Monday, May 30, 2011

580 Years ago today, Saint Joan of Arc received her martyrdom


Saint "Jeanne d'Arc" Joan of Arc :Thank You madam for being a great woman and a great saint. You are the patron saint of France! remembering you on this day after 580 years today! may you rest in peace and happy feast day!




The Feast Day of Joan of Arc
Roman Rite Calendar - 05/30
Tridentine Calendar - 05/30

Beatified
11 April 1905 by Pope Saint Pius X

Canonized
16 May 1920 by Pope Benedict XV


Following her execution, there were many who felt that Joan of Arc should not have been burned, but honored and made a saint for her communications with God, and her hand in leading the French to freedom from the English.

Sadly, it was not for several years until she was even cleared of the charges. In 1452, the process of clearing her name would begin, and during that same time the Church declared that a religious play made in her honor at Orleans would qualify as a pilgrimage.

This set the stage for the sainthood of Joan of Arc, and the creation of a Joan of Arc day, or St. Joan of Arc feast day to honor her. The push to make her a saint and create a Feast Day of Joan of Arc would gain some steam during the 16th century when Joan of Arc became a symbol of the Catholic League.

By 1849, Monsignor Felix Dupanloup, who was the Bishop of Orleans, made the attempt for Joan of Arc's beatification and a creation of a Joan of Arc Day, until his death in 1878. Sadly, he did not live to see how the process would turn out for Joan of Arc.

Joan of Arc would finally have her beatification in the year 1909, which would lead to the creation of a Feast of st. Joan of Arc. Her official canonization would happen on May 16, 1920, with the Joan of Arc Feast Day being set for May 30. Her canonization was performed by Pope Benedict XV at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. May 30 was chosen as the day for the Saint Joan of Arc Feast Day because it was the day she was burned at the stake. In all, 489 years passed between her death and her canonization, a notoriously long period of time for sainthood.

However, since the creation of the Feast Day of Joan of Arc and her sainthood, Joan of Arc has become one of the most popular saints in the history of the Catholic Church. Joan of Arc Festival or feast is celebrated on May 30th.







Saint Joan of Arc:

nicknamed The Maid of Orléans ''Jeanne d'Arc'', (January 6, 1412 – May 30, 1431) is considered a national heroine of France and a Catholic saint. A peasant girl born in eastern France who claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII. She was captured by the Burgundians, sold to the English, tried by an ecclesiastical court, and burned at the stake when she was 19 years old.

Twenty-five years after the execution, Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, pronounced her innocent and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She is – along with St. Denis, St. Martin of Tours, St. Louis IX, and St. Theresa of Lisieux – one of the patron saints of France.

Joan asserted that she had visions from God that instructed her to recover her homeland from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence when she overcame the dismissive attitude of veteran commanders and lifted the siege in only nine days. Several more swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims and settled the disputed succession to the throne.

Honored in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 18 April 1909, Notre Dame de Paris by Pope Pius X
Canonized 16 May 1920, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome by Pope Benedict XV
Feast 30 May
Patronage France ; martyrs; captives; military personnel; people ridiculed for their piety; prisoners; soldiers, women who have served in the WAVES (Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service)


Execution

Heresy was a capital crime only for a repeat offense. Joan agreed to wear feminine clothing when she abjured. A few days later she told a tribunal member that "a great English lord had entered her prison and tried to take her by force." She resumed male attire either as a defense against molestation or, in the testimony of Jean Massieu, because her dress had been stolen and she was left with nothing else to wear. In terms of doctrine, she had been safe to disguise herself as a page during her journey through enemy territory and she was safe to wear armor during battle.

The Chronique de la Pucelle states that it deterred molestation while she was camped in the field. Clergy who later testified at the posthumous rehabilitation trial affirmed that she continued to wear male clothing in prison to deter molestation and rape. Preservation of chastity was another justifiable reason for cross-dressing: her apparel would have slowed an assailant, and men would be less likely to think of her as a sex object in any case.

She referred the court to the Poitiers inquiry when questioned on the matter. The Poitiers record no longer survives but circumstances indicate the Poitiers clerics had approved her practice. In other words, she had a mission to do a man's work so it was fitting that she dress the part.

She also kept her hair cut short through her military campaigns and while in prison. Her supporters, such as the theologian Jean Gerson, defended her hairstyle, as did Inquisitor Brehal later during the Rehabilitation trial.Nonetheless, at the trial in 1431 she was condemned and sentenced to die.

Eyewitnesses described the scene of the execution by burning on 30 May 1431. Tied to a tall pillar in the Vieux-Marché in Rouen, she asked two of the clergy, Fr Martin Ladvenu and Fr Isambart de la Pierre, to hold a crucifix before her. A peasant also constructed a small cross which she put in the front of her dress.

After she expired, the English raked back the coals to expose her charred body so that no one could claim she had escaped alive, then burned the body twice more to reduce it to ashes and prevent any collection of relics. They cast her remains into the Seine. The executioner, Geoffroy Therage, later stated that he "...greatly feared to be damned.

Saint Joan of Arc, The Maid of Orleans (Jeanne d'Arc) is a recognized Saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Although she was excommunicated and burned at the stake by local officials in 1431, central church officials would later nullify her excommunication, declaring her a martyr unjustly executed for a secular vendetta. Her legend would grow from there, leading to her beatification in 1909 and her canonization in 1920.

Death and 15th centuryAs with other saints who were excommunicated or investigated by ecclesiastic courts, such as St. Athanasius, St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, Joan of Arc was put on trial by an Inquisitorial court. In Joan's case, the court was controlled by the English government in occupied northern France, leading to her burning at the stake at Rouen. When the French regained Rouen in 1449, a series of investigations were launched which led to a formal appeal run by the Inquisitor-General in 1455. She was declared innocent on July 7, 1456. The Inquisitor's summary of evidence for the case describes her as a martyr who had been executed by a court which was itself in violation of the Church's rules.

She had always been considered innocent by those of her own faction. The city of Orléans commemorated her death each year beginning in 1432, and from 1435 onward performed a religious play centered around her victories. The play represented her as a divinely sent saviour guided by angels.

In 1452, during one of the postwar investigations into her execution, Cardinal d'Estouteville declared that this religious play would merit qualification as a pilgrimage site by which attendees could gain an indulgence from sin.

Not long after the appeal, Pope Pius II wrote an approving piece about her in his memoirs.

16th century

During the 16th century, Joan of Arc was utilized as a symbol of the Catholic League, a group organized to fight against Protestantism during the Wars of Religion of that era.

19th century to present

Paradoxically, it was the publication of works by secular historians in the mid-19th century which seems to have sparked widespread public efforts to ask the Church to officially canonize her. Félix Dupanloup, Bishop of Orléans from 1849 to 1878, led the efforts which culminated in Joan of Arc's beatification in 1909, held in Notre Dame de Paris. During the subsequent fighting in France during World War I, Allied troops carried her image into battle with them. During one battle, French troops interpreted a German searchlight image projected onto low-lying clouds as an appearance by Joan, which greatly bolstered their morale.

Her canonization came on 16 May 1920. Over 30,000 people attended the ceremony in Rome, including 140 descendants of Joan of Arc's family. Pope Benedict XV presided over the rite, for which the interior of St. Peter's Basilica was richly decorated (Associated Press, 16 May 1920).


A commemorative medallion made in France at the time of Joan of Arc's beatification.
Her beatification approximately coincided with the French invention of the Janvier transfer engraving machine (also called a die engraving pantograph) which facilitates the creation of minted coins and commemorative medallions. This invention, together with the already well-established French sculptural tradition, added another element to Saint Joan's beatification: a series of well-made religious art medals featuring Saint Jeanne d'Arc with scenes from her life.

Popularity

Her feast day is 30 May. Although changes to the Church-wide calendar in 1968 moved many medieval European saints' days off the general calendar in order to make room for more non-Europeans, her feast day is still celebrated on many local and regional Church calendars, especially in France. Many Catholic churches around the globe have been named after her in the decades since her canonization.

She has become especially popular among Traditional Catholics, particularly in France - both because of her obvious connection to this country as well as the fact that the Traditional Catholic movement is strongest in France. This branch of Catholicism, which has refused to accept the changes made by the Second Vatican Council, has compared the 1988 excommunication of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (one of the founders of the Traditional Catholic movement) to Joan of Arc's excommunication by a corrupt pro-English Bishop in 1431. Traditional Catholic parishes sometimes perform plays in Joan of Arc's honor.


Novena to St. Joan of Arc
(say once a day for nine days)



Glorious St. Joan of Arc, filled with compassion for those who invoke you, with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I kneel at your feet and humbly beg you to take my present need under your special protection...(mention here).

Vouchsafe to recommend it to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace to one day meet God face to face and with you and Mary and all the angels and saints praise Him through all eternity.

O most powerful Saint Joan, do not let me lose my soul, but obtain for me the grace of winning my ways to heaven, forever and ever. Amen.

