Twenty days after this crowning victory of his career [the Siege of Belgrade]—while “all Europe was ringing with his name and bonfires in his honour were blazing in every city in Hungary”—John Hunyadi breathed his last. As often happened in besieged cities, a plague had broken out at Belgrade, and the fifty-year-old warrior-general had at last contracted it.

St. John of Capistrano

He was initially sent to recover in nearby Semlin (now Zemun, a municipality of Belgrade). When Hunyadi felt his demise draw nigh, he begged his old comrade, [Saint John] Capistrano, who had accompanied him to Semlin, to transport him to the local church for his final communion. The Franciscan told him to rest; the Eucharist would be brought to him. “Not so,” retorted the savior of Belgrade. “It is not meet that the Master should come to his servant. It is for the servant to go and seek his Lord.” Then, “although his strength was failing,” writes Aeneas, “he ordered himself to be carried into church, where he made his confession in the Christian way, received the divine Eucharist, and surrendered his soul to God in the arms of the priests.”

Thus died John Hunyadi on August 11, 1456 and was buried in his hometown of Transylvania. Ten weeks later, Capistrano also died.

Raymond Ibrahim, The Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam (New York: Post Hill Press, 2022), 231–32.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 863

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What is true aseity?

Just because one strongly exerts his individuality does not mean aseity is subjective. By the help of grace and use of reason, man knows truth.

He especially perceives truth when the salvation of his soul is at stake. From this he discerns a notion of his primordial light.

If faithful to grace, he is guided along the path of his primordial light.

The Christian Institution of the Family: A Dynamic Force to Regenerate Society, by Tradition, Family, Property Association. Pg. 47.

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Sir Everard Digby

Born 16 May, 1578, died 30 Jan., 1606. Everard Digby, whose father bore the same Christian name, succeeded in his fourteenth year to large properties in the Counties of Lincoln, Leicester, and Rutland. Arrived at man’s estate, he was distinguished for his great stature and bodily strength as well as for his accomplished horsemanship and skill in field sports generally, to which he was much devoted. For some time he frequented the court of Queen Elizabeth. In 1596 he married Mary, only daughter and heiress of William Mulsho of Goathurst, Buckingham-shire, with whom he obtained a large accession of fortune, and by whom he had two sons, Kenelm, born in 1603, and John, in 1605. About 1599 Digby, who, although his parents seem to have been Catholics, had been brought up a Protestant, made the acquaintance of the Jesuit Father, John Gerard, with the result that both he and his wife were converted to the Catholic Faith, and he formed with Gerard so close a friendship that they were accustomed to speak of each other as “brothers”. In 1603 he was one of those who assembled at Belvoir Castle to welcome James I on his progress towards London, and he was knighted by the new king on the 23rd of April in that year.

In spite of what might have appeared so auspicious a commencement, there soon followed the fatal Powder Plot, which brought Sir Everard’s career to an ignominious close by a traitor’s death, while yet only in his twenty-eighth year. It is for his share in this, almost exclusively, that he is now remembered. In the “Dictionary of National Biography” he is compendiously described as “Conspirator”, and one of his descendants has recently published his biography under the title “Life of a Conspirator”. In truth, however, of all who had a share in the criminal folly of that deplorable enterprise, there is none to whom the title can less properly be applied, for he had no part either in the conception of the plot, or in the preparation for its accomplishment, and was not even aware of its existence till the eleventh hour. His initiation in the secret was due to the lack of funds. Owing to the delay occasioned by an unexpected prorogation of Parliament, Catesby, the ringleader of the whole design, finding his own treasury exhausted, sought to enlist as associates some men of substance. One of these was Digby, who was inducted and sworn in “about a week after Michaelmas”, 1605, or just a month before the fatal 5th of November.

An aerial view of the Tower of London. Bl. Margaret Pole is buried inside the Royal Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, which is at the first tower (of the five towers on the outerwall) on the right.

When the time of action approached, Digby was assigned the part of preparing for the rising which was to follow the explosion in London, and to put the conduct of affairs into the hands of the conspirators once the blow was struck. For this purpose he rented Coughton Hall, the seat of the Throckmortons, near Alcester, and arranged for a great “hunting match” upon Dunsmoor Heath, near Rugby, to which many Catholic gentlemen were to be gathered, and which was fixed for the 5th of November itself. When the news of the catastrophe at Westminster should arrive, it was hoped that the party so assembled, when they heard what had happened, would form the nucleus of a force by means of which the further designs of the conspirators might be carried out.

His death sentence, which was to be hung, drawn and quartered.

When, on the evening of the 5th, Catesby and others arrived with tidings of the discovery of their design and the arrest of Faukes, Digby joined them in their desperate attempt to raise a rebellion, and was captured with the survivors of the party at Holbeche on the 8th. At their trial on the 27th of January, Digby, who alone pleaded guilty, was arraigned separately from the rest, but received the same sentence of death, with all the ghastly barbarities usual in cases of treason. Three days later, 30 January, with three of his accomplices, Robert Winter, Grant, and Bates, he suffered in St. Paul’s churchyard, being the first to mount the scaffold where he confessed his guilt, expressed shame for his infatuation, and solemnly protested that his friend, Father Gerard, had no knowledge of the plot, in or out of confession, adding, “I never durst tell him of it, for fear he would have drawn me out of it”. It is a remarkable circumstance, lending some color to the belief that in later days the king did not believe in the genuine character of the danger he was said to have escaped, that Sir Everard’s son, Kenelm, was knighted by James in October, 1623, when he had not completed his twenty-first year. His description of the behavior of James on that occasion has been borrowed by Sir Walter Scott in the “Fortunes of Nigel”, for the knighting of Richard Moniplies. The younger son, John, was knighted by Charles I, in 1635, and fell in the Civil War as a major-general in the royal army.

GARDINER, Hist. of England (l883-84), I; ID., What the Gunpowder Plot Was; JARDINE, Criminal Trials, II; John Gerard. (THE ELDER), ed. MORRIS, Condition of Catholics; The Life of a Conspirator, by one of his Descendants; John Gerard. (THE YOUNGER), What was the Gunpowder Plot; FOLEY, Records of the English Province, S. J., II; Calendar of State Papers.

John Gerard (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Prosper Louis Pascal Guéranger

Benedictine and polygraph; b. 4 April, 1805, at Sablé-sur-Sarthe; d. at Solesmes, 30 January, 1875.

Ordained a priest 7 October, 1827, he was administrator of the parish of the Missions Etrangères until near the close of 1830. He then left Paris and returned to Mans, where he began to publish various historical works, such as “De la prière pour le Roi” (Oct., 1830) and “De l’élection et de la nomination des évêques” (1831), their subject being inspired by the political and religious situation of the day. In 1831 the priory of Solesmes, which was about an hour’s journey from Sablé, was put up for sale and Père Guéranger now saw a means of realizing his desire to re-establish, in this monastery, religious life under the Rule of St. Benedict. His decision was made in June, 1831, and, in December, 1832, thanks to private donations, the monastery had become his property. The Bishop of Mans now sanctioned the Constitutions by which the new society was to be organized and fitted subsequently to enter the Benedictine Order. On 11 July, 1833, five priests came together in the restored priory at Solesmes, and on 15 August, 1836, publicly declared their intention of consecrating their lives to the re-establishment of the Order of St. Benedict. In a brief issued 1 September, 1837, Pope Gregory erected the former priory of Solesmes into an abbey and constituted it head of the “Congrégation Française de l’Ordre de Saint Benoît”. Dom Guéranger was appointed Abbot of Solesmes (Oct. 31) and Superior General of the Benedictines of the “Congrégation de France”, and those of the little society who had received the habit 15 August, 1836, made their solemn profession under the direction of the new abbot, who had pronounced his vows at Rome, 26 July, 1837.

