Saturday, August 12, 2006

Welcome To My Links!

Two great new blogs that I have added to my Daily Reads:



The Roving Medievalist

Saint Clare

Saint Clare's feast used to be August 12th. This spiritual daughter of Saint Francis shares a birthday with me, July 16th (just about 800 years apart). She founded and led the Poor Clares for 40 years.

She is frequently depicted carrying a monstrance.

O wondrous blessed clarity of Clare!
In life she shone to a few;
after death she shines on the whole world!
On earth she was a clear light;
Now in heaven she is a brilliant sun.

O how great the vehemence of the
brilliance of this clarity!
On earth this light was indeed kept
within cloistered walls,
yet shed abroad its shining rays;
It was confined within a convent cell,
yet spread itself through the wide world.

Pope Innocent IV

Friday, August 11, 2006

To Our British Cousins

We owe you lot one!

Cheers and God Save the Queen!

Thursday, August 10, 2006


The question around all water coolers after the terror talk subsides, with the Olde Towne Team slipping to 3 back, and playing under .500 since the All Star break.

Reminder That We Are At War

Seems like all those Connecticut Democrats who couldn't bear having centrist Joe Lieberman as their US Senator any more got a wake-up call this morning, when it was revealed that an apparent al Qaeda plot to bomb US-bound flights from the UK has been at least partially thwarted by British law enforcement. Numerous planes at once, liquid explosives concealed in beverage containers, detonators concealed in electronic devices, and NY and DC-bound United, American, and Continental flights as targets. Looks like al Qaeda to me.

The war on Moslem terror goes on. I don't fault the Administration for continuing to fight it. We must. The fault is that they have allowed themselves to get bogged down in Iraq, rather than roll on to Tehran and Damascus, and Tripoli, thus terminating the Moslem regimes supporting Moslem terror. The Administration instead got bogged down in policing Iraq and nation-building, instead of just using Iraqi facilities for the next campaign in the broader war.

Meanwhile, there is chaos at US airports, with most flights to the UK cancelled. Carry-ons are barred. No beverages can be carried onto flights, including suntan lotion and toothpaste (but you will remember that box cutters are OK again!). In Massachusetts, Governor Romney is calling up National Guard troops to help with security at Logan. Homeland Security has ramped up the warning level for airports all the way to red (this is the first time we have gone to red alert).

Yep, we are at war, even though Connecticut Democrat primary voters, and such perrenially wrong-headed louts as Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Charles Shumer, and Hillary Clinton fail to understand that. A timely reminder, then.

Saint Lawrence

Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence by Agnolo Bronzino, from the Basilica of San Lorenzo (St. Lawrence) in Florence. San Lorenzo became the favored burial place for the Medici dynasty.

Read this short biography of Saint Lawrence.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Saint Dominic de Guzman

Founder of the Dominicans. His feast used to be August 4th before they started playing ducks and drakes with traditional feast days (especially at the start of August).

This image of Saint Dominic is very familiar to Recta Ratio regulars, as it is often, though not now, the Homepage image at Recta Ratio The Yahoo Group, and is the lead-in image for the Catholic Publishers set of links on the right. It is by Blessed Fra Angelico, and is a detail from The Mocking of Christ.

Here is what The Golden Legend has to say about St. Dominic.

Here is a modern short biography.

Here are the 15 promises Our Lady made to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alanus:

1. To all those who recite my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and very great graces.

2. Those who will persevere in the recitation of my Rosary shall receive some signal grace.

3. The Rosary shall be a very powerful armor against hell; it shall destroy vice, deliver from sin, and shall dispel heresy.

4. The Rosary shall make virtue and good works flourish, and shall obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies; it shall substitute in hearts love of God for love of the world, elevate them to desire heavenly and eternal goods. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!

5. Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary, shall not perish.

6. Those who will recite my Rosary piously, considering its Mysteries, shall not be overwhelmed by misfortune nor die a bad death. The sinner shall be converted; the just shall grow in grace and become worthy of eternal life.

7. Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the consolations of the Church, or without grace.

8. Those who will recite my Rosary shall find during their life and at their death the light of God, the fullness of His grace, and shall share in the merits of the blessed.

9. I will deliver very promptly from purgatory the souls devoted to my Rosary.

10. The true children of my Rosary shall enjoy great glory in heaven.

11. What you ask through my Rosary, you shall obtain.

12. Those who propagate my Rosary shall obtain through me aid in all their necessities.

13. I have obtained from my son that all the confreres of the Rosary shall have for their brethren in life and death the saints of heaven.

14. Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are all my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.

Jay has an excellent post on Saint dominic up at Pro Ecclesia, Pro Familia, Pro Civitate.

Late Summer Is Time For Brideshead Revisited

There is something about the hustle of back-to-school that brings Waugh's classic, probably the best Catholic novel of the last 100 years, to the forefront of my mind. It is probably the appeal of clinging to the last bit of summer before going back to school, as seen in the summer at Brideshead.

Charles and Sebastian at Oxford

In Venice

Sebastian in disgrace

Father Mowbray, the priest from Jesuit headquarters in London who undertakes to teach Rex his catechism

OK, I had a big crush on Cordelia

And I have often been compared to Bridey, buttoned-down, set in his ways, and eccentric

Julia and Charles at the fountain before the emotional outburst

The magnificent fountain at Castle Howard, which stood in for Brideshead

Julia during her emotional outburst

Extreme Unction for Lord Marchmain, a sign of grace

Three years later, now Captain Ryder, after being received into the Church, praying before the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel at Brideshead, where he has chanced to be stationed

The Sanctuary Lamp and top of the tabernacle in the chapel at Brideshead

Sunset at Brideshead

All of this is from an excellent site, The Story of Brideshead Revisited

Allow Me To Advert Your Attention To

The English Martyrs Blog, Gillibrand's new project. This is a great idea, and since the topic is of some interest to me, one that I will check frequently.

Christmas Comes To Harrods

Well, why not? Jordan Marsh, er, Macy's sets up its Trim-A-Tree Department shortly after Labor Day.

Look Out, Fenway Franks!

Here come Patriots' First Down Beef Franks.

I've always been more of a Nathan's or Hebrew National kind of guy myself, but I recently discovered Hummels Hot Dogs. Excellent, and not as pricey as Nathan's or Hebrew National.

Good Profile of Father Faber

At Seattle Catholic.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Summer Of Green Tea

Green Tea has been around for quite a while, I know. Reading requests for supplies by British officers who had been captured at Saratoga, and while they were being held in American custody, one notices that Green Tea was high on their list of requested items, right up there with hair ribbon and mustard.

But growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s, tea to me meant Lipton, or maybe, if you were getting fancy, Bigelow. There was Salada and Red Rose, too, but they weren't as good as Lipton. Tea was black, or maybe orange pekoe.

And I went through a phase in the 1980s and 1990s when I had to have Bigelow Raspberry Royale tea to sunbrew into iced tea. I passed through a Snapple iced tea phase then, too, spurred by the high praise for it Rush Limbaugh had when they advertised on his show (Rush really made Snapple what it became). My favorite was the now-impossible-to-find mint. I once tried Barry's Irish Tea, and thought it could be better used as a scouring solution for the inside of my musket barrel after it was fouled from firing at a reenactment.

But this summer has become the summer of green tea.

It started innocently enough with curiousity about Arizona's tall cans of Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey. After all, they are being sold in every CVS in Boston, and, at 99 cents are mighty cheap. And the green japonaise can is fairly interesting. So I tried it in April or May, and found myself surprised at how much I liked it, and quickly hooked. A hot day might see me buy 4 cans, drink one down, and toss three in the cooler for later use. A really hot day might see me buy 6 cans. Sometimes, I think I could float on a river of Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey. I have tried Turkey Hill Farm's version too, and have not been gravely disappointed.

Then came Starbucks.

One day on the street, I saw someone pass with a Starbucks drink in her hand. It had cream on the top, and what looked like raspberry syrup over the cream. But the most interesting part of the drink was that it was the most disgusting shade of green. It wasn't the bright green associated with pistachio. Or mint. It looked as if some misguided barista had ground up avacado and ice. It was that ugly shade of green that some 1970s kitchen applicances came in. Avacado Atrocious. My second impression was, "Snotachino." A friend, on seeing it, called it a Green Slimeachino. But the reality is quite different from the appearance.

One day three weeks ago, at a weak moment (meaning I had a five in my pocket), I went up to the counter at a Starbucks, and looked at the menu. "What frappuchino could be green?" Then I saw it. Blackberry Green Tea Frappuchino. Pricey as all get out. You practically need a second mortgage for one. But let me tell you, these things are a little cupful of heaven. Or a big cupful of heaven, if you don't mind spending close to $5.

