"Overture Tannhauser", a little some thing to get the blood moving.
Here is that story...
Le Retour de Martin Guerre.
Martin Guerre, a French peasant of the 16th Century, was at the center of a famous case of imposture. Several years after he had left his family, a man claiming to be Guerre took his name and lived with Guerre's wife and son for three years. After a trial, during which the real Martin Guerre returned, the imposter Arnaud du Tilh was discovered and executed. The case continues to be studied and dramatized to this day.
Life before leaving his wife. He was born as Martin Daguerre around 1524 in the Basque town of Hendaye. In 1527 his family moved to the Pyrenean village Artigat in southwestern France, where they changed their name to Guerre. When he was about fourteen years old, Martin was married to Bertrande de Rols, daughter of a well-off family. The marriage was childless for eight years until a son was born. Accused of stealing grain from his father, Martin abruptly disappeared in1548. The Catholic law governing France did not allow his abandoned wife to remarry (unlike that of the protestants, French Wars of Religion).
The "New Martin" appears
In the summer of1556, a man appeared in Artigat, claiming to be Martin Guerre. By his similar looks and detailed knowledge of Martin Guerre's life, he convinced most of the villagers. Martin Guerre's uncle and four sisters as well as Bertrande believed that he was indeed Martin Guerre, although doubts remained. The “new” Martin lived for three years with Bertrande and her son; they had two children together, with one daughter surviving. “Martin” claimed the inheritance of Guerre's father, who had since died, and even sued Guerre's uncle, Pierre Guerre, for part of the inheritance.
Pierre Guerre, who had earlier married Bertrande's widowed mother during Martin Guerre's absence, then became suspicious again. He and his wife tried to convince Bertrande that the new Martin was an impostor. A soldier who passed through Artigat claimed that the new Martin Guerre was a fraud: the real one had lost a leg in the war. Pierre and his sons-in-law beat the new Martin with a club, but Bertrande intervened. In 1559, the new Martin was accused of arson and also of impersonating Martin Guerre; Bertrande remained on his side, and he was acquitted in 1560.
Trial in Rieux
In the meantime, Pierre Guerre had asked around and believed to have found the true identity of the impostor: Arnaud du Tilh, nicknamed "Pansette", a man with a poor reputation from the nearby village Sajas. Pierre then initiated a new case against the man by falsely claiming to act in Bertrande's name. He and his wife, Bertrande's mother, pressured Bertrande to support the charge, and eventually she obliged.
In 1560, the case was tried in Rieux . Bertrande testified that at first she had honestly believed the man to be her husband, but that she had since realized that he was a fraud. Both Bertrande and the accused independently related an identical story about their intimate life from before 1548. The new Martin then challenged her: if she would swear that he was not her husband, he would gladly agree to be executed – Bertrande remained silent. After hearing more than 150 witnesses, with many recognizing Martin Guerre (including his four sisters), many recognizing Arnaud du Tilh and many refusing to take a side, the accused impostor was sentenced to death.
Appeal in Toulouse, Martin reappears.
He immediately appealed to the parliament in Toulouse. Bertrande and Pierre were arrested: for possible false accusation and, in the case of Pierre, soliciting perjury. The new Martin eloquently argued his case, and the judges in Toulouse tended to believe his version of the story: that Bertrande was pressured to perjury by the greedy Pierre Guerre. The accused had to undergo detailed questioning about his past; his statements were double checked and no contradictions were found. But then dramatically the true Martin Guerre appeared during the very trial, with a wooden leg. When asked about their past, the new Martin was able to answer some questions better than the "old" one, who had forgotten several details. But when the two were presented to the Guerre family, the case was closed: Pierre, Bertrande, and Martin's four sisters all agreed that the old one was the true one.
The impostor, who maintained his innocence, was convicted and sentenced to death for adultery and fraud; the public sentencing on September 12, 1560 was attended by the young Montagne. Afterwards, Arnaud du Tilh confessed: he had learned about Guerre's life after two men confused him with Guerre, and he had then decided to take Guerre's place, with two conspirators helping him with the details. He apologized to all involved, including Bertrande, for having deceived them, and was hanged in front of Martin Guerre's house in Artigat four days later.
