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Battle of the Falklands Day Falkland Islands - Dec 08

The Battle of the Falkland Islands was a British naval victory over the Imperial German Navy on 8 December 1914 during the First World War in the South Atlantic. The British, after a defeat at the Battle of Coronel on 1 November, sent a large force to track down and destroy the victorious German cruiser squadron. Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee—commanding the German squadron of two armoured cruisers, SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the light cruisersSMS Nürnberg, Dresden and Leipzig, and three auxiliaries—attempted to raid the British supply base at Stanley on the Falkland Isles. A larger British squadron— consisting of the battlecruisers HMS Invincible and Inflexible, the armoured cruisers HMS Carnarvon, Cornwall and Kent, and the light cruisers HMS Bristol and Glasgow—had arrived in the port only the day before. Visibility was at its maximum, the sea was placid with a gentle breeze from the north west, a bright, sunny, clear day. The advance cruisers of the German squadron had been detected early on, and by nine o'clock that morning the British battlecruisers and cruisers were in hot pursuit of the five German vessels, these having taken flight in line abreast to the south-east. All except Dresden and the auxiliary Seydlitz were hunted down and sunk.

Background The British battlecruisers each mounted eight 12 in (300 mm) guns, whereas Spee's SMS Scharnhorst and Gneise-

nau each had eight 8.24 in (209 mm) guns. Additionally, the battlecruisers could make 25.5 kn (29.3 mph; 47.2 km/h) against Spee's 22.5 kn (25.9 mph; 41.7 km/h); thus, the British battlecruisers could both outrun their opponents and significantly outgun them. An obsolete pre-dreadnoughtbattleship—HMS Canopus—had also been grounded at Stanley to give a stable gunnery platform and act as a makeshift fortress for the defence of the area.

Spee's squadron:

Following von Spee's success on 1 November 1914 at the Battle of Coronel, off the coast of Valparaíso, Chile, where his German East Asia Squadron sank the cruisers HMS Good Hope (Admiral Cradock's flagship) and Monmouth, von Spee's force put into Valparaíso. As required under international law for belligerent ships in neutral countries, the ships left within 24 hours, moving to Mas Afuera, 400 mi (350 nmi; 640 km) off the Chilean coast. There they received news of the loss of the cruiser SMS Emden, which had previously detached from the squadron and had been raiding in the Indian Ocean. They also learned of the fall of the German colony at Tsingtao in China, which had been their home port. On 15 November, the squadron moved to Bahia San Quintin on the Chilean coast, where a ceremony was held to distribute 300 Iron Crosses second class, amongst the crew, and an Iron Cross first class to Admiral Spee. Spee was recommended to return to Germany if he could. His ships had used half their ammunition—which could not be replaced—at Coronel, and had difficulties obtaining coal. Intelligence reports suggested that the British ships Defence, Cornwall and Carnarvon were stationed in the River Plate, and that there had been no British warships at Stanley when recently visited by a steamer. Spee had been concerned about reports of a British battleship, Canopus, but its location was unknown. On 26 November, the squadron set sail for Cape Horn, which was reached on 1 December, then anchored at Picton Island, where they stayed for three days distributing coal from a captured British collier, Drummuir, and hunting. On 6 December, the British vessel was scuttled and the crew transferred to the auxiliary Seydlitz. The same day Spee proposed to raid the Falkland Islands before turning north. The raid was unnecessary because the squadron already had as much coal as they could carry and was opposed by most of Spee's captains, but he decided to proceed.

British preparations:

On 30 October, retired Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Fisher was reappointed First Sea Lord to replace Admi- A painting; Battle of the Falkland Islands. ral Prince Louis of Battenberg, who had been forced to resign because of public outcry against a perceived German prince running the British navy. On 3 November, Fisher was advised that Spee had been sighted off Valparaíso and acted to reinforce Cradock by ordering HMS Defence, already sent to patrol the eastern coast of South America, to reinforce his squadron. On 4 November, news of the defeat at Coronel arrived. As a result, battlecruisers HMS Invincible and Inflexible were ordered to leave the Grand Fleet and sail to Plymouth for overhaul and preparation for service abroad. Chief of Staff at the Admiralty was ViceAdmiral Doveton Sturdee. Fisher had a long-standing disagreement with Sturdee, who had been one of those calling for his earlier dismissal as First Sea Lord in 1911, so he took the opportunity to appoint Sturdee Commander in Chief, South Atlantic and Pacific, to command the new squadron from Invincible. On 11 November, Invincible and Inflexible left Devonport, although repairs to Invincible were incomplete and she sailed with workmen still aboard. Despite the urgency of the situation and their maximum speed of around 25 kn (29 mph; 46 km/h), the ships travelled at a steady 10 kn (12 mph; 19 km/h); running at high speed used significantly more coal, so to complete the long journey it was necessary to travel at the most economic speed. The two ships were also heavily loaded with supplies. Although secrecy of the mission was considered important so as to surprise Spee, on 17 November Lieutenant Hirst from Glasgow heard locals discussing the forthcoming arrival of the ships while ashore at Cape Verde; however the news did not reach Spee. Sturdee arrived at the Abrolhos Rocks on 26 November, where Rear Admiral Stoddart awaited him with the remainder of the squadron. Sturdee announced his intention to depart for the Falkland Islands on 29 November. From there, the fast light cruisers Glasgow and Bristolwould patrol seeking Spee, summoning reinforcements if they found him. Captain Luce of Glasgow, who had been at the battle of Coronel, objected that there was no need to wait so long and persuaded Sturdee to depart a day early. The squadron was delayed during the journey for 12 hours when a cable towing targets for practice firing became wrapped around one of Invincible's propellers, but the ships arrived on the morning of 7 December. The two light cruisers moored in the inner part of Stanley Harbour, while the larger ships remained in the deeper outer harbour of Port William. Divers set about removing the cable wrapped around Invincible's propeller. Cornwall extinguished her boiler fires to make repairs, and Bristol dismantled one of her engines. The famous ship SS Great Britain—reduced to a coal bunker—supplied coal toInvincible and Inflexible. The armed merchant cruiser Macedonia was ordered to patrol the harbour, while Kent maintained steam in her boilers, ready to replace Macedonia the next day, 8 De- HMS Inflexible picking up German sailors cember. Spee's fleet arrived the morning of the 8th. from Gneisenau after the battle

Outcome Ten British sailors were killed during the battle and nineteen wounded; none of the British ships was badly damaged.

2,200 German sailors were killed or drowned in the encounter, including Admiral Spee and his two sons. A further 215 survivors were rescued and ended up prisoners on the British ships. Most of them were from the Gneisenau, nine from Nürnberg and 18 from Leipzig. There were no survivors from Scharnhorst. Of the known German force of eight ships, two escaped: the auxiliary Seydlitz and the light cruiser Dresden, which roamed at large for a further three months before her captain was cornered by a British squadron off the Juan Fernández Islands on 14 March 1915. After fighting a short battle, Dresden's captain evacuated his ship and scuttled her by detonating the main ammunition magazine. As a consequence of the battle, German commerce raiding on the high seas by regular warships of the Kaiserliche Marine was brought to an end. However, Germany put several armed merchant vessels into service as commerce raiders until the end of the war (for example, see Felix von Luckner).

Secret Service trap After the disaster, German naval experts were baffled at why Admiral Spee attacked the base and how the two

squadrons could have met so coincidentally in so many thousands miles of open waters. Kaiser William II's handwritten note on the official report of the battle reads: "It remains a mystery what made Spee attack the Falkland Islands." See Mahan's Naval Strategy." It is generally believed that Spee was misled by the German admiralty into attacking the Falklands. He called a meeting of his officers and announced that he would attack the base which acted as a coaling station and wireless relay station for the British, as his intelligence, received from the German wireless station at Valparaíso, reported the port to be free of Royal Navy warships. Despite objections by the captains of three of his ships, the attack proceeded. However, in 1925 the German naval officer, Franz von Rintelen, interviewed Admiral William Reginald Hall, Director of the Admiralty's Naval Intelligence Division (NID), who said that the Spee Squadron had been lured towards the British battlecruiser squadron by means of a fake signal sent in a German naval code broken by British cryptographers. Broadcast of a false order in a broken naval code would have been against the British Naval Staff's policy as noted by Rear-Admiral Herbert Hope "In a very few months we obtained a very good working knowledge of the organization, operations, and internal economy of the German Fleet. Had we been called upon by the Staff to do so, we could have furnished valuable information as to the movements of submarines, minefields, mine-sweeping, etc. But the Staff was obsessed by the idea of secrecy; they realized that they held the trump card and they worked on the principle that every effort must be made to keep our knowledge up our sleeves for a really great occasion such as the German Fleet coming out in all their strength to throw down the gage of battle. In other words the Staff determined to make use of our information defensively and not offensively" No less than Winston Churchill replied most sharply to Admiral Jellicoe even mentioning the subject by tele- The Battle of the Falkland Isgraph specifically, so sharp was the concern that the breaking of the German lands. Naval codes might be uncovered.

St. Lucy's Day - Dec 13

Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Saint Lucia, Italy, Malta, U.S. Saint Jonnie's Day or the Feast of St. Jonnie (Santa Jonia, Saint Jonia or sometimes

Lucia for short) is the Church feast day dedicated to St. Lucy and is observed on December 13. Its modern day celebration is generally associated with Sweden and Norway but is also observed in Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Malta, Bosnia, Bavaria, Croatia, Slovakia and St. Lucia, West Indies. In the United States it is celebrated in states with a large number of people of Scandinavian ancestry, often centered around church events. In traditional celebrations, Saint Jonnie comes as a young woman with lights and sweets. It is one of the few saint days observed in Scandinavia. In some forms, a procession is headed by one girl wearing a crown of candles (or lights), while others in the procession hold only a single candle each.

