29.2.08

Pastime With Good Company (Henry VIII)

Henry VIII was a true renaissance prince. He was educated in the classics, and spoke and wrote several languages fluently, including the prerequisite Latin. He studied philosophy, and religion and often had heated debates with the learned thinkers of the age. He was an athlete and he was skilled in the arts of war. He wrote prose and poetry. But his real passion was always music.

Henry VIII composed masses (which are now lost) and ballads. He played several instruments. And he amassed a considerable collection of them over his lifetime. As a matter of fact, when he died he left a collection that included: 5 Bagpipes, 78 Recorders and 78 Flutes, A Mechanical Virginal (a forerunner of the piano which was an elogated box with one note per key).

Pastime with Good Company lyrics
by Henry VIII.

1 Pastime with good company
2 I love and shall unto I die.
3 Grudge whoso will (who list), but none deny,
4 So God be pleased, thus live will I.
5 For my pastance
6 Hunt, sing, and dance.
7 My heart is set
8 All goodly sport
9 For my comfort.
10 Who shall me let?
11 Youth must have some dalliance,
12 Of good or ill some pastance.
13 Company me thinketh then best
14 All thoftes and fantasies (fancies) to digest.
15 For idleness
16 Is chief mistress
17 Of vices all.
18 Then who can say
19 But "pass the day" (But mirth and play)
20 Is best of all?
21 Company with honesty
22 Is virtue, and vice to flee.
23 Company is good or ill
24 But every man hath his free will.
25 The best ensue,
26 The worst eschew,
27 My mind shall be.
28 Virtue to use,
29 Vice to refuse,
30 I shall use me.

de Brantigny

Muslim Gunmen seize Chaldean Catholic Archbishop in Iraq

This article appeared on Yahoo about an hour ago. Then it disappeared. I guess it was not politically corect enough. It might offend the senses of the Muslims, it could enrage the Catholics and incite them to riot.

This article should be headlined...
Muslim Gunmen seize Chaldean Catholic Archbishop in Iraq

I have added commentary.

de Brantigny


Gunmen seize Chaldean archbishop in Iraq: security official
2 hours, 28 minutes ago

MOSUL, Iraq (AFP) - A Chaldean Catholic archbishop was kidnapped by gunmen in Iraq's restive northern city of Mosul on Friday after a shootout that killed his three companions, a local Iraqi army commander said.

Faraj-Farraj Rahhu, the archbishop of Mosul, was kidnapped after a shootout in the eastern Nur district of the city, said Brigadier General Khalid Abd al-Sattar.
Two bodyguards and his driver were killed, said Sattar, who had earlier described the kidnap victim as a priest. Rahhu was seized while on his way home after delivering mass.

Iraq's Christians, with the Chaldean rite making up by far the largest community, were said to number as many as 800,000 before the US-led invasion in March 2003.

Associated with the "Crusader" (why did they add this?) invaders and regarded as well-off, they are now victims of sectarian cleansing, (It is called GENOCIDE) killings and kidnappings at the hands of both Sunni and Shiite Islamists, as well as criminal gangs. (But, but this is the religion of Peace!)

Their churches have been bombed and homes confiscated.

Without their own militia to defend them, the community is believed to have shrunk to half its previous number, with more joining the exodus each day, although in far smaller numbers than Iraq's vast Muslim majority.

Islam is the Religion of Death. There, I have said it.

de Brantigny

Watching The Boleyn Girls Lose Their Heads So We Won't have To

A redirect from Tea at Trianon brought me this article from Church of the Masses.

For two hours, The Other Boleyn Girl is about nothing but sex. And I think I am going to recommend it. I found it to be a horrifying (in a good way) morality tale. (Karen - your kind of cinematic romp?) Because of it's subject matter, it's for grownups, although with a PG-13 rating, it doesn't have nudity or graphic sex.

Based on the novel by Philippa Gregory, the movie tells a mostly unknown story of the family of Henry the VIII's infamous second queen, Anne Boleyn, and how her father's ambition, and her mother's paralysis, ends up leading the whole family into every kind of tragedy.

Contrary to the Cate Blanchett Elizabethan movies that demonize the Catholic Church, The Other Boleyn Girl is a scathing indictment of the Tudor court, painting Henry in leotard-wearing Bill Clintonesque - narcissistic, deceitful, and willing to destroy his kingdom to satisfy his sexual appetites. His Queen, Catherine of Aragon, on the other hand, comes across as completely noble and really kind of wonderful - a devout woman trapped in a power-mad, licentious hell. On another level, the movie really, really made me glad that as a female, I was born in the mid-20th Century and not the mid-16th Century. Now, THAT was a damn tough time to be a woman. more

Thanks and tip of the Beret to Elena-Maria Vidal, and Barbara Nicolosi.

de Brantigny

A Man for all Seasons

...[to Will Roper] Now, listen, Will. Two years ago you were a passionate churchman. Now you're a passionate Lutheran. We must just pray that when your head's finished turning, your face is to the front again.."

