Thursday, June 2, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Recently I received some E-Mail from someone I hadn't heard from for awhile. He is someone who is very important to me and also someone I love very much. I had happened on his E-Mail address on line, and since I had not heard from him I wrote a two sentence message to ask him how he was and tell him I love him. He wrote a note back, just as short as mine, to tell me he was fine, busy and to leave him alone. Well, me being me, I could not leave well enough alone, and I wrote back and to this person to tell him I would leave him alone for the rest of his life if he would just do a couple things for me: explain to me what we had done to him to make him hate us so and to be so angry with us; and to at least once in a while let us know he is OK. He doesn't have to tell me what he is doing, who he is with, or where he is, just a short note to let us know he is OK. I don't think this is too much for a mother to ask of her son.
Well, was I wrong. I got a message back telling me he doesn't hate us, he just basically lives in world different from ours and we are not welcome in his. He also assured me he is fine, is being well taken care of by his boss, and is doing nothing illegal. He asked me to stop E-mailing him, to stop searching for him on line, and to stop referring to him on my blog. And then he said "Good bye."
Well, at first I felt as though I had been punched in the stomach, then run over by a train. I cried and asked my husband what I have done. Naturally, my husband tried to console me, but I had to find a way to work this out on my own. I'm already seeing a therapist and feel I have made quite a bit of headway with her. I was NOT going to let this set me back. So then I stopped crying and I got angry (I once had an English instructor who made the class write a theme for punishment, and when she saw mine she told me "People get angry, Monica, not mad--thanks Mrs. Sherbondy).
Well, the more I thought, the more angry I got and this is my answer to my son:
I do not have the ability to just forget someone I love. This is true of people who have died like my mother, father, grandmother, aunts, uncles and so on. I also don' t forget living people I love such as my children, my grandchildren, my brothers, my cousins, etc., even though because of distance and everyone lives far away from everyone else I don't see any of them very often. Therefore, Christopher, I will not just forget you. I will worry and wonder where you are and what you are doing. I will continue to look for you on line whenever the spirit moves me. I love you more than you will ever know, understand or care. You were my first child and when I first looked at you I knew everything I went through was well worth it. I loved you then, I've loved you for the last 36 1/2 years, and I love you right now. I have not always liked or agreed with your actions, but you have had to deal with whatever the consequences were over the years, except the support we gave you and the money it cost us (we nearly went bankrupt), but we have survived.
Oh, and last but not least, I will refer to whomever I care to in my blog, whenever I care to, for whatever I care to as long as it is truthful, does not exploit anyone and does not embarrass anyone. My First Amendment Rights, which your father spent 30 years protecting, give me the right to do so.
Again, I love you very much. Our address and phone number are the same as when you left, as is my and your father's E-Mail addresses. And we love you at least as much, and probably more, as when you left. We will be here for you and love you as long as God allows.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Achatius, also known as Acacius; the facts of his life are uncertain. He may have been bishop of Antioch or of Militene and may not have been a bishop at all. He was prominent in Christian circles in Antioch and when summoned to appear the local Roman official, Martian, a dialogue on Christianity and its teachings compared to other religons ensued, which has come down to us. Achatius refused to sacrifice to pagan gods when he would not supply the names of his fellow Christians, was sent to prison. Supposedly when Emperor Decius received Martian's report of the trial he was so impressed by both men that he promoted Martian and pardoned Achiatius. Though listed as a martyr there is no evidence he died for the faith. His feast day is May 8th and he is invoked against headaches. (Catholic Online) St. Barbara is the patron saint of U. S. Army Field Artillery. She is also invoked against fever and also sudden death. Barbara lived in the 4th century and brought up as a hethen. A tyrannical father, Dioscorus, had kept her jealously secluded in a lonely tower which he had built for that purpose. Here, in her forced solitude, she gave herself to prayer and study, and contrived to receive instruction and Baptism in secret by a Christian priest.
Barbara resisted her father's wish that she marry. Then on one occasion, during her fahter's absence, Barbara had three windows inserted into a bathhouse her father was constructing. Her purpose was thereby to honor the Trinity.
