Daily Update: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Eustace and Andrew Kim Taegon and Paul Chong Hasang

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Eustace and Companions, Martyrs (died 118), 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 their Companions, Martyrs (died 1839, 1846, and 1869).

According to legend, prior to his conversion to Christianity, Saint Eustace was a Roman general named Placidus, who served the emperor Trajan. While hunting a stag in Tivoli near Rome, Placidus saw a vision of a crucifix lodged between the stag’s antlers. He was immediately converted, had himself and his family baptized, and changed his name to Eustace (Greek: Ευστάθιος (Eustáthios), “well stable”, or Ευστάχιος (Eustáchios), “fruitful/rich grain”). A series of calamities followed to test his faith: his wealth was stolen; his servants died of a plague; when the family took a sea-voyage, the ship’s captain kidnapped Eustace’s wife Theopista; and as Eustace crossed a river with his two sons Agapius and Theopistus, the children were taken away by a wolf and a lion. Like Job, Eustace lamented but did not lose his faith. He was then quickly restored to his former prestige and reunited with his family. There is a tradition that when he demonstrated his new faith by refusing to make a pagan sacrifice, the emperor Hadrian condemned Eustace, his wife, and his sons to be roasted to death inside a bronze statue of a bull or an ox, in the year 118. However, the Catholic Church rejects this story as “completely false” The opening part of this legend, up to the martyrdom, is a variant of a popular tale in chivalric romance: “the Man Tried By Fate”. Except for an exemplum in Gesta Romanorum, all such tales are highly developed romances, such as Sir Isumbras. The veneration of Eustace originated in the Byzantine church. In the West an early-medieval church dedicated to him that existed at Rome is mentioned in a letter of Pope Gregory II (731-741). His iconography may have passed to the 12th-century West− before which European examples are scarce− in psalters, where the vision of Eustace, kneeling before the stag, illustrated Psalm 96, ii-12: “Light is risen to the just…” An early depiction of Eustace, the earliest one noted in the Duchy of Burgundy, is carved on a Romanesque capital at Vézelay Abbey. Abbot Suger mentions the first relics of Eustace in Europe, at an altar in the royal Basilica of St Denis; Philip Augustus of France rededicated the church of Saint Agnès, Paris, which became Saint-Eustache (rebuilt in the 16th-17th centuries). The story of Eustace was popularized in Jacobus de Voragine’s Golden Legend (c. 1260). Scenes from the story, especially of Eustace kneeling before the stag, then became popular subjects of medieval religious art: examples include a wall painting at Canterbury Cathedral and stained glass windows at the Cathedral of Chartres. As with many early saints, there is no evidence for Eustace’s existence, even as a martyr. The celebration of Saint Eustace and his companions was included in the Roman Calendar from the twelfth century until 1969, when it was removed because of the completely fabulous character of the saint’s Acta, resulting in a lack of sure knowledge about them. Eustace became known as a patron saint of hunters and firefighters, and also of anyone facing adversity; he was traditionally included among the Fourteen Holy Helpers (which is why he is noted in this Weblog). He is one of the patron saints of Madrid, Spain. The island of Sint Eustatius in the Caribbean Netherlands is named after him, and there are churches dedicated to Saint Eustace in Ireland, Germany, and India. The saint’s cross-and-stag symbol is featured on bottles of Jägermeister. This is related to his status as patron of hunters; a Jägermeister was a senior foresters and gamekeeper in the German civil service until 1934, prior to the drink’s introduction in 1935. Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn was born in 1821, the son of Korean nobles who were converts to Christianity; his father was subsequently martyred for practicing Christianity, a prohibited activity in heavily Confucian Korea. After being baptized at age 15, he studied at a seminary in the Portuguese colony of Macau, now part of China. He was ordained a priest in Shanghai after nine years (1845) by the French bishop Jean Joseph Ferréol. He then returned to Korea to preach and evangelize. During the Joseon Dynasty, Christianity was heavily suppressed and many Christians were persecuted and executed. Catholics had to covertly practice their faith. Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn was one of several thousands of Christians who were executed during this time; in 1846, at the age of 25, he was tortured and beheaded near Seoul on the Han River. Saint Paul Chŏng Ha-sang was born in 1794 or 1795, and was the son of the martyr Augustine Chŏng Yakjong, one of the first converts of Korea, who wrote the first catechism for the Roman Catholic Church in Korea (entitled Jugyo Yoji). When Yakjong was martyred with Ha-sang’s older brother, Yakjong’s wife and the remaining children were spared and went into a rural place; Ha-sang was seven years old. When he grew up, Ha-sang chose to become a servant of a government interpreter; this enabled him to travel to Beijing multiple times, where he entreated the bishop of Beijing to send priests to Korea, and wrote to Pope Gregory XVI in 1825 via the bishop of Beijing, requesting the establishment of a diocese in Korea. Some years later, Bishop Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert and two priests were sent. The bishop found Ha-sang to be talented, zealous, and virtuous; he taught him Latin and theology, and was about to ordain him when a persecution broke out. Ha-sang was captured and gave the judge a written statement defending Catholicism. The judge, after reading it, said, “You are right in what you have written; but the king forbids this religion, it is your duty to renounce it.” Ha-sang replied, “I have told you that I am a Christian, and will be one until my death.” After this Ha-sang went through a series of tortures in which his countenance remained tranquil. Finally, he was bound to a cross on a cart and cheerfully met his death, at the age of 45. Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn and Saint Paul Chŏng Ha-sang are the standard bearers for the Martyrs of Korea, some 8,000 martyrs to the Faith who died in 1839, 1846, and 1869. The vast majority of the martyrs were simple lay people, including men and women, married and single, old and young. 79 martyrs of Korea were beatified in 1925 and 24 more were beatified in 1968; the combined 103 martyrs were canonized in 1984, with their feast day set on September 20. Currently, Korea has the 4th largest number of saints in the Catholic world; their Martyrs are the Patron Saints of Korean Clergy and Korean Catechists.