During the absence from his family, the real Martin Guerre had moved to Spain, served for a Cardinal, and then later in the army of Pedro de Mendoza. As part of the Spanish army, he was eventually sent to Flanders and participated in the Spanish Attack on St Quentin on August 10, 1557. There he was wounded and his leg had to be amputated. He then lived in a monastery before returning to his wife. The reason for his returning at the very time of the trial remains unknown. Initially, he rejected his wife's apologies, maintaining that she should have known better than to take another man.
Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre, Harvard University Press, 1983, ISBN 0-674-76691-
Le Retour de Martin Guerre, 1982 film, staring Gerard Depardieu, here
Dieu le Roi,
No one works on this day (except for café owners), and one traditionally gives a little bouquet of muguet to friends to wish them happiness and good luck. The holiday surely stems in part from Le Fête de l’Ascension, long ago secularized by the state and made into a day of rest and general good will. Other Catholic feast days are still celebrated in France, like Toussaint (All Saints) and the Feast of the Assumption, but likewise have been turned into secular holidays by the state. Catholics, of course, attend Mass on the Solemnity of the Ascension, honoring the real reason behind the holiday: the triumph of Our Lord over death and sin and the perfect accomplishment of His mission in returning to the Father.
Merci Christine, Laudem Gloriae
Dieu le Roy.
This princess, as virtuous as she was amiable, whom monsters later on accused of having never loved her husband, was absolutely in despair. As soon as she heard the King's carriage entering the Cour Royale she ran towards him holding the Dauphin in her arms, then breathless and almost fainting she fell into those of the King who was no less moved than she was. Holding out one hand to his children who covered it with kisses, with the other wiping the tears from the eyes of Marie-Antoinette and Madame Elisabeth, Louis XVI smiled again...he kept on repeating: "Happily no blood was shed, and I swear that not a drop of French blood will ever be shed on my orders."~ Histoire de la Revolution Francaise (3 vol.) by M.H. Lemaire, 1816
Sacred Art calls us to sacred time!
"Art for art’s sake, which only refers to the author, without establishing a relationship with the divine world, does not have its place in the Christian concept of the icon. No matter what style is adopted, all sacred art must express the faith and hope of the Church.The tradition of the icon shows that the artist must be conscious of fulfilling a mission of service to the Church. Authentic Christian art is that which, through sensible perception, gives the intuition that the Lord is present in his Church, that the events of salvation history give meaning and orientation to our life,that the glory that is promised us already transforms our existence. Sacred art must tend to offer us a visual synthesis of all dimensions of our faith. Church art must aim at speaking the language of the Incarnation and, with the elements of matter, express the One who“deigned to dwell in matter and bring about our salvation through matter” according to Saint John Damascene’s beautiful expression. "
DUODECIMUM SAECULUM (Veneration Of Holy Images)Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter of the Supreme Pontiff to the Episcopate of the Catholic Church on the occasion of the 1200th Anniversary of the Second Council of Nicaea.
Sacred art in the twenty-first century is often seen as an endeavor that harkens our Catholic Church back to a period of history when the Church was often the greatest patron of the arts and individual artisans. While we would like to believe the period of the Renaissance was the greatest period for the commissioning and execution of great works of art, the reality is much older than we sometimes know. The celebration of the 1200th Anniversary of the Second Council of Nicaea was a significant event during the pontificate of John-Paul II. It was during this anniversary that the late Holy Father expressed an acute understanding and appreciation of the sacred art traditions of both the Eastern and Western Church. more
Posted on March 11th, 2008
by Hugh McNichol
I would like to thank the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order) for this icon of Mary and Jesus.
V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Pope Benedict’s Holy War Against Liberation Theology in South America: Pontiff and Conservative Church Face a Rollback
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF, COHA Senior Research Fellow
The recent election of former Bishop Fernando Lugo as President of Paraguay poses a sticky dilemma for the Vatican and underscores the hostile political environment facing incoming Pope Benedict XVI in South America. Lugo, who was known to his constituents as the “Bishop of the Poor” for his support of landless peasants, advocates so-called Liberation Theology, a school of thought which took shape in Latin America in the 1960s. Recognizing the pressing need for social justice, Liberation Theology was minted by Pope John XXIII to challenge the Church to defend the oppressed and the poor.
