January 3 – Saint Joseph Mary Tomasi

December 31, 2018

Saint Joseph Mary Tomasi The very eminent servant of God Joseph Mary Tomasi, Cardinal, whom Pope Pius VII decorated with the honors of the Blessed in 1803, and whom today the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II ascribes solemnly in the book of the Saints, was born at Licata, in Sicily, the Diocese of Agrigento, on […]

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January 3 – The saint who twice saved Paris

December 31, 2018

St. Genevieve Patroness of Paris, born at Nanterre, circa 419 or 422; died at Paris, 512. Her feast is kept on 3 January. She was the daughter of Severus and Gerontia; popular tradition represents her parents as poor peasants, though it seems more likely that they were wealthy and respectable townspeople. In 429 St. Germain […]

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January 3 – They called him the “Archangel”

December 31, 2018

St. Odilo Fifth Abbot of Cluny, born c. 962; died 31 December, 1048. He was descended from the nobility of Auvergne. He early became a cleric in the seminary of St. Julien in Brioude. In 991 he entered Cluny and before the end of his year of probation was made coadjutor to Abbot Mayeul, and […]

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History’s First Nativity Scene

December 27, 2018

The beautiful tradition of setting up nativity scenes to commemorate the birth of the Infant Jesus was given to us by St. Francis of Assisi. Thomas of Celano* tells how St. Francis celebrated Christmas in the year 1223: What he [St. Francis] did on the birthday of Our Lord Jesus Christ near the little town […]

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Families of captured Ukrainian sailors beg Queen Elizabeth to help

December 27, 2018

According to The Telegraph: Russian forces rammed, fired on, and captured three Ukrainian vessels in international waters on November 25… The 24 sailors captured by Russia in the naval clash are currently being held in prison in Moscow… In a letter to Her Majesty, the distraught relatives asked the Queen to use her “reputation and […]

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December 31 – The patrician girl who befriended St. Augustine, St. Jerome, and the Empress

December 27, 2018

St. Melania (the Younger) Born at Rome, about 383; died in Jerusalem, 31 December, 439. She was a member of the famous family of Valerii. Her parents were Publicola and Albina, her paternal grandmother of the same name is known as Melania, Senior. Little is known of the saint’s childhood, but after the time of […]

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December 28 – Ordered to swear allegiance to Napoleon, he replied “I cannot. I ought not. I will not!”

December 27, 2018

Bl. Gaspare del Bufalo Founder of the Missionaries of the most Precious Blood (C.P.P.S.); born at Rome on the feast of the Epiphany, 1786; died 28 December, 1837. His parents were Antonio del Bufalo, chief cook of the princely family of Altieri, and his wife Annunziata Quartieroni. Because of his delicate health, his pious mother […]

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December 29 – His Staff Did More Damage Than His Sword

December 27, 2018

St. Thomas of Canterbury Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury, also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Thomas of London, born at London, 21 December, c. 1118; died at Canterbury, 29 December, 1170. St. Thomas was born of parents who, coming from Normandy, had settled in England some years previously. No reliance can be placed upon the […]

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December 29 – David, the ancestor of Jesus

December 27, 2018

In the Bible the name David is borne only by the second king of Israel, the great-grandson of Boaz and Ruth (Ruth, iv, 18 sqq.). He was the youngest of the eight sons of Isai, or Jesse (I Kings, xvi, 8; cf. I Par., ii, 13), a small proprietor, of the tribe of Juda, dwelling […]

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December 29 – Blessed William Howard

December 27, 2018

1st Viscount Stafford, martyr; born 30 November, 1614; beheaded Tower-Hill, 29 December, 1680. He was grandson of the Saint Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, mentioned above, fifth son of Earl Thomas (the first great art collector of England), and uncle of Thomas Philip, Cardinal Howard. Brought up as a Catholic, he was made a knight […]

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December 30 – Princess, Orphan, Foundress

December 27, 2018

Blessed Margaret Colona Poor Clare, also known as Margarita Colonna, born in Rome, date uncertain; died there, 20 September, 1284. Her father, Prince Odo Colonna, and her mother died in Rome when she was still a young girl, and she was left to the care of her two brothers, the youngest of whom was raised […]

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December 30 – He Preached Sanctity in Marriage and Chastity in Priesthood

