Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wed, Oct 10, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Pious, Psalm 117, Luke 11:1-4, St Francis Borgia, Catalonia Spain

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: 
Pious,  Psalm 117,  Luke 11:1-4, St Francis Borgia, Catalonia Spain

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!
Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Today's Word:  pious  pi·ous  [pahy-uhs]

Origin: 1350–1400; Middle English plage  < Latin plāga  stripe, wound, Late Latin:  pestilence

1. having or showing a dutiful spirit of reverence for God or an earnest wish to fulfill religious obligations.
2. characterized by a hypocritical concern with virtue or religious devotion; sanctimonious.
3. practiced or used in the name of real or pretended religious motives, or for some ostensibly good object; falsely earnest or sincere: a pious deception.
4. of or pertaining to religious devotion; sacred rather than secular: pious literature.
5. having or showing appropriate respect or regard for parents or others.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 117:1, 2

1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, all nations, extol him, all peoples,
2 for his faithful love is strong and his constancy never-ending.


Today's Gospel Reading - Luke 11:1-4

Now it happened that Jesus was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.' He said to them, 'When you pray, this is what to say: Father, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come; give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us. And do not put us to the test.'

● In yesterday's Gospel, we saw Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to his word. Anyone who listens to the Word of God has to give a response in prayer. In this way, today's Gospel continues with the Gospel of yesterday the narrating of the account in which Jesus, because of his way of prayer, communicates to the disciples the desire to pray, to learn to pray from him.

● Luke 11, 1: Jesus, example of prayer. "One day, Jesus was in a certain place praying and when he had finished one of his disciples said to him: ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples'". This petition of the disciples is strange, because at that time people learnt to pray since they were small. Everyone prayed three times a day, in the morning, at noon and in the evening. They prayed very much using the Psalms. They had their devotional practices, they had the Psalms, they had weekly meetings in the Synagogue and daily encounters at home. But it seemed that this was not enough. The disciple wanted more: "Teach us to pray!" In the attitude of Jesus he discovers that he could still advance more, and that for this he needed some initiation. The desire to pray was in all of them, but the way of praying needs a help. The way of praying attains maturity throughout life and changes through the centuries. Jesus was a good teacher: He taught how to pray with the words and with the witness.

● Luke 11, 2-4: The prayer of the Our Father. "Jesus answers: "When you pray this is what you have to say: Father, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come; give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt with us. And do not put us to the test". In the Gospel of Matthew, in quite a didactic way, Jesus summarizes all his teaching in seven petitions addressed to the Father. Here in Luke's Gospel the petitions are five. In these five requests, Jesus repeats the great promises of the Old Testament and asks that the Father help us to fulfil them. The first three (or two) speak to us about our relationship with God. The other four (or three) speak to us about the relationship among us.
Mt  Lc: Introduction: Our Father who are in heaven
Mt  Lc: 1st request: Hallowed be your Name
Mt  Lc: 2nd request: Your Kingdom come
Mt: Lc: 3rd request: Your will be done
Mt  Lc: 4th request: Our daily bread
Mt  Lc: 5th request: Forgive our offences
Mt  Lc: 6th request: Lead us not into temptation
Mt: Lc: 7th request: Deliver us from evil

● Father (Our): The title expresses the new relationship with God (Father). It is the basis of fraternity.

a) To sanctify the Name: the Name of Yahweh I am with you! God with us. God made himself known with this NAME (Ex 3, 11-15). The Name of God is sanctified when it is used with faith and not with magic; when it is used according to its true objective, that is, not for oppression, but for the liberation of the people and for the construction of the Kingdom.

b) Your Kingdom come: The only Lord and King of human life is God (Is 45, 21; 46, 9). The arrival of the Kingdom is the realization of all the hopes and promises. It is the fullness of life, the overcoming of frustration suffered with the kings and human governments. This Kingdom will come when the will of God will be completely fulfilled.

c) The daily bread: In Exodus, the people every day received the manna in the desert (Ex 16, 35). Divine Providence passed for the fraternal organization, for sharing. Jesus invites us to fulfil a new Exodus, a new way of sharing in a fraternal spirit which will guarantee the bread for all (Mt 6, 34-44; Jn 6, 48-51).

d) Forgiveness of debts: Every 50 years, the Jubilee Year obliged everybody to forgive the debts. It was a new beginning (Lev 25, 8-55). Jesus announces a new Jubilee Year, "a year of grace from the Lord" (Lk 4, 19). The Gospel wants to begin everything new! Today, the external debt is not forgiven! Luke changes "debts" for "sins".

e) Not to fall into temptation: In Exodus the people were tempted and fell (Deut 9, 6-12). They complained and wanted to go back. (Ex 16, 3; 17, 3). In the new Exodus, the temptation was overcome thanks to the force that people received from God (1Co 10, 12-13).

