Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Reconcile, Psalms 67:2-8, Acts 12:24-13:5, John 12:44-50, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Urges Christians to be generous with their God-given talents, Saint Fidelis, Sigmaringen Germany, Sigmaringen Castle, Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Chapter 2 Sacraments of Healing Article 4 Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

Wednesday,  April 24, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Reconcile, Psalms 67:2-8, Acts 12:24-13:5, John 12:44-50, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Urges Christians to be generous with their God-given talents, Saint Fidelis, Sigmaringen Germany, Sigmaringen Castle, Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Chapter 2 Sacraments of Healing Article 4 Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Prayers for Today: Wednesday in Easter


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis April 24 General Audience Address :

Urges Christians to be generous with their God-given talents

(2013-04-24 Vatican Radio)
Pope Francis on Wednesday called on Christians to await the coming of the Lord with trust and joy.

Speaking to crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Wednesday General Audience, the Pope continued his catechesis on the Creed and reflected on three Gospel texts that – he said – help us to understand the mystery of the Last Judgment and the second coming of the Lord.

“Just as human history began with the creation of man and woman in the image of God” – the Pope explained - “so it will end with Christ’s return and the final judgment”.

The parables Pope Francis chose to examine are the parable of the wise and foolish virgins that, he said, reminds us that we must be spiritually prepared to meet the Lord when he comes; the parable of the talents, that emphasizes our responsibility to use wisely God’s gifts, making them bear abundant fruit, and here he said: “ I would ask the many young people present to be generous with their God-given talents for the good of others, the Church and our world”; and finally, the parable of the final judgment that “reminds us that, in the end, we will be judged on our love for others and especially for those in need”.

Pope Francis said that through these parables, our Lord teaches us to await his coming not with fear but with confident trust, ever watchful for the signs of his presence and faithful in prayer and works of charity, so that when he comes he will find us his good and faithful servants.

Pope Francis April 24 Homily :

Church is NOT a beaureaucratic organizaiton but a love story

(2013-04-24 Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) The Church is not a bureaucratic organization, but a love story. This was Pope Francis’ message during Wednesday’s Mass in the Chapel of the Casa Santa Marta.

Attending the Mass this morning were employees of the Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly called the Vatican bank. Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, concelebrated Mass with the Holy Father.

The day’s readings tell the story of the growth of the first Christian community. In his homily, the Pope warned against being tempted to make "deals" simply to get "more partners in this enterprise."

Instead, he said, “the road that Jesus willed for His Church is otherwise: the way of difficulties, the way of the Cross, the way of persecution . . . And this makes us wonder: what is this Church? Because it seems it is not a human enterprise."

The Church, he said, is "something else." The disciples do not make the Church – they are the messengers sent by Jesus. And Christ was sent by the Father: “The Church begins there,” he said, “in the heart of the Father, who had this idea . . . of love. So this love story began, a story that has gone on for so long, and is not yet ended. We, the women and men of the Church, we are in the middle of a love story: each of us is a link in this chain of love. And if we do not understand this, we have understood nothing of what the Church is."
The temptation is to focus on the growth of the Church without taking the path of love: "But the Church does not grow by human strength. Some Christians have gone wrong for historical reasons, they have taken the wrong path, they have raised armies, they have waged wars of religion: that is another story, that is not the story of love. Yet we learn, with our mistakes, how the story of love goes. But how does it increase? Jesus said simply: like the mustard seed, it grows like yeast in the flour, without noise."

A head of state once asked how big the Pope’s army was. The Church does not increase “through military might”, said Pope Francis, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is because the Church is not just another organisation: “she is Mother” he said. The Pope commented on the number of mothers present at the Mass. “How would you feel,” he asked, “if someone said: she’s a domestic administrator? 'No, I am the mother!' And the Church is Mother. And we are in the middle of a love story that continues thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit. All of us together are a family in the Church, who is our Mother."

The Pope concluded his reflection with a prayer to Mary, asking that she might "give us the grace of the spiritual joy of participating in this love story."


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope: April–May

Vatican City, 3 April 2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father in the months of April and May, 2013:


28 April, Sunday: 10:00am, Mass and confirmations in St. Peter's Square.

4 May, Saturday: 6:00pm, Recitation of the Rosary in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

5 May, Sunday: 10:00am, Mass for Confraternities in St. Peter's Square.

12 May, Sunday: 9:30am, Mass and canonizations of Blesseds Antonio Primaldo and Companions; Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya y Upegui; and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala.

18 May, Saturday: 6:00pm, Pentecost Vigil in St. Peter's Square with the participation of ecclesial movements.

19 May, Pentecost Sunday: 10:00am, Mass in St. Peter's Square with the participation of ecclesial movements.


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 04/24/2013.


