QueenshipPope Pius XII in the Papal Encyclical Ad Coeli Reginam proposed the traditional doctrine on the Queenship of Mary and established this feast for the Universal Church.

Pope Pius IX said of Mary’s Queenship: “Turning her maternal Heart toward us and dealing with the affair of our salvation, she is concerned with the whole human race. Constituted by the Lord Queen of Heaven and earth, and exalted above all choirs of Angels and the ranks of Saints in Heaven, standing at the right hand of Her only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, she petitions most powerfully with Her maternal prayers, and she obtains what she seeks.”…

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Blessed John Wall

Martyr, born in Lancashire, 1620; suffered near Worcester, 22 August, 1679; known at Douay and Rome as John Marsh, and when on the Mission under the aliases of Francis Johnson, Webb, and Dormore. The son of wealthy and staunch Lancashire Catholics, he was sent when very young to Douai College. He entered the Roman College, 5 November, 1641, was made priest, 3 December, 1645, and sent to the Mission, 12 May, 1648. On 1 Jan., 1651, he received the habit of St. Francis at St. Bonaventure’s Friary, Douai, and a year later was professed, taking the name of Joachim of St. Anne. He filled the offices of vicar and…

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Pope Gregory IX

(UGOLINO, Count of Segni).

Born about 1145, at Anagni in the Campagna; died 22 August, 1241, at Rome. He received his education at the Universities of Paris and Bologna. After the accession of Innocent III to the papal throne, Ugolino, who was a nephew of Innocent III, was successively appointed papal chaplain, Archpriest of St. Peter’s, and Cardinal-Deacon of Saint’ Eustachio in 1198. In May, 1206, he succeeded Octavian as Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia and Velletri…

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Saint Philip Benizi, Servite Priest
(1233-1285)

Saint Philip Benizi was born in Florence on the Feast of the Assumption, 1233. That same day the Order of Servites was founded by the Mother of God. As an infant one year old, Philip spoke when in the presence of these new religious, and announced the Servants of the Virgin. Amid all the temptations of his youth, he longed to become a Servant of Mary, and it was only the fear of his own unworthiness which made him yield to his father’s wish and begin to study medicine. He received the bonnet of a doctor of medicine at Padua…

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St. Rose of Lima

Virgin, patroness of America, born at Lima, Peru 20 April, 1586; died there 30 August, 1617.

Saint Rose was born Isabel Flores y de Oliva in the city of Lima, the Viceroyalty of Peru, then part of New Spain. She was one of the many children of Gaspar Flores, a harquebusier in the Imperial Spanish army, born in San Germán on the island of San Juan Bautista (now Puerto Rico), and his wife, María de Oliva, a native of Lima…

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St. Philip Benizi

Propagator and fifth General of the Servite Order, born at Florence, Italy, August 15, 1233; died at Todi, in Umbria, August 23, 1285.

His parents were scions of the renowned Benizi and Frescobaldi families. After many years of married life had left them childless, Philip was granted to them in answer to their prayers. When but five months old, on beholding St. Alexis and St. Buonagiunta approaching in quest of alms, he exclaimed: “Mother, here come our Lady’s Servants; give them an alms for the love of God”. At thirteen years of age, in view of his precocious genius, he was sent…

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Alvarez Carillo Gil de Albornoz

A renowned cardinal, general, and statesman; born about 1310 at Cuenca in New Castile; died 23 Aug., 1367, at the Castle of Bonriposo, near Viterbo, in Italy.

His father, Don Garcia, was a descendant of King Alfonso V of Leon, and his mother, Teresa de Luna, belonged to the royal house of Aragon. After studying law at Toulouse, he became royal almoner, soon after Archdeacon of Calatrava, and, finally, on 13 May, 1338, Archbishop of Toledo. In 1340 he accompanied King Alfonso XI on his campaign against the Moors, saved the…

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St. Ouen

(OWEN; DADON, Latin Audaenus).

Archbishop of Rouen, b. at Sancy, near Soissons about 609; d. at Clichy-la-Garenne, near Paris, 24 Aug., 683. His father, Autharius, and his mother, Aiga, belonged to the Gallo-Roman race. Shortly after Ouen’s birth they came to Ussy-sur-Marne, where he spent his childhood, with which tradition connects a series of marvelous events. Being afterwards sent to the Abbey of St. Medard he received an education which caused him to be welcomed at the court of Clothaire II a short time previous to the death of that prince. The latter’s successor, Dagobert I, made him his referendary or chancellor and profited greatly by his talents and learning. He charged him with important missions and, it is believed, with compiling the Salic Law. St. Ouen found at the royal court Eloi…

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Saint Bartholomew’s Day

This massacre of which Protestants were the victims occurred in Paris on 24 August, 1572 (the feast of St. Bartholomew), and in the provinces of France during the ensuing weeks, and it has been the subject of knotty historical disputes.

The first point argued was whether or not the massacre had been premeditated by the French Court – Sismondi, Sir James Mackintosh, and Henri Bordier maintaining that it had, and Ranke, Henri Martin, Henry White, Loiseleur, H. de la Ferrière, and the Abbé Vacandard, that it had not. The second question debated was the extent to which the court of…

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Every child comes into the world with the message that God still loves the world.