The witness of the prayer of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke: - At twelve years old, he goes to the Temple, in the House of the Father (Lk 2, 46-50).

- When he was baptized and he assumes his mission, he prays (Lk 3, 21).
- When he begins his mission, he spends forty days in the desert (Lk 4, 1-2).
- At the hour of temptation, he faces the Devil with texts from Scripture (Lk 4, 3-12).
- Jesus usually participated in the celebrations in the Synagogues, on Saturday (Lk 4, 16)
- He looks for the solitude of the desert to pray (Lk 5, 16; 9, 18).
- On the day before he chose the twelve Apostles, he spent the night in prayer (Lk 6, 12).
- He prays before meals (Lk 9, 16; 24, 30).
- He prays before presenting the reality and before speaking about his Passion (Lk 9, 18).
- In time of crisis, he goes up to the mountain to pray, is transfigured while he prays (Lk 9, 28).
- When the Gospel is revealed to the little ones, he says: "Father I thank you!" (Lk 10, 21)
- By praying he awakens in the Apostles the desire to pray (Lk 11, 1).
- He prays for Peter so that his faith will not fail (Lk 22, 32).
- He celebrates the Paschal Supper with his disciples (Lk 22, 7-14).
- In the Garden of Olives, he prays while his sweat fell like drops of blood (Lk 22, 41-42).
- In his anguish he asks his friends to pray with him (Lk 22, 40.46).
- When he was nailed to the cross, he asks for pardon for the bandits (Lk 23, 34).
- At the hour of his death, he says: "Into your hands I commit my spirit!" (Lk 23, 46; Ps 31, 6)
- Jesus dies sending out the cry of the poor (Lk 23, 46).

Personal questions
● Do I pray? How do I pray? What does prayer mean for me?
● Our Father: I go over the five petitions and examine how I live them in my life

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St. Francis Borgia

Feast Day:  October 10
Patron Saint: against earthquakes; Portugal; Rota, Marianas

Saint Francis Borgia
Saint Francis Borgia, S.J., 4th Duke of Gandía (Catalan: Francesc de Borja, Spanish: Francisco de Borja) (Gandía, 28 October 1510 – 30 September 1572, Rome) was the third Father General of the Jesuit Order, a Grandee of Spain, was a Spanish Jesuit and third Superior General of the Society of Jesus. He was canonized on 20 June 1670.

Early life

He was born Francesco Borgia de Candia d'Aragon within the Duchy of Gandía, Valencia on 28 October 1510. His father was Juan Borgia, 3rd Duke of Gandía, the son of Giovanni Borgia, the grandson of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia). His mother was Juana, daughter of Alonso de Aragón, Archbishop of Zaragoza, who, in turn, was the illegitimate son of King Ferdinand II of Aragon. His brother, Tomás de Borja y Castro, also became a clergyman, becoming the Bishop of Málaga, and later the Archbishop of Zaragoza.

Although as a child he was very pious and wished to become a monk, his family sent him instead to the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He distinguished himself there, accompanying the Emperor on several campaigns.

Adult life and career

In September 1526 at age 16, he married a Portuguese noblewoman in Madrid, Eleanor de Castro Melo e Menezes. They had eight children: Carlos in 1530, Isabel in 1532, Juan in 1533, Álvaro circa 1535, Juana also circa 1535, Fernando in 1537, Dorotea in 1538, and Alfonso in 1539.

In 1539, he convoyed the corpse of Isabella of Portugal, Philip II of Spain's mother, to her burial place in Granada. It is said that, when he saw the effect of death on the beautiful empress, he decided to "never again serve a mortal master."

Nonetheless, while still a young man, year 1539, aged around 29, he was made viceroy of Catalonia to replace Fadrique de Portugal y Noroña the most powerful Portuguese who had been Viceroy of Catalonia 1525–1539, Bishop of Calahorra 1503–1508, Bishop of Segovia 1508–1511, Bishop of Sigüenza 1512–1532, and Archbishop of Zaragoza 1532-1539.