April 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:"Dear children, I am calling you to be one with my Son in spirit. I am calling you, through prayer, and the Holy Mass when my Son unites Himself with you in a special way, to try to be like Him; that, like Him, you may always be ready to carry out God's will and not seek the fulfillment of your own. Because, my children, it is according to God's will that you are and that you exist, and without God's will you are nothing. As a mother I am asking you to speak about the glory of God with your life because, in that way, you will also glorify yourself in accordance to His will. Show humility and love for your neighbour to everyone. Through such humility and love, my Son saved you and opened the way for you to the Heavenly Father. I implore you to keep opening the way to the Heavenly Father for all those who have not come to know Him and have not opened their hearts to His love. By your life, open the way to all those who still wander in search of the truth. My children, be my apostles who have not lived in vain. Do not forget that you will come before the Heavenly Father and tell Him about yourself. Be ready! Again I am warning you, pray for those whom my Son called, whose hands He blessed and whom He gave as a gift to you. Pray, pray, pray for your shepherds. Thank you." 

March 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:
“Dear children! In this time of grace I call you to take the cross of my beloved Son Jesus in your hands and to meditate on His passion and death. May your suffering be united in His suffering and love will win, because He who is love gave Himself out of love to save each of you. Pray, pray, pray until love and peace begin to reign in your hearts. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

March 18, 2013 Message to the World via Annual Apparition to Mirjana:
"Dear children! I call you to, with complete trust and joy, bless the name of the Lord and, day by day, to give Him thanks from the heart for His great love. My Son, through that love which He showed by the Cross, gave you the possibility to be forgiven for everything; so that you do not have to be ashamed or to hide, and out of fear not to open the door of your heart to my Son. To the contrary, my children, reconcile with the Heavenly Father so that you may be able to come to love yourselves as my Son loves you. When you come to love yourselves, you will also love others; in them you will see my Son and recognize the greatness of His love. Live in faith! Through me, my Son is preparing you for the works which He desires to do through you – works through which He desires to be glorified. Give Him thanks. Especially thank Him for the shepherds - for your intercessors in the reconciliation with the Heavenly Father. I am thanking you, my children. Thank you."


Today's Word:  Reconcile  re·con·cile  [rek-uhn-sahyl]  

Origin: 1300–50; Middle English reconcilen  < Latin reconciliāre  to make good again, repair. See re-, conciliate

verb (used with object)
1. to cause (a person) to accept or be resigned to something not desired: He was reconciled to his fate.
2. to win over to friendliness; cause to become amicable: to reconcile hostile persons.
3. to compose or settle (a quarrel, dispute, etc.).
4. to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent: to reconcile differing statements; to reconcile accounts.
5. to reconsecrate (a desecrated church, cemetery, etc.).
6. to restore (an excommunicate or penitent) to communion in a church.


Today's Old Testament Reading -   Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

2 Then the earth will acknowledge your ways, and all nations your power to save.
3 Let the nations praise you, God, let all the nations praise you.
5 Let the nations praise you, God, let all the nations praise you.
6 The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God has blessed us.


Today's Epistle -  Acts 12:24-13:5

24 The word of God continued to spread and to gain followers.
25 Barnabas and Saul completed their task at Jerusalem and came back, bringing John Mark with them.
1 In the church at Antioch the following were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 One day while they were offering worship to the Lord and keeping a fast, the Holy Spirit said, 'I want Barnabas and Saul set apart for the work to which I have called them.'
3 So it was that after fasting and prayer they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
4 So these two, sent on their mission by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there set sail for Cyprus.
5 They landed at Salamis and proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; John acted as their assistant.


Today's Gospel Reading - John 12:44-50

Jesus declared publicly: Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in the one who sent me, whoever sees me, sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as light, to prevent anyone who believes in me from staying in the dark any more. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall judge such a person, since I have come not to judge the world, but to save the world: anyone who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already: the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. For I have not spoken of my own accord; but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and what to speak, and I know that his commands mean eternal life. And therefore what the Father has told me is what I speak.

• Today’s Gospel presents to us the last part of the Book of Signs (from 1 to 12), in which the Evangelist draws up a balance. Many believed in Jesus and had the courage to manifest their faith publicly. They were afraid to be expelled from the Synagogue. And many did not believe: “Though they had been present when he gave so many signs, they did not believe in him; this was to fulfil the words of the prophet Isaiah: ‘Lord, who has given credence to what they have heard from us? And who has seen in it a revelation of the Lord’s arm?” (Jn 12, 37-38). After this confirmation, John takes back some of the central themes of his Gospel:

• John 12, 44-45: To believe in Jesus is to believe in him who sent him. This phrase is a summary of the Gospel of John. It is the theme that appears and reappears in many ways. Jesus is so united to the Father that he does not speak in his own name, but always in the name of the Father. He who sees Jesus, sees the Father. If you want to know God, look at Jesus. God is Jesus!

• John 12, 46: Jesus is the light who comes into the world. Here John comes back to what he had already said in the Prologue: “The Word was the real light that gives light to everyone (Jn 1, 9). “The light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it” (Jn 1, 5). Here he repeats: “I have come into the world as light, to prevent anyone who believes in me from staying in the dark any more”. Jesus is a living response to the great questions which move and inspire the search of the human being. It is a light which enlightens the horizon. It makes one discover the luminous side of the darkness of faith.

