The most pleasing account of a christening, of all those which we find in our old poems, is in Macaire. The young mother is no less a personage than the Queen of France: the child is no less an individual than the son of Charlemagne, the heir to the immense empire of his father. But on this occasion you must not expect anything of a cheerful nature—nor any ceremonial. It is on foreign soil, in the small house of a Hungarian tradesman that the unfortunate Blanchefleur—daughter of a king—wife of a king, and mother of a future king, brought into the world her first child—a  child so impatiently looked for-and bathed him with her tears.

The empress had been accused of a terrible crime:  the whole race of traitors, the whole house of Mayence had leagued themselves against her innocent self: the emperor believed the accusers and condemned the accused. Had he sentenced her to death, her execution would have entailed the decease of the heir to the throne, so she was quickly banished from France. Nevertheless, the malignity of the traitors was not appeased; for the good knight Aubri, who had been instructed to accompany the queen, was one day set upon unawares and treacherously slain!

The unfortunate lady was thus left alone and unattended in the midst of a forest, where she would certainly have perished of hunger and grief, had not a woodcutter, a vilain—a man of no descent, but one who possessed the heart of a true knight—come to her assistance.

This man—one of the few plebeians whom our poets have immortalized—was named Varocher. He left all—his country, his house, his family—to serve as guide and protector to this lady, to the unfortunate queen. With her he crossed France, Provence, and Lombardy, Venice—the sea: and it was he too who kept guard at the door of her humble apartment, while Blanchefleur caressed and fondled her new-born babe!

Now nothing could be more extraordinary than the physiognomy of this man, of this faithful guardian whom the queen attempted to pass off as her husband. He was tall, strong, square­ shouldered, large-limbed, with an immensely large head and disheveled hair. He brandished an enormous knotty club, a kind of rustic mace, which he never willingly laid aside, night or day.

In fact, he was about as strange a man as it was possible to meet with. The poet of the thirteenth century has well described this original figure, this sort of Quasimodo with a tender heart, and who was only a “vilain” by birth.

Hildegard of the Vinzgau, Mother of Louis the Pious.

Under the protection of this rough-looking champion, the queen remained for eight days in her own apartments, as was customary at that period; and then the question arose as to the baptism of the child. So the host of the lady—the owner of the cottage, the good Primerain—came and carried the infant to a neighboring monastery.

Varocher was present, carrying his big stick, for he would not leave his young protégé, and walked gravely in the rear of the little procession. The King of Hungary happened to pass by.

“Whose pretty child is this?” he inquired.

Primerain told him of the unknown lady in his lodgings, and, while he was telling his tale, all the barons were laughing loudly at Varocher, who was not in the least put out by their merriment.

Someone then raised the child’s cloak to obtain a better view of him.

“Eh! What is this?” exclaimed the king. “He has a white cross on the right shoulder. By this sign Providence witnesses to children of royal lineage—of princely race. This infant must be the son of a king, and,” he added, “I intend to be present at his christening.”

Charlemagne and his son, Louis the Pious

When they had reached the church, the king summoned the priest, and said to him-

“Baptize this child in a manner befitting the son of an emperor.”

The king dismounted from his steed, and a magnificent procession was arranged. They all entered the church, and the abbé made ready the holy oil: then he turned to the king, and said—

Coronation of Louis I the Pious

“What will you have him called? What name shall I give him?”

“Call him Louis, after me,” said the king.

So the ceremony proceeded, and was completed before the eyes of Varocher, who was delighted, and more particularly pleased when a purse full of gold-pieces was presented to him.

The poet naively adds that the young mother was taken greater care of by her hosts when they found she had money to pay well for her entertainment.  After a while she revealed her true history to the king, who then learned that he was the sponsor of a son of Charlemagne.

 

León Gautier, Chivalry, trans. Henry Frith (London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd., 1891), 95–7.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 691

 

 

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The Tourism Of Repose

September 12, 2019

Each afternoon at six o’clock, I used to go from the calm of the countryside to that of the city, exchanging not one form of fatigue for another, but rather one form of repose for another. Thus did I do my “tourism of repose”.

When the bell is struck, its sounds descend harmonically and overflow into the garden-like square where, in people and in things, the very resonance of times gone by is found.

There the past has not grown musty, nor has the present gone mad nor the future become frightened. There, one is content in every day life.

O Universo é uma Catedral: Excertos do pensamento de Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira recolhidos por Leo Daniele, Edições Brasil de Amanhã, São Paulo, 1997, pg. 41.

