According to The Asahi Shimbun:

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has handed off the hot potato issue of imperial succession to the Diet.

Debate in the Diet is not expected to proceed smoothly as the ruling and opposition parties have differing views on the issue.

The panel submitted its report…which made two proposals: one is to allow female members to retain their royal status even after marriage; the other would allow males of the paternal line of the imperial family who are members of former branches of the family to regain imperial status through adoption by the imperial family.

To read the entire article in The Asahi Shimbun, please click here.

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True Happiness

January 20, 2022

Charles IX of France

Charles IX, King of France, once asked the Poet Tasso who, in his estimation, was the happiest?

Tasso without hesitation replied, “God.”

“Every one knows that,” responded the King, “therefore my question does not refer to Him; but who after God is the happiest?”

Then Tasso answered: “He who becomes most like to God.”

Flowers of Mary: addresses in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Delivered at Ingolstadt, May, 1858 By Louis Gemminger · 1894. Page 46.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 812

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C. Reactions Based on Revolution and Counter-Revolution

Has the efficacy of Revolution and Counter-Revolution been annulled by these numerous changes? On the contrary.

The Brazilian TFP collecting signatures for the 1968 campaign.

In 1968, the TFPs then existing in South America, inspired in particular by Part II of this essay (“The Counter-Revolution”), organized national petition drives addressed to Paul VI, requesting measures against leftist infiltration into the Catholic clergy and laity of South America.

Altogether, 2,060,368 people in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay signed the petition during a 58-day period.

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

To our knowledge, it is the only mass petition – on any subject – signed by the sons of four South American nations. And, as far as we know, it is the largest petition in the history of these four countries.1

The answer of Paul VI was not merely silence and inaction. It was — how it pains us to say it — a series of acts whose effect continues to give prestige and facility of action to many promoters of Catholic leftism today.

At the sight of this rising tide of communist infiltration into the Holy Church, the TFPs and like organizations did not become discouraged. And in 1974 each of them published a declaration2 expressing their inconformity with the Vatican Ostpolitik and their resolve “to resist to the face.”3

And in Rio de Janeiro.

One of the declaration’s passages, referring to Paul VI, expresses the document’s spirit:

On our knees, gazing with veneration at the person of His Holiness Pope Paul VI, we express all our fidelity to him. In this filial act we say to the Pastor of Pastors: “Our soul is Yours, our life is Yours. Order us to do whatever you wish. Only do not order us to cross our arms in face of the assailing Red wolf. To this our conscience is opposed.”

Not stopping at these efforts, the TFPs and like organizations in their respective countries promoted during the course of 1976 nine editions of the Chilean TFP best-seller, The Church of Silence in Chile: The TFP Proclaims the Whole Truth.4

In almost all countries, the respective edition included a prologue describing numerous and impressive national events analogous to what had occurred in Chile.

The response of the public to this great publicity effort can be termed a victory: 56,000 copies were printed in South America alone, where, in the most populous countries, the total pressrun of a book of this nature, when successful, is usually 5,000 copies.

In Spain, more than 1,000 secular and regular priests from all regions of the country signed an impressive petition giving the Sociedad Cultural Covadonga5 their firm support for the courageous prologue of the book’s Spanish edition.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Part III, Chapter II, pg. 151-153

1 In 1990 the TFPs surpassed this record with the largest petition drive in history. They gathered 5,212,580 signatures for the liberation of Lithuania, then under the Soviet yoke.

2 Titled “The Vatican Policy of Distention Toward the Communist Governments — The Question for the TFP: To Take No Stand? Or to Resist?,” this declaration, a veritable manifesto, was published, beginning in April 1974, in 57 newspapers in 11 countries. – Ed.

3 Gal. 2:l1.

4 This work — monumental for its documentation, its argumentation, and the theses it defends — had a truly epic forerunner even before the installation of communism in Chile, namely, Fabio Vidigal Xavier da Silveira’s Frei: El Kerensky Chileno. It denounced the decisive collaboration of the Chilean Christian Democratic party and its leader Eduardo Frei, then president of the country, in paving the way for the Marxist victory. Published in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Italy, and Venezuela, the book went through seventeen printings, with more than 100,000 copies.

