Born to a wealthy familiy, at age 19 she gave it all up to live in community with like-minded friends and work with the sick and the poor. This was the foundation of the Sisters of Saint Catherine, Virgin and Martyr which expanded its mission to educating the young. The Sisters continue their work today with 120 communities in Europe, Africa and South America.
- 18 January 1613 in Braniewo (Braunsberg), Warminsko-Mazurskie, Prussia (in modern Poland) of natural causes
- “Blessed Regina Protmann“. CatholicSaints.Info. 18 January 2017. Web. 23 January 2017. <>
Eldest of seven children born to Moses and Rosa Malaguzzi; uncle and god-father of Blessed Mose Tovini. Studied law at the University of Padua, and worked at a firm in Lovere, Italy. Teacher and deputy director of a local college. Moved to diocese of Brescia, Italy in 1864. Mayor of Cividate Camuno, Italy from 1871 to 1874 where he worked to improve public construction. Married to Emilia Corbolani in the church of Saint Agatha in Brescia on 6 January 1875; father of ten, two of whom became nuns, and one a Jesuit. Member of the Secular Franciscans. Founded the Catholic newspaper Il Cittadino di Brescia (The City of Brescia) in 1878. President of the diocesan Committee of the Opera dei Congressi. Municipal and provincial councilor in Brescia where he worked to defend and help the poor and alienated. Founded the Saint Joseph Kindergarten and the College of Venerable A Luzzago in 1882. Founded the Banco Ambrosiano in Milan, Italy in 1888. Founded the Banca Santa Paolo in Brescia in 1888. Founded the Society for the Preservation of the Faith in Italian Schools in 1890. Founded the journal Faith and School in 1891. Help found an insurance company for Catholic teachers. Helped founded the Union Leone XIII to support the faith of students in university in Brescia, and worked support similar groups in other schools. Founded the magazine Modern Italian School in 1893. Founded the weekly journal La Voce del Popolo in 1893. Helped the Canossian sisters found a teaching college in Cividate Camuno in 1894. Supported the Catholic University Federation, and the creation of Catholic universities in Italy.
- 16 January 1897 in Brescia, Italy of natural causes
- re-interred in the Church of Saint Luke in Brescia on 10 September 1922
- 20 September 1998 by Pope John Paul II
- the beatification miracle involved the healing of a nun in the monastery of the Visitation of Holy Mary of Massa and Cozzile in Potenza, Italy
- “Blessed Giuseppe Antonio Tovini“. CatholicSaints.Info. 18 January 2017. Web. 23 January 2017. <>
Preaching during the four centuries succeeding the time of the Apostles consisted chiefly of homilies or popular harangues Then came the more methodical systems of the great Fathers – Saint Basil, Saint Gregory, Saint Chrysostom, and Saint Augustine – whose eloquence still influences the minds of men. They were worthily succeeded by Saint Gregory the Great, Saint Isidore of Seville, and Venerable Bede; and these in turn by Alanus of Farfa, Rabanus, Heric, Alcum, and Paul Warnefrid. Then the standard of excellence seems to have been gradually lowered till the times of the Crusades and of conflict with heretics. Then we have Ralph Ardent, Saint Bernard, and Peter the Hermit, whose power over the masses is well known; and Hugh of Saint Victor’s, and Fulk, and Maurice de Sully, and John of Nivelle, effective orators in their day, though now forgotten; and so on down to the great revival in the orders of Saint Francis and Saint Dominic, whose one object in life was to preach the Gospel with a zeal and eloquence that would destroy errors and blasphemies.
