1815 the Ogre surrenders

It was on this date in 1815 that Napoléon Bonaparte surrendered from aboard HMS Bellerophon, after losing the Battle of Waterloo, closing almost 25 years of constant warfare in Europe and the deaths of countless thousands beginning with the French Revolution.

HMS Bellerophon was an Arrogant-class ship of the line being a 74-gun third rate ships designed by Sir Thomas Slade for the Royal Navy.

Vive Le Roy!

I have often found it coincidetal that this arrogant man should be taken into captivity aboard an Arrogant ship.

Benefits to sharing the family meal.

I have been recieving recently some snide remarks on a post I did several years ago about French table manners, so I was happy when Elena-Maria posted this link on Tea at Trianon:

...When life gets busy, it can be easy to slip into the rut of eating on the run and neglecting to take time to sit down together. Yet this is something we should be striving to avoid. There are a whole host of benefits that comes with taking the time to eat dinner together, at the table... more...

Growing up we never at in front of the TV. Ever. It went off if it was on, and heaven help you if you did not report promptly... Well that is another story.



Lily of the Mohawks

I received this in an Email this morning... from Molly and Canada West

Undated reproduction of a 17th century painting of Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk woman who has become a religious icon for thousands of native people across North America. Tekakwitha is on the cusp of achieving sainthood as the Vatican reviews documentation received last month of a recent miracle she is believed to have performed more than 300 years after her death.

More than 320 years after her death, a Mohawk woman is on the cusp of canonization as the Vatican reviews newly collected evidence of a miracle that could place her among the saints.

Just what the recent miracle is that's been attributed to the intercession or divine intervention of Kateri Tekakwitha, known as the Lily of the Mohawks, remains a closely guarded secret.

Evidence of the miracle — which took two years to compile — was sent to Rome last month in a diplomatic pouch through the Vatican embassy in Washington, D.C., said Monsignor Paul Lenz, the church official who was charged with finding a miracle that could qualify Kateri for sainthood.

The matter now rests with the Vatican's Secretariat for Beatification and Canonization, which will issue a recommendation to the Pope, who will make a final decision on Kateri's beatification, said Lenz.

"Only God knows" how long the process could take, Lenz said this week in an interview with Canwest News Service.

The canonization of Kateri — who died at the age of 24 in 1680 and is entombed inside the St. Francis-Xavier Church in Kahnawake, a Mohawk community near Montreal —may be a mere formality.

She is already prayed to by believers throughout the Americas and in parts of Europe, and celebrated every year at a festival in Fonda, N.Y., about 65 kilometres northwest of Albany, the state capital.

"In my mind, there is no doubt of the holiness of Blessed Kateri," said Lenz. "She is truly worthy to be named a saint."

Some among Kateri's supporters say her canonization has been delayed because she was Mohawk.

"The fact she was native slowed her down," said Ronald Boyer, a deacon at St. Francis-Xavier Church. "That should have happened before our time."

If she is canonized, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says Kateri will be the 11th saint from Canada.

The Vatican has been receiving requests to canonize Kateri for more than a hundred years. The first recorded instance came in the 1880s when Jesuit missionaries delivered a petition on behalf of Mohawks to the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore. The petition was sent to Pope Leo XIII by the Archbishop of Baltimore, according to Lenz.

It's unclear what became of the request.

Another petition reached the Vatican in 1939, which led to Kateri being declared Venerable in 1942, a first step toward canonization.

The Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions then took up the cause in the late 1970s and in 1980 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II, the final stage before sainthood.

To be declared a saint, a miracle must be attributed to the candidate after they've been beatified.

Kateri was born in 1656 in a Mohawk village near Fonda.

Her mother was Algonquin who was captured around Trois-Rivieres, Que. and was married to a Mohawk chief, according to Darren Bonaparte, a historian who recently published a book on Kateri's life titled A Lily Among Thorns, The Mohawk Repatriation of Kateri Tekahkwitha.

Kateri's last name has several spellings.

She experienced war and pestilence at a young age. Her village was burned by the French in 1666. Her mother, father and younger brother all died during the smallpox epidemic of 1661-62. She survived the disease, but it damaged her eyesight and left her face scarred. She remained weak throughout her life, shunning sunlight, emerging only covered with a shawl or a blanket, said Bonaparte, a Mohawk who lives in Akwesasne, a First Nation community about 100 kilometres southwest of Montreal.

