St. Rita of Cascia

Born at Rocca Porena in the Diocese of Spoleto, 1386; died at the Augustinian convent of Cascia, 1456. Feast, 22 May. Represented as holding roses, or roses and figs, and sometimes with a wound in her forehead.

According to the “Life” (Acta SS., May, V, 224) written at the time of her beatification by the Augustinian, Jacob Carelicci, from two older biographies, she was the daughter of parents advanced in years and distinguished for charity which merited them the surname of “Peacemakers of Jesus Christ”. Rita’s great desire was to become a nun, but, in obedience to the will of her parents, she, at the age of twelve, married a man extremely cruel and ill-tempered. For eighteen years she was a model wife and mother. When her husband was murdered she tried in vain to dissuade her twin sons from attempting to take revenge; she appealed to Heaven to prevent such a crime on their part, and they were taken away by death, reconciled to God. She applied for admission to the Augustinian convent at Cascia, but, being a widow, was refused. By continued entreaties, and, as is related, by Divine intervention, she gained admission, received the habit of the order and in due time her profession. As a religious she was an example for all, excelled in mortifications, and was widely known for the efficacy of her prayers…

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Blessed James Duckett

Martyr, born at Gilfortrigs in the parish of Skelsmergh in Westmoreland, England, date uncertain, of an ancient family of that county; died 9 April, 1601.

He was a bookseller and publisher in London. His godfather was the well-known martyr James Leybourbe of Skelsmergh. He seems, however, to have been brought up a Protestant, for he was converted while an apprentice in London by reading a Catholic book lent him by a friend. Before he could be received into the Church, he was twice imprisoned for not attending the Protestant service, and was obliged to compound for his apprenticeship and leave his master. He was finally reconciled by a venerable priest named Weekes who was imprisoned in the Gatehouse at Westminster.

After two or three years he married a Catholic widow, but out of his twelve years of married life, no less than nine were spent in prison, owing to his zeal in propagating Catholic literature and his wonderful constancy in his new-found faith. His last apprehension was brought about by Peter Bullock, a bookbinder, who betrayed him in order to obtain his own release from prison. His house was searched on 4 March, 1601, Catholic books were found there, and Duckett was at once thrown into Newgate. At his trial, Bullock testified that he had bound various Catholic books for Duckett, which the martyr acknowledged to be true…

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Blessed John Forest

Born in 1471, presumably at Oxford, where his surname was then not unknown; suffered 22 May, 1538. At the age of twenty he received the habit of St. Francis at Greenwich, in the church of the Friars Minor of the Regular Observance, called for brevity’s sake “Observants”. Nine years later we find him at Oxford, studying theology. He is commonly styled “Doctor” though, beyond the steps which he took to qualify as bachelor of divinity, no positive proof of his further progress has been found. Afterwards he became one of Queen Catherine’s chaplains, and was appointed her confessor…

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Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet

Missionary among the North American Indians, born at Termonde (Dendermonde), Belgium, 30 Jan., 1801; died at St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., 23 May, 1873. He emigrated to the United States in 1821 through a desire for missionary labours, and entered the Jesuit novitiate at Whitemarsh, Maryland. In 1823, however, at the suggestion of the United States Government a new Jesuit establishment was determined on and located at Florissant near St. Louis, Missouri, for work among the Indians. De Smet was among the pioneers and thus became one of the founders of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus…

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St. John Baptist de Rossi

(De Rubeis).

St. John Baptist de RossiBorn at Voltaggio in the Diocese of Genoa, 22 February, 1698; died at Rome, 23 May, 1764; feast on 23 May. His parents, Charles de Rossi and Frances Anfossi, were not rich in earthly goods, but had solid piety and the esteem of their fellow-citizens. Of their four children, John excelled in gentleness and piety. At the age of ten he was taken to Genoa by friends for his education. There he received news of the death of his father. After three years he was called to Rome by a relative, Lorenzo de Rossi, who was canon at St. Mary in Cosmedin. He pursued his studies at the Collegium Romanum under the direction of the Jesuits, and soon became a model by his talents, application to study, and virtue. As a member of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin and of the Ristretto of the Twelve Apostles established at the college, he led the members in the meetings and pious exercises, in visits to the sick in the hospitals and in other works of mercy, and merited even then the name of apostle. At the age of sixteen he entered the clerical state. Owing to indiscreet practices of mortification he contracted spells of epilepsy, notwithstanding which he made his course of scholastic philosophy and theology, in the college of the Dominicans, and, with dispensation, was ordained priest on 8 March, 1721. Having reached the desired goal, he bound himself by vow to accept no ecclesiastical benefice unless commanded by obedience. He fulfilled the duties of the sacred ministry by devoting himself to the labourers, herds, and teamsters of the Campagna, preaching to them early in the morning, or late in the evening, at the old Forum Romanum (Campo Vaccino), and by visiting, instructing, and assisting the poor at the hospital of St. Galla. In 1731 he established near St. Galla another hospital as a home of refuge for the unfortunates who wander the city by night (“Rom. Brev.”, tr. Bute, Summer, 573). In 1735 he became titular canon at St. Mary in Cosmedin, and, on the death of Lorenzo two years later, obedience forced him to accept the canonry. The house belonging to it, however, he would not use, but employed the rent for good purposes.

