One day a little boy accompanied his father on a pilgrimage to the shrine to San Pellegrino in Italy. As they entered the church, he heard a woman crying in desperate supplication to God that her deformed child be healed. Instinctively, the little boy prayed with the mother, watching as she placed her child on … Read moreThe Secret Wounds of Padre Pio: Part One
Never stand in the way of a woman on a mission, especially if she is an empress. In the year 325, St. Helena, mother of Roman emperor Constantine, arrived in Jerusalem surrounded by investigators, architects, and advisors. Holy desire burned in Helena’s heart, a desire to find the true cross on which Jesus died. For more … Read moreDiscovery of the True Cross
In 1969, a film crew arrived in Calcutta, India, prepared to shoot a documentary on Mother Teresa and her work with the destitute, often found lying in filth along city streets. Under the direction of BBC journalist Malcom Muggeridge, the crew intended to film inside a home for the destitute. One scene was to be … Read moreA Miracle of Light
How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization In a recent blog post I wrote about St. Benedict’s Rule (529), a monastic rule that provided order and peace in a world besieged in chaos. Men retired to monasteries to cultivate discipline in the spiritual life. Manual labor was seen to mortify the flesh, as monks took … Read moreWho invented champagne?
It was our time for Eucharistic Adoration at a local chapel. My husband turned into the parking lot and we discovered a middle-aged woman lying in a parking spot staring at the sky. He parked the car and we discussed the situation. She looked tanned and healthy, wore torn clothes, and had a bottle of … Read moreThe Spark of Divinity
One of the most famous relics the Church venerates today is the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus. Imprinted on the 14-foot-long piece of linen is the image of a man beaten, scourged, and crucified. Yet how many people know about another shroud with a mysterious image? It … Read moreIs this the face of Jesus?
Recently, my sister and I have collaborated on a family history book, a labor of love that stirs up memories of childhood. In one conversation we talked about a pivotal point in our lives, crucial in our development as life-time readers. We grew up in a Boston suburb complete with sidewalks lined by elm trees. Atlantic … Read moreTime of Wonder
How Catholic innovations changed western civilization. Strange question you might think. I assure you that this is not a thought experiment. Here we have authentic history. Picture a dismal swamp. Picture murky streams, land submerged in spring-time floods, invasive reeds, and thick peat all devouring forests of fir and oak. Imagine rank soil and dead … Read moreWho turned swamps into farmland?
Watch that woman standing on the farmer’s porch. She pulls on her work jeans that still show patches of garden dirt. She sprays insect repellent on her work boots, arms, and neck. Next comes a mesh insect protection net that loops under her armpits and covers her entire head. With great precision, she dons her … Read moreBattles in the Garden
An old woman ambled down a dirt road from her cottage on Christmas Cove along the coast of Maine. Hilda Hamlin was her name and she had a secret. It was a secret kept in her pocket. Now on her way back from the post office, she fumbled in her pocket for little treasures brought … Read moreThe Secret of Christmas Cove