Emilie De Vialar, Saint and Foundress, was born on September 12, 1797 in a family of noble descent.
Her father, Antoine Auguste Jacques, was the son of a renowned High Court Judge. Her mother, Antoinette Emilie de Portal, was the daughter of Monsieur De Portal, physician to King Charles and Louis XVIII. The small town of Gaillac is situated South-West of France, on the river Tarn. The daughter of Monsieur et Madame De Vialar was baptized as Anne Marguerite Adelaide Emilie De Vialar.

Emilie was the eldest of the three children. Her brother Augustine De Vialar remained all his life a true friend and devoted collaborator in all her admirable and charitable undertakings. The younger brother was Maximin.

Emilie was blessed to have been brought up by her mother, who at an early age inculcated in her children the Christian virtues and faith.
Unfortunately, Emilie lost her mother at the tender age of 13, and a new chapter opened in her life. Emilie was sent to Paris, where under the care of her grandfather and aunt, she began her education in the convent school where she studies. She was remembered as an industrious and serious minded pupil. Along with excellent academic study, Emilie received solid Christian formation.

According to the account she gives of her life, Emilie De Vialar received at an early age the inspiration to respond to God’s prevenient love by a generous love towards Him. Enlightened by God, she resolved to give herself whole-heartedly to him and yield to the attraction with which he inspired in her of practicing charity towards her neighbour.

In fact, the practice of this charity towards all, and the very keen feelings she experienced for the foreign missions, convinced her of her missionary vocation. God was calling her to engage in missionary ‘war’ which would serve Him and bring solace and relief to the suffering. Emilie stated, ‘How fulfilling for the heart that is given to making another happy and to bringing relief to suffering humanity!’

Despite the strong opposition at home, and the huge wealth she inherited from her maternal grandfather as her security, Emilie went ahead as the Lord directed her. Filled with zeal for accomplishing what she believed to be the will of God, and confident in His providence, she gathered together her first companions on Christmas night of 1832 and walked out of her father’s house to the house she had bought for the purpose of serving the Lord. When the sounds of festal cheer echoed from every home, four young girls made their way through the narrow streets to their new dwelling where they intended to lead a life consecrated to God in dedication to the poor.

Emilie named the institution ‘Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition’ and wished that all her daughters, like their patron – St. Joseph, would bring Christ into the world and into the lives of all people they lived and worked with. The work of the Sisters flourished, and the number of companions kept increasing with the years, though not without difficulties and opposition.

Under the fatherly care and encouragement of Msgr. De Gualy – Archbishop of Albi, and with the support and friendship of many a friend.
Emilie went forward sailing safely through the troubled waters; but always allowing her to be led by the providence of God. She emerged victorious a heroic daughter of De Vialars.

‘My vocation is essentially for the missions,’ Emilie would often say. Her first option was to work in countries where Christ was not known; and this she carried out by daringly sending her Sisters among the Turks and Muslims—to Algeria, Tunis and other Middle Eastern regions.

After these African centers, she founded other houses in quick succession and sent her Sisters to far off missions in Australia, Myanmar (Burma), and Holy Land etc.

Wherever the Sisters went, they experienced the protection and care by St. Joseph – their patron, and love and guidance of Blessed Mother Mary; as a consequence the Sisters did wonderfully well. They taught in schools, took care of the orphans, visited the sick in their homes, opened dispensaries and hospitals, gave succor and refuge to all in need without distinction of colour, caste or creed.

At the age of 59, on August 24, 1856 Emilie left for her heavenly abode to join forever Him, whom she loved and served so well. The decree of praise, given on 6th May 1842 had established her Congregation as an Institute of Pontifical right.

The Holy See approved its Constitutions in 1862. Emilie De Vialar was declared “Blessed” by Pope Pius XII on 18th June, 1939, and the same pontiff canonized her a Saint on June 24, 1951.

[h/t Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition]

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Micaela Desmaisières López de Dicastillo was born in 1809 in Madrid during the War of Independence to Miguel Desmaisières Flores and Bernarda López de Dicastillo Olmeda; her brother was Diego (1806-55). Her father was a high-ranking officer in the armed forces and her mother was an attendant to Queen Maria Luisa de Parma. Her mother died in her childhood. Her brother’s daughter – her niece – was Maria Diega.

The Ursulines oversaw her education. Her social connections led her to having cordial relationships with the French and Spanish monarchs as well as Belgian monarchs. She spent most of her childhood with her brother Diego – the Spanish ambassador to the monarchs. Dances and all sorts of social gatherings and horse riding were the norms for her. She received the title of “Viscountess of Jorbalán. She tended to ill people during a cholera epidemic in 1834.

Queen Maria Luisa of Parma

It was around this period that she searched to find the direction she should give her life. She had inherited from her father a warrior’s temperament which prepared her for the hard battles in her later life as well as a generous nature. Her heart was both sensitive and compassionate and her mother guided her towards charitable works towards the poor and the ill; she alternated between this apostolate and the normal life that her social class imposed upon her. She was also fond of spending time before the Blessed Sacrament and it was her love for Jesus Christ in this that it inspired the future of her work. Saint Antonio María Claret served as her confessor from 1857 until her death following the death of her Jesuit confessor José Eduardo Rodriguez who had served as such since 1847.

