Daily Update: Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Denis, John Leonardi, John Henry Newman, Pius XII

Today is the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Optional Memorial of Saint Denis, Bishop and Martyr, and Companions, Martyrs (died about 258), the Optional Memorial of Saint John Leonardi, Priest (died 1609), the Optional Memorial of Blessed John Henry Newman, Priest (died 1890), and the Remembrance of Venerable Pius XII, Pope (died 1958).

We first honor Saint Denis, Bishop and Martyr, and Companions, Martyrs (died about 258). Possibly born in Italy, he was a missionary to Paris, and became the first Bishop of Paris. His success roused the ire of local pagans, and he was imprisoned by Roman governor. He was martyred in the persecutions of Valerius with Saint Rusticus and Saint Eleutherius; the most persistent legend is that after he was beheaded he carried his severed head some six miles from Montmartre, preaching a sermon the whole way, which made him one of the first cephalophores (saints depicted as holding their own severed heads) in history. He is the Patron Saint of the city of Paris, France, and of the Country of France; his aid is invoked against possession, frenzy, hydrophobia, and headaches, and he is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, invoked against plague. We also honor Saint John Leonardi, Priest (died 1609). Born in 1541 in Diecimo, Lucca, he worked as a pharmacist’s apprentice while studying for the priesthood, and after his ordination in 1572 worked with prisoners and the sick. His example attracted some young laymen to assist him, most of whom became priests themselves. This group formed the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca, a congregation of diocesan priests which, for reasons having to do with the politics of the Reformation and an unfounded accusation that John wanted to form the group for his own personal aggrandizement, provoked great opposition. The Clerks were confirmed in 1595 by Pope Clement VIII, but John was exiled from Lucca for most of the rest of his life. John was assisted in his exile by Saint Philip Neri, who gave him his quarters in Rome (and the care of his pet cat). In 1579 he formed the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, and published a compendium of Christian doctrine that remained in use until the 19th century. He died from a disease caught while tending plague victims. By the deliberate policy of the founder, the Clerks have never had more than 15 churches, and today form only a very small congregation. He is the Patron Saint of pharmacists. We also honor Blessed John Henry Newman, Priest (died 1890). Born in 1801 in London, England, he converted from nothing in particular to the Church of England as a boy of fifteen, and was ordained as a priest in 1825. In his early life, he was a major figure in the Oxford Movement to bring the Church of England back to its Catholic roots.  Eventually his studies in history persuaded him to become a Catholic. He preached his last sermon as an Anglican Priest in 1843, and converted to Catholicism in 1845, the same year he wrote Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine; the next year he was ordained as a Catholic Priest. In 1854 at the request of the Irish bishops, Newman went to Dublin as rector of the newly established Catholic University of Ireland. It was during this time that he founded the Literary and Historical Society. However, practical organisation was not among his gifts, and so after four years he retired, the best outcome of his stay there being a volume of lectures entitled The Idea of a University, containing some of his most effective writing. In 1858 he projected a branch house of the Oratory at Oxford; but this was opposed by Father Henry Edward Manning (the future Cardinal Manning) and others as likely to induce Catholics to send their sons to that university, and the scheme was abandoned. When Catholics did begin to attend Oxford from the 1860s onwards, a Catholic club was formed, and in 1888 it was renamed the Oxford University Newman Society in recognition of Newman’s efforts on behalf of Catholicism in that university city. In 1865 and 1866 he wrote Apologia Pro Vita Sua, and in 1870 he wrote the Grammar of Assent (1870). In 1879 Pope Leo XIII made him Cardinal-Deacon of San Giorgio al Velabro; the distinction was a marked one, because he was neither a bishop nor resident in Rome. The university he founded, the Catholic University of Ireland, evolved into University College, Dublin, one college of Ireland’s largest university (National University of Ireland), which has contributed significantly to the intellectual and social development of that country. Newman Centers (or Centres) in his honour have been established throughout the world, in the mould of the Oxford University Newman Society, to provide pastoral services and ministries to Catholics at non-Catholic universities. His Beatification was officially proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the United Kingdom on September 19th, 2010; unusually for a Saint, his feast day is not the anniversary of his death, but the date of his reception into the Catholic Church. If you know of any miracles that can be attributed to him, please contact the Vatican. And on this day we honor Venerable Pius XII, Pope (died 1958). Born in 1876 in Rome as Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, his family was deeply religious and aristocratic, with a history of ties to the Papacy. He became a priest in 1899, the same year he took degrees in theology and in civil and canon law. In 1904 Pacelli became a papal chamberlain and in 1905 a domestic prelate. He was also chosen by Pope Leo XIII to deliver condolences on behalf of the Vatican to Edward VII of the United Kingdom after the death of Queen Victoria, and in 1911 he represented the Holy See at the coronation of King George V. In 1908 and 1911 he turned down professorships in canon law at a Roman university and The Catholic University of America, respectively. Pacelli became the under-secretary in 1911, adjunct-secretary in 1912, and secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs in 1914. As secretary he concluded a concordat with Serbia four days before Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo. During World War I, Pacelli maintained the Vatican’s registry of prisoners of war. Pope Benedict XV appointed him as nuncio to Bavaria in 1917, consecrating him as titular Bishop of Sardis and immediately elevating him to archbishop in the Sistine Chapel. As there was no nuncio to Prussia or Germany at the time, Pacelli was, for all practical purposes, the nuncio to all of the German Empire. Once in Munich, he conveyed the papal initiative to end the war to German authorities. Pacelli was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Germany in 1920. In post-war Germany, in the absence of a nuncio in Moscow, he worked on diplomatic arrangements between the Vatican and the Soviet Union. Pacelli was made a Cardinal-Priest of Santi Giovanni e Paolo in 1929 by Pope Pius XI, and within a few months in 1930, Pius XI appointed him Cardinal Secretary of State. In 1935 he was named Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church. As Cardinal Secretary of State, Pacelli signed concordats with a number of countries and states, including Baden (1932), Austria (1933), Germany (1933), Yugoslavia (1935) and Portugal (1940). He made many diplomatic visits throughout Europe and the Americas, including an extensive visit to the United States in 1936 where he met Franklin D. Roosevelt. Between 1933 and 1939, Pacelli issued fifty-five protests of violations of the Reichskonkordat (the German concordat of 1933). He was elected to the Papacy on his 63rd birthday, the first cardinal secretary of state to be elected Pope since Clement IX in 1667. He was also one of only two men known to have served as Camerlengo immediately prior to being elected as pope (the other being Pope Leo XIII in 1810). During World War II the Pope followed a policy of public neutrality mirroring that of Pope Benedict XV during World War I. In 1939 Pius XII turned the Vatican into a centre of aid which he organized from various parts of the world. After the war Pius XII contributed to the rebuilding of Europe, and advocated peace and reconciliation, including lenient policies toward vanquished nations and the unification of Europe. The Church, flourishing in the West, experienced severe persecution and mass deportations of Catholic clergy in the East. In light of his protests, and his involvement in the Italian elections of 1948, he became known as a staunch opponent of communism. He was declared Venerable in 2009; if you know of any miracles that can be attributed to him, please contact the Vatican.

