There was hunting every day, and when the baron was not thinking of battle you may be certain that he was thinking of stags and wild boars. Every winter morning, he donned his hunting dress, his great boots, to which he attached big spurs; if very cold he put on a mantle of fur. His costume was simple: luxury was only apparent in his ivory hunting-horn, very beautifully carved and ornamented, suspended round his neck by a silken cord of some bright hue. Larch buckskin gloves covered his hands, his bow and arrows were carried by his beaters; and his Danish axe, and his hunting knife by himself for close quarters. The hounds gamboled around him. He starts: The morning is delightful. He enters the wood, and seeks the wild boar of whose presence therein he has been informed. Never has such a monster been tracked, and happy indeed will the baron be if he can present its head to his wife. Come on! Come on!

Prince Alfred boar-hunting

The hounds are put on the scent, and go baying through the wood startling the birds. Where is the boar? At length the peculiar cry of the hounds indicates the spot, and suddenly the game is discovered. He is surrounded by the hounds, but he exacts a severe penalty. The baron’s favorites are slain and wounded: Their master will avenge his faithful dog. He pursues the boar alone, only a few hounds accompanying him. He comes up with the boar—one, two, three dogs roll helpless on the earth—then the baron approaches, brandishing his boar-spear, and plunges it full into the beast’s chest. The blow is fatal. The blood flows in torrents, and the hounds lick it up greedily. Then exhausted, lolling out their tongues, they lie down beside the enormous brute like dwarfs around a giant. The hunt is over.

We need not detail the incidents of the triumphal return, and the delight and terror of all at the castle as they inspect the fearful quarry, and touch its enormous paws and grinning mouth. In such a manner our ancestors hunted—the chase was the great passion of their lives, and no one will deny that it was a good school for a military career.

Thanks to the tournament, thanks to the chase, the man-at-arms was never taken by surprise nor deceived by misrepresentation. He could always proudly declare that he was prepared for anything—“I am ready.”

So when a new Crusade was preached he had only to don his hauberk, take leave of his wife and children, embrace the cross, and mount his charger Passavant. He was ready.

León Gautier, Chivalry, trans. Henry Frith (London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd., 1891), 469–70.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 704

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

Christmas is coming!

December 12, 2019

It is not too late to get that special gift!  

Several books to choose from!

Shop today!

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

The Benedictio Novi Militis

December 12, 2019

The Church’s Ceremony for the Investiture of New Knights: The Benedictio Novi Militis

In the actual state of the question the Benedictio novi militis is represented by three classes of authorities. First comes the famous Ordo Vulgatus, which has been published successively by Cassander Hiltorp Ferrari and by the publishers of the Maxima Bibliotheca Patrum. It is evidently derived from the text of the Vallicellane. Secondly, there is the Pontifical of William Durand, which is conveyed almost in its entirety (its greatest honor) into the official edition of the Roman Pontifical. Thirdly and lastly, there is the valuable MS. 4748 in the Vatican, which goes no farther back than the thirteenth century, but which is the most Roman of all, and informs us categorically of the special rites performed in St. Peter’s at the creation of new knights. . . .

Francis I knight by Bayard at the battle of Marignan. Tableau de Louis Ducis, 1817.

Our readers must not be surprised if we give the foremost place to the Pontifical of William Durand, and present it as the most complete type of this magnificent rite—as that which is most completely “French.”

The Pontifical Mass is celebrated in the newly-finished cathedral: the bishop is present—the bishop who in the Middle Ages possesses the authority and weight of a crowned king. The last echoes of the concluding Alleluja are resounding through the chancel. At that moment—it is well chosen—the prelate proceeds to the benediction of the swords, which forms the first act of the liturgical drama. To bless this piece of metal, which may perhaps be drawn in the service of and to save the Truth, the bishop reads in solemn tones some of the prayers, so unjustly decried, which are the glory of the Catholic literature. “Bless this sword so that Thy servant may in future be in opposition to the cruelty of heretics and pagans; the defender of the Church, and of widows, orphans, and all those who fear God.” Then the bishop adds, “Bless this sword, holy Lord, all –powerful Father, eternal God, bless it in the name of the coming of Jesus Christ, and by the descent of the Holy Ghost. Grant that Thy servant, always possessing thy love as his armor, may tread down his enemies, and victorious may be sheltered from all harm.”

