Her audience with the pope was scheduled for September twenty-seventh at eleven o’clock. According to custom Charlotte had dressed in black, covering her hair in a veil of the same color, and for jewelry, she was wearing only pearls….

Photograph of Charlotte of Belgium, Empress of Mexico

Though glorious in her dark clothing, Charlotte was nervous and tense…. The pope rose…. Charlotte knelt to kiss his train, but he stopped her and held out his ring. As she leaned toward him, she whispered, “Holy Father, save me, I have been poisoned.”

The pope pretended not to have heard her….

The following day, the thirtieth of September…. [Charlotte] kelt before the fountain, scooped up water in her hands, and drank greedily. The she stood up and climbed back into the coach with an ever more distraught Madam del Barrio. “To the Vatican!” she cried….

“I want to see His Holiness right away.”…

Visit of Emperor Maximilian and his wife Charlotte of Mexico to Blessed Pope Pius IX.

The dignitary did not dare refuse, and slipped through the emblazoned door. Soon he returned, and silently led Charlotte into the office where Pius IX was indeed having his frugal meal. Charlotte barely greeted him, and instead rushed at the steaming cup of chocolate he had just sipped. She stuck her fingers into it and sucked them, whispering, “I am so hungry, but I don’t dare eat—they are all trying to poison me.”

The pope maintained enough self-control not to show his surprise. He rang and another cup was brought, which he himself filled with chocolate. “No, I only want to drink out of Your Holiness’s cup; if they know it is for me, they will put poison in it.”

Photograph of Bl. Pius IX

The pope let her finish his cup. On the desk, she spotted a silver goblet and grabbed it. “Give it to me, most Holy Father, so I can drink from it without being poisoned.”

With a gesture, Pius IX acquiesced.

Prince Michael of Greece, The Empress of Farewells: The Story of Charlotte, Empress of Mexico, trans. Vincent Aurora (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2002), 293-4, 296-97.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 578

 

 

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By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

[If] after the Revolution is defeated, in the Reign of Mary, the responsibility of a TFP household should be upon the shoulder of one of you, do you feel capable of having all the necessary perspicacity, discernment and intransigence?

I fear very much that you don’t. But how can it all go ahead, then?

I know the answer: “Well, we will count on Dr. Plinio’s support.” Make no mistake. Dr. Plinio will die. If souls are not very much in order, the day Dr. Plinio dies many people will feel relieved. Have no illusion. They will feel relieved. And then, what comes next? The Revolution, obviously!

Now, are we prepared for this? Until what points are we knights? This is a question one cannot fail to ask in the seriousness of our conscience.

Now, if one likes to laugh, play, and loaf around and is not a serious person, what will be the end result? It can only be ruin!

Se we must ask Our Lady that we may have this elevated spirit of chivalry, which is transchivalry! For sure it is a chivalry of the body, but it is much more a chivalry of the spirit.

(Excerpt from a Tea, Monday, Sept. 11, 1989 – Nobility.org translation)

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Saint Bruno of Würzburg

(c. 1005 – 26 May 1045)

The statue of Saint Bruno on Würzburg's Alte Mainbrücke

The statue of Saint Bruno on Würzburg’s Alte Mainbrücke

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

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

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THE APOSTLE OF ROME

St. Philip Romolo Neri

Born at Florence, Italy, 22 July, 1515; died 27 May, 1595. Philip’s family originally came from Castelfranco but had lived for many generations in Florence, where not a few of its members had practiced the learned professions, and therefore took rank with the Tuscan nobility. Among these was Philip’s own father, Francesco Neri, who eked out an insufficient private fortune with what he earned as a notary. A circumstance which had no small influence on the life of the saint was Francesco’s friendship with the Dominicans; for it was from the friars of S. Marco, amid the memories of Savonarola, that Philip received many of his early religious impressions. Besides a younger brother, who died in early childhood, Philip had two younger sisters, Caterina and Elisabetta. It was with them…

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St. Augustine of Canterbury

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

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

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Blessed Margaret Pole

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

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

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St. William of Gellone

Painting of Saint William of Gellone by Antonio de Pereda

Painting of Saint William of Gellone by Antonio de Pereda

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

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

Raymund Webster (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Germain

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

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Photo of the Martyrdom of St. Laura at the Monasterio de Monjas Trinitarias in Madrid by Pedrohuerta.

Saint Laura of Constantinople (died 1453) was a Christian who lived in Constantinople during the 15th century.