December 27, 2018

St. Egwin Third Bishop of Worcester; date of birth unknown; d. (according to Mabillon) 20 December, 720, though his death may have occurred three years earlier. His fame as founder of the great Abbey of Evesham no doubt tended to the growth of legends which, though mainly founded on facts, render it difficult to reconcile […]

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December 31 – Ideal Bishop, Skilled Goldsmith

December 27, 2018

St. Marius Aventicus (Or AVENTICENSIS) Bishop of Avenches (Switzerland) and chronicler, born about 530 in the present Diocese of Autun; died at Lausanne, 31 December, 594. Of the events of his life little is known. From an inscription on his tomb in the church of St. Thyrsius in Lausanne (published in the “Monumenta Germ. Scriptores”, […]

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Video: Christmas snow in Germany. Carols

December 24, 2018

Christmas snow in Germany. Carols  

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The Christmas of a Chouan

December 24, 2018

From 1793 to 1800, the region of Fougères, in Northeast France, was the scene of the epic struggle of the Chouans (pronounced “Shwan”). The Chouans were peasants who rose up against the French Revolution in defense of the Monarchy and the Church. One winter’s night in 1795, a column of soldiers of the revolutionary Republic […]

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Video – Christmas in French salons

December 24, 2018

Since no door in the town of Bethlehem was opened to the Holy Family, the Infant Jesus was born in a poor stable manger heated only with an ox and ass. In reparation for such lack of hospitality, every year at Christmas, French noble houses open their doors to the Christ Child, His holy Mother, […]

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The Christmas Rose

December 24, 2018

The Christmas rose blooms at Christmastime. Really!  The flower pushes up out of the snow. The blooms last for weeks and the plant lasts for years. It is said that it bloomed outside the stable at Bethlehem, although the plant is not a native of the Holy Land.  The rose reminds us of the stable […]

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December 25 – On Christmas Day, He Died

December 24, 2018

St. Peter Nolasco Born at Mas-des-Saintes-Puelles, near Castelnaudary, France, in 1189 (or 1182); died at Barcelona, on Christmas Day, 1256 (or 1259). He was of a noble family and from his youth was noted for his piety, almsgiving, and charity. Having given all his possessions to the poor, he took a vow of virginity and, […]

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December 26 – He had the face of an angel

December 24, 2018

St. Stephen One of the first deacons and the first Christian martyr; feast on 26 December. In the Acts of the Apostles the name of St. Stephen occurs for the first time on the occasion of the appointment of the first deacons (Acts, vi, 5). Dissatisfaction concerning the distribution of alms from the community’s fund […]

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December 27 – Son of Thunder

December 24, 2018

St. John the Apostle and Evangelist Styled in the gospel, The beloved disciple of Christ, and called by the Greeks The Divine, he was a Galilean, the son of Zebedee and Salome, and younger brother to St. James the Great, with whom he was brought up to the trade of fishing. From his acquaintance with […]

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December 27 – The divorced saint

December 24, 2018

St. Fabiola of Rome A Roman matron of rank, died 27 December, 399 or 400. She was one of the company of noble Roman women who, under the influence of St. Jerome, gave up all earthly pleasures and devoted themselves to the practice of Christian asceticism and to charitable work. At the time of St. […]

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For Christmas Gifts, St. Louis IX of France Gives His Nobles Crusader Crosses

December 20, 2018

Louis IX occupied himself constantly in carrying his design into execution, and neglected no mean of winning to his purpose all the nobility of his kingdom; his piety did not disdain to employ, for what he considered a sacred cause, all the empire that kings generally possess over their courtiers. . . . After an […]

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Inside the Kitchens at Buckingham Palace: Christmas Ginger Bread Biscuits

December 20, 2018

According to the British Royal Household: ‘Its always best to let the dough rest, so it’s great if you can make the dough the night before,’ reveals one Royal Pastry Chefs. ‘You can also roll out the dough, cut the shapes and put them in a freezer for an hour. This ensures they keep their […]

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December 21 – Doctor of the Church & Second Apostle of Germany

December 20, 2018

St. Peter Canisius Born at Nimwegen in the Netherlands, 8 May, 1521; died in Fribourg, 21 November, 1597. His father was the wealthy burgomaster, Jacob Canisius; his mother, Ægidia van Houweningen, died shortly after Peter’s birth. In 1536 Peter was sent to Cologne, where he studied arts, civil law, and theology at the university; he […]

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December 22 – “I swear by St. Eimhin’s bell…”

