patrons of the Diocese of Namur, Belgium


MLA Citation

  • “patrons of the Diocese of Namur, Belgium“. Patrons of the Faith. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 July 2019. Web. 22 August 2019. <>

Lepanto, by G. K. Chesterton

White founts falling in the courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips,
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross,
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young,
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain—hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.

Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri’s knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunset and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees,
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.

They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be;
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,—
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, “Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done,
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces—four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not ‘Kismet’; it is he that knows not Fate ;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey in the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.”
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still—hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

Saint Michael’s on his mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.

King Philip’s in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial, and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John’s hunting, and his hounds have bayed—
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.

The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man’s house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St. Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings’ horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign—
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate’s sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade….
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)

– from The Collected Poems of G. K. Chesterton, 1927

Collier’s New Encyclopedia – Saint Patrick

detail of stained glass window of Saint Patrick, date and artist unknown; Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Knoxville, Tennessee; photographed on 16 September 2016 by Nheyob; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Saint Patrick, or Patricius, the apostle or patron saint of Ireland; said to have been born near the site of Kilpatrick, Scotland. His zeal prompted him to cross the channel for the conversion of the pagan Irish, probably between 440-460. His endeavors were crowned with great success, and he established there a number of schools and monasteries. Nennius states that his missions continued 40 years and various miracles are attributed to him, particularly the expulsion of all venomous creatures from Ireland. The order of St. Patrick, the third in rank of British orders, was instituted in 1783.


  • Collier’s New Encyclopedia, 1921

Collier’s New Encyclopedia – Saint George

statue of Saint George and the Dragon; date and artist unknown; Church of Saint Francis Xavier, Convent of the Precious Blood, Caceres, Spain; photographed on 30 December 2012 by Pedro M Martínez Corada; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Saint George, the especial patron of chivalry, and tutelary saint of England. Though venerated both in the Eastern and Western Churches, his history is extremely obscure. The story in the “Acta Sanctorum” (“Deeds of the Saints”) is that he was born of noble Christian parents in Cappadocia, became a distinguished soldier, and, after testifying to his faith before Diocletian, was tortured and put to death at Nicomedia, 23 April 303.


  • Collier’s New Encyclopedia, 1921

Collier’s New Encyclopedia – Saint Columbanus

detail of a 19th century stained glass window of Saint Columban, date unknown, artist unknown; Bobbio Abbey, Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna, Italy; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Saint Columbanus, a monk; born in Ireland about 540. He went to France in 590, and founded the celebrated monastery of Luxeuil, over which he presided for 20 years. The enmity of Queen Brunehaut caused him to be ordered back to Ireland, from whence he journeyed into Italy, where he founded the monastery of Bobbio in 615. The order of the Columbans was united to that of the Benedictines in the beginning of the 8th century.


  • Collier’s New Encyclopedia, 1921

Collier’s New Encyclopedia – Saint Alban

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Alban of Britain, date unknown, artist unknown; church of Saint Mary, Sledmere, East Riding of Yorkshire, England; photographed on 8 August 2009 by DaveWebster14; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Saint Alban, the first Christian martyr in Great Britain, lived in the 3d century. After having served years as a soldier under the Emperor Diocletian, he returned to Britain, embraced Christianity, and suffered martyrdom in the great persecution of Diocletian.


  • Collier’s New Encyclopedia, 1921

Collier’s New Encyclopedia – Saint Gregory the Illuminator

statue of Saint Gregory the Illuminator; date unknown, artist unknown; facade of Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome, Italy; photographed on 4 May 2010 by Lars Curfs; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Saint Gregory, surnamed Illuminator, the founder of the Armenian Church; born in Valarshabad, Armenia, about 257. He was of the royal Parthian race of the Arsacidae, and son of Anak, murderer of Chosrov I, King of Armenia. For this crime the whole family was slain save himself. He owed his escape to a Christian nurse, who secretly conveyed him, when he was 2 years old, to Cæsarea, in Cappadocia, her native town. He there married a Christian, who bore him two sons, and soon afterward became a nun. Gregory proceeded to Rome, and entered the service of Terdat, Chosrov’s son. After Terdat (Tiridates III) had, with the help of the Romans, recovered his father’s kingdom (286), Gregory, for his refusal to crown with garlands the statue of Anahit, tutelary goddess of Armenia, was thrown by Terdat into a deep pit, where a pious widow nourished him for 14 years. About the end of that time Terdat was visited with the punishment of Nebuchadnezzar. Healed and baptized by Gregory, he became a zealous Christian, and established Christianity by force throughout his dominions. Gregory was consecrated bishop and head of the Armenian Church by Leontius, Archbishop of Cæsarea. Having resigned the patriarchate in favor of his second son Aristaces, Gregory in 331 retired to a cave at the foot of Mount Sebuh in Upper Armenia, where he died in 332.


