Daily Archives: February 21, 2014

TODAY’S SAINT: St. Margaret of Cortona Feastday – February 22


St. Margaret of CortonaFeastday: February 22
1247 – 1297
Margaret of Cortona, penitent, was born in Loviana in Tuscany in 1247. Her father was a small farmer. Margaret’s mother died when she was seven years old. Her stepmother had little care for her high-spirited daughter. Rejected at home, Margaret eloped with a youth from Montepulciano and bore him a son out of wedlock. After nine years, her lover was murdered without warning. Margaret left Montpulciano and returned as a penitent to her father’s house. When her father refused to accept her and her son, she went to the Friars Minor at Cortona where she received asylum. Yet Maragaret had difficulty overcoming temptations of the flesh. One Sunday she returned to Loviana with a cord around her neck. At Mass, she asked pardon for her past scandal. She attempted to mutilate her face, but was restrained by Friar Giunta. Margaret earned a living by nursing sick ladies. Later she gave this up to serve the sick poor without recompense, subsisting only on alms. Evenually, she joined the Third Order of St. Francis, and her son also joined the Franciscans a few years later. Margaret advanced rapidly in prayer and was said to be in direct contact with Jesus, as exemplified by frequent ecstacies. Friar Giunta recorded some of the messages she received from God. Not all related to herself, and she courageously presented messages to others. In 1286, Margaret was granted a charter allowing her to work for the sick poor on a permanent basis. Others joined with personal help, and some with financial assistance. Margaret formed her group into tertiaries, and later they were given special status as a congregation which was called The Poverelle (“Poor Ones”). She also founded a hospital at Cortona and the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy. Some in Cortona turned on Margaret, even accusing her of illicit relations with Friar Giunta. All the while, Margaret continued to preach against vice and many, through her, returned to the sacraments. She also showed extraordinary love for the mysteries of the Eucharist and the Passion of Jesus Christ. Divinely warned of the day and hour of her death, she died on February 22, 1297, having spent twenty-nine years performing acts of penance. She was canonized in 1728. Her feast day is February 22nd.

 

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: SHAHI DURBAR


Shahi Durbar

This annual fair takes place in the town of Sibi in theBaluchistan Province of Pakistan. The event goes back to the 15th century, when it centered around a gathering of tribal elders (durbar means “royal gathering”), and it is still an occasion for local politicians to speechify and debate each other. But it also features an agricultural fair, a handicraft market, and numerous sporting events, including horse racingtent pegging, wrestling, and cockfighting. It represents a unique opportunity to observe the traditional customs and costumes of the tribal people of Baluchistan. More… Discuss

 

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QUOTATION: Henry David Thoreau


Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institution–such call I good books.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Discuss

 

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: GERTRUDE SIMMONS BONNIN, AKA ZITKALA-SA (1876)


Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, AKA Zitkala-Sa (1876)

Born to a Sioux mother and white father, Bonnin was raised on a reservation in present-day South Dakota. When she was eight, she was sent to a Quaker missionary school for Native Americans and was profoundly affected by the school’s efforts to suppress students’ cultural identity and assimilate them into mainstream American culture. As an adult, she dedicated herself to preserving Native American culture through her writing and political activism. What is the meaning of her pen name, Zitkala-Sa? More… Discuss

 

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: THE ALDERSHOT BOMBING (1972)


The Aldershot Bombing (1972)

In revenge for the Bloody Sunday incident of a month earlier in which 13 civil-rights protesters in Northern Ireland were shot dead by British paratroopers, the Official IRA detonated a car bomb at the Hampshire, England, headquarters of the British Army’s 16th Parachute Brigade. The intended targets—soldiers and officers—largely escaped harm, but the bomb did claim the lives of seven civilian staff—a priest, a gardener, and five kitchen workers. How did this influence Official IRA tactics? More… Discuss

 

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NEWS: THE NAZIS AND INSECT WARFARE


The Nazis and Insect Warfare

Biological warfare was prohibited by the 1925 Geneva Protocol, but this did not stop Nazi scientists from looking for ways to weaponize diseases. A review of World War II-era archives from the Entomological Institute at Dachau reveals that biologists were studying mosquitoes and their ability to survive outside of their natural habitat. Doctors at the concentration camp also deliberately infected prisoners with malaria in order to study the disease. The conclusion drawn by a researcher investigating the topic is that the Nazis were exploring the feasibility of infecting mosquitoes with malaria and then releasing them over enemy targets. More… Discuss

 

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ARTICLE: LITHUANIAN


Lithuanian

Lithuanian is the most ancient living Indo-European language. It has many similarities with Slavic languages, but, unlike Russian, it uses the Latin alphabet. In 1864, the ruling Russian government banned the Lithuanian language, but it has since been restored as independent Lithuania‘s official language. Lithuanian is spoken by approximately three million people there and by an additional half million around the world. How did Lithuanians obtain books written in Lithuanian during Russian rule? More…Discuss

 

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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Emil Gilels – Mozart – Piano Concerto No 27 in B flat major, K 595 – Ovchinnikov




*****Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

*****Piano Concerto No 27 in B flat major, K 595

*****Emil Gilels, piano
*****USSR State Symphony Orchestra
*****Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov, conductor

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