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Showing posts from September, 2008

Commodities: A Brief Lesson

St Mary Magdalen's Church, Brighton

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My Parish Priest

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This is my Parish Priest. We are very fond of him because he is generous and merciful. He's just come back from Germany. He too has written something on his blog at St Mary Magdalen's about the potential tragedies of economic depression. Good to know me and a holy priest are thinking along the same lines.

Funny Film

Stigmatisation

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A friend of mine has helped at least two teenagers who were kicked out of their family homes when they were honest about their sexual orientation. One of them is Catholic. How could a Catholic father do that?

Blair to Lecture Students at Yale on Faith and Education

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Crikey! The former Prime Minister who during his tenancy of Number 10 was a leading pro-abortionist, war criminal and champion of civil partnerships for gays, became Catholic last year. Suddenly he is cleaning up on the lecturing circuit. Wonder how much he is getting for this latest speech to Yale students in the US. He is expected to get a mixed reaction. I know we are bound to forgive our brothers and sisters when they make mistakes. What annoys me about him is that, publicly, he doesn't seem to have changed his mind about anything he did while he was in office. Secondly, he's making a bomb (excuse the pun) out of what, aside from the massive achievement of Northern Ireland, was a disasterous period in UK political history, for the Pro-Life movement, global peace and stability and important rights and liberties which he undermined. Thirdly, he's lecturing young people on faith, while when he was PM, he seemed to indicate that the war in Iraq was a decision whic…

Chess is Cool

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Err...We knew that already. My friend and sister, Vanessa taught me to play chess a couple of years ago. I am eternally grateful to her. It is a great game! And clearly this rather glamorous young Russian lady is raising the profile.

Many male chess players on seeing this picture will be thinking, "Crikey, she can bash my bishop anyday!" Chess is dead sexy. All that tension! Will he? Won't he? Will she, won't she? Oh bollock's, I've lost my knight.

From The Telegraph:
Alexandra Kosteniuk, 23, has worked as a catwalk and swimsuit model to raise the profile of the game.She also sells sultry semi-clad photographs of herself, and has made a 36-minute video which shows her "doing exercises on Miami beach".The modelling exploits have raised eyebrows among critics, who believe it distracts from the intellectual importance of chess. But Miss Kosteniuk has more than proved her talent for the game after being crowned "Queen of Chess" at the wo…

Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Padre Pio recited this novena every day for all those who requested his prayers.

My good friend and brother in the US, Joseph and I are going to pray this for a Catholic friend of his who is very, very ill and for one or two others who I know.

There are many acts of kindness and generosity we can do for others, but the kindest and most generous thing you can do for someone is to pray for them, because Our Lord has the power to bless, heal and bring peace. Our Lord, in His Heart, has treasures and gifts of which we can only dream.

Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of...... (here name your request)
Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.


II. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Fat…

Genius!

Apparently, the character of Dr Strangelove was based on Henry Kissenger. LMAO!

New Conspiracy Theory on Large Hadron Collider

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A new conspiracy theory has emerged that the Large Hadron Collider, officially designed and built to discover what happened a billionth of a second after the Big Bang, is, in fact, a gigantic washing machine and tumble dryer for Europe's clothing, should the worst case scenario occur and everyone's washing machines break in a freak lightning storm.

An offical speaking on behalf of the LHC project refuted the claim, saying, "There is no basis to the allegations that the LHC is a giant washer/dryer. I mean, how could we create a mini-black hole which could swallow the Universe and turn everyone into goo in an overblown and ridiculous attempt to solve the most important questions which have fascinated mankind since the beginning of time, if it were being used for...I mean, cut! Err, can we run the interview again? I, I, gosh is that the time? I've got to dash, I've got to go to a meeting..."

Gianna Jessen: Abortion Survivor

If Obama had got his way, ladies such as Gianna Jessen in the future would not have survived to tell their story.

Obamessiah? My Arse!

Johnny Cash R.I.P

The Majestic Neil Young

Why is the Church Against the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill?

http://www.writetothem.com/

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will see its final debate in October. Now is the time for all those concerned with the sanctity of human life, religious or not, to write to their MPs while the Pro-Life All Parliamentary Party Group lobbies as much as it can to have this bill scrapped. No potential cure, for which there is no evidence, is worth the harvesting, mutilation of and destruction of countless human embryos. You can write to your MP at the above link.