• John 12, 47-48: I have not come to condemn the world. Getting to the end of a stage, a question arises: “How will judgment be? In these two verses the Evangelist clarifies the theme of judgment. The judgment is not done according to threats, with maledictions. Jesus says: “If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall judge such a person, since I have come not to judge the world, but to save the world. Anyone who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already: the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. The judgment consists in the way in which the person defines himself before his own conscience.

• John 12, 49-50: The Father commanded me what to say. The last words of the Book of Signs are a summery of everything that Jesus says and does up until now. He reaffirms that which he affirmed from the beginning: “For I have not spoken of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and what to speak, and I know that his commands mean eternal life. And, therefore, what the Father has told me is what I speak.” Jesus is the faithful reflection of the Father. For this reason, he does not offer proofs or arguments to those who provoke him to legitimize his credentials. It is the Father who legitimizes him through the works that he does. And saying works, he does not refer to great miracles, but to all that he says and does, even the minutest thing. Jesus himself is the Sign of the Father. He is the walking miracle, the total transparency. He does not belong to himself, but is entirely the property of the Father. The credentials of an Ambassador do not come from him, but from the one he represents. They come from the Father.

Personal questions
• John draws up a balance of the revealing activity of God. If I made a balance of my life, what positive thing would there be in me?
• Is there something in me which condemns me?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Feast DayApril  24

Patron Saint:  n/a
Attributes:  sword; palm of martyrdom; heretics; the Morning Star; trampling on the word "heresy"; with a club set with spikes; with a whirlbat; with an angel carrying a palm of martyrdom; with Saint Joseph of Leonessa

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen with St. Joseph of Leonessa (Tiepolo, 1752-1758)
Fidelis of Sigmaringen, O.F.M. Cap. (1577 - 1622), was a Capuchin friar who was a major figure in the Counter-Reformation, and was murdered by his opponents at Seewis im Prättigau, now part of Switzerland. Fidelis was canonized in 1746.

He was born Mark Roy or Rey in 1577, in Sigmaringen, a town in modern-day Germany, then under the Principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. His father's name was John Rey. He studied law and philosophy at the University of Freiburg.

Roy subsequently taught philosophy at this university, ultimately earning the degree of Doctor of Law. During his time as a student he did not drink wine, and wore a hair-shirt. He was known for his modesty, meekness and chastity.

In 1604, Roy accompanied, as preceptor (teacher-mentor), three young Swabian gentlemen on their travels through the principal parts of Europe. During six years of travel, he attended Mass very frequently. In every town they came to, he visited the hospitals and churches, passed several hours on his knees in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and was generous to the poor, sometimes giving them the very clothes off his back.

Upon his return, he practiced law as a counselor or advocate, at Colmar, in Alsace where he came to be known as the 'poor man's lawyer'. He scrupulously forbore all invectives, detractions, and whatever might affect the reputation of any adversary. Disenchanted with the evils associated with his profession, he was determined to enter the religious life as a member of the Capuchin friars.

Life as a friar

Upon entering the Capuchin order, the guardian gave him the religious name of Fidelis, the Latin word for "faithful," alluding to that text from the Book of Revelation which promises a crown of life to him who shall continue faithful to the end. He finished his novitiate and studies for the priesthood, presiding over his first Mass at the Capuchin friary in Fribourg (in present-day Switzerland), on October 4, 1612 (the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the order).

As soon as Fidelis finished his course of theology, he was immediately employed in preaching and in hearing confessions. After becoming guardian of the Capuchin friary in Weltkirchen, Feldkirch (in present-day Austria), many residents of the town and neighboring places were reformed by his zealous labors, and several Calvinists were converted. The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith commissioned Fidelis to preach in the Graubünden region of eastern Switzerland. Eight other Capuchin friars were to be his assistants, and they labored in this mission under his direction.

The Calvinists of that territory, being incensed at his success in converting their brethren, loudly threatened Fidelis' life, and he prepared himself for martyrdom. Ralph de Salis and another Calvinist gentleman were both converted by his missionary efforts. Fidelis and his companions entered into Prättigau, a small district of Graubünden, in 1622, on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6. The effects of his ardent zeal, where the Bishop of Coire sent a lengthy and full account to the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, enraged the Calvinists in that province.

On April 24, 1622, Fidelis made his confession, celebrated Mass and then preached at Grüsch. At the end of his sermon, which he had delivered with more than ordinary zeal, he stood silent all of a sudden, with his eyes fixed upon Heaven, in ecstasy. He foretold his death to several persons in the clearest terms, and began signing his letters, "P. Fidelis, prope diem esca vermium" ("Father Fidelis, in days ahead to become food for worms"). After the service at Grüsch he and several companions traveled to Seewis. His companions noted that he was particularly cheerful.