Dioscorus was enraged by her action and by her conversion. He himself denounced her before the civil tribunal. She was horribly tortured, and at last was beheaded. Her own father, merciless to the last, acted as her executioner. God, however, speedily ounsihed her persecutors. While her soul was being borne by angels to Paradise, a flash of lightning struck Dioscorus, and he was hurried before the judgement seat of God.
The life of St. Barbara is a vivd remined that there can be much anger in our world and our lives. Being in touch with God's presence in a very special way can do much toward relieving ourselves of our tendency to allow anger to control us. We should pray often against a sudden and unprovided death; and, above all, that we may be strengthened by the Holy Viaticum (Last Sacraments) against the dangers of our last hour.St. Barbara's Feast Day is December 4th. (Catholic Online)
St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr whose feast day is November 25th is the patroness of philosophers and preachers.
St. Catherine is believed to have been born in Alexandria of a noble family. Converted to Christianity through a vision, she denounced Maxentius for persecuting Christians. Fifty of her converts were then burned to death by Maxentius.
Maxentius offered Catherine a royal marriage if she would deny the Faith. Her refusal landed her in prison. While in prison, and while Maxentius was away, Catherine converted Maxentius' wife and two hundred of his soldiers. He had them all put to death.
Catherine was likewise condemned to death. She was put on a spiked wheel, and when the wheel broke, she was beheaded. She is venerated as the patroness of philosophers and preashers. St. Catherine's was one of the voices heard by St. Joan of Arc.(Catholic Online) St. Catherine is also invoked against sudden death.
Saint Denis (also called Dionysius, Dennis or Denys) is a Christian martyr and saint. In the third century, he was bishop of Paris. He was martyred in approximately A.D. 250: after his head was chopped off, Denis is said to have picked it up and walked ten kilometeres (six miles), preaching a sermon the entire way, making him one of many cephalophores in hagiology. He is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as Patron of Paris, France and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. The medieval and modern French name "Denis" derives from the ancient name Dionysius.
Gregory of Tours states that Denis was bishop of the Parisii and was martyred being beheaded by a sword. The earliest document giving an account of his life and martyrdom, from the "Passio SS. Dionysii Rustici et Eleutherii" dates from c. 600, is mistakenly attributed to the poet Venantius Fortunatus, and is legendary. Nevertheless, it appears from the Passio that denis was sent from Italy to Gaul in the third century, forging a link with the "apostles to the Gauls" reputed to have been sent out under the direction of Pope Fabian. This was after the persecutions under Emperor Decius had all but dissolved the small Christian community at Lutetia. Denis, with his inseparable companions Rusticus and Eleutherius, who were martyred with him, settled on the Ile de la Cite in the River Seine. Roman Paris lay on the higher ground of the Left Bank, away from the river.
Denis, having alarmed the pagan priests by his many conversions, was executed by beheading on the highest hill in Paris (now Montmartre), which was likely to have been a druidic holy place. The martyrdom of Denis and his companions is popularly believed to ahve given it its current name, derived from the Latin mons martyrium "The Martyr's Mountain", although in fact the name is more likely to derive from mons mercurei et mons martis, Hill of Mercury and Mars. After his head was chopped off, Denis is said to have picked it up and walked ten kilometers (six miles) to the summit of Mont Mars (now Montmarte), preaching a sermon the entire way. Of the many accounts of his martyrdom, this is noted in detail in the Golden Legend and in Butler's Lives of the Saints. The site where he stopped preaching and actually died was marked by a small shrine that developed into the Saint Denis Basilica, which became the burial place for the kings of France. Another account has his corpse being thrown into the Seine, but recovered and buried later that night by his converts.
Saint Erasmus of Formiae is a Christian saint and martyr who died ca. 303 and is also known as Saint Elmo. E]He is vernerated as the patron saint of sailors. Saint Erasmus or Elmo is also one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, saintly figures of Christian legend who were venerated in Central Europe as intercessors. His feast day is June 2, and along with being the patron saint of sailors he is also the patron saint of Gaeta, Formia, colic in children, intestinal ailments and diseases, cramps and the pain of women in labor, cattle pest, and Fort Saint Elmo (Malta) He is represented by a windlass.