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St. John Chrysostom

(Chrysostomos, “golden-mouthed” so called on account of his eloquence).

Doctor of the Church, born at Antioch, c. 347; died at Commana in Pontus, 14 September, 407.

John — whose surname “Chrysostom” occurs for the first time in the “Constitution” of Pope Vigilius (cf. P.L., LX, 217) in the year 553 — is generally considered the most prominent doctor of the Greek Church and the greatest preacher ever heard in a Christian pulpit. His natural gifts, as well as exterior circumstances, helped him to become what he was…

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The Cross could not be decently mentioned amongst Romans, who looked upon it as an unlucky omen, and as Cicero says, not to be named by a freeman.

The vision of the Cross appeared to Constantine in the sky on the eve of a battle, with the words, "In this sign thou shalt conquer," a prophecy that was to prove true the next day when Constantine was victorious at Pons Milvius.

The vision of the Cross appeared to Constantine in the sky on the eve of a battle, with the words, “In this sign thou shalt conquer,” a prophecy that was to prove true the next day when Constantine was victorious at Pons Milvius.

However, the Emperor Constantine attributed his victory in the Quintian fields, near the bridge Milvius, to the Cross of the Christians, the inscription of which he caused to be put under his statue with which the senate honoured him in Rome, as Eusebius testifies. The same historian mentions that in his triumph, he did not mount the capitol, to offer sacrifices and gifts to the false gods, according to the custom of his predecessors, but “by illustrious inscriptions promulgated the power of Christ’s saving sign.”

Codinus assures us that he caused the sign of the cross, which he had seen in the air, to be erected in the chief square at Constantinople. He also set up in the principal hall of his palace at Constantinople, a great figure of the cross which he had seen in the heavens, and by the power of which he had been victorious. That not only the monogram, but also the figure of the cross was placed in the Labarum is clear from the description in Eusebius, and from the ancient medals in which it is represented…

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Marquis de Louis-Joseph Montcalm-Gozon

A French general, born 28 Feb., 1712, at Candiac, of Louis-Daniel and Marie-Thérèse de Lauris; died at Quebec 14 Sept., 1759.

He was descended from Gozon, Grand Master of Rhodes of legendary fame, The warlike spirit of his ancestors had given rise to the saying: “War is the tomb of the Montcalms.”

Though less clever than a younger brother, a prodigy of learning at seven, Louis-Joseph was a classical scholar. A soldier at fifteen, he spent his leisures in camp reading Greek and German. He served successively at the sieges of Kehl and Philipsbourg, and became a knight of St. Louis (1741) after a campaign in Bohemia, and was appointed colonel of the Auxerrois regiment (1743). He received five wounds at the battle of Piacenza. In 1736 he had married Angélique-Louise Talon de Boulay, grand-niece of the famous intendant of that name. Of this union were born ten children. In 1755 he succeeded the ill-fated Dieskau, in the command of the French army in Canada, under governor Vaudreuil. The dissonance of character between the two chiefs was to cause much friction during this trying period…

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St. Ludmilla

Wife of Boriwoi, the first Christian Duke of Bohemia, born at Mielnik, circa 860; died at Tetin, near Beraun, 15 September, 921. She and her husband were baptized, probably by St. Methodius, in 871. Pagan fanatics drove them from their country, but they were soon recalled, and after reigning seven more years they resigned the throne in favour of their son Spitignev and retired to Tetin. Spitignev died two years later and was succeeded by Wratislaw, another son of Boriwoi and Ludmilla. Wratislaw was married to Drahomira, a pretended Christian, but a secret favourer of paganism…

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St. Catherine of Genoa

(also known as Caterina Fieschi Adorno.)

Born at Genoa in 1447, died at the same place 15 September, 1510. The life of St. Catherine of Genoa may be more properly described as a state than as a life in the ordinary sense. When about twenty-six years old she became the subject of one of the most extraordinary operations of God in the human soul of which we have record, the result being a marvellous inward condition that lasted till her death. In this state, she received wonderful revelations, of which she spoke at times to those around her, but which are mainly embodied in her two celebrated works: the “Dialogues of the Soul and Body”, and the “Treatise on Purgatory”. Her modern biographies, chiefly translations or adaptations of an old Italian one which is itself founded on “Memoirs” drawn up by the saint’s own confessor and a friend, mingle what facts they give of her outward life with accounts of her supernatural state and “doctrine”, regardless of sequence, and in an almost casual fashion that makes them entirely subservient to her psychological history…

