PLRHARS the most famous of all the Pontiffs who have chosen the name Paul is Pope Paul Ill, who was 66 when he was elected in 1534. A famous portrait of him by Titian shows a small, wizened old man with the piercing eyes of a veteran diplomat.
According to one reference book, Pope Paul III was "universally recognized as the man of the hour .. . It was creditable to his reputation and to the good will of the cardinals that the factions which divided the Sacred College were concordant in electing him,"
Pope Paul Ill also made Reginald Pole Catholic England's last cardinal, and was the Pope who summoned the epoch-making Courtcil of Trent, lie was a patron of Michelangelo, and commissioned the famous paintings in the Sistine Chapel, where Cardinal Montini was elected.
The choice of the name Paul may be partly due to the fact that the feast of SS. Peter and Paul falls so soon after the election. It is a happy coincidence that the feast-day of the first Pope Paul, who is venerated as a saint. takes place on June 28. St. Paul himself, of course, was the Apostle to the Gentiles.
Coincidence ANO I lit.R poignant coincidence: the new North Window in St. John'r Cathedral, Southport, which has just been completely restored features a stained glass portrait of Pope John, made by the Benedictines of Pluscarten in Scotland.
Although the work was begun months ago it was finished on the evening of the Pope's Requiem, and the words inscribed underneath it. In omnes 111114111 sint, were among his last.
Most of the cardinals who chose the name "Paul" seem to have had distinguished reigns. Pope Paul II, who organised much relief work among Rome's poor and also granted pensions to several Cardinals, had made an unsuccessful attempt to unite Russia with the Church.
Pope Paul IV is the only real exception: he was strangely unpopular and eventually lived to see his statue thrown down and mutilated by a hostile mob.
Pope Paul V, who died in 1621, held aloof from all parties and factions—no mean feat in Rcnais
sance Rome—and one of his first acts was to pack off home to their sees all the prelates, and even the cardinals, who were living in Rome. He was of the same family as St. Catherine of Sienna, and was the Pope who saw the completion of St. Peter's.
Dislikes publicity rUHE new Holy Father. who has 1 travelled widely, spent some time in Britain on his way to America several years ago,. and I understand that he both reads and speaks excellent English.
His father was a newspaper editor but, apparently, he dislikes too much publicity. He is a nonsmoker, and does not drink wine. One of the most impressive comments I heard last week was that our new Holy Father had "the intellect of Pacelli and the social conscience of Roncalli."
I don't think any Catholics believe that superstition plays any part in a Papal election but for those who like these curiosities I should point out that the election of Cardinal Montini fulfils all the prophecies.
One of these is to the effect-that Popes without an "R" in their names succeed those with an "R". The list has been Pius IX (Ferretti) 1.eo XiII (Pecci), Pius X (Sarto). Benedict XV IDella Chiesa). Pius XI (Rath). Pap; XII (Pacelli), John XXIII (Roncalli), Paul VI (Montini).
Another tradition says that a thin Pope succeeds a fat Pope and. further, that Popes with the "R" in their names are the fat ones.
Finally, Malachy's prophecies describes the successor of John XXIII Ihimeelf Pastor et Nauta; Pastor and Sailor) as Flos Florton: Flower of Flowers. Cardinal Montini's coat of arms features three flews de lys. The lily is known as the flower of flowers.
On second thoughts, I should record that one prophecy was not fulfilled, namely that which says "he who enters the Conclave a Pope, comes out a Cardinal". Cardinal Montini was universally the most favoured candidate.
Popes in pictures CONGRATULATIONS to the Daily Mirror for the speed with which they have brought out a beautiful little booklet which is full of pictures both black and white and in colour of the life of the late Pope and ending with pictures and election details of Pope Paul VI. For a booklet of this kind to appear on sale within four days of the Pope's election is remarkable indeed, Daily Mirror Newspapers Ltd., with their printers Gibbs and Hamforth of St. Albans have brought out "Pope Julio
XXIII" (2s. 6d.) at the ideal moment: it is well produced, accurate, and a superb souvenir.
IVeAS interested to see that there I were three Catholics among the ten Pew Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature enrolled at the annual meeting on Monday. 'I hey were Muriel Spark (who was unable to attend personally), Geoffrey Ashe and Elisabeth Stopp. I understand that fellowship is conferred by nomination and election of the Council for "work of a high literary standard". This means that you don't have to have written u best-seller to qualify.
I have already mentioned here that two other Catholic authors, Dame Edith Sitwell and Evelyn Waugh, have been elected Companions of the Society, the highest honour it can confer. Their formal inauguration, if that is the word for it, took place at a dinner in the Skinner's Hall, one of the halls of the City of London Guilds. on 'Thursday of this week.
No man-eaters THANKS to a highly successful Garden Fete, the invalid Sisters of Jesus Crucified may soon be able to start re-furnishing their chapel at St. John's Priory. Castle Cary, in Somerset. The fete added about £200 to their funds.
present the seating in the chapel consists of an odd collection of dining chairs, and their old altar, which has been in use since penal times, has been declared unsafe and will have to be replaced.
Mrs. Freda Rees. who has just returned from a visit to Somerset, tells me that when the chapel is finished. the Sisters will have to turn to the even costlier task of heating their house. "The cold last winter must have provided a penance in itself!" she said.
Local non Catholics rallied round at the fete -notably the Red Cross, who toured the streets of the town with a loudspeaker van announcing. more or less, that no-one who came would be eaten by the nuns !
In actual fact, the Sisters have been there for some three years now, and have built up a marvellous reputation for their cheerfulness and friendliness,
Islington Jubilee MGR. CANON RICHARD FAIR HALL, who celebrates his Silver Jubilee as parish priest of St. John the Evangelist's, Islington, at the end of this month, is, I understand, the third rector of this particular parish to achieve such a distinction.
During his twenty-five years in Islington, Mgr. Canon Fairhall has concentrated on fostering a strong liturgical life in the parish, and has also undertaken much devoted work for children throughout the diocese.
The parish of St. John the Evangelist's will need no introduction where our readers are concerned. It has long been known as one of the foremost parishes in the practice and development of sacred music.
Patronage ITS Musical Director, Edward
de Rivera, and the organist, Shaun McCarthy, have also contributed notably to the formation of a choir whose fame has spread far beyond the parish boundaries. The parish has also commissioned works from both Catholic and non-Catholic composers (a very praiseworthy example of patronage).
Although Mgr. Canon Fairhall's JubilSe was "incorporated" in St. John's I 20th birthday celebrations on Wednesday, when Bishop Craven celebrated Pontifical High Mass, he will celebrate a special Mass on Monday next which will be sung. fittingly in view of his life's work, by St. John's children's choir, augmented by the men of St. John's choir.
To 8,2rbados QPEAKERS' CORNER in Hyde se7 Park is to lose one of its most colourful speakers shortly when Fr. Donald Proudman, 0.P., leaves for the West Indies. I understand that he will be going to Barbados.
The Dominicans are certainly on the move these days. Fr. No Thomas, who was Prior at Blackfriars, Oxford, has gone to Notre Dante University, Indiana, to lecture, and his place is being taken by Fr. Kieran Mulvey, Prior of St. Dominics, Haverstock Hill, who has been elected (not appointed, as we stated recently) to fill his places Fr. Mulvey is being succeeded at Haverstock Hill by Fr. Daniel Woolgar, whose wt ,.k with the Newman Society is well known.