Since its emergence, Liberation Theology has consistently mixed politics and religion. Its adherents have often been active in labor unions and left-wing political parties. Followers of Liberation Theology take inspiration from fallen martyrs like Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador and Dorothy Mae Stang, an American-born nun who was murdered by ranching interests in Brazil.
Romero, an outspoken voice for social change, was gunned down in 1980 by a right wing death squad during a Mass in the chapel of San Salvador’s Divine Providence hospital. Stang, an advocate of the poor and the environment, was shot to death in the Brazilian Amazon in February 2005; her assailants were later linked to a powerful local landlord.
Joseph Ratzinger: Doctrinal Czar
During the 1980s and 1990s Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, acted as John Paul II’s doctrinal czar. At the time, John Paul was in the midst of a fierce battle to silence prominent Church liberals. “This conception of Christ as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive of Nazareth,” the Pontiff once said, “does not tally with the church’s catechism.” In 1983 the Pope wagged his finger at Sandinista government minister and Nicaraguan priest, Ernesto Cardenal on a trip to Managua, warning the latter to “straighten out the situation in your church.” Cardenal was one of the most prominent Liberation Theologians of the Sandinista era. Originally a liberal reformer, Ratzinger changed his tune once he became an integrant in the Vatican hierarchy.
As prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog agency, Cardinal Ratzinger warned against the temptation to view Christianity in an exclusively political light. Liberation Theology, he once said, was dangerous as it fused “the Bible’s view of history with Marxist dialectics.” Calling Liberation Theology a “singular heresy,” Ratzinger went on the offensive. He blasted the new movement as a “fundamental threat” to the church and prohibited some of its leading proponents from speaking publicly.
In an effort to clean house, Ratzinger even summoned outspoken priests to Rome and censured them on grounds that they were abandoning the church’s spiritual role for inappropriate socioeconomic activism. As Pope, Ratzinger has not sought to hide his lack of esteem for Liberation Theology. During a recent trip to Brazil, he was pressed by reporters to comment on Oscar Romero’s tragic murder in El Salvador. The Pope complained that Romero’s cause had been hijacked by supporters of liberation theology. Commenting on a new book about the slain archbishop, the Pope said that Romero should not be seen simply as a political figure. Hoping to avoid any meaningful political discussion on the matter, Benedict said “He was killed during the consecration of the Eucharist. Therefore, his death is testimony of the faith.”
Thanks and a tip of the beret to Joseph Fromm,
Ad Majorem Die Gloriam.
In 1786, In Vienna, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart premiered the opera "The marriage of Figaro".
Vive le Roy!
Thank God that is not the way everywhere...
Opponents carry injured home run hitter around the bases
The Associated Press
Published: April 30, 2008
PORTLAND, Ore.: With two runners on base and a strike against her, Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University uncorked her best swing and did something she had never done, in high school or college. Her first home run cleared the center-field fence.
But it appeared to be the shortest of dreams come true when she missed first base, started back to tag it and collapsed with a knee injury.
She crawled back to first but could do no more. The first-base coach said she would be called out if her teammates tried to help her. Or, the umpire said, a pinch runner could be called in, and the homer would count as a single.
Then, members of the Central Washington University softball team stunned spectators by carrying Tucholsky around the bases Saturday so the three-run homer would count — an act that contributed to their own elimination from the playoffs.
Central Washington first baseman Mallory Holtman, the career home run leader in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, asked the umpire if she and her teammates could help Tucholsky.
The umpire said there was no rule against it.
So Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace put their arms under Tucholsky's legs, and she put her arms over their shoulders. The three headed around the base paths, stopping to let Tucholsky touch each base with her good leg.
"The only thing I remember is that Mallory asked me which leg was the one that hurt," Tucholsky said. "I told her it was my right leg and she said, 'OK, we're going to drop you down gently and you need to touch it with your left leg,' and I said 'OK, thank you very much.'"
"She said, 'You deserve it, you hit it over the fence,' and we all kind of just laughed."
"We started laughing when we touched second base," Holtman said. "I said, 'I wonder what this must look like to other people.'"
"We didn't know that she was a senior or that this was her first home run," Wallace said Wednesday. "That makes the story more touching than it was. We just wanted to help her."