The "Acts of Saint Elmo" were partly compiled from legends that confuse him with a Syrian bishop Erasmus of Antioch. Jacobus de Voragine in teh "Golden Legend" credited him as a bishop of formia over all teh Italian Campania, as a hermit on Mount Lebanon, and martyr in the persecutons under Easter Roman Emperor Diocletian.
According to his legend, when persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian began, "Erasmus was called before a h=judge, beaten around the head, spat upon and 'besprinkles [. . .] with foulness.' He was then beaten with leaden mauls until his veins broke and burst. Erasmus suffered all theses punishments with tremendous willingness. Erasmus was then thrown into a pit of snakes and worms, and boiling oil and sulfur were poured on him but 'he lay therein as he had lain in cold water, thanking and loving God.' Then thunder and lightning came and electrocuted everyone around save Erasmus. Thuys the saint was protected mfrom the lightning. Diocletian had him thrown in another pit, but and angel came and slew all the vipers and worms."
Then came the Western Roman Emperor Maximian who, according to Voragine, was " much worse that was Diocletian" Erasmus would not cease preaching the Gospel, even though he was "put into a pan seething with rosin, pitch, brimstone lead, and oil [which were]pour]. . .into his mouth [from] which he never shrank." A searing hot cloak and metal coat were both tried on him, to no effect, and an angel eventually carried him away to safety."
"And when this holy man came before the false gods" - to which he was to be forced to sacrifice, they "fell down and broke all in pieces, and consumed into ashes or dust." That made the Emperor so angry he had Erasmus enclosed in a barrell full of protruding spikes, and the barrell was rolled down a hill. But an angel healed him. Further tortures ensued:
His teeth were . . .plucked out of his head with iron pinchers. And after that they bound him to a pillar and carded his skin with iron cards, and then they roasted him upon a gridiron. . .and did smite sharp nails of iron in his fingers, and after, they put out his eyes of his head with their fingers, and after that they laid this holy bishop upon the ground naked and stretched him with strong withes bound to horss about his blessed neck, arms, and legs, so that all his veins and sinews that he had in his body burst."
The version of the 'Golden Legend" did not relate how Erasmus fled to Mount Lebanon and survived on what ravens brought him to eat, and interesting pre-Christian mytheme. When he was recaptured, he was brought before the Emperopr and beaten and whipped, then coated with pitch and set alight (as Christians had been in Nero's games). and dtill he survived. Thrown into prison with the intention of letting him die of starvation, St. Erasmus managed to escape
He was recaptured and tortured some more in the Roman province of Illyricum, after boldly preaching and converting numerous pagans to Christianity. Finally, according to the legend, his stomach was slit open and his intestines wound around a windlass. This late legend may ahve developed from interpreting an icon that showed him with a windlass, signifying his patronage of sailors.
Saint Erasmus may have becme the patron saint of sailors becasue he is said to have continued preaching even after a thunderbolt struck the ground beside him. This prompted sailors, who were in dange from sudden storms and lightning, to claim his prayers. The electrical discharges at the mastheads of ships were read as a sign of his protection and came to be called "Saint Elmo's Fire."
Pope Saint Gregory the Great recorded in the sixth century that his relics were preserved in the cathedral of Formia. When the old Formiae was razed by the Saracens in 842, the cult of Erasmus was translated to Gaeta. He is currently the patron of both Gaeta and Formia.
Besides his patronage of mariners, Erasmus is invoked aganist colic in children, intestinal ailments and diseases, cramps and the pain of women in labor, as well as cattle pest. What a combination!
Saint George (ca 275/281-23 April 303) was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier and priest
in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic (Western and Eastern Rites), Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox churches. He is immortalized in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. His memorial is celebrated on 23 April, and he is regarded as one of the most prominent military saints.
