St. Apollinaris

St. ApollinarisThe most illustrious of the Bishops of Valence, b. at Vienne, 453; d. 520. He lived in the time of the irruption of the barbarians, and unhappily Valence, which was the central see of the recently founded Kingdom of Burgundy, had been scandalized by the dissolute Bishop Maximus, and the see in consequence had been vacant for fifty years. Apollinaris was of a family of nobles and saints. He was little over twenty when he was ordained priest. In 486, when he was thirty­three years old, he was made Bishop of the long vacant See of Valence, and under his zealous care it soon recovered its ancient glory. Abuses were corrected and morals reformed. The Bishop was so beloved that the news of his first illness filled the city with consternation. His return to health was miraculous. He was present at the conference at Lyons, between the Arians and Catholics, which was held in presence of King Gondebaud. He distinguished himself there by his eloquence and learning.

Subscription11A memorable contest in defence of marriage brought Apollinaris again into special prominence. Stephen, the treasurer of the kingdom, was living in incest. The four bishops of the province commanded him to separate from his companion, but he appealed to the King, who sustained his official and exiled the four bishops to Sardinia. As they refused to yield, the King relented, and after some time permitted them to return to their sees, with the exception of Apollinaris, who had rendered himself particularly obnoxious, and was kept a close prisoner for a year. At last the King, stricken with a grievous malady, repented, and the Queen in person came to beg Apollinaris to go to the court to restore the monarch to health. On his refusal, the Queen asked for his cloak to place on the sufferer. The request was granted, the King was cured, and came to beg absolution for his sin. Apollinaris was sixty­four years old when he returned from Sardinia to Valence, and his people received him with every demonstration of joy. He died after an episcopate of thirty­four years, at the age of sixty­seven, his life ending, as it had begun, in the constant exercise of the most exalted holiness.

Acta SS., October, III.

T.J. CAMPBELL (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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According to The Telegraph:

Princess Tatiana Von Metternich, who died…on July 26, 2006, aged 91, was…one of the most beautiful women of her day…

…she witnessed the effect of Nazism on Germany, was close to those involved in the unsuccessful plot to kill Hitler in 1944, and was forced to make a 600-kilometre trek across Germany to escape the Russian advance.

Tatiana was close to some of those German aristocrats and princes who plotted to kill Hitler in July 1944. As a result of the plot, all German princes were forbidden to serve in the army, which saved Prince Paul Metternich…

To read the entire article in The Telegraph, please click here.

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Blessed John Ingram

Bl. John IngramEnglish martyr, born at Stoke Edith, Herefordshire, in 1565; executed at Newcastle-on-Tyne, 26 July, 1594.

He was probably the son of Anthony Ingram of Wolford, Warwickshire, by Dorothy, daughter of Sir John Hungerford. He was educated first in Worcestershire, then at the English College, Reims, at the Jesuit College, Pont-a-Mousson, and at the English College, Rome.

Ordained at Rome in 1589, he went to Scotland early in 1592, and there frequented the company of Lords Huntly, Angus, and Erroll, the Abbot of Dumbries, and Sir Walter Lindsay of Balgavies. Captured on the Tyne, 25 November, 1593, he was imprisoned successively at Berwick, Durgam, York, and in the Tower of London, in which place he suffered the severest tortures with great constancy, and wrote twenty Latin epigrams which have survived.

Sent north again, he was imprisoned at York, Newcastle, and Durgam, where he was tried in the company of John Bostle and George Swalwell, a converted minister. He was convicted under 27 Eliz. c. 2 (which made the mere presence in England of a priest ordained abroad high treason), though there was no evidence that he had ever exercised any priestly function in England.

It appears that some one in Scotland in vain offered the English Government a thousand crowns for his life.

[ed. note: He was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI.]John B. Wainewright (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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John Gerard

Jesuit; born 4 October, 1564; died 27 July, 1637. He is well known through his autobiography, a fascinating record of dangers and adventures, of captures and escapes, of trials and consolations. The narrative is all the more valuable because it sets before us the kind of life led by priests, wherever the peculiar features of the English persecution occurred. John was the second son of Sir Thomas Gerard of Bryn, for a time a valiant confessor of the Faith, who, however, in 1589, tarnished his honour by giving evidence against the Ven. Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel (q.v.). Different opinions are held (by Morris and Gillow) as to the permanence of his inconsistancy. John left his father’s house at New Bryn at the age of thirteen, and went first to Douai seminary; matriculated at Oxford (1579), and thence…

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St. Pantaleon

Martyr, died about 305. According to legend he was the son of a rich pagan, Eustorgius of Nicomedia, and had been instructed in Christianity by his Christian mother, Eubula. Afterwards he became estranged from Christianity. He studied medicine and became physician to the Emperor Maximianus. He was won back to Christianity by the priest Hermolaus. Upon the death of his father he came into possession of a large fortune. Envious colleagues denounced him to the emperor during the Diocletian persecution. The emperor wished to save him and sought to persuade him to apostasy. Pantaleon, however, openly…

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Martyrs of Cuncolim

On Monday, 25 July, 1583, the village of Cuncolim in the district of Salcete, territory of Goa, India, was the scene of the martyrdom of five religious of the Society of Jesus: Fathers Rudolph Acquaviva, Alphonsus Pacheco, Peter Berno, and Anthony Francis, also Francis Aranha, lay brother.

