Wednesday, May 23, 2018

St. Jadwiga, "King" of Poland

St. Jadwiga aiding the poor
St. Jadwiga
St. Jadwiga
I remember reading So Young a Queen as a teenager and loving it. Queen St. Jadwiga's official title was "King" of Poland, since she was the sovereign. From The Catholic Herald:
These thoughts come to mind as I have been reading two books aimed specifically at girls’ readership. The first is So Young a Queen: Jadwiga of Poland by Lois Mills (Bethlehem Books/Ignatius Press). First published in 1961, it has been republished this year by Bethlehem Books as part of a series of biographies entitled “Portraits in Faith and Freedom”. It tells the story of St Jadwiga of Poland, 1374-1399 who married Jagiello, the pagan Prince of Lithuania in 1386 and converted him and his own peoples to her own devout Catholic faith.

As Lois Mills shows, Jadwiga, though betrothed to marry someone else, made a sacrificial choice at a young age to marry this unknown prince for the sake of her country’s peaceful union with Lithuania. It reminds one that other strong queens in history, such as Isabella of Castile, Bridget of Sweden and Margaret of Scotland became women of influence and power having been shaped by a deep Christian faith in childhood, alongside a rigorous education. They knew how to exert “soft power” for good in their husband’s lives, alongside the suffering and sacrifice such lives generally endure.

The other series of short stories I have just read reflect life in the 21st Century where opportunities for ordinary girls (rather than princesses) to excel are inevitably much wider than in the past. They have been charmingly devised according to a lively formula by a retired scientist for his two young granddaughters, Ella and Emily, as a way of showing them that young women can lead adventurous lives in areas formerly dominated by boys and men. The Ella Abbott Helicopter Rescue Service stories and Ella Abbott in Space, aimed at girls in the 7-9 age range who are looking for excitement and action in which they, rather than their brothers, are the heroes, show just how brave, resourceful, calm and quick-thinking girls can be in dangerous situations. (Read more.)
More on St Jadwiga, who gave up the man she loved to bring the faith to Lithuania, HERE. To quote:
Jadwiga was a tall and beautiful girl with red hair. In Europe she was famous not only for her beauty but also with wise diplomacy and deep devotion. Besides the Polish and Hungarian languages she also knew Latin, German and Italian. She had a strong personality and confident character.

She really cared for the fostering of faith in Lithuania. For this purpose she organized a special collegium at the University of Prague, in which future Lithuanian princes were formed. There was “something” in her that won people over. She reconciled Jagiellonians who were in conflict (dynastic problems in Lithuania). She knew about politics and personally met with the leaders of hostile nations to negotiate and agree with the conditions of the project.

In addition to concern for politics, the good of her subjects was close to her heart: she funded many hospitals and churches. Tied with the construction of one of them – the Carmelite church of the Blessed Virgin Mary “na Piasku” (see: map) – there is a legend. A certain day, when the queen came to the construction site, she noticed that one of the workers was very sad.

 This really moved her and she asked him for the reason of his sadness. He answered her with his difficult family situation: his wife, the mother of three kids, was very sick and close to death. Despite his work in construction, he wasn’t able to afford the treatment. Queen Jadwiga, moved by the man’s misery, leaning over pulled a slipper from her foot and unfastened from it a golden buckle, which she offered him. In this same moment, her bare foot leaned against a stone covered with lime, leaving an impression of her foot on it. When she left, the bricklayer noticed the impression and placed it into the wall of the church. To this day you can admire the impression of the foot of Queen Jadwiga. Surrounded by wire, it can be seen in one of the corners of the church of the Carmelites, at ul. Karmelicka.

Queen Jadwiga really cared for her relationship with Jesus and did a lot to bring Him closer to her relatives and subjects. She prayed a lot, practiced mortification. She also cared for the spread of the Word of God, funding a translation of the Holy Bible and the writings of the fathers of the church for Wawel Cathedral. She wished that the Lord would be praised there with the psalms without ceasing, so she established a special Psalterist college of sixteen people who praised God night and day. To strengthen the fundamentals of the faith in the Kingdom of Poland, she bequeathed her fortune to the renewal and expansion of the impoverished Academy of Krakow. She obtained the Pope’s permission to open a Department of Theology, which greatly hastened evangelization in the whole area of the vast kingdom in the Polish, Lithuanian and Ruthenian lands.

 The Department had a great influence on raising the profile of the university, which from then on really counted in Europe, and whose revival had great meaning in the history of Poland. It is here (from the XIXth century called the Jagiellonian University) that Pawel Wlodkowic, Mikolaj Kopernik, St. John Cantius, Stanislaw Wyspianski, Karol Wojtyla and the current President of Poland Andrzej Duda studied, to name a few.