December 20, 2018

St. Eimhin Abbot and Bishop of Ros-mic-Truin (Ireland), probably in the sixth century. He came of the royal race of Munster, and was brother of two other saints, Culain and Dairmid. Of the early part of his religious life little is known. When he became abbot of the monastery of Ros-mic-Truin, in succession to its […]

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December 23 – He Always Held His Soul in His Hands

December 20, 2018

Saint Antônio de Sant’Anna Galvão Born 1739, in the village of Santo Antonio da Vila de Guaratinguetá, Brazil; died 23 December, 1822, at the Convent of Light, São Paulo, Brazil. His father, also named Anthony, belonged to an illustrious Portuguese family and was well educated, as evidenced by his writings. He excelled in business, the […]

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December 23 – The Knights of Aviz and Their Cistercian Founder

December 20, 2018

Saint John of Cirita Memorial: 23 December Benedictine monk, also known as John Ziritu. Hermit in Galacia. Monk at Toronca, Portugal, which he helped turn into a Cistercian house. Wrote the Rule of the Knights of Aviz (Portuguese: Ordem Militar de Avis).  Died, c. 1164. The Military Order of St. Benedict of Aviz A military […]

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December 23 – Duke of Guise

December 20, 2018

HENRI I DE LORRAINE Prince de Joinville, and in 1563 third Duke of Guise, born 31 Dec. 1550, the son of François de Guise and Anne d’Este; died at Blois, 23 Dec., 1588. The rumours which attributed to Coligny a share in the murder of François de Guise hailed in the young Henri de Guise, […]

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December 24 – Vasco da Gama

December 20, 2018

Vasco da Gama The discover of the sea route to East Indies; born at Sines, Province of Alemtejo, Portugal, about 1469; died at Cochin, India, 24 December, 1524. His father, Estevão da Gama, was Alcaide Mor of Sines, and Commendador of Cercal, and held an important office at court under Alfonso V. After the return […]

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December 24 – Adam and Eve

December 20, 2018

Adam The first man and the father of the human race. ETYMOLOGY AND USE OF WORD There is not a little divergence of opinion among Semitic scholars when they attempt to explain the etymological signification of the Hebrew word adam (which in all probability was originally used as a common rather than a proper name), […]

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December 24 – Sts. Trasilla and Emiliana

December 20, 2018

Aunts of St. Gregory the Great, virgins in the sixth century, given in the Roman Martyrology, the former on 24 December, the latter on 5 January. St. Gregory (Hom. XXXVIII, 15, on the Gospel of St. Matthew, and Lib. Dial., IV, 16) relates that his father, the Senator Gordian, had three sisters who vowed themselves […]

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December 19 – How Tumultuous Times Reveal Noble Souls

December 17, 2018

Pope Blessed Urban V Guillaume de Grimoard, born at Grisac in Languedoc, 1310; died at Avignon, 19 December, 1370. Born of a knightly family, he was educated at Montpellier and Toulouse, and became a Benedictine monk at the little priory of Chirac near his home. A Bull of 1363 informs us that he was professed […]

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December 19 – Pope St. Anastasius I

December 17, 2018

Pope St. Anastasius I A pontiff who is remembered chiefly for his condemnation of Origenism. A Roman by birth, he became Pope in 399, and died within a little less than four years. Among his friends were Augustine, and Jerome, and Paulinus, Jerome speaks of him as a man or great holiness who was rich […]

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December 20 – Abraham

December 17, 2018

Abraham The original form of the name, Abram, is apparently the Assyrian Abu-ramu. It is doubtful if the usual meaning attached to that word “lofty father”, is correct. The meaning given to Abraham in Genesis 17:5 is popular word play, and the real meaning is unknown. The Assyriologist, Hommel suggests that in the Minnean dialect, […]

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December 20 – Isaac

December 17, 2018

Isaac The son of Abraham and Sara. The incidents of his life are told in Genesis 15-35, in a narrative the principal parts of which are traced back by many scholars to three several documents (J, E, P) utilized in the composition of the Book of Genesis (see ABRAHAM). According to Genesis 17:17; 18:12; 21:6, […]

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December 20 – Jacob

December 17, 2018

Jacob The son of Isaac and Rebecca, third great patriarch of the chosen people, and the immediate ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel. The incidents of his life are given in parts of Gen., xxv, 21-1, 13, wherein the documents (J, E, P) are distinguished by modern scholars (see ABRAHAM, I, 52). His name— […]

