Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today is the 129th Birthday of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt



Franklin Delano Roosevelt:Sir You brought the presidency to a new level in the 20th century. You served the presidency for amazing 12 years. you were born as a leader, thanks for serving the presidency, remembering you today, happy 129th birthday!



Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945

He was also known by his initials, FDR was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war. The only American president elected to more than two terms, he forged a durable coalition that realigned American politics for decades. FDR defeated incumbent Republican Herbert Hoover in November 1932, at the depths of the Great Depression. FDR's combination of optimism and activism contributed to reviving the national spirit. Working closely with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in leading the Allies against Germany and Japan in World War II, he died just as victory was in sight.

Starting in his "First Hundred Days" in office, which began March 4, 1933, Roosevelt launched major legislation and a profusion of executive orders that gave form to the New Deal—a complex, interlocking set of programs designed to produce relief (especially government jobs for the unemployed), recovery (of the economy), and reform (through regulation of Wall Street, banks and transportation). The economy improved rapidly from 1933 to 1937, but then went into a deep recession. The bipartisan Conservative Coalition that formed in 1937 prevented his packing the Supreme Court or passing much new legislation; it abolished many of the relief programs when unemployment practically ended during World War II.

Most of the regulations on business were ended about 1975–85, except for the regulation of Wall Street by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which still exists. Along with several smaller programs, major surviving programs include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which was created in 1933, and Social Security, which Congress passed in 1935.

As World War II loomed after 1938, with the Japanese invasion of China and the aggressions of Nazi Germany, FDR gave strong diplomatic and financial support to China and Britain, while remaining officially neutral. His goal was to make America the "Arsenal of Democracy" which would supply munitions to the Allies. In March 1941, Roosevelt, with Congressional approval, provided Lend-Lease aid to the countries fighting against Nazi Germany with Great Britain.

He secured a near-unanimous declaration of war against Japan after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, calling it a "date which will live in infamy". He supervised the mobilization of the US economy to support the Allied war effort. Unemployment dropped to 2%, relief programs largely ended, and the industrial economy grew rapidly to new heights as millions of people moved to new jobs in war centers, and 16 million men (and 300,000 women) were drafted or volunteered for military service.

Roosevelt dominated the American political scene, not only during the twelve years of his presidency, but for decades afterward. He orchestrated the realignment of voters that created the Fifth Party System. FDR's New Deal Coalition united labor unions, big city machines, white ethnics, African Americans and rural white Southerners. Roosevelt's diplomatic impact also resonated on the world stage long after his death, with the United Nations and Bretton Woods as examples of his administration's wide-ranging impact. Roosevelt is consistently rated by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.

Legacy:

A 1999 survey by C-SPAN found that by a wide margin academic historians consider Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Roosevelt the three greatest presidents, consistent with other surveys. Roosevelt is the sixth most admired person from the 20th century by US citizens, according to Gallup.

Both during and after his terms, critics of Roosevelt questioned not only his policies and positions, but also the consolidation of power that occurred because of his lengthy tenure as president, his service during two major crises, and his enormous popularity. The rapid expansion of government programs that occurred during Roosevelt's term redefined the role of the government in the United States, and Roosevelt's advocacy of government social programs was instrumental in redefining liberalism for coming generations.

Roosevelt firmly established the United States' leadership role on the world stage, with pronouncements such as his Four Freedoms speech, forming a basis for the active role of the United States in the war and beyond.

In 1945, Roosevelt was mentioned by Halvdan Koht among seven candidates that were qualified for the Nobel Prize in Peace. However, he did not explicitly nominate any of them. The person actually nominated was Cordell Hull.

After Franklin's death, Eleanor Roosevelt continued to be a forceful presence in U.S. and world politics, serving as delegate to the conference which established the United Nations and championing civil rights. Many members of his administration played leading roles in the administrations of Truman, Kennedy and Johnson, each of whom embraced Roosevelt's political legacy.

Roosevelt's home in Hyde Park is now a National Historic Site and home to his Presidential library. His retreat at Warm Springs, Georgia is a museum operated by the state of Georgia. His summer retreat on Campobello Island is maintained by the governments of both Canada and the United States as Roosevelt Campobello International Park; the island is accessible by way of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge.

The Roosevelt Memorial is located in Washington, D.C. next to the Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin, and Roosevelt's image appears on the Roosevelt dime. Many parks and schools, as well as an aircraft carrier and a Paris subway station and hundreds of streets and squares both across the US and the rest of the world have been named in his honor.

Reflecting on Roosevelt's presidency, "which brought the United States through the Great Depression and World War II to a prosperous future", said FDR's biographer Jean Edward Smith in 2007, "He lifted himself from a wheelchair to lift the nation from its knees."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Feast Day of Saint Thomas Aquinas!







Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P., also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino; (Aquino, 1225 – Fossanova, 7 March 1274) was an Italian priest of the Catholic Church in the Dominican Order, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus (the Angelic Doctor) and Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis (the Common or Universal Doctor). "Aquinas" is not a surname (hereditary surnames were not then in common use in Europe), but is a Latin adjective meaning "of Aquino", his place of birth. He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of the Thomistic school of philosophy and theology, which is named after him. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived as a reaction against, or as an agreement with his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law and political theory. Thomas is held in the Catholic Church to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood. The works for which he is best-known are the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles. One of the 33 Doctors of the Church, he is considered the Church's greatest theologian and philosopher. Pope Benedict XV declared: "The Church has declared Thomas' doctrines to be her own. Born Thomas Aquinas 1225 Aquino, Kingdom of Sicily Died 7 March 1274 Fossanova, Kingdom of Sicily Occupation Priest, Philosopher, Theologian Genres Scholasticism, Thomism Subjects Metaphysics, Logic, Mind, Epistemology, Ethics, Politics Notable work(s): Summa Theologica Born c. 1225 Aquino, Kingdom of Sicily Died 7 March 1274 Fossanuova Abbey, Kingdom of Sicily Venerated in Roman Catholic Church Anglican Communion Canonized 1323, Avignon, France by Pope John XXII Major shrine Church of the Jacobins, Toulouse, France Feast 28 January (new), 7 March (old) Attributes The Summa Theologica, a model church, the Sun Patronage All Catholic educational institutions Naples, Orvieto, Rome, and Santa Sabina (1259-1269) Around 1259, Thomas returned to Naples where he lived until he arrived in Orvieto around September 1261. In Orvieto, he was appointed conventual lector, in charge of the education of friars unable to attend a studium generale. During his stay in Orvieto, Thomas completed his Summa contra Gentiles, and wrote the Catena Aurea (The Golden Chain).[25] He also wrote the liturgy for the newly created feast of Corpus Christi and produced works for Pope Urban IV concerning Greek Orthodox theology, e.g. Contra errores graecorum (Against the Errors of the Greeks). In 1265 he was ordered by the Dominicans to establish a studium for the Order in Rome at the priory of Santa Sabina, which he did from 1265 until he was called back to Paris in 1268. It was in Rome that Thomas began his most famous work, Summa Theologica, and wrote a variety of other works like his unfinished Compendium Theologiae and Responsio ad fr. Ioannem Vercellensem de articulis 108 sumptis ex opere Petri de Tarentasia (Reply to Brother John of Vercelli Regarding 108 Articles Drawn from the Work of Peter of Tarentaise). In his position as head of the studium, conducted a series of important disputations on the power of God, which he compiled into his De potentia. The Quarrelsome Second Paris Regency (1269-1272) In 1268 the Dominican Order assigned Thomas to be regent master at the University of Paris for a second time, a position he held until the spring of 1272. Part of the reason for this sudden reassignment appears to have arisen from the rise of "Averroism" or "radical Aristotelianism" in the universities. In response to these perceived evils, Thomas wrote two works, one of them being De unitate intellectus, contra Averroistas (On the Unity of Intellect, against the Averroists) in which he blasts Averroism as incompatible with Christian doctrine. During his second regency, he finished the second part of the Summa and wrote De virtutibus and De aeternitate mundi, the latter of which dealt with controversial Averroist and Aristotelian beginninglessness of the world. Disputes with some important Franciscans such as Bonaventure and John Peckham conspired to make his second regency much more difficult and troubled than the first. A year before Thomas re-assumed the regency at the 1266-67 Paris disputations, Franciscan master William of Baglione accused Thomas of encouraging Averroists, calling him the "blind leader of the blind". Thomas called these individuals the murmurantes. In reality, Thomas was deeply disturbed by the spread of Averroism and was angered when he discovered Siger of Brabant teaching Averroistic interpretations of Aristotle to Parisian students. On 10 December 1270, the bishop of Paris, Etienne Tempier, issued an edict condemning thirteen Aristotlelian and Averroistic propositions as heretical and excommunicating anyone who continued to support them. In the ecclesiastical community, the so-called Augustinians, were fearful that this introduction of Aristotelianism and the more extreme Averroism might somehow contaminate the purity of the Christian faith. In what appears to be an attempt to counteract the growing fear of Aristotelian thought, Thomas conducted a series of disputations between 1270 and 1272: De virtutibus in communi (On Virtues in General), De virtutibus cardinalibus (On Cardinal Virtues), De spe (On Hope). Final days and "Straw" (1272-1274) In 1272 Thomas took leave from the University of Paris when the Dominicans from his home province called upon him to establish a studium generale wherever he liked and staff it as he pleased. He chose to establish the institution in Naples, and moved there to take his post as regent master. He took his time at Naples to work on the third part of the Summa while giving lectures on various religious topics. On 6 December 1273 Thomas was celebrating the Mass of St. Nicholas when, according to some, he heard Christ speak to him. Christ asked him what he desired, being pleased with his meritorious life. Thomas replied "Only you Lord. Only you." After this exchange something happened, but Thomas never spoke of it or wrote it down. Because of what he saw, he abandoned his routine and refused to dictate to his socius Reginald of Piperno. When Reginald begged him to get back to work, Thomas replied: "Reginald, I cannot, because all that I have written seems like straw to me." (mihi videtur ut palea). What exactly triggered Thomas's change in behavior is believed to be some kind of supernatural experience of God. After taking to his bed, he did recover some strength. Looking to find a way to reunite the Eastern Orthodox churches with the Catholic Church (the Eastern Orthodox had parted ways with the Catholic Church in A.D. 1054 over doctrinal disputes) Pope Gregory X convened the Second Council of Lyon to be held on 1 May 1274 and summoned Thomas to attend. At the meeting, Thomas's work for Pope Urban IV concerning the Greeks, Contra errores graecorum, was to be presented.[38] On his way to the Council, riding on a donkey along the Appian Way, he struck his head on the branch of a fallen tree and became seriously ill again. He was then quickly escorted to Monte Cassino to convalesce. After resting for a while, he set out again, but stopped at the Cistercian Fossanova Abbey after again falling ill.[40] The monks nursed him for several days, and as he received his last rites he prayed: "I receive Thee, ransom of my soul. For love of Thee have I studied and kept vigil, toiled, preached and taught..." He died on 7 March 1274 while giving commentary on the Song of Songs. Condemnation of 1277 and subsequent canonizationSee also: Condemnations of 1210–1277 In 1277, the same bishop of France, Etienne Tempier, who had issued the condemnation of 1270 issued another, more extensive condemnation. One aim of this condemnation was to clarify that God's absolute power transcended any principles of logic that Aristotle or Averroes might place on it. More specifically, it contained a list of 219 propositions that the bishop had determined to violate the omnipotence of God, and included in this list were twenty Thomistic propositions. Their inclusion badly damaged Thomas's reputation for many years. In The Divine Comedy, Dante sees the glorified spirit of Thomas in the Heaven of the Sun with the other great exemplars of religious wisdom. Dante asserts that Thomas died by poisoning, on the order of Charles of Anjou; Villani (ix. 218) cites this belief, and the Anonimo Fiorentino describes the crime and its motive. But the historian Ludovico Antonio Muratori reproduces the account made by one of Thomas's friends, and this version of the story gives no hint of foul play. Fifty years after the death of Thomas, Pope John XXII, seated in Avignon, pronounced Thomas a saint. Thomas's theology had begun its rise to prestige. Two centuries later, in 1567, Pope Pius V proclaimed St. Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church and ranked his feast with those of the four great Latin fathers: Ambrose, Augustine of Hippo, Jerome, and Gregory. However, in the same period the Council of Trent would still turn to Duns Scotus before Thomas as a source of arguments in defence of the Church. Even though Duns Scotus was more consulted at the Council of Trent, Thomas had the honor of having his Summa Theologica placed on the altar alongside the Bible and the Decretals. In his encyclical of 4 August 1879, Pope Leo XIII stated that Thomas's theology was a definitive exposition of Catholic doctrine. Thus, he directed the clergy to take the teachings of Thomas as the basis of their theological positions. Leo XIII also decreed that all Catholic seminaries and universities must teach Thomas's doctrines, and where Thomas did not speak on a topic, the teachers were "urged to teach conclusions that were reconcilable with his thinking." In 1880, Saint Thomas Aquinas was declared patron of all Catholic educational establishments. In a monastery at Naples, near the cathedral of St. Januarius, a cell in which he supposedly lived is still shown to visitors. His remains were placed in the Church of the Jacobins in Toulouse in 1369. Between 1789 and 1974, they were held in Basilique de Saint-Sernin, Toulouse. In 1974, they were returned to the Church of the Jacobins, where they have remained ever since. In the General Roman Calendar of 1962,in the Roman Catholic Church, Thomas was commemorated on 7 March, the day of death. However, in the General Roman Calendar of 1969, even though the norm in the Roman Catholic Church is to remember saints on the day of their death, Thomas's memorial was transferred to 28 January, the date of the translation of his relics to Toulouse. Saint Thomas Aquinas is honored with a feast day on the liturgical of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America on January 28.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

89 Years ago today Pope Benedict XV died



Pope Benedict XV may you rest in peace on this day your holiness,may you also give guidance to our current Pope, Pope Beneditct XVI.


Pope Benedict XV: 21 November 1854 – 22 January 1922), born Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa, reigned as Pope from 3 September 1914 to 22 January 1922, succeeding Pope Pius X (1903–1914). His pontificate was largely overshadowed by World War I and its political, social and humanitarian consequences in Europe.

Between 1846 and 1903, the Church experienced its two longest pontificates in history, up to that point.

Together Pius IX and Leo XIII ruled for 57 years. In 1914, the Cardinals choose Della Chiesa at the age of 60, indicating their desire for another long-lasting pontificate at the outbreak of World War I, which he labeled “the suicide of civilized Europe.” The war and its consequences were the main focus of Benedict. He declared the neutrality of the Holy See and attempted from that perspective to mediate peace in 1916 and 1917.

Both sides rejected his initiatives. German Protestants rejected any “Papal Peace” as insulting. French politician Georges Clemenceau regarded the Vatican initiative as anti-French.[2] Having failed with diplomatic initiatives, the Pope focused on humanitarian efforts to lessen the impacts of the war, such as attending prisoners of war, the exchange of wounded soldiers and food deliveries to needy populations in Europe. After the war, he repaired the difficult relations with France, which re-established relations with the Vatican in 1921.

During his pontificate, relations with Italy improved as well, as the Pope now permitted Catholic politicians led by Don Luigi Sturzo to participate in national Italian politics. Benedict issued in 1917 the first ever Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church, the creation of which he had prepared with Pietro Gasparri and Eugenio Pacelli during the pontificate of Pius X. The new Code of Canon Law is considered to have stimulated religious life and activities throughout the Church.

He named Pietro Gasparri to be his Cardinal Secretary of State and personally consecrated Nuncio Eugenio Pacelli on 13 May 1917 as Archbishop on the very day of the Marian apparitions in Fatima. World War One caused great damage to Catholic missions throughout the world. Benedict revitalized these activities, asking in Maximum Illud for Catholics throughout the world to participate.

His last concern was the emerging persecution of the Church in the Soviet Russia and the famine there after the revolution. Benedict was an ardent mariologist, devoted to Marian veneration and open to new perspectives of Roman Catholic Mariology. He supported the mediatrix theology and authorized the Feast of Mary Mediator of all Graces. After just over seven years in office, Pope Benedict XV died on 22 January 1922. With his diplomatic skills and his openness towards modern society, "he gained respect for himself and the papacy.