Fr. Rodolfo Acquaviva (right in yellow) with Mughal emperor Akbar the Great and his court.

Rudolph Acquaviva was born 2 October, 1550, at Atri in the Kingdom of Naples. He was the fifth child of the Duke of Atri, and nephew of Claudius Acquaviva, the fifth General of the Society of Jesus, while on his mother’s side he was a cousin of St. Aloysius Gonzaga. Admitted into the Society of Jesus 2 April, 1568, he landed in Goa 13 September, 1578. Shortly after his…

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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 her numerous acts of benevolence and kindness. This unfortunate princess having been spared in the massacres of the 2nd,  had laid herself down upon her bed, in the evening, worn out with grief and horror.

Princess Marie-Louise Thérèse of Savoy-Carignan; Princess of Lamballe.

Soon two guards entered her apartment and informed her that she must prepare to go to the Abbaye. The princess replied that she preferred to remain in the prison where she was then confined². One of guards then told her that she must obey, as her life depended upon it. Throwing her robe hurriedly about her, she descended with the guard into the turnkey’s room, where she found two municipal officers, wearing the tri-colored scarf, sitting in judgment upon the prisoners summoned before them.

On being brought face to face with this dreadful tribunal, surrounded by bands of assassins whose brutal countenances and disordered clothes were covered with blood, her horror was so great that she fainted several times. When she recovered sufficiently to speak, her examination began.

Princess of Lamballe on trial being held up by the French Revolutionaries.

Who are you?” she was asked.

Maria Louisa, Princess of Savoy.”

Your employment?”

Superintendent of the household of the queen.”

Had you any knowledge of the plots of the court on the 10th of August?”

I know not whether there were any plots on the 10th of August, but I know that I had no knowledge of them.”

Swear liberty, equality, hatred of the king, of the queen, and of royalty.”

I will readily swear the two former; I cannot swear the latter; it is not in my heart.”

(Here one present said to her in a whisper: “Swear! if you do not swear, you are dead.”)  The princess did not reply. The judge then said, “Let madame be set at liberty.”  But this deceitful phrase only meant rather the signal for her death. As she was led to the door, some one recommended her to cry Vive la Nation! but the sight of the piles of dead bodies in all their ghastly horror so terrified her that she cried, “I am lost!”

Assassination of the Princess of Lamballe

Scarcely had she passed the threshold of the door, when she was struck on the back of the head with a saber, from which wound the blood gushed forth. Reeling and fainting, she was held under the arms by two monsters who made her walk over the dead bodies which filled the narrow passage which leads from the street St Antoine to the prison. When she could no longer raise herself up, the assassins threw her upon a heap of corpses, and stabbed her to death with their pikes.

Her head was cut off by these hellish fiends, her body was opened, and her heart torn out, [and devoured] and her body was hacked into a dozen pieces, and borne about the streets of Paris with wild yells and coarse jests, The demons even loaded a cannon with one of her limbs; and placing her head upon a pike, the mob bore it to the Temple, where the royal family were imprisoned.

 

¹ September 2-3, 1792

² Princess Lamballe was in prison from August 19th to September 3rd.

 

A Short History of the French Revolution for Young People: Pictures of the Reign of Terror, by Lydia Hoyt Farmer. 1889, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co.  Pg 432 – 434.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 584

 

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Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra, painted by Eduardo Balaca. Museo del Prado

Four hundred years ago, the famous Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra passed away. He has since been heralded as one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language. However, word of his death had little impact on Castilian society. No public honors or national mourning marked the funeral of this Renaissance giant.

His most famous work, Don Quixote, became wildly popular during his life and more so after his death. Translations into French and English were soon followed by dozens of other languages. The misadventures of the title character Don Quixote and his sidekick Sancho Panza became popular in Europe and beyond. The delusional Don Quixote, intent on righting imagined wrongs and fighting chimerical foes, personifies idealism divorced from reality. Today he lends his name to the English word quixotic, meaning idealistic but impractical.

Intended or not, European society saw Don Quixote as a mockery of chivalric ideals, which were summarily abandoned in the century that followed. Considered the first modern novel, the influence of Don Quixote has been far reaching. Some questions arise as we examine the four centuries that have since passed: did Cervantes kill chivalry in publishing Don Quixote? And if so, was that his intention?

Using the Pen as a Sword

Miguel de Cervantes came of age when the Renaissance was getting into full swing in his native Spain. King Philip II built his new capital at Madrid. His palace called “El Escorial” became the center of art, music and culture. Book printing allowed for the flourishing of popular works. Among these were medieval romances. Gone were the days of heroic epics such as The Song of Roland and The Story of My Cid. Romantic literature was all the rage at the time of Cervantes.