5 Today the Spanish TFP: Sociedad Espanola de Defensa de la Tradicion, Familia y Propiedad-TFP Covadonga.

 

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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.

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

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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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…

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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 were made at the Pious Schools of San Pantaleone, whence he passed to the Roman College. At the age of sixteen, he resolved to become a secular priest, and on 16 May, 1820, he was ordained. He celebrated his first Mass in the church of the Gesù in Frascati…

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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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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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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 at Gravelines, but not finding herself called to the contemplative life, she resolved to devote herself to active work. At the age of twenty-four she found herself surrounded by a band of devoted companions determined to labour under her guidance. In 1609 they established themselves as a religious community at St.-Omer, and opened schools for rich and poor. The venture was a success, but it was a novelty, and it called forth censure and opposition as well as praise…

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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 church erected over the place of burial of St. Agnes, and somewhat farther from the city wall. In reality Emerentiana was interred in the coemeterium majus located in this vicinity not far from the coemeterium Agnetis. Armellini believed that he had found the original burial chamber of St. Emerentiana in the former coemeterium. According to the legend of St. Agnes, Emerentiana was her foster-sister. Some days after the burial of St. Agnes Emerentiana, who was still a catechumen, went to the grave to pray, and while praying she was suddenly attacked by the pagans and killed with stones. Her feast is kept on January 23. In the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum” she is mentioned under September 16, with the statement: In coemeterio maiore. She is represented with stones in her lap, also with a palm or lily.

J. P. KIRSCH (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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January 23 – St. Bernard

January 20, 2022

(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 father and mother recalled him. Dividing his property into three parts — one for the Church, one for the poor and one for his children — he retired to the wilderness of Ambronay where there was a poor monastery. Bernard bought the monastery, enlarged it, and become one of its inmates. Upon the death of the abbot he was elected (805) to the vacant position. In 810 he was chosen Archbishop of Vienne to succeed Volfère, but it was only upon the command of Pope Leo III and of Charlemagne that he accepted the honour. He was consecrated by Leidtrade, Archbishop of Lyons, and distinguished himself by his piety and learning. He took part in drawing up the Capitularies of Charlemagne and aided Agobard in a work upon Jewish superstitions…

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St. Francis de Sales

Bishop of Geneva, Doctor of the Universal Church; born at Thorens, in the Duchy of Savoy, 21 August, 1567; died at Lyons, 28 December, 1622.

His father, François de Sales de Boisy, and his mother, Françoise de Sionnaz, belonged to old Savoyard aristocratic families.

The future saint was the eldest of six brothers. His father intended him for the magistracy and sent him at an early age to the colleges of La Roche and Annecy. From 1583 till 1588 he studied rhetoric and humanities at the college of Clermont, Paris, under the care of the Jesuits. While there he began a course of theology. After a terrible and prolonged temptation to despair, caused by the discussions of the theologians of the day on the question of predestination, from which he was suddenly freed as he knelt before a miraculous image of Our Lady at St. Etienne-des-Grès, he made a vow of chastity and consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary…

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Blessed William Ireland

(Alias Ironmonger.)

Jesuit martyr, born in Lincolnshire, 1636; executed at Tyburn, 24 Jan. (not 3 Feb.), 1679; eldest son of William Ireland of Crofton Hall, Yorkshire, by Barbara, a daughter of Ralph Eure, of Washingborough, Lincolnshire (who is to be distinguished from the last Lord Eure) by his first wife.

He was educated at the English College, St. Omer; admitted to the Society of Jesus at Watten, 1655; professed, 1673; and was for several years confessor to the Poor Clares at Gravelines. In 1677 he was sent on the English Mission and appointed procurator of the province…

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January 24 – Otto III

January 20, 2022

Pope Gregory V and Otto III.