Thenceforth Dom Guéranger’s life was given up to developing the young monastic community, to procuring for it the necessary material and indispensable resources, and to inspiring it with an absolute devotion to the Church and the Pope. Amongst those who came to Solesmes, either to follow the monastic life or to seek self-improvement by means of retreats, Dom Guéranger found many collaborators and valuable steadfast friends. Dom Pitra, afterwards Cardinal, renewed the great literary traditions of the Benedictines of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; Bishops Pie of Poitiers and Berthaud of Tulle, Pere Lacordaire, the Count de Montalembert and Louis Veuillot, were all interested in the abbot’s projects and even shared his labours. Unfortunately the controversy occasioned by several of Dom Guéranger’s writings had the effect of drawing his attention to secondary questions and turning it away from the great enterprises of ecclesiastical science, in which he always manifested a lively concern. The result was a work in which polemics figured prominently, and which at present evokes but mediocre interest, and, although the time spent upon it was by no means lost to the cause of the Church, Dom Guéranger’s historical and liturgical pursuits suffered in consequence. He devoted himself too largely to personal impressions and neglected detailed and persevering investigation. His quickness of perception and his classical training permitted him to enjoy and to set forth, treat in an interesting way, historical and liturgical subjects which, by nature, were somewhat unattractive. Genuine enthusiasm, a lively imagination, and a style tinged with romanticism have sometimes led him, as he himself realized, to express himself and to judge too vigorously.

Abbey of Solesmes, Sarthe, France.

Being a devout and ardent servant of the Church, Dom Guéranger wished to re-establish more respectful and more filial relations between France and the See of Rome, and his entire life was spent in endeavouring to effect a closer union between the two. With this end in view he set himself to combat, wherever he thought he found its traces, the separatist spirit that had, of old, allied itself with Gallicanism and Jansenism. With a strategic skill which deserves special recognition, Dom Guéranger worked on the principle that to suppress what is wrong, the thing must be replaced, and he laboured hard to supplant everywhere whatever reflected the opinion he was fighting. He fought to have the Roman liturgy substituted for the diocesan liturgies, and he lived to see his efforts in this line crowned with complete success. On philosophical ground, he struggled with unwavering hope against Naturalism and Liberalism, which he considered a fatal impediment to the constitution of an unreservedly Christian society. He helped, in a measure, to prepare men’s minds for the definition of the papal infallibility, that brilliant triumph which succeeded the struggle against papal authority so bitterly carried on a century previously by many Gallican and Josephite bishops. Along historical lines Dom Guéranger’s enterprises were less successful and their influence, although once very strong, is daily growing weaker.

In 1841 he began to publish a mystical work by which he hoped to arouse the faithful from their spiritual torpor and to supplant what he deemed the lifeless or erroneous literature that had been produced by the French spiritual writers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. “L’Année liturgique“, of which the author was not to finish the long series of fifteen volumes, is probably the one of all Dom Guéranger’s works that best fulfilled the purpose he had in view. Accommodating himself to the development of the liturgical periods of the year, the author laboured to familiarize the faithful with the official prayer of the Church by lavishly introducing fragments of the Eastern and Western liturgies, with interpretations and commentaries.

Amid his many labours Dom Guéranger had the satisfaction of witnessing the spreading of the restored Benedictine Order. Two unsuccessful attempts at foundations in Paris and Acey respectively did not deter him from new efforts in he same line, and, thanks to his zealous perseverance, monasteries were established at Liguge and Marseilles. Moreover, in his last years, the Abbot of Solesmes founded, at a short distance from his monastery, a community of women under the Rule of St. Benedict. This life, fraught with so many trials and filled with such great achievements, drew to a peaceful close at Solesmes.

The complete bibliography is to be found in 126 numbers in CABROL, Bibliographie des Benedictins (Solesmes, 1889), 3-33. We shall only mention here the most important works: Origines de l’Eglise romaine (Paris, 1836); Institutions liturgiques (Paris, I, 1840, II, 1841, III, 1851), 2nd edition, 4 vols. 8vo (Paris, 1878-1885); Lettre a Mgr. l’archeveque de Reims sur le droit de la liturgie (Le Mans, 1843); Defense des Institutions liturgiques, lettre a Mgr. l’archeveque de Toulouse (Le Mans, 1844); Nouvelle defense des Institutions liturgiques (Paris, 1846-47); L’Annee liturgique (Paris, 1841-1901, tr. SHEPHARD, Worcester, 1895-1903); Memoire sur la question de l’Immaculee Conception de la tres sainte Vierge (Paris, 1850); Essais sur le naturalisme contemporain, 8vo (Paris, 1858); Essai sur l’origine, la signification et les privileges de la medaille ou croix de Saint Benoit, 12mo (Poitiers, 1862); L’Eglise romaine contre les accusations du P. Gratry (Le Mans, 1870); Deuxieme defense (Paris, 1870); Troisieme defense, Eng. tr., Defence of the Roman Church against Father Gratry, by WOODS (London, 1870); De la Monarchie pontificale, a propos du livre de Mgr. l’eveque de Sura, 8vo (Paris, 1870); Sainte Cecile et la Societe romaine aux deux premiers siecles, 4to (Paris, 1874), and Reglements du noviciat pour les Benedictins de la Congregation de France, 16mo (Solesmes, 1885).

H. LECLERCQ (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Pope St. Felix IV

(Reigned 526–530).

On 18 May, 526, Pope John I (q.v.) died in prison at Ravenna, a victim of the angry suspicions of Theodoric, the Arian king of the Goths. When, through the powerful influence of this ruler, the cardinal-priest, Felix of Samnium, son of Castorius, was brought forward in Rome as John’s successor, the clergy and laity yielded to the wish of the Gothic king and chose Felix pope. He was consecrated Bishop of Rome 12 July, 526, and took advantage of the favor he enjoyed at the court of Theodoric to further the interests of the Roman Church, discharging the duties of his office in a most worthy manner. On 30 August, 526, Theodoric died, and, his grandson Athalaric being a minor, the government was conducted by Athalaric’s mother Amalasuntha, daughter of Theodoric and favorably disposed towards the Catholics. To the new ruler the Roman clergy addressed a complaint on the usurpation of their privileges by the civil power. A royal edict, drawn up by Cassiodorus in terms of the deepest respect for the papal authority, confirmed the ancient custom that every civil or criminal charge of a layman against a cleric should be submitted to the pope, or to an ecclesiastical court appointed by him. A fine of ten pounds of gold was imposed as a punishment for the violation of this order, and the money thus obtained was to be distributed amongst the poor by the pope (Cassiodorus, “Variæ”, VIII, n. 24, ed. Mommsen, “Mon. Germ. Hist.: Auctores antiquiss.”, XII, 255) The pope received as a gift from Amalasuntha two ancient edifices in the Roman Forum, the Temple of Romulus, son of the Emperor Maxentius, and the adjoining Templum sacrœ urbis, the Roman land registry office.