If you feel passionately against this Bill you can sign an e-petition to Downing Street here:

You can also sign and e-petition to Her Royal Highness, the Queen, to ask her to stop Royal Assent to the Bill, should it get through Parliament:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/eccematertua/index.html

Brown to Clean Up the City

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Gordon Brown has pledged to "clean-up" the financial system following the rescue of Britain's biggest mortgage lender HBOS by Lloyds TSB.

Well, I suppose that's one job he could do once voters have whipped his sorry, power-crazed, anti-Life arse out of Downing Street.

"Here's the mop, here's the bucket. Oh, yes, you're much better at this job. You're a natural!"

Yes, the Church Respects Science

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With thanks to Independent Catholic News
Vatican to Host Congress on Evolution
An international conference entitled: "Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories. A Critical Appraisal 150 years after 'The Origin of Species'". is conference idue to be held in Rome from 3 to 7 March 2009.

The congress has been jointly organised by the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, U.S.A., under the patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture and as part of the STOQ Project (Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest).

The news was announced yesterday by Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Fr Marc Leclerc SJ, professor of the philosophy of nature at the Pontifical Gregorian University; Gennaro Auletta, scientific director of the STOQ Project and professor of the philosophy of science at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and Alessandro Minelli, professor of zoology at the University of Padu…

Land of the Free?

O Mother, I Can Feel The Soil Falling Over My Head

The numbers have gone green and the arrows are pointing up!

MARKET DATA - 11:42 UK

FTSE 100
4992.30up
79.90 1.63%
Dax
5932.58up
71.60 1.22%
Cac 40
4046.59up
46.48 1.16%

Gosh, what a rollercoaster ride market trading is! I'm off to Seville to buy a nice pair of slacks!

Morrissey on Objective Moral Disorders

Objective Moral Disorders

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I've recently thought that Objective Moral Disorders would potentially be a good name for a punk band. I mean, Laurence England and the Objective Moral Disorders has potential as a band name. God knows, I've got a few!

However, I was thinking, that with regard to the gay community, one phrase the Church uses that really riles them is 'objective moral disorder' with regard to homosexuality. I don't mind the phrase myself because really all that means is that I am a sinner dependent on God's mercy. But, I think, that if you were an alien observing Earth (above is a picture of what an alien looks like), you would begin to wonder what on earth we are doing here.

Let's assume that the alien species in question did all they could to maintain life on their planet and ensure that the survival of the species was their raison d'etre. Then they observe us.

So calling back to Planet Zorg, alien says:

"This is Alfred calling Planet Zorg, over."
"Hea…

Off for the Weekend to San Lorenzo in Seville

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I was hoping there might be some relics of my patron, St Lawrence, Martyr of the Church, in Seville, but no. I am going there for the weekend with a beautiful friend who I love dearly.

Sex Education For 6 Year Olds

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I'm not easily shocked or outraged. However, I am not sure the Government's efforts to halt teenage pregnancies will be greatly improved by introducing sex education for 6 year olds. As I said in the article below, let children be children! For the full article see the link.

Song for AIG Insurance Bank

News Just In!

MARKET DATA - 00:19 UK

FTSE 100
4912.40down
-113.20 -2.25%

Dow Jones
10609.66down
-449.36 -4.06%

Nasdaq
2098.85down
-109.05 -4.94%

Can anyone explain to me why news websites, TV news and radio news all give us these figures? I mean, do the newscasters think that on hearing it we are all scrambling around checking our shares kept neatly in filing cabinets? I would like to know the percentage of the population who take notice of any of these figures!

If the economy is good, why can't they just say, "Well, the economy is doing alright, so why not treat yourself to a nice dress or a good pair of slacks tomorrow," and give us a little wink. If the economy is bad, they could say, "Markets are a bit screwy at the moment, its what we call in the trading industry a funny turn." And then, if billions of dollars or pounds are being wiped off day by day and huge investment banks go under, depriving thousands of their livelihoods they could just say, "The economic out…

Money Can't Buy You Love. But It Can Buy You a Giant Shark in Formaldehyde

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"What a snip at just £9.6 million pounds. I like it! I mean this is the kind of thing that could really liven up the front room. No, it doesn't go with the curtains. No, the bathroom. Ouch, no, that would really awaken those childhood 'Jaws' fears of the Great White coming out of the plug hole. Okay, the bedroom, yes, perfect! Oh no, hang on, do I really want to wake up to that every day? God that thing could give me nightmares no end! Okay the dining room. Oh, but it might put me off my food. Tell, you what, lets put it in the garage for a while and just be content and smug that its famous and I own it and its mine! All mine! Mua-hah-hah!"

