St. Gelasius

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St. Gelasius, Pope and Confessor

POPE FELIX II. or, as he is often styled, III. died on the 25th of February, in 492, and soon after Gelasius, of an African family, but a native of Rome, was ordained bishop of that city. He governed the church four years, eight months, and eighteen days. This pope was a very learned man, and very skilful and knowing in the customs and usages of the church; and is extolled for the purity of his manners, his extraordinary humility, temperance, austerity of life, and liberality to the poor, for whose sake he kept himself always poor, as Dionysius Exiguus, who died before the year 556, tells us. 1 Facundus of Hermione, who wrote within a few years after his death, says: “He was famous over the whole world for his learning, and the sanctity of his life.” 2 To his other great virtues he joined a love of order and discipline, with an uncommon prudence and courage. Upon his accession to the pontifical chair, he refused to send letters of communion to Euphemius, bishop of Constantinople, because he refused to expunge out of the dyptics (or register of orthodox bishops deceased, who were named at the altar) the name of Acacius, one of his late predecessors, who, indeed, never rejected the council of Chalcedon, but had shown too much condescension to his master, the emperor, in favouring the Eutychians, and in living in communion with Peter, the notorious, most artful Eutychian usurper of the see of Alexandria, and other ringleaders of that sect. Euphemius, who after the short episcopacy of Fravitas, had succeeded Acacius, was a zealous Catholic, and was afterwards banished for his faith by the emperor Anastasius, and died at Ancyra, in 515. His name is placed by the Greeks in their Calendar; and Natalis Alexander shows that neither he nor his successor Macedonius were schismatics; for though the popes refused them the usual public tokens of communion, this was not an excommunication, much less was it extended to their subjects, as Bower and some other notorious slanderers pretend. This the Bollandists also prove by the like examples of St. Flavian of Antioch and St. Elias of Jerusalem, named in the Roman Martyrology. This intermission of the tokens of communion was, however, a mark of displeasure, as when in our days the popes have addressed their commissions to neighbouring prelates, not to certain diocesans in France, who were suspected of favouring the Jansenists, or on other accounts. This interruption of the usual marks of communion between the see of Rome and the principal sees in the East, continued till, by order of the orthodox emperor Justin, in 518, John, patriarch of Constantinople, and the rest made satisfaction to Hormisdas by erasing the name of Acacius. 1 Continue reading

St. Edmund

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St. Edmund, King and Martyr

From his life, written in 985, from the relation of St. Dunstan, by Abbo of Fleury, who lived then a monk at Canterbury; but died abbot of Fleury in France. To this work, published by Surius, is subjoined another containing a history of miracles wrought by this saint’s intercession, probably by another hand, as the authors of the Hist. Littér. de la France observe, t. 7, p. 175. A MS. copy of this book in Jesus’ College is called Liber Feretrariorum, i. e. the book of the treasurers or keepers of the relics. Abbo was assassinated by a Gascon, whilst he was employed in reforming the monastery of Reole in Gascony, on the 13th of November, 1004: was one of the most learned men of his age, and was honoured in several churches as a martyr, as appears from the council of Limoges in 1031. His festival is still kept with solemnity at Fleury and Reole. See also St. Edmund’s life in verse, compiled by John Lydgate, the most learned professor, celebrated poet, and monk of St. Edmundsbury, who dedicated this book to Henry VI. 1 On the manuscript copies of this work see Bishop Tanner, p. 490, who yet omits, amongst others, the original book which was presented by the author to Henry VI. in the Harleian library, one of the most beautiful manuscript books in the world. See also Lydgate’s account of the miracles of St. Edmund, and prayers to him, manuscripts, in several libraries, as (with other manuscripts relating to this saint) in the Norfolk library, belonging to the Royal Society. See on his virtues Asserius, Annales Britan. (inter Script. Angl. per Gale,) pp. 159–161. Hearne, Pref. to Langtoft’s Chronicle, p. 66, and S. Edmundi regis vitâ per Osbertum de Clare, Westmonasterii Priorem in the Cottonian library in the British Museum, MSS. Vespasianus, A. viii. 4. Also S. Edmundi regis vitâ, in the King’s library, ib. 8, c. vi. 20. Leland Collect. vol. 1, p. 245.
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St. Felix of Valois

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St. Felix of Valois, Confessor

THE SURNAME of Valois was given to this saint, according to some, because he was of the royal branch of Valois in France; 1 but according to Jaffred, 2 Baillet, and many others, because he was of the province of Valois. The saint was born in 1127, and when grown up renounced his estate, which was very considerable, and retired into a great wood, in the diocess of Meaux, called Cerfroi. Here, sequestered from the world, and forgetting its shadows and appearances which grossly impose upon its deluded votaries, he enjoyed himself and God, and studied to purify, reform, and govern his own heart, and to live only to his Creator. In the calm and serenity of this silent retreat, letting others amuse themselves with the airy bubbles of ambition, and enjoy the cheats of fancy, and the flatteries of sense, he abandoned himself to the heavenly delights of holy contemplation, (which raised his soul above all created things,) and to the greatest rigours of penance, which were known only to God, but which fervour, love, and compunction rendered sweeter to him than the joys of theatres. The devout hermit had no thoughts but of dying in the obscurity of this silent retreat, when Divine Providence called him thence to make him a great instrument of advancing his honour amongst men. 1 Continue reading

THE TWENTIETH CENTURY CRUSADE

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THE TWENTIETH CENTURY CRUSADE

By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

In the Middle Ages the Crusaders shed their blood to free the Sepulcher of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the hands of the infidels and to establish a Christian kingdom in the Holy Land.

Today the blood of the sons of the Church again flows in Poland and Hungary as well as in Czechoslovakia and in China. But for what? To free Christendom from the yoke of the Communist Anti-Christ and to restore the Kingdom of Christ, the supreme ideal of Catholics and, therefore, our constant aim.

That is what I will attempt to define through the explanation of the principles presented here, as a preliminary outline of our activities.
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The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today’s festival is called the Presentation of Mary, because on this day Joachim and Anna, the holy parents of the Blessed Virgin, consecrated their little daughter to the divine service in the temple at Jerusalem, and Mary consecrated herself to the Almighty. At that time, there were two ways of consecrating children: one was ordained by the law, which required every male child to be offered to God, forty days, and every female child, eighty days after its birth. This ceremony was called the consecration of the child and the purification of the mother. The second kind of consecration was a voluntary self-oblation by which some persons devoted themselves to the Almighty. There were also many parents who either before, or immediately after their child’s birth, consecrated it to the service of the Lord, sometimes for a few years, sometimes for life. To this end several separate dwellings had been erected in connection with the Temple, for men, women, youths and maidens, where they remained for the time which had been fixed by themselves or their parents. Their occupations consisted in decorating the temple, and in making the garments which the priests and levites wore during their sacred functions. Thus we read in the first book of Kings, that Anne the spouse of Elkana, made a vow that if she gave birth to a male child, she would consecrate it to the Lord. The Lord blessed her and she brought forth a son, whom she named Samuel, and afterwards consecrated to the Most High, through the hands of the High Priest, Heli. In the second book of the Maccabees, we find mention of virgins, who lived and were educated in the Temple, that is, in a building annexed to it.
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