St Patrick's Day

..."It was not any grace in me, but God who conquereth in me, and He resisted them all, so that I came to the heathen of Ireland to preach the Gospel and to bear insults from unbelievers, to hear the reproach of my going abroad and to endure many persecutions even unto bonds, the while that I was surrendering my liberty as a man of free condition for the profit of others. And if I should be found worthy, I am ready to give even my life for His name's sake unfalteringly and gladly, and there (in Ireland) I desire to spend it until I die, if our Lord should grant it to me..." More at EWTN Saints



Historical trivium

The internet is a remarkable asset, I learn something each day that rounds out my knowledge of the past. It is not only that these things are new to me but I never even emagined or thought about them.

The first is a link I got from Elena-Maria at Tea at Trianon which concerned beds in mediaeval times. As a military man I always thought that where my sea bag fell was my bedroom so I never gave it a thought. I mean they all had beds right? Elena-Maria's link allows different... Go here...

The second is about alarm clocks! Alarm clocks for crying out loud! Go here...

I learned something new.


Bas relief of St Catherine of Alexandria

"Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret had rich crowns on their heads. They spoke well and fairly, and their voices are beautiful--sweet and soft. The name by which they often named me was Jehanne the Maid, Child of God. They told me that my King would be restored to his Kingdom, despite his enemies. They promised to lead me to Paradise." Jehanne La Pucelle — Swabia, circle of Niklaus Weckmann, Saint Catherine. One of the voices which have been attributed to Jehanne la Pucelle has been St Catherine of Alexandria. In recent times she has become less and less well known however during Jehanne's time she was quite well known and venerated. In 2005, the Louvre had acquired two wooden bas-reliefs representing The martyrdom of Saint Barbara and that of Saint Catherine, from southern Swabia and dated 1520. This is Saint Catherine, from the same school and a close date, which entered the museum in 2007, from a private collection. In this case, the relief depicts the saint by herself. The colors are mostly original. In the iconigraphy of this Saint she is often seen with a broken wagon wheel, the instument of her martyrdom.(1) "...During the Middle Ages, when the crusaders brought back news of Catherine's story to the West, popular devotion tended to favor lives of saints that were full of miracles and wonders. St. Catherine caught the fancy of everyday Christians and from the tenth to the eighteenth century, she was venerated as one of the fourteen most powerful saints (the "Fourteen Holy Helpers")..." "...many churches were named after her; her statue, with the broken wheel as identifying symbol, was found in most churches. Some of the greatest artists painted her likeness and the events of her life. Because of her wisdom in disputation, theologians invoked her aid. Churchmen sang and preached her praise. Nuns prayed to her because of her mystical graces. Young women (and spinsters) looked at her as their particular friend. Wheelwrights naturally chose her as their saint because of the episode of the broken wheel. St. Catherine's feast was observed with solemnity and popular festivities throughout Europe. With the arrival of the eighteenth century and of rationalism with its chill gaze, critics began to look askance at all medieval legendary lore. To be sure, criticism of dubious documentation was in order. Perhaps through overreaction to St. Catherine's fabulous biography, she became thenceforth less popular as a saint.... Nevertheless, St. Catherine served for centuries to inspire untold numbers of peasants, tradesmen, craftsmen, theologians, poets and orators..." --Father Robert F. McNamara The sword that La Pucelle had brought to her came from a Chapel, St Catherine of Feirbois, named in honour of St Catherine of Alexandria."...Whilst I was at Tours, or at Chinon, I sent to seek for a sword which was in the Church of Saint Catherine de Fierbois, behind the altar; it was found there at once; the sword was in the ground, and rusty; upon it were five crosses; I knew by my Voice where it was. I had never seen the man who went to seek for it. I wrote to the Priests of the place, that it might please them to let me have this sword, and they sent it to me. It was under the earth, not very deeply buried, behind the altar, so it seemed to me: I do not know exactly if it were before or behind the altar, but I believe I wrote saying that it was at the back. As soon as it was found, the Priests of the Church rubbed it, and the rust fell off at once without effort. It was an armorer of Tours who went to look for it..." Jhesu+Marie, Brantigny (1) Protestants, and especially Ellen Gould White a founder of the 7th Day Adventist Church have often misused the iconigraphy of Saint Catherine as "proof" of Catholic idol worship by claiming that St. Catherine was the Virgin who was the Catholic version of Isis!

Forty Pounds per Jesuit.

"...strictly command that all Jesuits do, before the 30th of September, depart and forsake any manner of residence within the province, and so to continue for the space of seven years ; and what person so ever shall receive or relieve any of them shall suffer imprisonment during His Majesty's pleasure, and forfeit for every such offence, as often as committed, £40, the one half to the informer, the other to His Majesty's use. And whoever shall bring unto the Lord President and Council the bodies of any such shall immediately receive a reward of £40 for every Jesuit, and for every seminary £6 3J. A,d., and for every Massing priest, £5..." More


Miracles in Japan: Four-Month Old Baby, 70-Year Old Woman Found Alive

Amid the silent corpses a baby cried out - and Japan met its tiniest miracle.

