. . . that those in the Dominican order always wear a rosary on their left side, just as the medieval knights wore their swords. And just as a knight used his sword to defend himself, a Dominican uses his rosary in spiritual battle. (from the Dominican Western Province newsletter, Spring 2015)
. . . that the persecutions of Christians in 2nd century Lyons, Gallia (France) were some of the most vicious and brutal since those of the Emperor Nero in Rome. Despite this, or possibly as a result of this witness, Roman Gaul and the Celtic people were nearly 100% Catholic within 150 years. (from the chapter on St. Irenaeus in Four Witnesses: The Early church in Her Own Words).
. . . that the 8th-century Benedictine Abbey at Le Mont San Michel, has a museum with dozens, if not hundreds of large unique individual statues of St. Michael the Archangel. An enormous collection. Each angel was sculpted to perch on top of the spire soaring above the church. After about 50 years of weathering on the stone, the statue needed to be replaced. The statues in the museum are the old ones, saved for posterity. (from a travel slide presentation by a visiting artist priest).
(And the question then had to be asked: how did the monks get the big, heavy, new stone statues up there? The answer: they built wooden scaffolding all the way to the top, then hauled the heavy stonework up with ropes, positioned it and attached it firmly.)
. . . that in the mid 1990s, the city of Pittsburg, in an effort to not “offend” non-Christians, but still encourage rampant spending, changed the official name of “Christmas” to the “Sparkle Season”. People were encouraged to wish others a Happy Sparkle Season or to reference the solstice or wintertime. This ridiculous state of affairs actually lasted for 8 years before being rescinded. (from The Feasts: How the Church Year Forms Us as Catholics, by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina, and also verified online on multiple sites).
. . . that the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiori) in Rome is also called Our Lady of the Snows. This name comes from an ancient legend, probably only a story but beautiful nonetheless. According to the legend, a wealthy couple living in 4th Century Rome wanted to build a church to honor the Virgin Mary. As they prayed, they somehow were led to know that snow would fall in the hottest month of the year, and that the snow would mark the outside boundaries of the new church. The snow did fall, in August, and mapped out the area for the huge church, which stands today. (from The Feasts: How the Church Year Forms Us as Catholics, and multiple sources online).