Holtman said she and Wallace weren't thinking about the playoff spot, and didn't consider the gesture something others wouldn't do.
As for Tucholsky, the 5-foot-2 right fielder was focused on her pain.
"I really didn't say too much. I was trying to breathe," she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday.
"I didn't realize what was going on until I had time to sit down and let the pain relax a little bit," she said. "Then I realized the extent of what I actually did."
"I hope I would do the same for her in the same situation," Tucholsky added.
As the trio reached home plate, Tucholsky said, the entire Western Oregon team was in tears.
Central Washington coach Gary Frederick, a 14-year coaching veteran, called the act of sportsmanship "unbelievable."
For Western Oregon coach Pam Knox, the gesture resolved the dilemma Tucholsky's injury presented.
"She was going to kill me if we sub and take (the home run) away. But at the same time I was concerned for her. I didn't know what to do," Knox said.
Tucholsky's injury is a possible torn ligament that will sideline her for the rest of the season, and she plans to graduate in the spring with a degree in business. Her home run sent Western Oregon to a 4-2 victory, ending Central Washington's chances of winning the conference and advancing to the playoffs.
"In the end, it is not about winning and losing so much," Holtman said. "It was about this girl. She hit it over the fence and was in pain, and she deserved a home run."
A tip of the Beret to Central Washington University.
After a 278-year hiatus, a long-lost opera by the Italian Baroque master Antonio Vivaldi will be performed in Prague Saturday in a tour de force for a young Czech conductor with a detective's nose.
"Argippo", a two-hour drama about a young princess smitten with a dishonest suitor, was scouted out nearly a year-and-a-half ago by 37-year-old Ondrej Macek, who founded and directs a Baroque music ensemble.
"I was really very happy when I found the scores that everyone thought lost," he said modestly.
The discovery came in November 2006, and word immediately swept the world of opera. Francesco Fanna, director of the Vivaldi Institute in the 18th-century master's birthplace Vienna, waxed a bit more enthusiastic, calling the find "exceptional".
On Saturday, "Argippo" -- the only opera Vivaldi actually wrote for Prague and staged only once, in Prague, in 1730 -- will be revived in the sumptuous setting of the Spanish Hall in the Prague Castle, a room normally reserved for huge official receptions or special parliamentary sessions.
It is "one of the rare places in Prague where acoustics are adapted to Baroque music," said Macek, a harpsichordist and musicologist who has directed his own Baroque music ensemble, Cappella Accademica, since the 1990s.
On Saturday, Macek will be conducting another ensemble, Hofmusici, for the world premier of the reconstructed "Argippo".
Vivaldi, who lived 1678 to 1741, is best known popularly for his instrumental works, notably his set of four violin concertos, the "Four Seasons". But interest in his operas -- he himself claimed to have written 94 in all -- has been growing.
Macek was not alone in the search for "Argippo" though efforts by others were in vain. "They all stopped in Prague," he said.
The Czech conductor was used to poking around old archives to revive forgotten 18th-century scores. Once he set his mind to it, the trail towards "Argippo" was "easy", he said.
The private theatre of Count Franz Anton Sporck who commissioned the opera had long burned down and the only surviving copy of the libretto was in Prague's National Library.
Macek's next "logical" step was to sniff out the movements of the Italian musicians recruited to perform the 1730 premier.
"After Prague, the Antonio Denzio company left for Regensburg (Germany), so I decided to go there myself." His quest led him to the private archives of the princely home of Thurn und Taxis, in Bavaria.
Within two weeks, Macek happened upon the scores, tucked inside an 18th-century musical manual.
"I immediately knew that this is what I was looking for because it corresponded to the libretto from Prague's National Library," said Macek.
Once the scores were authenticated by the Vivaldi Institute Scientific Committee in Venice, the Czech conductor dove into reconstructing the opera. The handwritten scores found in Regensburg were incomplete, lacking one-third of the work.
Delving into all available arias by Vivaldi at the time, Macek was able to fill in the missing parts of the "musical drama in three acts".
After Prague, "Argippo" will be performed in early June in the Castle Theatre at Cesky Krumlov, another Baroque performance hall near the Austrian border, then in October in Venice.
