Tag Archives: Mary

Saint of the Day for Thursday, January 1st, 2015: Mary the Blessed Virgin

Who killed Lord Darnley (Life: the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time)

Who killed Lord Darnley (Life: the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time)

Who killed Lord Darnley (Life: the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time)

Mary, Queen of Scots, was barely one week old when she succeeded to the throne in 1542. The murder 25 years later of Henry Lord Darnley, her consort and the father of the infant who would become King James I of England and James VI of Scotland, remains one of history’s most notorious unsolved crimes. On a Sunday morning in February 1567 Darnley lay sleeping on the upper floor of an Edinburgh house known as Kirk o’ Field. For weeks he had rested there, convalescing from either smallpox or syphilis. Across the city Queen Mary and the baby prince were safely ensconced at Holyrood House. Unknown to Darnley and perhaps unknown to Mary, miscreants had for some time been packing the cellars of Kirk o’ Field with enough gunpowder to blow the structure to smithereens. Around two am the building exploded, a blast heard and felt throughout Edinburgh.

According to Scottish historian Magnus Magnusson, nothing was left of the building, but in an adjoining garden beside a pear tree, townsmen found Darnley’s nightgown-clad corpse. Curiously, he appeared not to have been killed by the explosion but by strangulation. Magnusson speculates that Darnley had tried to escape just before the blast but had been intercepted by his murderer before he could flee.

Complying with royal protocol, Queen Mary observed 40 days of official mourning for her husband. But rumours circulated that Mary’s widow weeds were woven discordantly with threads of insincerity. With Darnley’s death she had, in fact, become a widow for the second time. If her two-year marriage to Darnley had been brief, so too was her earlier marriage to the Dauphin of France, a union that lasted two and a half years before the Dauphin, who had become King Francis II upon his father’s death in 1559, died at age 16 from complications of an ear infection.

Mary was 18 when she returned to her homeland from France, her youthfulness belying the royal ambition that consumed her. If, when shipped off to France some years earlier, she had been nothing more than an innocent political pawn in the game of royal power grabbing, she returned with her own shrewd agenda for Scotland.

Scotland’s renowned 19th-century man of letters, Sir Walter Scott, after noting that Parliament in 1560 had declared Scotland a Protestant nation, wrote about Queen Mary’s return home:

Her youth, for she was only 18 when she returned to Scotland, increased the liveliness of her disposition. The Catholic religion, in which she has been strictly educated, was a great blemish in the eyes of her people…

Predictably, the religious issue became an obstacle in Mary’s reign, and she recognized immediately that in order to avoid rebellion she would reconcile the interests of her Catholic and Protestant nobles. Though she continued to practice her Catholic religion privately, she scrupulously showed no favours to her fellow Catholics. She did not ratify the Reformation Act of 1560, but she made no attempt to revoke it.

Following her return, the royal court was once again, according to Magnusson, the focus of the cultural life of the kingdom, ‘a glittering, cosmopolitan Renaissance court in the style of … Mary’s French in-laws. It was crowded with scholars, poets, artists, and musicians. There was much dancing and merry-making, much playing of billiards, cards and dice late into the night, and much riding and hunting during the day.’ Magnusson imparts, too, that Mary’s life was not all frivolous. She read poetry, history, and theology in several languages. And like most noble women of her time, she busied herself with embroidery and played the lute and the virginal.

For a time Queen Mary seemed in control of her realm, circumspection and intelligence consistently informing her royal decisions. Yet when it was time to remarry she made a costly mistake in her choice of a mate, settling on her first cousin Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, son of the formidable Earl of Lennox. Both Mary and Darnley were great-grandchildren of Henry VII of England, and they both had Tudor and Stuart blood in their veins. Darnley, indeed, was close in line to the thrones of both England and Scotland.

It was not only, however, his impeccable royal lineage that made him attractive to Mary; she had fallen in love. Sir Walter Scott gives us a realistic portrait of the object of Mary’s affection:

Young Darnley was remarkably tall and handsome, perfect in all external and showy accomplishments, but unhappily destitute of sagacity, prudence, steadiness of character, and exhibiting only doubtful courage, though extremely violent in his passions.

