St. Yaretzi?

Yaretzi is one of the up and coming “new” names in the US.

Some people say it’s Nahuatl (the language spoken by Aztecs, and by a lot of other tribes that didn’t do all the human sacrifice), and the meaning is supposedly “One who will always be loved.” Except that Nahuatl doesn’t have an R sound.

Others say that it’s a Mayan name, which makes more sense.

“Yar” in Chuj Maya is a particle meaning “his,” and ‘etz’um in Chuj Maya means something like “goodness”, “charity,” “lovingness” in some phrases. (It seems to be related to “catch fire,” which is another ‘etz word.)

So the name Yaretzi, literally, is probably something like, “His love,” implying God’s love. That would make it very similar to more familiar Christian names like “Amadeus” or “Amata,” “Amanda,” “Amy,” and so on. Very nice!

(And there may be particles in the name construction that imply the “forever” or “ongoing into the future” bit.)

But in K’iche Maya, etz’ is associated with words about playing games, and etzel- is all about evil or bad stuff. In Classical Maya, etz’naab was the eighteenth day of the month, and associated with a glyph of a flint knife. So yeah, there are like 32 different Mayan languages today, and YMMV.

(Obviously non-Nahuatl and non-Mayan speakers like myself are not in a position to know this stuff for sure, and it is my experience that a lot of minority language names are translated… freely… into English, to the point that some names just don’t mean what people are told. So be cautious if you don’t speak Nahuatl or Mayan.)

And I wish all the luck in the world to all girls named Yaretzi, and especially the one who escaped death in the Waukesha parade massacre. Clearly you kids are loved.

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Bl. Titus Brandsma’s Canonization Miracle!!

Apparently a relic of Bl. Titus’ habit was associated with healing a Florida priest from Stage Four cancer.

Awesome coolness!

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Review of Ghostbusters: Afterlife

An interesting and moving fantasy adventure, filled with real characters, humor, the love of family, first love, and the love of friends. It’s a fitting sequel, leaves room for more adventures in the future, and basically deepens the original worldbuilding in a way similar to what was done in The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. There’s also something you should stay to watch, until the very very very end of the credits. Very end. Very very very.

Adult characters cuss, kid characters (mostly) don’t; but basically it’s wholesome while keeping its PG-13 rating. It’s well-paced, and it’s a production with heart. You can live in this world. It doesn’t conflict explicitly with any of the canons, either.

I love the new characters so much! This is what we want — for new main characters to be people we can like and respect, and who grow in interesting ways, and without ruining the old characters.

It’s also a wonderful posthumous tribute to Harold Ramis and his many talents. It’s as artistically right and beautiful as Last Jedi‘s treatment of Carrie Fisher was creepy and wrong.

If you like Ghostbusters at all, you should go see this one. And then, maybe go see it again.

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Re: My Neighbors’ Wifi Names

Most of you are very boring. But “Shrine of the Silver Monkey” is an awesome wifi name.

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Part 2C of Pope Pius XII’s Allocution to the “Latin High Fashion Union”

Among the objective elements that combine to form an immodest fashion in the first place is its designers’ evil intention. When these are set up to raise unchaste fantasies and feelings with their designs, even without going to extremes it is a technique of veiled malice. Among other things, the designers know that their daring in this matter can’t be pushed beyond certain limits, but they also know that the effect they seek is close to these limits; and that a skillful blend of artistic and serious elements with other more vile ones are more suited to surprise the imagination and the senses, while making the design still acceptable to people who desire that effect, though without compromising (at least in their opinion) their good name as honest persons. Therefore, any refinement of fashion must begin with the intentions of both the designer and its wearer: in both, there must be awakened an awareness of their responsibility for harmful consequences that may be derived from too daring of clothing, especially worn in the public streets.

More to the point, the immorality of certain fashions hangs, for the most part, on excesses in both immodesty and luxury. As for the former, which in a practical way involve their cut, it must not be evaluated by the values of a society that is decaying or already rotten; but according to the aspirations of a society that prizes the dignity and seriousness of public custom. Almost with inert resignation, it is often said that fashion expresses the customs of a people; but it would be more exact and more useful to say that it expresses the will and moral direction that a nation intends to take — that is, whether to be shipwrecked in wantonness, or to maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization.

