Category Archives: Holy Places

Holy Places

The holiest places on earth are our own sanctuaries in our Catholic Churches and chapels where the Blessed Sacrament is preserved. There are highly indulgenced shrines as well, which are often the destination of pilgrimages, such as Chartres in France, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, Lourdes, Fatima, and so many others. Some shrines, such as that of the North American martyrs in Auriesville, New York, give honor to an event, as this one does for the eight Jesuit martyrs, three of whom shed their blood near this site. The shrine may commemorate a sacred event, apparition, or miracle; or it may house a relic directly related to Our Lord or Our Lady. Some shrines were built to honor a saint, such as Compostella in Spain, which honors St. James the Greater; and Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, which honors the protector of the Holy Family, the Spouse of Our Lady and Patron of the Universal Church.

A place becomes holy when it is specially linked to God. There can be no greater “link” to God than the place that houses God Himself. That is why the tabernacle is the holiest of all places, the Holy of Holies. Since Our Lady, preeminently, and the saints participate more intimately in the divine life, wherever they have walked on this earth is holy ground. The most highly indulgenced of all shrines is the place where the Holy Family lived, the Holy House of Nazareth. Transported by the angels to Loreto in Italy about seven hundred years ago, the original walls of this modest domicile still stand, and within them, as the inscription reads at the door, Hic Verbum Caro Factum Est (Here the Word Was Made Flesh).

The fact that there are physical miracles still being granted to the ill at these holy places is a wonderful testimony of God’s continued mercy. However what really makes these sanctae loca (holy places) even more holy are the miracles of conversion that take place there. Saint Augustine explains why: “the conversion of a sinner,” he says, “is a greater act of divine omnipotence than the creation of the world.”

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An Unexpected Request for Alms in a Southern Harbor: Hilaire Belloc Under Sail in Palma of Majorca

While recently on the ocean-seacoast island of my boyhood home, I decided to read again amidst the inspiring cool sea breezes my own fragile first edition of Hilaire Belloc’s 1908 collection of essays, entitled On Nothing and Kindred Subjects, which was dedicated to his friend Maurice Baring who was not yet, but almost, a Catholic. In this Anthology, I have especially wanted to consider our … More →


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God Loves Mountains

Years ago, on the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, a priest who was visiting Saint Benedict Center began his sermon on the feast with the words “God loves mountains!” He then preached a tour de force on the place of mountains in salvation history, elucidating the spiritual life in mountainous terms as he generously employed the allegorical and tropological senses of Holy Scripture. … More →


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A Convergence of World-Shaking Events

Review of 1917: Red Banners, White Mantle by Warren H. Carroll (1981) Christendom Press. Every once in awhile a book will come into one’s hands that is impossible to put down, ends too soon, and begs to be read again and again. This little book, at 131 pages (although the print is rather small) is such a one. It is well footnoted and a riveting … More →


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Hilaire Belloc’s Canterbury Tale

In 1905, just before he entered the House of Commons for four discouraging years (1906-1910), Hilaire Belloc published a variegated and copious book, entitled The Old Road, about his eight-day journey afoot from Winchester to Canterbury, the latter also being the place where, on the 29th of December in 1170, Saint Thomas à Becket was martyred. Click here to VIEW full size, DOWNLOAD as PDF … More →


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Expressing Your Love for Your Heavenly Mother

(This Ad Rem is not authored by me, Brother André Marie, but by Sister Maria Philomena, who has been assigned the gargantuan duty of coordinating the interior design of IHM Chapel. Besides planning with the design and construction professionals, she also has the task of trying to procure the items needed. We thank God that she has been doing a marvelous job.) More than twenty … More →


Posted in Holy Places, Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire, The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | Leave a comment
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Valle De Los Caidos: Grand Monument to the Dead

Spain, sad to say, is an enigma for most Americans. A country of heat and passions, of Gypsy music and castanets, and lately of a teetering economy on the verge of collapse, as is much of the rest of Europe, Spain is probably the most mysterious and least understood of western European countries. Isolated and shunned by other western nations for much of the twentieth … More →

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Flag of France used officially in the Kingdom of France and Bourbon Restoration and still used by legitimists today.

Oldest Daughter of the Church, II

[Part I] Given all the years that have passed, and despite all of this history, one might well wonder why we should care about the French Monarchy and its claimants. It has been gone, after all, for a long time. For that matter, why should its claimants and their partisans struggle so strenuously for it? The answer is several-fold. For Frenchmen, of course, the shadow … More →


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The Baptism of King Clovis by St. Remigius

Oldest Daughter of the Church

The American in Paris of Traditionalist bent will, in addition to the usual sights, doubtless seek out the Traditional Mass at such churches as the SSPX’s Saint Nicolas-du-Chardonnet or else Versailles’ Notre Dame des Armees. After Mass, he will then notice a number of vendors of newspapers and magazines, mostly young. Some may — much to the Yankee visitor’s surprise — be sympathetic to the … More →


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Precious Blood, Holy Grail

Medieval romances generally fell into four categories: the Matter of Rome, which dealt with such classical heroes as Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar; the Matter of France, whose tales were inhabited by Charlemagne and such heroes as his nephew Roland; the Matter of Britain, which encompasses the Arthurian legends; and the Crusade Cycle, which dealt with the doings of Godefroi de Bouillon and his … More →


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Honoring the First Amerindian Saint

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha is scheduled to be canonized on October 21, 2012. Less than a month before that, she will be honored by the pilgrims walking the annual “Pilgrimage for Restoration” to Auriesville, New York. Below, I reproduce a press release that explains this year’s theme, which explicitly mentions the holy Mohawk virgin every Catholic American should love. In promoting this worthwhile event, I feel … More →


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Auriesville Pilgrimage for Restoration Mixes Tradition, Vitality

The 2012 annual Pilgrimage for Restoration is scheduled for Friday-Sunday, September 28-30. This will mark the seventeenth time that a merry band of Catholic pilgrims cuts a path from Lake George to Auriesville, New York, doing penance all the way. This year’s theme, in honor of the soon-to-be-canonized Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, is “Restoration of True Devotion to Mary, in the footsteps of Saint Kateri.” Rising very … More →


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Which Is the Oldest Church Building in the World?

You will be surprised by the answer. I certainly was. And I agree with the scholar’s choice. CNA reports: Do we know when the first church building was constructed and where it was located? If not, what is the oldest known church building that has survived — if not intact, then at least in ruins? You ask a question about Christian Archeology, a very important … More →

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Cloistered Traditional Dominicans in Cajun Country

My recent trip to New Orleans and its environs was superlative. The talk I gave was graciously received. It was a real joy to see some old friends and meet new ones besides, like the traditional priests and religious in whose company I was privileged to spend a few days. Father Wilfredo Comellas is an old school friend, and now offers the Traditional Mass for … More →

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Photos: Scene of Fray Juan Padilla’s Martyrdom

A convert to the faith recently wrote us an appreciative email. A native Kansan, he learned about things Catholic in his home state through our web site, which he reads regularly. Immediately below is a brief excerpt from his email, and further down is a gallery of photos that he took on the spot of Fray Juan Padilla’s martyrdom. I especially recommend reading historical marker … More →


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Under Persecution, World Day of Prayer for China May 24, Our Lady Help of Christians

In his Letter to the Church in China, May 27, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI established May 24, the feast day of Our Lady Help of Christians, as a Universal Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A year later he composed the following prayer and asked that it be recited every year on May 24. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.

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