Some knights had just returned from a mission on which the King had sent them that afternoon and said that they must speak to him urgently.

Upon hearing this Ferdinand frowned, stood immediately and, apologizing to the venerable nun for the interruption, left the room. He found the knights at the door.

“What has happened to you?”

“Lord,” answered the one acting as leader, “when we arrived we asked to see the Master of Santiago, but they told us he was not there. Actually, he had fled through another door as soon as he saw us coming, because he swore to Alfonso IX to keep the castle in the infantas’ name.”

In cases of rebellion, Ferdinand would not waste time.

“Go!” he said to the knight, “and order my horse Cierzo, which is the swiftest, to be saddled immediately and wait for me on the patio. And you, Rodrigo, come here,” he added to the page.

“Can you put on my spurs?” he asked him when they were brought to his room

“I have done so many times for my father, Lord,” the boy replied, satisfied with the important role he was playing.

Ferdinand had taken a piece of parchment and a pen and, while the page was putting on his spurs, he wrote:

“Do not expect me for another day, Doña Beatrice. If you were hunting birds this morning, I will be hunting Masters at night. Please tell my lady and mother about it, but the infantas should not know.”

He folded the note and gave it to Rodrigo, who, after having finished his work, was coming toward him with a hooded cape well-lined with fur with the intention of placing it over his shoulders if he could manage it, for the King was very tall and he was a little fellow.

“Give this to the Queen, my wife.”

The boy ran to fulfill the order, giving the note to Doña Beatrice who was with Doña Berenguera and all of the King’s sisters.

Doña Beatrice

She read it and without saying a word passed it unnoticed to her mother-in-law. The Queen Mother guessed immediately what it was about, frowned just as her son had done, and went out to try to catch him before he had left. She arrived at the patio just as they were bringing his horse to him.

“My Lady and Mother,” he explained, “the Master of Santiago refused to surrender the possessions of Castro Toral to the person I sent. I must apprehend him, because my sisters have asked for these possessions, and I would be willing to give them my eyes if they asked me.”

And he galloped off at full speed, for he could not waste one moment if they were to catch the Master, who had a lead of several hours, before he reached the frontier of Portugal. They ran like a hurricane through the field covered with snow, almost as clear as daylight under the moon. Close to midnight they discerned a fugitive on horseback ats the traveled across the rolling hills.

“Lord, look, the Master!” shouted three of the knights.

Now that they had him within sight, they galloped even more furiously. The flanks of the horses started to bleed under the prodding from the spurs, and the distance between them decreased visibly. The fugitive realized he was being followed and increased his speed as much as he could, but his horse, after so many hours of running, was exhausted, and continued to lose ground. Finally, when within hearing distance, Ferdinand called with a tremendous voice, “Halt for the King!”

Frozen with fear when he realized that the King himself was chasing him, the unfortunate Master stopped, and the five knights surrounded him.

“Are you Don Peter González Menge, Master of Santiago?”

“I am, Lord.”

“Surrender yourself.”

Don Peter dismounted, and, ungirding his sword, he placed it in the King’s hands, who gave it to one of his knights to hold.

Then the chastened Master mounted his horse, sad and with a bowed head, and started anew the way toward the castle, following the King and surrounded by his guards. As soon as they arrived Ferdinand ordered him to make a formal surrender, and the grieved and astounded nobleman immediately complied.*

This strong, decisive reaction greatly helped Ferdinand to control the excesses of subjects, for several had been trying to take advantage of the confusion.

Sr. Maria del Carmen Fernández de Castro Cabeza, The Life of the Very Noble King of Castile and León, Saint Ferdinand III (Mount Kisco, NY: The Foundation for a Christian Civilization, 1987), 119-21.

 

Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 601

 

* This castle of Castro Toral was kept by the Knights of Santiago as a fief of the Holy See. Saint Ferdinand must not have known anything of this, and thus, seeing in the Master’s refusal an act of rebellion, he apprehended him. The Holy See complained, and after some communication between Gregory IX and Saint Ferdinand, the problem was resolved in a satisfactory way for all (Miguel de Manuel).

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By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

One of the things that helped deteriorate chivalry was precisely what could be called in Brazilian Portuguese, exhibitionism: showing off.

The person who shows off wants to be seen. The knight walks in the street with airs of one who is dominating the street and instilling fear even in the little dogs roaming about – he wants to show off. This is not the Catholic spirit. The Catholic spirit is not to show off but to make seen the glory of God, the glory of Our Lady. He does not care whether he shows off or not – what matters to him is to make shine the glory of the Catholic Cause. And because of this he renounces his own will, his goods and the disgusting solicitations of impurity in order to serve Our Lady well. But he does not go about the street as if saying, ‘look how chaste I am,’ or ‘look how valiant I am.’

Never mind what I look like! I will march forward and that’s the end of it.

