Author: Shirley Aaron

Princess Alexandra Of Hanover Has Been Removed From The British Line Of Succession After Converting To Catholicism. 

Princess Alexandra Of Hanover Has Been Removed From The British Line Of Succession After Converting To Catholicism. 

Princess Alexandra of Hanover has been removed from the British line of succession according to Point de Vue-magazine.

The 19-year-old princess is the daughter of Prince Ernst August of Hanover and Princess Caroline of Monaco. The Princess has recently become a member of the Catholic Church and this is the reason she has been removed from the British line of succession. However, she remains the 12th in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne.

Princess Alexandra of Hanover is the only child of Prince Ernst August of Hanover and Princess Caroline of Monaco. She was born on July 20, 1999, at Vöcklabruck, in Upper Austria. Alexandra is the only one of Princess Caroline’s four children who bear any royal style or title.

She was christened as a Lutheran as the rest of the family on 19 September 1999 by Horst Hirschler, the Landesbischof of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Hanover, in a ceremony at her father’s hunting lodge Auerbach.

Her godparents are her paternal aunt Alexandra, Princess of Leiningen, maternal half-sister Charlotte Casiraghi, Ulrike Ulmschneider, Maryam Sachs, Virginia Gallico, George Condo, and Eric Maier.

Princess Caroline, her mother, has always been a Catholic. Now, the Princess has decided to leave her Lutheran faith and become a Catholic, as her mother is.

Princess Alexandra’s maternal uncle is Albert II, the sovereign of Monaco. She is a granddaughter of the American actress Grace Kelly and on her father’s side, she is a descendant of both Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany.

The British succession-law were changed in 2011 with the Perth Agreement. However the ban on Catholics and other non-Protestants becoming sovereign and the requirement for the sovereign to be in communion with the Church of England remained.

My Wife Is Catholic Because Of Pope Paul VI.

My Wife Is Catholic Because Of Pope Paul VI.

My Wife is Catholic Because of Pope Paul VI.

We couldn’t be more grateful to those faithful Catholics who brought us sweetly and courageously into the Church, and now, we await the official recognition that Pope Paul VI is a saint.

Several months ago Edward Pentin broke the news to the Register audience that Pope Paul VI was being canonized. There is perhaps no greater pope that has made a more significant impact on my marriage than Pope Paul VI. And currently living in Italy, this was exciting news. “Perhaps I can get tickets to the Mass” was the main thought for months. 

But the process of getting tickets to a papal Mass at the Vatican is not a simple one. Actually, yes, it is simple. Maybe too simple. All you have to do is write a letter to the correct office with the name of the person or group, and how many tickets you want. There’s no strict provision for who gets a ticket, and actually, nobody really knows if they have a ticket until they arrive to pick them up. This is the common process. I’m sure insiders have a different means, but this is the way I had to get them. Again, pretty simple, but plenty of gray area, too. Imagine showing up to pick up tickets that were never reserved for you.

Well, gratefully, I have tickets. I found that out only a week ago! Train tickets were booked months ago, accommodations have been paid for, and my wife and I are entirely beside ourselves to be part of this glorious event. And again, Pope Paul VI has a significant influence on my marriage. 

The thing is, in a way, Pope Paul VI brought my wife into the Catholic Church. You can see my full story from my appearance on The Journey Home in 2017, but in short, I came into the Church after a months-long feud with a Catholic friend, attempting to prove him wrong on the Catholic Faith. But after countless late nights of reading the Church Fathers and history books from secular and Catholic authors, I was entirely convinced that the Catholic Church of today was remarkably visible in the early Church. In fact, it was the only faith I saw in the early Church—enough said! So I chose to convert and entered into RCIA.

Meanwhile, my wife was pregnant with our first. She had complications up front and was highly un-interested in hearing about my hopes of finding truth in the Catholic Church. Soon, though, God made a path for her by having a friend recommend a specialist. Actually, the specialist. She was referred to none other, than Dr. Tomas Hilgers, founder of the Pope Paul VI Institute and a worldwide authority in women’s reproductive healthcare. I knew we were getting good care, but it was heartwarming to pray for my spouse and see a certificate of papal blessing from Pope Paul VI hanging in the lobby at the Institute. Because of his outstanding teachings provided in Humanae Vitae, Dr. Hilgers named the apostolate after the pontiff. 

Soon, my wife would come home telling me how confident she was in her pregnancy, how heartwarming the physicians were, and how much care they placed into her as a woman and not just a client. Over time, she was overtaken by their generosity and their clear devotion to something deeply important to her: life.

Nine months after I entered the Catholic Chruch, her decision was permanent, and she was confirmed on the First Sunday of Advent. All thanks, in a unique way through the wisdom of Pope Paul VI, my wife entered the Catholic Church. 

Now, we have four kids. Oh my gosh—writing that is still a wake-up call for me! 