Sermons to the laity were preached at this period in the vernacular. Saint Bernard preached his crusades in the vulgar tongue. Some preachers even made sermons in rhyme. Sermons to the clergy, however, were generally in Latin. Ordinary sermons of instruction were usually delivered after the Gospel, as in our own day; but special sermons on state occasions, as at marriages or funerals, were delivered after Mass. There were sermons in the morning and in the afternoon. The men occupied one side of the church and the women the other, ladies of distinction providing themselves with cushions on which to sit during the discourse. The preacher addressed the people as “Fratres,” “Fratres canssimi,” “Signors et Dames,” etc. If the preacher said any thing offensive or unsound there were not wanting those who would interrupt him. Archbishop Vaughan gives, in his Life of Saint Thomas, an interesting instance, as related by Robert of Sorbon:
“A learned clerk preached before the king of France. During his sermon he went on to say that all the Apostles, at the moment of the Passion abandoned Christ, and that faith became extinguished in their hearts: the Blessed Virgin alone kept it, from the day of the Passion to that of the Resurrection, in commemoration of which, in the Holy Week of penance, at matins, all the lights, one after the other, are put out, except one, which is reserved for making blessed fire at Eastertime. A solemn ecclesiastic, of higher rank, rose up to reprehend him; for the Apostles, according to this censor, had abandoned Jesus Christ in body, but not in heart. The preacher was about to retract, when the king (Louis), getting up in his turn, intervened. ‘The proposition is not false,’ he said; ‘It is to be found clearly expressed in the Fathers; bring me the book of Saint Augustine.’ The book was brought, and the king pointed out a passage in his Commentaries on the Gospel of Saint John where, in point of fact, Saint Augustine expresses himself in these words: ‘Fugerunt, relicto eo corde et corpore.’
“Sometimes, if the preacher said hard things about the ladies – like Saint Bernard’s saying that the first time a woman opened her mouth she upset the whole world – the women rose up and protested, before the whole congregation, against the unfairness of such imputations.”
On the other hand, the clergy were not slow to rebuke inattention or other shortcomings on the part of the people. Complaints being made that the men left the church when the sermon began and remained out till it was over, Cesarius of Arles, to put a stop to this abuse, had the doors fastened after the Gospel. One Easter Sunday Robert of Sorbon told his congregation that he would be short, like the Gospel of the day. “I know,” ho said, “that on this day you must have a short sermon and a long dinner. But it is to be hoped that the Mass is not too long for you.” When a preacher found some of his congregation asleep he cried out: “He who sleeps in the corner there does not know the secret I am going to tell.” Another, seeing persons sleeping, stopped in the midst of his discourse, and cried in a loud voice, “Once upon a time Ihere was a king called Arthur,” upon which the sleepers awoke, when the preacher ironically said, “When I speak of God, you sleep; but immediately I talk of fables, yon awake.”
The Dominicans were the great preachers of the thirteenth century. “In 1273, of sixty preachers employed in the churches of Paris, exactly one-half were Dominicans.” Saint Thomas of Aquin was a great preacher. On one occasion, in a sermon on the Passion, in Saint Peter’s, during Lent, he so vividly depicted the sufferings of our Lord on the Cross that his discourse was interrupted by the passionate crying of the people; and on Easter Sunday his sermon on the Resurrection filled his hearers with such joy that they could scarce refrain from giving audible expression to their emotions. Tocco says that he preached a whole Lent, at Naples, on the one text, “Ave Maria gratia plena, Dominus tecum.” We conclude by presenting a specimen of the method of the Angelic Doctor:
“That you may be sincere and without offence, unto the day of Christ.” – Philippians 1:10
The Apostle in this Epistle exhorts us to three things. Firstly, to the avoidance of sin: “That you may be sincere” Secondly, to all love: “Filled with the fruits of justice.” Thirdly, to the possession of a right intention: “Into the glory and praise of God.”
I. On the first head, it must be noted that three commands are given.
(1) That we should seek after purity of mind: “That you may be sincere.” “Blessed are the clean of heart; for they shall see God.”
(2) That we should avoid doing injury to our neighbors: “Without offence; giving no offence to any man.”
(3) That we should persevere in both courses: “Unto the day of Christ” – i.e., till after death; when the day of man is ended, the day of Christ begins. “He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.” The gloss treats of this under the word “sincere,” signifying the avoidance of works of corruption, with respect to ourselves, and of giving offence with respect to our neighbors, and perseverance in this course till the day of Christ.
II. On the second head, it is to be noted that the Apostle likewise gives three commandments.
(1) He exhorts to rectitude of mind: “The fruits of justice.” Saint Anselm defines justice to be that rectitude of will which is preserved for its own sake.
