Today is the First Friday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today is the traditional date of the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Magi came to Bethlehem to adore the new-born Messiah, as related in the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. Today is also the Optional Memorial of Saint André Bessette, Religious (died 1937). And today is the birthday of Brian, one of the former Assembled (1981).
The First Friday of each month is dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The observance of Epiphany had its origins in the Eastern Christian Churches, and was a general celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Western Christians have traditionally emphasized the “Revelation to the Gentiles” mentioned in Luke, where the term Gentile means all non-Jewish peoples. The Biblical Magi, who represented the non-Jewish peoples of the world, paid homage to the infant Jesus in stark contrast to Herod the Great (King of Judea), who sought to kill him. Christians fixed the date of the feast on January 6th quite early in their history; the earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A.D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus. Prior to the reform of 1955, when Pope Pius XII abolished all but three liturgical octaves (which were later whittled down to two liturgical octaves, those for Christmas and Easter), the Roman Catholic Church celebrated Epiphany as an eight-day feast beginning on January 6th and ending on January 13th, known as the Octave of Epiphany. In the 1970 revision of the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th for countries where the feast is a Holy Day of Obligation. In other countries, it is celebrated on the Sunday after January 1st. Christmastide ends with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which is the Sunday after Epiphany, unless Epiphany was celebrated on January 7th or 8th, in which case it is the Monday after Epiphany. The New Orleans Mardi Gras season opens on this date; while there will be parades and balls during the whole period, the major action begins two weeks before Mardi Gras Day itself (the day before Ash Wednesday). The major local SouthWestCentral Louisiana custom associated with Epiphany is that one begins to eat King Cake on this date and continues to do so until the end of Mardi Gras. A King Cake is a cinnamon-roll like cake inside with sugary icing with traditional Mardi Gras colored sprinkles on the outside, and with a tiny plastic baby doll placed inside; whoever gets the doll has to buy the next King Cake. (And I will note that, flouting custom, you’ve been able to get King Cakes this year since Christmas.) Today we also honor Saint André Bessette, Religious (died 1937). Born in 1845 near Montreal, Canada, he was the eighth of twelve children; when his parents died, he was adopted at age twelve by a farmer uncle who insisted he work for his keep. Over the years he worked as a farmhand, shoemaker, baker, blacksmith, and factory worker. At the age of twenty-five he applied to join the Congregation of the Holy Cross; he was initially refused entrance due to poor health, but he gained the backing of Bishop Bourget, and was accepted. Becoming doorkeeper at Notre Dame College, Montreal, he at times also served as sacristan, laundry worker and messenger. He spent much of each night in prayer, and on his window sill, facing Mount Royal, was a small statue of Saint Joseph, to whom André was especially devoted. He had a special ministry to the sick. He would rub the sick person with oil from a lamp in the college chapel, and many were healed. Word of his power spread, and when an epidemic broke out at a nearby college, André volunteered to help; no one died. The trickle of sick people to his door became a flood. By his death, he was receiving 80,000 letters each year from the sick who sought his prayers and healing. For many years the Holy Cross authorities had tried to buy land on Mount Royal. Brother André and others climbed the steep hill and planted medals of Saint Joseph on it, and soon after, the owners yielded, which incident helped the current devotion to Saint Joseph by those looking to buy or sell a home. André collected money to build a small chapel and received visitors there, listening to their problems, praying, rubbing them with Saint Joseph’s oil, and curing many. The chapel is still in use, and he was canonized in 2010.
Last night in their College Basketball game our LSU Lady Tigers beat the Florida Lady Gators by the score of 78 to 66; our Lady Tigers (14-23, 1-6) will next play an Away College Basketball game with the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks (11-4, 0-2) in the afternoon on Sunday, January 8th. And last night our New Orleans Pelicans lost their NBA game to the Atlanta Hawks by the score of 94 to 99. Meanwhile, I could not get to sleep until I put some socks on; when my feet are cold, I can’t sleep. (And I do accept the possibility that the mere fact of putting on socks lets me sleep.)
Upon waking up to get ready for work I did my Book Devotional Reading. When we left the house for work it was 42°; I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Eighth Day of my Epiphany Novena. When we clocked in, Richard was on Mini Baccarat, and I was on Pai Gow, but for at least one round Richard dealt Pai Gow, and I dealt Mini Baccarat to change things up. Our Shift Manager commented on me wearing Christmas earrings, and I pointed out that the Christmas season lasts until Epiphany. (For Christmas decorations I go by the traditional date of Epiphany, so tonight is the last night I will have the Christmas lights on.) On one of my breaks I went to the Assistant Shift Manager (who is now also the Scheduler), and put Richard and me in the Book to take PTO from August 18th to August 22nd (when we will go to Carolina to see the kids, my Kitten, and the Solar Eclipse). I then found that one can only block out one period of time in the Book, so I was not able to block out June 23rd to June 28th (when I will go visit Liz Ellen in Eastern Kentucky). Regarding my June vacation, all I can do is wait until the Scheduling Software opens up to those dates, and then put in a request for them (right now the system is not accepting requests beyond April 6th). However, if someone else puts in that they want that week off in the Book, I might not get my vacation time approved, because the Book takes priority. So, we are very good for August, and very iffy for June.I then sent an Email to Liz Ellen letting her know the situation in brief.
