According to Harper’s Bazaar:

From the array of Hollywood stars invited to the ceremony, to the wedding’s Windsor setting, Harry and Meghan made the day their own. …Harry and Meghan broke with royal tradition in several ways:

While Prince Charles accompanied Meghan part of the way, for much of her procession, the bride was solo, something which is unheard of in a royal wedding.

Rather than relying on traditional organ music for the wedding, Harry and Meghan selected… As CNN reports, “…Etta James version of ‘Amen/This Little Light of Mine,’ a gospel song that became synonymous with the US civil rights movement.”

To read the entire article in Harper’s Bazaar, please click here.

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This document was found on July 14, 1873, by Father Berto while searching for some papers on St. John Bosco’s desk. Later the Saint gave it to him to be transcribed and delivered to the Emperor of Austria, Franz Joseph. As can be seen, the document is a vital message from Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Austrian Emperor.

Photograph of St. Don Bosco writing in Turin.

“Thus saith the Lord to the Emperor of Austria:

“Take heart: provide for my faithful servants and for thyself.  My ire is about to explode over all the nations of the earth, because they want to make My law be forgotten and to carry in triumph those who profane it, oppressing those who observe it.”

“Dost thou wish to be the rod of My poser? Dost thou wish to fulfill My hidden desires and to make thyself the benefactor of mankind?”

  “Support thyself on the nations of the north, but not on Prussia. Tighten relations with Russia, buy no alliance with her. Associate thyself with Catholic France. After France will come Spain. Form one sole spirit, one sole action. Maintain the greatest secrecy in face of the enemies of My Holy Name. With prudence and energy thou shalt make thyself invincible. Do not believe in the lies of those who tell thee the contrary. Do not make pacts with the enemies of the Crucified.”

“Hope and confide in Me, Who am the giver of victories to armies, the Savior of the peoples and of sovereigns.”  Amen. Amen.

(From Biografia y Escritos de San Juan Bosco [Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos (B.A.C.)] 1955.

Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 627

 

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Pope St. Boniface IV

Son of John, a physician, a Marsian from the province and town of Valeria; he succeeded Boniface III after a vacancy of over nine months; consecrated 25 August, 608; d. 8 May, 615 (Duchesne); or, 15 September, 608-25 May, 615 (Jaffé). In the time of Pope St. Gregory the Great he was a deacon of the Roman Church and held the position of dispensator, i.e., the first official in connexion with the administration of the patrimonies. Boniface obtained leave from the Emperor Phocas to convert the Pantheon into a Christian Church, and on 13 May, 609 (?) the temple erected by Agrippa to Jupiter the Avenger, to Venus, and to Mars was consecrated by the pope to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs. (Hence the title S. Maria Rotunda.) It was the first instance at Rome of the transformation of a pagan temple into a place of Christian worship. Twenty-eight cartloads of sacred bones were said to have been removed from the Catacombs and placed in a porphyry basin beneath the high altar. During the pontificate of Boniface, Mellitus, the first Bishop of London, went to Rome “to consult the pope on important matters relative to the newly established English Church” (Bede, H. E., II, iv). Whilst in Rome he assisted at a council then being held concerning certain questions on “the life and monastic peace of monks”, and, on his departure, took with him to England the decree of the council together with letters from the pope to Lawrence, Archbishop of Canterbury, and to all the clergy, to King Ethelbert, and to all the English people “concerning what was to be observed by the Church of England”. The decrees of the council now extant are spurious. The letter to Ethelbert (in William of Malmesbury, De Gest. Pont., I, 1464, ed Migne) is considered spurious by Hefele (Conciliengeschichte, III, 66), questionable by Haddan and Stubbs (Councils, III, 65), and genuine by Jaffé [Regest. RR. PP., 1988 (1548)].

