Daily Update: Friday, May 6th, 2016

05-06 - Sack of Rome

With no Saints to honor today, we note that today is the First Friday of the Month, dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of jesus. We also note that in 1527 the mutinous troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, sacked the City of Rome.

The First Friday of each month is dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Turning to the Sack of Rome, this event marked a crucial imperial victory in the The War of the League of Cognac (1526–1529) between the Holy Roman Empire and the alliance of France, Milan, Venice, Florence and the Papacy. The army of the Holy Roman Emperor had defeated the French army in Italy, but funds were not available to pay the soldiers. The 34,000 Imperial troops mutinied and forced their commander, Charles III, Duke of Bourbon and Constable of France, to lead them towards Rome, which had a population of some 55,000. Some who considered themselves followers of Luther’s Protestant movement viewed the Papal capital as a target for religious reasons, and shared with the soldiers a desire for the sack and pillage of a very rich city that appeared to be an easy target. Numerous bandits, along with the League’s deserters, joined the army during its march. During the initial attack on the city Charles III was wearing his famous white cloak to mark him out to his troops, but it also had the unintended consequence of pointing him out as the leader to his enemies; he was fatally wounded in the assault on Rome, allegedly shot by Benvenuto Cellini. Philibert of Châlon took command of the armies, but he was not as popular or feared, leaving him with little authority among the troops. The death of the last respected command authority among the army caused any restraint in the soldiers to disappear, and they easily captured the walls of Rome the same day. One of the Swiss Guard’s most notable hours occurred at this time; almost the entire guard was massacred by Imperial troops on the steps of St Peter’s Basilica. Of 189 guards on duty only 42 survived, but their bravery ensured that Pope Clement VII escaped to safety down the Passetto di Borgo, a secret corridor which still links the Vatican City to Castel Sant’Angelo. After the brutal execution of some 1,000 defenders of the Papal capital and the shrines, the pillage began. Churches and monasteries, but also palaces of prelates and cardinals, were destroyed and spoiled of any precious objects. An estimated 6,000 to 12,000 people were murdered. The Vatican Library was saved because Philibert had set up his headquarters there; he ordered the Sack to end after three days, but had no authority with the troops. The Pope surrendered in June, and agreed to pay a ransom of 400,000 ducats. In December he escaped his captivity in Castel Sant’Angelo (dressed as a peddler). Many Imperial soldiers died in the following months (they remained in the city until February 1528) from diseases caused by the large number of unburied dead bodies in the city. The pillage only ended when, after eight months, the food ran out, there was no one left to ransom, and plague appeared. The Pope returned in October 1528 to a devastated city with only 10,000 inhabitants. The Sack of Rome marked the end of the Roman Renaissance, damaged the papacy’s prestige, and freed Charles V’s hands to act against the Reformation in Germany and against the rebellious German princes allied with Martin Luther. In commemoration of the Sack and the Guard’s bravery, new recruits to the Swiss Guard are sworn in on May 6th every year.

I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading, said the Eighth Day of my Ascension Novena, and said the First Day of my Pentecost Novena. I also requested The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan from the Lafayette Public Library, as I need to read the book for my Third Tuesday Book Club (the book is not available either on Overdrive or at my local library). We signed the Early Out list; Richard gave a couple of extra breaks to dealers, helped change Blackjack cards, and sent people to the office (he had to go himself, to sign a Tribal Commission report about an error he had made on Pai Gow the other day). I was on Mini Baccarat, and did not have any guests. We got out at 4:30 am; on our way home we stopped to get Richard some breakfast at the McDonald’s drive through in our town. We got home at 5:15 am, and I went back to bed; later Richard, after he read the morning paper and ate his McDonald’s breakfast, joined me.

Waking up at 11:00 am, I made my lunch salads for today and Sunday, and ate today’s salad while reading the morning paper. Our snail mail brought me my copy of A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O’Brian (Third Edition) by Dean King, John B. Hattendorf, and J. Worth Estes that I had ordered from Amazon. I worked on Advance Daily Update Drafts, and the New Moon arrived at 2:21 pm. I then finished reading The Hundred Days by Patrick O’Brian, and did my Book Review for this weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts. Michelle came over, and I got my bra from the different supplier from Amazon; this bra seems to fit me much better, but I will consider a few days before I order more bras from the supplier. At 4:30 pm I watched Jeopardy!; to my joy, the Final Jeopardy answer was “Louisa May Alcott”. After Jeopardy! Richard and I went across the road to eat the seafood buffet at Rocky’s Cajun Kitchen; and now, having finished my Daily Update for today, I will start getting ready to go to bed. Our #13 ranked LSU Tigers will be playing the first game of a three-game home Baseball series with Arkansas tonight; I will record the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is another day with no Saints, but tomorrow is the First Saturday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We will also note that my mother died in 1985 on tomorrow’s date, and that tomorrow is also the Kentucky Derby, run in Louisville, Kentucky (all I know about racehorses is which end eats). We will work our eight hours at the casino, and in the early afternoon I will go to the Adoration Chapel to do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. I will also boil eggs and make deviled eggs for the Graveyard Pot Luck Dinner on Sunday at the casino. The Kentucky Derby will be run tomorrow afternoon, and our #13 ranked LSU Tigers will play the second game of their three-game home Baseball series with Arkansas tomorrow evening; I will record the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Our Parting Quote on this Friday evening comes to us from Curtis Harrington, American film director. Born in 1926 in Los Angeles, California, he grew up in Beaumont, California. A lifelong hardcore film buff from a very young age, Harrington worked as a movie theater usher, a messenger at Paramount, and a stagehand during his younger days. He made his first 8mm effort at age fourteen and attended and attended Occidental College and the University of Southern California; he graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a film studies degree. He began his career as a film critic, writing a book on Josef von Sternberg in 1948. He then got into filmmaking, directing several experimental avant garde underground shorts which include Fragment of Seeking (1946) and Picnic (1948). He was the cinematographer on Kenneth Anger’s Puce Moment (1949) and acted in Anger’s Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954). Harrington also was involved with fellow avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren. He began working for Jerry Wald Productions at 20th Century Fox in 1957 and served as a producer’s assistant on several big budget pictures that included Peyton Place (1957) and The Long Hot Summer (1958). In 1961 Harrington made his strong and impressive feature length fright film debut with the nicely moody and quirky Night Tide. His follow-up features were a pleasingly diverse, idiosyncratic and often entertaining bunch. His pictures included the nifty sci-fi / horror Alien precursor Queen of Blood (1966), the delightfully campy Shelley Winters vehicles What’s the Matter With Helen? (1971; (Harrington’s personal favorite amongst all the movies he made) and Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1972), the perverse The Killing Kind (1973), and the immensely fun Ruby (1977). Moreover, Harrington directed a handful of solid and satisfying made-for-TV offerings: How Awful About Allan (1970), The Cat Creature (1973), Killer Bees (1974), The Dead Don’t Die (1975), and the hilariously horrible Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell (1978). In addition, Harrington directed episodes of such popular TV shows as Dynasty, The Twilight Zone, The Colbys, HotelWonder Woman, and Charlie’s Angels. Harrington’s final film was the typically oddball short Usher (2002) (died 2007): “When it comes to fear, I usually go by instinct. I know what will affect me, but I don’t have a formula. I avoid the cheap effect — adding a loud noise to the soundtrack that startles the audience, for example. I still think the Val Lewton approach is the best one, and that is the power of suggestion. What you don’t see is more unsettling than what you do see.”

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