For five years the Cid remained in peace and strove to serve God and keep the Moors quiet, so that Moors and Christians dwelt as if they had always lived together; and they all loved and served the Cid with wonderful good-will.

When these five years were over, tidings came that King Bucar of Morocco, whose father had now died, and who had become Miramamolin, or emperor, thinking himself disgraced because the Cid had conquered him near Valencia and driven him into the sea, had gone in person throughout all his kingdom and stirred up the people to raise a vast army to cross the sea to take revenge upon the Cid. It was said that this host was so great that no man could number it.

When the Cid heard this, he was troubled, but he allowed no one to know this. When he knew certainly that Bucar was coming, he bade all the Moors of Valencia to come into his presence, and said to them: “You know well that since I have been lord of this city you have lived in peace and have been protected, neither have I done to you anything except what was right. But now tidings come to me that King Bucar of Morocco is arriving with a mighty power from beyond the sea to take from me this city. Now, therefore, I command all of you to leave the town and go into Alcudia and the other suburbs to dwell there with the other Moors, until we see the end of this business between me and King Bucar.” Then the Moors were loath to do this, but they obeyed; and then the Cid felt safer than before, for though these men had lived peaceably with him, he feared that when Bucar would come they might join him and fight against himself, as they were of the same race and religion as the men from Morocco.

Shortly after this, in the middle of the night, the Cid was lying in his bed, planning how he might meet Bucar, for when he was alone he thought of nothing else. At midnight there came a great light into the palace and a great odor wonderfully sweet. As he was marvelling what this might be, there appeared to him a man white as snow, and he carried certain keys in his hand; and before the Cid could speak, he said, “Sleepest thou, Rodrigo, or what art thou doing?” And the Cid made answer, “What man art thou who askest me?” And he said, “ I am St. Peter, who comes to thee with more urgent tidings than those for which thou art taking thought concerning King Bucar, and it is that thou art to leave the world and go to that which hath no end; and this will be in thirty days. But God will show you favor, so that your people shall defeat King Bucar, and thou being dead shalt win this battle. Do thou strive to make atonement for thy sins, and thou shalt be saved.”

When the Cid heard this, he had pleasure at heart, and he fell upon the earth that he might kiss the feet of St. Peter; but the Apostle said, “Strive not to do this, for thou canst not touch me, but all that I have told thee will come to pass.” Then the Apostle disappeared, and the Cid was greatly comforted by what St. Peter had said to him, being as certain that all this could come to pass as if it were already over.

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, El Cid

Early on the next day he called all his chief men into the Alcazar, and he began to say, with tears on his cheeks: “Friends and kinsmen and true vassals, many of you remember when Alfonso our lord twice banished me from his land, and most of you, for the love you bore me, followed me into banishment and have guarded me ever since. God has shown such mercy to you and to me that we have won many battles. Moreover, we won this city, which is not under the dominion of any man save our king, Alfonso, and that by reason of our loyalty to him rather than any other obligation. Now I would have you know that I am in the latter days of my life, and that thirty days hence will be my last. Of this I am assured, for these seven nights I have seen visions. I have seen my father and my son, and they said to me, ‘You have tarried here long enough, let us now go among the people who live forever.’ Also St. Peter appeared to me last night, when I was awake and not sleeping, and told me that when thirty days are past I should leave this world. Now you know that Bucar is coming against us with thirty-six kings. But be you certain that I shall so counsel you that you shall conquer Bucar in the field and win great honor, and my wife and all of you shall then go from this place in safety. How you are to do this, I will tell you hereafter.”

A statue of Álvar Fáñez in Burgos, Spain.

After this the Cid grew sick, and the day before he grew very ill he ordered the gates of the city to be shut and he went to the Church of St. Peter, and there, before the bishop and the clergy and the knights and honorable ladies, the Cid stood up and preached a noble sermon showing how none can escape death, to which he said he drew near. Then he said: “Since you know this body of mine has never been conquered, I beseech you let it not happen now. How this is to be done, I will leave in the hands of the bishop and of Alvar and Pero.”

When he said this, he placed himself at the feet of the bishop, and there made a general confession of all his sins. And the bishop appointed him penance and absolved him. Then he arose and took leave of the people, weeping much, and returned to the Alcazar, and went to bed and never rose from it again. Every day he grew weaker, till only seven days of the appointed time remained.

El Cid with Doña Jimena and his two daughters.

Then he called for the caskets of gold in which the balsam and myrrh were which the Sultan had sent him. When these were before him, he bade them bring him the golden cup, of which he was accustomed to drink; and he took of that balsam and myrrh as much as a little spoonful, and mingled it in the cup with rose water, and drank of it. And for the seven days that he lived he neither ate nor drank anything else than a little of that myrrh and balsam mixed with water. Then his body and his face appeared fairer and fairer than before, and his voice clearer, though he grew weaker and weaker, so that he could not move in his bed.

On the twenty-ninth day he called for his wife and the bishop and Alvar and Pero and Gil Diaz, and began to direct them what to do after his death. He said to them: “King Bucar will be here presently to besiege the city with mighty power of the Moors. Now the first thing you do when I am dead, wash my body with rose water many times, then dry it well and anoint it with this myrrh and balsam from head to foot. And do you, my wife, and your women see that no cries are made, that the Moors may not know of my death. When King Bucar arrives, order all the people to go upon the walls, sound your trumpets, and make the greatest rejoicing that you can. When you would set out for Castile, let all the people know in secret, that they may be ready; but let none of the Moors in the suburbs know.

The Death of El Cid

For you cannot keep the city after my death. See that beasts be laden with all that there is in Valencia, so that nothing of value be left. Then saddle my horse Bavieca and arm him well; and you shall clothe my body, and put me upon the horse and tie me on so that it cannot fall; and fasten my sword Tizona in my right hand. Let the bishop go on one side of me and Gil Diaz on the other, and he shall lead my horse. You, Pero, shall carry my banner; and you, Alvar, gather your company together and put the army in order. And go you forth and fight Bucar; and be certain you will win this battle. When you have won the fight, take all the spoil you can find. What you are to do afterward I will tell you tomorrow in my will.”

Early on the next day these persons came again to the Cid, and he began to make his will. He ordered that his body should be buried in the Church of St. Pedro de Cardena, where it now lies, and he bequeathed to the monastery much riches. He left to his company and his household according to the deserts of every one. To the knights who had served him ever since he left his own country, he gave much wealth. To the others who had not served him so long, he gave to some a thousand marks of silver, to others two, and to others three. He bade them when they arrived at the church to give clothing to four thousand poor people. He gave to his wife all other things that he had that she might live honorably in the monastery of St. Pedro, and he commanded Gil Diaz to remain with her and serve her all her life.

The Last Ride of El Cid

He commanded Alvar and Pero, when they had conquered King Bucar, to proceed to Castile and carry out his orders. Then the bishop gave him the sacrament, and he received it upon his knees, weeping. Then he sat upon his bed and prayed, “I beseech thee, pardon me my sins, and let my soul enter into the light which hath no end.” When the Cid had said this, this noble man yielded up his soul to God, on the twenty-ninth of May, in the year 1099, in the seventy-third year of his age. Then his body was cared for as he had commanded.

Calvin Dill Wilson, The Story of the Cid: For Young People (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1901), 297–304.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 897


Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the Maharaja of Jaipur, rides atop a splendidly decorated elephant during a trip to India. The natural distinction of the Queen and the majesty of the Crown are deservedly enhanced by all the resources of a refined art that combines richness and good taste. Thus, almost intuitively, the people understand the dignity of public power and the divine origin it possesses in the various forms of government.

The photograph [above] was taken during the same visit. The women are wearing men’s clothing, and people of rank are wearing the most common clothing. In the center is the Queen, flanked by the Maharaja and the Maharani of Jaipur. A bit farther over is the Duke of Edinburgh. They have just returned from a hunt. But hunts do not by any means demand that clothing like this be worn.

