saint_nicolas

Four artists, working with stories handed down, are responsible for the Santa Claus that we know today as the “spirit of generosity and love.” The other reason we have Santa Claus and not St. Nicholas is due to Protestant hatred against Catholic Saint days.

'Old Christmas', shown riding a yule goat. 1836

‘Old Christmas’, shown riding a yule goat. 1836

The transformation of St. Nicholas into Father Christmas or Father January occurred first in Germany, then in countries where the Reformed Churches were in the majority, and finally in France, the feast day being celebrated on Christmas or New Year’s Day. Dutch Protestant settlers in New Amsterdam (New York City) replaced St. Nicholas (Sinter Claes) with the benevolent magician who became known as Santa Claus.

Victorian depiction of Father Christmas.

Victorian depiction of Father Christmas.

In 1517, the Protestant Reformation took place. Protestants do not believe in Saints. However, St. Nicholas was so beloved by everyone that people held onto his memory of being generous and loving, but they did away with the Catholic influence by creating new characters based on him, like Father Christmas or Pére Noël. In the Dutch legend Sinta Claes and his original elf, Black Peter, a small Moor, leaves Spain in their rowboat on St. Nicholas day, December 6, and heads for Amsterdam. After landing on Christmas Eve with gifts, he asks parents if their children have been good or bad. If good, gifts go in their shoes; if bad, lumps of coal instead. When Dutch settlers, who were predominantly Protestant, came to New Amsterdam (New York) in the 1600’s, they brought their version of “St. Nicholas” with them. With a few modifications and through bad pronunciation of Saint Nicholas, his name was changed to Sinta Claes and Black Peter was dropped.

Saint Nicholas and Black Peter, also known as Sinta Claes.

Saint Nicholas and Black Peter, also known as Sinta Claes.

In 1820, the first of four artists, Washington Irving, a very popular writer of his day, wrote a book of political satire that talked a lot about Sinta Claes, or Santa Claus. In it, he made Sinta Claes without a donkey or a white horse and put him in a horse-drawn wagon that flew over rooftops dropping presents down the chimneys of good children. Irving’s Santa was a jolly fellow with a wide hat and baggy trousers. That Santa’s garb and means of transportation didn’t last long.

Illustration from the 1864 edition of Clement Moore’s poem A Visit from St. Nicholas.

Illustration from the 1864 edition of Clement Moore’s poem A Visit from St. Nicholas.

In 1823, the second artist, a professor by the name of Doctor Clement Clarke Moore, presented his family with a poem about Santa to amuse his grandchildren and that Santa took over. The poem was A Visit from Saint Nicholas which began, “Twas the night before Christmas….” The poem quickly became popular around the United States. Clement Moore’s poem had used the description of Santa in Washington Irving’s book but he added new details. He turned him into jolly Saint Nick, a plump, happy-go-lucky elf that could squeeze down a chimney or two, with a sleigh full of toys, eight flying reindeer and he moved his home from the Mediterranean area to the North Pole.

Santa with eight flying reindeer.

Santa with eight flying reindeer.

Santa Claus was often shown dressed in green clothes, or blue or black. When one of Clement Moore’s daughters did a calligraphy version of her father’s famous poem as a Christmas gift to her husband, inspite of her father’s words, she dressed Santa Claus in a long green coat. Santa stayed an elf until the 1860’s. That is when he got fat again. In 1882, the third artist, Thomas Nast, drew whom he thought Clement Moore was describing. It was published in a newspaper called Harper’s Weekly.

Santa Claus by Thomas Nast

Santa Claus by Thomas Nast

Thomas Nast, an illustrator for Harper’s magazine, pictured a round Santa. He also drew Santa’s map, giving Santa a North Pole workshop and home. He also made this Santa have a worldwide list of good and bad children. This version of Santa Claus lasted until the 1920s, when advertising got involved.

First Coca-Cola Santa in 1931 created by Haddon Sundblom.

First Coca-Cola Santa in 1931 created by Haddon Sundblom.

The last artist, Haddom Sundblom, worked for the Coca-Cola Company and drew its posters and advertisements. Haddom Sundblom decided that Santa wore red and was not really an elf. He also made Santa drink a Coke. This Santa Claus was made in the early thirties. The red-velvet-wearing, bigger-than-life Santa that Haddom Sundblom designed for advertising 80 years ago is how most people think of Santa Claus today.

Cover of one of the 1939 books of the Robert L. May story by Maxton Publishers, Inc.

Cover of one of the 1939 books of the Robert L. May story by Maxton Publishers, Inc.

In 1939, Santa picked up the ninth reindeer, Rudolph; that red-nosed reindeer was created by an advertising writer for Montgomery Ward.

by Jenifer Segerstrom

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Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 554

 

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By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

The blessing of the throats on the feast of St. Blaise at Saint Etheldreda, Ely Place, London.

The blessing of the throats on the feast of St. Blaise at Saint Etheldreda, Ely Place, London.

At that time [before the Second Vatican Council], a great preacher could make a sermon and in the best of cases stir up some fervor in some people while it lasted. When the religious ceremony was over—let’s say it was a benediction in the month of Mary of something like that—if he spoke about this issue [of fighting] the inevitable end result was that in an hour or two after the ceremony was over, no one thought about it anymore.

This indicates a certain inhibition in the Constantinian Church to give free rein to some virtues that in the Middle Ages were extraordinary virtues and which were effectively upheld. And it also indicates that in order to avoid the exaggerations of these virtues [combativeness, courage, valor] an excessive counterweight was employed. And the counterweight was such that this whole gamut of virtues disappeared.

imitations-of-christ-book

For example, just as there was an Imitation of Christ the good, meek, humble, adorable Shepherd, etc., I would love for A Warrior’s Imitation of Christ also to exist.

