Locks of Hair

Once I stayed in Hocking County, Ohio. It was during this period I was asked to help pack up some thing in an attic of an old farm house. Everything in this house was an antique. It was like stepping back into the past. One of the things I found was a old box which was full of cards upon which were strands of hair weaved by the owner as a non-photographic carte-de-visite or by a grieving family member with the hair of a loved one. All the cards were signed and dated. It was a gold mine of historic memorabilia. I will never forget it. No one who had sent these cards were living when I saw them all the dates were from between 1850 and 1880, it was the last visible vestage of their lives.

Elena-Maria has posted today and interesting link on the entwined hair of louis XVII and Marie-Antoinette. Here then below is the last visable vesatge of the martyred royal family.



Feast of St. Mary Bernard Soubirous, Virgin

"He hath exalted the humble"

"As soon as she was dead," stated Sister Bernard Dalias, "Bernadette's face became young and peaceful again, with a look of purity and blessedness." The infirmarians clothed her in her religious habit. "We had no difficulty in doing so," observed Sister de Vigouroux, "for her body was supple even though she had been dead for two hours." Moreover, it remained like that until the funeral. All the nuns in the Mother House came in turn on that evening of Wednesday, April 16th, to pray around the bed on which was laid out.

About eleven o'clock on the following day the body was brought down to the chapel. There it lay in state in a temporary coffin surrounded with white draperies and lilies. There was a crown of white roses over her black veil and her beads were entwined around her clasped hands, with her crucifix and the formula of her Perpetual Vows between her fingers. Bernadette appeared to be sleeping. more,

More about Saint Marie Bernard Soubirous, here and here.

Today also marks the birthday of our youngest daughter Geneviève, who has turned 25.



...that they may be seen by men...

"...1 Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven..."

"...2 Therefore when thou dost an almsdeed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth. 4 That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee..."

"...5 And when ye pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, that love to stand and pray in the synagogues and corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men: Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee..."
Matt: 6, 1-6 Douay-Rheims


California’s bishops suggest: “Reduce your carbon footprint”

we have a duty to be good stewards of our environment because it is a gift of God, but once again California...

“New twist on Lent”
California’s bishops suggest: “Reduce your carbon footprint”

In its latest Public Policy Insights newsletter, emailed to subscribers on Feb. 12, the Catholic Legislative Network is recommending a new way to observe Lent, which begins tomorrow. The newsletter is produced by the California Catholic Conference, the lobbying arm of the state’s bishops.

“As the Lenten season arrives, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change has provided Catholics, schools and organizations with more tools and resources for its annual Catholic Climate Covenant,” says the newsletter. “The Coalition was formed three and a half years ago to help implement the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) 2001 initiative ‘Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good.’ Launched last year, the Covenant revolves around the St. Francis Pledge, which correlates five key actions -- pray, learn, assess, act and advocate -- to the issues of the environment and poverty.”

According to the newsletter, “the Archdiocese of Washington's Environmental Outreach Committee has created a particularly useful new tool: a calendar that lists 40 carbon-fasting measures individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprint.” The newsletter provides a link to the full calendar.

The calendar contains suggestion for each of the 40 days of Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, with “Remove one light bulb from your home and live without the light for the next 40 days.” Other suggestions include, “Turn down your thermostat by at least one degree;” “Check windows and doors for a draft…” “Making travel plans? Consider getting there without flying;” “Check the tire pressure of your car today;” “Learn about mountaintop removal mining;” “Show reverence for life and for the Earth today by obeying the speed limit…”

The bishops’ newsletter cited Daniel Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, as saying the calendar is "another way to care for creation and aid the poor… it's challenging, asks for sacrifices and to be more mindful of patterns of consumption. It's a new twist on Lent."

Catholic News

Dieu le Roy!

Family Guy, just for laughs?

