Archive for the ‘13 History’ Category

For Your Eyes, Mind, Soul

In 13 History on 2017/08/11 at 11:05 PM

Respected Followers:

Since a substantial number have signed up to follow the blog after I had finished adding new ones, I would like you invite you to read any articles you have not read in:

TRUTH TO PONDER 1,113 articles posted
EARLY CHURCH FATHERS 973 articles posted
WHO GIVES A HOOT ABOUT YOU 860 articles posted.

I would have liked to continue but while my mind is willing, my hands refuse to cooperate.

You can access them by keying in:

Barbara Reagan, Ph.D. History
Retired Research Historian

Using Statistics provided by WordPress, the most views were for:
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There is no way to calculate those forwarded to family members and friend

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In 13 History on 2016/10/14 at 8:56 AM

Dear Followers and Visitors,

Thank you for your faithfulness in following the blog.  No more will be added.  The first post was on 3/2/2011 and many of you have entered at different times, so you do have a cornucopia full of posts that you might have not read.

Also, you might want to check my other blogs:



http://ideastocontemplate.wordpress.com   (my husband’s essays)

http://aroundtheworldandthroughthelens.wordpress.com     (our world travels)

Wishing you the best,

Barbara Reagan, retired research historian

St. Peter Canisius 1521-1597

In 13 History on 2016/07/22 at 12:00 AM
While many are familiar with the major personages of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation period, there is one of note that often escapes the eyes of the world.  At first the Council of Trent, which had tremendous effect on Bavaria, had little effect on the rest of the German states.  That is, until St. Peter Canisius dedicated his life to patient labor among the German people.

It was only his and his fellow Jesuits’ patience, in seeking out and leading individuals to convert from Lutheranism, that slowly but surely increased the ratio of Catholics to Protestants in Germany. Often called the Second Apostle of Germany, St. Peter Canisius is claimed as a son by both Germany and Holland.

His nine-times Burgomaster of Nijmegen Catholic father sent young Peter to the University of Cologne at the tender age of 15.  There, Canisius was a leading light in the loyal Catholic party formed in opposition to the Catholic archbishop who had secretly transferred his allegiance to the Lutheran camp.  It was Canisius who was chosen by this group to seek out the German Emperor, who, in turn, deposed the archbishop and averted a calamity in the Catholic Rhineland.

Canisius then met Father Faber, one of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s first companions, and under his guidance made the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.  It was during this retreat time that he found the answer to his own question: How could he best serve God and his stricken German church?  He joined the Society of Jesus.

The scholarly Canisius became known for his editions of works of St. Cyril of Alexandria and of St. Leo the Great and in 1547 he attended the Council of Trent as an assistant to the Bishop of Augsburg.  At Trent he was motivated by the spirit of the Catholic Counter-Reformation.

And it was he who was behind the important decree against absentee bishops who were now required to reside in their diocese.  He was also a major figure in the establishment of seminaries that purposed to provide correct preparation of men for the priesthood.

At age 28, Peter Canisius was sent on a mission to Germany; this would become his life’s work.  The Duke of Bavaria requested that Canisius and two other Jesuits become professors of theology at the Universities of Ingolstadt and later the University of Vienna.

By 1555 Peter Canisius issued his famous CATECHISM and through it he rendered a tremendous service to the Church.  His Catechism was a clear and simple exposition of Catholic doctrine geared to the needs of the day. It met the timely needs with great clarity and produced great success in its countering of the devastating effects of Luther’s Catechism.  More than four hundred editions were made of Canisius’ Catechism within the following one hundred years, and it was translated into 15 other languages.

Canisius also later then went to Bohemia where the situation of the Church was desperate.  Despite tremendous opposition, he established the University of Prague.

At age 35 he became Provincial of the Jesuits in Southern German and he established boys’ colleges in six different cities.  His main task was to provide Germany with well-trained priests.  From the seminaries he established, he regularly sent young men to study in Rome.

Canisius travelled constantly throughout the German states and always preached God’s word.  Although he at first encountered either hostility or apathy, his great learning and zeal soon turned that tide, bringing people from even far away to listen to him and packed churches.  Often, in his travels, he entered a town without a pastor and he immediately began to preach and administer the sacraments.

