POW escapes

I thought that I had seen it all in historical reenacting. I was wrong. A business in Poland has hit upon an idea to recreate escapes from World War II Luft Stalag. This is the perfect vacation! An escape to an escape! I have found it unbelievable that Poles should want to create anything that had to do with the Nazis.

They have a web site here...

I love the spirit of a free economy but I find this in bad taste.

Oh yes did I mention that this was in Poland? The site also lists the passport requirements, and approximates the cost of flights.

Dieu Le Roy,

La Vie en Rose

I am in one of those nostalgic moods today.

In all the world no song has come to to be so closely identified with France, as La Vie en Rose sung by Edith Piaf. I offer two for your listening pleasure the first by the "Sparrow" herself and the second by Mirielle Mathieu, "Mimi".

The "Sparrow".

And now Mimi.


Étienne de Vignolles, Companion of the Maid

Of the great battle captains under Jeanne d'Arc, Étienne de Vignolles is one of the toughest and most warlike. A professional soldier of some repute, La Hire was present at the lifting of the Siege of Orleans, and was the primary leader at the Battle of Patay which caused as much damage to the English as Agincourt did to the French.

Étienne de Vignolles, called La Hire, was a Gascon captain (renowned for their short temper) and Bailly of Vermandois. He was born about 1390 and entered the Dauphin's service about 1418 and waged guerilla warfare in the country around Laon and in Vermandois. He was captain of Château Thierry in 1421 and then of Vitry in Champagne in 1422.

He was seriously wounded at Saint Riquier and remained lame. He commanded the Lombard knights at Verneuil (August, 1424) and delivered Vendôme from Suffolk, succored Montargis in 1427, surprised Marchenoir but let the English retake Le Mans. He undertook the reprovisioning of Orléans which he entered on October 25, 1428. At the Battle of the Herrings, La Hire protected the retreat of the French companies; he encountered the Maid at Blois and reëntered Orléans with her on April 29, 1429. He prosecuted the whole campaign of Beauce and commanded the forces that escorted Jeanne and the King on the journey to Reims.

Created Bailly of Vermandois, he installed himself at Laon. But we encounter him shortly afterwards in Normandy, of which he was captain-general after the taking of Louviers (1429). He conducted two mysterious enterprises which appear to have had as their object the deliverance of Jeanne d'Arc from Rouen. But he was captured by the Burgundians who held him for a ransom of 1,500 réaux d'or and kept him prisoner at Dourdan.

In September, 1432, la Hire appeared at Lagny, which was besieged by Bedford, and he ravaged the lands of the Duke of Burgundy around Cambrai the following year. Captain-general of the hither side of the Seine, in December, 1433, he took Ham and Breteuil from the Burgundians and defeated the Earl of Arundel at Gerberoy (1435).

In spite of the peace of Arras he continued to wage guerrilla warfare in Artois, around Caux, but he was taken prisoner by the Lord of Offémont at Beauvais (1437). In the service of René d'Anjou, La Hire led the Écorcheurs (2) in Lorraine (1438-1439). He took part in the sieges of Harfleur and Pontoise, and in the battle of Tartas.

He died, poor and glorious, at Montauban on January 12, 1443.
La Hire

Le Hire is remembered today as the Jack of Hearts in card decks.


(1)Etienne de Vignolles, dit La Hyre, compagnon de Jeanne d'Arc, capitaine général au nord de la Seine (V.1390-1443)
Auteur : Dassy Jean-Joseph (1796-1865) Versailles, châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon



The banality and destruction of the English reformation

In an article on the Guild Chapel In Stratford, the past beauty of the Chapel is remembered in this article at Tudor stuff: Tudor history from the heart of England Find a short film by Simon Schama about the destruction of the artwork in another Church during the reformation, here.

See a virtual reconstruction of the Guild Chapel here.

In a far worse way Ordinaries are carrying out the same destruction of Churches. Check out this Kaaba in Williamsburg. If the desire was to fashion something which would fit in with the Williamsburg theme decor it was achieved here. The Holy Hubcap thing in the background is the church proper. The old St Bede's may be found here. Just can't leave well enough alone can we? BTW the priests are faithful to the magisterium as well as the bishop. When the older church was found to be too small it gave the "progressives" their opportunity to refrom the building. I hope we in the church never accept this. The Ordinary over Williamsburg is our Ordinary as well.

The new interior with the altar in the middle. It is theatre in the round.

The old altar in the old church.
I have attended mass in both.

What have they done?


An American -- until told she wasn't

Just exactly what are the piorities of this Government? We can not have a War on Terrorism, but we can have a War on Obesity, we ship 86 year old men overseas for a war crimes trial in which no witness can be found to testify against him, yet we can't try KSM in Guantanimo we can't seem to deport the millions of illegal aliens including Obama's Aunt out of the United States but we have no trouble ordering a peaceful woman, a wife of an American Citizen and mother of another out of the country to which she was legally admitted in 1981. This is an obscene misuse of powere but is not unusual in this climate of "do what I say, not what I do." the Chicago Tribune writes...

