Tertullian’s Deceiving Devils [Ghosts and the Church]

Pacher: St. Wolfgang and the Devil

In De anima, Tertullian acknowledges the extensive literature about ghosts, but rejects it as a “fraud.” He has specific pagan lore in mind: the idea that some could “call back from Hades the souls of those who are sleeping out their destined time, those who died through violence and those deprived of burial.” His explanation [Read More...]

Ghostly Visions in the Early Church

Perpetua_Felicitas

The early church fathers were acquainted with ghosts and ghostly visions, as the previous entries on ghosts in Old and New Testaments make clear. Two notable examples of ghosts in the literature of the early church show how they tended to function and be regarded. It’s important at this point to note that visions of [Read More...]

A Novena For Asthma Sufferers

bernadette4

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

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

Saint_Edith_Stein

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

swithun

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

relic

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...]


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