4 results
September 16, 2016
St. Robert Bellarmine

Events in history happen in certain times and places. Goes without saying, right? I’m not so sure. It’s not uncommon for us to examine the past through the lenses of today.

I once read a history of the eleventh-century Norman conquest of Sicily. This otherwise lively and accurate account portrayed Robert Guiscard and Roger de Hauteville as venture capitalists, a profession that no medieval man could have wrapped his imagination around.

It is a mistake to judge the decisions and...

May 30, 2014

Mark Twain considered his biography of Saint Joan of Arc, whose feast we celebrate today, to be his best work. He called the Maid of Orleans “easily and by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever produced.” The story of St. Joan is well known by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, but we may be surprised to learn just how well it is known: There may be no medieval figure whose life is better documented than that of Saint Joan of Arc.

The story of her...

May 5, 2014

Who among us does not long to go back and witness firsthand certain moments in Catholic history? Certain decisive moments. Here are a few of mine:

On the eve of the battle of Lepanto, Don John of Austria silenced his quarreling admirals without raising his voice. “Gentlemen,” he said.  “The time for counsel has passed. Now is the time for war.” Imagine the stunned—yet impressed—look on the face of the Venetian sea veteran Sebastian...

January 31, 2013

Many things the Holy Father doesprobably mostgo unnoticed by the majority of Catholics, and I fear His Holiness’s new Twitter account is unlikely to change that for more than a passing instant, so much do our attentions these days flit from one experience to the next. If I still have you reading after one complex...