Pope St. Felix IV presents Saints Cosmas and Damian with the basilica he rededicated to them.

The pope converted the buildings into the Church of SS. Cosmas and Damian, which still exists and in the apse of which is preserved the large and magnificent mosaic executed by order of Felix, the figure of the pope, however, being a later restoration (see Cosmas and Damian). Felix also took part in the so-called Semipelagian conflict in Southern Gaul concerning the nature and efficiency of grace. He sent to the bishops of those parts a series of “Capitula”, regarding grace and free will, compiled from Scripture and the Fathers. These capitula were published as canons at the Synod of Orange (529). In addition Felix approved the work of Cæsarius of Arles against Faustus of Riez on grace and free will (De gratia et libero arbitrio). Rendered anxious by the political dissensions of the Romans, many of whom stood for the interests of Byzantium, while others supported Gothic Rule, Felix IV, when he fell seriously ill in the year 530, wished to ensure the peace of the Roman Church by naming his successor. Having given over to Archdeacon Boniface his pallium, he made it known publicly that he had chosen Boniface to succeed him, and that he had apprised the court of Ravenna of his action (“Neues Archiv”, XI, 1886, 367; Duchesne, “Liber Pontificalis”, I, 282, note 4). Felix IV died soon afterwards, but in the papal election which followed his wishes were disregarded (see Boniface II). The feast of Felix IV is celebrated on 30 January. The day of his death is uncertain, but it was probably towards the end of September, 530.

J.P. KIRSCH (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Bishop of Worcester, b. about 1235; d. 26 Jan., 1301. He was the son of Hugh Giffard of Boyton in Wiltshire, and Sybil, the daughter and coheiress of Walter de Cormeilles. His elder brother Walter became Archbishop of York (d. 1279). During the earlier part of his life his success was bound up with that of his brother. When in May, 1264, Walter was elected Bishop of Bath and Wells, Godfrey became canon and subsequently archdeacon of Wells; he also held many other benefices, although only in minor orders, and, as his enemies alleged, not learned. When in August, 1265, Walter became chancellor, Godfrey in 1266 was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, with leave to appoint a substitute to act during his absence; and when in October, 1266, Walter was translated to York, Godfrey succeeded him as Chancellor of England, and received further benefices from the new Archbishop of York, becoming archdeacon of York and rector of Adlingfleet in 1267. When Bishop Nicholas of Ely was translated from the See of Worcester to that of Winchester, Godfrey was elected by the monks; he received the temporalities of his see in June, 1268. One of his first acts as bishop-elect was to obtain licence to continue the work, begun by Walter Cantelupe, of building and fortifying Hartlebury Castle, which has ever since been the principal palace of the bishops of Worcester. His consecration took place at Canterbury, 23 Sept., 1268, and his enthronement 25 December. During his chancellorship a parliament was held at Marlbridge (52. H. 3) where many useful laws were passed for restraining the abuse of distresses, regulating the incidence of tenure, and improving civil and criminal procedure; the knowledge of general jurisprudence they display is remarkable, and if he did not frame them himself, he deserves credit for having had the wit to employ the superior men who did. He continued in office as chancellor until 28 Oct., 1269, when he handed over the seal to the king.

The tomb of Godfrey Giffard, Bishop of Worcester on the left inside Worcester Cathedral. This tomb, along with that of his sister Matilda, was formerly situated to the right of the Cathedral’s high altar, but they were moved to allow construction in 1502 of the chantry chapel for Prince Arthur. Photo by Irid Escent.

As bishop Giffard devoted himself to the care of his diocese which he ruled for nearly thirty-four years. In the course of those years two affairs caused him considerable trouble: the disputes with the monks of Worcester cathedral, and that with Malvern Priory. The Worcester feud lasted down to the bishop’s death, and reached such a height that when, in 1300, Archbishop Winchelsey visited the priory, the monks presented a formal accusation against the bishop containing thirty-six articles of varying importance to which Giffard’s satisfactory answers are still extant. The quarrel appears to date from 1288 when the monks considered that the rights of the church of Worcester had been infringed by the bishop’s refusal to allow their precentor to summon those who were to be ordained at an ordination at Westbury. The feeling aroused was intensified by the bishop’s attempt, in 1288, to annex the churches in his gift to the prebends in the church of Westbury. This was eventually decided in the bishop’s favour in the Arches Court in 1297. Relations were, moreover, strained because of the unwillingness of the priory to admit the bishop’s visitations. The difficulty with the priory at Great Malvern was even more complicated. The cause was a claim made by the priory to be independent of the bishops of Worcester, and dependent upon the Abbot of Westminster. The relations between the two houses had been settled in 1217. Giffard’s predecessors had had continual trouble with the same priory. The present struggle with Richard of Ware, Abbot of Westminster lasted from 1279 until 1283 and was not really ended then. The climax was reached in September, 1282, when Giffard, as visitor, at the request of some of the monks, deposed the unworthy prior, William of Ledbury. A violent conflict followed, full of incidents, appeals, and counter-appeals and finally the king had to intervene to bring about a compromise.

Besides building the castle at Hartlebury, and rebuilding the church there, Giffard built magnificent mansions at Wick and Alvechurch. Moreover he ornamented the eastern part of the cathedral with the small columns of marble having joints of gilded brass, which form one of the most graceful characteristics of the present choir and Lady chapel. Even after retiring from the chancellorship he is still found exercising judicial functions, as when, in 1272, with Roger Mortimer he enquired into the injuries done by the townspeople of Oxford to the scholars; and, in 1278, he was at the head of the justices itinerant for the counties of Hereford, Hertford, and Kent. He was buried on 4 Feb. in his cathedral church (Ann. Monast., IV, 551).

THOMAS, Antiquitates prioratus majoris Malverniae in agro Wicciensi, cum chartis originalibus easdem illustrantibus, ex registris Sedis Episcopalis Wigornisensis (London, 1725); IDEM, A Survey of the Cathedral Church of Worcester, with an Account of the Bishops thereof (London, 1736), 135-145; Annales Monastici, ed. LUARD in R. S. (London, 1869), IV; Registrum Epistolarum J. Peckham, ed. MARTIN in R. S. (London, 1884), II; TOUT in Dict. Nat. Biog., s. v.; SMITH AND ONSLOW, Diocesan Histories: Worcester (London, 1883).

EDWARD MYERS (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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January 26 – St. Bathilde

January 23, 2023

(Or BATILDE).

Wife of Clovis II, King of France, time and place of birth unknown; d. January; 680. According to some chronicles she came from England and was a descendant of the Anglo-Saxon kings, but this is a doubtful statement. It is certain that she was a slave in the service of the wife of Erchinoald, mayor of the palace of Neustria. Her unusual qualities of mind and her virtues inspired the confidence of her master who gave many of the affairs of the household into her charge and, after the death of his wife, wished to marry her. At this the young girl fled and did not return until Erchinoald had married again. About this time Clovis II met her at the house of the mayor of the palace, and was impressed by her beauty, grace, and the good report he had of her. He freed and married her, 649. This sudden elevation did not diminish the virtues of Bathilde but gave them a new lustre. Her humility, spirit of prayer, and large-hearted generosity to the poor were particularly noticeable.

