St. Joseph Calasanctius

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St. Joseph Calasanctius

‘To thee is the poor man left: thou wilt be a helper to the orphan.’ Proud Venice has already seen these words realized in her noble son Jerome Emilian: to-day they indicate the sanctity of another illustrious person, descended from the first princes of Navarre, but of still higher rank in the kingdom of charity.

God, who waters the trees of the field as well as the cedars of Libanus, because it is He that planted them all, takes care also of the little birds that do not gather into barns: will He then forget the child, who is of much more value than the birds of the air? Or will He give him corporal nourishment, and neglect the soul hungering for the bread of the knowledge of salvation, which strengthens the heart of man? In the sixteenth century one might have been tempted to think our heavenly Father’s granaries were empty. True, the holy Spirit soon raised up new saints; but the reviving charity was insufficient for the number of the destitute; how many poor children, especially, were without schools, deprived of the most elementary education which is indispensable to the fulfilment of their obligations, and to their nobility as children of God: and there was no one to break to them the bread of knowledge! Continue reading

Feast of the Seven Joys of Mary

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Feast of the Seven Joys of Mary

From a relatively recent time, August 27 has been kept by the Franciscans as the Feast of the Seven Joys of the Virgin Mary. As an expression of the Seraphic Order’s devotional life, it corresponds to the Feast of the Holy Rosary, which began among the Dominicans, and the Feast on September 15th of the Seven Sorrows of the Mary, which was originally the Patronal Feast of the Servites. The principal contribution of the Franciscans to the Church’s cycle of Marian feasts is, of course, the Immaculate Conception, whereas the liturgical celebration of the Seven Joys came later. It was granted to them in 1906, and at first fixed to the Sunday after the Octave of the Assumption; when the reform of Pope St. Pius X abolished the practice of fixing feasts to Sundays, it was transferred to the octave day itself; and in 1942, when the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was assigned to that day, that of the Seven Joys was moved to August 27. Continue reading

St. Hugh

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St. Hugh


St. Hugh was the son of a poor woman of Lincoln named Beatrice. He was born about 1246; died in 1255. The Jews of Lincoln are said to have crucified him, his body, bearing the marks of crucifixion, being found some days after his death, at the bottom of a well belonging to a Jew named Copin. Copin was accused of having enticed the child into his house. A large number of Jews were gathered together, and they are said to have tortured the child, to have scourged and crowned him with thorns, and crucified him in mockery of Christ’s death. The story goes on to say that the earth refusing to cover Hugh’s body, it was cast into a well. Some time after the child had been missed, his playfellows told his mother how they had seen him follow the Jew. On going to Copin’s house, she discovered the body. Copin was accused of murder, confessed the crime when threatened with death, and stated that it was a Jewish custom to crucify a boy once a year. Miracles were said to have been wrought at the child’s tomb, and the canons of Lincoln translated the body from the church of the parish to which Hugh belonged, and buried it in great state in the cathedral. Copin was put to a cruel death and eighteen Jews were hanged at Lincoln, while about ninety were imprisoned in London. These were found guilty and condemned to death, but they were released on the payment of a large fine.

The martyrdom of St. Hugh became a very popular subject for the ballad poetry of the Middle Ages, and we find a reference to it in Chaucer’s “Prioresses Tale”. Whether there was any basis of truth in the accusation against the Jews there is now no means of ascertaining. There seems to be little doubt that such accusations were sometimes made for the purpose of extorting money. A discussion of the question will be found in the article on St. William of Norwich. The feast of “Little Hugh” was held on 27 July.

Acta SS., July, VI, 494; Matthew Paris, V, 516-19, 546, 552 in Rolls Series; Annales Monast., Annals of Burton and of Waverley, ibid.; Letters of Henry III, 2, ibid.

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APA citation. Butler, R.U. (1910). St. Hugh. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
MLA citation. Butler, Richard Urban. “St. Hugh.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York