Between 612-615, St. Columban, then living at Bobbio in Italy, was persuaded by Agilulf, King of the Lombards, to address a letter on the condemnation of the “Three Chapters” to Boniface IV, which is remarkable at once for its expressions of exaggerated deference and its tone of excessive sharpness. In it he tells the pope that he is charged with heresy (for accepting the Fifth Council, i.e. Constantinople, 553), and exhorts him to summon a council and prove his orthodoxy. But the letter of the impetuous Celt, who failed to grasp the import of the theological problem involved in the “Three Chapters”, seems not to have disturbed in the least his relation with the Holy See, and it would be wrong to suppose that Columban regarded himself as independent of the pope’s authority. During the pontificate of Boniface there was much distress in Rome owing to famine, pestilence, and inundations. The pontiff died in monastic retirement (he had converted his own house into a monastery) and was buried in the portico of St. Peter’s. His remains were three times removed-in the tenth or eleventh century, at the close of the thirteenth under Boniface VIII, and to the new St. Peter’s on 21 October, 1603. For the earlier inscription on his tomb see Duchesne; for the later, Groisar, “Analecta Romana”, I, 193. Boniface IV is commemorated as a saint in the Roman Martyrology on 25 May.

Liber Pontificalis (ed. DUCHESNE), I, 317; JAFFÉ, Regesta RR. PP. (2nd ed.), I, 220; Acta et Epistolæ in MANSI, X, 501; PAUL THE DEACON, Hist. Longobard., IV, 36 (37); GASQUET, A Short History of the Catholic Church in England (London, 1903), 19; HUNT, A History of the English Church from its Formation to the Norman Conquest (London, 1901), 42; MANN, Lives of the Popes, I, 268-279; VON REUMONT, Gesch. der Stadt Rom (Berlin, 1867), II, 156, 165; GREGOROVIUS, II, 104; LANGEN, 501.

THOMAS OESTREICH (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Pope St. Gregory VII

(HILDEBRAND).

One of the greatest of the Roman pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men of all times; born between the years 1020 and 1025, at Soana, or Ravacum, in Tuscany; died 25 May, 1085, at Salerno…

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By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Reverend Father Olavo Trindade, [Prof. Fernando Furquim] Vice-President of the National Council, Members of the National Council, ladies and gentlemen, dear SEFAC participants.

It is incumbent on me to say a few closing words after a few days of intense and fruitful work in the light of the great ideals that have just been sung in the beautiful lyrics of the Spanish-language TFP hymn composed by the President of the Argentine TFP, Mr. Cosme Beccar Varela. Having spent these days in the light of these great ideals, you now prepare yourselves, in the warmth of this closing session, for supreme farewells that will take you back to your everyday struggles.

Every day struggles which, for a TFP member, are undoubtedly not light but heavy and laden with shadows, a fight that for this very reason deserves from the one who presides over the National Council of the oldest TFP, the Brazilian TFP, a word of encouragement, guidance and courage that invites you to the combat.

Inviting for combat, uttering fighting words, combating for an ideal in a bloodless ideological struggle waged by legal means to achieve a great ideal: How all this is far removed from the basic impulses that drive millions and millions of men, and why not say it, that drive whole crowds and gigantic masses in this highly troubled, shaken and carefree Western world, so attached to the enjoyment of life!

Indeed, it can be said that if the West is shaken and troubled it is because it is dominated by the concern that, since this earthly existence is something to be enjoyed in its entirety, one has to use it for one’s own benefit, and to the last drop. We must live under the sign of utility and pleasure so that, from this life, we take to the grave as few hardships as possible, and as many joys and advantages as possible.

This neo-pagan conception is reminiscent of the paganism of all time. It reminds me of the tomb of Queen Nitocris, the famous Egyptian sovereign who was buried on top of a portico in a city of the Old Kingdom in which she reigned. Back then, many centuries before Our Lord Jesus Christ came to the world, she had inscribed on that portico this phrase which is so twentieth century: “You, passer-by, eat, drink, rejoice and sleep while you are alive; for after death there is no pleasure, no existence, and it’s all over.”