Seven years after their marriage Clovis II died, 656, leaving Bathilde with three sons, Clothaire, Childeric, and Thierry. An assembly of the leading nobles proclaimed Clothaire III, aged five, king under the regency of his mother, Bathilde. Aided by the authority and advice of Erchinoald and the saintly bishops, Eloi (Eligius) of Noyon, Ouen of Rouen, Leéger of Autun, and Chrodebert of Paris, the queen was able to carry out useful reforms. She abolished the disgraceful trade in Christian slaves, and firmly repressed simony among the clergy. She also led the way in founding charitable and religious institutions, such as hospitals and monasteries. Through her generosity the Abbey of Corbey was founded for men, and the Abbey of Chelles near Paris for women. At about this date the famous Abbeys of Jumièges, Jouarre, and Luxeuil were established, most probably in large part through Bathilde’s generosity. Berthilde, the first Abbess of Chelles, who is honoured as a saint, came from Jouarre. The queen wished to renounce her position and enter the religious life, but her duties kept her at court. Erchinoald died in 659 and was succeeded by Ebroin. Notwithstanding the ambition of the new mayor of the palace, the queen was able to maintain her authority and to use it for the benefit of the kingdom. After her children were well established in their respective territories, Childeric IV in Austrasia and Thierry in Burgundy, she returned to her wish for a secluded life and withdrew to her favourite Abbey of Chelles near Paris.

St. Bathilde at the feet of Saint Eloi.

On entering the abbey she laid down the insignia of royalty and desired to be the lowest in rank among the inmates. It was her pleasure to take her position after the novices and to serve the poor and infirm with her own hands. Prayer and manual toil occupied her time, nor did she wish any allusion made to the grandeur of her past position. In this manner she passed fifteen years of retirement. At the beginning of the year 680 she had a presentiment of the approach of death and made religious preparation for it. Before her own end, that of Radegonde occurred, a child whom she had held at the baptismal font and had trained in Christian virtue. She was buried in the Abbey of Chelles and was canonized by Pope Nicholas I. The Roman martyrology places her feast on 26 January; in France it is celebrated 30 January.

Acta SS., II; DUBOIS, Histoire ecclésiastique de Paris, 198; BINET, La vie excellente de Sainte Bathilde (Paris, 1624); CORBLET, Hagiographie du diocèse d’Amiens (1874); DES ESSARTS, Sainte Bathilde in Correspondant (1873), XXXII, 227-246; DRIOUS, La reine Bathilde (Limoges, 1865); GREÉCY in Revue archéologique (1865), XII, 603-610.

A. FOURNET (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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If there is a figure that is not a role model, it is Prince Harry.

If there is a figure that is not a role model, it is Prince Harry, son of Charles III of the United Kingdom. His ghostwriter-assisted memoir, Spare, presents not a fairy tale prince but a postmodern anti-hero intent upon destroying the ancient structures around him.

The sordid details of the author’s tragic life are best left unread. What makes the book important is its cultural impact. The prince reflects the prevailing ethos of seeing all things through the prism of self. He plays the eternal victim in a painful whine-fest that sickens the observer. Such behavior inevitably leads to unhappiness—even among those like the prince who seems to have everything.

His shocking actions fit in with the present culture of gratification and politically-correct victimhood. What makes his case different is the grand scale of the unfolding drama.

Unfathomable Self-Absorption

The theme of self-absorption is indeed unfathomable. The book’s message is that there is a universe called Prince Harry that must be the object of everyone’s attention. Thus, there is no detail of his life that is uninteresting. There are no rules that he must follow. His quest for happiness must not be impeded by anything.

Entering into this universe of self-worship is the great injustice of rules, duties and tragedy. Such intrusions happen in every man’s life, especially those who should play great roles in society, like the prince. Most brave men—true Christians—embrace suffering and become individuals with character and honor.

However, the prince wants nothing to do with such proposals. Avoiding discomfort becomes an obsession. There is no passion or sin that cannot be justified. Hard drugs dull the pains of his dissolute life. Everything is a cause of anxiety and panic attacks. Anything said against Meghan must be interpreted as racist. Traditions and the monarchy, the source of all public interest in him, means nothing to him in this enclosed universe.

Service, a Joy?

A second theme that permeates the debate around the book is the prince’s aversion to service. The title, Spare, purportedly comes from the comment of then-Prince Charles, who, upon learning of his younger son’s birth, said he now had an heir (William) and a spare (in Harry).

The prince finds this role humiliating. Perhaps the prince forgets that his grandmother, Elizabeth II, was also a “spare,” who unexpectedly stepped up to the throne and assumed a life of sacrifice and service. For this reason, she was so beloved by hundreds of millions worldwide.

However, Prince Harry rejects living in anyone else’s shadow. He resents any conformity to pre-established norms that prevent him from being himself. The postmodern notion of the self-created man who constructs himself based upon whims and desires is very present in this obsession.

Again, traditionally men have always found a purpose in life by being disposed to serve a higher ideal than self. The service of God and neighbor can be the source of the great joy that eludes the prince.

“For this reason, she was so beloved by hundreds of millions worldwide.” Photo of Lying-in-State of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall and the queue by Katie Chan.

Awaiting God’s Grace

The most tragic part of the controversy is the complete absence of God and religion. His path follows society’s cold secular outlook that excludes God from the panorama. His situation reflects well the words of Saint Augustine, who speaks of two types of love: “The love of God unto the forgetfulness of self, or the love of self unto the forgetfulness and denial of God.”

This Divine presence is the missing ingredient that would give meaning and purpose to the prince’s life. Alas, it would do the same to all the royal actors in this sad drama. God’s saving grace would breathe new life into those institutions that, as the Queen’s funeral proved, so well express the aspirations of the English people.

The corrosive effect of the prevailing atheist culture upon the royal family makes all the more timely the supplication: God save the King!

A Representative Character

There is nothing unique in Prince Harry’s story. The same plot applies to all who have walked down the disastrous road of postmodernity. Every tradition and social structure must be questioned, and every narrative denied.

What sets his story apart from others is his immense influence on society.

Like it or not, Prince Harry is what sociologists call a representative character. Every society has these representative figures who act as unifying symbols. When they make the great sacrifice of doing their duty, they can take the principles, moral qualities and virtues desired and needed by their communities, states or nations and translate them into concrete programs of life and culture.

Photo by Eva Rinaldi.

Moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre writes that such characters “are, so to speak, the moral representatives of their culture, and they are so because of the way in which moral and metaphysical ideas and theories assume through them an embodied existence in the social world.”

A Crisis of Duty

One cause of today’s crisis is that representative characters at all social levels fail to do what they should. When natural leaders like Prince Harry do their duty and make the sacrifice of being role models, they do immense good for society and contribute to a rich and elevating social life. They can aid the sanctification of souls by their promotion of virtue.

However, when these figures take advantage of their position and become bad role models, they bring down all of society and themselves. The memoir Spare is a tragic example of how low things can go.

As the Gospel says, salt that loses its savor is only suited to be trodden underfoot. When such figures become anti-heroes, they are like spares who reject their calling because they choose to be useless flat tires instead.