In 1543 upon the death of his father, the 3rd Duke of Gandía, Francis became the 4th Duke of Gandía. By then 33 years old he had retired to his native place and led, with his wife, Eleanor de Castro Melo e Menezes and their family, a life devoted entirely to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

Jesuit priest

In 1546 his wife Eleanor died, and Francis was then determined to enter the newly formed Society of Jesus, after making adequate provisions for his children.

He put his affairs in order circa 1550, renounced his titles in favour of his eldest son Luis de Borja-Aragon y de Castro-Melo, and became a Jesuit priest. Because of his high birth, great abilities and Europe-wide fame, he was immediately offered a cardinal's hat. This, however, he refused, preferring the life of an itinerant preacher. In time, however, his friends persuaded him to accept the leadership role that nature and circumstances had destined him for: in 1554, he became the Jesuits' commissary-general in Spain; and, in 1565, the third Father General or Superior General of the Society of Jesus, because of the death in January 1565 of Diego Laynez, (Almazán, Spain, 1512 - January 1565).

His successes during the period 1565-1572 have caused historians to describe Francis as the greatest General after Saint Ignatius. He founded the Collegium Romanum, which was to become the Gregorian University, dispatched missionaries to distant corners of the globe, advised kings and popes, and closely supervised all the affairs of the rapidly expanding order. Yet, despite the great power of his office, Francis led a humble life, and was widely regarded in his own lifetime as a saint.


Francis Borgia died on 30 September 1572, in Rome. He was beatified in Madrid on 23 November 1624, by Pope Gregory XV. He was canonized nearly 35 years later on 20 June 1670, by Pope Clement X. His liturgical feast was inserted into the Roman Catholic calendar of saints in 1688 for celebration on 10 October, the date then free from other celebrations that was closest to that of his death. Owing to the limited importance of his feast worldwide, his commemoration was removed in 1969 from the General Roman Calendar, but kept in the Roman Martyrology for celebration on his dies natalis (his birth into Heaven), 30 September. Some traditionalist Catholics continue to observe pre-1970 calendars.


  • Juan de Borja y Castro
  • Tomás de Borja y Castro
  • Gaspar de Borja y Velasco
He is an ancestor of almost all the royal houses of Europe, particularly the South and West, as the ancestor of Doña Luisa de Guzman, the wife of King John IV of Portugal.


  1. ^ Patron Saints Index: Saint Francis Borgia
  2. ^ "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 142
  3. ^ "Martyrologium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)


Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


Today Snippet: Catalonia, Spain

Territory of Catalonia Spain
Catalonia (Spanish: Cataluña [kataˈluɲa]; Occitan: Catalonha [kataˈluɲɔ]) is an autonomous community of Spain, with the official status of a "nationality". Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the center of one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an official population of 7,535,251.

It comprises the larger part of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia, with the remainder of the historic Catalan region now part of southern France. Catalonia borders France and Andorra to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the east (580 km coastline). The neighbouring Spanish regions of Aragon and the Valencian Community lie to the west and south respectively. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and Aranese (Occitan); Catalan Sign Language is also officially recognized.


The name Catalunya (Catalonia) began to be used in the late 11th century in reference to the group of counties that comprised the Marca Hispanica. The origin of the term is subject to diverse interpretations. A theory suggests that Catalunya derives from the term "Land of Castles", having evolved from the term castlà, the ruler of a castle (see castellan). This theory therefore suggests that the names Castile and Catalonia have the same etymology. Another theory suggests that Catalunya (Latin Gathia Launia) derives from the name Gothia (or Gauthia), "Land of the Goths", since the Spanish March was first known as Gothia, whence Gothland > Gothlandia > Gothalania > Catalonia theoretically derived. Another theory points to the source as an indigenous name, of Celtic origin, meaning "chiefs of battle. Yet another less accepted theory points to the Lacetani, an Iberian tribe that lived in the area and whose name, due to the Roman influence, could have evolved by metathesis to Katelans and then Catalans.


Ancient Aquaducts
Like some other parts in the rest of the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Catalonia was colonised by Ancient Greeks, who settled around the Roses area. Both Greeks and Carthaginians (who, in the course of the Second Punic War, briefly ruled the territory) interacted with the main Iberian substratum. After the Carthaginian defeat by Rome, it became, along with the rest of Hispania, part of the Roman Empire, Tarraco being one of the main Roman posts in the Iberian Peninsula.

