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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Trivia Question for September 30


After a long hiatus, the trivia question is back! Let's start with an easy one...

Today is the Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. What do they have in common?

The painting above is of St. Michael, painted by Raphael (not the same one).
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Feast of St. Vincent de Paul


St. Vincent de Paul was a Franciscan Friar from France in the late 1500s. He was ordained in 1600, but unfortunately for him, was kidnapped by Turks (that is, Muslims) and sold into slavery. After two years of slavery he converted his master and was released.

Back in Paris, he began working to improve the poor in general and the galley prisoners in particular. He founded the Daughters of Charity to help in his mission. They should not be confused with the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or with the Sisters of Charity of Hopital General du Montreal (the Grey Nuns - see photo above). There's a bunch more, like the Sisters of Charity of New York, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, the Sisters of Charity of Elizabeth, NJ, and the Sisters of Charity of Nevers. As Wikipedia says, "While most Sisters of Charity communities refer to the Vincentian tradition, and in America to the tradition of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton those links are by no means universal. It is important to recognize that there may be no "family" or historical relationship between groups having the phrase Sisters of Charity as part of their name."

But I KNOW these Sistahs are the real deal!
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Feast of Sts. Cosmos and Damian (September 26)


What in the world???

Cosmos and Damian were twin brothers who were skilled in the science of medicine. In fact, they are rumored to have replaced an amputated leg with a healthy one. The fact that the replacement leg was from an Ethiopian Moor (and hence, black) and the guy who got the leg was white probably made for an interesting sight at the beach.

They were imprisoned during the reign of the evil Dioclesius and after trying to kill them by drowning, burning, and crucifying they were finally beheaded. Their skulls are enshrined in Madrid...and in Munich. Prett cool trick!

Cosmos and Damian are the patron saints of physicians and pharmacists.
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Friday, September 21, 2007

Feast of Saint Matthew


Saint Matthew (also called Levi) was one of the 12 Apostles and wrote the first Gospel. He was a tax collector and when Jesus called him, he invited Jesus to dinner at his place with the other tax collectors and other assorted sinners. The Pharisees didn't care for this kind of thing; Jesus told them, "I came not to call the just, but sinners."

Which is really good news for all of US!

As for the painting, it's entitled "The Martyrdom of St. Matthew" (and you should know by now that I will stick a painting by my man, Caravaggio, on this site whenever I can). So how did St. Matthew die? According to the Catholic Encyclopedia,"There is a disagreement as to the place of St. Matthew's martyrdom and the kind of torture inflicted on him, therefore it is not known whether he was burned, stoned, or beheaded. The Roman Martyrology simply says: "S. Matthæi, qui in Æthiopia prædicans martyrium passus est".
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Being Catholic Doesn't Make You Smart

And I can prove it!

Feast of the "Flying Friar"!


September 18th was the feast of St. Joseph of Cupertino. He's the patron saint of pilots and air travellers and if you are in my PSR class you know why.

His most famous "flight" occured when he bent to kiss the feet of Pope Urban VII and instead was lifted up into the air. He finally came down after the Minister General of the Friars Minor told him to.
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Monday, September 17, 2007

Summorum Pontificum


Pope Benedict XVI's apostolic letter, issued motu proprio, took effect on September 14th!
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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

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From the National Post of Canada:

"Calling it a "very grave situation," the Vatican has excommunicated members of a controversial Quebec Catholic movement, the Army of Mary, for their heretical beliefs that derive from the writings of Marie-Paule Giguère, an 86-year-old mystic who claims to be a reincarnation of the Virgin Mary."

Feast of St. John Chrysostom


St. John Chrysostom (Greek for "golden-mouthed) is a Doctor of the Church, and is considered THE Doctor of the Greek Orthodox "Church". He started as a lector, then anchorite, then deacon, then priest, then Bishop of Constantinople. As Bishop, his first order of business was to reform the decadent ways of some of the clergy. As his name implies, he was a great orator - congregations broke out in spontaneous applause after his sermons.

Today's word of the day - EXEGETE

Today's painting - by an unknown artist, circa 1509AD. It's called St. Giovanni Crisostomo and Saints
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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Little Known Part of the Liturgical Calendar


Few Catholics realize that Vatican Council II instituted an additional season to the liturgical calendar for September. It now goes Ordinary Time, then The Age of Aquarius, and then back to Ordinary Time.

The vestment color is tie-dyed.
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Helpmann awards shadow puppets

This has nothing to do with anything, I just thought it was amazing.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Feast of Sts. Adrian and Natalia


St. Adrian was a pagan who converted to Catholicism. He was a Herculian Guard under the Roman Emperor Galerius Maximian, and while torturing a band of Christians he asked one what kind of reward he expected in heaven. The tortured man said, "Eye hath not seen, nor ears heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him." This inspired his conversion; he was immediately thrown in prison. He was visited there by St. Natalia, who asked for his prayers when he got to heaven. The next day his limbs were knocked off on an anvil and he was beheaded (along with several others). The bodies then were taken to be burned but a thunderstorm came up and blew out the fire - lightning killed some of the executioners. Natalia (who was with him the whole time) grabbed one of his severed hands and kept it with her until she died.