(2) To the having a delight in that which is good: “The fruits of the spirit are peace, joy, longanimity, goodness, benignity, meekness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity.”
(3) To the having perfection in good, “being filled”: “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.”
III. On the third head, it is to be noted that in every action we should, in a threefold manner, direct the eye of our intention to God:
(1) So as to believe that every good thing comes from him, as if from the fount of all good, through Jesus Christ: “Of his fulness we all have received, and grace for grace; for the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” “Without me you can do nothing.”
(2) So as to make God to be praised and honored in all our actions: “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
(3) So “that the reward of eternal glory may be given to us for our desire to work: “Unto the glory and praise of God.” “Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth, where the rust and moth consume, etc…. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither the rust nor moth doth consume and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”
Of course it is to be understood that the above is a mere skeleton, but with his great practice in speaking and pro digious memory Saint Thomas probably felt no difficulty in expanding his thoughts and clothing them in appropriate language.
- “Preaching in the Middle Ages”. , 1881. CatholicSaints.Info. 18 January 2017. Web. 23 January 2017. <>
When Pope Paul V had completed in every part the magnificent Vatican basilica begun by his predecessors, he had this large sitting statue of the Prinze of the Apostles, which had been for many centuries an object of great veneration to the faithful, solemnly placed in its present position not far from the crypt or confessional, against the last pier on the right of the nave, on 21 October 1605.
This venerable image is of high antiquity; and although no positive date or origin is assigned to it, a very respectable tradition says that it was cast from a bronze statue of Jupiter that had been worshipped in heathen times on the Capitol, by order of Saint Leo I (the Great), in the year 452, in thanksgiving for the wonderful deliverance of Rome from the attack of Attila, King of the Huns. It is of somewhat rude workmanship, but still sternly expressive, and may be considered the last worthy creation of the early Christian school of sculpture at Rome. The artist, whoever he was, has carefully adhered to the primitive type of the apostle’s physiognomy traditionally preserved among the Romans: head large and round, eyes projecting, hair and beard short and curly. The body is dressed in a tunic and mantle not ungrace fully thrown over the left shoulder and falling in folds about the knees; one hand grasps the two symbolical keys, while the other is raised in the act of benediction. The right foot is slightly advanced, and almost worn away by the kisses of the faithful which have been repeated for so many ages; sometimes over twenty thousand persons in one day having been counted performing this act of devotion, to which an indulgence is attached.
The chair and pedestal are of marble, the latter having been substituted for an older one, by Pope Benedict XIV in 1757.
- “”. , 1877. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 January 2017. Web. 23 January 2017. <>
Beato Angelico, the great Dominican painter, was born in 1387, at Vicchio, one of the fortified villages which crown the summit of the Apennines, in the province of Mugello, Tuscany, and died at Rome in 1455. At the age of twenty-nine he entered the Dominican monastery near Fiesole, where he took the name in religion of Giovanni da Fiesole. Here he passed his days in the devout discharge of his art. From the beauty of his angels and saints he was called by his country men il beato, the blessed, and angelico, the angelic. All his paintings were of sacred subjects, and he never accepted money for any of them, and never commenced them without first offering up a prayer. He visited Rome at the special command of Pope Nicholas V, and was requested to decorate the Papal chapel, which he did. The Holy Father offered him the archbishopric of Florence, but his humility would not allow him to accept this dignity; but he recommended a brother monk for the position, which he obtained. He painted frescos in his own monastery and in the Church of Santa Maria Novello at Florence, as well as numerous miniatures and easel pictures, of which the Louvre in Paris possesses a noble specimen – the “Coronation of the Virgin.”
The gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts at Florence is the richest in Beato Angelico’s pictures. His most remarkable work – and critics say his best – is the “Descent from the Cross.” His paintings, large and small, number in all one hundred and twenty-five.
- “Fra Angelico”. , 1876. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 January 2017. Web. 23 January 2017. <>
The most ancient copy of the Bible now in existence is the Codex Vaticanus, in the Vatican Library at Rome. It is in Greek, and was written about the end of the fourth century. The Sinaitic Codex, now in Saint Petersburg, also belongs to this century. The Alexandrian Codex, which was presented to Charles I, in 1628, by the Greek patriarch, is in the British Museum, and is supposed to have been written in the fifth century. The Codex Ephraemi, or Codex Regius, is also ascribed to the fifth century; a fragment is in the Royal Library at Paris.