Darius Opens the Tomb of Nitocris by Eustache Le Sueur

This profoundly pagan mentality used to drive all the masses before Our Lord Jesus Christ, and started to drive them again more and more as they gradually abandoned Our Lord Jesus Christ and the ideals that never die and are now returning to the world. That pagan ideal completely diverts man’s attention from his true reason for being, from the true meaning of life, and therefore turns the existence of a TFP member in the contemporary world into a living contradiction – something we do not hide but are proud of.

Indeed, while some people only look forward to a hypothetical future which they hope to be bright because they do not want to see the truth; while others look down, concerned only with the present day and with their immediate material interests, the TFP member walks with his eyes on high, looking straight at eternity, proud of what he is, not bothering with mockeries, laughter or campaigns of silence, defamation or isolation. Proud because he has his eyes fixed on Our Lady, on the Catholic Church and on Christian civilization, and because he finds in this chivalrous pride the very motive, joy and meaning of his daily existence.

This is how, ladies and gentlemen, the portal that separate some from others can be called the portal of holy pride. Because as we disperse—leaving this environment in which everything speaks to us of our ideals—and penetrate the great crowds in which these ideals are so often defiled and denied, we take with us the standard, with our rampant lion and under it the words that appear on the standards you have received as a souvenir of this SEFAC: Deus vult! – God wills it!

God wants, in the twentieth century, to have sons who will do His will, sons who rejoice and are proud of remaining in His service while so many abandon Him; sons who are proud of the traditions that so many cast aside; sons who, like new Crusaders and knights of the twentieth century – as the motto God wills it reminds us of the Crusades and of Chivalry – exclaim: God wills it! Sons who penetrate ignorant and hostile crowds in which, nevertheless, unexpected sympathies arise here and there, to carry out this great Crusade, the Crusade of the twentieth century. It is an extension of the TFP which, having begun so tiny on a ground floor of a small building preserved today almost as a relic, at the Martim Francisco Street, is now developing throughout a whole continent, from the icy cold pampas all the way to North America; transposing the ocean, it has penetrated the lands of Portugal, Spain, and is now making its good odor felt and giving rise to hopes in France, Italy, and England.

This great Crusade, this Crusade of twentieth century Knights, this Crusade of pride requires me to say a few words about this pride as we part ways.

Let me emphasize from the outset that by pride I mean panache, valor, idealism, and therefore the idea is a world apart from the cheap and crass utilitarianism of an epoch in which material and physical values, body, health and gold are worshipped and appear to be the only values worth living for; and for the sake of which, men work and sacrifice everything to gain advantages and rise in life until death reaps them and they ingloriously fall to the ground.

Pride. What does pride mean here? Without a doubt and above all, pride is a feeling, a state of soul in which the person has a faith that doubts nothing, a solid and unalloyed enthusiasm. The knight-errant departed full of enthusiastic pride when he set out on his expeditions to do justice, to defend the poor, widows and orphans, and to make the Law of Christ reign. When a Crusader would depart to wage war, he would leave full of enthusiastic pride; proud at being a crusader, proud at being a knight errant.

Traditional Marriage, Pro-Life, Protesting Socialist Health Care Mandates and various Blasphemous plays and “art work”. Rosary Rallies across this country….this is our Crusade.

What was the fundamental reason for this pride? It was, above all, the Roman Catholic and apostolic faith. The Crusader had faith, the knight-errant had faith. He knew that the Catholic faith is the true Faith; he believed in it with all his strength and fully drew all its consequences. He had no doubt, and that certainty caused a great light to be born in his soul. What was that great light? It was the light of loving enthusiasm. It was not enough to have faith; it was not enough to believe. He loved the faith he had, understood that it was the greatest value of his existence, and that it was worth more than all the things on this earth; he did not despise the goods of this earth – tradition, family, property, wealth, position, culture, prestige – but he conceived them as true values only when lived in function of the Catholic faith and in the hierarchical order established by the Catholic faith.