After work I picked up my prescription at the Pharmacy; when we came back through town it was 34°, which is quite cold for SouthWestCentral Louisiana. Once home from work I ate my lunch salad and read the morning paper. I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update, as I am tired today; so I will not be going to the Chapel to do my First Friday devotions. I will, though, take a hot bath and do some reading before going to sleep for the duration.
Tomorrow is the First Saturday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is the Optional Memorial of Saint Raymond of Peñafort, Priest (died 1275); being the day after the traditional date of the Epiphany, it is also Distaff Day (and if my five or six Loyal Readers and my Army of Followers do not know what a distaff is, they will find out in tomorrow’s Daily Update). Richard and I will work our eight hours at the casino, and I will start reading Finders Keepres by Stephen King. Normally on the afternoon of January 7th I would be taking down non-Religious Christmas decorations, but tomorrow is Saturday, which means that after I read the morning paper I will go to the Chapel for my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration, followed by lunch at McDonald’s, followed by the 4:00 pm Mass at Church. Our LSU Tigers (9-4, 1-1) will be playing a home College Basketball game with Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-4, 0-1) in the afternoon. Tomorrow evening our New Orleans Pelicans (14-23, 1-6) will play an Away NBA game with the Boston Celtics (21-14, 5-1), and I will record the score of that game in Sunday’s Daily Update.
Our Parting Quote on this traditional date of Epiphany comes to us from Pat Harrington Jr., American actor. Born as Daniel Patrick Harrington Jr. in 1929 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, his father was a song and dance man who worked in vaudeville and performed on the Broadway stage. Harrington attended a Catholic military school, then graduated from Fordham University in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts and subsequently received a master’s degree in political philosophy, also from Fordham. During the Korean War, Harrington served as an intelligence officer with the United States Air Force, where he achieved the rank of first lieutenant. Following in his father’s footsteps, he pursued a career in entertainment after graduating from college and completing military service. He began working in the NBC mail room, a job he parlayed into a junior advertising salesman position for the network. He then began acting on stage and toured North America with a number of plays, eventually performing on Broadway in a couple of short-lived plays. Harrington became famous in the 1950s as a member of Steve Allen’s television comedy troupe the “Men on the Street” (which also included Don Knotts, Tom Poston and Louis Nye). He made many appearances as the comedic Italian immigrant “Guido Panzini” on The Jack Paar Show in the mid-1950s. In the 1959-1960 season, he played the recurring role of Pat Hannigan in eleven episodes of Danny Thomas’s CBS-TV sitcom The Danny Thomas Show. In the 1964–1965 television season, he guest-starred on numerous programs, including ABC’s sitcom The Bing Crosby Show and NBC’s Kentucky Jones (starring Dennis Weaver). In a 1965 episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (“The Bow-Wow Affair”), Harrington reprised his role as Guido Panzini. That same year he appeared in an episode of Mr. Novak, starring James Franciscus. He again played Guido Panzini on the February 8th, 1966 episode “McHale’s Country Club Caper” on McHale’s Navy. In 1967 he appeared in the Elvis Presley film Easy Come, Easy Go. He also parodied Get Smart in an episode of F Troop, in which he played secret agent B Wise. From 1971 to 1974, he appeared in eleven episodes as District Attorney Charlie Giannetta of the ABC legal drama Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, starring Arthur Hill in the title role. As a voice actor Harrington did “Ray Palmer/the Atom” and “Roy Harper/Speedy” on The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure in 1967. From 1965-69, Harrington portrayed the voices of both Inspector Jacques Clouseau and his Spanish Gendarmes sidekick Deux Deux in all of the original 34 animated episodes of The Inspector which were created by Mirisch Films and DePatie-Freleng and released via United Artists. They were later shown as part of the Pink Panther cartoon TV show. He had a role on The Candidate (1972) with Robert Redford. In 1974 he appeared with Peter Falk and Robert Conrad in the Columbo episode “An Exercise in Fatality”. Harrington most famous role was as affable building superintendent Dwayne Schneider on the 1975–1984 television sitcom One Day at a Time. He won both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for his work on this series. He reprised his role as Schneider in a series of commercials in the late 1980s for Trak Auto Parts after the show ended. He appeared in an episode of The King of Queens in 2006. In 2012 he also appeared as a guest star on Hot In Cleveland, his last role; on IMDB he is listed with 163 acting credits. In later life he developed Alzheimer’s, and fell in early November 2015. He suffered a small brain hemorrhage and spent three weeks in a hospital and nursing home (died 2016): “At first, Schneider [on One Day at a Time] was pretty much a lecher. I made sure that got changed to ‘amorous.’ It bespeaks a certain respect for women.”