St. Joan of Arc Novena
(say once a day for nine days)

Opening prayer:

Eternal Father, you gave us Saint Joan of Arc through your infinite love and mercy for us. We humbly ask that you send down your Holy Spirit upon us, as Your Spirit is the intermediary by which the Word goes forth from your lips and reaches the ears of the faithful. Allow me to be a witness to your Son Jesus Christ just as St. Joan of Arc was. Oh, Jesus, grant me the courage to do your will, that I may be in one accord with our Father in Heaven. I thank you for the gift of your love, which I hope to one day fully understand.

Petition Prayer:

Say 19 Our Fathers, followed by "St. Joan of Arc, by your powerful intercession, hear and answer me."

When you finish, say the following prayer:

Saint Joan of Arc, patron of France, my patron saint, I ask you now to fight this battle with me by prayer, just as you led your troops to victory in battle. You, who were filled with the Holy Spirit and chosen by God, help me this day with the favor I ask [here say your intention]. Grant me by your divine and powerful intercession, the courage and strength I need to endure this constant fight. Oh St. Joan, help me to be victorious in the tasks God presents to me.

I thank you and ask you for your continuing protection of God's people.

Closing Prayer:

Sweet Saint Joan, plead for me before the throne of almighty God that I may be deemed worthy to be granted the request I have asked. Help me, Saint Joan, to be more like you in the attempt to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind. Through your guidance and prayer help me to be a truly devout and loving Christian, that I may both know and see the will of God. Help me now St. Joan, in my time of need. I ask that you may always be near me guiding me closer each day to Jesus. Thank you Saint Joan for having heard my prayer.

Amen.

Saint Joan of Arc Novena
(say once a day for nine days)

St. Joan of Arc,
Filled with compassion,
For those who invoke you,
Filled with love for those who suffer,
Heavily laden with the weight of my troubles,
I kneel at your feet and humbly beg you,
To take my present need,
Under your special protection.
(Mention your request here).

Grant to recommend it,
To the Blessed Virgin Mary,
And lay it before the throne of Jesus.
Cease not to intercede for me,
Until my request is granted.

Above all, obtain for me,
The grace to one day,
Meet God face to face,
And with you and Mary,
And all the angels and saints,
Praise Him through all eternity.
O most powerful Saint Joan,
Do not let me lose my soul,
But obtain for me the grace
Of winning my way to heaven,
Forever and ever. Amen.

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory Be…

(Repeat the prayer nine times.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

13 years ago today Barry Goldwater died



Senator Barry Morris Goldwater: I am reading a book about the 1964 presidential campaign, its truly impressive, I got the book in your home state of Arizona and its signed by the Author himself and a newspaper article about the review of it, thanks for a interestin life,Remembering you 13 years later, may you rest in peace!

Barry Morris Goldwater (January 2, 1909[1] – May 29, 1998) was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona (1953–1965, 1969–1987) and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr. Conservative".

Goldwater is the politician most often credited for sparking the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s. He also had a substantial impact on the libertarian movement.

Goldwater rejected the legacy of the New Deal and fought through the conservative coalition to defeat the New Deal coalition. He mobilized a large conservative constituency to win the hard-fought Republican primaries. Goldwater's right-wing campaign platform ultimately failed to gain the support of the electorate and he lost the 1964 presidential election to incumbent Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson by one of the largest landslides in history, bringing down many Republican candidates as well. The Johnson campaign and other critics painted him as a reactionary, while supporters praised his crusades against the Soviet Union, labor unions, and the welfare state. His defeat allowed Johnson and the Democrats in Congress to pass the Great Society programs, but the defeat of so many older Republicans in 1964 also cleared the way for a younger generation of American conservatives to mobilize. Goldwater was much less active as a national leader of conservatives after 1964; his supporters mostly rallied behind Ronald Reagan, who became governor of California in 1967 and the 40th President of the United States in 1981.

Goldwater returned to the Senate in 1969, and specialized in defense policy, bringing to the table his experience as a senior officer in the Air Force Reserve. His greatest accomplishment was arguably the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, which restructured the higher levels of the Pentagon by increasing the power of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to direct military action. In 1974, as an elder statesman of the party, Goldwater successfully urged President Richard Nixon to resign when evidence of a cover-up in the Watergate scandal became overwhelming and impeachment was imminent. By the 1980s, the increasing influence of the Christian right on the Republican Party so conflicted with Goldwater's libertarian views that he became a vocal opponent of the religious right on issues such as gay rights and the role of religion in public life.

Death:
Goldwater's public appearances ended in late 1996 after he suffered a massive stroke; family members then disclosed he was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. He died on May 29, 1998, at the age of 89 at his long-time home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, of complications from the stroke.[73] His ashes were buried at the Episcopal Christ Church of the Ascension in Paradise Valley, Arizona. A memorial statue set in a small park has been erected to honor the memory of Goldwater in that town, near his former home and current resting place

Happy 94th birthday to President John F Kennedy




John Fitzgerald Kennedy: today would have been your 94th birthday. Happy Birthday, Mister President. You will always be considered a great leader. You will be truly missed. Thanks for creating the stepping stone for all Catholics to reach high standards!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Today is the 100th birthday of Vice President Hubert Humphrey

Hubert Horatio Humphrey: thanks for serving as vice-president under Lyndon Baines Johnson 1964-1969. Remembering you today, happy 100th birthday!







Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. (May 27, 1911 – January 13, 1978), served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Americans for Democratic Action. He also served as Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1945–1949. In 1968, Humphrey was the nominee of the Democratic Party in the 1968 presidential election but lost to the Republican nominee, Richard Nixon.

The Vice Presidency (1965-1969)
Humphrey took office on January 20, 1965. As Vice President, Humphrey was controversial for his complete and vocal loyalty to Johnson and the policies of the Johnson Administration, even as many of Humphrey's liberal admirers opposed Johnson with increasing fervor with respect to Johnson's policies during the war in Vietnam. Many of Humphrey's liberal friends and allies over the years abandoned him because of his refusal to publicly criticize Johnson's Vietnam War policies. Humphrey's critics later learned that Johnson had threatened Humphrey —- Johnson told Humphrey that if he publicly opposed his Administration's Vietnam War policy, he would destroy Humphrey's chances to become President by opposing his nomination at the next Democratic Convention. However, Humphrey's critics were vocal and persistent: even his nickname, the Happy Warrior, was used against him. The nickname referred not to his military hawkishness but rather to his crusading for social welfare and civil rights programs.


While he was Vice President, Hubert Humphrey was the subject of a satirical song by songwriter/musician Tom Lehrer entitled "Whatever Became of Hubert?" The song addressed how some liberals and progressives felt let down by Humphrey, who had become a much more mute figure as Vice President than he had been as a senator. The song goes "Whatever became of Hubert? Has anyone heard a thing? Once he shone on his own, now he sits home alone and waits for the phone to ring. Once a fiery liberal spirit, ah, but now when he speaks he must clear it. ..."

During these years Humphrey was a repeated and favorite guest of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. He also struck up a friendship with Frank Sinatra that would endure Sinatra's early 1970s conversion to the Republican party and was perhaps most on notice in the fall of 1977 when Sinatra was the star attraction and host of a tribute to a then-ailing Humphrey. He also appeared on a Dean Martin celebrity roast in 1973.


America’s Forgotten LiberalBy RICK PERLSTEIN
Chicago

JANUARY was the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth, and the planet nearly stopped turning on its axis to recognize the occasion. Today is the 100th anniversary of Hubert H. Humphrey’s birth, and no one besides me seems to have noticed.

That such a central figure in American history is largely ignored today is sad. But his diminution is also, more importantly, an impediment to understanding our current malaise as a nation, and how much better things might have been had today’s America turned out less Reaganite and more Humphreyish.

Our forgotten man was born in eastern South Dakota to a pharmacist, a trade the son took over after the family moved to Minnesota. That biographical fact was the source for the derisive title of a 1968 biography, “The Drugstore Liberal” — that is to say, like a “drugstore cowboy,” a small-timer, not really a liberal at all, at a time, quite unlike our own, when a liberal reputation was a prerequisite for the Democratic presidential nomination. The unfairness was evident only in retrospect.

Humphrey made his national political debut in 1948 when, as mayor of Minneapolis and a candidate for Senate, he headed the Minnesota delegation to the Democratic National Convention. There he led a faction insisting the platform include a federal fair employment commission, a controversial goal of the civil rights movement.

Segregationist Southerners threatened to walk out, a move that could have paralyzed the entire fragile Democratic coalition and handed the White House to the Republicans. The Democrats’ first presidential defeat in 20 years might have been laid at the feet of this ambitious 37-year-old.

Humphrey could have been excused for quietly backing down. Instead, the man who had earned the nickname the Happy Warrior gave one of the greatest speeches in American political history.

“To those who say this civil rights program is an infringement on states’ rights,” he thundered from the convention podium, “I say this: The time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states’ rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.”

The motion carried. The Southerners walked out and ran Strom Thurmond for president. When Harry S. Truman won nonetheless, Democrats were on their way to becoming the party of civil rights. Hubert Humphrey catalyzed that change.

