Posts from the “Saints” Category

Saint Bernadette of Lourdes

Posted on February 26, 2017

Song: Bernadette https://halosarehistory.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/bernadette.mp3 Marie Brown was my maternal grandmother and a devout Catholic. When she died, she left behind a string of rosary beads, connected by a small Saint Bernadette medal. Curious about the saint, my sister Lynn and I turned to the Internet, where we came across a strange, recent photo of Bernadette’s body lying in a glass tomb. Bernadette died in 1879, but in the photo, her face and hands appeared as fresh and alive as Lynn’s or mine. Intrigued, Lynn and I dug deeper and learned that the mortal remains of many Catholic saints are preserved intact. The Church has deemed their bodies incorruptible. In 2009, Lynn visited Nevers, France, to see Bernadette for herself. Thin wax masks covered the saint’s…

Saint Hildegard von Bingen

Posted on February 18, 2017

Song: The Living Light https://halosarehistory.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/the-living-light.mp3 Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of “early” music. Many songs in this genre were first performed in the convents and monasteries of the medieval Catholic Church. My favorites are by a German composer and nun, Saint Hildegard von Bingen. Who Was Hildegard? In 1098, Hildegard was born into a noble family who lived in Bermersheim, in what is now southwestern Germany. According to her autobiography, Hildegard was just eight years old when her parents offered their daughter to the Church as a “tithe,” dedicating her life to a monastic vocation. At that time, it wasn’t uncommon for families to give up their children as religious oblates, but when Hildegard became an adult, she discouraged the practice. Young…

Saint Cecilia

Posted on February 3, 2017

Song: Quiet Cecilia https://halosarehistory.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/quiet-cecilia.mp3 The town of Albi in southwest France is home to Saint Cecilia Cathedral, a massive structure built by wealthy clergymen between the 13th and 15th Centuries. I toured the church in 2016 and was awestruck by the unusually elaborate murals, carvings, and statuary covering every inch of the interior. This lavish ornamentation contrasts starkly with the cathedral’s plain, fortress-like exterior. Standing outside the forbidding walls, it’s clear that the architects were sending a message about military might. Among the decorations inside the church are several artworks depicting Cecilia, patron saint of musicians. A huge pipe organ, added in the 1800s, commands attention with its size and a mighty sound. Who Was Cecilia? Cecilia was a Roman pagan who converted to…

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Posted on October 30, 2016

Song: From My Window https://halosarehistory.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/kathy_greenholdt_-_from_my_window.mp3 Igrew up Catholic but had never heard of the Jesuits until I was well into my 30s. That was when they hired me to work for them at a textbook publishing company. The Society of Jesus — Jesuits, for short — is an international order of priests. The Society was founded six centuries ago by a Spaniard named Ignatius. Who Was Ignatius? Formally known as Iñigo López de Loyola y Oñaz, Ignatius was born in 1491. He was raised in the Basque town of Loyola, where his family enjoyed the status and wealth of the Spanish noble class. As a young adult, Ignatius harbored a romantic outlook on life. He set his sights on a career at court, and…