St. Adrian is the patron saint of butchers, although I think he'd be a better patron saint of the butchered.
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Thursday, September 06, 2007

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Useful Idiots, Part II

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The United States has a responsibility to play a vital role in restarting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' international policy committee. "We have a certain responsibility. By not being engaged at this level it will certainly involve us in ways we do not want to be involved in (later)," said Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, Fla. "There needs to be a negotiated solution. "The status quo is not tenable," he said. "The two partners are not on equal strength ... and the USA has to prevail on Israel to negotiate in good faith and not take advantage of the Palestinian weakness."

You mean the Palestinians who destroyed pictures of Christ, bibles, and crosses while vandalizing a Catholic Church and school in the Gaza Strip last weekend? The ones who have bombed the Gaza Bible Society two years in a row? The ones who invaded and desecrated the Church of the Nativity in 2002, stealing every thing that wasn't nailed down while taking more than 40 monks and nuns hostage?

Perhaps the Bishop may want to reconsider using the term "good faith".

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Feast of St. Bertin

St. Bertin (615 AD-709 AD) succeeded St. Eligius as Bishop of Noyon. After becoming Abbot, he had St. Winnoc working for him.

Is it just me, or does it seem like you couldn't swing a dead cat during the Middle Ages without hitting a Saint?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Plague!

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Feast of St. Rosalia


St. Rosalia was born in Palermo, Sicily, and was a descendent of Charlemagne and the daughter of Sinibald, the Lord of Roses. As a girl, she rejected earthly things and moved to a cave to live a life dedicated to God. She lived on a nearby mountain, then moved to Mt. Pellegrino within sight of her father's house. She died in 1160.

In 1664 at the height of a terrible plague (probably bubonic), St. Rosalia appeared in a dream to a a sickened citizen of Palermo. Rosalia instructed her to go to the mountain and find her remains, then parade them through the streets. She did, and the plague disappeared. St. Rosalia was immediately declared Palermo's patron saint. She is still revered in Palermo, especially during the anniversary of the translation of her relics on June 15. On that day, a huge celebration and parade take place. The photo is one I took of St. Rosalia's float from this summer's parade (I'm not sure why she's strapped to the foremast of a ship).
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Monday, September 03, 2007

Wiccan Wins Lottery!

From the USA Today:

"NOTTINGHAM, Md. (AP) — Elwood "Bunky" Bartlett says a New Age book store made it possible for him to become an overnight multimillionaire.

He and his wife, Denise, were on their way to the shop where he occasionally teaches Wicca and Reiki (RAY'kee) healing when they stopped at a liquor store and bought two $5 Mega Millions tickets for Friday night's estimated $330 million jackpot. On Sunday, he said one ticket was a winner.

"If it wasn't for this place I wouldn't have won the lottery," Bartlett said Sunday at Mystickal Voyage, the New Age shop."

What did he do? Light a candle to the mystickal god of numbers, Randolpho?

Pope Benedict XVI, Environmentalist


Pope Benedict XVI was in Loreto yesterday for a World Youth Rally, and gave the homily at a Mass during what was billed as "Save Creation Day". The press had a field day, saying his homily was a call to "save the planet before it's too late".

Well, yes. But he also says, "we not only take care of the earth, but we must respect the other, other human beings ... only in absolute respect of other (humans) ...can we make progress."

In other words, saving the environment is only a part of something bigger - respect for Man. When in conflict, Man tops the environment.

My favorite line from the Rueters story is ""Intentionally wearing green vestments, [Pope Benedict] spoke to a vast crowd of mostly young people..." He wore GREEN to an environmental event! It's a sign!

Wait a second...Father Fed wore green yesterday. And so did every other priest saying Mass during Ordinary Time! They ALL love the environment. Except on Pentecost Sunday, when they all wear red to show support for communism.
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Feast of St. Gregory the Great


Today is September 3rd, a day when every American gets the day off from work to celebrate the Feast of St. Pope Gregory the Great (540AD -604AD). St. Gregory is one of the first Doctors of the Church (along with St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, and St. Augustine).

So what made him so great? The list is too long to get into here, but you can go to the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia for more information (I've quoted from the article below). Mainly his influence is felt in the "doctrine, the organization, and the discipline of the Catholic Church". Like St. Augustine, his mother (Silvia) is also a saint. He's had two aunts (Tarsilla and Emillliana) who also became saints. The pre-meal prayer at Thanksgiving must have been interesting...

Anyway, Gregory wrote "Liber Pastoralis Curea" which if written today would probably be called "The Idiot's Guide to Being a Bishop".

"The work, which regards the bishop pre-eminently as the physician of souls, is divided into four parts.

* He points out in the first that only one skilled already as a physician of the soul is fitted to undertake the "supreme rule" of the episcopate.
* In the second he describes how the bishop's life should be ordered from a spiritual point of view;
* in the third, how he ought to teach and admonish those under him,
* and in the fourth how, in spite of his good works, he ought to bear in mind his own weakness, since the better his work the greater the danger of falling through self-confidence.

This little work is the key to Gregory's life as pope, for what he preached he practiced."

St. Gregory is the Patron Saint of Teachers.
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