He joined the Senate as a tireless champion of expanding the New Deal, but the exigencies of power were not kind to his liberal reputation. In June 1964 he was instrumental in passing the landmark Civil Rights Act. That August, however, President Lyndon B. Johnson turned to Humphrey to broker another deal at a Democratic convention, this time playing the opposite role: selling out a group of Mississippi civil rights activists who had hoped to be seated as delegates instead of the racist “regular” Democrats.

It was part of Johnson’s condition for making him his running mate: he wanted someone who would do what he said without question. Soon Vice President Humphrey was the spokesman for the president’s unwise war in Vietnam. He took to the role partly out of loyalty, partly out of conviction: to a certain sort of old-line liberal like him, Vietnam was a crusade against imperialist expansionism. To younger “New Politics” Democrats, however, the war embodied the very opposite: a racist assault by an administration that was itself practically imperialist.

It was Humphrey’s misfortune to inherit the presidential nomination in 1968, with the Democratic Party split down the middle between these factions — a tragedy sealed in blood, after Humphrey’s faction won the convention, in the streets of Chicago; and at the ballot box, with Humphrey’s agonizingly close loss to Richard M. Nixon in the general election.

The defeat came in part thanks to his refusal to denounce the disastrous war in a forthright and timely fashion, and in part thanks to the abandonment of the ticket by the New Politics liberals who called him a warmonger (often, heckling him on the campaign trail, to his face).

Was Humphrey really as hawkish as all that? Johnson didn’t think so; he actually preferred that Nixon win the election. He didn’t trust Humphrey to hold firm on the war.

Poor Humphrey could never catch a break. Resolutely committed to quiet coalition-building at a time when ideological self-righteousness was the new normal, resolutely unhip at a time when political hipness was at a premium, he was now not just a loser but an embarrassment. He came in second place for the 1972 nomination; the victor, the self-righteous but significantly more hip George S. McGovern, then came in a distant second to Nixon.

In the book by which many would remember that election, Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72,” each mention of Humphrey drips with mocking vituperation. Here, then, to many, is the Humphrey of history: an also-ran, a sellout, a joke.

For progressives today, however, the joke’s on us. In the 1970s the Democratic Party turned its focus from a New Deal-inspired politics of economic security toward a Watergate-inspired embrace of institutional reform. The move was explicitly anti-you-know-who: “We’re not a bunch of little Hubert Humphreys,” proclaimed Gary Hart, the leader of the “Watergate Babies” Democratic Congressional class of 1974.

Their reforms, however, largely failed in their intention to liberalize the nation. Conservatives and business interests were able to bend the new campaign finance rules and Congressional committee systems to their own ends. That, in turn, helped bring about what Paul Krugman calls the “Great Divergence”: the economic inequality that has made a mockery of ordinary Americans’ aspirations to join and stay in the middle class.

The trends were already in evidence during the presidential season of 1976. The only thing missing was any organized Democratic response among the candidates — besides, that is, Hubert Humphrey, who was once more an also-ran for the Democratic nomination.

Instead Humphrey, who had re-entered the Senate in 1971, spent the rest of the decade doggedly devising legislative solutions to the Great Divergence. His Balanced Growth and Economic Planning Act, introduced in May 1975, when unemployment was at a post-Depression high of 9 percent, proposed a sort of domestic World Bank to route capital to job creators. (It spoke to his conviction, in a knee-jerk, anti-corporate age, that pro-labor and pro-business policies were complementary.)

And at a time when other liberals were besotted with affirmative action as a strategy to undo the cruel injustices of American history, Humphrey pointed out that race-based remedies could only prove divisive when good jobs were disappearing for everyone. Liberal policy, he said, must stress “common denominators — mutual needs, mutual wants, common hopes, the same fears.”

In 1976 he joined Representative Augustus Hawkins, a Democrat from the Watts section of Los Angeles, to introduce a bill requiring the government, especially the Federal Reserve, to keep unemployment below 3 percent — and if that failed, to provide emergency government jobs to the unemployed.

It sounds heretical now. But this newspaper endorsed it then, while 70 percent of Americans believed the government should offer jobs to everyone who wanted one. However, Jimmy Carter — a new kind of Democrat answering to a new upper-middle-class, suburban constituency, embarrassed by industrial unions and enamored with the alleged magic of the market — did not.

“Government cannot eliminate poverty or provide a bountiful economy or reduce inflation or save our cities or cure illiteracy or provide energy,” President Carter said in his 1978 State of the Union address, a generation before Bill Clinton said almost the same thing, cementing the Democrats’ ambivalent retreat from New Deal-based government activism.

Mr. Carter saw to it that only a toothless Humphrey-Hawkins law passed — one that made fighting inflation the government’s implicit policy goal while the toll of high unemployment was given much lower priority.

Hubert Humphrey died of cancer on Jan. 13, 1978, a Happy Warrior to the end. “Sometimes I felt discouraged,” his wife, Muriel, recalled, “but Hubert never did.”

Argue against his supposed heresies if you will. But the post-1970s deregulatory consensus that replaced them, embodied as much by Reagan then as Robert E. Rubin today, has hardly done a great job either. With unemployment once again at 9 percent, inflation minimal, corporate profits at record levels even in the face of criminal perfidy by bankers, the trade deficit at $48.2 billion and racial resentment running as high as ever, shouldn’t we perhaps spare a thought, on Hubert Humphrey’s 100th birthday, for his road not taken?

Rick Perlstein is the author of “Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America.”

Happy 100th birthday to Vincent Price!



Vincent Price: A ghoulish actor, I truly admire your acting in all of the movies that you were in. remembering you today, happy 100th birthday!

Vincent Leonard Price, Jr. (May 27, 1911 – October 25, 1993) was an American actor, well known for his distinctive voice and serio-comic attitude in a series of horror films made in the latter part of his career.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Remembering a great politican after 5 years

this is his official portait as the nation's 69th Secretary of Treasury 1993-1994

Vice Presidential Debate 1988: Quayle stated that he had as much political experience as John F. Kennedy had when he ran for the presidency. Bentsen retorted, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." Quayle responded by saying, "That was really uncalled for, Senator." Bentsen responded, "You're the one that was making the comparison, Senator


President Bill Clinton awarded Bentsen the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the nation's highest honors given to civilians.

Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr:Sir its been a pleasure hearing you speak during your campaign for vice-president in 1988 and thank you for being a interesting secteratary of treasury under Clinton and helping John Kerry in 2004 for the presidency, thanks your great work,Remembering you 5 years later, may you rest in peace!


Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr. (February 11, 1921 – May 23, 2006) was a four-term United States senator (1971 until 1993) from Texas and the Democratic Party nominee for Vice President in 1988 on the Michael Dukakis ticket. He also served in the House of Representatives from 1949 to 1955. In his later political life, he was Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the U.S. Treasury Secretary during the first two years of the Clinton administration.

1988 Vice Presidential candidate

Bentsen was on Walter Mondale's short list of seven or eight possible vice presidential candidates in 1984 and was the only southerner and one of three white males considered. In the end, Mondale chose New York U.S. Representative Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate.

In 1988 Governor Michael Dukakis (Massachusetts) chose Bentsen to be his running mate in that year's presidential election, beating out Ohio Senator John Glenn who was considered the early favorite. Bentsen was selected in large part to secure the state of Texas and its electoral vote for the Democrats, even with fellow Texan George H. W. Bush at the top of the Republican ticket. Because of Bentsen's status as something of an elder statesman who was more experienced in electoral politics, many believed Dukakis's selection of Bentsen as his running mate was a mistake in that Bentsen, number two on the ticket, appeared more presidential than did Dukakis. One elector in West Virginia even cast a ballot for him rather than Dukakis, giving Bentsen one electoral vote for President.

Bentsen was responsible for one of the most memorable moments of the campaign during his televised debate with Republican vice presidential nominee Dan Quayle. Quayle stated that he had as much political experience as John F. Kennedy had when he ran for the presidency. Bentsen retorted, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." Quayle responded by saying, "That was really uncalled for, Senator." Bentsen responded, "You're the one that was making the comparison, Senator."

Peter Goldman and Tom Mathews wrote in The Quest for the Presidency 1988 that Bentsen "was the forgotten man" of the campaign until the exchange with Quayle. Thereafter, his "gray solidarity" was "made luminescent by the pallor of the other three men. However, there have been questions raised as to how well Bentsen really knew Kennedy. Some have claimed they only had a nodding acquaintance. "

The Dukakis-Bentsen ticket lost the election. Bentsen was unable to swing his home state, with 43 percent of the Texas vote going for the Dukakis ticket while Bush and Quayle took 56 percent, despite the fact that Bentsen was simultaneously re-elected to the United States Senate with 59 percent of the vote.

Bentsen considered running for president in 1992, but he, along with many other Democrats, backed out because of Bush's apparent popularity following the successful Gulf War. (Bush ended up losing the election to Bill Clinton).


Secretary of the Treasury
Bentsen resigned from the Senate in January 1993 to serve as the 69th Secretary of the Treasury under Clinton from 1993 to 1994. Clinton's selection of Bentsen for his Cabinet was well-received in Congress and on Wall Street. However, it was criticized by some Democrats after a Republican, Kay Bailey Hutchison, won the special election in June 1993 for the year and a half left in Bentsen's term.

