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$5.00
Unknown, PB 188 pages

Ascetic and pastoral reflections for young priests, that they may become apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Translated from German by Michael J. Miller - PB 188 pages - EBOOK - PDF, Kindle, & EPUB

Based on the 6th French edition (Paris: Téqui) This book was composed shortly after World War I by an Italian priest who wished to remain anonymous.

“Manete in dilectione mea,” Our Blessed Lord tells us all, but especially is this counsel given to his chosen vessels, those men of his royal priesthood, so that their priesthood may be one of power and fruitfulness beyond measure. Abide in his love and all power will be given unto you, O Royal sons of David!

This jewel, this precious book, speaks to the heart of every zealous, but sometimes timid, priest who desires with desire to do the will of God and to glorify him in the infirmity of their humanness. You know who you are my brothers in Christ! You have been called to the most sublime office on earth. You feel unequal to the task. You yearn to do great things for God. You thirst to help souls! Rejoice! Here is the recipe for all you desire. Recommended by Pope Pius XI and penned by an anonymous Italian priest who had just passed through the fire and agony of World War I—the Great War—this book shall be a light unto your path.

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$7.00
Fr. Karl Stehlin, 246, Softcover

Father Karl Stehlin, F. S. S. P. X. - EBOOK - PDF

Father Stehlin quotes extensively from Saint John Eudes, Cornelius a'Lapidé, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, and Lucia of Fatima. This treatise is one of the most succinct and clear explanations of the complete economy of salvation ever penned. The full role of the Immaculata is explored and refined, and its relevance to the world in our time is detailed in an easy to read and understand format. This is militant Catholic theology made simple for this Marian age.

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$5.00
Fr. Leo Kinsella , Paperback

Fr. Leo Kinsella - EBOOK - PDF


Here is a marriage blueprint that every woman can follow. Happy marriages do not just happen, they are made. It takes three parties to make a good marriage; the husband, the wife, and the Lord. This book is concerned with helping the woman to become “the wife desired”–and therefore loved–that every man worth having wishes to find and keep. This book sold over a quarter of a million copies shortly after its publication in 1951, and it was read by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. It is a practical manual. It should be read by every woman considering entering the matrimonial state and also by those women who are already married.
Small Book format - 100 pages - $7.95

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$4.00
Fr. James Wathen, OSJ, Softcover

Father James Wathen, OSJ - 40 Pages - EBOOK - PDF

The Scriptures are an inexhaustible treasure-trove of revelation,
mystery, and wisdom; and the people need the fruits of scholarly
learning and research. But, mainly, the scholar’s work is on "fine
points," facets and minutiae which few can begin to appreciate.
Rather, this is to encourage everyone to resort to the Scriptures as
the ideal book of devotion, instruction, and moral guidance
which it was meant to be.

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$6.00
Dom Gueranger, 139, Softcover

- EBOOK - PDF

Saint Benedict, father of western monasticism, is rather more known for his life and Rule than for a medal cast in his honor. The history of the image and the exorcism engraved on the medal, as well as the power of that Cross which the holy patriarch bears in his right hand, can be traced back to the eleventh century. Before he became Pope Saint Leo IX, one Bruno of Toul was cured of a mortal sickness after Saint Benedict appeared to him in the very guise we see depicted today on this sacramental. The Sisters of Charity under Saint Vincent de Paul also wore the blessed medal on their rosary. Abbot Gueranger, spiritual son of Saint Benedict, wrote this book to promote this very powerful devotion.

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$15.00
Rev. Alban Butler's ORIGINAL Lives of the Saints - April & May- Hardcover - Illustrated -722 pages - EBOOK - PDF, Kindle, & EPUB

Very few published works require such a lengthy explanation of exactly WHICH edition is being offered, in what format, and why, than Fr. Alban Butler’s Lives of the Saints. The reason is that there are so many very different books being printed under this author’s name and under this title due to it’s long history (the work is almost 300 years old) and its universal popularity. Few catholic books except the Bible, the Confessions, the Imitation, and the Summa, are as widely read. This book has also been extensively revised, altered, and updated since its original publication, with new editions, even 21st century revisions being made, that we feel the time is ripe for an original, unexpurgated, and unrevised print version to be made available.
This edition is widely considered to be the most complete and authoritative ever issued. It is the 1854 edition of D. J. Sadlier of New York, and in the Preface it gives its “pedigree.” The original was printed anonymously in London in 1759, after 30 years work on the project. The edition published by Sadlier is an exact replica of the Dublin and London edition of 1833. Being a scholarly work, but also a work deeply imbued with the piety and devotion of a priest’s lifetime effort, it is loaded with footnotes which comprise a significant proportion of the total text. In the original book, the footnotes were printed in such a small, closely-set typeface, that they were almost unreadable.
Loreto Publications has utilized the recent development of OCR scanning to extract the original text and to put it into a modern, highly readable, and much larger font typeface than any of the old editions. We have extensively proofread the text thus generated, and have made the layout “user friendly” as the moderns so succinctly state. In addition, our already available edition of Butler’s Little Pictorial Lives—which is a drastic abridgment of this original edition to one volume, illustrated, with one saint and one image for each day of the year—has provided us with 365 beautiful 19th century engravings which we have added to this original un-illustrated text.
Loreto has made a few corrections of obvious typographical errors and has slightly altered some capitalization rubrics and some spellings, but we have has refrained from alterations to the text. We think that modern readers are not so uneducated as to need the work “updated” for them, either as to content or style, since the beautiful expressiveness of Butler’s 18th century grammatical and rhetorical mastery is not so far removed historically as to render it unintelligible to any ordinary 21st century reader. We are certain that our readers will appreciate the original work for its piety, beauty, and comprehensive scholarship.

A great man once said that “History is the laboratory of Wisdom.” And where do we find the best history? It is found in the lives of the saints, for it is through their lives on earth, lived within the union of Christ’s mystical body, the Catholic Church, that we see the only history that truly matters for all eternity.

This spectacular history by Fr. Alban Butler, The Lives of the Saints, presents to the reader the life story of over 1600 saints and their times. In the original introduction we find this bold statement:

“It is on this account we have ventured to designate The Lives of the Saints an historical supplement to the
Old and New Testaments. We think this work deserves to be so considered, on account of the close resemblance it bears to the historical portions of holy writ. Let the divine economy, in this respect, be for a moment the subject of
the reader’s consideration.”
Loreto Publications has here reproduced the finest original edition of the text from the early 19th century with no modernization, alterations, deletions, or additions to the product of Father Butler.

Father Alban Butler was born in 1710, at Appletree, Northamptonshire, the second son of Simon Butler, Esq. Orphaned at the age of eight, he was sent to be educated at the English College, Douay, in France. In 1735, Butler was ordained a priest. At Douay, he was appointed professor of philosophy, and later professor of theology. It was at Douay, he began his principal work The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints. He also prepared material for Richard Challoner’s Memoirs of Missionary Priests, a work on the martyrs of the reign of Elizabeth. He labored for some time as a missionary priest in Staffordshire, and was finally appointed president of the English seminary at Saint Omer in France, where he remained till his death in 1773.