It seems to us that the most illustrious philosophers and pets of pagan antiquity would have admired such firm and noble language, but that their ideal never attained such a high pitch. What might not they have said while listening to the words which the bishop borrowed from the Old Testament. “Blessed be the Lord my God who teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. My castle and deliverer, my defender!” Then, after a duologue between the bishop and the choir, the grave slow accents of the prelate are heard once more in the prayer—

Knighting Ceremony

“Holy God, all-powerful Father, eternal Lord, who orders and disposes all things, Who, only in order that Justice may be upheld here below, and that the fury of the wicked may be restrained, hast, by a most salutary decree, permitted man to wield the sword. For the protection of thy people Thou hast ordained the institution of Chivalry. To a child, to David, Thou didst in olden time give victory over Goliath. Thou tookest Judas Maccabeus by the hand, and led him to triumph over all those nations which had not called upon thy name. Behold now thy servant, who has bent his neck beneath the military yoke, send him from on high the strength and courage necessary for the defense of Truth and Justice. Increase his faith, strengthen his hope, enlarge his charity, give him Thy fear and love, humility and perseverance, obedience and patience. Dispose him to all that is right, and grant that with this sword he may strike none unjustly, but may with it defend all that is just, all that is good.”

Pope Alexander III hands the holy sword to the Doge of Venice, Sebastiano Ziani, who sails with his fleet against the imperial army.

Meantime the great sword was lying on the altar unsheathed. At the close of the prayer the bishop seized it, all perfumed as it was and consecrated by the almost Eucharistic contact, and placed it in the right hand of the future knight.

“Receive it,” he said, “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” Then he sheathed the weapon and—this was the solemn moment—girt it about the aspirant who was kneeling before him, saying: “Be thou girded with this sword, O most powerful.” Then the knight brandished the sword, and flourished it with pride and confidence, joyfully. Then he wiped it beneath his left arm as if it were already besmeared with the blood of his enemies, and returned it to the scabbard. Then the new knight and the bishop exchanged the kiss of peace, and the latter said: “Be thou a soldier—peaceful, courageous, faithful, devoted to God.” Here the “buffet,” the alapa, was administered according to the ancient ritual, yet the blow was not delivered with a brutal fist, but with the fingers, which gently touched the cheek of the cavalier. Then the bishop cried—

“Awake from dull sleep, and rise to the honor and the faith of Christ!”

St. Martin is Knighted

If any other knights were present they attached the spurs to the heels of the defender of Eternal Justice. The ceremony ended, in the Pontifical of William Durand, with the solemn benediction of the vexillum, and in the Roman Pontifical by this rubric, which is not wanting in beauty—“His dictis novus miles vadit in pace.”

In peace—and he a soldier!

 

León Gautier, Chivalry, trans. Henry Frith (London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd., 1891), 254–7.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

St. Lucy

Panel depicting the martyrdom of St. Lucy

Panel depicting the martyrdom of 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, whose name, Eutychia, seems to indicate that she came of Greek stock. Like so many of the early martyrs, Lucy had consecrated her virginity to God, and she hoped to devote all her worldly goods to the service of the poor. Her mother was not so single-minded, but an occasion offered itself when Lucy could carry out her generous resolutions. The fame of the virgin-martyr Agatha, who had been executed fifty-two years before in the Decian persecution, was attracting numerous visitors to her relics at Catania, not fifty miles from Syracuse, and many miracles had been wrought through her intercession. Eutychia was therefore persuaded to make a pilgrimage to Catania, in the hope of being cured or a haemorrhage, from which she had been suffering for several years. There she was in fact cured, and Lucy, availing herself of the opportunity, persuaded her mother to allow her to distribute a great part of her riches among the poor…
Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

December 13 – St. Odilia

December 12, 2019

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) in Alsace, to which Charlemagne granted immunity, confirmed 9 March, 837 by Louis the Pious who endowed the foundation (Böhmer-Muhlbacher, “Regesta Imperii”, I, 866, 933)…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