As a Senator, Bentsen had been a staunch advocate of reducing federal budget deficits. As Secretary of the Treasury, he was a principle architect and chief spokesman for Clinton's first budget which led to the economic expansion and falling deficits of the 1990s. He helped win crucial Republican votes to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Bentsen also was pivotal in winning passage of the 1994 crime bill which banned assault rifles.

After the resignation of Les Aspin in early 1994, Bentsen was seriously considered for the position of Secretary of Defense. This prospect, however, did not materialize and William Perry, then Deputy Secretary of Defense, was chosen to succeed Aspin.

In early December 1994, Bentsen announced his resignation as Secretary of the Treasury. Before election day he had discussed with President Clinton that he was not prepared to stay in office until 1996. He was succeeded in the position by Robert Rubin.

Later life and death

In 1998, Bentsen suffered two strokes, which left him needing a wheelchair for mobility. In 1999 President Clinton awarded Bentsen the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the nation's highest honors given to civilians. He appeared in the summer of 2004 at the portrait unveilings at the White House of former President Bill Clinton and former First Lady Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Bentsen died on May 23, 2006, at his home in Houston at the age of 85. He was survived by his wife, the former Beryl Ann Longino, three children, and six grandchildren. His funeral was held on May 30 at the First Presbyterian Church of Houston (where Bentsen and his wife had been members for many years) and is interred there in Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery. Former president Bill Clinton, who was a close friend of Bentsen's, delivered a eulogy.

Legacy:

As a freshman Senator, Bentsen guided to passage the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a long-stalled pension reform bill providing federal protections for the pensions of American workers. He also championed the creation of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), legislation improving access to health care for low income women and children, and tax incentives for independent oil and gas producers to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

As a primary architect of the Clinton economic plan, Bentsen contributed to a $500 billion reduction in the deficit, launching the longest period of economic growth since World War II. More than 5 million new jobs were created during his tenure as Secretary. The Clinton plan also helped the United States regain credibility and leadership among the other industrialized nations.

In recognition of his success in addressing a large shortfall in federal highway funding for Texas, two hundred seventy miles of U.S. Highway 59, from I-35 to I-45 in Texas (between Laredo and Houston, respectively), is officially named Senator Lloyd Bentsen Highway.

His legacy also includes many water, wastewater and other infrastructure projects in the impoverished Colonia of south Texas, the preservation of natural areas across the state, and major funding for medical facilities too numerous to list.

Bentsen's family continues to be active in politics. His nephew, Ken Bentsen, Jr., was a U.S. Representative (D) from 1995 to 2003 in Texas's 25th District, and a U.S. Senate candidate in 2002. His grandson, Lloyd Bentsen IV, served on John Kerry's advance staff during Kerry's 2004 campaign for the presidency of the United States.

He is also known for inventing the term astroturfing.

On January 22, 2009, the opening ceremony of the Senator Lloyd and B.A. Bentsen Stroke Research Center officially commenced in the Fayez S. Sarofim Research Build in the medical district of Houston, TX as part of the University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston. Notable speakers included Dr. Cheng Chi Lee and Houston Mayor Bill White.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

13 years ago the world lost Frank Sinatra



"Uncle" Frank Albert Sinatra, my family misses you on this day of your death, you were truly my favorite singer, I admire you work in the film world and the music world! you were truly a great signer and actor!Remembering you 13 years later, may yo rest in peace!




Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra

(December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and actor.

Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became a successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, being the idol of the "bobby soxers". His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1954 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (for his performance in From Here to Eternity).

He signed with Capitol Records and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin' Lovers, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records (finding success with albums such as Ring-A-Ding-Ding, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, was a founding member of the Rat Pack and fraternized with celebrities and statesmen, including John F. Kennedy. Sinatra turned 50 in 1965, recorded the retrospective September of My Years, starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with "Strangers in the Night" and "My Way".

With sales of his music dwindling and after appearing in several poorly received films, Sinatra retired for the first time in 1971. Two years later, however, he came out of retirement and in 1973 recorded several albums, scoring a Top 40 hit with "(Theme From) New York, New York" in 1980. Using his Las Vegas shows as a home base, he toured both within the United States and internationally, until a short time before his death in 1998.

Sinatra also forged a successful career as a film actor, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity, a nomination for Best Actor for The Man with the Golden Arm, and critical acclaim for his performance in The Manchurian Candidate. He also starred in such musicals as High Society, Pal Joey, Guys and Dolls and On the Town. Sinatra was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.


Death:

Sinatra began to show signs of senility in his last years and after a heart attack in February 1997, he made no further public appearances. After suffering another heart attack, he died at 10:50 pm on May 14, 1998 at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, with his wife Barbara by his side.

He was 82 years old. Sinatra's final words, spoken after Barbara encouraged him to "fight" as attempts were made to stabilize him, were "I'm losing". The official cause of death was listed as complications from senility, heart and kidney disease, and bladder cancer. His death was confirmed by the Sinatra family on their website with a statement accompanied by a recording of the singer's version of "Softly As I Leave You". The next night the lights on the Las Vegas Strip were dimmed for 10 minutes in his honor.

President Bill Clinton, as an amateur saxophonist and musician, led the world's tributes to Sinatra, saying that after meeting and getting to know the singer as President, he had "come to appreciate on a personal level what millions of people had appreciated from afar". Elton John stated that Sinatra, "was simply the best - no one else even comes close".

In a concert live in Ephesus, John tells the audience of an experience which he explains as "one of the most special moments for me as a songwriter", when he went to the Royal Albert Hall in London and seeing Frank Sinatra who sang John's 1976 hit, "Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word".

On May 20, 1998 at the Roman Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd (Beverly Hills) in Beverly Hills, Sinatra's funeral was held, with 400 mourners in attendance and hundreds of fans outside.

Gregory Peck, Tony Bennett, and Frank, Jr., addressed the mourners, among whom were Jill St. John, Tom Selleck, Joey Bishop, Faye Dunaway, Tony Curtis, Liza Minnelli, Kirk Douglas, Robert Wagner, Bob Dylan, Don Rickles, Nancy Reagan, Angie Dickinson, Sophia Loren, Bob Newhart, Mia Farrow, and Jack Nicholson.

A private ceremony was held later that day at St. Theresa's Catholic Church in Palm Springs. Sinatra was buried following the ceremony next to his parents in section B-8 of Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, a quiet cemetery on Ramon Road where Cathedral City meets Rancho Mirage and near his compound, located on Rancho Mirage's tree-lined Frank Sinatra Drive. His close friends, Jilly Rizzo and Jimmy Van Heusen, are buried nearby in the same cemetery.

The words "The Best Is Yet to Come" are imprinted on Sinatra's grave marker

Friday, May 13, 2011

30 years ago today Blessed Pope John Paul II got shot

The New York Times Headline on May 14 1981, the day after the assassination attempt on Blessed Pope John Paul II.



Remembering you on this day, the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima, especially on this day after the 30th year anniversary of the event that almost changed the world, thank you for being a great Pope!


30th anniversary of assassination attempt on Blessed Pope John Paul II

Third Secret of Our Lady of Fatima
The third secret, a vision of the death of the Pope and other religious figures, was transcribed by the Bishop of Leiria and reads:

"After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!' And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, Religious men and women going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, Religious men and women, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God."

Controversy around the Third Secret

The Vatican withheld the Third Secret until 26 June 2000, despite Lúcia's declaration that it could be released to the public after 1960. Some sources, including Canon Barthas and Cardinal Ottaviani, said that Lúcia insisted to them it must be released by 1960, saying that, "by that time, it will be more clearly understood", and, "because the Blessed Virgin wishes it so." When 1960 arrived, rather than releasing the Third Secret, the Vatican published an official press release stating that it was "most probable the Secret would remain, forever, under absolute seal." After this announcement, immense speculation over the content of the secret materialized. According to the New York Times, speculation over the content of the secret ranged from "worldwide nuclear annihilation to deep rifts in the Roman Catholic Church that lead to rival papacies."

Some sources claim that the four-page, handwritten text of the Third Secret released by the Vatican in the year 2000 is not the real secret, or at least not the full secret. In particular, it is alleged that Cardinals Bertone, Ratzinger and Sodano engaged in a systematic deception to cover-up the existence of a one-page document containing the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which some believe contains information about the Apocalypse and a great apostasy. These sources contend that the Third Secret actually comprises two texts, where one of these texts is the published four-page vision, and the other is a single-page letter allegedly containing the words of the Virgin Mary which has been concealed.[36][37][38] The content of two of these books, The Devil's Final Battle by Father Paul Kramer, and The Secret Still Hidden by Christopher Ferrara, are available online.

The Vatican has maintained its position that the full text of the Third Secret was published in June 2000. According to a December 2001 Vatican press release (subsequently published in L'Osservatore Romano), Lucia told then Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone in an interview that the secret had been completely revealed and published - that no secrets remained. Bertone, along with Cardinal Ratzinger, co-authored The Message of Fatima, the document published in June 2000 by the Vatican that allegedly contains a scanned copy of the original text of the Third Secret.

