The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth: Heroes, Then and Now

Sister M. Bonaventure

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Blessed Martyrs of Nowogródek.  I saw this painting this morning and caught my breath:  I recognized the habit, but what was this story!?In the twelve years I spent under the tutelage of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, I don’t remember ever hearing the story of how eleven of their Sisters died in 1943 in occupied Poland, executed by a Nazi firing squad.  Here is their story. *     *     *     *     * The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth … [Read more...]

A Man for All Seasons: Sir Thomas More, Statesman, Martyr, and Devoted Father

During this Fortnight for Freedom, I reflect on one of the great saints whose commitment to the Church and to religious liberty is an inspiration to us today. *     *     *     * Sir Thomas More was a man with a bright future.  A successful statesman and a loving husband and father, More was Chancellor in the Court of King Henry VIII, one of the king’s most trusted ministers.But then came Anne Boleyn.At the time, King Henry was married to Catherine of Aragon—a marriage which Pope Clemen … [Read more...]

First-Ever Painting of Native Americans—Discovered in the Vatican?

Close-up of a section of Pinturicchio's "The Resurrection", showing native Americans in feather headdresses

Pinturicchio’s fresco of “The Resurrection” has adorned a wall at the Vatican for 519 years—but someone just noticed that there are native Americans in the scene.   It was 1494 when the Renaissance painter completed the fresco in the Borgia Apartments, now part of the Vatican Library.  Christopher Columbus had just returned from discovering the New World—and had reported that there were men there who danced nude, painting their bodies and wearing feathered headd … [Read more...]


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