Modern art doesn't make me angry. I mean, give the guy credit, he thought of it first. I suppose the really annoying thing about Damien Hirst's fish/mammals in formaldehyde in tanks lark is that very little of the creation is actually his. In truth, if you're going to put one of God's most fearsom…

Songs to Sing in Economic Meltdown III

Songs to Sing in Economic Meltdown II

Songs to Sing in Economic Meltdown I

St Francis before the Pope II

St Francis before the Pope I

Apologetics

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"Tell me Loz, do you think that if the carpenter who delivered the Sermon on the Mount returned to Earth, would He recognise His church? I think that St Francis of Assisi summed it up beatifically when he declared that 'for evil to work requires not active assistance by Man, but mere acquiescence'."

"I have a friend who i went to law school with, who is currently representing a client's claim against the Church. I have no problem in forgiving the sinful priest, I have serious problems with forgiving the Church which has repeatedly tried to buy off my friend and his client."

On the whole I want friends and relatives and strangers to comment in the comments section, because the good thing about a blog is that it can be a forum for differing views to be shared. Even though I enjoy having the final say (who doesn't?) I enjoy debate and hearing what other people think.

And talking of the final say, above I have posted Michaelangelo's 'The Last Jud…

The Saint of the Day After Tomorrow

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Today's Saint is St Robert Bellarmine, who was a great Saint. However, because I am shallow I am moving straight onto the Saint of the day after tomorrow, St Joseph Cupertino, simply for the reason that he could fly.

Not only am I shallow but lazy, so here is the info on St Joseph Cupertino, which again, I have shamelessly nicked from someone else's blog. He is a Priest, so I believe he will not sue.

Born in a stable in 1603, he was mocked for walking about somewhat spacey. It was not thought that he was very bright or as we would say today, all there. Later, it was discovered that this was not due to mental dullness but because, even as a child, he received ecstatic visions that left him in speechless wonder.He applied at 17 for admittance to the Friars Minor Conventuals but was rejected because of his lack or learning. However, the Capuchins accepted him as lay brother. When it became evident that his spiritual ecstasies made him unsuitable for work, and he seem incompetent …

Two Healthy Babies are Miscarried for Every Three Down's Syndrome Babies Detected and Prevented from Being Born

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With thanks to Fr Tim Finegan

Do I have a death wish? Possibly, but frankly it is worth it.

Let us call the recent drive to encourage a method of "search and destroy" for unborn children with Down's Syndrome what it is. Eugenics. When it was discovered in the post-war period that Hitler wanted to do something akin to this, namely, creating a super race (let us remember that he even saw merely being of Jewish blood as a disease, such was his murderous delusion) everyone condemned his motives outright.

So, let's get this straight. For every three Down's Syndrome babies detected and "prevented from being born," there is now "concern" that healthy babies may mistakenly being "prevented from being born," as a result of the tests. So, this "concern" does not extend to the babies with Downs Syndrome, because they are not, what? Human? The "concern" does not extend to the babies with Downs Syndrome because they someh…

Mozzer's Hero: Cracking Article on Oscar Wilde

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With thanks to the Catholic Education Resource Center

The Long Conversion of Oscar Wilde
ANDREW MCCRACKEN

Oscar Wilde is widely celebrated as an artist persecuted for his homosexuality, a sort of protomartyr for the cause of gay rights. The current celebration of Wilde as gay martyr is certainly one legitimate interpretation of his life, but it oversimplifies his complexity; indeed, it ignores the major movement of his life, a life that may also be seen as a long and difficult conversion to the Roman Catholic Church.

"I am not a Catholic," said Oscar Wilde. "I am simply a violent Papist." This statement, like so many of Wilde's outrageous paradoxes, conceals a sober truth beneath its blithe wit. Another example would be his jest that, of all religions, Catholicism is the only one worth dying in. Looking back over his life more than a hundred years later, we can be forgiven for seeing the irony in such statements, for Wilde's fascination with Catholicism, its my…

Mozzer!

Abortion and the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

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I have just received an email complaint from somebody who I still regard as a good friend with whom I once worked at an international charity. Together, based on a principle espoused by the organisation which is enshrined in the UN International Convenant of Human Rights, we campaigned against poverty. Poverty, we agreed, is a denial of fundamental human rights.