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Pope Blessed Victor III

Victor IIIBorn in 1026 or 1027 of a non-regnant branch of the Lombard dukes of Benevento; died in Rome, 16 Sept., 1087. Being an only son his desire to embrace the monastic state was strenuously opposed by both his parents. After his father’s death in battle with the Normans, 1047, he fled from the marriage which had been arranged for him and though brought back by force, eventually after a second flight to Cava obtained permission to enter the monastery of S. Sophia at Benevento where he received the name of Desiderius. The life at S. Sophia was not strict enough for the young monk who betook himself first to the island monastery of Tremite in the Adriatic and in 1053 to some hermits at Majella in the Abruzzi…

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St. Cyprian of Carthage

(Thaschus Cæcilius Cyprianus).

St. CyprianBishop and martyr. Of the date of the saint’s birth and of his early life nothing is known. At the time of his conversion to Christianity he had, perhaps, passed middle life. He was famous as an orator and pleader, had considerable wealth, and held, no doubt, a great position in the metropolis of Africa. We learn from his deacon, St. Pontius, whose life of the saint is preserved, that his mien was dignified without severity, and cheerful without effusiveness. His gift of eloquence is evident in his writings. He was not a thinker, a philosopher, a theologian, but eminently a man of the world and an administrator, of vast energies, and of forcible and striking character. His conversion was due to an aged priest named Caecilianus, with whom he seems to have gone to live. Caecilianus in dying commended to Cyprian the care of his wife and family. While yet a catechumen the saint decided to observe chastity, and he gave most of his revenues to the poor. He sold his property, including his gardens at Carthage. These were restored to him (Dei indulgentiâ restituti, says Pontius), being apparently bought back for him by his friends; but he would have sold them again, had the persecution made this imprudent. His baptism probably took place c. 246, presumably on Easter eve, 18 April…

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St. Nicholas of Tolentino

Saint-nicholas-of-tolentinoBorn at Sant’ Angelo, near Fermo, in the March of Ancona, about 1246; d. 10 September, 1306. He is depicted in the black habit of the Hermits of St. Augustine — a star above him or on his breast, a lily, or a crucifix garlanded with lilies, in his hand. Sometimes, instead of the lily, he holds a vial filled with money or bread. His parents, said to have been called Compagnonus de Guarutti and Amata de Guidiani (these surnames may merely indicate their birth-places), were pious folk, perhaps gentle born, living content with a small substance. Nicholas was born in response to prayers, his mother a model of holiness. He excelled so much in his studies that even before they were over he was made a canon of St. Saviour’s church; but hearing a sermon by a hermit of St. Augustine upon the text: “Nolite diligere mundum, nec ea quae sunt in mundo, quia mundus transit et concupiscentia ejus”, he felt a call to embrace the religious life. He besought the hermit for admittance into his order. His parents gave a joyful consent. Even before his ordination he was sent to different monasteries of his order, at Recanati, Macerata etc., as a model of generous striving after perfection. He made his profession before he was nineteen. After his ordination he preached with wonderful success, notably at Tolentino, where he spent his last thirty years and gave a discourse nearly every day. Towards the end diseases tried his patience, but he kept up his mortifications almost to the hour of death. He possessed an angelic meekness, a guileless simplicity, and a tender love of virginity, which he never stained, guarding it by prayer and extraordinary mortifications. He was canonized by Eugene IV in 1446; his feast is celebrated on 10 September. His tomb, at Tolentino, is held in veneration by the faithful.

Acta SS., Sept. III, 636; BUTLER, Lives of the Saints, III (Baltimore), 440; HAGELE in Kirchenlex., s.v.

Edward F. Garesche (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Finnian of Moville

Stained glass window at St. Brigid's Cathedral, Kildare, Ireland. Photo by Andreas F. Borchert.

Stained glass window at St. Brigid’s Cathedral, Kildare, Ireland. Photo by Andreas F. Borchert.

Born about 495; died 589. Though not so celebrated as his namesake of Clonard, he was the founder of a famous school about the year 540. He studied under St. Colman of Dromore and St. Mochae of Noendrum (Mahee Island), and subsequently at Candida Casa (Whithern), whence he proceeded to Rome, returning to Ireland in 540 with an integral copy of St. Jerome’s Vulgate. St. Finnian’s most distinguished pupil at Moville (County Down) was St. Columba, whose surreptitious copying of the Psaltery led to a very remarkable sequel. What remains of the copy, together with the casket that contains it, is now in the National Museum, Dublin.

