Tag Archives: saints

Interview 039—Phillip Campbell on the Nitty Gritty of the Middle Ages, and why most people will hate it

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Today, Phillip Campbell (aka Boniface) of Unam Sanctam Catholicam joins us to talk about the history of the Middle Ages, and why most people, traditional Catholics in particular, who have romantic notions of medieval life, would positively hate it. Not to dissuade one from study or admiring the Middle Ages, this conversation about medieval life is aimed at painting an accurate picture of it. Join us, as we dig into the nitty gritty of the middle ages.

**Warning**: [insert danger Will Robinson]
There are some points in the podcast where profanities are used demonstratively, as in medievals used the word in a title of this or that and we repeated it. Moreover there will be frank discussion of medieval views about sex and modesty and weird perverted things.  There will also be cool medieval music in Latin about bawdy subjects which would could not understand probably. If that offends you, or you thought this would be good for your younger kids, we give fair warning, you will not be happy.

Episode Notes:

Previous interviews with Phillip/Boniface:
Interview 014 on being a mayor in a small town.
Interview 024 on Pope Boniface VIII
Unam Sanctam Catholicam
Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch
Medieval end times views
Medieval Churches used for theater
The Theatre: Three Thousand Years of Drama, Acting and Stagecraft by Sheldon Cheny
Feast of the Ass
Feast of fools
Humility and State in Life
Golliards
Bacche Bene Venies
De Defectibus

Alphonsus Liguori on whether it is licit to have sex in Church
Instructions for Parish Priests by John Myrc (1400s)
Priests working secular occupations (barber/surgeon, lawyer), so common that Lateran II specifically forbid this in 1139
Jacques Fournier records people had sex inside the church (Béatrice de Planissoles)
-Source: Readings in Medieval History
Apostolic Origins of Clerical Celibacy, Cochini
Francis and Joseph Gies
Life in a Medieval Village
Life in a Medieval City

Limbourg Brothers

Related image
Mailoica Plate:
https://athanasiuscmdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/69d5c-maiolicaplate.jpg

abortion and contraception in the middle ages
Origin of the heart shape is from seed-pod of a Roman contraceptive plant:
(NB: I made a mistake in the podcast, I called if fenellinium, it was actually called silphium, got it all mixed up in my head).
A Cyrenian coin from the 6th century B.C., with a silphium seed imprinted in it.

Catullus on Silphium:
“as the number of Libyan sands that lie in silphium-bearing Cyrene.” (Poem 7)

Virgo Lactans, St. Bernard:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/BernhardClairvaux_Lactatio_SourceUnknown.jpg/220px-BernhardClairvaux_Lactatio_SourceUnknown.jpg
Troubador Movement
Liber Facetiarum of Poggio Bracciolini
History of Private Life Part 2
Codpieces
Medieval depictions of walking, sword-wielding genitalia (Danger Will Robinson! Crass, weird, odd, and just— enter at your own risk).
Edward IV
Unfortunate Wives of Philip II
Pope Alexander VI annulled the first marriage of Louis XII.
Pierre Darmon’s 1979 book Trial by Impotence.
For more on Henry VIII, see my own talks on the subject.
Politically active clergy:
Wolsey
Richelieu
Mazarin
Simony
Investiture Controversy
Albrecht of Brandenburg
Fuggers

 

St. John Fisher: Resistance to Tyranny

St.JohnFisher2Today is the feast of the twin martyrs, St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More. There are books yet to be written on both, for all that have been written, but since so many more have been written on the latter I wish to write more on the former.

Now, in the first place, Fisher was a far greater theologian than St. Thomas More, who was a rhetorician and a lawyer, though no less devout a layman than Fisher was a bishop. Fisher established the seminary system in all but name, and made sure good preaching was the norm. This is rather an interesting thing.  In the late Renaissance, patronage, which was designed to move ahead those who were worthy had become instead a way of rewarding friends and picking favorites. Men became pastors and bishops solely due to royal favor, and the Popes tended not to care because they received the first year’s income of that diocese, a sort of Church tax called the Annates. Suffice it to say the whole thing had gone very wrong in the fifteenth century, and now preaching was a rarity. Some Bishops did not preach a sermon in their lives. Many bishops lived elsewhere, and would attempt to have other dioceses consecrated under them, or when those had been exhausted abbeys, so they could live it up in Paris or Rome or some other large city, and appoint a vicar for low pay to administer his diocese. These often did not do so well, particularly since they were not paid for the job. At the time St. Charles Borromeo entered Milan as its Archbishop, there had not been a Bishop who actually resided in Milan for 125 years! Yet that holy reforming bishop had a portrait of two saints in his room, one of St. Ambrose, and the other of St. John Fisher.

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Interview 016 – dom Noah Moerbeek on the Poor Knights of Christ


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Smaller/Mobile version:        Part 1          Part 2         Part 3           Part 4

Noah_mToday we are joined by dom Noah Moerbeek, CPMO of the Milita Templi or Poor Knights of Christ. Noah talks about his order, what it is and what it is not as well as its spirituality. Moreover, Noah, has been a benefactor of this website, as well as the one who commissioned my translation of the Life of St. Galgano, which is now the only account in English of this saint who is one of the patrons of the Poor Knights of Christ. Continue reading

The Exorcism of Arezzo – Giotto

Giotto_St.Francis009Today we turn away from the world’s troublesome events, and call our attention to the patrimony of culture in the Western Tradition. In past art posts I have focused mostly on the Baroque. Today, however, we go back to the very beginning of the Renaissance, to the great painter Giotto.

One of the things that is normally said about Giotto, is that he threw out the Byzantine tradition, in order to invigorate art with more realism and thus kicked off the “Renaissance” in art. This narrative begins in Georgio Versari’s Vite Degli Artisti, where he makes this claim. Continue reading

The Glory of St. Patrick and the Tragedy of Ireland

The 17th of March as most know is the feast of St. Patrick in the Catholic Church. The story is well known, that Patrick was a Roman in Britain, who did not take the faith seriously and dabbled in various adventures, which led to him being caught by slave traders and sold into slavery in Ireland. He became more devout, went back to England persevered in the faith and was made a Bishop. From there he returned to Ireland and evangelized the whole of the emerald isle. Dom Prosper Guéranger has this to say about St. Patrick:

There are some who have been entrusted with a small tract of the Gentile world; they had to sow the divine seed there, and it yielded fruit more or less according to the dispositions of the people that received it: there are others, again, whose mission is like a rapid conquest, that subdues a whole nation, and brings it into subjection to the Gospel. St. Patrick belongs to this second class; and in him we recognize one of the most successful instruments of God’s mercy to mankind. Continue reading

St. Thérèse: Saint of the Little Way

St_ThereseLaundry“She is the greatest saint of modern times.” -Pope Pius XI

Pope Pius XI gave St. Thérèse one of the greatest titles in canonizing a saint. He declared her the greatest saint of our time, which suggests there is more to her life than walking about happily and strewing flowers.

Yet I often encounter Catholics who are deluded by this idea, who instead of understanding her great simplicity, think that Thérèse is merely a simpleton. Then there is another class who believe St. Thérèse represents the happy-go lucky, care free attitude to spirituality of the Novus Ordo. This is entirely incorrect either. Continue reading

Interview 004 – Shield of Faith with Matthew Arnold

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St_galgano_front_coverOn 2nd December, I appeared on Shield of Faith with Matthew Arnold to promote my translation of the life of St. Galgano, under the title: The True Story of the Sword and the Stone which you can view and/or purchase by following the link. Continue reading