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Part 2B of Pope Pius XII’s Allocution to the “Latin High Fashion Union”

Therefore the Church neither blames nor condemns fashion when it is aimed toward the just dignity and adornment of the body; however, it never fails to put the faithful on guard against a facile misdirection of it.

This positive attitude of the Church derives from motives very much higher than those purely aesthetic or hedonistic ones assumed by a renewed paganism. She [the Church] knows and passes on that the human body, God’s masterpiece in the visible world, at the soul’s service, was elevated by the Divine Redeemer into a Temple and instrument of the Holy Spirit; and must be respected as such. Therefore, its beauty must not be exalted as an end in itself, and even less, so as to demean that acquired dignity.

On this concrete ground, it is undeniable that alongside honest fashion, there is another that is an shameless cause of disturbance in ordered spirits, if not actually an incentive toward evil. It is always difficult to indicate, with universal norms, the boundaries between honesty and immodesty of a hairstyle depend on many factors; however, the so-called relativity of fashion with respect to times, places, persons, and education is not a valid reason to renounce, a priori, a moral judgment on this or that fashion, that at that moment, goes beyond the limits of normal reserve. Almost without being questioned, this immediately averts one from where provocativeness and seduction, the idolatry of material things and luxury, or just frivolousness, are sheltered; and if designers of shameless fashion, or of contraband perversion, are skilled in mixing it into a set of aesthetic elements that are honest in themselves, unfortunately human sensuality is more dextrous at discovering it and quickly feeling its fascination. As said elsewhere, a greater sensibility for being warned of evil’s snare — far from constituting a label of blame for those gifted with it, as if it were a mark of internal depravity — is on the contrary, the countersign of chastity of the soul and vigilance of the passions. But as long as the moral relativity of fashion may be vast and unstable, it always exists as an absolute of salvation, after having listened to conscience’s admonition as a warning of danger: Fashion must never provide a near occasion of sin.

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Part 2A of Pope Pius XII’s Allocution to the Latin High Fashion Union

Part II
Defining the moral problem of fashion and its solutions

If it is not that the problem of fashion constitutes reconciling the person’s external ornament with the internal ornament of “a tranquil and modest spirit” in an equilibrium of harmony. But an internal moral problem truly exists around such an external, contingent, and relative fact, if some are asking themselves, ‘What is fashion?’And if this is granted, in what terms is the problem going to be posed, and with what principles should it be resolved?

There is not a cause to deplore at length the insistence of not a few of our contemporaries to force a removal of moral dominion over the exterior activities of Man, as if they belonged to another universe, and as if Man himself were not the subject, the end, and therefore, the responsible person, before the Supreme Ordainer of all things. It is very true that fashion (like art, science, politics, and similar activities that are called “profane”) has its own norms for achieving an immediate end for which it has been appointed; always and invariably their subject is Man, who cannot set aside those activities from turning toward the ultimate and supreme End, to which he himself is ordered totally and essentially. So the moral problem of fashion does exist, not only insofar as it is a generic human activity, but more specifically in how much it is expressed in a common field, or one very close to evident moral values, and even more, in how much fashion’s purposes, honest in themselves, are more open to being confused with the crooked inclinations of human nature, fallen through original sin, and transmuted into an occasion of sin and of scandal. Such a propensity of corrupt nature to abuse fashion not infrequently led ecclesiastical tradition to treat it with suspicion and severe judgments, expressed with lively firmness by distinguished sacred orators and zealous missionaries and even by the “bonfire of the vanities,” which were reckoned among the people as efficacious eloquence, in conformity with the customs and austerity of those times. By such manifestations of severity, which at the foundation showed the Church’s maternal solicitude for the good of souls and the moral values of civilization, however, it is not licit to argue that Christianity demands an almost absolute abjuration of the cultivation or care of the physical person, or its external dignity. Anyone concluding this in this sense would demonstrate himself to have forgotten how the Apostle of the Gentiles wrote, “The women should adorn themselves — in decent clothing, with self-control and modesty.” (1 Tim. 2:9)

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Blessed Thomas of Dover

Nova Legenda Anglie” has his story in Volume 2. He’s an unofficial saint, never canonized, but lots of miracles happened at his tomb and many ships in danger out on the Channel were saved by his prayers.

He was just a normal Benedictine monk who lived his whole life in the Dover abbey. But on August 2 or August 5, 1295, the French raided Dover. All the other monks got the heck out of Dodge, but Thomas de la Hale (or Thomas de Halys, or Thomas Hales — it gets spelled different ways) was sick and stayed in the monastery.