(Excerpt from a Tea, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 1989 – Nobility.org translation)

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November 17 – Mary Tudor

November 16, 2017

Mary Tudor

Queen of England from 1553 to 1558; born 18 February, 1516; died 17 November, 1558.

Mary was the daughter and only surviving child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Cardinal Wolsey was her godfather, and amongst her most intimate friends in early life were Cardinal Pole and his mother, the Countess of Salisbury, put to death in 1539 and now beatified. We know from the report of contemporaries that Mary in her youth did not lack charm. She was by nature modest, affectionate, and kindly. Like all Tudor princesses she had been well educated, speaking Latin, French, and Spanish with facility, and she was in particular an accomplished musician. Down to the time of the divorce negotiations, Mary was recognized as heir to the throne, and many schemes had been proposed to supply her with a suitable husband. She was indeed affianced for some time to the Emperor Charles V, the father of the man she was afterwards to marry. When, however, Henry VIII became inflexibly determined to put away his first wife, Mary, who was deeply attached to her mother, also fell…

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St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Also called St. Elizabeth of Thuringia, born in Hungary, probably at Pressburg, 1207; died at Marburg, Hesse, 17 November (not 19 November), 1231.

Saint Elisabeth of Hungary

She was a daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary (1205-35) and his wife Gertrude, a member of the family of the Counts of Andechs-Meran; Elizabeth’s brother succeeded his father on the throne of Hungary as Bela IV; the sister of her mother, Gertrude, was St. Hedwig, wife of Duke Heinrich I, the Bearded, of Silesia, while another saint, St. Elizabeth (Isabel) of Portugal (d. 1336), the wife of the tyrannical King Diniz of that country, was her great-niece…

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St. Hugh of Lincoln

Born about the year 1135 at the castle of Avalon, near Pontcharra, in Burgundy; died at London, 16 Nov., 1200. His father, William, Lord of Avalon, was sprung from one of the noblest of Burgundian houses; of his mother, Anna, very little is known.

After his wife’s death, William retired from the world to the Augustinian monastery of Villard-Benoît, near Grenoble, and took his son Hugh, with him. Hugh became a religious and was ordained deacon at the age of nineteen. In about the year 1159 he was sent as a prior to the cell, or dependent priory, of St-Maximin, not far from his ancestral home of Avalon, where his elder brother, William had succeeded his father…

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Saint Gregory of Tours

Born in 538 or 539 at Arverni, the modern Clermont-Ferrand; died at Tours, 17 Nov., in 593 or 594.

He was descended from a distinguished Gallo-Roman family, and was closely related to the most illustrious houses of Gaul. He was originally called Georgius Florentius, but in memory of his maternal great-grandfather, Gregory, Bishop of Langres, took later on the name of Gregory. At an early age he lost his father, and went to live with an uncle, Gallus…

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St. Odo of Cluny

Odo was born in 879 in Maine, and was the son of a pious and surprisingly learned layman, Abbo. Though vowed by his father to St. Martin in babyhood, he was given a military training and became a page at the court of Duke William. But the exercises of war and hunting were unendurable to him, and he was permitted to fulfill his father’s vow by becoming a canon of the church of St. Martin at Tours. In this office he was in the companionship of worldly ecclesiastics. He revolted from the careless life which for a time he had practiced with them, and studied Virgil, till, warned by a dream of serpents in a jar, he abandoned the poets for the Prophets and Apostles. With Bible study he now mingled an exaggerated asceticism, keeping himself in a narrow and unfurnished cell…

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St. Philippine-Rose Duchesne

Founder in America of the first houses of the society of the Sacred Heart, born at Grenoble, France, 29 August, 1769; died at St. Charles, Missouri, 18 October, 1852. She was the daughter of Pierr-Francois Duchesne, an eminent lawyer. Her mother was a Périer, ancestor of Casimir Périer, President of France in 1894. She was educated by the visitation Nuns, entered that order, saw its dispersion during the Reign of Terror, vainly attempted the re-establishment of the convent of Ste-Marie-d’en-Haunt, near Grenoble, and finally, in 1804, accepted the offer of Mother Barat to receive her community into the Society of the Sacred Heart. From early childhood the dream of Philippine had been the apostolate of souls: heathen in distant lands, the neglected and poor at home. Nature and grace combined to fit her for this high vocation; education, suffering, above all, the guidance of Mother Barat trained her to become the pioneer of her order in the New world…

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Nerses I

St. Nerses IArmenian patriarch, surnamed “the Great”. Died 373. Born of the royal stock, he spent his youth in Caesarea where he married Sanducht, a Mamikonian princess. After the death of his wife, he was appointed chamberlain to King Arshak of Armenia. A few years later, having entered the ecclesiastical state, he was elected catholicos, or patriarch, in 353. His patriarchate marks a new era in Armenian history. Till then the Church had been more or less identified with the royal family and the nobles; Nerses brought it into closer connection with the people. At the Council of Ashtishat he promulgated numerous laws on marriage, fast days, and Divine worship. He built schools and hospitals, and sent monks throughout the land to preach the Gospel. Some of these reforms drew upon him the king’s displeasure, and he was exiled, probably to Edessa. Upon the accession of King Bab (369) he returned to his see. Bab proved a dissolute and unworthy ruler and Nerses forbade him entrance to the church. Under the pretence of seeking a reconciliation, Bab having invited Nerses to his table poisoned him.