Time would prove to Mary that Darnley’s beauty and courtly accomplishments were only skin deep. At the core he was, in Magnusson’s words,’shallow, vain, weak, indolent, selfish, arrogant, vindictive and irremediably spoiled.’ In addition, he was a Lennox, a family with countless enemies both in Scotland and England.

Against the advice of her nobles and in spite of Queen Elizabeth’s expressed displeasure, Mary wed Darnley in July 1565. But as predicted, the bridegroom’s dissolute lifestyle soon angered her, causing her, of course, to second guess her decision. Most nights he roamed the streets of Edinburgh with low-life companions in search of women. He failed to participate in the business of the royal court.

Less than a year after the wedding, Darnley, unhinged by immature jealousy, became involved in the murder of David Rizzio, his wife’s private secretary. Rizzio had come to Scotland from Italy some years previously on a diplomatic mission but remained at the Scottish court as a lute player, singer, and subsequently, as Mary’s assistant. The more outraged Mary became over her husband’s stupidity and lewd behaviour, the more she looked to Rizzio for consolation. At the time she and Rizzio were close, many Scottish Protestant lords were discontent with Mary’s rule. Some of the nobles claimed that Rizzio was a secret agent of the Pope and had usurped their proper places beside the Queen. They easily cajoled the gullible Darnley into believing that Mary and Rizzio were sexual partners, an accusation that historians have found implausible. (At the time, Mary was six months pregnant with Darnley’s child.) They persuaded him to take part in a plot to murder the Italian.

On the night of Saturday, 9th March 1566, Rizzio was dragged screaming from Queen Mary’s side at her supper table in Holyrood House and stabbed some 56 times before life drained from his struggling limbs. It is unclear whether Darnley himself did the dragging or the stabbing or whether one of his henchmen performed the actual slaughter.

Amazingly, Mary forgave–or at least pretended to forgive–Darnley and cleverly managed to sever him from the group of treasonous nobles who had masterminded the Rizzio assassination. With Rizzio still fresh in the minds of the court, another threat to Darnley’s fragile self-esteem soon took centre stage. James Hepburn, fourth Earl of Bothwell (a committed Protestant himself), rushed to Mary’s aid in putting down a rebellion of Protestant conspirators.

Bothwell was Lord Admiral of Scotland, and although he possessed a reputation for bravery, he was also known to be lecherous, brutal, and power hungry. Mary regarded him as her saviour, and he quickly became her most trusted advisor.

By the time Mary gave birth to Lord Darnley’s son in June 1566, her husband had backslid into a life of debauchery, neglecting his royal duties and displaying a sullen resentment towards Mary’s relationship with Bothwell. His disappearance from court prompted talk of a possible annulment of the royal marriage. But when the Queen learned he was seriously ill in Glasgow, she travelled to his bedside and later arranged for a horse-litter to carry him back to Edinburgh to convalesce at Kirk o’ Field. For months Mary had spoken of her husband with nothing but contempt, and the gesture was out of character.

While there is no definite answer to the question of who murdered Lord Darnley, most historians agree that Bothwell–with or without Mary’s complicity–concocted the plot. A house explosion, which gave the crime such flagrant overtones and which scandalized all of Europe, was significant; a disintegrated building would cover tracks, making it impossible to prove anything. To be sure there was no direct evidence establishing Bothwell as the murderer, but for those associated with the royal court it was only too easy to guess. Bothwell was a ruthless opportunist aiming at nothing less than the kingship of Scotland.

Typical of the era, the events following Darnley’s murder were dramatic, ruthless, and bloody. Bothwell kidnapped, raped (so Mary claimed), and married the Queen. Predictably, within days of the wedding Mary was reduced to suicidal despair by Bothwell’s abuse. Yet her willingness to marry Bothwell was not as absurd as it might seem. In spite of all she had been through, Mary remained politically astute. In the political power game playing out around her, she needed a strong ally to protect her from rebellious noblemen. Indeed, Bothwell notwithstanding, less than a year after Darnley’s death the Scottish lords forced Mary to abdicate and flee to England. For the next two decades she was held prisoner by Queen Elizabeth I and finally executed in England at Fotheringhay Castle in 1587.

