(Vatican Insider) -- He didn’t wear a kilt but a religious habit. Part warrior, part monk, he was above all armed with a “fervent Catholic faith”: this was the real William Wallace, the Scottish national hero, made famous by the Oscar-winning film “Braveheart” that came out in 1995, starring Mel Gibson. This is according to traditionalist website Pontiflex.roma.it, which covers studies and research carried out in Scotland by the Society for Tradition, Family and Property, a body that was established to promote the thinking of the Catholic intellectual, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It seems so common that people forget that if you called yourself a Christian anywhere in the Western World prior to the 16th century that meant you will likely a member of the Roman Catholic Church. After five centuries we have so easily forgotten that Christianity was essentially unified in the West prior to the Reformation and the words 'Catholic' and 'Christian' were completely synonymous. William Wallace was one such Christian, a devout Catholic and defender of his people.
According to the Catholic website, Gibson’s film is important in that it taught the whole world the story of the Scottish leader who led his fellow nationals in the rebellion against English occupation. However, it missed out one fundamental fact about the figure of Braveheart: his Catholic faith.
Since his birth in 1270, the young nobleman, Wallace, received a Catholic education. His career was allegedly church oriented: he was educated by the Augustinians and the Benedictines and apart from his mother tongue, Gaelic, he also spoke English, French, German and Latin.
Then, a series of violent episodes made him abandon religious life. An English patrol killed his father and eldest brother in cold blood, after they were found guilty of refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to Edward I of England and of supporting the Scottish sovereign, John Balliol’s cause instead. William consequently killed some English soldiers and went into hiding: this was the moment when the man who was to lead the revolt against the invader, with the help of the Bishop of Glasgow, was born...
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Those of us who claim our cultural heritage from Scotland, particularly those of us in the American Southeast -- Dixieland -- would do well to remember that. Catholicism is just as much our cultural heritage as anything else.