How lively, in the soul of the knight, were the great affections of this earth such as filial affection, affection for one’s motherland, for superiors, conjugal affection, fraternal affection, paternal affection, affection among friends! How much medieval chronicles tell us about the feats performed by those knights under the impulse of those affections!

However, it must be said that for them, those affections were hierarchical, dominated and enlightened by a superior affection which was the affection for Our Lord Jesus Christ: an affection that does not even deserve this name because it is more than affection: it is adoration, veneration, filial love for Our Lady, and love for the angels and saints who constitute the heavenly Court.

But it is not enough to speak of love: it is necessary to speak of something that our century does not know, something that our egalitarian century is forgetting more and more: it was not horizontal love, it was not the kind of love for Our Lord Jesus Christ that would lead to blasphemously call Him “the boss,” but it was a love full of admiration. Medieval man had admiration. And as Mr. Cosme Beccar told me a short time ago, Aristotle said that “to think is to admire, to live is to admire.” The man of the Middle Ages lived intensely because he lived in admiration.

He had a most profound and complete admiration for the human and Divine figure of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And therefore he admired all those who followed Him and lived on this earth adorned and marked by the sign of the Faith. And for that reason he also had the greatest admiration and veneration for the Roman Catholic Church, Queen of souls, Queen of humanity, and Teacher of truth. And since what we admire somehow penetrates our soul, and medieval man had his soul filled with immense admiration, he was in some way the consubstantiation of that admiration.

Medieval man was to the Church like a mirror is to the sun, facing it, and open to receive all its rays. He receives those rays in full and thus sends them forth with extraordinary fullness. Medieval man, and above all the medieval knight, received the sun of faith in his soul and thus spread the faith all around him. And he not only spread it on extraordinarily fruitful missions but made the faith admired even by those he could not convince about it.

Thus, for example, when made a prisoner by the Mohammedans, St. Louis the King of France, a glorious ancestor of our dear Prince Bertrand, was chosen by them to be an arbiter of their quarrels. For they knew that complete righteousness, virtue and seriousness could not be found except in one who was a perfect servant of Christ Himself, Whom, oh mystery of iniquity, they nevertheless fought against.

The Life of King St. Louis by Alexandre Cabanel

This faith, this admiration filled medieval man with enthusiastic pride. It filled him with pride because he had that light in its fullness. And though others did not recognize that light in him, though others denied that light, though others took up the sword to overthrow him because of the light he spread all around, he gave no importance to these facts. Sure of himself, he traveled long distances, broke up the ranks of his adversaries, distributed blows on all sides, killed a thousand on his right and a thousand on his left, as the Scripture says of the perfect Catholic man, and won memorable battles.

 

To Be Continued

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St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi

Carmelite Virgin, born 2 April, 1566; died 25 May, 1607.

Painting of St. Mary Madgalen de'Pazzi at age 16.

Painting of St. Mary Madgalen de’Pazzi at age 16.

Of outward events there were very few in the saint’s life. She came of two noble families, her father being Camillo Geri de’ Pazzi and her mother a Buondelmonti. She was baptized, and named Caterina, in the great baptistery. Her childhood much resembled that of some other women saints who have become great mystics, in an early love of prayer and penance, great charity to the poor, an apostolic spirit of teaching religious truths, and a charm and sweetness of nature that made her a general favourite. But above all other spiritual characteristics was Caterina’s intense attraction towards the Blessed Sacrament, her longing to receive It, and her delight in touching and being near those who were speaking of It, or who had just been to Communion. She made her own First Communion at the age of ten, and shortly afterwards vowed her virginity to God. At fourteen she was sent to school at the convent of Cavalaresse, where she lived in so mortified and fervent a manner as to make the sisters prophesy that she would become a great saint; and, on leaving it, she told her parents of her resolve to enter the religious state. They were truly spiritual people; and, after a little difficulty in persuading them to relinquish their only daughter, she finally entered in December, 1582, the Carmelite convent of Santa Maria degl’ Angeli, founded by four Florentine ladies in 1450 and renowned for its strict observance. Her chief reason for choosing this convent was the rule there followed daily Communion…