Benedict XV personally had a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He added the title 'Queen of Peace' to her Litany, and gave his support to an understanding of Mary as Mediatrix of All Graces (by approving a Mass and office under this title for the dioceses of Belgium) and affirmed that "together with Christ she redeemed the human race" by her immolation of Christ as his sorrowful mother (in his apostolic letter Inter sodalicia).


Death and legacy:
Benedict XV fell ill with pneumonia in early January 1922. He succumbed to that illness on 22 January 1922.

Possibly the least remembered pope of the twentieth century, Benedict XV is nevertheless an unsung hero for his valiant efforts to end World War I. In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI recognized the significance of his long-ago predecessor's commitment to peace by taking the same name. Benedict XV was unique in his humane approach in the world of 1914–1918, which starkly contrasts with that of the other great monarchs and leaders of the time. His worth is reflected in the tribute engraved at the foot of the statue that the Turks, a non-Catholic, non-Christian people, erected of him in Istanbul: "The great Pope of the world tragedy...the benefactor of all people, irrespective of nationality or religion." This monument stands in the courtyard of the St. Esprit Cathedral.


Views of His Successors:

Pope Pius XII showed high regard for Benedict, who had consecrated him a Bishop on 13 May 1917, the very day of the reported apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. While Pius considered another Benedict, Benedict XIV in terms of his sanctity and scholarly contributions to be worthy as Doctor of the Church, he thought that Benedict XV during his short pontificate was truly a man of God, who worked for peace. He helped prisoners of war and many others who needed help in dire times and was extremely generous to Russia.

He praised him as a Marian Pope who promoted the devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes,for his encyclicals Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, Humani Generis Redemptionem, Quod Iam Diu, and Spiritus Paraclitus, and, for the codification of Canon Law, which under della Chiesa and Pietro Gasparri, he as Eugenio Pacelli had the opportunity to participate in.

Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI showed his own admiration for Benedict XV following his election to the Papacy on 19 April 2005. The election of a new Pope is often accompanied by conjecture over his choice of papal name; it is widely believed that a Pope chooses the name of a predecessor whose teachings and legacy he wishes to continue. Ratzinger's choice of "Benedict" was seen as a signal that Benedict XV's views on humanitarian diplomacy, and his stance against relativism and modernism, would be emulated during the reign of the new Pope.

During his first General Audience in St. Peter's Square on 27 April 2005, Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to Benedict XV when explaining his choice: "Filled with sentiments of awe and thanksgiving, I wish to speak of why I chose the name Benedict. Firstly, I remember Pope Benedict XV, that courageous prophet of peace, who guided the Church through turbulent times of war. In his footsteps I place my ministry in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples."

On this day, the world lost Queen Victoria after 110 years!




Queen Alexandrina Victoria: Long Live the Queen! Today is the day we lost a beautiful and wonderful queen of England, remembering you after 110 years ago today, may you rest in peace!


Queen Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India.

Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke of Kent and the King died in 1820, and Victoria was raised under close supervision by her German-born mother Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.

She inherited the throne at the age of 18 after her father's three elder brothers died without surviving legitimate issue. She ascended the throne when the United Kingdom was already an established constitutional monarchy, in which the Sovereign held relatively few direct political powers. Privately, she attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Publicly, she became a national icon, and was identified with strict standards of personal morality.

Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. Their 9 children and 26 of their 42 grandchildren married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname "the grandmother of Europe".

After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning and avoided public appearances. As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the later half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration.

At 63 years and 7 months, her reign as the Queen lasted longer than that of any other British monarch, and is the longest of any female monarch in history. Her reign is known as the Victorian era, and was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military progress within the United Kingdom. Overseas, it was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover; her son and successor King Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Death and successionFollowing a custom she maintained throughout her widowhood, Victoria spent the Christmas of 1900 at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. Rheumatism in her legs had rendered her lame, and her eyesight was clouded by cataracts.

Through early January, she felt "weak and unwell", and by mid-January she was "drowsy ... dazed, [and] confused".[161] She died from a cerebral haemorrhage on Tuesday 22 January 1901 at half past six in the evening, at the age of 81.[162] Her son, the future King, and her eldest grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II, were at her deathbed. On 25 January, Edward VII, the Kaiser and Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, helped lift her into the coffin.

She was dressed in a white dress and her wedding veil. An array of mementos commemorating her extended family, friends and servants were laid in the coffin with her, at her request. One of Albert's dressing gowns was placed by her side, with a plaster cast of his hand, while a lock of Brown's hair, along with a picture of him, were placed in her left hand. Items of jewellery placed on Victoria included the wedding ring of John Brown's mother, given to her by Brown in 1883.

The coffin was draped with the Royal Standard that had been flying at Osborne House; it was later given by Victoria's grandson, George V, to Victoria College at the University of Toronto.[164] Her funeral was held on Saturday 2 February, and after two days of lying-in-state, she was interred beside Prince Albert in Frogmore Mausoleum at Windsor Great Park. Victoria requested a white funeral instead of the usual black. When she was laid to rest at the mausoleum, it began to snow.

Flags in the United States were lowered to half-mast in her honour by order of President William McKinley, a tribute never before offered to a foreign monarch at the time and one which was repaid by Britain when McKinley was assassinated later that year. Victoria had reigned for a total of 63 years, seven months and two days—the longest of any British monarch—and surpassed her grandfather, George III, as the longest-lived monarch (since surpassed by Elizabeth II) only three days before her death.

Victoria's death brought an end to the rule of the House of Hanover in the United Kingdom. Her husband belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and her son and heir Edward VII was the first British monarch of this new house. Later, in 1917, her grandson King George V changed the house name from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the (currently serving) House of Windsor.

Victoria outlived three of her nine children. Alice died in 1878, Leopold in 1884, and Alfred in July 1900, just six months before his mother. Her eldest daughter, Victoria, narrowly outlived her, and died in August 1901. The Queen outlived 11 of her 42 grandchildren (two were stillborn; six died as children, and three as adults).

Legacy:

According to one of her biographers, Giles St Aubyn, Victoria wrote an average of 2500 words a day during her adult life.From July 1832 until just before her death, she kept a detailed journal, which eventually encompassed 122 volumes.After Victoria's death, her youngest daughter Princess Beatrice, was appointed her literary executor. Beatrice transcribed and edited the diaries covering Victoria's accession onwards, and burned the originals in the process.

Despite this destruction, much of the diaries still exist. In addition to Beatrice's edited copy, Lord Esher transcribed the volumes from 1832 to 1861 before Beatrice destroyed them. Part of Victoria's extensive correspondence has been published in volumes edited by A. C. Benson, Hector Bolitho, George Earle Buckle, Lord Esher, Roger Fulford, and Richard Hough among others.

Victoria was physically unprepossessing—she was stout, dowdy and less than five feet tall—but she succeeded in projecting a grand image. She experienced unpopularity during the first years of her widowhood, but was well-liked during the 1880s and 1890s, when she embodied the empire as a benevolent matriarchal figure. Only after the release of her diary and letters did the extent of her political influence become known to the wider public.

Biographies of Victoria written before much of the primary material became available, such as Lytton Strachey's Queen Victoria, are now considered out of date.The biographies written by Elizabeth Longford and Cecil Woodham-Smith, in 1964 and 1972 respectively, are still widely admired. They, and others, conclude that as a person Victoria was emotional, obstinate, honest, and straight-talking.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

30 Years ago Ronald Wilson Reagan became the 40th President




To date, Reagan is the oldest man elected to the office of the presidency (at 69). In his first inaugural address on January 20, 1981, which Reagan himself wrote, he addressed the country's economic malaise arguing: "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem."

The Reagan Presidency began in a dramatic manner; as Reagan was giving his inaugural address, 52 U.S. hostages, he addressed the country's economic malaise arguing: "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem."

The Reagan Presidency began in a dramatic manner; as Reagan was giving his inaugural address, 52 U.S. hostages, held by Iran for 444 days were set free.

During his Presidency, Reagan pursued policies that reflected his personal belief in individual freedom, brought changes domestically, both to the U.S. economy and expanded military, and contributed to the end of the Cold War. Termed the Reagan Revolution, his presidency would reinvigorate American morale and reduce the people's reliance upon government. As president, Reagan kept a series of diaries in which he commented on daily occurrences of his presidency and his views on the issues of the day. The diaries were published in May 2007 in the bestselling book, The Reagan Diaries.

