Lesser Known…

First off, some historic news American Pharoah is the first horse ever to win the Thoroughbred Racing Grand Slam or that’s what NBC has been calling it. In previous years before the Breeders’ Cup existed there were previous races like the Marlboro Cup Invitational which ran between ’73 and ’87 which could be considered a predecessor to the Breeders’ Cup since it was the year end championship race or there is the Jockey Club Gold Cup which is one of the win and you’re in races for the Breeders’ Cup. If we use these as equivalents there has been several Grand Slams in horse racing, since the last time we had a Triple Crown the Breeders’ Cup did not exist. Secretariat would have been the last horse to accomplish a Grand Slam back in 1973.

Our Lady of Kazan:
This is an icon of Mary which according to tradition was discovered on 8 July 1579, by a little girl who had been instructed by the Theotokos in an Marian Apparition in Kazan. The invocations/prayers of Russian commanders before this icon is believed to have helped repel the Polish invasion of 1612, the Swedish invasion of 1709 and Napoleon’s invasion in 1812. In 1904, the icon was stolen from the church in Kazan and perhaps destroyed, the thieves wanted the bejeweled gold frame. The icon was sort of a talisman for the Russian people as according to the Orthodox Church as they saw the disappearance of the icon as a sign of tragedies that would plague Russia after the image of the Holy Protectress of Russia had been lost. In the 70s it was believed that an original was obtained by Fatima. Pope John Paul II was given the icon in 1993 and he prayed before it for the next eleven years. It was returned to Russia in 2004 and put back in Kazan on one of its feast day 21 July 2005.



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