Of the Septuagint version of the Bible, made from Hebrew into Greek about 280 B.C., the tradition is this: Josephus says that Ptolemy Philadelphus gave the Jews half a million sterling for a copy of the Old Testament, and to the seventy translators another half million for the translation. It was in general use in our Saviour’s time, and the quotations in the New Testament are from the Septuagint.
The oldest Latin version (called the Italic, and said to have been made about the beginning of the second century) was revised, between 384 and 405 A.D., by Saint Jerome, and, as adopted by the Church, is called the Vulgate. This version was authorized by the Council of Trent, in 1546. A critical edition was printed, by order of Pope Clement VIII, in 1593.
A manuscript paraphrase, in English, of the whole Bible is in the Bodleian Library, at Oxford, and is dated by Usher as 1290. An English version of the Bible was printed in 1526 The “Douai” edition was printed in 1583-1610. The first English Bible printed in Ireland was at Belfast in 1704. The first Bible printed in America was the Bible in Natick or Massachusetts Indian, printed in 1663; the first German Bible in America was printed in 1743 ; the first in English in 1782; the first Catholic Bible in the United States in 1790.
The first polyglot Bible was that of Origen, commenced at Cesarea in A.D. 231, after he had spent twenty-eight years in collating manuscripts. The most important polyglot edition of the Bible was that of Cardinal Ximines, printed at Alcala, Spain, in 1514, and which was, in fact, the first complete Bible ever printed.
The Received Greek Text followed implicitly by Protestants was made up in a few weeks by Erasmus from very poor manuscripts. Celebrated Greek and Latin editions of the Bible were those of Aldus, 1518; of Robert Stephens (Etienne), 1546 ; and of Elzevir (the “textus receptus,” or received text) in 1624. The division of the Bible into chapters is variously ascribed to Archbishop Lanfranc in the eleventh century, to Archbishop Langton in the thirteenth, and to Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro about the middle of the latter century. The present division into verses is said to have been introduced by the celebrated printer, Robert Stephens (1551-57).
The first Concordance of the Bible was made, in 1247, under the direction of Hugo de Sancto Caro, who, according to Abbe Lenglet, employed as many as five hundred monks upon it. Cruden’s (the first Protestant) Concordance was first published in 1737, in London.
The Bible in the Middle Ages
Ignorant or malicious writers have depicted the Middle Ages as eras of intellectual darkness and spiritual abasement; and especially have they widely disseminated a delusive belief that during those ages the laity were debarred from the study of the Bible. The records of authentic history (Protestant as well as Catholic) present a multitude of facts proving that the Catholic Church – then sole guardian and expositor of the Sacred Writings – during the epoch of her highest power and glory labored unceasingly to impart to the people a knowledge of the Scriptures. Her councils and her clergy, as we shall show, strenuously inculcated upon the laity the studious reading of Scripture as the surest aid to pious living. The laity, in the Middle Ages, did not commonly possess Bibles simply because one Bible then cost as much as hundreds would in our day. The Church had not then at her service either movable types or printing-presses, and each copy of the Bible required for its production a multitude of parchmtnt skins and the continuous labor for months of a scribe. For instance, the Catholic Canon of Scripture contains 35,877 verses, making 12,783 folios, which would cover, on both sides, 427 skins of parchment, costing $412.25; the cost of copying would be $644.65. The cost at the present time, therefore, of a single copy of the Bible, made after the fashion of the Middle Ages, would be $1,056.50; and this without binding or illumination.