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$8.00
Msgr. Gaume, 208, Softcover

Monsignor Gaumé - EBOOK - PDF

Advocate of God and consoler of Mary, this is the story of the "first" thief, whose wonderful eleventh hour conversion and defense of the holy Kingship of Christ on Calvary, merited him the everlasting title, "The Good."

Monsignor Gaumé opens his book with a graphic, even ugly, description of the true face of a highway brigand in the days of the Caesars. He presents the first meeting of our Egyptian thief and the Son of God in the idolatrous land of the Pharaohs on the occasion of the flight of the impoverished Holy Family away from the sword of Herod.

The rest of this profoundly inspiring account begins on the "Mount of the Skull." It is the story of the Passion as seen through this most unlikely of characters. Meet Dismas; a dying man whose only request from his "Lord" was but a "remembrance" in His Kingdom! Rejoice for a man who was the first to be with Christ "in Paradise."

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$5.00
1930278764, Saint Leonard of Port Maurice , 80, Paperback

Saint Leonard of Port Maurice - 80 Pages - softcover booklet - EBOOK - PDF, Kindle, & EPUB

This book is exactly what the title implies, sound advice for the healing of souls in the confessional. Saint Leonard was one of the great confessors of all time. He was a Franciscan and a missionary preacher.

Approbation of His Eminence Paul Cardinal Cullen

Blessed [sic] Leonard of Port Maurice, in Italy, was a distinguished missionary in the last [i.e. nineteenth] century, who gained many souls to God by his preaching and his writings. His works were published in Rome in thirteen volumes in 1853, and duly approved. The treatise now published in English, and entitled Counsels to Confessors, has been always considered to be a most useful and valuable guide in the administration of the sacrament of penance. As I have been informed that the translation, which has been made by a skillful theologian, faithfully expresses the opinions and feelings of the holy author, I am happy to recommend it to those who have the direction of the consciences of others, hoping that they will derive light and instruction from the words of a most holy and zealous laborer in the vineyard of the Lord.

+ Paul Card. Cullen,
Archbishop of Dublin.

 

 

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$4.00
Raphael Brown
Raphael Brown
Diabolical Activity, Priestly Intervention, and Conversions in Colonial America- EBOOK - PDF, Kindle, & EPUB

This tale is almost too strange for belief. It features a Russian prince, a Lutheran family, an Irish priest, several Protestant ministers, diabolical activity, traveling salesmen, and Colonial farmers, as well as delicate and intricate family relationships. It has all of the elements of an exciting Catholic novel...AND IT IS ALL TRUE! Don’t miss this wonderful story.
44 pages - Small Book - $5.95
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$10.00
1622920732, Msgr. Philip Hughes, 344, Paperback, 1 of 3

Volume One: The Church and the World in which the Church was Founded - EBOOK - PDF

Msgr. Philip Hughes - PB - 344 pages

The first volume, then treats of the Church in the West up to the conversion of Constantine (312) but in the East up to Justinian I—or rather a century and a half beyond to allow for the consummation of the disunion that followed Chalcedon.


Volume One: The Church and the World in which the Church was Founded
Volume Two: The Church and the World the Church Created
Volume Three: The Church and the Revolt against it of the Church-created World

 

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$4.00
Fr. Clement Raab, OFM, 136, Paperback

Fr. Clement Raab, OFM - 136 pages EBOOK - PDF, Kindle, & EPUB

The Church is essetiay coservative. Her conservatism is not merely a measure of prudence and good judgment; it is an intrinsic necessity. No matter what she may consider, decide, or undertake, she always harks back to the beginning.
After twenty [one] centuries the “pillar and ground of truth” has not moved a whit from her primitive position, while all other human foundations have either crumbled to dust or have been driven headlong by the maelstrom of this fast changing world. To these, the ideal looms hazily in the distant future; to the Church, it stands firmly in the distant past. The closer she aligns herself with Christ, the surer she is of ultimate success and victory, being “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone”
(Eph. II:20).
The present volume is designed to serve as a ready survey and reference book on the history of the councils. It is to serve as an aid, primarily to the cleric or lay student who has neither the time nor the opportunity to delve into, and analyze sources and controversies, but who is satisfied to learn the outstanding facts and findings concerning which Church historians generally agree. This brief and positive sketch of the twenty great events in history, so vibrant with life and so far-reaching in their consequences, will afford him, we trust, a very definite and appreciable knowledge of the nature and history of Holy Mother Church.
Originally published in 1937, this re-issue of Fr. Raab’s classic work on the history of the Ecumenical Councils did not include anything about Vatican II, because its convocation still lay in the future. We have not added to his work since so much has already been written of the newest Council elsewhere.

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$8.00
Abbot Dom Columba Marmion, 280, Softcover

Abbot Dom Columba Marmion - PB– 280 Pages - EBOOK - PDF

Abbot Dom Columba Marmion was born in Dublin, in 1858, the year that our Lady appeared at Lourdes, and he died on January 30, 1923. That is the Feastday of Saint Martina, and it was also on January 30th that two other great founders died. It was January 30, 1875 that the Abbot of Solesmes, Dom Prosper Gueranger, passed to his eternal reward, and also, on the same day in 1978, that Father Leonard Feeney, who had a great devotion to both Abbots, departed from this vale of tears.
The substance of this book was gathered together by Dom Raymond Thibaut and originally published in 1941. The material was taken from the three great spiritual classics of Dom Marmion: Christ, the Life of the Soul, Christ in his Mysteries, and Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, all published shortly before his death.
Rarely will one find such great spiritual treasures as are contained herein, except from other masters of the spiritual life, such as St. Francis deSales or Saint John of the Cross.

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$15.00

Butler's Original Lives of the Saints Vol. 4 - EBOOK - PDF, Kindle, & EPUB

June & July - Hardcover Illustrated - 806 pages

Putting these invaluable books together in a new and modern format has been a joy for us.  Some of the longest treatises are contained in it. The section on St. Ignatius of Loyola is almost a complete biography!

A great man once said that “History is the laboratory of Wisdom.” And where do we find the best history? It is found in the lives of the saints, for it is through their lives on earth, lived within the union of Christ’s mystical body, the Catholic Church, that we see the only history that truly matters for all eternity.

This spectacular history by Fr. Alban Butler, The Lives of the Saints, presents to the reader the life story of over 1600 saints and their times. In the original introduction we find this bold statement:

“It is on this account we have ventured to designate The Lives of the Saints an historical supplement to the
Old and New Testaments. We think this work deserves to be so considered, on account of the close resemblance it bears to the historical portions of holy writ. Let the divine economy, in this respect, be for a moment the subject of
the reader’s consideration.”
Loreto Publications has here reproduced the finest original edition of the text from the early 19th century with no modernization, alterations, deletions, or additions to the product of Father Butler.