We do not need to mention the very elegant traditional hunting attire in Europe, since it suffices to remember the hunting apparel used by the Indians themselves until a short time ago. The two servants mounted on elephants in the background provide an example of this: they are the most distinctively dressed people in the group.

Ambiences, Costumes and Civilizations, “Catolicismo” Nº 126 – Junho de 1961


Blessed Ralph Crockett


English martyr, b. at Barton, near Farndon, Cheshire; executed at Chichester, 1 October, 1588. Educated at Cambridge, and ordained at Reims in 1585, he was captured on board ship at Littlehampton, Sussex, 19 April, 1856, with three other priests, Thomas Bramston, George Potter, and his fellow martyr, Edward James (b. at Breaston, Derbyshire, about 1557), educated at Derby Grammar School, St. John’s College, Oxford, and the English colleges at Reims and Rome; ordained by Bishop Goldwell of St. Asaph in October, 1583; all were sent up to London and committed to prison 27 April, 1586.

Stained glass window of Bl. Edward James in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Bridge Gate, Derby. Photo by Singhson67.

After the failure of the Armada the Government determined to revenge itself on some of the priests in its custody. Crockett and James with two others, John Oven and Francis Edwardes, were selected for trial, which took place at Chichester on 30 September, 1588. All were condemned to death, under 27 Eliz. c. 2, for being priests and coming into the realm; but Oven on taking the oath of supremacy was respited. The other three were drawn on one hurdle to Broyle Heath, near Chichester, where Edwardes recanted, but the other two suffered with great constancy after absolving each other.

John B. Wainewright (Catholic Encyclopedia)

[He was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI.]


Versailles – The Hall of Mirrors

“In honor of this exceptional anniversary, the museum is currently undertaking a complete renovation of the Gallery of the History of the Palace, which will reopen to the public in September 2023. This gallery will serve as an introduction to a visit to the Palace, covering four centuries of the history of Versailles, tracing, up to today, the transformations of a palace in continuous flux. The new layout, rich in artworks and objets d’art and complete with a digital interface, will allow the visitor to peek into the splendors of a bygone Versailles, and to better understand the architectural masterpiece…”

Read More at chateauversailles


A Dominican Creole lady with her servants & pet deer.

France at that time was mistress of the islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Saint Domingue (present-day Haiti). These Caribbean possessions, until then prosperous and tranquil, deeply suffered the disturbances of the French Revolution. The slaves and the mestizos rose up against their masters and employers with the intention of shaking off their yoke, just as the nobility had been suppressed in the mother country.

Among the prosperous families of Saint Domingue was that of Jean Bérard du Pithon. Pierre Tousaint, a black, was one of his slaves.

Revolt of Saint Domingue 1791

Pierre was only 21 years old when the disturbances of the Revolution led the family to take refuge in New York. Toussaint accompanied them, and thence his story truly begins.

The family, belonging to the nobility, was able at first to live well in New York with the savings they brought with them. Like many of the French emigrants after the fall of the Bastille (1789) in Paris, who left the country with a fixed amount of money and the certainty that the Revolution would not last long, the Bérard du Pithon family also expected a quick return to their homeland, judging that the revolution in Saint Domingue would be short-lived. Many so deceived themselves and, depleting their financial resources, soon faced dire circumstances.

Jean-Louis Bérard de Pilhon, (1773 1828).

The Bérard family, then, had to reduce considerably the level of its social status, feeling threatened to resort to jobs incompatible with their condition in order to live.

It was in this sad predicament, after eleven years of happy association, that Monsieur Jean Bérard died in 1791, leaving the aristocratic Marie Elisabeth Bossard Roudanes a widow. She had to confront the adverse conditions alone and, moreover, in precarious health.

But the hand of Providence watched over her. The “hand of Providence”: a beautiful metaphor to characterize the watchfulness with which God accompanies and aids the lives of His creatures. Religious art customarily presents it as a charitable white hand; in this concrete case, the “hand of Providence” was a black hand: the hand of Pierre Toussaint.

This modest slave, who could so easily have tried to escape from the yoke of his mistress in the United States, acted in relation to her with a dedication and a delicacy of sentiment that few children have even in relation to their own mother.

After completing a schedule of duties that required great selflessness and that he fulfilled to the end, Pierre Toussaint, by his own decision, strove even more in order that his mistress would not want for anything of the social conditions and comforts of life that corresponded to the education she had received.

At the suggestion of his deceased master, Pierre had learned the skills to practice the art of dressing ladies’ hair in the small but already rich New York of that time. Imaginative and gifted with good taste, he developed various hairstyles that were much to the liking of his affluent clients, who then paid him well for his services. In a short time, Toussaint came to be sought out by all the rich ladies of New York, and he thus obtained the necessary resources to support his mistress.

However, he accomplished this with such skill and discretion that he was often able to hide from her a good part of his self-denial and generosity. He did this without lying, because Toussaint was very truthful and, as a fervent Catholic, he avoided any transgression of the Commandments of the Law of God.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, foreword to Memoir of Pierre Toussaint, Born a Slave in St. Domingo by Hannah Sawyer Lee, 2nd rev. ed. (Sunbury, Penn.: Western Hemisphere Cultural Society, Inc., 1992), 13–15.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 896


The cat is a living plaything

September 21, 2023

Those men that interest themselves solely with great things are not great men. Great men are those who know how to see great horizons also in little things.

The cat is an animal extraordinarily rich in aspects.It is a miniscule beast of prey, a tiger in miniature, which is seen at times snatching something up, at others sinking its teeth into something, pouncing unexpectedly, startling someone or something, or causing an uproar and breaking what it has come across.

But, when the feral element within it grows calm, the cat shows itself in a different light: delightfully lively, delicate and distinct in its gestures, expressive in its attitudes, affectionate and tender, ultimately, truly a living plaything.

However, it is a plaything which doesn’t have the air of a mere trifle, in general inseparable from even the most refined playthings.

Because its gaze has something magnetic and unfathomable, something reserved and enigmatic, the cat maintains the terrible and attractive superiority of that which is mysterious.

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



Gregorio Mengarini

Pioneer missionary of the Flathead tribe and philologist of their language, b. in Rome, 21 July, 1811; d. at Santa Clara, California, 23 September, 1886. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1828, when barely seventeen, and later served as instructor in grammar, for which his philological bent particularly fitted him, at Rome, Medina, and Reggio. While studying at the Rome College in 1839, a letter of Bishop Rosati of St. Louis, voicing the appeal of the Flatheads for missionary priests, was read out in the refectory, and Mengarini was at once moved to volunteer for the work. Ordained in March, 1840, he sailed with Father Cotling, another volunteer, from Leghorn on 23 July, and after a tedious nine weeks’ voyage landed at Philadelphia. From Baltimore the missionaries found their way to the University of Georgetown, District of Columbia, and a little later to St. Louis, where it was decided Father Cotling should remain. Mengarini was chosen for the distant mission of the upper Missouri, partly on account of his voice and knowledge of music – possessions of no little value in Indian mission work. On 24 April, 1841, Father de Smet, Mengarini, and Point, with the lay brother Specht, Huett, and Classens, and nine other companions, began the long journey by river and overland trail to Fort Hall, Idaho, then a trading post, where they arrived on the feast of the Assumption (15 August) and found a party of Flatheads waiting to conduct them to their final destination. It was nearly a month later when they arrived at the chosen site on St. Mary’s river, Montana, in the Flathead country, and began the foundations of the log mission, the missionaries themselves leading the work of cutting the frozen earth with axes. The church and house were of logs plastered between with clay, and were thatched with weeds, the rooms being partitioned with curtains of deerskin and thin scraped deerskin being used in lieu of glass for the windows. The winter cold was so intense that the buffalo skin robes in which they wrapped themselves at night were frozen stiff and had to be thawed out each morning. To the native of sunny Italy these early winters in Montana mountains were among the most vivid recollections of later years.