German king and Roman emperor, b. 980; d. at Paterno, 24 Jan., 1002. At the age of three he was elected king at Verona, in very restless times. Henry the Quarrelsome, the deposed Duke of Bavaria, claimed his guardianship. This nobleman wished for the imperial crown. To further his object he made an alliance with Lothair of France. Williger, Archbishop of Mainz, the leader of Otto’s party, improved the situation. He induced Henry to release the imprisoned king, for which his Duchy of Bavaria was restored. Otto’s mother, Theophano, now assumed the regency. She abandoned her husband’s imperialistic policy and devoted herself entirely to furthering an alliance between Church and State. Her policy bore a broad national stamp. On her husband’s death, this princess styled herself simply “Emperor” in Italy, though she was obliged for political reasons to acknowledge Crescentius as Patrician by her personal presence in Rome in 989. In France Louis V had died without heirs, and Hugh Capet was elected. This was the work of the French episcopate. Theophano was not able to prevent France from speedily freeing herself from German influence. The regent endeavoured to watch over the national questions of the Empire in the East. One of the greatest achievements of this empress was her success in maintaining feudal supremacy over Bohemia.

Otto II and his wife, Theophanu. Parents of Otto III.

After her death, the less capable Adelaide assumed the regency. Unlike her predecessor, hers was not a nature fitted to rule; the Slavs rose on the eastern border, and the Normans were with difficulty held in check. She died in 999. The influence of these two women upon the education of the young king (who assumed the government in 994) was not slight. But two men exercised even greater influence on him: Johannes Nonentula, a protégé of Theophano, and Bernward of Hildesheim. The austere Bernward awakened in him inclinations to fanciful enthusiasm which coloured his dreams of empire.

Supported by the spiritual princes of the Empire, he marched into Italy. Here he behaved as though the Roman see were a metropolitan bishopric under the Empire. He it was who presided at synods and dared to revoke papal decisions, and who selected the popes. Like Charlemagne, he was convinced of the spiritual character of his imperial dignity, and deduced from this the necessity of setting the empire over the papacy. He raised a German, Bruno, to the Chair of Peter under the name of Gregory V. The new pope crowned Otto emperor 21 May, 996, but he did not act counter to the ancient claims of the Curia, and he emphasized the duties and rights of the popes.

Ottonian crown from the Essen cathedral treasury. The crown was long considered to be the child crown of Otto III. Photo by Martin Engelbrecht, Essen.

Otto returned to Germany in 996. It was of the greatest consequence that in Bruno the papal throne contained a man who encouraged the ideas of the reform party for purification and spiritualization within the Church, and a consequent exaltation of the papacy. Harmonizing with this reform party was the ascetic movement within the Church, whose principal exponent was a native of Southern Italy called Nilus. Among his pupils was the Bohemian, Adalbert, second Bishop of Prague, who was at that time in Rome devoting himself entirely to mystical and ascetic enthusiasm. In 996 Otto met this remarkable man whom he succeeded in sending back to his see. As he scrupled returning to Bohemia, he went as missionary to the Prussian country, where he was put to death in 999. The emperor was affected by the grotesque piety of this man, and it had aroused ascetic inclinations in him also. Still another person obtained great influence over him: the learned Frenchman, Gerbert, who came to the Imperial court in 997.

Antipope John XVI

In Rome, meanwhile, Crescentius had set up an antipope named John XVI and forced Gregory V to flee. In 998 Otto went to Rome, where he pronounced severe judgment upon those who had rebelled against his decisions. Gregory died in 999, and the emperor raised his friend Gerbert to the papacy as Sylvester II. He too, followed the ancient path of the Curia, and advocated papal supremacy over all Christendom. How was this consistent and energetic policy of the Curia to affect the youthful emperor’s dreams of a fusion of the ideal state with the ideal church in an Augustan Theocracy? The interference with Italian affairs was now to react bitterly upon Germany. In 1000 Otto made a pilgrimage to the tomb of his friend Adelbert at Gnesen, where he erected an archbishopric destined to promote the emancipation of the Eastern Slavonians. He practised mortifications at the tomb of an ascetic, and thrilled with the highest ideas of his imperial dignity, he afterwards caused the tomb of Charlemagne at Aix to be opened. Before long his dreams of empire faded away. Everywhere there was fermentation throughout Italy. Otto, lingering in Rome, found himself, with the pope, obliged to abandon the city. In Germany the princes united in a national opposition to the new imperialism of this capricious sovereign. He had few supporters in his plan to reconquer the Eternal City. Only by recourse to arms could his body be brought to Aix, where recently his tomb has been discovered in the cathedral.