FLICKR IMAGE CREDIT Raph_PH CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

From returntoorder.org

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According to YouGov:

the proportion of people who say they have a positive opinion of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has dropped significantly…as a Netflix documentary purporting to give the officially sanctioned inside scoop on their lives began to air.

In the weeks ahead of its launch, however, public opinion of Prince Harry slumped – just a third of Britons (33%) now have a positive opinion of him, while 59% have a negative one.

Nearly two-thirds of people (64%) now have a negative opinion of the Duchess, giving her a net score of -39, a 7 point drop since November.

To read the entire article on YouGov, please click here.

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A statue of Álvar Fáñez in Burgos, Spain.

Then Alvar and Martin went to the monastery, where Doña Ximena and her daughters were like people beside themselves with the great joy they had, and they came out running on foot, weeping plenteously for joy. When the men saw them coming, they jumped off their horses and Alvar embraced his cousins, and their pleasure was unspeakable.

Then Doña Ximena asked how the Cid fared. Alvar said he had left him safe and sound in Valencia, and that he had won many castles from the Moors, and lastly the noble city of Valencia, to which he was now to carry her and her daughters, as the Cid had sent for them. When Doña Ximena heard this, she and her daughters fell on their knees and thanked God for the favor he had shown to the Cid and to them.

While they were getting ready for the journey Alvar sent three knights to the Cid to tell him how kindly they had been received by the king, and that he now waited only until Doña Ximena could be ready. Then Alvar began to deck the ladies with the best trappings that could be found in Burgos, and he provided a great company of damsels and good riding horses and mules. He gave the abbot the silver the Cid had sent for the monastery, and to pay all the expenses they had been at for Doña Ximena and her daughters.

El Cid with Doña Jimena and his two daughters.

All this caused a great stir in that region; and when the people learned of the permission the king had granted that as many as chose could join the Cid, sixty knights came to the monastery, and a great number of squires on foot. These Alvar was glad to welcome, and he promised them the friendship of the Cid. The abbot wept when Alvar departed, and bade him kiss the Cid’s hand, and say that the monastery would never forget him and would pray for him every day in the year. Then Alvar departed with his company, and after five days they came to Medina Celi.

Now the three knights that Alvar had sent came to the Cid and delivered the message. When the Cid heard this he rejoiced, and said, “Blessed be God, since King Don Alfonso rejoices in my good fortune.” Then he called for certain of his knights and for the bishop, and bade them take a hundred knights and go to Molina, to Abencano, who was his friend, and bid him take another hundred knights and go with them as fast as they could to Medina. “There,” said he, “you will find Alvar and my wife and daughters; bring them to me with great honor. I will remain here in Valencia, which has cost me so much. It would be folly for me to leave it.”

These men accordingly set off, and when they came to Molina, Abencano received them honorably and took with him two hundred knights. On the next day they took horse, and they crossed the mountains, which are great and wild, and passed Mata without fear, and they thought to go through the valley of Arbuxedo. The knights at Medina were keeping a good lookout, and Alvar sent a messenger to ask who these were who were coming. When he learned that men of the Cid had come to meet them, Alvar cried, “This instant let us to horse.” Then all mounted, and they rode on goodly horses with bells and trappings of silk, and they had shields round their necks, and lances with streamers in their hands. It was a brave sight to see Alvar with the ladies leave Castile.

Statue of Martín Antolínez. Photo by Larrea

The other party now came on spurring their horses, couching their spears and then raising them. When Abencano came up he kissed Alvar on the shoulder, for that was his custom, and he said, “On a good day, do you bring these ladies, the wife and daughters of the Cid, whom we all honor. Whatever ill we may wish him, we can do him none. In peace or in war, he will have our wealth, and he must be a fool who does not acknowledge this truth.”

At this Alvar smiled, and told him he should lose nothing by this service which he had done the Cid. Then they asked them to partake of supper, and Abencano said he was well pleased to eat with them, and that within three days he would return the entertainment twofold. They they entered Medina, and Alvar served them.

On the next morning, they all took horse and left Medina, passed the river Saloj, spurred up the valley of Acbuedo, and crossed the plain of Torancio. The ladies rode between the bishop and Alvar. When they came to Molina they were lodged in a rich house, and Abencano served them. He also had their horses new shod, and did for them all the honor that he could. On the next day they left Molina, and Abencano went with them.

When they were within nine miles of Valencia, news of their coming was brought to the Cid. Never had he such joy as then, for tidings had come of what he loved best. He ordered two hundred knights to go out to meet them, and he bade others keep the Alacazar and the other high towers and all the gates and entrances. Then he ordered them to bring his horse Bavieca, one that he had won a short time before, and he had never yet tried him. Then they saddled Bavieca and threw on his trappings. The Cid wore light armor and his surcoat over it; and his long beard seemed very beautiful. Then the Cid put spurs to Bavieca and ran a career with him, and all marveled at his speed, so that from that day Bavieca was famous all over Spain.

At the end of the course, the Cid alighted and went toward his wife and daughters. Who can tell the joy of that meeting? They fell at his feet, and their joy was such that they could not speak. He raised them up and embraced them and kissed them many times, weeping for joy that he saw them alive. Then he said, “you dear and honored wife, and ye my daughters, my heart and my soul, enter with me into Valencia, the inheritance which I have won for you.”

While they were thus rejoicing, the bishop, who had gone rapidly into the city and brought out the priests, came with the procession to meet them and make them welcome. Thus they entered the city. Then there were games in their honor and bull fights and all manner of sports. The Cid led them to the Alcazar, and took them to the highest tower of it, and there they looked about and saw Valencia, how it lay before them, and the great garden with its thick shade, and the sea on the other side.

Calvin Dill Wilson, The Story of the Cid: For Young People (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1901), 186–91.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 862

 

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Liberalism and Aseity

January 19, 2023

Homosexual “Marriage” Rally, November 2008, held in NY. Photo taken by CarbonNYC [in SF!].

Let us analyse liberalism. Although it seems to promote individual opinion, liberalism actually destroys true aseity. There was a time when to be liberal meant to state one’s opinions and display personality. The liberals argued about politics and confronted opposing opinions.

Someone might even claim liberalism was an exaggerated aseity, since it stressed extreme individualism.

Only naïve persons would define aseity like that. Actually, it was fashionable to state one’s opinions at the height of liberalism. However, these opinions were really subservient to the public opinion of the times that determined that course of action.

Louis Antoine Léon de Saint-Just, a close friend of Robespierre and was named the Archangel of the Terror, during the French Revolution.

To go outside these established liberal opinions would have taken strong aseity. For example, it would take courage to say, “I defend the principle of inequality of social classes.”

True aseity, therefore, did not really exist. What did exist was true slavery to public opinion imposed under the false appearance of aseity.

The Christian Institution of the Family: A Dynamic Force to Regenerate Society, by Tradition, Family, Property Association. Pgs. 46-47.

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Pope St. Fabian

(FABIANUS)

Pope (236-250), the extraordinary circumstances of whose election is related by Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., VI, 29). After the death of Anterus he had come to Rome, with some others, from his farm and was in the city when the new election began. While the names of several illustrious and noble persons were being considered, a dove suddenly descended upon the head of Fabian, of whom no one had even thought. To the assembled brethren the sight recalled the Gospel scene of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Saviour of mankind, and so, divinely inspired, as it were, they chose Fabian with joyous unanimity and placed him in the Chair of Peter. During his reign of fourteen years there was a lull in the storm of persecution. Little is known of his pontificate…

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January 20 – St. Sebastian

January 19, 2023

A.D. 288.