She was baptized Catholic in 1676 and, after facing pressure from her uncle to give up Catholicism, was spirited away with the help of her brother-in-law and the Jesuits to the mission of St. Francois Xavier du Sault, in an area along the St. Lawrence River around what is now Kahnawake and Ville Sainte-Catherine.

There, Kateri found a Mohawk community in the midst of extreme religious fervour, said Bonaparte.

Some Catholic converts there would cut a hole in the ice and stand up to their necks reciting the rosary, while others would walk barefoot through snow drifts or wear a leather belt with metal studs on the inside that dug into the skin.

Bonaparte said Kateri, who took a vow of virginity and attempted to start her own convent, was swept up in the movement.

"There is one especially who is small and lame, who is the most fervent, I believe, of all the village," wrote Father Pierre Cholenec in February 1680, according to Bonaparte's research.

Her devotion likely killed her. Standing about 4 1/2 feet tall, Kateri frequently fasted, weakening her already frail body. She once scattered thorns on her bed and lay on them for three nights, Bonaparte said.

When she died, it was reported that her scarred face became beautiful, and that priests and friends saw her in visions, while miracles were attributed to her intercession. Her crucifix, pieces of her garments and the dirt from her grave were rumoured to have healing powers, said Bonaparte.

"There were whispers in New France that a saint had been among them," Bonaparte wrote.

While Kateri's name and story have travelled the world, she embodies a specific place and time in Mohawk history, when their society was splintering under the stress of war, disease and alcohol, among other factors, said Bonaparte.

"The whole thing crystallizes with what she went through," said Bonaparte, a Mohawk who runs an online historical archive on his website www.wampumchronicles.com.


July 14, 1793 Anniversary of Jacques Cathelineau's death

On July 14 the Bastille was stormed, it is the French National Day but it also commemerates the death of Jacques Cathelineau, hero of the Vendee.

Jacques Cathelineau was born on the 5th January 1759 at Pin-en-Mauges. he was born into a poor but devout family and was the second of 5 children, His father was a stonemason and held the office of sacristian to the priest of his village. His father thus is able to gain some knowledge of the people in his village in making notations in the parish directory. It is in this very Christian, and Catholic atmosphere, between his house and the presbytery that Jacques will grow.

During this era, school was reserved for the sons of noblity. There was no school in the village, and in any event the cost was well too dear for the common people. When the priest observed a gifted child, he would propose to him some small works in exchange for instruction in religious things, The young Jacques must been truly gifted, since the priest proposed to M. Cathelineau to send his son to be instructed in the rectory of the chapel in Genêt.

In February 4 1777, Jacques Cathelineau, while still a minor, married Louise Godin, 9 years his elder. They will have a total of 10 children of which 5 that will die in their first year. Cathelineau works as a stone mason, just as his father. He is very active in his parish, and it is there he is elected, in 1787, syndic, an advocate in the court of justice. The life in this period is difficult. Epidemics succeed the natural catastrophes, and the farmers the Mauges believe it is the punishment of God. They repeat prayers of devotion to let the anger fall of God to be lessened.

The Revolution in the Vendee,

Most of the people of this Vendee region are the very peasants who the revolutionary leaders claimed to be speaking for. The people, like most people in France, indeed every country, wished for government reform and less taxes. However, they were steadfastly loyal to their King, both on earth and in Heaven, to their hereditary royal government and especially Holy Mother Church. When the revolution erupted in all of its horror, the people of the Vendee rose up as one voice to say, "Non!" They will form an army which will later be called "The Catholic and Royal Army." They are nicknamed "Chouans" which means screech owls. Their rallying cry is "Rembarre", which loosly translated means "Get at them!", and... they place fear in the hearts of the "Bleus".

