Remembering the Challenger and Those We Lost

Saint Louis and ”the Holy Chapel”, Sainte-Chapelle

Today we celebrate two great saints; St. Louis IX and St. Joseph Calasanz. St. Louis IX was King of France in the 13th century, having become king at age13. Throughout his reign, St. Louis defended justice and promoted peace. He organized ‘the court of the king;’ bringing regular reviews of feudal cases. He prioritized the poor; founding many hospitals and charitable organizations. Also, he loved architecture; supporting the famous Sorbonne University and the Sainte Chappelle, the ‘Holy Chapel’ known for its architectural complexity with stained glass. He was canonized in 1297 by Boniface VIII.

– See more at: divineoffice.org

 

Yad Vashem – Remember

Yad vashem
Yad vashem

Stolen name replaced by number,
Savaged soul and broken heart.
Hell, a people to encumber.

Blind eyes outside in darkness.
Dead souls dismissed the human face.
Stolen name replaced by number

Rising from the ashes,
Pledging nevermore.
Hell, a people to encumber

Yad VaShem, the vault of memory,
Yad VaShem, the ground of tears
Stolen name replaced by number

Shoah: families, children.
Here named, remembered, mourned
Hell, a people to encumber

Faces pictured in the silence.
Tears cried forevermore.
Stolen name replaced by number
Hell, a people to encumber

Copyright Joann Nelander

(experimental Villanelle)

No Nobel Prize, BUT Remember THIS WOMAN


Remember THIS WOMAN

Look at this woman – Let us never forget!

The world hasn’t just become wicked…it’s always been wicked.
The prize doesn’t always go to the most deserving.

Irena Sendler
Died 12 May 2008 (aged 98)
Warsaw , Poland
During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a plumbing/sewer specialist.
She had an ‘ulterior motive’.
She KNEW what the Nazi’s plans were for the Jews (being German).
Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger children).
She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.
The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the infants’ noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 children/infants.
She was caught, and the Nazi’s broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely.
Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard.
After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family.
Most had been gassed. Those children she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.
She was not selected.
President Obama won…………….

According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo, President Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”. {What do you think? Has he brought peace or division?  Al Gore won also…trumped the more than 3,000 lives saved by this woman when you include the adults she also saved and not mentioned here}……………………

In MEMORIAM – 63 YEARS LATER……. in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated!

Now, more than ever, with Iran , and others, claiming the HOLOCAUST to be ‘a myth’.
It’s imperative to make sure the world never forgets, because there are others who would like to do it again.

LOS ANGELES – Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker whose ingenuity and daring saved 2,500 Jewish children from extermination in the Holocaust, a feat that went largely unrecognized for 60 years, died yesterday in Warsaw. She was 98.

She had been hospitalized since last month with pneumonia, according to Pawel Maciag, a spokesman for the Polish embassy in Washington.

Ms. Sendler has been called the female Oskar Schindler, but she saved twice as many lives as the German industrialist who sheltered 1,200 of his Jewish workers. But unlike Schindler, whose story received international attention in the 1993 movie “Schindler’s List,” Ms. Sendler and her heroic actions were almost lost to history until four Kansas schoolgirls wrote a play about her nine years ago.

“One person can make a difference,” Megan Felt, one of the students who wrote the play, said yesterday of Ms. Sendler.

“Irena wasn’t even 5 feet tall, but she walked into the Warsaw ghetto daily and faced certain death if she was caught. Her strength and courage showed us we can stand up for what we believe in, as well,” said Felt, who now helps raise funds for aging Holocaust rescuers.

Ms. Sendler was born Feb. 15, 1910, in Otwock, a small town 15 miles southeast of Warsaw. She was an only child whose parents raised her to care about those in need. “I was taught that if you see a person drowning, you must jump into the water to save them, whether you can swim or not,” she told the British newspaper Express in 2005. She was especially influenced by her father, a doctor who defied anti-Semites by treating sick Jews during outbreaks of typhoid fever. He died of the disease when Ms. Sendler was 9.

She studied at Warsaw University and was a social worker when the German occupation of Poland began in 1939. In 1940, after the Nazis herded Jews into the ghetto and built a wall separating it from the rest of Warsaw, disease, especially typhoid, ran rampant. Social workers were not allowed inside the ghetto, but Ms. Sendler, imagining “the horror of life behind the walls,” obtained fake identification and passed herself off as a sanitary worker, allowed to bring in food, clothes, and medicine.

By 1942, when the deadly intentions of the Nazis became clear, Ms. Sendler joined a Polish underground organization, Zegota, recruited 10 of her closest friends and began rescuing Jewish children.

