Monthly Archives: May 2011

Goth-ier Than Thou

The Morrigan’s cocktail hat, or a good way to test any comparisons of your hair to a raven’s wing, or perhaps an invisible Gondorian helmet with visible attachments.

Also, a hat for the woman who’s got everything, including the Rod of Wonder.

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May 30: St. Joan of Arc’s Day

The Latin hymns for today are pretty nice.

Hostium Victrix: hymn for Lauds

Hostium victrix, properante cursu,
Carolum ad sanctam comitaris ædem,
Ut triumphantem sacra rite signet
Unctio regem.

Gaudio fundens lacrimas, Ioanna,
Principi plaudis : Domino rependis
Debitas grates, retinesque dexta
Nobile signum.

Erigens longa populum ruina,
Mira fecisti, generosa virgo:
Iure te nostræ patriæ parentem
Sæcla vocabunt!

Sed manet maior meliorque merces:
Te novus poscit labor et triumphus:
Te Deus mittens, dabit ipse vires
Atque coronam.

Qui dedit presso populo salutem,
Laude ter sanctum Dominum colamus,
Semper ut tantæ meritis patronæ
Gallia vivat. Amen.

O foemen’s victrix, hastening thy footsteps,
You escort Charles into the holy shrine church,
So that triumphant, he be sealed with sacred
Unction of kingship.

Joyfully shedding tear on tear, o St. Joan,
praising the prince and paying the Lord all thanks
That have been owed Him, holding in thy right hand
Thy noble banner.

Raising a people from their long downfalling,
Look at what you’ve done, o generous virgin!
Ages will call thee mother of our homeland,
With every reason!

But there remains a greater, better payback.
New labor asks for thee, and a new triumph.
God sends it to thee, giving thee strength for it
And then a crown.

He gave salvation to His hard-pressed people,
Let us give praise then to the Lord, thrice holy.
Ever by this great patroness’ merits,
May France live. Amen.

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Memorial Day

We remember, and we thank them.

We went up to the cemetery today to visit our dead and plant some flags at the graves of the veterans among them. I’ve been watching the Memorial Day parade in DC, which has been very nice. There have been a lot of memorial events and Masses today also, but we mostly stayed home.

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“Martyrum Virtus”: Hymn to the Martyrs of Gorcum

Martyrum virtus validumque robur,
Palma victorum, decus et corona,
Christe Rex, tanti memorum triumphi
Vocibus adsis.

O martyr’s strength and power of men mighty,
Palm of the victor and his crown and glory,
O Christ the King, recalling such a triumph,
Be with our voices.

Hac die sacra populus fidelis
Milites Christi, fidei columnas,
Agmen invictum celebrare digno
Carmine gestit.

This holy day, we sing His faithful people,
Christ’s peaceful soldiers, our faith’s marble pillars,
Army unconquered. To give worthy honor
We’re glad and eager.

Inter hos Ordo merito Minorum
Undecim claros recolit sodales,
Qui sua primi meruere mortem
Tollere palmas.

With the deserving, from the Friars Minor
Eleven famous Recollect companions,
Who were their first men to deserve death’s guerdon,
To take the palm branch.

Fervidi sacro pietatis igne,
Pabulum praebent populo salutis;
Nec minae terrent: Deus ipse corda
Providus afflat.

Piety’s holy fire burning hotly,
They were the fuel for their people’s salvation.
Nor did threats scare them. Helping their hearts’ blazing,
God blew upon them.

Sit Patri virtus, honor et potestas;
Filio sit laus parilis per aevum;
Flamini Sancto resonent perenni
Cantica voce.

Be to the Father virtue, honor, power;
And to the Son be likewise praise for ever;
And to the Holy Breath, resound unending
In chanting voices.

Source: the 1922 Cantuale Romano-Seraphicum. Translation by me.

* “Recollect” (recolit) was the name of the specific group of Franciscans in Gorcum, according to Butler’s Lives of the Saints.

* This is poetic talk about their eagerness to serve God, not literal death in a fire. They were hung/lynched in a shed.

* “Flamen” is a poetic word for wind or breath, as well as a word for a Roman priest. So of course it got taken over as a poetic name for the Holy Spirit.

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The Martyrs of Gorcum

Basically a random bunch of religious and priests, grabbed up by the Sea Beggars of the Netherlands, and lynched by them against the direct orders of William the Silent. Oh, and first they put them on display as a freak show for whoever would pay to see them. Their feastday is July 9, and there are hymns for them in the traditions of the various orders to which they belonged. There’s also a separate feast in the Dominican calendar for St. John of Gorcum (Joannes van Hoornaer aka John of Cologne), a Dominican who went to bring them the Sacraments and got arrested himself. He gets his own (very similar) hymns.

“Martyrum virtus validumque robur” is apparently an adaptation of the hymn of the same name, which was written for St. Maurice and the Theban Legion out on the ice in Switzerland. It includes a Franciscan shoutout. “Nocte jam vulsa” (or “pulsa”) is apparently a Dominican hymn, and original.

The nephew of the Franciscan Br. Nicolas Pieck became the (then-famous) apologist and commentator on Paul, Willem Hessels van Est (aka Estius). He also wrote Historia Martyrum Gorcomiensum, as a tribute to the faithful dead.

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Missing Mass of the Universe – Found?

Astrophysicists had made predictions about it, but it took an aerospace engineering student to do the work….

