A Novena For Asthma Sufferers

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St. Bernadette Soubirous contracted cholera as a child and afterwards suffered from asthma for the rest of her life. It almost certainly contributed to her death. Thus, St. Bernadette is a good choice as the patron saint of those suffering from asthma and other diseases of the lung. A recent medical crisis prompted me to write [Read More...]

The Tunics of St. Ambrose

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The Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio in Milan, first consecrated in 379, was built by St. Ambrose at a site where Christians had been executed. For at least a thousand years (and almost certainly longer) the church has held several silk tunics which tradition associates with the great saint and Father. Now, a team of archaeologists from [Read More...]

They Have Drunk of The Everflowing Life

Antonio Ciseri's Martyrdom of the Seven Maccabees

 There’s a paradox in martyrdom that we must accept even if we can’t reconcile ourselves to it: those being killed because of their faith in Christ are simultaneously tragic victims of injustice and barbarism, and glorious witnesses entering into everlasting life because of their sacrifice. Christ promised little more than this in the world, which would [Read More...]

A Novena to Saint Edith Stein

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On August 9th, 1942, Edith Stein (St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross) was gassed to death at Auschwitz along with perhaps a thousand others. This brilliant and holy woman, a Carmelite nun and convert from Judaism, was one of many Hebrew Catholics rounded up by the Nazis after the Dutch bishops protested the racist policies of [Read More...]

St. Swithun: Weather Man

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Happy St. Swithun’s Day! Is it raining today? Then according to old British lore, it will rain for the next 40 days. We know this is true because a poem says so: St. Swithun’s day if thou dost rain, For forty days it will remain, St. Swithun’s day if thou be fair, For forty days [Read More...]

Philadelphia Gets a Visit From a First-Class Relic of St. John Paul II

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The first-class relic of St. John Paul II touring the US is stopping in Phillie this weekend. I hope to make it there, if time allows. Here’s the press release from the Diocese: A precious Relic of the recently canonized Pope Saint John Paul II will be exposed for public veneration between all of the [Read More...]

My Favorite John XXIII Quip

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Asked how many people worked at the Vatican, St. John replied, “About half of them.” Anyone who has worked for the Church knows how true this is. Our motto should be “employing the unemployable.” (And, yes, I’ll include myself among that group.) Catholic News Service has a few Pope John jokes I hadn’t heard before. [Read More...]

The Canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II: The Opposition

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Two diametrically opposed complaints about the upcoming canonizations of two beloved popes landed in my news feed within minutes of each other. That each comes from radically different camps–modernist and anti-modernist–shows that the fringes are almost always united in their wrongness, if divided in their reasoning. First up is this blast of badly-argued nonsense from [Read More...]


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