Daily Update: Friday, November 13th, 2015

Stanislaw Kostka and Frances Xavier Cabrini and Friday the 13th

Today 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 today is Friday the Thirteenth, our first one since March. And Early Voting continues for the November 21st, 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial General Election.

Stanislaus Kostka was born in 1550 in Rostkowo, Poland; his father was a senator of the Kingdom of Poland and Lord of Zakroczym. In 1564 he and his older brother Paul arrived at Vienna with their tutor to attend the Jesuit college that had been opened four years before. Stanislaus was soon conspicuous among his classmates during his 3 years of schooling, not only for his amiability and cheerfulness of expression, but also for his growing religious fervour and piety. During the course of a serious illness he was brought communion by two angels sent by St. Barbara, to whom he had a special devotion. His older brother’s reaction to his younger brother’s piety was to treat him with harsh comments and blows.When Stanislaus applied to join the Society of Jesus at Vienna, they hesitated to admit him, fearing the tempest that would probably be raised by his father against the Society, which had just quieted a storm unleashed by others entering the Order. Stanislaus quickly grasped the situation and formed the plan of applying to the general of the Society at Rome. On the morning of the day on which he was to carry out his project he called his servant to him early and told him to notify his brother Paul and his tutor in the course of the morning that he would not be back that day to dinner. Then he started, exchanging the dress of gentleman for that of a mendicant, which was the only way to escape the curiosity of those he met. By nightfall Paul and the tutor comprehended that Stanislaus had left for Rome. They were seized with a fierce anger, and as the day was ended the fugitive had gained a day over them. They started to follow him, but were not able to overtake him due to a series of curious accidents. Stanislaus stayed for a month at Dillingen, where the provincial of that time, the future Saint Peter Canisius, put the young aspirant’s vocation to the test by employing him in the boarding-school. He arrived in 1567 in Rome. As he was greatly exhausted by the journey, the general of the order, Saint Francis Borgia, would not permit him to enter the novitiate of Saint Andrew until several days later. He was a model and mirror of perfection during his ten months in the novitiate before his death. Stanislaus is a popular saint of Poland and many religious institutions have chosen him as the protector of their novitiates, and he is the Patron Saint of Jesuit novices and students, of those suffering from broken bones, and of Poland. We also honor Saint Frances Cabrini, born as Francesca Saverio Cabrini in 1850 at Sant’Angelo Lodigiano, Lombardy, today’s Saint was one of thirteen children raised on a farm. She received a convent education, and training as a teacher, and tried to join the order at age 18, but poor health prevented her taking the veil. A priest asked her to teach at a girl’s school, the House of Providence Orphanage in Cadagono, Italy, which she did for six years. She took religious vows in 1877, and acquitted herself so well at her work that when the orphanage closed in 1880, her bishop asked her to found the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. Pope Leo XIII then sent her to the United States to carry on this mission. She and six Sisters arrived in New York in 1889. They worked among immigrants, especially Italians. Mother Cabrini founded 67 institutions, including schools, hospitals, and orphanages in the United States, Europe and South America. Like many of the people she worked with, Mother became a United States citizen during her life, and after her death she was the first United States citizen to be canonized. The date fixed at the universal level for Mother Cabrini’s feast day is November 13, the day of her beatification; before 1970, her feast day was December 22, the date of her death. She is the Patron Saint of immigrants and hospital administrators. Turning to Friday the Thirteenth, the fear of the number 13 has been given a scientific name: triskaidekaphobia; and on analogy to this the fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή, meaning “Friday”), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς, meaning “thirteen”), attached to phobia (from phóbos, meaning “fear”). The word was derived in 1911 and first appeared in a mainstream source in 1953. While the number thirteen has been considered unlucky since perhaps the Last Supper (which had twelve disciples, plus Jesus), and while Friday has been considered an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects at least since the 14th century, as witnessed by Chaucer’sCanterbury Tales, the combination of the two does not appear to have been considered doubly unlucky until the 20th century. It is possible that the publication in 1907 of Thomas W. Lawson’s popular novel Friday, the Thirteenth contributed to disseminating the superstition. In the novel an unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th. According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. At the casino, I have never noticed that fear of the day affects our business in any great fashion. (In Italy, Friday the 17th is considered unlucky; the 2000 parody film Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth was released in Italy with the title Shriek – Hai impegni per venerdì 17? (“Shriek – Do You Have Something to Do on Friday the 17th?“). Our next Friday the Thirteenth will be in May of 2016. And Early Voting continues for the November 21st, 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial General Election.

I woke up at 6:30 am at the Best Western in Athens, Alabama. I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and Richard and I checked out at 7:30 am. We ate breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, and I started reading the Weekender USA Today.

We were on the road south at 8:15 am, and I posted to Facebook that it was Friday the Thirteenth. I then Did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the First Day of my Christ the King Novena. Next, I purchased the ebook of Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger for my Nook, as I was unable to borrow the book via Overdrive. I then finished reading the Weekender USA Today, and read the local paper.

