Lesser Known…

To begin we have to talk about the historic event that took place on Saturday as American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes capturing the Triple Crown as well. The first time that has happened in 37 years and he won it with a gate to wire winning by 5 1/2 lengths. If you haven’t seen it watch the race it is bound in multiple places online.

World Oceans Day: June 8 we celebrate World Oceans Day another one of the UN days, but this one is better than the Language Days from last week as this is a day that effects everyone. The Oceans are a huge part of our lives even if we are landlocked as so much depends upon the oceans. World Oceans Day is a day that we celebrate the oceans and all that comes from it. This year the theme is “Healthy oceans, healthy planet” and this year they are making an effort to stop plastic pollution. There is an ocean cleaning thing that a 20-Year-Old came up with that might work cleaning up the ocean but it is a grand idea to remove trash from the ocean perhaps one day the Ocean gyres will be trash less, which seems like a novel idea.

Loving Day: June 12 is the day which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on Loving v. Virginia in 1967. The Court struck down the anti-miscegenation laws remaining in the United States citing that “There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause.” This is the largest multiracial celebration in the United States and there are people pushing Barack Obama to make this a national holiday. The Loving’s were a mixed race couple a black woman and white man who had gotten married in Washington DC and were unaware that in Virginia interracial marriage was illegal.

Ephrem the Syrian (ca. 306 – 373)
Ephrem is a Doctor of the Church and I talked about him last year.

Olivia of Palermo (Palermo, 448 – Tunis, 10 June 463)
From what we know of her life from her hagiography, Olivia was born to a noble Sicilian family and she devoted herself to the Lord. The stories say that she declined the riches and honor of her family and loved to give to the poor. Sicily was conquered by Vandals when she was young and  around the age of 13 she would go to the imprisoned Christians to tell them to stay faithful. Olivia’s steadfast nature impressed the Vandals so much that they sent he to Tunisia to get rid of her. In Tunis she became a miracle worker and began to convert pagans. The governor wasn’t that happy with this so he sent Olivia off to live as a hermitess with the hopes that wild animals would eat her, but the animals lived around her in peace and harmony. One day when some men from Tunis were off hunting they stumbled upon Olivia and they were caught in her beauty and tried to abuse her. This didn’t happen as Olivia converted them and the hunting party was baptized. When news of this came back to the governor he wasn’t happy with this and had Olivia arrested and brought back to the city to try to make her renounce the Lord. This didn’t work they scourged her and stripped her and placed her in a vat of boiling oil but no harm came to her and she didn’t renounce her faith. Finally she was beheaded and according to lore her soul flew up to heaven in the form of a dove.  The interesting life of Olivia doesn’t end there as the Al-Zaytuna Mosque in Tunis the home of the Univeristy of Ez-Zitouna is supposedly build over the site of Olivia’s grave at an earlier Christian basilica and according to superstition if the bones of Olivia are recovered Islam will end or rather the dominion of their religion will end when Olivia’s body disappears.  I think that this is a unique story as I’ve never heard of Christians and Muslims honoring the same individual.




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