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.

     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 [...]

As Benedict XVI prepared to step down from his pontificate, he offered the following words to those who feared that his resignation marked a dangerous departure from tradition:  "The Church is not an institution devised and built at table, but a living reality. She lives along the course of time by transforming Herself, like any [...]

 Se ieri non sapevo, oggi ho incontrato Te… (I did not know my longing, till I encountered You…)  Il Disegno (The Design) It all began on a train with a group of students, a young priest, in a shared compartment.  What took place was a conversation about faith, a subject upon which the students, for [...]

On February 5, 1597, by order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the regent and de facto military ruler of Japan, 26 Christians were crucified in the port town of Nagasaki. Six Franciscan missionaries (from Spain, Mexico, and India), three Japanese Jesuits, and seventeen Japanese laymen comprised the group, known as the First Martyrs of Japan and commemorated [...]

We just welcomed into the world my son, Colum Patrick Staudt. Colum is short for Columba, the Latin word for dove, the name of two great Irish saints, St. Columba of Iona (d. 597) and St. Columban (d. 615). I first came across the shortened form of Columba through my friend Fr. Colum Power. He [...]

Despite the implementation of the Common Core, it remains the common conclusion that American education is in a state of free fall. Students graduate from high school with little ability to read standard prose and less ability to write at an elementary level. They lack appreciation for the cultural heritage of Western Civilization and cannot [...]

“Merci, mon professeur, for what you did for my father and my mother. Because of you, I am proud of myself.” These words, spoken by a young man with Down’s syndrome, were most fitting praise for the scientist who had discovered the genetic cause of his condition. It had long been thought to be due [...]

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was an Italian layman who was born around 1525 at or near Rome, into a world in which most the greatest musicians and composers of Europe were clerics, and disproportionately from Northern Europe.  By his death in 1594, two of the other three most important composers in Europe, the Lowlander Orlandus [...]

At the corner of Fifth and Girard in Philadelphia stands a large stone church, St. Peter the Apostle. Beneath the church is a chapel whose altar table rests atop a glass case containing a man’s remains, which are sheathed in a wax shell and dressed in episcopal garb. The shrine is nicely decorated but not [...]

Elizabeth Ann Seton’s deep love for Christ directly shaped our culture to an extent that few Americans have ever have approached. Her extraordinary combination of charity and effectiveness led Pope Paul VI in 1975 to make her the first native-born American to be canonized. She deserves recognition as the first flower of an American Church [...]

 In all your affairs, rely wholly on God’s providence, through which alone you must look for success. Nevertheless, strive quietly on your part to cooperate with its designs.... Imitate little children who with one hand hold fast to their father while with the other they gather strawberries or blackberries from the hedges.  — St. Francis [...]

The shepherds, imitators of the holy patriarchs, and the most innocent and guileless men in the world, were “keeping watch over their flock by night.” (Lk 2:8) Holy angels, accustomed to conversing with those shepherds of old—with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—brought these country folk the news that the great shepherd had arrived and that the [...]

In their headlong rush to tear down the infrastructure of privilege and exalt equality and liberty, the French Revolutionaries ripped apart the social fabric which had developed in France over the centuries. In the wake of their orgy of destruction, intermediate social bodies were weakened or abolished, amongst which were the corporations or guilds. In [...]

Every saint of the Church personifies the holiness of Christ in a manner that responds to the needs of the age. St. Paul exhibited met the needs of the apostolic Church as it gradually left its Jewish moorings and became increasingly enmeshed in pagan society. The Church had to incorporate the nations while at the [...]

 “Nam oportet et hæreses esse.” (1 Cor 11:19).  “It is fitting that there be heresies, so that those who are true, may be manifested among you.”  How appropriate is this sentiment of St. Paul’s when we apply it to the Ecumenical Council of Trent. In the annals of difficult ecclesiastical births, none was so trying [...]

Today’s Catholics, whose religious liberties—to say nothing of their lives—are under threat from antagonistic secularist and Islamic governments have a courageous compatriot in the Elizabethan priest-martyr Cuthbert Mayne (1544-1570), whose feast day is November 29. When Mayne was born, King Henry VIII, who had broken England’s communion with the Holy Father in 1535. His son [...]

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