It is just potty humor and sophmoric antics. This weekend the cartoon and brain child of Seth Macfarlane, Family Guy, broadcast an episode in (suprise!) poor taste. It seems it has become de regueur to attack and make fun of the children and especially the son of Sarah Palin. I am not sure of what social commentary this radish is supposed to be making, but the line has been crossed once again by this elitest leftist. Is it because people like Macfarlane are so embarrased by the choice for life made by Sarah Palin that they attack that which they themselves know they could not do? I do not watch Family Guy...

Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol made this comment which is posted on Sarah Palins facebook page:

When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin. My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent. People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them? As a culture, shouldn’t we be more compassionate to innocent people – especially those who are less fortunate? Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? Are there any limits to what some people will do or say in regards to my little brother or others in the special needs community? If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks. - Bristol Palin”

In the middle ages it was common for someone who was considered evil to be reported as having been found dead in a sewer(1). Seth you are already there.


(1) Jean d'Estivet Promoter of the Trial of Joan of Arc was found dead in a sewer

Lent at Versailles

Elena-Maria always has interesting stories surrounding the royal family during the differenet feasts, today we are given a peek at the family during lent...

"...Versailles is not usually associated with Lenten penance, but fasting and abstinence, as well as some mortifications, were observed there by many during the old regime. For one thing, there would be no plays or operas performed; all the public theaters were closed in France during Lent. The daughters of Louis XV were known for their scrupulous observance of fasting and abstinence, although Madame Victoire found such penance especially trying..."more...

Not in competition yet not to be forgotten Catherine Delors adds this...

Madame Victoire, kind, sweet-tempered and affable, lived with the most amiable simplicity within a society that cherished her; she was adored by her household. Without quitting Versailles, without sacrificing her downy chair, she fulfilled the duties of religion with punctuality, gave to the poor all she had, and strictly observed the fasts and Lent. True, one faulted the table of Mesdames for acquiring a reputation for dishes of abstinence, spread abroad by the parasites who assiduously attended that of their maître d’hôtel. Madame Victoire was not indifferent to the pleasures of food, but she had the most religious scruples respecting dishes allowed at penitential times. more...

Jhesu + Marie,



Credidimus Caritati has placed this timely article about Ash Wednesday on their blog.

Like many of the other symbolic practices of our Church, the use of ashes to express humiliation and sorrow is something which was common in other religions. Many references to it are found in the Old Testament When David repented for his sins he cried out: “I did eat ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.” When the people of Nineveh were aroused to penance by the preaching of the prophet Jonas, they “proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth and sat in ashes.” It is probable, therefore, that the use of ashes was introduced in the early Church by converts from Judaism because it was an observance with which they had been familiar in their former faith.

The Lenten fast, according to the ancient practice of our Church, began on the Monday after the first Sunday of Lent. Consequently the penitential season was then somewhat shorter than it is now; deducting the Sundays, there were originally only thirty-six fasting days. But about the year 700 it was seen to be fitting that the fast of the faithful should be of the same duration as that which our Blessed Lord had undergone; and the beginning of the season of penance was fixed on what we now call Ash Wednesday.


U.S. Marine Walks Away From Shot to Helmet

...Marines took cover after coming under attack during the Marjah offensive Monday.

..The men had served together in Afghanistan in 2008, and Lance Cpl. Koenig had survived two blasts from roadside bombs.

"We've got each other's backs," Lance Cpl. Gabrian said, the explosion still ringing in his ears.

Word of Lance Cpl. Koenig's close call spread quickly through the outpost, as he emerged from the shock of the experience and walked through the outpost with a Cheshire cat grin.

"He's alive for a reason," Tim Coderre, a North Carolina narcotics detective working with the Marines as a consultant, told one of the men. "From a spiritual point of view, that doesn't happen by accident."

Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Shelton, whose job is to keep the Marines stocked with food, water and gear, teased the lance corporal for failing to take care of his helmet.