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira describes this time period in Revolution and Counter-Revolution:

Little by little, the seriousness and austerity of former times lost their value. The whole trend was toward gaiety, affability and festivity. Hearts began to shy away from the love of sacrifice, from true devotion to the Cross, and from the aspiration to sanctity and eternal life. The literature of love invaded all countries. Chivalry, formerly one of the highest expressions of Christian austerity, became amorous and sentimental.1

When Cervantes published Don Quixote, it was mocking exactly this sentimental spirit that had entered chivalry. Popular stories about romance and fantasy had already made a mockery of chivalry. The true stories about heroes of former times had been replaced by mawkish caricatures. Cervantes wrote to satirize this genre of romances, filled with clichés and nonsensical plots. In the prologue, the object of Don Quixote is clearly stated: “This book of yours aims at no more than destroying the authority and influence which books of chivalry have over the common people.”2

Don Quijote and Sancho Panza by Gustave Doré.

Early in Don Quixote, the character of the Canon of Toledo describes the flaws inherent in chivalric romances:

I have never seen a book of chivalry with a whole body for a plot, with all its limbs complete, so that the middle corresponds to the beginning, and the end to the beginning and middle; for they are generally made up of so many limbs that they seem intended rather to form a chimera or monster than a well-proportioned figure. What is more, their style is hard, their adventures are incredible, their love-affairs lewd, their compliments absurd, their battles long-winded, their speeches stupid, their travels preposterous and, lastly, they are devoid of all art and sense, and therefore deserve to be banished from a Christian commonwealth. 3

Should we need further proof, the last sentence of the second part drives home the author’s intention:

For my sole object has been to arouse men’s contempt for all fabulous and absurd stories of knight-errantry, whose credit this tale of my genuine Don Quixote has already shaken, and which will, without a doubt, soon tumble to the ground. 4

Chivalry’s Demise Greatly Exaggerated

Though most famous as an author, Cervantes held many professions during his life. As he repeatedly stated, his proudest moment came from his career as a soldier. In 1571, a young Cervantes joined the ranks of the soldiers of the Holy League, and sailed into the eastern Mediterranean to fight the Muslims. On the eve of the Battle of Lepanto, Cervantes became ill with fever and remained below decks as the fighting commenced. He could not resist taking part in the action, though. Rising and rushing up on deck, he bravely fought the Muslims attempting to board. Near the end of the battle, Cervantes was shot in the left hand, which was later amputated. He often remarked later, “All for the greater glory of the right.”

Miguel de Cervantes receiving the visit of Don Juan of Austria. Painting by Eduardo Cano at Prado Museum.

Cervantes himself always maintained the greatest reverence for idealism. His goal was to mock pseudo-chivalry. By his time, the damage to the chivalric ideal had already been done. Did Cervantes kill chivalry? No, since great ideals are hard to kill.

In fact, nineteenth century authors such as Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron attempted to revive the tales of chivalry long since abandoned. Their attempts, however, resembled more the stories that Cervantes mocked than the true epics of chivalry. The influence of these neo-chivalric romances was far reaching. Scoffers such as Mark Twain went so far as to say that Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe was the cause of the American Civil War. Few today would agree with this assertion. Nevertheless, books can have a profound impact on society. They can awaken ideals in the hearts of men, and they can also put them to sleep.

“All the while, modern man grasps at straws, pursuing selfish ends that lead away from real heroism.”

Which seems a more accurate description of what Cervantes did: chivalry did not die because of him. In reality, it fell asleep.

Awakening an Ideal

What will it take for true chivalry to awaken? Four centuries after Cervantes, most people can’t even define chivalry. True chivalry remains dormant. All the while, modern man grasps at straws, pursuing selfish ends that lead away from real heroism.

Leon Gautier, in his monumental work Chivalry, describes the origin of the knight’s raison d’etre:

The Church said to the barbarians of the ninth century: “Moderate your courage.” They did moderate it, and by degrees their savagery became prowess. “No knight without prowess,” said the old proverb. All other virtues ensue, hand in hand – loyalty, largesse, moderation, courtesy, and then honor, crowning all. The whole code of chivalry is contained in those six virtues. 5

Painting by Col. Charles Waterhouse of Col. John Ripley dangling above Cua Viet River as Angry North Vietnamese soldiers fire upon him.

We are now living in a neo-barbarian age. Today’s barbarians, however, are marked by immoderate cowardice rather than courage. For the crises plaguing modern society, men must embrace true chivalry once again. The dedication and self-sacrifice that marked past ages will also determine the outcome of our present age, whether for good or ill. As Cervantes showed, sentimentality must be abandoned. This must be the first step on the path to restoring a rule of honor, which as Gautier says, crowns all knightly virtue.

In Gautier’s great work in praise of chivalry, he dedicates his masterpiece to the contradictory figure of Miguel de Cervantes. Four hundred years after his death, they remain fitting words for remembering him:

I dedicate this work to the memory of Miguel Cervantes Saavedra, who laughed at chivalry in his books and was a true “chevalier” in his life. I dedicate it to the greatest of Spanish authors and to one of the most valiant soldiers of Spain — the author of Don Quixote — the wounded Knight of Lepanto!

 

Footnotes

  1. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Part I, Ch. 3-A, p. 14.
  2. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, and Samuel Putnam. Don Quixote. New York: Modern Library, 1998. p. 80.
  3. Ibid., p. 425.
  4. Ibid., p. 940.
  5. Leon Gautier, Chivalry. Translated by Henry Frith. p. 23.