St. John Baptist de Rossi 1For a number of years John was afraid, on account of his sickness, to enter the confessional, and it was his custom to send to other priests the sinners whom he had brought to repentance by his instructions and sermons. In 1738 a dangerous sickness befell him, and to regain his health he went to Cività Castellana, a day’s journey from Rome. The bishop of the place induced him to hear confessions, and after reviewing his moral theology he received the unusual faculty of hearing confessions in any of the churches of Rome. He showed extraordinary zeal in the exercise of this privilege, and spent many hours every day in hearing the confessions of the illiterate and the poor whom he sought in the hospitals and in their homes. He preached to such five and six times a day in churches, chapels, convents, hospitals, barracks, and prison cells, so that he became the apostle of the abandoned, a second Philip Neri, a hunter of souls. In 1763, worn out by such labours and continued ill-health, his strength began to ebb away, and after several attacks of paralysis he died at his quarters in Trinità de’ Pellegrini. He was buried in that church under a marble slab at the altar of the Blessed Virgin. God honoured his servant by miracles, and only seventeen years after his death the process of beatification was begun, but the troubled state of Europe during the succeeding years prevented progress in the cause until it was resumed by Pius IX, who on 13 May, 1860, solemnly pronounced his beatification. As new signs still distinguished him, Leo XIII, on 8 December, 1881, enrolled him among the saints.

HERBERT, St. John B. de Rossi (New York, 1906), Roman Breviary; SEEBÖCK, Herrlichkeit der kath. Kirche (Innsbruck 1900), 1; BELLESHEIM, Der hl. Joh. B, de Rossi (Mainz, 1882): CORMIER (Rome, 1901); Theol. prakt. Quartal-Schrift, XXV, 752.

FRANCIS MERSHMAN (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Ivo of Chartres

(YVO, YVES).

One of the most notable bishops of France at the time of the Investiture struggles and the most important canonist before Gratian in the Occident, born of a noble family about 1040; died in 1116.

From the neighbourhood of Beauvais, his native country, he went for his studies first to Paris and thence to the Abbey of Bee in Normandy, at the same time as Anselm of Canterbury, to attend the lectures given by Lanfranc. About 1080 he became, at the desire of his bishop, prior of the canons of St-Quentin at Beauvais. He was then one of the best teachers in France, and so prepared himself to infuse a new life into the celebrated schools of Chartres, of which city he was appointed bishop in 1090, his predecessor, Geoffroy, having been deposed for simony. His episcopal government, at first opposed by the tenants of Geoffroy, ranged over a period of twenty-five years. No man, perhaps, is better portrayed in his writing than is Ivo in his letters and sermons; in both he appears as a man always faithful to his duties, high-minded, full of zeal and piety, sound in his judgments, a keen jurist, straight-forward, mindful of others’ rights, devoted to the papacy and to his country, at the same time openly disapproving of what he considered wrong. This explains why he has been sometimes quoted as a patron of Gallican Liberties and looked upon by Flaccus Illyricus as one of the “witnesses to the truth” in his “Catalogus”. ..

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This commemoration was introduced in the liturgical calendar by decree of Pope Pius VII on September 16, 1815, in thanksgiving for his happy return to Rome after a long and painful captivity in Savona and France due to Napoleon’s tyrannical power.

By order of Napoleon, Pius VII was arrested, 5 July, 1808, and detained a prisoner for three years at Savona, and then at Fontainebleau. In January, 1814, after the battle of Leipzig, he was brought back to Savona and set free, 17 March, on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, the Patroness of Savona.

The journey to Rome was a veritable triumphal march. The pontiff, attributing the victory of the Church after so much agony and distress to the Blessed Virgin, visited many of her sanctuaries on the way and crowned her images (e.g. the “Madonna del Monte” at Cesena, “della Misericordia” at Treja, “della Colonne” and “della Tempestà” at Tolentino). The people crowded the streets to catch a glimpse of the venerable pontiff who had so bravely withstood the threats of Napoleon. He entered Rome, 24 May, 1814, and was enthusiastically welcomed.  (McCaffrey, “History of the Catholic Church in the Nineteenth Cent.”, 1909, I, 52).

The invocation “Help of the Christians” is very old, having been included in the Litany of Loreto by Pope Saint Pius V in 1571, as a token of gratitude to the Most Holy Virgin, by virtue of Christendom’s’ victory in the famous battle of Lepanto…

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Bl. Hermann Joseph

Premonstratensian monk and mystic; born at Cologne about 1150; died at Hoven, 7 April, 1241.

According to the biography by Razo Bonvisinus, contemporary prior of Steinfeld (Acta SS., 7 April, I, 679), Hermann was the son of poor parents who had once been rich. At the age of seven he attended school and very early he began the tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin for which he was known during his entire life. At every available moment he could be found at the church of St. Mary on the Capitol, where he would kneel wrapt in prayer and child-like appeal to Mary. One day he is said to have presented an apple, saved from his own scanty repast, to the Child Who accepted it. According to still another legend, on another occasion, when on a bitter cold day he made his appearance with bare feet, Mary procured him the means of getting shoes. At the age of twelve he entered the monastery of the Norbertine or Premonstratensian Canons at Steinfeld, in the present Rhenish Prussia, made his studies in the Netherlands, and on his return was entrusted with the service of the refectory and later of the sacristy…

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St. Vincent of Lérins

Feast on 24 May, an ecclesiastical writer in Southern Gaul in the fifth century. His work is much better known than his life. Almost all our information concerning him is contained in Gennadius, “De viris illustribus” (lxiv). He entered the monastery of Lérins (today Isle St. Honorat), where under the pseudonym of Peregrinus he wrote his “Commonitorium” (434). He died before 450, and probably shortly after 434. St. Eucherius of Lyons calls him a holy man, conspicuous for eloquence and knowledge; there is no reliable authority for identifying Vincent with Marius Mercator, but it is likely, if not certain, that he is the writer against whom Prosper, St. Augustine’s friend, directs his “Responsiones ad capitula objectionum Vincentianarum”…

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In a great house in Hertfordshire County, Lady Anne Grimston lay dying. She was a proud and obstinate woman, who had enjoyed her riches, her lands and the society of her friends, while she lived, and had cared nothing for the more important things which do not pass away. And she died as she had lived, with none of the comfort that comes to all good men and women when they leave their friend and pass out of this world.

