Daily Update: Friday, May 1st, 2015

Joseph the Worker and 05-01 - May Day, 05-02 - International Workers Day, and Jazz Fest 2015 - Big Chief Theodore Bo Dollis by Randy Frenchy Frechette

Today is the First Friday of the month (dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus), the Feast of Joseph the Worker, May Day, and International Worker’s Day. Today is also the second day of the second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

The First Friday of each month is dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Turning to our Feast, Joseph, the husband of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus, was a “τεκτων”; traditionally the word has been taken to mean “carpenter”, though the Greek term is much less specific. It cannot be translated narrowly; it evokes an artisan with wood in general, or an artisan in iron or stone. Very little other information on Joseph is given in the Gospels, in which he never speaks, besides that he was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the (legal) father of Jesus. On May 1, 1955, Pope Pius XII granted a public audience to the Catholic Association of Italian Workers, whose members had gathered in Saint Peter’s Square to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their society. They were solemnly renewing, in common, their promise of loyalty to the social doctrine of the Church, and it was on that day that the Pope instituted the liturgical feast of May 1st, in honor of Saint Joseph the Worker. He assured his audience and the working people of the world: “You have beside you a shepherd, a defender and a father in Saint Joseph, the carpenter whom God in His providence chose to be the virginal father of Jesus and the head of the Holy Family. He is silent but has excellent hearing, and his intercession is very powerful over the Heart of the Savior.” This particular Feast was introduced to counteract May Day, a union, workers and socialists holiday. This reflects Joseph’s status as what many Catholics and other Christians consider the “patron of workers” and “model of workers.” Catholic and other Christians teachings and stories about or relating to Joseph and the Holy Family frequently stress his patience, persistence, and hard work as admirable qualities which believers should adopt. Long before the time of Pope Pius XII this day was celebrated as May Day. The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman Goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane celebrations. Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe. A more secular version of May Day continues to be observed in Europe and America; in this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the Maypole and crowning of the Queen of the May. Turning to the world of the working man, in 1889 at the first congress of the Second International (an organization of socialist and labour parties) meeting in Paris for the centennial of the French Revolution and the Exposition Universelle, there was a call for international demonstrations on the 1890 anniversary of the Chicago protests that began in May 1886 demonstrating for an eight-hour day (which ended with the Haymarket Rally and Bombing of May 4, 1886). The 1890 demonstrations were so successful that May Day was formally recognized as an annual event at the International’s second congress in 1891. International Workers’ Day (a name used interchangeably with May Day) is a celebration of the social and economic achievements of the international labor movement and left-wing movements. May Day commonly sees organized street demonstrations and street marches by millions of working people and their labour unions throughout most of the countries of the world (except for the United States and Canada, which celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday of September). Today is also the Second Day of the Second Weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. There is much more than music at JazzFest; the Louisiana Folklife Village features master artisans and tradition-bearers creating cultural treasures by using generations-old techniques. The Native American Village, a component of the Folklife Village, celebrates the rich heritage of our state’s indigenous peoples. And The Grandstand gives Festival-goers a chance to take an intimate look at the vibrant culture, cuisine and art of Louisiana in an air-conditioned environment. Today at Jazz Fest the Charlene Neville Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Galactic featuring Macy Gray, Chicago, and No Doubt.

On Thursday evening our #1 ranked LSU Baseball team beat Mississippi State by the score of 5 to 3 in the first of a three-game away series.

Today being the first of the month, I cleared out my phone call list on my Galaxy S-4, cleared out the browsing data on my Chrome browser, deleted my Google search history, changed the date on my watches, and flipped our three wall calendars to the new month. I then did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and before leaving the house I charged up my Bluetooth audio speaker and my Selfie stick. On our way to work I did screenshots of my Galaxy S-4 home screens, did my Internet Devotional Reading, and requested Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress (my next Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club book) from the Lafayette Public Library. When we got to the casino Richard was on Blackjack, but was soon moved to Pai Gow. I started out on a Blackjack table, closed that table, was on Four Card Poker, closed that table, changed Blackjack cards, and ended up on the same Blackjack table that Richard had started out on.