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 de Chantal, and lived in the feudal castle of Bourbilly. She restored order in the household, which was on the brink of ruin, and brought back prosperity. During her husband’s absence at the court, or with the army, when reproached for her extremely sober manner of dressing, her reply was: “The eyes which I must please are a hundred miles from here”. She found more than once that God blessed with miracles the care she gave the suffering members of Christ. St. Francis de Sales’s eulogy of her characterizes her life at Bourbilly and everywhere else: “In Madame de Chantal I have found the perfect woman, whom Solomon had difficulty in finding in Jerusalem”. Baron de Chantal was accidently killed by an arquebus while out shooting in 1601. Left a widow at twenty-eight, with four children, the broken-hearted baroness took a vow of chastity. In all her prayers she besought God to send her a guide and God, in a vision, showed her the spiritual director He held in reserve for her. In order to safeguard her children’s property, she was obliged to go and live at Monthelon in the home of her father-in-law, who was ruled over by an arrogant and wicked servant. This was real servitude, which she bore patiently and gently for seven years. At last her virtue triumphed over the ill will of the old man and house keeper…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

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. Guido, as he was called before his elevation to the papacy, was the son of Count William of Burgundy, and both by his father’s and mother’s side was closely connected with nearly all the royal houses of Europe. His brother Hugh had been appointed Archbishop of Besancon, and he himself was named Archbishop of Vienne (1088), and afterwards appointed papal legate in France by Paschal II. During Guido’s tenure in this office, Paschal II, yielding to the threats of Henry V, was induced to issue the “Privilegium” (1111) by which he yielded up much of what had been claimed by Gregory VII, but these concessions were received with violent opposition and nowhere more so than in France, where the opposition was led by Guido, the papal legate. The latter was present at the Lateran Synod (1112), and on his return to France convoked an assembly of the French and Burgundian bishops at Vienne (1112), where the investiture of the clergy was denounced as heretical, and sentence of excommunication pronounced against Henry V because he had dared to extort from the pope by violence an agreement opposed to the interests of the Church. These decrees were sent to Paschal II with a request for confirmation, which they received in general terms, 20 October, 1112 (Hardouin, VI, 2, 1916)…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

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 hardships of life. The father, originally of a good family but disinherited on account of his marriage below his rank, died in the prime of his youth; the widow, assisted by her eldest son, was scarcely able to provide the bare necessities. John was sent to the poor school at Medina del Campo, whither the family had gone to live, and proved an attentive and diligent pupil; but when apprenticed to an artisan, he seemed incapable of learning anything. Thereupon the governor of the hospital of Medina took him into his service, and for seven years John divided his time between waiting on the poorest of the poor, and frequenting a school established by the Jesuits. Already at that early age he treated his body with the utmost rigour; twice he was saved from certain death by the intervention of the Blessed Virgin. Anxious about his future life, he was told in prayer that he was to serve God in an order the ancient perfection of which he was to help bring back again. The Carmelites having founded a house at Medina, he there received the habit on 24 February, 1563, and took the name of John of St. Matthias. After profession he obtained leave from his superiors to follow to the letter the original Carmelite rule without the mitigations granted by various popes. He was sent to Salamanca for the higher studies, and was ordained priest in 1567; at his first Mass he received the assurance that he should preserve his baptismal innocence. But, shrinking from the responsibilities of the priesthood, he determined to join the Carthusians…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

December 15 – St. Drostan

December 12, 2019

St. Drostan

(DRUSTAN, DUSTAN, THROSTAN)

st drostanA 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 belonged to the royal family of the Scoti, his father’s name being Cosgrach. Showing signs of a religious vocation he was entrusted at an early age to the care of St. Columba, who trained him and gave him the monastic habit. He accompanied that saint when he visited Aberdour (Aberdeen) in Buchan. The Pictish ruler of that country gave them the site of Deir, fourteen miles farther inland, where they established a monastery, and when St. Columba returned to Iona he left St. Drostan there as abbot of the new foundation. On the death of the Abbot of Dalquhongale (Holywood) some few years later, St. Drostan was chosen to succeed him. Afterwards, feeling called to a life of greater seclusion, he resigned his abbacy, went farther north, and became a hermit at Glenesk. Here his sanctity attracted the poor and needy, and many miracles are ascribed to him, including the restoration of sight to a priest named Symon. After his death his relics were transferred to Arberdour and honourably preserved there. The “Breviary of Aberdeen” celebrates his feast on 15 December. The monastery of Deir, which had fallen into decay, was rebuilt for Cistercian monks in 1213 and so continued until the Reformation.