There is no hint of any culpability on Queen Mary’s part in regard to the Darnley murder in Sir Walter Scott’s romantic epitaph:

Thus died Queen Mary, aged a little above 44 years. She was eminent for beauty, for talents, and accomplishments, nor is there reason to doubt her natural goodness of heart, and courageous manliness of disposition. Yet she was in every sense one of the most unhappy Princesses that ever lived, from the moment she came into the world, in an hour of defeat and danger, to that in which a bloody and violent death closed a weary captivity of 18 years.

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/the-murder-of-lord-darnley.htm#sthash.jMVAtWp5.dpuf

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this day in the yesteryear: Pope Pius IX Defines Immaculate Conception as Dogma (1854)

Pope Pius IX Defines Immaculate Conception as Dogma (1854)

The Immaculate Conception is the Roman Catholic dogma that asserts that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was preserved from the stain of original sin—the condition of sin that marks all humans as a result of Adam’s first act of disobedience—at the moment of her conception. In 1709, Pope Clement XI made the feast of the Immaculate Conception a holy day of obligation—145 years before it became official church dogma. The Immaculate Conception is often confused with what other church doctrine? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Queenship of Mary

Queenship of Mary

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was identified with the title of “Queen” at least as early as the 13th century. On October 11, 1954, during the Marian year that marked the centenary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Pope Pius XII established the feast of the Queenship of Mary on May 31. After the Second Vatican Council, the feast (classified as an obligatory memorial) was changed to August 22 so that it would follow the Feast of the Assumption on August 15. More… Discuss

Vox Luminis, Thomas Weelkes, Death hath deprived me – LIVE090112: make music partofyour life series

Vox Luminis, Thomas Weelkes, Death hath deprived me – LIVE090112

Vox Luminis

Thomas Weelkes
1576 – 1623
“Death hath deprived me of my dearest friend”
Eulogy on the death of Thomas Morley in 1602

Zsuzsi Toth, Alice Foccroulle
Helen Cassano, Kerlijne van Nevel
Barnabas Hegyi, Tore Denys
Olivier Berten, Philippe Froeliger
Lionel Meunier, Robert Buckland
Bertrand Delvaux, Pieter Stas, Nemanja Milicevic

Lionel Meunier (artistic direction)

Live during a recording session in Beaufays/ Belgium

The CD will include the British Royal Funeral Music, the funeral sentences by Thomas Morley and Henry Purcell and funeral motets and will appear sometime in 2013 at the label Ricercar.

Saint of the Day for Saturday, July 26th, 2014: Sts. Joachim and Anne

Image of Sts. Joachim and Anne

Sts. Joachim and Anne

By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. … continue reading


More Saints of the Day

this day in the yesteryear: Mary Queen of Scots Is Deposed (1567)

Mary Queen of Scots Is Deposed (1567)

Mary Stuart was Queen of Scotland from 1542 to 1567. She was forced to abdicate the throne after her husband, Lord Darnley, was murdered and she was implicated in the plot. Mary then fled to England, where she faced a murder inquiry and became a prisoner of the English government. After conspiracies to put her on the throne of England were uncovered, she was tried for treason and ultimately beheaded. Some say her executioners asked for her forgiveness. What is she said to have replied? More… Discuss

Saint of the Day for Wednesday, July 16th, 2014: St. Carmen (Patronal Feast Day )

today’s holiday: Feast of Our Lady of Carmel

Feast of Our Lady of Carmel

Our Lady of Carmel (the Madonna del Carmine) is the patroness of the city of Naples, Italy. Her festival is celebrated with dancing, singing, and magnificent fireworks displays. Brightly decorated wax replicas of human body parts used to be sold at booths near the church, and people suffering from various physical ailments appealed to the Madonna to restore their health by offering her these replicas of the diseased portions of their bodies. Her feast is also observed by Italian Americans in the United States. More… Discuss

Georges Brassens: La Prière (The Prayer)


La Prière

Par le petit garçon qui meurt près de sa mère
Tandis que des enfants s’amusent au parterre
Et par l’oiseau blessé qui ne sait pas comment
Son aile tout à coup s’ensanglante et descend
Par la soif et la faim et le délire ardent
Je vous salue, Marie.

Par les gosses battus, par l’ivrogne qui rentre
Par l’âne qui reçoit des coups de pied au ventre
Et par l’humiliation de l’innocent châtié
Par la vierge vendue qu’on a déshabillée
Par le fils dont la mère a été insultée
Je vous salue, Marie.