Father Alban Butler was born in 1710, at Appletree, Northamptonshire, the second son of Simon Butler, Esq. Orphaned at the age of eight, he was sent to be educated at the English College, Douay, in France. In 1735, Butler was ordained a priest. At Douay, he was appointed professor of philosophy, and later professor of theology. It was at Douay, he began his principal work The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints. He also prepared material for Richard Challoner’s Memoirs of Missionary Priests, a work on the martyrs of the reign of Elizabeth. He labored for some time as a missionary priest in Staffordshire, and was finally appointed president of the English seminary at Saint Omer in France, where he remained till his death in 1773.

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$34.95
Joseph Pohle, 452 pages , Cloth hardcover

Book Four - Volume 7  Grace: Actual and Habitual - 452 pages Cloth hardcover

Many Catholics living today can remember when priests were well trained in theology and could express the Faith properly in their sermons and in their writing. That is because they were given sound teaching at the seminary in Logic, Philosophy, and Dogmatic Theology from textbooks such as this 12 volume set. The famous Pohle-Preuss manual was used in many seminaries in America and other countries prior to the 1950's when seminary training began to go downhill.

This particular manual was used in the Jesuit seminary where Fr. Leonard Feeney, who was one called by his Jesuit superior "the greatest theologian we have in America...by far" was trained. This beautiful hardbound series is an exact reproduction of the edition originally published in 1911, and it was written by  Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Pohle an edited by Arthur Preuss.

Joseph Pohle was a Jesuit and one of the founding faculty members of the Catholic University of America as well as a frequent contributor to the Catholic Encyclopedia. He died in 1922 after having produced one of the clearest and most succinct and useful systematic studies of Catholic theology ever published. This series is invaluable for priests, seminarians, and anyone interested in a systematic study of dogmatic theology.

In stock
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$8.00
George J. Hill, M.A., 360, Softcover

George J. Hill, M.A. - 360 pages softcover - EBOOK - PDF

Few stories grip the heart and stir the soul like those tales of faithful Catholics who have risen up in arms to throw off the tyrrany of anti-Catholic oppressors. The great stories from the bible such as that of young David or Judas Macchabeus and his sons have their numerous counterparts in the history of the Church as well. What Catholic has not thrilled to such stories as that of the First Crusade, or the defense of Malta or the Battle of Lepanto—all victories for the Catholics. But even when the Catholic cause is not immediately sucessful as in such epic wars as the Jacobite rebellions, the nine-years war of Red Hugh O’Donnell and The O’Neill against Queen Elizabeth, or the fight of the Cristeros for a Catholic Mexico, the stark reality of such glorious sacrifices for the Faith inspires us down through the ages.

Such is the story of the War in LaVendée and the courage of youth displayed in the story of the Little Chouannerie by the teenage scholars of Vannes. The satanic explosion of hatred of Christ, of his Church, and of all that was decent in Catholic France that is known to history as the French Revolution was valiantly opposed in the west of France by a peasant army in both Brittany and in LaVendée. This is their story.

The names of Charette, LaRochejaquelein, Abbé Bernier, Cathelineau, Le Tiec, and Jean Chouan should be as well known to Catholics as those of Red Hugh O'Donnell, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Padre Pro, Godfrey deBouillion, Don Juan of Austria and others.

This story will break your heart…and will mend it as well.

Vive la Nation! Vive le Roi! Vive la réligion Catholique! 

Preface
It is commonly argued by writers on the French Revolution that the state of the Church, as well as of the nation in general, must have been exceedingly corrupt, and that both clergy and people were equally destitute of religious belief and of moral principle, or so total a disruption of all the bonds of society could never have taken place, attended as it was with circumstances of unprecedented confusion and horror; and they point to the fact of priests and religious, and even bishops, openly apostatizing from Christianity, and abandoning themselves to all the infamous license of the times, and the atrocious crimes perpetrated by a people so lately, in profession at least, Catholic.


That society was radically and irretrievably corrupt especially in high places, and that many of the clergy, and in particular those about the court, were deeply infected with the taint of infidelity, is unhappily too true. But such writers seem utterly to overlook a fact equally patent and remarkable, that hundreds of ecclesiastics not merely retained and avowed their religious belief, in spite of persecution and contempt, but shed their blood for the faith; enduring the grossest insults and the most agonizing torments, not only with meekness and resignation, but with a touching piety, and a sweet and tender charity towards their murderers, such as make their constancy and fortitude differ in kind from any thing which mere natural heroism, however exalted, has at any time exhibited; while thousands risked their lives and abandoned all things for conscience sake. If a few traitors and apostates—for few they were in comparison with those who stood firm in the hour of trial, and nobly suffered all that a diabolical malice could inflict, rather than abate one tittle of their obedience to the divine law; if this wretched minority are to be taken as a proof of the inroads that vice and infidelity had made upon the Church of France, how triumphant is the demonstration afforded by her numerous martyrs and confessors that she was yet sound and pure at heart!


And as respects the people at large “To judge of a whole nation,” says Mr. Belaney in his Massacre at the Carmes, “by the conduct or manners of its populace in its capital and larger cities in times of great excitement, would lead to as false and unjust, as well as ungenerous conclusions, in respect to that nation, as it would to judge of an individual only by what he did when under the effects of delirium tremens or intoxication.” “The populace,” as he elsewhere observes, “required to be deceived, as well as bribed into the commission of acts which cause us to shudder when we look back on them, even at a distance of sixty years.” An execrable faction, devoid of every principle of morality and every feeling of humanity, had usurped the power of the state; and while over-awing the better portion of the nation by wholesale proscription and slaughter, drove the masses of the people to enact, in a frenzy of terror and fury, excesses which, left to themselves and in their sober senses, they would never have had the heart to perpetrate. That under the seething surface of vice and impiety which covered the land, there lay hid all the while, even in the worst days of the Revolution, fathomless depths of sanctity and devotion beyond the ken of the godless world, the annals of the times sufficiently testify; and that, even when the nation had passed through its fiery conflict, and a generation to whom religion was an effête superstition, and priests but tyrants and impostors, appeared upon the scene, there still remained, not only among the country populations, but among the inhabitants of the towns, a vast amount of supernatural belief, which waited only for an occasion to manifest itself, one circumstance alone would prove:—the demonstrations, not of sympathy and affection merely, but of religious veneration, with which Pius VII was everywhere received on his entrance into France, a prisoner, in the year 1809; multitudes crowding round the carriage in which he was seated, and begging his benediction on their knees as he passed along.

But if the clergy of France contributed its noble army of martyrs at Paris, Lyons, Nantes, her peasantry of Brittany and La Vendée sent forth an heroic band of veritable soldiers of the cross, as admirable and as worthy of being held in everlasting honor as their enemies are deserving of the universal reprobation of mankind. Brave, generous, honorable, merciful, and pure, in the heat of the fight resolute and undaunted as veteran soldiers, and in the hour of victory as tender-hearted as children—what a contrast do these “brigands,” as their opponents called them, present to the self-styled “patriots” of the Republican forces! Sensual, treacherous, bloodthirsty, breathing only hatred and revenge, exhibiting a cruelty and a ferocity truly satanic, their delight seemed to be only in massacre and rapine, and in the commission of the most hideous crimes. Catholic France may well be proud of her heroes of La Vendée. What but simple, supernatural faith could have produced such an army of patriot crusaders, and inspired a system of warfare so truly Christian?