She was born in Greece into a noble family: her father was a Latin knight named Michael and her mother was Albanian. Her name was Theodolinde Trasci. After she became a nun in Constantinople, she changed it into Laura, eventually rising to become an abbess.[1] She was martyred by the Ottoman Turks who took Constantinople on 29 May 1453 and scalded her to death with the other 52 sisters of her convent.[2] Her feast day is on May 29.

______________
Notes:
[1] De Renzis N., Storia di Santa Laura da Costantinopoli nel quattrocentosettantacinquesimo anno della Sua morte, Tip. Editrice R. Riccio Cosenza 1925
[2] Calvo S., Resumen de las prerrogativas del Orden de la Ssa Trinidad, Josef Longas Pamplona I p. 219

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Bartolomeu Dias

A famous Portuguese navigator of the fifteenth century, discoverer of the Cape of Good Hope; died at sea, 29 May, 1500.

Several Portuguese historians state that he was a relative or descendant of João Dias who sailed around Cape Bojador in 1434, and of Diniz Dias who is said to have discovered the Cape Verde Islands. As early as 1481 Bartolomeu Dias had accompanied Diogo d’Azambuja on an expedition to the Gold Coast.

Dias was a cavalier of the royal court, superintendent of the royal warehouses and sailing-master of the man-of-war “San Christovao”, when King John (João) II appointed him on 10 October, 1486, as the head of an expedition which was to endeavor to sail around the southern end of Africa. Its chief purpose was to find the country of the Christian African king known as Prester John, concerning whom recent reports had arrived (1486) through João Alfonso d’Aveiro, and with whom the Portuguese wished to enter into friendly relations.

An 1887 illustration of Bartolomeu Dias’ two caravels, the São Cristóvão and the São Pantaleão.

After ten months of preparation Dias left Lisbon the latter part of July or the beginning of August, 1487, with two armed caravels of fifty tons each and one supply-ship. Among his companions were Pero d’Alemquer, who wrote a description of Vasco da Gama’s first voyage, Leitao, João Infante, Alvaro Martins, and João Grego. The supply-ship was commanded by Bartolomeu’s brother, Pero Dias. There were also two negroes and four negresses on board who were to be set ashore at suitable spots to explain to the natives the purpose of the expedition.

Dias sailed first towards the mouth of the Congo, discovered the year before by Cao and Behaim, then following the African coast, he entered Walfisch Bay, and probably erected the first of his stone columns near the present Angra Pequena. From 29° south latitude (Port Nolloth) he lost sight of the coast and was driven by a violent storm, which lasted thirteen days, far beyond the cape to the south. When calm weather returned he sailed again in an easterly direction and, when no land appeared, turned northward, landing in the Bahia dos Vaqueiros (Mossel Bay). Following the coast he reached Algoa Bay, and then the limit of his exploration, the Great Fish River, which he named after the commander of the accompanying vessel, Rio Infante. It was only on his return voyage that he discovered the Cape, to which, according to Barros, he gave the name of Cabo Tormentoso. King John, in view of the success of the expedition, is said to have proposed the name it has since borne, Cape of Good Hope. In December, 1488, Dias returned to Lisbon after an absence of sixteen months and seventeen days. He had shown the way to Vasco da Gama whom in 1497 he accompanied, but in a subordinate position, as far as the Cape Verde Islands.

View of Cape of Good Hope, from Cape Point

In 1500 Dias commanded a ship in the expedition of Cabral; his vessel, however, was one of those wrecked not far from the Cape of Good Hope, which he had discovered thirteen years before. An official report of the expedition to the cape has not yet been found. Besides the account by Barros there is a note written on the margin of page 13 of a manuscript copy of Cardinal Pierre d’Ailly’s “Imago Mundi”, which is of importance, as this copy was once the property of Christopher Columbus. Ravenstein has attempted, and not unsuccessfully, by the aid of contemporary charts to reconstruct the entire voyage with the different stopping-points of the route.

BARROS, Decadas da Asia, Dec. I, bk. III, iv; RAVENSTEIN, The Voyages of Diogo Cao and Bartholomew Dias in The Geographical Journal (London, 1900), XVI, 625-55; BEHRENS, Die erste Umsegelung des Kaps der Guten Hoffnung, durch Bartholomeu Dias in Die Natur (Halle, 1901), L, 7-9, 15 19.

