Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Pope's Belgian War Minister

Although often misrepresented by history, Monsignor de Merode is an example of the style of devoutly religious and monarchist Catholicism that would make any traditionalist devotee of the Sacred Heart proud. Frederic-Francois-Xavier Ghislain de Merode was born in Brussels in 1820, the son of an official of King Leopold. He attended religious colleges before entering the Military Academy of Brussels in 1839. He served at Liege and in Algeria where his heroism earned him the famous Legion d'honneur. However, in 1847 he suddenly decided to change armies and exchange his sword for a rosary. He studied in Rome and was ordained priest in 1849. In 1850 he joined the Curia when Pope Pius IX made him cameriere segreto, sort of like the chief prison warden of Rome. [plus]

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