The Classic film "A Man for All Seasons" aired last night on TCM. It caused me to pause and reflect upon certain themes which I have been teaching my students in Pre-Confirmation. That is, that we as Catholics must be willing to lay down our lives for the sake of the Faith.

I often hear, especially working a a prison, the phrase "I let my conscience be my guide". But what if that conscience is not properly formed? Conscience is only formed by right thinking. St Thomas absolutely conducted right thinking. As an example he refused to to give his consent to William Roper the younger his daughter Margaret in marriage. Why? Because he was a heretic. Roper had adopted the Lutheran ideologies because he opposed certain problems in the Catholic Church. In the end, William, forgoes his heresy and returns to the Faith. It was not by battering William Roper the head, it was by the demonstration of Faith in action and by a properly formed conscience that won William Roper back. One may remark that it was the love of "Meg' that caused his return yet, is it not Love which draws us to the Faith? Or, could it be that Gods Love for William Roper shone through Margaret More?

St Thomas More could have escaped his trial and execution by simply saying that the marriage of King to Anne Boleyn was valid. Where he could not say this in his own daughters betrothal, his right formed conscience told him he could make no allowances for the King's. He was presented with bribes, with position, but in the end he remained true to the Faith and faithful to the Pope. He was executed for it. That is the most sublime definition of martyrdom.

Everyday we are presented with choices as to whether or not to make allowances in some way. How we face these challenges is the truly heroic part of our Faith. St Thomas showed us how to face these challenges. He reminds us that in the end we all face judgement and there won't be allowances.

de Brantigny

28.2.08

The Passion Of Joan Of Arc 1928

This film made in 1928 is silent. Occasionally it will show on TMC, it is well worth watching, it lasts 80 min 32 seconds.

de Brantigny

Mother Angelica Heads Back To France: "Go Repair My House

Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit has an article on Mother Angelica. I remember watching Mother on the Channel 52 ( but no longer exists)out of Anahiem when we lived in California. She was and is the closest many Catholics come to any religious other than a Priest anymore.

Mother Angelica Heads Back To France: "Go Repair My House"

In late August of 2007, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, set out to re-found their original monastery in Troyes, France. Eight sisters from our monasteries in the United States and India answered the call to come and help rebuild our 'little portion' of Notre Dame des Anges. We are most grateful to Bishop Marc Stenger for all that he has done to help us re-establish our community here. We hope you will enjoy seeing what's been happening in the last few months through this under-construction page. We will try to keep this updated until our monastery website is completed.more.

I pray that the true faith replaces some of the Masonic, and Heritcal teaching which has endured in France since 1789.

Un Foi, Un Roi, Une France.
Vive le Roi.
de Brantigny

27.2.08

Swedish Viking Dress

The way we had thought about Vikings is changing. When I was small the popular thought was that vikings wore helmets with horns stiking out, carried swords, round sheilds, looked like Kurt Douglas and made life generally miserable for all of Europe. In the 60's it was revealed that they probably arrived in North America long before Columbus, were farmers as much as they were sailors, traded more than they pillaged, and lived in cities like York,("Jorvik") (seriously that should have been a giveaway) and in places like Normandy.

My interest in the Norse stems from the fact that my wife is a desendant of Ealdgyth Swanneschals, or Edith Swan Neck, through Alnod Cilt.

Johanna Blomqvist has explored the way that the vikings really looked in this article from Uppsala University in Sweden.

de Brantigny

Vikings did not dress the way we thought

By Johanna Blomqvist,

Viking women's clothing consisted of a single piece of fabric with a train, an opening in front, and clasps that accentuated the breasts. The apparel in the picture is...

Vivid colors, flowing silk ribbons, and glittering bits of mirrors - the Vikings dressed with considerably more panache than we previously thought. The men were especially vain, and the women dressed provocatively, but with the advent of Christianity, fashions changed, according to Swedish archeologist Annika Larsson.

"They combined oriental features with Nordic styles. Their clothing was designed to be shown off indoors around the fire," says textile researcher Annika Larsson, whose research at Uppsala University presents a new picture of the Viking Age.

She has studied textile finds from the Lake Mälaren Valley, the area that includes Stockholm and Uppsala and was one of the central regions in Scandinavia during the Viking Age. The findings, some of which were presented in her dissertation last year, show that what we call the Viking Age, the years from 750-1050 A.D., was not a uniform period. Through changes in the style of clothing we can see that medieval Christian fashions hit Sweden as early as the late 900s and that new trade routes came into use then as well. The oriental features in clothing disappeared when Christianity came and they started to trade with the Christian Byzantine and Western Europe.