On April 24, in a campaign organized by the Habsburgs, Fidelis was preaching under protection of some Austrian imperial soldiers in the Church at Seewis with the aim to reconvert the people of Seewis to Catholicism. During the sermon, his listeners were called "to arms" by the Calvinist agitators outside. Some of the people went to face the Austrian troops outside the church. Fidelis had been persuaded by the remaining Catholics to immediately flee with the Austrian troops out of Seewis, which he did, but then returned alone to Grüsch. On his way back he was confronted by 20 Calvinist soldiers who demanded unsuccessfully that he renounce the Catholic faith, and when he refused, they subsequently murdered him.
A local account:
From Grüsch he went to preach at Seewis, where, with great energy, he exhorted the Catholics to constancy in the faith. After a Calvinist had discharged his musket at him in the Church, the Catholics entreated him to leave the place. He answered that death was his gain and his joy, and that he was ready to lay down his life in God's cause. On his road back to Grüsch, he met twenty Calvinist soldiers with a minister at their head. They called him a false prophet, and urged him to embrace their sect. He answered: "I am sent to you to confute, not to embrace your heresy. The Catholic religion is the faith of all ages, I fear not death." One of them beat him down to the ground by a stroke on the head with his backsword. Fidelis rose again on his knees, and stretching forth his arms in the form of a cross, said with a feeble voice "Pardon my enemies, O Lord: blinded by passion they know not what they do. Lord Jesus, have mercy on me. Mary, Mother of God, succor me!." Another sword stroke clove his skull, and he fell to the ground and lay in a pool of his own blood. The soldiers, not content with this, added many stab wounds to his body with their long knives, and hacked-off his left leg, as they said, to punish him for his many journeys into those parts to preach to them.


It is said that a Catholic woman lay concealed near the place during his martyrdom; and after the soldiers were gone, coming out to see the effects of it, found the martyr's eyes open, and fixed on the heavens. He was buried by the Catholics the next day. The rebels were soon after defeated by the Imperial troops, an event which the martyr had foretold them. The minister, who participated in St. Fidelis' martyrdom, was converted by this circumstance, made a public abjuration of his Calvinism and was received into the Catholic Faith.

After six months, the martyr's body was found to be incorrupt, but his head and left arm were separated from his body. The body parts were then placed into two reliquaries, one sent to the Cathedral of Coire, at the behest of the bishop, and laid under the High Altar; the other was placed in the Capuchin church at Weltkirchen, Feldkirch, Austria.

Saint Fidelis' feast day in the Roman Catholic Church is celebrated on April 24.


  1. ^ "Proper of Saints: 24 April". Liturgy of the Hours II. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co.
  2. ^ "St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
  3. ^ Butler, Alban, Vol. IV of "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints". 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company

        Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


        Today's Snippet I:  Sigmaringen,  Germany

        The Castle of Sigmaringen - Photograph: Roland Nonnenmacher, D-72516 Scheer
        Sigmaringen is a town in southern Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Situated on the upper Danube, it is the capital of the Sigmaringen district.

        Sigmaringen is renowned for its castle, Schloss Sigmaringen, which was the seat of the French Vichy government-in-exile during the closing months of the Second World War.

        Sigmaringen lies in the Danube valley, surrounded by wooded hills in the south of the Swabian Alb around 40 km away from the Lake of Constance.

        The surrounding towns are on the north, Winterlingen (in the district of Zollernalb) and Veringenstadt, on the east, Bingen, Sigmaringendorf, and Scheer, on the south, Mengen, Krauchenwies, Inzigkofen, and Meßkirch, and on the west, Leibertingen, Beuron, and Stetten am kalten Markt. The city is made up from the following districts: Sigmaringen (inner-city), Gutenstein, Jungnau, Laiz, Oberschmeien and Unterschmeien.


        Sigmaringen was first documented in 1077 and was in the principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen until 1850, after which it became a province of Prussia's Province of Hohenzollern.

        Vichy French enclave (1944-1945)

        On September 7, 1944, following the Allied invasion of France, Philippe Pétain and members of the Vichy government cabinet were relocated to Germany. A city-state ruled by the government in exile headed by Fernand de Brinon, was established at Sigmaringen. There were three embassies in the city-state, all of Vichy-France's allies: Germany, Italy and Japan.

        Pétain returned to France in April 1945. French writers Céline, Lucien Rebatet and Roland Gaucher, fearing for their lives because of their political and anti-Semitic writings, fled along with the Vichy government to Sigmaringen. Céline's novel D'un château l'autre (English: Castle to Castle) describes the fall of Sigmaringen. The city was taken by the French army on April 22, 1945.

        Notable residents

        Sigmaringen was the birthplace of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, a Roman Catholic martyr of the Counter-Reformation in Switzerland and Ferdinand of Romania, King of Romania. It was one of the residences of deceased Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, the late representative of the house, who was the first in the line of succession to the throne of Romania, by Salic law. Frederick Miller, founder of the Miller Brewing Company, was living in Sigmaringen during the start of his brewing career.


        1. ^ "Bevölkerung und Erwerbstätigkeit". Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (in German). 9 October 2012.