To those who said he was over-working himself, he simply replied: “ If you have too much to do, with God’s help you will find time to do it all.”    He was inexhaustible.  He found time to write letters.  In fact, printed copies of his correspondence amount to more than eight thousand pages.

His letters comforted, rebuked and counseled persons of all social levels, very much in the manner of St. Bernard, who also feared no man, be he pope or emperor, bishop or prince, or the ordinary laity.

His great powers of influence were notable at the conference between Catholics and Protestants held at Worms in 1556.  It was his influence that enabled the Catholics to present a united front and resist Protestant invitations to compromise on points of principle.

Two years later, he checked an incipient threat to the traditional Faith in Poland.  He also healed a breach that year between the pope and the emperor.  During a break in the Council’s sessions, Canisius and three Jesuits crossed the Alps in winter to deal with the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand, who while a loyal Catholic had been critical of the pope.  The patient, but unyielding, Canisus carefully explained to the Emperor, who was not too intelligent, exactly what was being done and the Emperor ceased his pressing demands.

A history full of distortions had been written: The Centuries of Magdeburg.  Canisius was asked to counter this huge attack on the Catholic Church and did so with his two works: The History of John the Baptist and The Incomparable Virgin Mary.

Soon after his death in 1597, his tomb in Fribourg began to be venerated and numerous miracles were attributed to his intercession.


The Scandinavian countries had also turned to Lutheranism, and Catholics were persecuted.  However, the Jesuits serving secretly in Sweden decided in 1580 to reveal themselves as priests, though not as Jesuits.  Shortly, thereafter, in a dramatic sermon, the Swedish Lutheran Archbishop called his entire congregation to embrace the Catholic Faith and ordered Luther’s Catechism to be replaced in all schools by that of Canisius.

The people’s response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic.  People from the surrounding countryside also made profession of the faith they had held in silence.

One famous convert was Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689).  In her days the Jesuits prepared a special Swedish edition of Canisius’ Catechism.  Also, numerous young Swedes, Fins and Lapps were sent to German seminaries to prepare for the priesthood.

St. Otto

In 13 History on 2016/07/01 at 12:00 AM

The Church celebrates the life and work of St. Otto. He was born in 1060 in Swabia, and died on June 30, 1139. He was the Bishop of Bamberg, an indefatigable evengelizer, and the apostle of the Pomeranians.

He was born of noble rank and ordained a priest sometime before the age of 30. He joined the service of Emperor Henry IV in 1090 and became his chancellor in 1101. He served Henry IV and his successor, Henry V, loyally, but he disaproved of the latter’s disgraceful treatment of Pope Paschal.

Otto was consecrated a bishop on May 13, 1106, and set to work founding new monasteries, reforming existing ones, building schools and churches, and completing the construction of the cathedral. He lived a poor and simple life, and was called the “Father of the monks” for the concern he showed toward religious orders.

In 1122 Otto was commissioned by the Polish Duke Boleslaw III to convert Pomerania to Christianity, and he set about this mission in 1124. He traveled across Pomerania twice, and won over the people with his holiness, quiet generosity, and gentle, inspiring sermons.

The conversion of Pomerania was his greatest apostolic work. He baptized over 22,000 people and established 11 churches. Many miracles were attributed to him throughout his two journeys, and many more after his death.


Catholic News Agency

More on the Tudors

In 13 History on 2016/06/10 at 12:00 AM

• When Elizabeth I was crowned as Queen of England in 1558, the very first thing she did was to reverse the reestablishment of Catholicism as the official religion of the realm, a decision made by her half-sister and predecessor, Queen Mary.

• You’ll remember that their father, King Henry VIII, had broken from the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church in 1534 and formed the Church of England in response to the pope’s refusal to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

• Henry’s immediate successor, Edward VI, brought on the formal adoption of Protestantism during his reign from 1547 to 1553, but that was brought to a halt under the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary, who ruled from 1553 until 1558.

