Daily Update: Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Josaphat

Today is the Memorial of Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych, Bishop and Martyr (died 1623). Today is also the birthday of Richard’s sister Bonnie in Texas (1944). And Early Voting continues for the November 21st, 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial General Election.

Born in 1580 at Volodymyr, Lithuania (modern Ukraine) as Josafat Kuntsevych, the father of today’s Saint was a municipal counselor and his mother was known for her piety. He was raised in the Orthodox Ruthenian Church which, on November 23, 1595 in the Union of Brest, united with the Church of Rome. Trained as a merchant’s apprentice at Vilna, he was offered partnership in the business, and marriage to his partner’s daughter; feeling the call to religious life, he declined both. Becoming a monk in the Ukrainian Order of Saint Basil (Basilians) in Vilna at age 20 in 1604, he was ordained as a Byzantine rite priest in 1609. Josaphat’s superior, Samuel, never accepted unity with Rome, and looked for a way to fight against Roman Catholicism and the Uniats, the name given those who brought about and accepted the union of the Churches. Learning of Samuel’s work, and fearing the physical and spiritual damage it could cause, Josaphat brought it to the attention of his superiors. The archbishop of Kiev removed Samuel from his post, replacing him with Josaphat as Superior. He was a famous preacher, and worked to bring unity among the faith and to bring strayed Christians back to the Church. He was appointed Bishop of Vitebsk in 1617. Most religious, fearing interference with the natively developed liturgy and customs, did not want union with Rome. Bishop Josaphat believed unity to be in the best interests of the Church, and by teaching, clerical reform, and personal example he won the greater part of the Orthodox in Lithuania to the union. Never completely suitable to either side, Roman authorities sometimes raised objection to his Orthodox actions. He became Archbishop of Polotsk, Lithuania in 1618. While Josaphat attended the Diet of Warsaw in 1620, a dissident group, supported by Cossacks, set up an anti-Uniat bishops for each Uniat one, spread the accusation that Josaphat had “gone Latin,” and that his followers would be forced to do the same, and placed a usurper on the archbishop’s chair. Despite warnings, John went to Vitebsk, a hotbed of trouble, to try to correct the misunderstandings, and settle disturbances. The army remained loyal to the king, who remained loyal to the Union, and so the army tried to protect Josaphat and his clergy. Late in 1623 an anti-Uniat priest named Elias shouted insults at Josaphat from his own courtyard, and tried to force his way into the residence. When he was removed, a mob assembled and forced his release. Mob mentality took over, and they invaded the residence. Josaphat tried to insure the safety of his servants before fleeing himself, but did not get out in time, and was martyred by the mob. His death was a shock to both sides of the dispute, brought some sanity and a cooling off period to both sides of the conflict. Canonized in 1876, he was the first Eastern saint to be canonized by Rome, and is the Patron Saint of Ukraine. Today is also the birthday of Richard’s Sister Bonnie in Texas (1944). And Early Voting continues for the November 21st, 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial General Election.

Last night our New Orleans Pelicans last their game with the Atlanta Hawks by the score of 98 to 106.

I woke up at 7:15 am at Liz Ellen’s house in Ashland, Kentucky. I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, then ate my breakfast toast and read the local paper.

Richard and I said goodbye to Liz Ellen and Winger, and left at 8:45 am. I did my Internet Devotional Reading, and Richard called his sister Bonnie in Texas to wish her a Happy Birthday. I read the Lexington Herald-Leader and the USA Today. At 12:30 pm Eastern Standard Time we crossed backed into changed to Central Standard Time, and confirmed our lunch time and destination via text messages with Nedra. I was trying to order my Christmas Cards online (I should have done that on November 4th), and was not paying sufficient attention to my navigating of our route, until I realized that Richard was heading straight for Nashville. I had to route him across country, which very much annoyed him, and which was my fault. At 1:30 pm CST we reached Tennessee.