The missionaries at once began the study of the language, translating into it simple prayers and hymns. Mengarini composed a Salish grammar which is still the standard for the cognate dialects. He taught the children to sing in Salish hymns of his own composition, and even trained an Indian band for service on feat days. The work progressed until 1849, when in consequence of the inroads of the Blackfeet and the defection and relapse of a large part of the Flathead tribe under a rival claimant for the chieftainship it was decided to close the mission, and Mengarini was summoned to join Father Accolti, the superior of the north-western Jesuit missions, in Oregon. About a year later, on request of Archbishop Alemany of San Francisco for Jesuit workers, he was sent to aid in establishing at Santa Clara the Californian mission which was the nucleus of the present college. In the mean time the repentant Flatheads had sent to Oregon to ask for his return. They were told this was impossible as he was assigned to another station, but on their urgent desire, the Flathead mission was re-established at St. Ignatius in 1851. Mengarini was stationed at Santa Clara for the rest of his life, acting for thirty years as treasurer or vice-president, until a stroke of apoplexy and failing sight caused his retirement from active duties. The hardest trial came when his eyes became too weak to allow him to read Mass. A third stroke of apoplexy ended his life’s work in his seventy-sixth year.

Mengarini’s principal contribution to philology is his “Selish or Flathead Grammar: Grammatica linguæ Selicæ” – published by the Cromoisy Press (New York, 1861) from the third manuscript copy, the first two, laboriously written out by him, having been lost by Indian carelessness or accident. Originally intended solely for the use of the missionaries, it was written in Latin, and he himself always said the first draft was the most correct. He also furnished vocabularies of the cognate Salishan languages – of Shw oyelpi (Colville), S’chitzui (Coeur d’Alene) and Salish proper (Flathead) in Powell’s “Contributions to North American Ethnology”, I (Washington, 1877), and of the Santa Clara dialect of California in Powers’s “Tribes of California”, volume III of the same series, published in the same year. He contributed some linguistic notes in the “Journal of the Anthropological Institute of New York”, I (1871-2). His interesting personal memoir, “The Rocky Mountains”, published in the Woodstock Letters for 1888, was dictated a few months before his death.

In addition to the memoir just mentioned, consult Obituary Notice in Woodstock Letters XVI (Woodstock, Maryland, 1887); SOMMERVOGEL, Bibl. de la C. de J., Bibliogr., V (new ed., Brussels and Paris, 1894); PILING, Bibliography of the Salishan Languages in Bur. Amer. Ethnology (Washington, 1893); SHEA, Catholic Missions (New York, 1864).

JAMES MOONEY (Catholic Encyclopedia)


Bersaglieri at the capture of Porta Pia, by Michele Cammarano

At 5.15 a.m. on 20 September 1870, the observatory of Santa Maria Maggiore warned the Ministry of War that the enemy batteries had attacked Porta Pia which, because of its position, constituted the most vulnerable point of the city. . . . As he talked to the diplomatic corps . . Cardinal Antonelli arrived with a despatch in his hand: it brought news that a breach had been opened. . . . ‘The Rubicon has been crossed: fiat voluntas tua in coelo et in terra,’ murmured Pius IX. Then, turning to the diplomats, he said, “Sirs, I give the order to surrender. Abandoned by all, I had to succumb sooner or later. I must not shed blood uselessly. You are my witnesses, Sirs, that the foreigner enters here only by force.’ . . .The order given to the Zouaves, who asked to be allowed to fight to the end, was to limit resistance to only what was necessary to show to the world that the Pope had not renounced his rights but only that he was giving in to violence.

Cropped photograph of the breach in the Aurelian Walls (right), opened by Italian artillery fire during the Capture of Rome.

All along the walls surrounding the eternal city, in the seemingly endless silence which preceded the attack, there arose the last song of loyalty of the Zouaves: Flottez an vent, triomphantes bannières, Gloire à vous tous, chevaliers de Saint Pierre! ‘Flutter in the wind, oh triumphant banners, Glory to you all, knights of St. Peter.’

Breaching the Porta Pia by Carlo Ademollo.

As the smoke cleared, Captain Berger sang a verse of this song, standing on the debris of the place where the breach in Porta Pia had been opened, holding his sword by its blade and with the handle lifted toward heaven as if he were offering a sacrifice to God—that of an extremely unsuccessful resistance. The white banner was already flying above St. Peter.

Roberto de Mattei, Pius IX, trans. John Laughland (Leominster, Herefordshire, U.K.: Gracewing, 2004), 73–75.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 895


The very rich moral significance of simple household objects number of beings in which all the perfections are distributed. The beauty in this latter is much greater.

For this reason God created the world with very diversified perfections. The rule of diversification is in the variety. This multiplicity forms a picture of the whole. And in this reduction of the multiplicity to a picture of the whole, is affirmed once more the unity within the variety.

On the other hand, when the variety is very rich we reach the point of constructing a kind of symmetry and of opposition. Let us say, for example, an edifice which contains a great variety of shapes. Fitting together within a certain symmetry the extreme opposite parts correspond to one another and the edifice acquires grandeur and majesty. If we were to take the organization of temporal society and imagine a society set up in the temporal plane, as it would have been in the medieval society, we would have an infinity of families, the noble class, the ecclesiastical class, and above all the king; and if we were to consider the spiritual society, the Catholic Church, with all of its orders, we could imagine at the very summit of these two organizations, symmetrical to each other, the Pope and the emperor hovering over these two orders. We could consider further the affinity between the Pope and the emperor, with a preeminence for the Pope, who is kind of head of the pyramid, under whose splendor lives all the flock of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

So we understand the magnificent beauty of this organization, wrapped in the diversity of a marvelous hierarchy.

“Catolicismo”, ACC. N. 108, December 1959.


September 17 – Viollet-Le-Duc

September 14, 2023

Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc

Viollet-Le-Duc, Eugène-emmanuel, architect, archeologist, and author, b. in Paris, January 27, 1814; d. at Lausanne, September 17, 1879. He gained a high reputation by his intelligent comprehension of medieval Gothic architecture and by his restorations of structures built in this style. He was a pupil of Leclere; he made long journeys for the purpose of study in Italy and southern France, and in 1840 was appointed inspector of works at Ste-Chapelle in Paris, the present form of which is his work. This was the beginning of his influential labors for the preservation and restoration of early Gothic monuments. Whatever he did showed brilliant ability, knowledge, and taste.

Reliquary of the Nail and Wood of the Holy Cross. Goldsmithing (1862) by Placide Poussielgue-Rusand (1824-1889) designed by Eugène VIollet-le-Duc.

He superintended the restoration of the Abbey of St-Denis, of the church at Vezelay, and that of Our Lady at Chalons-sur-Marne, of the cathedrals of Paris, Amiens, and Laon. The beautiful sacristy of the cathedral at Paris is his work. In 1853 he was made inspector-general of ancient buildings in France; in 1863 he was made professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. His lectures on the development of medieval architecture in France, filled with a noble national feeling, aroused such enmity against him among the Academicians that he was obliged to retire from his position in favor of Taine.