The work of the Bollandists Danile Paperbroch, Jean Bolland and Godfrey Henschen in the 17th century was one of the first pieces of scholarly research to establish the historicity of the saint's existence via their publications in Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca and paved the way for other scholars to dismiss the medieval legends. Pope Gelasius stated that George was among those saints" whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose actions are known only to God."
In the fully developed Western version, which developed as part of the Golden Legend, a dragon or Crocodile makes its nest at the spring that provides water for the city of "silene" (perhaps modern Cyrene) in Lybia or the city of Lydda, depending on the source. Consequently, the citizens have to dislodge the dragon from its nest for a time, to collect water. To do so, eacgh day they offer the dragon at first a sheep, and if no sheep can be found, then a maiden must go instead of the sheep. The victim is chosen by drawing lots. One day, this happens to be the princess. The monarch begs for her life to be spared, but to no avail. She is offered to the dragon, but there appears Saint George on his travels. He faces the dragon, protects hi,self withe the sign of the cross, slays the dragon, and rescues the princess. The grateful citizens abandon their ancestral paganism and convert to Christianity.
The dragon motif was first combined with the stadardised Passio Georgii in Vincent of Beauvais' encyclopedic Speculum historale and then in Jacobus de Voragine, Golden Legend , which guaranteed its popularity in the Middle Ages as a literary and pictorial subject.
The parallels with Perseus and Andromedia are inescapable. In the allegorical reading, the dragon embodies a supressed pagan cult. The story has other roots that predate Christianity. Examples such as Sabazios, the sky father, who was usually depicted riding on horseback, and Zeus's defeat of Thphon in Titan in Greek mythology, along with exapmles for Germanic and Vedic traditions, have led a numbers of historians, such as Loomis, to suggest that George is a Christianized version of older deities in Indo-European culture.
In the medieval romances, the lance with whch St, Geroge slew the dragon was called Ascalon, named after the city of Ashkelton in Israel.
A church built in Lydda during the reign of Constatine I (reighned 306-337), was consecrated to "a man of the highest distinction", according to the church history of Eusebius of Caesarea; the name of the patron wa not disclosed, but later he was asserted to have been George. By the time of the Muslim conquest in the seventh century, a basilica dedicated to the saint in Lydda existed. The church was destroyed in 1010 but was later rebuilt and dedicated to Saint George by the Crusaders. in 1191 and during the conflict known as the Third Crusade n(1189-1192) the church was again destroyed by the forces of Saladin, Sultan of the Ayyubid dynesty (reighed 1171-1193). A new church was erected and 1872 and is still standing.
During the fourth century the veneration of George spread from Palestine through Lebanon to the rest of teh Eastern Roman Empire-though the martyr is not mentioned in the syriac Breviarium-and Georgia. In Georgia the feast day on November 23 is cerdited to St,. Nino of Cappadi=ocia, who in Georgian Hagiography is a relative of St. George, credited with bringing christianity to the Georgians in the fourth century. By the fifth century the cult of Saint George had reached the Western Roman Empire as well: in 494, George was cannonized as a saint by Pope Gelasius I, among theose "whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to [God].
In England the earliest dedication to George, who was mentioned among the martyrs by Bede, is a church at Fordington, Dorset, that is mentioned in the will of Alfred the Great. "Saint George and his feast day began to gain more widespread fame among all Europeans, however from the time of the Crusades." The St. George's flag, a red cross on a white field, was adopted by England and the city of London in 1190 for their ships entering the Mediterranean to benefit from the protection of the Genoese fleet during the Crusades and the English Monarch paid and annual tribute to the Doge of Genoa for this privilege. An Apparition of George heartened the Franks at the siege of Antioch, 1098, and made a similar appearance the following year at Jerusalem. Chivalric military Order of George was established in Aragon (1201), Genoa, Hungary, and by Frederick III.