Tewin house, where Lady Anne Grimston died

She believed that when she had passed away from her friends, when her houses and riches, and lands were gone, she herself, and the life that was in her, would be gone, too, gone forever, utterly destroyed.  Her friends tried to point out to her how terrible and impossible this was, how certain it was that she would live again, as the roses live again. Just as the trees and flowers in the field live again after their long sleep, so, said her friends to Lady Anne Grimston, she too, would live again, and the life that was in her would never end.

Her tomb, tucked between the trees, photographed in 1904.

But Lady Anne Grimston was proud and unbelieving, and she said to her friends. “I shall not live again. It is as unlikely that I shall live again as that a tree will grow out of my body.” Lady Anne Grimston died, and was buried in a strong tomb made of marble– buried and forgotten. But not quite forgotten; for one day, many years after, the marble slab over her grave was found to have moved from its position. The builders fixed it firmly in its place again, and left it, thinking it quite secure.

Pictured in 1908.

Again the heavy marble slab tilted slightly on one side, and in the middle was a crack, with a tiny bunch of leaves bursting through. The crack was closed with cement, and the slab put back again; but again the slab was lifted up, the crack opened wider than ever, and the thin trunk of a tree appeared. They repaired the crumbling tomb and built around it tall iron railings to hold the masonry together; but the young tree made its way, breaking the masonry in two, destroying the walls of the tomb, and tearing the heavy iron railings out of the ground.

Close up view of the cracked tomb of Lady Anne Grimston.

And today, growing right from the heart of Lady Anne Grimston’s grave in Tewin Churchyard, half an hour’s ride from King’s Cross station, at St. Peter’s churchyard in Herfordshire County, is one of the biggest trees in England, four trees growing from one root. The heavy iron railing are fast through the trunk of the tree and cannot be moved, the marble masonry of the tomb is shattered to pieces, and today Lady Anne Grimston’s grave is a heap of broken stone and twisted iron bars.

Crusade Magazine May- June 1978  Pg.16. Mentioned in “The Book of Knowledge,” The Educational Book Co., London, 1921.  

Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 626

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TO THE READER[1]

In this edition commemorating the third anniversary of the passing of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, we publish a study he wrote in the early 1950’s. This is a small tribute to the outstanding inspirer and mainstay of Catolicismo.

His multiple and intense activities prevented him from completing this study, which remained filed until his death. Accordingly, the original text we bring to light today presents a sketchy character in many of his passages. However, it is of great intellectual and moral value and will certainly be very useful to our readers.

God’s infinite power created all beings unequal, each reflecting divine perfections in its own, unique and unmistakable way. This rule is mirrored with great brilliance in the TFP founder.

What is Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira’s unique and unmistakable way? When one tries to discover it one becomes embarrassed, such is the wealth of personality, moral and intellectual values that he manifests. The present essay, however, reveals important elements about his special and elevated way of being.

Dr. Plinio himself summed up that something as a harmonious, architectonic, hierarchical and monarchic-aristocratic view of Creation, highlighting the aspects that the Revolution most seeks to combat.[2]

Dr. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira’s First Holy Communion

From a very young age he became an enthusiastic admirer of the ruins of Christendom. From those he rose to the consideration of great metaphysical truths, and later to supernatural realities, Our Lady, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the splendors of the Eternal Father.

He contemplated the natural realities with a calm, innocent and hierarchical gaze. And then he described them a noble, rich, precise, clear and limpid language.

Special mention should be made of his book, In Defense of Catholic Action (1943), honored with a letter of praise sent to the author, on behalf of Pope Pius XII, by Msgr. G. B. Montini, then substitute to the Vatican Secretary of State and later Pope Paul VI;

The considerations he conveyed, as it were, evoked Adam in Paradise contemplating all that the Creator had placed there, thoroughly understanding the reason for each thing, giving it a name, and then, as the sun was setting, conversing with God, who would come to visit.

This same contemplation led Dr. Plinio to face the errors generated by the Revolution, which he fought so hard. On the one hand, materialism both in its socialist-communist version according to which the material and social universe exists only to satisfy the basic bodily needs of massified man; and in its pragmatic materialism, which seeks exclusively to satisfy the arbitrary and sensual whims of hedonist man.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

On the other extreme, which was also the object of his critical analysis, is a false piety that confines religiosity to churches and sacristies, presenting it as a subjective, emotional or sensitive experience. According to this concept of piety, except for a select few favored by extraordinary mystical phenomena, the overwhelming majority of the faithful should vegetate in mediocrity, in the gray banality of everyday existence.

Both extremes converge on one point: the common man’s social and earthly activity should be restricted to a life without horizons or transcendence, be it metaphysical or supernatural.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira indicated and emphasized the point of balance, which counters and elides both exaggerations. He attracted the attention of his contemporaries and their successors to an upright contemplation of the temporal order established by the Creator so that through it men might know, love and serve God.

