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Showing posts from April, 2010

Catherine Benincasa of Siena (1347 - 1380)

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I was born in Siena on the feast of the Annunciation, in the year 1347. I, and my twin sister who did not long survive, were the youngest of twenty-five children. My father, Giacomo Benincasa, was a prosperous wool dyer, and lived with my mother Lapa and our extended family, in a spacious house which the Sienese have preserved to the present day. As a child, I was so merry that the family gave me the pet name of Euphrosyne, which is Greek for Joy and also the name of an early Christian saint.  At the age of six I had the remarkable experience which may be said to have determined my vocation.  With my brother, I was on the way home from a visit to a married sister, when suddenly I stopped still in the road, gazing up into the sky.  I did not hear the repeated calls of the boy, who had walked on ahead.  Only after he had gone back and seized me by the hand did I wake as from a dream.  I burst into tears.  My vision of Christ seated in glory with the Apostles Peter, Paul, and John had

Wordless Wednesday - The Flower Seller

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The Flower Seller by Jacques-Laurent Agasse (1767-1849)

The Mule Shoe

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The Mule Shoe was read and reviewed by Cori Van Housen: In The Mule Shoe, Perry Trouche paints a strange, disturbing Civil War era portrait. Rebel soldier Conner finds himself in the maelstrom of the Mule Shoe, a section of the battle of Spotsylvania, in Grant’s push toward Richmond and eventual southern defeat. Aided by the author’s impressive, sometimes poetic, command of language, Conner moves through a grotesque landscape of battlefield nightmare transposed over a background of personal brokenness and generational madness. Trouche’s grisly descriptions of bullet, mortar, and bayonet carnage utterly deglamorize the glory of battle, and capture the ragged hopelessness of Lee’s dwindling forces. In Conner’s internal world, voices of the dead and the living, both past and the present, continually plague him: a long dead grandmother, family, childhood friends, and fallen comrades. As the horrors of battle escalate, the volume and intensity of his demons increase—most taunting, some outr

Lady Anne Fanshawe (1625 - 1680)

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Lady Anne Fanshawe 1625-1680 Anne Harrison was the eldest daughter and 4th child of Sir John Harrison, and Margaret Fanshawe. She had three older brothers, John, William [killed in 1643] and Simon, and one younger sister, Margaret. Ann's wealthy childhood was spent in Balls Park, Hertfordshire. When Anne was 15, her mother died and her father remarried. Sir John declared for the King in 1642 and Roundhead soldiers arrested him at his house. While ostensibly retrieving some important papers, he slipped out of the house and fled to join King Charles at his exiled court in Oxford, sending for his other children to join him. The Harrisons lived in genteel poverty in Oxford during the Civil War years before Oxford was seized by Parliament, living in a garret above a baker’s shop. Anne began a friendship with the notorious Lady Isabella Thynne, wife of Sir John Thynne who inveigled Ann into dressing in an angel costume and with Lady Isabella’s page and a singing boy, serenaded the ‘g

Wordless Wednesday - Portrait of a Lady Mother

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A Celebration of Women

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My dear cousin sent this to me today. Many of you may have seen it already. If you have, it's definitely worth seeing again. Each time I watch it, I discover something more. It is something that all women can identify with on the deepest emotional level. A powerful reminder to pay attention to the little joys of life and to value the relationships in our lives. Oh, and did I forget to mention to have the hanky ready nearby? Enjoy.

Wordless Wednesday - Portrait of a Lady

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A Portrait of a Young Lady (E. N. Likhachyova). 1790 By Russian Artist Yermolai Kamezhenkov

Casilda of Toledo

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Casilda of Toledo (950 A.D. - 105 A.D.) Saint Casilda lived in Toledo during the 10th century.  She came from a wealthy family.  Her father was a Muslim king.  Casilda showed showed generosity and great kindness to Christian prisoners by carrying bread hidden in her clothes to feed them. But one day, Muslim soldiers stopped her and demanded she reveal what she hid in her clothing.  Slowly she unfolded her gown, but instead of bread, a beautiful bouquet of roses appeared.  They released her.  Although she was raised a Muslim, when she fell ill and refused any help from Arab healers.  Instead, she traveled to northern Iberia, to the shrine of San Vincente near Buezo and Briviesca to indulge in the healing waters there.  Almost immediately, she was cured.  She was baptized at Burgos and lived a life of solitude and penance not far from the miraculous waters of the spring that healed her. Casilda lived to be 100 years old and died in 1050 A.D.  The Catholic Church later vene

Wordless Wednesday - Sistine Chapel

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Sistine Chapel Vatican

Wordless Wednesday - Cook in front of a stove

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Cook in front of a Stove by Pieter Aertsen (1508-1575) I LOVE COMMENTS

Marie Anne Charlotte Corday d’Armont (1768 - 1793)

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Charlotte Corday was born on July 27, 1768 at Saint-Saturnin, France. She received her education in the Roman Catholic convent in Caen. She was an exceptionally beautiful young woman. When the French Revolution broke out in 1789 she was a staunch supporter of the monarchy. Certain national factions came into existence. Corday sided with the Girondins, a more moderate group, and avoided groups aligned with Marat and Robespierre who wanted to destroy the monarchy. In 1793, the Girondins were expelled from the national convention, so they gathered at Caen to organize against their opponents. Passionate about their cause, Corday joined them in Caen. She firmly believed that Marat was a most onerous enemy. So she plotted to find a way to meet him. On July 13, 1793, was able to gain an audience with Marat on the pretence of revealing the secrets of the Girondins at Caen. While he was in his bath, she stabbed him through the heart. Corday was immediately apprehended. During her tria