Château de Pierrefonds

Napoleon III placed him in charge of the restoration of the Chateau of Pierrefonds. During the siege of Paris (1870-71) he commanded a corps of engineers, and wrote a “Memoire sur la defense de Paris” (1871). Soon after this he expressed radical opinions in politics, was elected deputy in 1874, and opposed Thiers. As a connoisseur of art he wrote a number of valuable works: “Dictionnaire raisonne de l’architecture francaise du onzieme au seizieme siecle” (10 vols., 1854-69), illustrated by his own sketches; “Essai sur l’architecture militaire au moyen age” (1854); “Dictionnaire du mobilier francais jusqu’a la Renaissance” (6 vols., 1855-75); “Monographie de Notre—Dame de Paris” (1856), written in conjunction with Guillermy; “Description du chateau de Pierre-fonds” (1857); “Description du chateau de Coucy” (1858); “Histoire d’une maison” (1873); “Histoire d’une forteresse” (1874); “Histoire d’un hotel de ville et d’une cathedrale” (4 vols., 1873-78); “Histoire d’un dessinateur” (1879); “Les eglises de Paris” (1883); “La cite de Carcassonne” (1886); “L’art russe” (1877). There are interesting essays in the “Entretiens sur l’architecture” (1858-72).

A drawing by Viollet-le-Duc of one of the two doors of Rouen Cathedral, the Calende door.

Viollet-Le-Duc is exact, clear, and often brilliant in his writings, just as in his practical works. Drawings of his preserved at the Trocadero, and which have appeared in print, are a treasure-house of suggestive designs. The exact knowledge of medieval architecture acquired by life-long experience would not alone have brought him such far-reaching influence. What is best both in his works and in his theories is the profound comprehension of the spirit of the medieval master-builders. He not only grasped the historical forms, but the comprehended also their meaning, and knew how to evolve the organic structure from its inward spirit. The task involved in the structure, its suitable execution with an independent use of the traditional forms) were of more importance to him than the style itself.

Armor drawing by Viollet-le-Duc.

Consequently he did not follow exclusively the Gothic style, however highly he valued in Gothic architecture the development of the forms from the object in view and the material used in construction, and the logical consecutiveness of the parts. He knew how to impart to his pupils and to co-workers a keen sense of perception, that was not satisfied with the mere external imitation of what was ancient. Among the important architects who imitated him closely were Boswillald and Paul Abadie, the architect of the Church of the Heart of Jesus at Montmartre. It must be acknowledged that in the revival of medieval architecture a dubious principle gained the mastery. Although the best followers of the great restorer of architecture believed with him that the architect ought not to be permitted to be a mere imitator, still the way was not made sufficiently clear for an independent development of architecture according to the needs, and in harmony with the feelings, of the present era.

G. Gietmann (Catholic Encyclopedia)


September 14 – Pope Adrian VI

September 14, 2023

Arms of Adrian VI.

Adrian VI, Pope, the last pontefice barbaro (Guicciardini, XIV, v), and the only pope of modern times, except Marcellus II, who retained his baptismal name. succeeded Pope Leo X, from 9 January, 1522, to 14 September, 1523.
He was born of humble parentage in Utrecht, 2 March, 1459. He lost his pious father, Florentius Dedel, at an early age, and was kept at school by the fortitude of his widowed mother, first at home, later at Zwolle with the Brothers of the Common Life, finally at the University of Louvain. After a thorough course in philosophy, theology, and jurisprudence he was created Doctor of Divinity in 1491. Margaret of Burgundy defrayed the expenses of the poor student. His popularity as professor of theology in Louvain is shown to have been deserved by his two chief works, Quæstiones quodlibeticæ (1521), and his Commentarius in Lib. IV Sententiarum Petri Lombardi (1512), which was published without his knowledge from notes of students, and saw many editions. As dean of the collegiate church of St. Peter in Louvain, and vice-chancellor of the university, he laboured to advance the arts and sciences, sacred and profane, and gave universal edification by a life of singular piety and severe asceticism. In 1506, he was, happily for the Church, selected by the Emperor Maximilian as tutor to his grandson, the future Charles V, then in his sixth year. Whatever accomplishments Charles possessed, beyond the art of war, he owed to the efforts of Adrian; most precious of all, his unalterable attachment to the Faith of his fathers. Transferred from the academic shades into public life, the humble professor rose to eminence with wonderful celerity. Within a decade he was the associate of Ximenes, Bishop of Tortosa, Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish peninsula, Cardinal of the Roman Church, and finally Regent of Spain. He was no less surprised than the rest of mankind when the intelligence reached him that the unanimous voice of the Sacred College had raised him to the highest dignity on earth. Appalling tasks lay before him in this darkest hour of the Papacy. To extirpate inveterate abuses; to reform a court which thrived on corruption, and detested the very name of reform; to hold in leash young and warlike princes, ready to bound at each other’s throats; to stem the rising torrent of revolt in Germany; to save Christendom from the Turks, who from Belgrade now threatened Hungary, and if Rhodes fell would be masters of the Mediterranean—these were herculean labours for one who was in his sixty-third year, had never seen Italy, and was sure to be despised by the Romans as a “barbarian.”

Adrian accepted the responsibilities of his office with a full conception of their magnitude. Charles was elated at the news of the elevation of his tutor, but soon found that the new pontiff, notwithstanding his affection for him, was resolved to reign impartially. Francis I, on the contrary, who had looked upon Adrian as a mere tool of the Emperor, and had uttered threats of a schism, before long acquiesced, and sent an embassy to present his homage. Apprehensions of a Spanish Avignon were baseless; at the earliest possible date Adrian embarked for Italy, and made his solemn entry into Rome on 29 August. Two days later he received the triple crown. History presents no more pathetic figure than that of this noble pontiff, struggling single-handed against insurmountable difficulties. Through the reckless extravagances of his predecessor, the papal finances were in a sad tangle. Adrian’s efforts to retrench expenses only gained for him from his needy courtiers the epithet of miser. Vested rights were quoted against his attempts to reform the curia. His nuncio to Germany, Chierigati, received but scant courtesy. His exaggerated acknowledgment that the Roman Court had been the fountainhead of all the corruptions in the Church was eagerly seized upon by the Reformers as a justification of their apostasy. His urgent appeals to the princes of Christendom to hasten to the defence of Rhodes found unheeding ears; on 24 October that valiantly defended bulwark of the Christian Faith fell into the hands of the Turks, a disaster which hastened the Pontiff’s death. His unrelaxing activity and Rome’s unhealthy climate combined to shatter his health. He died appropriately on the feast of the Exaltation of that Cross to which he had been nailed for more than a year (14 September, 1523). His monument, erected by his faithful friend, Wilhelm Enckenvoert, is still seen at Rome, in the national church of the Germans, Santa Maria dell’ Anima, with its quaint inscription, so often admired, to the effect that even the best of men may be born in times unsuited to their virtues: “Proh Dolor! Quantum refert in quæ tempora vel optimi cujusque virtus incidat” [Gregorovius-Ampère “Les tombeaux des papes Romains” (Paris, 1859), 200, 201, 294, 295]. To the times, in fact, was it owing, not to any fault of his, that the friendship of the sixth Adrian and the fifth Charles did not revive the happy days of the first Adrian and the first and greatest of the Charleses.

Burrmann, Analecta Historica de Hadriano VI (Utrecht, 1727); Reussens, Syntagma Theolog. Adriani VI: Anecdota de vitâ et scriptis Adriani VI (Louvain, 1862); Gachard, Correspondence de Charles Quint et d’Adrien VI (Bruxelles, 1859); Robinson, The Month (1877), XXXI, 350; Pastor, Hist. Jahrb. (1882), III, 121–130. The classic studies on this pope’s life are those of Constantine von Höfler, among others Der deutsche Kaiser und der letzte deutsche Papst (Vienna, 1876); Leben des Papstes Adrian VI (Vienna, 1880); cf. his article on Adrian VI in Kirchenlex., V, 1426–27. Artaud de Montor, Lives and Times of the Roman Pontiffs (tr. New York, 1867), I, 698–707. For an extensive bibliography of Adrian VI see Chevalier Bio-Bibliogr. (2d ed., Paris, 1905), 57, 58.

