Portrait of a Pope: St Gregory the Great and the End of Imperial Rome

"Where is the Senate? Where the People? The very buildings we behold crumbling around us." Image: The Favourites of Honorius, John William Waterhouse, (source). Emperor Honorius's disastrous reign led to the end of the Western Empire. In the autumn of AD 590, as a Lombard army marched on Rome and as the city tried to …

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Why St Robert Bellarmine was declared a Doctor of the Church – Pius XI

Sometimes it can feel like Heaven uses dates in a providential way. 13th May 1917 was the date of the first apparition at Fatima, in which Our Lady brought a vital message to a suffering world. But on the same day, Eugenio Pacelli, later Pius XII, was made a bishop by Benedict XV. But there …

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St Gregory Nazianzen and the Crisis in the Church

"A consolatory thought for those who see their span of life crumbling away under their feet - and they, apparently, doing nothing." Editor's Note: St Basil and St Gregory had a lifelong friendship, which nonetheless included tension towards the end of St Basil’s life. In 379, after St Basil died (and on his recommendation), Gregory …

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Pope St Pius V – “Crushing of the Enemies of thy Church”

St Pius V was born Antonio Gisleri, and when he entered the Dominicans, he took the name Michele – Michael – which he used in preference to his baptismal name thereafter. There are many aspects of the life of this very great saint which might catch the interest of pious Catholics. His youth spent tending …

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Devotion to St Joseph, Part II: Logical Consequences – Fr Bover SJ

"Take this glorious Saint for your master, and you will not wander out of the way.” In honour of St Joseph, we are publishing this exclusive translation of a sermon by Fr José María Bover SJ in two parts. This first part was published in advance of the feast of St Joseph the Worker (1 …

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The Royal Road of the Holy Cross – The Imitation of Christ

How should we see the Cross in our lives as Christians? In honour of the traditional feast of The Finding of the Holy Cross (3rd May), let's reflect on the inspiring challenge presented in Thomas à Kempis' The Imitation of Christ (see here for UK readers). Image: St Helena and the Cross, Wiki Commons. The …

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Devotion to St Joseph, Part I: Theological Reasons – Fr Bover SJ

"Great evils must be met with great remedies." "The great remedies for the evils that weigh upon the earth are to be sought in heaven. The great remedies for the immense evils that afflict us (and for the greater evils that threaten us) are these: devotion to the Heart of Jesus Christ; to the Immaculate …

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How can we teach Bible stories to children?

A review of Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture Available from Amazon US, Amazon UK and Saint Austin Press. What is the difference between the story of David and Goliath, and Jack and the Beanstalk? More importantly – how do we convey that difference to children? If the difference is merely that the Bible story …

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God Alone – On St Thomas the Apostle

"O my Eternal Father, give me Thyself." 1. I ADORE Thee, O my God, with Thomas; and if I have, like him, sinned through unbelief, I adore Thee the more. I adore Thee as the One Adorable, I adore Thee as more glorious in Thy humiliation, when men despised Thee, than when Angels worshipped Thee. Deus meus et …

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Hadrian’s Wall, St Oswald and the Forgotten Triumph of Heavenfield

"The Lord knows that we have undertaken a just war for the safety of our nation." In June 2019 I walked 84-miles across England following the route of Hadrian’s Wall; these are my reflections on one of the important historical sites, encountered along the route. This is an edited version of an article first published …

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