During his apostolic visit to Portugal between 11 and 14 May 2010 on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto, Pope Benedict XVI explained in a rare conversation with reporters that the interpretation of the third secret did not stop with the interpretation of a prediction of the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter's Square in 1981.


Thirty years after the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul, “the time has come to attempt an historical assessment” of the event, according L’Osservatore Romano--“not only for its significance in the history of the 20th century, but especially its significance in the history of the Church and more generally in salvation history.”

“The unresolved mystery of who ordered the assassination attempt--the solution to which, as [Blessed John Paul] wrote in his testament, was before everyone’s eyes--and the evident intervention of a miraculous nature which caused the deflection of the shots fired by a very skilled killer just steps away from his target, and the subsequent saving of the Pope, have given this event a strong spiritual significance,” writes Lucetta Scaraffia. “A significance confirmed also by the coincidence of the date with the first apparition of the Virgin of Fatima, in 1917, whose message was dedicated to the 20th century and in particular to the rise of Communism.”

Scaraffia added:


The Marian intervention could not but confirm a certainty for Christians: even if the forces of evil are powerful and dangerous, they will not prevail. This interpretation on the one hand attributed the negative forces in play to more than just a specific group and on the other hand, opened hearts to hope by lifting the assassination attempt from an apparent historical contingency and placing it in the history of salvation. In this way, the battle that the Pope was combating could become even more the battle of all Christians. And the call which he repeated more than once to be not afraid and to open the doors wide to Christ, thanks to his example, became something that all could follow, not just the most conscientious and courageous elite.




Pope John Paul II assassination attempt
The first attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II took place on Wednesday, May 13, 1981, in St. Peter's Square at Vatican City. The Pope was shot and critically wounded by Mehmet Ali Ağca, a trained sniper from Turkey, while he was entering the square. The Pope was struck 4 times, and suffered severe blood loss. Ağca was apprehended immediately, and later sentenced to life in prison by an Italian court. The Pope later forgave Ağca for the assassination attempt.

Attempted assassination of the Pope
The site of the shooting is marked by a small marble tablet bearing John Paul's papal coat of arms and the date in Roman numerals.
Beginning in August 1980 Ağca, under the alias of Vilperi, began criss-crossing the Mediterranean region, changing passports and identities, perhaps to hide his point of origin in Sofia, Bulgaria. He entered Rome on May 10, 1981, coming by train from Milan.

According to Ağca's later testimony, he met with three accomplices in Rome, one a fellow Turk and two Bulgarians, with operation being commanded by Zilo Vassilev, the Bulgarian military attaché in Italy. He said that he was assigned this mission by Turkish mafioso Bekir Çelenk in Bulgaria.

According to Ağca, the plan was for him and the back-up gunman Oral Çelik to open fire on the pope in St. Peter's Square and escape to the Bulgarian embassy under the cover of the panic generated by a small explosion. On May 13 they sat in the square, writing postcards waiting for the Pope to arrive. When the Pope passed, Ağca fired several shots[2] with a Browning Hi-Power semi-automatic pistol, and critically wounded him, but was grabbed by Vatican security chief Camillo Cibin,[3] a nun, and several spectators who prevented him from either firing more shots or escaping. Four bullets hit John Paul II, two of them lodging in his lower intestine, the others hitting his left hand and right arm. Two bystanders were also hit by stray assassin's bullets; Ann Odre, of Buffalo, New York, was struck in the chest while Rose Hill, of Jamaica, was slightly wounded in the arm. Çelik panicked and fled without setting off his bomb or opening fire.

The Pope, who lost nearly three-quarters of his blood and thus suffered shock from near-exsanguination, underwent five hours of emergency intestinal surgery—which required transfusions and a temporary colostomy—at the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic. Upon encountering the Pope in Rome's Rebibbia Prison for the first time following the attempt, Ağca asked him how he had survived.

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima

Sr Lucia De Jesus Dos Santos with Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco Marto


Our Lady of Fátima

(Portuguese: Nossa Senhora de Fátima)is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary with respect to reported apparitions of her to three shepherd children at Fátima in Portugal on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May 13. The three children were Lúcia Santos and her cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto. The title of Our Lady of the Rosary is also sometimes used in reference to the same apparition (although it was first used in 1208 for the reported apparition in the church of Prouille), because the children related that the apparition specifically identified herself as the "Lady of the Rosary". It is also common to see a combination of these titles, i.e. Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima (Portuguese: Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima). The events at Fatima gained particular fame due to their elements of prophecy and eschatology, particularly with regard to possible world war and the conversion of Russia. The reported apparitions at Fatima were officially declared "worthy of belief" by the Catholic Church.

PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF FATIMA
O Most Holy Virgin Mary,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
you were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima
and reveal a glorious message.
We implore you,
inspire in our hearts a fervent love
for the recitation of the Rosary.
By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption
that are recalled therein
may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask,
through the merits of Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Redeemer.



On 13 May 1917, ten year old Lúcia Santos and her younger cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto, were looking at sheep at a location known as the Cova da Iria near their home village of Fátima in Portugal. Lúcia described seeing a woman "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun." Further appearances are reported to have taken place on the thirteenth day of the month in June and July.

In these, the woman exhorted the children to do penance and Acts of Reparation, and to make sacrifices to save sinners. The children subsequently wore tight cords around their waists to cause pain, performed self-flagellation using stinging nettles, abstained from drinking water on hot days, and performed other works of penance and mortification of the flesh.

Most important, Lúcia said that the lady had asked them to pray the rosary every day, repeating many times that the rosary was the key to personal and world peace. This had particular resonance since many Portuguese men, including relatives of the visionaries, were then fighting in World War I. According to Lúcia's account, in the course of her appearances, the woman confided to the children three secrets, now known as the Three Secrets of Fátima.

Thousands of people flocked to Fátima and Aljustrel in the ensuing months, drawn by reports of visions and miracles. On 13 August 1917, the provincial administrator and anticlerical Freemason, Artur Santos (no relation), believing that the events were politically disruptive, intercepted and jailed the children before they could reach the Cova da Iria that day. Prisoners held with them in the provincial jail later testified that the children, while upset, were first consoled by the inmates, and later led them in praying the rosary.

The administrator interrogated the children and unsuccessfully attempted to get them to divulge the content of the secrets. In the process, he tried to convince the children that he would boil them one by one in a pot of oil unless they confessed. The children, however, resisted. That month, instead of the usual apparition in the Cova da Iria on the 13th, the children reported that they saw the Virgin Mary on 19 August at nearby Valinhos.



First two secrets
The first secret was a vision of Hell, which Lúcia describes in her Third Memoir, as follows:

"Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror."


The second secret included Mary's instructions on how to save souls from Hell and convert the world to the Christian faith, also revealed by Lúcia in her Third Memoir:

"You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.



Fate of the three children

Lúcia reported seeing the Virgin Mary again in 1925 at the Dorothean convent at Pontevedra, Galicia (Spain). This time she said she was asked to convey the message of the First Saturday Devotions. By her account a subsequent vision of Christ as a child reiterated this request.

Lúcia was transferred to another convent in Tui or Tuy, Galicia in 1928. In 1929, Lúcia reported that Mary returned and repeated her request for the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

Lúcia reportedly saw Mary in private visions periodically throughout her life. Most significant was the apparition in Rianxo, Galicia, in 1931, in which she said that Jesus visited her, taught her two prayers and delivered a message to give to the church's hierarchy.

In 1947, Sister Lúcia left the Dorothean order and joined the Discalced Carmelite order in a monastery in Coimbra, Portugal. Lúcia died on 13 February 2005, at the age of 97. After her death, the Vatican, specifically Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (at that time, still head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), ordered her cell sealed off. It is believed this was because Sister Lúcia had continued to receive more revelations and the evidence needed to be examined in the course of proceedings for her possible canonization.

Lúcia's cousins, the siblings Francisco (1908–1919) and Jacinta Marto (1910–1920), were both victims of the Great Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918-20. Francisco and Jacinta were declared venerable by Blessed Pope John Paul II in a public ceremony at Fatima on 13 May 1989. Blessed Pope John Paul II returned there on 13 May 2000 to declare them 'blessed'. Jacinta is the youngest non-martyred child ever to be beatified.

In 1941, Lúcia claimed that the Virgin Mary had predicted the deaths of two of the children during the second apparition on 13 June 1917. Some accounts, including the testimony of Olímpia Marto (mother of the two younger children) state that her children did not keep this information secret and ecstatically predicted their own deaths many times to her and to curious pilgrims. According to the 1941 account, on 13 June, Lúcia asked the Virgin if the three children would go to heaven when they died. She said that she heard Mary reply, "Yes, I shall take Francisco and Jacinta soon, but you will remain a little longer, since Jesus wishes you to make me known and loved on earth. He wishes also for you to establish devotion in the world to my Immaculate Heart."

Exhumed in 1935 and again in 1951, Jacinta's face was found incorrupt. Francisco's body, however, had decomposed.