I am very far from being an adversary of the Imitation of Christ; I am even a fervent admirer of it; but since in my soul this counterweight was entirely balanced, when reading the Imitation of Christ the admiration for chivalry was full in my soul.

 

(Excerpt from an MNF, Thursday, Sept. 14, 1989 – Nobility.org translation)

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St. Peter Fourier

St Peter Fourier

Known as LE BON PÈRE DE MATTAINCOURT (Good Father of Mattaincourt), born at Mirecourt, Lorraine, 30 Nov., 1565 died at Gray, Haute-Saône, 9 Dec., 1640. At fifteen he was sent to the University of Pont-à-Mousson. His piety and learning led many noble families to ask him to educate their sons. He became a Canon Regular in the Abbey of Chaumousey and was ordained in 1589. By order of his abbot he returned to the university and became proficient in patristic theology; he knew the “Summa” of St. Thomas by heart.

In 1597 he was made parish priest of Mattaincourt, a corrupt district threatened with the new heresy. By his prayers, instructions, and good example, religion was soon restored. Fourier did not neglect the temporal interests of his parishioners; to help those who through ill-fortune had fallen into poverty, he established a kind of mutual help bank.

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He instituted three sodalities, of St. Sebastian for men, of the Holy Rosary for women and of the Immaculate Conception for girls, or “Children of Mary”. He composed some dialogues which treated of the virtues opposed to the vices most common among his people. These dialogues the children delivered every Sunday in public. To perpetuate his work, Peter founded in 1598 an order of women, the Congregation of Notre-Dame, who teach poor girls gratuitously. The institute spread and with some modifications was introduced into America by the Ven. Marguerite Bourgeoys (died 1700).

In 1621, by order of the Bishop of Toul, Fourier undertook the reform of the canons regular in Lorraine who in 1629 formed the Congregation of Our Saviour. Of this congregation he was made superior general in 1632. He wished his brother canons to do for boys what his nuns were doing for girls.

St. Peter Fourier

In 1625 Peter was entrusted with the conversion of the Principality of Salm, near Nancy, which had gone over to Calvinism. In six months all the Protestants, whom he called “poor strangers”, had returned to the Faith.

On account of his attachment to the House of Lorraine he was driven into exile at Gray, where he died. In 1730 Benedict XIII published the Decree of his Beatification, and Leo XIII canonized him in 1897.

BEDEL, La vie du Très Révérend Père Pierre Fourier, dit vulgairement, Le Père de Mettaincourt (1645); CHAPIA, Idea boni parochi et perfecti religiosi; VUILLIMIN, La Vie de St. Pierre Fourier (Paris, 1897).

A. ALLARIA (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Pope St. Gregory III

(Reigned 731-741.)

Pope Gregory IIIPope St. Gregory III was the son of a Syrian named John. The date of his birth is not known. His reputation for learning and virtue was so great that the Romans elected him pope by acclamation, when he was accompanying the funeral procession of his predecessor, 11 February, 731. As he was not consecrated for more than a month after his election, it is presumed that he waited for the confirmation of his election by the exarch at Ravenna. In the matter of Iconoclasm, he followed the policy of his predecessor. He sent legates and letters to remonstrate with the persecuting emperor, Leo III, and held two synods in Rome (731) in which the image-breaking heresy was condemned. By way of a practical protest against the emperor’s action he made it a point of paying special honour to images and relics, giving particular attention to the subject of St. Peter’s. Fragments of inscriptions, to be seen in the crypts of the Vatican basilica, bear witness to this day of an oratory he built therein, and of the special prayers he ordered to be there recited.

Leo, whose sole answer to the arguments and apologies for image worship which were addressed to him from both East and West, was force, seized the papal patrimonies in Calabria and Sicily, or wherever he had any power in Italy, and transferred to the patriarch of Constantinople the ecclesiastical jurisdiction which the popes had previously exercised both there, and throughout the ancient Prefecture of Illyricum. Gregory III confirmed the decision of his predecessors as to the respective rights of the Patriarchs of Aquileia and Grado, and sent the pallium to Antoninus of Grado. In granting it also to Egbert of York, he was only following out the arrangements of St. Gregory I who had laid it down that York was to have metropolitical rights in the North of England, as Canterbury had to have them in the South. Both Tatwine and Nothelm of Canterbury received the pallium in succession from Gregory III (731 and 736). At his request Gregory III extended to St. Boniface the same support and encouragement which had been afforded him by Gregory II. “Strengthened exceedingly by the help of the affection of the Apostolic See”, the saint joyfully continued his glorious work for the conversion of Germany. About 737 Boniface came to Rome for the third time to give an account of his stewardship, and to enjoy the pope’s “life-giving conversation”, At Gregory’s order the monk and great traveller, St. Willibald, went to assist his cousin St. Boniface in his labours.

Pope Gregory III

The close of Gregory’s reign was troubled by the Lombards. Realizing the ambition which animated Liutprand, Gregory completed the restoration of the walls of Rome which had been begun by his predecessors, and bought back Gallese, a stronghold on the Flaminian Way, from Transamund, Duke of Spoleto, which helped to keep open the communications between Rome and Ravenna. In 739, Liutprand was again in arms. His troops ravaged the exarchate, and he himself marched south to bring to subjection his vassals, the Dukes of Spoleto and Benevento, and the Duchy of Rome. Transamund fled to Rome, and Gregory implored the aid of the great Frankish chief, Charles Martel. At length ambassadors from the viceroy (subregulus) of the Franks appeared in Rome (739). Their arrival, or the summer heats, brought a momentary peace. But in the following year, Liutprand again took the field. This time the Romans left their walls, and helped Transamund to recover Spoleto. When, however, he had recovered his duchy, he would not or could not comply with Gregory’s request, and endeavour to recover for the pope “the four cities of the Roman duchy which had been lost for his sake.” In the midst of all these wars and rumours of war, Gregory died, and was buried in the oratory of our Lady which he had himself built in St. Peter’s. He died in 741, but whether in November or December is not certain. It is however, on 28 November that he is commemorated in the Roman martyrology.