WILMANS, Jahrbücher des Deutschen Reiches unter Ottos III (Berlin, 1840); BENTZINGER, Das Leben der Kaiserin Adelheid, Gemahlin Ottos I., während der Regierung Ottos III (Breslau Dissertation, 1883); OTTO, Papst Gregor V (Münster Dissertation, 1881); LUX, Papst Silvester II Einfluss auf die Politik Kaiser Ottos III (Breslau, 1898); VOIGT, Adalbert von Prag (Berlin, 1898); SCHULTTESS, Papst Silvester II als Lehrer und Staatsmann (Hamburg, 1891); ZHARSKI, Die Slavenkriege zur Zeit Ottos III und die Pilgerfahrt nach Gnesen (Lemberg, 1882).

F. Kampers (Catholic Encylopedia)

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Cardinal and statesman, b. in Rome, 8 June, 1757; d. there, 24 January, 1824.

Family

His ancestors belonged to the noble family of the Brunacci in Pisa, one of whom settled in the town of Toscanella in the Papal States about the middle of the seventeenth century. The grandfather of the cardinal, Gregorio Brunacci, inherited from Ercole Consalvi of Rome a large fortune on condition of taking the name and arms of the Consalvi family. In this way Gregorio Brunacci became Marchese Gregorio Consalvi, with residence in Rome.

Education (1766-1782)

At the age of nine, Ercole Consalvi was placed in the college of the Scolopii or Brothers of the Pious Schools at Urbino, where he remained from 1766 to 1771. From 1771 to 1776 he was in the seminary of Frascati, where he finished his studies in rhetoric, philosophy and theology; it was there also that he gained the powerful protection of the Cardinal, Duke of York, Bishop of Frascati. The years from 1776 to 1782 were devoted to the studies of jurisprudence and ecclesiastical history in the Academia Ecclesiastica of Rome, where he had among other professors the Jesuit scholar, Zaccaria.

Pope Pius VI

Service under Pius VI (1783-1799)

He then entered on his public career. Named private chamberlain by Pius VI in April, 1783, in 1786 he was made Ponente del buon governo, i.e. member of a congregation charged with the direction of municipal affairs. Appointed in 1787 secretary of the congregation commissioned to administer the Ospizio of San Michele a Ripa, in 1790 he became Votante di Segnatura, or member of a high court of appeals, and in 1792 obtained the nomination of Uditore di Rota, or member of the high court of justice. He was made assessor in 1796 of a military commission established by Pius VI for the purpose of preventing revolutionary disturbances and intervention of the French Directory in the Papal States. In this latter capacity he accomplished his work with such tact, prudence, and foresight that no serious troubles arose, which could have served as an excuse for an invasion of Rome by the armies of the French Republic.

Sant’ Angelo Photo by MatthiasKabel

Unfortunately on 28 December, 1797, the French general Duphot was killed in Rome; he was himself largely to blame, and the event took place without the slightest fault of the Papal Government. Still it was used as a pretext for the occupation of the city. On 10 February, 1798, General Berthier entered Rome with an army, and five days afterwards the pope was deprived of his temporal sovereignty, and a Roman republic proclaimed. Consalvi, having been assessor of the military commission, was placed first on the list of those who were to be handed over to the French Government. He was arrested, imprisoned in the fortress of Sant’ Angelo, sent to Civitavecchia en route to Cayenne, French Guiana, brought back to the castle of Sant’ Angelo, and then sent to Terracina, whence he was finally permitted to repair to Naples.

Consalvi thus recovered his personal liberty; but he disliked to remain in Naples, and wished rather to join Pius VI, who shortly after the occupation of Rome was taken from his capital and held a captive in a Carthusian monastery near Florence. Having obtained permission from the Neapolitan Government, he went by sea to Leghorn and thence to Florence, where he made two visits to the pope; his wish to remain with the pontiff was frustrated by the French envoy at Florence. Towards the end of September, 1798, he took up his residence in Venice.

Service under Pius VII (1799-1823)

After the death of Pius VI at Valence in France, 29 August, 1799, the cardinals assembled in Venice for the conclave, and Consalvi was chosen secretary by an almost unanimous vote. He had a large share in securing the election of Cardinal Chiaramonti, Bishop of Imola (14 March, 1800). The new pope, Pius VII (1800-23), soon appointed Consalvi pro-secretary of state; and thus Consalvi accompanied the pope to Rome, where they arrived 3 July, 1800. Shortly before, the pope had recovered possession of the Papal States, which were then partly under the control of Austria and partly under that of Naples.