DEMPSTER, Hist. Eccl. Gent. Scot. (Edinburgh, 1829); Breviarium Aberdonense (London, 1854); INNES, Scotland in the Middle Ages (Edinburgh, 1860); FORBES, Kalendar of Scottish Saints (Edinburgh, 1872); GAMMACK in Dict. of Christ. Biog. (London, 1877).

G. CYPRIAN ALSTON (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

St. Adelaide

(ADELHEID).

St. AdelaideBorn 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 concluded a peace in 933, by which it was stipulated that Adelaide should marry Hugh’s son Lothaire. The marriage took place, however, only fourteen years later; Adelaide’s mother meantime married Hugh. By this time Berengarius, the Marquis of Ivrea, came upon the scene, claiming the Kingdom of Italy for himself…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

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 been under Frankish suzerainty during the time of Clovis I. This they had thrown off by the time of Chilperic I, who subdued them and their chief Waroch II, at least in the east of Brittany. Guntram, Chilperic’s brother, retained his lordship over Waroch and the Brittani formed a Frankish tributary-vassal state through the reign of Dagobert I…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

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 Ado gained the esteem of his masters and schoolmates, while his ready obedience, deep humility, and sincere piety foreshadowed his future holiness…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

Pope St. Gregory III

(Reigned 731-741.)

Pope Gregory IIIPope St. Gregory III was the son of a Syrian named John. The date of his birth is not known. His reputation for learning and virtue was so great that the Romans elected him pope by acclamation, when he was accompanying the funeral procession of his predecessor, 11 February, 731. As he was not consecrated for more than a month after his election, it is presumed that he waited for the confirmation of his election by the exarch at Ravenna. In the matter of Iconoclasm, he followed the policy of his predecessor. He sent legates and letters to remonstrate with the persecuting emperor, Leo III, and held two synods in Rome (731) in which the image-breaking heresy was condemned. By way of a practical protest against the emperor’s action he made it a point of paying special honour to images and relics, giving particular attention to the subject of St. Peter’s. Fragments of inscriptions, to be seen in the crypts of the Vatican basilica, bear witness to this day of an oratory he built therein, and of the special prayers he ordered to be there recited…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

Pope St. Miltiades

The year of his birth is not known; he was elected pope in either 310 or 311; died 10 or 11 January, 314. After the banishment of Pope Eusebius, the Roman See was vacant for some time, probably because of the complications which has arisen on account of the apostates (lapsi), and which were not cleared up by the banishment of Eusebius and Heraclius. On 2 July, 310 or 311, Miltiadea (the name is also written Melchiades), a native of Africa, was elevated to the papacy. There is some uncertainty as to the exact year, as the “Liberian Catalogue of the Popes” (Duchesne, “Liber Pontificalis”, I, 9) gives 2 July, 311, as the date of the consecration of the new pope (ex die VI non. iul. a cons. Maximiliano VIII solo, quod fuit mense septembri Volusiano et Rufino); but in contradiction to this the death of the pope is said to have occurred on 2 January, 314, and the duration of the pontificate is given as three years, six months and eight days; possibly owing to the mistake of a copyist, we ought to read “ann. II” instead of “ann. III”; and therefore the year of his elevation to the papacy was most probably 311. About this time (311 or 310), an edict of toleration signed by the Emperors Galerius…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