OTTO HARTIG (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet

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

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St. John Baptist de Rossi

(De Rubeis).

St. John Baptist de RossiBorn at Voltaggio in the Diocese of Genoa, 22 February, 1698; died at Rome, 23 May, 1764; feast on 23 May. His parents, Charles de Rossi and Frances Anfossi, were not rich in earthly goods, but had solid piety and the esteem of their fellow-citizens. Of their four children, John excelled in gentleness and piety. At the age of ten he was taken to Genoa by friends for his education. There he received…

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St. Ivo of Chartres

(YVO, YVES).

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

From the neighbourhood of Beauvais, his native country, he went for his studies first to Paris and thence to the Abbey of Bee in Normandy, at the same time as Anselm of Canterbury, to attend the lectures given by Lanfranc. About 1080 he…

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

By order of Napoleon, Pius VII was arrested, 5 July, 1808, and detained a prisoner for three years at Savona, and then at Fontainebleau. In January…

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Bl. Hermann Joseph

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

According to the biography by Razo Bonvisinus, contemporary prior of Steinfeld (Acta SS., 7 April, I, 679), Hermann was the son of poor parents who had once been rich. At the age of seven he attended school and very early he began the tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin for which he was known during his entire life. At every available moment he could be found at the church of St. Mary on the Capitol, where he would kneel wrapt in prayer and child-like appeal to Mary. One day he is said to have presented an apple, saved from his own scanty repast, to the Child Who accepted it. According to still another legend, on…

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St. Vincent of Lérins

Saint Vincent of LerinsFeast on 24 May, an ecclesiastical writer in Southern Gaul in the fifth century. His work is much better known than his life. Almost all our information concerning him is contained in Gennadius, “De viris illustribus” (lxiv). He entered the monastery of Lérins (today Isle St. Honorat), where under the pseudonym of Peregrinus he wrote his “Commonitorium” (434). He died before 450, and probably…

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Pope St. Gregory VII

(HILDEBRAND).

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

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St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi

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

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

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

Of outward events there were very few in the saint’s life. She came of two noble families, her father being Camillo Geri de’ Pazzi and her mother a Buondelmonti. She was baptized, and named Caterina, in the great baptistery. Her childhood much resembled that of some other women saints who have become great mystics, in an early love of prayer and penance, great charity to the poor, an apostolic spirit of teaching religious truths, and a charm and sweetness of nature that made her a general favourite. But above all other spiritual characteristic…

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Empress Maria Theresia of Austria by Martin van Meytens

Of all she was taught, the only things that remained with her were her manners, her music, a certain feeling for Italian poetry and her religion…. Maria Theresa’s faith was absolute, and this was a great part of her strength…. [I]t is not too much to say that she lived in and through the Church…. Thus, for example, her great antagonist, Frederick the Great of Prussia, appeared to her not only as the unscrupulous foe he was but as a pretender in league with the Devil. Thus too, even in the days of her alliance with England, the English appeared to her as dangerous heretics, to be kept very much at arms’ length…. To the French King, on the other hand, she had no hesitation in recommending little Marie Antoinette as a suitable bride for the Dauphin. Louis XV, for so long the enemy of her house, was, after all, a Catholic.

 

Edward Crankshaw, Maria Theresa (New York: The Viking Press, 1969), 21-2.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 577

 

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By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira      

Lecture, October 2, 1964 (*)

An angel leading the Crusaders to Jerusalem by Gustave Doré.

While the role of Guardian Angels is to guard men, institutions, cities and nations, we often have a distorted image of the functions of these angels. Many see them as beings that are good just to obtain advantages for us. However, this is not their only role. They exist above all to help us in spiritual difficulties. God accompanies us through the action of the angels and they participate in our struggles to help us fulfill our vocation.

Indeed, Guardian Angels run contrary to the Hollywood vision of life. According to that mentality, there is a great propensity to think there are no struggles, difficulties or dangers and everything will have a happy ending. The Church teaches us the contrary. Life is full of struggles and dangers, both material and spiritual. Because of this, Divine Providence has placed an angel to watch over each and every one of us.

Memorial statue of Archangel St. Michael at the market square of Mettingen, Kreis Steinfurt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

God has done this with such magnificence, that in addition to one angel for every person, there is also an angel for every city and every nation. There is an angel to watch over the Holy Catholic Church: St. Michael the Archangel. There are angels to watch over groups, families of souls, societies and other institutions, so that everything that exists is guarded by angels. This, incidentally, is part of the role of the angels, for they maintain the whole material universe executing all of the decrees of God.