• Queen Mary was convinced that she was to bring the true faith back to England, but she died before her mission was fully accomplished, and her half-sister, ironically known as “Good Queen Bess” very quickly moved to suppress Catholicism upon ascending to the throne.

• Thus, from 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Moreover, not only were Catholics not allowed to practice their faith, but many were imprisoned and eventually martyred for the Faith, especially many priests.

• While ultimately this period of English anti-Catholicism is a sad episode in Church history, many saints were borne out of the Church’s suffering, including martyrs such as St. Edmund Campion, who was hung, drawn and quartered by “Good Queen Bess” simply for being a Catholic priest and for refusing to renounce his Catholic faith.

Excerpted for Fr. Timothy Reid’s  sermon on the Epiphany re the Twelve Days of Christmas.

The Real Henry VIII

In 13 History on 2016/06/10 at 12:00 AM

The Reformation in Europe was the work of the princes, but in England, of one lustful prince, so aid the Seventh Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. How was this possible?  In order to understand the power of this one prince we need to go back to the days of his father, Henry Tudor.

In the Hundred Years’ War between England and France, England lost many from the ranks of the nobility.  The Wars of the Roses between the House of York and the House of Lancaster were precisely over the right to the throne, and it likewise cost many a noble his life.

Henry Tudor was not a member of the nobility but he was married to Margaret of York who had a distant claim to the throne.  However, the enterprising Henry Tudor was an ambitious man driven by a will to power and possessed of a practical organizational mind.  He promised the war weary nation: law and order, peace and prosperity.  They accepted him and he delivered.  But, how did he manage it?

First, the now Henry VII,  married off his heir, Arthur to the richest princess in Christendom: Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, whose galleons creaked under the weight of the treasures the New World brought Spain.  Catherine’s dowry provided Henry Tudor with the funds to create kings’ men out of townsmen to whom he gave the lands of fallen lords; men loyal to him; men he made and could break.

Second, he gave his daughter, Margaret as wife to the King of Scotland and thus neutralized the wild Scots who had been plaguing England for centuries.  With the King of Scotland now his son-in-law, he thus had achieved much needed tranquility in the northern border.

Last but not least, he sent his second son, Henry, off to a monastery.  If Lorenzo the Magnificent of Florence could have a son a pope (Pope Leo X), he Henry Tudor would have his son, Henry be a future pope also.

Now for the fly in the ointment:  Little Arthur upped and died.  Catherine and her dowry need be return to her parents who would find her a new husband, particularly since the marriage had not been consummated. Henry VII could not returned the dowry, having used the funds for his purposes, so he approached the Pope to get his approval for the validity of the proposed marriage of his son Henry to his brother’s widow.  The Pope said their was no impediment.

While all the negotiations were proceeding, the multi-gifted Henry left the monastery and discovered the world of women.  His first of the many sired in the interim before his marriage to Catherine, was Geoffrey, later known as the Duke of Monmouth.

The age of discovery included an unhappy exchange between the New World and the Old World: syphilis and smallpox.  Each lacking the immunity, the consequences were devastating for both.  Before his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Henry was already syphilitic.  The numerous children Catherine bore Henry were either still-born or died shortly after birth; the one exception being a daughter, Mary, later to be Mary Tudor, Queen of England.

Sing a Song of Six Pence…the King, Henry; the Queen, Catherine; the Maid, Anne Boleyn; the Blackbird, the executioner.  (See a lengthier treatment of this in Political Nursery Rhymes in the Category: Tib-bits)

After seventeen years of marriage which includes many lust filled daillances with ladies-in-waiting, Henry claimed scruples about his marriage to Catherine being wrong on the grounds of consanguinity…that it was wrong to have married his brother’s widow, and God was punishing him by not giving him a male heir.  The reason for this late-arriving scruple?  Henry was asked to pay a price by Anne Boleyn and that price was Queen.  Anne’s sister Mary had been left pregnant and indigent by Henry (now how’s that the consanguinity issue?)

