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Razor's Edge
Today, TOF presents for your delight a Quote of the Day, a Science! Marches On!, and a Statistical Puzzle for you to solve, among the usual sundry miscellany.

The not-quite-annual post

Captive Dreams
The Feast of All Saints

My semi-regular post for the Eve of All Saints and the Feast of All Saints

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On Potholes

Captive Dreams
How Long Does It Take

to fix a highway?

Depends on how big the earthquake is, right?Read more...Collapse )

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No, it doesn't mean what you think it does

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The Translation of Thomas Aquinas

Today is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas.  Do something logical in his honor. 

Now properly speaking, it is the feast of his translation; that is, when his remains were moved (28 January, 1369) from the site of his death to the Dominican Church in Toulouse.  Just as the Marines do not leave a man behind, neither do the Dominicans. 

The feast was initially celebrated, as is traditional, on 7 March, the data of his death, and is so-listed in older missals.  However, this resulted in what is called a "clashing of feasts," since 7 March was also the date on which Perpetua and Felicity were martyred.  The Feast of St. Thomas demoted them to a Commemoration.  So in 1969, Tom was moved to his translation date and Perpetua and Felicity restored to a place of greater honor.  (They are, after all, among those mentioned in the roll call of the ancient Roman Canon used in the Mass. 

Oddly enough, there were no festivities in the streets.  But then this is no longer the age of reason that the middle ages were.  There is a humorous comment on the situation, here

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However, the Angelic Doctor keeps turning up in odd places, often accompanied by his old pal the Stagerite.  Today's unexpected appearance is here: Nonlinear Brain Dynamics and Intention According to Aquinas

(The rest wouldn't load on LiveJournal.  Continued here.)Read more...Collapse )

The Reason for the Season

Captive Dreams
The Meaning of Thanksgiving

in Greek is εὐχαριστία (eukharistia) or Eucharist. 

There is a school of thought in the US, often called "rugged individualism" in which the individual (envisioned as "rugged", usually male and adult) claims that he stands in a grand and solitary isolation, owing no-but nothing to no one.  He is under no obligation to others, and words like altruism, generosity, charity, and so forth are hurtful to his ears. 

This is nonsense, of course.  Read more...Collapse )

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A Miscellany of Saints

Captive Dreams
Feast of All Saints

Okay, I missed it.  But better late than never. 

Everyone thinks this is the Irish Feis Samhain, which began at sunset on 31 Oct and that the Church co-opted the date.  However, Pope Gregory III (d. 741) moved the  feast "in honor of all the saints in heaven" from 13 May to 1 Nov to correspond to the dedication day of All Saints Chapel in St. Peter’s at Rome.  There was no connection.  Later, in the 840s, Pope Gregory IV declared All Saints to be a universal feast, that is, not restricted to St. Peter's.  The holy day spread to Ireland. The day a feast is the "vigil mass" and so after sunset on 31 Oct became "All Hallows Even" or "Hallowe’en."  It had no more significance than the "Vigil of St. Lawrence" or the "Vigil of John the Baptist" or any of the other vigils on the calendar. 

In 998, St. Odilo, the abbot of the powerful monastery of Cluny in Southern France, added a celebration on Nov. 2. This was a day of prayer for "the souls of all the faithful departed." This feast, called All Souls Day, spread from France to the rest of Europe. 

That took care of Heaven and Purgatory.  The Irish, being the Irish, thought it unfair to leave the souls in Hell out.  So on Hallowe'en they would bang pots and pans to let the souls in Hell know they were not forgotten.  However, the Feast of All Damned never caught on, for fairly obvious theological reasons.  The Irish, however, had another day for partying.

After the Black Death, All Souls Day became more important, and a popular motif was the Danse Macabre (Dance of Death).   It usually showed the devil "leading a daisy chain of people — popes, kings, ladies, knights, monks, peasants, lepers, etc. — into the tomb."  Sometimes the dance was presented on All Souls’ Day itself as a living tableau with people dressed up in the garb of various walks of life.

"But the French dressed up on All Souls, not Hallowe'en; and the Irish, who had Hallowe'en, did not dress up."  During the 1700s the Irish and French Catholics began to bump into one another in British North America and the two traditions mingled.  "The Irish focus on hell gave the French masquerades and even more macabre twist." 
(h/t: John Farrell)

So in honor of All Saints Day, I offer

A Potpourri of Saints: 
(and their countries or peoples)
(Where I inserted an image, it is of the last-named individual above.  I tried for authentic images; but who knows.) 