Portrait of Pope Pius VII painted by Jacques-Louis David

On 11 August, 1800, Consalvi was made cardinal and appointed definitively secretary of state. In this capacity he first endeavoured to restore better conditions in the Papal States. He abolished the custom of furnishing food to the people at low prices, introduced free trade, withdrew from circulation all depreciated money, and admitted a large number of laymen to Government offices. He did much to embellish Rome and to make it an art-centre by designing public promenades along the Tiber, restoring the ancient monuments, and filling the museums with statues unearthed by excavations made under his direction.

In his negotiations with the various courts or Governments of Europe he was ever watchful in safeguarding the interests of the Holy See, both temporal and spiritual, the latter especially, in which the pope as the head of Christendom was primarily concerned. In this respect he rendered an incalculable service to religion in signing the French Concordat. The negotiations commenced for that purpose by Monsignor Spina, Archbishop of Corinth, and Father Caselli, former Superior General of the Servites, seemed to lag; in order not to interrupt them completely Consalvi was sent to Paris in June, 1801. Long and painful discussions followed with Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul of the French Republic, or his commissioners, until finally, on the 15th of July, the Concordat was signed by the papal and the French commissioners, and afterwards ratified by the pope and the French Government.

Consalvi left immediately for Rome, where he arrived on the 6th of August. With what are known as the “Organic Articles”, added by the French Government to the Concordat, Consalvi had nothing to do; on the contrary he condemned them unequivocally as destructive of the Concordat, of which they pretended to be commentaries. He was also prominent in the negotiations that preceded the Italian Concordat, concluded with the Cisalpine Republic on the 16th of September, 1803.

Portrait of Cardinal Ercole Consalvi (1757-1824)

When Napoleon was proclaimed emperor in 1804, Consalvi urged Pius VII to accept Bonaparte’s invitation to crown him as the new sovereign of France and during the pope’s absence (November, 1804, to May, 1805) Consalvi acted as his representative to the entire satisfaction of his master. When the discussions between Napoleon and Pius VII commenced, Consalvi was blamed for the refusal of the pope to consider himself a vassal of the French emperor. The suspicions of Napoleon were confided to Cardinal Fesch, then French ambassador at Rome; and the dismissal of Consalvi was insisted upon. Consalvi, hoping to secure peace for his master, asked repeatedly to be relieved; but only after long hesitation did the pope consent to the demand. Consalvi left the secretariate of state on 17 June, 1806, but was often consulted privately on matters of importance.

The imperial persecution of the pope reached its climax with the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire (20 June, 1809) and the deportation of the pope to Savona during the night of 5-6 July. Consalvi was forced to depart from Rome, 10 December following; in company with Cardinal di Pietro he journeyed to Paris, where he arrived 20 February, 1810. There he lived in retirement as much as possible, and refused a pension of 30,000 francs assigned to him by the French Government.

The restoration of Rome and the Papal Legations by Cardinal Consalvi to Pope Pius VII after the defeat of Napoleon.

On the occasion of Napoleon’s marriage to the Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria, Consalvi with twelve other cardinals declined to assist at the civil and religious ceremony, held 1-2 April, 1810, though he was present at the semi-solemn reception at Saint-Cloud, 31 March, and went also to the Tuileries in Paris for the great reception, on 3 April. He did not wish to appear as approving the second marriage of Napoleon, as long as the pope had not pronounced on the validity of the first. Napoleon was so incensed at his action, that he expelled him with the other cardinals of like sentiments from the Tuileries on 3 April, and in the first moment of passion gave orders to have him shot. However, he modified his rash judgment and decreed that Consalvi and the twelve other cardinals should be deprived of their property and of their cardinalitial dignity. From that moment these princes of the Church were compelled to wear black garments, whence their name of “black cardinals”, and on 11 June they were all banished to various cities of France. Consalvi was sent to Reims; it was there in his enforced retirement that he wrote his memoirs.

