Daily Update: Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Landry and Antoni Gaudi

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Landry, Bishop (died about 661) and the Remembrance of Servant of God Antoni Gaudí (died 1926).

All that is known of Saint Landry, Bishop (died about 661) for certain is that he was consecrated Bishop of Paris in 650 and that he built the first major hospital in the city, dedicating it to Saint Christopher, which is now the Hôtel-Dieu. He also, with twenty-three other French bishops, subscribed to the charter Clovis II gave to Saint-Denis Abbey in 653. The Golden Legend (circa 1260) reported that he was the twenty-seventh Bishop of Paris, and also reported three miracles to his credit. The French community of the Opelousas Post in Louisiana built a church in 1776 and dedicated it to Saint Landry; in 1805 the civil parish (what other States call a County) of Saint Landry was established and named after the church, which was named after the Saint. In the civil parish of St. Landry, Louisiana (the parish in which I live), the current St. Landry Catholic Church in Opelousas was dedicated in 1908; a statue of St. Landry stands behind the altar (and is shown above, from when I took the photo a few years ago). There is also a stained glass window with his image on the southwest end of the church (which I haven’t seen, as of yet, and I keep forgetting to go over there to get a photo). While Saint Landry is not an official Patron Saint of anything (being a rather obscure Saint), I think it safe to say that he is the Patron Saint of the Civil Parish of St. Landry, Louisiana. We also honor today Servant of God Antoni Gaudí (died 1926). Born as Antoni Plàcid Guillem Gaudí i Cornet in Reus, Catalonia in 1852, between 1875 and 1878 he completed his compulsory military service in the Infantry regiment in Barcelona as a Military Administrator. Gaudí studied architecture at the Llotja School and the Barcelona Higher School of Architecture, from which he graduated in 1878. After a few years under the influence of neo-Gothic art, and certain oriental tendencies, Gaudí became part of the Catalan Modernista movement which was then at its peak, towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Gaudí’s work, however, transcended mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style that was inspired by nature without losing the influence of the experiences gained earlier in his career. Today he is admired by both professionals and the general public: his masterpiece, the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, is one of the most visited monuments in Catalonia. He awakened to his Roman Catholic faith during his life and many religious symbols can be seen in his works, a fact which has led to his being nicknamed “God’s Architect” and to his being named a Servant of God in 2000. There was a report in May 2014 that Gaudí would be Beatified within the next year by Pope Francis. (If you know of any miracles that can be attributed to him, please contact the Vatican.)

I woke up at 9:00 am at the kids’ place in Connecticut; Matthew had gone to the Navy base, and Amy had gone to work (she is a medical assistance nurse at the local walk-in clinic). I renewed The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith at the Lafayette Public Library website (it is now due July 1st). We spent a nice low-impact Day with Callie and the baby. 20150610_152603 Richard got lunch from KFC to bring back to the house, and Matthew was home for a bit before heading back to the base. Amy came in from work, and Matthew came back home. We said our goodbyes to everyone, and left at 5:00 pm.

I posted the picture of Richard and I and the baby to Facebook, and we entered Rhode Island at 5:30 pm. At 6:15 pm we reached Massachusetts. We reached the Americas Best Value Inn and Suites in Foxborough, Massachusetts at 6:30 pm. After checking in, we drove up to Patriot Place, and ate dinner at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, and ate fine dining very well. After a stop at a Random Convenience Store for some Diet Cokes, we returned to our motel room at 8:45 pm. And I will now do my Daily Update before going to bed.

Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle. We will have a busy day, as we will drive to Boston to the Avis / Budget rental car center to return the car, take the shuttle bus to our terminal at Logan International Airport, take the 8:46 am United Airlines flight to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, arrive in Houston at 12:51 pm CDT, call for the Americas Best Value Inn and Suites – Bush Intercontinental Airport shuttle to take us to the motel, pick up the car at the motel, drive home, say hello to the cats, and go to bed, as we are returning to the casino to start our work week at 3:00 am on Friday.

Our Parting Quote on this Wednesday evening is from Chinghiz Aitmatov, Soviet and Kyrgyz author. Born in 1928 in Sheker, in the Kara-Buura District of Talas Province of Kyrgyzstan, his parents were civil servants; the name “Chingiz” is the same as the honorary title of Genghis Khan. In early childhood he wandered as a nomad with his family, as the Kyrgyz people did at the time. In 1937 his father was charged with “bourgeois nationalism” in Moscow, arrested, and executed in 1938. Aitmatov lived at a time when Kyrgyzstan was being transformed from one of the most remote lands of the Russian Empire to a republic of the USSR. The future author studied at a Soviet school in Sheker. He also worked from an early age; at fourteen he was an assistant to the Secretary at the Village Soviet. He later held jobs as a tax collector, a loader, an engineer’s assistant and continued with many other types of work. In 1946 he began studying at the Animal Husbandry Division of the Kirghiz Agricultural Institute in Frunze, but later switched to literary studies at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow, where he lived from 1956 to 1958. For the next eight years he worked for Pravda. His first two stories appeared in 1952 in Russian, and his first story in the Kyrgyz language was published in 1954. His well known story ”Jamilya” (“Jamila”) appeared in 1958. Aitmatov was honored in 1963 with the Lenin Prize for “Jamilya” and was later awarded a State prize in 1966 for his short novel Farewell, Gulsary!. His first full-length novel, The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years, was published in 1980; his next significant novel, The Scaffold, was published in 1988. His work drew on folklore, but not in the ancient sense of it; rather, he tried to recreate and synthesize oral tales in the context of contemporary life. In addition to his literary work, he was the Kyrgyzstan ambassador to the European Union, NATO, UNESCO and the Benelux countries (died 2008): “Du öffnest die Bücher und sie öffnen dich.” (“You open the books and you are opened.”)

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