On March 14 soldiers from the Japanese Defense Force were going door-to-door, pulling bodies from homes flattened by the earthquake and tsunami in Ishinomaki City, a coastal town northeast of Senda. More accustomed to the crunching of rubble and the sloshing of mud than to the sound of life, they dismissed the baby's cry as a mistake. Until they heard it again.

They made their way to the pile of debris, and carefully removed fragments of wood and slate, shattered glass and rock. And then they saw her: a four-month old baby girl in a pink woolen bear suit.

The tidal wave literally swept the unnamed girl away from her parents' arms when it hit their home on March 11. Since then her parents - both of whom survived the disaster - have taken refuge in their wrecked house, and worried that their little girl was dead. Soldiers managed to reunite the baby with her overjoyed father shortly after the rescue.

"Her discovery has put a new energy into the search," a civil defense official told a local news crew. "We will listen, look and dig with even more diligence after this." Ahead of the baby's rescue, officials reported finding at least 2,000 bodies washed up on the shoreline of Miyagi prefecture. How the child survived drowning - or being crushed by fallen trees and houses - remains a mystery. (See pictures of the calamity of Japan's quake.)

In a nation short on good news, other rescues have buoyed morale, too. In Iwate prefecture, northeastern Japan, the devastating tidal wave swept away an elderly woman along with her entire house - but it couldn't extinguish her will to live.

Rescuers found the 70-year-old alive inside her home on March 15, four days after the black tidal wave wiped out much of the region. Osaka fire department spokesman Yuko Kotani told the Associated Press the woman is now receiving treatment in a local hospital. She is conscious but suffering from hypothermia. (See how to tend to Japan's psychological scars.)

Elsewhere, 60-year old Hiromitsu Shinkawa survived two days at sea by clinging on to his floating rooftop. He was discovered 10 miles off the Japanese coastline. "Several helicopters and ships passed but none of them noticed me," he said after his March 13 rescue. "I thought that was going to be the last day of my life." (via Daily Mail)

Thanks be to God.



Jehanne and Chivalry

Jheanne was a whole-hearted believer In the Christian Faith and in Chivalry. Chivalry to her meant one's duty to God, which include defending the innocent; faithfulness to the Church; championing good; defending the right; generosity to the poor; duties to his King and lord. Chivalry was seen by her to be the ideal, she demanded that her chivalrous attitude be emulated in camp and in battle. In the below example she revived the Truce of God.

...On a certain Sunday I saw those of Orleans preparing for a great conflict against the English, who were drawn up in order of battle. Seeing this, Jeanne went out to the soldiers; and then she was asked, if it were well to fight against the English on that day, being Sunday; to which she answered that she must hear Mass; whereupon she sent to fetch a table, and had the ornaments of the Church brought, and two Masses were celebrated, which she and the whole army heard with great devotion. Mass being ended, Jehanne asked if the English had their faces turned toward us; she was told no, that their faces were turned towards Meung. Hearing this, she said: "In God's Name, they are going; let them depart; and let us give thanks to God and pursue them no further, because it is Sunday..." Jean De Champeaux, confirmed by Pierre Jongault, Pierre Hue, Jean Aubert, Guillaume Rouillanrt, Gentian Cabu, Pierre Vaillant, and Jean Coulon, and all the burghers of Orleans, Trial of Rehabilitation.

In accordance with the chivalry an opponent which defied the code, was considered dishonourable. To capture the Lord of a place, such as Orleans, and then besiege that place was considered a breach of Chivalry.

...This succor does not come from me, but from God Himself, Who, at the prayers of Saint Louis and Saint Charlemagne, has had compassion on the town of Orleans, and will not suffer the enemy to hold at the same time the Duke and his town!.."Jehanne the Maid before Orleans to Jean, Bastard of Orleans, Comte Dunois

Because of her devotion to chivalry it was required of her to first allow the English to leave Orleans with out a battle, and failing that to tell them what would befall them, in a letter she wrote outside of Orleans she wrote...

Jhesus, Marie

King of England, render account to the King of Heaven of your royal blood. Return the keys of all the good cities which you have seized, to the Maid. She is sent by God to reclaim the royal blood, and is fully prepared to make peace, if you will give her satisfaction; that is, you must render justice, and pay back all that you have taken.