*Published on TFP.org

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St. Lorenzo da Brindisi

(Also: Lawrence, or Laurence, of Brindisi.)

Born at Brindisi in 1559; died at Lisbon on 22 July, 1619. In baptism he received the names of Julius Caesar. Guglielmo de Rossi — or Guglielmo Russi, according to a contemporary writer — was his father’s name; his mother was Elisabetta Masella. Both were excellent Christians. Of a precocious piety, Lorenzo gave early evidence of a religious vocation. The Conventuals of Brindisi were entrusted with his education. His progress in his studies was very rapid, and, when barely six, he had already given indication of his future success in oratory. Consequently, he was always the one chosen to address, in accordance with the Italian custom, a short sermon to his compatriots on the Infant Jesus during the Christmas festivities. When he was twelve years of age his father died. He then pursued his studies at Venice with the clerics of St. Mark’s and under the supervision of one of his uncles. In 1575 he was received into the Order of Capuchins…

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St. Arbogast

(Gaelic Arascach).

St. Arbogast

St. Arbogast has been claimed as a native of Scotland, but this is owing to a misunderstanding of the name “Scotia”, which until late in the Middle Ages really meant Ireland. He flourished about the middle of the seventh century. Leaving Ireland, as so many other missionaries had done, he settled as a hermit in a German forest, and then proceeded to Alsace, where his real name, Arascach, was changed to Arbogast. This change of name was owing to the difficulty experienced by foreigners in pronouncing Irish Christian names; thus it is that Moengal, Maelmaedhog, Cellach, Gillaisu, Gilla in Coimded, Tuathal, and Arascach were respectively transformed into Marcellus, Malachy, Gall, Gelasius, Germanus, Tutilo, and Arbogast. St. Arbogast found a warm friend in King Dagobert II of Austrasia, who had been educated at Slane, in Meath, in Ireland, and was restored to his kingdom on the demise of King Childeric II. Monstrelet authenticates the story of King Dagobert in Ireland; and the royal exile naturally fled to Slane in order to be under the ægis of the Ard-Righ (High­-King) of Ireland, at Tara. On Dagobert’s accession to the throne of Austrasia, Arbogast was appointed Bishop of Strasburg, and was famed for sanctity and miracles. It is related that the Irish saint raised to life Dagobert’s son, who had been killed by a fall from his horse. St. Arbogast died in 678, and, at his own special request, was buried on the side of a mountain, where only malefactors were interred. The site of his burial was subsequently deemed suitable for a church. He is commemorated 21 July.

Grattan Flood, Irish Saints; Boschius in Acta SS. (1727), July, V, 168-177; Burgener, Helvetia Sancta (1860), I, 56-58; Hist. litt. de la France (1735), III, 621-622; Postina, in Römische Quartalschrift (1898), XII, 299-305; Analecta Bolland., XVIII, 195; Bibl. hagiogr. Lat. (1898), 106, 1317; O’Hanlon, Lives of Irish Saints, VII (21 July); Wattenbach, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen, 6th ed.; Grandidier, Hist de l’église de Strasbourg (1770), I, 199.

W. H. Grattan-Flood (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Wandrille, or Wandregisilus, Abbot

St. Wandrille

[Abbot of Fontenelles, in Normandy.]  He was nearly related to Pepin of Landen and Erchinoald, the two first lords in the kingdom of Austrasia; and in his youth was made count of the palace under Dagobert I. He was humble on the highest pinnacle of honors, and mortified amidst pleasures. To retrieve himself from the dissipation and other ill effects, of which hurry and much conversation with the world are dangerous occasions, he frequently retired into his closet, and there conversed much with God by devout prayer, and with himself by serious consideration on his own duties, condition, and spiritual miseries…

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The Siege of Belgrade (or Battle of Belgrade, or Siege of Nándorfehérvár) occurred from July 4 to July 22, 1456.

Statue of John Hunyadi in Budapest, Heroes' Square

Statue of John Hunyadi in Budapest, Heroes’ Square

After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II was rallying his resources in order to subjugate the Kingdom of Hungary. His immediate objective was the border fort of the town of Belgrade (in old Hungarian Nándorfehérvár). John Hunyadi, a Hungarian nobleman and warlord, who had fought many battles against the Ottomans in the previous two decades, prepared the defense of the fortress…

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St. Bridget of Sweden

St. Catherine of Sweden (right) and her Mother, St. Bridget of Sweden(left). Painting from the Högsby church in Smalandia.

St. Catherine of Sweden (right) and her Mother, St. Bridget of Sweden(left). Painting from the Högsby church in Smalandia.

The most celebrated saint of the Northern kingdoms, born about 1303; died 23 July, 1373.

She was the daughter of Birger Persson, governor and provincial judge (Lagman) of Uppland, and of Ingeborg Bengtsdotter. Her father was one of the wealthiest landholders of the country, and, like her mother, distinguished by deep piety.

St. Ingrid, whose death had occurred about twenty years before Bridget’s birth, was a near relative of the family. Birger’s daughter received a careful religious training, and from her seventh year showed signs of extraordinary religious impressions and illuminations. To her education…

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St. John Boste

(Or JOHN BOAST.)