Popes and Fátima

Ecclesiastical approbation does not imply that the Church provides an infallible guarantee on the supernatural nature of the event. Theologians like Karl Rahner argued however, that Popes, by authoritatively fostering the Marian veneration in places like Fatima and Lourdes, motivate the faithful into an acceptance of divine faith Venerable Pope Pius XII, Servant of God Paul VI, Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI all voiced their acceptance of the supernatural origin of the Fátima events in unusually clear and strong terms. After the local bishop had declared that (1) the visions of the three children are credible and (2) the veneration of the Blessed Virgin is permitted, the Portuguese bishops approved and declared the genuine supernatural nature of the event. The Vatican responded with granting indulgences and permitting special Liturgies of the Mass to be celebrated in Fatima.[14] In 1939, Eugenio Pacelli, who was consecrated bishop on 13 May 1917—the day of the first apparition—was elected to the papacy as Pius XII, and became the Pope of Fátima.[63] One year after World War II had started, Sister Lucia asked Pope Pius XII to consecrate the world and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She repeated this request on 2 December 1940, stating in the year 1929, the Blessed Lady requested in another apparition the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. She promised the conversion of Russia from its errors.

On 13 May 1942, the 25th anniversary of the first apparition and the silver jubilee of the episcopal consecration of Pope Pius XII, the Vatican published the Message and Secret of Fatima. On 31 October 1942, Pope Pius XII, in a radio address, informed the people of Portugal about the apparitions of Fátima, consecrating the human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin with specific mention of Russia. (See below)[64] On 8 December 1942, the Pontiff officially and solemnly declared this consecration in a ceremony in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. On 13 May 1946, Cardinal Masalla, the personal delegate of Pius XII, crowned in his name Our Lady of Fátima, as the Pope issued a second message about Fatima:

"The faithful virgin never disappointed the trust, put on her. She will transform into a fountain of graces, physical and spiritual graces, over all of Portugal, and from there, breaking all frontiers, over the whole Church and the entire world".[65]
On 1 May 1948, in Auspicia Quaedam, Pope Pius XII requested the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of every Catholic family, parish and diocese.

"It is our wish, consequently, that wherever the opportunity suggests itself, this consecration be made in the various dioceses as well as in each of the parishes and families."

On 18 May 1950, the Pope again sent a message to the people of Portugal regarding Fátima: "May Portugal never forget the heavenly message of Fátima, which, before anybody else she was blessed to hear. To keep Fátima in your heart and to translate Fátima into deeds, is the best guarantee for ever more graces". In numerous additional messages, and in his encyclicals Fulgens Corona (1953), and Ad Caeli Reginam (1954), Pius XII encouraged the veneration of the Virgin in Fatima.

At the end of the Second Vatican Council Pope Paul VI renewed the consecration of Pius XII to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and, in an unusual gesture, announced his own pilgrimage to the sanctuary on the fiftieth anniversary of the first apparition. On 13 May 1967, he prayed at the shrine together with Sister Lucia. This historic gesture further cemented the official support for Fátima.

Pope John Paul II credited Our Lady of Fátima with saving his life following the assassination attempt on Wednesday, May 13, the Feast of Our Lady of Fátima, in 1981. He followed the footsteps of Paul VI, on 12 May 1987, to express his gratitude to the Virgin Mary for saving his life. The following day, he renewed the consecration of Pius XII to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin.

On 12 and 13 May 2010, Pope Benedict XVI had visited the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima and strongly stated his acceptance about the supernatural origin of the Fátima apparitions. In the first day, the Pope arrived to the Chapel of Apparitions to pray and gave a Golden Rose to Our Lady of Fátima "as a homage of gratitude from the Pope for the marvels that the Almighty has worked through you in the hearts of so many who come as pilgrims to this your maternal home". The Holy Father also recalled the "invisible hand" that saved John Paul II and said in a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary that "it is a profound consolation to know that you are crowned not only with the silver and gold of our joys and hopes, but also with the 'bullet' of our anxieties and sufferings". In the second day, Pope Benedict's homily had pronounced in front of more than 500,000 pilgrims a reference to the Fátima prophecy about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and related it to the final "glory of the Most Holy Trinity".

Fatima Center Mourns the Death of Sister Lucy


Lucy dos Santos, the lone surviving seer of Fatima, died on February 13 at her Carmelite Convent in Coimbra. She was 97 years old.

It is a time of both sadness and joy. A time of sadness, since the world is deprived of the presence of the last surviving seer of Fatima who in 1917 and thereafter received the Message of Our Blessed Mother. A time of joy, as Sister Lucy’s earthly sufferings are over. Our Blessed Mother promised that She would take the three children of Fatima to Heaven, and Our Lady will keep Her word.

There is one aspect of Sister Lucy’s passing that is particularly saddening. She was never given the opportunity to speak publicly about the two most vexing questions regarding the Fatima Message: the Consecration of Russia and the Third Secret of Fatima.

Since 1960, Sister Lucy had been forbidden to speak about the Fatima Message without prior authorization of the Vatican. She died under this imposition of silence with many questions left unanswered.

For more than 15 years, the Fatima Center publicly campaigned to allow Sister Lucy to speak. "It is a pity", said Father Nicholas Gruner, Director of the Fatima Center, "that Sister Lucy was never allowed to either publicly confirm or deny the various statements attributed to her over the last 15 years concerning the Consecration of Russia and the release of the Third Secret."

Since 1989, a fierce campaign has been waged by certain influential members of the hierarchy, that Pope John Paul’s consecration of the world to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart fulfilled Our Lady’s request for the collegial Consecration of Russia. For decades, Sister Lucy repeatedly stated that a consecration of the world would not bring about the promised conversion of Russia. As late as 1985, in an interview in Sol de Fatima, Sister Lucy repeated that the March 1984 consecration of the world did not fulfill Our Lady’s request.

After 1989, letters allegedly from Sister Lucy suddenly started to appear, in which she supposedly said that the 1984 consecration of the world did, in fact, fulfill Our Lady’s request. This contradicted her consistent testimony for 70 years. The authenticity of these letters is highly doubtful, and a number of these letters were proven to be fraudulent.

Yet Sister Lucy was never allowed to state publicly whether she actually said that the consecration has been accomplished. It is clear, moreover, that the consecration has not been fulfilled. Our Lady promised that the consecration would bring about the conversion of Russia and a period of peace would be granted to the world. Russia has not converted to the Catholic Faith, and there is no period of peace. We still face the outstanding warning from Heaven given at Fatima that "various nations will be annihilated" if Our Lady’s requests are not fulfilled.

Similarly, Sister Lucy was never allowed to speak regarding the Third Secret. The Fatima Center, and others, have publicly voiced concern over the version of the Secret released on June 26, 2000. Based on the testimony of those who have read the Secret, it is evident that the entire Secret was not released.

Despite the Fatima Center’s repeated requests for the Vatican to allow Sister Lucy to speak publicly on the Secret, this permission was never granted.

We are left to struggle with these issues. As for Sister Lucy, her ordeal on earth is over. Let us remember her in our prayers, and thank God that in His goodness, He sent Our Lady to Fatima to deliver mankind a Message of warning and hope.

To honor Sister Lucy’s memory, the Fatima Center is now preparing a book on Sister Lucy that will be both a biography of her life and an anthology of her various writings and letters.

The Fatima Center is also having a series of Masses said for Sister Lucy, and for the intention that her mission will continue after her death. Our Lady told Sister Lucy that she was to stay on earth to promote devotion to the Immaculate Heart.

The Fatima Center will continue to promote the devotion to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, and will carry on the work of advancing the full Fatima Message.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul rest in peace, Amen.



Sister Lucia, 97, Last Survivor of Visionary Children of Fátima, Dies

Sister Lucia, the last survivor of the three Portuguese shepherd children who told of a series of apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the village of Fátima in 1917, died on Sunday in her convent in Coimbra, Portugal. She was 97.

A spokeswoman for her order, the Carmelite Sisters, announced her death to the Portuguese news media.

She had lived in near isolation since 1948 in the convent, where she had devoted her life to prayer and meditation.

Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, originally named Lucia Abobora, was born on March 22, 1907, and was 10 when she and her two cousins, Francisco Marto and his sister Jacinta, said they first saw the Virgin in a field on May 13, 1917. Lucia said she was the only one of the three who could hear what the Virgin said.

Their reports, which said the appearances continued for five months, were greeted with skepticism, and the children were even jailed and asked to retract their statements. But their visions were followed by what witnesses described as "the Miracle of the Sun," in which the sun was said to have broken through rain clouds and trembled and spun for 10 minutes, which was taken as confirmation of the visions.

In 1930, Roman Catholic Church officials completed an exhaustive investigation and declared the Fátima apparitions "worthy of belief."

The site became revered, and tens of thousands of Catholics visited the shrine that was built there. Francisco and his sister died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. Sister Lucia lived on to write several memoirs.

In 1942, the church finally disclosed the content of the children's visions, based on letters from Lucia to her bishop in 1936. The first secret revelation was said to be a vision of hell as a warning that people should repent their sins. The second was said to be a warning against Russia's errors and a prophecy that the country would be redeemed by the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

While the visions were reported at a time when the church was under pressure from anticlericalism, Fátima became a shrine for anti-Communists in the context of the Spanish Civil War and the cold war.