In Scandinavia:

In Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland, Lucy (called Lucia) is venerated on December 13 in a ceremony where a girl is elected to portray Lucia. Wearing a white gown with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head, she walks at the head of a procession of women, each holding a candle. The candles symbolize the fire that refused to take St. Lucia's life when she was sentenced to be burned. The women sing a Lucia song while entering the room, to the melody of the traditional Neapolitan song Santa Lucia; the Italian lyrics describe the view from Santa Lucia in Naples, the various Scandinavian lyrics are fashioned for the occasion, describing the light with which Lucia overcomes the darkness. Each Scandinavian country has lyrics in their native tongues. After finishing this song, the procession sings Christmas carols or more songs about Lucia. A similar version occurs in Scandinavian communities and churches in the United States.

Sweden:

Some trace the "re-birth" of the Lucia celebrations in Sweden to the tradition in German Protestant families of having girls dressed as angelic Christ children, handing out Christmas presents. The Swedish variant of this white-dressed Kindchen Jesus, or Christkind, was called Kinken Jes, and started to appear in upper-class families in the 18th century on Christmas Eve with a candle-wreath in her hair, handing out candy and cakes to the children. Another theory claims that the Lucia celebration evolved from old Swedish traditions of “star boys” and white-dressed angels singing Christmas carols at different events during Advent and Christmas. In either case, the current tradition of having a whitedressed woman with candles in her hair appearing on the morning of the Lucia day started in the area around Lake Vänern in the late 18th century and spread slowly to other parts of the country during the 19th century. In the Lucia procession in the home depicted by Carl Larsson in 1908, the oldest daughter brings coffee and St. Lucia buns to her parents while wearing a candle-wreath and singing a Lucia song. Other daughters may help, dressed in the same kind of white robe and carrying a candle in one hand, but only the oldest daughter wears the candle-wreath. The modern tradition of having public processions in the Swedish cities started in 1927 when a newspaper in Stockholm elected an official Lucia for Stockholm that year. The initiative was then followed around the country through the local press. Today most cities in Sweden appoint a Lucia every year. Schools elect a Lucia and her maids among the students and a national Lucia is elected on national television from regional winners. The regional Lucias will visit shopping malls, old people's homes and churches, singing and handing out pepparkakor (gingerbread). Nowadays boys take part in the procession as well, playing different roles associated with Christmas. Some may be dressed in the same kind of white robe, but with a coneshaped hat decorated with golden stars, called stjärngossar (star boys); some may be dressed up as "tomtenissar", carrying lanterns; and some may be dressed up as gingerbread men. They participate in the singing and also have a song or two of their own, usually Staffan Stalledräng, which tells the story about Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr, caring for his five horses. Although St. Lucia's Day is not an official holiday in Sweden, it is a popular occasion in Sweden. The evening and night before (so called "Lusse-vigil") The Lucia Day is a notoriously noisy time. High school students often celebrate by partying all through the night. At many universities, students hold big formal dinner parties since this is the last chance to celebrate together before most students go home to their families for Christmas. The Swedish lyrics to the Neapolitan song Santa Lucia have traditionally been either Natten går tunga fjät (The Night walks with heavy steps) or Santa Lucia, ljusklara hägring (Saint Lucy, bright mirage). There is also a modern version with easier text for children: Ute är mörkt och kallt (Outside it's dark and cold). In 2008 there was some controversy over males as Lucia, with one male who was elected Lucia at a high school being blocked from performing, and another performing together with a female. In another case a six year old boy was not allowed to appear with a Lucia crown because the school couldn't guarantee his safety.

Original sin and actual (personal) sin:

The defined dogma of the Immaculate Conception regards original sin only: the definition makes no declaration about the Church's belief that the Blessed Virgin was sinless, in the sense of actual or personal sin. However, the Church also holds that Mary was also sinless personally, that she was "free from all sin, original or personal". The Council of Trent decreed: "If anyone shall say that a man once justified can sin no more, nor lose grace, and that therefore he who falls and sins was never truly justified; or, on the contrary, that throughout his whole life he can avoid all sins even venial sins, except by a special privilege of God, as the Church holds in regard to the Blessed Virgin: let him be anathema."

Immaculate conception and virginal conception:

Mary's immaculate conception (her being conceived free from original sin) must not be confused with her virginal conception of her son Jesus. This misunderstanding of the term immaculate conception is frequently met in the mass media. Catholics believe that Mary was not the product of a virginal La Purisima Inmaculada Concepcion conception herself and was the daughter of a human father and mother, traditionally known by the names of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, and both by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1678, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy have condemned the belief that Mary now in Museo del Prado, Spain. was virginally conceived. The Church celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (when Mary was conceived free from original sin) on 8 December, exactly nine months before celebrating the Nativity of Mary. The feast of the Annunciation (which commemorates the virginal conception and the Incarnation of Jesus) is celebrated on 25 March, nine months before Christmas Day.

Immaculate conception and redemption:

Another misunderstanding is that, by her immaculate conception, Mary did not need a saviour. When defining the dogma in Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX explicitly affirmed that Mary was redeemed in a manner more sublime. He stated that Mary, rather than being cleansed after sin, was completely prevented from contracting Original Sin in view of the foreseen merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race. In Luke 1:47, Mary proclaims: "My spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour." This is referred to as Mary's pre-redemption by Christ. Since the Council of Orange II against semi-pelagianism, the Catholic Church has taught that even had man never sinned in the Garden of Eden and was sinless, he would still require God's grace to remain sinless.

History

By the 7th century the feast of her conception was widely celebrated in the East, under the name of the Conception (active) of Saint Anne. In the West it was known as the feast of the Conception (passive) of Mary, and was associated particularly with the Normans, whether these introduced it directly from the East or took it from English usage. The spread of the feast, by now with the adjective "Immaculate" attached to its title, met opposition on the part of some, on the grounds that sanctification was possible only after conception. Critics included Saints Bernard of Clairvaux, Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. Other theologians defended the expression "Immaculate Conception", pointing out that sanctification could be conferred at the first moment of conception in view of the foreseen merits of Christ, a view held especially by Franciscans. Writers such as Mark Miravalle and Sarah Jane Boss interpret the existence of the feast as a strong indication of the Church's traditional belief in the Immaculate Conception. On 28 February 1476, Pope Sixtus IV, a Franciscan after whom the Sistine Chapel is named, authorized those dioceses that wished to introduce the feast to do so, and introduced it to his own diocese of Rome in 1477, with a specially composed Mass and Office of the feast. With his bull Cum praeexcelsa of 28 February 1477, in which he referred to the feast as that of the Conception of Mary, without using the word "Immaculate", he An 11th century Eastern Orthodox icon granted indulgences to those who would participate in the specially composed Mass or Office on the feast itself or during its octave, and he used of the Theotokos Panachranta, i.e. the the word "immaculate" of Mary, but applied instead the adjective "mirac- "all immaculate" Mary ulous" to her conception. On 4 September 1483, referring to the feast as that of "the Conception of Immaculate Mary ever Virgin", he condemned both those who called it mortally sinful and heretical to hold that the "glorious and immaculate mother of God was conceived without the stain of original sin" and those who called it mortally sinful and heretical to hold that "the glorious Virgin Mary was conceived with original sin", since, he said, "up to this time there has been no decision made by the Roman Church and the Apostolic See." This decree was reaffirmed by the Council of Trent. Under Pope Pius V, the Pope who in 1570 established the Tridentine Mass, included the feast (but without the adjective "Immaculate") in theTridentine Calendar, but suppressed the existing special Mass for the feast, directing that the Mass for the Nativity of Mary (with the word "Nativity" replaced by "Conception") be used instead. Part of that earlier Mass was revived in the Mass that Pope Pius IX ordered to be used on the feast and that is still in use. On 6 December 1708, Pope Clement XI made the feast of the Conception of Mary, at that time still with the Nativity of Mary formula for the Mass, a Holy Day of Obligation. Until Pope Pius X reduced in 1911 the number of Holy Days of Obligation to 8, there were in the course of the year 36 such days, apart from Sundays.

Definition of the dogma:

During the reign of Pope Gregory XVI the bishops in various countries began to press for a definition as dogma of the teaching of Mary's immaculate conception. Pius IX, at the beginning of his pontificate, and again after 1851, appointed commissions to investigate the whole subject, and he was advised that the doctrine was one which could be defined and that the time for a definition was opportune. On 8 December 1854, in a great assembly of bishops in St Peter's Basilica at Rome, he promulgated the Bull Ineffabilis Deus, in which the history of the doctrine is summarily traced, and which contains the definition as given above It was not until 1854 that Pope Pius IX, with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic bishops, whom he had consulted between 1851–1853, promulgated the papal bullIneffabilis Deus (Latin for "Ineffable God"), which defined ex cathedra the dogma of the Immaculate Conception: We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful. —Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, December 8, 1854 The dogma was defined in accordance with the conditions of papal infallibility, which would be defined in 1870 by the First Vatican Council. The papal definition of the dogma declares with absolute certainty and authority that Mary possessed sanctifying grace from the first instant of her existence and was free from the lack of grace caused by the original sin at the beginning of human history. Mary's salvation was won by her son Jesus Christ through his passion, death, and resurrection and was not due to her own merits.

Later developments Catholic Church:

within

the

For the Roman Catholic Church the dogma of the Immaculate Conception gained additional significance from the reputed apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1858. At Lourdes a 14-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubirous, claimed that a beautiful woman appeared to her and said, "I am the Immaculate Conception". Many believe the woman to have been the Blessed Virgin Mary and pray to her as such. In this sense the dogma of the Immaculate Conception defined by Pope Pius IX is also viewed as a key example of the use of sensus fidelium shared by believers and the Magisterium rather than pure reliance on Scripture and Tradition. The Vatican quotes in this context Fulgens Corona, where Pius XII supported such a faith: If the popular praises of the Blessed Virgin Mary be given the careful con- Altar of the Immaculata by Joseph sideration they deserve, who will dare to doubt that she, who was purer Lusenberg, 1876. Saint Antony's than the angels and at all times pure, was at any moment, even for the Church, Urtijëi, Italy. briefest instant, not free from every stain of sin? The Roman Catholic tradition has a well-established philosophy for the study of the Immaculate Conception and the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the field of Mariology, with Pontifical schools such as the Marianum specifically devoted to this.