Priest and martyr, born of good Catholic family at Dufton, in Westmoreland, about 1544; died at Durham, 24 July, 1594. He studied at Queen’s College, Oxford, 1569-72, became a Fellow, and was received into the Church at Brome, in Suffolk, in 1576. Resigning his Fellowship in 1580, he went to Reims, where he was ordained priest, 4 March, 1581, and in April was sent to England. He landed at Hartlepool and became a most zealous missioner, so that the persecutors made extraordinary efforts to capture him. At last, after many narrow escapes, he was taken to Waterhouses, the house of William Claxton, near Durham, betrayed by one Eglesfield [or Ecclesfield], 5 July, 1593. The place is still…

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Matilda of Canossa

Countess of Tuscany, daughter and heiress of the Marquess Boniface of Tuscany, and Beatrice, daughter of Frederick of Lorraine, b. 1046; d. 24 July, 1114.

In 1053 her father was murdered. Duke Gottfried of Lorraine, an opponent of the Emperor Henry III, went to Italy and married the widowed Beatrice. But, in 1055, when Henry III entered Italy he took Beatrice and her daughter Matilda prisoners and had them brought to Germany. Thus the young countess was early dragged  into the bustle of these troublous times. That, however, did not prevent her receiving an excellent training; she was finely educated, knew Latin, and was very fond of serious books. She was also deeply religious, and even in her youth followed with interest the great ecclesiastical questions which were then prominent…

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July 24 – Chaste Queen

July 20, 2017

Saint Kinga of Poland

Painting of St. Kinga by Grzegorz Czarnic

Painting of St. Kinga by Grzegorz Czarnic

(also known as Cunegunda, Kunigunda, Kunegunda, Cunegundes, Kioga, Zinga; Polish: Święta Kinga, Hungarian: Szent Kinga)

Poor Clare and patroness of Poland and Lithuania; born in 1224; died 24 July, 1292, at Sandeck, Poland.

She was the daughter of King Bela IV and niece of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and from her infancy it pleased God to give tokens of the eminent sanctity to which she was later to attain. With extreme reluctance she consented to her marriage with Boleslaus II, Duke of Cracow and Sandomir, who afterwards became King of Poland (Bolesław V the Chaste). Not long after their marriage, the pious couple made a vow of perpetual chastity in the presence of the Bishop of Cracow; and Cunegundes, amidst the splendour and pomp of the royal household, gave herself up to the practice of the severest austerities. She often visited the poor and the sick in the hospitals, and cared even for the lepers with a charity scarcely less than heroic…

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St. Camillus de Lellis

Born at Bacchianico, Naples, 1550; died at Rome, 14 July, 1614.

He was the son of an officer who had served both in the Neapolitan and French armies. His mother died when he was a child, and he grew up absolutely neglected. When still a youth he became a soldier in the service of Venice and afterwards of Naples, until 1574, when his regiment was disbanded. While in the service he became a confirmed gambler, and in consequence of his losses at play was at times reduced to a condition of destitution. The kindness of a Franciscan friar induced him to apply for admission to that order, but he was refused. He then betook himself to Rome, where he obtained employment in the Hospital for Incurables. He was prompted to go there chiefly by the hope of a cure of abscesses in both his feet from which he had been long suffering. He was dismissed from the hospital on account of his quarrelsome disposition and his passion for gambling…

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Godfrey of Bouillon

Duke of Lower Lorraine and first King of Jerusalem, son of Eustache II, Count of Boulogne, and of Ida, daughter of Godfrey the Bearded, Duke of Lower Lorraine; born probably at Boulogne-sur-Mer, 1060; died at Jerusalem, 18 July, 1100 (according to a thirteenth-century chronicler, he was born at Baisy, in Brabant; see Haigneré, Mémoires lus à la Sorbonne, Paris, 1868, 213)…

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Saint Arnulf of Metz

Statesman, bishop under the Merovingians, born c. 580; died c. 640.

His parents belonged to a distinguished Frankish family, and lived in Austrasia, the eastern section of the kingdom founded by Clovis. In the school in which he was placed during his boyhood he excelled through his talent and his good behaviour. According to the custom of the age, he was sent in due time to the court of Theodebert II, King of Austrasia (595-612), to be initiated in the various branches of the government. Under the guidance of Gundulf, the Mayor of the Palace, he soon became so proficient that he was placed on the regular list of royal officers, and among the first of the kings ministers. He distinguished himself both as a military commander and in the civil administration; at one time he had under his care six distinct provinces. In due course Arnulf was married to a Frankish woman of noble lineage, by whom he had two sons, Anseghisel and Clodulf…

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Saint Hedwig, Queen of Poland

Portrait of Queen Jadwiga of Poland, painted by Jan Matejko

Portrait of Queen Jadwiga of Poland, painted by Jan Matejko

Born, 1371. Died, 17 July 1399 during child birth. Hedwig was the youngest daughter of King Louis I of Hungary. Because she was great-niece to King Casimir III of Poland, she became Queen of Poland in 1382 upon her father‘s death. She was engaged to William, Duke of Austria, whom she loved, but broke off the relationship in order to marry Jagiello, non-Christian Prince of Lithuania, for political reasons…