In 1844 she paid her first visit to the Saint John of God Hospital in Madrid on 6 February 1844 where she met a girl – a banker’s sole daughter – who had become drawn into prostitution through deception and was now marginalized and facing economic hardship. This girl’s experience – as well as others – convinced her that something had to be done to help these women. She began making use of her social connections and set about establishing a shelter where these women could come for help. The shelter was opened on 21 April 1845 and innumerable girls and women knocked at the doors seeking assistance. This uncovered a great need which lead her to found the Handmaids of the Blessed Sacrament on 21 April 1845; it received diocesan approval on 25 April 1858 and then papal approval from Pope Pius IX on 15 September 1860. From 1847 until 1848 she was in both France and Belgium and she tried to enter the Vincentian Sisters in Paris but she did not after the opposition of her confessor.

She died in Valencia on 25 August 1865 when she fell victim to the cholera epidemic whilst attending to some of the women – and fellow sisters – in the area infected.

The sainthood process opened under Pope Leo XIII on 19 August 1902 and she became titled as a Servant of God while the confirmation of her life of heroic virtue allowed for Pope Pius XI to name her as Venerable on 11 June 1922. The same pope also confirmed two miracles attributed to her and so beatified her on 7 June 1925 while the confirmation of two more allowed for him to canonize her as a saint on 4 March 1934.

 

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In 1935, Blessed Archbishop Teofilo Matulionis visited the US and one lady in New England, who owned a restaurant, told the Bishop and the priest that was traveling with him, that the meal was free as she didn’t have priests pay for their meal. The Bishop remarked, “Only in America.”

He suffered horribly and his exile to the Solovki Islands was incredible!  The prisoners were forced to lay tree trunks over the slippery and swampy road-beds. Sometimes a tree would fall on a prisoner and submerge him in the muddy swamp. No one was permitted to leave what he was doing at the time to render assistance. Hence, the road system on Solovki Islands is literally built on the corpses of many a prisoner.

Bl. Archbishop Teofilius Matulionis imprisoned in 1933. In Panevėžys, the people asked if Bishop Matulionis would give them his cane that he had since prison, which he did. The cane was entrusted to the city museum. When the Soviet Union invaded Lithuania in 1940 and communist officials took over many artifacts were destroyed. It is not known whether the cane still exists.

On one occasion Bishop Matulionis explained the meaning of the three small crosses on his Episcopal coat of arms. They were meant to signify the difficulties of his life: student days, priestly endeavors and Episcopal difficulties. He added, however, “My life has given another meaning to those three crosses: my three prison sentences. The 1st, in 1923, when the Supreme Court in Moscow imposed a 3 year sentence, of which I served 2/3. The 2nd in 1929, when I was sentenced to 10 years, and returned to Lithuania. The 3rd one, when I was given 7 years, to which they added 1 additional year. You see, the 2 smaller crosses and 1 larger one.”

Photo of Bl. Matulionis taken during his third prison sentence from Vladimir in 1947-1954, Bishop T. Matulionis was transferred to the Invalid House in Mordovia, where he stayed until 1956.

As the French writer, A. Camus remarked, “A man’s greatness consists in at least daring to say ‘no’ to the world, which he cannot change, but which he ought not to accept.” Archbishop Matulionis dared not only to say a resounding “no” to atheistic communism, but also tirelessly worked so that others would not accept the communist world.

Undying Mortal : Archbishop Teofilius Matulionis, Shepherd, Prisoner, Martyr by Pranas Gaida

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 588

Pranas Gaida‘s book on the life of Venerable Matulionis is available in several languages. In Portuguese, with the forward written by Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. Other information here.

 

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PART II

Versailles – The Hall of Mirrors

Versailles was, therefore, a crucible where the most abominable vices were formed and developed alongside the most admirable virtue. What was it there, in the Versailles environment, architecture, in the court’s atmosphere which caused such opposing and simultaneous effects? This is a starting point for a critique of the “Ancien Régime” which would be very interesting to make.

Madam Louise’s idea of entering the convent is very beautiful. It seemed that in so doing she would undermine resistance at court because, after all, only one sister would be left leading the good faction. But she understood very well that prayer and penance are worth a lot more than action. She understood that a shining example is worth far more than a hundred thousand words, a hundred thousand contacts, a hundred thousand relations that do not have the weight of this example. And she wanted to give this astonishing lesson to the world of that time, and especially to the French court.

You need to go to Versailles to understand how exquisite it was. There is no detail in the castle’s architecture, furnishings, decoration, etiquette, the princesses’ lifestyle that failed to represent the most exquisite and extreme refinement of the art of pleasant living. Good taste was taken to the last limit. The music was magnificent; the food, superb; the comfort, extraordinary; the beauty of the whole, incomparable; the splendor of life, etiquette and style that developed there, wonderful! The life of a princess was all that you could imagine more lively, cozy and opulent, with all the refinement of court.

Apartment of the Dauphin and the Dauphine, ground floor, Palace of Versailles.

This is the example that Madame Louise de France wanted to give: to leave behind a lifestyle that was so sophisticated that the greatest empresses of the past would feel like churlish peasants if they only knew it, compared to a French princess of the Ancien Régime. Yet she wanted to leave the Versailles lifestyle to plunge – for it is a real precipice – into the lifestyle that is its direct opposite!