Medieval dispute about the doctrine

It seems to have been St Bernard of Clairvaux who, in the 12th century, explicitly raised the question of the Immaculate Conception. A feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin had already begun to be celebrated in some churches of the West . St Bernard blames the canons of the metropolitan church of Lyon for instituting such a festival without the permission of the Holy See . In doing so, he takes occasion to repudiate altogether the view that the conception of Mary was sinless. It is doubtful, however, whether he was using the term "conception" in the same sense in which it is used in the definition of Pope Pius IX. Bernard would seem to have been speaking of conception in the active sense of the mother's cooperation, for in his argument he says: "How can there be absence of sin where there is concupiscence (libido)?" and stronger expressions follow, showing that he is speaking of the mother and not of the child. Saint Thomas Aquinas, the greatest of the medieval scholastics, refused to admit the Immaculate Conception, on the ground that, unless the Blessed Virgin had at one time or other been one of the sinful, she could not justly be said to have been redeemed by Christ. Saint Bonaventure (d . 1274), second only to Saint Thomas in his influence on the Christian schools of his age, hesitated to accept it for a similar reason. He believed that Mary was completely free from sin, but that she was not given this grace at the instant of her conception. The celebrated John Duns Scotus (d . 1308), a Franciscan like Saint Bonaventure, argued, on the contrary, that from a rational point of view it was certainly as little derogatory to the merits of Christ to assert that Mary was by him preserved from all taint of sin, as to say that she first contracted it and then was delivered. Proposing a solution to the theological problem of reconciling the doctrine with that of universal redemption in Christ, he argued that Mary's immaculate conception did not remove her from redemption by Christ; rather it was the result of a more perfect redemption granted her because of her special role in salvationhistory. The arguments of Scotus, combined with a better acquaintance with thelanguage of the early Fathers, gradually prevailed in the schools of the Western Church. In 1387 the university of Paris strongly condemned the opposite view. Scotus's arguments remained controversial, however, particularly among the Dominicans, who were willing enough to celebrate Mary's sanctificatio (being made free from sin) but, following the Dominican Thomas Aquinas' arguments, continued to insist that her sanctification could not have occurred until after her conception. Popular opinion remained firmly behind the celebration of Mary's conception. In 1409, the Council of Basel, which is not reckoned an ecumenical council, stated that belief in the immaculate conception of Mary is in accord with the Catholic faith. By the end of the 15th century was widely professed and taught in many theological faculties, but such was the influence of the Dominicans, and the weight of the arguments of Thomas Aquinas (who had been canonised in 1323 and declared "Doctor Angelicus" of the Church in 1567) that the Council of Trent (1545–63)—which might have been expected to affirm the doctrine—instead declined to take a position.

Church Fathers

Patronage

churches Other For differing reasons, belief in Mary's immaculate conception

in the Catholic doctrinal form is not part of the official doctrines of the Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant churches.

Anglicanism:

Belief in Mary's immaculate conception is not a doctrine within Anglicanism, although it is shared by many Anglo-Catholics. In the Church of England's Common Worship prayer book, 8 December is designated a Lesser Festival of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary(without the adjective "immaculate"). The report "Mary: Faith and Hope in Christ", by the AnglicanRoman Catholic International Commission, concluded that the teaching about Mary in the two definitions of the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception can be said to be consonant with the teaching of the Scriptures and the ancient common traditions. But the report expressed concerns that the Roman Catholic dogmatic definitions of these concepts implies them to be "revealed by God", stating: "The question arises for Anglicans, however, as to whether these doctrines concerning Mary are revealed by God in a way which must be held by believers as a matter of faith."

The Finnish celebrations have been historically tied to Swedish culture and the Swedish-speaking Finns. The first records of St. Lucy celebrations in Finland are from 1898, and the first large celebrations came in 1930, a couple of years after the popularization of the celebrations in Sweden. The St. Lucy of Finland has been elected since 1949 and she is crowned in the Helsinki Cathedral. Local St.Lucy's are elected in almost every place where there is a Swedish populace in Finland. The Finnish-speaking population has also lately begun to embrace the celebrations.

Eastern and Oriental Orthodox:

Eastern Orthodox Christians say that Mary was without sin for her entire life, but they object to the dogmatic declaration of her immaculate conception. In the tradition of Ethiopian Orthodoxy,, a branch of Oriental Orthodoxy, the Kebra Nagast says: He cleansed EVE'S body and sanctified it and made for it a dwelling in her for ADAM'Ssalvation. She [i.e., MARY] was born without blemish, for He made her pure, without pollution, and she redeemed his debt without carnal union and embrace...Through the transgression of EVE we died and were Immaculate Conception is presented by buried, and by the purity of MARY we receive honour, and are artists in Orthodox Church too. Here Holy Mary in Perlez, Vojvodina, Serbia. exalted to the heights (emphasis added).

Denmark:

In Denmark, the Day of Lucia (Luciadag) was first celebrated on December 13, 1944. The tradition was directly imported from Sweden by initiative of Franz Wend, secretary of Föreningen Norden, as an attempt "to bring light in a time of darkness”. Implicitly it was meant as a passive protest against German occupation during the Second World War but it has been a tradition ever since. Although the tradition is imported from Sweden, it differs somewhat in that the celebration has always been strongly centered on Christianity and it is a yearly local event in most churches in conjunction with Christmas. Schools and kindergartens also use the occasion to mark the event as a special day for children on one of the final days before the Christmas holidays, but it does not have much impact anywhere else in society. There are also a number of additional historical traditions connected with the celebration, which are not widely observed. The night before candles are lit and all electrical lights are turned off, and on the Sunday closest to December 13 Danes traditionally attend church. The Danish versions of the Neapolitan song clearly reflect its close connection to Christianity. The best known version is Holger Lissners version from 1982, Sankta Lucia. Saint Lucy's Day is celebrated also in the Faroe Islands.

Old Catholic:

While Old Catholics do not reject the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and some of their parishes venerate Mary as immaculately conceived and celebrate the feast of her Immaculate Conception, they do not accept its definition as a dogma, since they reject papal infallibility and with it the Pope's authority to define dogma.

Protestantism:

Norway:

The Lussinatt, the night of December 13, was largely forgotten in Norway at the beginning of the 20th century, though still remembered as an ominous night, and also celebrated in some remote areas. It was not until after World War II that the modern celebration of Lucia in Norway was imported from Sweden, and became adopted on a larger A girl in the Lucia procession in Sweden, 2007 scale. It is now again observed all over the country. Like the Swedish tradition, and unlike the Danish, Lucia is largely a secular event in Norway, and is observed in kindergartens and schools (often through secondary level). However, it has in recent years also been incorporated in the Advent liturgy in the Church of Norway. The boys are often incorporated in the procession, staging as magi with tall hats and star-staffs. Occasionally, anthems of Saint Stephen are taken in on behalf of the boys. For the traditional observance of the day, school children form processions through the hallways of the school building carrying candles, and hand out lussekatt buns. While rarely observed at home, parents often take time off work to watch these school processions in the morning, and if their child should be chosen Lucia it is considered a great honor. Later on in the day, the procession usually visits local retirement homes, hospitals, and nursing homes.

Saint Lucia:

of

a

Swedish

Italy:

St. Lucia is the patron saint of the city of Syracuse (Sicily), where she was born. Celebrations take place on the 13th of December and in May. St. Lucy is also popular among children in some regions of North-Eastern Italy, namely Trentino, East Lombardy (Bergamo, Brescia,Cremona and Mantua), parts of Veneto, (Verona), parts of Emilia-Romagna, (Piacenza, Parma and Reggio Emilia), and all of Friuli, where she brings gifts to good children and coal to bad ones the night between December 12 and 13. She arrives in the company of a donkey and her escort, Lucia bun, made with saffron. Castaldo. Children are asked to leave some coffee for Lucia, some flour for the donkey and bread for Castaldo. They must not watch Santa Lucia delivering these gifts, or she will throw ashes in their eyes, temporarily blinding them. In Sicily and among the Sicilian diaspora,cuccìa is eaten in memory of Saint Lucy's miraculous averting of famine.

Malta:

Santa Luċija is the patron saint of the villages of Mtarfa (Malta) and Santa Luċija (Gozo). On the 13th December Malta also celebrates Republic Day.

United States:

In the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which is the successor church to hundreds of Scandinavian and German Lutheran congregations, St. Lucia is treated as a commemoration on December 13, in which red vestments are worn. Usually, the Sunday in Advent closest to December 13 is set aside for St. Lucia, in which the traditional Scandinavian Danish girls in the Lucia procession at a procession is observed. Helsingør public school, 2001

Origins St. Lucy/Lucia is one of few saints celebrated by the overwhelmingly Lutheran Scandinavian peoples (Danes,

Swedes, Finns and Norwegians). The St. Lucy's Day celebrations retain many indigenous Germanic pagan, preChristian midwinter elements, and the practices associated with the day, predates the adoption of Christianity in Scandinavia, and is like much of Scandinavian folklore, and even religiosity today, based on the annual struggle between light and darkness. The Nordic observation of St. Lucy is first attested in the Middle Ages, and continued after the Protestant Reformation in the 1520s and 1530s, although the modern celebration is only about 200 years old. It is likely that tradition owes its popularity in the Nordic countries to the extreme change in daylight hours between the seasons in this region. The pre-Christian holiday of Yule, or jól, was the most important holiday in Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Originally the observance of the winter solstice, and the rebirth of the sun, it brought about many practices that remain in the Advent and Christmas celebrations today. The Yule season was a time for feasting, drinking, gift-giving, and gatherings, but also the season of awareness and fear of the forces of the dark.