St. Sebastian was born at Narbonne, in Gaul, but his parents were of Milan, in Italy, and he was brought up in that city. He was a fervent servant of Christ, and though his natural inclinations gave him an aversion to a military life, yet, to be better able, without suspicion, to assist the confessors and martyrs in their sufferings, he went to Rome, and entered the army under the Emperor Carinus, about the year 283. It happened that the martyrs, Marcus and Marcellianus, under sentence of death, appeared in danger of being shaken in their faith by the tears of their friends: Sebastian seeing this, stept in, and made them a long exhortation to constancy, which he delivered with the holy fire that strongly affected all his hearers. Zoë, the wife of Nicostratus, having for six years lost the use of speech, by a palsy in her tongue, fell at his feet, and spoke distinctly, by the saint’s making the sign of the cross on her mouth. She, with her husband Nicostratus, who was master of the rolls, [1] the parents of Marcus and Marcellianus, the jailor Claudius, and sixteen other prisoners, were converted; and Nicostratus, who had charge of the prisoners, took them to his own house, where Polycarp, a holy priest, instructed and baptized them. Chromatius, governor of Rome, being informed of this, and that Tranquillinus, the father of Saints Marcus and Marcellianus, had been cured of the gout by receiving baptism, desired to be instructed in the faith, being himself grievously afflicted with the same distemper. Accordingly, having sent for Sebastian, he was cured by him, and baptized with his son Tiburtius. He then enlarged the converted prisoners, made his slaves free, and resigned his prefectship.

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Pope Paschal II

(RAINERIUS).

Succeeded Urban II, and reigned from 13 Aug., 1099, till he died at Rome, 21 Jan., 1118. Born in central Italy, he was received at an early age as a monk in Cluny. In his twentieth year he was sent on business of the monastery to Rome, and was retained at the papal court by Gregory VII, and made Cardinal-Priest of St. Clement’s church. It was in this church that the conclave met after the death of Pope Urban, and Cardinal Rainerius was the unanimous choice of the sacred college…

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St. Agnes of Rome

Of all the virgin martyrs of Rome none was held in such high honour by the primitive church, since the fourth century, as St. Agnes.

Painting of St. Agnes of Rome by Alonso Cano Maler

Painting of St. Agnes of Rome by Alonso Cano Maler

In the ancient Roman calendar of the feasts of the martyrs (Depositio Martyrum), incorporated into the collection of Furius Dionysius Philocalus, dating from 354 and often reprinted, e.g. in Ruinart [Acta Sincera Martyrum (ed. Ratisbon, 1859), 63 sqq.], her feast is assigned to 21 January, to which is added a detail as to the name of the road (Via Nomentana) near which her grave was located. The earliest sacramentaries give the same date for her feast, and it is on this day that the Latin Church even now keeps her memory sacred…

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His Last Will and Testament

Portrait of King Louis XVI of France, painted by Antoine-François Callet.

Portrait of King Louis XVI of France, painted by Antoine-François Callet.

The last Will and Testament of Louis XVI, King of France and Navarre, given on Christmas day, 1792.

In the name of the Very holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

To-day, the 25th day of December, 1792, I, Louis XVI King of France, being for more than four months imprisoned with my family in the tower of the Temple at Paris, by those who were my subjects, and deprived of all communication whatsoever, even with my family, since the eleventh instant; moreover, involved in a trial the end of which it is impossible to foresee, on account of the passions of men, and for which one can find neither pretext nor means in any existing law, and having no other witnesses, for my thoughts than God to whom I can address myself, I hereby declare, in His presence, my last wishes and feelings…

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Blessed Laura Vicuña

Laura del Carmen Vicuña was born on April 5, 1891 in Santiago, Chile. She was the first daughter of the Vicuña Pino family. Her parents were José Domingo Vicuña, a soldier with aristocratic roots, and Mercedes Pino. Her father was in military service and her mother worked at home…

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St. Vincent of Saragossa

Deacon of Saragossa, and martyr under Diocletian, 304; mentioned in the Roman Martyrology, 22 Jan., with St. Anastasius the Persian, honoured by the Greeks, 11 Nov. This most renowned martyr of Spain is represented in the dalmatic of a deacon, and has as emblems a cross, a raven, a grate, or a fire-pile. He is honoured as patron in Valencia, Saragossa, Portugal etc., is invoked by vintners, brickmakers, and sailors, and is in the Litany of the Saints. His Acts were read in the churches of Africa at the end of the fourth century, as St. Augustine testifies in Sermon 275. The present Acts (Acta SS., III Jan., 6) date from the eighth or ninth century, and were compiled from tradition. Anal. Boll., I, 259, gives another life…

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Blessed Prince László Batthyány-Strattmann

Ladislaus Batthyány-Strattmann (1870-1931), a layman, doctor and father of a family. He was born on 28 October 1870 in Dunakiliti, Hungary, into an ancient noble family. He was the sixth of 10 brothers. In 1876 the family moved to Austria. When Ladislaus was 12 years old his mother died. He was already convinced at an early age that when he grew up he would be a “doctor of the poor”. He often said:  “When I grow up, I will be a doctor and give free treatment to the sick and the poor”…

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Adèle Bayer

(née Parmentier)

Eldest daughter of Andrew Parmentier, b. in Belgium, 4 July, 1814, and d. in Brooklyn, New York, 22 January, 1892.

Andrew Parmentier, a horticulturist and civil engineer, was b. at Enghien, Belgium, 3 July, 1780, and d. in Brooklyn, New York, 26 November, 1830. His father, Andrew Joseph Parmentier, was a wealthy linen merchant, and his eldest brother Joseph had a European repute as a horticulturist and landscape gardener. Trained by the latter, Andrew emigrated to New York in 1824, on his way to the West Indies, taking with him his share of the family estate. He was persuaded by friends to remain in New York as a place where his abilities and scientific training would meet with recognition. He purchased a tract of land near Brooklyn which he laid out as a horticultural park. It became famous in a short time and his services as an expert in designing pleasure grounds were sought for in many places North and South…

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January 22 – The noble who often returned home barefoot

January 19, 2023

St. Vincent Mary Pallotti The founder of the Pious Society of Missions, born at Rome, 21 April, 1798; died there, 22 Jan., 1850. He lies buried in the church of San Salvatore in Onda. He was descended from the noble families of the Pallotti of Norcia and the De Rossi of Rome. His early studies […]

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January 23 – St. Bernard

January 19, 2023

(BARNARD.) Archbishop of Vienne, France. Born in 778; died at Vienne, 23 January, 842. His parents, who lived near Lyons and had large possessions, gave him an excellent education, and Bernard in obedience to the paternal wish, married and became a military officer under Charlemagne. After seven years as a soldier the death of his […]

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January 23 – Saint Emerentiana

January 19, 2023

Virgin and martyr, died at Rome in the third century. The old Itineraries to the graves of the Roman martyrs, after giving the place of burial on the Via Nomentana of St. Agnes, speak of St. Emerentiana. Over the grave of St. Emerentiana a church was built which, according to the Itineraries, was near the […]