Another long-lost Vivaldi opera, "Motezuma" which was first performed in 1733, came to light in 2002 when Hamburg-based musicologist Steffen Voss found a copy of the score in the archives of a Berlin-based choral society, Sing-Akademie zu Berlin.
The Louisiana territory's borders were considered to be the tributaries of the Mississippi, This comprised an area that would eventually become 15 states and portions of 2 Canadian provinces. These Canadian areas were ceded to Great Britain in 1818 in the Anglo-American convention.
Jefferson as a strict constitutional constructionist believed the purchase to be unconstitutional because he could find no part of the constitution wherein the acquisition of lands could be made by a president. Moreover he felt that it could erode the powers of the various states by the federal government. On the other hand Jefferson feared that a strong presence of France as a western neighbor would endanged the American trade in New Orleans.
Originally the Jefferson was prepared to negoitiate soley for the City of New Orleans, and offered 10 millions of dollars. The negotiators were flabergasted when they were approached with an offer for the entire Louisiana Territory for 15 millions.
The lands were almost entirely occupied by indians, necessitating the need for the United States to re-negotiate with each individual tribe, few if any indians knew that their lands were now the property of the United States. The purchase price of the lands from the indians, and the wars that ensued made the price considerably higher than the original purchase.
King of England, and you, Duke of Bedford, who call yourself Regent of the Kingdom of France; you, William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk; John, Lord of Talbot; and you, Thomas, Lord Scales, who call yourselves Bedford's lieutenants, do right by the King of Heaven. Hand over to the Maiden, who is sent here by God the King of Heaven, the keys to all the towns which you have taken and violated in France. She has come here in the name of God to support the Royal family. She is quite prepared to make peace, if you are willing to do right, so long as you give up France and make amends for occupying it. And you, archers, soldiers both noble and otherwise, who are around the town of Orléans, in God's name go back to your own lands. And if you will not do so, await word of the Maiden, who will go to see you soon to your very great misfortune. King of England, if you do not do so, I am a commander, and wherever I come across your troops in France, I shall make them go, whether willingly or unwillingly; and if they will not obey, I will have them wiped out. I am sent here by God the King of Heaven - an eye for an eye - to drive you entirely out of France. And if they are willing to obey, I shall have mercy on them. And do not think otherwise, for you will never hold the kingdom of France from God the King of Heaven, the Son of Saint Mary; King Charles, the true heir, will hold it, for God the King of Heaven wills it; and this has been revealed by the Maiden to him, who shall enter Paris with a fine contingent of troops. If you do not believe the tidings sent by God and the Maiden, wherever we find you we will strike against you, and will cause such a great clash of arms there that not for a thousand years has France seen one as great, if you do not do right. And firmly believe that the King of Heaven will send greater force to the Maiden than you would be able to bring against her and her good men-at-arms in all of your assaults. And in the fighting we shall see who has the better right [whether God of Heaven or you]. Duke of Bedford, the Maiden asks and requests that you will not cause your own downfall. If you will do right, you could yet come in her company to where the French will do the noblest deed which has ever been done for Christianity. And reply if you wish to make peace in the city of Orléans; and if you do not do so, you will shortly contemplate your great misfortunes."
Written this Tuesday [in] Holy Week."
For years, vague prophecies had been circulating in France concerning an armed maid who would rescue France. Many of these prophecies foretold that the armed maid would come from the region of Lorraine, where Domremy, Joan's birthplace, was located. As a result, when word reached the besieged citizens of Orléans concerning Joan's journey to see the King, expectations and hope were high.
Joan arrived in Chinon in early March, at which time she met with the Dauphin. Following this, she was sent to Poitiers so that church officials and other dignitaries could examine her. Once she received ecclesiastical and royal approval, she joined the relief army which was being assembled in Blois.
It was from Blois that Joan sent the first of at least two letters addressed to the English forces besieging Orléans. In this letter, she called on the English to quit the siege, surrendering all the cities and territories in France which they then occupied, and return to England. If they refused, she promised that she would raise a "War cry against them that would last forever, she then said, I shall not write any further". It was a promise whose audacity was exceeded only by the accomplishment.
Joan of Arc arrived with the relief army on the outskirts of Orléans on April 28, 1429, and after spending the night at Checy entered the city, to much rejoicing, the next day.
Source: Joan of Arc Center