010; d., probably, June 16, 1106. He is said to have been the son of a Count Frederick von Woldenberg (Bultenburg) and to have been educated by his relative St. Bernward of Hildesheim. But these statements and the date of his birth cannot be proved to be historically correct. It is, however, certain that he was a canon of Goslar about the middle of the eleventh century, and that he was made Bishop of Meissen in 1066. At that time the great struggle between the Emperor Henry IV and the papacy over investiture, which involved the independence of the Church, was raging. Benno took part in the revolt of the Saxon nobles against Henry (1073). In 1075 he was taken prisoner by the emperor, who was then victorious, and kept in prison for a year. As, later, he upheld the party of Pope Gregory VII he was deposed at the synod of Mainz, 1085, by the prelates belonging to the imperial party and Felix, a partisan of the emperor, received the bishopric. Three years later Benno recognized the Antipope Wibert (Clement III) and obtained his see again; at a later date, however, he separated himself from his schismatical party and recognized Urban II (1088-99) as the rightful pope. The authorities of the eleventh and twelfth centuries contain no further information as to his life.

The Miracle of St. Benno’s Key by Carlo Saraceni in the Church of Santa Maria dell’Anima, Rome. According to the Legend, St. Benno had the key to his church thrown in the river to prevent Henry IV from entering. Once the Emperor was gone, the key reappeared in a fish taken from the river. Photo by Sailko.

The Diocese of Meissen extended towards the east as far as the River Bober and included Upper and Lower Lausitz, which were inhabited by Slavs. According to later tradition Benno devoted the last years of his life to missions among these heathen tribes. He was reputed to be the founder of the cathedral of Meissen and in after-ages was the most venerated bishop of the diocese. He was canonized by Pope Adrian VI in 1523 (Bull “Excelsus Dominus” in Bullarium Romanum, Turin ed., VI, 18 sqq.) and his relics were, with great solemnity, exposed for veneration, May 16, 1524. Luther took this occation to publish his lampoon “Wider den neuen Abgott and alten Teufel, der zu Meissen soli erhoben werden”. After Saxony had adopted Protestantism Duke Albert V of Bavaria had the relics of the saintly bishop transferred to Munich and placed in the church of Our Lady (now the cathedral). Since this time Benno had been the patron saint of Munich-his feast is celebrated June 16. He is represented with a fish and a key; according to a legend he gave the key of the cathedral of Meissen, when starting on his journey to Rome, to one of the canons with the command to throw it into the Elbe as soon as Henry IV should be excommunicated. This was done; after Benno’s return a large fish was caught in the Elbe and the key was found hanging to one of its fins, so that the bishop received it again.

J. P. Kirsch (Catholic Encylopedia)

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Luis Vaz de Camões

(OR CAMOENS)

Luís_de_Camões-Fernão_Gomes

Born in 1524 or 1525; died 10 June, 1580. The most sublime figure in the history of Portuguese literature, Camões owes his lasting fame to his epic poem “Os Lusiadas,” (The Lusiads); he is remarkable also for the degree of art attained in his lyrics, less noteworthy for his dramas. A wretched exile during a large part of his lifetime, he has, like Dante, enjoyed an abundance of fame since his death; his followers have been legion, and his memory has begot many fabulous legends. Actual facts regarding his career are not easily obtained. There are but few documentary sources of information regarding him, and these are concerned simply (1) with the trifling pension which King Sebastian bestowed upon him and which Philip II continued in favour of his mother, who survived him; (2) with his imprisonment as a result of an assault made by him upon a public official; and (3) with the publication of “The Lusiads”. Personal references contained in various letters and in his literary works, all of a certain autobiographical value, provide further data.