Imagine the silks that the princess wore, the brocades, the lace, and compare that with the thick dress of a Carmelite. Imagine the golden and silver utensils, the most magnificent porcelains from Sevres, compared to the grounded stone dish of a Carmelite….

Imagine the princess’s room, her magnificent bed, and the wooden bed in the Carmelite’s cell, where you cannot even have a bench. Imagine those halls of Versailles and compare them with the Carmelite convent, with no chairs to sit down because the Carmelites sat on their own heels. Imagine that cuisine, a masterpiece of French gastronomy which brought world culinary art to its height, and consider the fasts, penances, macerations and mortifications of a Carmelite nun.

Louis XV visiting his youngest daughter in Carmel. Painted by Maxime Le Boucher, 1882.

Yet all that is nothing compared to the following aspect: the princess was accustomed to command, to sit in the front row in all circumstances. Now, to go from this situation to a Carmelite’s and become a little more like a slave, without self-will, unable to do anything she wanted, with her will transferred to a superior who could do with her as she pleased at any time, and she, bowing down in obedience, cleaning the floor, compacting the garbage, sewing, and struggling to have them give her these tasks as they were loath to do so because she was a daughter of the king, coming from the unprecedented pomp of Versailles!

You can imagine how all this stunned all of Europe at the time; you have heard how Pope Clement XIV wrote Madam Louise a letter rejoicing over the fact that his pontificate had been glorified by such an event. The explosion this fact produced at court was truly incomparable. It was like a strong punch to the jaw of impiety inside the court. From that moment on, impiety languished and tended to perish, unable to raise its head because it was demoralized. That example had been way too strong. At the Carmelite convent, Sister Louise could have easily lived, if not in comfort, at least in the tranquility of a reclusive life. However, that is not what she did.

Louis XVI, King of France and Navarre.

Her biographer emphasizes very well, while not giving great detail that she continued to intervene in the affairs of the kingdom, and especially in ecclesiastical matters. At that time the king had the right to propose to the Pope the names of bishops, archbishops and cardinals to be appointed. He had a great deal of interference in the administration of ecclesiastical affairs and also had the prerogative of pursuing heresies, with his title of “Christian King”. Through her informants, Madam Louise of France accompanied in detail everything that went on in court. And she never stopped intervening with the king when he took a bad step.

In order to know who King Louis XVI was, it is enough — at least for those with a psychological sense — to look at his face in that excellent engraving depicting him in coronation vestments (see photo above). The mantle is superb, the costume magnificent, the velvet stupendous, the gesture stylized, the elegance regal, the strength unparalleled. Yet the face is that of an idiot… It is enough to look at it to see why that man committed all those follies throughout his reign and took France where she wound up… Nevertheless, Louis XVI venerated his aunt and would often change his mind when she sent him messages.

To Be Continued

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Saint Helena

(also known as Saint Helen, Helena Augusta or Helena of Constantinople)

Constantine the Great and St. Helena

Constantine the Great and St. Helena

The mother of Constantine the Great, born about the middle of the third century, possibly in Drepanum (later known as Helenopolis) on the Nicomedian Gulf; died about 330. She was of humble parentage; St. Ambrose, in his “Oratio de obitu Theodosii”, referred to her as a stabularia, or inn-keeper. Nevertheless, she became the lawful wife of Constantius Chlorus. Her first and only son, Constantine, was born in Naissus in Upper Moesia, in the year 274. The statement made by English chroniclers of the Middle Ages, according to which Helena was supposed to have been the daughter of a British prince, is entirely without historical foundation. It may arise from the misinterpretation of a term used in the fourth chapter of the panegyric on Constantine’s marriage with Fausta, that Constantine, oriendo (i. e., “by his beginnings,” “from the outset”) had honoured Britain, which was taken as an allusion to his birth, whereas the reference was really to the beginning of his reign…

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French missionary and founder of the Eudists and of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity; author of the liturgical worship of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary; born at Ri, France, 14 Nov., 1601; died at Caen, 19 Aug., 1680.

He was a brother of the French historian, François Eudes de Nézeray. At the age of fourteen he took a vow of chastity. After brilliant studies with the Jesuits at Caen, he entered the Oratory, 25 March, 1623. His masters and models in the spiritual life were Fathers de Bérulle and de Condren. He was ordained priest 20 Dec., 1625, and began his sacerdotal life with heroic labours for the…

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St. Louis of Toulouse

Bishop of Toulouse, generally represented vested in pontifical garments and holding a book and a crosier, b. at Brignoles, Provence, Feb., 1274; d. there, 19 Aug., 1297. He was the second son of Charles II of Anjou, called the Lame, King of Naples (1288- 1309), and nephew of St. Louis IX of France; and of Mary of Hungary, whose great-aunt was St. Elizabeth of Hungary. If in some and even early sources (Analecta Franciscana, IV, 310) he is called primogenitus, it is only because he succeeded to the rights of his eldest brother, Charles Martel (d. 1295). In 1288 Louis was sent with two of his brothers to the Kingdom of Aragon as hostage for his father, who had been defeated and captured in a naval battle off Naples by the Sicilians and Aragonians (1284). During the seven

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St. Oswin

Saint Oswin

 

King and martyr, murdered at Gilling, near Richmond, Yorkshire, England, on 20 August, 651, son of Osric, King of Deira in Britain.