Today is the 30th anniversary of Ronald Wilson Reagan was sworn in as the 40th President at noon on January 20, 1981. In his inaugural address he spoke:

Senator Hatfield, Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. President, Vice President Bush, Vice President Mondale, Senator Baker, Speaker O'Neill, Reverend Moomaw, and my fellow citizens: To a few of us here today, this is a solemn and most momentous occasion; and yet, in the history of our Nation, it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place as it has for almost two centuries and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.

Mr. President, I want our fellow citizens to know how much you did to carry on this tradition. By your gracious cooperation in the transition process, you have shown a watching world that we are a united people pledged to maintaining a political system which guarantees individual liberty to a greater degree than any other, and I thank you and your people for all your help in maintaining the continuity which is the bulwark of our Republic.

The business of our nation goes forward. These United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions. We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed- income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people.

Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, causing human misery and personal indignity. Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.

But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades, we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children's future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.

You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?

We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding--we are going to begin to act, beginning today.

The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, have the capacity now, as we have had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.

From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

We hear much of special interest groups. Our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and our factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we are sick--professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truckdrivers. They are, in short, "We the people," this breed called Americans.

Well, this administration's objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides equal opportunity for all Americans, with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination. Putting America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. Ending inflation means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs. All must share in the productive work of this "new beginning" and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy. With the idealism and fair play which are the core of our system and our strength, we can have a strong and prosperous America at peace with itself and the world.

So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government--not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.

It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the States or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the Federal Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government.

Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work-work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.

If we look to the answer as to why, for so many years, we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on Earth, it was because here, in this land, we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on Earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.

It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We are not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew; our faith and our hope.

We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we are in a time when there are no heroes just don't know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter--and they are on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They are individuals and families whose taxes support the Government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet but deep. Their values sustain our national life.

I have used the words "they" and "their" in speaking of these heroes. I could say "you" and "your" because I am addressing the heroes of whom I speak--you, the citizens of this blessed land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me God.

We shall reflect the compassion that is so much a part of your makeup. How can we love our country and not love our countrymen, and loving them, reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they are sick, and provide opportunities to make them self- sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory?

Can we solve the problems confronting us? Well, the answer is an unequivocal and emphatic "yes." To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I did not take the oath I have just taken with the intention of presiding over the dissolution of the world's strongest economy.

In the days ahead I will propose removing the roadblocks that have slowed our economy and reduced productivity. Steps will be taken aimed at restoring the balance between the various levels of government. Progress may be slow--measured in inches and feet, not miles--but we will progress. It is time to reawaken this industrial giant, to get government back within its means, and to lighten our punitive tax burden. And these will be our first priorities, and on these principles, there will be no compromise.

On the eve of our struggle for independence a man who might have been one of the greatest among the Founding Fathers, Dr. Joseph Warren, President of the Massachusetts Congress, said to his fellow Americans, "Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of.... On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important questions upon which rests the happiness and the liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves."

Well, I believe we, the Americans of today, are ready to act worthy of ourselves, ready to do what must be done to ensure happiness and liberty for ourselves, our children and our children's children.

And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom.

To those neighbors and allies who share our freedom, we will strengthen our historic ties and assure them of our support and firm commitment. We will match loyalty with loyalty. We will strive for mutually beneficial relations. We will not use our friendship to impose on their sovereignty, for our own sovereignty is not for sale.

As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it--now or ever.

Our forbearance should never be misunderstood. Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act. We will maintain sufficient strength to prevail if need be, knowing that if we do so we have the best chance of never having to use that strength.

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.

I am told that tens of thousands of prayer meetings are being held on this day, and for that I am deeply grateful. We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inauguration Day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer.

This is the first time in history that this ceremony has been held, as you have been told, on this West Front of the Capitol. Standing here, one faces a magnificent vista, opening up on this city's special beauty and history. At the end of this open mall are those shrines to the giants on whose shoulders we stand.

Directly in front of me, the monument to a monumental man: George Washington, Father of our country. A man of humility who came to greatness reluctantly. He led America out of revolutionary victory into infant nationhood. Off to one side, the stately memorial to Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence flames with his eloquence.

And then beyond the Reflecting Pool the dignified columns of the Lincoln Memorial. Whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of America will find it in the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery with its row on row of simple white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.

Each one of those markers is a monument to the kinds of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, The Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam.

Under one such marker lies a young man--Martin Treptow--who left his job in a small town barber shop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.

We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, "My Pledge," he had written these words: "America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone."

The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God's help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

And, after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans. God bless you, and thank you


The oldest president:
As Reagan was the oldest person to be inaugurated as president (age 69), and also the oldest person to hold the office (age 77), his health, although generally good, became a concern at times during his presidency. His age even became a topic of concern during his re-election campaign. In a debate on October 21, 1984 between Reagan and his opponent, former Vice President Walter Mondale, panelist Henry Trewhitt brought up how President Kennedy had to go for days on end without sleep during the Cuban Missile crisis. He then asked the President if he had any doubts about if or how he could function in a time of crisis, given his age. Reagan remarked, "I am not going to make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience," generating applause and laughter from the audience. Mondale (who was 56 at the time) said years later in an interview that he knew at that moment he had lost the election.

On July 13, 1985, Reagan underwent surgery to remove polyps from his colon, causing the first-ever invocation of the Acting President clause of the 25th Amendment. On January 5, 1987, Reagan underwent surgery for prostate cancer which caused further worries about his health, but which significantly raised the public awareness of this "silent killer."

Former White House correspondent Lesley Stahl later wrote that she and other reporters noticed what might have been early symptoms of Reagan's later Alzheimer's Disease. She said that on her last day on the beat, Reagan spoke to her for a few moments and didn't seem to know who she was, before then returning to his normal self. However, Reagan's primary physician, Dr. John Hutton, said the president "absolutely" did not "show any signs of dementia or Alzheimer's." His doctors noted that he began exhibiting Alzheimer's symptoms only after he left the White House.

50 years ago JFK was sworn in as the 35th president!


Today is the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th President at noon on January 20, 1961. In his inaugural address he spoke of the need for all Americans to be active citizens, famously saying, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." He also asked the nations of the world to join together to fight what he called the "common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself." He added: "All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin." In closing, he expanded on his desire for greater internationalism: "Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Today is the 120th Birthday of Blessed Miguel Pro




Blessed Padre Miguel A. Pro you were a simple man who was protecting by the Almighty in your life, I hope you become a saint, rest in peace! Remembering you today, happy 120th birthday!


Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (January 13, 1891 – November 23, 1927), also known as Blessed Miguel Pro, was a Mexican Jesuit priest, executed during the persecution of the Catholic Church under the presidency of Plutarco Elías Calles after trumped up charges of involvement in an assassination attempt against former President Álvaro Obregón. Fr. Pro was beatified by John Paul II as a martyr on September 25, 1988.

Beatification:
Fifty-two years after Pro's execution, the Pope visited Mexico, was welcomed by the President, and celebrated open-air Masses before thousands of people (an act which would have been a crime during Pro's life and was still technically illegal at the time of the pope's visit, though unenforced). At his beatification on September 25, 1988, Pope John Paul II honored Fr. Pro with these words:

Neither suffering nor serious illness, neither the exhausting ministerial activity, frequently carried out in difficult and dangerous circumstances, could stifle the radiating and contagious joy which he brought to his life for Christ and which nothing could take away. Indeed, the deepest root of self-sacrificing surrender for the lowly was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to be conformed to him, even unto death.

Relics of Blessed Miguel Pro can be found in the Mary chapel of St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church in Raleigh, North Carolina

BLESSED MIGUEL AGUSTIN PRO, S.J.—1891-1927
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Miguel Pro was born January 13, 1891, at Guadalupe Zacatecas, Mexico. From his childhood, high spirits and happiness were the most outstanding characteristics of his personality. The loving and devoted son of a mining engineer and a pious and charitable mother, Miguel had a special affinity for the working classes which he retained all his life.
At 20, he became a Jesuit novice and shortly thereafter was exiled because of the Mexican revolution. He traveled to the United States, Spain, Nicaragua and Belgium, where he was ordained in 1925. Father Pro suffered greatly from a severe stomach problem and when, after several operations his health did not improve, in 1926 his superiors allowed him to return to Mexico in spite of the religious persecution in the country.

