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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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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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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Portrait of a Pope: St Gregory the Great, Apostle of the English

"He removed the error of filthy heathenism from our parents." “In the tenth year of [the reign of the emperor Maurice], Gregory, a man eminent in learning and in affairs, was elected pontiff of the Apostolic See of Rome; he ruled for thirteen years, six months, and ten days. In the fourteenth year of this …

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Possible Miracles, Possible Deceptions: How credulity can lead us to ruin

"All of us – yes, even you and I – are liable to be deceived." In this essay we will consider: - Miracles as proof of Christ's revelation - The continuation of miracles in the Church - Being too dependent on signs and wonders - Credulity and false miracles - The purpose of miracles, and …

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The Fioretti of St Thomas, from sworn testimonies at the canonisation enquiry – Part III: The Miracles after his Death

This is the final part in our series summarising and re-ordering of the testimonies given in St Thomas’s 1319 canonisation enquiry.[1] These are not just pious stories written by hagiographers: they are sworn testimonies recounted under oath by respectable men, both from the clergy and from the nobility. We see amongst the laymen even civil …

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