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St. Thomas of CantelupeBorn into an illustrious and influential family, Thomas was the son of William de Cantelupe, a minister to King John, and Millicent (or Maud) de Gournay, the Dowager Countess of Evreux and Gloucester. He had four brothers and three sisters.

His education was entrusted to his uncle, Walter de Cantelupe, the Bishop of Worcester, who sent Thomas first to Oxford and then to Paris.

In 1245, while yet a student, Thomas attended the first Council of Lyons. After his ordination to the priesthood in France, he returned to Oxford to teach canon law.

In 1262 he was chosen chancellor of the university, and though considered a strict disciplinarian, was known for his charity to poor students.

In 1264 he was appointed Lord Chancellor of England, and was renowned for his prudence, courage, blameless life, scrupulous justice, and disregard of human respect and the least bribe, but did not hold office long.

In 1275 he was appointed Bishop of Hereford, a diocese he found in a bad state owing to civil wars and the pusillanimity of his two predecessors.

One after another he met, defied and overcame the lords.

He rebuked and excommunicated public sinners equally publicly, especially those in high places who set a bad example. He was also a trusted advisor to King Edward I.

Yet, as it is with truly courageous shepherds, they are just as tender and attentive as they are combative, and it is said that whenever he was among the young, he would personally inquire if they had received the sacrament of Confirmation. Receiving a negative answer, he would personally supply what was needed and confirm them himself.

Unhappily, toward the end of his life, Thomas entered into a great dispute with John Peckham, Archbishop of Canterbury, over questions of jurisdiction and other particular cases. This disagreement ended by the metropolitan excommunicating Thomas who traveled to Italy to settle the matter with Pope Martin IV who, despite the fulminations in Peckham’s letters, received him kindly. Thomas was ultimately absolved.

Pending the consideration and outcome of his appeal, Thomas retired to Montefiascone but succumbed to the fatigues and the heat, and died in Orvieto on August 25, 1282.

His remains were later transferred to Hereford and he was buried in the cathedral. He was canonized in 1320.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for May 29, 2020

Those who open their mouth to confess their faith breathe th...

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May 29

 

Those who open their mouth
to confess their faith
breathe the spirit of divine grace,
which is the life of the soul.

St. Anthony of Padua


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. William of Toulouse and Companions

The priests, meeting with much hostility in town, set up in...

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St. William of Toulouse and Companions

William Arnaud, a Dominican, and companions were sent to Toulouse in the South of France by Pope Gregory IX to combat the Albigensian heresy then entrenched throughout the region.

The Albigensian heresy preached a dualism where the body was considered evil. As a consequence, they denied that Christ could have been human, rejected the Sacraments and adopted, in their stead, pagan rituals of “purification”.

The priests, meeting with much hostility in town, set up in a house in the surrounding country, and were making many converts, which upset the local government under Count Raymond III of Toulouse.

They and others, a total of eleven, including some Franciscans, Benedictines, and a layman, were deceived into accepting an invitation to the local castle where seven of them were set upon and slaughtered in a most barbarous manner.

The other four, William Arnaud among them, escaped to a local church where they were found singing religious hymns. Violating the medieval “sanctuary” – an unforgivable act at that time – and angered by the singing, the soldiers first cut off William’s tongue, then killed all four. Their bodies were thrown in a ravine, but that night, light streamed from them leading the faithful to their relics. They were interred in the Church of San Romano at the monastery in Toulouse.

The church in Avignonet where the martyrs had been murdered, was placed under interdict and for years the doors remained locked because of the sacrilege.

Many cures were reported at their graves.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion t...

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Mary and the Simple Country Wife

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier. Little did she know that her soldier-husband had made a deal with the devil, that he would sell his wife for a certain sum of money.

One crisp, autumn morning the couple went out for their customary walk. Oddly, this time the young man insisted on heading towards the forest. It was at the forest where he intended to deliver his young bride over to the devil.

On their way to the forest, the couple passed in front of a Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The wife, overtaken with a desire to enter the church begged her husband to allow her to pray a Hail Mary in that church.

As the young lady entered the church, Holy Mary came forth from it, taking the form of the wife and accompanied the man into the forest.

When they at last approached the devil at the forest, he said to the man, “Traitor! Why have you brought me instead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of God?”

“And you,” said Mary, addressing the devil, “how have you dared to think of injuring my servant? Go, flee to hell.”

And then, turning to the man, Mary said to him, “Amend your life, and I will aid you.”

She then disappeared and that wretched man repented, amended his life and became a husband worthy of his simple country wife.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

 

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There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier.

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