ST. FLORIAN-STAR WARS DAY-KENTUCKY DERBY
John, Chapter 6, verse 19-20:
19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid 20 but he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
After rowing three or four miles they must have been exhausted and there must have been no wind, for surely any sailor would have used the wind if it was blowing. The conditions on the sea that night had to have been unnerving but there must have been some light from the moon as they had seen our Lord nevertheless, they were afraid. Then He said, “It is I” or literally “I AM” which was the name of God which no pious Jew could even say!
I wonder if they were thinking of the words of the Torah, “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” (Genesis 4:2) When they had seen and heard Christ. They must have known at that point that here was the messiah because they believed. Immediately they arrived on shore and Christ spoke on the “Bread of Life” discourse stating” Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” (John 6:54).
At this saying all but these 12 walked away because they believed!
We too are like the Apostles in that boat, the boat which we call the Holy Catholic Church. Let us resolve like the Apostles to believe, follow the precepts of our church and row three or four miles if we must.
“I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."
Why Five Saturdays?
The five first Saturdays correspond to the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1) Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
2) Blasphemies against her virginity
3) Blasphemies against her divine maternity, at the same time the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all men
4) Instilling indifference, scorn and even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children
5) Direct insults against Her sacred images
How to complete the Five First Saturdays Devotion:
On the first Saturday of five consecutive months:
1. Go to confession;
2. Receive Holy Communion;
3. Say five decades of the Rosary;
4. Keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary;
5. Have the intention of making reparation to Our Lady for the offenses listed above.
Saint Florian is the patron saint of firefighters, and many things associated with either fire or water. His feast day is celebrated today.
Saint Florian was born in the mid-third century A.D., perhaps around the year 250, somewhere around current-day Austria. He rose through the Roman army ranks to become a commander. Besides his duties to the military, he was charged with leading the firefighting brigade of the day. Florian was a Christian in a time when the Roman emperors were trying to eliminate Christianity throughout their realm. At one point he was ordered to offer up a sacrifice to the Roman gods, something in which he did not believe. Other stories state that he refused to participate in the ongoing persecution of Christians, in which the army had been ordered to participate.
In either case, Florian's beliefs became known. When questioned, he again stated that he was a Christian. The popular method of disposing of Christians in that day was to burn them to death, and it was suggested that Florian suffer the same fate. He, however, stated his intention to "climb to Heaven on the flames" of the funeral pyre being prepared for him. The soldiers decided at that point to dispense with him via another route: he was flogged, then flayed, then a large stone was tied around his neck and he was thrown into the Ennis River to drown. A faithful lady recovered and buried his body, which was later moved to the Augustinian Abbey of St. Florian, near current-day Linz, Austria. In 1138 some of St. Florian's relics were given to King Casimir of Poland and the Bishop of Cracow. Since his relics arrived in Poland, he has beenregarded as the patron saint of that country. Because of his association with fire, St. Florian is the patron saint of firefighters and chimney sweeps and has been invoked for protection from both fire and water. A statue of St. Florian installed at the front of the main firehouse in Vienna, Austria survived a 1945 bombing with barely a scratch.
Please pray the Stations of the Cross for our firefighters from 911 and The Yarnell Hill Firefighters; which where lost in a wildfire near Yarnell, Arizona, ignited by lightning on June 28, 2013. On June 30, it overran and killed 19 City of Prescott firefighters, members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. It was the third deadliest U.S. wildfire since the 1991 East Bay Hills fire, which killed 25 people; and the 2017 Northern California wildfires, which killed over 40, the deadliest wildland fire for U.S. firefighters since the 1933 Griffith Park Fire, which killed 29; and the deadliest incident of any kind for U.S. firefighters since the September 11, 2001, attacks, which killed 343. It is the sixth-deadliest American firefighter disaster overall and the deadliest wildfire ever in Arizona.
May the Farce Be with You
May 4th has become commonly known as Star Wars Day. And who could be surprised? The words, “May the 4th” seem to beg the rest of the catchphrase be uttered. Regardless of whether you prefer Star Wars or Star Trek, or if are even a sci-fi aficionado at all, the influence of George Lucas’ Star Wars on pop culture is undeniable.
The History of Star Wars Day
Star Wars, an epic space opera written and directed by George Lucas, premiered in 1977 and became an almost instant cult classic. Even today, almost 40 years later, Star Wars remains one of the most financially successful films of all time. The franchise it began remains the most successful one of all time, earning over 2.5 billion dollars since the release of the first film. However, the money it’s earned over the years is hardly the most impressive aspect of Star Wars. As famous film critic Roger Ebert put it: “Like The Birth of a Nation and Citizen Kane, Star Wars was a technical watershed that influenced many of the movies that came after.” Star Wars was a real game-changer, beginning a new era of special effect-packed motion pictures bursting with excitement, adventure and imagination that appealed enormously to younger audiences as well as older ones. Many of today’s most acclaimed film directors, such as Peter Jackson, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan and James Cameron, cite Star Wars as a great influence on their careers. Star Wars has also had enormous cultural impact on other areas besides filmmaking, including politics–the Reagan Administration’s Startegic Defense Program was mockingly nicknamed “Star Wars”. As recently as 2013, President Barack Obama used the phrase “Jedi mind meld” to describe what some people were expecting him to do on his opposition to make them accept his ideas. “May the Fourth be with you” was first used by Margaret Thatcher’s political party to congratulate her on her election on May 4th, 1979, and the saying quickly caught on. However, the first celebration of May 4th took place much later, at the Toronto Underground Cinema in 2001. This first official Star Wars Day’s festivities included a costume contest and a movie marathon. Fans’ favorite parodies of the franchise were also enjoyed, as were some of the most popular mash-ups and remixes. Since then, Star Wars Day has gained popularity and is celebrated by Star Wars Fans worldwide.