It is known as the Cathach or Battler, and was wont to be carried by the O’Donnells in battle. The inner case was made by Cathbar O’Donnell in 1084, but the outer is fourteenth-century work. So prized was it that family of MacGroarty were hereditary custodians of this Cathach, and it finally passed, in 1802, to Sir Neal O’Donnell, County Mayo. St. Finnian of Moville wrote a rule for his monks, also a penitential code, the canons of which were published by Wasserschleben in 1851. His festival is observed on 10 September.

Colgan, Acta Sanct. Hib. (Louvain, 1645); O’Laverty, Down and Connor (Dublin, 1880), II; O’Hanlon, Lives of the Irish Saints (Dublin, s.d.); Healy, Ireland’s Ancient Schools and Scholars (Dublin, 1902); Hyde, Lit. Hist. of Ireland (Dublin, 1901).

W. H. Grattan-Flood (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Edward Ambrose Barlow

(Alias RADCLIFFE and BRERETON.)

St. Edward Ambrose Barlow

St. Edward Ambrose Barlow

Priest and martyr, born at Barlow Hall, 1585; died 10 September, 1641. He was the fourth son of Sir Alexander Barlow, Knight of Barlow Hall, near Manchester, by Mary, daughter of Sir Uryan Brereton, Knight of Handforth Hall, Co. Chester, and was baptized at Didsbury Church 30 November, 1585; the entry in the register may still be seen. Educated at the Benedictine monastery of St. Gregory, Douai, he entered the English College, Valladolid, 20 September, 1610, but returned to Douai where his elder brother William Rudesind was a professed monk. He was himself professed in 1616 and ordained, 1617.

Sent to England, he laboured in South Lancashire with apostolic zeal and fervour. He resided chiefly at Wardley Hall, the seat of the Downe family, near Manchester, and at Morley’s Hall, a mansion of the Tyldesleys, in the parish of Leigh, some seven miles from Manchester.

At the former, his skull is still preserved, in a little receptacle on the staircase. At the latter he was apprehended for the fifth and last time on Easter Sunday, 25 April, 1641. He was arrested by the Vicar of Eccles, who marched at the head of his parishoners, clad in his surplice, and was followed by some 400 men armed with clubs and swords. He was preaching at the time and could have escaped in the confusion, but yielded himself up to his enemies, and was carried off to Lancaster Castle. Here after four months’ imprisonment he was tried, on 6 or 7 September, and sentenced next day, having confessed that he was a priest. On Friday, 10 September, he suffered the usual penalties at Lancaster.

Arrival of Prisoners at Lancaster Castle.

Arrival of Prisoners at Lancaster Castle.

A beautiful picture of his life is given by Challoner from two manuscript relations belonging to St. Gregory’s monastery, one written by his brother Dom Rudesind Barlow, President of the Anglo­Benedictine Congregation. There is another manuscript, entitled “The Apostolical Life of Ambrose Barlow”, written by one of his pupils for Dom Rudesind, which is at present in the Library of Owen’s College, Manchester. It is to be printed among the publications of the Chetham Society. This contains many details hitherto unpublished. Two portraits of this martyr exist and also one of his father, Sir Alexander. Many of his relics are also preserved, a hand being at Stanbrook Abbey near Worcester. A full biography is in course of preparation.

[He was canonized on 25 October, 1970, by Pope Paul VI]

Subscription4

ALLANSON, Biographical MSS. (preserved at Ampleforth Abbey), I; GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath. (London, 1885); CHALLONER, Memoirs; FLETCHER MOSS, Pilgrimages to Old Homes (Didsbury, 1903); IDEM, History of Didsbury (Manchester); IDEM, Chronicles of Cheadle, Cheshire (Didsbury, 1894); DODD, Church History of England (Brussels, 1739).

BEDE CAMM (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Pulcheria

Empress of the Eastern Roman Empire, eldest daughter of the Emperor Arcadius, born 19 Jan., 399; died in 453.

