Daily Update: Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin

Today is the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, and the Optional Memorial of Blessed Louis Martin, Husband (died 1894) and Blessed Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin, Wife (died 1877), and Parents.

Blessed Louis Martin was born in 1823 in Bordeaux, Gironde, France. He had wished to become a monk at the Augustinian Monastery of the Great St Bernard, but due to his lack of knowledge of Latin he was rejected, and decided to become a watchmaker. Meanwhile, Blessed Marie-Azélie Guérin had been born in 1831 in Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, Orne, France. An older sister had become a nun, and Marie-Azélie wanted to become a nun as well, but was turned away by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul due to respiratory difficulties and recurrent headaches. She became a lacemaker, met Louis Martin in 1858, and the pair married less than three months later. They led a continent marriage for nearly a year, but were convinced by their confessors that they could best serve God by producing children. Five daughters survived infancy, with the last one, Marie-Françoise-Thérèse, being born in 1873. Marie-Azélie Martin died of breast cancer in 1877; Louis sold her lacemaking business and moved to Lisieux, in Normandy, where his brother in law Isidore Guérin, a pharmacist, lived with his wife and two daughters. In the mid-1880s three of his daughters entered the convent (one returned, albeit temporarily); in 1887 he took his two youngest daughters on a pilgrimage to Rome, during which the youngest daughter asked the Pope for permission to enter the Carmelite convent at the age of fifteen (he deferred to the decision of the superiors at Carmel). In 1888 the youngest daughter entered the same Carmelite convent that held her two oldest sisters; the next year Louis Martin had a stroke. After three years in the hospital, he returned home and was devoted nursed by his third and fourth daughters for two years until his death in 1894; the third daughter then became a Visitandine nun (after several attempts to become a nun with other orders), and the fourth daughter joined the Carmel at Lisieux with her other sisters. The fifth daughter, Marie-Françoise-Thérèse, was canonized as Saint Thérèse de Lisieux in 1925. Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin were declared “venerable” in 1994 by Pope John Paul II and were beatified in 2008. In 2011 the letters of Blessed Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin and Louis Martin were published in English as A Call to a Deeper Love: The Family Correspondence of the Parents of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, 1863-1885, translated by Ann Connors Hess and edited by Dr. Frances Renda. Only 16 letters from Louis survive, but many of Marie-Azélie’s 216 letters give vivid details about Louis as husband and father. On January 7th, 2013, Archbishop Carlos Osoro Serra of Valencia, Spain presided at the opening of the canonical process to inquire into the healing in 2008 of a little girl named Carmen who was born in Valencia four days before Louis and Zelie were beatified. Eight doctors testified that there was no scientific explanation for her cure. The diocesan tribunal held its closing session on May 21st, 2013, and the file was sent to Rome for review by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which accepted and promulgated the miracle on March 18th, 2015. Cardinal Angelo Amato announced that Louis and Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin would be canonized as saints on October 18th, 2015 during the Synod of Bishops.

When we went to leave the house in the truck, we found that the passenger side rear tire was flat, so we took the car to work. When we clocked in, Richard was on Mississippi Stud, closed that table, then was on the Sit-Down Blackjack table, closed that table, then became the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, adding the second Mississippi Stud table to his last rotation. I started out on a Blackjack table, then was sent to the second Pai Gow table; when I closed that table, they sent me to a Blackjack table in one of our Overflow pits, so I did the first hour and twenty minutes before getting a break. They then sent me to the Mississippi Stud table in our High Stakes area, and I finally ended up as the dealer on Pai Gow. Because Richard had to pick up the extra table on his last rotation, I had to work the last hour. On my breaks I decided not to read Lock In by John Scalzi (and thus to not go to the Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club meeting on Tuesday), and that I will leave for my trip to see Nedra on Monday, August 3rd, rather than try to get out early on Sunday, August 2nd and leave then. (If were to plan to leave on Sunday, I would have to figure in the possibility of not getting out early, a few hours for a nap, and three hours travel time to drive to the New Orleans airport. It’s better if I leave on Monday; that way I can do my laundry and packing on Sunday, and leave for New Orleans after I wake up.) Tentatively, I plan to fly Southwest, leaving New Orleans at 7:35 am on August 3rd, and arriving in Nashville at 9:10 am, and then to leave Nashville at 8:00 am on August 6th, and arriving in New Orleans at 9:25 am. And I tentatively will rent a car while in Nashville, to use between August 3rd and August 6th.

On our way home we stopped at Wal-Mart, where Richard got some groceries. Once home I read the Sunday papers, then took a nap, waking up at 7:00 pm to do today’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Henry, King (died 1024). It is also the birthday of my daughter’s friend Ashley (1988). Tomorrow is the first day of the current pay period at the casino, and we will work our eight hours. At some point during the day I will finalize my purchase of airline tickets and of car rental via the Southwest app on my phone.

Our Sunday Afternoon Parting Quote comes to us from Jamil Ahmad, Pakistani author. Born in 1931 in Punjab (then in India, now in Pakistan), after his early education in Lahore, he joined the civil service in 1954 and worked in the Swat valley, a remote Hindu Kush area, near the Afghan border. During his career he worked at various remote areas such as the Frontier Province, Quetta, Chaghi, Khyber and Malakand. His experiences in these tribal valleys assisted him in his literary work, which was mainly focused on the lives of the tribal villagers. He also served as minister at the Pakistani embassy in Kabul during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. His wife Helga Ahmad, a nationally recognized environmentalist and social worker, was critical of his early attempts at poetry, but then diligently tried to promote his work. She painstakingly typed his handwritten manuscript of The Wandering Falcon on a typewriter with German keys. Published in 2011 and written in English, The Wandering Falcon can either be construed as a short story collection or as a novel, based on differing perspectives. The book narrates the story of Tor Baz (the black falcon) and his travails through the remote tribal areas along the Pakistan – Afghan border where he experiences the lives of the ethnic pashtuns. The stories travel through the strict code of conduct of the tribals known as pashtunwali, the lawlessness of the land where women are traded as commodity, adultery, and anarchism, silhouetted against the Baluch desert landscape. The book received critical acclaim, and was short listed for the Man Asian Prize, widely known as Asia’s highest literary award, in 2011. The book was also a finalist for the DSC prize for South Asian Literature in 2013. He also published a short story, “The Sins of the Mother”, in 2010. Ahmad was one of the few English writers of Pakistani origin to have garnered attention outside his country. Though his body of work was small and limited to one book and one short story, he was considered as a major writer among Pakistani writers of English fiction (died 2014): “…One lives and survives only if one has the ability to swallow and digest bitter and unpalatable things. We, you and I, and our people shall live because there are only a few among us who do not love raw onions.”

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