Daily Update: Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Elizabeth (Isabel) of Portugal by Francisco de Zurbarán and Anthony Mary Zaccaria

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, Queen (died 1336) (whose feast day is normally July 4th, but in the dioceses of the United States her feast day has been moved to July 5th) and the Optional Memorial of Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Priest (died 1539).

Elizabeth of Portugal was born in 1271 at Aragon, Spain, the daughter of King Pedro III of Aragon and Constantia, the great-granddaughter of Emperor Frederick II, and the great-niece of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, for whom she was named. (Her name is rendered Elisabet in Catalan and rendered as Isabel in both Portuguese and Spanish.) She had a pious upbringing with daily liturgy and praying of the hours, along with regular religious instruction and education. She was married at age twelve to King Diniz of Portugal, and was thus Queen of Portugal before she was a teenager. The king was known for his hard work, his poetic nature, and his lack of morals. Elizabeth suffered through years of abuse and adultery, praying all the while for his conversion, and working with the poor and sick. The mother of two children, she sometimes convinced the ladies of the court to help with her charity work, but most of the time she just incurred their jealousy and ill will. The king appears to have reformed late in life, though whether from Elizabeth’s faith or his imminent death is unknown. Her son, Prince Alfonso, rebelled against the favours that King Diniz bestowed on his illegitimate sons, and in 1323 forces of the king and prince clashed in open civil war. Though she had been unjustly accused of siding with her son against the crown, Elizabeth rode onto the battlefield between them and was able to reconcile father and son and prevent bloodshed. After the death of the king in 1325, she distributed her property to the poor, became a Franciscan tertiary, and retired to a monastery of Poor Clares she had founded at Coimbra. In 1336 her son, now King Alfonso IV, marched against his son-in-law, the King of Castile, to punish him for being a negligent and abusive husband. Despite her age and ill health, Elizabeth hurried to the battlefield at Estremoz, Portugal, and again managed to make peace in her family, and thus maintain peace in her land. This last effort wore her out, and she died at the battlefield in 1336. She is the Patron Saint of queens, of charities, and of those suffering in difficult marriages, and her aid as a peacemaker is invoked during time of war. We also honor Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Priest (died 1539). Born in 1502 in Cremona, Lombardy, Italy, to a patrician family, his father died when Anthony was two, and his mother, widowed at age eighteen, devoted herself to her son. He studied medicine at Padua, receiving his doctorate at the age of twenty-two. While working as a physician to the poor in Cremona, Italy, he felt called to the religious life. He bequeathed his inheritance to his mother, worked as a catechist, and was ordained at age twenty-six; legend says that angels were seen around the altar at his first Mass. He was a noted preacher and an excellent administrator. In Milan he established the congregations of the Society of Clerics of Saint Paul (the Barnabites) for male religious, and the Angelics of Saint Paul for uncloistered nuns. These groups helped reform the morals of the faithful, encouraged laymen to work together with the apostolate, and promoted frequent reception of Communion. He also helped introduce the Forty Hours’ Devotion, and revived the custom of ringing church bells at 3 p.m. on Fridays, in remembrance of the Crucifixion. While on a peace mission, Anthony became ill and died at his mother’s house; tradition says that in his last moments he had a vision of Saint Paul the Apostle. He left only a few writings: twelve letters, six sermons, and the constitution of the Barnabites. Twenty-seven years after his death, his body was found to be incorrupt, and his mortal remains are now enshrined at the Church of St. Barnabas in Milan, Italy. He is the Patron Saint of physicians, and of the Clerics Regular of St Paul (the Barnabite order), the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul, and the Laity of St. Paul.

Last night I continued reading Beethoven’s Skull: Dark, Strange, and Fascinating Tales from the World of Classical Music and Beyond by Tim Rayborn via Kindle on my tablet.

Richard left at 8:00 am for Baton Rouge to visit with Butch, and I woke up at 8:30 am. I put in new color cartridges in our printer, started the Weekly Computer Maintenance, started my laundry, and did my Book Devotional Reading. I then finished the Weekly Computer Maintenance, started the Weekly Virus Scan, brought in the flag, and read the morning paper. I then did my Internet Devotional Reading.

I left the house at 11:30 am, and went to Fantastic Sam’s; while waiting on my haircut I continued reading A Time to Kill by John Grisham via Overdrive on my tablet. I then drove to the casino and exchanged my Casino pants, aprons, and shirts. On my way home I stopped at the McDonald’s drive through in Kinder for lunch, and Richard called at 2:00 pm to say he was on his way home.