Subscription21

LANGLOIS, Collection des historiens de l’Armenie, II (Paris, 1869); ORMANIAN; L’eglise armenienne, son histoire, sa doctirne, son regime, sa dicipline, sa liturgie, sa litterature, son present (Paris, 1910); HEFELE, Hist. of the Councils of the Church, IV (tr. CLARK, Edinburgh, 1895); SUKIAS SOMAL, Quadro della storia letteraria di Armenia (Venice, 1829); WEBER, Die kathol. Kirche in Armenien (Freiburg, 1903); TER-MINASSIANTZ, Die armenische Kirche in ihren Beziehungen zu den syrischen Kirchen bis zum Ende des 13 Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 1904); NEUMANN, Versuch einer Gesch. der armen. Litter. (Leipzig, 1836); FINK; Gesch. der armen. litter. in Gesch. der christl. litter. des Orients (Leipzig, 1907); AZARIAN, Ecclesiae Armeniae traditio de Romani Pontificis primatu iurisdictionis et inerrabili magisterio (Rome, 1870); CHAMICH, Hist. of Armenia, (Calcutta, 1827).

A. A. Vaschalde (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Raphael Kalinowski, O.C.D. (1835-1907)

[Also known as Father Raphael of St. Joseph, O.C.D]

Father Raphael of Saint Joseph Kalinowski, was born at Vilna, 1st September 1835, and at baptism received the name Joseph. Under the teaching of his father Andrew, at the Institute for Nobles at Vilna, he progressed so well that he received the maximum distinction in his studies. He then went for two years (1851-1852) to the school of Agriculture at Hory-Horky. During the years 1853-1857, he continued his studies at the Academy of Military Engineering at St Petersburg, obtaining his degree in Engineering, and the rank of Lieutenant. Immediately afterwards he was named Lecturer in Mathematics at the same Academy. In 1859, he took part in the designing of the Kursk-Kiev-Odessa railway…

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St. Edmund the Martyr

King of East Anglia, born about 840; died at Hoxne, Suffolk, November 20, 870.

St. Edmund the MartyrThe earliest and most reliable accounts represent St. Edmund as descended from the preceding kings of East Anglia, though, according to later legends, he was born at Nuremberg (Germany), son to an otherwise unknown King Alcmund of Saxony. Though only about fifteen years old when crowned in 855, Edmund showed himself a model ruler from the first, anxious to treat all with equal justice, and closing his ears to flatterers and untrustworthy informers. In his eagerness for prayer he retired for a year to his royal tower at Hunstanton and learned the whole Psalter by heart, in order that he might afterwards recite it regularly. In 870 he bravely repulsed the two Danish chiefs Hinguar and Hubba who had invaded his dominions. They soon returned with overwhelming numbers, and pressed terms upon him which as a Christian he felt bound to refuse. In his desire to avert a fruitless massacre, he disbanded his troops and himself retired towards Framlingham; on the way he fell into the hands of the invaders. Having loaded him with chains, his captors conducted him to Hinguar, whose impious demands he again rejected, declaring his religion dearer to him than his life.

A statue of St. Edmund the Martyr on the West Front of Salisbury Cathedral, UK.

A statue of St. Edmund the Martyr on the West Front of Salisbury Cathedral, UK.

His martyrdom took place in 870 at Hoxne in Suffolk. After beating him with cudgels, the Danes tied him to a tree, and cruelly tore his flesh with whips. Throughout these tortures Edmund continued to call upon the name of Jesus, until at last, exasperated by his constancy, his enemies began to discharge arrows at him. This cruel sport was continued until his body had the appearance of a porcupine, when Hinguar commanded his head to be struck off. From his first burial-place at Hoxne his relics were removed in the tenth century to Beodricsworth, since called St. Edmundsbury, where arose the famous abbey of that name. His feast is observed November 20, and he is represented in Christian art with sword and arrow, the instruments of his torture.

