Standard Bearers of the King

Standard-Bearers of the King remembers with gratitude the labors and sufferings of those faithful servants of Christ who bravely held aloft the standard of the Cross for the faithful to see and to follow.

When asked by a puzzled journalist how she ended up running a home for impoverished cancer victims in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop simply noted that she had taken St. Vincent de Paul’s motto as her own: “I am for God and the poor.” The writer was curious because he knew that Rose [...]

Tomorrow, July 11, is the feast of St. Benedict and the anniversary of the refounding of St. Peter’s Abbey of Solesmes, France in 1833 by Ven. Dom Prosper Guéranger and five other priests. Apart from the Benedictines, you may wonder why this event has significance. Solesmes became a great center of renewal for the entire [...]

In his last moments on earth, Jesus commissioned His apostles, “Go … and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19), and he promised that they would be witnesses “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). In the latter half of the eighteenth century, few places were geographically farther from Judea than Alta, California, and [...]

A French-speaking, enslaved man of African descent, he rubbed shoulders with the white New York elite as a ladies’ hairdresser. Possessed of the means to purchase his own liberty, he instead chose to provide for those around him—including the woman who owned him—and sought the liberty of other slaves. Once rudely refused entrance to a [...]

The great reform movement within western Christendom that began in the late eleventh century had as one of its primary targets a Church subservient to the State. Reformers sought to secure ecclesiastical freedom—not a firm separation from the State, but a proper clarification of roles. The ultimate purpose of that freedom was to allow for [...]

At the heart of every religion worth its salt lies the problem of evil. The intractable issue of pain, disorder, suffering, and moral turpitude manifests itself infallibly in every genuine human spiritual longing. This problem is compounded in the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. How can an omnipotent and omniscient God—creator of both [...]

Mark Twain considered his biography of Saint Joan of Arc, whose feast we celebrate Friday, to be his best work. He called the Maid of Orleans “easily and by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever produced.” The story of St. Joan is well known by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, but we [...]

Every year on the Feast of the Assumption, Catholics of native descent hold a powwow at Idaho’s oldest building, Sacred Heart Mission in Cataldo. For more than 150 years the Coeur d’Alenes have handed down the story of the Jesuit missionary who healed their chief’s daughter and brought the gospel to their people. This annual [...]

In an unmarked grave in those now silent fields of Flanders lies the body of an Irish priest. Like so many caught up in the conflict that came to be known as the Great War, he was buried where he fell, without marker or tombstone; one more casualty amongst the millions. That should have been [...]

Between Geneva and Milan lies a stunning valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains, containing the city of Aosta.  This tiny Italian alpine region is one of the crossroads of Europe, bordering Switzerland and France, and containing two of the most important passes from northern countries into Italy.  Today it is a bilingual place, with French and [...]

Let us read the words of the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper in Saint Matthew’s Gospel (26:26-28), adding the words of the other sacred authors on the same subject: Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and when he had given thanks (1 Cor. 11:24), broke it, and gave [...]

The life of John Gerard, an English Catholic and Jesuit missionary priest, well illustrates what is at stake when the power of the state is enlisted against the Catholic faith and church. The persecutions of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I meant that the English government hunted down John Gerard as though he were [...]

In the so-called Age of Enlightenment, philosophes like Voltaire worked zealously to destroy Christianity among the elite of society, at the same time, not caring one whit for “enlightening” the lower classes.  In a letter to Diderot, the famous wit wrote, “Whatever you do, keep your eye on the wretch.  It must be destroyed among [...]

Saint Augustine once observed that the “New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.” In his early years as a Manichean, St. Augustine had trouble interpreting the Bible.  Subsequently, he would acknowledge the role of his intellectual pride complicit in his prior difficulty with Scripture. After his [...]

An anomaly both then and now, Andrea Mantegna’s Lamentation over the Dead Christ, c. 1480, has often been called a tour-de-force of perspective.  This small tempera painting was found by Mantegna’s son in the artist’s personal collection at his death. The Early Renaissance masterpiece likely disturbed its viewers with its strangeness—the composition, the point of [...]

     Oh! St. Patrick was a gentleman       Who came of decent people;       He built a church in Dublin Town,       And on it put a steeple. When the world fell into darkness, the smile of God shone like twilight on Ériu’s Isle. Even as demons tramped her four green fields, those fields rested [...]

“To me, I confess, one thing has always seemed preeminently fitting: that every costlier or costliest thing should serve, first and foremost, for the administration of the Holy Eucharist.” If one were able to compare the great churches of France in the year 1100 to those standing a century and a half later, the marked [...]

There are a great many saints who will never be known on this side of God’s grace, whose lives merited heavenly bliss but not the history books. This host of secret saints represents the central secret of what it means to be a saint: who a person is is more important than what a person [...]

“One thing I do know: it took the Catholic Church 100 years here in America to show forth such a person as yourself.” Father Augustine Tolton, the first African-American priest in the United States, wrote these words to a wealthy benefactress in 1891, explaining why so many black Catholics were imploring her assistance. Tolton would [...]

Of Chairs and Peter

Most of this site’s well-catechized readers will be quite aware of the apologetical and theological backgrounds to the Petrine office, the real focus of this great feast.  The claims and prerogatives of Rome are a central topic of our faith, and our appreciation of them is honed by our dialogue with fellow Christians who find [...]

MENU