Par la vieille qui, trébuchant sous trop de poids
S’écrie: ” Mon Dieu ! ” par le malheureux dont les bras
Ne purent s’appuyer sur une amour humaine
Comme la Croix du Fils sur Simon de Cyrène
Par le cheval tombé sous le chariot qu’il traîne
Je vous salue, Marie.

Par les quatre horizons qui crucifient le monde
Par tous ceux dont la chair se déchire ou succombe
Par ceux qui sont sans pieds, par ceux qui sont sans mains
Par le malade que l’on opère et qui geint
Et par le juste mis au rang des assassins
Je vous salue, Marie.

Par la mère apprenant que son fils est guéri
Par l’oiseau rappelant l’oiseau tombé du nid
Par l’herbe qui a soif et recueille l’ondée
Par le baiser perdu par l’amour redonné
Et par le mendiant retrouvant sa monnaie
Je vous salue, Marie.

The Prayer

For the little boy who lays dying close to his mother
While children play on the flower bed
And for the wounded bird that doesn’t know how
His wing became suddenly bloody and falls from the sky
For the thirst and the hunger and the feverous delirium
Hail, Mary

For the beaten children, for the drunk who returns home
For the ass who gets kicked in the stomach
And for the humiliation of the innocents who are punished
For the sold virgin that is undressed
For the son whose mother has been insulted
Hail, Mary

For the old woman who stumbles under too much weight
Exclaiming “My God!”, for the unfortunate ones whose arms
Couldn’t rely on a human love
Like Simon of Cyrene bearing the Cross of the Son
For the fallen horse under the chariot that it drags
Hail, Mary

For the four horizons that crucify the world
For all those whose flesh is torn or dies
For all those who are without feet, who are without hands
For the sick that are operated on and moan
And for the just put among the ranks of killers
Hail, Mary

For the mother learning that her son is healed
For the bird calling the fallen bird back to the nest
For the thirsty grass that gathers rain
For the lost kiss returned by love
And for the beggar who finds his money again
Hail, Mary

TODAY’S SAINT – MAY 16: St. Simon Stock

St. Simon Stock

Image of St. Simon Stock


Feastday: May 16

Although little is known about Simon Stock’s early life, legend has it that the name Stock, meaning “tree trunk,” derives from the fact that, beginning at age twelve, he lived as a hermit in a hollow tree trunk of an oak tree. It is also believed that, as a young man, he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where he joined a group of Carmelites with whom he later returned to Europe. Simon Stock founded many Carmelite Communities, especially in University towns such as Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, and Bologna, and he helped to change the Carmelites from a hermit Order to one of mendicant friars. In 1254 he was elected Superior-General of his Order at London. Simon Stock’s lasting fame came from an apparition he had in Cambridge, England, on July 16, 1251, at a time when the Carmelite Order was being oppressed. In it the Virgin Mary appeared to him holding the brown scapular in one hand. Her words were: “Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel. He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection.” The scapular (from the Latin, scapula, meaning “shoulder blade”) consists of two pieces of cloth, one worn on the chest, and the other on the back, which were connected by straps or strings passing over the shoulders. In certain Orders, monks and nuns wear scapulars that reach from the shoulders almost to the ground as outer garments. Lay persons usually wear scapulars underneath their clothing; these consist of two pieces of material only a few inches square. There are elaborate rules governing the wearing of the scapular: although it may be worn by any Catholic, even an infant, the investiture must be done by a priest. And the scapular must be worn in the proper manner; if an individual neglects to wear it for a time, the benefits are forfeited. The Catholic Church has approved eighteen different kinds of scapulars of which the best known is the woolen brown scapular, or the Scapular of Mount Carmel, that the Virgin Mary bestowed on Simon Stock. His feast day is May 16th.