After the death of Arcadius (408), her younger brother, Theodosius II, then only seven, became emperor under the guardianship of Anthimus. Pulcheria had matured early and had great administrative ability; she soon exerted salutary influence over the young and not very capable emperor. On 4 July, 414, she was proclaimed Augusta (empress) by the Senate, and made regent for her brother. She made a vow of virginity and persuaded her sisters to do the same, the imperial palace thus becoming almost a monastery (Socrates, “Hist. eccl.”, VII, xxii). At the same time she fulfilled all her duties as a ruler for about ten years jointly with her brother. After the marriage, brought about by Pulcheria, of Theodosius II with Eudoxia, the new empress sought to weaken Pulcheria’s influence over the emperor, and, with the aid of some courtiers, succeeded for a time…

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Prince Eugene of Savoy. Painting by Jacob van Schuppen

Prince Eugene of Savoy. Painting by Jacob van Schuppen

Although his men had already done a forced march of over ten hours that day, Eugen gave the order to advance and then galloped ahead to see the scene at first hand. He spotted how, just above the bridge on the near side of the river, the water was shallow with a sandbank leading up to dry land…. He ordered one wing of his army under Guido Starhemberg to deliver a left hook to the enemy and to reach the sandbank, from which they should be able to penetrate the Turkish camp from the river side. This stratagem took the Turks completely by surprise….

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Louis-Christophe-Leon Juchault de la Moricière

French general and commander-in-chief of the papal army, b. at Nantes, 5 February, 1806; d. at the château of Prouzel, near Amiens, 11 September, 1865. His father was descended from an old Breton family whose device was Spes mea Deus. His mother was Desirée de Robineau de Bougon. He made his classical studies at the college of Nantes, where his professor of philosophy was a priest who afterwards becane the Trappist Abbot of Bellefontaine. As had been the custom for centuries for the sons in his family, he was early destined for the army, and accordingly entered the Ecole Polytechnique, in Paris, in 1826, and two years later the Ecole d’Application at Metz. He left the latter school with a commission as sub-lieutenant in the engineers and was sent to Montpellier. In 1830 he joined the detachment that took possession of Algiers, and was made a captain of Zouaves as a reward for gallant conduct…

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

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Blessed Charles Spinola

Bl CharlesBorn in Genoa in 1564, he was the son of the Count of Tassarolo, and the nephew of Cardinal Philip Spinola.

He was educated in Spain and in the Jesuit school in Nola, Italy. He entered the noviatiate in 1584, and was ordained in 1594.

In 1596, he received a letter appointing him to the missions in Japan. His journey was marked by shipwrecks and delays, which included captivity in England, and he reached his destination only in 1602, six years later. For twelve years, he worked at ministering to the growing Christian community in Japan. In 1614, all foreign missionaries were banished so Charles went into hiding, eluding capture for four years. After enduring four more years of captivity, he was burnt at the stake on September 10, 1622.

Charles was declared Blessed in 1867, along with 30 other Jesuits, over half of whom were Japanese.

Read about his life here

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The King of Italy sends an ultimatum to Blessed Pope Pius IX

As the French military situation deteriorated [in the Franco-Prussian War], the government in Florence grew bolder. Near the end of August [1870], the Italian cabinet issued a circular letter to all the governments of Europe, in which it declared that the time had come to end the Roman Question. On the one hand, the document declared that it was time to fulfill the “legitimate aspirations” of the Italian people; on the other, that “the independence, the freedom, and the spiritual authority of the Pope,” had to be safeguarded. The greatest threat to Italy, in the cabinet’s opinion, was neither its own perfidy nor the revolutionaries’ violence, but—the Pontifical Zouaves…

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The Festival of the Holy Name of the Virgin Mary

Pope Innocent XI extended this feast to the universal Church as a solemn thanksgiving for the relief of Vienna, when it was besieged by the Turks in 1683.

The Turks had formerly laid siege to Vienna, under Solyman the Magnificent, in 1529, in the reign of Charles V. But after losing sixty thousand men, and lying a month before the place, without making any considerable advances against it, they raised the siege…

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King Jan III Sobieski with a gorget of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa.

King Jan III Sobieski with a gorget of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa.

Before he set out, Sobieski had sent a letter to Innocent XI, in which he wrote: “When the good of the Church and Christianity is concerned I shed my blood to the last drop, together with the whole kingdom. Since my kingdom and I are two bulwarks of Christianity”.