Dr. Plinio shows a delicate and shrewd sensibility that brings to mind the words of St. Thérèse, The Little Flower: “[God] set the book of nature before my eyes.” In addition to nature, the fruitful works of Christian civilization were a constant object of his enthused contemplation.

And as he made his perceptions and intellections explicit erecting as it were in a burst of loving enthusiasm, a cathedral of doctrines that rose up to heaven one also felt in him the strength of thought drawn from St. Thomas Aquinas.

His rich personality also contained an unmistakable note of Ignatian logic which bore the fruits of contemplation and love in battle array against the Gnostic and egalitarian Revolution. It is worth mentioning that St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus and column of the Counter-Reformation, was the author of the celebrated Spiritual Exercises in which the contemplation of scenes of our Redeemer’s earthly life plays a prominent role.

We should also mention the “ministerial” character of the temporal order in relation to the spiritual sphere, which Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira points out at the end of this essay, referring to the “notion of the temporal society as minister of the Church.” This opens up perspectives for understanding “sacral temporal society,” a thesis broached by St. Thomas Aquinas as he stated: “When they apply penalties to restrain sin, in this task the secular powers are ministers of God: according to what is affirmed in the Epistle to the Romans, 13:4: [The public authority is] God’s minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil” (II IIae, q.19, a3, ad2).

The essay that now comes to light explains the foundations for the celebrated section that Dr. Plinio maintained in Catolicismo for many years, titled “Ambiences, Customs, Civilizations,” the most precious and original section in the history of our magazine. The time when the TFP founder wrote this work coincided with the publication of the initial sections of “Ambiences, Customs, Civilizations.”

To this day, Revolution and Counter-Revolution is Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira’s masterpiece. I am certain that Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility will stand right next to it in the general consensus.In the ideas outlined in this essay lies the heart of the true concept of Christendom and the most profound reason for the struggle the TFP carries out in defense of Christian civilization. These ideas are also the mainstay of Dr. Plinio’s masterpiece, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, written a few years later.

Notes on the Concept of Christendom also shows a glimmer of the author’s future explicitation on the necessity and beauty of harmonic and proportionate social inequalities, contained in his last book, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility.

In Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites, best-selling author Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira ambitiously argues the contrary. Drawing on papal and other classic sources, Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira demonstrates the natural necessity of social hierarchy.

Finally, in this stupendous essay the reader will also find the deepest explanation of the struggle Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira carried out, and with him the TFP, against socialist and confiscatory reforms, and against factors of contemporary moral corruption such as abortion, same-sex “marriage”, TV immorality, etc.

The egalitarian Revolution has unleashed these evils on the world to try and extinguish the vestiges of Christian civilization, especially in this convulsed and chaotic end of the millennium.

Paulo Corrêa de Brito Filho

Editor-in-Chief of Catolicismo

[1] Published in Catolicismo, October 1988, under the title Cristandade. The title, subtitle and intertitles of this essay are from the editors. Likewise, texts enclosed in square brackets […] are meant to facilitate the understanding of the text.

[2] By “monarchic-aristocratic” Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira does not refer mainly to a kind of political regime; his conception was incomparably broader and more encompassing. He saw the whole order of the Universe as unequal and hierarchical in its constituent elements, and obedient to the principle of unity in its organization.

 

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On the morning of August 18th the excessively heavy bombardment of Senglea warned them that an attack was imminent. It was not slow to develop. The moment that the rumble of the guns died down, the Iayalars and Janissaries were seen streaming forward across the no-man’s-land to the south. The attack developed in the same way as on previous occasions, with a mass assault on the bastion of St. Michael. Piali, meanwhile, held back his troops from Birgu according to plan. Mustapha waited anxiously to see if the Grand Master was to be lured into sending some of his garrison across the bridge to reinforce hard-pressed Senglea…

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Pope St. John I

Died at Ravenna on 18 or 19 May (according to the most popular calculation), 526. A Tuscan by birth and the son of Constantius, he was, after an interregnum of seven days, elected on 13 August, 523, and occupied the Apostolic see for two years, nine months, and seven days.

We know nothing of the matter of his administration, for his Bullarium contains only the two letters addressed to an Archbishop Zacharias and to the bishops of Italy respectively, and it is very certain that both are apocryphal…

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St. Eric, King of Sweden, Martyr

Eric [1] was descended of a most illustrious Swedish family: in his youth he laid a solid foundation of virtue and learning, and took to wife Christina, daughter of Ingo IV, king of Sweden. Upon the death of King Smercher in 1141, he was, purely for his extraordinary virtues and qualifications, placed on the throne by the election of the states, according to the ancient laws of that kingdom. His first care in that exalted and dangerous station was to watch over his own soul. He treated his body with great severity, fasting and watching much, in order to keep his domestic enemy in due subjection to the spirit, and to fit himself for the holy exercises of heavenly contemplation and prayer, which were his chief delight…

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Blessed Alcuin of York

An eminent educator, scholar, and theologian born about 735; died 19 May, 804.