G. E. PHILLIPS (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Ambrose of Camaldoli

St. Ambrose TraversariAn Italian theologian and writer, born at Portico, near Florence, 16 September, 1386; died 21 October, 1439. His name was Ambrose Traversari. He entered the Order of the Camaldoli when fourteen and became its General in 1431. He was a great theologian and writer, and knew Greek as well as he did Latin. These gifts and his familiarity with the affairs of the Church led Eugenius IV to send him to the Council of Basle, where Ambrose strongly defended the primacy of the Roman pontiff and adjured the council not to rend asunder Christ’s seamless robe. He was next sent by the Pope to the Emperor Sigismond to ask his aid for the pontiff in his efforts to end this council, which for five years had been trenching on the papal prerogatives. The Pope transferred the council from Basle to Ferrara, 18 September, 1437. Subscription7 In this council, and later, in that of Florence, Ambrose by his efforts, and charity toward some poor Greek bishops, greatly helped to bring about a union of the two Churches, the decree for which, 6 July, 1439, he was called on to draw up. He died soon after. His works are a treatise on the Holy Eucharist, one on the Procession of the Holy Ghost, many lives of saints, a history of his generalship of the Camaldolites. He also translated from Greek into Latin a life of Chrysostom (Venice, 1533); the Spiritual Wisdom of John Moschus; the Ladder of Paradise of St. John Climacus (Venice, 1531), P.G., LXXXVIII. He also translated four books against the errors of the Greeks, by Manuel Kalekas, Patriarch of Constantinople, a Dominican monk (Ingolstadt, 1608), P.G., CLII, col. 13-661, a work known only through Ambrose’s translation. He also translated many homilies of St. John Chrysostom; the treatise of the pseudo-Denis the Areopagite on the celestial hierarchy; St. Basil’s treatise on virginity; thirty nine discourses of St. Ephrem the Syrian, and many other works of the Fathers and writers of the Greek Church. Dom Mabillon’s “Letters and Orations of S. Ambrose of Camaldoli” was published at Florence, 1759. St. Ambrose is honoured by the Church on 20 November.

HEFELE, Hist. of Councils (Edinburgh, 1871-96), XI, 313 sqq., 420, 463; MANSI, Coll. sacr. council. (Venice, 1788, 1792, 1798), XXIX, XXX, XXXI; EHRHARD in KRUMBACHER, Geschichte der byzantinischen Literatur, 2d ed. (Munich, 1897), 111-144.

JOHN J. A’ BECKET (cfr. Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Felix of Valois

Born in 1127; died at Cerfroi, 4 November, 1212. He is commemorated 20 November.

St Felix de ValoisHe was surnamed Valois because, according to some, he was a member of the royal branch of Valois in France, according to others, because he was a native of the province of Valois. At an early age he renounced his possessions and retired to a dense forest in the Diocese of Meaux, where he gave himself to prayer and contemplation. He was joined in his retreat by St. John of Matha, who proposed to him the project of founding an order for the redemption of captives. After fervent prayer, Felix in company with John set out for Rome and arrived there in the beginning of the pontificate of Innocent III. They had letters of recommendation from the Bishop of Paris, and the new pope received them with the utmost kindness and lodged them in his palace. The project of founding the order was considered in several solemn conclaves of cardinals and prelates, and the pope after fervent prayer decided that these holy men were inspired by God, and raised up for the good of the Church. He solemnly confirmed their order, which he named the Order of the Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives. The pope commissioned the Bishop of Paris and the Abbot of St. Victor to draw up for the institute a rule, which was confirmed by the pope, 17 December, 1198. Felix returned to France to establish the order.

St Felix de ValoisHe was received with great enthusiasm, and King Philip Augustus authorized the institute France and fostered it by signal benefactions. Margaret of Blois granted the order twenty acres of the wood where Felix had built his first hermitage, and on almost the same spot he erected the famous monastery of Cerfroi, the mother-house of the institute. Within forty years the order possessed six hundred monasteries in almost every part of the world. St. Felix and St. John of Matha were forced to part, the latter went to Rome to found a house of the order, the church of which, Santa Maria in Navicella, still stands on the Caeclian Hill. St. Felix remained in France to look after the interests of the congregation. He founded a house in Paris attached to the church of St. Maturinus, which afterwards became famous under Robert Guguin, master general of the order. Though the Bull of his canonization is no longer extant, it is the constant tradition of his institute that he was canonized by Urban IV in 1262. Du Plessis tells us that his feast was kept in the Diocese of Meaux in 1215. In 1666 Alexander VII declared him a saint because of immemorial cult. His feast was transferred to 20 November by Innocent XI in 1679.

Michael M. O’Kane (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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HRH Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip

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According to the Catholic Herald:

A princess executed in the French Revolution is a step closer to sainthood after France’s bishops approved the official opening of her Cause.

Born in 1764, Elisabeth of France, known as Madame Elisabeth, was the youngest sister of King Louis XVI.

…devoted to the king, she refused to go into exile with her other brothers and her aunts. She accompanied Louis and his wife Marie-Antoinette in their flight to Varennes, then into prison in the Temple, and followed them to her death at the guillotine Place de la Concorde in Paris in 1794, just a week after her 30th birthday.

To read the entire article in the Catholic Herald, please click here.