The churches were closed and priests were in hiding. Father Pro spent the rest of his life in a secret ministry to the sturdy Mexican Catholics. In addition to fulfilling their spiritual needs, he also carried out the works of mercy by assisting the poor of Mexico City with their temporal needs. He adopted many disguises to carry out his secret ministry. In all that he did, he remained filled with the joy of serving Christ, his King, and obedient to his superiors.

Falsely accused in a bombing attempt on the President-elect, Pro became a wanted man. He was betrayed to the police and sentenced to death without the benefit of any legal process.

On the day of his death, Father Pro forgave his executioners, prayed, bravely refused the blindfold, and died proclaiming "Long Live Christ the King!"

Christ the King, by the intercession of Blessed Miguel Pro, I beg you to answer my prayers. Give me the grace and the strength necessary to follow your heroic example and to live my Catholic faith in spite of all temptations and adversities. Amen

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today is the one year anniversary of the passing of Miep Gies





Miep Gies: Madam, you will be remembered as one of the Dutch citizens who hid Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis during World War II and also being one who discovered and preserved Anne Frank's diary, thank you for support and bravery, you will not be forgotten, remembering you on your one year anniversary of your passing,may you rest in peace!
- MFPS



Miep Gies (February 15, 1909 – January 11, 2010) was one of the Dutch citizens who hid Anne Frank, her family and several family friends in an attic annex above Anne's father's place of business from the Nazis during World War II.She discovered and preserved Anne Frank's diary after the Franks were arrested.

Early life: Born Hermine Santrouschitz in Vienna, Miep Gies was transported to Leiden from Vienna in December 1920 to escape the food shortages prevailing in Austria after World War I.

In 1922, she moved with her foster family to Amsterdam. In 1933, she met Otto Frank when she applied for the post of temporary secretary in his company, Opekta. The company sold a pectin preparation used for making jams. She initially ran the Complaints and Information desk in Opekta, and was eventually promoted to a more general administrative role.

She became a close friend of the Frank family, as did Jan Gies, whom she married on July 16, 1941 after she refused to join a Nazi women's association and was threatened with deportation back to Austria. Her knowledge of Dutch and German helped the Frank family assimilate into Dutch society, and she and her husband became regular guests at the Franks' home.


Hiding the Franks:
With her husband, and her family friends, Victor Kugler, Johannes Kleiman, and Bep Voskuijl, Miep Gies helped hide Edith and Otto Frank, their daughters Margot and Anne, Hermann and Auguste van Pels, their son Peter, and Fritz Pfeffer in a secret upstairs room that was not used in the company's office building on Amsterdam's Prinsengracht from July 1942 to August 4, 1944.


After the Arrest: Gies and the other helpers could have been executed if they had been caught hiding Jews[citation needed]. On the morning of August 4, 1944, acting on information provided by an informant, the Grüne Polizei arrested the people hidden at Frank's place of business, as well as Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman. A few days later, Miep unsuccessfully tried to bribe the Austrian Nazi officer to release her friends.

Before the hiding place was emptied by the authorities, Gies retrieved Anne Frank's diaries and saved them in her desk drawer. Once the war was over and it was confirmed that Anne Frank had perished in Bergen-Belsen, Gies gave the collection of papers and notebooks to the sole survivor from the Secret Annex, Otto Frank.[9] After transcribing sections for his family, his daughter's literary ability became apparent and he arranged for the book's publication in 1947.

Gies did not read the diaries before turning them over to him, and later remarked that if she had she would have had to destroy them because the diary contained the names of all five of the helpers as well as their black market suppliers. She was persuaded by Otto Frank to read it in its second printing.

Later life and death

Miep's and Jan's only child, Paul, was born on July 13, 1950. Jan Gies died in 1993 from diabetes.

In December 1994, during the making of the documentary film Anne Frank Remembered, Miep was introduced to Peter Pfeffer, the son of Fritz Pfeffer. After his parents divorced, Pfeffer was raised by his father, until his father felt it was too dangerous for him to remain in Germany, and in 1938 was sent to London to live with his uncle. By the end of the war he had lost most of his close family, including his father and mother, who had died in Theresienstadt.

Pfeffer moved to the United States and California, where he founded a successful office supply business. Pfeffer, upon meeting Miep Gies, expressed his thanks to her for attempting to save his father's life and Miep asked him if there was anything he wanted to know about his father, expressing that he was a good man and fine dentist. Pfeffer died of cancer two months later. Miep Gies stated in her autobiography, and on her own website:

I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did or more – much more - during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the hearts of those of us who bear witness. Never a day goes by that I do not think of what happened then.

Miep Gies lived in the Dutch province of Noord-Holland. According to Carol Ann Lee's biography of Otto Frank, The Hidden Life of Otto Frank, Gies stopped granting interviews after enduring a bout of severe ill health.

On February 15, 2009, she celebrated her 100th birthday. At the time, according to her son, Gies was in good health and followed the news every day. Gies died on January 11, 2010, following a short illness. It was reported that this was caused by a fall. Gies was portrayed in the 2007 American movie Freedom Writers.

Honors and awardsIn 1994, Gies was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as the Wallenberg Medal by the University of Michigan. The following year, Gies received the Yad Vashem medal. In 1997, she was knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. The minor planet 99949 Miepgies is named in her honor.
Miep Gies, Protector of Anne Frank, Dies at 100 By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN
Miep Gies, the last survivor among Anne Frank’s protectors and the woman who preserved the diary that endures as a testament to the human spirit in the face of unfathomable evil, died Monday night, the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam said. She was 100.

The British Broadcasting Corporation said Mrs. Gies suffered a fall late last month and died at a nursing home.

“I am not a hero,” Mrs. Gies wrote in her memoir, “Anne Frank Remembered,” published in 1987. “I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did and more — much more — during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the heart of those of us who bear witness.”

Mrs. Gies sought no accolades for joining with her husband and three others in hiding Anne Frank, her father, mother and older sister and four other Dutch Jews for 25 months in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. But she came to be viewed as a courageous figure when her role in sheltering Anne Frank was revealed with the publication of her memoir. She then traveled the world while in her 80s, speaking against intolerance. The West German government presented her with its highest civilian medal in 1989, and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands knighted her in 1996.

When the Gestapo raided the hiding place in the annex to Otto Frank’s business office on Aug. 4, 1944, and arrested its eight occupants, it left behind his daughter Anne’s diary and her writings on loose sheets of papers. The journals recounted life in those rooms behind a movable bookcase and the hopes of a girl on the brink of womanhood. Mrs. Gies gathered up those writings and hid them, unread, hoping that Anne would someday return to claim them.

But when Anne’s father, Otto Frank, returned to Amsterdam at the end of World War II, having been liberated from Auschwitz, he was the lone survivor of the family. Anne Frank had died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp three months before her 16th birthday. Her sister, Margot, died there at age 19 and their mother, Edith Frank, died at Auschwitz.

Mrs. Gies gave Anne’s writings to Mr. Frank, and they were first published in the Netherlands in 1947 in an abridged version. “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” has since been translated into dozens of languages in several editions, read by millions and adapted for the stage and screen, a voice representing the six million Jews killed by the Nazis.

But Mrs. Gies remained largely anonymous until an American writer, Alison Leslie Gold, persuaded her to tell her story and worked with her on “Anne Frank Remembered.”

Miep Gies was born Feb. 15, 1909, as Hermine Santrouschitz, a member of a Roman Catholic family in Vienna. When she was 11, she was sent to Leiden to be cared for by a Dutch family, being among the many Austrian children suffering from food shortages in the wake of World War I. She was given the Dutch nickname Miep and later adopted by the family.

When she was 13, the family moved to Amsterdam, and in 1933 she became a secretary to Otto Frank, who was overseeing the Dutch branch of a German company selling an ingredient for manufacturing jam. Mr. Frank had fled Hitler’s Germany, and he was soon joined by his wife and daughters.