Some notion may be had of the estimation in which the Scriptures were held by the Church in the Middle Ages from a few facts here gathered from various sources : The eighth Council of Toledo, in 835, decreed that no one should be admitted to the priesthood who did not know by heart the whole of the Psalms as well as the Hymns of the Church, etc.; the Council of Pavia, in the ninth century, issued decrees of a like character, and it was directed that in the ordination of a deacon the bishop, having delivered into his hands the Book of the Gospels, should say: “Receive this volume of the Gospels, read and understand it, teach it to others, and in thine own actions fulfil all its precepts”; in the “Capitula data Presbyteris,” of 804, we read, “First, that a priest of God should be learned in Holy Scripture, and rightly believe and teach to others the faith of the Trinity,” etc.; the Canons of AElfric. about 950, decree that “every priest before he is ordained must have the arms belonging to his spiritual work – i.e., the Psalter, Book of Epistles, Book of Gospels, Missal,” etc., “for these books a priest requires and cannot well do without,” and each priest must be able to “well expound the Epistles and Gospels” ; Saint Jerome says, “Cultivate with diligent affection a knowledge of the Scriptures”; Saint Anthony referred his monks to the same sacred source; “the monks,” says Trithemius, “taught and explained the whole Scriptures”; Saint Benedict avows that “those who aspire to the highest excellence must learn the means of attaining to it in the Bible”; the Rule of Saint Benedict provided that the whole of the Psalms be gone through every week; among the precepts of Alcuin (an English prelate, reputed the most learned man of his time, and who was appointed Abbot of Saint Martin’s at Tours by Charlemagne) are these: “Write the Gospels in your heart”; “Read diligently, I beseech you, the Gospel of Christ”; ” Be studisus in read ing the Sacred Scriptures”; Reculfus, Bishop of Soissons, in 879, admonishes his clergy that “each of you be careful to have a Book of the Gospels, a Missal, a Lectionary,” etc.; Wolphelm, Abbot of Brunwillers, in eleventh century, caused the whole of the Old and New Testaments to be read through every year; a still more comprehensive system prevailed in the famous Benedictine Abbey of Clugni. John, Abbot of Gorze, “committed to memory all the lessons which are appointed for certain times in the Church”; Saint Wilfrid, when at Rome, studied under Saint Boniface, and “learned the four Gospels by heart” – as Beda remarks, “according to the general custom”; Peter the Venerable “retained in his memory nearly the whole of both Testaments”; Anselm, Bishop of Lucca, “knew almost all the Holy Scriptures “; and the same thing is told of many other ecclesiastics.
In the lavish magnificence in adornment of the Sacred Volume we may also trace an utterance of the veneration for the Bible which filled the hearts of clergy and laity: Pope Leo III gave to one church a copy of the Gospels bound in pure gold and studded with precious gems; Pope Leo IV presented to another church a copy of the Gospels bound in silver; Pope Benedict III presented to the Church of Saint Calistus a copy of the Gospels adorned with “plates of gold and silver, weighing nearly seventeen pounds”; the Emperor Michael sent as a present to Saint Peter’s, at Rome, a copy of the Gospels bound in pure gold and adorned with precious stones; the Emperor Charlemagne gave to Saint Angilbert a copy of the Gospels written in letters of gold upon purple vellum ; when the remains of Saints Sebastian and Gregory were removed to the Monastery of Saint Medard, at Soissons, in 826, Louis le Debonnaire presented to it a copy of the Gospels written in letters of gold and bound in gold plates; the Empress Agnes presented to the Monastery of Monte Casino a copy of Gospels covered with gold and precious gems; Henry, Emperor of Bavaria, gave to the same monastery a copy covered with gold, adorned with jewels, and gorgeously illuminated; King Robert bequeathed to the Church of Saint Aman, in Orleans, six copies of the Gospels – two of which were bound in gold, and two in silver; Hincmar, Archbishop of Rheims, caused the Gospels to be written for his cathedral in letters of gold and silver, and bound in plates of gold, resplendent with jewels; in the Breve Recordations of Abbot Bonus mention is made of a Bible purchased in the eleventh century, by the Monastery of Saint Michael at Pisa, for a sum equal to about $1,250 modern value ; at a visitation of the treasury of Saint Paul’s, London, in 1295, there were found twelve copies of the Gospels bound in silver, some decorated with precious stones. Martene, in examining the archives of numerous monasteries and churches, in 1717-1724, discovered many Bibles of great antiquity, written in letters of silver or gold, upon purple vellum, some of which “were so gorgeously encased that upward of twenty pounds of gold were used in the construction of their coverings.” These precious bindings were sometimes used for secular purposes: When William Rufus imposed a heavy tax to pay for the purchase of Normandy, the Abbot of Malmesbury was compelled to strip the covers from several copies of the Gospels, in order to pay the amount levied upon his abbey. William de Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, in order to raise the sum of one hundred and sixty marks, which he contributed toward the ransom of Richard Cceur de Lion from captivity, pledged the covers of thirteen copies of the Gospels belonging to his church.
