Jacques Maritain Center : Readings

Great Inspirers

The Reverend J. A. Zahm, C.S.C., Ph.D.

Author of
"Through South America's Southland,"
"Along the Andes and Down the Amazon,"
"Up the Orinoco and Down the Magdalena,"
"Woman in Science," etc.

D. Appleton and Company
New York & London

S.M.B. in Patria
L.N.C. in Via

"Since the advent of Christianity, nothing great, it may be asserted, has been achieved in the Church without the cooperation of women. In the beginning many women descended into the amphitheatres with the martyrs. Others disputed with the anchorets the possession of the desert. Ere long Constantine hoisted the Laburnum on the Capitol and St. Helena raised the cross above the ruins of Jerusalem. Clovis at Tolbiac invoked the God of Clothilde. The tears of Monica atoned for the errors of Augustine. Jerome dedicated the Vulgate to the piety of two Roman women, Paula and Eustochium. St. Basil and St. Benedict, the first legislators of cenobitic life in the East, were specially aided by Macrina and Scholastica, their sisters. Later on, the Countess Matilda supports with her chaste hands the tottering throne of Gregory VII; Queen Blanche exercises a preponderating influence during the reign of St. Louis; Joan of Arc saves France; Isabella of Castile presides at the discovery of a new world. Finally, in a more recent age, one sees St. Teresa amid that group of bishops, doctors and founders of religious orders, who effected the interior reform of Catholic society. St. Francis de Sales cultivates the soul of Mme. de Chantal, as a chosen flower, and St. Vincent de Paul confides to Louise de Marillac the most admirable of his undertakings -- the establishment of the Sisters of Charity."

-- A. F. OZANAM in "Dante et la philosophie catholique du treizième siècle." Part IV, Chap. II.

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