Pope Leo XIII

28 December

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Westminster Abbey was dedicated today in 1065. It was a Benedictine monastery that had been enlarged and re-endowed by King Edward the Confessor, the Anglo-Saxon King of England. His body is buried behind the high altar. Henry III pulled the abbey down in 1245 to make way for the present building, in the Anglo-French Gothic style.

Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, or Childermas, commemorating the babies killed by King Herod in his attempt to get rid of the infant Christ. It was customary in the Middle Ages to whip children today, to illustrate the point.

Pope Leo XIII (pictured above) closed the first year of his reign with the encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris, attacking the evils of socialism, communism and nihilism, today in 1878.

‘They assail the right of property sanctioned by natural law; and by a scheme of horrible wickedness, while they seem desirous of caring for the needs and satisfying the desires of all men, they strive to seize and hold in common whatever has been acquired either by title of lawful inheritance, or by labor of brain and hands, or by thrift in one’s mode of life.’ Quod Apostolici Muneris

St Francis de Sales died today in 1622, after suffering a stroke while staying in a gardener’s hut at a local monastery. He is famous as a mystical and devotional writer, as seen in his book, Introduction to the Devout Life.

‘Better to carry away a little of the love of Christ in our souls, than if we were able to repeat every word of every sermon we ever heard.’ St Francis de Sales

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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