Daily Update: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Clement I, Columban, Miguel Agustin Pro

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Clement I, Pope and Martyr (died c. 101), the Optional Memorial of Saint Columbanus, Abbot (died 615), and the Optional Memorial of Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro, Priest and Martyr (died 1927).

Our first Saint was possibly one of the Seventy Disciples sent out by Christ, as the future Pope Clement is identified with the Clement mentioned by Paul in Philippians 4:3 as a fellow laborer in Christ. According to Tertullian, Clement was consecrated by Saint Peter, and he is known to have been a leading member of the church in Rome in the latter part of the 1st century. Early church lists place him as the second or third bishop of Rome after Saint Peter. He was the first Apostolic Father of the Church, and the author of 1 Clement to the Church in Corinth. According to a tradition not earlier than the 4th century, Clement was imprisoned under the Emperor Trajan but nonetheless led a ministry among fellow prisoners. He was then executed by being tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea; he is thus the Patron Saint of sailors and watermen. We also honor Saint Columbanus, Abbot (died 615). Born in Ireland in 540, he was so handsome that he decided to retire from the world to avoid the temptations of women. He became a monk and for many years led a life conspicuous for fervour, regularity and learning. At about the age of forty he seemed to hear incessantly the voice of God bidding him to preach the Gospel in foreign lands. At first his abbot declined to let him go, but at length with his abbot’s consent he set sail with twelve companions. They landed first in Scotland, and then arrived in Brittany in about 585. Wherever they went, the people were struck by their modesty, patience and humility. France at that period was in sore need of such a band of monks and preachers. Columbanus and his followers soon made their way to the court of Gontram, King of Burgundy, who gave him a gracious reception, inviting him to remain in his kingdom. The saint complied, and over the next twenty years, resided in France. At the end of that time he was ejected from France and put on a ship for Ireland, due to disputes with the diocesan bishops and with the Royal Court. The ship wrecked, however and Columbanus made his way to the friendly King Clotaire at Soissons in Neustria where he was gladly welcomed. He left Neustria in 611 for the court of King Theodebert of Austrasia. At Metz he received an honorable welcome, and then proceeding to Mainz, he embarked upon the Rhine in order to reach the Suevi and Alamanni, to whom he wished to preach the Gospel. However, instead of producing fruit, the zeal of Columbanus only excited persecution. In despair he resolved to pass on by way of Arbon to Bregenz on Lake Constance, where there were still some traces of Christianity. On his arrival at Milan in 612 Columbanus met with a kindly welcome from Lombard King Agilulf and Queen Theodelinda. He immediately began to confute the Arians and wrote a treatise against their teaching, which has been lost. The king gave him a tract of land called Bobbio, between Milan and Genoa, near the River Trebbia, situated in a defile of the Apennines. At Bobbio the saint repaired the half-ruined church of St. Peter and erected his celebrated Abbey, which for centuries was a stronghold of orthodoxy in Northern Italy. The Rule of St. Columbanus was approved by the Council of Mâcon in 627, but it was destined before the close of the century to be superseded by that of St. Benedict. For several centuries in some of the greater monasteries the two rules were observed conjointly. Columbanus is the Patron Saint of motorcyclists. Finally, we honor Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro, Priest and Martyr (died 1927). Born as José Ramón Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez in 1891 at Guadalupe, Zacatecas, Mexico, he was the son of a mining engineer; born to privilege, he had great affinity for the poor and working classes. He was a Jesuit novice at the age of twenty; exiled during the Mexican Revolution, he continued his studies abroad. Ordained in Belgium in 1925 at age 36, he returned to Mexico in 1926, a time when churches were closed, priests were in hiding, and persecution of the Church was government policy. Father Miguel used disguises to conduct an underground ministry, bringing the comfort of charity and the sacraments to the covert faithful. Falsely accused in 1927 of a bombing attempt, he became a wanted man, was betrayed to the police, and without trial, he was sentenced to death. As he was about to be shot, he forgave his executioners, refused a blindfold, and died shouting “Long live Christ the King!” The government prohibited a public funeral, but the faithful lined the streets when his body passed. He was Beatified in 1988 by Pope John Paul II; if you know of any miracles that can be attributed to his intercession, please contact the Vatican.

I did not wake up until 10:15 am; I started the Weekly Computer Maintenance, started my laundry, did my Book Devotional Reading, finished the Weekly Computer Maintenance, and started the Weekly Virus Scan. I then read the morning paper, and finished my laundry (since I had no Casino clothes in the laundry, I did not have to do any ironing). Richard was deep in his chair with his cold.

At 12:45 pm I left the house, and mailed my Christmas cards at the post office. Our LSU Tigers lost their College Basketball game in Paradise Island in the Bahamas with the Wichita State Shockers by the score of 47 to 82. I ate a late lunch at Piccadilly Cafeteria and continued reading Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America by Barbara Ehrenreich. I then went to Office Depot and got some new ink pens, as we were running low of the kind I like. I then thought about putting in some comfy chair time at Barnes and Noble, but thought better (or worse) of that idea, and headed home instead.