___________________________

More on Madame Elisabeth:

Madame Elisabeth: the princess who confronted a Revolution

Madame Elizabeth ponders the horrors afflicting France during the Revolution

Last Letter of Marie-Antoinette

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Saint Erconwald

St. Erkenwald instructing monks. A historiated initial from the Chertsey Breviary.

St. Erkenwald instructing monks. A historiated initial from the Chertsey Breviary.

Bishop of London, died. about 690. He belonged to the princely family of the East Anglian Offa, and devoted a considerable portion of his patrimony to founding two monasteries, one for monks at Chertsey, and the other for nuns at Barking in Essex. Over the latter he placed his sister, St. Ethelburga, as abbess. He himself discharged the duties of superior at Chertsey. Erconwald continued his monastic life till the death of Bishop Wini in 675, when he was called to the See of London, at the instance of King Sebbi and Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury. As monk and bishop he was renowned for holiness of life, and miracles were wrought in attestation of his sanctity. The sick were cured by contact with the litter on which he had been carried; this we have on the testimony of Venerable Bede. He was present in 686 at the reconciliation between Archbishop Theodore and Wilfrith. King Ini in the preface to his laws calls Erconwald “my bishop”. During his episcopate he enlarged his church, augmented its revenues, and obtained for it special privileges from the king.

According to an ancient epitaph, Erconwald ruled the Diocese of London for eleven years. He is said to have eventually retired to the convent of his sister at Barking, where he died April 30. He was buried in St. Paul’s, and his tomb became renowned for miracles. The citizens of London had a special devotion to him, and they regarded with pride the magnificence of his shrine. During the burning of the cathedral in 1087 it is related that the shrine and its silken coverings remained intact. A solemn translation of St. Erconwald’s body took place November 14, 1148, when it was raised above the high altar. The shrine was robbed of its jewels and ornaments in the sixteenth century; and the bones of the saint are said to have been then buried at the east end of the choir. His feast is observed by English Catholics on November 14. Prior to the Reformation, the anniversaries of St. Erconwald’s death and translation of his relics were observed at St. Paul’s as feasts of the first class, according to an ordinance of Bishop Braybroke in 1386.

COLUMBIA EDMONDS (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Lawrence O’Toole

(Lorcan ua Tuathail; also spelled Laurence O’Toole)

Confessor, born about 1128, in the present County Kildare; died 14 November, 1180, at Eu in Normandy; canonized in 1225 by Honorius III.

His father was chief of Hy Murray, and his mother one of the Clan O’Byrne. At the age of ten he was taken as a hostage by Dermot McMurrogh, King of Leinster. In 1140 the boy obtained permission to enter the monastic school of Glendalough; in that valley-sanctuary he studied for thirteen years, conspicuous for his piety and learning. So great was his reputation in the eyes of the community that on the death of Abbot Dunlaing, early in 1154, he was unanimously called to preside over the Abbey of St. Kevin. Dermot, King of Leinster, married Mor, sister of St. Lawrence, and, though his character has been painted in dark…

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Bl. Richard Whiting

Last Abbot of Glastonbury and martyr, parentage and date of birth unknown, executed 15 Nov., 1539; was probably educated in the claustral school at Glastonbury, whence he proceeded to Cambridge, graduating as M.A. in 1483 and D.D. in 1505. If, as is probable, he was already a monk when he went to Cambridge he must have received the habit from John Selwood, Abbot of Glastonbury from 1456 to 1493. He was ordained…

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St. Desiderius of Cahors

Bishop, born at Obrege (perhaps Antobroges, name of a Gaulish tribe), on the frontier of the Provincia Narbonnensis, of a noble Frankish family from Aquitaine, which possessed large estates in the territory of Albi; died 15 Nov., 655—though Krusch has called this date in question…

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St. Albert the Great

Known as Albert the Great; scientist, philosopher, and theologian, born c. 1206; died at Cologne, 15 November 1280. He is called “the Great”, and “Doctor Universalis” (Universal Doctor), in recognition of his extraordinary genius and extensive knowledge, for he was proficient in every branch of learning cultivated in his day, and surpassed all his contemporaries, except perhaps Roger Bacon (1214-94), in the knowledge of nature. Ulrich Engelbert, a contemporary, calls him the wonder and the miracle of his age…

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November 16 – St. Agnes of Assisi

November 13, 2017

St. Agnes of Assisi Younger sister of St. Clare and Abbess of the Poor Ladies, born at Assisi, 1197, or 1198; died 1253. She was the younger daughter of Count Favorino Scifi. Her saintly mother, Blessed Hortulana, belonged to the noble family of the Fiumi, and her cousin Rufino was one of the celebrated “Three […]

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November 16 – Commissioned to preach the Sixth Crusade

November 13, 2017

St. Edmund Rich Archbishop of Canterbury, England, born 20 November, c. 1180, at Abingdon, six miles from Oxford; died 16 November, 1240, at Soissy, France. His early chronology is somewhat uncertain. His parents, Reinald (Reginald) and Mabel Rich, were remarkable for piety. It is said that his mother constantly wore hair-cloth, and attended almost every […]