He came of noble Northumbrian parentage, but the place of his birth is a matter of dispute. It was probably in or near York. While still a mere child, he entered the cathedral school founded at that place by Archbishop Egbert. His aptitude, and piety early attracted the attention of Aelbert, master of the school, as well as of the Archbishop, both of whom devoted special attention to his instruction. In company with his master, he made several visits to the continent while a youth, and when, in 767, Aelbert succeeded to the Archbishopric of York, the duty of directing the school naturally devolved upon Alcuin. During the fifteen years that followed, he devoted himself to the work of instruction at York, attracting numerous students and enriching the already valuable library…

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St. Dunstan of Canterbury

Archbishop and confessor, and one of the greatest saints of the Anglo-Saxon Church; born near Glastonbury on the estate of his father, Heorstan, a West Saxon noble. His mother, Cynethryth, a woman of saintly life, was miraculously forewarned of the sanctity of the child within her. She was in the church of St. Mary on Candleday, when all the lights were suddenly extinguished. Then the candle held by Cynethryth was as suddenly relighted, and all present lit their candles at this miraculous flame, thus foreshadowing that the boy “would be the minister of eternal light” to the Church of England…

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St. Bernardine of Siena

Friar Minor, missionary, and reformer, often called the “Apostle of Italy”, b. of the noble family of Albizeschi at Massa, a Sienese town of which his father was then governor, 8 September, 1380; d. at Aquila in the Abruzzi, 20 May, 1444. Left an orphan at six Bernardine was brought up with great care by his pious aunts. His youth was blameless and engaging. In 1397 after a course of civil and canon law, he joined the Confraternity of Our Lady attached to the great hospital of Santa Maria della Scala. Three years later, when the pestilence revisited Siena, he came forth from the life of seclusion and prayer he had embraced, to minister to the plague-stricken, and, assisted by ten companions, took upon himself for four months entire charge of this hospital. Despite his youth Bernardine proved fully equal to this task, but the heroic and unremitting labour it involved so far shattered his health that he never completely recovered. Having distributed his patrimony in charity, Bernardine received the habit of the Friars Minor at San Francesco in Siena, 8 September, 1402, but soon withdrew to the Observantine convent of Columbaio outside the city. He was professed 8 September, 1403 and ordained 8 September, 1404. About 1406 S. Vincent Ferrer, while preaching at Alexandria in Piedmont, foretold that his mantle should descend upon one who was then listening to him, and said that he would return to France and Spain leaving to Bernardine the task of evangelizing the remaining peoples of Italy…

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Blessed Colomba of Rieti

Bl. Columba of RietiBorn at Rieti in Umbria, Italy, 1467; died at Perugia, 1501. Blessed Colomba of Rieti is always called after her birthplace, though she actually spent the greater part of her life away from it. Her celebrity is based — as it was even in her lifetime — mainly on two things: the highly miraculous nature of her career from its very beginning, and her intense devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. She was one amongst a number of saintly Dominican women who seem to have been expressly raised up by God in protest against, and as a sharp contrast to, the irreligion and immorality prevalent in Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. These women, nearly all of the Third Order, had an intense devotion to St. Catherine of Siena, and made it their aim to imitate her as nearly as possible. Many seculars, men as well as women, shared this devotion, amongst these being Ercole I, Duke of Ferrara, who had a deep admiration for Colomba and for some other holy Dominican religious, her contemporaries, the most notable of whom were Blessed Osanna of Mantua and Blessed Lucy of Narni. For the latter Ercole’s veneration was so great that he never rested until he had got her to come with some of her nuns to live in Ferrara, where he built her a convent and where she died after many troubles. She began when quite a girl to practise austere penances and to subsist almost entirely on the supernatural food of the Holy Eucharist, and continued this for the greater part of her life. At nineteen she joined the Dominican Tertiaries, of whom there were many in town, though still living at home; and she soon won the veneration of her fellow townspeople by her personal holiness as well as by some miracles that she worked. Subscription7 But Colomba was not destined to remain in Rieti. In 1488 she left home and went to Perugia, where the inhabitants received her as a saint, and in the course of time built her the convent of St. Catherine, in which she assembled all the Third Order Dominicanesses, who desired her as superior in spite of her youth. In 1494, when a terrible plague was raging in Perugia, she offered herself as victim for the city. The plague was stayed, but Colomba herself was struck down by the scourge. She recovered only to save her sanctity severly tried by widely spread calumnies, which reached Rome, whence a commssion was sent to examine into her life. She was treated for some time as an imposter, and desposed from her office of prioress; but finally her innocence triumphed. In 1495 Alexander VI, having heard of Colomba’s holiness and miracles from his son the Cardinal Caesar Borgia, who had been living in Perugia, went himself to the city and saw her. She is said to have gone into ecstasy at his feet, and also to have boldy told him of all personal sins. The pope was fully satisfied of her great sanctity and set the seal of approval on her mode of life. In the year of 1499 she was consulted by authorities who were examining into the manner, concerning the stigmata of Blessed Lucy of Narni, and spoke warmly in favour of their being genuine, and of her admiration for Blessed Lucy’s holiness. Her relics are still venerated at Perugia, and her feast is kept by her order on 20 May.

F.M. CAPES (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Ethelbert

Date of birth unknown; died 794.

