Pope Leo

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Josephine’s Bed which was in the de Stacpoole family for years, and reputed to be owned by Empress Bonaparte €2,000-€3,000

The ornately carved “Josephine’s Bed” listed in the current Fonsie Mealy catalogue, poses many questions as to how a bed which reportedly was once own(...)

Cardinal Henry Newman: his journey to Dublin began with an invitation in 1851 from Archbishop Cullen of Armagh, later archbishop of Dublin, to advise on the proposed establishment of a Catholic university.

On Friday, November 3rd, 1854, the Catholic University, under its rector John Henry Newman, opened its doors at 86 St Stephen’s Green in Dublin to rec(...)

“Attach the word ‘beard’ to a name and immediately great horrors are conjured up even in the dullest imagination.”
In a Word: Beard

I don’t get beards. Or tattoos. Back in the last millennium when I was younger tattoos were so verboten they were associated only with low, violent cr(...)

Allowing material possessions to be the controlling principle of our lives leaves us morally stunted and spiritually dead

Charles the Great, better known as Charlemagne, became King of the Franks in the year AD 768. He united much of Europe during his reign and reached th(...)

Statue of Fr Edward Flanagan donated by the Boys Town National Alumni Association Nebraska USA. It stands in the grounds of the Fr Edward Flanaghan Memorial Centre in Ballymoe in Co Galway. Photograph: David Sleator

We often talk about the negative effects of emigration on the life of rural communities. There is another side to the story, however. Our emigrants ha(...)

Archive image  of St Conleth’s in Daingean, Co Offaly: it was one of the most severely criticised reformatories investigated by the Ryan commission for the sexual, physical and emotional abuses of children.

The Oblates were founded in Aix-en-Provence, France, in 1816 by St Eugene de Mazenod whose aim was to be “the servant and priest of the poor”. In Feb(...)

Children in  Malawi, Africa who lost their mother to Aids. Pope Paul VI wrote: “The development of peoples has the church’s close attention, particularly the development of those  striving to escape from hunger, misery, endemic diseases and ignorance.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Of all the many papal encyclicals down the ages, it is arguable that the document known as Populorum Progressio, issued by Pope Paul VI 50 years ago o(...)

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Mark Makela/Reuters

Pope Francis landed in Philadelphia on the final stop of his tour of the United States, calling for a more active role for women and the laity in t(...)

‘John Bosco was well ahead of his time in his attitude to corporal punishment.’ Photograph: Getty Images

The Second Vatican Council and Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Populorum Progressio (On the Development of Peoples), gave particular impetus to what might (...)