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Saint of the Day for Saturday, May 3rd, 2014: ST. JAMES THE LESSER

Image of St. James the Lesser

St. James the Lesser

St. James the Less, the author of the first Catholic Epistle, was the son of Alphaeus of Cleophas. His mother Mary was either a sister or a close relative of the Blessed Virgin, and for that reason, … continue reading

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ST. MARY OF EGYPT – Feastday: April 2

Image of St. Mary of Egypt

Feastday: April 2

Patron of Chastity (warfare against the flesh; deliverance from carnal passions); Demons (deliverance from); Fever; Skin diseases; Temptations of the flesh

Birth: 344

Death: 421

In Cyril of Scythopolis‘ life of St. Cyryacus, he tells of a woman named Mary found by Cyryacus and his companions living as a hermitess in the Jordanian desert. She told him she had been a famous singer and actress who had sinned and was doing penance in the desert. When they returned, she was dead. Around the story was built an elaborate legend that had tremendous popularity during the Middle Agesaccording to which she was an Egyptian who went to Alexandria when she was twelve and lived as an actress and courtesan for seventeen years. She was brought to the realization of her evil life before an icon of the Blessed Virgin, and at Mary’s direction, went to the desert east of Palestine, where she lived as a hermitess for forty-seven years, not seeing a single human being and beset by all kinds of temptations, which were mitigated by her prayers to the Blessed Virgin. She was discovered about 430 by a holy man named Zosimus, who was impressed by her spiritual knowledge and wisdom. He saw her the following Lent, but when he returned, he found her dead and buried her. When he returned to his monastery near the Jordan, he told the brethren what had happened and the story spread. Her feast day is April 2.

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TODAY’S SAINT: ST. JOSEEPH – Feastday: March 19 Patron of the Universal Church

Image of St. Joseph

St. Joseph

Feastday: March 19

Patron of the Universal Church

Everything we know about the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus comes from Scriptureand that has seemed too little for those who made up legends about him.

We know he was a carpenter, a working man, for the skeptical Nazarenes ask about Jesus, “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” (Matthew 13:55). He wasn’t rich for when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and Mary to be purified he offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24).

Despite his humble work and means, Joseph came from a royal lineage. Luke and Matthew disagree some about the details of Joseph’s genealogy but they both mark his descent from David, the greatest king of Israel (Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38). Indeed the angel who first tells Joseph about Jesusgreets him as “son of David,” a royal title used also for Jesus.

We know Joseph was a compassionate, caring man. When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been betrothed, he knew the child was not his but was as yet unaware that she was carrying the Son of God. He planned to divorce Mary according to the law but he was concerned for her suffering and safety. He knew that women accused to adultery could be stoned to death, so he decided to divorce her quietly and not expose her to shame or cruelty (Matthew 1:19-25).

We know Joseph was man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome. When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth about the child Mary was carrying, Joseph immediately and without question or concern for gossip, took Mary as his wife. When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby. He waited inEgypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Matthew 2:13-23).

We know Joseph loved Jesus. His one concern was for the safety of this child entrusted to him. Not only did he leave his home to protect Jesus, but upon his return settled in the obscure town of Nazarethout of fear for his life. When Jesus stayed in the Temple we are told Joseph (along with Mary) searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Luke 2:48). We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son for over and over the people of Nazareth say of Jesus, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” (Luke 4:22)

We know Joseph respected God. He followed God’s commands in handling the situation with Mary and going to Jerusalem to have Jesus circumcised and Mary purified after Jesus’ birth. We are told that he took his family to Jerusalem every year for Passover, something that could not have been easy for a working man.

Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus’ public life, at his death, or resurrection, many historians believeJoseph probably had died before Jesus entered public ministry.

Joseph is the patron of the dying because, assuming he died before Jesus’ public life, he died withJesus and Mary close to him, the way we all would like to leave this earth.

Joseph is also patron of the universal Church, fathers, carpenters, and social justice.

We celebrate two feast days for Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 forJoseph the Worker.

There is much we wish we could know about Joseph — where and when he was born, how he spent his days, when and how he died. But Scripture has left us with the most important knowledge: who he was — “a righteous man” (Matthew 1:18).

In His Footsteps:Joseph was foster father to Jesus. There are many children separated from families and parents who need foster parents. Please consider contacting your local Catholic Charities or Division of FamilyServices about becoming a foster parent.