Now, leaving aside the fact that the law of God (Do not kill) is above the law of Man, regardless of the political thought of the day, the only other reasonable, legally-based argument against current abortion law is one that is entrenched in human rights law.

Here are three very poignant articles of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on which we can all agree.

Part III Article 6
1. "Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life."

Part III Article 6
3. "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cr…

More on SPUC

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Please visit SPUC and read their new leaflet "Under pressure", which explains the latest proposed pro-abortion amendments to the Abortion Act. These amendments are due to be considered (if selected for debate by the Speaker) by MPs in October at the Report stage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill. October's parliamentary debate on these pro-abortion amendments could lead to the most damaging extension of the Abortion Act for over 40 years.

Please help us alert people to this threat by ordering a supply of leaflets to distribute. Would you consider ordering sufficient leaflets to distribute them in your street or in a number of streets in your local area? You can order leaflets by contacting Liz Foody at SPUC HQ, email lizfoody@spuc.org.uk , phone (0)20 7091 7091.

You might also consider approaching local clergy at your place of worship or other local places of worship, asking them to allow you and/or others to distribute the leaflets and encouraging clergy to o…

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children E-petition

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An aborted baby recovered from a bin outside an abortion clinic

In the Catholic Church we are against abortion because it amounts to the taking of innocent life in the womb.

SPUC usually does not promote online petitions due to their limited merits compared with other campaigning tools. Due to the gravity and urgency of the current situation, however, we would encourage you to please sign (and ask others to sign) the online petition at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Anti-Abortion/

This e-petition to the Prime Minister reads:

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to deny any extension planned for the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland, as we believe in the right to life."

For further information, please visit the lobbying page on SPUC's website http://www.spuc.org.uk/lobbying/hfe/

Pope Benedict XVI: Saints Knew They Were Sinners

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LOURDES, France, SEPT. 15, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The only thing that separates a saint from a sinner is that a saint looks less at himself and more at Christ and his love, says the Pope.

The Pope offered a commentary on the Eucharist on Sunday night at the conclusion of the Eucharistic procession in the prairie at the Marian shrine in Lourdes.

The Holy Father visited Lourdes this weekend to participate in the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the Marian apparitions there. He returned to Rome today."Let us accept; may you accept to offer yourselves to him who has given us everything, who came not to judge the world, but to save it, accept to recognize in your lives the presence of him who is present here, exposed to our view. Accept to offer him your very lives," the Pontiff said in his short address.

Benedict XVI noted that some 2,000 years ago Mary accepted "to give everything, to offer her body so as to receive the Body of the Creator."

"Everything came…

Definitely a Step Too Far!

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/education/2967796/Primary-schools-should-celebrate-homosexuality.html

While the victims of abuse and the Church itself have suffered terribly from the actions of some Priests and Clergy, whose treatment of children was horrific and scandalous, Our Lord said that it would be better for someone to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea, than scandalize 'any of these little ones.' Those who abuse children have to answer to God for their actions. The Church prays for the victims, the families and for the repentance of the abusers themselves. Pope Benedict XVI, himself, publicly and privately mourns for the victims and prays for the forgiveness of God. In every country he visits which has suffered from the scandals, he publicly apologises for the crimes of abuse that have taken place. The Church has always believed that the scandalisation of children is a great crime and to be avoided at all costs, e…

Funny Sketch: Big Train

Ave Maria

Background on the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Police Squad!

More Flight of the Conchords

Marvin says it better than I ever could!

Some Thoughts on the Economic Turmoil

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As another massive investment bank goes bankrupt and rumours of a 1930s style global economic meltdown begin to increase, I suppose the really worrying aspect of it all is the social and political consequences. When times are good, people are obviously kinder. As long as people have a roof over their head and a bit of money and can feed themselves society does function. In these circumstances, liberal, parliamentary democracy flourishes, even if we think that half of the time, MPs are a bit naff and don't make the right decisions. The worst aspect of a global recession is not unemployment and economic gloom. The worst aspect is that things we took for granted such as a parliamentary democracy, liberty and civil rights suddenly come under threat.

