Saints

St. Nicholas: Hidden Patron of America

When America was first discovered, St.Nicholas was remembered as a wonder worker to be implored for his spiritual intercession and a bringer of gifts and guardian of children. But Martin Luther wanted to eliminate any devotion to the saint.

Do We Have to Like the Saints?

A few days ago, I was at a graduation party for the son of a good friend. We were there to celebrate a fine young man raised by thoughtful and serious Catholics, and most of the other parents at the party were also intelligent and devout Catholics. While no graduation party of this sort is … Read more

The Ardor of Agnes  

I have known only two women named Agnes in my life. One of them was my grandmother who, having died two years after I was born, I could hardly be expected to remember. But since I was often told things about her—for instance, that she was beautiful and pious and went to Mass every morning—I … Read more

There’s a Patron Saint for That?

It may strike many Catholics as odd, improper, even irreverent, that there would be a patron saint of hangovers. We know from personal experience that through the prayers of the saints we are healed of serious ailments, protected in our travels, find stuff we’ve lost, and are granted a host of other graces. Why, then, … Read more

Forget the Money, ask St Anthony!

Let’s face it, there is one route the finance guys have yet to try. You have to pray to a saint! Am I right? We had a problem. A BIG problem! Exactly, it was all about money. We were staring two mortgages in the face. Changing houses is easy if your bank goes along with … Read more

Thank Goodness Fulton Sheen’s Cause Has Been Suspended

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was one of the most dynamic preachers of the Catholic Faith in the twentieth century. Anyone familiar with his work in media knows the power of his influence and example. He was clearly one of the most notable products of the American Catholic revival that began in the 1920s, and the … Read more

Seeing Saints in the House of God

My earliest recollections of anything pertaining to faith are not of words or instruction, but of primal sensory experiences of holy things within the built environment. From long before I learned how to read, and probably not so long after I learned how to walk, I recall momentary mental glimpses of the simple state of … Read more

One Small Way To Restore Catholic Culture

If you ever visit the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, make sure you get a glimpse of the campus’ loveliest bit of architecture, the iconic St. Thomas arches. Built in 1947, these arches stand proudly astride the administrative building and the liberal arts center, displaying a statue of the university’s patron. At … Read more

The Last Ancient Patriarch of Jerusalem: Saint Sophronius

Heavy-hearted, Sophronius, the patriarch of Jerusalem, set out to meet the Caliph, the successor to the Muslim prophet Muhammad, at the gates of the Holy City. The surrender had already been negotiated, after a siege that had lasted four months. Sophronius, patriarch of the city since 634, had decided that the city must be surrendered. … Read more

The Fight for Freedom Begins July Fifth

The Fortnight for Freedom, which ends today, July 4, will hopefully be a great boon to Catholics across the country. Despite the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold Obamacare as a tax, hopefully the Fortnight, organized by the United States Bishops, has brought unity and resolve to American Catholics. But I fear that in the … Read more

Incorruptibility and Incorruptibles

I must confess—with no sense of boasting, just honesty—that I have often been quietly dismissive of news of, or interest in, the world of the more spectacular aspects of the faith: news of this incorruptible holy one’s body or that purported apparition; this stigmatic, or that saint’s levitations. And while such subtle, occasional arrogance is … Read more

St. Boniface, Apostle Among Pagans

St. Boniface had it all: natural brilliance, formidable powers of persuasion, and unstoppable energy and resolve. He could have had a great career and high status in society, but this saintly man wanted something very different: nothing for himself and everything for Christ and His Church. Although St. Boniface’s era (the seventh and eighth centuries … Read more

St. Philip Neri: Apostle of Rome

St. Philip Neri was beatified in 1615, five years after St. Charles Borromeo was raised to the altars, and canonized in 1622 in company with St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, and St. Teresa of Avila.  This group could be said to represent in a unique way the extraordinary vitality of the Catholic Reformation of … Read more

Five Saints to Enrich your Easter Season

Easter Sunday has come and gone, but the liturgical season of Easter is just beginning. The 50 days of Easter, which last until Pentecost, are an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the resurrection for your faith—much the same way that the 40 days of Lent is a call to enter into the deeper … Read more

Athanasius Contra Mundum: The Courage to Act Alone

Who among us does not long to go back and witness first-hand certain moments in Catholic history?  Certain decisive moments.  Here are a few of mine:  On the eve of the battle of Lepanto, Don John of Austria silenced his quarrelling admirals without raising his voice.  “Gentlemen,” he said.  “The time for counsel has passed.  … Read more

Bossuet’s Carême du Louvre at 350

To begin well was a grace not given to Louis XIV. King before his fifth birthday, rudely shocked by the Fronde uprising as a mere child, and first seduced—the story goes—by a lady-in-waiting at the French court while still a green youth, the miracle is not that he was head-strong, unreflective, and given to the … Read more

Is Multiculturalism Evil?

Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of the Papuans? I’d be glad to read him. – Saul Bellow.   In asking about the Papuan Proust, novelist Saul Bellow summed up the core problem with the twin idols of our age, Multiculturalism and Diversity. For the ideology of Multiculturalism—now dominant on most college … Read more

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