Daily Update: Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Januarius and Our Lady of La Salette and 09-19 - Talk Like A Pirate Day

Arrr! Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Januarius, Bishop and Martyr (died about 304), and today is the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of La Salette. Today is the third of three Ember Days for this season, and today is also International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

According to various Christian legends, Januarius was allegedly born in Benevento to a rich patrician family that traced its descent to the Caudini tribe of the Samnites. At the young age of 15 he became local priest of his parish in Benevento, which at the time was relatively pagan. When Januarius was 20 he became Bishop of Naples and befriended Juliana of Nicomedia and Saint Sossius whom he met during his priestly studies. During the one and a half year-long persecution of Christians by Emperor Diocletian, he hid his fellow Christians and prevented them from being caught. Unfortunately, while visiting Sossius in jail, he too was arrested. He and his colleagues were condemned to be thrown to wild bears in the Flavian Amphitheater at Pozzuoli, but the sentence was changed due to fear of public disturbances, and they were instead beheaded at the Solfatara crater near Pozzuoli. His dried blood is stored in two hermetically sealed small ampoules, held since the 17th century in a silver reliquary between two round glass plates in Naples. The smaller ampoule, of cylindrical shape, contains only a few reddish spots on its walls (the bulk having allegedly been removed and taken to Spain by Charles III). The larger ampoule is about 60% filled with a dark reddish substance. Since at least 1389, on his feast day, and on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May, the blood liquefies, to the joy of all the faithful in Naples. Saint Januarius is the Patron Saint of blood banks and of the city of Naples, Italy; his aid is invoked against volcanic eruptions. Turning to Our Lady of La Salette, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to two children on September 19, 1846 on Mount Sous-Les Baisses, France. She was weeping bitterly, and continued to weep even as she spoke to them, first in French, then in their own dialect of Occitan. The Virgin invited people to respect the repose of Sunday, and the name of God. She threatened punishment, in particular a scarcity of potatoes, which would rot. She then gave a personal message to each of the children, then disappeared. The apparition was approved by the appropriate office of the Vatican in 1851. The message of the visionaries of La Salette focuses on the conversion of all humanity to Christ. Though La Salette’s message is embedded in the bygone environment of the nineteenth century, rural France, it has had a tremendous impact on the modern world. Saints (for example, John Vianney), pastors (such as Don Bosco), and religious writers (like Joris-Karl Huysmans) have all been influenced by La Salette. The spirit of La Salette is one of prayer, conversion, and commitment. Today is the third of three Ember Days for this season of the year. Ember days (a corruption from the Latin Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073 – 1085) for the consecutive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after December 13 (the feast of St. Lucy), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday (Pentecost), and after September 14 (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. In the secular realm, today is also International Talk Like A Pirate Day. It was created in created in 1996 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate; the date chosen was that of Summer’s ex-wife’s birthday, as being a date easy for him to remember. Baur and Summers sent a letter to syndicated columnist Dave Barry in 2002, and he promoted the holiday. Actor Robert Newton (died 1956), who portrayed Long John Silver in the 1950 Disney film Treasure Island and again in the 1954 Australian film Long John Silver, is described as the “patron saint” of Talk Like A Pirate Day. Newton was born in Dorset and educated in Cornwall, and it was his native West Country dialect, which he used in his portrayal of Long John Silver and Blackbeard, that some contend is the origin of the standard “pirate accent”. International Talk Like A Pirate Day is a recognized holiday by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Google Search and Facebook have the option to select “Pirate” as a language choice, and the Long John Silver’s seafood chain has a promotion for those who dress as and / or talk like pirates at their restaurants.

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. At the Pre-Shift Meeting Richard won a $10.00 meal comp, which we will use on Tuesday for breakfast in ADR. Once on the casino floor, Richard was the Relief Dealer for two regular Blackjack tables, and also had Three Card Blackjack and the $5.00 minimum Blackjack tables on his Relief string for the first couple of rotations, until they closed Three Card Blackjack and took the $5.00 minimum Blackjack table off of his string. I was on Let It Ride, closed that table, then was on one of Richard’s Blackjack tables for the rest of the day.

Once home from work I set up my medications for next week (I have one prescription to renew on Monday), and read the morning Paper. I then went to the Adoration Chapel for my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. During my Hour I started reading the September 14th, 2015 issue of my Jesuit America Magazine. When I got home the second Sons of Anarchy T-shirt (our Christmas present for Matthew and Callie’s roommate Amy) was delivered, and we ate muffalattas and watched our #13 LSU Tigers play the #18 Auburn Tigers at home. I went to bed at halftime, and did not do my Daily Update. The final score of the game was LSU 45, Auburn 21; our Tigers are now 2 and 0 (2 and 0 in the SEC), and will next play an away game with the Syracuse Orange next Saturday at 11:00 am.

Tomorrow is the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, and the Memorial of Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest and Martyr (died 1846), Saint Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, Catechist and Martyr (died 1839), and Companions, Martyrs (died 1839, 1846, and 1869). On my breaks I will do my Daily Update for yesterday, Saturday, September 19th, 2015 via WordPress for Android. After work we will go to the store to get my interim salad supplies, then settle down to watch the home game between our New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I will then make my lunch salads for Monday and Tuesday.

Since we have no Pirates to give us a Parting Quote this Friday afternoon (arrr!) we instead turn to Martha Holmes, American photographer and photojournalist. Born in 1923 in Louisville, Kentucky, she was studying art at the University of Louisville and at the Speed Art Museum when someone suggested in the early 1940s that she apply for work at the Louisville Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times newspapers. She was hired and began as assistant to a color photographer, but soon became a full-time black-and-white photographer when many of the paper’s male photographers were called to service in World War II. In September 1944, Holmes left for Life magazine and New York. She moved to Washington, D.C., in 1947, to be one of Life‘s three staff photographers there. She covered the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings during the height of the committee’s investigations into the entertainment industry and alleged communist propaganda. After two years in Washington she returned to New York and lived there for the rest of her life. She continued working for Life, for which she photographed two covers, on a freelance basis and by 1950 was named one of the top 10 female photographers in the nation. Holmes’s photographs were published in PeopleRedbookCoronet and Collier‘s magazines and exhibited worldwide, including at the International Center of Photography, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Louvre in Paris. Her most famous photographs were of Jackson Pollock and Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. She was married for 46 years to Arthur Waxman, a theatrical executive and early general manager of the Actors Studio, who died in 1998 (died 2006): “One thing Life always taught us: They’d say, ‘Film is cheap. Use it. Shoot, shoot, shoot.’”

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