To commemorate Sobieski’s victory Pope Innocent XI announced 12 September the day of glory of the Holy Name of Mary, and to show his admiration for the Poles and their king the Pope accepted the sign of the Crowned Eagle into his papal coat of arms…

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September 12 – Simon de Montfort Crushes the Albigensians at Muret

September 9, 2019

At the Battle of Muret on 12 September 1213 the Crusading army of Simon IV de Montfort defeated the Catharist, Aragonese and Catalan forces of Peter II of Aragon, at Muret near Toulouse. Simon IV de Montfort was the leader of the Albigensian Crusade to destroy the Cathar heresy and incidentally to join the Languedoc […]

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Renier Sacrificed His Son, To Save His Lord’s

September 5, 2019

The bonds of feudalism were stronger than family ties. The lord was greater than a father, and a vassal was more than a son. . . . A traitor of the name of Fromont one day murdered his lord and master, Girart de Blaines, and in his made rage would have slain every member of […]

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The Degradation of a False and Disloyal Knight

September 5, 2019

Thus, even in the splendor of those days, the sun had its spots and the ermine was not always clean; and for all that no unbaptized man might be a knight, here and there was one no better than a heathen. When the infamy of such a one became too notorious and his recreancy had […]

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September 6 – Blessed Thomas Tsuji

September 5, 2019

Born to the Japanese nobility in Sonogi on the island of Kyushu about the year 1571. Educated by Jesuits at Arima, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1587. He traveled all over Japan and became known for his eloquent, persuasive preaching. After the publication of an edict banning Catholic priests, he followed eighty of […]

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September 7 – The Corbie brothers

September 5, 2019

Corbie, Ambrose, (Corby or Corbington), b. near Durham, 7 Dec., 1604; d. at Rome, 11 April, 1649. He was the fourth son of Gerald Corbie and his wife Isabella Richardson, exiles for the Faith. Of their children, Ambrose, Ralph, and Robert, having become Jesuits (Richard died as a student at St-Omers, and the two surviving […]

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September 7 – The Outrage of Anagni

September 5, 2019

It had been the practice to speak of the spiritual and temporal powers in terms of pope and emperor, and it was long before it was realized, at least on the papal side, that the civil power, defeated as emperor, had returned to the attack with more aggressive vigour as the Monarchy and the State. […]

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September 7: Richard the Lionheart defeats Saladin at Arsuf – Video

September 5, 2019

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September 7 – Grandson of Queen St. Clotilda

September 5, 2019

St. Cloud, Confessor A.D. 560. St. Cloud, called in Latin Chlodoardus, is the first and most illustrious saint among the princes of the royal family of the first race in France. He was son of Chlodomir, king of Orleans, the eldest son of St. Clotilda, and was born in 522. He was scarcely three years […]

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September 7 – Milkos Zrinyi

September 5, 2019

Milkos Zrinyi Count, a Hungarian soldier, born in 1518, killed at Sziget, near the Brave, Sept. 7, 1566. When only 12 years old, Charles V. gave him a gold chain for his conduct during the siege of Vienna. He afterward became ban of Croatia, and at the siege of Sziget with 8,000 men he resisted […]

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September 8 – The Davidic ancestry of Mary

September 5, 2019

As we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us recall her Davidic ancestry. St. Luke (2:4) says that St. Joseph went from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be enrolled, “because he was of the house and family of David”. As if to exclude all doubt concerning the Davidic descent of Mary, the Evangelist […]

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September 8 – He added the Agnus Dei to the Mass

September 5, 2019

Pope St. Sergius I (Reigned 687-701), date of birth unknown; consecrated probably on 15 Dec., 687; died 8 Sept., 701. While Pope Conon lay dying, the archdeacon Pascal offered the exarch a large sum to bring about his election as his successor. Through the exarch’s influence the archdeacon was accordingly elected by a number of […]

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September 9 – Wife of a dissolute husband

September 5, 2019

Blessed Seraphina Sforza Born at Urbino about 1434; died at Pesaro, 8 September, 1478. Her parents were Guido Antonio of Montefeltro, Count of Urbino, and Cattarina Colonna. She was brought up at Rome by her maternal uncle, Martin V. In 1448 Seraphina married Alexander Sforza, Lord of Pesaro. Ten years afterwards her husband gave himself […]

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September 9 – St. Omer

September 5, 2019

St. Omer Born of a distinguished family towards the close of the sixth or the beginning of the seventh century, at Guldendal, Switzerland; died c. 670. After the death of his mother, he, with his father, entered the monastery of Luxeuil in the Diocese of Besançon probably about 615. Under the direction of Saint Eustachius, […]

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September 3 – Her Only Crime Was Her Attachment To The Queen

September 2, 2019

Amidst all the terrible scenes which occurred at these awful September massacres¹, none are so shocking as the murder of the Princess de Lamballe. Her sincere attachment to Marie Antoinette was her only crime. She had played no political part in the agitations of those times, and she was known to the people only by […]

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September 3 – All the principles of Catholicism can be found in his life