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 St. Laurence. He was elected pope in October, 366, by a large majority, but a number of over-zealous adherents of the deceased Liberius rejected him, chose the deacon Ursinus (or Ursicinus), had the latter irregularly consecrated, and resorted to much violence and bloodshed in order to seat him in the Chair of Peter. Many details of this scandalous conflict are related in the highly prejudiced “Libellus Precum” (P.L., XIII, 83-107), a petition to the civil authority on the part of Faustinus and Marcellinus, two anti-Damasan presbyters (cf. also Ammianus Marcellinus, Rer. Gest., XXVII, c. iii). Valentinian recognized Damasus and banished (367) Ursinus to Cologne, whence he was later allowed to return to Milan, but was forbidden to come to Rome or its vicinity…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

Twenty-two year old María Maravillas Pidal y Chico de Guzmán in 1914.

Twenty-two year old María Maravillas Pidal y Chico de Guzmán in 1914.

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 up in a devoutly Catholic family.

She made a vow of chastity at age of five and devoted herself to many charitable works. After coming into contact with the writings of St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Jesus, she entered the Carmelite monastery of El Escorial in 1920. Four years later, Sr. Maravillas and three other religious founded a Carmel in Cerro de los Angeles, where she made her solemn profession that same year. The monastery quickly grew and in 1933 she made a foundation in Kottayam, India. From this Carmel other foundations were made in India…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

December 12 – Tancred

December 9, 2019

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 marched towards Constantinople, and Tancred soon attracted attention by his activity, bravery, and somewhat undisciplined zeal; according to his biographer, Raoul de Caen, he was noted also for his humanity and kindness towards the defenceless. He brilliantly repulsed the Byzantine army which attacked him as he was crossing the Vardar (28 Feb., 1097) from which time Tancred became and remained the bitter…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

by Cesar Franco

The Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

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. The constant miracle memorialized on Saint Juan Diego’s tilma and the context of the apparitions remind us that Our Lady is victorious over the serpent, intervenes in history and is eager to intercede for those who seek Her intercession in this vale of tears…

Read more here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

According to BT.com:

…staff decorated the castle’s state apartments with shimmering Christmas trees, twinkling lights and a special display marking the 200th anniversary of the births of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

One of the centrepieces was a 20ft Nordmann fir tree from Windsor Great Park standing at the end of St George’s Hall dressed with hundreds of iridescent glass and mirrored ornaments.

In the State Dining Room the table was laid with silver-gilt pieces from the Grand Service used by Queen Victoria, and still used today by the Queen and her guests at state banquets.

To read the entire article on BT.com, please click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

According to The Guardian:

Later in her life, the “Princess of Battenberg” established an order of nuns, giving away all her possessions before dying on 5 December 1969.

The 50th anniversary of that date will come on Thursday… During the second world war, Princess Alice sheltered the persecuted Cohen family from the Nazis and their sympathisers, including some of her own children.

“What Princess Alice did, she saved the whole family,” said Evy Cohen, whose grandmother, aunt and uncle hid in the royal’s residence in Athens during the Nazi occupation of Greece.

And the princess’s status would not have necessarily afforded her protection.

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

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 0 comments }

December 2: The Battle of Loigny

December 5, 2019

The battle of Loigny, one of the most bloody encounters of that terrible winter, was made memorable by the heroic attitude of the Pontifical Zouaves, commanded by Charette, who was himself under the orders of General de Sonis, an eminent leader and a fervent Catholic. After the battle, Abbé Theuré’s house was filled with wounded […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

Knights Were Dubbed After Battle

December 5, 2019

“Where was the knight armed?” On the field of battle, first of all, in the hour of enthusiasm and victory after some doughty deed. This grand old custom may be placed very far back into antiquity, and our old poems give us many striking instances of it. In this manner Danois was dubbed under the […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 6 – Good St. Nicholas

December 5, 2019

Life of Saint Nicholas from Legenda Aurea by Jacobus de Voragine Here beginneth the Life of Saint Nicholas the Bishop. Nicholas is said of Nichos, which is to say victory, and of laos, people, so Nicholas is as much as to say as victory of people, that is, victory of sins, which befoul people. Or […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 6 – Martyr of the Muslims

