A Female Cardinal? Not a New Idea, Really

It's always struck me as interesting that when Tiepolo painted Saint Thecla, here portrayed at prayer for plague victims, he imagined her in what appears to be an old-fashioned Cardinal's robe.Our Orthodox and Byzantine brothers and sisters call Thecla "the Protomartyr, Equal-to-the-Apostles". I've always thought of her as first in a long line of women -- from the earliest days of the church until today -- who were headstrong in their obedience.One of my favorite writers, David Gibson … [Read more...]

Lino Rulli: “Perfect people don’t inspire me…”

Lino press kit

Okay, I've been very upfront about it, so we already know that I am an idolator!But perhaps you didn't know how bad it has become.Take a look:Aye, that's not just a copy of Lino Rulli's new book, Saint: Why I Should be Canonized Right Away, but a medal, and a prayer card and, yes, an I-mean-business 7-day candle.Let's call it what it is: The Shrine of Saint Lino de Sirius-ly Imperfect, patron of "Catholic Guys" and Gals, Bookies, and People Who Expect Every Flight to End … [Read more...]

Maximilian Kolbe: Catholic Subversive!

That night, I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me, a Child of Faith. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked me if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both. -- Saint Maximilian Mary KolbeIt is fitting that we today anticipate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary by remembering a saint whose devotion to … [Read more...]

Too much earthly dross? Here’s your Palate Cleanser

Yeah, I'm not even going to excerpt it. Just do yourself a favor and read this.Austen Ruse did a series about three young Catholics who gave cheerful and heroic Christian witness during their short lives: Brendan Kelly, seen above, Audrey Stevenson and Margaret Leo.Each story is humbling; each one makes you grateful, and makes you want to...do better in your own life of faith.He rounds it out, here.Do yourself a favor, this weekend, read and share these remarkable stories. You'll … [Read more...]

Saint Sharbel Makhlouf, Pray for Us! – UPDATED

imitation christ

Today is the feast day of the fascinating and excellent Saint Sharbel Makhlouf, who really needs to be better-known than he is, particularly in an age where Eastern Christians are being challenged and persecuted to rather vague notice.Charbel Makhlouf was born on 8th May, 1828, in the small village of Biqa-Kafra in the high mountains of Northern Lebanon. His parents were poor but religious, and their fifth child was attracted at an early age to prayer and solitude. In spite of the opposition … [Read more...]

A good day for this book: Voices of the Saints

voices of the saints

I happened to be talking to Julie Davis -- who is the primo go-to person when pondering any book, because I do believe she may have read them all! -- about what collections of "lives of the saints" we would recommend. I have a few that I like a lot, and they're all well-known award winners: Father Jim Martin's My Life with the Saints, Colleen Carroll Campbell's My Sisters, the Saints and Robert Ellsberg's All Saints. And I've always liked Lisa Hendey's collection for Catholic Moms.Julie … [Read more...]

Acedia and the Help of Saint Benedict

So, you may have noticed that for the week, I have written nothing. At all. Anywhere.For whatever reason, I have most uncharacteristically been doing battle, all week, with the devilish little blue megrim that is acedia.Actually, "doing battle" sounds romantic and pro-active. It would be more accurate to say I have been whining and unable to work and whining about being unable to work, and wandering around the house ineffectually, and walking the park feeding ducks, and missing my dog, … [Read more...]

St. Monica, Mothers, Manutergium and Father Michael

photosourceToday is the feastday of Saint Monica, mother of Saint Augustine, whose tomb I meant to visit on my last trip to Rome, but got sidetracked, because I am an idiot. As the mother of two young men, I need her help!Her feastday has Fr. Michael Duffy thinking about his mother and the mothers of priests and the manutergium:In recent years many newly ordained have carefully set aside these purificators in a bag with their name on it so that they may retain this purificator and … [Read more...]

In other News, Fulton Sheen is “Venerable” UPDATED

While the SCOTUS ruling was breaking, this story came over the wires, too:Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is now “Venerable” after the Vatican announced today that Benedict XVI had signed a decree recognising that the archbishop heroically lived Christian virtues.The announcement of the decree marks a significant step in the canonization cause of Peoria, Ill.-born Archbishop Sheen (1895-1979), the Emmy award-winning televangelist whose program, "Life is Worth Living," was bro … [Read more...]

Beatifying Newman, Neri & More

Chapel Shrine of Bl. John Henry Newman, Oratory Church of St. Boniface, Brooklyn. Image mine

One of the books I'll be trying to read while in Rome is John Henry Newman; Prayers, Verses and Devotions, from Ignatius Press.Just as it seems like St. Philip Neri, my Patron for this year, may have had a hand in making Rome a suddenly reality (when I discovered that our lodgings are very near his Oratory, I could almost hear him laughing), finding this book--in perfect condition--in the "used book" bin at church seemed like a gift, too. Since Pope Benedict will be beatifying Newman on … [Read more...]


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