September 2, 2019

Pope St. Gregory I (“the Great”) Doctor of the Church; born at Rome about 540; died 12 March 604. Gregory is certainly one of the most notable figures in Ecclesiastical History. He has exercised in many respects a momentous influence on the doctrine, the organization, and the discipline of the Catholic Church. To him we […]

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September 3 – St. Hereswitha

September 2, 2019

St. Hereswitha (HAERESVID, HERESWYDE). Daughter of Hereric and Beorhtswith and sister of St. Hilda of Whitby. She was the wife of Aethelhere, King of East Anglia, to whom she bore two sons, Aldwulf and Alfwold. By the “Liber Eliensis” she is stated to have been the wife of King Anna, the elder brother of King […]

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September 4 – She predicted the speedy death of the emperor

September 2, 2019

St. Rose of Viterbo (also Rosalia, and in Sicily affectionately nicknamed La Santuzza) Virgin, born at Viterbo, 1235; died 6 March, 1252. The chronology of her life must always remain uncertain, as the Acts of her canonization, the chief historical sources, record no dates. Those given above are accepted by the best authorities… Read more […]

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September 4 – Pope Saint Boniface I

September 2, 2019

Pope Saint Boniface I Elected 28 December, 418, he died at Rome, 4 September, 422. Little is known of his life antecedent to his election. The “Liber Pontificalis” calls him a Roman, and the son of the presbyter Jocundus. He is believed to have been ordained by Pope Damasus I (366-384) and to have served […]

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September 5 – The Iroquois clamoured for his return

September 2, 2019

Pierre de Lauzon A noted missionary of New France in the eighteenth century, born at Poitiers, 26 September, 1687; died at Quebec, 5 September, 1742. Though sometimes mentioned as Jean, in his official acts he invariably signed Pierre. He joined the Jesuits at Limoges, 24 November, 1703, and after ordination was sent to Canada in […]

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September 5 – Unashamed to beg alms even from his noble family

September 2, 2019

St. Laurence Justinian, Bishop and Confessor, First Patriarch of Venice Bishop and first Patriarch of Venice, born in 1381, and died 8 January, 1456. He was a descendant of the Giustiniani, a Venetian patrician family which numbered several saints among its members. Lawrence’s pious mother sowed the seeds of a devout religious life in the […]

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September 5 – St. Bertin

September 2, 2019

St. Bertin Abbot of St. Omer, b. near Constance about 615; d. about 709. At an early age he entered the monastery of Luxeuil in France where, under the austere Rule of St. Columban, he prepared himself for his future missionary career. About the year 638 he set out, in company with two confrères, Mummolin […]

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A Noble Youth’s Martial Soul Made Him a Poor Businessman

August 29, 2019

The youthful Hervis of Metz bore a striking resemblance to Vivien, and they vainly endeavored to make him a merchant. His blood revolted at it, his nobility revealed itself to him. His employers conceived the unfortunate idea of sending Hervis to the fair at Provins, and there he purchased for three thousand marks* (paid on […]

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From The Perfection of Humility To That of Magnificence

August 29, 2019

God desires to be praised in every level of the beings He has created, from the peacock to the ant, that lives in the bosom of the earth, in a kind of catacombs and in complete darkness. There is something magnificent in the labor, the humility, and the continuous activity of the ant. One could […]

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August 30 – Saved by the cross

August 29, 2019

Blessed Bronislava (or Bronislawa) of Poland Born in 1230 to an important Polish family, her grandfather had founded the Premonstratensian monastery at Zwierzyniec near Cracow where Bronislava’s aunt Gertrude had entered, later becoming prioress at Imbramowice. Bronislava was also a cousin of the Dominican Saint Hyacinth and related to Saint Jacek and Blessed Czeslaw. Bronislava entered the convent at Zwierzyniec at the […]

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August 30 – Gallant Lady

August 29, 2019

St. Margaret Ward Martyr, born at Congleton, Cheshire; executed at Tyburn, London, 30 Aug., 1588. Nothing is known of her early life except that she was of good family and for a time dwelt in the house of a lady of distinction named Whitall then residing in London. Knowing that William Watson, the priest who […]

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August 31 – Born of a dead mother

August 29, 2019

St. Raymond Nonnatus (Not-Born) (In Spanish SAN RAMON). Born 1200 or 1204 at Portello in the Diocese of Urgel in Catalonia; died at Cardona, 31 August, 1240. His feast is celebrated on 31 August. He is pictured in the habit of his order surrounded by ransomed slaves, with a padlock on his lips. He was […]

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September 1 – Gideon the Judge