King of the East Angles, was, according to the “Speculum Historiale” of Richard of Cirencester (who died about 1401), the son of King Ethelred and Leofrana, a lady of Mercia. Brought up in piety, he was a man of singular humility. Urged to marry, he declared his preference for a life of celibacy, but at length consented to woo Altrida (Alfrida), daughter of Offa, King of the Mercians. Leofrana foreboded evil and tried to dissuade Ethelbert; but in spite of an earthquake, an eclipse of the sun, and a warning vision, he proceeded from Bury St. Edmunds to Villa Australis, where Offa resided. On his arrival Altrida expressed her admiration for Ethelbert, declaring that Offa ought to accept him as suzerain. Cynethryth, the queen-mother, urged by hatred of Ethelbert, so poisoned Offa’s mind against him, that he accepted the offer of a certain Grimbert to murder their guest. Ethelbert, having come for an interview with Offa, was bound and beheaded by Grimbert. The body was buried ignominiously, but, revealing itself by a heavenly light, was translated to the cathedral at Hereford, where many miracles attested Ethelbert’s sanctity. The head was enshrined at Westminster Abbey…

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François Bourgade

L’abbé François Bourgade

L’abbé François Bourgade

A French missionary and philosopher, b. 7 July, 1806, at Gaujan, department of Gers; d. 21 May, 1866, at Paris. He pursued his theological studies at the seminary of Auch and was ordained priest in 1832. His immediate request to be authorized to work among the infidels of Africa was granted only in 1838. He proceeded to Algeria and, after ministering for some time in the hospitals of this colony, passed over to the regency of Tunis, where he founded a hospital and several schools. He was put in charge of the chapel which Louis Phlippe (1830-48) had erected on the spot where St. Louis died, and he received several decorations, among them the Legion of Honour.

The chief object of his literary productions was to spread the knowledge of Christianity among the Mohammedans. He published “Soirées de Carthage” (1847); “La clef du Coran” (1852); “Passage du Coran à l’Evangile” (1855); the important philological work, “La toison d’or de la langue phénicienne” (1852, 1856); a refutation of Renan’s “Life of Jesus”, under the title, “Lettre à M. E. Renan” (1864).

VAPEREAU, Dict. Univer. des contemporains, s. v. in the first four editions; HURTER, Nomenclator (Innsbruck, 1895), III, 989, 990.

N.A. WEBER (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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May 21 – The last of his noble lineage, he started a spiritual one

May 17, 2018

St. Charles Joseph Eugene de Mazenod Bishop of Marseilles, and founder of the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, b. at Aix, in Provence, 1 August, 1782; d. at Marseilles 21 May, 1861. De Mazenod was the offspring of a noble family of southern France, and even in his tender years he showed unmistakable […]

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May 21 – De Soto meets the mighty Mississippi

May 17, 2018

The next day, upon which De Soto was hoping to see the chief, a large company of Indians came, fully armed and in war-paint, with the purpose of attacking the Christians. But when they saw that the Governor had drawn up his army in line of battle, they remained a cross-bow shot away for half […]

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May 15 – Beautiful Princess, Tragic Story

May 14, 2018

St. Dymphna Virgin and martyr. The earliest historical account of the veneration of St. Dymphna dates from the middle of the thirteenth century. Under Bishop Guy I of Cambrai (1238-47), Pierre, a canon of the church of Saint Aubert at Cambrai, wrote a “Vita” of the saint, from which we learn that she had been […]

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May 15 – Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac

May 14, 2018

Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac (December 27, 1556 – February 2, 1640) was founderess of the order The Company of Mary Our Lady. She was born in Bordeaux, France in 1556 to a prominent family. Her father, Richard de Lestonnac, was a member of the French Parliament while her mother, Jeanne Eyquem, was the sister of […]

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May 15 – William Lockhart

May 14, 2018

William Lockhart Son of the Rev. Alexander Lockhart of Waringham, Surry; b. 22 Aug., 1820; d. at St. Etheldreda’s Priory, Eby Place, Holborn, London, 15 May, 1892. He was a cousin of J. G. Lockhart, the well-known biographer of Sir Walter Scott. After studying first at Bedford Grammar School and, afterwards under various tutors, he […]

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May 15 – Saint’s biographer

May 14, 2018

Alban Butler Historian, b. 10 October, 1710, at Appletree, Northamptonshire, England; d. at St-Omer, France, 15 May, 1773. He shares with the venerable Bishop Challoner the reputation of being one of the two most prominent Catholic students during the first half of the dreary eighteenth century, when the prospects of English Catholics were at their […]

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May 15 – Palms on Palm Sunday lead to his cruel martyrdom

May 14, 2018

Ven. Robert Thorpe Priest and martyr, b. in Yorkshire; suffered at York, 15 May, 1591. He reached the English College at Reims 1 March, 1583-4, was ordained deacon in December following, and priest by Cardinal Guise in April, 1585. He was sent on the mission, 9 May, 1585, and laboured in Yorkshire. He was arrested […]

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May 16 – Leper King

May 14, 2018

Modern society obsessively avoids suffering, risk and danger. It secures everything with seatbelts and safety rails, air conditions the summer heat, prints warnings on coffee cups and advises that that safety glasses should be used while working with hammers. Certainly such precautions have prevented misfortune. However, since heroism and excellence are born from confronting rather […]

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May 16 – St. Honoratus of Amiens

May 14, 2018

Saint Honoratus of Amiens (Honoré, sometimes Honorius, Honortus) (d. May 16, ca. 600) was the seventh bishop of Amiens. His feast day is May 16. He was born in Port-le-Grand (Ponthieu) near Amiens to a noble family. He was said to be virtuous from birth. He was taught by his predecessor in the bishopric of […]

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May 16 – Patron of Poland

May 14, 2018

Saint Andrew Bobola Martyr, born of an old and illustrious Polish family, in the Palatinate of Sandomir, 1590; died at Janów, 16 May, 1657. Having entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Wilno (1611), he was ordained in 1622, and appointed preacher in the Church of St. Casimir, Wilno. After making his solemn […]