For it is not possible to separate the religion and devotion of the Vendean peasants from their natural virtues and martial qualities. As they fought primarily for their Church, and only secondarily and, as it may be said, accidentally, for their king, so first and before all things they were Catholics: —to their heart’s core they were what the pseudo-philosophers of the day would call “superstitious and bigoted;” as much so as the priests who walked calmly forward to meet their assassins with their breviaries in their hands, and the names of Jesus and Mary on their lips. These men, so intrepid, so cool and yet so daring, so generous and so noble-minded, recited their rosaries on their way to the battlefield, and threw themselves on their knees before the image of the Crucified as they charged down upon the bayonets of the foe. Abstract from the Vendean his faith, and he is no longer the same man: that faith not only inspired his actions, it made him what he was.


As to the conduct and results of the war, it is unnecessary to anticipate here remarks that are made in the course of the narrative. In spite of some signal and palpable blunders, no candid mind, which considers the disadvantages under which they labored, will withhold from both generals and subordinates a very high need of praise, not only for their courage, which was undoubted, but for their strategic skill and address. Unhappily, as the contest proceeded, and their first chosen leaders perished in battle, serious evils began to show themselves; fatal jealousies were engendered, dissensions broke out amongst the new commanders, cruelties were perpetrated which rivaled in barbarity the enormities by which they were provoked, unjustifiable severities were adopted even against members of their own body, and the whole morale of the army notably degenerated. Such were but the inevitable consequences of long-continued warfare, and that of so embittered a character, the subversion of all established order, and the absence of any legitimate head. And yet to the end sufficient of the old spirit remained to excite the fears and even to elicit the admiration of their foes. Despite the terrible reverses encountered in the field, and the general disorganization that ensued, their bravery and tenacity had made themselves so effectually felt, that the Vendean insurgents succeeded finally in obtaining an honorable peace. But their greatest glory consisted in the fact, that the Catholic religion never ceased to be openly professed in La Vendée; nor did they consent to lay down their arms until liberty of worship was guaranteed to them, and their priests were recognized and protected by the laws.

Hence the moral effects of this war it is hardly possible to overrate. Not only did it prove that France never could be one and indivisible, never could be at peace with herself until religion was re-established; not only did the valor and enthusiasm which were evoked insure respect to the religion which was able to produce such sensible effects—but the multitudes whom terror had silenced and isolated, the weak, the timid, the despondent, and even they in whom the light of faith was well-nigh quenched, felt the influence of a struggle in which they took no part; it awoke and sustained a secret sympathy in their breasts, and kept them in a state of continual readiness to welcome back, even with acclamations, the religion for which they had neither the courage nor the will to suffer or to contend.
What, therefore, may not the France of this day owe to La Vendée! How much of the religious revival which now fills Catholic Christendom with admiration and joy may be due to that contest, so obstinately and so fruitlessly maintained, as some may think, in that little corner of the west? And this in two ways; first, as has been intimated, by keeping the lamps burning in her sanctuaries when elsewhere they had been extinguished and the very altars themselves overthrown, and leaving them as beacons to announce to all failing and faltering hearts that an incarnate God still had worshippers, and Peter loyal subjects, among a rebellious and apostate people; and secondly, and principally, by willingly offering that sacrifice which God never fails to accept and to requite—the sacrifice of the heart’s-blood of the best and purest of her children. That blood, like the blood of the martyr-priests, has never ceased to cry out, not for vengeance, but for mercy and for blessings—the richest and the choicest, because spiritual and heavenly—on the land that poured it out as though it had been the blood of brute cattle that die unpitied in the shambles, or rather of the wild beasts of the forest whom it was a necessity to exterminate. Certain it is that nowhere has religion, so trodden down and all but exterminated as it was, had so speedy and so astonishing a resurrection as in once infidel France, and to what can this be more probably attributed, than to that spirit of immolation which animated alike the priests of the Carmes and the peasants of La Vendée? If the butcheries of Tyburn are one day to yield, as we may piously hope, a fruitful harvest of souls to the Church in our land, what might England long ere this have become, had more of her sons bled and died with the gallant Nortons around the banner of the Five Precious Wounds, and the gibbets stood tenfold thicker between Newcastle and Wetherby?


The strength and reality of the principles for which La Vendée contended, and the ardor with which the flame there enkindled burned on, despite the indifference and secularity which weighed upon the land, may be estimated by the enthusiasm excited in the breasts of the young students of Vannes, and the bravery and fortitude displayed in their defense. Singular phenomenon that some hundreds of boys should turn soldiers in sober earnest, all because the great emperor bullied the Pope, changed their catechism, and gave them Charlemagne for their patron instead of St. Catharine and St. Nicholas; but no ambiguous omen of bright and glorious days to France, that, in what with many would have passed for a mere piece of state-policy, with which they had no concern, these schoolboys and seminarians should feel to the quick that a great principle was at stake, for which they were bound, as with all their hearts they were willing, to fight and to die.


The scholars of Vannes—as many as survive—have now passed the prime of their life; but during the forty years that have gone by, what services have they not rendered, by their labors, their writings, their courageous examples, to the Church, to literature, to society! And whence had they derived their first inspirations, but from those annals of the old Chouannerie which as boys it was their delight to collect, and from those bearded men, with their bronzed countenances and thoughtful brows, who had returned to renew the studies of their youth, only that they might complete, as ministers of peace at the altar, the warfare they had begun on the battlefield? True patriots, whose patria is not of this world; though accidentally and from circumstances associated with monarchy, their Catholicism was subservient to no form of government, albeit respectful and friendly to all; upholding obedience to constituted authority as the ordinance of God, it looked, above all things, to maintaining intact the liberties of the Church and the independence of the spiritual power. To such men and such principles France owes everything; and on France at this moment hang the destinies of the world.

 

The story of La Vendée and of the Little Chouannerie is gathered from the various extant sources; but in the case of the latter, which is drawn principally from M. Rio’s own narrative, an endeavor has been made to assign to that gentleman the position which rightfully belonged to him, but which his modesty and humility prevented him from assuming.


The reader will find a most striking description of the old “Chouans” and the “Little Vendée” among M. Sonvestre’s Tales and Sketches of Brittany and La Vendée, published in Constable’s Miscellany of Foreign Literature. The incidents, which were taken by the author from the mouth of one of Jean’s brothers-in-arms, are related in a style as graphic and touching, as it is simple and unadorned.