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November 16 – St. Mechtilde

November 13, 2017

St. Mechtilde (MATILDA VON HACKEBORN-WIPPRA). Benedictine; born in 1240 or 1241 at the ancestral castle of Helfta, near Eisleben, Saxony; died in the monastery of Helfta, 19 November, 1298. She belonged to one of the noblest and most powerful Thuringian families, while here sister was the saintly and illustrious Abbess Gertrude von Hackeborn. Some writers […]

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November 16 – St. Margaret of Scotland: In the Middle Ages, the Marvelous Was Something Achievable

November 13, 2017

Saint Margaret of Scotland … Sovereign and patroness of Scotland, 11th century. Although it is a very good intention to comment on the life of St. Margaret, at times one does not have the slightest biographical data on a saint. For lack of a better biography, I will read here the summary contained in the […]

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First recorded Mass in the Americas: January 6, 1494 at La Isabela, Dominican Republic

November 9, 2017

Columbus’s second fleet of seventeen assorted ships carried between twelve hundred and fifteen hundred men and was organized to establish a permanent colony that would serve as a base for trade with the people of this new land. The fleet left Cádiz on 25 September 1493 and arrived in the Caribbean in November. Columbus was […]

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Historical Origins of the Feudal Nobility—The Genesis of Feudalism

November 9, 2017

Chapter VII By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira In this context, it is easier to understand what the nobility is. It is the class that, unlike others, does not merely have elements of nobility, but is fully noble, entirely noble; it is noble par excellence. A word about its historical origins is appropriate here. a. The […]

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November 10 – Who Was the First Pope to Be Called “Great,” and Why?

November 9, 2017

Pope St. Leo I (the Great) Place and date of birth unknown; died 10 November, 461. (Reigned 440-61). Leo’s pontificate, next to that of St. Gregory I, is the most significant and important in Christian antiquity. At a time when the Church was experiencing the greatest obstacles to her progress in consequence of the hastening […]

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November 11 – Patron of Veterans and Soldiers

November 9, 2017

St. Martin of Tours Bishop; born at Sabaria (today Steinamanger in German, or Szombathely in Hungarian), Pannonia (Hungary), about 316; died at Candes, Touraine, most probably in 397. In his early years, when his father, a military tribune, was transferred to Pavia in Italy, Martin accompanied him thither, and when he reached adolescence was, in […]

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November 12 – Saint Cunibert

November 9, 2017

Saint Cunibert (also Cunipert, or Kunibert) (c. 600 – 12 November c. 663) was the ninth Bishop of Cologne from 627 to his death. Contemporary sources only mention him between 627 and 643. Cunibert (also spelled ‘Honoberht’) was born somewhere along the Moselle to a family of the local Ripuarian Frankish aristocracy. He entered the church […]

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November 12 – Fearless and Bold

November 9, 2017

St. Lebwin (LEBUINUS or LIAFWIN). Apostle of the Frisians and patron of Deventer, born in England of Anglo-Saxon parents at an unknown date; died at Deventer, Holland, about 770. Educated in a monastery and fired by the example of St. Boniface, St. Willibrord, and other great English missionaries, Lebwin resolved to dovote his life to […]

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November 12 – Kidnapped, sold as a slave, ransomed by a bishop, and confidante of the emperor

November 9, 2017

St. Nilus (Neilos) Nilus the elder, of Sinai (died circa 430), was one of the many disciples and fervent defenders of St. John Chrysostom. We know him first as a layman, married, with two sons. At this time he was an officer at the Court of Constantinople, and is said to have been one of […]

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November 12 – Four years in Stalin’s concentration camp

November 9, 2017

Blessed Hryhorij Lakota Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church auxiliary bishop who suffered religious persecution and was martyred by the Soviet Government. Hryhorij Lakota was born 31 January 1893 in Holodivka, Lviv Oblast. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Przemyśl on 16 May 1926. On 9 June 1946, he was arrested and sentenced to ten years imprisonment, as […]

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November 12 – Noble Ruthenian Stock

November 9, 2017

St. Josaphat Kuncevyc Martyr, born in the little town of Volodymyr in Lithuania (Volyn) in 1580 or — according to some writers — 1584; died at Vitebsk, Russia, 12 November, 1623. The saint’s birth occurred in a gloomy period for the Ruthenian Church. Even as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century the Florentine […]

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November 12 – Constable of France: he fought his entire life and died in battle at age 74

November 9, 2017

Anne de Montmorency had proven many times before that his race does not degenerate and the brave blood of an illustrious line of ancestors flowed in his veins. Imperious, severe, of a stern mood, he had undeniable bravery and strict fidelity to his duty. Although success had not always been on a par with his […]

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November 13 – Patroness of missionaries