James F. Loughlin (Catholic Encyclopedia)


Flavius Marcellinus

Statue of Flavius Marcellinus on the South Transept Spire of the Duomo di Milano. Copyright © Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano. P.Iva 01989950157.
Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano. Via Carlo Maria Martini, 1 – 20122 – Milano. Registro delle Persone Giuridiche Prefettura di Milano n°315

Date of birth unknown; died 12 September, 413. He was a high official (tribunus et notarius) at the court of Emperor Honorius, and possessed the confidence of his imperial master owing to his good sense, and unblemished conduct. In 411 Honorius sent him to Africa as plenipotentiary judge, to preside and pass sentence at the great conference between the representatives of the Catholics and the Donatists, which began on 1 June of the same year and lasted several days. Marcellinus, who had conducted the negotiations with great patience and entire impartiality, decided in favor of the Catholics, whereupon new imperial decrees were published against the Donatists. The great interest which the imperial envoy showed in theological and religious questions, brought about close and friendly relations between him and St. Augustine, who wrote him several letters, and dedicated various books to him (“De peccatorum meritis et remissione”, “De baptismo parvulorum”, the first three books of “De Civitate Dei”). St. Jerome also wrote him a letter. In 413 Marcellinus and his brother Apringius were imprisoned by Marinus, who had crushed the rising of Heraclianus, as being alleged supporters and partisans of the latter. Jerome says the Donatists falsely accused him out of hatred (Adv. Pelagium, III, 6). Although St. Augustine interceded for him, and several other African bishops came forward in his favor, he was beheaded 12 September, 413, by order of Marinus; the latter was soon after called away from Africa, and in the edict of 30 August, 414, which regulated the carrying out of the decrees against the Donatists, Marcellinus was referred to with honor. His name is in the Roman Martyrology, and his feast is celebrated on 6 April as that of a martyr.

Acta SS., April, I, 539-42; Dict. Christ. Biog., III, 806-7; LECLERCQ, L’Afrique chrétienne, II (Paris, 1904), 107-8, 139-40.

J.P. KIRSCH (Catholic Encyclopedia)


In this short documentary, the Royal Family Channel looks back on the twelve days of mourning that followed the tragic death of Queen Elizabeth II. Piecing together exclusive royal footage, interviews and news coverage, we remember the moment that shook the world one year on.

Thursday 8th September 2022, 6:30pm, the news that everyone knew would come, and yet no one was really prepared for. The death of the only monarch most Britons ever knew brought to an end a reign which had lasted 70 years and 214 days – the longest in British history.


At this time the Moorish king, Bucar, across the sea in Morocco, remembering the oath he had taken to his brother, King Yucef, that he would take vengeance upon the Cid, ordered proclamation to be made throughout all the dominions of his father that he wished for a great army to go against the Cid. As his father was Miramamolin, that is Emperor, he soon was able to gather so great a host that among them were twenty-nine kings. When he had assembled this host, he took ship and started across the sea. . . .

One day when [the Cid] had dined there came a man who told him a great fleet was arrived in the port of Valencia, bringing a great army of Moors under King Bucar. When the Cid heard this, his heart rejoiced, for it was nearly three years since he had a battle with the Moors. He at once gave orders that a signal should be given that all the chief men of the city should assemble. . . .

El Cid

. . . Word was brought that a messenger from King Bucar was at the gate of the town, who wished to speak with the Cid. The Cid gave orders that this Moor, whose name was Ximena de Algezira, should be admitted. It is said that the Cid was so wonderful and powerful in his appearance that no Moor was ever able to look upon him without fear; and this Ximena began to gaze upon his countenance, but said nothing. The Cid saw his fear and bade him take courage and deliver the message of his master without fear or shame. When the Moor heard this, he recovered heart, and said; “Sir Cid, King Bucar, my lord, has sent me to you to say that you have done him great wrong in holding Valencia, which belonged to his forefathers; and you have defeated his brother, King Yucef. Now he is come with twenty-nine kings to revenge his brother, and to win Valencia in spite of you and all who are with you. However, he says, that as he has heard that you are a wise man, he will show you favor, and let you leave Valencia and go into Castile, and take with you all that is yours. If you will not do this, he will fight you and take you and your wife and your daughters, and torture you in such a way that all Christians who hear of it will talk of it forever. This is the message of my lord, King Bucar.”

Then the Cid answered in a few words: “Go tell your lord, King Bucar, I will not give up Valencia to him; I had hard labor to win it, and I am beholden to no man in the world for it, except to my kinsmen and friends and vassals who helped me to win it. Tell him I am not a man to be besieged, and when he does not expect it, I will give him battle in the field. I would that even as he has brought twenty-nine kings, so had he brought all the Moors in the world; for I trust that by the help of God I could conquer them all. Bear this answer to your lord, and come here no more with messages on this account or any other.”

Ximena then left Valencia and went to his lord and told him before the twenty-nine kings all that the Cid had said. They were astonished at the brave words of the Cid; for they did not think he would have resisted, as they had such a great army; nor did they think he would so soon come out to battle. They began at once to lay siege to the city and to place their army around it. This King Bucar was a kinsman of Alimaymon, who had been king of Toledo and Valencia, and this was the reason why Bucar said that Valencia had belonged to his forefathers.

When the messenger had left the town, the Cid ordered the bell to be struck, at the sound of which all the men at arms in Valencia were to gather together. They assembled at once, and he told them to be ready early in the morning to go out and give battle to the Moors. They answered as one man that they were well pleased to do this, for they trusted in God and in his good fortune that they should conquer.

Calvin Dill Wilson, The Story of the Cid: For Young People (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1901), 219, 220, 224–27.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 894


Photo by William Wesen Appraiser

What is at stake here is not insignificant. Ultimately we are dealing with an issue of aesthetics, of a love of simplicity and diversity, of a love of equality and inequality. Besides this, at a deeper level, it is a religious and moral issue as well. It is an aesthetic-moral-religious issue whose perfection is a reflection of God on earth. Herein lays the true religious battle of [our day].

This religious battle is not waged, properly speaking, with dogmas or definitions of certain truths. In other words, it is not a battle waged explicitly about Revelation. Nor is it waged between Protestants and Catholics, Left and Right, etc. These battles continue to exist, but they are secondary.


In the Roman Circus there was a primary spectacle of the great gladiators on one side locked in battle and, for variety’s sake, with pygmies on the other side. Similarly one could say that our world presents much the same scenario. There is a fight of titans being waged—the one between Equality and Inequality; and then there is the other one where the dwarfs (so to speak) continue to fight about Catholicism and Protestantism, schism, dogmas, politics, etc.

I am not saying that it is not worthwhile to crush these little monsters. However, the great monster of our days is this adoration of an aesthetic-moral-religious dogma which is precisely that of inequality and variety as opposed to uniformity and equality.

“They hate inequality because it is inequality. They love equality because it is equality. They hate diversity for diversity’s sake, and love uniformity for uniformity’s sake.”

Those who fight for equality do so for an aesthetic-moral-religious reason. They hate inequality because it is inequality. They love equality because it is equality. They hate diversity for diversity’s sake, and love uniformity for uniformity’s sake. This is a religious and moral position.

This explains the underlying cause of the religious crisis of the world today. People have adopted ways of thinking, states of spirit, and ways of living that are egalitarian. This is the religious issue of our days. Today the two opposing standards are those of Equality and Inequality.


Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, quoted in Egalitarianism: The Metaphysical Value and Religion of Our Days; Social Leveling . . . Total Leveling, edited by Tradition, Family Property Association (Glasgow: Tradition, Family, Property Association, 2011), xxiii-xxiv.


