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Sainthood for Father Junipero Serra? Wait a minute…!

Author Michael Llewellyn Questions the Latest Vatican Canonization Interview by Richard Sutton, September 22, 2015 An interview with author Michael Llewellyn… When I was a 4th-Grade Student in San Diego, California; my favorite part of the week’s lessons was always the California History segment Miss Wells taught. She told us the story of a tiny, frail priest, who walked from Vera Cruz, Mexico all the way up the coast, reaching eventually the location for his Mission Church which eventually became a line of churches set a day’s march apart along the Camino Real — the Spanish Royal Highway connecting their colony together in a network of commerce and soul-saving. My mental image of Father Junipero Serra as a kindly little padre in his brown Franciscan robes...

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The Shadow Tsarina

Duchess Marie “Miechen” Alexandrine Elisabeth Eleonore  of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1854-1920) let it be known early on that she was a force to be reckoned with. Her mother, who died when Miechen was eight, left her with advice she rarely followed: “You must behave so you will be forgiven for being a duchess.” Chafing at life in a picturesque but poor minor German duchy, she saw her ticket out when she met Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia, brother of Tsar Alexander III. With Vladimir equally smitten, Miechen didn’t hesitate ditching her hapless fiancé, Prince George Schwartzburg, to embark on a three-year courtship securing the first of many personal victories. She dared defy tradition by refusing to covert from Lutheranism to Russian Orthodoxy and set a...

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Imperial Jewelry Case

Since the 1917 Revolution, all manner of wild tales have circulated about the fate of the Romanov jewels. Some are completely fanciful while others are at least rooted in fact, including the use of precious gems used as collateral when the Bolsheviks secured a desperately needed $25,000 loan from the Irish Republic in 1919. The jewels traveled to New York where they were given to Irish envoy, Harry Boland who then took them to Ireland where he stashed them in his mother’s home in Dublin. Mrs. Boland kept the jewels hidden until 1938 when they were removed to government buildings and, believe it or not, forgotten for a decade! A new Irish government discovered them and proposed auctioning them off, but negotiations with the Soviets finally secured repayment of the...

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