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Saint Bruno of Würzburg

(c. 1005 – 26 May 1045)

The statue of Saint Bruno on Würzburg's Alte Mainbrücke

The statue of Saint Bruno on Würzburg’s Alte Mainbrücke

Also known as Bruno of Carinthia, he was imperial chancellor of Italy from 1027 to 1034 for Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor, to whom he was related, and from 1034 until his death prince-bishop of Würzburg.

Bruno was the son of Conrad I, Duke of Carinthia, and Matilda of Swabia, and thus a cousin of the Salian Emperor Conrad II. He courted Agnes of Poitou on behalf of Conrad’s son and successor Emperor Henry III. He also accompanied Henry on his second Hungarian Campaign, during which Bruno died in an accident at Persenbeug on the Danube in the present Lower Austria.

The retinue of Henry III had stopped at the residence of Countess Richlinde of Ebersberg, who was faced with the task of distributing the estate of her recently deceased husband Count Adalbero II of Ebersberg. During a great banquet given by the countess a load-bearing pillar supporting the banqueting hall broke, causing the entire floor to collapse. The king was only slightly hurt but the countess, Bruno and Abbot Altmann of Ebersberg Abbey were so badly injured that they did not survive more than a few days. The Annals of Niederaltaich add a legend to the story: before the feast, at the Strudengau on the Danube near Grein, the devil was supposed to have appeared to the bishop and threatened him already, but the bishop was able to repel him. Bruno’s body was returned to his residence in Würzburg.

Subscription3Many cathedrals were built in that period, and from 1040 Bruno began the construction of Würzburg Cathedral. The consecration of the crypt on 16 June 1045 was combined with his burial. Bruno was not formally canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, but is nevertheless revered as a saint.

Bruno wrote a well-known commentary on the Psalms, to which he appended an analysis of ten Biblical hymns, consisting of extracts from the writings of the Church Fathers.

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THE APOSTLE OF ROME

St. Philip Romolo Neri

Born at Florence, Italy, 22 July, 1515; died 27 May, 1595. Philip’s family originally came from Castelfranco but had lived for many generations in Florence, where not a few of its members had practised the learned professions, and therefore took rank with the Tuscan nobility. Among these was Philip’s own father, Francesco Neri, who eked out an insufficient private fortune with what he earned as a notary. A circumstance which had no small influence on the life of the saint was Francesco’s friendship with the Dominicans; for it was from the friars of S. Marco, amid the memories of Savonarola, that Philip received many of his early religious impressions. Besides a younger brother, who died in early childhood, Philip had two younger sisters, Caterina and Elisabetta. It was with them that “the good Pippo”, as he soon began to be called, committed his only known fault. He gave a slight push to Caterina, because she kept interrupting him and Elisabetta, while they were reciting psalms together, a practice of which, as a boy, he was remakably fond. One incident of his childhood is dear to his early biographers as the first visible intervention of Providence on his behalf, and perhaps dearer still to his modern disciples, because it reveals the human characteristics of a boy amid the supernatural graces of a saint. When about eight years old he was left alone in a courtyard to amuse himself; seeing a donkey laden with fruit, he jumped on its back; the beast bolted, and both tumbled into a deep cellar. His parents hastened to the spot and extricated the child, not dead, as they feared, but entirely uninjured…

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St. Augustine of Canterbury

First Archbishop of Canterbury, Apostle of the English; date of birth unknown; died 26 May, 604.

