Education Pg 4
Christianity has contributed the most in education to society. The church is the largest single contributor to education in the world, and in some of the poorest countries. There is no close second contributor. From preschools through colleges and universities, the Church has provided the institutions, the buildings and the teachers.
"All knowledge is sterile which does not lead to action and end in charity." - Cardinal Desire Joseph Mercier
Public Libraries in Western Society
Christians have been responsible for developing libraries in Western society from the earliest times. This has had a great impact on learning and cultural development.
Check out some of the history:
Désiré-Félicien-François-Joseph Mercier (21 November 1851 – 23 January 1926) was a Belgian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and a noted scholar. A Thomist scholar, he had several of his works translated into other European languages. He was known for his book, Les origines de la psychologie contemporaine (1897). His scholarship gained him recognition from the Pope and he was appointed as Archbishop of Mechelen, serving from 1906 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1907.
Mercier is noted for his staunch resistance to the German occupation of 1914–1918 during the Great War.
After the invasion, he distributed a strong pastoral letter, Patriotism and Endurance, to be read in all his churches, urging the people to keep up their spirits. He served as a model of resistance.
The following is an inspiring account:
"One of the benefits of a cold day was that it almost smothered the stench of destruction: parched and sodden beams torn out of homes, barns, mills, churches; human and animal waste in the alleys; death in the fields.
The day was very cold. The cardinal stooped to hear the voice of a woman wrapped in black and wearing on her feet only the wooden sabots of the poor. It was not only age and his voluntary privations that bowed his back. He had to bow: he was six feet ten inches tall.
"Your Eminence," said the woman, "my son Marcel, my only son, has fallen in the trenches along the Yser."
"My dear daughter, I shall pray for him at Mass."
"Thank you," she said, and hesitated, crumpling a rosary between her hands.
"I'm in no hurry," he said. "God meant for me to be here speaking with you. Do you need food or shelter?
What can I do for you?"
"No, no, Eminence," she said, though she had not tasted meat in months. "Marcel was sometimes not the best Catholic. Oh, he went to Mass, but he was fond of drink, and you know what soldiers are, and — I am afraid."
The cardinal had heard it many times before. "Daughter," he said, "I do know what soldiers are. Our soldiers are our saviors. Our Lord never had a hard word for the soldier, and remember what he said, that greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends. Marcel has laid down his life for our poor beloved country, our brave and noble Belgium. He has suffered unto blood. Can we who honor his heroism doubt that God welcomes him with love?"
... The woman wept."
Magnificat Anthony Esolen. "How the Church Has Changed the World: A Giant Among Men." Magnificat (November, 2017).https://us.magnificat.net/