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January 23 – Mary Ward and the Institute of Mary

January 19, 2023

Mary Ward Foundress, born 23 January, 1585; died 23 January, 1645; eldest daughter of Marmaduke Ward and Ursula Wright, and connected by blood with most of the great Catholic families of Yorkshire. She entered a convent of Poor Clares at St.-Omer as lay sister in 1606. The following year she founded a house for Englishwomen […]

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January 17 – Scanderbeg: the hero of Christendom

January 16, 2023

In a history, where so much is spoken of the regions, from whence the miraculous Image of Our Lady of Good Counsel came, it will be of great use to take a brief glance at the once entirely Catholic nation in which it so long remained, and at the great client of its Sanctuary in […]

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January 17 – Sister of the Grand Master of Malta

January 16, 2023

St. Roseline of Villeneuve (or Rossolina.) Born at Château of Arcs in eastern Provence, 1263; d. 17 January, 1329. Having overcome her father’s opposition Roseline became a Carthusian nun at Bertaud in the Alps of Dauphiné. Her “consecration” took place in 1288, and about 1330 she succeeded her aunt, Blessed Jeanne or Diane de Villeneuve, […]

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January 18 – St. Margaret of Hungary

January 16, 2023

St. Margaret of Hungary Daughter of King Bela I of Hungary and his wife Marie Laskaris, born 1242; died 18 Jan., 1271. According to a vow which her parents made when Hungary was liberated from the Tatars that their next child should be dedicated to religion, Margaret, in 1245 entered the Dominican Convent of Veszprem. […]

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January 19 – Bishop Frederic Baraga

January 16, 2023

First Bishop of Marquette, Michigan, U.S.A., born 29 June, 1797, at Malavas, in the parish of Dobernice in the Austrian Dukedom of Carniola; died at Marquette, Michigan, 19 January, 1868. He was baptized on the very day of his birth, in the parish church of Dobernice, by the names of Irenaeus Frederic, the first of […]

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January 19 – James Lainez

January 16, 2023

(LAYNEZ). Second general of the Society of Jesus, theologian, b. in 1512, at Almazan, Castille, in 1512; d. at Rome, 19 January, 1565. His family, although Christian for many generations, had descended from Jewish stock, as has been established by Sacchini (Historia Societatis Jesu, II, sec. 32). Lainez graduated in arts at the University of […]

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January 19 – Noble martyrs of Persia

January 16, 2023

Sts. Maris, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum All martyred at Rome in 270. Maris and his wife Martha, who belonged to the Persian nobility, came to Rome with their children in the reign of Emperor Claudius II. As zealous Christians, they sympathized with and succoured the persecuted faithful, and buried the bodies of the slain. This […]

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January 19 – The scion of a noble family who longed to be enrolled in the noble army of martyrs

January 16, 2023

St. Blathmac A distinguished Irish monk, b. in Ireland about 750. He suffered martyrdom in Iona, about 835. He is fortunate in having had his biography written by Strabo, Benedictine Abbot of Reichenau (824-849), and thus the story of his martyrdom has been handed down through the ages. Strabo’s life of this saint is in […]

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January 19 – Archbishop Senator of the Spanish Kingdom

January 16, 2023

Blessed Marcelo Rafael José María de los Dolores Hilario Spinola y Maestre, Archbishop of Seville born: 14 January 1835. died 20 January 1906 Marcelo Spínola was born on the island of San Fernando, Cádiz Province. His parents were Juan Spínola y Osorno, Marquis of Spínola and Antonia Maestre y Osorno; they had eight children, of […]

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January 19 – Saintly King

January 16, 2023

St. Canute IV Martyr and King of Denmark, date of birth uncertain; died 10 July 1086, the third of the thirteen natural sons of Sweyn II surnamed Estridsen. Elected king on the death of his brother Harold about 1080, he waged war on his barbarous enemies and brought Courland and Livonia to the faith. Having […]

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January 19 – St. Wolstan

January 16, 2023

Benedictine, and Bishop of Worcester, b. at Long Itchington, Warwickshire, England, about 1008; d. at Worcester, 19 Jan.,1095. Educated at the great monastic schools of Evesham and Peterborough, he resolutely combated and overcame the temptations of his youth, and entered the service of Brithege, Bishop of Worcester, who ordained him priest about 1038. Refusing all […]

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January 19 – Thomas Vincent Faustus Sadler

January 16, 2023

Thomas Vincent Faustus Sadler Born 1604; died at Dieulward, Flanders, 19 Jan., 1680-1. He was received into the Church at the age of seventeen by his uncle, Dom Walter Sadler, and joined the Benedictines at Dieulward, being professed in 1622. Little is known of his missionary labors, but probably he was chaplain to the Sheldons […]

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January 19 – John Baptist Tolomei

January 16, 2023

John Baptist Tolomei A distinguished Jesuit theologian and cardinal, born of noble parentage, at Camberaia, between Pistoia and Florence, 3 Dec., 1653; died at Rome in the Roman College, 19 Jan., 1726, and was buried before the high altar of the Church of Saint Ignatius. At the age of fifteen, after an early schooling at […]

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January 19 – Henri Victor Regnault

January 16, 2023

Chemist and physicist, b. at Aachen, 21 July, 1810; d. in Paris, 19 Jan., 1878. Being left an orphan at the age of eight he was soon obliged to work in order to provide for himself and his sister. Up to the age of eighteen he worked as a clerk in a drapery establishment in […]

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January 19 – Lady Fullerton

January 16, 2023

Lady Georgiana Charlotte Fullerton Novelist; born 23 September, 1812, in Staffordshire, died 19 January, 1885, at Bournemouth. She was the youngest daughter of Lord Granville Leveson Gower (afterwards first Earl Granville) and Lady Harriet Elizabeth Cavendish, second daughter of the fifth Duke of Devonshire. She was chiefly brought up in Paris, her father having been […]

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January 19 – Godfrey Goodman

January 16, 2023

Godfrey Goodman Born at Ruthin, Denbighshire, 28 February, 1582-3; died at Westminster, 19 January, 1656. He was Anglican Bishop of Gloucester, and passed all his public life in the Protestant Church. His religious sympathies, however, inclined him to the old Faith, and when misfortune and ruin overtook him, late in life, he entered its fold. […]

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Saint Pius V Was Born Into a Guelph Noble Family That Persecution Dragged Into Poverty

January 12, 2023

Michael Ghislieri was born on January 17, 1504, in Bosco, a fortified village not far from Alessandria . . . . The Ghislieri family, originally from Bologna, was of noble origin but lived in a poor condition as a result of the internal battles that had torn apart the city, between the Guelphs, who were […]

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Aseity Differentiates People from the Masses

January 12, 2023

The virtue of aseity is what distinguishes a people from the anonymous masses. The masses are people without aseity. In final analysis, a nation with aseity is a truly Christian one, otherwise it will shift according to the flux of public opinion. The collective opinion often favours a kind of chaotic state. Everyone agrees with […]

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January 13 – This Saint Opposed Bishop Lucifer