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Codex Carolinus in JAFFE, Monumenta Carolina (Berlin, 1867), or in Mon. Germ. Hist.; Epp., III (Berlin, 1892). See also bibliography of article GREGORY II.

Horace K. Mann (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Pope St. Miltiades

Icon of Pope St. Miltiades

Icon of Pope St. Miltiades

The year of his birth is not known; he was elected pope in either 310 or 311; died 10 or 11 January, 314. After the banishment of Pope Eusebius, the Roman See was vacant for some time, probably because of the complications which has arisen on account of the apostates (lapsi), and which were not cleared up by the banishment of Eusebius and Heraclius. On 2 July, 310 or 311, Miltiadea (the name is also written Melchiades), a native of Africa, was elevated to the papacy. There is some uncertainty as to the exact year, as the “Liberian Catalogue of the Popes” (Duchesne, “Liber Pontificalis”, I, 9) gives 2 July, 311, as the date of the consecration of the new pope (ex die VI non. iul. a cons. Maximiliano VIII solo, quod fuit mense septembri Volusiano et Rufino); but in contradiction to this the death of the pope is said to have occurred on 2 January, 314, and the duration of the pontificate is given as three years, six months and eight days; possibly owing to the mistake of a copyist, we ought to read “ann. II” instead of “ann. III”; and therefore the year of his elevation to the papacy was most probably 311. About this time (311 or 310), an edict of toleration signed by the Emperors Galerius, Licinius, and Constantine, put an end to the great persecution of the Christians, and they were permitted to live as such, and also to reconstruct their places of religious worship (Eusebius, “Hist. Eccl.”, VIII, xvii; Lactantius, “De mortibus persecutorum”, xxxiv). Only in those countries of the Orient which were under the sway of Maximinus Daia did the Christians continue to be persecuted. The emperor now gave Pope Miltiades in Rome the right to receive back, through the prefect of the city, all ecclesiastical buildings and possessions which had been confiscated during the persecutions. The two Roman deacons, Strato and Cassianus, were ordered by the pope to discuss this matter with the prefect, and to take over the church properties (Augustinus, “Breviculus collationis cum Donatistis”, iii, 34); it thus became possible to reorganize thoroughly the ecclesiastical administration and the religious life of the Christians in Rome.

Pope St. Miltiades

Miltiades caused the remains of his predecessor, Eusebius, to be brought back from Sicily to Rome, and had them interred in a crypt in the Catacombs of St. Callistus. In the following year the pope witnessed the final triumph of the Cross, through the defeat of Maxentius, and the entry into Rome of the Emperor Constantine (now converted to Christianity), after the victory at the Milvian Bridge (27 October, 312). Later the emperor presented the Roman Church with the Lateran Palace, which then became the residence of the pope, and consequently also the seat of the seat of the central administration of the Roman Church. The basilica which adjoined the palace or was afterwards built there became the principal church of Rome. In 313 the Donatists came to Constantine with a request to nominate bishops from Gaul as judges in the controversy of the African episcopate regarding the consecration in Carthage of the two bishops, Cæcilian and Majorinus. Constantine wrote about this to Miltiades, and also to Marcus, requesting the pope with three bishops from Gaul to give a hearing in Rome, to Cæcilian and his opponent, and to decide the case. On 2 October, 313, there assembled in the Lateran Palace, under the presidency of Miltiades, a synod of eighteen bishops from Gaul and Italy, which, after thoroughly considering the Donatist controversy for three days, decided in favor of Cæcilian, whose election and consecration as Bishop of Carthage was declared to be legitimate. In the biography of Miltiades, in the “Liber Pontificalis”, it is stated that at the time Manichæans were found in Rome; this was quite possible as Manichæism began to be spread in the West in the fourth century. The same source attributes to this pope a decree which absolutely forbade the Christians to fast on Sundays or on Thursdays, “because these days were observed by the heathen as a holy fast”. This reason is remarkable; it comes most likely from the author of the “Liber Pontificalis” who with this alleged decree traces back a Roman custom of his own time to an ordinance of Miltiades. The “Liber Pontificalis” is probably no less arbitrary in crediting this pope with a decree to the effect that the Oblation consecrated at the Solemn Mass of the pope (by which is meant the Eucharistic Bread) should be taken to the different churches in Rome. Such a custom actually existed in Rome (Duchesne, “Christian Worship,” London, 1903, 185); but there is nothing definite to show that it was introduced by Miltiades, as the “Liber Pontificalis” asserts.

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After his death, on 10 or 11 January (the Liberian Catalogue” give it as III id. jan.; the “Depositio Episcoporum” as IIII id. jan.), 314, Miltiades was laid to rest in the Catacomb of St. Callistus and he was venerated as a saint. De Rossi regards as highly probably the location of this pope’s burial-chamber (Roma Sotterranea, II, 188 sq.). His feast was celebrated in the fourth century, on 10 January, according to the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum”. In the present “Roman Martyrology” it occurs on 10 December.

Liber Pontificalis, ed Duchesne, I, l68-196; Urbain Ein Martyrologium der christl. Gemeinde zu Rom (Leipzig, 1901), 118-119; Langen, Geschichte der römischen Kirche, I, 328 sqq.; Allard, Histoire des persécutions, V, 200, 203; Duchesne, Histoire ancienne de l’Eglise, II, 96, 97, 110-112.

