Posted by: fvbcdm | October 14, 2011

Feast of Pope Saint Callistus (14 Oct 2011)

This date is that of the Battle of Hastings when, in the memorable year of 1066, William the Conqueror successfully invaded England with his Norman troops and won a great victory that profoundly changed the history of the western world. The fact that you and I speak this marvelous English language of ours can be traced back to the victory of those French-speaking men who won that battle against the men who spoke Anglo-Saxon, a Germanic tongue. The two languages merged into what we today call English which is so rich, so expressive, so flexible and adaptable that most linguists envy us this language that we speak as natives, even though it is difficult for foreigners to learn it and even for ourselves to master it.
By the time the Battle of Hastings was fought, many of the Anglo-Saxons had already embraced the Catholic faith, brought to them by Saint Augustine of Canterbury about the year 600.  He was a Benedictine monk from Rome, sent by Pope Saint Gregory the Great to evangelize the island of Great Britain.  Many of the Normans were likewise Christians, so although enemies in politics and nationality, they were brothers in Christ.  So from 1066 until the tragedy of the so-called English Reformation, England, Scotland, and Wales were largely Catholic.  One of the greatest indications of this fact is the beautiful churches, some intact, some in ruins, erected by the Church in those five centuries.  One of them is the historic Westminster Abbey in London where royal coronations, weddings, and funerals occur; another is the glorious Canterbury Cathedral where Saint Thomas a Becket was murdered by order of Henry II, and yet a third is the architectural jewel of the York Minster whose windows are considered the finest in all of Great Britain.  If you ever have the good fortune to visit England, don’t miss some of these churches where you can enjoy tremendous architectural beauty, a great deal of fascinating history, and then the privilege of venerating the tombs of Catholic saints like Edward the Confessor, John of Beverley, and Bede the Venerable.
This Sunday, we will read at Mass the story of the encounter of Jesus with the Pharisees in which they ask him if it is morally permissible to pay tax to their Roman overlords. Let’s talk about this another time, since Our Lord’s answer is so profound and so important for the government of the human race in its many nations and states. Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.


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