November 9, 2017

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, M.S.C. Also called Mother Cabrini, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, a religious institute which was a major support to the Italian immigrants to the United States. She was the first citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Catholic Church. She was born in Sant’Angelo […]

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November 13 – Pure and noble, he received Holy Communion from the hands of angels

November 9, 2017

St. Stanislas Kostka Born at Rostkovo near Prasnysz, Poland, about 28 October, 1550; died at Rome during the night of 14-15 August, 1568. He entered the Society of Jesus at Rome, 28 October, 1567, and is said to have foretold his death a few days before it occurred. His father, John Kostka, was a senator […]

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November 13 – Grand Master of the Order of Christ

November 9, 2017

Prince Henry the Navigator Born 4 March, 1394; died 13 November, 1460; he was the fourth son of John I, King of Portugal, by Queen Philippa, a daughter of John of Gaunt. In 1415 he commanded the expedition which captured Ceuta, Portugal’s first oversea conquest, and there won his knightly spurs. Three years later he […]

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November 13 – He calmed the fear of the end of the world

November 9, 2017

St. Abbon (or Abbo), born near Orléans c. 945; died at Fleury, 13 November, 1004, a monk of the Benedictine monastery of Fleury sur Loire (Fleuret), conspicuous both for learning and sanctity, and one of the great lights of the Church in the stormy times of Hugh Capet of France and of the three Ottos […]

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November 13 – One of the Great Popes of the Middle Ages

November 9, 2017

Pope St. Nicholas I Born at Rome, date unknown; died 13 November, 867; one of the great popes of the Middle Ages, who exerted decisive influence upon the historical development of the papacy and its position among the Christian nations of Western Europe. He was of a distinguished family, being the son of the Defensor […]

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November 7 – Martyred in Mecca

November 6, 2017

Saint Ernest of Mecca Abbot of the abbey of Zwiefalten Died     1148 AD in Mecca Feast     November 7 Saint Ernest (died 1148) was the abbot of the Benedictine Zwiefalten Abbey at Zwiefalten, Germany during the 12th century. He participated in the Second Crusade fought by Christians between 1145 and 1149 to regain the […]

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November 7 – He Went on Crusade to Atone for His Sins

November 6, 2017

Saint Engelbert of Cologne Archbishop of that city (1216-1225); born at Berg, about 1185; died near Schwelm, 7 November 1225. His father was Engelbert, Count of Berg, his mother, Margaret, daughter of the Count of Gelderland. He studied at the cathedral school of Cologne and while still a boy was, according to an abuse of […]

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November 7 – Blessed Francis Palau y Quer

November 6, 2017

Born     December 29, 1811, in Aitona, Lleida, Spain Died     20 March 1872, in Tarragona, Spain Beatified     April 24, 1988, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II Feast     November 7 Discalced Carmelite Spanish priest. He founded “The School of the Virtue” — which was a model of catechetical teaching […]

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November 7 – Bl. Bernardine of Fossa

November 6, 2017

Bl. Bernardine of Fossa Of the Order of Friars Minor, historian and ascetical writer, b. at Fossa, in the Diocese of Aquila, Italy, in 1420; d. at Aquila, 27 November, 1503. Blessed Bernardine belonged to the ancient and noble family of the Amici, and sometimes bears the name of Aquilanus on account of his long […]

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November 7 – St. Willibrord and the Dancing Procession

November 6, 2017

St. Willibrord Bishop of Utrecht, Apostle of the Frisians, and son of St. Hilgis, born in Northumbria, 658; died at Echternach, Luxemburg, 7 Nov., 739. Willibrord made his early studies at the Abbey of Ripon near York, as a disciple of St. Wilfrid, and then entered the Benedictine Order. When twenty years old he went […]

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November 8 – Saint Tysilio of Wales

November 6, 2017

Saint Tysilio (died 640) was a Welsh bishop, prince and scholar, son of the reigning King of Powys, Brochwel Ysgithrog, maternal nephew of the great Abbot Dunod of Bangor Iscoed and an ecclesiastic who took a prominent part in the affairs of Wales during the distressful period at the opening of the 7th century. Prince […]

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November 8 – Four Crowned Martyrs

November 6, 2017

Four Crowned Martyrs The old guidebooks to the tombs of the Roman martyrs make mention, in connection with the catacomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus on the Via Labicana, of the Four Crowned Martyrs (Quatuor Coronati), at whose grave the pilgrims were wont to worship (De Rossi, Roma sotterranea, I, 178-79). One of these itineraries, […]

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November 8 – Charlemagne sent him to his enemies

November 6, 2017

St. Willehad Bishop at Bremen, born in Northumberland before 745; died at Blecazze (Blexen) on the Weser, 8 Nov., 789. He was a friend of Alcuin, and probably received his education at York under St. Egbert. After his ordination, with the permission of King Alchred he was sent to Frisia between 765 and 774. He […]

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November 9 – Patrick’s psalm-singer