The third secret of Fátima, which was not disclosed at the time, became an obsession for those who speculated that it predicted the end of the world or some rift in the church. Three popes learned of the secret as revealed by Sister Lucia, according to the Vatican, and decided not to release it.

Finally, on May 13, 2000, the Vatican secretary of state told an audience of 600,000 that the secret actually referred to the attempted assassination, in 1981, against John Paul II, who figured in the original Fátima vision as "a bishop clothed in white."

Skeptics were not convinced and have continued to speculate that the third secret involves something else.

John Paul, however, accepted that the third secret foretold the attempt on his life and attributed his survival to Our Lady of Fátima. He has since visited the shrine and Sister Lucia several times and has placed the bullet that nearly killed him in the crown of the shrine's statue.

Sister Lucia last spoke in public in May 2000, when the pope visited Fátima to beatify her cousins Jacinta and Francisco, placing them one step away from canonization.

Among her last visitors, in July, was Mel Gibson, who presented her with a DVD of his film "The Passion of the Christ."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

190 years ago today Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte:to a wonderful and marvelous leader and also made a difference for France, remembering you after 190 years, May you rest in peace!

Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815. His legal reform, the Napoleonic Code, has been a major influence on many civil law jurisdictions worldwide, but he is best remembered for the wars he led against a series of coalitions, the so-called Napoleonic Wars, during which he established hegemony over much of Europe and sought to spread revolutionary ideals.

Napoleon was born in Corsica to parents of noble Italian ancestry and trained as an artillery officer in mainland France. Bonaparte rose to prominence under the French First Republic and led successful campaigns against the First and Second Coalitions arrayed against France. In 1799, he staged a coup d'état and installed himself as First Consul; five years later the French Senate proclaimed him emperor.

In the first decade of the 19th century, the French Empire under Napoleon engaged in a series of conflicts—the Napoleonic Wars—involving every major European power. After a streak of victories, France secured a dominant position in continental Europe, and Napoleon maintained the French sphere of influence through the formation of extensive alliances and the appointment of friends and family members to rule other European countries as French client states. Napoleon's campaigns are studied at military academies throughout much of the world.

The French invasion of Russia in 1812 marked a turning point in Napoleon's fortunes. His Grande Armée was badly damaged in the campaign and never fully recovered. In 1813, the Sixth Coalition defeated his forces at Leipzig; the following year the Coalition invaded France, forced Napoleon to abdicate and exiled him to the island of Elba. Less than a year later, he escaped Elba and returned to power, but was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815. Napoleon spent the last six years of his life in confinement by the British on the island of Saint Helena. An autopsy concluded he died of stomach cancer.




In February 1821, his health began to fail rapidly, and on 3 May two British physicians who had recently arrived attended him and could only recommend palliatives. He died two days later, after confession, Extreme Unction and Viaticum in the presence of Father Ange Vignali.

His last words were, "France, armée, tête d'armée, Joséphine."("France, army, head of the army, Joséphine.") Napoleon's original death mask was created around 6 May, though it is not clear which doctor created it.

In his will, he had asked to be buried on the banks of the Seine, but the British governor said he should be buried on St. Helena, in the Valley of the Willows. Hudson Lowe insisted the inscription should read 'Napoleon Bonaparte'; Montholon and Bertrand wanted the Imperial title 'Napoleon' as royalty were signed by their first names only. As a result the tomb was left nameless.

In 1840, Louis Philippe I obtained permission from the British to return Napoleon's remains to France. The remains were transported aboard the frigate Belle-Poule, which had been painted black for the occasion, and on 29 November she arrived in Cherbourg. The remains were transferred to the steamship Normandie, which transported them to Le Havre, up the Seine to Rouen and on to Paris.

On 15 December, a state funeral was held. The hearse proceeded from the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs-Élysées, across the Place de la Concorde to the Esplanade des Invalides and then to the cupola in St Jérôme's Chapel, where it stayed until the tomb designed by Louis Visconti was completed. In 1861, Napoleon's remains were entombed in a porphyry sarcophagus in the crypt under the dome at Les Invalides.

Cause of death:

Napoleon's physician, François Carlo Antommarchi, led the autopsy which found the cause of death to be stomach cancer, though he did not sign the official report.

Napoleon's father had died of stomach cancer though this was seemingly unknown at the time of the autopsy. Antommarchi found evidence of a stomach ulcer, and it was the most convenient explanation for the British who wanted to avoid criticism over their care of the emperor.

In 1955, the diaries of Napoleon's valet, Louis Marchand, appeared in print. His description of Napoleon in the months before his death led Sten Forshufvud to put forward other causes for his death, including deliberate arsenic poisoning, in a 1961 paper in Nature. Arsenic was used as a poison during the era because it was undetectable when administered over a long period. Forshufvud, in a 1978 book with Ben Weider, noted the emperor's body was found to be remarkably well-preserved when moved in 1840.

Arsenic is a strong preservative, and therefore this supported the poisoning hypothesis. Forshufvud and Weider observed that Napoleon had attempted to quench abnormal thirst by drinking high levels of orgeat syrup that contained cyanide compounds in the almonds used for flavouring. They maintained that the potassium tartrate used in his treatment prevented his stomach from expellation of these compounds and that the thirst was a symptom of poisoning. Their hypothesis was that the calomel given to Napoleon became an overdose, which killed him and left behind extensive tissue damage.

A 2007 article stated the type of arsenic found in Napoleon's hair shafts was mineral type, the most toxic, and according to toxicologist Patrick Kintz, this supported the conclusion his death was murder.

The wallpaper used in Longwood contained a high level of arsenic compound used for colouring by British manufacturers. The adhesive, which in the cooler British environment was innocuous, may have grown mould in the more humid climate and emitted the poisonous gas arsine. This theory has been ruled out as it does not explain the arsenic absorption patterns found in other analyses.

There have been modern studies which have supported the original autopsy finding.[142] Researchers, in a 2008 study, analysed samples of Napoleon's hair from throughout his life, and from his family and other contemporaries. All samples had high levels of arsenic, approximately 100 times higher than the current average. According to these researchers, Napoleon's body was already heavily contaminated with arsenic as a boy, and the high arsenic concentration in his hair was not caused by intentional poisoning; people were constantly exposed to arsenic from glues and dyes throughout their lives. In 2007 and 2008 studies dismissed evidence of arsenic poisoning, and confirmed evidence of peptic ulcer and gastric cancer as the cause of death.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

11 years ago the world lost Archbishop John O'Connor


John O'Connor:you are also inspirtual individual especially for the Catholic Church. I admire your work and I was privelege to recieve holy communion and a prayer over me at one of your masses. I was also honored to attend your awake in 2000. I miss you, you should be a saint. You were truly a courageous and brave man who shares the same birthday as Rev. Martin Luther King Junior, may you rest in peace on this day after 11 years!






John Joseph O'Connor, (January 15, 1920 – May 3, 2000) was the eleventh bishop (eighth archbishop) of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, serving from 1984 until his death in 2000. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1985.

Consecration as BishopO'Connor was made a Honorary Prelate of His Holiness and given the title of Monsignor on October 27, 1966. On April 24, 1979, Pope John Paul II designated him auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services and titular bishop of Cursola. O'Connor was consecrated to the episcopate on May 27, 1979 at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome by John Paul II with Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy and Eduardo Martínez Somalo as co-consecrators.

On May 6, 1983, John Paul II named O'Connor Bishop of Scranton, and he was installed in that position on the following June 29.

Archbishop of New York
Styles of John O'Connor

Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See New York

On January 26, 1984, after the death of Terence Cooke three months earlier, O'Connor was appointed Archbishop of New York, and installed on March 19. He was elevated to Cardinal in the consistory of May 25, 1985, with the titular church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Rome, the traditional titulus of the Archbishop of New York.

As Archbishop of New York, O'Connor skillfully brought to bear the power and prestige of his office to bear witness to traditional Catholic doctrine. Upon his death, the New York Times called O'Connor "a familiar and towering presence, a leader whose views and personality were forcefully injected into the great civic debates of his time, a man who considered himself a conciliator, but who never hesitated to be a combatant", and one of the Catholic Church's "most powerful symbols on moral and political issues."

Illness and death:

When O'Connor reached the retirement age for bishops of 75 in January 1995, he submitted his resignation to Pope John Paul II as required, but the Pope did not accept it. In 1999, O'Connor was diagnosed as having a brain tumor, to which he eventually succumbed. He continued to serve as Archbishop of New York until his death. He died in the Archbishop's residence on May 3, 2000 and was interred in the crypt beneath the altar of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Former President George H.W. Bush, Texas Governor George W. Bush, New York Governor George Pataki and New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani were among the dignitaries who attended his funeral in St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was presided over by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano. The eulogy was delivered by Cardinal William W. Baum. Edward Egan was appointed to succeed Cardinal O'Connor as Archbishop of New York.

Legacy:

Cardinal O'Connor was posthumously awarded the Jackie Robinson Empire State Medal of Freedom by New York Governor George Pataki on December 21, 2000. On March 7, 2000 O'Connor was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by unanimous support in the United States Senate and only one vote against the resolution in the United States House of Representatives.