The conflict in La Vendée had its counterpart in Flanders. M. Hendrik Conscience, in his spirited historical tale of the era, has described with much dramatic power the sufferings of the people, and their determined, but disastrous, and, as it turned out, fatally ineffectual resistance to the revolutionary forces, and (in the worst sense) revolutionary principles of France. The work in question has just been translated into English. Although fictitious in form, it adheres faithfully to the facts of history: the notes to the original Flemish show, by extracts from the accounts, proclamations, etc., which appeared in the Antwerp newspapers of the time, that the gatherings, skirmishes, and principal events therein depicted, down to the great battle with which the story closes, actually occurred as represented. A few resolute and courageous men, while the masses of their countrymen “looked on in dumb terror” at the destruction of all they held dear and venerable, kept up a continual harassing warfare against the invader, until they were either individually taken and shot, or mowed down in hundreds by the musketry, or hewed and hacked to pieces by the merciless sabers of the French soldiery. But though crushed, and to all outward seeming annihilated, that insurrection against the most intolerable of all despotisms, the tyranny of an impious liberalism, and in defense of altar and hearth, faith and liberty, had as in La Vendée, a most powerful moral effect at the time, and exerted doubtless, both in the natural and in the supernatural order, influences the operation of which we have still before our eyes. For we may well consider the present prosperous condition of Belgium, the freedom, both political and religious, which she enjoys, and the simple piety of her people, to be at once the result and the reward of the spirit displayed, and the sufferings endured, in that truly patriotic struggle.


  1. H. T.
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$20.00
Joseph Pohle , 704 pages , Cloth hardcover

Book Six - Volume 10  The Sacraments Part 3  & Volume 11 The Sacraments Part 4 & Volume 12 Eschatology - 704 pages Cloth hardcover- EBOOK - PDF

Many Catholics living today can remember when priests were well trained in theology and could express the Faith properly in their sermons and in their writing. That is because they were given sound teaching at the seminary in Logic, Philosophy, and Dogmatic Theology from textbooks such as this 12 volume set. The famous Pohle-Preuss manual was used in many seminaries in America and other countries prior to the 1950's when seminary training began to go downhill.

This particular manual was used in the Jesuit seminary where Fr. Leonard Feeney, who was one called by his Jesuit superior "the greatest theologian we have in America...by far" was trained. This beautiful hardbound series is an exact reproduction of the edition originally published in 1911, and it was written by  Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Pohle an edited by Arthur Preuss.

Joseph Pohle was a Jesuit and one of the founding faculty members of the Catholic University of America as well as a frequent contributor to the Catholic Encyclopedia. He died in 1922 after having produced one of the clearest and most succinct and useful systematic studies of Catholic theology ever published. This series is invaluable for priests, seminarians, and anyone interested in a systematic study of dogmatic theology.

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$5.00
1930278438, Br. Francis Maluf, MICM, 104, Hardcover

Br. Francis Maluf, M.I.C.M. - EBOOK - PDF

This is a book of seventy-two concise meditations each on a different subject. Whether it is an event, as the Day; or a virtue, as Gratitude; or a ravaging infidelity, as Islam; or a person, as Our Lady; our author zeroes in on the topic and, with an amazing depth of understanding, simplifies it in relation to time and eternity. The salient theme throughout Brother Maluf’s daily reflections is that every challenge one experiences in this wayfaring state has the capacity to elevate our human frailty to supernatural heights if we engage it with the magnanimous attitude of confident sons of God.

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Cardinal Manning, 72, Paperback

By Cardinal Manning - 72 Pages - Small book Originally published in 1861- EBOOK - PDF, Kindle, & EPUB

No, this book is not about current events. The book was written in 1861 by Cardinal Manning and dedicated to his good
friend John Henry Newman. It is a study of the prophecies in scripture and the comments and explanations given
by the Fathers and Doctors about the Great Apostacy and the preparation for the coming of the Antichrist. The great
Cardinal then comments on the prophecies relative to the circumstances of his times. This short but powerful treatise is
very much applicable to the 21st century as well as the mid-nineteenth.

“In the following pages I have endeavored, but for so great a subject most insufficiently, to show that what is passing in our times is the prelude of the anti-Christian period of the final dethronement of Christendom, and of the restoration of society without God in the world.”


With these words the great Cardinal Manning presents his study of the prophecies of scripture and the writings of the Fathers on the coming of the Great Apostacy and the advent of the Anti-Christ. No, this treatise was not written recently, but rather in 1861. Yet, it is about our times as well as his.

 

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Monseigneur Landriot Archbishop of Rheims, 223, Softcover

Monseigneur Landriot, Archbishop of Rheims, (Formerly Bishop of La Rochelle) - EBOOK - PDF
Translated from the French by Helena Lyons

Long out of print, this rare jewel is destined to become the favored spiritual guide for Catholic wives and mothers. Msgr. Landriot gave these conferences over 100 years ago, but they are as relevant to us today as the Gospels. This book is a guide for women who want to achieve sanctity in the home. Reading this book is the best thing you could do for your husband and children, as well as for yourself. This book was published to help women to raise and keep their families Catholic.

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Mario Peterson & Tom Concert, 96, Paperback

Mario Peterson & Tom Concert — 96 Pages - EBOOK - Kindle & EPUB

Searching for Fine Pearls is an easy-to-read summary of the monumental Catholic classic The Mystical City of God that was written by Venerable Mary of Agreda, a 17th century Franciscan abbess, who had mystical visions and revelations concerning many intimate details of the life of our Lord and his Blessed Mother not revealed in the Gospels. These revelations were described and published in four volumes, in Spanish, during her lifetime.
For those readers who might be daunted by the thought of reading the full work of over 2,000 pages, this short summary may encourage them to make the effort. Many saints, popes, religious, and other holy men and women, as well as humble laymen from all walks of life have found great grace and consolation in the pages of The Mystical City of God.
This work has received the approbation of seven popes and has been read and meditated upon by millions in the four centuries since its original publication. An English translation was produced in 1912 and has enjoyed a wide readership.
Mary of Agreda’s incorrupt remains and the well documented facts of her evangelizing bilocations to the New World attest to her holy life. Fray Junipero Serra, the founder of so many of the famous California missions, and a brilliant scholar and theologian, was profoundly influenced by her inspirational writings. He always carried with him three books; his breviary, a copy of the bible, and The Mystical City of God.

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193027842X, Father Leonard Feeney, M.I.C.M., 85, Hardcover with dustjacket

By Father Leonard Feeney, S.J. - EBOOK - PDF

To My Mother, from her 'Minstrel Boy'.

So, you do not like poetry. Too many flowers and angels and stars and clouds. And too many adjectives ending in “Y”. Besides, the better the poem the less you can understand it, right? You are an ordinary Joe who prefers more solid food for his mind and you do not really care if the words rhyme anyway. Well, Joe, lighten up! Let your mind get a taste of Father Feeney’s verse. Your whole family will enjoy the new turf. It will warm the heart. In fact, every one of Father’s poems comes with that guarantee.

 

Night Noises


Angela died today and went to Heaven;
We counted her summers up and they were seven.
But why does that trouble you, unloosened shutter,
That flap at my window in the wind's wild flutter!


Angela's eyes tonight are cold and dim,
Off in the land of song and Seraphim.
But what does that mean to you, O creaking stair,
And mice in the wall that gnaw the plaster there!


Angela's little hands are folded white,
Deep in the meadow, under the starry night.
But why should an ugly gnat keep finely whining
Around the candle-flame beside me shining!


And never again — and never again will she
Come running across the field to welcome me.
But, little sheep-bells, out on the distant hill,
Why, at this hour, do you wake and tinkle still!


