Medieval English Songs for St Nicholas

St Nicholas was a very popular saint in the Middle Ages, and with all the colourful stories about him, it's not difficult to see why. There are several vernacular carols and poems in his honour from medieval England, and in fact one of the very earliest surviving English songs is a prayer to St Nicholas (one of the songs of Godric of Finchale, who died in 1170)... more (via Amy Welborn)--and you can listen to that song on YouTube: … [Read more...]

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Belated Post for St Elizabeth of Hungary, My Patroness

Amy Welborn quotes Benedict XVI:Dear brothers and sisters, in St Elizabeth we see how faith and friendship with Christ create a sense of justice, of the equality of all, of the rights of others and how they create love, charity. And from this charity is born hope too, the certainty that we are loved by Christ and that the love of Christ awaits us thereby rendering us capable of imitating Christ and of seeing Christ in others.moreJane the Actuary lists her "five favorite things" about … [Read more...]

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“Reflections on the Feast of St Francis”: Ron Belgau

on a great saint (and a great hagiography):G. K. Chesterton’s biography of St. Francis was one of many books that helped introduce me to the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith. But Francis himself stuck with me in a special way. I was particularly drawn by the powerful combination of joy and asceticism in his personality. Asceticism was not new to me. I had grown up Southern Baptist, and joined the Presbyterian Church in America in college. I had been profoundly moved by Bonhoeffer’s Co … [Read more...]

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“St Maria Goretti in Sing Sing”: A Real Thing That Happened

w/very moving photo: The #PilgrimageofMercy, the tour of the major relics of St. Maria Goretti has officially begun! This is first time her sacred remains have visited the USA.St. Maria Goretti began her US tour by visiting Sing Sing Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in NY, where the inmates had the opportunity to venerate the relics of the “Little Saint of Mercy”—seeking the Mercy of God that the 11 year old Maria witnessed as she forgave her murder in her last breath. more … [Read more...]

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“An Unlikely Nun Every Snake Person Should Meet”: Joel J. Miller

on Mother Maria Skobtsova, and I STILL don't have a tag for Orthodox Christianity, sorry!! ...For a nun, Maria’s story is more than a little unconventional. At Bishop Anthony Bloom’s first encounter with her, Maria sat at a cafe table with a beer. She was often seen shambling around the Paris market in her tattered habit, cigarette perched on her lip, haggling for deals. And she kept company with the lowest of the low.That was her calling. Twice divorced, she knew the meaning of God’s mercy … [Read more...]

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“The Wisdom of the Beguines”: Commonweal Book Review on Medieval Laywomen Mystics

with tons of fascinating stuff: In the twelfth century, single women began moving in large numbers from farms to cities of the Low Countries to work in the textile industry. Many of these women formed communal living arrangements that offered safe, affordable accommodation, and a life of service to their neighbors. According to Laura Swan’s recent book, The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women’s Movement, the beguines, who flourished for several hundred years, were one … [Read more...]

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“A Most Misunderstood Saint”: Fr James Martin, SJ on St Aloysius Gonzaga

book excerpt: June 21 is the Feast Day of one of the most misunderstood saints in the Catholic church: St. Aloysius Gonzaga.  A little history, then, may be in order to help us begin to understand this complex and holy young man, today one of the patrons of youth.  One must, in a sense, recover the real Aloysius, and the true Luigi.Aloysius Gonzaga needs rescuing from the hands of overly pious artists. On holy cards and in countless reproductions, the young Jesuit is usually depicted clad i … [Read more...]

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