Daily Update: Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Frances of Rome

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Frances of Rome, Religious (died 1440).

Born in 1384 in Rome, Italy as Francesca Bussa de’ Leoni, today’s Saint was of the aristocracy. Although she wanted to become a nun she was married at age twelve, and in a marriage that lasted forty years gave her husband six children, three of whom died of the plague. She spent her life and fortune while her husband was away at war in the service of the sick and the poor of Rome, founding the first home in the city for abandoned children. She was also a contemplative and visionary, and dictated 97 Visions, in which she saw many of the pains of Hell. On August 15th, 1425, the feast of the Assumption, she founded the Olivetan Oblates of Mary, a confraternity of pious women, attached to the church of Santa Maria Nova in Rome, but neither cloistered nor bound by formal vows. In March 1433 she founded a convent for common life by the members of the group at Tor de’ Specchi, which remains the only house of the Order . On July 4 of that same year they received the approval of Pope Eugene IV as a religious congregation of nuns. The community thus also became known as the Oblates of Saint Frances of Rome. When her husband died in 1436, she became the group’s superior. She died in 1440 and was buried in that church. On May 9, 1608 she was canonized by Pope Paul V, and in the following decades a diligent search was made for her remains. They were found on April 2, 1638 and reburied on March 9, 1649, which since then is her feast day. Again, in 1869, her body was exhumed and has since then been exposed to the veneration of the faithful in a crystal coffin. The church of Santa Maria Nova is usually now referred to as the church of Santa Francesca Romana. In 1925 Pope Pius XI declared her the Patron Saint of automobile drivers because of a legend that an angel used to light the road in front of her with a lantern when she traveled, keeping her safe from hazards; she is also the Patron Saint of Benedictine oblates.

Last night our #6 ranked LSU Tigers lost their College Baseball game with the McNeese State Cowboys by the score of 4 to 5; our LSU Tigers lost their College Basketball game at the SEC Tournament with the Mississippi State Bulldogs by the score of 52 to 79 (so our Tigers have finished their season, with no chance of post-season play; better luck next year, Tigers!); and our New Orleans Pelicans lost their NBA game to the Toronto Raptors by the score of 87 to 94 (our New Orleans Pelicans (25-40, 3-9) will next play an Away NBA game with the Charlotte Hornets (28-36, 6-3) on Saturday, March 11th). And Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb.

I woke up today at 7:15 am, did my Book Devotional Reading, did my Internet Devotional Reading, and read the Thursday papers. I then finished my laundry and ironed my Casino pants, apron, and shirts.

We left the house at 9:45 am and picked up Lele at her house; our first stop was to our local hospital for her to pick up some data to take to her doctor in Lafayette. We drove to Lafayette to her doctor’s appointment; he wants her to have surgery to clear out her carotid artery, which will necessitate an overnight stay at the Cardiovascular hospital in Lafayette. If her cousin Francine (from the other side of Lele’s family) can’t take her, then either Richard or I will take her, assuming it is on a Tuesday-Wednesday or Wednesday-Thursday. After her appointment we ate lunch at Zeus on Pinhole. On our way home I got a call from the Clinic about my lab tests; I still appear to have bacteria in my urine, but I assured the Clinic that I am not suffering from a UTI (and I very much know what one of those is). We dropped off Lele at her house here in town, then I left off Richard at our house, while I went to Wal-Mart for groceries and my salad supplies.

I arrived home again from Wal-Mart a little before 2:00 pm, and Richard and I watched MST3K Episode 611 Last of the Wild Horses. We then watched Jeopardy! and Richard talked to Rosemary on the phone about Butch, then I came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update. After I finish this Daily Update I will get ready for bed.