A depiction of the Order of Malta Knights of uniforms: 1 – a full bailifs, Grand Cross of the Knight of, 2 – a full-fledged knight of the Order of cloak, 3 – bailifs honor, Knight of Grand Cross.

The Mass being over, Monsignor Magyari, escorted by his sponsors, crossed to kneel before the Grand Master, who asked him, “What is your request?”

“I ask to be received and admitted into the company of brothers in sacred religion of the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.”

“The request you make was refused to certain others who were not worthy. But trusting in your probity, we have decided that it shall be granted to you. . . . You will be constrained to fast when you desire to eat, to watch when you would sleep. . . . Consider well whether you wish to strip yourself of your freedom, placing it in the hands of the masters of our religion.”

“I do so place it altogether in their hands.”

“I require you, now, to say whether you have ever taken vows in any other order.”


“. . . We therefore admit you with kindness, promising you only bread and water, travail and toil, and a simple garment.”

The light, ritual slap . . . did not appear to worry Monsignor Magyari. With his hands upon a Testament, the candidate went on to speak the formal words of the oath: “I swear to Almighty God, to the glorious Virgin Mary, and to the sieur St. John the Baptist, my protector, to observe and keep obedience, poverty, and chastity, as it is fitting that all good Catholic religious should do.”

The Grand Master took up a black cloak and, indicating the eight-pointed cross, said, “This cross was given to us in white to signify purity. The eight points which you see are the symbol of the eight beatitudes.”

He enumerated them, vested him with the cloak and, after explaining its symbolism, with the stole. The kiss of obedience completed the ceremony. . . .

Roger Peyrefitte, Knights of Malta, trans. Edward Hyams (New York: Criterion Books, 1959), 75– 76.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 893


No one has described the Portugese family as it lived in colonial Brazil better than Debret. He portrays a family of a certain category going out for a walk. The father, with his somewhat Napoleonic, bicorn hat goes in front, a patriarch lost in the mists. Behind him, single file, comes the entire family. And finally, this is really the non-apartheid Portuguese, come the black servants, who are also going out for a walk. The black ladies come out with a kind of turban on their head, and with a child on either side.

Jean Baptiste Debret

Something that is really lacking is manorial society, made up of the family plus the servants that work in the family household (…) It amounts to a true adoption diminutae rationis within the family.

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


The Death of Maria Theresa

August 24, 2023

Maria Theresa’s health, undermined by so many fatigues, so many maternal and political anxieties, so many cares of all kinds, failed visibly. For a long time she had suffered from catarrh; it seemed as though an internal fire consumed her. On Nov 24 1780, she fell quite ill. Violent attacks of coughing, and continual suffocation, forced her to leave her bed. The physician who was called did not deceive her; he urged the empress to receive the Last Sacraments. On the instances of the emperor, Extreme Unction was deferred; but on the 25th the invalid confessed; on the 26th the Nuncio brought her the Viaticum. Maria Theresa received It kneeling upon her prie-Dieu, her head covered with a mourning veil, as on Ash Wednesday. This woman, who was truly strong, did not wish that death should find her in bed. On the 28th, after Extreme Unction had been administered, she remained alone with the emperor, gave him her benediction for his absent brothers and sisters, wrote much, discussed various questions, gave orders for her burial, thinking of everything during those last hours,⸺ of her children, of her subjects, of her affairs, arranging them even to the least details, giving Joseph II advice on the administration of his vast empire, talking to Maximilian of his future, to the Archduchess Marianne of her vocation, preserving to the end the clearness of her mind and the vigour of her character. And following with a calm eye and tranquil heart the progress of death as it approached, “I have always desired to die thus,” she said, “but I was afraid that it might not be granted to me. I see now that everything is possible with the grace of God.” She passed a frightful night, suffering from terrible attacks of suffocation, when they expected to see her die at any moment. After one of these crises she seemed sleepy, but fought against it. Her children urged her to yield. “How can you wish me to sleep,” she said, “when at any instant I may be called before my Judge? I am afraid to go to sleep; I do not wish to be surprised; I wish to see the advent of death.” When she felt her last hour approach, she sent away her daughters, not wishing to have them see her die. Then suddenly she rose from her armchair, took a few steps toward her chaise longue, and fell; they stretched her out upon it as comfortably as possible. The emperor said to her, “You are worse.”… “Bad enough to die,” she replied. Then addressing her physician, “Light the mortuary candle,” she said, “and close my eyes; for that would be too much to ask of the emperor.” Joseph II, Maximilian, the Prince Albert of Saxony, knelt around her. All was over.

Thus died on Nov. 29, 1780, at the age of sixty-three, in the full plenitude of her faculties, a great sovereign and a good Christian,⸺ Maria Theresa of Austria, empress of Germany, and last heir of the Hapsburgs.

The Life of Marie Antoinette, Volume 1 by Maxime de La Rocheterie. Pgs. 240-241.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 892




By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Scenes from the “belle epoque”. In the background of the first, a building both harmonious and grave. A long cortege of graciously-dressed ladies use from it. And, in the front, wearing a crown and dressed in an ermine mantle, a lady unites personal beauty with an elegance, richness and restraint of apparel. She gives her right hand to a person with grave mien who is conscious of the importance of his role, vested in the rigorous dress of gala: jacket, top hat, medals.

  What does it deal with? A scene of pomp from the small and brilliant courts so numerous in 1909, the date of the photograph?

The center of the next photograph is dominated by the same lady who has just entered an elegant carriage and is preparing to seat herself for departure. A coachman in livery and top hat serves her. An air of importance and seriousness is perceived in the countenances of the onlookers, who are obviously political and military officials. Once again, the photograph does not furnish sufficiently defined elements to judge whether it deals with an aspect of court life.

Finally, a third picture. Near the aristocratic latticework whose gates are open in welcome, we notice the same lady in the center, the same gentleman, to whom she gave her hand in the other photograph, some military men, and various people formally dressed in top hats and jackets. Well in the background is a pole decorated by a shield on which one reads the letter B, and topped by a crown. On a closer plane is a carriage of extremely imaginative lines with an equally bizarre arch also topped by a crown. And once again we ask the reader our question ⸺ is this a court scene?

  Everything indicates that the answer is yes ⸺ though a small, somewhat imaginative court (as seen in the peculiar lines of the carriage) and a somewhat rustic one (as one notes something unauthentic and artificial about the personages in full dress who have much of the “petit bourgeois.”) The lady is striking and unrestrained. But it would be difficult to say that she is authentically aristocratic. Hints and details can be perceived by a shrewd observer but that pass completely unnoticed by the majority.

*   *   *

  Then what do these pictures deal with? All this seriousness, this solemnity, and this protocol is to celebrate the “queen” for the Hoisery festival in Troyes. This city, the old capital of Champagne with its fifty or sixty thousand inhabitants, had in the beginning of the century only a very secondary importance. It tried to provide incentives for the local industries of which the Hoisery Festival was one of the most popular. The coronation of this “queen” served as an opportunity for brilliant festivities, appropriate to catch the attention of the press and tourists, and thus advertised their product. Hence the collaboration of the authorities. The second picture represents the moment when the “queen” is leaving the municipal court of Troyes after being crowned; the third photograph shows her arrival at the department of Aube at the Mayor’s Palace; and the first photograph is of her departure after the ceremony of the mayor’s visit.

  What is the purpose of our discourse? So that we better understand or feel how much the world is losing its seriousness in the course of this foolish and tormented century. Thus, in 1909, “queen” was presented as a “beauty” with her “poses” destined for great publicity. Today…the number of such “queens” has grown immensely, but the “poses” more appreciated by the multitudes are such that we dare not even make a comparison?