Symbols: cope, pallium, and mitre as Bishop of Canterbury, and pastoral staff and gospels as missionary…

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Blessed Margaret Pole

Countess of Salisbury, martyr; born at Castle Farley, near Bath, 14 August, 1473; martyred at East Smithfield Green, 28 May, 1541.

She was the daughter of George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, and Isabel, elder daughter of the Earl of Warwick (the king-maker), and the sister of Edmund of Warwick who, under Henry VII, paid with his life the penalty of being the last male representative of the Yorkist line (28 Nov., 1499).

About 1491 Henry VII gave her in marriage to Sir Richard Pole, whose mother was the half-sister of the king’s mother, Margaret Beaufort. At her husband’s death in 1505 Margaret was left with five children, of whom the fourth, Reginald, was to become cardinal and Archbishop of Canterbury, and also the indirect cause of his mother’s martyrdom…

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St. William of Gellone

Painting of Saint William of Gellone by Antonio de Pereda

Painting of Saint William of Gellone by Antonio de Pereda

Born 755; died 28 May, c. 812; was the second count of Toulouse, having attained that dignity in 790. He is by some writers also given the title of Duke of Aquitaine. This saint is the hero of the ninth-century “Roman de Guillame au court nez”, but the story of his life is told in a more reliable form by the anonymous author of the biography which was written soon after the saint’s death, or before the eleventh century according to Mabillon, or during the eleventh century according to the Bollandist Henschen.  His father’s name was Theoderic, his mother’s Aldana, and he was in some way connected with the family of Charles the Great, at whose court he was present as a youth. The great emperor employed him against the Saracen invaders from Spain, whom he defeated at Orange. In 804 he founded a Benedictine monastery, since called S. Guilhem le Desert, in the valley of Gellone, near Lodeve in the Diocese of Maguelonne, and subjected it to the famous St. Benedict of Aniane, whose monastery was close at hand. Two years later (806) he himself became a monk at Gellone, where he remained until his death. His testament, granting certain property to Gellone, and another subjecting that monastery to the Abbot of Aniane, are given by Mabillon. His feast is on 28 May, the day of his death.

MABILLON, Acta SS. O.S.B. saec. IV, I (Venice, 1735), 67-86; Acta SS., VI May, 154-72.

Raymund Webster (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Mariana de Jesús de Paredes

St. Mariana de Jesús de Paredes teaching the children.

St. Mariana de Jesús de Paredes teaching the children.

Born at Quito, Ecuador, 31 Oct. 1618; died at Quito, 26 May, 1645. On both sides of her family she was sprung from an illustrious line of ancestors, her father being Don Girolamo Flores Zenel de Paredes, a nobleman of Toledo and her mother Doña Mariana Cranobles de Xaramilo, a descendant of one of the best Spanish families. Her birth was accompanied by most unusual phenomena in the heavens, clearly connected with the child and juridically attested at the time of the process of beatification. Almost from infancy she gave signs of an extraordinary attraction to prayer and mortification, of love of God and devotion to the Blessed Virgin; and besides being the recipient of many other remarkable manifestations of divine favour was a number of times miraculously preserved from death. At the age of ten years she made the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. She was very desirous of conveying the light of faith to the peoples sitting in darkness, and later of entering a monastery; but when God made it plain to her that He wished neither the one nor the other of these pious designs, she acquiesced in the Divine will, and made for herself a solitude in her own home where, apart from all worldly cares and closely united to God, she gave herself up to the practice of unheard-of corporal austerities. The fast which she kept was so strict that she took scarcely an ounce of dry bread every eight or ten days. The food which miraculously sustained her life, as in the case of St. Catherine and St. Rose of Lima, was, according to the sworn testimony of many witnesses, the Eucharistic Bread alone which she received every morning in Holy Communion. She possessed an ecstatic gift of prayer, predicted the future, saw distant events as if they were passing before her, read the secrets of hearts, cured diseases by a mere sign of the Cross, or by sprinkling the sufferer with holy water, and at least once she restored a dead person to life. The very day she died her sanctity was shown in a wonderful manner, for immediately after her death there sprang up from her blood and blossomed and bloomed a pure white lily, a prodigy which has given her the title of “The Lily of Quito”.