I woke up ½ hour early, and did my Book Devotional Reading. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. We signed the Early Out List as the first and second dealers, and when we clocked in at 3:00 am for our shift Richard was on Mini Baccarat and I was on a Blackjack table. We got out at 3:15 am and headed home; once we got home I went back to bed.

When I woke up at 10:30 am I started my laundry, then ate my breakfast toast while reading the morning paper. I then worked on my Genealogy for a bit. Richard left to get the oil change done on the car and then to head to Baton Rouge to see his brother Butch. I finished my laundry, then ironed my casino pants, apron, and shirts.

Leaving the house at 1:30 pm, I headed down to the Hub. At the Lafayette Public Library – Southside Branch I took out The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde and Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde (which were on hold for me), and First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde, One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde, and The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde. At 3:15 pm I made my way to Barnes and Noble and snagged a comfy chair, where I read the September 12th, 2016 issue of Sports Illustrated and the September 19th, 2016 issue of Sports Illustrated. While reading I missed a call from the Breast Center of Acadiana reminding me of my appointment tomorrow, and the call went to voice-mail. I then started reading The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith via Overdrive on my tablet, then read the October 2016 issue of Consumer Reports. Then it was time for me to attend the Third Tuesday Book Club meeting at 7:00 pm to discuss We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. Besides discussing the book, I volunteered to be the person to take over Emailing / Barnes and Noble contact person duties from our moderator, who had sent an Email a few days ago asking if someone could take over from her, due to family problems. I arrived home at 8:45 pm, and sent an email to our moderator telling her that I was the somewhat willing volunteer. And I am now finishing up this Daily Update, and when i finish I will start reading The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde before going to sleep.

Tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist (died first century) and the first of three Ember Days for this season of the year. It is also the International Day of Peace, and it  being the twenty-first of September, tomorrow is Earth, Wind, and Fire Day. I will do the Weekly Computer Maintenance, then head for Lafayette (again) for my 12:50 pm appointment at the Breast Center of Acadiana for my yearly mammograms. And in the afternoon I will file books.

Our Tuesday Evening Parting Quote comes to us tonight from Jack Larson, American actor, librettist, screenwriter and producer. Born in 1928 in Los Angeles, California, his mother, a Western Union clerk, was descended from Russian and German Jews, and his father, of Swedish and English descent, was a milk truck driver. He was raised in Pasadena, and graduated from high school at the age of 17 in 1945. His first role was in the 1948 movie Fighter Squadron, and he continued to play bit parts in movies (and becoming the partner of actor Montgomery Clift). From 1952 through 1958 he was in 101 episodes of The Adventures of Superman as cub reporter Jimmy Olsen. Starting in about 1958 he was the life partner of director James Bridges until Bridge’s death in 1993. He continued his movie acting work, but was typecast as a naive young man (his character of Jimmy Olsen). Instead, he focused on behind-the-scenes work, such as writing and production. Among his other work, Larson wrote the libretto to the 1972 opera Lord Byron to music by Virgil Thomson. Larson was always willing to sit for interviews about the Superman series and his connection to it, and in recent years had a number of cameos that paid subtle tribute to his character and the series, including a 1991 episode of the TV series Superboy, alongside Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane in Adventures of Superman, and an episode of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman as an aged Jimmy Olsen in the episode “Brutal Youth”, first telecast on October 20th, 1996. Larson had a cameo in a late-1990s American Express card commercial with Jerry Seinfeld and an animated Superman, directed by David Kellogg. He and Neill provided commentary on several Adventures of Superman episodes for the January 2006 DVD release of the 1953 season, and in 2006, he appeared in Bryan Singer’s film Superman Returns in a cameo role as “Bo the Bartender”.  Larson most recently appeared in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which aired on the NBC network on January 6th, 2010. In this episode, titled “Quickie”, Larson portrayed Dewey Butler, grandfather to a young suspect who was allegedly having unprotected sexual relations with women. Larson owned and resided in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed George Sturges House in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, California (died 2015): “You are blessed in life if you can give people pleasure and happiness. That’s all I’ve ever tried to do with my work. If I’ve learned anything from my career, it’s that you don’t really know the value of what you’re doing. So, you had better do your best with whatever is at hand. You never know what will outlive you.”

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