Camões came of a reduced noble family. The place of his birth has been the subject of contention, but in all probability he was born at Coimbra. He belonged to the same stock as the noted explorer, Vasco da Gama, who is so important in “The Lusiads”. His father was a sea-captain who died at Goa in India as the result of a shipwreck, soon after the birth of Luiz. It seems likely that the poet received his training at the University of Coimbra, where his uncle, Bento de Camões, was chancellor for several years. Some early love lyrics, Platonic of inspiration and Petrarchian in form, date back to his college days. Passing to the court at Lisbon, he there fell in love with Catherina de Athaide, a lady of the queen’s suite. Catherina, the Natercia (anagram of Caterina) of his lyrics, responded to his suit, but those in authority opposed it, and Camões, meeting their resistance with words of wrath and violent deeds, was ere long banished from the court. For two or three years, that is between 1546 and 1549, he fought in the campaign in Africa and there lost one of his eyes, which was struck by a splinter from a cannon. Back once again in Lisbon, he found himself utterly neglected, and in his despair he proceeded to lead a disorderly life.

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Margherita of Savoy-Genoa, queen of Italy

Margherita of Savoy-Genoa, Queen Consort of Italy

Margherita Teresa Giovanna, Princess of Savoy, was born in Turin, on November 20, 1851. On April 21, 1868, when just sixteen years old, she married her first cousin, Umberto, Crown Prince of Italy.

Pizza Margherita was named after her. This is how it happened…

In June 1898, Margherita accompanied her husband, now Umberto I, King of Italy, on a visit to Naples. While there, Raffaele Esposito and Maria Giovanni Brandi, owners of Pizzeria Brandi, a very old pizzeria close to the Royal Palace, were officially invited to come to Court.

One of the rooms inside the Royal Palace. Naples, Italy. Photo by Armando Mancini

One of the rooms inside the Royal Palace. Naples, Italy. Photo by Armando Mancini

Raffaele prepared three pizzas for this unforgettable moment in their family history. The first was a white pizza, with olive oil, cheese and basil and no tomato sauce. The second was topped with cecenielle (a small fish).

It was the third one however, that caught the Queen’s eye, with its blending of red, white, and green, using tomato slices, mozzarella, and basil. Queen Margherita enjoyed it immensely and Raffaele immediately named it Pizza Margherita in her honor.

The next day, the Queen had one of her officials send a thank you note to express her appreciation.

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June 11 – Blessed Ignatius Maloyan

June 10, 2024

Ignatius Maloyan (Shoukrallah), son of Melkon and Faridé, was born in 1869, in Mardin, Turkey. His parish priest, noticed in him signs of a priestly vocation, so he sent him to the convent of Bzommar-Lebanon; he was fourteen years old. After finishing his superior studies in 1896, the day dedicated to the Sacred Heart of […]

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Saint Guido of Acqui

June 10, 2024

Saint Guido of Acqui (also Wido) (c. 1004 – 12 June 1070) was Bishop of Acqui (now Acqui Terme) in north-west Italy from 1034 until his death. He was born around 1004 to a noble family of the area of Acqui, the Counts of Acquesana, in Melazzo where the family’s wealth was concentrated. He completed […]

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June 12 – He Crowned Charlemagne

June 10, 2024

Pope St. Leo III Date of birth unknown; died 816. He was elected on the very day his predecessor was buried (26 Dec., 795), and consecrated on the following day. It is quite possible that this haste may have been due to a desire on the part of the Romans to anticipate any interference of […]

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June 7 – The Crusaders reach the walls of Jerusalem

June 6, 2024

In June of 1099 [the First Crusade] arrived before the walls of Jerusalem, which was then held by the Fatimid Arabs of Egypt. With their usual religious zeal and grim determination, the Christians prepared to attack the walls. Their fighting force had been reduced to 1,200 knights and 10,000 foot soldiers, with a similar number […]

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True Sanctity Lies in Strength of Soul and Not in Sentimental Softness

June 6, 2024

Written by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira The Church teaches that true and complete sanctity is the heroism of virtue. The honor of the altars is not granted to weak, hypersensitive souls that flee from profound thoughts, from acute suffering, from the fight, in short, from the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Mindful of the […]

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She did what St. Ignatius could not