They take a Tazo (Starbucks owns Tazo) Blackberry Green Tea base, and add a shot of blackberry syrup, blend with crushed ice and cream, then put whipped cream on top, and drizzle raspberry syrup over that. Gosh, I've always been a sucker for anything raspberry/blackberry. And this drink is no exception. True, you can get a single of 12-year old Glenlivet for about the same price as a large, but your liver is probably better off with the frappuchino.

So this summer's love affair with Green Tea is still going strong. Since my Green Tea experience enlarged my imagination a little, I tried a Lipton's White Tangerine Iced Tea, and was not impressed. I also tried Arizona's Sweet Tea, "Real Brewed, Southern Style." I wanted to spit out what is left of my teeth, it was so sweet! Yeah, I know, how extremely unusual for me to say something is too sweet. But it happens.

Who knows about health benefits from green tea? Studies go both ways. But it sure is tasty, and thirst quenching. and this hot, humid summer has been a good testing ground for its thrist-quenching properties, anyway.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Complete Text of The Liturgical Year Available On Line

The problem is, it is in French, with no English translation.

Saint Agrippina di Mineo

Boston's North End Italian neighborhood remains rich in Catholic heritage. There is a little alleyway with pictures of various saints. Societies venerating various saints flourish, and street festivals are held honoring various saints. Today, I happened upon one of these festivals, that of Saint Agrippina di Mineo.

Hanover Street, the main street of the North End was blocked off. There were booths with carnival-type attractions, and food, incluidng fried dough, of which I am inordinately fond. Bands were playing, and fire crackers were going off. The perfect weather (70s and bright cloudless blue skies) brought out a decent crowd. One might argue that these street festivals have more to do with being Italian (in this case Sicilian) than with the Catholic Faith. But I disagree. These street festivals are lineal descendants of the saints festivals of Christendom. There was always something secular about them. Medieval festivals and fairs had entepreneurs doing captialistic business and free enterprise right alongside processions for the saints. But the important thing is that they are held in honor of a Catholic saint. And to me, that makes them wonderful examples of a continuing love for our Catholic cultural heritage.

Here is what the North End website has to say about this weekend's festival:

Saint Agrippina Di Mineo was a beautiful blond princess who was unmercifully tortured to death by the Emperor Valerian in 256 AD. After her death, her body was taken from Rome to Mineo, Sicily, by three holy women; Bassa, Paula and Agatonica.

The story of their journey is full of the miraculous. The fragrance that accompanied the body of St. Agrippina wherever it went, the veneration accorded her by the sailors and the farmers, the miraculous light weight of the reliquary so that the three young girls could carry it, the quickness of the voyage from Rome to Sicily, the miraculous cloud that covered the girls and transported them and the relics at certain times of danger in the journey, the angels that protected them from harm, the devils that were defeated and swept out at the sight of the sacred relics, and the miracle of Teogonia - these are all signs that it was the will of God that Agrippina should be the Saint of this blessed city of Mineo.

As the sacred tradition affirms, the relics of St. Agrippina arrived in Mineo on Wednesday, May 17, in the year 261. Her feast day is celebrated on the first weekend in August. Each year for the past 86 years, groups of devoted people come together in Boston's North End to renew their faith in Saint Agrippina, as was the custom in Mineo, Sicily. Each year everyone is invited to witness the respect and honor that is bestowed on this young, beautiful martyred Saint

Here is an official website for this Catholic celebration. It has photos from the 2004 and 2005 festivals that, because of their format, I can't Photobucket to bring to you, so you will have to browse here to see them.

But here is one of the festival in a prior year, not from the website, but from another source, that I found via the backdoor of a Google image search.

The remaining North end festivals for this year are:

August 4 - 6, 2006
St. Agrippina di Mineo Society
Feast Celebration
Battery & Hanover Streets
Schedule of Events Click here

August 11 - 13, 2006
Madonna Della Cava Society
Feast Celebration
Battery & Hanover Streets
Schedule of Events Click here

August 17 - 20, 2006
95th Annual Fisherman's Feast of the
Madonna Del Soccorso di Sciacca Society of Boston
Feast Celebration
Fleet & North Streets
Schedule of Events Click here

August 25 - 27, 2006
87th Annual Saint Anthony's Feast of
San Antonio Di Padova Da Montefalcione, Inc.
Feast Celebration
Thatcher & Endicott Streets
Schedule of Events Click here

August 28, 2006
St. Lucy Society
Feast Celebration
Thatcher & Endicott Streets
Schedule of Events Click here

September 10, 2006
Santa Rosalia Di Palermo Society

This page lists the religious societies of the North End, some of which have their own websites.

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