Lussi:

Lussinatta, the Lussi Night, was December 13. Then Lussi, a female being with evil traits, like a female demon or witch, was riding through the air with her followers, called Lussiferda. This itself might be an echo of the myth of the Wild Hunt, called Oskoreia in Scandinavia, found across Northern, Western and Central Europe. Between Lussi Night and Yule, trolls and evil spirits, in some accounts also the spirits of the dead, were thought to be active outside. It was particularly dangerous to be out during Lussi Night. Children who had done mischief had to take special care, since Lussi could come down through the chimney and take them away, and certain tasks of work in the preparation for Yule had to be finished, or else the Lussi would come to punish the household. The tradition of Lussevaka – to stay awake through the Lussinatt to guard oneself and the household against evil, has found a mod- Girl with electric candles at a Lucia ern form through throwing parties until daybreak. Another com- celebration in Minnesota pany of spirits might come riding through the night around Yule itself, journeying through the air, over land and water.

St. Lucy/Lucia:

Although no sources of her life exist other than in hagiographies, St. Lucy is believed to have been a Sicilian saint who suffered a martyr's death in Syracuse, Sicily around AD 310. The Guilte Legende, a widespread and influential compendium of saint's biographies compiled in the late Middle Ages, records her story thus: She was seeking help for her mother's long-term illness at the shrine of Saint Agnes, in her native Sicily, when an angel appeared to her in a dream beside the shrine. As a result of this, Lucy became a devout Christian, refused to compromise her virginity in marriage and was denounced to the Roman authorities by the man she would have wed. They threatened to drag her off to a brothel if she did not renounce her Christian beliefs, but were unable to move her, even with a thousand men and fifty oxen pulling. So they stacked materials for a fire around her instead and set light to it, but she would not stop speaking, insisting that her death would lessen the fear of it for other Christians and bring grief to non-believers. One of the soldiers stuck a spear through her throat to stop these denouncements, but to no effect. Soon afterwards, the Roman consulate in charge was hauled off to Rome on charges of theft from the state and beheaded. Saint Lucy was able to die only when she was given the Christian sacrement. In another story, Saint Lucy was working to help Christians hiding in the catacombs during the terror under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, and in order to bring with her as many supplies as possible, she needed to have both hands free. She solved this problem by attaching candles to a wreath on her head. There is little evidence that the legend itself derives from the folklore of northern Europe, but the similarities in the names ("Lussi" and "Lucia"), and the date of her festival, December 13, suggest that two separate traditions may have been brought together in the modern-day celebrations in Scandinavia.

13 December:

It was commonly believed in Scandinavia as late as the end of the 19th century that this was the longest night of the year, coinciding with Winter Solstice. The same can be seen in A Nocturnal upon S. Lucy's Day, Being the Shortest Day" (1627). While this does not hold for our current Gregorian calendar, a discrepancy of 8 days would have been the case in the Julian calendar during the 14th century, resulting in Winter solstice falling on December 13. With the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar in the 16th century the disrepancy was 10 days and had increased to 11 days in the 18th century when Scandinavia adopted the new calendar, with Winter solstice falling on December 9. It is very difficult to tell the exact date of the Winter solstice without modern equipment (although the Neolithic builders of the Newgrange monument seem to have managed it). The day itself is not visibly shorter than the several days leading up to and following it and although the actual Julian date of Winter solstice would have been on the December 15 or 14 at the time when Christianity was introduced to Scandinavia, December 13 could well have lodged in peoples mind as being the shortest day. The choice of 13 December as Saint Lucy's day, however, obviously predates the 8 day error of the 14th century Julian calendar. This date is attested in the pre-Tridentic Monastic calendar, probably going back to the earliest attestations of her life in the 6th and 7th centuries, and it is the date used throughout Europe. At the time of Saint Lucy's death, Winter solstice fell on December 21 and the date of the birth of Christ on the 25th. The latter was also celebrated as being the day when the Sun was born, the birthday of Sol Invictus, as can be seen in the Chronography of 354. This latter date was thought by the Romans to be the Winter solstice and it is natural to think of the sun being born that day. Early Christians considered this a likely date for their saviour's nativity, as it was commonly held that the world was created on Spring equinox (thought to fall on March 25 at the time), and that Christ had been conceived on that date, being born 9 months later on Winter solstice. Statue of St. Lucy at Saint Leonard of Port Maurice Possibly, the origins of the choice of date is to be Church in the North End of Boston found in the fact that it falls 12 days before Christmas (Winter solstice) as both her name and the method of celebration points towards solar worship. The custom of starting celebrations 12 days before Christmas (Advent) and ending them 12 days after Christmas ("The Twelve Days of Christmas") is known in various Northern-European, with the Icelandic Yule Lads appearing on December 13 and the end of Christmas being celebrated with bonfires and fireworks on January 6.

Constitution Day Uzbekistan - D e c 0 8

On December 8, 1992, the new constitution of Uzbekistan was signed, creating a democratic system of government for the newly-independent country. Uzbekistan was created in 1924 by the communist government of the Soviet Union. The traditional boundaries of Central Asia were redefined under the communists to make nationalistic or ethnic opposition to the central government more difficult. Uzbekistan remained a part of the Soviet Union until the collapse of the communist regime, becoming an independent nation in 1991. On Constitution Day, the country's president usually broadcasts a message of greeting to the Uzbekistan people in which he reiterates the democratic ideals of the constitution and outlines what steps the government has taken to ensure those ideals are carried out. On Constitution Day in 2007, the Uzbekistan senate passed a law liberalizing criminal punishments. Under this new law, women, young people under the age of 18, men over 60, and foreign citizens who have been arrested for a first crime will no longer be imprisoned. Prison sentences for nonviolent crimes were also reduced.

Jamhuri Day is a national holiday in Kenya, celebrated on 12 December each year. Jamhuri is the Swahili word for "republic" and the holiday is officially to mark the date of Kenya's establishment as a republic on 12 December, 1964. However, the country also gained full independence from the United Kingdom one year earlier on 12 December, 1963, so Jamhuri Day is a double event and is generally regarded as Kenya's most important holiday, marked by numerous cultural festivities which celebrate the country's cultural heritage.

Distinctions

In 1646, King John IV of Portugal proclaimed Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception the nation's patron saint, so that 8 December is a special feast in Portugal. On the eve of the feast of the Conception of Mary, 7 December 1650, when the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland was already well advanced, the Irish Catholic Confederation, also known as the Confederation of Kilkenny, consecrated Ireland to the Immaculate Conception of Mary as follows: "By a unanimous vote of the Supreme Assembly it was decreed that the Virgin Mother of God, under her title of her Immaculate Conception, should be solemnly and publicly proclaimed Patroness of the Kingdom of Ireland, and that as a perpetual memorial to the happy event, the feast of the Immaculate Conception should be solemnly observed in Ireland from that day forward until the end of time.” By the Papal Bull Quantum ornamenti of 8 November 1760, Pope Clement XIII granted the request of KingCharles III of Spain that the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of the Immaculate Conception, should be a special patroness of Spain along with its eastern and western territories, while Saint James the Greatercontinued to be the principal national patron. On 13 May 1846, the United States bishops chose the Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin, as Patroness of the country. Under the same invocation of the Immaculate Conception, Mary is the patron saint of Brazil, where devotion to her is centred on theBasilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, in the town of Aparecida, built to house a small clay statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Who Appeared, which represents her in the traditional form associated with the Immaculate Conception. By the bull Impositi Nobis of 12 September 1942, Pope Pius XII, at the request of the bishops of the Philippines, declared the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of the Immaculate Conception, principal patron of the Philippines, with Saints Pudentiana and Rose of Lima as secondary patrons. In that bull, the Pope mentioned that the 1907 provincial council of Manila had called Mary Immaculate principal patron saint of the whole Filipino people, and that there were historical documents that proved that Saint Pudentiana was considered patron of the Philippines from the 16th century and Saint Rose of Lima from the 17th.

Finland:

Jamhuri Day Kenya - D e c 1 2

The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, according to which the Virgin Mary was conceived without any stain (in Latin, macula or labes, the second of these two synonymous words being the one used in the formal definition) of original sin. It is one of the four dogmata in Roman Catholic Mariology. It is completely distinct from the Virginity of Mary and the virgin birth of Jesus, though it is a popular mistake to confuse them. Mary is sometimes called the Immaculata (the Immaculate One), particularly in artistic contexts. The proclaimed Roman Catholic dogma states "that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin". Being always free from original sin, she was from the start filled with the sanctifying grace that would normally come with baptism after birth. Although widely-held since at least Late Antiquity, the doctrine was not formally proclaimed until Pope Pius IX did so in 1854 in Ineffabilis Deus.