Set free on 26 January, 1813, he hastened to Pius VII, then at Fontainebleau. At his suggestion the pope retracted (24 March) the concessions made to Napoleon in a Brief from Savona and in a new concordat agreed upon at Fontainebleau; as a consequence Consalvi was restricted in his free intercourse with the pope. When Pius VII left Fontainebleau for Italy (23 January, 1814) Consalvi followed a few days afterwards, at first under a military escort as far as Beziers. Having heard of Napoleon’s abdication in Fontainebleau (11 April, 1814) he asked for a passport and rejoined Pius VII in Italy. He was at once reappointed secretary of state by papal letter written from Foligno, 19 May, 1814.

Signature of the Concordat between France and the Holy See, by Pope Pius VII, August 15, 1801 (Cardinal Consalvi receiving from the Pope the ratification of the Concordat).

Before taking office Consalvi went to Paris for the purpose of claming from the allied Powers of Europe the restoration of the Papal States under the sovereignty of the pope. With the same object in view he went also to England, and assisted afterwards at the Congress of Vienna (September, 1814, to June, 1815). He was successful in his negotiations, and obtained the restitution of all papal territory such as it had been before the French Revolution, with the exception of Avignon, Venaissin, and a small strip of land in the legation of Ferrara.

After his return to Rome Consalvi continued to work for the welfare of the Papal States and of the Church. He abolished the ancient privileges of the nobility and of the papal cities, devised a new plan of administration for the papal territory, readjusted the finances, prepared a new civil and criminal code of laws, reorganized the system of education, and provided for public safety. He continued the elaboration of his plans for the embellishment of Rome and the improvement of the Campagna; he endeavoured, as already said, to make Rome a centre of art, and extended his protection to such famous artists as Canova and Thorwaldsen. At the same time he maintained with firmness the rights and sovereignty of the pope.

When in 1817 the Carbonari tried to bring about a rebellion, a few of their leaders were prosecuted, banished, or imprisoned; and in 1821 a Bull was issued against these disturbers. During this period several concordats or similar agreements were concluded with foreign Powers: with Bavaria in 1817, with Prussia and the princes of the Upper Rhine in 1821, with Hanover in 1823, with Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia in 1817, with King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies in 1818. The French Concordat concluded in 1817 with King Louis XVIII never received legal force in France; hence that of 1801 continued in existence.

Retirement and Death (1823-1824)

The career of Consalvi came to an end with the death of Pius VII (20 August, 1823). After his retirement his thoughts were devoted to the erection of a monument at St. Peter’s in honour of his former master; only a few months afterwards he was carried himself to his tomb in San Lorenzo, while his heart was taken to the Pantheon. Appropriate monuments were erected to his memory in both places.

Cardinal Ercole Consalvi

Appreciation

Ercole Consalvi is to be regarded as one of the greatest statesmen who has ever served the papal court; his eminent qualities were at all times apparent during the great trials of the papacy. If not always successful in his enterprises, it was largely because of the scarcity of means at his disposal and the prejudices of his age. The purity of his life was the more admired because in his position he had to mingle much with a worldly society. He was devoted to works of charity and religion; the poor knew him as their friend, and in his exercises of devotion he was most punctual.

Finally he was very unselfish and disinterested. He served the pope and the Church loyally without looking for personal advantage. He never asked for a position, except for that of Uditore di Rota, which appeared desirable owing to the studies he had made and the great opportunities it offered for travelling during the vacation months. The many gifts, pensions, or legacies, offered him, and at times persistently, by friends, admirers, and patrons, were invariably declined. All in all, both for the work he accomplished and for his personal character, Consalvi is one of the purest glories of the Church of Rome.

CRÉTINEAU-JOLY, Mémoires du Cardinal Consalvi, ed. DROCHON (Paris, 1895); WISEMAN, Recollections of the Last Four Popes (London, 1858); RINIERI, La diplomazia pontificia nelsecolo XIX (Rome, 1902); IDEM, Il congresso di Vienna e la Santa Sede (Rome, 1904); THEINER, Histoire des deux concordate (Paris, 1869); ARTAUD, Histoire du Pape Pie VII (Paris, 1837); WERNER in Kirchenlex. (Freiburg, 1884), s.v.; NIELSEN in Realencyk. f. prof. Theol., s.v.