Well, apparently the French sailors were not happy with the lack of plunder, so they threatened him with torture and death unless he revealed where the monks kept the good vestments and altar vessels, as well as any money they might have around the place.

Thomas didn’t say a thing.

They put a sword through his guts and left him to die.

Well, the English Benedictines called him a martyr, and various English people begged the Pope to canonize him. But apparently this was no go. This didn’t stop the English from regarding him as a saint or making much of his relics. At least until the Reformation.

(This is not the same guy as the famous devotional writer, Brother Thomas of Hales of the Franciscans, who wrote the “Luve Ron” in Middle English.)

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Part 1C of Pope Pius XII’s Allocution to the Latin High Fashion Union

Although an economic factor is this activity’s driving force, the soul is always the “fashion designer” — that is, the one who, with an intelligent choice of fabrics, of colors, of cut and line, and of accessories, gives life to a new expressive fashion design that is appreciated by the general public. It goes without saying how difficult this art is — the fruit of genius and experience, and even more, of a feeling for the taste of the moment. A design which is certain of fortunate success acquires the importance of an invention; it is surrounded by secrecy in preparation for the “launch;” and then when put on sale, it is sold for high prices while the information media give it wide circulation, speaking of it as if it were an event of national interest. The influence of fashion designers is so decisive that even the textile industry is guided by them to plan its own production, both for quality and quantity. Their social influence is equally great, in their part in interpreting public custom. So if fashion has always been the exterior expression of a people’s customs, today it is even more so, rather than when its phenomenon evolved as the fruit of reflection and care.

But the formation of taste and preferences in the people, and the steering of Society itself toward serious or decadent customs does not depend only on fashion designers, but also on all of the complex organization of fashion, and especially on manufacturers and critics in that more refined sectors which has clients from the highest social classes, taking the name of Haute Couture, as if to designate through it the source of the currents which people then follow almost blindly, as if through a magic spell.

At this hour, in the face of so many elevated values being called into question by fashion and sometimes jeopardized — so many that we have enumerated them here with quick hints — there providentially appears a work of people who are prepared both as Christians and in a technical way, who propose thus to contribute to freeing fashion from trends that cannot be commended; of people who look above all to the art of knowing how to dress, whose purpose is indeed (however partially) to accent the beauty of the human body, that masterpiece of divine Creation, in a way that would not be hidden in shadows, but exalted — as it was expressed by the Prince of the Apostles, by”the incorruptible ornament of a tranquil and modest spirit, which is so precious in the eyes of God.” (1 Peter 3:4, Italian translation)

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Part 1B of Pope Pius XII’s Allocution to the “Latin High Fashion Union”.

Even as the origin and purpose of clothing is clear, so is the natural exigency of Modesty, understood both in the broadest significance — which also includes due consideration for the sensibility of others toward objects that are repugnant to the view — and above all, as a protection for moral character, and an avoidance of disordered sensuality. The singular opinion which attributes a sense of modesty to the relativity of this or that education — which, indeed considers it almost as a conceptual deformation of an innocent reality, a false product of civility, and even a spur to bad character and a wellspring of hypocrisy — is not supported by any serious reason; on the contrary, it meets an explicit condemnation in the supervening repugnance toward those people who, at times, have dared to adopt it as a system of life, confirming in this manner the rectitude of common sense, manifested in universal customs. Modesty — paying attention to its strictly moral meaning whatever its origin — is founded on the innate and more or less conscious tendency of each person to defend one’s own physical wellbeing against the indiscriminate greediness of another — which with a prudent choice of circumstances, is akin to reserving it for the Creator’s wise purposes, uniformed by Him with the mail hauberk of chastity and modesty. This latter virtue, bashfulness, has the synonym “modesty,” from the Latin “modus,” measure or limit; which perhaps expresses better its function of governing and mastering the passions, particularly the sensual ones — and it is the natural bulwark and strong outer wall of chastity, since it moderates the acts proximately connected to the particular object of chastity. As his guard is raised, Modesty makes the human feel her warning, even before he acquires the use of reason, and even before he first learns the notion of chastity and its object; and [Modesty] accompanies him throughout his entire life, requiring that certain acts, decent in themselves, are protected by the discreet veil of shadow and the reserve of silence, as if to reconcile them with the respect due to the dignity of their grand purpose — because they are divinely willed.