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July 19 – Her whole family became saints

July 17, 2017

St. Macrina the Younger Born about 330; died 379. She was the eldest child of Basil the Elder and Emmelia, the granddaughter of St. Macrina the Elder, and the sister of the Cappadocian Fathers, Sts. Basil and Gregory of Nyssa. The last-mentioned has left us a biography of his sister in the form of a […]

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July 19 – Penitent Nobility

July 17, 2017

St. Arsenius Anchorite; born 354, at Rome; died 450, at Troe, in Egypt. Theodosius the Great having requested the Emperor Gratian and Pope Damasus to find him in the West a tutor for his son Arcadius, they made choice of Arsenius, a man well read in Greek literature, member of a noble Roman family, and […]

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July 19 – The knight who was afraid of water, but not afraid of martyrdom

July 17, 2017

Blessed Hroznata of Bohemia Founder of the Monasteries of Teplá and Chotěšov, born (c) 1170, died July 14, 1217. In the happy reign of Premysl, – also called Ottacar, – king of Bohemia, among the other magnates of the kingdom the first place at court, next to the king’s magnificence, was held by Hroznata, the […]

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July 20 – Carolingian Reformer

July 17, 2017

St. Ansegisus Born about 770, of noble parentage; died 20 July, 833, or 834. At the age of eighteen he entered the Benedictine monastery of Fontanelle (also called St. Vandrille after the name of its founder) in the diocese of Rouen. St. Girowald, a relative of Ansegisus, was then Abbot of Fontanelle. From the beginning […]

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Anger over Labour MPs’ address to anti-monarchy conference

July 13, 2017

According to The Voice: Shadow business minister Chi Onwurah and new MP for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad, are both set to address supporters at the Republic convention…in support of axing the monarchy. The group, who want to see the monarchy abolished and the Queen replaced…, will meet in Newcastle. Former Green party leader Natalie Bennett […]

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Luxembourg’s Grand Duke Henri commemorates 200 years of dynasty

July 13, 2017

According to the Luxemburger Wort: 200 years ago Adolphe, the Duke of Nassau, who became the Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 1890, was born. To commemorate the occasion, current Grand Duke Henri was invited to the town of Biebrich near Wiesbaden in Germany, on the banks of the River Rhine. He took part in the […]

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Saint Bernard Subdues the Duke of Aquitaine

July 13, 2017

When the Saint went as a legate to the same province, in order to reconcile the Duke of Aquitaine to the Church, the Duke refused absolutely to be reconciled. Then the man of God went to the altar to celebrate the Mass, while the Duke, as an excommunicate, stood without the doors. And when the […]

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Christian Tradition and Revolutionary Agitation in Facial Expressions

July 13, 2017

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira * The figure in our first picture instills us with sentiments of profound respect. It portrays an elderly mother who appears to have spent her life in the dignified and pious environment of the home. Her dedication to her family, her temperance and her freshness of soul enable her to […]

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July 14 – St. Francis Solanus

July 13, 2017

South American missionary of the Order of Friars Minor; born at Montilla, in the Diocese of Cordova, Spain, 10 March, 1549; died at Lima, Peru, 14 July, 1610. His parents, Matthew Sanchez Solanus and Anna Ximenes, were distinguished no less for their noble birth than for their virtue and piety. When Francis was twenty years […]

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July 14 – St. Vincent Madelgarius

July 13, 2017

St. Vincent Madelgarius (MALDEGARIUS). Founder and abbot of the monasteries of Hautmont and Soignies, born of a noble family at Strepy les Binche, Hainault, early in the seventh century; died at Soignies, 14 July, 677. That he was not of Irish descent, as stated by Jean du Pont and some Irish writers, has been proved […]

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July 14 – The Lily of the Mohawks

July 13, 2017

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks Kateri Tekakwitha was daughter of Kenneronkwa, a Mohawk chief, and Tagaskouita, a devout Roman Catholic Algonquian woman. She was born in the Mohawk fortress of Ossernenon near present-day Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Kateri’s mother was baptized and educated by French missionaries in Trois-Rivières, like many of Abenaki […]

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July 15 – Saint Pompilio Maria Pirrotti

July 13, 2017

Saint Pompilio Maria Pirrotti (29 September 1710 – 15 July 1766), born Domenico Michele Giovan Battista, was born on 29 September 1710 as the sixth of eleven children to the nobleman Girolamo Pirrotti and Orsola Bozzuti – his father was a Doctor of Law. One brother was named Pompilio Maria Pirrotti. He was baptized the […]

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July 15 – After conversion, he ordered the statues of the pagan gods chopped up and burned

July 13, 2017

St. Vladimir the Great Grand Duke of Kiev (Kieff) and All Russia, grandson of St. Olga, and the first Russian ruler to embrace Christianity, b. 956; d. at Berestova, 15 July, 1015. St. Olga could not convert her son and successor, Sviatoslav, for he lived and died a pagan and brought up his son Vladimir […]

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July 16 – Of the noble family of Odrowatz