Richard and I then continued listening to the Audiobook of The Assassin by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott, Read by Scott Brick. We reached Mississippi at 11:30 am, and at 11:45 am passed by the IHOP parking lot sinkhole in Meridian. Richard then got a text message from his friend Steve in Baton Rouge asking if we wanted to meet him to go to the LSU Men’s Basketball game tonight; I told Richard that I did not want to go to the game, but that I did not mind if he went. We ate lunch at the McDonald’s in Poplarville, Mississippi at 1:30 pm, reached Louisiana at 2:15 pm, and finished listening to the Audiobook of The Assassin by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott, Read by Scott Brick.

We checked into the Hampton Inn and Suites in Port Allen, Louisiana at 4:00 pm, and watched Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm. Richard then left for the LSU game. I did my Book Review for The Assassin by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott, Read by Scott Brick for this Weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts. Our LSU Women’s Basketball team lost their opener with Wake Forest by the score of 57 to 60; our Lady Tigers will next play Louisiana Monroe in a home game on Sunday, November 15th. Our New Orleans Pelicans are now playing the Toronto Raptors, and I will report the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update. And our #21 ranked LSU Men’s Basketball team will have their opener with McNeese State, with Richard at the game; I will report the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update. And once I finish today’s Daily Update, I will start reading the ebook of Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger on my Nook.

Tomorrow we will have no Saints to honor, so instead we will note that since tomorrow is the Saturday on or after November 9th, tomorrow is Sadie Hawkins Day. And tomorrow is the last day for Early Voting for the November 21st, 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial General Election. I will sleep in, and in the late morning Richard and I will head to the LSU campus. We will eat lunch off campus, and eventually go to the football game with our #9 LSU Tigers vs the Arkansas Razorbacks. And after the game we will return to our motel in Port Allen.

On this Friday the Thirteenth Evening our Parting Quote comes to us from Todd Christensen, American football player and sports commentator. Born in 1956 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, his family moved to Eugene, Oregon when he was five years old. At the age of nine he excelled in track and field, setting world records. After graduating from high school he attended Brigham Young University in Utah, where he was a four-year starter (1974–1977) at running back, led the team for three consecutive seasons in receiving, and was an All-Western Athletic Conference selection in 1977. He graduated with a degree in social work in 1978. Christensen began his NFL career as a second-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1978 NFL Draft. While playing fullback and leading the team in rushing, he broke his foot in the final exhibition game, so he was placed on injured reserve and could not play a down in a season when the team went on to play in Super Bowl XIII. The next year the Cowboys wanted to convert him to tight end, but he did not agree with the move after working one week in his new position, so he was waived at the end of training camp. He was claimed off waivers by the New York Giants but only played in one game, and lasted two weeks with the team. After being unclaimed, he was signed by the Oakland Raiders in 1979 and became a key player on special teams. After three seasons of unspectacular statistics (including the Raiders’ Super Bowl winning campaign in 1980), Christensen broke out in 1982, catching 42 passes for 510 yards and four touchdowns during the strike-shortened season, helping the Raiders to the best record in the NFL. The next year Christensen caught 92 passes for a career high 1,247 yards and 12 touchdowns and earned the first of his five trips to the Pro Bowl for his efforts. His total catches led the NFL, making him the second tight end to ever do this (Kellen Winslow was the other). The Raiders finished the season with a resounding 38–9 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. Christensen topped 1,000 yards again in 1984, catching 82 passes in the process. He hit 80 receptions again the following year, missing 1,000 yards by just 13 yards. The 1986 NFL season was Christensen’s last big one statistically. He ended the year with a career-high, league-leading 95 receptions for 1,153 yards and eight touchdowns. He also became the first tight end in history to catch 90 passes in each of two consecutive seasons. Christensen’s 1987 campaign was cut short, but in 12 games he still managed to catch 47 balls (a little fewer than four per game). His 663 yards averaged to 14.1 yards per reception, a career high in seasons where he caught at least 40 passes. In Christensen’s final year, he missed more than half the season with injuries. He only caught 15 passes, with none going for touchdowns, and then he retired from pro football. In his NFL career Christensen caught 461 passes for 5,872 yards and 41 touchdowns. In eight postseason games, he caught 31 balls for 358 yards and only one touchdown. He led the league in receptions twice, and his 349 receptions from 1983 through 86 (four seasons) was an NFL record. Following his football career Christensen had tryouts with the Oakland Athletics and the Anaheim Angels but found his niche in Masters Track and Field where he set an age-group World Record in the Heptathlon and was the top decathlete in the world for ages 45-and-over. Christensen then became a broadcaster, co-hosting the second half of the first season of American Gladiators with Mike Adamle. He later joined the NFL on NBC as a color commentator from 1990 to 1994, teaming up with Charlie Jones for the first four years. In 1994 Christensen guest-starred on an episode of Married… with Children titled “Kelly Knows Something.” In 2000 he was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.He did color commentary for ESPN’s college football coverage before moving to MountainWest Sports Network. Christensen would remain with “the mtn.” until the network shut down in June 2012. Christensen was announced as the new analyst for CBS Sports Network Navy games in August 2012 (died 2013):  “Puberty and adolescence helped me realize that I was not as fast as I had thought. My body went a different direction and that was when I started leaning towards football.”

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