Therefore, it is just that Modesty, as if it is the repository of such precious goods, should claim for itself a prevalent authority over any other tendency or caprice, and should preside over the determination of styles of dress.

And here is the third final purpose of clothing, from which fashion most directly draws its origin, and which answers that innate exigency felt most by Woman — to emphasize the beauty and dignity of the human person by the exact same methods that provide satisfaction to the other two [purposes]. To avoid restricting the amplitude of this third exigency to physical beauty alone; and even more to remove a desire for seduction from the phenomenon of fashion, as its first and only cause; the term “elegance” is preferable to that of “adornment.” An inclination to elegant decorum of person manifestly proceeds from Nature, and is therefore lawful.

Leaving aside a recourse to clothing in order to conceal physical imperfections, Youth asks clothing for that accentuation of their glow which sings the happy melody of life’s springtime, and in harmony with the dictates of Modesty, makes it easier to start the psychology necessary for the formation of a new family. Meanwhile, Maturity means to obtain an aura of dignity, seriousness, and serene happiness from appropriate clothing. In any case in which one so aims to accentuate the moral beauty of the human person, the form of dress will be such as to almost eclipse what is physical by an austere shadow of concealment, to turn the attention of the senses away and concentrate in its place on the reflection of the spirit.

Considered from this broader side, clothing has its own multiform language — and it is efficacious, sometimes spontaneous, and therefore faithfully interprets feelings and customs — and at other times, it is conventional and artificial, and as a consequence is scarcely sincere. In any manner, it is given to clothing to express joy and grief, authority and power, pride and simplicity, riches and poverty, the sacred and the profane. The concreteness of its expressive forms depends on the traditions and culture of this people or that; when they change more slowly, the institutions, characters and feelings that those shapes interpret are more stable.

Fashion pays attention expressly to give emphasis to physical beauty — it is an ancient art of uncertain origins, a complex mix of psychological and social factors, that is here; and which in the present has attained an indisputable importance in public life, both as an aesthetic expression of custom, and as a desire of the public and a convergence of relevant economic interests. From well-founded observation of the phenomenon, it seems that fashion is not just a bizarrerie of forms, but a meeting point of diverse psychological and moral factors such as the taste for beauty, the thirst for newness, the affirmation of personality, and the intolerance of boredom, no less than luxury, ambition, and vanity. However, fashion is elegance conditioned toward continuous mutation, in such a way that its own instability becomes its most evident identification mark. The reason for its perpetual change — slower in fundamental lines, most rapid in secondary variations, arriving seasonally — always gives insight to the anxiety of surpassing the past, aided by the frenetic disposition of the contemporary age, which has a tremendous power to burn through everything destined to satisfy the imagination and the senses, in a short time. It is understandable that new generations reaching out for their own future, having dreamed of different and better things than what belonged to their parents, feel a need to break loose from not only their forms of dress, but from the objects and furnishings which most clearly remind them of a kind of life that they want to surpass. But the extreme instability of present-day fashion is determined over all by the will of its designers and influencers, who have, on their side, methods unknown in the past: such as the enormous and varied textile industry, the inventive fertility of modistes, the ease of media information and launches through the press and movies and television and exhibitions and fashion shows. The rapidity of change is also favored by a sort of silent race (really not new) among the “elites” who are eager to assert their own personality with original styles of clothing, and the public, which immediately gloms onto them through copies that are more or less good. Nor should one neglect the other subtle and decadent motive – the care of the modistes — who rely on drawing away attention from others in order to ensure the success of their own creations, and who are aware of the effect caused by continually provoking a renewed surprise and caprice.

Another characteristic of today’s fashion is that, while remaining principally an aesthetic matter, it also has assumed the properties of an economic element of major proportions. The few old tailors of haute couture, who dictated the laws of elegance without a challenge in the world of European culture, from this or that metropolis, have been replaced by numerous organizations with powerful financial means, who, to shape the taste of whole populations while satisfying clothing needs, stimulate their desires, in order to build ever larger markets. The causes of this transformation are found, on the one hand, in the so-called “democratization” of fashion, by which an ever greater number of individuals are subjected to the spell of elegance; on the other hand, it is found in technical progress, which allows the mass production by fashion designers of so-called “confections” that would otherwise be costly, but are now made easily purchasable at stores. In this way there arose the world of fashion, which includes artists and artisans, industrialists and retail workers, editors and critics, and an entire class of lowly laborers as well, who all make their livings from fashion.