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading; unlike yesterday, when he was confused by all the lights being on in the front of the house, Bobby Brown (who was not picked up by Derek yesterday) was with us as we got ready for work. I did my Internet Devotional Reading on our way to work. I was still feeling very down, and Richard apologized for his post on my Facebook page; he said he thought I would laugh, instead of being upset. When we clocked in at work, Richard was the Relief Dealer for the Sit-Down Blackjack table, another Blackjack table, and the $5.00 Minimum Bet Blackjack table. I was on a Blackjack table; at one point they lidded my table, and I changed the Blackjack cards for the pit. I opted not to start reading A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay; while I was feeling much better later, I figured to start the book tomorrow. And at their Preseason NBA game in Shanghai, played this morning starting at 6:30 am, our New Orleans Pelicans were beaten by the Houston Rockets by the score of 117 to 123. (Our Pelicans will play another Preseason NBA game on Wednesday morning, same time, in Beijing.)

On our way home Richard talked to Matthew, who said they might be by later (depending on how many people show up at Lisa’s mother’s house to see them). We stopped by the drive through at the Superette, where Richard got some links of boudin. Once home I ate my lunch salad and read the Sunday papers. I then read in Forensics: True Crime Scene Investigations by Zakaria Erzinçlioğlu, and, as I am getting sleepy, I will finish today’s Daily Update and go to bed for the duration.

Tomorrow we have no Saints to honor, but since tomorrow is the Second Monday in October it is Columbus Day (Observed), Native American Day, and Thanksgiving Day in Canada. And tomorrow is also World Mental Health Day. We will work our eight hours at the casino, with me fasting after 3:00 am, and I will definitely start reading A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay. After work we will go over to the Clinic, where I will have blood drawn for lab work for my Ob/Gyn, and where Richard will have appointment with both the Nurse Practitioner/Doctor and the Dietician. And what happens in the afternoon depends on the kids.

Our Parting Quote on this Sunday afternoon comes to us from Rita Shane, American opera soprano. Born in 1936 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, her father was a civil engineer and her mother was a music copyist. She attended the Bronx High School of Science, and graduated from Barnard College with a liberal arts degree. In 1958 she married, and worked as a secretary in the Metropolitan Opera National Council’s fund-raising department. It was after she began studying with the soprano Beverley Johnson that her career began in earnest. She was a member of the apprentice program at Santa Fe Opera for two summers, and made her debut in 1964 as Olympia in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The next year she sang Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at New York City Opera. In 1967 she filled in for Beverly Sills in Die Zauberflöte as Queen of the Night at City Opera. She made her European debut in Strauss’s Arabella at La Scala in 1970. Shane’s performance in the 1971 live recording of Les Huguenots received praise as “borderline astonishing” by reviewer Charles Parsons. With the New York City Opera, Shane sang in such operas as Dialogues des Carmélites (as Mme Lidoine), The Love for Three Oranges (as Fata Morgana), Don Giovanni (now as Donna Anna) and Die Zauberflöte (Queen of the Night). At Salzburg, in 1972, she was applauded for her performance in Schönberg’s Erwartung, with Michael Gielen conducting. In 1973 she recorded excerpts from Handel’s Athalia and Rinaldo for RCA Red Seal Records. She debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1973 as the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte. Her repertoire at the Met, over eight seasons, included La bohème (as Musetta), Un ballo in maschera (as Oscar), Le siège de Corinthe, La traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, Le prophète (as Berthe, in John Dexter’s production), and Rigoletto. Shane returned to the New York City Opera in 1979, creating the title character in Dominick Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Fire, and singing in La traviata. Later she sang Dircé in Médée (in the Italian version) and Giselda in I Lombardi alla prima crociata with that company. For the New Orleans Opera Association, she appeared in La Juive and Les Huguenots. Shane performed in Milan (La Scala), Vienna and Munich.After her retirement from singing, from 1989 to 2014 Shane was on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music. He marriage ended in divorce in 2005 (died 2014): “I stopped performing. I didn’t mean to make it permanent. I walked away. But nobody will ever hear me less than I was. I’d rather it said ‘too soon’ than ‘oh, finally!’ ”

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