Salvifici doloris

Anniversary Reflections on the Last Days of King Louis XVI

Early on the morning of January 21, 1793, King Louis XVI heard his last Mass. Following Mass, the king was taken from his prison to the Palace Louis XV, where he would suffer the same fate on the same date as Agnes of Rome, the ancient martyr commemorated in the Mass of the day. This [...]

Of Saints, Suffering, and Scleroderma

In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions (Col. 1.24). “Hello, Faddah!” I’m guessing it was probably the first time Pope John Paul II heard that one in the Vatican’s audience hall. It was my sister, Adeline, who was visiting Rome with my mom and dad many years ago. None of them were Catholic at [...]

The Measure of Humanity

Pope Benedict writes in Spe salvi, “The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer.” These words recently took on new meaning for me as I encountered the story of Edwarda O’Bara, who passed away at the age of 59 in late November. In January 1970 Edwarda slipped [...]

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