Yep, this is really long. There’s about three more paragraphs before we get through Part One! Also, I think my head will explode if he says “psychological” again….

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Mary Among the Evangelists

I have just been reading a book called The Definitive Guide for Solving Biblical Questions about Mary: Mary Among the Evangelists. It is available on Amazon, and you can read it for free on Amazon Unlimited.

It is a very big interesting book that leans hard on the Greek used in the Gospels, coupled with parallel texts and usages in the Septuagint, and the comments of various Fathers of the Church. But it also deals with the literary structures set up in the Gospels. If you look at all this material, you can see where additional information is being set up about about Jesus and His mom, and His situation with disciples and family members.

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Pope Pius XII’s Speech to the “Unione Latina Alta Moda” (Nov. 8, 1957): Part 1A

Okay, this is from the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Volume 49 (1957), pp. 1011-1020.

It’s quite long, and it’s in Italian. It was never translated officially into Latin or any other languages, as far as I can tell. And I don’t know anything about the “Latin High Fashion Union.” Allocutions are not high on the magisterial totem pole, but it is something from a pope. So let’s take a look at it, especially since random quotes from it tend to appear in modesty discussions.

There seems to be an English translation that comes up on Google Translate, but it is obviously non-literal from the get-go. (If you follow the link and see for yourself, you will see what I mean.) So this is going to be my unofficial translation, but leaning on whoever did the dynamic translation.

********

Read out to those who were present for the International Convention held in Rome by the Latin High Fashion Union:

With a full heart, I am giving you my paternal welcome, beloved sons and daughters — the promoters and associates of the Latin High Fashion Union who have desired to come into Our presence, to deliver a testimony of your filial devotion; and at the same time, to implore heavenly favors for your Union, placing it from its birth under the auspices of Him to Whose glory every human activity must be directed — even those which are apparently profane [ie, secular], according to the precept of the Apostle of the Gentiles: “Whether you eat, whether you drink, or whether you do any other thing, do it all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:16) With Christian views and intentions, you propose to tackle a problem as delicate as it is complex, in which at all times, unavoidable moral reflections have been the object of attention and anxiety in those people who have a duty in family, in society, and in the Church, and who must act to preserve souls from the snares of corruption, and the whole community from a decadence of morals — the problem, that is, of fashion, especially female fashion.

It is just that Our gratitude, and that of the Church, should respond in the same way to your generous intentions; and with Our fervent wish that your Union, born and inspired by a healthy religious and civil conscience, may attain, through the enlightened self-discipline of fashion designers themselves, the twofold purpose declared in your statutes: to bring good morals to this important sector of public life, and of contributing to elevate fashion, indeed, to an instrument and expression of civility.

Eager to encourage such a laudable enterprise, We willingly agree to your desire that I lay open to you some thoughts — in particular, on the correct approach to the problem, and also indicating some practical suggestions about its moral aspects, designed to assure that the Union has a well-accepted authority in a field so often contested.

I. Some General Aspects of Fashion

Following the counsel of ancient wisdom that points to the final purpose of things, so that the supreme criterion of every theoretical evaluation is the security of moral norms, it will be useful to recall what purposes Man has given for resorting to clothing. Without a doubt, he obeys the three well-known exigencies of Hygiene, Modesty, and Elegance. These are the three needs so deeply rooted in [human] nature that they cannot be disregarded or opposed without provoking repulsion and prejudice. They keep their character of a “need” today, even as yesterday; as they are found in almost every human lineage, so they are recognized in every form in the vast gamut in which clothing’s necessity has been made historically and ethnologically concrete. It is important to notice the tight and coordinated interdependence among the three exigencies, despite them flowing from different wellsprings: one from the physical side, the other from the spiritual, and the third from the psycho-artistic complex.

The exigency of Hygiene deals mostly with the climate with its variations, and with other external agents as causes of hardship or infirmity. From the aforementioned interdependence, it follows that a hygienic reason — or better, a hygienic pretext — is not meant to justify a deplorable license, particularly in public — and outside of exceptional cases of proven necessity — and even then, all the same, any well-raised soul will not be able to escape the distress of a spontaneous anxiety, externally expressed by a natural blush. In a similar way, some manner of dress that is harmful to health, of which many examples can be cited in the history of fashion, cannot be legitimized by an aesthetic pretext. Even so, the common norms of Modesty must yield to the requirements of medical care — which, although it seems to break the norms, respects them by acting with due moral caution.