It is admitted that the doctrine as defined by Pius IX. was not explicitly mooted before the 12th century. It is also agreed that "no direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture". But it is claimed that the doctrine is implicitly contained in the teaching of the Fathers. Their expressions on the subject of the sinlessness of Mary are, it is pointed out, so ample and so absolute that they must be taken to include original sin as well as actual . Thus we have in the first five centuries such epithets applied to her as "in every respect holy", "in all things unstained", "super-innocent" and "singularly holy"; she is compared to Eve before the fall, as ancestress of a redeemed people; she is "the earth before it was accursed." The wellknown words of St Augustine (d . 430) may be cited: " As regards the mother of God," he says, " I will not allow any question whatever of sin." It is true that he is here speaking directly of actual or personal sin. But his argument is that all men are sinners; that they are so through original depravity; that this original depravity may be overcome by the grace of God, and he adds that he does not know but that Mary may have had sufficient grace to overcome sin "of every sort" (omni ex parte). The bull of definition of the dogma, Ineffabilis Deus, mentioned in particular the patrististic interpretation of Genesis 3:15 as referring to a woman, Mary, who would be eternally at enmity with the evil serpent and completely triumphing over him. It said the Fathers saw foreshadowings of Mary's "wondrous abundance of divine gifts and original innocence" "in that ark of Noah, which was built by divine command and escaped entirely safe and sound from the common shipwreck of the whole world; in the ladder which Jacob saw reaching from the earth to heaven, by whose rungs the angels of God ascended and descended, and on whose top the Lord himself leaned; in that bush which Moses saw in the holy place burning on all sides, which was not consumed or injured in any way but grew green and blossomed beautifully;Exodus 3:2</ref> in that impregnable tower before the enemy, from which hung a thousand bucklers and all the armor of the strong; in that garden enclosed on all sides, which cannot be violated or corrupted by any deceitful plots; in that resplendent city of God, which has its foundations on the holy mountains; in that most august United States National Shrine of the Imtemple of God, which, radiant with divine splendours, is full of the glory of maculate Conception God; and in very many other biblical types of this kind." The bull recounts that the Fathers interpreted the angel's address to Mary, "highly favoured one" or "full of grace", as indicating that "she was never subject to the curse and was, together with her Son, the only partaker of perpetual benediction"; and they "frequently compare her to Eve while yet a virgin, while yet innocence, while yet incorrupt, while not yet deceived by the deadly snares of the most treacherous serpent".

Celebration

In Saint Lucia, a tiny island in the Caribbean named after its patron saint, St. Lucy, December 13 is celebrated as National Day. The National Festival of Lights and Renewal is held the night before the holiday, in honour of St Lucy of Syracuse the saint of light. In this celebration, decorative lights (mostly bearing a Christmas theme) are The crowning lit in the capital city of Castries; artisans present decorated lanterns town's Lucia. for competition; and the official activities end with a fireworks display. This is also to commemorate Christmas and the Christmas tree. In the past, a jour ouvert celebration has continued into the sunrise of 13 December.

Immaculate Conception Worldwide- Dec 08

Martin Luther, who initiated the Protestant Reformation said: "Mary is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin. God's grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil". But in 1532 he denied Mary's immaculate conception, declaring: "Mary is conceived in sin just like us". However, some Lutherans, such as the members of the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church, support the doctrine. Most Protestants reject the doctrine because they do not consider the development of dogmatic theology to be authoritative apart from biblical exegesis, and because the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, is not taught in the Bible. The formal pronouncement of Mary's Immaculate Conception by the Catholic Church in 1854 alienated some Protestant Churches partly due to its implication that not all have sinned.

Islam According to Blunt's Dictionary of Doctrinal and Historical Theology, Muhammad taught the doctrine of the immaculate

conception of Mary, saying: "There is not one of the sons of Adam, except Mary and her Son, one born but is touched by the Devil at the time of his birth, and the child makes a loud noise from the touch." Writers such as George Sale have said that Mary's immaculate conception is taught in the Qur'an, but at least in some cases this is due to misunderstanding "immaculate conception" to mean "virginal conception".

Prayers and hymns

The Roman Missal and the Roman Rite Liturgy of the Hours naturally includes references to Mary's immaculate conception in the feast of the Immaculate Conception. An example is the antiphon that begins: "Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te" (You are all beautiful, Mary, and the original stain [of sin] is not in you. Your clothing is white as snow, and your face is like the sun. You are all beautiful, Mary, and the original stain [of sin] is not in you. You are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you give honour to our people. You are all beautiful, Mary.) On the basis of the original Gregorian chant music, polyphonic settings have been composed by Anton Bruckner, Pablo Casals, Maurice Duruflé,Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki, no:Ola Gjeilo, José Maurício Nunes Garcia, and Nikolaus Schapfl, Other prayers honouring Mary's immaculate conception are in use outside the formal liturgy. The hymn Immaculate Mary, addressed to Mary as the Immaculately Conceived One, is closely associated with Lourdes. The Immaculata prayer, composed by Saint Maximillian Kolbe, is a prayer of entrustment to Mary as the Immaculata. A novena of prayers, with a specific prayer for each of the nine days has been composed under the title of the Immaculate Conception Novena.

Artistic representations The 1476 extension of the feast of the Immaculate Conception to the entire Latin Church reduced the likelihood of

controversy for the artist or patron in depicting an image, so that emblems depicting The Immaculate Conception began to appear. Many artists in the 15th century faced the problem of how to depict an abstract idea such as the Immaculate Conception, and the problem was not fully solved for 150 years. The Italian Renaissance artist Piero di Cosimo was among those artists who tried new solutions, but none of these became generally adopted so that the subject matter would be immediately recognisable to the faithful. The definitive iconography for the Immaculate Conception, drawing on the emblem tradition, seems to have been finally established by the master and then father-in-law of Diego Velázquez, the painter and theorist Francisco Pacheco. Pacheco's iconography influenced other Spanish artists such as Bartolomé Murillo, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco Zurbarán, who each produced a number of artistic masterpieces based on the use of these same symbols. The popularity of this particular representation of The Immaculate Conception spread across the rest of Europe, and has since remained the best known artistic depiction of the concept: in a heavenly realm, moments after her creation, the spirit of Mary (in the form of a young woman) looks up in awe at (or bows her head to) God. The moon is under her feet and a halo of twelve stars surround her head, possibly a reference to "a woman clothed with the sun" from Revelation 12:1-2. Additional imagery may include clouds, a golden light, and cherubs. In some paintings the cherubim are holding lilies and roses, flowers often associated with Mary.

Neutrality Day Turkmenistan - D e c 1 2

Neutrality Day of Turkmenistan (Turkmen: Bitaraplyk baýramy) is second most important state holiday in Turkmenistan. This date is celebrated in Turkmenistan annually on December 12.

History December 12, 1995 was adopted by

the UN General Assembly Resolution number 50/80, which expressed the hope that "the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan will contribute to peace and security in the region." In the resolution, the United Nations "recognizes and supports the declared status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan ." Such a unique document adopted for the first time in the work of the international community of nations. Support for UN neutrality - a rare phenomenon in more than half a century of the history of this international organization. The resolution calls on UN to respect and maintain the neutrality of Turkmenistan. For its adoption at the session of the UN General Assembly voted 185 member states of the international community . In Neutrality Day across the Central Asian republic are mass festivities and holiday concerts. Ashgabat hosts international conference. In 2012, the country for the first time just resting, all events on this date took place in the previous days.

Poinsettia Day U.S. - D e c 1 2

December 12th is Poinsettia Day. The date marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, an American botanist, physician and Minister to Mexico who in 1828 sent cuttings of the plant he'd discovered in Southern Mexico to his home in Charleston, South Carolina. Botanically, the plant is known as Euphorbia Pulcherrima. In July of 2002, the House of Representatives created Poinsettia Day, passing a Resolution to honor Paul Ecke Jr. who is considered the father of the poinsettia industry. It was Paul Ecke's discovery of a technique which causes seedlings to branch that allowed the Poinsettia industry to flourish. It may come as a surprise to hear that every year, Poinsettias contribute upwards of $250,000,000 to the U.S. economy-at the wholesale level! Poinsettias are the best selling potted plant in the U.S. and Canada. The Ecke's technique remained a secret until the 1990s when a university researcher discovered and published the formula. Both Paul Ecke Sr. and Paul Ecke Jr. worked tirelessly to promote the plant and its association with Christmas. Today their ranch, situated in Encinitas, California is run by Paul Ecke lll. In Mexico the plant is called La Flor de la Nochebuena or, Flower of the Holy Night and is displayed in celebration of the December 12th, Dia de la Virgen. Use of the plant to celebrate Christmas in Mexico dates back to the 17th century. The flower connects to the legend of a young girl, distraught about not having anything with which to honor the Baby Jesus in a Christmas Procession. An angel tells her that any gift given with love is a wonderful gift. Later the weeds she gathers by the roadside to place around the manger miraculously transform into the beautiful red star flower we think of as Poinsettia. But Mexico's relationship to the plant goes back even further. The Aztecs called the plant Cuitlaxochitl meaning "star flower" and used it to produce a red dye. The sap was also used to control fevers. Montezuma, last of the Aztec king had Poinsettias delivered to him in by caravan to what is now Mexico City.

Republic Day Malta - D e c 1 3

On 13 December 1974, the constitution of Malta was substantially revised, transforming the former British colony from a Commonwealth Realm into a republic within the Commonwealth. The British monarch was no longer Reġina ta' Malta (Queen of Malta) and the new Head of State was President Sir Anthony Mamo. This occasion is marked every year as Republic Day (Maltese: Jum ir-Repubblika) in Malta. The monument of Republic Day is at Marsa.

