March 25th is the Feast of the Annunciation, also called Lady Day and the Feast of the Incarnation. It’s the day the angel told the Virgin Mary that she would give birth to the Messiah. She accepted this mission, with a speech of praise we know as the Magnificat, and that night He was conceived in her.
When March 25th is Good Friday, the feast is moved to the Monday eight days after Easter.
Customs include praying the Magnificat, and praying for the success of the year’s crops, and planning or starting Mary Gardens.
It’s traditional to bake cakes in wreath shapes, make waffles (because in Swedish the word for waffles sounds like the word for Our Lady), watch for songbirds, especially swallows, plant crops, bring in fresh flowers or wear flowers.
There’s an interesting story on this page; scroll down to “The Tichborne Dole”.
When Emma Jones of Caerau Ely, Wales gave birth to her second son, Riley Goodger, last December, she was overjoyed that the child was alive. Her first, Tyler, had been stillborn, or miscarried; his gestational age placed him right on the line that divides stillbirth from miscarriage. Riley was also premature, born at 22 1/2 weeks gestation, just 20 1/2 weeks fetal age. But many children have been born that early and lived, with a lot of medical help. Some have even survived without disability.
Then Riley stopped breathing. NICU procedures normally involve resuscitation and respiratory assistance in the beginning, so that wouldn’t have decided the infant’s fate, except that British policy says that allowing such an early baby to die is “in the best interest of the baby”, by sparing him likely disabilities. Riley was denied medical care. He lived just an hour and a half after delivery.
Jones is now fighting that policy. She has circulated a petition that collected nearly 3,000 signatures, asking for a change to the policy. She and her supporters ask a two-week expansion of the right to neonatal care: whereas the guidelines restricted care to infants born after 24 weeks gestation (22 weeks after conception), the petition asks for care to be provided to struggling newborns at 22 weeks gestation or more (20 weeks after conception).
Jones has received an apology from the chief executive of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Adam Cairns, who said more could have been done for the child.
Originally posted on OK, Fine.:
The U.N. human rights office said Thursday that Islamic State fighters may have committed genocide against the minority Yazidi community in Iraq as well as crimes against humanity and war crimes against civilians including children.
In a report based on interviews with more than 100 alleged victims and witnesses, it urged the UN Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution of perpetrators.
The UN Human Rights Council launched its inquiry in September after the Islamist militant group Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, seized large areas of land in northern Iraq.
The report said the Security Council should “consider referring the situation in Iraq to the International Criminal Court,” states the Jerusalem Post.
The UN investigators also cited allegations that ISIS had used chlorine gas, a prohibited chemical weapon, against Iraqi soldiers in the western province of Anbar in September.
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Bobbi Kristina Brown’s cousin Jerod has released a song video, #Pray for BK, expressing love for the young woman who is fighting for her life in a coma, and defending his right to ask for prayers for her. Some people are saying he is cashing in on his relative’s condition, while others are saying he is sincere and has a right to discuss his feelings about a family member’s health.
In my opinion, there is no way for anyone who does not personally know Jerod Brown to know his thinking or motives. The song is respectful. Everyone does something for a living, and there is nothing immoral about working as a recording artist. Artists have always used the pain in their lives as source material, and they always will. The song stands on its merits as a work and as a sentiment; no one is being forced to buy it.
March 19th is the Feast of St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus.
The St. Joseph’s Table is a tradition on this day. The story goes, the people of Sicily prayed for St. Joseph’s intercession during a famine. The famine ended, and the people celebrated with huge meals provided by the rich, shared with the poor.
Three people sit at the head of the table, representing the Holy Family. Twelve men or youths dress as the Twelve Apostles, and children dress as angels. After a blessing by a priest, the host and hostess serve the Holy Family. Then the rest of the guests eat whatever they want while they come and go.
Here is a good article with images of St. Joseph’s tables.
I was coming home today and a woman asked if I eat green stuff. “I love green stuff,” I replied.
She handed me an armload of some vegetables that might be collards or bok choy, and I said I could eat one. She gave me yellow onions, fresh and fragrant, and I accepted four, which is all I could eat before they would go bad.
There were two of these women, loading my friends and neighbors with fresh produce from the trunk of a small car. I asked who they represented. They gave me contact info for their organization, Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC).
They said they distribute food, and also help with moving and other needs.
It’s an interdenomination network of churches working to meet needs in a decentralized, volunteer-based way, as an explicitly Christian ministry. Here is the link for those who want to be part of Love INC.