Kevin Di Camillo

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5 Vincentian Saints You Should Know About

One of the blessings of teaching at Niagara University, founded by the Vincentian Fathers, is that one is surrounded by buildings named after saints—and not surprisingly, more often than not, these saints are Vincentians. Niagara’s central...

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The Catholic Church’s 800-Year-Old Tradition of Heraldry

One would have thought that in the post-Vatican II era, the papacy — which had dispensed with coronations, tiaras, silken gloves, the sedia gestatoria and ostrich feather fans, — would have shelved ecclesiastic heraldry as some sort of feudal-era...

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Floored by the Ceiling

“Lift up thine eyes.” In a Catholic Church—at least until very recently—there was a reason for this: the ceiling was, more often than not, beautifully illuminated and decorated. And even in the most austere and spartan churches the ceiling...

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Three Saints Named Vincent

This month, we celebrated not one, not two, but three saints who share the name of Vincent. First, Saint Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon and Martyr. Though he died in 304 we know surprisingly much about his life—or at least about his death—thanks...

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The Only Doge Who Became a Saint

By any count there is no lack of kings (and queens) who are saints. From King David to Blessed Charles of Hungary and Austria, our altars and history books are replete with holy men and women who wielded temporal power and lived exemplary...

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Pope St. Sylvester, the Saint of New Year’s Eve

Last year I wrote of the little-known “saint commemorated on Christmas,” St. Anastasia, who is still recalled in the extraordinary form of the Mass and Divine Office on Christmas Day. This year, I’d like to look at the somewhat overlooked “Saint...

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5 Saints on the Shelf

By now we all are familiar with the new Advent/Christmas tradition, “Elf On The Shelf” — a book in a box that comes with a six-inch felt-and-plastic elf whom a family names and, for lack of a better term, adopts. The parents then move the elf...

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29 Questions to Test Your Catholic Knowledge

It’s Advent. What better time for the December edition of our Catholic quiz? As always: no Google, no Wikipedia, no Catechism — and, of course, no wagering! Questions: What presidential assassin had a cousin in the Jesuits whom he visited...

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What Were the “Minor Orders,” and Why Do They Matter?

Although they had been around since at least the Council of Trent in the 16th century in their renewed and current form, the “Minor Orders” — that is, the steps to becoming a priest — were suppressed after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965)....

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My Father, My Grandfather and St. Andrew’s Cross

My father’s birthday is on the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (Nov. 30). It is also happens to be the day that my grandfather, Dr. Frank Di Camillo, died at age 91, in 2001—which makes me feel a bit bad for my dad, since his birthday is now...