Miep became a trusted employee and friend of the Frank family and joined in its alarm over the persecution of German Jews. In May 1940, the Netherlands fell in Germany’s invasion of the Low Countries. In July 1942, when thousands of Dutch Jews were being deported to concentration camps, the Frank family went into hiding in unused rooms above Mr. Frank’s office. He asked Mrs. Gies if she would help shelter them, and she unhesitatingly agreed.

The annex became a hiding place not only for the Franks but for three members of a family named van Pels — the father a business colleague of Mr. Frank’s — and Mrs. Gies’s dentist, Fritz Pfeffer.

Having married a Dutch social worker, Jan Gies, in 1941, Miep Gies joined with him and three other employees of Mr. Frank’s business in sheltering the eight Jews and caring for their daily needs. The protectors risked death if caught by the Nazis.

Mrs. Gies, while continuing to work for Mr. Frank’s business, which remained open under figurehead Christian management, played a central role in caring for the hidden. She found food for them, brought books and news of the outside world and provided emotional support, bringing Anne her first pair of high-heeled shoes and baking a holiday cake. On one occasion, Miep and Jan Gies (he is referred to in the diary as Henk, one of many pseudonyms Anne used) spent a night in the annex to experience the terror there for themselves.

At their apartment a short bicycle ride away, Mrs. Gies and her husband, a member of the Dutch resistance, hid an anti-Nazi university student.

When the Gestapo raided the hiding place — tipped off by someone unknown to this day — Mrs. Gies was working in the building. But one of the Nazi agents spared her from arrest, probably in light of their common Austrian heritage. Mrs. Gies later went to Gestapo headquarters in Amsterdam in a futile attempt to offer a bribe for the lives of the eight arrested Jews.

Mrs. Gies endured the “Hunger Winter” in the Netherlands during the war’s final months, then lived quietly in Amsterdam, a homemaker. But upon publication of her memoir, she began to travel widely as a living link to Anne Frank and spoke on the lessons of the Holocaust, often talking to schoolchildren who were reading Anne’s diary. A small woman — just a shade over 5 feet tall — whose hair had turned white, she bore a single remembrance of those days in the hiding place, a black onyx ring with a diamond in the center, worn on her left hand. It was a gift from Auguste von Pels, one of the doomed Jews she had sheltered.

Every Aug. 4, the anniversary of the raid on the annex, Miep and Jan Gies remained at their Amsterdam home. They withdrew from the world and reflected on the lost.

Mrs. Gies is survived by her son, Paul, and three grandchildren. Her husband died in 1993. The other three people who helped shelter the Frank family — Johannes Kleiman, Victor Kugler and Elisabeth Voskuijl — died earlier.

Otto Frank, who lived with Miep and Jan Gies for a time after the war, died in Basel, Switzerland, in 1980. The building housing the secret annex, at Prinsengracht 263, has become a museum.

In her diary entry on May 8, 1944, Anne Frank wrote how “we are never far from Miep’s thoughts.”

In her memoir, Mrs. Gies told of her emotions when she finally read the diary.

She wrote: “The emptiness in my heart was eased. So much had been lost, but now Anne’s voice would never be lost. My young friend had left a remarkable legacy to the world.

“But always, every day of my life, I’ve wished that things had been different. That even had Anne’s diary been lost to the world, Anne and the others might somehow have been saved.

“Not a day goes by that I do not grieve for them.”


Miep Gies, Anne Frank protector, dies at 100

Miep Gies, who ensured the diary of Anne Frank did not fall into the hands of Nazis after the teen's arrest, has died. She was 100.

Gies was among a team of Dutch citizens who hid the Frank family of four and four others in a secret annex in Amsterdam, Netherlands, during World War II, according to her official Web site, which announced her death Monday. She worked as a secretary for Anne Frank's father, Otto, in the front side of the same Prinsengracht building.

The family stayed in the secret room from July 1942 until August 4, 1944, when they were arrested by Gestapo and Dutch police after being betrayed by an informant. Two of Gies' team were arrested that day, but she and her friend, Bep Voskuijl, were left behind -- and found 14-year-old Anne's papers.

"And there Bep and I saw Anne's diary papers lying on the floor. I said, 'Pick them up!' Bep stood there staring, frozen. I said, 'Pick them up! Pick them up!' We were afraid, but we did out best to collect all the papers," Gies said in a 1998 interview with The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

"Then we went downstairs. And there we stood, Bep and I. I asked, 'What now, Bep?' She answered, 'You're the oldest. You hold on to them. So I did."

The girl had chronicled two years of the emotions and fears that gripped her during hiding, as well as candid thoughts on her family, her feelings for friend-in-hiding Peter van Pels, and dreams of being a professional writer. Mixed into the entries were the names of the Dutch helpers, who risked their lives to keep the family's secret.

"I didn't read Anne's diary papers. ... It's a good thing I didn't because if I had read them I would have had to burn them," she said in the 1998 interview. "Some of the information in them was dangerous."

The diary was sheltered in Gies' desk drawer and later turned over to Otto Frank when he returned after the war as the only surviving resident of the annex. Anne died at northern Germany's Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Her father published her diary, titled "The Secret Annex," in 1947.

Despite the legendary hardship she endured during the German occupation, Gies never embraced the label of a hero.

"More than 20,000 Dutch people helped to hide Jews and others in need of hiding during those years. I willingly did what I could to help. My husband did as well. It was not enough," she says in the prologue of her memoirs, "Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family."

"There is nothing special about me. I have never wanted special attention. I was only willing to do what was asked of me and what seemed necessary at the time."

Gies' husband, Jan, whom she married in 1941, died in 1993. The couple had a son together.






Thursday, January 6, 2011

Today is the 70th anniversary of President FDR's Four Freedoms







The Four Freedoms were goals articulated by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941. In an address known as the Four Freedoms speech (technically the 1941 State of the Union address), he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people "everywhere in the world" ought to enjoy:

1.Freedom of speech and expression
2.Freedom of worship
3.Freedom from want
4.Freedom from fear
His inclusion of the latter two freedoms went beyond the traditional US Constitutional values protected by its First Amendment, and endorsed a right to economic security and an internationalist view of foreign policy that have come to be central tenets of modern American liberalism. They also anticipated what would become known decades later as the "human security" paradigm in social science and economic development.

The DeclarationsThe speech delivered by President Roosevelt incorporated the following

“ In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way--everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

— Franklin D. Roosevelt, excerpted from the State of the Union Address to the Congress, January 6, 1941


The four freedoms flag or "United Nations Honor Flag" ca. 1943-1948[edit] United NationsThe concept of the Four Freedoms became part of the personal mission undertaken by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt regarding her inspiration behind the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, General Assembly Resolution 217A (1948). Indeed, these Four Freedoms were explicitly incorporated into the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which reads, "Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed the highest aspiration of the common people,...."

FDR called for "a world-wide reduction of armaments" as a goal for "the future days, which we seek to make secure" but one that was "attainable in our own time and generation." More immediately, though, he called for a massive build-up of U.S. arms production: "Every realist knows that the democratic way of life is at this moment being' directly assailed in every part of the world… The need of the moment is that our actions and our policy should be devoted primarily—almost exclusively—to meeting this foreign peril.

… [T]he immediate need is a swift and driving increase in our armament production. … I also ask this Congress for authority and for funds sufficient to manufacture additional munitions and war supplies of many kinds, to be turned over to those nations which are now in actual war with aggressor nations. … Let us say to the democracies: '…We shall send you, in ever-increasing numbers, ships, planes, tanks, guns. …'" - Franklin D. Roosevelt


Norman Rockwell’s paintings
The Four Freedoms:Freedom of Speech
The Four Freedoms:Freedom from WantPresident Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech inspired a set of four Four Freedoms paintings by Norman Rockwell. The four paintings were published in The Saturday Evening Post on February 20, February 27, March 6 and March 13 in 1943. The paintings were accompanied in the magazine by matching essays on the Four Freedoms. The most famous is Freedom from Fear.

The United States Department of the Treasury toured Rockwell’s Four Freedoms paintings around the country after their publication in 1943. The Four Freedoms Tour raised over $130,000,000 in war bond sales.

Rockwell's Four Freedoms paintings were also reproduced as postage stamps by the United States Post Office. Also, postage stamps of the Four Freedoms were issued in 1943 and in 1946.