In March 12 1793, the "Levee en Masse" a conscription, is announced in St Florent. Against this there is hostility on the part of the population due to their close ties with the Catholic church, the excesses of the revolution and stong affection to the nobility of the region of the Vendee. Unmarried men have no intention to go to kill on the frontiers in order to protect a republic that they oppose On that day, the whole city of St Florent finds itself demonstrating opposition to the "levee en masse". The crowds turn on the so-called "patriots" that attempt to flee. The attacks were violent, and several repulicans were killed, War in the Vendee had become inevitable. Cathelineau that is not concerned by the draft, and does not participate in the attack on the republicans. Now that the war is here, he decides to command the force at Pin-en-Mauges. The next day, he takes the command of a group of men of the "Pine". From everywhere in the Mauges, peasants, and craftsmen, provide him with their pitchforks, knives and hunting arms, to hunt the despoilers of the Vendee. The war has begun, but to organize it.. that is a different matter. The peasants ask those that they believe the most qualified to direct them: the "aristocrats" of their village. They have experience in leading and some have been in the "Metropolitan Armee" of the King. Cathelineau is an exception. Stofflet and he are the only ones to take command of the force. Cathelineau has the stature of a leader. He has received the necessary leadership skills from his father. His activities within the parish provide him with the respect and confidence of his men. The army takes as it's badge, a red heart surmounted by a red cross placed on a white field, the Sacred Heart.

Cathelineau takes the road to war, at the head of his small army. Until July, it will fight, going from victory to victory, and experiencing only a few defeats.

According to Stofflet, The army marches on Chemillé, Cholet, then March 16 on to Vihiers. At Vihiers, The Army of Anjou causes a republican battalion to flee and captures a cannon. This cannon, is baptized Marie-Jeanne in honor of Mary the Queen of Heaven and Jeanne the "Maid of Orleans", and make it their mascot. Following this advance, Bonchamps, Cathelineau and Stofflet seize Chalonnes next. This "Catholic and Royal Army, " advances without opposition.

As Easter approaches the army pauses to celebrate the Saviours resurrection. Cathelineau and his men return home, to see wives and children for the holiday celebrations. The republicans, of course, flee the village, and the abbot Cantiteau celebrates, in peace, the great Easter feast day. The republican forces use this time not to celebrate the resurrection of the Saviour but take advantage of the pause and reorganize. They profit by the truce and send for the reinforcements from all over France. They constitute four columns and march on Mauges. After a sanguine battle and with heavy losses, the Vendean Army is compelled to abandon Mauges to the republicans and to withdraw to Tiffauges.

The draft arrives in Châtillon April 13, a month after St Florent. In Deux-Sèvres, conscription is rejected as well. Following de la Rochejaquelein, the call of the priests, the men attack the republicans and the forces their retreat. This new army, with to his head this young man of 21 years, rallies itself to the Angevins. Now grouped together in a single Army, they decide to attack the republican columns, before they can regroup.

The combined Army is born on April 17, with its head Cathelineau, Bonchamps, d'Elbée, de Le Rochejaquelein and Stofflet. Animated by their commanders, they retake Cholet, leaving 1000 "bleus" dead. By the edge of the sword they liberate all the Mauges and follow on to Bressuire. In the prison of Bressuire, are the Marquis de Lescure, his wife, the Marquis de Donissan and Marigny. The Catholic army liberates the city, and opens the prison doors. Lescure and Marigny that recover their liberty, and place themslves at the head of the "Royal and Catholic Army."

The newly formed force, now 10000+ men strong, with La Rochejaquelein at its head and Lescure march on Thouars. Once again they find victory. A great cache of weapons are seized: including 12 cannon, 7000 muskets and 20 caissons. Bonchamps, Lescure and Cathelineau order the army not to pillage, and for the inhabitants no ill treatment. The commanders of the armies of Anjou and Poitou, with the notable exception of Marigny, continually treat their prisoners with a humanity. There have been outrages but it has not been the fault of the leaders.

The first successes of the Vendéans are due to the fact that the "Bleus" had not expected an insurrection. When the resistance to the "Chouans" became more serious, differences arose among their leaders. To avoid these rivalries and provide a unified command, it is thought that Cathelineau was named generalissimo of the rebels. The rest of the military leaders, almost all of whom are "aristo"s, choose a leader, a man of the people. Why him? This choice is doubtless at once logical and political choice. Cathelineau undoubtedly deserved this post. Perhaps he is chosen because he was not noble, to foil a republican claim that the uprising in the Vendee was formed by the aristocracy. This choice is without reroach and was not through personal ambition. He is pious. he is a symbol of a popular uprising that is not instigated by the noblility, but on the contrary, it is of the people. He is a good leader, a visionary and he is appreciated by his men.