An upcoming paper by a Monash University undergrad (her name’s Amelia Fraser-McKelvie) will announce finding measurable proof that the universe’s “missing mass” is at least partly clustering in filaments between the galaxies. She did it during a summer internship.

This is so darned cool. Go Australia!) I guess it was all over the news yesterday, but it’s cool enough for two days’ attention, surely. 🙂

Here’s a story about it from Sydney, with a picture of the hometown hero/intern. Has that determined pioneer woman look. Here’s another article from the same paper with a smile photo.

What I’m not seeing covered is exactly what data they were using. X-ray astronomy of some kind, apparently. Oh, well, it’s clear that she was doing typical data analysis gruntwork. When she found anomalous stuff coming up, she told the professors. This is exactly how the scientific method is supposed to work.

(It’s also clear that the profs are the reasonable type who aren’t afraid to share credit in public.)

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Go Go Power Rangers Money

Haim Saban, (Egyptian-born Jewish financier, Hollywood producer, and former composer and soundtrack guy), has publically announced that he doesn’t mean to give money to Obama any more. But he’s says he’s still a Democrat and will still raise money for other Democrats.

Saban is perhaps best known as the producer/executive producer of the longrunning Power Rangers series, an American adaptation of the Japanese Dai-ranger sentai team franchise. I can’t think of any other Hollywood composer guys who have become producer guys, much less financiers, so he must be really really good at finance, running and persuading; but I’ve never heard what his story was. (Other than that he’s a real yellow dog Democrat, so losing him is a Bad Thing for Obama.)

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It Hailed a Lot at My Grandma’s Last Night

How much did it hail?

Well, she wanted to let the dog out to do her business, but first she had to shovel the dog a path!

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Superversive’s Top 10 Fantasy Writer Dislikes

Here’s a blast from the past (2006). Mr. Tom “Superversive” Simon’s ten essays about things he hates to see in fantasy books.


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The Moral of the Story Is….

My poor mom got up in the middle of the night, and unexpectedly found the dog with her feet. And then with her whole body. Finally, she found the floor with her nose.

And in case you happened to be wondering which side of the family that my brothers get their nosebleeds from, it’s both.

So I gather that the middle of the night became very exciting for a while, what with Dad and the dog both trying to help out my mom, and the use of icepacks, and tissues up the nose. She’s still feeling a bit shaky and not like herself, though whether that’s the nosebleed, the fall, or the sleep deprivation is a good question.

I think the moral of the story is “If you wake up in the middle of the night, just turn over and go back to sleep.” The other moral is probably something like “Dogs sometimes pick weird places to sleep while patrolling the house at night.”

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Jeffrey Deaver: Tribute to Ian Fleming

Some very fine writers have attempted “professional fanfic”, in the form of James Bond continuation novels. The latest is going to be an American — Jeffrey Deaver. Why?

Pure writerly admiration of Ian Fleming and thorough knowledge of the books, expressed at an awards dinner, with absolutely no expectation of getting anything out of it. Except that the folks in charge of the franchise did hear it. (Yeah, sometimes fannishness pays off.)

So here’s an essay by Deaver explaining why the Great British Readerly Public should trust him with the Bond steering wheel, and thanking Bond and Fleming for changing his life and teaching him to write.

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Save This School. Now.

St. Michael’s School in Newark NY has six days to live. Unless you help.

The Archbishop of Rochester, NY, decided on April 19 that the school needs to register 95 more new students for the 2011-2012 school year (they’ve registered 90 new students so far) and to raise $130,000 dollars (they’ve raised more than $80,000 and have about $49,000 more to go).

This school provides tuition packages for everyone, and no child will be turned away for lack of ability to pay.

You can donate on Paypal, or you can even just email them a pledge card and pay up later. And gosh, why not register your kid, if you live nearby?

But for goodness’ sake, give them a helping hand!!!

(I’m keeping this bumped up.)

* Because if their archbishop closes the school, he can sell off the building to increase diocesan funds. Also, he just likes to close things, apparently. He’s only got a year or so left to be bishop, so I guess he’d like to close a few more things before he goes. (Or that’s his track record, anyway.)

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Acta Sanctorum online

There’s a famous series of saint research books (in Latin) called the Acta Sanctorum, written and released by a scholarly/religious association called the Bollandists. Some of them are now online, which is very exciting and useful.

For example, here is Volume 56 of Acta Sanctorum Octobris (the Acts of the Saints with feasts in October).

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Science Priest

I don’t know this man, but he sounds like a real asset to any parish! (Especially on science fair day.)

But there came a time when he knew for sure that he was supposed to go be a priest….

In the summer between college graduation and beginning formation at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Deacon Wright was invited to participate in a NASA program that included three weeks of intensive training at a facility in Houston. “That was the vocation confirmation for me,” he said. “I was hanging upside down and eating M&Ms in zero gravity and knew that there was something else I was being called to do.”

Our hearts are restless, even while geeking out, until they rest in Thee. 🙂

Also, profiles of a UT alumnus and the deacon guy our parish is losing. (We are one of the archdiocese’s training wheels parishes, most years. Big rectory, central location, experienced pastor, and a little bit of everything you could possibly have to run in the future as a pastor.)

Special bonus post: an evangelical non-Catholic talks about visiting his brother at the seminary down in Cincy. Seems like there’s plenty of grace being poured down on the area, and that’s a good reflection on Archbishop Schnurr and Fr. Schnippel the vocations wrangler (and Archbishop Pilarczyk also).

Prayers for everybody!

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