On the murder of his father by Cadwalla in 634, Oswin still quite young was carried away for safety into Wessex, but returned on the death of his kinsman St. Oswald, in 642, either because Oswy had bestowed upon him Deira, one portion of the Kingdom of Northumbria, himself ruling Bernicia, or, as is more probable, because the people of Deira chose him for king in preference to Oswy. Under his sway of seven year…

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Saint Philibert of Jumièges (c. 608–684) was the only son of a Frankish noble, a courtier of Dagobert I. He was educated at court by Saint Ouen and entered monastic life at Rebais and was elected abbot at the age of 20.

In 654, St. Philibert received a gift of land from Clovis II on which he founded Jumièges Abbey. He drew up a Rule for this abbey which he used for the religious institutions he later came to govern or founded. He founded the monastery of Noirmoutier, was made superior of Luçon Abbey by the bishop of Poitiers, founded the monastery of Cunaut and the nunnery at Pavilly…

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St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Born in 1090, at Fontaines, near Dijon, France; died at Clairvaux, 21 August, 1153.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

His parents were Tescelin, lord of Fontaines, and Aleth of Montbard, both belonging to the highest nobility of Burgundy. Bernard, the third of a family of seven children, six of whom were sons, was educated with particular care, because, while yet unborn, a devout man had foretold his great destiny. At the age of nine years, Bernard was sent to a much renowned school at Chatillon-sur-Seine, kept by the secular canons of Saint-Vorles. He had a great taste for literature and devoted himself for some time to poetry. His success in his studies won the admiration of his masters, and his growth in virtue was no less marked. Bernard’s great desire was to excel in literature in order to take up the study of Sacred Scripture, which later on became, as it were, his own tongue. “Piety was his all,” says Bossuet. He had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and there is no one who speaks more sublimely of the Queen of Heaven. Bernard was scarcely…

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(1805 – 1866)

Maria De Mattias was born on 4 February 1805 at Vallecorsa, the southernmost town of the Papal States, in the geographical province of Frosinone,. Her family was not without wealth and learning—even if women were forbidden to study—nor did it lack a deep Christian faith.

Through dialog with her father, Maria learned and internalized not only the truths of the faith, but also, and especially, episodes and persons of the Sacred Scriptures. Her father read the Scriptures to her when she was still very young, and she developed a great love for Jesus, the Lamb sacrificed for the salvation of humanity. All of this happened while Vallecorsa and surrounding areas were experiencing the tragic period of banditry, 1810-1825. In Maria’s soul, in fact, there was a comparison being made between the human blood poured out in hatred and revenge and the blood of Christ poured out for love, a Blood which saves.

Without formal education and without outside contacts, because of her social class, Maria spent her childhood and early adolescence withdrawn and focused on her beauty. But when she reached the age of sixteen or seventeen, she began to search for the meaning of her life; she felt a need for a boundless love. Again, it was through dialog with her father, to whom she revealed her interior darkness and through her having asked Our Lady to “give her light”, that God let her experience the beauty of his love in a “mystical” way. It was manifested in its fullness in the Crucified Christ, in Christ who gives all his Blood.

This experience was the source, the force, and the motivation that brought her to the roads of Italy “to make known to everyone the tender love of the Heavenly Father”, as she said, or “the Crucified Love Jesus”. She was convinced that the reformation of society begins in the heart of the person, and that a person becomes transformed when she/he comes to understand how precious each one is in God’s eyes, how much each person is loved…Jesus gave all this Blood to save the human race.

This had been Maria’s experience; therefore she tried to lead all people, young and adult, to discover what had been revealed to her and changed her. She had also experienced that this transformation is possible for everyone when, in 1822, when she was seventeen, Gaspar Del Bufalo (now “Saint”) went to preach a mission at Vallecorsa. She saw how the townspeople changed. It was that occasion that generated the dream in her heart to do what Fr. Gaspar was doing.

Under the guidance of one of St. Gaspar’s companions, (now Venerable) Fr. Giovanni Merlini, she founded the Congregation of the Sisters Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Acuto (Frosinone) on 4 March 1834, at the age of twenty-nine. She had been called by the Administrator of Anagni, Bishop Giuseppe Maria Lais, to teach the young girls—she had learned to read and write on her own.

Maria, however, who nurtured a dream to reform society and the world, did not limit her activity to the school. She also gathered mothers and young boys to catechize them, to encourage them to love Jesus and to teach them to live Christian lives, according to their state. The men, to whom she could not speak according to the customs of the time, went spontaneously to listen to her, even in hiding. The shepherds, abandoned to their own resources, asked to be instructed by her, even after sundown. People flocked to the religious functions to listen to the teacher.

Thus, Maria, from the timid and introverted girl that she was, had become a preacher who attracted little girls, adults, the simple and the learned, lay persons and priests. It was because, when she spoke about Jesus and the mysteries of the faith, it was as though she had seen these realities, personally. Her consuming desire was that “not even one drop of the Divine Blood would be lost”; that it would reach all sinners to purify them and so that, washed in that river of mercy, they would rediscover the right way to peace and union among people.