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December 20 – Her church ranks third in Rome

December 17, 2018

St. Anastasia This martyr enjoys the distinction, unique in the Roman liturgy, of having a special commemoration in the second Mass on Christmas day. This Mass was originally celebrated not in honour of the birth of Christ, but in commemoration of this martyr, and towards the end of the fifth century her name was also […]

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The Lutheran leaders threaten to join forces with the Muslims

December 13, 2018

The new heresies had gained adherents in Paris. Calvin was there, and Servet, his future victim; and Rabelais, the precursor of Voltaire. Calvin, who had studied philosophy at the College de Montaigu, had made the rest of his studies at Ste.Barbe, and, while St. Ignatius was there, frequently came thither. He gained many converts to […]

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Self-Love Makes Us Irritated Seeing Standards of Living Superior to Our Own

December 13, 2018

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira All of us are inclined to pick on standards of living superior to ours as superfluous. This comes from self-love: “I live entirely well with what suffices to me, so why does so-and-so want more than he needs? He is vain! Proud! Does he think he is more than me?” […]

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December 14 – Son of a disinherited noble

December 13, 2018

St. John of the Cross Founder (with St. Teresa) of the Discalced Carmelites, doctor of mystic theology, born at Hontoveros, Old Castile, 24 June, 1542; died at Ubeda, Andalusia, 14 Dec., 1591. John de Yepes, youngest child of Gonzalo de Yepes and Catherine Alvarez, poor silk weavers of Toledo, knew from his earliest years the […]

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December 15 – St. Drostan

December 13, 2018

St. Drostan (DRUSTAN, DUSTAN, THROSTAN) A Scottish abbot who flourished about a.d. 600. All that is known of him is found in the “Breviarium Aberdonense” and in the “Book of Deir”, a ninth-century MS. now in the University Library of Cambridge, but these two accounts do not agree in every particular. He appears to have […]

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December 16 – St. Adelaide: Most Important Woman of Her Century

December 13, 2018

St. Adelaide (ADELHEID). Born 931; died 16 December, 999, one of the conspicuous characters in the struggle of Otho the Great to obtain the imperial crown from the Roman Pontiffs. She was the daughter of Rudolph II, King of Burgundy, who was at war with Hugh of Provence for the crown of Italy. The rivals […]

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December 16 – Saint Judicael ap Hoel

December 13, 2018

Saint Judicael ap Hoel (c. 590 – 16 or 17 December 658) was the King of Domnonée and a Breton high king in the mid-seventh century. According to Gregory of Tours, the Bretons were divided into various regna (subkingdoms) during the sixth century, of which Domnonée, Cornouaille, and Broweroch are the best known; they had […]

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December 16 – Can Whistleblowers Be Saints? This One Was…

December 13, 2018

St. Ado, Archbishop of Vienne, Confessor Born about 800, in the diocese of Sens; died 16 December, 875. He was brought up at the Benedictine Abbey of Ferrières, and had as one of his masters the Abbot Lupus Servatus, one of the most celebrated humanists of those times. By his brilliant talents and assiduous application […]

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December 17 – St. Olympias

December 13, 2018

Born 360-5; died 25 July, 408, probably at Nicomedia. This pious, charitable, and wealthy disciple of St. John Chrysostom came from an illustrious family in Constantinople. Her father (called by the sources Secundus or Selencus) was a “Count” of the empire; one of her ancestors, Ablabius, filled in 331 the consular office, and was also […]

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December 17 – St. Begga, Widow and Abbess

December 13, 2018

This saint was daughter of Pepin of Landen, eldest sister to St. Gertrude of Nivelle, and married Ansegise, son to St. Arnoul, who was some time mayor of the palace, and afterwards bishop of Metz. Her husband being killed in hunting, she dedicated herself to a penitential state of retirement, and, after performing a pilgrimage […]

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December 17 – St. Sturmius and the diocese of Fulda

December 13, 2018

To systematize the work of evangelizing Germany, St. Boniface organized a hierarchy on the usual ecclesiastical basis; in Bavaria the Dioceses of Salzburg, Freising, Ratisbon, and Passau; in Franconia and Thuringia, Würzburg, Eichstätt, Buraburg near Fritzlar, and Erfurt. To facilitate missionary work farther north, especially among the Saxons, he sought a suitable spot for the […]