Making a long matter short: the Pope could not grant Henry the desired divorce because the Pope does not have the power to dissolve a lawful marriage.  So, Henry declared himself the head of the Catholic Church in England, appointed an Archbishop who granted him a divorce and Henry married Anne who got what she wanted: to be queen, and what she did not want: to be beheaded for giving birth to a daughter (Elizabeth). Reason for her execution: (trumped up charge of) adultery!

Some of the casualties of friendly fire:

Cardinal Wolsey, the butcher’s son and king’s man, failed in his annulment mission to Rome.  When Wolsey heard that the King had ordered his death, he sent for a coffin, stripped himself naked and lay in it declaring: “If I had served my God as well as I had served my King, I would not now like naked to my enemies.”  An ensuing heart attack deprived his executioners.  Henry gave Anne a gift: Wolsey’s Palace, Hampton Court.

Thomas More, Chancellor of England and friend of Henry, refused to take the Oath of Supremacy acknowledging the Act of Supremacy of 1634 by which Henry made himself the head of the Catholic Church in England.  (Recommendation: film MAN FOR ALL SEASONS)

“Six wives did Henry wed: two died, two divorced, one beheaded, one survived.”  So went the ditty.  Died: Catherine with a penitent Henry at her bedside asking forgiveness and truthfully claiming he always loved her.  Catherine had long forgiven him; she knew him well.  Jane Seymour, his child-bride, died in childbirth. Divorced: Anne of Cleves and another Catherine.  Beheaded: Anne Boleyn; Survived by her wits: the last of three Catherines.

Cardinal Pole’s mother and Henry’s great-aunt, executed along with her sons. Cardinal Reginald escaped to the Continent but was hounded by would-be assassins sent by Henry.

Countless archbishops, bishops, abbots and monks; the “four-and=twenty blackbirds”.  Henry needed to get the lead out of the roofs of the monasteries for war material.  His dissolution of the monasteries and their enriched his coffers beyond imagination, but also left the sick, the poor and the homeless without the services rendered by the monks to them for the love of God.  This destruction of the charitable services of the church centuries later gave birth to welfare from the state.

Incongruous notes: Henry’s will left all his personal wealth for masses to be said for the repose of his soul. Henry always remained a Roman Catholic in belief.  The Pope had awarded him the title of Defender of the Catholic Faith for his book THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS written as a defense of the Church against Luther.  All monarchs of England thereafter have used the title as Defender of the Faith, having edited out the “Catholic”.

England remained Catholic in the days of Henry VIII.  The people were appalled by the atrocities committed by the syphilitic king whose disease was eating up his brain and they termed him “Bluebeard”. The change to Anglican or Church of England came during the reign of the boy-king, Edward VI and was the work of his uncle Seymour and Archbishop Cramner.  It was at this time that Calvinist ideas were incorporated and priest were specifically not ordained to offer sacrifice.

After the premature death of Edward, Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry and Catherine of Aragon became Queen and with her husband, Philip II, great grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella, they restored Catholicism to England.

With the premature death of Mary, the throne was vacant.  It should have automatically gone to Henry VII’s surviving descendant from the marriage of his daughter Margaret to the King of Scotland.  Mary Queen of Scots, Queen of France, Queen of England would meet her death at the hands of her cousin, Elizabeth, who would behead her in the first regicide.

By accepted international law, illegitimate children could not inherit.  If they could have inherited, the throne would rightly belong to Geoffrey, Duke of Monmouth.  Vested interests which had profited from confiscations of properties of Catholics feared he would continue Mary’s restoration.  So, the throne was offered to the discarded child of Henry, whose mother he had beheaded!  Needless to say, she accepted the condition: to make Anglicanism the official religion of the state.  As a female incarnation of Henry, she outdid him in destructiveness while her syncopates wove the legend of Good Queen Bess, not sustainable by historical facts.

Edmund Campion 1540-1581

In 13 History on 2016/06/10 at 12:00 AM
Edmund Campion was the son of a Catholic bookseller although raised a Protestant.  It was his brilliance that secured him a Protestant education guaranteed by the City of London.  He was chosen to give the welcome in Latin to Queen Mary Tudor upon her arrival in London as ruler.