This zeal was caught by many young women and, through them, Maria De Mattias was able to open about seventy communities during her lifetime, three of which were in Germany and England. Almost all were in small isolated towns of Central Italy, except for Rome, to which she was called by Pius IX for the San Luigi Hospice and for the school of Civitavecchia.

Maria De Mattias life was one lived with the one desire of “giving pleasure to Jesus” who had stolen her heart in her youth, and in a joyful commitment to save “the dear neighbor” from ignorance regarding the mystery of God’s love for humanity. All of this led her not to spare her energies; she did not give up when faced with disappointments or difficulties; she always worked in deep communion with the local and universal Church, and for love of Her.

Maria De Mattias died at Rome on 20 August 1866 and was buried in Rome’s Verano Cemetery, according to the desire of Pope Pius IX, who chose a tomb for her and commissioned a bas-relief on it depicting the vision of Ezechiel: “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord”. She was canonized on May 18, 2003.

[h/t Vatican]

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August 20 – Bishop Matulionis’ life: a true Shepherd

August 17, 2017

By Plinio Correa de Oliveira When I received the exciting biography of Lithuanian Bishop Matulionis, opportunely translated into Brazilian Portuguese by the zealous initiative of my friend, Father Francisco Gavenas, I went through it in a different way than I usually do when looking at a new book. Indeed –except for very special circumstances – […]

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August 21 – What Saint Pius X says about equality

August 17, 2017

In the motu proprio Fin dalla prima, of December 18, 1903, Saint Pius X summarizes the doctrine of Leo XIII on social inequalities: 1. Human society, as God established it, is composed of unequal elements, just as the members of the human body are unequal. To make them all equal would be impossible, and would […]

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August 21 – He was one of a network of aristocrat bishops

August 17, 2017

Saint Sidonius Apollinaris Gaius Sollius (Modestus) Apollinaris Sidonius or Saint Sidonius Apollinaris (November 5[1] of an unknown year, perhaps 430 – August, 489) was a poet, diplomat, and bishop. Sidonius is “the single most important surviving author from fifth-century Gaul” according to Eric Goldberg.[2] He was one of four fifth-to sixth-century Gallo-Roman aristocrats whose letters […]

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August 21 – La Vallete

August 17, 2017

Jean Parisot de La Valette Forty-eighth Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem; born in 1494; died in Malta, 21 Aug., 1568. He came from an old family of Southern France, several members of which had been capitouls (chief magistrates) in Toulouse. When still young he entered the Order […]

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Danish prince refuses to be buried with his wife, the queen

August 14, 2017

According to the BBC: Prince Henrik of Denmark will not be buried next to his wife Queen Margrethe, royal officials say, with the prince unhappy at never being designated her equal. The 83-year-old has long complained at being named as prince rather than king. It had been expected that the pair would be buried together […]

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August 15 – The Knights of St. John capture Rhodes and establish their sovereignty

August 14, 2017

On 15 August, 1310, under the leadership of Grand Master Foulques de Villaret, the Knights of St. John captured the island in spite of the Greek emperor, Andronicus II. The Knights of Rhodes, the successors of the Hospitallers of St. John, were distinguished from the latter in many ways. In the first place, the grand […]

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August 15 – Prester John

August 14, 2017

Prester John Name of a legendary Eastern priest and king. FIRST STAGE The mythical journey to Rome of a certain Patriarch John of India in 1122, and his visit to Callistus II, cannot have been the origin of the legend. Not until much later, in a manuscript dating from the latter part of the fifteenth-century […]

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August 16 – Did he inspire the tales of King Arthur?

August 14, 2017

Saint Armel (Welsh: Arthfael, lit. “Bear-Prince”; Latin: Armagilus) He was an early 6th-century holy man in Brittany. Armel is said to have been a Breton prince, born to the wife of King Hoel while they were living in Glamorgan in Wales in the late 5th century. He founded the abbey of Plouarzel in Brittany and […]

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August 16 – Apostle of the North

August 14, 2017

St. Hyacinth Dominican, called the Apostle of the North, son of Eustachius Konski of the noble family of Odrowacz [or Odrowaz]; born 1185 at the castle of Lanka, at Kamin, in Silesia, Poland…; died 15 August, 1257, at Cracow. Feast, 16 Aug. A near relative of Saint Ceslaus, he made his studies at Cracow, Prague, […]

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August 16 – His incorrupt right hand is treasured as the most sacred relic in Hungary

August 14, 2017

St. Stephen of Hungary First King of Hungary, born at Gran, 975; died 15 August, 1038. He was a son of the Hungarian chief Géza and was baptized, together with his father, by Archbishop St. Adalbert of Prague in 985, on which occasion he changed his heathen name Vaik (Vojk) into Stephen. In 995 he […]

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August 17 – Her great beauty aroused the jealousy of the queen

August 14, 2017

St. Beatrix da Silva A Portuguese nun, died 1 September, 1490. In Portuguese she is known as Blessed Brites. She was a member of the house of Portalegre and descended from the royal family of Portugal. She accompanied the Portuguese Princess Isabel to Spain, when she married John II of Castile. There Beatrix seems to […]

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August 17 – St. Clare of Montefalco

August 14, 2017

Born at Montefalco about 1268; died there, 18 August, 1308. Much dispute has existed as to whether St. Clare of Montefalco was a Franciscan or an Augustinian; and while Wadding, with Franciscan biographers of the saint, contends that she was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, Augustinian writers, whom the Bollandists seem […]