The "Chouans" who are strengthened by their victories, decide to advance futrther. They prepare the siege of Nantes, a republican stronghold. June 29, with the assistance of Charette, as reinforcements, Bonchamps and Cathelineau attack the city. Perhaps too sure victory, they come up against well prepared republicans. During the battle, Jacques Cathelineau is injured of a bullet to the chest. He is brought to the rear then evacuated to Saint Florent le Vieil. The wound proves mortal. On the threshold of death, the abbot Cantiteau comes to him. The abbot will write that Cathelineau knowing itself dying, remained calm, happy that he has given his life in the name of God. He lingers, close to death, as long as possible to be informed of the disposition of his army. On July 14 1793, Jacques Cathelineau dies. His body is buried in the cemetery of Saint Florent le Vieil. His death remains secret, in order not to demoralize his men by the loss of it leader. He is 34 years old...

On July 20, d'Elbée is elected commanding general to relace Cathelineau. The war loses it mystical side and becomes a more of a military matter. The death of Cathelineau, with the defeat at Nantes becomes a turning point of the counter revolution.

The Vendéan army receives a serious check at Cholet on October 17, and the army becomes divided. In October 1793 the larger, headed de la Rochejaquelein and numbering some 25,000+ accompanied by thousands of refugees cross the Loire for the port of Granville where they hope to be united with British forces and exiled aristos. Arriving at Granville, they found the city surrounded by Republican forces, with no British ships in sight. Their attempts to take the city are unsuccessful, their position untenable, and they retreat. During the retreat the extended columns fell prey to Republican forces, suffering from hunger and disease they died in their thousands, the force was finally shattered in the last, decisive battle at Savenay on December 23.
The genocide in the Vendee drags on on to an end in March 1796, the estimated dead numbered between 117,000 and 500,000, out of a population of around 800,000.

Vive le Roy.

Note Some of the redirects and links are in French, je suis désolé.


St Basil Cathedral in Moscow, 450 years old today

I am not a Russian Orthodox Catholic However I have often admired the beauty, simplicity, and grandeur of the places and faith of our Russian Orthodox brothers and sisters.
Above: St. Basil's Cathedral in 1900.

Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed is an architectural symbol of Moscow and Russia. The church, now a museum, is celebrating its 450th anniversary on July 12.

The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, popularly known as Saint Basil's Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox church erected on the Red Square in Moscow in 1555–61. Built on the order of Ivan IV of Russia to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan, it marks the geometric center of the city and the hub of its growth since the 14th century. It was the tallest building in Moscow until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600.

Above: Trinity Cathedral under construction (Apollinary Vasnetsov, 1902)

The original building, known as "Trinity Church" and later "Trinity Cathedral", contained eight side churches arranged around the ninth, central church of Intercession; the tenth church was erected in 1588 over the grave of venerated local saint Vasily (Basil). In the 16th and the 17th centuries the church, perceived as the earthly symbol of the Heavenly City, was popularly known as the "Jerusalem" and served as an allegory of the Jerusalem Temple in the annual Palm Sunday parade attended by the Patriarch of Moscow and the tsar.The building's design, shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky, has no analogues in Russian architecture: "...It is like no other Russian building. Nothing similar can be found in the entire millennium of Byzantine tradition from the fifth to fifteenth century ... a strangeness that astonishes by its unexpectedness, complexity and dazzling interleaving of the manifold details of its design..."(Shvidkovsky 2007, p. 126)
The cathedral foreshadowed the climax of Russian national architecture in the 17th century.

The building was consecrated on 12 July 1561, and was subsequently elevated to the status of a sobor (similar to Roman Catholic ecclesiastical basilica, but usually and incorrectly translated as "cathedral"). "Trinity", according to tradition, refers to the easternmost sanctuary of Holy Trinity, while the central sanctuary of the church is dedicated to Intercession of Mary. Together with the westernmost sanctuary of Entry into Jerusalem, these sanctuaries form the main west–east axis (Christ, Mary, Holy Trinity), while other sanctuaries are dedicated to individual saints, being:

The Central core Tented church Intercession of Most Holy Theotokos Beginning of the final assault of Kazan, October 1, 1552

The West Column Entry of Christ into Jerusalem Triumph of the Muscovite troops
North-west Groin vault Saint Gregory the Illuminator of Armenia Capture of Ars Tower of Kazan Kremlin, September 30, 1552