J.P. KIRSCH (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Pope St. Damasus I

Born about 304; died 11 December, 384.

His father, Antonius, was probably a Spaniard; the name of his mother, Laurentia, was not known until quite recently. Damasus seems to have been born at Rome; it is certain that he grew up there in the service of the church of the martyr St. Laurence. He was elected pope in October, 366, by a large majority, but a number of over-zealous adherents of the deceased Liberius rejected him, chose the deacon Ursinus (or Ursicinus), had the latter irregularly consecrated, and resorted to much violence and bloodshed in order to seat him in the Chair of Peter. Many details of this scandalous conflict are related in the highly prejudiced “Libellus Precum” (P.L., XIII, 83-107), a petition to the civil authority on the part of Faustinus and Marcellinus, two anti-Damasan presbyters (cf. also Ammianus Marcellinus, Rer. Gest., XXVII, c. iii). Valentinian recognize…

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St. María de las Maravillas de Jesús Pidal y Chico de Guzmán was born in Madrid, Spain, on 4 November 1891.

Twenty-two year old María Maravillas Pidal y Chico de Guzmán in 1914.

Twenty-two year old María Maravillas Pidal y Chico de Guzmán in 1914.

She was the daughter of Luis Pidal y Mon, Marquis of Pidal, and Cristina Chico de Guzmán y Munoz. At the time her father was the Spanish ambassador to the Holy See and she grew up in a devoutly Catholic family.

She made a vow of chastity at age of five and devoted herself to many charitable works. After coming into contact with the writings of St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Jesus, she entered the Carmelite monastery of El Escorial in 1920. Four years later, Sr. Maravillas and three other religious founded a Carmel in Cerro de los Angeles, where she made her solemn profession that same year…

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by Cesar Franco
Pope Pius XII gave Our Lady of Guadalupe the title of “Empress of the Americas” in 1945. Since December 12 is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, this is a propitious moment to recall how She reigns over our nation from Heaven, protecting and guiding us with Motherly solicitude and tenderness. The constant miracle memorialized on Saint Juan Diego’s tilma and the context of the apparitions remind us that Our Lady is victorious over the serpent, intervenes in history and is eager to intercede for those who seek Her intercession in this vale of tears…
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St. Peter Paschal, Bishop and Martyr

This saint was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1227, and descended of the ancient family of the Paschals, which had edified the Church by the triumphs of five glorious martyrs, which it produced under the Moors.

Peter’s parents were virtuous and exceedingly charitable; and St. Peter Nolasco often lodged with them in his travels. The birth of our saint was ascribed by them to his prayers and blessing, and the child received from him an early tincture of sincere piety. Peter Paschal performed his studies under domestic tutors, and, having received the tonsure, was made canon at Valencia…

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Life of Saint Nicholas from Legenda Aurea by Jacobus de Voragine

Here beginneth the Life of Saint Nicholas the Bishop.

Nicholas is said of Nichos, which is to say victory, and of laos, people, so Nicholas is as much as to say as victory of people, that is, victory of sins, which befoul people. Or else he is said, victory of people, because he enseigned and taught much people by his doctrine to overcome vices and sins. Or Nicholas is said of Nichor, that is the resplendor or shining of the people, for he had in him things that make shining and clearness. After this Saint Ambrose saith: “The word of God, very confession, and holy thought, make a man clean.” And the doctors of Greece write his legend, and some others say that Methodius the patriarch wrote it in Greek, and John the deacon translated it into Latin and…

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St. Ambrose

Bishop of Milan from 374 to 397; born probably 340, at Trier, Arles, or Lyons; died 4 April, 397. He was one of the most illustrious Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and fitly chosen, together with St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Athanasius, to uphold the venerable Chair of the Prince of the Apostles in the tribune of St. Peter’s at Rome.The materials for a biography of the Saint are chiefly to be found scattered through his writings, since the “Life” written after his death by his secretary, Paulinus, at the suggestion of St. Augustine, is extremely disappointing.  Ambrose was descended from an ancient Roman family, which, at an early period had embraced Christianity, and numbered among its scions both Christian martyrs and high officials of State. At the time of his birth his father, likewise named Ambrosius, was Prefect of Gallia, and as such ruled the present territories of France, Britain, and Spain, together with Tingitana in Africa. It was on…

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Wherefore, in humility and fasting, we unceasingly offered our private prayers as well as the public prayers of the Church to God the Father through his Son, that he would deign to direct and strengthen our mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. In like manner did we implore the help of the entire heavenly host as we ardently invoked the Paraclete. Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own:

“We declare, we pronounce, and we define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”

Hence, if anyone shall…

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St. Noel Chabanel

St. Noel ChabanelA Jesuit missionary among the Huron Indians, born in Southern France, 2 February, 1613; slain by a renegade Huron, 8 December, 1649. Chabanel entered the Jesuit novitiate at Toulouse at the age of seventeen, and was professor of rhetoric in several colleges of the society in the province of Toulouse. He was highly esteemed for virtue and learning. In 1643, he was sent to Canada and, after studying the Algonquin language for a time, was appointed to the mission of the Hurons, among whom he remained till his death. In these apostolic labours he was the companion of the intrepid missionary, Father Charles Garnier. As he felt a strong repugnance to the life and habits of the Indians, and feared it might result in his own withdrawal from the work, he nobly bound himself by vow never to leave mission, and he kept his vow to the end. In the “Relation” of 1649-50, Father Ragueneau describes the martyr deaths of Chabanal and Garnier, with biographical sketches of these two fathers.

He was canonized on June 29, 1930, by Pope Pius XI.