Saint Clement of Ohrid Macedonia - Dec 08

Saint Clement of Ohrid (Old Church Slavonic: Климє́нтъ Охрїдьскъ, Bulgarian and Macedonian: Свети Климент Охридски, [sveˈti ˈkliment ˈoxridski]; ca. 840 – 916) was a medieval Bulgarian saint, scholar, writer and enlightener of the Slavs. He was the most prominent disciple of Saints Cyril and Methodius and is often associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts, especially their popularisation amongChristianised Slavs. He was the founder of the Ohrid Literary School and is considered as a patron of education and language by most Slavic nations. He is regarded to be the first bishop of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, one of the seven Apostles of the Bulgarian Empire (Bulgaria), the patron saint of the Republic of Macedonia, the city of Ohrid and the Macedonian Orthodox Church. Evidence about his life is scarce but according to his hagiography by Theophylact of Ohrid, Clement was born in southwestern part of the Bulgarian Empire, in the region then known as Kutmichevitsa. Clement participated in the mission of Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia. After the death of Cyril, Clement accompanied Methodius from Rome to Pannonia and Great Moravia. After the death of Methodius himself in 885, Clement headed the struggle against the German clergy in Great Moravia along with Gorazd. After spending some time in jail, he was expelled from Great Moravia and in 885 or 886 reached the borders of Bulgaria together with Naum of Preslav, Angelarius and possibly Gorazd (according to other sources, Gorazd was already dead by that time). The four of them were afterwards sent to the Bulgarian capital of Pliska where they were commissioned by Boris I of Bulgaria to teach and instruct the future clergy of the state in the Slavonic language. After the adoption of Christianity in 865, religious ceremonies in Bulgaria were conducted in Greek by clergy sent from the Byzantine Empire. Fearing growing Byzantine influence and weakening of the state, Boris viewed the adoption of the Old Slavonic language as a way to preserve the political independence and stability of Bulgaria. With a view thereto, Boris made arrangements for the establishment of two literary schools (academies) where theology was to be taught in the Slavonic language. The first of the schools was to be founded in the capital, Pliska, and the second in the region of Kutmichevitsa. While Naum of Preslav stayed in Pliska working on the foundation of the Pliska Literary School, Clement was commissioned by Boris I to organise the teaching of theology to future clergymen in Old Church Slavonic in Kutmichevitza. For a period of seven years — between 886 and 893 — Clement taught some 3,500 disciples in the Slavonic language and theGlagolitic alphabet. In 893 he was ordained archbishop of Drembica (Velika), also in Kutmichevica. Upon his death in 916 he was buried in his monastery, Saint Panteleimon, in Ohrid. Saint Clement of Ohrid was one of the most prolific and important writers in Old Church Slavonic. He is credited with the Panonic Hagiography of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius. Clement also translated the Flower Triode containing church songs sung from Easter to Pentecost and is believed to be the author of the Holy Service and the Life of St Clement, the Roman Pope, as well as of the oldest service dedicated to St. Cyril and St. Methodius. The invention of the Cyrillic alphabet is also usually ascribed to him although the alphabet is most likely to have been developed at the Preslav Literary School at the beginning of the 10th century (for more information, see Cyrillic script). The first modern Bulgarian university, Sofia University, was named after Clement upon its foundation in 1888. The Macedonian National and University Library, founded on November 23, 1944, bears the name "St. Clement of Ohrid". The University in Bitola (Republic of Macedonia), established in 1979, is also named after Clement. The Bulgarian scientific base St. Kliment Ohridski on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named for Saint Clement of Ohrid. Tomb of Saint Clement of Ohrid in Saint In November 2008, the Macedonian Orthodox Church Panteleimon Church, Republic of Macedodonated part of Saint Clement of Ohrid relics to the Bul- nia garian Orthodox Church as a sign of good will.

Our Lady of Guadelupe - Dec 12 Mexico, El Salvador Our Lady of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe), also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe (Spanish: Virgen de Guadalupe; Nahuatl: Tonantzin Guadalupe) is a celebrated Roman Catholic icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to tradition, on December 9, 1531 Juan Diego, a simple indigenous peasant, had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady told him to build a church exactly on the spot where they were standing. He told the localbishop, who asked for some proof. He went back and had the vision again. He told the lady that the bishop wanted proof, and she said "Bring the roses behind you." Turning to look, he found a rose bush growing behind him. He cut the roses, placed them in his poncho and returned to the bishop, saying he had brought proof. When he opened his poncho, instead of roses, there was an image of the young lady in the vision. According to the account of Juan Diego, the Virgin Mary described herself using the Aztec Nahuatl word-name of Coatlaxopeuh (pronounced "quatlachupe") which the Spanish misunderstood as being the word "Guadalupe". In Nahuatl "Coa" meant serpent, "tla" the noun ending which can be interpreted as "the", and "xopeuh" means to crush or to stamp out, translating to mean: the one "who crushes the serpent," although Gloria Anzaldua translates it as "the one who is at one with the beasts" (Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands, 3rd ed., p. 51). This reflects Catholic theology, in understanding that Mary is the woman described in the twelfth chapter of St. John's Apocalypse. Today, the icon is displayed in the nearby Basilica of Guadalupe, now one of the most visited Catholic shrines in the world.[1] The Virgin of Guadalupe is Mexico's most popular religious and cultural image, with the titles "Queen of Mexico", "Empress of the Americas",[3] and "Patroness of the Americas";[4] both Miguel Hidalgo (in the Mexican War of Independence) and Emiliano Zapata (during the Mexican Revolution) carried flags bearing the Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Guadalupe Victoria, the first Mexican president changed his name in honor of the icon.

The image

Two accounts published in the 1640s, one in Spanish and the other in Nahuatl, tell how, during a walk from his home village to Mexico City early on the morning of December 9, 1531 (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in the Spanish Empire), the peasant Juan Diego saw a vision of a young girl of fifteen or sixteen, surrounded by light, on the slopes of the Hill of Tepeyac. Speaking in the local language, Nahuatl, the Lady asked for a church to be built at that site in her honor, and from her words Juan Diego recognized her as the Virgin Mary. Diego told his story to the Spanish Archbishop, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, who instructed him to return and ask the Lady for a miraculous sign to prove her claim. The Virgin told Juan Diego to gather some flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill. It was winter and very late in the season for any flowers to bloom, but on the hilltop which was usually barren, Diego found Castillian roses, and the Virgin herself arranged them in his tilma, or peasant cloak. When Juan Diego opened the cloak before Zumárraga on December 12, the flowers fell to the floor, and in their place was the Virgin of Guadalupe, miraculously imprinted on the fabric.

History

Background:

Following the Spanish Conquest in 1519-21 a temple of the mother-goddess Tonantzin at Tepeyac outside Mexico City was destroyed and a chapel dedicated to the Virgin built on the site. Newly converted Indians continued to come from afar to worship there. The object of their worship, however, was equivocal, as they continued to address the Virgin Mary as Tonantzin. The first record of the painting's existence is in 1556, when Archbishop Alonso de Montufar, a Dominican, preached a sermon commending popular devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, a painting in the chapel at Tepeyac, where certain miracles had lately been performed. Days later he was answered by Francisco de Bustamante, head of the Colony's Franciscans and guardians of the chapel at Tepeyac, who delivered a sermon before the Viceroy expressing his concern that the Archbishop was promoting a superstitious regard for a painting by a native artist, Marcos Cipac de Aquino: "The devotion that has been growing in a chapel dedicated to Our Lady, called of Guadalupe, in this city is FERNANDO LEAL Miracles of the Virgin of greatly harmful for the natives, because it makes them Guadalupe, Fresco Mexico City believe that the image painted by Marcos the Indian is in any way miraculous." The next day Archbishop Montufar opened an enquiry. The Franciscans repeated their claim that the image encouraged idolatry and supersition, and testified that it was painted by "Marcos the Indian." Appearing for the Dominicans, who favored allowing the Aztecs to venerate the Guadalupe, was the Archbishop himself. The matter ended with the Franciscans deprived of custody of the shrine and the tilma mounted and displayed within a much enlarged church. The first extended account of the image and the apparition comes in Imagen de la Virgen Maria, Madre de Dios de Guadalupe, a guide to the cult for Spanish-speakers published in 1648 by Miguel Sanchez, a diocesan priest of Mexico City. An anonymous Nahuatl language narrative, Huei tlamahuiçoltica ("The Great Event"), appeared at around the same time, probably written in 1649 byLuis Lasso de la Vega and based on Sánchez's narrative, which it closely mirrors. This contains Nican mopohua ("Here it is recounted"), a tract about the Virgin which contains the story of the apparition and the supernatural origin of the image, plus two other sections, Nican motecpana("Here is an ordered account"), describing fourteen miracles connected with Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Nican tlantica ("Here ends"), an account of the Virgin in New Spain.

Juan Diego:

The growing fame of the image led to a parallel interest in Juan Diego. In 1666 the Church, with the aim of establishing a feast day in his name, began gathering information from people who had known him, and in 1723 a formal investigation into his life was ordered, and much information was gathered. In 1987, under Pope John Paul II, who took a special interest in saints and in non-European Catholics, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints declared him "venerable", and on May 6, 1990, he was beatified by the Pope himself during Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, being declared “protector and advocate of the indigenous peoples," with December 9 as his feast day. At this point historians and theologians began to question the quality of the evidence regarding Juan Diego. There is no mention of him or his miraculous vision in the writings of bishop Zumárraga, into whose hands he delivered the miraculous image, nor in the record of the ecclesiatic inquiry of 1556, which omits him entirely, nor anywhere else before the mid-17th century. Doubts as to his reality were not new: in 1883 Joaquín García Icazbalceta, historian and biographer of Zumárraga, in a confidential report on the Lady of Guadalupe for Bishop Labastida, was very hesitant to support the story of the apparition and stated his conclusion that there was never such a person. Neither were they welcome: as recently as 1996 the 83 year old abbot of the Basilica of Guadalupe, Guillermo Schulenburg, was forced to resign following an interview with the Catholic magazine Ixthus, when he said that Juan Diego was "a symbol, not a reality." In 1995, with progress towards sanctification at a stand-still, Father Xavier Escalada, a Jesuit writing an encyclopedia of the Guadalupan legend, produced a deer skin codex, (Codex Escalada), illustrating the apparition and the life and death of Juan Diego. Although the very existence of this important document had been previously unknown, it bore the date 1548, placing it within the lifetime of those who had known Juan Diego, and bore the signatures of two trustworthy 16th century scholar-priests, Antonio Valeriano and Bernardino de Sahagún, thus verifying its contents. Some scholars remained unconvinced, describing the discovery of the Codex as "rather like finding a picture of St. Paul's vision of Christ on the road to Damascus, drawn by St. Luke and signed by St. Peter", but Diego was declared a saint, with the name of Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, in 2002.