Having later been accepted at Oxford, Campion met Queen Elizabeth and her lover, Chancellor Dudley, when they visited Oxford.  They were both so enchanted by Campion’s appearance, poise and wit that the Queen invited him to be part of her court.  Consequently, he took the Oath of Supremacy and deacon’s orders according to the new rite.  Immediately, he began to regret that decision and left Oxford, the Court and went to Ireland to await the re-opening of the ancient papal Dublin University.

Very quickly he became suspect as too Catholic-minded an Anglican, and for a while he hid in friendly houses. Having recognized a vocation to the Catholic priesthood, he made a pilgrimage to Rome on his way to Douai.  He subsequently entered the Jesuit Order and was ordained in 1578.

King Philip II of Spain financed the building of a seminary in Douai, Flanders, for English Catholic exiles.  Placed under the leadership of Dr. Allen, who later became Cardinal Allen, the seminary had 120 seminarians by 1576.

The first martyr from that seminary was St. Cuthbert who was hanged, drawn and quartered.  He was charged with denying Queen Elizabeth’s headship of the church in England.  When asked to swear that she was head of the church, Cuthbert “took the Bible in his hands, made the sign of the cross on it, kissed it and said: ‘The Queen never was, or is, nor ever shall be the head of the Church’.”

In Elizabethan England, priests were first tortured on the rack and then hanged.  (See Category: Book Corner for Benson, COME RACK, COME ROPE, which relates the life of one of the two greatest lights ever to shine at Oxford University: Campion, its subject; and the other, Blessed John Henry Newman).

While Campion was abroad, Queen Elizabeth had ordered that all Englishmen with sons studying overseas recall them.

Penalties on Catholics refusing to attend Church of England services were sharply increased; castles became prisons for those who could not or would not pay the fines.  It is estimated that in one year some twenty thousand Englishmen were converted to the Catholic faith of their forefathers.  Now, any convert was deemed guilt of treason.  Recusants (refusal to attend the Church of England service) brought increased fines to a prohibitive level.

In 1580, two years after ordination, Campion arrived secretly in England with a commitment to win over Protestants with his preaching.  Campion’s saintly and soldierly personality was profoundly impressive.  During a period when he had to flee northward, Campion wrote his famous tract, “TEN REASONS.”  During prayer, he had a vision of Our Lady who foretold his martyrdom.

Shuttling between Norfolk and London, he was eventually captured in 1581. Campion was dragged through the streets of his native city, bound hand and foot, made to ride backwards with a paper stuck in his hat labeling him a “seditious Jesuit.”  Elizabeth herself offered him liberty and power, wealth and honors if he would reject Catholicism, but Campion asked her only for permission for a public disputation.

Denied the opportunity to prepare his debate, having been severely racked and all his fingernails torn off, he stood through four long conferences, without chair, table or notes.  He stood undefeated.  Shortly thereafter, weakened from more torture, he conducted a brilliant public debate with the Calvinist deans of St. Paul and Windsor.  A month later, he debated two scholars from Cambridge, the hotbed of Protestantism.  Two more debates followed.  There were still Englishmen who believed in fairness and justice.  Campion won over Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel.

Racked again, Campion was indicted for treason.  The Privy Council found hirelings as accusers.  During the ridiculous trial , Campion made a magnificent defense, ending at the close of the trial with:

“In condemning us, you condemn all your own ancestors…all  the ancient priest, bishops and kings….all that was once the glory of England, the island of saints, and the most devoted child of the See of Peter.  For what have we taught, how every you may qualify it with the odious name of treason, that they did not uniformly teach?  To be condemned with these old lights….not England only, but of the world….by their degenerate descendants, is both gladness and glory to us.  God lives; posterity will live, their judgments is no so liable to corruption as that of those who are now going to sentence us to death.”

Sentenced to death by hanging, drawing and quartering, he and the other martyrs on the way to execution shouted:  “This is the day the Lord has made” and sang the Te Deum.  They died praying for the Queen.  The people loudly lamented his fate and the martyrs’ witness produced many conversions.  Henry Walpole, a wild young man, was splattered with a drop of Campion’s blood.  He later become not only a Jesuit, but a martyr.