The North Column Saint Martyrs Cyprian and Justinia (since 1786 Saint Adrian and Natalia of Nicomedia) Complete capture of Kazan Kremlin, October 2, 1552

The North-east Groin vault Three Patriarchs of Alexandria (since 1680 Saint John the Merciful) Defeat of Yepancha's cavalry on August 30, 1552

The East Column Life-giving Holy Trinity Historical Trinity Church on the same site
South-east Groin vault Saint Alexander Svirsky Defeat of Yepancha's cavalry on August 30, 1552

The South Column The icon of Saint Nicholas from the Velikaya River (Nikola Velikoretsky) Miraculous finding of itself

The South-west Groin vault Saint Barlaam of Khutyn Indecisive, probably commemorates Vasili III of Russia

The North-eastern annex (1588) Groin vault Basil the Blessed Grave of venerated local saint

The South-eastern annex (1672) Groin vault Laying the Veil (in 1680: Nativity of Theotokos, from 1916: Saint John the Blessed of Moscow) Grave of a venerated local saint.

A Miraclous Find.

Tradition relates, that on the day of consecration the church itself became part of Orthodox thaumaturgy. According to the legend, its "missing" ninth church (precisely, sanctuary) was "miraculously found" during a ceremony attended by Tsar Ivan IV, Metropolitan Makarius and divine interference of Saint Tikhon. Piskaryov's Chronist wrote in the second quarter of the 17th century:

"...And the tsar came to dedication of said church with tsaritsa Nastasia and with father Metropolitan Makarius and brought the icon of miraclemaker Nicholas that came from Vyatka. And they began to offer a prayer service and to make sanctified water. And the tsar touched the base with his own hands. And the builders saw that another sanctuary appeared, and told the tsar. And the tsar, and metropolitan, and all the clergy were surprised by the finding of another sanctuary... And the tsar ordered to dedicate it to Nicholas ..."

State Museum Moscow for more pictures of the interior.


Holbein's drawings -- figures at the English court


My only wish is that there was someone comparable who did the French Court.


The Rule of Saint Benedict

"... an epitome of Christianity, a learned and mysterious abridgement of all the doctrines of the Gospel, all the institutions of the Fathers, and all the counsels of perfection..." Bossuet, 1627-1704, Bp. of Meaux).


L I S T E N carefully, my child,
to your master's precepts,
and incline the ear of your heart (Prov. 4:20).
Receive willingly and carry out effectively
your loving father's advice,
that by the labor of obedience
you may return to Him
from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.

To you, therefore, my words are now addressed,
whoever you may be,
who are renouncing your own will
to do battle under the Lord Christ, the true King,
and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedience.

And first of all,
whatever good work you begin to do,
beg of Him with most earnest prayer to perfect it,
that He who has now deigned to count us among His children
may not at any time be grieved by our evil deeds.
For we must always so serve Him
with the good things He has given us,
that He will never as an angry Father disinherit His children,
nor ever as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil actions,
deliver us to everlasting punishment
as wicked servants who would not follow Him to glory.



Obsculta, o fili, praecepta magistri, et inclina aurem cordis tui, et admonitionem pii patris libenter excipe et efficaciter comple, ut ad eum per oboedientiae laborem redeas, a quo per inoboedientiae desidiam recesseras. Ad te ergo nunc mihi sermo dirigitur, quisquis abrenuntians propriis voluntatibus, Domino Christo vero regi militaturus, oboedientiae fortissima atque praeclara arma sumis.

In primis, ut quicquid agendum inchoas bonum, ab eo perfici instantissima oratione deposcas, ut qui nos iam in filiorum dignatus est numero computare non debet aliquando de malis actibus nostris contristari. Ita enim ei omni tempore de bonis suis in nobis parendum est ut non solum iratus pater suos non aliquando filios exheredet, sed nec, ut metuendus dominus irritatus a malis nostris, ut nequissimos servos perpetuam tradat ad poenam qui eum sequi noluerint ad gloriam.

Domine salvum fac Regem

Prière historique pour le roi de France, exécuté à la fin de chaque liturgie dans la chapelle royale de Versailles.

Historical prayer for the King of France, executed at the end of every liturgy in the Chapel Royal of Versailles.