King of England, if you do not do these things, I am the commander of the military; and in whatever place I shall find your men in France, I will make them flee the country, whether they wish to or not; and if they will not obey, the Maid will have them all killed. She comes sent by the King of Heaven, body for body, to take you out of France, and the Maid promises and certifies to you that if you do not leave France she and her troops will raise a mighty outcry as has not been heard in France in a thousand years. And believe that the King of Heaven has sent her so much power that you will not be able to harm her or her brave army.

To you, archers, noble companions in arms, and all people who are before Orleans, I say to you in God's name, go home to your own country; if you do not do so, beware of the Maid, and of the damages you will suffer. Do not attempt to remain, for you have no rights in France from God, the King of Heaven, and the Son of the Virgin Mary. It is Charles, the rightful heir, to whom God has given France, who will shortly enter Paris in a grand company. If you do not believe the news written of God and the Maid, then in whatever place we may find you, we will soon see who has the better right, God or you.

William de la Pole, Count of Suffolk, Sir John Talbot, and Thomas, Lord Scales, lieutenants of the Duke of Bedford, who calls himself regent of the King of France for the King of England, make a response, if you wish to make peace over the city of Orleans! If you do not do so, you will always recall the damages which will attend you.

Duke of Bedford, who call yourself regent of France for the King of England, the Maid asks you not to make her destroy you. If you do not render her satisfaction, she and the French will perform the greatest feat ever done in the name of Christianity.

Done on the Tuesday of Holy Week (March 22, 1429). HEAR THE WORDS OF GOD AND THE MAID.
See this link for a breakdown and explaination of the letters.

Another such breach was the capture of a herald. Jheanne was honoured with a quite extraordinary privilege of two heralds, most likely pursuivants,: Ambleville and Guyenne. Their actual names will probably never be known. Ambleville belonged perhaps to Julien des Essars, husband of Isabeau de Vendôme (2nd sister of Jean de Vendôme, vidame of Chartres, and companion of the Maid) who was Lord of Ambleville in Vexin, member by alliance of a family of an exemplary faithfulness to Charles VII and to the Duke of Orleans. As to Guyenne, he was without doubt part of the king’s household. It was however a provocation to carry this name by an officer of French-arms because the Lordship of this province was claimed by the King of England, as a descendant of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

The term heralds of arms was used to describe in every general manner an intricate collection of "officers of arms" who, in the Middle Ages, played a particularly important role both in the field of heraldry and genealogy and in the military and political fields. In time of war they exercised a function of messenger for which they enjoyed a sort of diplomatic immunity. Their person as a result was sacred and inviolable. (1)

(2) ...I remember that two heralds were sent on the part of the Maid to Saint-Laurent, one named Ambeville, and the other Guienne, to Talbot, the Earl of Suffolk, and Lord Scales, telling the English in God's name to return to England, or evil would come to them. The English detained one of these heralds, named Guienne, and sent back the other Ambeville to the Maid, who told her that the English were keeping back his companion Guienne to burn him. Then Jeanne answered Ambeville and assured him in God's Name that no harm should happen to Guienne, and told him to return boldly to the English, that no evil should happen to him, but that he should bring back his comrade safe and sound... Jaques L'Esbahy, trial of rehabilitation.

Jehanne's code extended to her the spiritual well being of her troops,

...I have seen Jheanne, at the Elevation of the Host, weeping many tears. I remember well that she induced the soldiers to confess their sins; and I indeed saw that, by her instigation and advice, La Hire and many of his company came to confession... Maître Pierre Compaing, Priest, Licentiate in Law, Canon of Saint-Aignan. Trial of Nullification

...I remember well to have seen and heard, one day, a great lord, walking along the street, begin to swear and blaspheme God; which, when Jeanne saw and heard, she was much perturbed, and went up to the lord who was swearing, and, taking him by the neck, said, "Ah! master, do you deny Our Lord and Master? In God's Name, you shall unsay your words before I leave you. " And then, as I saw, the said lord repented and amended his ways, at the exhortation of the said Maid... Recinald, widow of Jean Huré.

...She was in the habit of confessing frequently and hearing Mass daily... and ...She was accustomed, before going to an assault, to take account of her conscience, and to receive the Sacrament after hearing Mass... Charlotte, wife of Guillaume Havet

These excerpts from the Trial of Nullification which are repeated here show narratives by eyewitnesses and attest to he piety, and devotion to chivalry.


(1) Two heralds of note were those of Henry V and Charles d'Albret at the battle of Agincourt. During the battle the English and the French herald, (Montjoie), watched the battle together from a nearby hill; both agreed that the English were the victors, and Montjoie provided King Henry V, who thus earned the right to name the battle, with the name of the nearby castle.

(2)Heralds are sometimes represented like this, holding in their hands a broken chain. The precise meaning has been lost but may indicate that the bearer is neutral. Many American newspapers have taken the name Herald to indicate that they too are neutral.