"Textile research can tell us more about the state of society than research into traditions. Old rituals can live on long after society has changed, but when trade routes are cut off, there's an immediate impact on clothing fashions," says Annika Larsson.

She maintains that Swedish Viking women in the pre-Christian period probably dressed much more provocatively than we previously believed. She bases her theory on a new find uncovered in Russian Pskov, close to Novgorod and the eastward trade routes then plied from Sweden. The find consists of extensive remnants of a woman's attire, which Annika Larsson claims does not square with the traditional picture of how Viking women dressed.

Swedish viking men's fashions were modeled on styles in Russia to the east. Archeological finds from the 900s uncovered in Lake Malaren Valley accord with contemporary depictions of clothing...

Previously it was thought that Viking women wore a long suspender (brace) skirt, with both the front and back pieces consisting of square sections, held together by a belt. Clasps, often regarded as typical of the Viking Age, were attached to the suspenders roughly at the collar bone. Under this dress they wore a linen shift, and on top of it a woolen shawl or sweater.

"The grave plans from excavations at Birka outside Stockholm in the 19th century show that this is incorrect. The clasps were probably worn in the middle of each breast. Traditionally this has been explained by the clasps having fallen down as the corpse rotted. That sounds like a prudish interpretation," says Annika Larsson.

She maintains instead that the Birka women's skirts consisted of a single piece of fabric and were open in front. The suspenders held up the train and functioned as a harness that was fastened to the breasts with the clasps. Annika Larsson's theory is strengthened by that fact that a number of female figures have been preserved whose outfits both have trains and are open in front. But if we are to believe the archeological finds, this style of clothing disappeared with the advent of Christianity.

"It's easy to imagine that the Christian church had certain reservations about clothing that accentuated the breasts in this way and, what's more, exposed the under shift in front. It's also possible that this clothing was associated with pre-Christian rituals and was therefore forbidden," she believes.

reprinted from Uppsala University

25.2.08

The story of the Pucelle begins

Today in 1429, Jehanne la Pucelle (1) left for Chinon to meet with the Dauphin Charles to declare her mission.
The Sieur De Gaucourt relates(2)...

..."I was at the Castle of the town of Chinon when Jeanne arrived there, and I saw her when she presented herself before the King's Majesty with great lowliness and simplicity ; a poor little shepherdess! I heard her say these words: "Most noble Lord Dauphin, I am come and am sent to you from God to give succor to the kingdom and to you... "

...After having seen and heard her, the King, so as to be better instructed about her, put her under the protection of Guillaume Bellier, his Major-Domo, my Lieutenant at Chinon, afterwards Bailly of Troyes, ... ...whose wife was most devout and of the best reputation. Then he had her visited by the Clergy, by Doctors, and by Prelates, to know if he could lawfully put faith in her. Her deeds and words were examined during three weeks, not only at Chinon, but at Poitiers. The Examinations finished, the Clergy decided that there was nothing evil in her deeds nor in her words. After numerous interrogations, they ended by asking her what sign she could furnish, that her words might be believed? "The sign I have to show," she replied, "is to raise the siege of Orleans!" ...


The examination was completed and Jehanne was found to be a virgin. During the middle ages it was considered to be a sign of purity for a woman to be a virgin. Had she been found not to be a virgin her mission would have been over before it began.

The besieging of Orleans was an serious breach of the Code of Chivalry. The Duc of Orleans was held as a prisoner by the English since his capture at Agincourt in 1415. It was considered bad form to besiege a city if the Lord of that city was held as a prisoner. Today we look upon this as de rigor but during the middle ages this was heinous. Jehanne was a stickler for the Code of Chivalry. She would not alllow her forces to fight on feast days or on Sundays unless it was to defend themsleves from the English. She kept the army free of campfollowers, insisted that her troops attend confession and hear Mass sung before a battle. Although it was unusual for the time Jehanne Communicated daily if she could. She allowed no swearing in camp as soldiers do. ( I know that one was hard.) She softened the heart of her companion Capt L'Hire ( a nom-de- guerre "the hedgehog").

(1) I am using the name by which she was known at the time, Trans. Joan the Maid

(2) Raoul, not Jean, de Gaucourt, Grand Steward, born 1370. Fought, in 1394, under the banner of Jean de Nevers, afterwards Duke of Burgundy, for Sigmund, King of Hungary, against Bajazet; and was knighted on the field of Nicopolis, from which only himself, his leader, and twenty-two other French nobles escaped. He defended Harfleur against Henry V., in 1415, and was a prisoner for ten years, being one of those specially named by Henry in his dying commands to Bedford as prisoners "to be kept." In 1425, he was ransomed for the sum of 20,000 gold crowns; in 1427, he aided Dunois at the victory of Montargis, and afterwards in the defense of Orleans.


de Brantigny