And not any more—alas!— and not any more,
Will she climb the stairs and knock at my lonely door.
But, moaning owl in the hayloft overhead,
How did you come to know that she was dead!

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$4.00
Saint Benedict the Moor Mission

Saint Benedict the Moor Mission - EBOOK - PDF

The Storm Novena, what an unusual name. The story of this novena and the instructions for offering it are to be found inside this priceless little book. As you can see from the illustration on the front over, this novena attained prominence because of the miraculous response from heaven when it was used repeatedly and prayed with great joy and fervor by an American mission to the poor colored people of Milwaukee and Chicago. Although potent for all spiritual and temporal needs, its fruitfulness is especially noted for financial and business needs.

This novena is surely one of the most unusual and powerful you have ever encountered. It is typically American, and very modern. It comports well with the up-tempo pace of our lives today. If this was true in the 1940’s it is ever more so today in the 21st century. The editor and publisher of this book can personally attest to its efficacy, having had his prayers answered more than once through the intercession of the saints invoked in this novena.

It is our hope that more people will make use of this method of storming of the gates of Heaven.

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$20.00
Joseph Pohle, 686 pages , Cloth hardcover

EBOOK - PDF

Book Two includes

Volume Volume 2 - The Divine Trinity
Volume 3 - God: The Author of Nature and the Supernatural - 686 pages Cloth hardcover

Many Catholics living today can remember when priests were well trained in theology and could express the Faith properly in their sermons and in their writing. That is because they were given sound teaching at the seminary in Logic, Philosophy, and Dogmatic Theology from textbooks such as this 12 volume set. The famous Pohle-Preuss manual was used in many seminaries in America and other countries prior to the 1950's when seminary training began to go downhill.

This particular manual was used in the Jesuit seminary where Fr. Leonard Feeney, who was one called by his Jesuit superior "the greatest theologian we have in America...by far" was trained. This beautiful hardbound series is an exact reproduction of the edition originally published in 1911, and it was written by  Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Pohle an edited by Arthur Preuss.

Joseph Pohle was a Jesuit and one of the founding faculty members of the Catholic University of America as well as a frequent contributor to the Catholic Encyclopedia. He died in 1922 after having produced one of the clearest and most succinct and useful systematic studies of Catholic theology ever published. This series is invaluable for priests, seminarians, and anyone interested in a systematic study of dogmatic theology.

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$7.00
Saint John Eudes, 183, Softcover

- EBOOK - PDF

Like Saint John the Apostle, Saint John Eudes had the privilege of what could be nothing less than direct intimate access to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. One can only conclude after reading this book on the Sacred Heart that here was more a seraph than a man, driven by the Holy Spirit to cast the fire of the Savior’s love upon this earth with the pen of a scrivener lost in divine abandon. Surely, our Lord gave the key to the treasure house of His Heart to John Eudes. This book opens that treasure to the one with holy desires. God is wonderful in his saints, and with holy gusto we second the accolade given to him by a grateful generation: the wonder of his age.

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Fr. James. F. Wathen, 60, Paperback

Fr. James. F. Wathen - Booklet - 5.5" x 8.5" - 60 Pages - EBOOK - PDF

Simply and, at the same time, astonishingly is the world introduced to Mary, the mother of Our Blessed Lord and Savior. With this brief conversation, her life takes an unexpected turn; she is commandeered by the Almighty for the all-holy assignment of becoming the mother of His Son.
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Msgr. Gaumé, 159, Softcover

Msgr. Gaumé - EBOOK - PDF

The holy Sign of the Cross is the most important prayer and symbol of our Christian faith. It is at once the image of Christ's passion, the sign of the redemption of all mankind, the awesome testament of the destruction of the power of the devil and of his kingdom on earth. The resurrection is the promise and seal and guarantee of eternal life which consummated the work of the Cross.

Christians rejoice and the demons tremble to see the Sign of the Cross emblazoned everywhere as proof of Christ's victory over the world. Christ said "all power is given to me in heaven and on earth" and the Cross is the seat of that power. There is no place on earth where a person who makes the Sign of the Cross is not immediately recognized as a Catholic, and there is no miracle that has not been worked under this sign. It is the "nuclear bomb" of prayers and with it the faithful can clear away all enemies and temptations with the simplest of wordless gestures. Msgr. Gaumé has compiled a magnificent collection of history and commentary from the saints and fathers and doctors, as well as his own meditations and exhortations regarding this most powerful prayer. All Catholics should avail themselves of this information and make it fruitful in their own lives.

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$8.00
G. K. Chesterton, 220, Paperback

G. K. Chesterton - PB 220 Pages - EBOOK - PDF

Edited and Published posthumously by Frank Sheed
In 1933 Hitler came into power. In 1936, G. K. Chesterton died. In between, Chesterton kept his eyes steadily on the Nazi movement, seeing and foreseeing everything—even to the agreement of Germany and Russia to divide Poland.

Week after week he came back to one aspect or another of the danger: Prussianism as a spirit poisoning Germany, Hitlerism as Prussianism, the special peril (unique in human history) that lies in racism, the Jewish roots of Hitlerism, the vital function of Poland, and the elements among ourselves that made for the increase of Hitler’s power—especially the pacifism that made war inevitable. It is not too much to say that this inevitablility of war was the dominating theme of the last years of Chesterton’s  life. Certainly it was never far from his pen.

 

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$44.95
Joseph Pohle, 752 pages , Cloth hardcover

Book Five - Volume 8  The Sacraments Part 1  & Volume 9 The Sacraments Part 2- 752 pages Cloth hardcover

Many Catholics living today can remember when priests were well trained in theology and could express the Faith properly in their sermons and in their writing. That is because they were given sound teaching at the seminary in Logic, Philosophy, and Dogmatic Theology from textbooks such as this 12 volume set. The famous Pohle-Preuss manual was used in many seminaries in America and other countries prior to the 1950's when seminary training began to go downhill.

This particular manual was used in the Jesuit seminary where Fr. Leonard Feeney, who was one called by his Jesuit superior "the greatest theologian we have in America...by far" was trained. This beautiful hardbound series is an exact reproduction of the edition originally published in 1911, and it was written by  Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Pohle an edited by Arthur Preuss.

Joseph Pohle was a Jesuit and one of the founding faculty members of the Catholic University of America as well as a frequent contributor to the Catholic Encyclopedia. He died in 1922 after having produced one of the clearest and most succinct and useful systematic studies of Catholic theology ever published. This series is invaluable for priests, seminarians, and anyone interested in a systematic study of dogmatic theology.