Bulgarian-born Niles woman, bestowed U.S. citizenship in 1981, struggles against sea of bureaucratic red tape while worrying she could be deported

By Antonio Olivo, Tribune reporter

February 6, 2010
Angela Boneva always thought she was an American, never imagining that valued piece of her identity could be stripped away.

Because her father was born in Indiana, an American consulate in Bulgaria bestowed U.S. citizenship on Boneva when she was growing up there in 1981. It granted Boneva privileges unavailable to her Bulgarian friends, allowing her to visit relatives in Chicago and then to move to the area in 1997.

Boneva, now 34 and a married mother, settled into a quiet American lifestyle in Niles — until the day a letter arrived from the U.S. State Department, upending her world. In six indifferently worded paragraphs it said, in effect: There was a mistake. You're not an American.




Contraversial Protestant Baptist Group To Picket The Jesuit Creighton Prep And University Feb 10th, 2010

Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit has posted this article about our old friends at WBC Topeka Kansas...

A Kansas church says it will be picketing a Catholic high school and college in Omaha. Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., says it will set up pickets Wednesday at Creighton Preparatory School and at Creighton University, a Jesuit college.

The church is known for protesting at military funerals to express the belief that U.S. troop deaths are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality. Speaking for the church, Shirley Phelps-Roper said Monday that the protests will mark cases against Catholic priests who sexually abused children. more

Wiki reports that "Fred Phelps the founder of Westboro Baptist Church has run in various Kansas Democratic Party primaries five times, but has never won. These included races for governor in 1990, 1994, and 1998, receiving about 15 percent of the vote in 1998. In the 1992 Democratic Party primary for U.S. Senate, Phelps received 31 percent of the vote. Phelps ran for mayor of Topeka in 1993 and 1997."

A couple of things to say here, 1. These are not Baptists. 2. This is persecution. 3. The Church thrives on persecution. 4. Thanks.

It is unfortunate to say but this type of thinking is prevelent by other eclesiatic communities who while not actually doing the stoning are holding the clothes of the ones who do.

Thanks Joseph!

Dieu le Roy.

The WBC has read my blog the last time I mentioned them, but has failed to comment.


Global warming in Washington!

...Some spots, including parts of Maryland, had nearly 3 feet of snow from the earlier storm. One scientist said if all that fell on the East Coast were melted, it would fill 12 million Olympic swimming pools or 30,000 Empire State buildings. Philadelphia and Washington each need about nine more inches to give the cities their snowiest winters since 1884, the first year records were kept....

When we have the hubris to think that we can effect global climate change God has a way of showing us He is still in charge of things.

Even in my part of North Carolina where it rarely snows they cleared out my road in a day. Of course we don't have a union DOT either.

From Les Femmes there is this which should make you smile if not laugh out loud.

Dieu le Roy!

Photo borrowed from Laura Ingraham and was taken this morning.

Jumonville, Half King and Washington and the Clash of Empire

On June 28, 1754, while Marine Ensign Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville was leading a mission aimed at ascertaining the American position in the Ohio Valley, he and 10 of his men were assassinated by soldiers under the command of George Washington (as documented at his surrender of Fort Necessity).

Thus began the world first global war.

Jumonville was born in the seigneury of Verchères, New France, the son of Nicolas-Antoine Coulon de Villiers, a French military officer. He began service with the Compagnes Franches de la Marine at age 15 in his father's unit.

He served in the Compagnie Franches during several conflicts with native groups in the western Great Lakes region where he was posted with his father and several of his brothers. His father and one of his brothers were killed at Baie-des-Puants during a battle with the Fox tribe. About 1746, and perhaps for some few years previous, the Foxes lived at the Little Butte des Morts on the west bank of Fox river, about 37miles above Green Bay. They made it a point, when ever a trader's boat approached, to place a torch upon the bank as a signal for the traders to come ashore and pay the customary tribute, which they exacted from all. To refuse was to incur their displeasure, and robbery would be the mildest penalty inflicted. Incensed at this exaction, Morand, a leading trader, raised a volunteer force of French and Indians, and after inflicting severe punishment on the Fox in two engagements drove them down Wisconsin river. They settled on the north bank about 20 miles from the mouth. He was later promoted to Second Ensign and was stationed in Acadia during King George's War, called the War of Austrian Secession in Europe.