When we got home from work I ate my lunch salad and read 3/5 of the morning paper (the Food/Life/Comics section was not there, nor was the weekly Fun magazine of movies and such). I then opted to take a nap, which lasted for the rest of the day, so I did not do my First Friday devotions, nor did I go to the Church Fair to play bingo. Richard was going to eat crawfish at one of the new places in town (T-Floyd’s), but despite advertising, they did not have any crawfish, so he got his dinner from Taco Bell. Our #1 ranked LSU Baseball team beat Mississippi State by the score of 11 to 4 in the second of a three-game away series. And I did not do my Daily Update; however, I did find that Verizon had finally gotten the latest Galaxy S-4 Operating System out to me.

Tomorrow is the First Saturday of the month (dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus) and the Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor, and the Optional Memorial of Saint Wiborada, Religious and Martyr. Tomorrow is also the Kentucky Derby, run in Louisville, Kentucky (all I know about racehorses is which end eats), and the Third Day of the Second Weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Richard and I will go to work, and in the afternoon I will go to the Adoration Chapel, to McDonald’s, to Confession, to Mass, and to Bingo. And our #1 ranked LSU Baseball team will play the last game of the three-game away series with Mississippi State.

Our Friday Afternoon Parting Quote comes to us from Philipp von Boeselager, German Wehrmacht officer. Born in 1917 in Burg Heimerzheim, German Empire, his family was a distinguished Rhenish Roman Catholic family that could trace its origins to the Archbishopric of Magdeburg in 1363. Boeselager attended the Jesuit Aloysius College at Bad Godesberg until 1936. He wanted to study Law at university with a view to becoming a diplomat, but his grandfather thought he would be less compromised by the Nazis if he joined the army. His opinion turned against the Nazi government in June 1942 after he received news that five Roma people had been shot in cold blood solely because of their ethnicity. Together with his commanding officer Field Marshal Günther von Kluge he joined a conspiracy to assassinate Hitler. Once Hitler was dead, Boeselager was to order his troops (who were ignorant of the plot) to commandeer horses and return to Berlin to seize key parts of the city and to round up senior Nazis in a full-scale coup d’état. Their specific target in Operation Walküre would be the SS Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), the central headquarters of the SS. The first attempt was in March 1943 when both Hitler and Heinrich Himmler were coming to the front to participate in a strategy meeting with Kluge’s troops. Boeselager was given a Walther PP with which he was to shoot both Hitler and Himmler at a dinner table in the officers’ mess. However, nothing ever became of this plan, because at the last minute, Himmler left Hitler’s company, and the conspirators decided that the risk of leaving him alive to succeed Hitler was too great. The second assassination attempt was in summer 1944. No longer caring about Himmler, the conspiracy planned to kill Hitler with a bomb when he was attending another strategy meeting in a wooden barracks. A job with an explosives research team meant that Boeselager had access to explosives, When ordered to deliver his cargo of British-made fuses, he found that the recipient was in a meeting, so Boeselager carried his payload in a suitcase to the cinema to avoid drawing attention to himself; he was then able to make the delivery. When the assassin’s bomb failed to kill the Führer on July 20, 1944 (the suitcase bomb had been placed behind a massive oak table leg, so that the full force of the blast missed Hitler), Boeselager was informed in time to turn his unexplained cavalry retreat around and return to the front before suspicions were unduly raised. Because of Boeselager’s fortunate timing, his involvement in the operation went undetected, and he was not executed along with the majority of the other conspirators. His brother was also a participant in the plot, and likewise remained undetected; however, he was subsequently killed in action on the Eastern Front. Shortly before the end of the war, Boeselager overheard General Wilhelm Burgdorf saying, “When the war is over, we will have to purge, after the Jews, the Catholic officers in the army.” The devoutly Catholic Boeselager vocally objected, citing his own decorations for heroism in combat, and left before General Burgdorf could respond. After the war Boeselager’s part in the failed assassination attempt became known and he was regarded as a hero by Germany and France, receiving the highest military medals both countries could provide. He studied economics and became a forestry expert. Even in his old age, Boeselager still had nightmares about the conspiracy and the friends he lost in the war, and urged young people to become more involved in politics, as he felt apathy and the political inexperience of the German masses were two of the key reasons Hitler was able to come to power. On April 18, 2008 Boeselager gave his last videotaped interview, conducted by Zora Wolter for the feature documentary The Valkyrie Legacy. It was televised on The History Channel in 2009 to coincide with the release of Valkyrie starring Tom Cruise and directed by Bryan Singer. At the time of his death Boeselager was the last survivor of the July 20 plot, and still had the Walther PP with which he was supposed to kill Hitler in the first plot (died 2008): “Et si omnes ego non — even if all, not I.”

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