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$5.00
Father Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp., D.D., D.PH., LA, Paperback

Father Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp., D.D., D.PH., LA - EBOOK - PDF, Kindle, & EPUB
   Father Denis Fahey’s pamphlet, The Tragedy of James Connolly, which is now, I am glad to observe, going the rounds among those who study the social problem seriously, is pre-eminently a popular, if scholarly work. Connolly can be and is being gravely misused. The fact that he died within the bosom of the church makes his social heresies all the more a dangerous weapon in the hands of subversivists. Young and earnest trade unionists speak of him in awe, as if, from the Catholic standpoint, he were the complement of Pearse. Father Fahey’s pamphlet will disabuse them of this idea . . .. For all that Connolly was, excepting that he was a social subversivist, we honor him—for his self-sacrifice, his courage, his patriotism.
- Pat Murphy (In The Standard, Jan. 23, 1948)

“Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may give it assistance in any undertaking whatsoever”

“In the beginning, Communism showed itself for what it was in all its perversity; but very soon it realized that it was thus alienating the people. It has, therefore, changed its tactics, and strives to entice the multitudes by trickery of various forms, hiding its real designs.”

Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI,
Divini Redemptoris, on Atheistic Communism
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1622920740, Msgr. Philip Hughes, 500, Paperback, 2 of 3

Volume Two: The Church and the World the Church Created - EBOOK - PDF

Msgr. Philip Hughes - PB - 500 pages

 The first volume, then treats of the Church in the West up to the conversion of Constantine (312) but in the East up to Justinian I—or rather a century and a half beyond to allow for the consummation of the disunion that followed Chalcedon. This second volume carries the history through to the time of St. Thomas Aquinas, while the third volume takes the story from Aquinas to Martin Luther.


Volume One: The Church and the World in which the Church was Founded
Volume Two: The Church and the World the Church Created
Volume Three: The Church and the Revolt against it of the Church-created World

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Hilaire Belloc Selected by John Edward Dineen, 320, Paperback

25 Essays Selected by John Edward Dineen - PB 320 pages - EBOOK - PDF

Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc, 1870-1953, was born in France of a French Catholic Father and an English protestant mother. His mother later converted under the influence of Cardinal Manning, a good friend and mentor of Hilaire. His only sister, Marie (Belloc) Lowndes, was a fairly well-known writer like her brother Hilaire. Belloc’s father died young, leaving his widow in dire financial straits with two young children to support. They moved to England, and they settled in Slindon, West Sussex, where Belloc lived for most of his life.
Belloc was a prolific writer and seldom was employed in any other remunerative endeavor during his life, hence the constancy of his precarious financial condition. However he was rarely, if ever, destitute, since he was one of the most widely read writers of the 20th century in both England and America. On this side of the Atlantic he is best known for his political, economic, and historical works. As an essayist he is less well-known, but some think that it is as a poet and essayist that his name will be longest remembered.
These twenty-five exquisite essays, selected by John Edward Dineen, were first published as a collection in 1936 and are here offered to a new generation of American readers to savor.

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1622920635, Wilfrid Diamond, 160, Paperback

EBOOK-PDF

By Wilfrid Diamond - SB - 160 pages
Liturgical Latin, obviously enough to anyone who has even a smattering of the language, is not the Latin of the classical writers. Liturgical Latin, for the most part, is the common Latin of the people with a vocabulary suited to its use. Some Latin words were “christianized”—i.e., given meanings not found in dictionaries of classical Latin. Variant spellings are also quite common in the ecclesiastical books.
Here are over 11,000 words—gathered from Scriptures  (including the new Latin Psalter), the Breviary, the Missal, and other church books—a good percentage of which are not to be found at all in classical dictionaries, and almost all of which have a peculiar meaning in ecclesiastical use.

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$42.95 $34.95
9781622921720, Fr. Edward Cahill, S.J., 704, Hardcover
theories on tho subjects discussed, and modern non-Christian tendencies and movements are also dealt with ; and tho well-being of the people under the Christian regime as illustrated from history is compared with their position in the non-Christian State.
Following the precedent of French, American and English writers on the same subjects, the author has striven to give special prominence to those aspects of the questions dealt with, which seem to have special importance in his own country ; and he naturally chooses his illustrations of p1inciples and their application from existing circumstances in Ireland, the country with which he is most familiar. The main portions of the work, however, apply to all countries. Hence the writer hopes that the book may prove useful even to non-Irish readers. On that account he has relegated to Appendices the treatment of certain aspects of the social question which are rooted in historical causes peculiar to Ireland.
The writer wishes to thank very sincerely the kind friends whose invaluable assistance and patient collaboration have enabled him to complete much sooner than he could other­wise have hoped the tedious work of preparing the book for publication. He wishes also to thank those other friends whose helpful advice and friendly criticism have assisted him very much in the work of revision. Finally, he gladly acknowledges the great assistance he has received from the discussions carried on during the past five years at the meetings of An Rioghacht. These discussions have served especially to throw light on many practical questions, and have given the writer an insight into certain aspects of his subject with which he would be otherwise un­acquainted.
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$16.95
9781612615738, Abbott Dom Marmion OSB, 164, PB

Blessed Abbott Dom Marmion OSB - PB- 164 pages

This book is now out of print. We have less than 100 copies left in stock. Get it now before we run out.

This is not a book about spirituality for monks and nuns only. Columba Marmion believes that Christian discipleship means imitating Christ the Monk no matter your form of life. Christ is the sublime ideal of all holiness, the divine model presented by God himself. By faith, we accept this holiness into our lives – but we can also (in fact we must) allow Christ Jesus to become what Marmion calls “the very life of our souls.” This powerful book explores a spirituality that is possible by examining the light of the Gospels and the writings of St. Paul and St. John, offering joy and spiritual understanding to all Christians.

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9781622921713, Anonymous, 330, Cloth hardcover
Introduction

Anonymously published in 1775, this book swept through the Catholic world and multiple editions were published in quick succession. It remained readily available to generations of Catholics in many languages. The author remains unknown to this day. In a brief preface to the 4th edition of 1778 the following advice was given:
“To draw the utmost profit from this volume, mere reading will not suffice. It must be read with calm reflection, deep thought, and ardent desire to translate into action whatever is found to be beneficial to the individual soul.”
Without a doubt, the Spiritual Diary is one of the most widely read works in ascetical literature. Over the centuries, countless souls have drawn part of their spiritual formation from meditation upon the saintly advice contained in these pages. Its collections of sayings and examples of saints provides a source of meditation for numerous devout souls.
The meditations are arranged for the calendar year with one of twelves virtues for each month. Perfection, Humility, Mortification, Patience, Meekness, Obedience, Simplicity, Diligence, Prayer, Confidence, Charity and Union are the virtues chosen, and under each virtue are gathered pertinent sayings and examples of the saints for every day of the month. A thought may be read daily, or the reader may prefer to read the different sections according to his spiritual needs.
Many have guessed that the writer was a devoteé of St. Alphonsus because of the pattern of the meditations and the numerous direct quotes from his writings. But other spiritual writers widely quoted are: St. Mary Magdalen diPazzi, St. Francis deSales, St. Vincent dePaul, and St. Theresa of Avila.
Whoever compiled this treasure house of advice has earned the lasting gratitude of Loreto’s editor who has used this book almost daily for over forty years. Since it has not been readily available to the general public since the last known edition from 1962, we have decided to issue this modern edition in the hopes that a new generation of 21st century Catholics may find as much spiritual benefit herein, as this editor has.
Douglas Bersaw - Editor
Feast of the Annunciation 2022
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9781622921737, Catholic Church, 170, PB

The Canons and Decrees of Trent and Vatican I - In Latin and English - PB 170 pages

Here you will find all of the essential documents and infallible teachings of these two modern councils of the Catholic Church. They are beautifully laid out in a two-column format with large readable fonts  of both the original Latin and Cardinal Manning's English tanslation side by side.

