Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Nereus and Saint Achilleus, Martyrs (died 98), and the Optional Memorial of Saint Pancras, Martyr (died 98). And today is the second birthday of my granddaughter, the daughter of my son Matthew and my daughter in law Callie (2015).
Saint Nereus and Saint Achilleus were brothers, soldiers in the imperial Roman army, and members of the Praetorian Guard. They were converts to Christianity and were martyred. They are mentioned in the sixth-century Martyrologium Hieronymianum, but very little is known of them. We also honor Saint Pancras, Martyr (died 98). He was a fourteen-year-old orphan, brought to Rome by his uncle, and upon converting to Christianity was reportedly martyred at the same time as Saint Nereus and Saint Achilleus. Pope Saint Vitalian (died 672) sent his relics from the cemetery of Calepodius in Rome to the British Isles as part of the evangelization of England, so that the new churches in Britain would have relics of the Church at large, and to install in altars in new churches. Saint Augustine of Canterbury dedicated the first church in England to Saint Pancras, and subsequent churches throughout England are similarly named for him. St. Pancras Old Church in London is believed to be one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in England (and the nearby railroad station is also named after the saint). He is the Patron Saint of children, and his aid is invoked against false witness and perjury, and against cramps and headache. And today is the second birthday of my granddaughter, the daughter of my son Matthew and my daughter in law Callie; they now reside outside of Charleston, South Carolina, which is closer to SouthWestCentral Louisiana than Connecticut, where they used to live, ever was (2015).
Last night I started reading The Noonday Devil: Acedia, The Unnamed Evil of Our Times by Jean-Charles Nault, Translated by Michael J. Miller. Our #11 LSU Tigers won their first Home College Baseball series with the #14 Auburn Tigers by the score of 4 to 0. And, at the SEC College Softball Tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee, our #21 LSU Lady Tigers upset the #7 Tennessee Lady Volunteers by the score of 6 to 2.
When I woke up to get ready for work today I posted to Facebook that today was my granddaughter’s birthday, tagging Richard, Matthew, Callie, Ken, and Lisa. I then did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work in the car I did my Internet Devotional Reading. When we clocked in at the casino, Richard was first on Three Card Blackjack; when that table closed, he changed the Blackjack cards for the Blackjack pit, then spent the rest of the day dealing on the Shoe Blackjack game in our High Stakes pit. I was on a Blackjack table all day, and on my breaks I continued reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.
I continued reading my book as we headed home; at the auto garage, they told Richard that they have no idea what is causing the “clunk” that happens when Richard parks, and they checked out the truck thoroughly. (We trust them, so if they could not find the problem, it cannot be found.) I took the car home, and Richard followed in the truck. Once home I read the morning paper; I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update, as I plan to turn in early. Before going to sleep I will start reading The Mummy: A History of the Extraordinary Practices of Ancient Egypt by E. A. Wallis Budge. Our #21 LSU Lady Tigers (40-17, 12-12) will be playing the #8 Auburn Lady Tigers (46-9, 17-7) in the Semifinals of the SEC College Softball Tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee, and our #11 LSU Tigers (33-17, 14-9) will play their second College Baseball game with the #14 Auburn Tigers (32-19, 14-11).
Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Blessed Julian of Norwich, Anchoress (died c. 1423), and the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Fátima. Tomorrow is also the anniversary of the Renaissance (1997) of my relationship with Richard, and it’s high time and more that we had another Renaissance. We will return to the casino and work our eight hours, and I will continue reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. In the early afternoon I will go to the Adoration Chapel to do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration; after I leave the Chapel I will go eat lunch at McDonald’s and continue reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah until I get to about page 250 or thereabouts. Our #11 LSU Tigers will play a third Home College Baseball game with the #14 Auburn Tigers, and if our #21 LSU Lady Tigers win their semifinal game at the SEC College Softball Tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee, they will play the Final game with either the #16 Alabama Lady Crimson Tide or the #18 Ole Miss Lady Rebels.
Our Parting Quote on this Friday afternoon comes to us from William Zinsser, American author. Born in 1922 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, one of his cousins married Konrad Adenauer, the first post-war Chancellor of Germany (West Germany) from 1949 to 1963, and another cousin was the spouse of John J. McCloy, , who oversaw the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany after May 23rd, 1949, and who from September 1949 to August 1952 was the first US High Commissioner for Germany. Zinsser was the editor of the school paper at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, but his Princeton education was interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the Army in North Africa and Italy. After the fighting ended, he was able to take art history courses at a college the Army had set up in Florence. On his return to Princeton, he persuaded the dean that his firsthand experience visiting Italy’s art treasures deserved Princeton credit. His first job with The Herald Tribune, which he loved, ended with the paper closed in 1966. He left New York for New Haven to teach at Yale, then left Yale for the Book-of-the-Month Club, where he served as executive editor. Of his nineteen books, perhaps his best known was On Writing Well (1976), which has gone through repeated and revised editions. It became a book that editors and teachers encouraged writers to reread annually in the manner of another classic on the craft of writing, The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White. Zinsser went beyond that earlier book’s admonitions on writerly dos and don’ts; he used his professional experience to immerse readers in the tribulations of authorship, even subconscious ones. He wrote his autobiography, Writing About Your Life: A Journey Into the Past, in 2004 (died 2015): “Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time. Remember this in moments of despair. If you find that writing is hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things that people do.”