More later.

Here’s an old unofficial translation that was dug up by eCatholic2000! Ha, I’m not the only one digging! But I will probably keep going, all the same.

I’ve changed my translation of “decoro” to “Elegance.” It’s permissible in Italian, and it seems more fashion-conscious than “decorum” or “dignity” or “decoration.”

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Padre Pio vs. the USAF

Okay, this is a HUGE story, and I’ve never heard it before. It probably explains some of the Padre Pio devotion in my local area, because we’ve got a lot of Air Force people around here.

Apparently the USAF doesn’t just report unidentified flying objects.

In WWII, they encountered a totally identifiable flying monk.

So yeah, I guess it’s unfortunate for Monte Cassino, which was full of Nazis using it as a fort; but there really wasn’t any cache of weapons at San Giovanni Rotondo, so it’s just as well that it wasn’t bombed.

Indeed, it’s a very positive “mighty work” for people in the military, because the bomber crews were not allowed to do something inadvertently unjust, but not prevented from doing their real job or punished for trying.

General Nathan F. Twining, who went on a mission in 1943 and legendarily did see Padre Pio bilocated up in the clouds and causing early bomb release, met with Padre Pio later.

(This article says Twining also converted to Catholicism, but I can’t find anything to confirm that.)

General Bernardo Rosini of the Italian Air Force (which had switched to the Allies’ side by that point) testified to the incidents being reported at the time by air crews based in Bari; it is in the “positio” for St. Padre Pio’s canonization.

In 1947, Twining sent a famous memo commenting on the large number of Air Force personnel having seen “flying discs.” He said that it should be further investigated, because it was “something real, and not visionary or fictitious.”

Twining went on to serve as Air Force Chief of Staff, and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was known for reducing interservice rivalry, for encouraging research and development, and for modernizing the Air Force. He died in 1982.

There’s a lot of talk about his son (Nathan F. Twining, Jr.) having privately told various people that his dad told him the truth about Roswell, etc. But this is all friend-of-a-friend stuff, and Twining passed away in 2016 and can no longer be asked, himself. This Twining sold land he owned on the Belen Mesa to various “intentional community” people, who mostly seem to have been hippies, farmers, and hippie farmers; he is kindly remembered there as having loved the desert.

More USAF stories about Padre Pio, on page 7 of this church bulletin. Apparently Padre Pio was very much into their business, in a good way!

More military and American stories about Padre Pio. (Includes one of the early US helpers of Sr. Maria Montessori, Adelia Mary Pyles, who was also a great helper of Padre Pio and of US soldiers in WWII.) The military stories start about halfway down the page. I particularly like the pictures of the 463rd Bomb Group Choir.

Interestingly, there’s a bit where Padre Pio instructs a guy to follow the now-deprecated practice of giving a name to his guardian angel. (In a non-cringy way, not in the cringy way that caused the practice to be discouraged.) So it sounds like it was an Italian devotion, back in the day.

Anyhow… Padre Pio was drafted in WWI, and had to leave the monastery and serve in the military for three years. So that’s probably why he was so sympathetic to soldiers and airmen. He was sick the whole time, with lung problems from long before he was drafted, so he didn’t end up having much experience of military service. San Giovanni Rotondo was up in the mountains and helped his lungs a lot, which was why he was assigned there for the rest of his life.

More about Mary Pyles – an heiress disinherited for becoming Catholic, whose brothers and sisters each contributed money to her so that she would still get an equal share with them. She helped build all sorts of needed facilities in the town of San Giovanni Rotondo, including a hospital.

UPDATE: Allegedly there are Army Air Force reports about this, but nobody seems to quote one or show pictures of them, online. Also there are supposed to be many testimonies, but the only named person is this Italian Air Force general who testified in the canonization positio.

So possibly this is an urban legend? But I don’t really have the resources to research it. Maybe I can push this off onto Jimmy Akin? Or maybe I can get somebody at the Air Force Museum to tell me where to find mission records?

This link cites Positio III / 1, p. 689-690. It says there was a German ammo dump in San Giovanni Rotondo. Oops, my bad for trusting the wrong sources!