Jadwiga and Wladyslaw reigned together for almost 13 years. Despite the large difference in their age they really understood each other. Wladyslaw really loved Jadwiga, who despite the difficult beginnings of their relationship, with time also loved him. They had great respect and trust for each other. The king wished for a child, an heir. Jadwiga gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth Bonifacia, but after three weeks the little princess died. Following her, two days later, because of childbirth complications – the 25-year old Jadwiga departed. Her death was a shock for the kingdom and was widely heard about in Europe. The Queen was buried in the Cathedral in Wawel. Jagiello, even though he married three times afterward, until the end of his life wore the ring given to him by his beloved Jadwiga. (Read more.)

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A Culture of Depravity

From Life Site:
What we are watching today is a real time strategic plan to transform the United States into a godless culture of sin that is promoted legislatively. Everything Hitler did was legal because laws were enacted that allowed him act with the tacit approval of the courts. The voice of the people was overwhelmingly silent as they took the bread of man over God.

Today, you are either "IN or OUT," depending on your view. Christian views are increasingly OUT of what has been recently legislated, as believers are battling a system against their views. No one thirty years ago could have thought this was possible coming from the courts and government.   Christians are now leaving California as they see the trend is one of persecution on the immediate horizon.

A new Rasmussen Poll said that democrats are more concerned about Muslims being mistreated in the U.S. than Christians being slaughtered abroad in Muslim nations. The day after The Correspondents Dinner, Trump met with the president of Nigeria at the White House. One topic of discussion was the widespread horrible persecution and slaughter of Christians in his country. There wasn't a word from the mainstream press about it.

Words have meaning. What is said today has consequences tomorrow. Ideologies good and bad form opinions. What may seem completely absurd and outrageous to one may be acceptable to another. This is why the divide is so great in the church as well as what one thinks about President Trump. Few are neutral anymore. The debate of words is heated before disturbance, and the strong rhetoric of opinion today is a prelude to civil war. The tolerance level for one another with a different view is shrinking by the day.

The Holy Spirit is the ultimate source of truth, love, justice, and light. If one is not trying to conform their views to the light, it is in conflict with the Holy Spirit because God alone is light. Abraham Lincoln would often quote a passage from Scripture during the Civil War that said, "and everyman did that what was right in their own eyes" (Judges 21:25). As people turn away from God, a humanist agenda seeks to dig in further. Jesus said, "My ways are not your ways," because that is the battle of the ages. Each year the sacraments are absent from a life, one is given over to a depraved mind. Light is not penetrating the soul, and therefore, one will not achieve the Will of God. (Read more.)
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A Striped Walking Dress

From Two Nerdy History Girls:
There are two pink striped dresses in the Visitors to Versailles: 1682-1789 exhibition (now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through July 29, 2018.) Yet while these two dresses are nearly contemporary, together they show the two very different styles in French women's fashion in the 1770s.  I've already written about this lavish robe à la Française, a gown from the 1770s that would have been worn to the most formal events at the palace; consider it a wealthy 18thc French lady's "red carpet look."

 The dress shown here dates from about a decade later, 1785-87. This style was called a robe à l'Anglaise, or a dress in the English manner. The robe à l'Anglaise was inspired by British tailoring. Unlike the softly flowing back pleats of the  robe à la Française, worn over hoops for sideways volume. the robe à l'Anglaise featured a closely fitted bodice and long sleeves, and a skirt with volume gathered to the back over a false rump or hip pads.

The pinked edges of the ruffled and gathered trim along the skirt offered a feminine contrast to the close-fitting bodice. They would also have drew attention to the wearer's feet with each step - important for a stylish walking-gown. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Summer Skin Care

From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla excelled at painting beach scenes. The sunshine and fresh air of the beach was considered healthy then as it is now. Too much sun can be dangerous, though. Women no longer promenade in the sun in flowing white linen so quality cleansers and creams are vital for nurturing the skin and protecting it from the damage caused by UV rays and pollution. (Read more.)
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A Catastrophic Failure

From Matt Walsh:
It's the kind of headline we're used to seeing at this point. STD rates are at record highs among young adults in California, according to a new report. The STD epidemic has reached historic proportions across the nation. This is just another rotten, putrid fruit to fall from the decaying tree of the sexual revolution. It is long past time to declare the sexual revolution — the only significant legacy of the Baby Boomer generation — a catastrophic failure. It promised us free love and happiness, but it did not deliver. Instead, almost immediately, it delivered AIDS, and then it delivered gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia by the truckload.