EDWARD P. SPILLANE (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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According to Victoria Arbiter:

Though not exactly crumbling into a heap, it will do unless $461m is spent on renovations over the next ten years. The plan is for miles of aging cables, lead pipes, electrical wiring and boilers to be replaced, many for the first time in 60 years.

…the media went into overdrive with headlines screaming, ‘The Queen lives there; she should pay for it!’. It’s a baseless argument.

…it is not her property. The hundred and fifty-seven year old Palace of Westminster is undergoing a forty-year £7bn restoration. Are MPs and peers being asked to foot that bill?

To read the entire article of Victoria Arbiter, please click here.

 

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Lee sitting, photographed in 1865

General Lee was the very personification of Southern courtesy and chivalry, and he knew how to quietly and effectually administer a rebuke to those who did not come up to his standard in these respects. Once, during the war, he was travelling to Richmond in a railroad coach filled with officers and men.

City Point, Virginia, circa 1865. "Gen. J.C. Robinson" and other locomotives of the U.S. Military Railroad.

City Point, Virginia, circa 1865. “Gen. J.C. Robinson” and other locomotives of the U.S. Military Railroad.

A poorly dressed old woman entered the coach and traversed it’s length in vain search for a seat. When she reached the end of the car, where General Lee was seated, he arose and gave her his seat. Instantly all the officers were on their feet offering their places to the Commander-in-Chief, but the General merely said quietly, “No, gentlemen; if there was no seat for that infirm woman, there can be none for me.” So uncomfortable did this make the men within hearing that one by one they slipped out of the car, and ere long the General and the old woman had the coach to themselves.

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Published in The Pensacola Journal., January 15, 1907

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 553

 

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Nothing then bore any resemblance to the ambulant colony of the present day which, in obedience to orders from above, travels about governing each of our towns, strangers on the wing, with no personal standing, without local landed property, interests or means, encamped in some hired apartment, often in a furnished room, sometimes stopping at a hotel, eternal nomads awaiting a telegram, always prepared to pack up and leave for another place a hundred leagues off in a consideration of a hundred crowns extra pay, and doing the same detached work over again. Their predecessor, belonging to the country, was a stable fixture and contented; he was not tormented by a craving for a promotion; he had a career within the bounds of his corporation and town; cherishing no wish or idea of leaving it, he accommodated himself to it; he became proud of his office and professional brethren, and rose above the egoism of the individual; his self-love was bent on maintaining every prerogative and interest belonging to his guild. Established for life in his native town, in the midst of old colleagues, numerous relatives and youthful companions, he esteemed their good opinion. Exempt from vexatious or burdensome taxes, tolerably well off, owning at least his own office; he was above sordid preoccupations and common necessities. Used to old fashioned habits of simplicity, soberness and economy, he was not tormented by a disproportion between his income and expenses, by the requirements of show and luxury, but the necessity of annually adding to his revenue.

 Portrait of Catherine Coustard, Marquise de Castelnau, Wife of Charles-Leonor Aubry, with Her Son Leonor by Nicolas de Largillière

Portrait of Catherine Coustard, Marquise de Castelnau, Wife of Charles-Leonor Aubry, with Her Son Leonor by Nicolas de Largillière

Thus guided and unembarrassed, the instincts of vanity and generosity, the essence of French character, took the ascendant; the councilor or comptroller, the King’s agent, regarded himself as a man above the common run, as a noble of the Third-Estate; he thought less of making money than of gaining esteem.; his chief desire was to be honored and honorable; “he passed life comfortably and was looked up to,…in the discharge of his duty,…with no other ambition than to transmit to his children…along with their inheritance an unsullied reputation.” Among the other groups of the bourgeoisie the same corporate system, the same settled habits, the same security, the same frugality, the same institutions, the same customs, promoted the growth of nearly the same sentiments, while the intellectual culture of these men was not insignificant. Having leisure, they were given to reading; as they were not overwhelmed with newspapers they read books worth reading…

 

H.A. Taine, The Revolution, vol. 2. 320-2.

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Our Lady of Joy

(aka Notre Dame de Liesse, or Causa Nostrae Laetitiae)

In 1134 three Knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, prisoners of the Muslims in Egypt, miraculously found or received in their prison a statue of Our Lady, which they named Our Lady of Joy, or Notre Dame de Liesse.

In response to their prayers, a young Muslim princess named Ismerie took an interest in the Knights, and through the intercession of Our Lady and the mercy of God, the princess was converted. The princess arranged the escape of the pious crusaders and joined them on their journey to France. They carried the statue with them, and in the region of Laon, about 35 miles northwest of Reims, they founded a church as a resting place for the statue…

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St. Chromatius

St. Chromatius preaches in the Basilica of Aquileia.

Bishop of Aquileia, died about 406-407. He was probably born at Aquileia, and in any case grew up there. He became a priest of that church and about 387 or 388, after the death of Valerianus, bishop of that important city. He was one of the most celebrated prelates of his time and was in active correspondence with his illustrious contemporaries, St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, and Rufinus. Himself a scholarly theologian, he urged these three friends to the composition of many learned works. St. Ambrose was encouraged by him to write exegetical works; St. Jerome dedicated to him different translations and commentaries, which he had written at his suggestion (translations of the Books of Paralipomenon, Tobias, the books of Solomon, commentaries on the Prophecy of Habacuc). In the bitter quarrel between St. Jerome and Rufinus concerning Origenism, Chromatius, while rejecting the false doctrines of Origen, attempted to make peace between the disputants. He always maintained ecclesiastical communion with Rufinus and induced him not to answer the last attack of St. Jerome, but to devote himself to new literary works, especially to the translation of the “Ecclesiastical History” of Eusebius. Chromatius opposed the Arian heresy with much zeal and rooted it out in his diocese. He gave loyal support to St. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, when unjustly oppressed, and wrote in his favour to Honorius, the Western emperor, who sent this letter to his brother, Arcadius. This intercession, however, availed nothing. Chromatius was also active as an exegete. There are preserved seventeen treatises by him on the Gospel according to St. Matthew (iii, 15-17; v-vi, 24), besides a fine homily on the Eight Beatitudes (counted as an eighteenth treatise). His feast is celebrated 2 December.