December 5, 2019

St. Peter Paschal, Bishop and Martyr This saint was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1227, and descended of the ancient family of the Paschals, which had edified the Church by the triumphs of five glorious martyrs, which it produced under the Moors. Peter’s parents were virtuous and exceedingly charitable; and St. Peter Nolasco often lodged […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

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

December 5, 2019

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 […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

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

December 5, 2019

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 […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 9 – Banker and Saint

December 5, 2019

St. Peter Fourier Known as LE BON PÈRE DE MATTAINCOURT (Good Father of Mattaincourt), born at Mirecourt, Lorraine, 30 Nov., 1565 died at Gray, Haute-Saône, 9 Dec., 1640. At fifteen he was sent to the University of Pont-à-Mousson. His piety and learning led many noble families to ask him to educate their sons. He became […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 9 – The Immaculate Conception: The Celebration of Privilege

December 5, 2019

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 […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

Queen Elizabeth II praises heroes who stopped London Bridge terrorist

December 2, 2019

According to the Washington Post: The queen on Saturday led tributes to individual acts of bravery on London Bridge, which included a Polish immigrant helping subdue the British-born terrorist with a five-foot narwhal tusk grabbed from a wall. Queen Elizabeth II, in a statement, praised their bravery. “I express my enduring thanks to the police […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

The cause of canonization for James II, the last Catholic King of England

December 2, 2019

According to uCatholic.com: From his death and into the 1740s, there were reports of miraculous cures owed to the intercession of James II… In 1765, Thomas Pennant wrote: “In a side chapel is the coffin of King James II. A monk showed me several crutches, left by people on whom his deceased Majesty had wrought […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 3 – St. Francis Xavier, Apostle of the Indies

December 2, 2019

St. Francis Xavier Born in the Castle of Xavier near Sanguesa, in Navarre, 7 April, 1506; died on the Island of Sancian near the coast of China, 2 December, 1552. In 1525, having completed a preliminary course of studies in his own country, Francis Xavier went to Paris, where he entered the collège de Sainte-Barbe. […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 4 – Saint Barbara

December 2, 2019

Saint Barbara Virgin and Martyr. There is no reference to St. Barbara contained in the authentic early historical authorities for Christian antiquity, neither does her name appear in the original recension of St. Jerome’s martyrology. Veneration of the saint was common, however, from the seventh century. At about this date there were in existence legendary […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 4 – Saint Osmund, founder of the Cathedral system of Church governance

December 2, 2019

Saint Osmund Bishop of Salisbury, died 1099; his feast is kept on 4 December. Osmund held an exalted position in Normandy, his native land, and according to a late fifteenth-century document was the son of Henry, Count of Séez, and Isabella, daughter of Robert, Duke of Normandy, who was the father of William the Conqueror […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 4 – From a Muslim court, he opposed the Christian Emperor…and won!

December 2, 2019

St. John Damascene Born at Damascus, about 676; died some time between 754 and 787. The only extant life of the saint is that by John, Patriarch of Jerusalem, which dates from the tenth century (P.G. XCIV, 429-90). This life is the single source from which have been drawn the materials of all his biographical […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 5 – Noble matron faithful unto death

December 2, 2019

St. Crispina A martyr of Africa who suffered during the Diocletian persecution; born at Thagara in the Province of Africa; died by beheading at Thebeste in Numidia, 5 December, 304. Crispina belonged to a distinguished family and was a wealthy matron with children. At the time of the persecution she was brought before the proconsul […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

Keep The Horse

November 28, 2019

Rudolph, Count of Hapsburg, whilst hunting one day, observed a priest carrying the Viaticum to the sick, whereupon he immediately alighted, and insisted on the priest mounting in his place. The offer was accepted. The priest, having gone through his sacred and pastoral duty, returned the animal, with many marks of gratitude, to the Count. […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

Need a gift idea?

November 28, 2019

Need a gift idea?   These are only some of the many great books available! Shop today!  