In June 1754, Jumonville was posted to Fort Duquesne,(pronounced "dew cane") where Pittsburgh now stands, with his older half-brother Louis Coulon de Villiers. The French were building up military strength in the Ohio Country in response to incursions by British traders and settlers, notably those from eastern Pennsylvania and Virginia

On May 23, 1754, Jumonville took command of a 35 man detachment from the fort and headed southwest. The exact nature of Jumonville's mission has been the subject of considerable debate both at the time and up to the present day. Officially, his mission was to scout the area south of Fort Duquesne, the direction most likely to be the approach of Virginia troops under Washington. Washington had been a frequent visitor in the area having delivered a message to the French to remove from the area claimed by the English. Washington had been rebuffed the year before and was moving forward again into the area. Jummonville may also been instructed to be on a diplomatic mission.

The English have long contended that he was sent to spy on their garrison at Great Meadows and their road building project. Half King, the leader of a band of Mingos allied to the British, believed he was planning an ambush. This may have only been Half King's story because he had a well known antipathy towards the French having been captured and forced into slavery as a child. On May 27, 1754, the indian scouts of Half King discovered Jumonville's party camped in a small valley. This area of southwestern Pennsylvania is the third wettest part of the present United States, it was no different in 1754. The area is covered in Laurel and is dotted by natural rock over hangings which afford a great deal of shelter.

Half King begged Washington to attack the French encampment, claiming it was a hostile party sent to ambush them. Washington and a party of 40 men from Great Meadows and marched through the night in a driving rain arriving at the encampment at dawn. Washington had his troops prime their muskets and fired into the French troops in the glen. In a confused skirmish, in which very few muskets on either side could fire due to dampness, 10 French Marines were killed, and 21 were captured including Jummonville, who was wounded and laying on the ground.

As Jummonville was being interrogated by Washington Half King walked up and sent his tomahawk into the brain of Jumonville. At least one French Marine escaped, and reported to Fort Duquesne about the incident.

Washington returned to Great Meadows and completed Fort Necessity. Great Meadows could not have been a poor choice of ground. It rests in a clearing surrounded by hills.

Jumonville's half brother, Captain Coulon de Villiers, vowed revenge. He attacked Washington and the garrison at Fort Necessity and forced them to surrender on July 3, 1754. In the surrender document, written in French, Coulon de Villiers inserted a clause describing Jumonville's death as an "assassination". Washington, who did not speak French, signed the document. The assassination of a French diplomat and revered soldier, Jumonville would later be used as propaganda by the French against the war crimes of Washington and the British, during the conflict.

Washington was heavily criticized in Britain for the incident. British statesman Horace Walpole referred to the controversy surrounding Jumonville's death as the "Jumonville Affair" and described it as "a volley fired by a young Virginian in the backwoods of America that set the world on fire."

Pour Dieu et Pour le Roy.

An additional comment. I have reenacted the battle of Jummonville Glen twice. The area is spectacularly beautiful. It is in the Laurel Mountains of western Pennsylvania covered by blooming trees. The woods are full of game, including deer. The present site is maintained as a Methodist retreat, but the glen itself, other than the grass being cut and a small amphitheatre, remains largely as it was on that fateful day in 1754. Did I mention that it rains there? Although I was there in the last days of May it was evident that the snow had just melted. I was fortunate that I could set up our tent in a dry spell. My wife Suzanne, and daughter Geneviève (who started reenacating when she was 4 days old) hearty reenactors in their own right, who have braved the cold, snow, rain, excessive heat, and even an earthquake, refused to ever return to reenact Jummonville again. (Go figure!) The rain did not dampen my ardour for the King Louis but my musket refused to fire on several occasions, bad newswhen you have met with a Roger's Ranger.

Some source material,

For an excellent film documentary about the beginning of the Seven Years War in America, see "When the Forest Ran Red". my film debut is at minute 21 of the is documentary. I am the Frenchman wearing the red toque. (eh?)

A Peoples History of Canada, a CBC documentary may be found here.

Wilderness Empire by Allan Eckert, may be found here

Montcalm and Wolfe: The French and Indian War. by Francis Parkman. Originally published 1884. New York: Da Capo, 1984. may be found here This is a biased work, reflecting the dawning of the pro-British sentiment which was beginning to take root in America at the time.

La Conciergerie, from royal palace to revolutionary prison

The magnificence of medieval Paris is presented by Catherine Delors with her adoption of the Conciergerie as her banner at Versailles and More, the palace of Louis IX and prison of the Royal Family. In a very interesting (and sadly all too short) article Catherine writes this about the Conciergerie...

...it is an iconic view of Paris, and it conveys the urban feeling I am seeking. It had changed very little between the Revolution and the time of the painting (1858) and amazingly enough, since then. Only the ramshackle Préfecture has been demolished to make way for a more stately building. Look at this modern view:
The medieval origin of the building is obvious from the architecture of the towers. Indeed in the Middle Ages, this was the royal palace, the Palais de la Cité, after the island of the same name in the middle of the Seine River. It was home to King Louis IX, later Saint-Louis, who had the jewel-like Sainte-Chapelle built within its grounds..." more...