Arriving home at 4:15 pm (Richard was still in his chair, and reported that he had had a hamburger for a late lunch), we watched Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm. Richard and I then watched MST3K “The She Creature” (#808), and now I will finish this Daily Update and take a bath and do some reading. Our New Orleans Pelicans (5-10, 0-2) are now playing a home NBA game with the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-9, 0-2); I will record the score of the game in Thursday’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc, Priest and Martyr (died 1839), and Companions, Martyrs (died 1745 – 1862). Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, and the birthday of Mitch, one of the erstwhile Assembled (1986). Michelle will be coming over, and we will have our Thanksgiving Meal. (I understand that the amount of tryptophan in turkey is not enough to make you sleepy; what makes you sleepy is the turkey plus everything else one eats in a big Thanksgiving meal.) In the afternoon I will be making my lunch salads for Friday and Sunday. In sports, our LSU Lady Tigers (3-1, 0-0) will play a College Basketball game in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands with the UTEP Lady Miners (1-2, 0-0), our #25 LSU Tigers (6-4, 4-3) will play their last Regular Season College Football game with #22 Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3) in an Away game that will have an effect on where our Tigers might play in the post-season, and our LSU Tigers (3-1, 0-0) will play a College Basketball game with either the Louisville Cardinals (3-0, 0-0) or the Old Dominion Monarchs (2-0, 0-0) in Paradise Island in the Bahamas. I will probably go to bed immediately after doing my Daily Update after the football game, and I will record the results of the LSU Men’s Basketball game in Friday’s Daily Update.

Our Parting Quote on this Wednesday Evening comes to us from from Ingrid Pitt, Polish-born actress. Born as Ingoushka Petrov in 1937 in Warsaw, Poland, her father was a German of Russian descent and her mother was Jewish. During World War II she and her family were imprisoned in a concentration camp. After the war she met and married an American soldier and moved to California. After her marriage failed she returned to Europe, had a small uncredited role in Chimes at Midnight (1965), and headed to Hollywood where she worked as a waitress while trying to make a career in the movies. Her natural hair color was brown though she frequently lightened it to blonde. She played a minor role in Doctor Zhivago (1965); in 1968 she co-starred in the low budget science fiction film The Omegans and played Heidi in Where Eagles Dare opposite Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. She had an uncredited role as a courtesan in the 1966 film A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. However, it was her work with Hammer Film Productions that elevated her to cult figure status. She starred as Carmilla / Mircalla in The Vampire Lovers (1970), a film based on Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella Carmilla, and played the title role in Countess Dracula (1971), a film based on the legends around Countess Elizabeth Báthory. Pitt also appeared in the Amicus horror anthology film The House That Dripped Blood (1971) and had a small part in the film The Wicker Man (1973). In the mid-1970s she appeared on the judging panel of the British ITV talent show New Faces and also appeared on the British television series Doctor Who as Galleria in 1972. During the 1980s Pitt returned to roles in mainstream films and on television, and after a number of ill-fated tracts on the plight of the Native Americans published Cuckoo Run in 1981, a spy story about mistaken identity. Her role as Fraulein Baum in the 1981 “Unity” episode of the television series BBC Playhouse, as a woman who was denounced as a Jew by Unity Mitford (played by Lesley-Anne Down, who had played her daughter in Countess Dracula), was uncomfortably close to her real-life experiences. Her popularity with horror film buffs saw her in demand for guest appearances at horror conventions and film festivals. It was at this time that  Pitt founded her own theatrical touring company and starred in successful productions of Dial M for MurderDuty Free (aka Don’t Bother to Dress), and Woman of Straw. She returned to Doctor Who in 1984 in the role of Dr. Solow. Also in 1984 she published The Perons, a novelization of the Peron era in Argentina, where she lived for a number of years, and Pitt and her husband Tony Rudlin were commissioned to script a Doctor Who adventure, which progressed no further than the preparation of a draft first episode script under the title “The Macros”. In 1998 she narrated Cradle of Filth’s Cruelty and the Beast album, although her narration was done strictly in-character as the Countess she portrayed in Countess Dracula. In 1999 her autobiography Life’s a Scream was published, and her book The Ingrid Pitt Book Of Murder, Torture And Depravity was published in October 2000. Pitt made her return to the big screen in the 2000 production The Asylum. The film starred Colin Baker and Patrick Mower, and was directed by John Stewart. In 2003 Pitt voiced the role of Lady Violator in the United Kingdom’s first CGI animated film Dominator.  After a period of illness Pitt returned to the screen for the Hammer Films-Mario Bava tribute Beyond the Rave, although her part ended up on the cutting room floor (2008). Her last film was 2008′s Sea of Dust. She also pursued a passion for World War II aircraft, holding both a student’s pilot license and a black belt in karate (died 2010): “I was in a concentration camp as a child and I don’t want to see horror. I think it’s amazing that I do horror films when I had this awful childhood. But maybe that’s why I’m good at it.”

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