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

Two Cities Mirror Two Eras

November 28, 2019

The modern city is of imprecise contours; like a tumor that extends itself here, there, and everywhere, [the modern city] grows extensively in one certain direction, while in other areas there yet exist parks which extend almost to the downtown district. The medieval city gives the impression of a well-minted coin. It is replete with […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

November 29 – The coronation of St. Louis IX of France

November 28, 2019

Traditionally, new sacred music was composed for a coronation. The motet…which was sung for the anointing of Louis IX has come down to us. It was called Gaude, felix Francia…. The boy who was to be anointed and crowned was already on a platform built in front of the chancel, surrounded by the great lords […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

November 29 – St. Saturninus

November 28, 2019

St. Saturninus was, says Tillemont, one of the most illustrious martyrs France has given to the Church. We possess only his Acts, which are very old, since they were utilized by St. Gregory of Tours. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, whither he went during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250). Whether there […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

November 29 – Grandson of the one who defeated Charles Martel in battle

November 28, 2019

St. Radbod, Bishop of Utrecht, Confessor This holy prelate was, by his father, of noble French extraction; and, by his mother, Radbod, the last king or prince of the Frisons was his great grandfather, whose name was given him by his mother. The first tincture of learning and piety he received under the tuition of […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

November 30 – His name means manhood, or valour

November 28, 2019

St. Andrew The name “Andrew” (Gr., andreia, manhood, or valour), like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews from the second or third century B.C. St. Andrew, the Apostle, son of Jonah, or John (Matt., xvi, 17; John, i, 42), was born in Bethsaida of Galilee (John, i, 44). He was […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 1 – The Virgin Mary appears to General Gaston de Sonis after his army’s losses at Patay promising that France would survive

November 28, 2019

On the night of December 1 [1870], the Zouaves were ordered to advance to Patay [France], where Joan of Arc had won a renowned victory against the English. [General Louis-Gaston de] Sonis asked [Colonel Athanase de] Charette, who had no flag of his own, to lend him the Zouaves’. This banner had a curious history….  […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 1 – Bl. Ralph Sherwin

November 28, 2019

Bl. Ralph Sherwin English martyr, born 1550 at Rodesley, near Longford, Derbyshire; died at Tyburn, 1 December, 1581. In 1568 Sir William Petre nominated him to one of the eight fellowships which he had founded at Exeter College, Oxford, probably acting under the influence of the martyr’s uncle, John Woodward, who from 1556 to 1566 […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 1 – Billionaire Saint

November 28, 2019

Saint Eligius (French: Eloi), Bishop of Noyon-Tournai, born at Chaptelat near Limoges, France, circa 590, of Roman parents, Eucherius and Terrigia; died at Noyon, December 1, 660. His father, recognizing unusual talent in his son, sent him to the noted goldsmith Abbo, master of the mint at Limoges. Later Eligius went to Neustria, where he […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 1 – He Hid Priests in His Manorhouse

November 28, 2019

Blessed Richard Langley Layman and martyr, b. probably at Grimthorpe, Yorks, England, date unknown; d. at York, 1 Dec., 1586. From his father, Richard Langley, of Rathorpe Hall, Walton, he probably inherited Rathorpe, but for the greater part of his life continued to reside on his estate at Ousethorpe, in the East Riding. His mother […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 1 – The Queen bade him ask for what he would

November 28, 2019

Edmund Campion, English Jesuit Saint and martyr; he was the son and namesake of a Catholic bookseller, and was born in London, 25 Jan., 1540; executed at Tyburn, 1 Dec., 1581. A city company sent the promising child to a grammar school and to Christ Church Hospital. When Mary Tudor entered London in state as […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 2 – Cause of Our Joy

November 28, 2019

Our Lady of Joy (aka Notre Dame de Liesse, or Causa Nostrae Laetitiae) In 1134 three Knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, prisoners of the Muslims in Egypt, miraculously found or received in their prison a statue of Our Lady, which they named Our Lady of Joy, or Notre Dame de Liesse. […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

December 2 – St. Chromatius

November 28, 2019

St. Chromatius Bishop of Aquileia, died about 406-407. He was probably born at Aquileia, and in any case grew up there. He became a priest of that church and about 387 or 388, after the death of Valerianus, bishop of that important city. He was one of the most celebrated prelates of his time and […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