Arriving home at 2:15 pm, the Weekly Virus Scan had finished. I tossed my new casino pants, apron, and shirts in the washer, Richard arrived home at 2:30 pm, and I finished my laundry. I then worked on my Weblog photos and reading A Time to Kill by John Grisham via Overdrive on my tablet. I watched Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm, and Richard took a nap; I took the opportunity to watch MST3K Episode 308 Gamera vs. Gaos (Gamera tai Gyaosu), which was the third movie starring Gamera, everyone’s favorite Japanese monster turtle; in this movie he faced Gaos, a pterodactyl-like Japanese movie monster. I woke Richard up at 7:00 pm, and he went to the front room to continue his watching of all of the West Wing episodes in order, and I continued working on my Weblog photos and reading A Time to Kill by John Grisham via Overdrive on my tablet. Since I did not get to the Lafayette Parish Library – North Branch in Carencro today, I ordered Sycamore Row by John Grisham (our next Third Tuesday Book Club book) from Kindle. I finished my September Weblog photos and finished reading A Time to Kill by John Grisham via Overdrive on my tablet; I then did my Book Review of the book for this weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts. Richard went to bed, and I am now finishing up this Daily Update before I join him in bed.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr (died 1902). I will iron my casino pants, aprons, and shirts, and at some point I will go to the store to get my salad supplies, and I will make my lunch salads for Friday and Sunday.

Our Wednesday Evening Parting Quote comes to us from Yoichiro Nambu, Japanese-born American physicist. Born in 192, in Tokyo, he grew up in Fukui, northwest of Kyoto. His interest in science was inspired by science magazines that his father bought. He earned a master’s degree in physics at the Imperial University of Tokyo in 1942, when he was drafted into the Army and assigned to a radar laboratory. After the war he married. He returned to the Imperial University in 1946 as a researcher and earned his doctorate in 1952. From 1950 to 1956 he was a professor at the newly created Osaka City University. In that period he spent two years with the nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and, on one occasion, summoned the courage to introduce himself to Albert Einstein, a faculty member at the institute. His association with the University of Chicago began in 1954, when he was hired as a research associate, as his professorship earned in Japan was not accepted by the university.. He became a professor in 1958 and began investigating superconductivity, the process by which, at very low temperatures, electric current suddenly flows without any resistance. He decided that spontaneous symmetry breaking, or SSB (the change from a symmetric to asymmetric state that scientists were just beginning to observe at the subatomic level) might better explain how substances become superconducting. He developed a mathematical model to describe this phenomenon and quickly turned his attention to the world of subatomic particles. In 1960 he published a mathematical description of spontaneous symmetry breaking that became a cornerstone of the Standard Model, the unified theory that physicists use to explain three of the four fundamental forces in nature: strong, weak and electromagnetic. The fourth, gravity, has not yet been incorporated into the standard model. Peter Higgs, François Englert and others used his theories in the 1960s to predict the Higgs boson, which was discovered in 2012. Nambu continued working in particle physics for the rest of his career, making vital contributions; he was accounted as one of the founders of string theory. The Nambu-Goto action in string theory is named after Nambu and Tetsuo Goto. Also, massless bosons arising in field theories with spontaneous symmetry breaking are sometimes referred to as Nambu–Goldstone bosons. In 1965, working with Moo-Young Han, now at Duke University, he developed the forerunner of the modern theory of quantum chromodynamics, which accounts for the nuclear forces that bind protons and neutrons into atomic nuclei. He became a United States citizen in 1970 and won the Dannie Heineman Prize. From 1974 to 1977 he was chairman of the physics department at the University of Chicago. He won the J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Prize in 1977, Japan’s Order of Culture in 1978, the U.S.’s National Medal of Science in 1982, the Max Planck Medal in 1985, and the Dirac Prize in 1986. After more than fifty years as a professor, he was Henry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor emeritus at the University of Chicago’s Department of Physics and Enrico Fermi Institute, having retired in 1991. He then won the Sakurai Prize in 1994, the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1994/1995 , and the Franklin Institute’s Benjamin Franklin Medal (2005). Nambu shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics with Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa “for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics”.. He received half the prize money. The rest was divided equally between his co-winners. His Nobel Prize struck many physicists as long overdue. At the time he received the Nobel, Nambu was exploring what he called “one of the last unsolved puzzles of the Standard Model”: why different quarks have different masses, possibly a result of spontaneous symmetry breaking (died 2015): “I liked physics because it was a way of studying fundamental problems in natural science.”

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