"I need that damaged-gear statement tonight," Gunnery Sgt. Shelton told Lance Cpl. Koenig. It was understood, however, that Lance Cpl. Koenig would be allowed to keep the helmet as a souvenir.

Gunnery Sgt. Shelton, a 36-year-old veteran from Nashville, said he had never seen a Marine survive a direct shot to the head.

But next to him was Cpl. Christopher Ahrens, who quietly mentioned that two bullets had grazed his helmet the day the Marines attacked Marjah. The same thing, he said, happened to him three times in firefights in Iraq.

Cpl. Ahrens, 26, from Havre de Grace, Md., lifted the camouflaged cloth cover on his helmet, exposing the holes where the bullets had entered and exited.

He turned it over to display the picture card tucked inside, depicting (St.) Michael the Archangel stamping on Lucifer's head. "I don't need luck," he said.

After his moment with Lance Cpl. Gabrian, Lance Cpl. Koenig put his dented helmet back on his head and climbed the metal ladder to resume his rooftop duty within an hour of being hit.

"I know any one of these guys would do the same," he explained. "If they could keep going, they would."
The original article is here.

Semper Fidelis
Jhesu + Marie,

The 6th Marine Regiment (6th Marines) has a long and glorious history dating back to the 1st World War where it was given the privilege of wearing the green and red Fourragère of the Croix de Guerre for the action at the battle of Belleau Wood, renamed Wood of the Marine Brigade. A partial list of battle honours of the 6th Marines is listed below.

World War I
* Battle of Belleau Wood
* Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge
World War II
* Battle of Guadalcanal
* Battle of Tarawa
* Battle of Saipan
* Battle of Tinian
* Battle of Okinawa
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Frail boy-king Tut died from malaria, broken leg

Interesting. Ancient Egyptians didn't look like the movies show them.

By PAUL SCHEMM, Associated Press Writer Paul Schemm, Associated Press Writer – 41mins ago

CAIRO – Egypt's famed King Tutankhamun suffered from a cleft palate and club foot, likely forcing him to walk with a cane, and died from complications from a broken leg exacerbated by malaria, according to the most extensive study ever of his more than 3,300-year-old mummy.

The findings were from two years of DNA testing and CT scans on 16 mummies, including those of Tutankhamun and his family, the team that carried out the study said in an article to be published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

It also established the clearest yet family tree for Tut, indicating for the first time that he was the child of a brother-sister union.

The study said his father was most likely Akhenaten, the pharaoh who tried to revolutionize ancient Egyptian religion and force his people to worship one god. The mummy shown by DNA to be that of Tut's mother also turned out to be a sister of Akhenaten, though she has not yet been identified.

Tut, who became pharaoh at the age of 10 in 1333 B.C., ruled for just nine years at a pivotal time in Egypt's history. While a comparatively minor king, the 1922 discovery of his tomb filled with stunning artifacts, including the famed golden funeral mask, made him known the world over.

Speculation had long swirled over why the boy king died at such a young age. A hole in his skull long fueled speculation he was murdered, until a 2005 CT scan ruled that out, finding the hole was likely from the mummification process. The scan also uncovered the broken leg.

In contrast to the golden splendor he was buried with, the newest CAT scans and DNA tests revealed a sickly teen pharaoh, weakened by congenital illnesses finally done in by complications from the broken leg aggravated by severe brain malaria.

The team said it isolated DNA of the malaria parasite in several of the family's mummies, including Tut's — the oldest such discovery.

"A sudden leg fracture possibly introduced by a fall might have resulted in a life threatening condition when a malaria infection occurred," concluded the article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "Tutankhamun had multiple disorders... He might be envisioned as a young but frail king who needed canes to walk."

Like his father, Tutankhamun had a cleft palate. He also had a club foot and suffered from Kohler's disease in which lack of blood flow was slowly destroying the bones of his left foot — an often painful condition, the study said. It noted that 130 walking sticks and canes were discovered in Tut's tomb, some of them with trace of wear suggested they had been used.

