St. Felix I

Image may contain: 1 personSt. Felix I., Pope and Martyr

See the Bollandists, and Tillemont, t. 4.

A.D. 274.

HE was a Roman by birth, and succeeded St. Dionysius in the government of the church in 269. Paul of Samosata, the proud bishop of Antioch, to the guilt of many enormous crimes, added that of heresy, teaching that Christ was no more than a mere man, in whom the Divine Word dwelt by its operation, and as in its temple, with many other gross errors concerning the capital mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation. Two councils were held at Antioch to examine his cause; but by various arts and subterfuges he escaped condemnation. However, in a third, assembled at the same place in 269, being clearly convicted of heresy, pride, and many scandalous crimes, he was excommunicated and deposed, and Domnus was substituted in his room. Paul still maintained himself in the possession of the episcopal house.  Continue reading

St. Ferdinand III

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St. Ferdinand III., King of Castile and Leon, Confessor

HE was eldest son to Alphonsus, king of Leon, and of Berangera of Castile, elder sister 1 of Blanche, mother of St. Lewis of France, and was born about the end of the year 1198 or some time in 1199. Beranga had been obliged by Pope Innocent III. to a separation from Alphonsus of Leon after having borne to him two sons, Ferdinand and Alphonsus, and two daughters, because, though in the third degree of consanguinity, they had been married without a dispensation, which was at that time very difficult to be obtained. But because this marriage had been contracted bona fide by the decrees of the pope, and the states of the two kingdoms, their children were declared their lawful heirs. Berangera returned to her father Alphonsus IX. of Castile, one of the most valiant and virtuous kings that ever reigned in Spain, and who was to her the most tender and best of fathers. He dying in 1214, his son Henry, eleven years of age, succeeded him under the tutorship and regency of his mother, Eleonor of England. But she followed her husband to the grave within twenty-five days; grief for having lost him being the cause of her death. Berangera was charged with the guardianship of her brother and the regency of the kingdom; but out of love of retirement suffered herself to be persuaded to resign both to a nobleman called Don Alvarez, who proved a perfidious, turbulent man, and for several years embroiled all Castile and the neighbouring kingdoms. Continue reading

Saint Joan of Arc

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Saint Joan of Arc

Virgin, Martyr
(1412-1431)

Saint Joan of Arc
Saint Joan of Arc
O.D.M. pinxit
Who today does not know the history of the Maid of Orleans, who saved France from the foreign domination of the English, only to be betrayed by the legitimate prince whom her efforts had crowned at Rheims, then burnt at the stake on May 30, 1431? Both in the French and English languages, many books and articles have honored her since her canonization in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.
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Saint Mary Magdalene of Pazzi

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Saint Mary Magdalene of Pazzi

Virgin, Carmelite
(1566-1607)

Saint Mary Magdalene of Pazzi was the only daughter of the illustrious Camille de Pazzi, related to the Medicis of Florence. She was born in the year 1566, and was baptized with the name of Catherine. As a child she loved to go into solitary places to enter into prayer with God, who revealed Himself to her from her tender years without the aid of teachers, as her Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. She made a crown of thorns one day, and wore it for an entire night, enduring great pain. She received her First Communion at ten years of age; at twelve years, she made a vow of virginity and took great pleasure in teaching Christian doctrine to poor children.
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The Octave of the Ascension

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The Octave of the Ascension
Dom Prosper Guéranger, 1909

We have already seen how the Ascension of our Emmanuel won Him the empire over our understanding: it was the triumph of faith. The same mystery gave Him a second victory: the victory of love, which makes Him reign in our hearts. For eighteen hundred years, in whom have men believed, firmly and universally, except Jesus? In what have men agreed, except the dogmas of faith? What countless errors has this divine torch dispelled! What light has it given to the nations that received it! And in what darkness has it left those which rejected it after having once received it! Continue reading