How to Celebrate Star Wars Day
The way you celebrate Star Wars day will depend on how well you know this cultural phenomenon. If you are a longtime fan of the franchise, you might want to get a group of friends together and attend one of the many Star Wars events organized in different parts of the world. Such events range from costume contests to museum exhibits to tours of space centers. And if you’re not feeling up to going out, there’s no reason why a Star Wars Day party organized by you at home should be any less fun. Movie marathons with friends, Star Wars trivia games and even Star Wars themed snacks (Death Star piñata, anyone?) will guarantee this day is full of fun as well as being very educational. “Vadering” another person has also become an extremely popular thing to do on this day, and the photos you take of this are sure to bring a smile to your face for years to come. Because Star Wars itself is such an enormous topic, the ways of celebrating the day dedicated to it are virtually endless. So choose one, have fun, and May the 4th be with you!
Today is the Kentucky Derby; life is a race and we like the horses without Christ as our jockey cannot cross the finish line.
The Kentucky Derby is the most popular and oldest horse race in the world. The race is a 1.25-mile long, Grade 1 stakes horse race for three-year-old thoroughbreds on a dirt track. It is held annually at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky Derby, run on the first Saturday in May of every year, is the first leg of the elusive Triple Crown races. It is followed by the Preakness Stakes two weeks later in Baltimore, Maryland and the Belmont Stakes, 3 weeks after the Preakness in Elmont, New York. Meriweather Clark founded the Kentucky Derby, which was first held in 1875. Since then, the Derby has become a day of luxury and fashion and celebrities are often in attendance.
Kentucky Derby Facts & Quotes
· Over 160,000 spectators come to see the Kentucky Derby every year while millions of others watch it on TV.
· In Kentucky, the equine industry generated 3 billion dollars annually and creates 55,000 jobs.
· As of 2015, no woman trainer or jockey has won the Kentucky Derby. Many have run horses and ridden them, but none have won.
· Only 12 horses have ever been able to win the Triple Crown. The most recent was American Pharaoh in 2015. Prior to 2015, the Triple Crown hadn't been won since 1978.
· I feel like the luckiest Mexican on Earth. He has been a special horse since the first time I rode him. He has a lot of talent and is an unbelievable horse. Turning for home I started riding a little harder. At the eighth pole, I just couldn’t put that other horse (Firing Line) away, but he got it done. - Victor Espinoza - 2015 Kentucky Derby winning Jockey riding American Pharaoh
Kentucky Derby Top Events and Things to Do
· Tune in to watch the Derby live on the first weekend of May. It is usually broadcast on many sports networks around the world.
· Attend the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky. Be careful though, tickets are very expensive and must be purchased far in advance for the event.
· Enjoy a good movie about horses and horse racing. Some of our picks are: The Cup (2011), The First Saturday in May (2007), Racing Stripes (2005), Seabiscuit (2003), The Derby Stallion (2005), Secretariat (2010) and Dreamer (2005).
· Book a horseback riding class at a local stable. Try to get a feel for what it would be like to race that fast.
· Plan a Triple Crown Party. Be sure to send out invitations for the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont. Pick favorite horses and see who wins the home derby. During the celebration it would be a good idea to also pray for the pope who wears the triple crown of the church. The Triple Crown (the tiara) represents the pope's three functions as "supreme pastor", "supreme teacher" and "supreme priest". The gold cross on a monde (globe) surmounting the tiara symbolizes the sovereignty of Jesus.
Bless the Animals and the Simple
One day while, Mitch, a Protestant was at the track playing the ponies and all but losing his shirt noticed a Catholic priest who stepped out onto the track and blessed the forehead of one of the horses lining up for the 4th race. Lo and behold, that horse – a very long shot – won the race. Before the next race, as the horses began lining up, Mitch watched with interest the old priest step onto the track. Sure enough, before the 5th race the horses came to the starting gate. The priest made a blessing on the forehead of one of the horses. Mitch made a beeline for a betting window and placed a small bet on the horse blessed by the priest. Again, even though it was another long shot, the horse the priest had blessed won the race. Mitch collected his winnings, and anxiously waited to see which horse the priest would bless for the 6th race. The priest again blessed a horse. Mitch bet big on it, and it won. Mitch was elated. As the races continued the priest kept blessing long shot horses, and each one ended up coming in first. By and by, Mitch was pulling in some serious money. By the last race, he knew his wildest dreams were going to come true. He made a quick dash to the ATM, withdrew all his savings, and awaited the priest's blessing that would tell him which horse to bet on. True to his pattern, the priest stepped onto the track for the last race and blessed the forehead of an old nag that was the longest shot of the day. Mitch also observed the priest blessing the eyes, ears, and hooves of the old nag. Mitch knew he had a winner and bet every cent he owned on the old nag. He then watched dumbfounded as the old nag come in dead last and then dropped dead. Mitch, in a state of shock, made his way down to the track area where the priest was. Confronting the old priest, he demanded, 'Father! What happened? All day long you blessed horses and they all won. Then in the last race, the horse you blessed lost by a Kentucky mile. Now, thanks to you I've lost every cent of my savings – all of it!'. The priest nodded wisely and with sympathy. 'Son,' he said, 'that's one of the problems with you Protestants; you can't tell the difference between a simple blessing and the Sacrament of Last Rites.'
· Manhood of Christ Day 3, Ninth Week.