The new study also answered long standing questions over Tutankhamun's family. His grandfather was the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, and his father was mostly likely the famous Akhenaten, who attempted to change millenia of Egypt's religious tradition by forcing the country to worship the sun god Aten, instead of usual multiplicity of deities.

Some archaeologists have speculated that Tut's father was a little-known figure, Smenkhkare, thought to have ruled as a pharoah or co-regent.

Archaeologists have never been certain of the identity of Tut's mother. DNA tests pinpointed which mummy is that of his mother — and that she was the sister of his father — but her name remains uncertain. Brother-sister marriages were common among ancient Egypt's pharaohs.

The studies also disproved speculation that Tutankhamun and members of his family suffered from rare disorders that gave them feminine attributes and misshapen bones, including Marfan Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that can result in elongated limbs.

The theories arose from the artistic style and statues of the period, which showed the royal men with prominent breasts, elongated heads and flared hips.

"It is unlikely that either Tutankhamun or Akhenaten actually displayed a significantly bizarre or feminine physique," said the article.
Original article


Shrove Tuesday

Bosco Peters Blog Liturgy has this hymm for today

A hymn for Shrove Tuesday

Alleluia, song of gladness,
hymn of endless joy and praise.
Alleluia is the worship
that celestial voices raise
and, delighting in God's glory,
sing in heaven's courts always.

Alleluia, blessed Salem,
home of all our hopes on high.
Alleluia, sing the angels;
Alleluia, saints reply;
but we, for a time on this earth,
chant a simpler melody.

Alleluias we now forfeit
in this holy time of Lent.
Alleluias we relinquish
as we for our sins repent,
trusting always in God's mercy
and in Love omnipotent.

Blessed Trinity of Glory,
hear your people as we pray.
Grant that we may know the Easter
of the Truth, the Life, the Way,
chanting endless alleluias
in the realms of endless day. Amen.

Can be sung to any tune

From The Saint Helena Breviary, Church Publishing 2006

Shrove Tuesday reflection


Thomas Sowell and the fallacy of fairness

Life is not meant to be fair... Thomas Sowell explains why.

...If by "fair" you mean everyone having the same odds for achieving success, then life has never been anywhere close to being fair, anywhere or at any time. If you stop and think about it (however old-fashioned that may seem), it is hard even to conceive of how life could possibly be fair in that sense...." " more...


The Romanovs - Through Our Eyes I and II



The ship is sinking

and the desertions are continuing...

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama suffered another setback Monday as a fifth Democratic senator, centrist heavyweight Evan Bayh, decided not to run for re-election in dismay at the bitter political climate.

Obama, who reportedly tried to talk Bayh out of retiring, faces a looming Republican resurgence and risks watching strong majorities in Congress crumble in November mid-term elections, and with them his ambitious reform agenda.

"For some time, I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should. There is too much partisanship and not enough progress -- too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving," he said.

In other words Bayh can see the writing on the wall. He will not get re-elected as he is closely associated to the man-made god. I look for him to run for President in 2012 and any association with BO will be a knife through that campaign.

With Obama's support for his agenda dwindling in Congress I am looking for him to start ruling by presidential decree. The mark of a tyrant.


A Story about the St Valentines Day Massacre

Last year when my Father passed away the family gathered around and gave me an opportunity to pump them for answers to questions I had about my grandfather.

My grandfather Charles Joseph Boyle* left Donegal, Ireland in the mid-1920's for reasons I suspect had to do with activities in opposition to the anti-treaty forces. I assume this because when my grandfather "passed gas" he would say "there is another kiss for De Valera!" in his Irish brough. That habit was passed down to the oldest grandson (me) until the nuns caught me and persuaded me to refrain from that epitaph. My grandfather was a citizen of the United States prior to his arrival because his father (my great-grandfather)Owen had emigrated to the US and became a citizen in 1880. For what ever reason he returned to Ireland, married and had children.

