Joan of Arc & Memorial Day Origins

Today’s Word:

If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.

– from General John A. Logan’s Memorial Day Promulgation

On This Date…

john of arcOn May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans, France, and commander in the army, was burned at the stake at age 19. She was found guilty of witchcraft and heresy. She was imprisoned for a year before being put to death.

After her death, Joan’s mother and two brothers asked that her case be reopened, and Joan was found innocent of all charges in 1456. She was canonized in 1920. She is a patron of France, and of those wrongly accused.

On May 30, 1868, Memorial Day was established as a day to honor the 618,222 Americans who had died in the Civil War (1861-1865). The total number of all who have died in wars is 1,247,055, including 6,700 who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 1971, Memorial Day has been celebrated on the last Monday of May.

Inspired by Saint Joan of Arc and all those who have died in service of our country, we take heart in the words of the 1868 Memorial Day promulgation: “If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.”

– Father McLaughlin

May 13, Apparition & Attempted Assassination

Today’s Word:

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
– from the Hail Mary

On This Date…
children_of_fatima
On May 13, 1917, the Blessed Mother appeared to three children (right; ages 10, 9, and 7) at Fatima, Portugal. She appeared a total of six times in five months asking the children to pray for conversion, repentance, and world peace.

Fifty years ago today in 1963, Father Michael McLaughlin, O.Praem., Archmere Class of 1938, died of cancer at age 42. He was the first member of Daylesford Abbey to die and is buried there. He taught math at Bishop Neumann High School in Philadelphia.

On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome. After he recovered, the pope met with the man who shot him, forgave him, and made peace.

On May 13, 2000, Pope John Paul II went to Fatima to beatify two of the children to whom the Blessed Mother had appeared in 1917 – Francisco, who died in 1919 at age 11, and Jacinta, who died in 1920 at age 10.

On this special anniversary, we pray as Francisco and Jacinta did, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

– Father McLaughlin

A Mother’s Day Message

Today’s Word:

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe me through their message. (John 17:20)

mothers_day_founders
Today is Mother’s Day – a national day to honor mothers, officially declared a holiday on May 9, 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson.

Mrs. Ann Reeves Jarvis and her daughter, Anna Reeves Jarvis, are recognized as the original founders of Mother’s Day in the United States.

On May 9, 1905, Ann Reeves Jarvis died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Originally a Sunday School teacher from Grafton, West Virginia, she moved to live with her children in Philadelphia after the death of her husband.

mothers day northern pacific railway 1915

In May 1907, her daughter Anna Reeves Jarvis arranged a gathering in her Philadelphia home to remember and pray for her mother. Anna organized the first “official” Mother’s Day service the following year in Grafton at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church where her mother taught Sunday School.

During the May 10 service, Anna delivered 500 carnations, handing them out to all the children in attendance. Her mother’s favorite flower was carnations, and they have since become the traditional flower of Mother’s Day.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus prays for His apostles and “also for those who will believe in me through their word.” Today, we give thanks to God for our mothers who have helped us to have faith, to hope, and to feel loved.

– Father McLaughlin