We met my friend Nedra at the Cheddar’s in Clarksville, Tennessee at 2;00 pm for a late lunch. We had a good visit and lunch, and got caught up on the latest news in our lives. We said our goodbyes at 3:15 pm, and headed for Nashville and points south. Richard and I reached Alabama at 5:30 pm. We checked in at the Best Western in Athens, Alabama at 5:45 pm, after 10 hours of being on the road today. And once I do my Daily Update I will go to sleep.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Stanislaus Kostka, Religious (died 1568), and the Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin and Religious (died 1917). And since today is Thursday the 12th, that makes tomorrow Friday the 13th (the first one since March). And Early Voting continues for the November 21st, 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial General Election. We will head for Baton Rouge, Louisiana tomorrow (we have a hotel room waiting for us across the river in Port allen). If I wish to start reading Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger tomorrow, I will need to buy it as an ebook from Barnes and Noble to read on my Nook (since the Overdrive copy I requested has not come available), but I do not know if I will be home by Tuesday, or if I will be able to go to the Third Tuesday Book Club meeting at the Barnes and Noble in Lafayette on Tuesday night. In sports our LSU Womens Basketball team (0-0, 8th SEC) will start their regular season with an away game with Wake Forest (0-0, 4th ACC), our New Orleans Pelicans (1-7, 14th Western) will play an away game with the Toronto Raptors (6-3, 3rd Eastern), and our #21 ranked LSU Men’s Basketball team (0-0, 4th SEC) will open their regular season with a home game with McNeese State (0-0, 5th Southland).

Our Thursday Evening Parting Quote comes to us from Wilma Rudolph, American athlete. Born prematurely in 1940 in Clarksville, Tennessee to a poor black family, she had 21 brothers and sisters, and caught infantile paralysis (caused by the polio virus) as a very young child. She recovered but wore a brace on her left leg and foot which had become twisted as a result. By the time she was twelve years old, she had also survived scarlet fever, whooping cough, chickenpox and measles. Her family drove her regularly from Clarksville, Tennessee to Nashville, Tennessee for treatments to straighten her twisted leg. In junior high she followed her older sister Yolanda’s example and joined the basketball team. The coach, Clinton Gray, did not put her in a single game for three years. Finally, in her sophomore year, she became the starting guard. She became a star, setting state records for scoring and leading her team to the state championship. During the state basketball tournament, she was spotted by Ed Temple, the coach for the famous Tigerbells, the women’s track team at Tennessee State University. She had already gained some track experience, mostly as a way to keep busy between basketball seasons. Because her high school did not have the funding for a track team, Coach Temple invited her to Tennessee State for a summer sports camp. By the time she was 16 she had earned a berth on the U.S. Olympic track and field team and came home from the 1956 Melbourne Games with an Olympic bronze medal in the 4 x 100 meter relay. After graduating from high school Rudolph received a full scholarship to Tennessee State. Because of all the celebrity she received from her track career, she took a year off from her studies to make appearances and compete in international track events. She then went to the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy. As the temperature climbed toward 110 degrees, 80,000 spectators jammed the Stadio Olimpico, and Rudolph ran the 100-meter dash in an impressive 11 seconds flat. However the time was not credited as a world record because it was wind-aided. She also won the 200-meter dash in 23.2 seconds, a new Olympic record. After these twin triumphs, she was being hailed throughout the world as “the fastest woman in history”. Finally, on September 11, 1960, she combined with Tennessee State teammates Martha Hudson, Lucinda Williams and Barbara Jones to win the 400-meter relay in 44.5 seconds, setting a world record.  The powerful sprinter emerged from the 1960 Rome Olympics as “The Tornado,” the fastest woman on earth. The Italians nicknamed her “La Gazzella Negra” (the Black Gazelle); to the French she was “La Perle Noire” (The Black Pearl). Her victory parade back home in Clarksville was the first integrated event to ever happen in the town. Rudolph was United Press Athlete of the Year 1960 and Associated Press Woman Athlete of the Year for 1960 and 1961. Also in 1961, the year of her father’s death, Rudolph won the James E. Sullivan Award, an award for the top amateur athlete in the United States, and visited President John F. Kennedy. Rudolph retired from track competition in 1962 at age 22 after winning two races at a U.S.–Soviet meet. She returned to Tennessee State University and received a Bachelor’s degree in education, graduating in 1963 and marrying her high school sweetheart; they later divorced. She taught at her old elementary school and was the track coach at her high school.  She then moved on to coaching positions, first in Maine and then in Indiana. She was invited to be the guest speaker at dozens of schools and universities. She also went into broadcasting and became a sports commentator on national television and the co-host of a network radio show. She was voted into the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1973 and the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1974. In 1977 she wrote her autobiography, simply titled Wilma. Rudolph was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983, honored with the National Sports Award in 1993, and inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994 (died 1994): “My doctor told me I would never walk again. My mother told me I would. I believed my mother.”

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