Historians agree that the charges against Campion were bogus.  They praise his superlative intelligence, his charm, his joy, his fiery energy, his impeccable manners and his gentleness.  Campion’s  written words reveal him as a man of genius, one of the great Elizabethans, but holy as none other.

A Doctor’s Ministry, Bridging Science and Spirit

In 13 History on 2016/02/26 at 12:00 AM

 Forty years ago, long before the recent afternoon when Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky knelt at the warped feet of his 4-year-old patient, he was a small-town teenager approaching his Catholic confirmation and needing to select a patron saint. He made an unlikely choice, a newly canonized figure, St. Martin de Porres, the illegitimate child of a former black slave in 16th-century Peru.

Back then, in the early 1970s, as the child of a factory worker and a homemaker, Joseph had no aspiration toward medicine. Nor did he know that Martin de Porres had been elevated to sainthood in part because of his healing miracles.
Decades later, something — call it coincidence, call it providence — has bent the vectors of faith and science together in the career of Dr. Dutkowsky. The confluence of these often-clashing ideals has taken him to the top of his profession as an orthopedic surgeon specializing in the care of children disabled from cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Down syndrome and other afflictions. It has also taken him to the healing shrine of Lourdes and to the Lima barrio where his patron saint tended to the poor and broken and cast out.
Dr. Dutkowsky’s appointment with Christian, his young patient at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital in New York, was as emblematic as any other on his calendar: cerebral palsy at birth, canted legs that could not be corrected by braces, muscle tissue softened by Botox injections, and each foot placed in a cast for several weeks to try to reshape it for stable walking.
“This is my ministry,” said Dr. Dutkowsky, 56. “Some people stand next to the ocean to feel the presence of God. I get to see the likeness of God every day. I see children with some amazing deformities. But God doesn’t make mistakes. So they are the image.”
Dr. Dutkowsky is well aware that he occupies contested territory, both intellectually and theologically. He can say, as he does, that he considers both belief and reason to be divine gifts. And he can say, as he does, that a healing miracle can consist of restoring a person’s soul to God, not necessarily curing a disease or reviving a paralyzed limb.
Words, though, have rarely settled the millenniums-old arguments between sacred and secular, particularly as they pertain to medicine. So Dr. Dutkowsky mostly lives his example. Once chastised by a hospital superior for saying “God bless you” to his patients, he wears a wooden cross carved by a disabled man in Lima, he fingers a rosary as he drives to the hospital each week from his home in upstate New York, and he recites a prayer to the Holy Spirit by Cardinal Mercier as he parks the car and prepares to see his patients. “Only show me,” it concludes, “what is your will.”
Dr. Dutkowsky has found his place working in a zone where medical challenge and religious mystery intersect. He treats people — even those who have grown into adulthood — who were visited with disability as children. When he operates on them, he recognizes that he is, at least in the short term, adding pain to a life saturated with pain.
A purely secular physician, someone who accepts the concept of a capricious and random universe, would not face the question that a believer like Dr. Dutkowsky did when he saw an adult patient named Mike late last month. Here was a man in his 30s who, despite a case of cerebral palsy that had consigned him to a wheelchair, earned a master’s degree and held a social work job. What kind of God would then allow this man to develop retinitis pigmentosa and gradually lose his sight?
As with the 4-year-old boy, Dr. Dutkowsky began his session with Mike on the floor, at the patient’s feet, looking less the expert than the supplicant. He swiveled his head and propped his chin on his palm to keep his face within Mike’s shrinking field of vision. He was, by choice, “Dr. Joe.”
Before turning to anything diagnostic, Dr. Dutkowsky spoke to Mike person to person, chatting about the Baseball Hall of Fame, joking about how he mows the lawn to reduce stress. “My psychiatrist,” he said, “is named John Deere.” Only then did he examine Mike’s legs and discuss a regimen of conditioning and strengthening exercises to return some mobility to them.
“We have a culture that’s addicted to perfection,” Dr. Dutkowsky said later. “We’re willing to spend thousands of dollars to achieve it. The people I care for are imperfect. And I can’t make them perfect. I only hope that they can sense that I actually care they’re more than skin and bones, that we have a bond.”
Dr. Dutkowsky has made efforts to bridge the chasm between science and spirit. As president of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, he had the Rev. David Farrell, a Catholic priest who has worked among Peru’s poor since 1964, address the group’s convention last year on the topic of “Poverty and Disability.” That same year, on his third pilgrimage to Lourdes, Dr. Dutkowsky took part in a conference on faith and medicine, delivering a speech he titled “Dignity and Disability.”
He took the occasion to wrestle with the ontological question embodied by the unmerited suffering of patients like Mike and Christian.
“For years, when asked why I chose this profession, I had no good answer,” he said, “until I came upon the first chapter of the Gospel of John. Jesus and his disciples come upon a man who was blind from birth. The disciples asked Jesus, ‘Did this man or his parents sin that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered that the blindness was not the result of the man or his parents’ sin. The man was born blind ‘so the glory of God might be revealed.’ Every day in my work I find myself in the revealed glory of God.”
Source: Fr. Robert Connor http://robertaconnor.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-doctors-ministry-bridging-science-and.html 