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The Guillotine and Its Servants

August 10, 2017

By Gustave Lenotre* “The scaffold had become a part of the people’s life, and a certain number of Parisians, were extremely entertained by the new plaything. Someone conceived the idea of beheading, in the porches of the old basilica of Notre-Dame, all the stone Saints that adorned the church-fronts. The whiteness of the broken stone […]

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Princess Louise de France, Daughter of Louis XV, Carmelite, Part II

August 10, 2017

Part I The first thing that should be said is that this narration, while very interesting from the strictly biographical point of view gives only one aspect of the life and work of Princess Louise of France. In fact, she played in the court a much broader role than is reported here. This is because, […]

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August 11 – As soldiers scaled the walls of the convent, she met them with ciborium in hand and put them to flight

August 10, 2017

St. Clare of Assisi Cofoundress of the Order of Poor Ladies, or Clares, and first Abbess of San Damiano; born at Assisi, 16 July, 1194; died there 11 August, 1253. She was the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso, the wealthy representative of an ancient Roman family, who owned a large palace in […]

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August 11 – János Hunyady

August 10, 2017

(JOHN) Governor of Hungary, born about 1400; died 11 August, 1456; the heroic defender of the Catholic Faith against the advance of the Osmanli; father of King Matthias I (Corvinus) of Hungary. The origin and parentage of his family was not ascertained until recently, when modern investigation cleared up the numerous legends which surrounded the […]

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August 11 – St. Attracta

August 10, 2017

St. Attracta (Or ST. ARAGHT). A contemporary of St. Patrick from whom she received the veil. She is known as the foundress of several churches in the Counties of Galway and Sligo, Ireland. Colgan’s account of her life is based on that written by Augustine Magraidin in the last years of fourteenth century, and abounds […]

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August 12 – St. Jane Frances de Chantal

August 10, 2017

Born at Dijon, France, 28 January, 1572; died at the Visitation Convent Moulins, 13 December, 1641. Her father was president of the Parliament of Burgundy, and leader of the royalist party during the League that brought about the triumph of the cause of Henry IV. In 1592 she married Baron de Chantal, and lived in […]

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August 12 – His pontificate was spent in opposing royal absolutism

August 10, 2017

Pope Blessed Innocent XI (Benedetto Odescalchi) Born at Como, 16 May, 1611; died at Rome, 11 August, 1689. He was educated by the Jesuits at Como, and studied jurisprudence at Rome and Naples. Urban VIII appointed him successively prothonotary, president of the Apostolic Camera, commissary at Ancona, administrator of Macerata, and Governor of Picena. Innocent […]

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August 13 – The Pope Who Resigned

August 10, 2017

Pope St. Pontian Dates of birth and death unknown. The “Liber Pontificalis” (ed. Duchesne, I, 145) gives Rome as his native city and calls his father Calpurnius. With him begins the brief chronicle of the Roman bishops of the third century, of which the author of the Liberian Catalogue of the popes made use in […]

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August 13 – The antipope who became a saint

August 10, 2017

Hippolytus, Saints, Martyrs. I. St. Hippolytus of Rome, presbyter and antipope; date of birth unknown; died about 236. Until the publication in 1851 of the recently discovered “Philosophumena”, it was impossible to obtain any definite authentic facts concerning Hippolytus of Rome and his life from the conflicting statements about him, as follows: Eusebius says that […]

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August 13 – Crusader nun

August 10, 2017

Bl. Gertrude of Aldenberg Abbess of the Premonstratensian convent of Aldenberg, near Wetzlar, in the Diocese of Trier; born about 1227, died 13 August, 1297. She was the youngest of three children of Louis VI, margrave of Thuringia, and his wife St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Gertrude’s father died on his way to the Holy Land […]

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August 13 – The Ottomans lived in fear of this Capuchin

August 10, 2017

Blessed Mark of Aviano (1631–1699) Capuchin friar. His baptismal name was Carlo Domenico Cristofori, his birthplace Aviano, a small community in the Republic of Venice (Italy). From an early age, he felt attracted to a life of devotion and martyrdom. Educated at the Jesuit College in Gorizia, at 16 he tried to reach the island […]

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August 13 – St. Maximus of Constantinople

August 10, 2017

St. Maximus of Constantinople Known as the Theologian and as Maximus Confessor, born at Constantinople about 580; died in exile 13 August, 662. He is one of the chief names in the Monothelite controversy one of the chief doctors of the theology of the Incarnation and of ascetic mysticism, and remarkable as a witness to […]

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August 14 – Founding Father

August 10, 2017

Pierre Chastellain Missionary among the Huron Indians, born at Senlis, France, in 1606; died at Quebec, 14 August, 1684. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1624 and at the age of thirty sailed from France with two future martyrs, Fathers Isaac Jogues and Charles Garnier, and the new Governor of Canada, Montmagny, the successor […]

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August 14 – St. Eusebius, Roman patrician and priest

August 10, 2017

St. Eusebius of Rome A presbyter at Rome; date of birth unknown; d. 357(?). He was a Roman patrician and priest, and is mentioned with distinction in Latin martyrologies. The ancient genuine martyrology of Usuard styles him confessor at Rome under the Arian emperor Constantius and adds that he was buried in the cemetery of […]

