And every Friday…I’ll be on it!
We’ll be talking about traveling with children/family travel, etc….the show begins on August 3, so be sure to tune in – we’ve recorded two segments already. I’ve been talking about my life in general, some of our trips, and in particular our humongous three-month trip to Europe in the fall of 2012, with an emphasis on Assisi. Be sure to tune in!
After that, we headed further south. The boys spent a couple of days with their family members in Florida. I was also in Florida, in the Jax/St. Augustine area. I had work to do, so I spent a lot of time in various Panera Breads doing that but I also stopped by here:
Chamblin’s Uptown – a great used bookstore, although I still maintain that Jacksonville is a strange, unappealing city. The Durrells are for me and my younger son, the snake book is for him, Twelve Mighty Orphans is for the older one (and he’s devouring it), and No Name, which I’ve already read in e-form, is for my daughter, because I think she would like it.
I also spent some time in St. Augustine, but not a lot, since I’ve been there many times before. My main impression this time, as it is every time I go there, because every time I go there it’s summer, is that it’s so. bloody. hot. I don’t get it. The temperature there is the same or lower than it is in Birmingham, but it’s so much more miserable. Bleh.
Anyway, the real point is that over the past month or so, I’ve spent time with two other Catholic blogger-types and one of my oldest friends, and neither Instagrammed or Facebooked any of it!
Today (if you are reading this on Friday, July 24) is the feast of St. Charblel Makhlouf, who was Lebanese, but who is also very popular in Mexico. I wrote about it here:
I was particularly interested in the saint in the center – San Charbel Maklouf – for I had seen his image in several homes during the week. Why is a Lebanese saint so popular in Mexico?
(For, I was told, he is – along with St. Jude, one of the most popular saints in Mexico.)
The person I was talking to didn’t really know, but I assume at least part of the reason has to do with the fact that Lebanese are an important minority in Mexico,with deep roots going back more than a century. The world’s richest man (trading the spot with Gates now and then), Carlos Slim, is Lebanese -Mexican Maronite. Salma Hayak is part Lebanese-Mexican.
Most of all, of course, he’s popular because of the power of his intercession. I didn’t see it, but it’s common in Mexico to drape statues of San Charbel with ribbons on which you’ve written prayers. You can see images from the Flickr pool here, here and here.
Speaking of St. Charbel, readers may or may not know that Maronite Catholics are not unknown in the South. Particularly along railroad line – the Lebanese were one of the ethnic groups that showed up to do the work. I gave a woman’s day of recollection over in Jackson, Mississippi, once and a huge proportion of the women present claimed Lebanese roots. Here in Birmingham, the Maronite Catholic Church, St. Elias, is venerable and established. The Catholic school my boys used to go to had a Maronite school Mass twice a year. Fr. Mitch Pacwa, who lives here, is bi-ritual and regularly celebrates the Maronite liturgy at St. Elias when he is in town.
A few years ago, I went to an estate sale, and this one was unusual because there was lots of Catholic stuff. That’s not a normal feature of estate sales in Birmingham, Alabama. But this one was very Catholic and specifically, very Maronite. This was one of my treasures from that day:
Do you have a St. Charbel thermometer?
Didn’t think so.
This was a David Lebovitz base wtih a bit of chocolate syrup mixed in, as well as melted chocolate & a dab of olive oil for a straciatella thing.
If anything is ever going to drive me off of social media, it’s photographs of people’s feet.
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