  • Collier’s New Encyclopedia, 1921

Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors – Blessed Margaret Clitheroe, 1586

Saint Margaret ClitherowArticle

Wife of John Clitheroe, sometime Sheriff of York, she was thirty years of age, and already married, when a growing dissatisfaction with the Protestant religion led her, after due inquiry, to embrace the faith. During the following twelve years of her Catholic life her house was a refuge for priests, whom she received at her own peril and unknown to her husband. With this help she brought up her children in the faith and her eldest son for the priesthood. She managed to hear Mass almost daily, communicated twice a week, and fasted rigorously. For her persistent recusancy she was repeatedly cast into prison, even for two years together and more, but her sufferings only increased her fervour. “Were it not,” she said, “for her husband and child she would rather stay there always, apart from the world with God.” Still, when at liberty she was most attentive to the care of her house, and with her servant took part herself in the humblest menial work. She was exposed to much ill-usage even from Catholics, who misjudged and censured her, but her constancy and patience never failed. Her husband said she had only two faults, fasting too much and refusing to go to Church.

Forbidden to see husband or child, pestered by successive ministers, and herself charged with gross immorality, Margaret learnt at length, on 24 March, that she was to die on the morrow, that year Good Friday. She had prepared herself for this by fasting and prayer, but she begged for a maid to be with her during the night, for “though death is my comfort,” she said, “the flesh is frail,” but as no one could be admitted the keeper’s wife sat with her for a while. The first hours of the night Margaret passed on her knees in prayer, clothed in a linen habit made by herself for her passion. At three she rose and laid herself flat on the stones for a quarter of an hour, then rested on her bed. At eight the Sheriffs called, and with them she walked barefoot, going along through the crowd to the Tolbooth. There turning from the ministers she knelt and prayed by herself. Forced to undress, she laid herself on the ground clothed only in the linen habit, her face covered with a handkerchief, her hands outstretched and bound as if on a cross. The weighted door was laid on her; at the first crushing pain she cried, “Jesu, Mercy,” and after a quarter of an hour passed to her God.

On 10 March 1586, when she had been at liberty some eighteen months, her husband was summoned before the Council at York, and in his absence his house was searched. The priest there in hiding escaped, but Margaret and her children were taken prisoners. Enraged at their failure the searchers stripped a Flemish boy of twelve years, staying in the house, and threatened him with rods till he showed them the priest’s chamber, and where the Church stuff was kept. At her trial, lest her children might be forced by evidence to be guilty of her blood, she refused to plead, giving as a reason how ever that she had committed no offence. Two chalices were therefore produced and religious pictures, and two ruffians clad themselves in the priestly vestments and began playing the fool, pulling and hauling themselves before the judges, while one, holding up a piece of bread, said to the martyr, “Behold the God in whom thou believest.” At her second examination she again refused to plead, saying that there was no evidence against her save that of children, whom you can make say anything for a rod or an apple. The judge urged her to demand a jury, but in vain, and on her refusal she was sentenced to be pressed to death.

MLA Citation

  • Father Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Blessed Margaret Clitheroe, 1586”. Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 24 April 2019. Web. 22 August 2019. <>

Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors – Venerable John Hambley, Priest, 1587

main article for Blessed John HambleyArticle

A native of Somersetshire, he arrived from Douay on the English Mission in 1585. Arrested, he spent two years in prison and was then condemned. In terror at his death sentence he promised to yield to what the judges required, which was practically tantamount to denying the faith. Great was the jubilation of the heretics, and not least that of the judge. But whilst the priest was standing between the constables, like the rest of the condemned, there came up to him (for the assizes were held in booths in the open) a certain unknown man, who, after placing some letters in his hand, at once withdrew, no one preventing him, which in itself was a kind of miracle. Mr. Hambley read and re-read them, until at length he broke into tears and gave signs of being strongly moved, but refused to give the contents of the letters or the name of the bearer. The next morning before the judge he expressed his shame for his promise of conformity, was sentenced, and bravely won his martyr’s crown. Although these letters, doubtless, restored him to a right mind, yet neither the writer nor the bearer have ever been discovered, and many believed that they were brought by his Guardian Angel. He suffered at Salisbury about Easter, 1587.

MLA Citation

  • Father Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Venerable John Hambley, Priest, 1587”. Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 24 April 2019. Web. 22 August 2019. <>

Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors – Venerable William Pikes, Layman, 1591

main article for Blessed William PikeArticle

He was born at Parley, near Christchurch, Hampshire, and became a joiner by trade in the town of Dorchester. He was put on his trial for having spoken in prison too freely in favour of the Catholic religion. The “bloody” question about the Pope’s supremacy was put to him, and he frankly confessed that he maintained the authority of the Roman See, and he was condemned to die a traitor’s death. When they asked him, as is their wont, whether to save his life and family he would recant, he boldly replied that it did not become a son of Mr. Pilchard to do so. “Did that traitor, then, pervert you?” asked the judge. “That holy priest of God and true martyr of Christ,” he replied, “taught me the truth of the Catholic Faith.” Asked when he first met him, “It was on a journey,” said he, “returning from this city.” He was hanged at Dorchester in 1591, and cut down alive. Being a very able, strong man, when the executioners came to throw him on the block to quarter him, he stood upon his feet, on which the sheriff’s men overmastering him threw him down and pinned his hands fast to the ground with their halberts, and so the butchery was performed.

MLA Citation

  • Father Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Venerable William Pikes, Layman, 1591”. Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 24 April 2019. Web. 22 August 2019. <>