January 12, 2023

St. Hilary of Poitiers Bishop, born in that city at the beginning of the fourth century; died there 1 November, according to the most accredited opinion, or according to the Roman Breviary, on 13 January, 368. Belonging to a noble and very probably pagan family, he was instructed in all the branches of profane learning, […]

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January 13 – The Count Who Converted the King

January 12, 2023

St. Remigius of Rheims Apostle of the Franks, Archbishop of Rheims, b. at Cerny or Laon, 437; d. at Rheims, 13 January 533. His father was Emile, Count of Laon. He studied literature at Rheims and soon became so noted for learning and sanctity that he was elected Archbishop of Rheims in his twenty-second year. […]

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January 13 – The bold strategic vision of Cluny and its first abbot

January 12, 2023

Saint Berno of Cluny (c. 850 – 13 January 927) was first abbot of Cluny from its foundation in 910 until he resigned in 925. He was subject only to the pope and began the tradition of the Cluniac reforms which his successors brought to fruition across Europe. Berno was first a monk at St. […]

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January 14 – Matriarch of Saints

January 12, 2023

St. Macrina the Elder Our knowledge of the life of the elder Macrina is derived mainly from the testimony of the great Cappadocian Fathers of the Church, her grandchildren: Basil (Ep. 204:7; 223:3), Gregory of Nyssa (“Vita Macrinae Junioris”), and the panegyric of St. Gregory of Nazianzus on St. Basil (Gregory Naz., Oratio 43). She […]

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January 14 – Blessed Devasahayam Pillai

January 12, 2023

Blessed Devasahayam Pillai Devasahayam Pillai (named Neelakanda Pillai at birth) was born into an affluent Nair-caste family at Nattalam in the present-day Kanyakumari District, on 23 April 1712. His father Vasudevan Namboodiri, hailed from Kayamkulam, in present-day Kerala state, and was working as a priest at Sri Adi Kesava Perumal temple in Thiruvattar in present-day […]

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January 14 – The Ten Year Old Saint and Some Of Her Miracles

January 12, 2023

Ven. Anne de Guigné When St. Thomas Aquinas’s sister asked him how to become a Saint, he told her to just “will it.” Venerable Anne de Guigné¹ was a child with an iron will and from the moment of her conversion, she willed only one thing…to be a Saint. “To become a Saint is to […]

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January 15 – Most Glorious King Ceolwulp

January 12, 2023

King Ceolwulf (also CEOLWULPH or CEOLULPH) Coelwulf, King of Northumbria and monk of Lindisfarne, date and place of birth not known; died at Lindisfarne, 764. His ancestry is thus given by the “Anglo-Saxon Chronicle”: “Ceolwulf was the son of Cutha, Cutha of Cuthwin, Cuthwin of Leoldwald, Leoldwald of Egwald, Egwald of Aldhelm, Aldhelm of Ocga, […]

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January 15 – St. Maurus & St. Placidus

January 12, 2023

St. Maurus Deacon, son of Equitius, a nobleman of Rome, but claimed also by Fondi, Gallipoli, Lavello etc.; died 584. Feast, 15 Jan. He is represented as an abbot with crozier, or with book and censer, or holding the weights and measures of food and drink given him by his holy master. He is the […]

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January 16 – The true disciple of St. Francis who sent the Moorish king into a fit of rage

January 12, 2023

St. Berard of Carbio (Or BERALDUS). Friar Minor and martyr; d. 16 January, 1220. Of the noble family of Leopardi, and a native of Carbio in Umbria, Berard was received into the Franciscan Order by the Seraphic Patriarch himself, in 1213. He was well versed in Arabic, an eloquent preacher, and was chosen by St. […]

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January 16 – When the Emporor insisted that the lapsed be readmitted to communion without penance, one man stood in his way. This is his story.

January 12, 2023

Pope St. Marcellus I His date of birth unknown; elected pope in May or June, 308; died in 309. For some time after the death of Marcellinus in 304 the Diocletian persecution continued with unabated severity. After the abdication of Diocletian in 305, and the accession in Rome of Maxentius to the throne of the […]

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January 16 – Irish Prince and Saint

January 12, 2023

St. Fursey An Abbot of Lagny, near Paris, died 16 Jan., about 650. He was the son of Fintan, son of Finloga, prince of South Muster, and Gelgesia, daughter of Aedhfinn, prince of Hy-Briuin in Connaught. He was born probably amongst the Hy-Bruin, and was baptized by St. Brendan the Traveller, his father’s uncle, who […]

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January 16 – St. Euphrosyne

January 12, 2023

Saint Euphrosyne Died about 470. Her story belongs to that group of legends which relate how Christian virgins, in order the more successfully to lead the life of celibacy and asceticism to which they had dedicated themselves, put on male attire and passed for men. According to the narrative of her life in the “Vitae […]

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January 10 – Patient to the Penitent, Inflexible to the Impenitent

January 9, 2023

St. William, Confessor, Archbishop of Bourges (c. 1155 – January 10, 1209) William Berruyer, of the illustrious family of the ancient counts of Nevers, was educated by Peter the hermit, archdeacon of Soissons, his uncle by the mother’s side. He learned from his infancy to despise the folly and emptiness of the riches and grandeur […]

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January 10 – Doge of Venice and Saint of Heaven

January 9, 2023

St. Peter Urseolus (Orseolo) Born at Rivo alto, Province of Udina, 928; at Cuxa, 10 January, 987 (997 is less probable). Sprung from the wealthy and noble Venetian family, the Orseoli, Peter led from his youth an earnest Christian life. In the service of the republic, he distinguished himself in naval battles against the pirates. […]

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January 10 – Maria Theodor Ratisbonne

January 9, 2023

A distinguished preacher and writer, and director of the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers, b. of Jewish parentage at Strasburg, 28 Dec., 1802; d. in Paris, 10 Jan. 1884. He was raised in luxury, was educated at the Royal College of his native city, and at the age of manhood, was considered a leader among his […]

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January 10 – Jean-Baptiste Régis

January 9, 2023

Born at Istres, Provence, 11 June, 1663, or 29 Jan., 1664; died at Peking, 24 Nov., 1738. He was received into the Society of Jesus, 14 Sept. 1683, or 13 Sept. 1679, and in 1698 went on the Chinese mission, where he served science and religion for forty years, and took the chief share in […]

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January 10 – St. Diarmaid the Just

January 9, 2023

A famous Irish confessor of the mid-sixth century; d. 542. His name is associated with the great monastery of Inisclothran (Iniscleraun) on Lough Ree, in the Dioeese of Ardagh, which he founded about the year 530. He was of princely origin and a native of Connacht. Wishing to found an oratory far from the haunts […]

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January 11 – Wounded in a duel

January 9, 2023

Blessed Bernard Scammacca, O.P. He was born in 1430 to a noble family of Catania, Sicily and given the name Anthony. As was typical of young men at that time, he fought duels. In one of them, his leg was badly wounded. As Anthony convalesced, he had time to think about his life and his […]

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January 12 – Duke of Alva

January 9, 2023

(FERNANDO ALVAREZ DE TOLEDO) Born 1508, of one of the most distinguished Castilian families, which boasted descent from the Byzantine emperors; died at Thomar, 12 January, 1582. From his earliest childhood the boy was trained by a severe discipline for his future career as warrior and statesman. In his sixteenth year he took part in […]

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