August 29, 2019

Gideon or Gedeon (Hebrew “hewer”), also called JEROBAAL (Judges, vi, 32; vii, 1; etc.), and JERUBESHETH (II Kings, xi, 21, in the Hebrew text). Gideon was one of the Greater Judges of Israel. He belonged to the tribe of Manasses, and to the family of Abiezer (Judges, vi, 34). Gideon’s father was Joas, and lived […]

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September 1 – St. Giles

August 29, 2019

(Latin Ægidius.) An Abbot, said to have been born of illustrious Athenian parentage about the middle of the seventh century. Early in life he devoted himself exclusively to spiritual things, but, finding his noble birth and high repute for sanctity in his native land an obstacle to his perfection, he passed over to Gaul, where […]

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September 2 – 3: The September Martyrs of the French Revolution, Blessed John du Lau and Companions

August 29, 2019

Martyrs of September (Also known as: Martyrs of Paris or Martyrs of Carmes) In 1790, the revolutionary government of France enacted a law denying Papal authority over the Church in France. The French clergy were required to swear an oath to uphold this law and submit to the Republic. Many priests and religious took the […]

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August 27 – “Conform I would not, for it was against my conscience”

August 26, 2019

Saint David Lewis, alias Charles Baker (Recté, according to his own entry in the English College David Henry Lewis). An English Jesuit martyr, born in Monmouthshire in 1616; died at Usk, 27 August, 1679. His father, Morgan Lewis, was a lax Catholic, afterwards converted; his mother, Margaret Pritchard, was a very devout Catholic. David was […]

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August 27 – Never underestimate the prayers of a mother

August 26, 2019

St. Monica Widow; born of Christian parents at Tagaste, North Africa, in 333; died at Ostia, near Rome, in 387. We are told but little of her childhood. She was married early in life to Patritius who held an official position in Tagaste. He was a pagan, though like so many at that period, his […]

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August 28 – Restless Heart

August 26, 2019

St. Augustine of Hippo The great St. Augustine’s life is unfolded to us in documents of unrivaled richness, and of no great character of ancient times have we information comparable to that contained in the “Confessions,” which relate the touching story of his soul, the “Retractations,” which give the history of his mind, and the […]

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August 29 – The Passion of St. John the Baptist

August 26, 2019

Part of the Baptist’s ministry was exercised in Perea: Ennon, another scene of his labours, was within the borders of Galilee; both Perea and Galilee made up the tetrarchy of Herod Antipas. This prince, a son worthy of his father Herod the Great, had married, likely for political reasons, the daughter of Aretas, king of […]

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August 29 – At the helm during the French Revolution

August 26, 2019

Pope Pius VI (GIOVANNI ANGELICO BRASCHI). Born at Cesena, 27 December, 1717; elected 15 February, 1775; died at Valence, France, 29 Aug., 1799. He was of a noble but impoverished family, and was educated at the Jesuit College of Cesena and studied law at Ferrara. After a diplomatic mission to Naples, he was appointed papal […]

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August 29 – Converted by her slave

August 26, 2019

St. Sabina Widow of Valentinus and daughter of Herod Metallarius, suffered martyrdom about 126. According to the Acts of the martyrdom, which however have no historic value, she lived at Rome and was converted to Christianity by her female slave Serapia. Serapia was put to death for her faith and later, in the same year, […]

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August 29 – King and Confessor

August 26, 2019

St. Sebbi, or Sebba This prince was the son of Seward, and in the year 664, which was remarkable for a grievous pestilence, began to reign over the East Saxons, who inhabited the country which, now comprises Essex, Middlesex, and the greater part of Hertfordshire; he being the tenth king from Erkinwin, founder of that […]

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Church Formula for a Knight’s Receiving of the Sword

August 22, 2019

Would you know the true thought of the Church? Open the official book where it is carefully formulated—open the Pontifical and read:— “Receive this sword in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; use it for your own defense, for that of the holy Church of God, and for the confusion […]

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But for Just War, the West Would Be Muslim, Pagan, or Barbarian

August 22, 2019

During the centuries which separated those two giants of the Christian ages, St. Augustine and St. Thomas, one is witness of acts which may appear strange to an impartial observer. The Church, in its canons issued by its councils, continued to manifest at intervals its profound horror of war, while in the writings of its […]

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August 23: He brought peace to Italy’s war-torn city-states in the Middle Ages

August 22, 2019

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 […]

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August 23 – St. Rose of Lima

August 22, 2019

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 […]

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