And today, we’re all here, in Rome, less than 15 hours from his canonization Mass. We couldn’t be more grateful to those faithful Catholics who brought us sweetly and courageously into the Church, and now, we await the official recognition that Pope Paul VI, born Giovanni Montini in 1897, will enter into a permanent state of recognition for his pivotal life and shepherding of the Church at a critical time in its history.  

Written by Shaun McAfee for National Catholic Register

Is Jesus Like Sleeping Beauty In The Tabernacle? What Exactly Is He Doing There? 

Is Jesus Like Sleeping Beauty In The Tabernacle? What Exactly Is He Doing There? 

There’s actually a figure from the Old Testament who gives us a clue …

The Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft, in one of his numerous books, asks this question: “What is Jesus doing in heaven right now?” The answer is classic Kreeft, at once pithy and profound: “Praying for you.” The only real way to improve upon Kreeft’s answer is simply to draw a further inference: If Christ is praying for us right now in heaven, then he is also praying for us right now in the tabernacles of the Catholic churches on earth.

Sometimes, we Catholics are tempted to think of the Eucharist as something holy yet inert, kind of like Sleeping Beauty. But that is incorrect; we should strive to change our habits of thought in this regard. To enter into the presence of the Eucharist is, instead, to enter into the presence of a Person who knows us and is praying for us at that very moment. Christ’s prophetic words about the Temple in Jerusalem find their fulfillment in your local parish church: “My house shall be a house of prayer” (Luke 19:46).  


Christ never ceases nor tires of praying for each of us before God the Father, whether on earth or in heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes this point in #662, “Christ permanently exercises his priesthood, for he ‘always lives to make intercession’ for ‘those who draw near to God through him.’” Again, let that thought sink in: Christ doesn’t stop praying for us. Ever.


The need for someone like this, someone who loves us and literally never stops asking God for good things for us, is revealed even in the Old Testament. In Exodus 33711, the intimate prayer of Moses with God is described. A designated place for prayer, a “tent of meeting,” was set up outside of the Israelite camp. As Moses would enter this tent, a “column of cloud” would descend upon it, signaling the presence of the Lord, to whom Moses would then speak “face to face, as one man speaks to another.” With their intercessor standing before God, the Israelites would then begin to pray “at the entrance of their own tents.”


Yet the Sacred Scriptures include one additional detail, one that foreshadows the unceasing prayer of Christ: Although the prayer of Moses would eventually end, and he would return to camp, his young assistant Joshua “would not move out of the tent.” In the abiding presence of Joshua there is a suggestion that intercession to God on our behalf should not actually come to an end. While we exist, it is fitting that our existence should be lifted to God in prayer. It is fitting that anytime we pray—whether “at the entrance to our tent,” or anywhere else—our intercessor should be standing before God.


But we can dig deeper still. Why is it fitting to have an intercessor before God as we pray? Or, putting the question back in terms of the story from Exodus, why did the Israelites rise and pray at the entrance of their own tents as Moses prayed? Why did that somehow seem like the right time for personal prayer? Surely it was because of that “column of cloud” that indicated the special presence of God.


While the people might have known in some abstract way that God was always present to them, the cloud was a tangible reminder, a summons to prayer. In this sense, the prayer of Moses enabled the people’s prayer. His prayer called down the presence of God in their midst, prompting them to pray.


Yet what is only prefigured in Moses and Joshua is fulfilled in Christ. Christ’s unceasing prayer before God the Father is truly what enables our own prayer. In praying, Christ gives us the gift of prayer.


How does Christ do this? How does he give us the gift of prayer? Again, the presence of God is the key. We can say that Moses “made God present” to the people in a visible but sporadic way through the column of cloud that descended upon the tent of meeting. But Christ makes God present for us in a lasting and personal way by unceasingly asking the Father to send the Holy Spirit into our hearts. Christ is the mediator “who assures us of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit” (CCC, #667).


The Holy Spirit is the fire Christ wishes to cast upon the earth (Luke 12:49), the one who teaches us to pray and unites us to Christ. In receiving the Holy Spirit, we receive the gift of prayer at its very source, God himself.

The Seven In Heaven: Meet The New Saints To Be Canonized In A Few Hours 

The Seven In Heaven: Meet The New Saints To Be Canonized In A Few Hours 

On Sunday 14 October, just a few hours from now, Pope Francis will officially recognize seven new saints of the Catholic Church.

Below are brief biographies on each of their lives, as well as photos of each saint’s banner currently on display at the Vatican.

Blessed Pope Paul VI

Born Giovanni Battista Montini in 1897 and ordained a priest in 1920, he did graduate studies in literature, philosophy, and canon law in Rome before beginning to work for the Vatican Secretariat of State. In 1954, he was named Archbishop of Milan, and in 1958 was made a Cardinal by Pope John XXIII. As a Cardinal, he helped to arrange the Second Vatican Council and chose to continue the council after he became Pope.