The establishment of George as a popular saint and protective giant in the West that had captured the medieval imagination was codified by the official elevation of his feast to a festum duplex at a church council in 1415, on the date that had become associated with his martyrdom, 23 April. There was wide latitude from community to community in celebration of the day across late and medieval and early modern England, and no uniform "national" celebration elsewhere, a token of the popular and vernacular nature of George's cultus and its local horizions, supported by a local guild or confraternity under George's protection, or dedication of a local church. When the Reformation in England severely curtainled the saints' days in the calandar, St. George's Day was among the holidays that continued to be observed.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the earliest text preserving fragments of George's narrative is an Acta Sanctorium identified by Hippolyte Delehaye of the scholarly Bollandists to be a palimpsest of the fifth century. However, this Acts Sancti Georgii was soon banned as heresy by Pope Gelasius (in 496).
The compiler of this Acta , according to Hippolyte Delehaye "confused the martyr with his namesake, the celebrated George of Cappadocia, the Arian intruder into the see of Alexdandria and enemy of St. Athnasius." A critical edition of a Syriac Acta of Saint George, accompanied by an annotated English translation was published by E. W. Brooks (1863-1955) in 1925. The hagiography was originally written in Greek
In Sweded, the princess rescued by Saint George is held to represent the kingdon=m of Sweden, while the dragon represents an invading army. Several sculptures of Saint George battling the dragon can be found in Stockholm, the earliest inside Storkyrkan ("The Great CHurch") in the Old Town.
The facade of architect Antoni Gaudi's famous Casa Batllo in Barcelona, Spain depicts this allegory.
St. George is most commonly depicted in early icons, mosaics and frescos wearing armour contempory with the depection, executed in gilding, and silver colour, intended to identify him as a Roman soldier. After the fall of Constantinople and the association of St. George with the Crusades, he is more often portrayed mounted upon a white horse.
At the same time St. George began to be associated with St. Demetrius, another early soldier saint. When the two saints are portrayed together mounted upon horses, they may be lickened to earthly manifestations of the archangles Michael and Gabriel. St George is always depicted in Eastern traditions upon a white horse and St. Demetrius on a red horse. St. George can also be identified in the act of spearing a dragon, unlike St. Demetrius, who is sometimes shown spearing a human figure, understood to represent Maximiam.
A 2003 Vatican Stamp issued on the anniversary of the Saint's death depicts and armored Saint George atop a white horse, killing the dragon.
During the early second millennium, George came to be seen as the model of chivary, and during this time was depicted in works of literature, such as the medieval romances
Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, compiled the Legenda Sanctorium, (Readings of the Saints) also known as Legenda Aurea (the Golden Legend) for its worth am ong readers. Its 177 chapters (182 in other editions) contain the story of Saint George.
Modern Russians interpret the icon as not a killing but as a struggle, aganist ourselves and the evil among us. The dragon never dies but the saint persists with his horse (will and support of the people) and his spear (techinal means).
In Eastern Orthodox Christianity it is possible to find Icons of St. George riding on a black horse, as well, there are various examples in Russian Iconography, like the Icon in British Museum Collection.The"Colours of Saint George", or Saint George's Cross are a white flag with a red cross, frequently borne by entities over which he is patron (e.g. the Republic of Genoa and then Liguria, England, Georgia, Catalonia, Aragon, etc.)
The origin of the St. George's Cross came from the earlier plain white tunics worn by early crusaders.
The same colour scheme was used by Victor Vasnetsov for the facade of teh Tretyakov Gallery, in which sme of the most famous St. George Icons are exhibited and which displays St. George as the coat of arms of Moscow over its entrance.
In the General Calandar of the Roman Rite the feast of Saint George is on April 23. In the Tridentine Calandar it was given the rank of :Semidouble". In Pope Pius XII's 1955 calandar this rank is reduced to "Simple". In Pope John XXIII's 1960 calendar the celebration is just a "commeration". In Pope Paul VI's 1969 it is raised to the level of an optional "Memorial:. In some countries, such as England, the rank is higher.