Therefore, since life is an intense struggle with dangers and difficulties, each of us has an angel to guide him because we would otherwise not be able to make it on our own.

Dom Chautard, author of Soul of the Apostolate

The first lesson to draw from the fact we have Guardian Angels is one must have a supernatural spirit or outlook. The Cistercian abbot Dom Chautard condemned the erroneous attitude of one who thinks: I am very capable, very intelligent, resourceful, and, above all, very proud. I can fend for myself with my great qualities, as long as God keeps away from me those very large obstacles. I do not need God’s help in my spiritual or material life. I can take care of myself and accomplish what I need to do by myself.

There is something fundamentally wrong in this attitude. God Himself delegated an angel to accompany and protect each of us precisely because we are not capable of taking care of ourselves. The fact that we are given an angel is a proof that we need God’s help at every moment, in everything, even those small things, that we do.

On the other hand, the Guardian Angel is usually presented as the protector of little children. Sentimentality has distorted all devotions, holy cards and pictures showing the angel watching over a small child. What is implicitly conveyed is that, first, only toddlers need angels; and second, only little children believe in angels.

Detail of the painting by Blessed Fra Angelico of the Archangel Gabriel.

Those with a more developed, freethinking or liberated mindset neither need nor believe in angels. Such characterizations of the holy angels convey another message. These sentimental holy cards often show a very beautiful little brook with a fat, rosy-cheeked little toddler walking over a bridge. The child is crossing the bridge with a broken board, and about to step in the hole with his little foot. We see the Guardian Angel is watching over him.

One has the impression that this is a child’s imaginary world, and with this mentality, the little child crosses the bridge. At best, we could imagine that the Guardian Angel does the same with adults. Thus, comes the idea that we need to pray to our Guardian Angels to avoid car crashes, illnesses, and small accidents since they specialize in preventing us from such sufferings.

No doubt, Guardian Angels do help us with such material needs, but that is not their only task. No one speaks of Guardian Angels helping with spiritual needs. 

Sentimentality has distorted all depictions of Guardian Angels

This attitude is consistent with a certain festive piety that many people exhibit when going on pilgrimage to special sanctuaries. What do they ask for? The healing of a sore throat or some wound. The testimonials and petitions compiled in these places of pilgrimage show requests for help for all kinds of strange symptoms, wounds and material requests. Naturally, the pilgrims also ask for money, reconciliation in families, avoiding bad luck and many other things of the same nature yet with little to no reference to spiritual needs.

It’s evident that many have little notion that Guardian Angels are given to us to help with the most important matters: the needs of our soul. The greatest function of our Guardian Angel is to watch over our soul and to obtain graces for us so we can overcome our spiritual difficulties.

What a great comfort we would have in the hours of tribulation and temptation, those times when we feel all alone weighed down with the problems of our spiritual life, if we would have the certainty that our Guardian Angel is right next to us. Though we cannot see or hear him, he does not leave us even for a second. He is waiting for our prayers to go into action for us. He often acts without our asking, but will act much more if we ask. He is well within our reach.

What a joy it would be to have this in mind when we are involved in the apostolate with others. When we suffer with spiritual problems, annoyances, struggles, abandonment, and difficulties of all kinds, we would know that this solitude is an illusion. Our Guardian Angel is right beside us. Even if we have the impression that the distance between our Guardian Angels and us is greater than between Heaven and Earth, the truth is that they are extremely close to us. As we pray to them and ask for their help, they will watch over and protect us.

Having this present in our thoughts at every moment should encourage us in our spiritual life. We should feel a great satisfaction and sense God’s hand accompanying us at each step in our spiritual and material life. This illustrates the affirmation of Our Lord in the Gospel that not a hair falls from our head, not a bird dies, or a leaf falls without God willing it.

Such a perspective about the angels corresponds to Church teaching on Divine Providence. Because our Guardian Angel is providing and asking for everything we need, we can practice better the virtue of confidence.

Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts

The assistance the angel provides for us in the hours of danger and trial is not the only assistance he renders. He also prays for us. There is, for example, the famous vision of Daniel in which he sees angels from the ancient empires as if fighting for their respective people before God’s throne.

Our angel is our intercessor, advocate and our mediator. He is continuously praying for us. Therefore, the most appropriate thing for us to do is to ask continuously that our Guardian Angel fulfill this function of intercessor to obtain graces for us and drive away temptations and chastisements. This is something we should be doing constantly.