But the theme also lends itself to another observation. When a custom is dangerous, no matter how “conventional” or “innocent” it might seem at first, in reality all its dynamism tends to gradually abandon the correct forms and the distinctive decorations in order to show its sensual and vulgar essence. Thus, these “queens” who originated ⸺ for propaganda and the dry good business. And those men in full dress ⸺ those modest and noteworthy petty ⸺ bourgeois of Troyes in 1909 ⸺ what would they say if they could see the way that the “descendants” of successors of the “queens” of their time are generally presented today?

Taken from Ambiences, Customs & Civilizations. Published in “Catolicismo” Nº 65 – May 1956.


The Birth of the Dauphin

August 17, 2023

The Royal Festival, in honor of the birth of Louis-Joseph, Dauphin of France.

At three o’clock the new-born child was baptized in the chapel of Versailles by the Cardinal de Rohan, grand almoner. A Te Deum succeeded the baptism, and in the evening there were fireworks on the Place d’Armes.

Le Dauphin, Louis-Joseph-Xavier-François of France

The celebrations were as splendid as ingenious. The arts and crafts of Paris spent considerable sums to go in a body to Versailles to offer their homage to the queen, and to file before her, with music at their head, in the marble court. The procession was charming; it continued during nine days. Each corporation bore the insignia of its profession; the chimneysweeps carried a chimney, from the top of which one of their smallest members sang, in a clear voice, a song appropriate to the occasion; the butchers led a fat cow; the chair porters carried a gilt chair, which contained a nurse with a dauphin; the locksmiths hammered upon an anvil; the shoemakers made a little pair of shoes for the new-born child; the tailors a little uniform for his regiment. The entire court enjoyed this spectacle; the king remained for a long time watching it, and had twelve thousand livres distributed among these good people.

Rejoicing at Les Halles to Celebrate the Birth of Dauphin Louis of France 1781-89, by Philibert-Louis Debucourt.

The locksmiths of Versailles did not wish to be behind their colleagues of Paris,⸺ they presented a secret lock. Louis XVI, in his quality of artisan, wished to discover the secret himself. When he pressed a spring, a little steel dauphin, admirably cut, sprang from the middle of the lock. The prince was delighted; he said aloud that the gift of these good people had given him great pleasure, and he had thirty livres more distributed among them than among the other corporations.

The Life of Marie Antoinette, Volume 1 by Maxime de La Rocheterie. Pgs. 245-246.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 891


The Reign of Mary will be the civilization of admiration

August 17, 2023

We desire a culture in which everything is conceived in function of degrees of perfection, everything ordered according to the sublime in its respective genus. Admiration is the sole true planner in life. It plans, directs, and helps us to feel our way. [faz intuir o nosso caminho] Admiration is our Star of Bethlehem. All […]

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Incognito, Venerable Pierre Toussaint Aids an Impoverished French Gentleman

August 10, 2023

A French gentleman, whom Toussaint had known in affluence, a white man, was reduced to poverty; he was sick and suffering, craving a delicacy of food which he had no means to procure. For several months Toussaint and Juliette [Toussaint’s wife] sent his dinner, nicely cooked, in such a way that he could not suspect […]

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August 10, 2023

We have seen some aspects of the bad influence that the social transformations of the last two centuries, characterised especially by industrialisation and urbanisation, have had over the internal structure of the family. This shaking of the traditional institution of the family had, and continues to have, profound repercussions in the social order. Before concluding, […]

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El Cid’s Daughters Marry the Princes of Aragon and Navarre

August 3, 2023

While this Persian was still in Valencia, news came that the Princes of Aragon and Navarre were coming to their marriage. The Prince of Navarre was called Don Ramiro; and he of Aragon was named Don Sancho, and was the son of the King Don Pedro, whom the Cid had once made a prisoner; and […]

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The Traditional Family Vis-à-Vis the Nuclear Family

August 3, 2023

In the Traditional Family, there are usually many children. *  In the Nuclear Family, there are few children. * *  * The Traditional Family is normally made up of three generations interrelating amongst each other. *  In the Nuclear Family, there is normally no interrelationship between three generations. * *  *  In the Traditional Family, […]

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The Protection of a Mother

July 27, 2023

But the person who had the greatest attraction for the queen was her daughter. She rejoiced in the child with all the ardour and vivacity of a first attachment. The education of her daughter was the constant object of her thought. This woman who everyone thought was only occupied with amusements and frivolities, had meditated […]

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Incapacity to Provide for Its Own Members

July 27, 2023

The family was not only affected in its moral, psychological, and social aspects by urbanisation and industrialisation. Its economic activities were also changed. No longer capable of providing services and exercising functions as before, the family stopped being a production unit. In his essay “Sociological Study of the Spanish Family”, José Manuel Rodriguez Delgado explains: […]

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Pierre Toussaint Pays His Noble Mistress’s Debts With the Fruit of His Own Labor

July 20, 2023

At another time, the hairdresser of whom Toussaint had learnt his trade called on Madame Bérard for the stipulated sum. Toussaint heard her reply, with faltering voice, “It was not in her power to pay him; he must wait.” Toussaint followed him out, and entered into an engagement to pay the sum himself, by installments, […]

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Urbanisation Favours Juvenile Delinquency

July 20, 2023

One of the most striking aspects of the accelerated and disordered urbanisation is the formation of sprawling housing estates where nuclear families are confined to small flats where they have no desire to spend their leisure hours. As a result, most of their time is spent on the street. This happens with both the parents […]

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A Joyous Celebration

July 13, 2023

On January 18, she [Marie Antoinette] celebrated her recovery in the sacristy of the chapel of Versailles, and resumed her court duties in their usual form. On February 8, accompanied by the king, Monsieur Madame, and the Comte and Comtesse d’Artois, she went to Paris to render thanks to God for her happy deliverance. She […]

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Loss of Purpose with the Nuclear Family

July 13, 2023

This egalitarian and liberal transformation of the family deprived it of one of its more characteristic purposes: education. The so-called generation gap contributed greatly to this. This was not only caused by the frequent absence of the parents from the home, but also by the tense atmosphere created by the limited space. To this was […]

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A Royal Kick

July 6, 2023

[Marie Antoinette] she bore the fatigues of her pregnancy marvelously well. “My health is always excellent,” she wrote on August 14. “My child made its first movement on Wednesday, July 31, at half-past ten in the evening; since then it often moves, which gives me much joy. I cannot tell my dear mamma how each […]

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The Urbanised Nuclear Family: A New Mentality and Behaviour

July 6, 2023

Urban and industrial society, in turn, is not guided by coherent and stable principles. Everything is unstable, conflicting, competitive, and aggressive. There is no place for the traditional family. This brought the advent of the nuclear family made up of parents and one or two children where affectionate understanding and mutual communication between generations is […]

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Venerable Pierre Toussaint: Acclaimed in Death as the Extraordinary Man He Was

June 29, 2023

The following is part of a notice in the Home Journal, which, a few days after [Toussaint’s death], proceeded from the pen of Mr. Henry T. Tuckerman: “Died on Thursday, June 30th, [1853,] at his residence in this city, Pierre Toussaint, in the eighty-seventh year of his age. “We cannot allow this brief announcement to […]

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The Opinion of the Catholic Church

June 29, 2023

The old and rural society, with its patriarchal families, merited the following words from Pope Pius XII in his speech to the Men of Italian Catholic Action: Especially in some regions a magnificent example is given by those families, rightly called patriarchal, in which the spirit of the deceased grandfather still survives. It is a […]

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A Dying Madame Nicolas Gives Venerable Pierre Toussaint His Freedom

June 22, 2023

But not all this affectionate solicitude, nor the cares of a kind husband, for such was Monsieur Nicolas, could stay the approach of death. Her strength rapidly declined, and every day Toussaint perceived a change. At length she was confined to her bed. One day she said to him, “My dear Toussaint, I thank you […]

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Normal Development of the Child without the Phenomenon of “Adolescence”