J.P. KIRSCH (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Francis Xavier

Born in the Castle of Xavier near Sanguesa, in Navarre, 7 April, 1506; died on the Island of Sancian near the coast of China, 2 December, 1552.

In 1525, having completed a preliminary course of studies in his own country, Francis Xavier went to Paris, where he entered the collège de Sainte-Barbe. Here he met the Savoyard, Pierre Favre, and a warm personal friendship sprang up between them. It was at this same college that St. Ignatius Loyola, who was already planning the foundation of the Society of Jesus, resided for a time as a guest in 1529. He soon won the confidence of the two young men; first Favre and later Xavier offered themselves with him in the formation of the Society. Four others, Lainez, Salmerón, Rodríguez, and Bobadilla, having joined…

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December 4 – Saint Barbara

December 1, 2016

Saint Barbara

Virgin and Martyr. There is no reference to St. Barbara contained in the authentic early historical authorities for Christian antiquity, neither does her name appear in the original recension of St. Jerome’s martyrology. Veneration of the saint was common, however, from the seventh century. At about this date there were in existence legendary Acts of her martyrdom which were inserted in the collection of Symeon Metaphrastes and were used as well by the authors (Ado, Usuard, etc.) of the enlarged martyrologies composed during the ninth century in Western Europe. According to these narratives, which are essentially the same, Barbara was the daughter of a rich heathen named Dioscorus. She was…

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December 4 – Saint Osmund, founder of the Cathedral system of Church governance

December 1, 2016

Saint Osmund Bishop of Salisbury, died 1099; his feast is kept on 4 December. Osmund held an exalted position in Normandy, his native land, and according to a late fifteenth-century document was the son of Henry, Count of Séez, and Isabella, daughter of Robert, Duke of Normandy, who was the father of William the Conqueror […]

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December 4 – From a Muslim court, he opposed the Christian Emperor…and won!

December 1, 2016

St. John Damascene Born at Damascus, about 676; died some time between 754 and 787. The only extant life of the saint is that by John, Patriarch of Jerusalem, which dates from the tenth century (P.G. XCIV, 429-90). This life is the single source from which have been drawn the materials of all his biographical […]

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December 5 – Noble matron faithful unto death

December 1, 2016

St. Crispina A martyr of Africa who suffered during the Diocletian persecution; born at Thagara in the Province of Africa; died by beheading at Thebeste in Numidia, 5 December, 304. Crispina belonged to a distinguished family and was a wealthy matron with children. At the time of the persecution she was brought before the proconsul […]

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November 29 – The coronation of St. Louis IX of France

November 28, 2016

Traditionally, new sacred music was composed for a coronation. The motet…which was sung for the anointing of Louis IX has come down to us. It was called Gaude, felix Francia…. The boy who was to be anointed and crowned was already on a platform built in front of the chancel, surrounded by the great lords […]

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November 29 – Grandson of the one who defeated Charles Martel in battle

November 28, 2016

St. Radbod, Bishop of Utrecht, Confessor This holy prelate was, by his father, of noble French extraction; and, by his mother, Radbod, the last king or prince of the Frisons was his great grandfather, whose name was given him by his mother. The first tincture of learning and piety he received under the tuition of […]

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November 29 – St. Saturninus

November 28, 2016

St. Saturninus was, says Tillemont, one of the most illustrious martyrs France has given to the Church. We possess only his Acts, which are very old, since they were utilized by St. Gregory of Tours. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, whither he went during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250). Whether there […]

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November 30 – His name means manhood, or valour

November 28, 2016

St. Andrew The name “Andrew” (Gr., andreia, manhood, or valour), like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews from the second or third century B.C. St. Andrew, the Apostle, son of Jonah, or John (Matt., xvi, 17; John, i, 42), was born in Bethsaida of Galilee (John, i, 44). He was […]

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December 1 – The Virgin Mary appears to General Gaston de Sonis after his army’s losses at Patay promising that France would survive

November 28, 2016

On the night of December 1 [1870], the Zouaves were ordered to advance to Patay [France], where Joan of Arc had won a renowned victory against the English. [General Louis-Gaston de] Sonis asked [Colonel Athanase de] Charette, who had no flag of his own, to lend him the Zouaves’. This banner had a curious history….  […]

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December 1 – Bl. Ralph Sherwin

November 28, 2016

Bl. Ralph Sherwin English martyr, born 1550 at Rodesley, near Longford, Derbyshire; died at Tyburn, 1 December, 1581. In 1568 Sir William Petre nominated him to one of the eight fellowships which he had founded at Exeter College, Oxford, probably acting under the influence of the martyr’s uncle, John Woodward, who from 1556 to 1566 […]

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December 1 – Billionaire Saint

November 28, 2016

Saint Eligius (French: Eloi), Bishop of Noyon-Tournai, born at Chaptelat near Limoges, France, circa 590, of Roman parents, Eucherius and Terrigia; died at Noyon, December 1, 660. His father, recognizing unusual talent in his son, sent him to the noted goldsmith Abbo, master of the mint at Limoges. Later Eligius went to Neustria, where he […]

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December 1 – He Hid Priests in His Manorhouse

