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

Saint Leo the Great, pope

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope

The minister of a special calling

Although the universal Church of God is constituted of distinct orders of members, still, in spite of the many parts of its holy body, the Church subsists as an integral whole, just as the Apostle says: We are all one in Christ. No difference in office is so great that anyone can be separated, through lowliness, from the head. In the unity of faith and baptism, therefore, our community is undivided. There is a common dignity, as the apostle Peter says in these words: And you are built up as living stones into spiritual houses, a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices which are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. And again: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of election.

For all, regenerated in Christ, are made kings by the sign of the cross; they are consecrated priests by the oil of the Holy Spirit, so that beyond the special service of our ministry as priests, all spiritual and mature Christians know that they are a royal race and are sharers in the office of the priesthood. For what is more king-like than to find yourself ruler over your body after having surrendered your soul to God? And what is more priestly than to promise the Lord a pure conscience and to offer him in love unblemished victims on the altar of one’s heart?

Because, through the grace of God, it is a deed accomplished universally on behalf of all, it is altogether praiseworthy and in keeping with a religious attitude for you to rejoice in this our day of consecration, to consider it a day when we are especially honored. For indeed one sacramental priesthood is celebrated throughout the entire body of the Church. The oil which consecrates us has richer effects in the higher grades, yet it is not sparingly given in the lower.

Sharing in this office, my dear brethren, we have solid ground for a common rejoicing; yet there will be more genuine and excellent reason for joy if you do not dwell on the thought of our unworthiness. It is more helpful and more suitable to turn your thoughts to study the glory of the blessed apostle Peter. We should celebrate this day above all in honor of him. He overflowed with abundant riches from the very source of all graces, yet though he alone received much, nothing was given over to him without his sharing it. The Word made flesh lived among us, and in redeeming the whole human race, Christ gave himself entirely.

St. Agatha

From a homily on Saint Agatha by Saint Methodius of Sicily, bishop

The gift of God, the source of all goodness

My fellow Christians, our annual celebration of a martyr’s feast has brought us together. She achieved renown in the early Church for her noble victory; she is well known now as well, for she continues to triumph through her divine miracles, which occur daily and continue to bring glory to her name.

She is indeed a virgin, for she was born of the divine Word, God’s only Son, who also experienced death for our sake. John, a master of God’s word, speaks of this: He gave the power to become children of God to everyone who received him.

The woman who invites us to this banquet is both a wife and virgin. To use the analogy of Paul, she is the bride who has been betrothed to one husband, Christ. A true virgin, she wore the glow of pure conscience and the crimson of the Lamb’s blood for her cosmetics. Again and again she meditated on the death of her eager lover. For her, Christ’s death was recent, his blood was still moist. Her robe is the mark of her faithful witness to Christ. It bears the indelible marks of his crimson blood and the shining threads of her eloquence. She offers to all who come after her these treasures of her eloquent confession.

Agatha, the name of our saint, means “good.” She was truly good, for she lived as a child of God. She was also given as the gift of God, the source of all goodness to her bridegroom, Christ, and to us. For she grants us a share in her goodness.

What can give greater good than the Sovereign Good? Whom could anyone find more worthy of celebration with hymns of praise than Agatha?

Agatha, her goodness coincides with her name and way of life. She won a good name by her noble deeds, and by her name she points to the nobility of those deeds. Agatha, her mere name wins all men over to her company. She teaches them by her example to hasten with her to the true Good. God alone.

Yad Vashem – Remember

The names of the concentration and death camps...

The names of the concentration and death camps...via Wikipedia

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  All rights reserved

(experimental Villanelle)

Update -Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem – Remember (experimental villanelle)

Yad Vashem – What’s in a Name

I was reminded of a piece I wrote, God Remembers Their Names on the occasion of Pope Benedict XVI speaking at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and then I came upon this : A Hand and a Name by Renee Ghert-Zand.

 

“How ironic it is that celebrities, who live increasingly public lives, would metaphorically die to have their names and handprints immortalized in concrete, while the victims of the Holocaust would have done anything to have been able to live out their natural lives in obscurity, their names never appearing on one of countless Nazi extermination lists recovered and now housed forever at Yad VaShem.”

Yad VaShem Hall of Names by David Shankbone

 

Yad Vashem – Remember (experimental villanelle)
 

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

Raising 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

Solemn Reminder of Death in Haiti

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=earthquake&iid=8043405″ src=”1/4/4/7/Haitians_Continue_To_9085.jpg?adImageId=10940021&imageId=8043405″ width=”380″ height=”248″ /]

The caption reads:

Black ribbons tied to a metal cross flutter in the wind on a hilltop above the mass grave site where many thousands of earthquake victims are buried, February 21, 2010 in Titanyen, Haiti. Bodies have arrived every day since last month’s 7.0 earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and left 1.2 million homeless. Called Haiti’s ‘Valley of Death.’

Veterans Fight to Keep Mojave Cross Memorial

Congressman warning reported by Raymond Arroyo:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments in a case concerning whether a cross on federal park land in California which memorializes World War I veterans violates the U.S. Constitution. One congressman warned that the case could have an enormous “ripple effect” on memorials across the country including Arlington Cemetery.

Yad Vashem – God Remembers Their Names

“I will give, in my house and within my walls, a  monument and a name. I will give them an everlasting name which shall not be cut off.” With this passage from the Book of Isaiah, Pope Benedict XVI began a recollection of those slain in the Holocaust and memorialized at Yad Vashem. This passage furnished two words: Yad meaning “memorial” and shem “name.” The Pope recalled how each person remembered there bears a name. Though robbed of their life they could never be robbed of the name God had given them.   The Pope said that he can only imagine the joyful expectation of their parents as they anxiously awaited the birth of their children; “What name shall we give this child?  What is to become of him or her?” He said, that they could never have imagined that they would be condemned to such a degradable fate. Their cries still echos in our hearts.  the Pope said that it is the cry of Able rising from the earth to the Almighty.  Pope Benedict prayed from the Book of Lamentations proclaiming that the favors of the Almighty are never exhausted and His mercies are not spent.They are renewed each morning. So great is His faithfulness.

Joseph the Worker – May 1st

Better than the politics of this day celebrated elsewhere as May Day, is the memorial of Joseph the Worker remembered in the Church.

May St. Joseph the worker keep us united to Jesus and the Church as our days of trial test our faith and fidelity. May we never think our smallest most menial tasks lack infinite worth in the hands of heaven.

Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker

St. Joseph, by the work of your hands and the sweat of your brow, you supported Jesus and Mary, and had the Son of God as your fellow worker. Teach me to work as you did, with patience and perseverance, for God and for those whom God has given me to support. Teach me to see in my fellow workers the Christ who desires to be in them, that I may always be charitable and forbearing towards all. Grant me to look upon work with the eyes of faith, so that I shall recognize in it my share in God’s own creative activity and in Christ’s work of our redemption, and so take pride in it. When it is pleasant and productive, remind me to give thanks to God for it. And when it is burdensome, teach me to offer it to God, in reparation for my sins and the sins of the world. (Note: This prayer was taken from the booklet “Devotions to Saint Joseph” by Brian Moore, S.J., printed and published by the Society of St. Paul.)