        Today's Snippet II:   Sigmaringen Castle

        Schloss Sigmaringen from the north west
        Sigmaringen Castle (German: Schloss Sigmaringen) was the princely castle and seat of government for the Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. Situated in the Swabian Alb region of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, this castle dominates the skyline of the town of Sigmaringen. The castle was rebuilt following a fire in 1893, and only the towers of the earlier medieval fortress remain. Schloss Sigmaringen was a family estate of the Swabian Hohenzollern family, a cadet branch of the Hohenzollern family, from which the German Emperors and kings of Prussia came. During the closing months of World War II, Schloss Sigmaringen was briefly the seat of the Vichy French Government after France was liberated by the Allies. The castle and museums may be visited throughout the year, but only on guided tours.


        Sigmaringen is located on the southern edge of the Swabian Alb, a plateau region in southern Baden-Württemberg. The Hohenzollern castle was built below the narrow Danube river valley in the modern Upper Danube Nature Park (German: Naturpark Obere Donau). The castle rises above the Danube on a towering chalk projection that is a spur of the white Jura Mountains formation. The hill is known simply as the Schlossberg or Castle Rock. The Schlossberg is about 200 meters (660 ft) long and up to 35 meters (115 ft) above the river. On this free-standing towering rock, the princely Hohenzollern castle is the largest of the Danube valley castles. The sheer cliffs and steep sides of the tower made it a natural site for a well protected medieval castle.


        Construction of the first castle

        The castle on the Schlossberg
        The first castle at Sigmaringen appeared during the end of the Early Middle Ages, during the early 11th century. The castle was first mentioned in 1077 following the unsuccessful siege of Burg Sigmaringen by Rudolf of Rheinfelden in his fight against the King of Germany, Henry IV. In 1083 a pair of brothers, Ludwig and Manegold von Sigmaringen, are listed as witnesses on a document for the Königseggwald abbey.

        Ludwig von Sigmaringen was married to Richinza von Spitzenberg, daughter of Berthold I. von Zähringen. At the end of the 11th century he built a castle on the Spitzenberg at Kuchen, Germany. The castle and the surrounding land and villages were part of the inheritance of Richinza. From their marriage Richinza and Ludwig had four children; Mathilde von Spitzenberg, the wife of Aribo von Wertingen, the clergyman Ulrich von Sigmaringen, Ludwig II von Sigmaringen-Spitzenberg and Manegold von Sigmaringen-Spitzenberg. The three brothers, Ulrich, Ludwig and Mangold von Sigmaringen are named as the founders of the 11th-century St. George's Abbey in the Black Forest.

        From 1133 until 1170 Rudolf von Sigmaringen-Spitzenberg, the son of Ludwig II, ruled at Sigmaringen. In 1183 Graf Ludwig von Sigmaringen-Spitzenberg-Helfenstein, the son of Rudolf, is mentioned at the castle. In 1147 Ludwig as well as his father Rudolf and brother Ulrich II von Sigmaringen-Spitzenberg are mentioned in a document of Walter von Dillingen, Prince-Bishop of Augsburg, as lords of Spitzenberg-Sigmaringen.

        Under the Helfenstein family, until 1290

        Under the Helfenstein family, the castle was renovated around 1200. The castle was totally rebuilt with buckel stones (squared-off stones with a rounded outer surface). Between 1209 and 1258 the castle was occupied by Graf Gottried von Sigmaringen-Helfenstein and his son Graf Gebhard von Sigmaringen-Pietengau. In 1258 the cousin of Graf Gebhard, Graf Ulrich II. von Helfenstein, became the owner of Burg Sigmaringen. Later, Ulrich's daughter Agnes married Graf Ulrich I. von Montfort. Following the marriage in 1272, Sigmaringen was owned by the Counts of Montfort. Then, in 1290 Graf Hugo V. von Montfort, son of Ulrich I, sold the castle and the city of Sigmaringen to Albrecht and Rudolf von Habsburg. Before 1325 Duke Luipold von Habsburg sold the castle and the county of Sigmaringen to the Count of Württemberg.

        Werdenberg family 1399–1534

        Finally in 1399 Count Eberhard von Württemberg granted the castle and county of Sigmaringensein as well as the county of Veringen in Margraviate of Austria, to his uncle and liegeman Count Eberhard III. von Werdenberg (1387–1416) as a fief. His son Count Johann IV. von Werdenberg (1416–1465) and his wife Countess von Württemberg (disinherited by the House of Württemberg), in 1459 inherited the castle and county of Sigmaringen. To protect his land, in the following year he declared Sigmaringen an Austrian fief. From 1460 until 1500 the Counts von Werdenberg renovated the Burg (a military fortress) into Schloss Sigmaringen (a fortified residence), and expanded it to the dimensions which remain today. Toward the end of the 15th century they built two long, angular buildings in the north east. Then, in the early 16th century another wing was added to the west. The two round towers that flank the entrance to the castle also date from this time

        Hugo IX. zu Sigmaringen (1459–1508), son of Johann IV., died without any male offspring. His sister Anna von Werdenberg married Count Friedrich von Fürstenberg in 1516.