The New Jersey muralist Michael Lenson (1903–72) likewise responded to Roosevelt’s speech in a pictorial way, painting a mural titled “The Four Freedoms” for the Fourteenth Street School in Newark, New Jersey.

Monument: FDR commissioned sculptor Walter Russell to design a monument to be dedicated to the first hero of the war. The Four Freedoms Monument was created in 1941, and was dedicated at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1943.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park:
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park was a park designed by the architect Louis Kahn for the south point of Roosevelt Island. The Park celebrates the famous speech and text from the speech is inscribed on a granite wall in the final design of the Park.

Awards: The Franklin D. Roosevelt Institute[4] honors outstanding individuals who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to these ideals. The Four Freedoms Award medals are awarded at ceremonies at Hyde Park, New York and Middelburg, Netherlands during alternate years. Among the laureates have been:

Liv Ullman
Paul Newman
Joanne Woodward
Harry S. Truman
John F. Kennedy
Jimmy Carter
Averell Harriman
Coretta Scott King
Elie Wiesel
Tip O'Neill
William Brennan
Mike Mansfield
H.R.H. Princess Juliana of the Netherlands
Václav Havel
Mikhail Gorbachev
The Dalai Lama
H.M. Juan Carlos of Spain
Shimon Peres
Brent Scowcroft
Bill Clinton
Use in popular culture:

John Crowley's 2009 novel The Four Freedoms is largely based on the themes of Roosevelt's speech.
In the game series Splinter Cell there are numerous references to the Four Freedoms, with the commanding officer of protagonist Sam Fisher, stating at one point, "this is four freedoms territory", indicating that the situation (in the game plot) has gotten so grave that one or more of the Four Freedoms are threatened. In the opening sequence of the first game, the Four Freedoms are displayed in text version as a splash screen at the opening of the game, with a fifth freedom added: The freedom to protect the other four—by any means necessary. It is this "fifth freedom" that the game's protagonist operates under.
Marvel Comics superhero team the Fantastic Four is based in the Four Freedoms Plaza building.

Florida International University's Wolfsonian museum hosted the Thoughts on Democracy exhibition that displayed posters created by sixty leading contemporary artists and designers, invited to create a new graphic design inspired by American illustrator Norman Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” posters of 1943.

Today is the feast day of Saint André Bessette



Saint André Bessette, CSC (August 9, 1845 – January 6, 1937), born Alfred Bessette and since his canonisation sometimes known as Saint André of Montreal, was a Holy Cross Brother and a significant figure of the Roman Catholic Church among French-Canadians, credited with thousands of reported miraculous healings. He was declared venerable in 1978 and was beatified in 1982. Pope Benedict XVI approved sainthood for Blessed André on February 19, 2010, with the formal canonization taking place on October 17, 2010.

BROTHER ANDRE—HIS LIFE AND TIMES—1845-1937
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alfred Bessette was born Aug. 9, 1845. At his birth he was so weak that his parents baptized him.
Alfred's father moved the family to Farnhan in 1849 where he hoped to lift them from poverty while working as a lumberman. He died five years later when he was crushed by a falling tree. Alfred was nine at the time.

His mother found herself widowed at 40 with 10 children in her care. Three years later she died of tuberculosis, having never fully recovered from the shock of her husband's death. Much later, Brother Andre was heard to say: "I rarely prayed for my mother, but I often prayed to her."

The family was dispersed. At age 12, Alfred was forced to leave school to learn a trade and to look for work. He began thirteen years of wandering from job to job with few belongings and very little reaming; he was barely able to write his name or read his prayer book.

In spite of his physical weakness, Alfred tried to make a living as an unskilled worker. He traveled from job to job as an apprentice and was easily exploited by those stronger than him. For a time, he worked on construction projects. Later, he made his living as a farm boy, tinsmith, blacksmith, baker, cobbler and coachman.

Following the flow of French-Canadian emigrants, he went to the United States and worked four years in the textile mills. Even in poor health, he put his whole heart into his work. "Despite my weak condition, I did not let anyone get ahead of me as far as work was concerned," he said later.

In 1867, he resumed to Canada with thousands of others who were to witness the dawn of the Canadian Confederation.

Three years later, Alfred presented himself as a candidate at the novitiate of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Montreal. Because of his uncertain health, his superiors had doubts concerning his religious vocation. Finally, he was accepted and given the name Brother Andre. He was made porter at Notre Dame college and was known to say: "When I entered the community, my superiors showed me the door, and I remained there 40 years without leaving." He also washed floors and windows, cleaned lamps, brought in firewood, and worked as messenger.

Soon Brother Andre started to welcome the sick and broken-hearted. He invited them to pray to St. Joseph to obtain favors. Before long, many people reported their prayers were being answered. For 25 years, in his small office or in the tramway station across the street from the college, Brother Andre spent six to eight hours a day receiving visitors. He built a chapel with the help of friends and with the money he earned giving haircuts to the students of the college. He was certain that St. Joseph wanted a place on the mountain and he spent his whole life preparing a beautiful shrine in the saint's honor.

In the meantime, there was talk of healings which doctors could not explain. Brother Andre began visiting the sick and earned the reputation of miracle-worker. But he strongly protested: "I am nothing ... only a tool in the hands of Providence, a lowly instrument at the service of St. Joseph." He went even further: "People are silly to think that I can perform miracles. It is God and St. Joseph who can heal you, not I."

His aloofness in the presence of strangers contrasted sharply with the carefree side he showed friends. He loved to tease. He would often say: "You must not be sad; it is good to laugh a little." Brother Andre was always cheerful and tried to communicate his happiness to others, especially to the poor and unfortunate. He used his sense of humor to share his joy and to slip some good advice into a conversation, or to change the subject when a verbal attack on someone was brewing.

He was a man of determination who refused to compromise his principles. His great respect for others was largely responsible for the respect others had for him. He was a very sensitive man. At times, he could be seen crying with the sick or being moved to tears after hearing a particularly sad story from one of his visitors.

During all these years, an immense project was being realized and larger crowds were swarming to the Oratory. The first small chapel had been erected in 1904, but it soon became too small to receive all the people who were coming to the mountain. The chapel was extended in 1908 and again in 1910. Still, a larger church was needed.

In 1917, a new crypt church, able to hold a thousand persons, was inaugurated. This, however, was only the starting point of an even more important endeavor. During his whole life, Brother Andre devoted his efforts to building the Oratory, which was to become the world's greatest sanctuary dedicated to St. Joseph.

And yet, Brother Andre never referred to "my project, my work". On the contrary, he said: "God chose the most ignorant one. If there was anyone more ignorant than I am, God would have chosen him instead of me."

When crowds came to the Oratory for important celebrations, Brother Andre would go into seclusion. He would hide behind the choir and pray quietly.

The economic crisis of 1931 forced the construction of the basilica to come to a standstill. In 1936, the authorities of the Congregation of Holy Cross called a special meeting to decide if the project should continue, especially since snow and frost threatened to damage the roofless structure. The provincial summoned Brother Andre for his opinion. The aging brother had only a few words for the assembly: "This is not my work, it is the work of St. Joseph. Put one of his statues in the middle of the building. If he wants a roof over his head, he'll take care of it."

Two months later, the congregation had the necessary funds to continue working on the construction.

Brother Andre assigned great importance to meeting and greeting people. He spent long hours in the office where thousands came to see him. In the evenings, he visited homes or hospitals accompanied by one of his friends.

In fact, he was so good-natured and put so much humor into these daily outings that some considered him to be an "old gadabout" who liked to travel around in a friend's car. But Brother Andre replied: "There are some who say that it is for pleasure that I visit the sick, but after a day's work, it is far from being for pleasure...."

His kindness and compassion were matched by a sharpness of mind which prompted him to say: "It is surprising that I am frequently asked for cures, but rarely for humility and the spirit of faith. Yet, they are so important...."

On another occasion he said: "If the soul is sick, one must begin by treating the soul." His often repeated questions were well known: "Do you have faith? Do you believe that God can do something for you? Go confess yourself to the priest, go to communion and then come back to see me." These were the words he used constantly when asked for favors and cures.

Brother Andre understood the sense and the value of suffering and spoke with depth when addressing the subject. "People who suffer have something to offer to God. When they succeed in enduring their suffering, that is a daily miracle."