November 6, 2017

St. Benignus Date of birth unknown; died 467, son of Sesenen, an Irish chieftain in that part of Ireland which is now County Meath. He was baptized by St. Patrick, and became his favorite disciple and his coadjutor in the See of Armagh (450). His gentle and lovable disposition suggested the name Benen, which has […]

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November 9 – Executed in Oxford, buried with the Templars

November 6, 2017

Ven. George Napper (Or Napier). English martyr, born at Holywell manor, Oxford, 1550; executed at Oxford 9 November, 1610. He was a son of Edward Napper (d. in 1558), sometime Fellow of All Souls College, by Anne, his second wife, daughter of John Peto, of Chesterton, Warwickshire, and niece of William, Cardinal Peto. He entered […]

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Christopher Columbus Dies But His Glory Remains

November 2, 2017

In May, 1505, [Christopher Columbus] set out for the court of the Catholic King. The glorious Queen Isabella had passed to a better life the previous year. Her death caused the Admiral much grief; for she had always aided and favored him, while the King he always found somewhat reserved and unsympathetic to his projects. […]

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With chaos, the hour of heroism and the possibility of shedding our blood as martyrs or crusaders draws closer

November 2, 2017

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira The hour of chaos brings on the hour of hopes that are fulfilled. It is the hour of predictions that are confirmed but also the hour of the holocaust that knocks on our door! It is the hour of heroism, complete dedication; the hour we inch toward the eventual shedding […]

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November 3 – Patron of hunting

November 2, 2017

St. Hubert Confessor, thirty-first Bishop of Maastricht, first Bishop of Liège, and Apostle of the Ardennes, born about 656; died at Fura (the modern Tervueren), Brabant, 30 May, 727 or 728. He was honored in the Middle Ages as the patron of huntsmen, and the healer of hydrophobia (rabies). He was the eldest son of […]

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November 3 – The Battle of Mentana

November 2, 2017

It was a dark and gloomy morning, pouring rain, when this little army of some five thousand men filed out of the Porta Pia in a colorful parade, Pius IX’s Swiss General Rafael de Courten’s papal troops leading and the French contingent bringing up the rear…. Famous since classical times as a suburban retreat some […]

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November 3 – Patron of Buckingham

November 2, 2017

St. Rumwold of Buckingham His father was king of Northumberland, his mother a daughter of Penda, king of the Mercians. He was born at Sutthun, and baptized by Widerin, a bishop, the holy priest Eadwold being his godfather. He died very young on the 3rd of November and was buried in Sutthun by Eadwold. The […]

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November 4 – Fearless and Faithful, He Reformed the Church

November 2, 2017

St. Charles Borromeo Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal-Priest of the Title of St. Prassede, Papal Secretary of State under Pius IV, and one of the chief factors in the Catholic Counter-Reformation , was born in the Castle of Arona, a town on the southern shore of the Lago Maggiore in northern Italy, 2 October, 1538; died […]

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November 4 – Her gentleness changed his heart

November 2, 2017

Bl. Frances d’Amboise Duchess of Brittany, afterwards Carmelite nun, born 1427; died at Nantes, 4 Nov., 1485. The daughter of Louis d’Amboise, Viscount de Thouars, she was betrothed when only four years old, to Peter, second son of John V, Duke of Brittany, the marriage being solemnized when she had reached the age of fifteen. […]

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November 5 – Her name means “God is an oath”

November 2, 2017

St. Elizabeth (God is an oath—Ex., vi, 23) Zachary’s wife and John the Baptist’s mother, was “of the daughters of Aaron” (Luke, i, 5), and, at the same time, Mary’s kinswoman (Luke, i, 36), although what their actual relationship was, is unknown. St. Hippolytus (in Niceph. Call., Hist. Eccles., II, iii) explains that Sobe and […]

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November 6 – Duchess d’Alençon

November 2, 2017

Blessed Margaret of Lorraine Duchess d’Alencon, religious of the order of Poor Clares, born in 1463 at the castle of Vaudémont (Lorraine); died at Argentan (Brittany) 2 November, 1521. The daughter of Ferri de Vaudimont and of Yolande d’Anjou, little Margaret became an orphan at an early age and was brought up at Aix-en-Provençe, by […]

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November 6 – We know nothing about him, except his miracles

November 2, 2017

St. Leonard of Limousin Nothing absolutely certain is known of his history, as his earliest “Life”, written in the eleventh century, has no historical value whatever. According to this extraordinary legend, Leonard belonged to a noble Frankish family of the time of King Clovis, and St. Remy of Reims was his godfather. After having secured […]

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November 6 – St. Winnoc

November 2, 2017

St. Winnoc Abbot or Prior or Wormhoult, died 716 or 717. Three lives of this saint are extant: the best of these, the first life, was written by a monk of St. Bertin in the middle of the ninth century, or perhaps a century earlier. St. Winnoc is generally called a Breton, but the Bollandist […]

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