Category Archives: Church History

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854, and the event was noted in the Provincial Annals for that year.

1854. A great year in the annals of Holy Mother Church! A great, consoling year for every Catholic heart, for it was on the 8th of December of this year, our Holy Father, Pius the ninth, gloriously reigning, proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, our beautiful Mother, our Queen. We had never doubted this glorious privilege of our Mother, but new we have the merit of believing it as an article of faith.

Read the English text of Ineffabilis Deus, Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius IX, December 8, 1854, proclaiming the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (from

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Vincentian Martyrs – Francois, Gruyer, and Rogue

On September 2 the Vincentian Family commemorates three Vincentian Martyrs of the French Revolution: Louise Joseph Francois, John Henry Gruyer,and Peter Rene Rogue.

Louis Joseph Francois was born February 3, 1751 and ordained in 1773. He devoted himself primarily to parish ministry. He was killed at St. Firmin’s Seminary (formerly College des Bon Enfants) in Paris along with John Henry Gruyer.

John Henry Gruyer was born near Dole on June 13, 1734. After his ordination he devoted his life to the formation of clergy. He was murdered at St. Firmin’s Seminary where he was superior on September 3, 1792, for refusing to take the Constitutional Oath.

Peter Rene Rogue was born June 11, 1758 and ordained a priest in 1782. His ministries were the education of clergy and parish ministry, in spite of the dangers of the Revolution. He was beheaded in his native town of Vannes on March 3, 1796.

Francois and Gruyer were beatified on October 17, 1826. Rogue was beatified on May 10, 1934.

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Beatification of Louise de Marillac – DC pilgrimmage to Rome, May 1920 (part 3)

Louise de Marillac

Louise de Marillac, 1591-1660 (Image courtesy of Vincent de Paul Image Archive, DePaul University)

(Account of Sister Margaret O’Keefe from the Provincial Annals used with permission of the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives)

May 9 – Sunday. Went to St. Peter’s at 8 the High Mass commenced at 10 – even though we had tickets it was necessary to be there early on account of the great crowd. Tribunes were erected for the occasion. Sister Eugenia [Sister Eugenia Fealy, Visitatrix of the St. Louis Province] and I were in the one next to our M[ost] H[onored] Mother and we sat on red velvet chairs; the draperies were red and gold. High up over the altars a magnificent gold frame of very elaborate design the picture veiled was in the centre. The procession was the grandest of course I ever saw – the long lines of Bishops and Cardinals the officiating Bishop minister with his retinue. When all were seated an ecclesiastic read from a pulpit a long document in which the names of St. Vincent and Louise Legras occurred frequently. When this was finished the Bishop removed the veil from the reliquary which was place on the altar on a throne at the same moment the curtain fell and all the Cardinals and prelates knelt to venerate the relic. Then the glorious Te Deum burst forth. the missionaries, our brothers were directly below us and they joined in the singing, every other verse was Gregorian. then came the Solemn High Mass only the Introit and anthems were Gregorian, the Gloria and Credo etc. were Perosi and very beautiful, in four parts with Bass, Tenor and Soprano, solos interspersed there was no repetition – and the Amen was long drawn out and died away in a soft sweet note. Cardinal Merry Del Val with his retinue came in after the celebrant and was the last in the procession.

We finished dinner at twenty minutes before two – at half past Two we started for St. Peter’s the doors were to open at 3 and the ceremony to take place at 5.30. The crush outside the door was indescribable, a lady fainted and had to be taken out by the soldiers – there were several of the latter about but they could not control the jam. At last we reached our places in the tribune and waited patiently until the silver trumpets announced the entrance of the Holy Father [Pope Benedict XV] – the long procession as in the morning, followed by the Swiss Guard the Pope’s Guard and the Vicar of Christ blessing the people as he passed thro the Church. We had Benediction – the procession, in front of the Pope was borne the relic given by O.M.H Mother and behind it a large pyramid of flowers. It was all a grand sight and a great manifestation of faith, people were standing even on top of the confessionals handkerchiefs waves as he passed then the crowd came before the altar to venerate the relic, and we left.

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