        In 1521 Christoph (1494–1534), together with his brothers Johann VI. and Felix I. von Werdenberg, was granted the fief of Sigmaringen from Emperor Charles V. Count Christoph married, after his first marriage to Eleonore Gonzaga remained childless, Johanna von Bröseln, widow of the Count Eitel Friedrich III. von Hohenzollern in 1526. All of his children died, except for his daughter Anna, who married Friedrichs II. von Fürstenberg.

        According to the Zimmern Chronicle in 1530, as Count Felix I was in the bath house with Leonora Werdenberg (the illegitimate daughter of Hugo IX and the mistress of Felix and Christoph von Werdenberg) the bath house fire was allowed to spread, leading to a fire that expanded throughout the outbuildings around the castle.

        In 1534, following the death of the last male member of the Werdenberger family, Count Friedrich von Fürstenberg demanded the Werdenberger lands. However, King Ferdinand I granted the fief of Sigmaringen and Veringen, in 1535, to Charles I of Hohenzollern (1516–1576), the son from Johanna von Bröseln's first marriage with Friedrich III. von Hohenzollern.

        The Hohenzollern and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen families, 1535–1850

        The main gateway
        Charles I was the first Hohenzollern to rule in Sigmaringen. In 1539 there was another fire that damaged the castle. A year later, in 1540, Sigmaringen and Veringen were transferred to the House of Hohenzollern as part of the Pfullendorf agreement (German: Pfullendorfer Vertrag). Count Charles I. von Hohenzollern occupied the castle.Charles II. von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1547–1606), son of Charles I was the count of Sigmaringen from 1576 until 1606. 

        He was also the founder of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen line of the Hohenzollern family. Under Charles II the castle was renovated.Between 1576 and 1606 the gatehouse was expanded to cover the entrance to the castle and a new church was built near the castle.

        In 1576 the House of Hohenzollern split into four lines, Hohenzollern (died out in 1602), Hohenzollern-Haigerloch (absorbed by Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen after 1630), Hohenzollern-Hechingen (died out in 1869) und Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. Sigmaringen was the main residence of the family of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen from 1576 until 1850.

        Combined Coat of Arms of the house of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
        Inner courtyard of the castle
        Johann von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1578–1638), the son of Charles II was the count of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen from 1606 until 1623. Then in 1623 the family was promoted from Count (German: Graf) to the rank of Princes of the Holy Roman Empire (German: Reichsfürst). Johann then became the first prince (German: Fürst) of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was besieged by Swedish troops in 1632, and retaken by the Imperial troops in the following year. During the attack by Imperial troops under General Horn, the eastern section of the castle was destroyed by fire.

        Before the siege, Johann fled to Bavaria. He would remain in Bavaria until his death, at age 60, in 1638. Johann's son, Meinrad I (1605–1681), was the prince from 1638 until 1681. Meinrad had the burned eastern wing rebuilt during 1658 and 1659 by the master builder Michael Beer. Both eastern buildings, built when the Werdenberg family owned Sigmaringen, were combined under a single roof. Maximilian (1636–1689), son of Meinrad I, was prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen from 1681 until 1689.

        Castle Sigmaringen with the city and mill. The roof on the central tower was replaced with a pointed spire in 1877
        His son Meinrad II (1673–1715) ruled from 1689 until 1715. From 1698 on he ruled in Haigerloch. His son, Josef (1702–1769) ruled from 1715 until 1769. In 1724 Josef ordered the construction of the Marstalles or royal stables. In addition to this construction, in 1736 he had the castle modernized and the Knights' Hall (German: Rittersaal) was built. In 1867 it was refurnished and renamed the Ancestors' Hall (German: Ahnensaal). His son, Karl Friedrich reigned from 1769 until 1785.

        Karl Friedrich's son, Anton Aloys (1762–1831), reigned from 1785 until 1831. Between 1815 and 1817 he had the granary rebuilt as a five-story knights' building, which became known as Wilhelm's building (German: Wilhelmsbau).

        Prince Karl (1785–1853), the son of Anton Aloys, ruled from 1831 until 1848. In 1833 Karl called a constitutional assembly (German: Landtag) together and created a constitutional charter that would be the law in his lands. He founded a hospital for his subjects, and had the Ständehaus built on the modern Leopoldsplatz in Sigmaringen (today owned by the Hohenzollerischen Landesbank). Karl also removed the burden of serfdom and various other medieval laws. During the German Revolution of 1848 Karl abdicated in favor of his son, Karl Anton, on 27 August 1848. In recognition of Karl's efforts to improve the lives of his subjects, in 1857 the hospital that he built was renamed the Fürst-Carl-Landesspital (Prince Carl Regional Hospital). In 1869 Karl Anton, following the death of Konstantin the last prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen, annexed the lands of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and became the prince of Hohenzollern.