To someone who was suffering, he said: "Do not seek to have these trials lifted from you. Instead, ask for the grace to bear them well."

There are people who still claim to have received the gift of healing from Brother Andre and yet he always denied that he had any gift of healing. "I have no gift and I cannot give any."

Generally, he encouraged people to see a doctor for treatment. To doctors, he said: "Your work is good. Your science was given to you by God. You must thank Him and pray to Him."

"God," he said, "is love and he loves us; that is the heart of the Christian faith."

"God gave us the commandments and it is in observing them that we show whether we love God. Pray that you may obtain a true love of God. God loves us so much. He wants us to love Him."

Brother Andre's way of speaking about God helped him succeed in sowing seeds of hope in the people he met. One of his friends said: "I never brought a sick person to Brother Andre without that person returning home enriched. Some were cured. Others died some time later, but Brother Andre had consoled them."

To live in God's house is heaven, Brother Andre said: "You know, it is permitted to desire death if one's unique goal is to go toward God. When I die, I will go to heaven, I will be much closer to God than I am now; I will have more power to help you."

A few months before his death, those around him heard him cry out, "I am suffering so much, my God! My God!" And then, in a very weak voice: "Here is the grain," as if referring to the Gospel ["Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But If it dies, it brings forth much fruit" (Jn 12, 24)].

"He spent his whole life speaking of others to God, and of God to others," said a friend of Brother Andre's. It is difficult to say at what point in his life work began and ended, and at what point prayer started and ended: the two seemed to flow so naturally one into the other. He died Jan. 6, 1937, at the age of 92, and newspapers reported that more than a million people attended his wake and burial.

His body lies today in a simple tomb in the beautiful basilica that rises gracefully on Mount Royal. To this day, thousands of visitors come to St. Joseph Basilica to receive physical and spiritual healing.

For the canonization of Brother Andre:

Lord, you have chosen Blessed Brother Andre to spread devotion to St. Joseph and to minister to all those who are afflicted. Through his intercession, grant us the favor that we are now requesting. . .

We also pray that the Church may canonize him as soon as possible. Grant us the grace to imitate his piety and his charity so that, with him, we may share the reward promised to all those who care for their neighbor because of their love for you.

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Amen.




Call to devotion:
Brother André (ca. 1920)The Pastor of his parish, Fr. André Provençal, noticed the devotion and generosity of the young man. He decided to present Alfred to the Congregation of Holy Cross in Montreal, writing a note to the superior, "I'm sending you a saint."

Although he was initially rejected by the order because of frail health, Archbishop Ignace Bourget of Montreal intervened on his behalf, and in 1872, Alfred was accepted, and entered the novitiate of the congregation, receiving the religious name of Brother André, by which he was known for the rest of his life. He made his final vows on February 2, 1874, at the age of 28.

André was given the task of porter (doorman) at Notre Dame College in Côte-des-Neiges, Quebec. He fulfilled this function for some forty years while at the same time doing innumerable odd jobs for the community. At the end of his life, he would joke that when he came, he was shown the door, and stayed for forty years. In addition to his duties as receptionist, his tasks included washing floors and windows, cleaning lamps, bringing in firewood and carrying messages.

His great confidence in Saint Joseph inspired him to recommend this saint's devotion to all those who were afflicted in various ways. On his many visits to the sick in their homes, he would recommend them in prayer to St. Joseph, and would anoint them lightly with oil from the lamp in the college chapel which always burned before the St. Joseph altar.

People claimed that they had been cured through the prayers of the good Brother and Saint Joseph, and they were grateful their prayers had been heard. Brother André steadfastly refused to take any credit for these cures, and, although usually a gentle man, he was known to become enraged at those who suggested that he possessed any healing powers. Because he wanted St. Joseph to be honored, in 1904 Bessette began the campaign to erect a chapel to honor the saint.

Brother André's reputation grew, and soon he was known as the miracle worker of Mount-Royal. He had to face the attacks and the criticism of numerous adversaries. He had the strong support, however, of the diocesan Church, and thousands of cures without apparent medical explanation made him the object of popular acclaim.

In 1924 construction of a basilica named Saint Joseph's Oratory, began on the side of the mountain, near Bessette's chapel.

Death and path to canonisation
He died in 1937, at the age of 91. A million people filed past his coffin.

The remains of Bessette lie in the church he helped build. His body lies in a tomb built below the Oratory's Main Chapel, except for his heart, which is preserved in a reliquary in the same Oratory. The heart was stolen in March 1973, but recovered in December 1974.

Brother André was beatified by Venerable Pope John Paul II on May 23, 1982. The miracle cited in support of his beatification was the healing in 1958 of Giuseppe Carlo Audino, who suffered from cancer.[citation needed] He is commemorated by an optional memorial on January 6.

On December 19, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a decree recognizing a second miracle at Blessed André's intercession.[11] and on October 17, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI formally declared sainthood for Blessed Andre. Along with Saint André, sainthood was also approved for Stanislaw Soltys, a 15th-century Polish priest; Italian nuns Giulia Salzano and Camilla Battista da Varano; Spanish nun Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola and an Australian nun, Mother Mary MacKillop.

400 years ago today the world lost Saint Juan de Ribera


Saint Juan de Ribera

Saint Juan de Ribera was born in the city of Seville, Spain, on March 20, 1532, and died in Valencia on January 6, 1611. Ribera was one of the most influential figures of his times, holding appointments as Archbishop and Viceroy of Valencia, patriarch of Antioch, Commander in Chief, president of the Audiencia, and Chancellor of the University of Valencia. He was beatified in 1796 and canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1960.

BiographyHis father was Pedro de Ribera, Viceroy of Naples and Duke of Alcala. He became an orphan from mother's side at a very young age.

Juan de Ribera studied at the University of Salamanca. Ordained as priest in 1557, Pope Pius IV appointed him Bishop of Badajoz on May 27, 1562, at the age of 30. There he dedicated himself to teaching the catechism to Roman Catholics and counteracting Protestantism. He was appointed as the Archbishop of Valencia on December 3, 1568. King Philip III of Spain later appointed him Viceroy of Valencia in 1602, and thus he became both the religious and the civil authority. In this role he founded the Museum of the Patriarch, known among Valencians as College of Saint John, entrusted to the formation of priests according to the spirit and the dispositions of the Council of Trent.

Expulsion of the Moriscos:
As Archbishop, Ribera dealt with the issue of Valencia's large morisco population, descendants of Muslims who converted to Christianity at threat of exile. The moriscos had been kept separate from the main population by a variety of decrees that prohibited them from holding public office, entering the priesthood, or taking certain other positions; as a result, the moriscos had maintained their own culture rather than assimilated. Some of them did, in fact, still practice forms of crypto-Islam in secret.

Ribera despised the moriscos as heretics and traitors, a dislike he shared with much of Valencia's Christian populace. With the Duke of Lerma, Ribera helped convince Philip III to at least expel the moriscos instead. Ribera helped sell the plan by noting that all the property of the moriscos could be impounded to provide money for the treasury.

In 1609, the expulsion of the moriscos from Spain was decreed. Ribera's original proposal was in fact more extreme: he favored enslaving the entire morisco population for work in galleys, mines, and abroad. Ribera said that Philip III could do so "without any scruples of conscience," but this proposal was rejected.

If the moriscos were to be expelled, Ribera favored enslaving and Christianizing at least the children of the moriscos "for the good of their souls" and exiling the parents. This was also rejected, though children under 16 years of age who wished to remain in Spain were allowed, an offer very few took.

Canonization:
Efforts to canonize Ribera, who himself had been active in attempting to canonize Ignatius of Loyola, began shortly after his death. Two concerns were raised about his possible sainthood: his failure to hold a provincial council as mandated by the Council of Trent, and his role in the expulsion of the Moriscos. His supporters played up Ribera's adherence to other parts of the Council of Trent, and tried to present the Moriscos as unconvertible ("[His conversion attempts] had no more effect on the moriscos as if they had been stones").

Still, efforts proceeded apace, with various admiring biographies (vidas) of Ribera being published. Ribera was beatified in 1796. In 1960, his canonization was completed under the auspices of Blessed Pope John XXIII.