Some Pithy Comments from Margaret Thatcher

In 13 History on 2016/01/29 at 12:00 AM

It appears to me that there are two very general and seemingly conflicting ideas about society which come down to us from the New Testament.  There is that great Christian doctrine that we are all members of one another, expressed in the concept of the Church on Earth  as the Body of Christ.  From this we learn our inter-dependence and the great truth that we do not achieve happiness or salvation in isolation from each other but as members of society.  That is one of the great Christian truths which has influenced our political thinking; there is also another, that we are all responsible moral being with a choice between good and evil, being who are infinitely precious in the eyes of their Creator.  You might almost say that the whole political wisdom consists in getting these two ideas in the right relationship to each other.

Earn as much as you can, save as much as you can, give as much as you can.

If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.

To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.

Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by traffic from both sides.

I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.

Any woman who understand the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.

 It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs.

No matter how well prepared you are, the unexpected happens.  How you cope then remains, of course, the real test.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.

Thatcher became Prime Minister on 4 May 1979. Arriving at 10 Downing Street, she said, in a paraphrase of the “Prayer of Saint Francis“:

“Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.

Basillica of St. Paul

In 13 History on 2015/12/18 at 12:00 AM

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(Rome reports.com) TheBasilica of Saint Paul is one of Rome’s four major Churches. It was founded by emperor Constantine over the tomb of apostle Paul, which centuries ago, stood far from Rome’s walls. That’s why it is also known as Saint Paul Outside the Walls.

For the first time, the Vatican has announced the discovery of several archeological sites that were associated with the Basilica’s daily life in the Middle Ages. Even though the route through the site is still provisional, visitors can already tour the area and read about the history of the site.

Vatican Museums 
“In order to build a modern welcome center for pilgrims, we discovered a facility that was built 1500 years ago, by our predecessors, for the same reason. The Popes, who wanted to provide St. Paul’s with facilities that could accommodate all the pilgrims that would flock to the tomb of the Apostle of the Gentiles.” 
During its 1500 year-long history, the Basilica’s architecture has changed immensely, even though the original shrine containing St. Paul’s remains still lies under the high altar. Around the year 1000 AD the basilica and its lands were entrusted to Benedictine monks, who still reside there to this day.
Among the discoveries are the ancient ‘garden of the monks’ and medieval pilgrim facilities, which were unveiled in an official conference attended by the archeologists.
The archeological finds in the area, include courtyards, a well and porches, which were all meant host the pilgrims that would visit St. Paul’s from all over the world. In a way, the structures show that the deep devotion St. Paul, never ceased through the ages.
Vatican Museums 
“Today, for us, these are extremely precious finds, because they must also be considered in the spiritual value that this discovery holds. They are traces of the uninterrupted devotion to the Apostle Paul.” 
As part of the tour, drawings and reconstructions are available, to show how the area looked in ancient times.

Rome Reports TV News Agency