When the proverbial hits the fan in the economy, people look for strong leadership. In Latin America, where there is often economic instability, the electorate sometimes are just relieved when a military dictatorship takes over and ju…

Courageous Commentator Olbermann With his Finger on the Pulse

The Debate Continues to Rage

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Well, the debate over 'Creationism Vs Science' continues to hot up on BBC. As a Catholic I find this debate so tedious it is spinning my head out. The real confusion is for atheists who purport that just because Sacred Scripture says the World was made in 6 days (and the inference that it all occurred 8,000 years ago) that the author, who was most definitely guided by the Holy Spirit, meant all of this literally. Then, on the other hand, 'Bible Christians' have a few problems in this argument too, because due to their lack of Holy Tradition, they have not understood the full depths of the Book of Genesis, and are reading it literally also. In some ways, you cannot blame the scientists fury!

As any scientist worth his salt would tell you that if the Book of Genesis went into a literal discussion of how the World and the Universe was formed, not only would the Large Hadron Collider have been unnecessary (someone explain to me its necessity!) but the story of Creation …

Wall Street and the City: "Turn the machines back on!"

Morrissey on How Not to Pray (But we do sympathise, dear man!)

Still Harbouring Dreams of Wedded Bliss...Sigh

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This year saw the 40th anniversary of Humane Vitae, the 1968 encyclical by Pope Paul VI to the Church. I have read it and compared to the state of modern relationships (some of which I have been in) it really does make a lot of sense to me.

As a Priest friend of mine recently said, "It isn't easy living in the Garden of Eden after the Fall." How right he is! I suppose that being something of a dandy in bohemian Brighton it would seem strange to many that I should still want to marry. I'm a poor romantic at heart.

I'll be honest with you. I'm a gay man in Brighton and have had gay "experiences". The gay lifestyle seems to be so attractive to many, but I know its a lonely Cross for many others. I suppose that ultimately, I feel that there is something greatly missing from a relationship with a man. To me it feels a bit empty and devoid of real meaning. So, very often, as soon as one looks like it is in the offing I turn off. I can never real…

Barefoot Walking

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I know this is going to sound awfully hippy and new age, but on walking to town to collect my car the other day I had a sudden urge to take off my sandals and walk barefoot. Near where I live there is not much glass on the ground but obviously the closer you get to town the more glass appears as you approach the pubs and clubs.

I must say it does feel strangely liberating and comforting to feel my feet landing on solid ground. Perhaps because there is a lack of solid ground in my life, it compensates! Once you get closer into town it is impossible though, without getting glass stuck in your soles!

When I go to Seville at the weekend I will try it there. I know there is a tradition for pilgrims to walk barefoot as penance when they are visiting a famous shrine or place of pilgrimmage. As well as the obvious decrease in physical comfort enjoyed by the shoe-wearer, I suppose it symbolises a certain nakedness and humility, when you forego the shoe.

Flight of the Conchords is Brilliant

Help! The LHC could still turn us into goo!

Tindersticks II

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A couple of evenings ago, I wanted to see one of my favourite bands, Tindersticks. I bought a ticket this week. The venue? St George's Anglican church. I assumed it was to be held in the crypt or something. So I went along, queued up. When I got in, I didn't feel comfortable at all. The stage for the band was on the altar. The pews were full of people awaiting a band. The bar (in the Church) was heaving and in the shadow of a giant and very beautiful crucifix sat the audience, drinking beer and chatting to each other. Now I really admire this band, but I walked out.

I understand that as an Anglican church, Catholics don't believe that the church is fully consecrated and that as such Anglican orders are invalid. But, it is still, or was a house of prayer. In days gone by, how many tears of penitence hit the floor of that church? In days gone by, how many hymns were sung to God? In days gone by, how many prayers were said there and on Sundays they are still.

Yet, whoever is in…

Tindersticks I

St Joseph Benedict Labre, Pray for Us

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I recently discovered this Saint when reading, 'Reaching for God: Lives of Heroic Virtue,' a rather nice publication I found in Church. I love it when I discover a Saint who I had hitherto not heard of at all and who inspires in me a sudden desire to amend my sinful life. St Benedict Joseph Labre was born in 1748, the eldest of 15 children to a prosperous French shopkeeper, in the village of Amettes, near Boulogne. To cut a long story short, he was considered too sickly and delicate for the Trappist monasteries he wanted to join. Instead he decided to be homeless and live amongst the homeless of Rome, where he settled, having made holy pilgrimmages to Loreto and other holy pilgrimmage sites. He ate herbs, seldom begged and apparently smelt so rough that his Confessors couldn't bear to be near him!

Yet, his Franciscan love of poverty, his love for the poor (to whom he gave anything he had), and his love for the Crucified Christ marked his life and won for him san…