They smuggled the children out in boxes, suitcases, sacks, and coffins, sedating babies to prevent their cries. Some were spirited away through a network of basements and secret passages.

Decades later, Ms. Sendler was still haunted by the parents’ pleas, particularly those from families who ultimately could not bear to part from their children.

“The one question every parent asked me was, ‘Can you guarantee they will live?’ We had to admit honestly that we could not, as we did not even know if we would succeed in leaving the ghetto that day. The only guarantee was that the children would most likely die if they stayed.”

Most of the children who left with Ms. Sendler’s group were taken into Catholic convents, orphanages, and homes and given non-Jewish aliases. In the hope that she could reunite them with their families later, Ms. Sendler recorded their true names on thin rolls of paper. She preserved the precious scraps in jars and buried them in a friend’s garden.

She was captured by the Nazis in 1943 and tortured but refused to tell her captors who her co-conspirators were or where the bottles were buried.

During one particularly brutal torture session, her captors broke her feet and legs and she passed out. When she awoke, a Gestapo officer told her he had accepted a bribe from her comrades in the resistance to help her escape. With her name on a list of executed prisoners, Ms. Sendler went into hiding but continued her rescue efforts.

Felt said that Ms. Sendler had begun her rescue efforts before she joined the organized resistance and helped a number of adults escape, including the man she later married. “We think she saved about 500 people before she joined Zegota,” Felt said, which would mean that Ms. Sendler ultimately helped rescue some 3,000 Polish Jews. Read more here

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Great Atrocities Demand Remembrance and Hope

From Catholic Sistas:

The response to great atrocities, whether the Holocaust during World War II, the Rwandan massacres, or our own American Abortion Holocaust must be to remember. As Wiesel said, “We must remember the suffering…[and] struggle to invent a thousand and one reasons to hope.” The stories, especially those of hope,  not only respect the victims of the past, they give courage to new generations fighting to overcome the darkness of the present.

Stolen name replaced by number,
Savaged soul and broken heart.
Hell, a people to encumber.

Blind eyes outside in darkness.
Dead souls dismissed the human face.
Stolen name replaced by number

Rising from the ashes,
Pledging nevermore.
Hell, a people to encumber

Yad VaShem, the vault of memory,
Yad VaShem, the ground of tears
Stolen name replaced by number

Shoah: families, children.
Here named, remembered, mourned
Hell, a people to encumber

Faces pictured in the silence.
Tears cried forevermore.
Stolen name replaced by number
Hell, a people to encumber

Copyright 2011 Joann Nelander

(experimental Villanelle)

Yad vashem

Rose before dawn,
Nestled life in bud.
Sun of mother-love withdrawn.
Rose before dawn
Life, so sweet, soon gone.
Red flower, the color of blood.
Rose before dawn
Nestled life in bud.

Copyright 2011 Joann Nelander

Saint Teresa of Avila- Let us always be mindful of Christ’s love

From a work by Saint Teresa of Avila, virgin

Let us always be mindful of Christ’s love

If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see that if we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.

Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we wish his Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he is at the summit of contemplation; on this road he walks safely. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example.

What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, he will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps him near. Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul: it seems that no other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, because the name of Jesus was fixed and embedded in his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives, and found that they took no other path: Francis, Anthony of Padua, Bernard, Catherine of Siena. A person must walk along this path in freedom, placing himself in God’s hands. If God should desire to raise us to the position of one who is an intimate and shares his secrets, we ought to accept this gladly.

Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favours, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For if at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.

The Cure of Ars – Sermons

Here are the SERMONS OF THE CURE OF ARS – EXCERPTS

August 4

John Vianney, Priest

Memorial

Saint John Vianney was a French parish priest born in 1786. Known as the patron saint of priests, Saint Vianney became internationally respected for his pastoral care, confessional wisdom, and children’s catechesis.

Born into humble circumstances, Saint Vianney’s parents modeled a pious lifestyle, practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as a family. At age 20, Saint Vianney decided to leave his rural upbringing and attend secondary education. His studies progressed slowly and a decade later he was ordained, despite aptitudes of compassion over those of learning. With this ‘tender heart’, he opened an orphanage and began to minister in the local parish in the aftermath of the Revolution. He was appointed curé, minister of souls, and was known to spend up to 18 hours a day in the confessional. Over time, his methods rippled internationally, as up to tens of thousands of pilgrims traveled annually seek his counsel. He was canonized in 1925 by Pope Pius XI.[1]

Written by Sarah Ciotti

Here are the SERMONS OF THE CURE OF ARS – EXCERPTS