Grandpa kept up and in contact with some of his pals in the republic, but he left the "troubles" behind him. I suspect it was to keep the family safe.

When he arrived in the States he located in Chicago where he met my grandmother. At that time he had found a position driving for a certain gang boss as a driver. The story goes, (I originally was told this by my grandmother before she passed away) that my grandfather drove up to his house and invited grandma to take a ride. Nice cars were few and far between but my grandmother refused and told him to quit.

Grandpa being the dutiful husband returned to the boss and told him he would have to leave. The part of the story I did find out from my uncle, is that the "boss" said if it were anyone else he could only quit if he were killed.

Of course "the boss" was Bugs Moran. My grandmother didn't know it at the time but if she hadn't pressed my grandfather to quit. I wouldn't be writing this.


*People in Ireland still remember my grandfather at least until the late 1990's. My grandfather told us that his father gave him a new bicycle when he was a boy. My parents met a man who said he remembered my grandfather getting a new bicycle. A memory that lasted at least 80 years.

Grandpa was Baptized in Gweedore.

Tragedy in Brussels

Sad news today as two trains collide in Brussels. My God grant those who have died eternal rest.

BRUSSELS – A rush-hour commuter train sped through a red signal and slammed into an oncoming train as it left a suburban Brussels station Monday, killing at least 18 people and disrupting rail traffic in northern Europe.

Investigations into one the worst accidents on the Belgian rails were likely to focus on whether human error was responsible or if it could have been influenced by the persistently freezing temperatures that have iced up the European capital.

Officials said 80 people were injured, 20 of them seriously, and the death toll — 15 men and three women — was not considered final. As darkness fell more than 10 hours later, rescuers were still looking for victims in the wreckage, said Jos Colpin, the spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office,

"...No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind;..." John Donne


French causualties count too

Each day as I watch the news the casualties are listed from Afghanistan. I remember growing up the death count from Vietnam that was on the news every night. The number of dead American service members would be listed and then the body count of the Vietcong would be announced as well. (The body count of the Vietcong was somewhat inaccurate.) That was the end of objective reporting and the beginning of subjective reporting. Indeed the war probably came to a faster end as the result of Walter Cronkite's reporting of the Tet then any other reason.

Now, to my mind at least the war on terror is being reported in much the same way. It has not always been so. In World War Two the number of American casualties and German casualties were reported on, but what of the French civilians?
There is always some wag commenting on the number of American who were killed on D-Day and the price American's paid for the liberation of France, and the cost was dear. On D-Day the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. The casualties for the invasion were 1465 dead, 3184 wounded, 1928 missing and 26 captured. There were between 15,000 and 20,000 French civilians killed, mainly as a result of Allied bombing. that means there were 10 times as many French civilians killed than American servicemen.

For those of you who protest the aid or lack of aid the French supply, be reminded of that fact. Coupled with the fact that this was the third time in 75 years that France had been at war with Germany, at the cost of an entire generation of French men and women, perhaps this is a little perspective. Indeed the mere fact that the war was fought on French soil and not in the streets of New York counts as well.

So whomever is sending me this photo and the story about landing on Omaha beach with out a passport, this is my answer for you. Never denegrate the sacrifice made by the French.

Dieu le Roy,

One last thing, I served 5 enlistments, one for me and four for four others who didn't go, (but talk alot now.)

Louis XV, King Of France, Bien-Aimé

"Try to remain at peace with your neighbors. I have loved war too much."Some of the last words of Louis XIV

Unexpectedly surviving the death of most of the royal family between 1711-1715, which saw the deaths of Louis XIV and the three following members of the line of succession, Louis XV enjoyed a favourable reputation at the beginning of his reign and earned the epithet "le Bien-Aimé" ("the Beloved"). In time, his lack of morals, general inability to effectively reform France and the Monarchy, and the perceived failings of his foreign policy caused him to lose the admiration of his subjects and when he died he was one of the most unpopular kings of France. He was the dominant political figure during the Ancien Régime. His failures in multiple wars and his bad financial policies damaged the power of France, weakened the treasury, discredited the monarchy, and led to the French Revolution which broke out 15 years after his death.