November 28, 2016

Blessed Richard Langley Layman and martyr, b. probably at Grimthorpe, Yorks, England, date unknown; d. at York, 1 Dec., 1586. From his father, Richard Langley, of Rathorpe Hall, Walton, he probably inherited Rathorpe, but for the greater part of his life continued to reside on his estate at Ousethorpe, in the East Riding. His mother […]

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December 1 – The Queen bade him ask for what he would

November 28, 2016

Edmund Campion, English Jesuit Saint and martyr; he was the son and namesake of a Catholic bookseller, and was born in London, 25 Jan., 1540; executed at Tyburn, 1 Dec., 1581. A city company sent the promising child to a grammar school and to Christ Church Hospital. When Mary Tudor entered London in state as […]

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Napoleon and Talleyrand: Pseudo-Royalty and Age-Old Nobility

November 24, 2016

Napoleon began with a few remarks…to the effect that his…Ministers had no right even to think for themselves, far less to give their thoughts expression. To doubt was for them the beginning of treason, to differ from him was the crime itself. With that he turned upon Talleyrand, who, in a characteristically graceful and negligent […]

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Dueling appears as a remnant of the excess of combativeness

November 24, 2016

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira As a collective phenomenon of ‘feud against feud,’ all that diminished in intensity with the elevation of kings, the Church’s great insistence on peace, and the Imitation of Christ which is a masterpiece in this matter. But what was the end result? It was the appearance of dueling. Duels were […]

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November 25 – The day a 16 year old invalid and a handful of men defeated a huge professional army

November 24, 2016

The Battle of Montgisard was fought between the Ayyubids and the Kingdom of Jerusalem on November 25, 1177. The 16 year old King Baldwin IV, seriously afflicted by leprosy, led an out-numbered Christian force against the army of Saladin. The Islamic force was routed and their casualties were massive, only a fraction managed to flee […]

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November 25 – She Defied the Emperor

November 24, 2016

St. Catherine of Alexandria A virgin and martyr whose feast is celebrated in the Latin Church and in the various Oriental churches on 25 November, and who for almost six centuries was the object of a very popular devotion. Of noble birth and learned in the sciences, when only eighteen years old, Catherine presented herself […]

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November 25 & 26 – Blessed Hugh Taylor & Blessed Marmaduke Bowes

November 24, 2016

Blessed Hugh Taylor English martyr, born at Durham; hanged, drawn, and quartered at York, 25 (not 26) November, 1585. He arrived at Reims on 2 May, 1582, and having been ordained a priest was sent thence on the mission on 27 March, 1585. He was the first to suffer under the Statute 27 Eliz. c. […]

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November 26 – How a Catholic Queen gave Spain its Golden Age

November 24, 2016

Queen Isabella I (“The Catholic”) Queen of Castile; born in the town of Madrigal de las Altas Torres, 22 April, 1451; died a little before noon, 26 November, 1504, in the castle of La Mota, which still stands at Medina del Campo (Valladolid). She was the daughter of John II, King of Castile, by his […]

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November 26 – St. Leonard of Port Maurice

November 24, 2016

St. Leonard of Port Maurice Preacher and ascetic writer, b. 20 Dec., 1676, at Porto Maurizio on the Riviera di Ponente; d. at the monastery of S. Bonaventura, Rome, 26 Nov., 1751. The son of Domenico Casanova and Anna Maria Benza, he joined after a brilliant course of study with the Jesuits in Rome (Collegio […]

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November 27 – St. Maximus of Riez

November 24, 2016

St. Maximus, Bishop of Riez, Confessor About the Year 460. ST. MAXIMUS was born in Provence at Decomer, now called Chateau-Redon, near Digne. His truly Christian parents saw him baptized in his infancy, and brought him up in the love and practice of virtue, and an enemy to its bane, the pleasure of the senses, […]

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November 27 – The king who made France “First-born daughter of the Church”

November 24, 2016

Clovis Son of Childeric, King of the Salic Franks; born in the year 466; died at Paris, 27 November, 511. He succeeded his father as the King of the Franks of Tournai in 481. His kingdom was probably one of the States that sprang from the division of Clodion’s monarchy like those of Cambrai, Tongres […]

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November 28 – December 27 – Siege of Jasna Góra

November 24, 2016

Lessons in Psychological Warfare from the Siege of Jasna Góra, November 28-December 27, 1655 This account of the siege of  Częstochowa is based on the Memoirs of the Siege of Czestochowa by Father Augustine Kordecki (Pamietnik oblezenia Częstochowy, edited and with a preface by Jan Tokarski, London, Veritas, 1956.) Written by Friar Kordecki in response […]

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November 28 – Count Louis de Baude Frontenac

November 24, 2016

Count Louis de Baude Frontenac A governor of New France, born at Paris, 1662; died at Quebec, 28 Nov., 1698. His father was captain of the royal castle of St-Germain-en-laye; his mother, née Phelypeaux, was the daughter of the king’s secretary of state; Louis XIII was his godfather. By his valour and skill he won […]

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Eleanor of Castile: Daughter of St. Ferdinand and Much Loved Queen of England

November 24, 2016

She [Eleanor of Castille] died on November 28, in her forth-seventh year.…. Edward emerged from his solitary mourning to accompany the cortege to Lincoln. The bier rested that first night at the Priory of St. Catherine close to the city, and it was probably then that the determination became fixed in the king’s mind to […]

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November 22 – The Eternal Glory of the Caecilia Family

November 21, 2016

St. Cecilia Virgin and martyr, patroness of church music, died at Rome. St. Cecilia in Ecstasy by Raffaello Sanzio This saint, so often glorified in the fine arts and in poetry, is one of the most venerated martyrs of Christian antiquity. The oldest historical account of St. Cecilia is found in the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum”; from […]