June 6, 2024

Ven. Anne de Xainctonge Foundress of the Society of the Sisters of St. Ursula of the Blessed Virgin, born at Dijon, 21 November, 1567; died at Dôle, 8 June, 1621. She was the daughter of Jean de Xainctonge, councillor in the Dijon Parliament, and of Lady Marguerite Collard, both of noble birth and virtuous life. […]

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June 8 – Saint Cloud

June 6, 2024

Saint Chlodulf (Clodulphe or Clodould) or more commonly Saint Cloud (605 – June 8, 696 or June 8, 697, others say May 8, 697) was bishop of Metz approximately from 657 to 697. Chlodulf was the son of Arnulf, bishop of Metz, and the younger brother of Ansegisel, mayor of the palace of Austrasia. Before […]

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Venerable Marina de Escobar

June 6, 2024

June 9 – Mystic Venerable Marina de Escobar, Mystic and foundress of a modified branch of the Brigittine Order b. at Valladolid, Spain, February 8, 1554; d. there June 9, 1633. Her father, Iago de Escobar, was professor of civil and canon law and for a time governor of Osuna, a man noted for his […]

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He celebrated the first Mass in Quebec

June 6, 2024

Jean Dolbeau Recollect friar, born in the Province of Anjou, France, 12 March, 1586; died at Orléans, 9 June, 1652. He entered the order at the age of nineteen at Balmette, near Angers, and was one of the four Recollects who were the first missionaries of Canada. He landed at Quebec in May, 1615, and […]

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June 9 – Nurse and foundress

June 6, 2024

Frances Margaret Taylor (MOTHER M. MAGDALEN TAYLOR) Superior General, and foundress of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God, born 20 Jan., 1832; died in London, 9 June, 1900. Her father was a Protestant clergyman, the vicar of a Lincolnshire parish where her early years were spent in works of charity among the poor. […]

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Gabriel Bucelin – Historian

June 6, 2024

(Buzlin). A Benedictine historical writer, born at Diessenhofen in Thurgau, 29 December, 1599, died at Weingarten, 9 June, 1681. A scion of the distinguished line of Bucellini counts, Gabriel, at the age of thirteen, entered the Benedictine monastery at Weingarten. After a course in Philosophy and theology at Dillingen he was ordained priest 23 April, […]

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June 9 – French opponent to Jansenism and Gallicanism

June 6, 2024

Louis Gaston de Ségur Prelate and French apologist, born 15 April, 1820, in Paris; died 9 June, 1881, in the same city. He was descended on his paternal side form the Marquis of Ségur — Marshal of France and Minister of Louis XVI, who occupied this position during the participation of France in the war […]

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St. Francis Caracciolo

June 3, 2024

St. Francis Caracciolo Co-founder with John Augustine Adorno of the Congregation of the Minor Clerks Regular; born in Villa Santa Maria in the Abrusso (Italy), 13 October, 1563; died at Agnone, 4 June, 1608. He belonged to the Pisquizio branch of the Caracciolo and received in baptism the name of Ascanio. From his infancy he […]

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To Establish Absolute Equality Would Be to Destroy the Social Organism

June 3, 2024

Pius XII declares in a speech to a group of parishioners of Marsciano, Perugia, Italy, on June 4, 1953: “It is necessary that you truly feel like brothers. “It is not a matter of mere appearance; you are truly sons of God, so you are really brothers to one another. “Now, brothers are not born […]

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June 5 – Classmate of the Emperor

June 3, 2024

James of Edessa A celebrated Syrian writer, b. most likely in A.D. 633; d. 5 June, 708. He was a native of the village of `En-debha, in the district of Gumyah, in the province of Antioch. During several years he studied Greek and Holy Writ at the famous convent of Kennesrhe, on the left bank […]

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My God Is Greater Than Your Tree

June 3, 2024

St. Boniface (WINFRID, WYNFRITH). Apostle of Germany, date of birth unknown; martyred 5 June, 755 (754); emblems: the oak, axe, book, fox, scourge, fountain, raven, sword. He was a native of England, though some authorities have claimed him for Ireland or Scotland. The place of his birth is not known, though it was probably the […]