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May 16 – Flos Carmeli

May 14, 2018

St. Simon Stock Born in the County of Kent, England, about 1165; died in the Carmelite monastery at Bordeaux, France, 16 May, 1265. On account of his English birth he is also called Simon Anglus. It is said that when twelve years old he began to live as a hermit in the hollow trunk of […]

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Bloodthirsty Henry VIII letter reveals the temper of the Tudor king

May 10, 2018

According to the Runcorn and Widnes World: A 16th century draft letter demonstrating King Henry VIII’s infamous temper will be on display from May. It responded to the news that the canons and local people had stopped his men from closing the Abbey during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. Evidently enraged, the King […]

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There was a man sent from God whose name was John

May 10, 2018

There remained, however, to be settled a matter of the utmost importance, and it was this that overburdened the Holy Pontiff at the time we saw him praying and groaning in the lonely corner, which he himself had made, behind his oratory, to conceal from men his converse with Heaven. It was the appointing of […]

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Motherhood: Natural Vocation of Woman

May 10, 2018

Forgotten Truths By Pope Pius XII The sphere of woman, her manner of life, her native bent, is motherhood. Every woman is made to be a mother; a mother in the physical meaning of the word or in the more spiritual and exalted but no less real sense. For this purpose the Creator organized the […]

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May 11 – Martyr of the House of Rochester

May 10, 2018

Blessed John Rochester Priest and martyr, born probably at Terling, Essex, England, about 1498; died at York, 11 May, 1537. He was the third son of John Rochester, of Terling, and Grisold, daughter of Walter Writtle, of Bobbingworth. He joined the Carthusians, was a choir monk of the Charterhouse in London, and strenuously opposed the […]

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May 11 – Holy Merovingian

May 10, 2018

St. Aldegundis Virgin and abbess (c. 639-684), variously written Adelgundis, Aldegonde, etc. She was closely related to the Merovingian royal family. Her father and mother, afterwards honored as St. Walbert and St. Bertilia, lived in Flanders in the province of Hainault. Aldegundis was urged to marry, but she chose a life of virginity and, leaving […]

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May 12 – She said no to the crowns of England, France and the Holy Roman Empire

May 10, 2018

Blessed Joanna of Portugal Born at Lisbon, 16 February, 1452; died at Aveiro, 12 May, 1490; the daughter of Alfonso V, King of Portugal, and his wife Elizabeth. She was chiefly remarkable for the courage and persistence with which she opposed all attempts on the part of her father and brother to make her marry.  […]

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May 13 – St. Peter de Regalado

May 10, 2018

St. Peter de Regalado (REGALATUS) A Friar Minor and reformer, born at Valladolid, 1390; died at Aguilera, 30 March, 1456. His parents were of noble birth and conspicuous for their wealth and virtue. Having lost his father in his early youth, he was piously educated by his mother. At the age of ten years Peter […]

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May 13 – St. John the Silent

May 10, 2018

St. John the Silent (Hesychastes, Silentiarius). Bishop of Colonia, in Armenia, b. at Nicopolis, Armenia, 8 Jan., 452; d. 558. His parents, Encratius and Euphemia, wealthy and honoured, belonged to families that had done great service in the State and had given to it renowned generals and governors, but they were also good Christians, and […]

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May 13 – “Can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?”

May 10, 2018

Blessed Imelda Lambertini (1322 – May 13, 1333) is the patroness of First Holy Communicants. Imelda was born in 1322 in Bologna, the only child of Count Egano Lambertini and Castora Galuzzi. Her parents were devout Catholics and were known for their charity and generosity to the underprivileged of Bologna. As a very young girl, […]

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May 14 – Bl. Gil of Santarem

May 10, 2018

Bl. Gil of Santarem A Portuguese Dominican: born at Vaozela, diocese of Viseu, about 1185; died at Santarem, 14 May, 1265. His father, Rodrigo Pelayo Valladaris, was governor of Coimbra and Councillor of Sancho I. It was the wish of his parents that Gil should enter the ecclesiastical state, and the king was very lavish […]

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May 14 – The Right to Revolt

May 10, 2018

May 14, 1264: Simon de Montfort Defeats King Henry III at Battle of Lewes The Battle of Lewes was one of two main battles of the conflict known as the Second Barons’ War. It took place at Lewes in Sussex, on 14 May 1264. It marked the high point of the career of Simon de […]

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May 8 – When St. Michael Appeared

May 7, 2018

Well known is the apparition of St. Michael the Archangel (a. 494 or 530-40), as related in the Roman Breviary, 8 May, at his renowned sanctuary on Monte Gargano, where his original glory as patron in war was restored to him. To his intercession the Lombards of Sipontum (Manfredonia) attributed their victory over the Greek […]

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May 8 – Matriarch of the Carolingian family

May 7, 2018

Saint Itta (or Itta of Metz) (also Ida, Itte or Iduberga) (592–652) was the wife of Pepin of Landen, mayor of the palace of Austrasia. Her brother was Saint Modoald, bishop of Trier. Her sister was abbess Saint Severa. There is no direct record of their parents, but it has been suggested that she was […]

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May 8 – First they took the nobles, then they took the scientists

May 7, 2018

Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier Chemist, philosopher, economist; born in Paris, 26 August, 1743; guillotined 8 May, 1794. He was the son of Jean-Antoine Lavoisier, a lawyer of distinction, and Emilie Punctis, who belonged to a rich and influential family, and who died when Antoine-Laurent was five years old. His early years were most carefully guarded by his […]