St. George is very much honored by the Eastern Orthodox Chirch, Wherein he is referred to as a "Great Martyr", and in Oriental Orthodoxy as well. His amjor feast day is on APril 23 )Julian Calendar April 23 currently corresponds to Gregorian Calendar May 6). The Russian Orthodox Church also celebrates two additional feasts in honor pf St. George: one on November 3 commemorating the conscecration of a cathedral dedicated to him in Lydda during the reign of Constantine the Great (305-337). WHen the church was consecrated, the relics of the St. George were transferred there. The other feast on November 26 for a chuch dedicated to him in Kiev, ca. 1054.
In egypt the Coptic Orthodox X=Church of Alexandria refers to Saint George as the "Prince of Martyrs" and celebrates his martyrdom on the 23rd of Paremhat of the Coptic Calendar equivalent to May 1. The Copts also celebrate the consecration of the first church dedicated to him on June 10.
As a highly celebrated saint in both the Western and Eastern Christian churches, a large number of Patronages of Saint George exist throughout the world.
The country of Georgia, where devotions to the Saint date back to the fourth century, is not named aftr him, but a large number of towns and cities around the world are. Georgia is the anglicised version of Gurj, derived from the Persian word for the people in that territory. Geographer Vakhushti Bagrationi wrote that there are 365 Orthodox churches in Georgia named after St. George according to the number of days in a year.
St. George is the patron saint of England; his cross forms the national flag of England, and features within the Union Jack of the United Kingdom: Traces of the cult of St. George in England predate the Norman Conquest in the eleventh centry; by the fourteenth century the saint had been declared both the patron saint and the protector of the Royal Family.
Devotions to Saint George in POrtugal date back to the twelth centry, and Saint Constable attributed the victory of the Portuguese in the battle of Aljiubarrota in the fourteenth century to Saint George. During the reigh of King John I (1357-1433) Saint George became the patron saint of Portugal and the King ordered that the saint's image on the horse be carried in the corpus Christi possession.
St. Margaret of Antioch celebrates her feast day on July 20. Nothng certain is known of her, but according to her untrustworthy legend, she was the daughter of a pagan priest at Antioch in Pisidia. Also known as Marina, she was converted to Christianity, whereupon she was driven from home by her father. She became a shepherdess and when she spurned the advances of Olybrius, the prefect, who was infatuated with her beauty, he charged her with being a CHristian. He had her tortured and then imprisioned, and while she was in prison she had an encounter with the devil in the form of a dragon. According to the legend, he swallowed her, but the cross she carried in her hand so irritated his throat that he was forced to disgorge her (she is the patroness of childbirth). The next day, attempts were made to execute her by fire, and then by drowning, but she was miraculously saved and converted thousands of spectators witnessing her ordeal-all of whom were promptly executed. Finally she was beheaded. That she existed and was martyred are probably true; all else is probably fictitious embroidery and added to her story, which was immensly popular in the Middle Ages, spreading from the East all over Western Europe. She is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, and hers was one of the voices heard by Joan of Arc. Her feast day is July 20th. (Catholic Online)
St. Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea in Asia. He was such a famous doctor the the Emperor himself chose him for his own doctor. Pantaleon was a Christian, but the bad influence from the pagan court caused him to give up his Christian faith entirely.
A holy priest named Hermolaos made him realize what a sin he had committed. Pantaleon listened to him, detested his sin, and joined the Church once more. To make up for what he had done, he greatly desired to suffer and die for Jesus. In the meantime, he imitated our Lord's charity by taking care of poor sick people without any charge for his medical services.
When the Emperor Diocletian began his persecution, Pantaleon at once gave away everything he owned to the poor. Not long afterwards, he was accused of being a Christian. He was given the choice of denying his Faith or being put to death. No torture could force Pantaleon to deny his Faith.
There has been stron devotion in past ages to this Saint. In the East he is called the "Great Martyr and Wonder-worker." Saint Pantaleon's feast day is July 27th. (Catholic Online)
Saint Vitus was a Christian Saint from Sicily. He died as a martyr during the persecution of Christians by co-ruling Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian in 303. Vitus is counted as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers of the Roman Catholic Church.