FRANCIS J. SCHAEFER (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Pope Stephen (IV) V

(816-17)

Stephen (IV) V, Pope, date of birth unknown; died 24 Jan., 817. Stephen, the son of Marinus, was of the same noble Roman family which gave two other popes to the Church. During his youth he had been patronized by Hadrian I and Leo III, the latter of whom had ordained him deacon. His virtues were celebrated, and he was elected pope and consecrated immediately after Leo’s death, about 22 June, 816. He at once caused the Romans to take an oath to the Emperor Louis the Pious as their suzerain, and he sent notice of his election to him. He then went to France and crowned Louis. From that benevolent prince he received a number of splendid presents, and with him renewed the pact or agreement that had already existed for some time between the Franks and the papacy. Whilst still in Gaul he granted the pallium to Theodulf of Orleans, one of the emperor’s chief advisers. When returning to Rome he visited Ravenna, there exposing the sandals of Christ to the veneration of the faithful, and he brought back with him a number of exiles whom political reasons had sent into exile during the pontificate of Leo III. He was buried in St. Peter’s.

Liber Pontificalis, ed. DUCHESNE, II, 49 sqq.; Lives of Louis the Pious and various annals in Mon. Germ. Hist.: Script., II; MANN, Lives of the Popes, II, 111 sqq.

Horace K. Mann (Catholic Encyclopedia)

 

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Pope Stephen II

On the death of Zachary, a certain priest Stephen was unanimously elected to succeed him (about 23 March, 752); but on the third day after his election, whilst transacting some domestic affairs, he was struck with apoplexy, and expired on the next day. As he died before his consecration, earlier writers do not appear to have included him in the list of the popes; but, in accordance with the long standing practice of the Roman Church, he is now generally counted among them. This divergent practice has introduced confusion into the way of counting the Popes Stephen.

Ed. Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, I (Paris, 1886), 440, MANN, Lives of the Popes, I, pt. ii (London, 1902), 290 sq.

Horace K. Mann (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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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. Invested with the habit at the age of four, she was transferred in her tenth year to the Convent of the Blessed Virgin founded by her parents on the Hasen Insel near Buda, the Margareten Insel near Budapest today, and where the ruins of the convent are still to be seen…

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January 19 – Bishop Frederic Baraga

January 17, 2022

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… Read more here.

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January 19 – James Lainez

January 17, 2022

(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 17, 2022

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 17, 2022

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 17, 2022

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 17, 2022

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 20 – A dove landed on his head, and you would not believe what happened next!

January 17, 2022

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 […]

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January 20 – St. Sebastian

January 17, 2022

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 […]

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Pudding competition for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee

January 13, 2022

According to You Magazine: Mark, who’s been the Queen’s chef since 2002, advised entrants to ‘keep it simple’ and avoid being ‘fussy and over-complicated’ with their bakes. Fortnum & Mason explain the recipe needs to be ‘easy enough for people everywhere to recreate at home’. Ideally, the pudding should have a story behind it and […]

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Events for 50th anniversary of Danish Queen’s accession to the throne

January 13, 2022

According to Danish Royal Household: A number of the events that had been scheduled to mark the 50th anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen’s accession to the throne in mid-January 2022 will instead be held on 10 and 11 September 2022. These include, among other things, a celebration at the Copenhagen City Hall, a command […]

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El Cid Helps King Ferdinand I of Leon Conquer Coimbra

January 13, 2022

The attention of [King Ferdinand] was called to the city of Coimbra in this manner: The Abbot of [Lorvão], a monastery near Coimbra, grieved very much that this city was in the power of the Moors, and he said to his monks: “Let us go to the king, Don [Ferdinand], and tell him how he […]

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The Church: Today’s Center of Conflict Between the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution

January 13, 2022

[previous] B. The Church: Today’s Center of Conflict Between the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution In 1959, the year we wrote Revolution and the Counter-Revolution, the Church was considered the great spiritual force against the worldwide expansion of the communist sect. In 1976, innumerable ecclesiastics, including bishops, figure as accomplices by omission, as collaborators, and even […]

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

January 13, 2022

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 14 – Matriarch of Saints

January 13, 2022

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 13, 2022

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 15 – Most Glorious King Ceolwulp

January 13, 2022

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 13, 2022

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 13, 2022

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 Emperor insisted that the lapsed be readmitted to communion without penance, one man stood in his way. This is his story.