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May 9 – Known personally to the King, he was falsely accused of conspiring to murder him

May 7, 2018

Blessed Thomas Pickering Lay brother and martyr, a member of an old Westmoreland family, born circa 1621; executed at Tyburn, 9 May, 1679. He was sent to the Benedictine monastery of St. Gregory at Douai, where he took vows as a lay brother in 1660. In 1665 he was sent to London, where, as steward […]

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May 9 – St. Nicholas Albergati

May 7, 2018

Cardinal and Bishop of Bologna, born at Bologna in 1357; died at Sienna, 9 May, 1443. He entered the Carthusian Order in 1394, served as prior in various monasteries, and was made Bishop of Bologna, against his will, in 1417. In this office he still followed the Rule of his Order, was zealous for the […]

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May 9 – Isaias, Prophet and Historian, Sawn in Two

May 7, 2018

From the Prophet himself (i, 1; ii, 1) we learn that he was the son of Amos. Owing to the similarity between Latin and Greek forms of this name and that of the Shepherd-Prophet of Thecue, some Fathers mistook the Prophet Amos for the father of Isaias. St. Jerome in the preface to his “Commentary […]

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May 10 – French or American?

May 7, 2018

Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, Count de Rochambeau Marshal, born at Vendôme, France, 1 July, 1725; died at Thoré, 10 May, 1807. At the age of sixteen he entered the army and in 1745 became an aid to Louis Philippe, Duke of Orleans, subsequently commanding a regiment. He served with distinction in several important battles, notably those […]

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May 10 – Saint Damien: A Hero Who Died on the Battlefield of Honor

May 7, 2018

Born Joseph de Veuster in Tremelo, Belgium, he took the religious name of Damien when he joined the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. There are few places on Earth more beautiful than Hawaii. While this idyllic paradise may be the destination spot for tourists and honeymooners, Joseph de Veuster was eager […]

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May 10 – His apostolate paved the way for some of the greatest saints of Spain

May 7, 2018

Bl. John of Avila Apostolic preacher of Andalusia and author, b. at Almodóvar del Campo, a small town in the diocese of Toledo, Spain, 6 January, 1500; d. at Montilla, 10 May, 1569. At the age of fourteen he was sent to the University of Salamanca to study law. Conceiving a distaste for jurisprudence he […]

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Newborn Prince Louis shares his name with a controversial king

May 3, 2018

According to the Catholic Herald: …England was once ruled by a King Louis. After King John had gone back on all his promises made to the barons in 1215, …a number of them had invited the king of France’s son Louis to become king… While John was in the north Louis arrived in Kent unopposed […]

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How General de Sonis earned the respect of the Arabs

May 3, 2018

His reputation among the Arabs of the “really just man,” which had followed him for Tenez and Laghouat, at once won the esteem and confidence of the native population. He visited them in their tents, judged their causes and administered justice impartially to all. One day an Arab, richly dressed, came to him and asked […]

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Masculinity and Extravagance in the Ultramodern Female Profile

May 3, 2018

Catolicismo Nº 95 – November 1958 By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira One of the most deplorable effects of the naturalistic, egalitarian and sensual neopaganism of our time is to degrade old age by “adorning” it with the appearances of youth and to “enhance” women’s looks by inducing them to display manners and an air of […]

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May 4 – They believed in the religious exemption, but only at first

May 3, 2018

The Carthusian Martyrs were the monks of the London Charterhouse, the monastery of the Carthusian Order in central London, who were put to death by the English state in a period lasting from the 19 June 1535 till the 20 September 1537. The method of execution was hanging, disembowelling while still alive and then quartering. […]

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May 4 – St. Godard

May 3, 2018

St. Godard (Also spelled GOTHARD, GODEHARD). Bishop of Hildesheim in Lower Saxony; born about the year 960, in a village of Upper Bavaria, near the Abbey of Altaich, in the Diocese of Passau; Nassau; died on 4 May, 1038 canonized by Innocent II in 1131. After a lengthy course of studies he received the Benedictine […]

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May 5 – St. Hilary of Arles

May 3, 2018

Archbishop, born about 401; died 5 May, 449. The exact place of his birth is not known. All that may be said is that he belonged to a notable family of Northern Gaul, of which in all probability also came St. Honoratus, his predecessor in the See of Arles. Learned and rich, Hilary had everything […]

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May 6 – Saint Francis de Montmorency Laval

May 3, 2018

St. Francis de Montmorency Laval First bishop of Canada, born at Montigny-sur-Avre, 30 April, 1623, of Hughes de Laval and Michelle de Péricard; died at Quebec on 6 May, 1708. He was a scion of an illustrious family, whose ancestor was baptized with Clovis at Reims, and whose motto reads: “Dieu ayde au primer baron […]

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May 6 – Prince, priest, pioneer

May 3, 2018

Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin Prince, priest, and missionary, born at The Hague, Holland, 22 December, 1770; died at Loretto, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 6 May, 1840. He was a scion of one of the oldest, wealthiest, and most illustrious families of Russia. His father, Prince Demetrius Gallitzin (d. 16 March, 1803), Russian ambassador to Holland at the time […]

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May 7 – The Pope who adopted two princes

May 3, 2018

Pope St. Benedict II Date of birth unknown; died 8 May, 685; was a Roman, and the son of John. Sent when young to the schola cantorum, he distinguished himself by his knowledge of the Scriptures and by his singing, and as a priest was remarkable for his humility, love of the poor, and generosity. […]

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