Prayer:Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church, watch over the Church as carefully as you watched over Jesus, help protect it and guide it as you did with your adopted son. Amen




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FABULOUS COMPOSITIONS/PERFORMANCES: Marian Anderson “Ave Maria” by Schubert

Marian Anderson “Ave Maria” by Schubert
With Leopold Stokowski, 1944
Latin Text
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

English Translation
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

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Marian Anderson – “Deep River” (Spiritual)

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Saint of the Day for Monday, February 17th, 2014: ST. ALEXIS FALCONIERI

Saint of the Day for Monday, February 17th, 2014


Saint Alexis Falconieri

St. Alexis Falconieri

Feastday: February 17
Patron of the city of Orvieto (Italy)
1200 – 1310
Founder and mystic, one of the first Servants of Mary or Servites. The son of a wealthy merchant in Florence, Italy, Alexis and six companions joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin in … continue reading


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Saint of the Day for Thursday, January 23rd, 2014: ST. ILDEPHONSUS

Saint of the Day for Thursday, January 23rd, 2014


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Stanford: Magnificat in G — Choir of Salisbury Cathedral

The Choir of Salisbury Cathedral, under the direction of David Halls, perform Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford‘s setting of the Magnificat in G. Stanford’s G Major settings of the evening canticles are among the most recognisable musical settings of those texts, and the Magnificat in particular, with its effervescent organ part and demanding treble solo, is among the most popular and most recorded staples of the Anglican cathedral music repertoire. 

On this Marian-themed disk from Salisbury Cathedral, Daniel Cook and Simon Jacobs are at the cathedral’s mighty Willis organ, and an unnamed chorister leads the choir through the Mangificat with the piece’s signature treble solo.

[ Text: ]

My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded: the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth: all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him: throughout all generations.

He hath showed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel: as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be
World without end.

[ Recording available on the disk ‘The Virgin Mary‘s Journey’ (Griffin: 2006). ]


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From the Vatican: Angelus Domini 2014-01-01

Streamed live on Jan 1, 2014

Every Sunday and on the main liturgical feasts, the Pope recites the Marian prayer of the Angelus with the pilgrims. Before and after the prayer, he delivers a brief reflection and issues greetings.



The Babington Plot

Mary Queen of Scots was the Catholic monarch during the Scottish Reformation. Forced to abdicate, she fled to England and was welcomed but then imprisoned by Elizabeth I, who considered Mary a threat due to her Catholicism and her strong claim to the throne through her grandmother, Margaret Tudor. During her 18-year imprisonment, Mary endlessly schemed to gain her freedom but was beheaded when the Babington Plot—to murder Elizabeth and place Mary on the throne—was discovered. Who was Babington? More… Discuss



Merchant Royal Sinks, Taking Cargo of Gold and Silver with Her (1641)

A holy grail of marine salvage, the wreck of theMerchant Royal, one of the most valuable of all time, has eluded treasure hunters for centuries. When the leaky, 17th-century English merchant ship sank in rough weather in the vicinity of the Isles of Scilly and southwestern England, she took with her a fabled cargo of gold, silver, and precious gems worth over a billion dollars today. Among the riches lost in the wreck was the money to pay whom?More…


Let It Be: The Beatles

Let It Be lyrics
Songwriters: Lennon, John Winston; Mccartney, James Paul;

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

And when the brokenhearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be

For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Yeah, there will be an answer let it be
[| From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/b/beatles-lyrics/let-it-be-lyrics.html |]

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be

I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Yeah, let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

Let It Be is the 12th and final studio album released by the English rock band The Beatles. It was released on 8 May 1970 by the band’s Apple Records label shortly after the group announced their break-up.

Most of Let It Be was recorded in January 1969, before the recording and release of the album Abbey Road. For this reason some critics and fans, such as Mark Lewisohn, argue that Abbey Road should be considered the group’s final album and Let It Be the penultimate. Let It Be was originally intended to be released before Abbey Road during mid-1969 as Get Back, but The Beatles were unhappy with this version, which was mixed and compiled by Glyn Johns, and it was temporarily shelved. A new version of the album was created by Phil Spector in 1970 and finally released as Let It Be, serving as the album for the 1970 motion picture of the same name. While three songs from the sessions were released as singles before the album’s release, “Get Back“/”Don’t Let Me Down” and “Let It Be“, the songs were remixed by Spector for the album and “Don’t Let Me Down” was not included.

Despite a largely negative review from Rolling Stone magazine at the time of its release, the album was ranked number 86 in the magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time in 2003.[1]

Let It Be… Naked was released in 2003, an alternative version of the album stripping much of Phil Spector‘s production work and using some different versions of songs.