The Dedication of the Churches of SS. Peter and Paul

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The Dedication of the Churches of SS. Peter and Paul, at Rome

THE VATICAN church, dedicated in honour of St. Peter, is the second patriarchal church at Rome, and in it reposes one half of the precious remains of the bodies of SS. Peter and Paul. The tombs of the great conquerors and lords of the world have been long since destroyed and forgotten; but those of the martyrs are glorious by the veneration which the faithful pay to their memory. Amongst all the places which the blood of martyrs has rendered illustrious, that part of the Vatican hill which was consecrated with the blood and enriched with the relics of the prince of the apostles, has always been most venerable. “The sepulchres of those who have served Christ crucified,” says St. Chrysostom, 1 “surpass the palaces of kings, not so much in the greatness and beauty of the buildings (though in this also they go beyond them) as in another thing of more importance, namely, in the multitude of those who, with devotion and joy, repair to them. For the emperor himself, who is clothed in purple, goes to the sepulchres of the saints, and kisses them; and, humbly prostrate on the ground, beseeches the same saints to pray to God for him; and he who wears a royal crown upon his head, holds it for a great favour of God, that a tent-maker and a fisherman, and these dead, should be his protectors and defenders, and this he begs with great earnestness.” And St. Austin, or another ancient father. 2 “Now at the memory of the fisherman the knees of the emperor are bowed, and the precious stones of the imperial crown shine most where the benefits of the fisherman are most felt.” 1
The body of St. Peter is said to have been buried immediately after his martyrdom, upon this spot, on the Vatican hill, 3 which was then without the walls, and near the suburb inhabited by the Jews. The remains of this apostle were removed hence, into the cemetery of Calixtus, but brought back to the Vatican. Those of St. Paul were deposited on the Ostian Way, where his church now stands. 
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St. Philippine-Rose Duchesne

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St. Philippine-Rose Duchesne

Founder in America of the first houses of the society of the Sacred Heart, born at Grenoble, France, 29 August, 1769; died at St. Charles, Missouri, 18 November, 1852. She was the daughter of Pierr-Francois Duchesne, an eminent lawyer. Her mother was a Périer, ancestor of Casimir Périer, President of France in 1894. She was educated by the visitation Nuns, entered that order, saw its dispersion during the Reign of Terror, vainly attempted the re-establishment of the convent of Ste-Marie-d’en-Haunt, near Grenoble, and finally, in 1804, accepted the offer of Mother Barat to receive her community into the Society of the Sacred Heart. From early childhood the dream of Philippine had been the apostolate of souls: heathen in distant lands, the neglected and poor at home. Nature and grace combined to fit her for this high vocation; education, suffering, above all, the guidance of Mother Barat trained her to become the pioneer of her order in the New world. In 1818 Mother Duchesne set out with four companions for the missions of America. Bishop Dubourg welcomed her to New Orleans, whence she sailed up the Mississippi to St. Louis, finally settling her little colony at St. Charles. “Poverty and Christian heroism are here”, she wrote, “and trials are the riches of priests in this land.” Cold, hunger, and illness; opposition, ingratitude, and calumny, all that came to try the courage of this missioner, served only to fire her lofty and indomitable spirit with new zeal for the spread of truth. Other foundations followed, at Florissant, Grand Côteau, New Orleans, St. Louis, St. Michael; and the approbation of the society in 1826 by Leo XII recognized the good being done in these parts. She yearned to teach the poor Indians, and old and broken as she was, she went to labour among the Pottowatomies at Sugar Creek, thus realizing the desire of her life. Stirred by the recitals of Father De Smet, S.J., she turned her eyes towards the Rocky Mountain missions; but Providence led her back to St. Charles, where she died. Thirty-four years of mission toil, disappointment, endurance, self-annihilation sufficed, indeed, to prove the worth of this valiant daughter of Mother Barat. She had opened the road, others might walk in it; and the success hidden from her eyes was well seen later by the many who rejoiced in the rapid spread of her order over North and South America. Sincere, intense, generous, austere yet affectionate, endowed with large capacity for suffering and work, Mother Duchesne’s was a stern character that needed and took the moulding of Mother Barat. Preliminary steps for her beatification have already been taken.

APA citation. Lowth, C. (1909). Philippine-Rose Duchesne. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Lowth, Catherine. “Philippine-Rose Duchesne.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

St. Gregory Thaumaturgus

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St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, Bishop and Confessor

A.D. 270.

THEODORUS, afterwards called Gregory, and, from his extraordinary miracles, surnamed Thaumaturgus, or Worker of Wonders, was of Neocæsarea in Pontus, born of parents eminent for their rank and fortune, but engaged in the superstitions of idolatry. At fourteen years of age he lost his father, and from that time began to discover the vanity of the heathenish religion, as his reason grew more quick and manly, and was improved by education; and by this means his inclinations were insensibly turned towards the belief of the unity of the Deity and the Christian faith. 1 His mother pursued the plan, begun by his father, in giving him a literary education, with an intention of bringing him up to the bar, and the practice of oratory. In the study of rhetoric he made such surprising progress, that it was easy to foresee he would one day be one of the greatest orators of the age. He learned the Latin tongue, which was a necessary qualification for preferment to great dignities in the Roman empire: his masters also persuaded him to study the Roman laws, an acquaintance with which they said would be a great advantage to him in whatever profession he should afterwards embark. His sister being married to the assessor, or assistant of the governor of Cæsarea in Palestine, she was conducted thither at the public charge, with such as she was disposed to take with her. Gregory accompanied her upon this occasion with his brother Athenodorus, who was afterwards a bishop, and suffered much for the faith of Jesus Christ. From Cæsarea the two brothers went to Berytus, to attend a famous school of the Roman law in that neighbourhood. After a short stay there they returned to Cæsarea. 1 Continue reading

St. Hugh of Lincoln

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St. Hugh of Lincoln

Born about the year 1135 at the castle of Avalon, near Pontcharra, in Burgundy; died at London, 16 Nov., 1200. His father, William, Lord of Avalon, was sprung from one of the noblest of Burgundian houses; of his mother, Anna, very little is known. After his wife’s death, William retired from the world to the Augustinian monastery of Villard-Benoît, near Grenoble, and took his son Hugh, with him. Hugh became a religious and was ordained deacon at the age of nineteen. In about the year 1159 he was sent as a prior to the cell, or dependent priory, of St-Maximin, not far from his ancestral home of Avalon, where his elder brother, William had succeeded his father. At St-Maximin, Hugh laboured assiduously in preaching and whatever parochial duties might be discharged by a deacon. Becoming more and more desirous to give himself to the complete contemplative life, he visited in company with the prior of Villard-Benoît the solitude of the Grande Chartreuse. Dom Basil was then head of the Chartreuse, and to him Hugh confided his desire of submitting to the Carthusian rule.  Continue reading