        A destination for the rich and powerful

        Fountain from the Portuguese Gallery
        Karl Anton built the castle into a meeting point for the nobility of Europe. Portions of the castle were rebuilt and decorated to make Schloss Sigmaringen into a destination of the rich and powerful. In 1855 the walls of the upper story were removed to create the Old German Hall (German: Altdeutschen Saal). In 1864 he modified the arches above the southern curtain wall to form the Weapons Room (German: Waffenhalle). From 1862 until 1867 he built the new Art Gallery (German: Kunsthalle), which is today a museum. As a member of the German high nobility, Karl Anton needed a centerpiece of his elegant castle. To create this, in 1872 he had the Parisian architect Lambert rebuild the dining hall into the French Hall (German: Französische Saal). In 1877 he expanded the central keep, removed the old roof and topped the keep with a new pointed roof. In the following year, the Ancestors' Hall (German: Ahnensaal) was rebuilt.

        The French Hall (German: Der Französische Saal), used as a dining room
        Since 1871 the castle has been open for guided tours. These tours provide a history of the castle as well as the House of Hohenzollern.

        Leopold (1835–1905), the son of Karl Anton, was offered the Spanish crown after the Spanish Revolution of 1868 overthrew Queen Isabella II. He was supported by the Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck, but opposed by the French emperor Napoleon III. Leopold was forced to decline the offer, but the extra demands made by the French government and the sending of the Ems Telegram resulted in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, which led to the fall of emperor Napoleon III and the setting up of the French Third Republic. Following the war and the death of Karl Anton, he ruled as prince of the Houses of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Hohenzollern from 1885 until his death in 1905.

        In 1893 the eastern wing burned and was nearly totally destroyed. Starting in 1895, the construction manager Johannes de Pay and the Munich architect Emanuel von Seidl rebuilt the destroyed section. In 1899 and 1906, other sections of th castle were redone in the eclectic style (a combination of Romanesque, Gothic and mostly Renaissance styles) that was common at the time. The Portuguese Gallery (German: Portugiesische Galerie) was built during this reconstruction. The construction continued under Leopold's son, Wilhelm (1864–1927) who was prince of the Houses of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Hohenzollern from 1905 until 1927.

        In 1901, the pointed spire on the keep was destroyed. It was replaced with an octagonal pointed neo-gothic tower made from tuff stone.

        Leopold's son Friedrich (1891–1965) was the prince of the house from 1927 until 1965. He opened the carriage house in the lower story of the museum as an early history museum.

        Seat of the Vichy Government

        Barbed wire, a witness of the time the Vichy Government-in-Exile occupied Schloss Sigmaringen
        Following the Allied invasion of France, the French Vichy Regime was moved from France into Schloss Sigmaringen. The princely family was forced by the Gestapo out of the castle and moved to Schloss Wilflingen. 

        The French authors Louis-Ferdinand Céline and Lucien Rebatet, who had written political and anti-semitic works, feared for their safety and fled to Sigmaringen with the Vichy government. Céline's 1957 novel D'un château l'autre, (English: From one castle to another) describes the end of the war and the fall of Sigmaringen on 22 April 1945. 

        The book was made into a German movie in 2006, through the German media companies ZDF and Arte, called Die Finsternis (English: The Darkness).

        The modern castle

        During the 1970s, following a crisis in the steel industry, Frederick William had to sell some of the family property to support the Hüttenwerkes Laucherthal (English: Laucherthal Steel Works). Since the death of his wife Margarita in 1996 Prince Frederick William lived on a country estate in Jagdschloss Josefslust between Krauchenwies and Sigmaringen. His son and heir Karl Friedrich lives in the Sommerschloss in Krauchenwies. The castle is occupied by the management for the business interests of the prince as well as the museum.

        Castle Site

        The modern Schloss Sigmaringen owes its current size and appearance to three construction periods.
        • The medieval castle from the 11th to 13th centuries, built under the Counts of Sigmaringen-Spitzenberg and Spitzenberg-Helfenstein.
        • The renovations and expansion of the castle under Counts of Werdenberg.
        • The renovations to make the castle into a princely residence for the Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen

        Fortress and protective walls

        Inner courtyard of the castle, the Buckel Stones from the first castle are visible on the far wall
        The first castle at Sigmaringen dated from around 1200 and was built from Buckel Stones (squared off stones with a rounded outer surface). The original castle was fully absorbed into the later constructions. Built on the eastern side of the rock hill, it was one of the best protected castles in Germany during the Middle Ages. The original castle was 80 by 30 meters (260 by 98 ft) with the central keep being 45 by 20 meters (148 by 66 ft) in size. The flat and therefore threatened west side was protected by a moat and a 25 or 26 meters (82 or 85 ft) high keep. The square western keep was 8.23 by 8.34 meters (27.0 by 27.4 ft) in size.