The Jews: Joseph of Palestine; Pope Zozimus; Romanus the Melodist; Daniel of Padua; Julian of Toledo   

Syria: Habib the Martyr; John of Damascus; Pope John V

The Lebanon: Rafka al Rayes; Sharbel Maklouf


Greece: Irene; Pope Sixtus II; Macrina; Alexander Akimetes

Rome: Agnes; Cecilia; Pope Cornelius

North Africa:
Perpetua and Felicity; Cyprian of Carthage; Augustine of Hippo


Egypt: Anthony the Hermit; Maurice and the soldiers of the Theban Legion; Catherine of Alexandria

The Palestinian Arabs: Moses the Arab; Cosmas and Damian; Mary Baouardy, the Little Sister to Everyone   


Iraq: Maruthas of Maiferkat; Ephraem, the Harp of the Holy Ghost   

Persia: Anastasius Majundat; Abdon and Sennen; Shapur of Bet-Nicator

Ethiopia: Iphegenia of Ethiopia; Moses the Black   

The Yemen: Sheikh Aretas of the Banu Harith and the Martyrs of Najran

Armenia: Isaac the Great; Gomidas Keumerigian

Georgia: Nino Christiana, Apostle-Mother of Georgia; Euthymius the Enlightener; George Mtasmindeli

Italy: Thomas Aquinas, the “Dumb Ox”; Maria Goretti; John Bosco; Pope John XXIII 

Spain: Nathalia and Aurelius; Theresa of Avila; Dominic de Guzmán

The Basques: Ignatius Loyola

Portugal: Anthony of Padua; Isabella   

France: Margaret Mary Alacoque of the Sacred Heart; John Baptist de la Salle; Theresa of Lisieux, the Little Flower   


The Bretons: Alan de Solminihac 

The Belgians: Mary of Oignies   

Ireland:  Brigit; Conleth of Kildare; Colmcille of Iona; etc.

Scotland: David, King of Scots; Margaret of Scotland; John Ogilvie

England: Augustine of Canterbury; Edith of Wilton; Thomas More; Margaret Ward.

Wales: Dafydd of Wales; Cadoc of Llancarfan

Germany: Gertrude of Helfta; Herman the Cripple; Hildegard of Bingen, the Sybil of the Rhine   


Austria and Switzerland: Nicholas von Flue; Jakob Gapp

Scandinavia: Gorman of Schleswig; Hallvard of Oslo; Bridget of Sweden; Thorlac of Iceland  

The Baltics: George Matulaitis of Lithuania

Hungary: King Istvan the Great; Elizabeth of Hungary

The Czechs: Good King Wenceslaus; Agnes of Bohemia; John Nepomucene Neumann

Poland: Hyacinth Ronzki; Stanislaus Szczepanowski; Mother Mary Theresa Ledochowska; Pope John Paul the Great

Albania: Mother Theresa of Calcutta


The Balkans: Sava of Serbia; Mark Korosy of Croatia; Ieremia Stoica of Romania; Bishop Eugene Bossilkov of Bulgaria

All the Russias: Sergius of Radonezh; Euphrosyne of Polotsk; Vladimir of Kiev; Josaphata Hordashevska

Native Americans: Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin of Guadeloupe; Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks


Puerto Rico: Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Santiago   

Mexico: Bartholomew Laurel; Miguel Pio   

Guatemala: Peter Betancur

El Salvador: Bishop Oscar Romero


Peru: Rose of Lima; Ana de los Angeles Monteagudo

Ecuador: Mercedes of Jesus; Mariana de Paredes, the Lily of Quito

Brazil: Antonio de Santa Ana Galvao; Paulina

Paraguay: Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz   

Chile: Teresa of the Andes

United States: Katherine Drexel; Mother Frances Cabrini; Dorothy Day


Canada: Marguerite D’Youville; Mary Rose Durocher

India: Alphonsa Mattahupadathus; Kuriakose Chavara; Mother Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan


The Philippines:  Lorenzo Ruiz

China: Thaddeus Lieu; Agnes Sao Kuy   

Japan: Father Thomas Hioji Rokuzayemon Nishi; Magdalene of Nagasaki 

Korea: Agatha Kim; Paul Chong Hasang

Thailand: Philip Siphong; Lucy Khambong

Viet Nam: Agnes De; Father John Dat

African Diaspora: Benedict the Moor; Martin de Pores

Uganda: Charles Lwanga

The Sudan: 
Mother Josephine Bakhita


The Congo: 
Anuarite Nengapeta

Madagascar: Victoria Rasoamanarivo

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OK, so some of them are beati, and a couple are "in the pipeline" 
Still, from time to time it is worth recalling what was meant by the term "catholic." 

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