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August 8 – The Rosary is really a weapon

August 7, 2017

St. Dominic Founder of the Order of Preachers, commonly known as the Dominican Order; born at Calaroga, in Old Castile, c. 1170; died 6 August, 1221. His parents, Felix Guzman and Joanna of Aza, undoubtedly belonged to the nobility of Spain, though probably neither was connected with the reigning house of Castile, as some of […]

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Funeral Prayer of Philippe-Emmanuel de Lorraine, Duke of Mercœur

August 7, 2017

by Saint Francis de Sales “Ah! That the French are brave when they have God on their side! How valiant they are when they are devout! How happy they are to fight the infidels! As the naturalists put it, Leo qui omnibus insultat animalibus, solos pertimescit gallos [the lion, which insults all animals, fears only […]

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August 8 – He told his king that anyone who betrays Jesus could betray their king

August 7, 2017

St. Hormisdas (Martyred c. 420) Isdegerdes, king of Persia, renewed the persecution which Cosroes II had raised against the church. It is not easy, says Theodoret, to describe or express the cruelties which were then invented against the disciples of Christ. Some were flayed alive, others had the skin torn from off their backs only, […]

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August 9 – Pope St. Victor I

August 7, 2017

Pope St. Victor I (189-198 or 199), date of birth unknown. The “Liber Pontificalis” makes him a native of Africa and gives his father the name of Felix. This authority, taking the “Liberian Catalogue” as its basis, gives the years 186-197 as the period of Victor’s episcopate. The Armenian text of the “Chronicle” of Eusebius […]

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August 10 – His sister founded the Conceptionists

August 7, 2017

Blessed João Mendes de Silva Better known as Amadeus of Portugal, O.F.M., (1420–1482), was a Portuguese nobleman who became first a monk, then left that life to become a friar of the Franciscan Order. Later he became a reformer of that Order, which led to his founding of a distinct branch of the Friars Minor […]

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August 10 – Defiant under torture, he inspires noble souls until today

August 7, 2017

St. Lawrence Martyr; died 10 August, 258. St. Lawrence, one of the deacons of the Roman Church, was one of the victims of the persecution of Valerian in 258, like Pope Sixtus II and many other members of the Roman clergy. At the beginning of the month of August, 258, the emperor issued an edict, […]

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Polish political magazine wishes re-establishment of Polish monarchy

August 3, 2017

According to Royal Central: The Polish political magazine, Polonia Christiana, published in its latest edition a longer article where they argue to reintroduce the monarchy in Poland. The magazine also criticised the Republic of Poland’s political system. In Poland today there are a number of different monarchist movements, and some of these have the support […]

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The Hideous Procession of Place Bastille

August 3, 2017

At the very moment when the hideous procession began its march, Madame de Lebel, the wife of a painter, who owed many benefits to Madame de Lamballe, was trying to get near the prison, hoping to hear news of her.  Seeing the great commotion in the crowd, she inquired the cause. When some one replied: […]

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Princess Louise de France, Daughter of Louis XV, Carmelite

August 3, 2017

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira She fought the Revolution when she lived in the Court and later in the Carmel. She died poisoned by the revolutionaries, but her example continues to bear fruit to this day Ed.: The author makes comments throughout the reading of the text on Princess Louise Marie of France. The English […]

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August 4 – Carthusian Martyrs: The Lone Survivor

August 3, 2017

May 4 – First Group of Carthusian Martyrs June 19 – Second Group of Carthusian Martyrs May-June – Third and Fourth Groups August 4 – The Lone Survivor For some reason Brother William Horne was kept alive. Refusing to abandon his religious habit, he was not attainted till 1540, when he was hanged, disembowelled, and […]

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August 4 – St. Eleutherius

August 3, 2017

St. Eleutherius (Fr. Eleutière), Bishop of Tournai at the beginning of the sixth century. Historically there is very little known about St. Eleutherius, but he was without doubt the first Bishop of Tournai. Theodore, whom some give as his immediate predecessor, was either a bishop of Tours, whose name was placed by mistake on the […]

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August 5 – Our Lady of the Snow

August 3, 2017

(“Dedicatio Sanctæ Mariæ ad Nives”). A feast celebrated on 5 August to commemorate the dedication of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. The church was originally built by Pope Liberius (352-366) and was called after him “Basilica Liberii” or “Liberiana”. It was restored by Pope Pope Sixtus III (432-440) […]

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August 5 – St. Oswald

August 3, 2017

St. Oswald King and martyr; born, probably, 605; died 5 Aug., 642; the second of seven brothers, sons of Ethelfrid, who was grandson of Ida, founder of the Kingdom of Northumbria in 547. Oswald’s mother was Acha, daughter of Ella or Alla, who, after Ida’s death, had seized Deira and thus separated it from the […]

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August 5 – Valor in a King

August 3, 2017

St. Oswald of Northumbria, King and Martyr The English Saxon kingdom of Northumbria was founded by Ida in 547. After his death the northern part called Bernicia was preserved by his children; but Deira, that is, the southern part, comprising Yorkshire and Lancashire, was occupied by Ælla or Alla, and after his death was recovered […]

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