What People Are Commenting
Ugly Dresses, Mistakes & La Conquistadora
Ugly Dress of Traditionalists
I would like to request that you write a column addressing the tendency of some traditional Catholics to dress and act in a Protestant manner. By this I mean with dour expressions, frumpy and unattractive clothing, many women looking as though they belonged on "Little House on the Prairie" - long un-styled hair usually worn in a bun or a single long braid.
This is something that should be addressed. I believe that Catholics have always and should continue to set the standard of beauty, style, artistry, and should lead and set the example of good manners, taste, and dignity which will encourage a desire in others to upgrade and better themselves.
Thank you, and I appreciate the valuable and informative articles published on your website,
Thank you for your e-mail. We fully understand your concern and in a good part we agree with it. In our American culture, sometimes modesty is confused with Puritanism and generates the phenomenon you described.
When we will find a gap in our tight schedule, we will specifically address the topic you are suggesting. Until then, you may read other articles that indirectly touch on that problem.
For example, in this article, some basic principles are established regarding fashion. You will find many examples of how distinction and elegance in dress were realized by the gentry of Catholic peoples, an example followed by the peasants in their own charming and colorful regional costumes.
It also sets out the three conditions the Catholic Church always taught us should be met by clothing: the needs of hygiene, modesty and decorum, with explanations of each, especially the latter which is often misunderstood today. To dress with decorum, a word that comes from dignity, means to dress in a manner appropriate to the dignity of each one's condition as a child of God and to his or her state of life. It also means we should dress in a way that edifies our neighbor.
The topic of dress is also addressed in our Manners, Culture, Clothing page, which we suggest you visit. For example, in the article Refinement and Sanctity by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, he points out that it is virtue that fosters excellent manners. We believe that the same can be said for refined dress. He also counters the argument often raised by a school of false piety, which pretends to dress well is always vanity, in Dressing Well: Vanity or Virtue?
We believe that if these principles are well understood, the Catholic sense and natural delicacy of women will foster beautiful and modest dress.
We also suggest that you read this article on men's dress, because many traditional men who are critical of women's dress forget that they have the same obligations to maintain standards of modesty and decorum in their clothing.
We hope this is of some help to you.
TIA correspondence desk
Fewest of the Few
As an encouragement I offer this thought of St. Anselm to your consideration:
St. Anselm: "If you want to be certain of being in the number of the Elect, strive to be one of the few, not one of the many. And if you would be quite sure of your salvation, strive to be among the fewest of the few..."
I am trying to locate a book with the early Church Fathers' writings in it. Do you have such a book, or know the title of one?
Thanks much for your wonderful website!
In Mary & Jesus,
The expression Church Fathers is generic and encompasses many great Catholic theologians from the time immediately after the Apostles until the 12th century.
We recommend you look for the Fathers who are Saints - many of them were not - and then check what Dom Gueranger or other secure authors say about them. You can find the names of the principal Church Fathers here
Many works about the Fathers are promoted by Progressivists, who present them from a perspective that aims to sabotage the perennial Magisterium of the Church. In our opinion it is better to avoid those books.
TIA correspondence desk
I am from Santa Fe New Mexico and was reading about what you have about Our Lady. I just wanted to say the name of the brother was wrong. It is Fray Alanso De Benavides. I will let you know if you have further mistakes.
Dr. Horvat responds:
Thank you for your e-mail. I appreciate corrections offered for my historical articles.
In this case, I believe the correct name it is Fray Alonso de Benavides. I have several published books and articles on the topic, including La Conquistadora, the Autobiography of an Ancient Statue by Fray Angelico Chavez published in Santa Fe, and they cite the name with the spelling I used in my article (check here and here).
It is the spelling generally used in articles on the topic, including the New Mexico history archives (here and here).
I believe in the mentioned piece the proper spelling was used. However, I encourage you to check my articles and send me the corrections you think suitable. They will be welcome.
Marian T. Horvat
Regarding Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira comments on St. Valeriano.
Can you tell me when St. Valeriano died?
We do not have precise data for his death. We know that he died along with the other 80 martyrs in the city of Forli, Italy, which is why he is considered its Patron Saint. But the date is uncertain, as far as we could verify.
TIA correspondence desk
Posted August 31, 2010
The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting -
do not necessarily express those of TIA
Related Topics of Interest
Refinement and Sanctity
Dressing Well: Vanity or Virtue?
Men - Dressing Well
Related Works of Interest
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