 It delivered the destruction of marriage and the family, as divorce rates took off like a rocket right on the heels of this glorious revolution. Though they remain extremely high, they have been dropping recently. But this trend is offset by the fact that many people in my generation have simply given up on marriage entirely. Divorce was merely the first consequence of our enlightened sexual attitudes. The next step, underway as we speak, is the dissolution of marriage as an institution.

It delivered dead children. Lots of dead children. 60 million dead children and counting. It delivered unwed pregnancies, as the rates of out-of-wedlock births soared when the revolution took hold. It delivered a nation of porn addicts and fatherless children. It turned our university system into an orgy of debauchery and drunkenness. It ruined all that it touched, and then it came back around and pulverized everything into dust. It is, without question, one of the worst things to ever happen to mankind. Also one of the deadliest.

An interesting thing, this "free" love. It's a freedom that brings only misery and death. It's a freedom that doesn't seem very free at all. How could things have worked out this way? (Read more.)
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A Polish Ballerina

From Broadly:
Franceska Mann was a beautiful and exceptionally talented dancer, pirouetting her way through many prestigious shows and competitions, including the Brussels International Dance Competition of May 1939 where she won fourth prize. She danced regularly in Warsaw's Melody Palace nightclub before the outbreak of the Second World War and her career-shattering imprisonment in the Warsaw Ghetto. In 1943 she was transported out of Poland, presumably in connection with the Hotel Polski Affair, where Jews hoping to escape to South America with foreign passports were tricked and sent to Auschwitz instead. (Read more.)
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Monday, May 21, 2018

George Sand Coin

From Coin Update:
The Monnaie de Paris has launched (4th May) their third and final coin for 2018 in the successful series entitled “Women of France,” which tells the stories of notable French women who have shaped and influenced France from the first millennium to the current decade. The latest coin highlights the life of author George Sand, controversial in her day for her political views, her ability to develop a successful career in the middle 19th century, and for her romantic relationships which often became public matters. Sand adopted a male pseudonym and wrote under this name for a national newspaper, eventually becoming a published author of noted popularity.

Known simply as “Aurore” in her early childhood, Sand was born Marie-Aurore de Saxe, Madame Dupin de Francueil (1804-1876) in the city of Paris. She was later brought up at her grandmother’s estate, Nohant, in the French province of Berry. Sand used the splendid setting of her childhood in many of her novels. Her upbringing was quite liberal and in some ways, ostentatious. Her father, Maurice Dupin (1778–1808), was himself the grandson of the marshal general of France, Maurice, Comte de Saxe (1696–1750), an illegitimate son of Augustus II the Strong (1670–1733), king of Poland, and a Saxon elector. Sand was a cousin to the sixth degree to the brother-Kings Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, and Charles X of France, and was also related much more distantly to King Louis Philippe of France through common ancestors from German and Danish ruling families. (Read more.)
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Nikki Haley Walks Out

From Townhall:
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley made quite the statement on the Middle East at Tuesday's Security Council meeting - and it had nothing to do with her speech. After the ambassador had finished condemning Hamas for the violence on the Gaza-Israel border this week and Palestinian Ambassador Riyad H. Mansour instead began condemning Israeli forces, she got up and left.

Half of Twitter loved her symbolic exit. The other half decried it as shameful and undiplomatic. Violence erupted in Gaza this week as the new U.S. embassy in Israel opened in Jerusalem. Several top U.S. officials were there for the ceremony, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. President Trump recorded a video address for the occasion, reiterating the U.S.'s hope for peace in the region. In his own remarks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump for his courage and his friendship. (Read more.)
Also from Townhall:
 When Israel protects itself against hostile aggressors on its borders, members of the "international community" and much of the media rush to condemn "both sides," reserving special scorn for the Israeli government's "disproportionality" and lack of "restraint."  In truth, the actual disproportionality lies in the amoral double standard of relentlessly singling out the world's lone Jewish state for defending its citizens and sovereignty against the Islamist terrorist threat on its doorstep.  In the latest bout of this moral blindness, Israel's critics are currently wringing their hands about the senseless violence and death visited upon "peaceful protesters" along the Gaza border by the IDF.  The way some news outlets tell it, these poor, downtrodden Palestinians were merely venting their frustrations over Donald Trump's embassy 'provocation' -- then Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a massacre against them.  Astoundingly, that framing is only a slight exaggeration.

In reality, these were riots deliberately orchestrated and fomented by Hamas, the terrorist organization that took over Gaza after Israel unilaterally withdrew from that territory in 2005 (a titanic failure of the sort of land-for-peace goodwill gesture endlessly urged by Israel's detractors, in spite of other historical inconveniences).  Here are some telling vignettes from those attempted incursions into Israeli territory, the stated purpose of which was to penetrate the border, infiltrate the country, and murder Jews. Hamas intentionally put their own people in harm's way by lying to them...(Read more.)
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