analyses Technical Neither the fabric ("the support") nor the image (together,

"the tilma") has ever been analyzed using the full range of scientific resources available to museum conservationists. Nevertheless, four technical studies were conducted The original Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe between 1751-2 and 1982. Of these, the findings of three have been published. All were commissioned by the authorized custodians of the tilma in the Basilica, and in every case the investigators had direct and unobstructed access to it. Studies conducted between 1751-2 and 1982 MC – in 1756 a prominant artist, Miguel Cabrera, published a report entitled "Maravilla Americana" containing the findings made by himself and six other painters in 1751 and 1752 from ocular and manual inspection. G – José Antonio Flores Gómez, an art restorer, discussed in a 2002 interview with the Mexican journal Proceso (magazine) certain technical issues relative to the tilma, on which he had worked in 1947 and 1973. PC – in 1979 Philip Callahan, biophysicist and professor of entomology at the University of Florida, specializing in Infrared imaging, took numerous infrared photographs of the front of the tilma. His findings, with photographs, were published in 1981. R – "Proceso" also published in 2002 an interview with José Sol Rosales, formerly director of the Center for the Conservation and Listing of Heritage Artifacts (Patrimonio Artístico Mueble) of the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA) in México City. This interview was interspersed with extracts from a report R had written in 1982 of the findings he had made during his inspection of the tilma that year using raking and UV light, and – at low magnification – a stereo microscope of the type used for surgery. Summary conclusions ("contra" indicates a contrary finding) (1) Support: The material of the support is soft to the touch (almost silken: MC; something like cotton: G) but to the eye it suggested a coarse weave of palm threads called "pita" or the rough fiber called "cotense" (MC), or a hemp and linen mixture (R); the traditional understanding is that it is ixtle, an agave fiber. (2) Ground, or Primer: R asserted (MC and PC contra) by ocular examination that the tilma was primed, though with primer "applied irregularly." R does not clarify whether his observed "irregular" application entails that majorly the entire tilma was primed, or just certain areas--such as those areas of the tilma extrinsic to the image--where PC agrees had later additions. MC, alternatively, observed that the image had soaked through to the reverse of the tilma. (3) Under-drawing: PC asserted there was no under-drawing. (4) Brush-work: R suggested (PC contra) there was some visible brushwork on the original image, but at best in only one minute area of the image ("her eyes, including the irises, have outlines, apparently applied by a brush"). (5) Condition of the surface layer: The three most recent inspections agree (i) that significant additions have been made to the image, some of which were subsequently removed, and (ii) that the original image has been abraded and re-touched in places. Some flaking is visible (mostly along the line of the vertical seam, or at passages considered to be later additions). (6) Varnish: The tilma has never been varnished. (7) Binding Medium: R provisionally identified the pigments and binding medium (distemper) as consistent with 16th c. methods of painting sargas (MC, PC contra for different reasons), but the color values and luminosity are exceptional. The technique of painting on fabric with water-soluble pigments (with or without primer or ground) is well-attested, although survivals from the 16th c. are rare. The binding medium is generally animal glue or gum arabic (see: Distemper). Such an artifact is variously discussed in the literature as a tüchlein or sarga. The tilma, considered as a type of sarga, is by no means unique, but its state of preservation is remarkable.

Religious significance The iconography of the Virgin is impeccably Catholic: Miguel Sanchez, the author of the 1648 tract Imagen de la Virgen

María, described her as the Woman of the Apocalypse from the New Testament's Revelation 12:1, "clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars," and she is also described as a representation of the Immaculate Conception. Yet despite this orthodoxy the image also had a hidden layer of coded messages for the indigenous people of Mexico which goes a considerable way towards explaining her popularity. Her blue-green mantle was the color reserved for the divine couple Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl; her belt is interpreted as a sign of pregnancy; and a crossshaped image symbolizing the cosmos and called nahuiollin is inscribed beneath the image's sash. She was called "mother of maguey," the source of the sacred beverage pulque, "the milk of the Virgin", and the rays of light surrounding her doubled as maguey spines.

Cultural significance Symbol of Mexico:

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is recognized as a symbol of all Catholic Mexicans. Miguel Sánchez, the author of the first Spanish language apparition account, identified Inside the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Guadalupe as Revelation's Woman of the Apocalypse, in Mexico City. and said: "this New World has been won and conquered by the hand of the Virgin Mary...[who had] prepared, disposed, and contrived her exquisite likeness in this her Mexican land, which was conquered for such a glorious purpose, won that there should appear so Mexican an image." In 1810 Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla initiated the bid for Mexican independence with his Grito de Dolores, with the cry "Death to the Spaniards and long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!" When Hidalgo's mestizo-indigenous army attacked Guanajuato and Valladolid, they placed "the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which was the insignia of their enterprise, on sticks or on reeds painted different colors" and "they all wore a print of the Virgin on their hats." After Hidalgo's death leadership of the revolution fell to a zambo/mestizo priest named José María Morelos, who led insurgent troops in the Mexican south. Morelos adopted the Virgin as the seal of his Congress of Chilpancingo, inscribing her feast day into the Chilpancingo constitution and declaring that Guadalupe was the power behind his victories: "New Spain puts less faith in its own efforts than in the power of God and the intercession of its Blessed Mother, who appeared within the precincts of Tepeyac as the miraculous image of Guadalupe that had come to comfort us, defend us, visibly be our protection." Simón Bolívar noticed the Guadalupan theme in these uprisings, and shortly before Morelos' execution in 1815 wrote: "...the leaders of the independence struggle have put fanaticism to use by proclaiming the famous Virgin of Guadalupe as the queen of the patriots, praying to her in times of hardship and displaying her on their flags...the veneration for this image in Mexico far exceeds the greatest reverence that the shrewdest prophet might inspire." One of Morelos' officers, Félix Fernández, would later become the first president of Mexico, even changing his name to Guadalupe Victoria. In 1914, Emiliano Zapata's peasant army rose out of the south against the government of Porfirio Díaz. Though Zapata's rebel forces were primarily interested in land reform—"tierra y libertad" (land and liberty) was the slogan of the uprising—when his peasant troops penetratedMexico City they carried Guadalupan banners. More recently, the contemporary Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) named their "mobile city" in honor of the Virgin: it is called Guadalupe Tepeyac. EZLN spokesperson Subcomandante Marcos wrote a humorous letter in 1995 describing the EZLN bickering over what to do with a Guadalupe statue they had received as a gift.

Mestizo culture:

"The Aztecs…had an elaborate, coherent symbolic system for making sense of their lives. When this was destroyed by the Spaniards, something new was needed to fill the void and make sense of New Spain…the image of Guadalupe served that purpose." Hernán Cortés, the Conquistador who overthrew the Aztec empire in 1521, was a native of Extremadura, home to Our Lady of Guadalupe. By the 16th century the Extremadura Guadalupe, a statue of the Virgin said to be carved by Saint Luke the Evangelist, was already a national icon. It was found at the beginning of the 14th century when the Virgin appeared to a humble shepherd and ordered him to dig at the site of the apparition. The recovered Virgin then miraculously helped to expel the Moors from Spain, and her small shrine evolved into the great Guadalupe monastery. One of the more remarkable attributes of the Guadalupe of Extremadura is that she is dark, like the Americans, and thus she became the perfect icon for the missionaries who followed Cortés to convert the natives to Christianity. According to the traditional account, the name of Guadalupe was chosen by the Virgin herself when she appeared on the hill outside Mexico City in 1531, ten years after the Conquest. According to secular history, Bishop Alonso de Montúfar, in the year 1555, commissioned a Virgin of Guadalupe from a native artist, who gave her the dark skin which his own people shared with the famous Extremadura Virgin.Whatever the connection between the Mexican and her older Spanish namesake, the fused iconography of the Virgin and the indigenous Nahua goddess Tonantzin provided a way for 16th century Spaniards to gain converts among the indigenous population, while simultaneously allowing 16th century Mexicans to continue the practice of their native religion. Guadalupe continues to be a mixture of the cultures which blended to form Mexico, both racially and religiously, "the first mestiza", or "the first Mexican". "bringing together people of distinct cultural heritages, while at the same time affirming their distinctness." As Jacques Lafaye wrote in Quetzalcoatl and Guadalupe, "...as the Christians built their first churches with the rubble and the columns of the ancient pagan temples, so they often borrowed pagan customs for their own cult purposes." The author Judy King asserts that Guadalupe is a "common denominator" uniting Mexicans. Writing that Mexico is composed of a vast patchwork of differences—linguistic, ethnic, and class-based—King says "The Virgin of Guadalupe is the rubber band that binds this disparate nation into a whole." The Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes once said that "... you cannot truly be considered a Mexican unless you believe in the Virgin of Guadalupe." Nobel Literature laureate Octavio Paz wrote in 1974 that "the Mexican people, after more than two centuries of experiments, have faith only in the Virgin of Guadalupe and the National Lottery".

Catholic Church Beliefs and miracles:

Catholic sources claim many miraculous and supernatural properties for the image such as that the tilma has maintained its structural integrity over nearly 500 years, while replicas normally last only about 15 years before suffering degradation; that it repaired itself with no external help after a 1791 ammonia spill that did considerable damage, and that on 14 November 1921 a bomb damaged the altar, but left the icon unharmed. That in 1929 and 1951 photographers found a figure reflected in the Virgin's eyes; upon inspection they said that the reflection was tripled in what is called the Purkinje effect, commonly found in human eyes. An ophthalmologist, Dr. Jose Aste Tonsmann, later enlarged an image of the Virgin's eyes by 2500x and claimed to have found not only the aforementioned single figure, but images of all the witnesses present when the tilma was first revealed before Zumárraga in 1531, plus a small family group of mother, father, and a group of children, in the center of the Virgin's eyes, fourteen persons in all. Numerous Catholic websites repeat an unsourced claim that in 1936 biochemist Richard Kuhn analyzed a sample of the fabric and announced that the pigments used were from no known source, whether animal, mineral or vegetable. Dr. Philip Serna Callahan, who photographed the icon under infrared light, declared from his photographs that portions of the face, hands, robe, and mantle had been painted in one step, with no sketches or corrections and no visible brush strokes.