An alabaster plaque of St. Mariana de Jesús de Paredes at the National Museum in Warsaw.

An alabaster plaque of St. Mariana de Jesús de Paredes at the National Museum in Warsaw.

The first preliminary steps towards the beatification were taken by Monsignor Alfonso della Pegna, who instituted the process of inquiring into and collecting evidence for the sanctity of her life, her virtues and her miracles; but the authenticated copy of the examination of the witnesses was not forwarded to Rome until 1754. The Sacred Congregation of Rites, having discussed and approved of this process, decided in favour of the formal introduction of the cause, and Benedict XIV signed the commission for introducing the cause 17 December, 1757. The Apostolic process concerning the virtues of the Venerable Mary Anne de Paredes was drawn up and examined in due form by the two Preparatory Congregations and by the General Congregation of Rites, and orders were given by Pius VI for the publication of the decree attesting the heroic character of her virtues. The process concerning the two miracles wrought through the intercession of the servant of God was subsequently prepared and, at the request of the Very Rev. John Roothaan, General of the Society of Jesus, was examined and accepted by the three congregations, and was formally approved 11 Jan., 1817, by Pius IX. The General Congregation having decided in favour of proceeding to the beatification, Pius IX commanded the Brief of Beatification to be prepared. Very Rev. Peter Beckx, General of the Society of Jesus, petitioned Cardinal Patrizi to order the publication of the Brief; his request was granted. The Brief was read and the solemn beatification took place in the Vatican Basilica 10 Nov., 1853. Many miracles have been the reward of those who have invoked her intercession, especially in America, of which she seems pleased to show herself the especial patroness.

BOERO, Blessed Mary Ann of Jesus; The Roman Breviary.

J. H. Fisher (Catholic Encylopedia)

[Nobility.org note: She was canonized in 1950]
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St. Germain

Bishop of Paris; born near Autun, Saône-et-Loire, c. 496; died at Paris, 28 May, 576. He studied at Avalon and also at Luzy under the guidance of his cousin Scapilion, a priest. At the age of thirty-four he was ordained by St. Agrippinus of Autun and became Abbot of Saint-Symphorien near that town. His characteristic virtue, love for the poor, manifested itself so strongly in his alms-giving, that his monks, fearing he would give away everything, rebelled. As he happened to be in Paris, in 555, when Bishop Eusebius died, Childebert kept him, and with the unanimous consent of the clergy and people he was consecrated to the vacant see…

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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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May 24 – Bl. Hermann Joseph

May 21, 2018

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 […]

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May 24 – St. Vincent of Lérins

May 21, 2018

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 […]

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The Story of Lady Anne Grimston

May 17, 2018

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 […]

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Notes on the Concept of Christendom

May 17, 2018

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 […]

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The Great Siege of Malta, May 18–September 11, 1565, was won because of one man: Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Valette

May 17, 2018

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 […]

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May 18 – Martyr of Envy

May 17, 2018

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 […]

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May 18 – St. Eric, King of Sweden, Martyr

May 17, 2018

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 […]

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May 19 – Charlemagne’s Scholar

May 17, 2018

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 […]

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May 19 – He Grabbed the Devil By the Nose

May 17, 2018

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 […]

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May 20 – St. Bernardine of Siena

May 17, 2018

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 […]

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May 20 – Mentor of the Duke of Ferrara

May 17, 2018

Blessed Colomba of Rieti Born 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: […]

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May 20 – King of the East Angles

May 17, 2018

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 […]

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May 21 – Missionary to the Mohammedans

May 17, 2018

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 […]

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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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