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By That Heart Known

The young man in his cell     Receives his guestWho all his heart should tell     And leave there blest.In quiet companyWe shall a marvel seeAs every thought shall be     By that heart known. To Rome the pilgrims came     Poor as God chose . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

In The River of the Immaculate Conception, James Matthew Wilson confirms his vocation as a public poet. Commissioned by the Benedict XVI Institute, this poem sequence of seven parts leads us through the lives of St. Juan Diego, St. ­Elizabeth Ann Seton, and Père Marquette, with interludes on . . . . Continue Reading »

The Myth of Medieval Paganism

They don’t look very Christian—those strange faces made of leaves, and those women displaying cartoonishly enlarged genitals on the walls of medieval churches. Most people who have explored the medieval architecture of Western Europe have heard a tour guide explain that a particular carving . . . . Continue Reading »

Hawthorne’s Daughter

In 1891, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, daughter of the novelist ­Nathaniel Hawthorne, was received into the Catholic Church. She was forty years old. Within a few years of her conversion she conceived a heroic ministry to destitute cancer patients at a time when cancer was believed to be contagious. She . . . . Continue Reading »

An Icon of St. Margaret

This gold and paint on board, the fillet in her hair—I see resemblance, yes, a slantways glimpse of her Though she is gone away—it was not made from life,For no one is so blithe to pain, as if a laugh Were trembling on her lips, as if the fur like grassAlong the dragon’s jaw were just . . . . Continue Reading »

Joseph

He scrubbed the trough and filled it with fresh hay.The midnight sky was bright and hard and raw; The constellations danced above cold clay. That night the heavens put on a displayThat froze wise man and shepherd mute with awe.He scrubbed the trough and filled it with fresh hay And wondered how long . . . . Continue Reading »

A Paper Church

John Henry Newman joined the Catholic Church on October 9, 1845, after concluding that the via media of Anglo-Catholicism, which he had sought for years to vindicate, existed only in theory, a dream of dons. He had constructed a “paper religion”; his notion of the Church of England . . . . Continue Reading »

Two False Newmans

On October 13, Pope Francis will declare John Henry Newman a saint. Catholics from around the world will crowd St. ­Peter’s Square to see the greatest religious thinker of Victorian England raised to the altars. Amid the joy and apparent concord of that day, there will be at least two . . . . Continue Reading »

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