Catalonia then came under Visigothic rule for four centuries after Rome's collapse. In the 8th century, it came under Moorish Al-Andalus control. Still, after the defeat of Emir Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi's troops at Tours in 732, the Franks conquered former Visigoth states which had been captured by the Muslims or had become allied with them in what today is the northernmost part of Catalonia. Charlemagne created in 795 what came to be known as the Marca Hispanica, a buffer zone beyond the province of Septimania made up of locally administered separate petty kingdoms which served as a defensive barrier between the Umayyad Moors of Al-Andalus and the Frankish Kingdom.
The Catalan culture started to develop during the Middle Ages in a number of these petty kingdoms organised as small counties throughout the northernmost part of Catalonia. The counts of Barcelona were Frankish vassals nominated by the emperor and then the king of France, to whom they were feudatories (801–987).

In 987 the count of Barcelona did not recognise the French king Hugh Capet and his new dynasty, which put Catalonia effectively beyond Frankish rule. In 1137, Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona married Queen Petronilla of Aragon, establishing the dynastic union of the County of Barcelona with the Kingdom of Aragon that was to create the Crown of Aragon.

It was not until 1258, by means of the Treaty of Corbeil, that the king of France formally relinquished his feudal lordship over the counties of the Principality of Catalonia to the king of Aragon James I, descendant of Ramon Berenguer IV. This Treaty transformed the region's de facto autonomy into a de jure direct Aragonese rule. As part of the Crown of Aragon, Catalonia became a maritime power, helping expand the Crown by trade and conquest into the Kingdom of Valencia, the Balearic Islands, and ultimately even Sardinia, Sicily, Corsica, Naples, Athens.

Aragon had been very severely hit by the Black Death and by continuing outbreaks of plague. According to John Huxtable Elliott, "Between 1347 and 1497 the Principality had lost 37% of its inhabitants, and was reduced to a population of something like 300,000." In 1410, King Martin I died without surviving descendants. As a result, by the Pact of Caspe, Ferdinand of Antequera from the Castilian dynasty of Trastámara received the Crown of Aragon as Ferdinand I of Aragon. His grandson, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, and Queen Isabella I of Castile married in 1469, becoming the Catholic Monarchs; subsequently, this event was seen as the dawn of the Kingdom of Spain. At that point, though united by marriage, the Crowns of Castile and Aragon maintained distinct territories, each keeping its own traditional institutions, Parliaments, and laws. Castile commissioned the expeditions to the Americas, and benefited from the colonial riches. Political power had shifted away from Aragon toward Castile and, subsequently, from Castile to the unified Spanish Empire.

By virtue of descent from his maternal grandparents, Ferdinand II and Isabella I, in 1516 Charles I (Carlos I) became the first king to rule Castile-León and Aragon simultaneously in his own right. Following the death of his paternal (Habsburg) grandfather, Maximilian I, he was also elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1519 as Charles V 

For an extended period, Catalonia, as part of the former Crown of Aragon, continued to retain its own usages and laws, but these gradually eroded in the course of the transition from feudalism to a modern state, fueled by the kings' struggle to have more centralized territories. Over the next few centuries, Catalonia was generally on the losing side of a series of local conflicts that led steadily to more centralization of power in Spain, like the Reapers' War (1640–52). In 1659 the Spanish Crown offered the Roussillon territory to the Kingdom of France. Now this territory is the Department of Pyrénées-Orientales, and also is named Northern Catalonia (Catalunya Nord).

The most significant conflict was the War of the Spanish Succession, which began when Charles II of Spain (the last Spanish Habsburg) died without a direct heir in 1700. Catalonia, like the other territories that had formed the Crown of Aragon in the Middle Ages, mostly rose up in support of the Habsburg pretender Charles VI of Valencia Holy Roman Emperor, while the rest of Spain mostly adhered to the French Bourbon claimant, Philip V.

Following the fall of Barcelona on 11 September 1714, the "special status" of the territories belonging to the former Crown of Aragon and its institutions was abolished by the Nueva Planta decrees, under which all its lands were incorporated to the Crown of Castile as provinces, within a united Spanish administration, as Spain moved towards a centralised government under the new Bourbon dynasty.

In the latter half of the 19th century, Catalonia became an industrial center; to this day it remains one of the most industrialised parts of Spain. In the first third of the 20th century, Catalonia gained and lost varying degrees of autonomy several times, receiving its first statute of autonomy during the Second Spanish Republic (1931). This period was marked by political unrest and the preeminence of the Anarchists during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). The Anarchists had been active throughout the early 20th century, achieving the first eight-hour workday in the world in 1919.