July 13, 2017

St. Ceslaus Born at Kamien in Silesia, Poland (now Prussia), about 1184; died at Breslau about 1242. He was of the noble family of Odrowatz and a relative, probably a brother, of St. Hyacinth. Having studied philosophy at Prague, he pursued his theological and juridical studies at the University of Bologna, after which he returned […]

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July 16 – Catholic Spain’s fate in the balance at the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa

July 13, 2017

The following year was a memorable one for all Spain. King Alfonso of Castile, in face of the Almohade danger, had launched an alert to Christendom; answering it, the Christian princes had assembled not only from Spain but also from other countries. Pope Innocent III proclaimed a Crusade against the Moors of Spain and bestowed […]

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July 16 – Alfonso VIII of Castile crushes the Moors at Las Navas de Tolosa

July 13, 2017

The Almohads, the new dynasty of Moroccan fanatics who had subdued all the Moslems in al Andalus, launched an all-out attack on the Christians by moving a huge army north into south central Spain. The impetuous Alfonso VIII of Castile, without waiting for reinforcements, attempted to bar the way at Alarcos. On July 18, 1195, […]

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July 17 – When the Saracens attacked Rome…

July 13, 2017

Pope St. Leo IV (Reigned 847-55) A Roman and the son of Radoald, was unanimously elected to succeed Sergius II, and as the alarming attack of the Saracens on Rome in 846 caused the people to fear for the safety of the city, he was consecrated (10 April, 847) without the consent of the emperor. […]

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July 17 – The day the Tsar was murdered

July 13, 2017

Execution of Tsar Nicholas II and his family In the early hours of 17 July 1918, the royal family was awakened around 2:00 am, told to dress, and led down into a half-basement room at the back of the Ipatiev house. The pretext for this move was the family’s safety — that anti-Bolshevik forces were […]

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July 17 – Martyred in the Name of Equality

July 13, 2017

The Sixteen Blessed Teresian Martyrs of Compiègne Guillotined at the Place du Trône Renversé (now called Place de la Nation), Paris, 17 July, 1794. They are the first sufferers under the French Revolution on whom the Holy See has passed judgment, and were solemnly beatified 27 May, 1906. Before their execution they knelt and chanted […]

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July 11 – The noble saint who fled the world, but the world ran after him

July 10, 2017

Saint Benedict of Nursia Founder of western monasticism, born at Nursia, c. 480; died at Monte Cassino, 543. The only authentic life of Benedict of Nursia is that contained in the second book of Saint Gregory’s “Dialogues”. It is rather a character sketch than a biography and consists, for the most part, of a number […]

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July 12 – St. John Gualbert and the Vallumbrosan Order

July 10, 2017

The name is derived from the motherhouse, Vallombrosa (Latin Vallis umbrosa, shady valley), situated 20 miles from Florence on the northwest slope of Monte Secchieta in the Pratomagno chain, 3140 feet above the sea. I. THE FOUNDER St. John Gualbert, son of the noble Florentine Gualbert Visdomini, was born in 985 (or 995), and died […]

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July 13 – Saint Mildthryth

July 10, 2017

Saint Mildthryth (694–716 or 733), also Mildrith, Mildryth or Mildred, was an Anglo-Saxon abbess. Mildthryth was the daughter of King Merewalh of Magonsaete, a sub-kingdom of Mercia, and Eormenburh (Saint Eormenburga), herself the daughter of King Æthelberht of Kent, and as such appearing in the so-called Kentish royal legend. Her sisters Milburh (Saint Milburga of […]

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July 13 – Author of “The Golden Legend”

July 10, 2017

Bl. Jacopo de Voragine (Also DI VIRAGGIO). Archbishop of Genoa and medieval hagiologist, born at Viraggio (now Varazze), near Genoa, about 1230; died 13 July, about 1298. In 1244 he entered the Order of St. Dominic, and soon became famous for his piety, learning, and zeal in the care of souls. His fame as a […]

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July 13 – The Crusaders attack Jerusalem

July 10, 2017

The attack began the night of July 13, [1099,] and the defenders let loose a hail of stones and rivers of Greek fire…. The battle hung in the balance during the morning hours of July 15. Archers shot blazing firebrands to drive the defenders from the walls, but the siege towers were battered and burned. […]

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July 13 – Good King Henry

July 10, 2017

St. Henry II German King and Holy Roman Emperor, son of Duke Henry II (the Quarrelsome) and of the Burgundian Princess Gisela; b. 972; d. in his palace of Grona, at Gottingen, 13 July, 1024. Like his predecessor, Otto III, he had the literary education of his time. In his youth he had been destined […]

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July 13 – Saintly Elite

July 10, 2017

St. Marie-Azélie “Zélie” Martin née Guérin (23 December 1831 – 28 August 1877) was a French laywoman and the mother of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux. Her husband was Blessed Louis Martin. Marie-Azélie Guérin was born in Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, Orne, France and was the second daughter of Isidore Guérin and Louise-Jeanne Macé. She had an older sister, […]

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Consecration of Louis XVI, King of France, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

July 6, 2017

“Well dost Thou see, O my God, the great sadness that oppresses my heart, the grief that wounds it and the depth of the abyss into which I have been cast. I am assailed by countless evils from all sides. To the oppression of my soul, the horrible tragedies that have befallen me and my […]