June 22, 2023

The phenomenon “adolescence”, with its crises and problems, is typical of modern society and practically did not exist before. Paul Landis, in his book Adolescence and Youth: The Process of Maturing, says that in a traditional system: The child grows up in the tradition of the family, taking over the family occupation, maintaining throughout his […]

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King Charles III revives riding on horseback tradition in the first Trooping the Colour of his reign

June 18, 2023

According to The Telegraph: King Charles III… is the first monarch to have ridden at Trooping the Colour since Elizabeth II did so in 1986. Also riding on horseback were Prince William, Princess Anne and Prince Edward. The King was treated to an extended military flypast following Trooping the Colour after his Coronation day display […]

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Crown Prince of Jordan marries

June 16, 2023

According to the Royal Hashemid court: His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein married Miss Rajwa Khalid Alseif on Thursday, 1 June 2023. A Royal Decree was issued, bestowing the title of Her Royal Highness Princess Rajwa Al Hussein on Miss Rajwa, on the occasion of her marriage to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al […]

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Though Already Dead, the Cid Defeats King Bucar of Morocco

June 15, 2023

Three days after the death of the Cid, King Bucar came with his host. There came with him thirty-six kings and one Moorish queen, who was a negress, and she brought with her two hundred horsewomen, negresses like herself; and they were all armed in coats of mail and with Turkish bows. King Bucar ordered […]

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Institutional Seriousness of Marriage

June 15, 2023

One of the most powerful factors that gave solidity and stability to the traditional family was its public and institutional character. Mariano Yela states in his Prologue to José Gonzalez’s book Family Guidance and Therapy: It used to be that, at least in the West and from Roman times, the family was above all an […]

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Venerable Pierre Toussaint, the Devoted Slave, Supports Madame Nicolas, His Impoverished Noble Mistress

June 8, 2023

Toussaint, in the meantime, was industriously pursuing his business as a hairdresser, and denying himself all but the neat apparel necessary for his occupation, never appropriating the smallest sum of his earnings to his own amusement, though at that season of youth which inclines the heart to gaiety and pleasure. Belonging to a race proverbially […]

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Part II Chapter 1: The Traditional Family

June 8, 2023

Let us first look at some of the characteristics of a traditional family unit. In former times, when a rural tone of life prevailed, many conditions existed that favoured the harmonic development of the child until it reached adulthood. The crisis of adolescence was almost non-existent. In those days, society was guided by stable and […]

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After Years of Banishment and Having Conquered Valencia, El Cid Meets With King Alfonso VI of Castile

June 1, 2023

Then the Cid sent letters to the king saying that he would meet him as he commanded, and whatever the king wished he would do. When the king saw the letters, he was well pleased, and sent a reply appointing a meeting three weeks later upon the river Tagus. The preparations for this meeting on […]

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

June 1, 2023

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

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The Symbolic Detonation of the Revolution(*): Sciarra Colonna and Nogaret, Philip the Fair’s Emissary, Slap Pope Boniface VIII in Anagni

May 25, 2023

Boniface immeditely proceeded to that further action he threatened, and began to draft the bull solemnly excommunicating Philip and threatening his deposition if, within a fixed time, he had not submitted and sought absolution. It was arranged that the bull should be promulgated in the cathedral at Anagni, where Boniface then was, on September 8 […]

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Part II – Introduction

May 25, 2023

INTRODUCTION Much has been said of the relationship problems between parents and children. “Crisis of Adolescence”, “The Generation Gap” and other expressions indicate that this relationship and the conditions of life within the family are not going through a period of great harmony and understanding. The hard reality is that the institution of the family […]

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Robert the Magnificent, duke of Normandy: “Go and Tell My People, That You Have Seen a Christian Prince Being Carried to Paradise by Devils”

May 18, 2023

Among the celebrated pilgrims of this age, we observe the name of Robert . . . duke of Normandy, father of William the Conqueror. History accuses him of having caused his brother Richard to be poisoned. Remorse urged him to make the pilgrimage to Palestine; and he set out accompanied by a great number of knights and […]

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Part I Conclusion

May 18, 2023

We have just seen how the word “family” is not an empty word. It is the leaven of life, it is a condition for existence, an essential element for progress. Supported by the values of tradition, it is the very breath of life of everything society affirms, develops, and tends towards for the future. The […]

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Letter of the Venerable Pierre Toussaint to William Schuyler*

May 11, 2023

New York, November 5, 1823 SIR, I have received your charming letter which has truly afforded me the greatest pleasure in the world and I see well that you are a young man of word. Yes, my dear sir, I believe I am the happiest of all mortals when I receive letters from Madame la […]

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Hearing the heartbeat of Doña Lucilia

May 11, 2023

I find it admirable that the sound a newborn child likes most to hear is the heartbeat of its mother. Inclusive from the viewpoint of such interactions and instincts, of the affinities that continue throughout life in its entirety. These are the harmonies that form dynasties. I felt what Mamãe felt. What she didn’t feel, […]

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May 12 – Defender of feudal rights

May 11, 2023

Ethelhard (AETHELHEARD, ETHELHEARD), fourteenth Archbishop of Canterbury, England, date of birth unknown; d. May 12, 805. Much obscurity surrounds the details of his life previous to his election. He is described by Symeon of Durham as “Abbas Hludensis Monasterii”, but it is uncertain what monastery is thus designated. It has been variously located at Louth […]

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Video highlights of the coronation of King Charles III

May 8, 2023

Despite occasionally heavy rain, hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the route of the procession along The Mall, through Whitehall, past the Houses of Parliament. The Coronation of King Charles III.    

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Saint Helena of Skövde: A Medieval Pilgrim to Jerusalem

May 4, 2023

The weak and timid sex was not deterred by the difficulties and the perils of a long voyage. Helena, born of a noble family of Sweden, quitted her country, which was buried in idolatry, and traveled on foot into the East. When, after having visited the holy places, she returned to her country, she was […]

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At the State Level

May 4, 2023

Previous If a family can dominate a region, a town, and a profession, then no matter what the form of government may be, it will be influenced by families. This influence comes from below and moves upwards, penetrating in thousands of ways the organism of the State. Having penetrated the organism of the State and […]

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Pierre Toussaint Prevents the Sale of His Noble Mistress’s Jewels

April 27, 2023

Melancholy letters arrived from Monsieur Bérard. His property was irreclaimably lost; and he wrote that he must return, and make the most of what he had placed in New York. This letter was soon followed by another, announcing his sudden death by pleurisy. Madame Bérard had not recovered from this terrible shock, when the failure […]

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At the Regional Level

April 27, 2023

Previous Going up another level, this family life that formed cities also formed regions. There are many places where this pyramid structure of families formed a region dominated by the influence of a certain family. A famous French sociologist, when asked what he thought a region was, responded, “The only possible definition of a region […]

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Like Others Before Him, the Sultan of Persia’s Ambassador Becomes Speechless Before the Cid

April 20, 2023

Some time after this, the great Sultan of Persia, who had heard of the greatness of the Cid and of his wonderful feats at arms, and how he had never been vanquished by any man, and how he had conquered many kings, Moors and Christians, and had won the great city of Valencia, and had […]

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At the Town Level

April 20, 2023

Previous Let us now go up one level to see how towns were formed. These towns very frequently would be expressed as groups of families linked to other groups of families that constituted a small town of families of families. One could object: “Here you go again talking about small towns. Can nothing be done […]

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April 27 – His artillery instructions saved Goa

April 20, 2023

Giacomo Rho Missionary, born at Milan, 1593; died at Peking 27 April, 1638. He was the son of a noble and learned jurist, and at the age of twenty entered the Society of Jesus. While poor success attended his early studies, he was later very proficient in mathematics. After his ordination at Rome by Cardinal […]

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