Thus, we have made some considerations that should help us to increase our love for our Guardian Angels, and thus invoke their patronage with greater devotion.

(*) The preceding article is taken from an informal lecture. It has been translated and adapted for publication without the author’s revision. –Ed. American TFP.

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May 19 – Charlemagne’s Scholar

May 18, 2017

Blessed Alcuin of York An eminent educator, scholar, and theologian born about 735; died 19 May, 804. He came of noble Northumbrian parentage, but the place of his birth is a matter of dispute. It was probably in or near York. While still a mere child, he entered the cathedral school founded at that place […]

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May 19 – He Grabbed the Devil By the Nose

May 18, 2017

St. Dunstan of Canterbury Archbishop and confessor, and one of the greatest saints of the Anglo-Saxon Church; born near Glastonbury on the estate of his father, Heorstan, a West Saxon noble. His mother, Cynethryth, a woman of saintly life, was miraculously forewarned of the sanctity of the child within her. She was in the church […]

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May 20 – St. Bernardine of Siena

May 18, 2017

St. Bernardine of Siena Friar Minor, missionary, and reformer, often called the “Apostle of Italy”, b. of the noble family of Albizeschi at Massa, a Sienese town of which his father was then governor, 8 September, 1380; d. at Aquila in the Abruzzi, 20 May, 1444. Left an orphan at six Bernardine was brought up […]

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May 20 – Mentor of the Duke of Ferrara

May 18, 2017

Blessed Colomba of Rieti Born at Rieti in Umbria, Italy, 1467; died at Perugia, 1501. Blessed Colomba of Rieti is always called after her birthplace, though she actually spent the greater part of her life away from it. Her celebrity is based — as it was even in her lifetime — mainly on two things: […]

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De Soto meets the mighty Mississippi

May 18, 2017

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

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May 20 – King of the East Angles

May 18, 2017

St. Ethelbert Date of birth unknown; died 794. King of the East Angles, was, according to the “Speculum Historiale” of Richard of Cirencester (who died about 1401), the son of King Ethelred and Leofrana, a lady of Mercia. Brought up in piety, he was a man of singular humility. Urged to marry, he declared his […]

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May 21 – Missionary to the Mohammedans

May 18, 2017

François Bourgade A French missionary and philosopher, b. 7 July, 1806, at Gaujan, department of Gers; d. 21 May, 1866, at Paris. He pursued his theological studies at the seminary of Auch and was ordained priest in 1832. His immediate request to be authorized to work among the infidels of Africa was granted only in […]

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

May 18, 2017

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

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May 22 – St. Rita of Cascia

May 18, 2017

St. Rita of Cascia Born at Rocca Porena in the Diocese of Spoleto, 1386; died at the Augustinian convent of Cascia, 1456. Feast, 22 May. Represented as holding roses, or roses and figs, and sometimes with a wound in her forehead. According to the “Life” (Acta SS., May, V, 224) written at the time of […]

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May 22 – Hanged for Printing a Book

May 18, 2017

Blessed James Duckett Martyr, born at Gilfortrigs in the parish of Skelsmergh in Westmoreland, England, date uncertain, of an ancient family of that county; died 9 April, 1601. He was a bookseller and publisher in London. His godfather was the well-known martyr James Leybourbe of Skelsmergh. He seems, however, to have been brought up a […]

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May 22 – Queen’s Confessor

May 18, 2017

Blessed John Forest Born in 1471, presumably at Oxford, where his surname was then not unknown; suffered 22 May, 1538. At the age of twenty he received the habit of St. Francis at Greenwich, in the church of the Friars Minor of the Regular Observance, called for brevity’s sake “Observants”. Nine years later we find […]

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May 16 – Leper King

May 15, 2017

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

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May 16 – St. Honoratus of Amiens

May 15, 2017

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

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May 16 – Patron of Poland

May 15, 2017

Saint Andrew Bobola Saint Andrew Bobola earned the name “Hunter of Souls” due to his tireless zeal and missionary travels. Martyr, born of an old and illustrious Polish family, in the Palatinate of Sandomir, 1590; died at Janów, 16 May, 1657. Having entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Wilno (1611), he was […]

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

May 15, 2017

On the morning of August 18th the excessively heavy bombardment of Senglea warned them that an attack was imminent. It was not slow to develop… Read more here.