Having thus seen in what esteem the clergy held the Bible, we proceed to present a few facts showing their labors to disseminate it among the laity ; for as Latin was then the universal language of learned Christen dom, obviously translations were needed only by the unlearned. The Psalms were translated into Saxon by Bishop Aldhelm, about 706; the Gospels by Bishop Egbert, about 721; and the whole Bible by Bede in the tenth century, he having completed his task with the last verse of the Gospel of Saint John a few moments before he expired. In 807, at the desire of Charlemagne, the whole Bible was translated into French; in 820, Otfrid, a Benedictine monk, composed in French a harmony of the four Gospels; in same century a version of Psalms in French was made by request of Louis le Debonnaire; in the twelfth century, at Metz, translations were made of the four Gospels, the Epistles of Saint Paul, the Psalms, etc.; in the fourteenth century Raoul de Praelles made a French version of the Bible from Genesis to Proverbs, a copy of which is among the Lansdowne manuscripts in the British Museum. In the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, are French versions, of twelfth century, of the Psalms; of thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, nearly sixty different versions, comprising translations of the entire Bible, of the New Testament, of the four Gospels, and of other portions of the Scriptures. Among the Cotton manuscripts in British Museum are a copy of the Gospels in French verse, a Harmony of the Gospels which belonged to Canute, a copy of the Book of Proverbs in Latin with interlinear Anglo-Saxon translation, a copy of Genesis and other books in Anglo-Saxon, a Harmony of the four Gospels and an English Bible of fifteenth century; among the Harleian manuscripts, in the same museum, are seven copies of French translations of the whole or portions of the Bible, two of which are accompanied by English translations; the four Gospels in Anglo-Saxon, copies of Books of Job and Tobias in English of the fourteenth century, and several copies of other portions of the Bible in the same language. A version of the whole Bible in English of the thirteenth century is now in the Bodleian Library; in the Bibliotheca Ambrosiana, at Milan) are several Gaelic in terlinear translations of portions of Scripture, one of the most remarkable of which is a copy of the Psalms of the seventh century; Ulphilas, Bishop of the Goths, translated the New Testament into Gothic in the fourth century; in the University of Upsal is preserved a copy of the Gospel written upon vellum, in Gothic characters of gold and silver, supposed to be a thousand years old. About 980 Notker Labeo translated the Book of Job and Psalms into German; in eleventh century, a monk of Fulda made a version of the Canticles in Teutonic prose; in the Imperial Library of Volksgarten is a German Bible, in six volumes, translated in fourteenth century. In the library of the cathedral at Florence is a manuscript of forty-two leaves, containing the first twelve chapters of Gospel of Saint Luke, in Italian of sixth century; in Japanese Palace at Dresden is a Bible in Bohemian of fourteenth century. When in the thirteenth century the churches of Lesser Armenia and Cilicia submitted to the Holy See, and Haitho the King became a Franciscan friar, his first act was to prepare a translation of the entire Bible in Armenian. A version in Swedish was made under direction of Saint Bridget, in fourteenth century; one in Icelandic was made in 1927; one in Flemish, by Jacobus Merland, in 1210; in latter end of fourteenth century Saint Hedwiga had a translation made of the Bible in Polish. Translations of the New Testament into Russian were made in the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries, and one of the entire Bible in fifteenth century. In Spanish there were several versions of the whole Bible; three in the Catalonian dialect, one of the twelfth century being in the Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris; one in the Valencian dialect, made in 1405 by Boniface Ferrer, brother of Saint Vincent Ferrer ; and one in the Castilian dialect, prepared by order of Alfonso the Wise, in thirteenth century. In this brief notice only a few are gathered, yet we have translations in sixteen modern languages, between the fourth and fifteenth centuries. It remains only to show that the Church was as zealous in promoting the printing as in encouraging the copying of the Scriptures. Before knowledge, his loyal openness, and the charming urbanity of his man ners. He was created a cardinal, but reserved in fetto, on 14 December 1840, and published on 23 April 1845. During the more than twenty years of his cardinal’s life he always occupied some of the most laborious and important positions in which a man of integrity could be placed, as Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, Archpriest of the patriarchal basilica of St. John Lateran, Lord Chancellor of the Roman University, and Bishop of the suburbicarian see of Albano, about fourteen miles from Rome.