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November 23 – Blessed Margaret of Savoy

November 21, 2016

Bl. Margaret of Savoy Marchioness of Montferrat, born at Pignerol in 1382; died at Alba, 23 November, 1464. She was the only daughter of Louis of Savoy, Prince of Achaia, and of Bonne, daughter of Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy, and was given in marriage in 1403 to Theodore, Marquis of Montferrat, a descendant of […]

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November 23 – St. Trudo

November 21, 2016

St. Trudo (also called TRON, TROND, TRUDON, TRUTJEN, TRUYEN). Apostle of Hasbein in Brabant; died 698 (or perhaps 693). Feast 23 November. He was the son of Blessed Adela of the family of the dukes of Austrasia. Devoted from his earliest youth to the service of God, Trudo came to St. Remaclus, Bishop of Liège […]

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Moslem Seville surrenders to Saint Ferdinand

November 21, 2016

The Moors had no choice but to accept the iron will of that King Ferdinand, who, like a curse of Allah, crossed Andalusia exterminating Islam. The ambassadors returned with broader powers to act, and then Don Ferdinand received them. After they had been conducted to his tent, they found him waiting surrounded by his whole […]

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November 24 – Intrepid missionaries

November 21, 2016

Joseph Marchand Joseph Marchand (August 17, 1803 – November 30, 1835) was a French missionary in Vietnam, and a member of the Paris Foreign Missions Society. Born August 17, 1803, in Passavant, in the Doubs department of France, in 1833 he joined the Lê Văn Khôi revolt by Lê Văn Khôi, son of the late […]

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November 24 – Saint Joseph Mary Pignatelli, S.J.

November 21, 2016

(also known as St. Giuseppe Maria Pignatelli) Born 27 December, 1737, in Saragossa, Spain; died 11 November, 1811. His family was of Neapolitan descent and noble lineage. After finishing his early studies in the Jesuit College of Saragossa, he entered the Society of Jesus (8 May, 1753) notwithstanding his family’s opposition. On concluding his ecclesiastical […]

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November 17 – Mary Tudor

November 17, 2016

Mary Tudor Queen of England from 1553 to 1558; born 18 February, 1516; died 17 November, 1558. Mary was the daughter and only surviving child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Cardinal Wolsey was her godfather, and amongst her most intimate friends in early life were Cardinal Pole and his mother, the Countess of […]

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St. Francis de Sales led a Crusade against the Calvinists

November 17, 2016

St. Francis of Sales* carried out a crusade himself. A small crusade, but he did. We have often spoken about this. As far as I know, this saint – who understood what a crusade was – did not have a word of praise for the crusaders. But it would be erroneous to imagine that that […]

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November 18 – Sincere, intense, generous, austere, yet affectionate

November 17, 2016

St. Philippine-Rose Duchesne Founder in America of the first houses of the society of the Sacred Heart, born at Grenoble, France, 29 August, 1769; died at St. Charles, Missouri, 18 October, 1852. She was the daughter of Pierr-Francois Duchesne, an eminent lawyer. Her mother was a Périer, ancestor of Casimir Périer, President of France in […]

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November 18 – He Started the Cluniac Reform

November 17, 2016

St. Odo of Cluny Odo was born in 879 in Maine, and was the son of a pious and surprisingly learned layman, Abbo. Though vowed by his father to St. Martin in babyhood, he was given a military training and became a page at the court of Duke William. But the exercises of war and […]

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November 19 – St. Nerses I, Bishop of Armenia, Martyr

November 17, 2016

Nerses I Armenian patriarch, surnamed “the Great”. Died 373. Born of the royal stock, he spent his youth in Caesarea where he married Sanducht, a Mamikonian princess. After the death of his wife, he was appointed chamberlain to King Arshak of Armenia. A few years later, having entered the ecclesiastical state, he was elected catholicos, […]

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November 19 – Teacher, Engineer, Army Officer, Prisoner of War, Royal Tutor, and Priest

November 17, 2016

St. Raphael Kalinowski, O.C.D. (1835-1907) [Also known as Father Raphael of St. Joseph, O.C.D] Father Raphael of Saint Joseph Kalinowski, was born at Vilna, 1st September 1835, and at baptism received the name Joseph. Under the teaching of his father Andrew, at the Institute for Nobles at Vilna, he progressed so well that he received […]

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November 20 – St. Edmund the Martyr

November 17, 2016

St. Edmund the Martyr King of East Anglia, born about 840; died at Hoxne, Suffolk, November 20, 870. The earliest and most reliable accounts represent St. Edmund as descended from the preceding kings of East Anglia, though, according to later legends, he was born at Nuremberg (Germany), son to an otherwise unknown King Alcmund of […]

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November 20 – St. Ambrose of Camaldoli

November 17, 2016

St. Ambrose of Camaldoli An Italian theologian and writer, born at Portico, near Florence, 16 September, 1386; died 21 October, 1439. His name was Ambrose Traversari. He entered the Order of the Camaldoli when fourteen and became its General in 1431. He was a great theologian and writer, and knew Greek as well as he […]

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November 20 – Another strong and mighty angel

November 17, 2016

St. Felix of Valois Born in 1127; died at Cerfroi, 4 November, 1212. He is commemorated 20 November. He was surnamed Valois because, according to some, he was a member of the royal branch of Valois in France, according to others, because he was a native of the province of Valois. At an early age […]

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November 20 – Christ the King? Or Christ the President?

November 17, 2016

A heavenly King above all, but a King whose government is already exercised in this world. A King who by right possesses the supreme and full authority. The King makes laws, commands and judges. His sovereignty becomes effective when his subjects recognize his rights, and obey his laws. “Jesus Christ has rights over us all: […]

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