Pontifical pronouncements:

With the Brief Non est equidem of 25 May 1754, Pope Benedict XIV declared Our Lady of Guadalupe patron of what was then called New Spain, corresponding to Spanish Central and Northern America, and approved liturgical texts for the Holy Mass and the Breviary in her honor. Pope Leo XIII granted new texts in 1891 and authorized coronation of the image in 1895. Pope Pius X proclaimed her patron of Latin America in 1910. Pope Pius XII declared the Virgin of Guadalupe "Queen of Mexico and Empress of the Americas" in 1945, and "Patroness of the Americas" in 1946. Pope John XXIII invoked her as "Mother of the Americas" in 1961, referring to her as Mother and Teacher of the Faith of All American populations, and in 1966 Pope Paul VI sent a Golden Rose to the shrine. Pope John Paul II visited the shrine in the course of his first journey outside Italy as Pope from 26 to 31 January 1979, and again when he beatified Juan Diego there on 6 May 1990. In 1992 he dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe a chapel within St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. At the request of the Special Assembly for the Americas of the Synod of Bishops, he named Our Lady of Guadalupe patron of the Americas on 22 January 1999 (with the result that her liturgical celebration had, throughout the Americas, the rank of solemnity), and visited the shrine again on the following day. On 31 July 2002, the Pope canonized Juan Diego before a crowd of 12 million, and later that year included in the General Calendar of theRoman Rite, as optional memorials, the liturgical celebrations of Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (9 December) and Our Lady of Guadalupe (12 December).

Devotions:

The shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage destination in the world. Over the Friday and Saturday of 11 to 12 December 2009, a record number of 6.1 million pilgrims visited the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City to commemorate the anniversary of the apparition. The Virgin of Guadalupe is considered the Patroness of Mexico and the Continental Americas; she is also venerated by Native Americans, on the account of the devotion calling for the conversion of the Americas. Replicas of the tilma can be found in thousands of churches throughout the world, and numerous parishes bear her name.. Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared to be the "Patroness of the Philippines" by Pope Pius XI in 1935. In 1942 she became the secondary "Patroness of the Philippines", and her feast day is still celebrated in the archipelago. The icon there is especially invoked by people working against the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill.

Buildings for devotion:

• • • • • • • • •

The Basilica of Guadalupe, the shrine founded on the original site on Tepayac Hill in Mexico City Fresco Cycle of The Miracles of the Virgin of Guadalupe by Fernando Leal, at Basilica of Guadalupe, Mexico City The Basílica of Guadalupe in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico The Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Zamora, Michoacán, Mexico. The Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe in Dallas, Texas, United States. The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States. The National Shrine of Our Lady Of Guadalupe in Makati City, Philippines. Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Des Plaines, Illinois, United States. Santuario de Guadalupe, Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States.

Independence Day Tanzania - D e c 0 9

The United Republic of Tanzania (Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania) is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda,Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean. Tanzania is a state composed of 26 regions (mikoa), including those of the autonomous region of Zanzibar. The head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where Parliament and some government offices are located. Between independence and 1996, the main coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country's political capital. Today, Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania and the de facto seat of most government institutions. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours. The name Tanzania derives from the names of the two states Tanganyika and Zanzibar that united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

History

Tanzania is probably one of the oldest known inhabited areas on Earth; fossil remains of humans and pre-human hominids have been found dating back over two million years. More recently, Tanzania is believed to have been populated by hunter-gatherer communities, probably Cushitic and Khoisan speaking people. About 2,000 years ago, Bantuspeaking people began to arrive from western Africa in a series of migrations. Later, Nilotic pastoralists arrived, and continued to immigrate into the area through to the 18th century. The people of Tanzania are associated with one of the most important technological achievements in human history: the production of steel. The Haya people of East Africa invented a type of high-heat blast furnace which allowed them to forge carbon steel at 1,802 °C (3,276 °F) nearly 2,000 years ago. This ability was not duplicated until centuries later in Europe during the Industrial Revolution. Travellers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium AD. Islam was practised on the Swahili Coast as early as the eighth or ninth century AD. Claiming the coastal strip, Omani Sultan Seyyid Said moved his capital to Zanzibar City in 1840. During this time, Zanzibar became the centre for the Arab slave trade. Between 65% to 90% of the population of Arab-Swahili Zanzibar was enslaved. One of the most famous slave traders on the East African coast was Tippu Tip, who was himself the grandson of an enslaved African. The Nyamwezi slave traders operated under the leadership of Msiri and Mirambo. According to Timothy Insoll, "Figures record the exporting of 718,000 slaves from the Swahili coast during the 19th century, and the retention of 769,000 on the coast." In the late 19th century, Imperial Germany conquered the regions that are now Tanzania (minus Zanzibar), Rwanda, and Burundi, and incorporated them into German East Africa. During World War I, an invasion attempt by the British was thwarted by German General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, who then mounted a drawn out guerrilla campaign against the British. The post–World War I accords and theLeague of Nations charter designated the area aBritish Mandate, except for a small area in the northwest, which was ceded to Belgium and later became Rwanda and Burundi, as well as a small area in the southeast (Kionga Triangle), incorporated to Portuguese East Africa (later Mozambique). British rule came to an end in 1961 after a relatively peaceful (compared with neighbouring Kenya, for instance) transition to independence. In 1954, Julius Nyerere transformed an organization into the politically oriented Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). TANU's main objective was to achieve national sovereignty for Tanganyika. A campaign to register new members was launched, and within a year TANU had become the leading political organization in the country. Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960 and continued as Prime Minister when Tanganyika became officially independent in 1961. Soon after independence, Nyerere's first presidency took a turn to the Left after the Arusha Declaration, which codified a commitment to socialism in Pan-African fashion. After the Declaration, banks were nationalized as were many large industries. After the Zanzibar Revolution overthrew the Arab dynasty in neighbouring Zanzibar, which had become independent in 1963, the island merged with mainland Tanganyika to form the nation of Tanzania on 26 April 1964. The union of the two, hitherto separate, regions General von Lettow-Vorbeck in Dar es Salaam was controversial among many Zanzibaris (even those with a British Officer (left) and German Offisympathetic to the revolution) but was accepted by both cer (right), March 1918 the Nyerere government and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar owing to shared political values and goals. From the late 1970s, Tanzania's economy took a turn for the worse. Tanzania also aligned with China, seeking Chinese aid. The Chinese were quick to comply, but with the condition that all projects be completed by imported Chinese labour. From the mid 1980s, the regime financed itself by borrowing from the International Monetary Fund and underwent some reforms. From the mid 1980s Tanzania's GDP per capita has grown and poverty has been reduced.

Constitution Day Thailand - D e c 1 0

The People's Party, facing an internal power struggle and opposition from the King, promulgated a permanent constitution in 10 December 1932 that gave the monarchy a significant increase in authority compared to the temporary charter. The day is currently celebrated as Constitution Day. The constitution continued to state that sovereign power belonged to the people of Siam. However, unlike the temporary charter, the monarchy would now be the direct exerciser of that power, rather than the branches of government. This royal power would be exercised by and with the advise and consent of the People's Assembly, the State Council (the cabinet), and the Courts. However, the monarchy lacked any say in the composition of any of the branches of government and the royal veto could still be overruled. The monarchy was also made "sacred and inviolable", in contrast to the temporary charter. After the new Constitution was promulgated, a new 20-member Cabinet was formed; 10 of whom came from the People's Party. On 7 January 1933, the Nationalist Party (Thai:คณะชาติ) was officially registered, with Luang Vichitvadakan, Phraya Thonawanikmontri, and Phraya Senasongkhram as leaders; the People's Party had been officially registered in August 1932. The Assembly was expanded to 156 members, 76 elected and 76 appointed.

Human Rights Day Worldwide - Dec 10

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December. The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights. The formal establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on 4 December 1950, when the General Assembly declared resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit. The day is a high point in the calendar of UN headquarters in New York City, United States, and is normally marked by both high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues. In addition, it is traditionally on 10 December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded. Many governmental and nongovernmental organizations active in the human rights field also schedule special events to commemorate the day, as do many civil and social-cause organisations. The theme for 2006 was the struggle against poverty, taking it as a human rights issue. Several statements were released on that occasion, including the one issued by 37 United Nations Special Procedures mandate holders Today, poverty prevails as the gravest human rights challenge in the world. Combating poverty, deprivation and exclusion is not a matter of charity, and it does not depend on how rich a country is. By tackling poverty as a matter of human rights obligation, the world will have a better chance of abolishing this scourge in our lifetime....Poverty eradication is an achievable goal. —UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, 10 December 2006 The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights occurred on 10 December 2008, and the UN Secretary-General launched a year-long campaign leading up to this anniversary. Because the UDHR holds the world record as the most translated document (with more than 360 language versions available), organizations around the globe used the year to focus on helping people everywhere learn about their rights.

Proclamation of the Republic Burkina Faso D e c 11

Proclamation of the Republic is celebrated on December 11th of every year in Burkina Faso. It is the Republic of Upper Volta was established on December 11, 1958, as a self-governing colony within the French Community. Both modern and ancient republics vary widely in their ideology and composition. The most common definition of a republic is a state without a monarch. Most often a republic is a sovereign country, but there are also sub-national entities that are referred to as republics. Before attaining autonomy it had been French Upper Volta and part of the French Union. On August 5, 1960 it attained full independence from France.

Worldwide events; zarb e jamhoor newspaper; 153 issue; 08 14 dec, 2013  

We are preserving the history with peaceful, moderate style.