Author Archives: sbeshonertor

Pope Francis and his vist to Santa Maria Maggiore – The Hidden History

Ok, here is the picture that many of you have already seen: Here is Pope Francis praying before the tomb of Dominican Pope St. Pius V.  Above the tomb is a monument of Conventual Pope Sixtus V who is also buried in Santa Maria Maggiore. Now, perhaps Pope Francis, a Jesuit who has taken the […]

#288 – The Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism

The Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism – Xǔ Guāngqǐ, Lǐ Zhīzǎo, and Yáng Tíngyún worked with Jesuit missionaries such as Fr. Matteo Ricci, SJ to bring the knowledge of Western science and Catholic faith into China. However, for these Three Pillars, adoption of Christianity was not seen as something new – rather it was seen […]

#287 – The Ambassador to the Vatican – Part Two

Finally, in 1984, full diplomatic relations were established between the US and the Holy See, something that managed to bring Catholics and non-Catholics together – on both sides of the issue. Links: Website of the Embassy of the United States to the Holy See Sources: Bettwy, Samuel W. “United States-Vatican Recognition: Background and Issues.” Catholic […]

#286 – The Ambassador to the Vatican – Part One

From the very beginning of the history of the United States, the idea that the US should have establish diplomatic relations, and the nature of those relations, has aroused significant controversy. Links: Website of the Embassy of the United States to the Holy See Sources: Bettwy, Samuel W. “United States-Vatican Recognition: Background and Issues.” Catholic […]

#285 – Our Lady of Pontmain

On 17 January 1871, a group of children in the small village of Pontmain claimed to have seen a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The reported apparition lasted for several hours, the effects of that apparition would last for much longer. Links: Official site of Our Lady of Pontmain Vatican norms regarding Marian apparitions […]

#284 – Lorenzo Valla and the Donation of Constantine

The Donation of Constantine served to justify Papal temporal authority over Western Europe for centuries, until Lorenzo Valla proved that it was a fraud. No one likes a revisionist historian. Links: Tomb of Lorenzo Valla Valla’s refutation of the Donation of Constantine Sources: Blum, Paul Richard. Philosophers of the Renaissance Blum, Paul Richard. Philosophy of […]

#283 – Te Deum

The Te Deum is one of the oldest and most important hymns of the Catholic Church. It has pride of place at the most important celebrations of the Church. Many composers have written their own versions of the hymn, including one composer whose Te Deum cost him his life. Links: The Te Deum in Latin […]

#282 – Wangari Maathai – “the Tree Woman”

Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, saw in the teachings of her Catholic faith first a message to change her heart and then to change her country – and it all began with the planting of a single tree. Links: Website for The Green Belt Movement begun by Maathai […]

#281 – The Goliards

The Goliards enjoyed wine, women, song and complaining about the Catholic hierarchy. Their poems and pranks caused scandal and brought down upon them the wrath of the Church authorities. Links: The Confession of Golias Other Goliardic poetry Poems from the Carmina Burana Youtube – Goliardic poem Meum est Propositum in Taberna Mori Youtube – O […]

#280 – Father Theobald Mathew, Apostle of Temperance – Part Two

Father Theobald Mathew, OFM Cap., traveled to the United States in the hopes of spreading his Total Abstinence Society and raising funds for continuing his work in Ireland. He attracted enormous crowds and even met the president. However, he also found himself caught up in the maelstrom that was slavery. Links: Wikipedia page of Father […]


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