This is a Facebook page for Amendola Air Base, an Italian Air Force base that was built in 1931 in San Giovanni Rotondo, and was later taken over by the Luftwaffe after Italy joined the Allies in 1943; and eventually was captured by the US. It still serves as an Italian base today, and they have a lot of UAVs there. So this would have been a legit target for US bombing in 1943, as per the story.

An Army Air Force truck driver’s story – Pfc. Ray Bunten.

Padre Pio as a prophetic political/war analyst, and more about him during WWII. (Although after Germany switched sides on Moscow, it wasn’t ridiculous that Padre Pio would think Italy might change sides.) It does include a verified story of a Protestant who converted because of Padre Pio — more than 40 years later! Well, that’s real life for you. We also learn that Padre Pio liked American beer, and that he said a special Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve for the GIs.

MORE UPDATE: The book Padre Pio and America includes a lot of stuff about American soldiers and pilots visiting Padre Pio. Chapter 25, “The Flying Monk,” deals with various aerial stories about Padre Pio, and with the question of documentation of such stories. So ha! Somebody else already did the work!

Apparently there are multiple stories (Padre Pio “catching” Italian pilots who had to bail out is a big one), and multiple sources who seem pretty reliable, but a big lack of documented names of pilots and crew. (To be fair, going on record with weird stuff has traditionally been a career-ender and got you grounded.)

However, the author of Padre Pio in America did find a named aircrew guy, Gaetano Pavone, who served as both a flight engineer and a gunner, who did put himself on record as having seen the face of a monk, in color, in a break in the clouds. He later recognized the face he had seen as Padre Pio. But he says he kept his mouth shut and didn’t tell anyone else for years, or even call attention to it by the other people on the plane, so he obviously wasn’t the story spreader!

I find this stuff pretty fun, honestly, because people tend to think that miracles don’t happen in modern times. But people like Padre Pio or Brother Solanus Casey are having miracles every day and twice at breakfast, during modern times. (And btw, here’s Bl. Solanus Casey visiting a man with COVID-19.)

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Scooby Doo Was Very Different in Pre-Production

Velma was named Linda, and she was Shaggy’s sister.

Shaggy was nicknamed “W.W.”

Fred was two different guys, Geoff and Mike. (Network executive Fred Silverman begged to have the new combination character named after himself.)

Daphne’s name was Kelly.

And Scooby’s name was “Too Much.”

Iwao Takamoto deliberately designed Scoob to have funny conformation for a Great Dane, just so he wouldn’t look like Marmaduke.

And they were all in a band called The Mysteries Five, which was why they kept driving around the country in a van.

The show was originally designed to be a fairly serious mystery/horror show for kids, but parents were becoming concerned about violence on Saturday morning with all the action cartoons. So Hanna-Barbera reworked the show to be a comedy, and got rid of the band concept (but kept some Archies-style music in the show).

Fred Silverman didn’t work for Hanna-Barbera, but he worked fairly closely with them and their huge slate of kids’ animation shows. He loved the old live-action comedy show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and encouraged Hanna-Barbera to copy that show’s mix of personalities. So if you’ve ever wondered why Shaggy acted a lot like Bob Denver’s Gilligan and his Dobie Gillis character, Maynard Krebs, that’s why

So yes, that makes Fred into Dobie Gillis. And Fred Silverman wanted to have his self-insert _be_ Dobie Gillis.

So yes, the original concept for Velma was that she was a version of Zelda Gilroy, a nerdy girl who was in love with Dobie Gillis, much to his obliviousness. (And in fact, one of the show concepts was that Dobie actually was in love with his childhood friend Zelda, but just wasn’t smart enough to realize it yet; and in the show universe, they eventually were happily married.)

Fortunately for Velma, she didn’t end up hopelessly in love with Fred.

And Daphne actually isn’t like any of the girls who were Dobie Gillis objects of desire, although her name apparently was supposed to remind people of the first season rich, mean blonde girl he liked, who was named Thalia. (And Daphne’s family is rich, but Fred’s family isn’t badly off, either.)

That said, when you look at it, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is also reminiscent of Thalia, Zander is reminiscent of Dobie, and Willow was clearly Zelda, much more than Daphne or Velma ever were. And Dobie Gillis featured a mentor teacher who snarked at the kids but also helped them out, so I guess we know where a certain librarian/Watcher came from. They were never the Scoobies so much as the Dobies.

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