Today is the anniversary of his birth, February 15, 1710.

Dieu Sauve le Roy!

Birthday of Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve

My roots are in Quebec. My ancestor while not an original founder of Montreal, arrived only 2 years after it's founding. Today I remember the man who made possible my families heritage, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve.

Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve was born on 15 February 1612 (new style) into the aristocracy in Neuville-sur-Vanne in Champagne, France.

He served in the Dutch war at the age of thirteen. Attracted to Canada by reading the Jesuit "Relations", he was proposed by Father Jérome Lalemant to command the company sent by Royer de la Dauversiere to found Ville-Marie on the Island of Montreal, which had been ceded by ex-Governor Lauzon for an annual rent of ten pounds of fish.

The future foundress of the Hôtel-Dieu, Jeanne Mance, joined the party. Governor Montmagny strove to prevent this seemingly foolhardy enterprise and retained the colonists at Sillery during the winter of 1641-42. Maisonneuve, who in the fall of 1641 had gone to take possession of the island, landed there with his followers on 17 May, 1642. The Jesuit Vimont said the first Mass, and the Blessed Sacrament remained exposed all day with a phial containing fireflies as a sanctuary lamp. The settlement was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin under the name of Ville-Marie. Situated at the point of convergence of the chief waterways, the colony was kept constantly on the alert by dread of the Iroquois. To guard against surprise and secure mutual assistance, Maisonneuve later commanded that all workers outside the fort should muster and disband at the sound of the bell. At sixty leagues' distance from Quebec and thirty from Trois Riveres, the nearest fort, the position was most perilous, constantly demanding heroic courage. Yet Maisonneuve was to remain twenty-five years at his post. When, in 1644, 200 Iroquois attacked the island, he encountered the enemy with only 30 men.

Overpowered by numbers, he retreated successfully after killing the chief.

At the expiration of Montmagny's term of office, the governor-generalship was offered by Louis XIV to Maisonneuve, who thought fit to decline. He encouraged colonization by facilitating well-assorted marriages, attracted allies by his liberality, and, while inspiring the Iroquois with terror, he gained their confidence and saved from torture many French captives. As a magistrate he judged with equity and impartiality. In 1653 he returned from a voyage to France with Marguerite Bourgeoys, foundress of the Congregation of Notre Dame. A troop of soldiers arrived with them. After a third voyage, he brought with him the first Sulpicians who came to Canada (1659). In 1660 he authorized the heroic venture of Dollard and his sixteen companions, which saved New France from destruction. Maisonneuve's action showed itself particularly in the organization of defence. Though he seldom fought, his presence was felt everywhere planning and ordering. His character was a blending of reserve, calmness, and foresight, and, at the same time, of spontaneousness, initiative, and intrepidity. He saw to the military training of his followers and was the first to conceive the utility of flying camps to keep the Indians at a distance. In imitation of the ancient military orders, he founded a corps called the "Militia of the Holy Family", which maintained for many years the security of Montreal. He likewise favoured agriculture, commerce, and education, and was like a father to the colony, attending equally to its spiritual and temporal wants.

When, in 1663, the Company of Montreal ceased to exist through the assumption of Canada by Louis XIV, Maisonneuve's public career was drawing to its close. His departure coincided with the arrival of Viceroy de Tracy and his regular troops (1665). He left Ville-Marie founded, well- fortified, municipally constituted, and civilly organized. He not only returned empty-handed but donated to the pious foundation all rents and dues accruing to him. Heedless of renown, he left no memoirs. He ended his days in retirement, never forgetting his colony nor ceasing to pray for its welfare.

Dieu le Roy!