November 26 – How a Catholic Queen gave Spain its Golden Age

November 25, 2019

Queen Isabella I (“The Catholic”) Queen of Castile; born in the town of Madrigal de las Altas Torres, 22 April, 1451; died a little before noon, 26 November, 1504, in the castle of La Mota, which still stands at Medina del Campo (Valladolid). She was the daughter of John II, King of Castile, by his […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

November 26 – St. Leonard of Port Maurice

November 25, 2019

St. Leonard of Port Maurice Preacher and ascetic writer, b. 20 Dec., 1676, at Porto Maurizio on the Riviera di Ponente; d. at the monastery of S. Bonaventura, Rome, 26 Nov., 1751. The son of Domenico Casanova and Anna Maria Benza, he joined after a brilliant course of study with the Jesuits in Rome (Collegio […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

November 27 – The king who made France “First-born daughter of the Church”

November 25, 2019

Clovis Son of Childeric, King of the Salic Franks; born in the year 466; died at Paris, 27 November, 511. He succeeded his father as the King of the Franks of Tournai in 481. His kingdom was probably one of the States that sprang from the division of Clodion’s monarchy like those of Cambrai, Tongres […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

November 27 – St. Maximus of Riez

November 25, 2019

St. Maximus, Bishop of Riez, Confessor About the Year 460. ST. MAXIMUS was born in Provence at Decomer, now called Chateau-Redon, near Digne. His truly Christian parents saw him baptized in his infancy, and brought him up in the love and practice of virtue, and an enemy to its bane, the pleasure of the senses, […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

November 28 – December 27 – Siege of Jasna Góra

November 25, 2019

Lessons in Psychological Warfare from the Siege of Jasna Góra, November 28-December 27, 1655 This account of the siege of  Częstochowa is based on the Memoirs of the Siege of Czestochowa by Father Augustine Kordecki (Pamietnik oblezenia Częstochowy, edited and with a preface by Jan Tokarski, London, Veritas, 1956.) Written by Friar Kordecki in response […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

November 28 – Count Louis de Baude Frontenac

November 25, 2019

Count Louis de Baude Frontenac A governor of New France, born at Paris, 1662; died at Quebec, 28 Nov., 1698. His father was captain of the royal castle of St-Germain-en-laye; his mother, née Phelypeaux, was the daughter of the king’s secretary of state; Louis XIII was his godfather. By his valour and skill he won […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

Law proposed to change Japanese Imperial succession

November 21, 2019

According to Royal Central: …a new proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan…propose[s] to let some ex-imperial family members back into the family. The [current] law states that only legitimate male descendants in the male line can be heir to the throne and that the Emperor and other members of the imperial family may […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

Raoul de Cambrai’s Seneschal Rebukes Him for His Crimes

November 21, 2019

Amongst all the members of the baron’s household there reigned the most complete and charming familiarity, tempered with fear and respect. The servitors spoke to their master with a liberty which required no rebuke. From this point of view I know nothing more striking, nothing more beautiful than the remonstrance addressed by the Seneschal of […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

Most Knights Were Either Sons of Knights or Young Nobles

November 21, 2019

[K]nighthood was accessible to jongleurs, and even to comedians! This saying a great deal in a very few words. But we must not go too far and generalize, for, however numerous the cases may have been, they were, after all, only exceptions. The others composed the rule—well, not perhaps the rule, but the custom—and it […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

November 22 – The Eternal Glory of the Caecilia Family

November 21, 2019

St. Cecilia Virgin and martyr, patroness of church music, died at Rome. This saint, so often glorified in the fine arts and in poetry, is one of the most venerated martyrs of Christian antiquity. The oldest historical account of St. Cecilia is found in the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum”; from this it is evident that her feast […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →

November 23 – Blessed Margaret of Savoy

November 21, 2019

Bl. Margaret of Savoy Marchioness of Montferrat, born at Pignerol in 1382; died at Alba, 23 November, 1464. She was the only daughter of Louis of Savoy, Prince of Achaia, and of Bonne, daughter of Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy, and was given in marriage in 1403 to Theodore, Marquis of Montferrat, a descendant of […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read the full article →