Montini was elected as Pope Paul VI in 1963 at age 65, not long after the start of the second Vatican Council. This was a difficult time for the Church and for the world, as the “Sexual Revolution” was in full swing and the struggle for civil rights in the United States in particular was at its peak. Paul VI is perhaps most noted for his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, which served as the Church’s official rebuke to artificial contraception, prohibiting its use.

Paul VI died in 1978 and Pope Francis beatified him in 2014. 

 

Blessed Oscar Romero


Born in 1917 in El Salvador, Romero was auxiliary bishop of San Salvador for four years before being elevated to Archbishop in 1977. He was an outspoken defender of the rights of the poor in El Salvador, who were being terrorized by right-wing military death squads mainly because of protests over the extreme economic inequality in the country in the 20th century.

His weekly homilies, broadcast across the country on radio, were a galvanizing force for the country’s poor as well as a reliable source of news. In addition to speaking out against the government’s actions El Salvador, he also criticized the US government for backing the military junta that seized El Salvador in 1979, and even wrote to Jimmy Carter in February 1980 asking him to stop supporting the repressive regime.

In March 1980, Romero was assassinated, likely by a right-wing death squad, while celebrating Mass.

Pope Francis beatified Romero in 2015.


Blessed Vincent Romano

Born in 1751 and ordained a priest in 1775, Romano had studied the writings of St. Alphonsus de Liguori and developed a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. He spent his whole life as a priest in Torre del Greco and was known for his simple ways and his care for orphans. He worked to rebuild his parish, often with his bare hands, after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1794. He died in December 1831 of pneumonia and was beatified by Paul VI in 1963.

Blessed Francesco Spinelli

Born in Milan in 1853, Spinelli entered the seminary and was ordained a priest in 1875. He began his apostolate educating the poor and also served as a seminary professor, spiritual director, and counselor for several women’s religious communities. In 1882, Fr. Spinelli met Caterina Comensoli, with whom he would found the Institute of the Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. The sisters dedicated themselves to Eucharistic adoration day and night, which inspired their service to the poor and suffering.

He died in 1913. Today his institute has around 250 communities in Italy, Congo, Senegal, Cameroon, Colombia, and Argentina. Their ministries include caring for people with HIV, orphans, drug addicts, and prisoners.

St. John Paul II beatified him in 1992.

Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio

Born in Pescosansonesco, Italy in 1817, Sulprizio lost both of his parents at age six and was brought up by an uncle who exploited him for hard labor. Fatigued and often given dangerous assignments, he developed gangrene and eventually lost his leg. Despite his tremendous suffering, he would reportedly make statements such as: “Jesus suffered a lot for me. Why should I not suffer for Him? I would die in order to convert even one sinner.”

He recovered from the gangrene and dedicated himself to helping other patients before his health deteriorated again. Sulprizio died of bone cancer in 1836, when he was only 19 years old.

Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1963.

Blessed Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa

Born in 1889 in Madrid, Spain, Nazaria was the fourth of 18 children. Growing up, her family was indifferent and sometimes even hostile to her desire to enter religious life, but later she led several family members back to the Church when she entered the Franciscan Third Order. Her family moved to Mexico in 1904, and Nazarie met sisters of the Institute of Sisters of the Abandoned Elders, who inspired her to join their order. In 1915, she chose to take perpetual vows with the order in Mexico City and was assigned to a hospice in Oruro, Bolivia for 12 years.

Beginning in 1920, she felt a call to found a new order dedicated to missionary work. In June 1925, she founded the Pontifical Crusade, later renamed the Congregation of the Missionary Crusaders of the Church, with the mission to catechize children and adults, support the work of priests, conduct missions, and to print and distribute short religious tracts. Many opposed her work, but Nazaria pressed on. Her order cared for soldiers on both sides of the 1932-35 war between Paraguay and Bolivia, and she herself survived persecutions in Spain during the Spanish Civil war. She died in July 1943, and four years later Pope Pius XII finally granted papal approval to the Congregation of the Missionary Crusaders of the Church, which by that time had spread throughout South America and begun work in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Cameroon.

Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1992.


Blessed Maria Katharina Kasper

Born in Dembach, Germany in 1820 as Catherine Kasper, she attended very little school because of poor health. Despite this, she began to help the poor, the abandoned, and the sick at a young age. Her mother taught her household chores, as well as how to spin and weave fabric. After her father died when she was 21, Catherine worked the land as a farm hand for about 10 cents a day. Her helpfulness toward others attracted other women to her, and she felt a call to the religious life, but knew she needed to stay and support her mother, who was in poor health.

After her mother died, Catherine started, with the approval of the bishop of Limburg, Germany, a small house with several friends who also felt the call. In 1851 she and four other women officially took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and formed the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Catherine, known in the religious community as Mother Mary, served five consecutive terms as superior of the house and continued to work with novices and to open houses for their order all over the world. Today there are 690 sisters in 104 houses in Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, Mexico and India.

She died of a heart attack in February 1898, and Pope Paul VI beatified her in 1978.

All photos, Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

%d bloggers like this: