St. Louis IX King, More anecdotes of dispensing justice in the Outremer

Jean de Joinville relates:

"... And now you shall hear the punishments and sentences that I saw awarded in Cesarea, whilst the King was staying there. First of all, I will tell you of a knight who was caught in a house of ill fame. He was offered according to the custom of the country an alternative: either to be led by a rope through the camp, stripped to his shirt; or to forfeit his horse and armour, and be turned out of the army. He left his horse and armour to the King, and quitted the camp; and I went and begged the King to grant me the horse for a poor gentleman that was in the army. The King replied that it was an unreasonable request, for that the horse was still worth from eighty to a hundred pounds, which was no small sum. Said I: " See how you have broken our bargain, by being angry at what I asked you!" And he said to me, laughing: "Say whatever you please, I will not be angry." But, all the same, I did not get the horse for the poor gentleman.(1)

The second sentence was as follows: The knights of our troop were hunting a wild animal, called a gazelle (which is just like a roebuck). The Brethren of the Hospital dashed in amongst them, and hustled and drove away our knights. I complained to the Master of the Hospital; and he said he would do me justice according to the custom of the Holy Land; which was this; that he would make the brothers who had insulted us, eat on the ground, with only their cloaks under them, until those whom they had insulted should raise them up. The Master kept his word by them. And when we saw that they had been eating in this manner for a good while, I went to the Master, and found him sitting at table, with the brothers eating on their cloaks in front of him; and I begged him to allow them to be properly seated. The knights also to whom the insult had been shown, entreated him. He replied, that he would do nothing of the sort, for that he would not have the brethren ill-use those who came on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Thereupon I sat down with the brothers, and began to eat with them, telling him I would rise when they rose. And he told me, that I left him no choice, and granted my request; and he made me and the knights with me sit at meat with him, and the brothers went and ate with the rest at a raised table.

...The third judgment that I saw delivered at Cesarea was as follows: One of the King's serjeants, called "the Glutton," laid hands on a knight of my troop. I went and complained to the King. The King told me: That it seemed to him I might let the matter rest, for he had done no more than give him a push.-And I told him, that I would never let it rest, and that if he would not see justice done me, I should quit his service, since his serjeants were to be allowed to strike knights. I got justice from him, and the punishment was according to the custom of the country: namely, the serjeant came to my quarters, barefoot and in his breeches, nothing more, with a naked sword in his hand, and kneeled down before the knight, and said to him: " Sir, I come to make amends for laying my hand on you; and I bring you this sword, that you may cut off my hand, if so please you." I begged the knight to lay aside his grudge, and forgive him; which he did...

...The fourth punishment was as follows: Brother Hugh of Joy, who was Marshall of the Temple, was sent to the Sultan of Damascus from the Master of the Temple, to come to some agreement with the Sultan about a large piece of land which the Templars used to hold, and which the Sultan wanted to share with them. The agreement was concluded on the condition, that the King approved, and Brother Hugh brought an Emir to represent the Sultan of Damascus, and brought the contract in a document called a Power of Attorney. The Master told the King all about it; whereupon the King fell into a great passion, and told him, that he was very presumptuous to have had any dealings or negotiations with the Sultan, without telling him. And the King insisted that he should do penance to him. And the penance was this: the King had the skirts of three of his pavilions removed; and all the rank and file of the camp that chose to come, assembled there; and thither came the Master of the Temple with all his convent, all barefooted through the camp, for their quarters were outside the camp. The King made the Master of the Temple and the Sultan's messenger sit down in front of him; and the King said in a loud voice to the Master: "Master, you will tell the Sultan's messenger, that you repent having made any treaty with him, without telling me; and that because you had not consulted me, you acquit him of his part of the bargain, and return him all his contracts." The Master took the contracts and handed them to the Emir. And then the King told the Master to stand up and make all his brethren stand up; and, when he had done so: "Now kneel down" said the King "and make me amends for having opposed my will." The Master knelt down, and held out the end of his cloak to the King, and offered to the King whatever was his due by way of amends, whatever he might please to dictate. " I order," said the King, " first of all, that Brother Hugh, who made the contract, be banished out of all the kingdom of Jerusalem." Neither the Master, nor the fact that Brother Hugh was gossip to the King through the Count of Alençon (that was born at Castle Pilgrim) nor even the Queen nor anyone, could avail him, but he must quit the Holy Land and the kingdom of Jerusalem...(1)


(1)See the The Memoirs of the Lord of Joinville, pages 262-264

(2)The King had already, while in Cyprus, fallen foul of the Master of the Temple for venturing to listen to overtures of peace from the Sultan of Egypt.

For my friend at Cross of Laeken

The north face of the Matterhorn.

A 2010 National Geographic Photo Contest winner. here...

Gods majesty.


Understand their pain? Understand mine...

Earlier this week I congratulated Bishop Tobin on his statements. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi. Here is an article from the ladies at Le Femmes-The Truth

Angry Nuns and tough love

Mike Voris isn't afraid to call a heretic a heretic and the modernist nuns deserve it. Thanks, Mike. And boo to Archbishop Tobin. The shepherds watching over Holy Mother Church need to recognize that they have a role to teach, govern, and rule. Rule includes discipline and when the teenagers in the Church are having hissy fits because they can't get their way, somebody needs to take away the car keys and send them to their rooms. It's called tough love.

Thank God for orders like the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. I just sent them a Christmas check because their vocations are outstripping their living quarters. What a problem! Meanwhile, the heretical orders are selling off their property because they have no vocations. I guess Gaia isn't listening to their prayers. Wonder why?


Bon Roy Henri returns to France.

Entry of King Henri IV into Paris..

Four centuries after his death, King Henry IV of France is being laid to rest. Or at least his head is.

A team of multidisciplinary researchers announced today (Dec. 14) that a mummified head and its brain contents long thought to belong to the beloved king really are his. The head, which has been in the hands of private owners, had been removed from Henry IV's body by revolutionaries in 1793 during a symbolic desecration of the tombs of the monarchs of France. [See Henry IV's mummified head]

Researchers, led by forensic medical examiner and osteo-archaeologist Philipp Charlier of University Hospital R Poincaré in Garches, France, compared the head with sculptures and portraits of Henry, who had been assassinated in 1610, and digitally reconstructed the face. The result was a dead ringer for the beloved king.

The same techniques could be used on the other mutilated remains of French royalty, the researchers wrote today in the British Medical Journal.

The story of how Henry IV's head became the subject of a forensic investigation can be traced to 1589, when his predecessor, Henry III, was assassinated by a fanatical monk. At the time, the designated heir to the throne was ruling Navarre, a small kingdom in the Pyrenees Mountains. Henry of Navarre was an accomplished tennis player who often wagered on the game, said Pierre Force, a professor of French and history at Columbia University who was not involved in the head identification.

"In the accounting books, there are entries in which the accountant of the kingdom had to pay because the king lost yet another game of tennis to some noble," Force told LiveScience.

Henry IV was also a Protestant, a fact that made his ascension to the throne of Catholic France problematic. By the laws of succession, he would be France's rightful king, but to gain the throne he had to lay siege to Paris and eventually convert to Catholicism, Force said.

"That was a very spectacular gesture and one that brought peace to the country," Force said.

In 1598, Henry IV further cemented his reputation as a fair, peaceful king when he issued an edict guaranteeing religious freedom to Protestants. He became known as "good King Henry" for his popularity, and the "green gallant" for his attractiveness to women.

Off with his head

But in 1610, Henry IV, like his predecessor, lost his life to an assassin. The king was buried in the Basilica of Saint Denis in northern Paris, where his body stayed until 1793. French revolutionaries executed their own king, Louis XVI, that year and then turned their attention to the previous monarchs, opening their tombs and reburying their mutilated bodies in mass graves nearby. It was at this point that Henry IV lost his head.

"It fit into their idea of 'Out, out, damn spot,' of getting rid of, in a symbolic way, the historical burdens of monarchy," John Merriman, a Yale University historian and author of a number of books on European and French history, told LiveScience.

"It seemed, in context, a proper gesture," Merriman, who was not involved in the current study, added.

The head stayed in the hands of private collectors until recently, when Charlier and his colleagues began their investigation. The mummified head was well-preserved, and the royal brain lay undisturbed inside the skull. The head's owner was bald with bad teeth and a cataract in the right eye, the researchers found.

Radiocarbon dating showed that the head's age matched the king's date of death. The head had an irregular mole on the right nostril and an earring hole in the right earlobe, both features seen in portraits and statues of Henry IV.

The method of embalming, which involved leaving the brain intact, matched the historical records of the king's preservation. On the neck of the mummified head, researchers found a black band of carbon, which matched the ingredients that the king's embalmer had reported using on the body to absorb decomposition odors. The mummy's mouth was stuffed with plant matter, also used at the time to absorb odors.

The team could not recover uncontaminated DNA in order to match it to the king's descendants, but the researchers completed a digital facial reconstruction of the skull that matched the plaster mold of Henry IV's face made just after his death.

After all this poking and prodding, the remains of Henry IV will finally get some rest, according to Charlier and his colleagues.

"Now positively identified according to the most rigorous arguments of any forensic anthropology examination, the French king’s head will be reentered in the royal basilica of Saint-Denis after a solemn funeral ceremony," the researchers wrote.


SAR Louis XX discusses the discovery of the Head of Henri IV his ancestor, with Le Figaro.
Duc d'Anjou : «La tête d'Henri IV est un patrimoine national»

More on the assignation of Bon Roy Henri is found here...

An excellent French Cultural site on Henri IV is found here... (recommended)

On Queen Margot, Henri's first Queen, here...

St Batholomew's Day here...

Vive Le Roy! Vive Henri!


Ireland’s pro-life laws violated woman’s rights: European court

This is what happens when a nation gives up it's sovereignty; the country loses it's right to make and administer it's own laws. It is time to repudiate the EU.

by Hilary White

The European Court of Human RightsSTRASBOURG, December 16, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The European Court of Human Rights has found that Ireland’s constitutional legal protections for the unborn violated the right to privacy of one of the three applicants in a mixed decision in the much-anticipated ABC case. The Court ordered the Irish government to pay €15,000 to the third applicant within three months.

However, at the same time the Court dismissed the complaints of the other two women and found that there is “no human right to abortion” stemming from the European Convention on Human Rights, an aspect of the decision that has been welcomed by pro-life leaders.

The case was brought by one Lithuanian living in Ireland and two Irish nationals who sought abortions in the UK and who claimed that Ireland’s 1983 constitutional amendment outlawing abortion violated their rights.

The third woman was in remission from a rare form of cancer at the time she sought an abortion. She claimed that the pregnancy could lead to the cancer’s return. Irish law technically allows abortion when the mother’s life is in danger, but she alleged that “the chilling effect of the Irish legal framework,” had violated her right to be told of the “option” of abortion.

The Court has instructed the Irish government to issue guidance to allow doctors to inform women in what circumstances abortion is a legal option. It claimed that the Irish Constitution gives women a “right” to abortion under its protection of the equal right to life of the mother of an unborn child.

Bernadette Smyth of the Irish pro-life group Precious Life said that “we welcome” the decision that there is no “human right” to abortion under the European Convention. However, she continued, “the Court has misinterpreted the Irish Constitution in its ruling on the third woman.”

Liam Gibson, who works in Ireland for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and spoke to LifeSiteNews.com minutes after the decision was issued, agreed that the Court had “totally misunderstood” Irish law under which there is no such thing as a “right” to abortion.

“The court is pretending there is a legal option for abortion,” Gibson said. “But abortion is not health care. Under Irish law, everyone has the right to adequate medical care to protect life, but this can never include direct abortion, the deliberate killing of an unborn child,” he said.

The ruling, he said, “has turned the pro-life amendment on its head and says it gives a right to abortion. But that’s a complete reversal of what the constitution says and the purpose of it.

“Recognising the equal right of the mother and the child does not give the mother a right to abortion.”

Pro-life interveners made lengthy submissions to the Court demonstrating that abortion is never included in any definition of health care in Ireland. “They should have thrown the case out completely,” Gibson said. “But the ideology of abortion runs right through the European Court of Human rights.”

John Smeaton, the head of SPUC in London warned that the decision will have far-reaching effects on the attempts in Europe to secure the right to life of all persons.

“This warped decision lacks all legitimacy,” Smeaton said. “This case was never about helping women faced with a crisis pregnancy. It was instigated by the international abortion lobby, which has with the ultimate aim of forcing governments across the globe to recognise access to abortion as a legal right.”

Gibson said that ECHR, due to its “pervasive” pro-abortion mentality, has assumed that abortion is invariably included in health care. He warned that the decision will be used as a pretext for weakening Irish law, saying there is a strongly pro-abortion mentality within Ireland’s political class. While it does not immediately overturn the law, the ECHR ruling will likely cause problems at the next general election, he said.

Abortion is prohibited not only by Ireland’s constitution, but under criminal law by section 58 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. According to the Civil Liability Act, “the law relating to wrongs shall apply to an unborn child for his protection in like manner as if the child were born, provided the child is subsequently born alive”.

Gibson said that a new government would likely try to bring in abortion through medical practice guidelines, binding on physicians, that would not be subject to a referendum.

Such guidelines have been repeatedly brought forward by pro-abortion activists in the British government in Northern Ireland, although they have been rejected as contrary to Northern Irish law that also prohibits abortion.

Gibson said, “The problem will be when an incoming government chooses to use this ruling to establish a wider access to abortion.”

“The attitude will certainly be favourable to the pro-abortion side,” in any new government. “They’ve only been too eager to try to put through some legislation or guideline that will not have to be brought to the people.”


Catholic mother faces the death penalty in Pakistan, for blaspheming Muhammad

The so called "Religion of Peace" once again demonstrates it's gentle side.

Aasia Bibi, a Christian (Catholic) mother of five, is sitting in a Pakistani jail awaiting a death sentence for blaspheming the prophet Muhammad—and an appeal by the pope hasn't saved her. Asra Nomani on a horrifying case.

The email zipped across the globe from a Catholic nun of the Sisters of Loretto, living in rural Pakistan, to Sister Anna Koop, who was visiting their home order in rural Kentucky. The subject line: “Punjab: Christian Woman Sentenced To Death For Blasphemy."

Sent Nov. 11, the nun's message told the story of a Catholic farm worker, Aasia Bibi, convicted of violating antiquated blasphemy law propped up by Pakistan's Islamist political parties. Allegedly, when some women workers pressured Aasia to renounce her Christian faith and accept Islam in the summer of 2009, Aasia responded that Jesus had died on the cross for the sins of humanity and she asked them what Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, had done for them. Her crime, blaspheming the prophet, carries a mandatory death sentence.

Koop, a 72-year-old nun who signs her emails "Peace to you," was horrified by the news. Last year, she left the homeless shelter where she lives and works outside Denver to visit the four Pakistani nuns in her order living in Pakistan, and she feared not only for Aasia, a mother of five, but also the sisters in her order and the country's other estimated 2.8 million Christians, who make up about 2 percent of the population.

Last year, the Sisters of Loretto in Pakistan pooled their resources to give the archdiocese of Faisalabad a 21st century-style gift for the 50th anniversary of the archdiocese: a website, complete with a catchy jubilee sing-song in Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. A website message they wrote: “We Hope this online experience will touch your heart and soul.”

"There is so much violence directed toward Christians" in Pakistan, says Koop. "It's hard to know where that might strike next." She tapped away at her keyboard, sending emails around the world, trying to raise the alarm. On Nov. 17, Pope Benedict XVI called for Aasia's release in his weekly public audience, saying that Christians in Pakistan are "often victims of violence and discrimination."

The case of Aasia Bibi underscores the challenge of forging an Islamic identity in the 21st century that expresses a tolerant interpretation of Islam. The showdown is coming down to a sad clash of the nuns and the mullahs. And it's a battle in which the mullahs must lose. My mother grew up going to St. Joseph's Convent in the hill station of Panchgani, India, her brother going to St. Peter's, and there is something valuable we can learn about other faiths—and ourselves—just by living peacefully together.

And there is something divinely radical that connects rebellious women within Islam and Catholicism. We both face an imbedded patriarchy. Catholic women have had more advances than we have had in Islam, but we have it easier on one front: We don't have a Vatican. Last month, I spoke at the national conference of Call to Action, a Catholic group seeking reforms in the church. The title of my talk: "Bad Girls of Faith: The Daughters of Sarah and Hajar Standing Together to Reclaim the Feminist Tradition." Thousands of years ago, our common histories say that Sarah and Hajar (or Hagar as she is known in Christianity and Judaism) feuded in, essentially, a chick fight that was a precursor to the interfaith troubles we have today. My theory: We could see progress if we stood together now. Soon after, I got one of the emails sent out by Sister Anna, the nun running a homeless shelter outside Denver.

The survival of the blasphemy of laws in Pakistan is a window into just how medieval aspects of Pakistan continue to be, betraying at least one example from the life of the prophet Muhammad. In one hadith, or tradition from the life of Muhammad, it's said that when a man threw dirt on the prophet's face, he just ignored the smear.

What's more, by refusing to take on the Islamist political parties that back Pakistan's outdated blasphemy law, secular leaders from Gen. Pervez Musharraf to the current president, Asif Ali Zardari fail to live up to the moderate, tolerant vision of the country's birth.

The case of Aasia Bibi underscores the challenge of forging an Islamic identity in the 21st century that expresses a tolerant interpretation of Islam.

• Asra Q. Nomani: Let’s Profile MuslimsIn a presidential address on Aug. 11, 1947, the year Pakistan was forged out of India's independence from the British, the country's founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, declared, "You are free. You are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state."

He was a student of history and he said, "The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some states in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state."

The Aasia Bibi case isn't just one of outsiders speaking out against the blasphemy law. Ali Dayan Hasan, a Pakistani and the South Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, calls the blasphemy law a "heinous law" that should be repealed, and notes that it's "become an instrument of coercion used to terrorize minorities."

It's time that Pakistan join the 21st century with the vision of its founder and set Aasia Bibi and itself free from the reign of the mullahs. Original story is here.

Montjoie! Saint Denis!

Asra Q. Nomani is the author of Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam. She is co-director of the Pearl Project, an investigation into the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Her activism for women's rights at her mosque in W.V. is the subject of a PBS documentary, The Mosque in Morgantown. She recently published a monograph, Milestones for a Spiritual Jihad: Toward an Islam of Grace. asra@asranomani.com

Note: I have included a link to the Sisters of Loretto site in the narrative of this story, however, I am troubled by some of the captions therein, (especially for the picture of liturgical dancing during the offertory at Mass) therefore I have chosen not to place them on my site links. I pray that they will return to orthodox Roman Catholic teaching concerning such the Mass.


Open letter to Inactive Catholics...


My dear Brother or Sister: In the spirit of the Advent and Christmas Season, and as the Diocese of Providence nears the end of its “Year of Evangelization,” I’m writing this letter to inactive Catholics of our Diocese – perhaps you’re in that category – to let you know that we miss you, we love you and we want you to come home to the Church.

The first dilemma I faced in writing this letter was how to describe you – an “inactive Catholic,” a “fallen-away Catholic” or a “former-Catholic.” I chose the first option.

Find Bishop Tobin on Facebook

I decided against “fallen-away Catholic” for it suggests someone falling off a fence or out of a tree. The image isn’t helpful.

And there’s really no such thing as a “former Catholic.” If you were baptized a Catholic, you’re a Catholic for life – even if you haven’t been to Mass for years, even if you’ve renounced the title and joined another Church. Your baptism infused your soul with Catholic DNA – it defines who and what you are.

Thus, I’ve chosen the title, “inactive Catholic,” because even though you haven’t been “active” in the Catholic community for awhile, especially by attending Sunday Mass, receiving the sacraments and otherwise participating in the life of the Church, you’re still a Catholic. Sorry . . . you’re stuck with us!

Perhaps the exact name isn’t very important though. What’s more important is why you drifted away from the Church, why you stopped coming to Mass, and what we can do about it.

Did you leave the Church because you disagree with some of the Church’s teachings and practices; or because you found it boring and “didn’t get anything out of it”; or because someone in the Church offended you or disappointed you; or because you just got a little complacent, spiritually lazy, in the fulfillment of your obligations? Let’s look at each of these reasons.

If you left the Church because you disagree with the fundamental teachings of the Church I’m afraid there’s not much I can do to help you. The essential teachings of the Church on matters of faith and morals aren’t negotiable – they weren’t made up arbitrarily by human beings but, in fact, were given to us by Christ. They can’t be changed, even if they’re unpopular or difficult to live with. I hope that you’ll take some time to really understand what the Church teaches and why. Sometimes, we find, good folks get bad information and that leads to confusion and then alienation.

If you left the Church because you found it to be boring and “didn’t get anything out of it,” well, I understand. Sometimes, it’s true, leaders of the Church haven’t fed the flock very well – sometimes we haven’t provided sound and challenging teaching and preaching, and sometimes our worship has been banal and bland. Perhaps we haven’t been very kind or welcoming. I apologize for that; we can and should do better.

On the other hand, when you attend Mass it shouldn’t be all about you – the focus is God! You should attend Mass to give, as well as receive – to worship the Lord, to ask forgiveness of your sins, to thank Him for His gifts and to pray for others. And for Catholics the most important reason to attend Mass is to receive the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ, the Bread of Life. You can’t do that anywhere else!

If you left the Church because another member of the Church offended or disappointed you, I’m truly sorry for that offense and in the name of the Church I sincerely apologize. I hope you’ll forgive us and give us another chance. Members of the Church – including priests and bishops – are completely human. Sometimes we say things and do things that are totally unacceptable, even immoral. But let’s face it – we belong to a community of sinners – that’s why we begin every Mass by calling to mind our sins and asking for God’s forgiveness. The virtue of forgiveness is an essential part of the Christian life – we all need to seek and grant forgiveness now and then.

Finally, if you left the Church because of your own spiritual laziness – complacency – I guess the ball’s in your court. I can only encourage you to start over – to think about your relationship with God and try to understand how important the Church is in helping you fulfill your God-given potential and, more importantly, helping you achieve eternal life.

You see, the Church isn’t just another human organization, some sort of social club. We believe that the Church has divine elements – that it was founded by Christ and is guided by the Holy Spirit. You need the Church – you need the teachings of the Church, the life-giving sacraments of the Church, and the support of a community that shares your faith and values. But the Church also needs you – we need the gifts of your time and talent, your faith and commitment. The Church has an awful lot to offer you, but if in fact we’ve been imperfect fulfilling our mission, in serving the Lord and caring for one another, perhaps you can help us to do better.

The irony of this letter, of course, is that if you’ve been an inactive Catholic, you might not see it. But I’m counting on a Catholic member of your family, or a friend, neighbor or co-worker, to see it and share it.

The Christmas Season is a wonderful, grace-filled time, a time when we remember that the Word of God became flesh and that Jesus is “Emmanuel” – God with us. God came to earth to search for us, to embrace us, to lift us up, and to take us with Him to eternal life. He came to invite you to be His friend and companion along the way.

Dear brother or sister, if you’ve been away from the Church for awhile, it’s time to come home. If there’s an issue or a problem we can help you with, please contact your local parish, or contact me here at the Diocese of Providence. I might not be able to solve every problem and meet every need, but I’ll try. Please know, however, that we miss you, we love you and we hope to see you soon.

Your brother in Christ,

Bishop Tobin


Bishop Tobin in November 2007 instructed the Priests of his diocese to refuse Holy Communion to Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, the Democratic lawmaker from Rhode Island, and the son of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy for his opposition to the Churches teaching on abortion. This is no wimpy Bishop. The Chattabox in a not to friendly tone wrote, ..."Bishop Tobin’s public condemnation of a Catholic lawmaker and a Holy Communion ban is extremely harsh. And not every Catholic official is in agreement with Tobin’s politicizing of Holy Communion."... To which I add, too bad. Get in Line with the Churches teachings or end up in Hell. Choice.