This week is full of interesting days first off is the beginning of Floralia, an ancient Roman festival in honor of Flora (goddess of flowers, youth, and spring) it was a spring festival and lasted five days with ample nudity. The real reason they are being mentioned is that in 30 AD as part of the entertainment was an elephant walking on a tightrope. This sounds like the coolest thing ever witnessed, sure I know that the rope was most likely a little over a foot off the ground but in my mind I pictured an elephant on the high wire at like the circus.
On the April 29 in Japan it is Shōwa Day which used to celebrate the Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito)’s birthday but has turned into a day to reflect on his reign. It also marks the beginning of Golden Week a week in which several holidays are celebrated. It would be interesting if this is what President’s day in the United States were something like this, instead of a day that really has no meaning.
Clement Sheptytsky, MSU ( 17 November 1869 – 1 May 1951)
Klymentiy or Clement was born near Lviv and lived in the eastern part of Poland. He began his education at home and in 1892 he earned a doctor of law at Jagiellionian
University in Krakow the very same university that Karol Wojtyla later John Paul II would attend. Clement would then take some time and care for his elderly parents before embarking into Politics. Clement was elected to the Austrian Parliament in 1900 and when it dissolved in 1907 he left politics and decided to become a monk. In 1913 he was ordained a priest in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (an Eastern Catholic Church), and the communists were not too happy about this. By the time World War II rolled along Clement was the exarch of Russia. and was an important figure in helping rescue many Jews as the Nazi persecution against them began for this Clement is one of the Righteous among the nations. After the war the Soviets returned and after the Metropolitan of Moscow was arrested it was Clement who was the highest ranking member of the church. In 1947 Clement was arrested as well and he would eventually die in prison. John Paul II beatified Clement in 2001 during a trip to the Ukraine.
This week we also celebrate International Jazz Day, it’s on April 30. If you have the chance listen to some Jazz music this week and if you say you don’t like jazz perhaps try some jazz fusion or one of the many genres of Jazz, or maybe Radiohead is more your style.