Tag: Stories @en

The Prophetic Chaplain of King Louis XI

The reign of Louis XI was dominated by his struggles against the Duke of Burgundy, his cousin. King Louis’ thoughts and preoccupations revolved entirely around France; how can he unite the disparate provinces under his scepter and create a state of order in the country that would meet the needs of his people? His cousin,…

Leap Castle

Leap Castle is a fitting name for the most haunted place in Ireland. Throughout its history, it has seen fratricidal warring, murders, massacres, and disappearances. It is overrun with a variety of phantoms. In the early 20th century a dungeon was discovered filled with hundreds of skeletons. A bit later three standing skeletons were found…

The Tragic Dream of Cawnpore

In the middle of the 19th century, a young English bride was haunted by a recurring nightmare. She found herself in an unknown city, it what appeared to be a foreign land. Riots were breaking out everywhere; a hateful and violent crowd chased her through the streets. She took refuge in a church where she found…

The Phantom Eucharist

Some time ago, old houses surrounded the chapel in Patmos, the one that I consider my oratory. An old man inhabited one of these homes. One night, the old man was awoken by chants coming from the chapel. The hour was much too late for the Liturgy. The old man dressed quickly, crossed the street,…

Bonaparte

My maternal family, the House of Orléans, hated Napoleon III. One of his first acts upon coming into power was to confiscate their fortune, to which the journalist Henri de Rochefort remarked, “C’est le premier vol de l’aigle.” (The play on words here cannot be translated into English, vol means both flight and theft in…

The Other Sister

Count Hugo Borromini is at the wheel of his sports car. He is young, handsome, and rich; naturally, he attracts all the young women, but it is Margarita Caraccini who has caught his eye. Margarita is tall and blonde, and unlike most of the young aristocrats, she made her name as a painter. Hugo was…

Peter the Cruel

My half-Spanish grandmother always scolded me for referring to our ancestor, the King of Castile, as Peter the Cruel. “His name is Peter the Just,” she would correct me, preferring the qualifier attributed to him by the Jews and Muslims he had always protected. Whether Peter was Cruel or Just, he loved the city of…

Love at war in Kythera

In October 1940, Italy attacked Greece and was repelled. Soon the Germans came to their support. Many British soldiers who were fighting alongside the Greeks were chased by the invaders, forced to take refuse on the island of Kythera. The Germans then bombed the island’s ports. The British soldiers were then evacuated to Crete before…

The Blue Nun of Texas

We find ourselves in Mexico, during the sixteenth century. Father Alonso Benavides is leading an expedition in the north. These missions were common, the Spanish Crown sent priests supported by soldiers to evangelize, to conquer virgin lands.   This time Father Benavides was tasked with “exploring” the great arid plains of what is today southern…

Belhomme’s Clinic

In the midst of the Terror, at a time when Parisians were laying low, afraid of falling victim to the revolutionaries, when a heavy atmosphere weighed down on the city and dread and anxiety suppressed all amusement, when shortages grew ever more dramatic and severe, there was at Charenton, a refuge, a haven where all the…