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December 11 – Pope Falsely Accused of Adultery

December 10, 2018

Pope St. Damasus I Born about 304; died 11 December, 384. His father, Antonius, was probably a Spaniard; the name of his mother, Laurentia, was not known until quite recently. Damasus seems to have been born at Rome; it is certain that he grew up there in the service of the church of the martyr […]

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December 11 – Her Name Was “Mother Marvelous”

December 10, 2018

St. María de las Maravillas de Jesús Pidal y Chico de Guzmán was born in Madrid, Spain, on 4 November 1891. She was the daughter of Luis Pidal y Mon, Marquis of Pidal, and Cristina Chico de Guzmán y Munoz. At the time her father was the Spanish ambassador to the Holy See and she grew […]

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December 12 – Tancred

December 10, 2018

Tancred Prince of Antioch, born about 1072; died at Antioch, 12 Dec., 1112. He was the son of Marquess Odo and Emma, probably the daughter of Robert Guiscard. He took the Cross in 1096 with the Norman lords of Southern Italy and joined the service of his uncle Bohemund. Having disembarked at Arlona (Epirus), they […]

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December 12 – Guadalupe: She Who Smashes the Serpent

December 10, 2018

by Cesar Franco Pope Pius XII gave Our Lady of Guadalupe the title of “Empress of the Americas” in 1945. Since December 12 is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, this is a propitious moment to recall how She reigns over our nation from Heaven, protecting and guiding us with Motherly solicitude and tenderness. […]

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December 13 – The girl named Lucy, opposite of Lucifer

December 10, 2018

St. Lucy A virgin and martyr of Syracuse in Sicily, whose feast is celebrated by Latins and Greeks alike on 13 Dec. According to the traditional story, she was born of rich and noble parents about the year 283. Her father was of Roman origin, but his early death left her dependent upon her mother, […]

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December 13 – St. Odilia

December 10, 2018

St. Odilia Patroness of Alsace, born at the end of the seventh century; died about 720. According to a trustworthy statement, apparently taken from an earlier life, she was the daughter of the Frankish lord Adalrich (Aticus, Etik) and his wife Bereswinda, who had large estates in Alsace. She founded the convent of Hohenburg (Odilienberg) […]

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December 13 – “The eyes which I must please are a hundred miles from here”

December 10, 2018

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

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December 13 – Elected Pope to Fight the Emperor

December 10, 2018

Pope Callistus II Date of birth unknown; died 13 December, 1124. His reign, beginning 1 February, 1119, is signalized by the termination of the Investiture controversy which, begun in the time of Gregory VII, had raged with almost unabated bitterness during the last quarter of the eleventh century and the opening years of the twelfth. […]

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The Name Change

December 6, 2018

The King gave the final order. That two days afterwards, that is to say on the 1st of October, Jeromín was to be established in Valladolid with the Quijadas in a house which Doña Magdalena owned opposite that of the Conde de Rivadeo, which was henceforth to be the residence of the new prince; and […]

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Aging Gracefully or Shamefully

December 6, 2018

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira In today’s society, at least as it pertains to the natural aging process, “young” is “in”—“old” is “out.” Everyone wants to appear young. There is a strange anomaly here. While it is fashionable to collect antiques and even vintage automobiles, a deep-rooted sentiment of displeasure exists among those for whom […]

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December 7 – The People Acclaimed Him as Bishop Even Though He Was Unbaptized

December 6, 2018

St. Ambrose Bishop of Milan from 374 to 397; born probably 340, at Trier, Arles, or Lyons; died 4 April, 397. He was one of the most illustrious Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and fitly chosen, together with St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Athanasius, to uphold the venerable Chair of the Prince […]

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December 8 – The Immaculate Conception: The Celebration of Privilege

December 6, 2018

Wherefore, in humility and fasting, we unceasingly offered our private prayers as well as the public prayers of the Church to God the Father through his Son, that he would deign to direct and strengthen our mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. In like manner did we implore the help of the entire […]

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December 8 – To overcome his repugnance, he bound himself by vow

December 6, 2018

St. Noel Chabanel A Jesuit missionary among the Huron Indians, born in Southern France, 2 February, 1613; slain by a renegade Huron, 8 December, 1649. Chabanel entered the Jesuit novitiate at Toulouse at the age of seventeen, and was professor of rhetoric in several colleges of the society in the province of Toulouse. He was […]

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