After the defeat of the Republic in the civil war, which brought General Francisco Franco to power, his regime suppressed any kind of public activities associated with Catalan nationalism, Anarchism, Socialism, Democracy or Communism, including the publication of books on those subjects or simply discussion of them in open meetings. As part of this suppression, the use of Catalan in government-run institutions and during public events was banned. The President of Catalonia at the time, Lluís Companys, was tortured and executed for the crime of 'military rebellion' by the Franco regime.

During later stages of the Franco regime, certain folkloric and religious celebrations in Catalan resumed and were tolerated. Use of Catalan in the mass media had been forbidden, but was permitted from the early 1950s in the theatre. Publishing in Catalan continued throughout the dictatorship.

After Franco's death (1975) and with the adoption of a democratic Spanish Constitution (1978), Catalonia recovered political and cultural autonomy. Today, Catalonia is one of the most economically dynamic regions of Spain. The Catalan capital and largest city, Barcelona, is a major international cultural centre and a major tourist destination.



The climate of Catalonia is diverse. The populated areas lying by the coast in Tarragona, Barcelona and Girona provinces feature a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa). The inland part (including the Lleida province and the inner part of Barcelona province) show a mostly continental Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa). The Pyrenean peaks have a mountain (Köppen H) or even Alpine climate (Köppen ET) at the highest summits, while the valleys have a maritime or oceanic climate sub-type (Köppen Cfb).

In the Mediterranean area, summers are dry and hot with sea breezes, and the maximum temperature is around 26-31 °C. Winter is cool or slightly cold depending on the location. It snows frequently in the Pyrenees, and it occasionally snows at lower altitudes, even by the coastline. Spring and autumn are typically the rainiest seasons, except for the Pyrenean valleys, where summer is typically stormy.

The inland part of Catalonia is hotter and drier in summer. Temperature may reach 35 °C, some days even 40 °C. Nights are cooler there than at the coast, with the temperature of around 14-16 °C. Fog is not uncommon in valleys and plains; it can be especially persistent, with freezing drizzle episodes and subzero temperatures during winter, along the Segre and in other river valleys.


Symbols of Catalonia

Catalonia has its own representative and distinctive symbols such as:

  • The flag of Catalonia, called La Senyera, is a vexillological symbol based on the heraldic emblem of Counts of Barcelona and the coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon, which consists of four red stripes on a golden background. It is an official symbol since the Statute of Catalonia of 1932.
  • The National Day of Catalonia is on the Eleventh of September, and it is commonly called La Diada. It commemorates the 1714 Siege of Barcelona defeat during the War of the Spanish Succession.
  • The anthem of Catalonia is Els Segadors and was written in its present form by Emili Guanyavents in 1899. The song is official by law from 25 February 1993. It is based on the events of 1639 and 1640 during the Catalan Revolt.
    • St George's Day (Catalan: La Diada de Sant Jordi) is widely celebrated in all the towns of Catalonia on 23 April, and includes an exchange of books and roses.


UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Catalonia

Dali Museum
There are several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Catalonia:
  • Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco, Tarragona
  • Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí, Lleida province
  • Poblet Monastery, Poblet, Tarragona province
  • Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona
  • Works of Antoni Gaudí:
    • Sagrada Família, Barcelona
    • Parc Güell, Barcelona
    • Palau Güell, Barcelona
    • Casa Milà (La Pedrera), Barcelona


Popular culture

Castells are one of the main manifestations of Catalan popular culture. The activity consists in constructing human towers by competing colles castelleres (teams). This practice originated in the southern part of Catalonia during the 18th century.

The sardana is the most characteristic Catalan popular dance, other groups also practice Ball de bastons, moixiganga, galops or jota in the southern part. Musically, the Havaneres are also characteristic in some marine localities of the Costa Brava especially during the summer months when these songs are sung outdoors accompanied by a cremat of burned rum. Other music styles are Catalan rumba, Catalan rock and Nova Cançó.

In the greater celebrations other elements of the Catalan popular culture are usually present: the parades of gegants (giants) and correfocs of devils and firecrackers. Another traditional celebration in Catalonia is La Patum de Berga declared Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 25 November 2005.

In addition to traditional local Catalan culture, traditions from other parts of Spain can be found as a result of migration from other regions. On July 28, 2010, Catalonia became the second Spanish territory, after the Canary Islands, to forbid bullfighting. The ban, which went into effect on January 1, 2012, had originated in a popular petition supported by over 180,000 signatures.


    • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.