History

December 12 is the commemoration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In the United States, the day is a feast. Linked to this day is December 9, which is the optional memorial of Juan Diego, to whom she appeared. Here are 6 things to know and share . . .   1) Who was Juan Diego? […]

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The 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination is upon us. John F. Kennedy was the first—and so far only—American president to be Catholic. He was not a particularly good Catholic. His policy on Church-state relations has been widely faulted as contributing to the marginalization of religion in American society. But nobody deserves to be gunned down in the […]

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April 29th is the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena. She is a saint, a mystic, and a doctor of the Church, as well as a patroness of Italy and of Europe. Who was she, and why is her life so significant? Here are 8 things to know and share . . . 1. Who […]

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Thursday is the feast of St.s Perpetua and Felicity. Many have heard their names. They’re early saints mentioned in Eucharistic Prayer #1 (the Roman Canon). But often we don’t know much more than that, which is a pity. They have a dramatic story, which St. Perpetua recorded herself in the days before her martyrdom. It […]

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Pope Benedict’s resignation has stirred up a good bit of discussion of the so-called “Prophecy of the Popes,” attributed to St. Malachy of Ireland (1094-1148). The prophecy is a list of 112 mottoes that allegedly describe the popes stretching from St. Malachy’s time to the end of time. Supposedly, Pope Benedict is identified with #111, […]

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There haven’t been that many popes who have resigned, and none of them offer an exact parallel to the case of Pope Benedict. However, there is one pope–St. Celestine V–who is by far the closest parallel. Who was he? Why did he resign? And what does his strange case tell us about Pope Benedict’s decision […]

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In the wake of Pope Benedict’s announcement that he is resigning from the papacy, I thought I would speak with the historian Dr. Andrew Jones about the history of papal resignations. While it hasn’t happened often in history, there have been popes who have resigned before, and their resignations (technically, their renunciations of the papacy) […]

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This Friday, the Church celebrates the conversion of St. Paul. Here are eight things you need to know about him–and his conversion.   1. Where was St. Paul from? In Acts 21:39, St. Paul states: “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city.” Tarsus was the capital city of […]

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This Sunday we celebrate the mystery of the Holy Family. What was it like for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph to live together? Each is a very remarkable person! Put all three together and . . . wow. Today we have reality shows about interesting and extraordinary families, but they didn’t have reality shows back then. […]

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On December 28, the Church commemorates the slaughter of the holy innocents. These are the baby boys in Bethlehem that Herod the Great had slaughtered in an attempt to kill the Baby Jesus. But many people today challenge the idea that this ever took place. “We have no record of it!” they say. Actually, we […]

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