January 13, 2022

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 13, 2022

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 13, 2022

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 17 – Scanderbeg: the hero of Christendom

January 13, 2022

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 13, 2022

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 11 – Wounded in a duel

January 10, 2022

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 10, 2022

(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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January 12 – He promoted the use of stained glass

January 10, 2022

St. Benedict Biscop An English monastic founder, born of a noble Anglo-Saxon family, c. 628; died 12 January 690. He spent his youth at the court of the Northumbrian King Oswy. When twenty-five years old, he made the first of his five pilgrimages to Rome. On his return to England, Benedict introduced, whenever he could, […]

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January 12 – “The English Saint Bernard”

January 10, 2022

St. Aelred Abbot of Rievaulx, homilist and historian (1109-66). St. Aelred, whose name is also written Ailred, Æthelred, and Ethelred, was the son of one of those married priests of whom many were found in England in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. He was born at Hexham, but at an early age made the acquaintance […]

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January 13 – This Saint Opposed Bishop Lucifer

January 10, 2022

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 10, 2022

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

January 10, 2022

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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On the Road to Death

January 6, 2022

When the physicians of Emperor Rudolf I of Hapsburg informed him that his death was near, he cried out; “Well then, let us set out for Spire;” this being the usual burial-place of the German Emperors. So accompanied by two priests the dying old man cheerfully rode to his sepulcher; as he passed along, the […]

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COMMENTARY – The Vatican Ostpolitik

January 6, 2022

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

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January 7 – Ordered bandits of royal blood to hang from the highest mast

January 6, 2022

St. Canut Second son of Eric the Good, king of Denmark, he was made duke of Sleswig, his elder brother Nicholas being king of Denmark. Their father, who lived with his people as a father with his children, and no one ever left him without comfort, says the ancient chronicle Knytling-Saga, p. 71. died in […]

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January 7 – St. Kentigerna

January 6, 2022

St. Kentigerna, Widow She is commemorated on the 7th of January, in the Aberdeen Breviary, from which we learn, that she was of royal blood, daughter of Kelly, prince of Leinster in Ireland, as Colgan proves from ancient monuments. She was mother of the holy abbot St. Fœlan, or Felan. After the death of her […]

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January 7 – St. Aldric

January 6, 2022

St. Aldric Bishop of Le Mans in the time of Louis le Debonnaire, born c. 800; died at Le Mans, 7 January, 856. As a youth he lived in the court of Charlemagne, at Aix la Chapelle, as well as in that of his son and successor Louis. By both monarchs he was highly esteemed, […]

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January 8 – Hapsburg Saint

January 6, 2022

St. Gudula (Latin, Guodila) Born in Brabant, Belgium, of Witger and Amalberga, in the seventh century; died at the beginning of the eighth century. After the birth of Gudula her mother Amalberga, who is herself venerated as a saint, embraced the religious life, and according to tradition received the veil at the hands of St. […]

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January 8 – St. Severinus

January 6, 2022

St. Severinus Abbot, and Apostle of Noricum, or Austria A.D. 482. We know nothing of the birth or country of this saint. From the purity of his Latin, he was generally supposed to be a Roman; and his care to conceal what he was according to the world, was taken for a proof of his […]

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January 9 – St. Adrian of Canterbury

January 6, 2022

St. Adrian of Canterbury An African by birth, died 710. He became Abbot of Nerida, a Benedictine monastery near Naples, when he was very young. Pope Vitalian intended to appoint him Archbishop of Canterbury to succeed St. Deusdedit, who had died in 664, but Adrian considered himself unworthy of so great a dignity, and begged […]

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January 9 – St. Peter of Sebaste

January 6, 2022

St. Peter of Sebaste Bishop, born about 340; died 391. He belonged to the richly blest family of Basil and Emmelia of Caesarea in Cappadocia, from which also sprang St. Macrina the Younger (q.v.) and the two great Cappadocian doctors, Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa. He was the youngest of a large family, […]

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January 9 – Blessed Tommaso Reggio

January 6, 2022

Blessed Tommaso Reggio Bl. Tommaso Reggio was born in Genoa, Italy, on 9 January 1818 to the Marquis of Reggio and Angela Pareto. He had a comfortable upbringing which gave him a solid Christian and cultural background and assured him of a brilliant career. However, at the age of 20 he decided to become a […]

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