In my humble opinion this palace is as imposing as Versailles. This would be one of those places on earth were I would be drawn to just sit for hours and imagine the palace in it's glory.

Once again a thanks and a tip of the beret to Catherine.

Dieu Le Roy!


St John de Matha, Feast 8 February

St. John De Matha, the founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity. In this image he is holding a chain, representing the Trinitarians' mission to free captives, and the book containing the Order's Rule.

John De Matha was born in Faucon, a town in the south of France, around the year 1154. He completed his graduate studies with honors at the University of Paris, where he later taught theology. Ordained to the priesthood, on the day of his first Mass he experienced a heavenly vision which made him understand that God wanted him to become a redeemer of Christian captives.

John De Matha felt deeply the pains of the Christians kept in bondage by the Moslems. His revulsion for human servitude and his love for God-Trinity led John to call his community The Order of the Holy Trinity for the Ransom of Captives, or The Trinitarians. He wrote the Order's Rule, which was approved by Pope Innocent III on December 17, 1198.

John spent the rest of his life founding houses of the Order, ransoming Christian captives and opening hospitals for the sick and hospices for the poor. John de Matha died in Rome on December 17, 1213, in the house and hospital of St. Thomas in Formis which he had founded.

The earliest Trinitarians first raised funds; then, braving perils and risks, they would embark on ransoming missions throughout the slave markets of North Africa and the Middle East. Upon returning to the home ports, the Trinitarians were confronted with the challenge of providing physical and spiritual assistance to those who had been freed. This they did by establishing hospices and hospitals, which they managed with the help of Trinitarian lay organizations. Their mission accomplished, the friars would return to their monasteries to live and pray with their fellow religious, while other Trinitarians prepared to undertake other ransoming missions.

During the next 500 years the Order grew vastly throughout Europe. In the 15th century the Trinitarians joined the historic voyages of Vasco da Gama, DeSoto and Cortez to bring the faith to the New World and to India. Among the great and the notables involved with the Trinitarians was Cervantes, the great Spanish writer of Don Quixote. He had been captive for five years when he was freed by the Trinitarians.

Thomas Jefferson, as ambassador to France, also enlisted the aid of the Trinitarians to free 21 American seamen captured by Barbary Pirates. Rescue efforts were thwarted, however, due to the outbreak of the French Revolution. But the Order's greatest glory is the score of Trinitarian men and women whom the Church recognizes as saints, blessed or venerables for having lived an intensely holy life or died as martyrs.

For eight centuries, the Trinitarians, faithful to the spirit of their Founder, have rendered glory to the Most Holy Trinity by alleviating the pains of suffering humanity.
The Trinitarian order today has several ministries in the United States and throughout the world of Priests, lay men and women, and religious.

"Blessed be the Most Holy Trinity!"

Hyattsville Md is the site of St John de Matha High School, one of America's premiere college preparatory schools.


Robert Gibbs or how to get a mistrial

KSM guilty? In all the courts in the United States I am familure with one goes to trial and is found guilty, and the court decides what his sentence will be. The Executive Branch of the Federal Government is charged with insuring that the Constitution is upheld. If the Executive Branch (or member thereof) has already pronounced the guilt or innocence before a trial, it is not in accordance with the Constitution of the United States.

There is a whole lot of rewriting the constitution going on in Washington.

Ah, the pangs of Democracy.

Dieu Le Roy.

How Chicago Got its Name

Doing a little research today I came across this tiny tidbit of historical minutia about the source of the name Chicago. I referred to The Chicago History Journal...

...The origin of the name Chicago is a subject of discussion, some of the Indians deriving it from the fitch or polecat, others from the wild onion with which the woods formerly abounded; but all agree that the place received its name from an old chief who was drowned in the stream in former times. That this event, although so carefully preserved by tradition, must have occurred in a very remote period, is evident from an old French manuscript brought by General Cass from France.

In this paper, which purports to be a letter from M. de Ligney, at Green Bay, to M. de Siette, among the Illinois, dated as early as 1726, the place is designated as "Chica-goux." This orthography is also found in old family letters of the beginning of the present century...

I suppose I like the French version the best, although wild onions do grow everywhere. Standing near the Tribune Tower I have looked across the Chicago River at the site of Fort Dearborne, and wondered what Chicago looked like with trees and natural vegetation.


The ad of controversy

This is the add which caused the rucus...

...So "NOW", "Planned Parenthood", and "NAF" all who support abortion today have egg on their face. Once again the age old adage applies, "...It is better to be thought of as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...".

The intolerance of the left has never changed. Even before this ad aired the pro-aborts were against it because any add which celebrates life and does not agree with the left can not be tolerated by the left.

Praise God!
Dieu Le Roy!