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‘I escaped the Nazis with your father’, veteran tells Duchess of Cornwall

July 6, 2017

According to The Telegraph: …when Edward Rose, formerly of the Green Jackets Rifle Brigade, spoke to the Duchess of Cornwall this week, he revealed an extraordinary connection, telling her he had escaped a Second World War prison camp with the help of her father. Lt Rose, then just 20, had embarked on a daring escape […]

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July 7 – The Princess who left court and entered a forest monastery

July 6, 2017

St. Edelburga, Virgin, also called St. Æthelburh of Faremoutiers. She was daughter to Anna king of the East Angles, and out of a desire of attaining to Christian perfection, went into France, and there consecrated herself to God in the monastery of Faremoutier, in the forest of Brie, in the government of which she succeeded […]

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July 7 – Only two cardinals dared to stand with the pope

July 6, 2017

Blessed Pope Benedict XI (Nicholas Boccasini) Born at Treviso, Italy, 1240; died at Perugia, 7 July, 1304. He entered the Dominican Order at the age of fourteen. After fourteen years of study, he became lector of theology, which office he filled for several years. In 1296 he was elected Master General of the Order. As […]

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July 7 – Prince Abbots

July 6, 2017

Sts. Willibald and Winnebald (WUNIBALD, WYNNEBALD). Members of the Order of St. Benedict, brothers, natives probably of Wessex in England, the former, first Bishop of Eichstätt, born on 21 October, 700 (701); died on 7 July, 781 (787); the latter, Abbot of Heidenheim, born in 702; died on 18 (19) December, 761. They were the […]

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July 8 – The Pope who fought the democrats

July 6, 2017

Pope Blessed Eugene III Bernardo Pignatelli, born in the neighbourhood of Pisa, elected 15 Feb., 1145; died at Tivoli, 8 July, 1153. On the very day that Pope Lucius II succumbed, either to illness or wounds, the Sacred College, foreseeing that the Roman populace would make a determined effort to force the new pontiff to […]

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July 8 – Vasco da Gama Prays To Our Lady Before Setting Out For India

July 6, 2017

At Belém they were all kneeling at his side: Paulo da Gama, his brother, with Nicolau Coelho and Gonçalo Nunes, his other captains and their pilots, Pero de Alenquer, João de Coimbra, Pero Escolar, Afonso Gonçalves; and likewise the “secretaries” Diogo Dias, João de Sá and Álvaro de Braga. Bartolomeu Dias was also there, for […]

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July 9 – St. Veronica Giuliani

July 6, 2017

St. Veronica Giuliani Born at Mercatello in the Duchy of Urbino, Italy, 1660; died at Città di Castello, 9 July, 1727. Her parents, Francesco Giuliana and Benedetta Mancini, were both of gentle birth. In baptism she was named Ursula, and showed marvelous signs of sanctity. When but eighteen months old she uttered her first words […]

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July 10 – Charlemagne Was Punished for His Rudeness to Her

July 6, 2017

St. Amalberga A virgin, very much revered in Belgium, who is said to have been sought in marriage by Charles, afterwards Charlemagne. Continually repulsed, Charles finally attempted to carry her off by force, but though he broke her arm in the struggle he was unable to move her from the altar before which she had […]

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July 10 – Seven Holy Noble Brethren

July 6, 2017

Saints, martyred in Rome, in 150. According to legend, they were the sons of Saint Felicitas, and suffered martyrdom under Emperor Antoninus. Januarius, Felix, and Philip were scourged to death; Silvanus was thrown over a precipice; Alexander, Vitalis, and Martialis were beheaded. Feast, Roman Calendar, 10 July… Read more here.

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July 4 – Unsung American Hero

July 3, 2017

St. Anthony Daniel Huron missionary, born at Dieppe, in Normandy, 27 May 1601, slain by the Iroquois at Teanaostae, near Hillsdale, Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada, 4 July, 1648. After two years’ study of philosophy and one of law, he entered the Society of Jesus in Rome, 1 October, 1621. Sent to Canada in 1633 he […]

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July 4 – St. Bertha of Blangy

July 3, 2017

St. Bertha (Abbess of Blangy in Artois) Died about 725. She was the daughter of Rigobert, Count of the Palace under Clovis II, and married Siegfried, a relation of the king. After twenty years, when he died, she determined to found a nunnery. Two buildings which she constructed fell down, but an angel in a […]

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July 4 – Patroness of victims of adultery, jealousy and unfaithfulness

July 3, 2017

St. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal A.D. 1336. ST. ELIZABETH was daughter of Peter III,  king of Aragon, and granddaughter of James I, who had been educated under the care of St. Peter Nolasco, and was surnamed the Saint, and from the taking of Majorca and Valentia, Expugnator or the Conqueror. Her mother, Constantia, was daughter […]

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July 5 – He founded the Barnebites and reformed two religious orders, but only lived 37 years

July 3, 2017

St. Antonio Maria Zaccaria Founder of the Clerks Regular of St. Paul, commonly known as the Barnabites; born in Cremona, Italy, 1502; died 5 July, 1539. While he was still an infant his father died, leaving the care of the child’s education to his mother, who taught him compassion for the poor and suffering by […]

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