 

Foreword

To say that the Catholic world is in a state of doctrinal confusion today would be an almost comical understatement, were not the issues involved—the individual salvation or damnation of every man, woman, and child on the planet—so important. Despite the wealth of defined dogmatic teaching that the Church has produced over twenty centuries, the actions of many prelates, priests, and theologians (some in the highest reaches of the hierarchy) have obscured the truths of the Faith for many, if not most, Catholics and non-Catholics.
This has happened before. In the 16th century, the successive revolts of Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Henry VIII and their brethren, together with pre-existing abuses and doctrinal questions that opened the door for their defections, created an enormous amount of confusion in the Church. All areas of Catholic life—pastoral, devotional, and liturgical—suffered. As kings and princes began to create their own state churches and enforce membership in these fake churches on their hapless subjects, Pope Paul III (1534–1549) decided, in concert with Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, that the time had come to call a new Ecumenical Council. This was slated to air Protestant complaints, reform Catholic practices, define or redefine disputed dogmas, and reconcile Christian princes, with a view to uniting Christendom and reviving the Crusades. Pope and Emperor agreed that it would convene at Mantua on May 23, 1537. Renewed war broke out between the Emperor and the French, thus delaying the opening. Two years of delays led the Pope to cancel the whole process.
Emperor Charles V, however, was very keen on the idea, and on December 13, 1545, the Council at last convened at the city of Trent. The seat of a Prince-Archbishopric of the Holy Roman Empire, it was Charles’ choice for the Council’s location. During the next few years in eighteen sessions, doctrinal decrees would be issued on the Holy Scriptures, Original sin, Justification, the Sacraments in general, Baptism, and Confirmation. An outbreak of the plague and various other things, including Paul III’s death, led to the Council being prorogued indefinitely on September 17, 1549.
The new Pope, Julius III (1550–1555), agreed with Charles V that there should be no further delay. The Council Fathers gathered at Trent on May 1, 1551. The Emperor and Pope concurred that the Protestants should appear at the Council and present their case—although without being able to vote. Although some of the Reformers did set out for the Council, in the end none appeared because of their inability to vote. Nonetheless, important work was done, and decrees defining Catholic teaching on the Holy Eucharist, Penance, and Extreme Unction were passed by the delegates. Unfortunately, at this juncture, the Emperor’s war against the Protestants took a turn for the worse, and Maurice, the Elector of Saxony invaded Tyrol. The Council was broken up by the threat on April 28, 1552. As Julius III retreated ever more into his strange interests, the prospect of reconvening the Council receded, while his successor, the stern reformer Paul IV, had other fish to fry in clearing out from Rome the moral detritus left by Julius. Moreover, Charles V had abdicated in 1555; his brother and successor as Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand I, was not as interested in Council as his brother had been—at least initially.
Pius IV (1559-1565) was determined that the council should be reopened and brought to a successful conclusion. From January 18, 1562 to December 4, 1563, the Council met at Santa Maria Maggiore, and continued until its final adjournment on 4 December 1563. The final doctrinal decrees were on Matrimony; Cults of Saints, Relics, and Images; and at last the very topic that had excited Luther so much way back in 1517: Indulgences. The documents were signed at last by 255 Council Fathers, and the bull of ratification was published by the Pope on January 26, 1564.
The Council had asked the Pope to continue its work by publishing definitive versions of a catechism based upon its decrees; shepherded through by Pius IV’s nephew, St. Charles Borromeo, this appeared in 1566, and remains today as the most clear, unambiguous, and authoritative catechism in print. Having appeared under St. Pius V, the catechism was soon joined by revisions of the Breviary and Missal, the latter of which remained substantially unchanged until the mid-20th century.
Almost two centuries later in the 18th century, the Catholic world had changed considerably. On the one hand, Latin America, the Philippines, and various other new regions had been added to the Church; but on the other Protestantism had solidified into its own bloc of nations, the Enlightenment and the French and succeeding Revolutions had toppled Monarchs, and there was no more Holy Roman Emperor. Scientism and Socialism were sapping the faith even of Catholics—and the supposedly Catholic government of the new Italian Kingdom was struggling with the Papacy for control of the remainder of the Papal States. At any moment, Bl. Pope Pius IX (1846-1878) faced an imminent invasion of his own capital, Rome.
The many struggles around the world between Catholics and governments intent on usurping the rights of the Church in various ways were at once symbolized by and subsumed into the one the Pope faced. This fact, combined with the spread of the telegraph, newspapers, and steamships put the Pope very much into the forefront of the Church’s worldwide struggle. The Ultramontanist party in every Catholic land called for the closest possible unity between the national Churches and the Holy See and with each other. In the face of all of this, Bl. Pope Pius IX convoked an Ecumenical Council, Vatican I.
Although they all refused in varying tones from polite to contemptuous, all of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs had been invited as full participants to the Council by the Pope as an attempt to end the Eastern Schism.
Opening on December 1869 at St. Peter’s Basilica rather than the Lateran (where the prior five councils in Rome had met) and adjourned on October, 20 1870, a month after the Italians at last conducted their long-threatened seizure of Rome, Vatican I accomplished far less than Trent. Nevertheless, it did deal definitively with two important matters. The first—the pretended clash between Faith and Reason, which Liberalism had pushed to the forefront of national life in so many countries—was dealt with in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith (Dei Filius). Far more controversial and hotly debated at the time was the dogma of Papal Infallibility, at last defined in the First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ (Pastor aeternus). The Council was then prorogued. It would not be officially concluded until the eve of Vatican II.
Much of course has changed since then. But what has not changed is the essential nature of these defining documents. Regardless of changes in technology, fashion, liturgy, or anything else, these pages contain the bare minimum of what it is to be Catholic: if one can read it all and agree with it all, he is a Catholic; if not, not. In the current period of confusion, a clear guide to spiritual reality such as this is utterly essential; we all owe a debt of gratitude to Loreto Publications for making it available.


Charles A. Coulombe
Trumau, Austria
Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist - 23 June 2022

 

The Council of Trent
Symbol of Faith - Canonical Scriptures  - Original Sin  - Justification, Sin, & Merit  - The Sacraments in General  - Baptism  - Confirmation  - The Eucharist  - Penance  - Extreme Unction  - Communion: Under both Species & of Children  - The Mass  - Holy Orders  - Matrimony  - Purgatory  - Relics  - Indulgences  - Profession of Faith
The Council of Vatican I
Dei Filius
Dogmatic Constitution on Faith  -
God the Creator  - Revelation  - Faith  - Faith & Reason  — Canons: God the Creator: Revelation: Faith: Faith & Reason

Pastor Æternus
The Church of Christ  - Papal Primacy  - Perpetual Papal Primacy  - Nature of Papal Primacy  - Papal Infallibility

 

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