        The foundations of the castle were between 3 and 2.5 meters (9.8 and 8.2 ft) thick. The, originally, four story keep walls taper slightly to between 2 or 2.5 meters (6.6 or 8.2 ft) thick. The walls are built in the buckel stone style out of a mixture of limestone and Nagelfluh, a conglomerate rock found in the area. The keep could be entered through a nearly 8 metres (26 ft) high entrance on the courtyard side. To the north of the keep, next to the wall tower, is the castle gate with a gatehouse. The 2.28 meters (7.5 ft) wide and 3.96 meters (13.0 ft) high castle gate was built as a semi-circular entrance with rounded stones and soldiers carved as capitals on the columns. Currently, the castle gate is located at the upper end of the steeply inclined entry hall. The flat top of the hill was surrounded by a curtain wall. From the original fortified house with its blind arches and enclosed kitchen, located on the highest point of the cliff, the arches and portions of the wall are still visible in the outer wall. On the southside, about 6 meters (20 ft) below the keep, a 10–12 meters (33–39 ft) wide inner courtyard was located. Today this area is occupied by the Hall of Weapons. On the east side near the mill is a small 2 meters (6.6 ft) wide opening in the wall, which was most likely a lower castle gate. The 6 to 8 meters (20 to 26 ft) high outer curtain wall is the foundation of the modern castle building. In the north inner wall of the keep is a small opening, which likely was a hidden passage leading to the Danube.


        The castle rooms on the tour are full of ornate furniture, paintings and valuable porcelain objects. The rooms give the visitor a taste of the lifestyle of the nobility in previous centuries. Collections of pre- and ancient historical objects are on display as well as works from swabian artists, carvers and metalworkers. The Hall of Weapons displays one of the largest private weapon collections in Europe, covering everything from the Middle Ages to modern times. The Marstall museum contains the princely fleet of carriages.

        The weapon collection

        A suit of armor on display in the Schloss
        The weapon collection in Schloss Sigmaringen contains over 3000 different examples of weapons and armor. Prince Karl Anton's passion for collecting weapons resulted in the creation of this collection. The collection shows the evolution of weapons from the 14th century to the 20th century. In addition to weapons, the collection also includes protective items such as shields, armor and handguns. Particularly noteworthy are such rare objects dating from the 15th century as a German multi-barrel gun, a body shield and a richly engraved helmet once belonging to a royal bodyguard from ca.1622. The collection includes not just European weapons but also weapons that were considered exotic, such as Persian weapons and the full equipment of a Japanese Samurai.

        In the Galeriebau (English: Gallery Building), built from 1862 to 1867 under Prince Karl Anton, west of the castle is a collection of medieval torture instruments. The torture chamber with its instruments illustrates an earlier sense of justice.

        Pre and Ancient History Collection

        In addition to the torture museum, the Galeriebau also houses a Pre and Ancient history museum. The collections give a picture of life from the Stone Age until the end of the Merovingian dynasty (10.000 B.C. until 700 A.D.). It also includes artifacts from the roman settlements around Sigmaringen. Karl Anton wasn't just fascinated by weapons and hunting, he also loved history and archeology. In 1881 during construction of a canal in the Sigmaringen Market Square, Roman pottery shards and iron work were found. This discovery excited Karl Anton, and he ordered a member of the court F. A. von Lehner to search for and archeologically explore the Villa Rustica in the area. Finds from this Roman estate as well as other nearby estates are including in the collection.


        Manual firefighting pump located in the Marstall Museum
        Located south west of the castle is the royal stables (German: Marstall). The building now houses the Marstallmuseum, a collection of princely carriages. 

        Carriages, coaches, sleds and sedan chairs are presented in an open building. Additionally, equipment for the horses including saddles, horse shoes and spurs, are on display in the museum. 

        One of the exhibits, a manual firefighting pump dates back to the fire in the castle in 1893. The fire raged for three days because the connections on the modern firefighting equipment didn't match the castle's connections. Water had to be brought up by a human chain in buckets from the Danube to the castle.

        Visiting the castle

        The castle may only be visited as part of a tour. The tours are in German only, though translated guides are available. The castle is open in March and April from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, May to October from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, and November to February from 10:00 am – 3:30 pm.


        • ^ House of Hohenzollern website-The Castle accessed 15 November 2008
        • Dörr (1988). Schwäbische Alb: Bergen, Schlösser, Ruinen. Schwäbisch-Hall, Germany: E. Schwend GmbH & Co. pp. 78–80. ISBN 3-616-06727-8.
        • ^ Gustav Schilling: Geschichte des Hauses Hohenzollern, in genealogisch fortlaufenden Biographien aller seiner Regenten von den ältesten bis auf die neuesten Zeiten, nach Urkunden und andern authentischen Quellen, (German) F. Fleischer, 1843, S. 300 ff.
        • ^ German (German) accessed 22 January 2010
        • ^ House of Hohenzollern website-Schloss Sigmaringen



        Catechism of the Catholic Church

        Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery, 

        Section Two: The Seven Sacraments of the Church 





        1420 Through the sacraments of Christian initiation, man receives the new life of Christ. Now we carry this life "in earthen vessels," and it remains "hidden with Christ in God."2 Cor 4:7; Col 3:3 We are still in our "earthly tent," subject to suffering, illness, and death.2 Cor 5:1 This new life as a child of God can be weakened and even lost by sin.

        1421 The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health,Mk 2:1-12 has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members. This is the purpose of the two sacraments of healing: the sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.

        Article 4

        1422 "Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion."LG 11 # 2