Category Archives: Papal History

#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 […]

#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 […]

#278 – Vin Mariani, Cocaine, and the Pope

In the second half of the nineteenth century, the popularity of Vin Mariani spread throughout European and American society as a wonder cure for almost every ailment. Unfortunately, drinkers of Vin Marini didn’t know that the secret ingredient had some not so pleasant side effects. Links: Information on Vin Mariani can be found here and […]

#276 – Apollo 11

The first steps of Neil Armstrong were “one giant leap for mankind” and led Catholics from Vince Lombardi to Paul VI to reflect on their faith and place in the universe. For some, the Apollo 11 mission was a source of inspiration – for others, there was concern that looking to the heavens meant forgetting […]

#275 – The Papal Peace Note

Pope Benedict XV repeatedly called for an end to the violence of the First World War, but his cries just as repeatedly were rejected by the governments of belligerent countries that would be satisfied with nothing less than total victory. Yet, it was not only the governments of belligerent countries that thwarted Benedict’s mission – […]

#272 – The Pope’s Stone

In the 1850s, the rise of the Know-Nothing movement symbolized increasing hostility to Catholics and immigrants in the United States. This hostility would even leave its mark on the Washington Monument. Links: Part One and Part Two of an article on the Pope’s Stone Catholicism Readers’ Choice Awards Sources: Endres, David J. “Know-Nothings, Nationhood, […]

#256 – The Wild West in the Vatican

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West was popular throughout the United States and even Europe. Yet, while many amazing displays could be found at Buffalo Bill Cody’s shows, perhaps the most amazing display took place when he visited Pope Leo XIII. Links: Buffalo Bill in Rome Medal Buffalo Bill received from Pope Leo XIII Sources: Delaney, Michelle […]

#253 – Traveling With Angels

During his papacy, Pope John Paul II made several visits to the United States. Needless to say, getting everything ready for the Pope’s plane travel was a lot of work but as one TWA employed attested, “it was a labor of love.” Links: Photos of the air travel of Pope John Paul II on his […]


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