O'Connor was an object of scorn and ridicule in ACT UP's demonstrations, the most prominent of which was a protest that disrupted Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral on December 10, 1989. Michael Petrelis, a founding member of ACT UP, was arrested along with 110 others, including 43 inside the church, some of whom had chained themselves to pews, shouted or lay in aisles.

Later, he indicated that the group "came to St. Patrick's in 1989 to repel the church's destructive intrusion into public policies concerning AIDS, gay civil rights and women's reproductive rights." O'Connor responded during the benediction at the interrupted Mass, "I must preach what the church preaches, teach what the church teaches."

The strong feelings that Cardinal O'Connor's campaigning against gay civil rights inspired were evoked at his passing, when Time Out New York, a weekly city entertainment guide, expressed relief at his death, calling it one of the best things to happen to the gay community in 2000, saying "The press eulogized him as a saint, when in fact, the pious creep was a stuck-in-the-1950s anti-gay menace. Good riddance!". The resulting cries of outrage forced the magazine to apologize for the insensitive tone of the statement, but Time Out New York stood by its view that the Cardinal was an "impediment to gay and lesbian progress.

Carmen Vázquez, a spokeswoman for the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center, opined that Cardinal O’Connor had "made the lives of gays and lesbians miserable with his public comments and opposition to their way of life."

Jeff Stone, a spokesman for DignityUSA, recalled the group's twice-annual meetings with O'Connor: "We acknowledged that we had theological disagreements, so we tried to talk about areas where we thought we had some common ground--such as violence against gay people," and added, "We are saddened by his death."

To honor his distinguished service as a US Navy chaplain, the Catholic Center at the Naval Post-Graduate School, Monterey, CA, is named the O'Connor Center. The largest student run pro-life conference in the U.S. is named in his honor. It is held every year at Georgetown University the day before the annual March for Life.

Episcopal succession

Episcopal lineage
Consecrated by: Pope John Paul II
Date of consecration: May 27, 1979
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Alfred James Jolson February 6, 1988
Patrick Joseph Sheridan December 12, 1990
James Michael Moynihan May 29, 1995
Edwin Frederick O'Brien March 25, 1996
Robert Anthony Brucato August 25, 1997
James Francis McCarthy June 29, 1999

Monday, May 2, 2011

Today is the 140th birthday of Father Francis Patrick Duffy



Father Duffy: You were a true soldier and priest, thanks for your guidance, happy 140th birthday!

Francis Patrick Duffy (1871–1932)[1] was an American soldier, Roman Catholic priest and chaplain. As the chaplain for the "Fighting 69th", he became the most highly decorated cleric in the history of the U.S. Army. Duffy Square, the northern half of Times Square, is named after him.

Father Duffy


FRANCIS P. DUFFY (1871-1932)

The most celebrated U.S. Army chaplain in the Great War, Father Francis Patrick Duffy, a Roman Catholic priest, was born in Cobourg, Canada, and was ordained in 1896. He attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and then was appointed professor of psychology and ethics at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York. Father Duffy's career as an Army chaplain began with a brief tour of duty during the Spanish-American War when he was stationed at Montauk Point, Long Island. In 1912 he became pastor of Our Savior parish in the Bronx, and in 1914 he was appointed chaplain of the 69th Infantry Regiment of the New York National Guard.

The "Fighting Sixty-Ninth," a basically Irish regiment, although containing members of other ethnic groups, had served with distinction during the Civil War. It was called up briefly during the Spanish-American War, and also in 1916, when it served on the Mexican border during General Pershing's Punitive expedition. When the United States entered World War I, the regiment was renumbered the 165th Infantry and assembled at Camp Mills, New York. Assigned to be part of the new Rainbow (42nd) Division, its members continued to refer to the regiment by its traditional sobriquet.

Chaplain Duffy, by now a major and the senior chaplain of the 42nd Division, became an inspirational focus for the division and later for the A.E.F. The poet Joyce Kilmer writing about the voyage of the division across the Atlantic, observed that every day there could be seen a line of soldiers, "as long as the mess-line," waiting their turn to have Duffy hear their confessions. Every morning, Kilmer noted, a large crowd of soldiers would gather amidships on the transport where Chaplain Duffy would say Mass at an altar made from a long board resting on two nail kegs. Arriving in France in November 1917, the division spent the winter training and in late February 1918, took over front-line trenches from French forces at Luneville in the Lorraine sector. At dawn on March 20, Duffy and the men of the 42nd received their first serious baptism of fire when a barrage of mustard gas shells burst among them. The bombardment lasted two days and there were over 400 casualties, the majority of them blinded.

For Chaplain Duffy, the next few months were to be filled with such scenes. He was most often found along the front lines hearing confessions and saying Mass, as well as visiting and counseling the soldiers. It was by his "ministry of presence" that he had his greatest influence and became an almost a legendary figure. Once the fighting began, he often traveled with a unit first-aid station, providing physical and spiritual care to the wounded and the dying. His presence on the battlefield was inspirational. Duffy was always near the heaviest fighting, exposing himself to constant danger as he moved from unit to unit. His decorations included the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal.

After the war, Duffy returned to a new parish in New York City. As pastor of the Holy Cross Church on 42nd Street, just off Broadway, the "actor's Church, Father Duffy added to his already great popularity. In 1919, he published a best selling book, Father Duffy's Story, chronicling his experience in the Great War. He died on 26 June 1932.

Conclusion

In Chaplain Duffy, the chaplaincy produced probably the best known field chaplain in its long history.

Chaplain:

Already well known in theological circles, Duffy gained wider fame for his involvement as a military chaplain during World War I, when the 69th New York ("The Fighting 69th") was federalized again and redesignated the 165th U.S. Infantry Regiment. When the unit moved up to the front in France, Duffy accompanied the litter bearers in recovering the wounded and was frequently seen in the thick of battle.

Recognized by the regimental commander, Lt. Col. William "Wild Bill" Donovan – who would go on to found the OSS in World War II) – as a key element in the unit's morale, Duffy's role in the unit went beyond that of a normal cleric: the regiment was composed primarily of first- and second-generation Irish immigrants from New York City, many of whom wrote later about Duffy's leadership. Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur admitted later that Duffy was very briefly considered for the post of regimental commander.

For his actions in the war, Duffy was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal, the Conspicuous Service Cross (New York State), the Légion d'honneur (France), and the Croix de guerre. Father Duffy is the most highly decorated cleric in the history of the U.S. Army.

Following the war he wrote Father Duffy's Story, which grew out of a manuscript originally started by Joyce Kilmer, the poet and convert to Catholicism who had joined the regiment and had become a close friend to Duffy. When Kilmer was killed in France, he was working on a history of the regiment's involvement in the war, which Duffy intended to continue, but Duffy was prevailed upon to include his own reminiscences

Holy Cross Church:

Duffy then served as a pastor of Holy Cross Church in Hell's Kitchen, a block from Times Square, until his death. While there, he had one last opportunity to make a contribution to Catholic thought: in 1927, during Al Smith's campaign for president, the Atlantic Monthly published a letter by Charles Marshall, a Protestant lawyer, which questioned whether a Catholic could serve as a loyal president who would put the nation and the Constitution before his allegiance to the Pope, a common thread in American anti-Catholicism. Smith was given a chance to reply: his article, which was ghost-written by Duffy, was a classic statement of the intellectual ideas behind American Catholic patriotism. It hinted at notions of religious freedom and freedom of conscience which would not be spelled out by the Church itself until the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom in the 1960s.

Death: Duffy died on June 27, 1932, in New York City.

Beloved Chaplain of Fighting 69th Dies.

New York, June 27 - The spirit of Father Francis Patrick Duffy, beloved chaplain of the 'Fighting Sixty-Ninth' of the wartime Rainbow Division, has rejoined the thousands of men who died on the battlefields of France where he served them. The present colonel of his old regiment was at the bedside until near the end. Others through the nation and especially in New York, home of the old Sixty-Ninth, known in war days as the 165th Infantry, mourned the chaplain who died at the age of 62. Father Duffy will have a military burial. The old Sixty-Ninth will attend the services of America's wars, msgr. John P. Chidwick, chaplain of the Battleship Maine when it was blown up in Havana Harbor, will preach the funeral sermon.

Death came to Father Duffy early yesterday after an illness of three months from an intestinal infection. Hundreds of friends of all faiths had flooded the mails with letters of concern and hope for his recovery. The Irish chaplain of an Irish regiment won fame and decorations from his own and the French governments for his devotion to his men under fire during the World War.

His death led General Douglas MacArthur, chief of staff in Washington and war-time commander of the Rainbow (42nd) Division, to reveal he had recommended the priest for command of the 165th Regiment at one time when the division was in the midst of an offensive.

Legacy: Father Duffy is commemorated by Duffy Square, which is located in the northern triangle of Times Square between 45th and 47th Streets in Manhattan, New York City. A momument, which is located in front of the steps of the TKTS booth, portrays Duffy standing in front of a Celtic cross.

In popular culture: In the 1940s movie The Fighting 69th, Father Duffy is portrayed by Pat O'Brien.