We have no Saints to honor tomorrow (or for the next few days), but tomorrow is a Friday in Lent, so tomorrow is a day of Abstinence from Meat, and tomorrow is an Ember Day, the second of three for this season of the year. And tomorrow is Harriet Tubman Day. Richard and I will drive separately to work, as I plan to sign the Early Out list. If I get out early, I will go home, take a nap, make my lunch salads, eat lunch, then go to Baton Rouge to the Friends of the LSU Libraries Book Sale; I may also look in on Butch to see how he’s doing. If I do not get out early, on my breaks I will be reading, as I need to start reading Audrey’s Door by Sarah Langan via Kindle on my Tablet for my Third Tuesday Book Club (not to mention the other books I am reading). And when I get home I will make my lunch salads and eat my lunch. Either way, I will arrange my life so as to be doing my Daily Update between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm, like usual. Our #12 LSU Lady Tigers (15-3, 0-0) will be playing an Away College Softball game with the Auburn Lady Tigers (16-2, 0-0), and our #6 LSU Tigers (9-4, 0-0) will be playing a Home College Baseball game with the Wichita State Shockers.

Our Parting Quote on this Thursday afternoon comes to us from “Granny D”, American politician and activist. Born in 1910 in Laconia, New Hampshire as Ethel Doris Rollins, she dropped the “Ethel” part of her name, preferring to be known as Doris, and attended Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, for three years before marrying James Haddock. Emerson students were not allowed to marry at that time, so she was kicked out of college. She and her husband had two children; she worked during the Great Depression and was employed for twenty years as an executive secretary in the offices of the BeeBee Shoe factory in Manchester, New Hampshire. In 1960 she began her political career when she and her husband successfully campaigned against planned hydrogen bomb nuclear testing in Alaska, saving an Inuit fishing village at Point Hope. Rollins and her husband retired to Dublin, New Hampshire, in 1972 and there she served on the Planning Board and was active in the community. Her husband later developed Alzheimer’s disease, dying after a ten-year struggle with the illness. After the first efforts of Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold to regulate campaign finances through eliminating soft money failed in 1995, Rollins became increasingly interested in campaign finance reform and spearheaded a petition movement. On January 1st, 1999, at the age of 88, Granny D left the Rose Bowl Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, in an attempt to walk across the United States to raise awareness of and attract support for campaign finance reform; she wore the hat of her best friend, who had died. Rollins walked roughly ten miles each day for 14 months, traversing California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, making many speeches along the way. The trek attracted a great deal of attention in the mass media. When Rollins arrived in Washington, D.C., she was 90 years old (having had two birthdays en route), had traveled more than 3,200 miles, and was greeted in the capital by a crowd of 2,200 people. Several dozen members of Congress walked the final miles with her during the final day’s walk from Arlington National Cemetery to the Capitol on the National Mall. On April 21st, 2000 Rollins, along with 31 others, was arrested for reading the Declaration of Independence in the Capitol and was charged with the offense of demonstrating in the Capitol Building. It was said to be a peaceable assembly, but the demonstrators were arrested by the Capitol Police. She entered a plea of guilty, but made a statement to the court where she explained the purpose of her actions. Rather than impose a $500 fine and six month prison term, the judge in the case sentenced Rollins to time served and a $10 administrative fee. That same year Emerson College granted her an honorary degree. and she wrote (with Dennis Burke) Granny D: Walking Across America in My Ninetieth Year. She was awarded an honorary degree by Franklin Pierce College on October 21st, 2002, and in 2003, with Dennis Burke and Bill Moyers, wrote Granny D: You’re Never Too Old to Raise a Little Hell. Rollins became the Democratic candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire during the 2004 election when the leading Democratic primary candidate left the race unexpectedly (days before the filing deadline), because of a campaign-finance scandal. She was, at 94, one of the oldest major-party candidates to ever run for the U.S. Senate. True to her “clean elections” ideals, she funded her late entry campaign by accepting only modest private-citizen donations. She captured approximately 34 percent of the vote (221,549), losing to incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Judd Gregg, as he sought his third term. In 2007 HBO released a documentary, Run Granny Run, directed by Marlo Poras, about Rollins’s 2004 Senate campaign. She continued to be active in politics to the end of her life, and celebrated her 98th, 99th and 100th birthdays by lobbying for campaign finance reform at the New Hampshire State House. At the time of her death she had eight grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren (died 2010): “In my 90 years, this is the first time I have been arrested. I risk my good name — for I do indeed care what my neighbors think about me. But, Your Honor, some of us do not have much power, except to put our bodies in the way of an injustice — to picket, to walk, or to just stand in the way. It will not change the world overnight, but it is all we can do.”

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