As a typical American kid I knew nothing of aristocratic salons while growing up. To me, the British had nobility, but nobody else did anymore.
Then, with university studies, I began to read the English historian Christopher Dawson and it helped to mature my understanding and view of Christian Europe, its people and history.
Dawson wrote of the highly stylized aristocratic civilization of post-Renaissance Europe (which reached its full development in the age of Louis XIV). When I moved to Europe five years ago I never imagined I'd meet any of these people, or rather, any of their ancestors!
But just a couple of days ago while at the FSSP Rome parish I had the nicest little chat with two of the most splendid and fun European ladies. They said their names were Gloria and Alessandra. I said with a smile: "Nice to meet you!"
But Alessandra I had met near Florence a few years before. She's a relative of Pope Paul V, Borghese (see her site her: http://www.alessandraborghese.com/).
While the other I had never seen or met or heard of before. But she's the lovely and very kind Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis (see her site here: http://www.thurnundtaxis.de/frs_home.html).
Then another sweet lady (hi, Principessa Massimo!) came up to me and asked if I was "Orbis Catholicus." Such a warm lady. It was great to chat with her, too.
Ladies, we love and support you all in your efforts of Catholic leadership - thank you and ever press forward!