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May 18 – Martyr of Envy

May 15, 2017

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

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

May 15, 2017

St. Eric, King of Sweden, Martyr Eric [1] was descended of a most illustrious Swedish family: in his youth he laid a solid foundation of virtue and learning, and took to wife Christina, daughter of Ingo IV, king of Sweden. Upon the death of King Smercher in 1141, he was, purely for his extraordinary virtues […]

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Dutch Royals Mark Remembrance and Liberation Days

May 11, 2017

According to The Royal Forums: On…Remembrance Day, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima attended a memorial service at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam to commemorate the victims of the Second World War along with the Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Then, in the presence of members of the government, took place the wreath-laying ceremony at the National […]

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Norway’s King Harald Marks Liberation and Veterans Day

May 11, 2017

According to The Royal Forums: King Harald of Norway marked Liberation and Veterans Day at the Akershus Fortress on Monday. He was joined by Prime Minister Erna Solberg. The King and Prime Minister both laid wreaths at the National Monument. During the ceremony, King Harald also awarded the War Cross with Sword to Marinejegerkommandoen Operator […]

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Of what happened to Don Rodrigo Melendez de Valdez

May 11, 2017

Count Lucanor conversed one day with Patronio his counsellor in the following manner: — “Patronio,” said he, “you know that one of my neighbors and I have had contentions, that he is a man of great influence and much honored. It now happens that we are both disposed to possess ourselves of a certain town, […]

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Vigilance, principal characteristic of the combative spirit in the Reign of Mary

May 11, 2017

The combative spirit should be taken to an unimaginable apex by the Church during the Reign of Mary, in the supreme phase of its splendor. Vigilance is a component of dynamism. [It should be] an omnipresent vigilance about all things, looking everywhere, suspicious in every way; and one which, when finding the abomination of desolation […]

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

May 11, 2017

Blessed Joanna of Portugal Bl. Joanna was very beautiful and her hand was sought by several princes, including Richard III of England, Charles VII of France, and Maximillian, heir to the Holy Roman Empire Born at Lisbon, 16 February, 1452; died at Aveiro, 12 May, 1490; the daughter of Alfonso V, King of Portugal, and […]

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May 13 – St. Peter de Regalado

May 11, 2017

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

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May 13 – St. John the Silent

May 11, 2017

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

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

May 11, 2017

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

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May 14 – Bl. Gil of Santarem

May 11, 2017

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

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May 14 – The Right to Revolt

May 11, 2017

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

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May 15 – Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac

May 11, 2017

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

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May 15 – Beautiful Princess, Tragic Story

May 11, 2017

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

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May 15 – William Lockhart

May 11, 2017

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

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

May 8, 2017

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

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May 9 – St. Nicholas Albergati

May 8, 2017

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

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

May 8, 2017

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

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May 10 – French or American?

May 8, 2017

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

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

May 8, 2017

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

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May 11 – Martyr of the House of Rochester

May 8, 2017

Blessed John Rochester The Martyrdom of the Carthusians. Blessed John Rochester was one of the many English Carthusians that were martyred during this time. Priest and martyr, born probably at Terling, Essex, England, about 1498; died at York, 11 May, 1537. He was the third son of John Rochester, of Terling, and Grisold, daughter of […]

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May 11 – Holy Merovingian

May 8, 2017

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

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New Polls Detail Changes in Public Support of Danish, Dutch, Swedish Monarchies

May 4, 2017

According to The Royal Forums: In Denmark, a Gallup poll commissioned by BT asked over 1,100 Danes which member of the royal family they felt represented Denmark the best. Crown Princess Mary received the highest average… In the Netherlands…86.3% of those surveyed feel King Willem-Alexander is doing a good job; and 72.8% of the respondents […]

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King Wilhelm I of Prussia Stimulates the Discovery of Truffles

May 4, 2017

The discovery of truffles was by chance and began in the early 1880s, when the King of Prussia commissioned one of the world’s leading forest biologists, Professor A. B. Frank of the Landwirtschaftlichen Hochschule in Berlin to study truffles. These highly prized delicacies are the below ground fruiting (spore forming) body of a rare type […]

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The 21st century knight must be more vigilant than the Templars

May 4, 2017

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira One may ask, but is this superior to the crusaders? There is no comparison. The crusaders are admirable. But part of the decadence of the Order of Templars came from the fact that in the intervals of their wars with the Moors, these would invite them to their city to see […]

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