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Genesius, Count of Clermont

June 3, 2024

Genesius, Count of Clermont Died 725. Feast, 5 June. According to the lessons of the Breviary of the Chapter of Camaleria (Acta SS. June, I, 497), he was of noble birth; his father’s name is given as Audastrius, and his mother’s is Tranquilla. Even in his youth he is said to have wrought miracles—to have […]

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A dethroned Queen’s dignity amidst defeat

June 3, 2024

Queen Marie Caroline’s last days were profoundly sad. After a perilous journey of more than seven months she reached Vienna, where she had asked an asylum from the Emperor Francis, who had been her son-in-law. One of her daughters, Princess Marie Thérèse (born June 6, 1772; married September 19, 1790; died April 13, 1807), was […]

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June 6 – St. Claudius

June 3, 2024

The Life of St. Claudius, Abbot of Condat, has been the subject of much controversy. Dom Benott says that he lived in the seventh century; that he had been Bishop of Besançon before being abbot, that he was fifty-five years an abbot, and died in 694. He left Condat in a very flourishing state to […]

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Death of a true knight

June 3, 2024

Loyalty and service were what he recommended to Alvaro in their last talk, and gratitude for the royal benefits. Alvaro must prove himself worthy of the favors bestowed…. Then D. João de Castro blessed his son and said good-bye forever….Four holy men were his only attendants at this time: they were the Vicar General Father […]

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Bl. Thomas Cottam

May 30, 2024

Martyr, born 1549, in Lancashire; executed at Tyburn, 30 May, 1582. His parents, Laurence Cottam of Dilworth and Anne Brewer, were Protestants. Having completed his studies at Brasenose, Oxford (M.A., 14 July, 1572) he became master of a grammer school in London. Converted there to the faith by Thomas Pound he went over to Douai, […]

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Victim of the Kulturkampf

May 30, 2024

Eberhard, Matthias, Bishop of Trier, b. November 15, 1815, at Trier (Germany), d. there May 30, 1876. After successfully completing the gymnasium course of his native town, he devoted himself to the study of theology, was ordained in 1839, and soon after made assistant at St. Castor’s in Coblenz. In 1842 Bishop Arnoldi made him […]

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May 30 – When God chose sides in war between two Christian nations, He sent her to win it

May 30, 2024

St. Joan of Arc In French Jeanne d’Arc; by her contemporaries commonly known as la Pucelle (the Maid). Born at Domremy in Champagne, probably on 6 January, 1412; died at Rouen, 30 May, 1431. The village of Domremy lay upon the confines of territory which recognized the suzerainty of the Duke of Burgundy, but in […]

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May 31 – St. Mechtildis of Edelstetten

May 30, 2024

St. Mechtildis was a Benedictine abbess and renowned miracle worker. Mechtildis was the daughter of Count Berthold of Andechs, whose wife, Sophie, founded a monastery on their estate at Diessen, Bavaria, and placed their daughter there at the age of five. In 1153, the Bishop of Augsburg placed her as Abbess of Edelstetten Abbey. Mechtildis […]

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June 1 – Kidnapped for Christ

May 30, 2024

Bl. John Story (Or Storey.) Martyr; born 1504; died at Tyburn, 1 June, 1571. He was educated at Oxford, and was president of Broadgates Hall, now Pembroke College, from 1537 to 1539. He entered Parliament as member for Hindon, Wilts, in 1547, and was imprisoned for opposing the Bill of Uniformity, 24 Jan.-2 March, 1548-9. […]

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Saved from the Byzantine Emperor’s roaster, ironically, by the Moslems

May 30, 2024

Pope Saint Eugene I Elected August 10, 654, and died at Rome, June 2, 657. Because he would not submit to Byzantine dictation in the matter of Monothelism, St. Martin I was forcibly carried off from Rome (June 18, 653) and kept in exile till his death (September, 655). What happened in Rome after his […]