When hundreds of bishops from all parts of the world came to Rome in 1867, at the invitation of the Holy Father, for the eighteenth centenary of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and for the canonization of several saints, the princely apartments of Altieri were thrown open for official meetings and social receptions, to the delight of all who had the good fortune to be admitted there. Alas! a few weeks more, and he was dead. He was attending to his duty of receiving the oaths and distributing their diplomas to the students advanced to academical degrees in the university, when a hasty messenger arrived from his diocese to announce the sudden and awful visitation of the Asiatic cholera. Without a moment’s hesitation, without returning to say good-by to his family so beloved, although he had a presentiment that he was going for ever, he broke up the meeting at the Sapienza, and, summoning a notary present to accompany him a little distance in his carriage, he made his will, let the man alight, and continued as fast as his horses could take him to the disease and terror stricken town of Albano. To get an idea of the scenes that occurred there during this short but terrific attack, one must read Manzoni on the pestilence that desolated Milan. The Cardinal-Bishop at once assumed complete control of the municipal as well as religious government of his see, and being nobly seconded by the Papal Zouaves (when almost all others had run away, although it was their duty to remain), in a few weeks the cholera was brought under; but not until His Eminence was seized with the fatal disease. He had overwork ed and exposed himself in the most regardless manner, utterly oblivious of his own person, that he might day and night on every occasion carry the sacraments and impart the last consolations of religion to the dying members of his flock. After a very brief but agonizing illness, borne with his usual sweetness of temper and resignation to the will of God, edifying all who saw him, this prince of the Church – prince by birth and by position – and good pastor of a humble flock, died on 11 August 1867. Would to God that we had been able to apply to him Pope’s lines on Mgr. de Belsunce, who in similar circumstances showed himself equally devoted, but with better fortune:
“Why drew Marseilles’ good bishop purer breath,
When nature sickened and each gale was death?”
- “About The Bible”. , 1876. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 January 2017. Web. 23 January 2017. <>
The Blessed John Traverse, of the Order of Hermits of Saint Augustine and doctor of divinity, was the first Irishman to suffer martyrdom for the faith in the great persecution of the sixteenth century, that gave to so many others of his brethren a hero’s palm. He shed his blood in London in 1539. The special plea for his being put to death was Henry’s indignation at a work he had written upholding the papal supremacy – a dogma he had elsewhere defended by tongue and pen. This work bit terly enraged the king, the now pseudo “Defender of the Faith,” who had his title from Pope Leo X, in guerdon for a work presumedly his in defence of the Seven Sacraments, but now generally attributed to the Spanish Augustinian Father Bernard Andreas, a contemporary of the Blessed John. This holy man, being now dragged by royal mandate to the assizes, answered the judge’s query, Had he written this work? by replying “Yes”; and, stretching out his hand, added, “With this hand I wrote it; I retract not what I’ve written, nor with God’s good help shall I ever be sorry for what I’ve done.” Such reply was enough to condemn him, and wonderful now was the miracle whereby the Most High signalized the heroism of his servant. At the scaffold the executioner (after beheading him) tossed his body to the flames, when, lo! the sacred fingers that had written so well in God’s cause would not burn, neither the thumb, nor forefinger, nor the middle one. These had held the pen. Again and again did the headsman strive to destroy these wondrous avengers of the king’s barbarity, but the hand of the Lord preserved them amid the flames, a testimony to his saint’s greatness and a guide to countless imitators among his brethren.
- “Blessed John Traverse, OSA”. , 1875. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 January 2017. Web. 23 January 2017. <>