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June 3 – Genesius (Bishop of Clermont)

May 30, 2024

Twenty-first Bishop of Clermont, d. 662. Feast, 3 June. The legend, which is of a rather late date (Acta SS., June, I, 315), says that he was descended from a senatorial family of Auvergne. Having received a liberal education he renounced his worldly prospects for the service of the Church, became archdeacon of Clermont under […]

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She had to witness her children kill each other

May 30, 2024

St. Clotilda, Queen of the Franks (French: CLOTILDE; German: CHLOTHILDE). Queen of the Franks, born probably at Lyons, c. 474; died at Tours, 3 June, 545. Her feast is celebrated 3 June. Clotilda was the wife of Clovis I, and the daughter of Chilperic, King of Burgundians of Lyons, and Caretena. After the death of […]

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St. Augustine of Canterbury

May 27, 2024

First Archbishop of Canterbury, Apostle of the English; date of birth unknown; died 26 May, 604. Symbols: cope, pallium, and mitre as Bishop of Canterbury, and pastoral staff and gospels as missionary. Nothing is known of his youth except that he was probably a Roman of the better class, and that early in life he […]

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Churchill: Monarchy would have prevented Hitler

May 27, 2024

‘Personally, having lived through all these European disturbances and studied carefully their causes, I am of the opinion that if the Allies at the peace table at Versailles had not imagined that the sweeping away of long-established dynasties was a form of progress, and if they had allowed a Hohenzollern, a Wittelsbach, and a Habsburg […]

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After Defeating the Saracens, He Joined the Benedictines

May 27, 2024

St. William of Gellone Born 755; died 28 May, c. 812; was the second count of Toulouse, having attained that dignity in 790. He is by some writers also given the title of Duke of Aquitaine. This saint is the hero of the ninth-century “Roman de Guillame au court nez”, but the story of his […]

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Captain John Barry, Father of the American Navy, fights and wins a prize

May 27, 2024

Not until May 28th [1781] was there another opportunity found, when early on that morning an armed ship and a brig were discovered about a league distant. At sunrise they hoisted the English colors and beat drums. At the same time Captain Barry displayed the American colors. By eleven o’clock Captain Barry hailed the ship […]

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May 29 – Intimate friend of St. Athanasius

May 27, 2024

St. Maximinus Bishop of Trier, born at Silly near Poitiers, died there, 29 May, 352 or 12 Sept., 349. He was educated and ordained priest by St. Agritius, whom he succeeded as Bishop of Trier in 332 or 335. At that time Trier was the government seat of the Western Emperor and, by force of […]

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Assassinated in the castle of St. Andrews

May 27, 2024

David Beaton (Or Bethune) Cardinal, Archbishop of St. Andrews, b. 1494; d. 29 May, 1546. He was of an honourable Scottish family on both sides, being a younger son of John Beaton of Balfour Fife, by Isabel, daughter of David Monypenny of Pitmilly, also in Fife. Educated first at St. Andrews, he went in his […]

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Saint Laura of Constantinople

May 27, 2024

Saint Laura of Constantinople (died 1453) was a Christian who lived in Constantinople during the 15th century. She was born in Greece into a noble family: her father was a Latin knight named Michael and her mother was Albanian. Her name was Theodolinde Trasci. After she became a nun in Constantinople, she changed it into […]

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May 23 – Appointed bishop to replace a corrupt one, then imprisoned for defending the King’s legitimate wife

May 23, 2024

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. From the neighbourhood of Beauvais, his native country, he went for his studies first […]

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May 23 – Chevalier of the Order of Leopold

May 23, 2024

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 […]

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Letter of Saint John Bosco to the Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, May 24, 1873

May 23, 2024

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 […]

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May 24 – St. Vincent of Lérins

May 23, 2024

St. Vincent of Lérins Feast 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 […]

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Our Lady Help of Christians, to commemorate the liberation of the Pope from Napoleon’s prison

May 23, 2024

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 […]

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