Feast Day of St Rita of Cascia – May 22 — May 22, 2020

Feast Day of St Rita of Cascia – May 22

Today on May 22, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Rita of Cascia, who the late John Paul II called “a disciple of the Crucified One” and an “expert in suffering.”

Known in Spain as “La Santa de los impossibiles” (the saint of the impossible), St. Rita has become immensely popular throughout the centuries. She is invoked by people in all situations and stations of life, since she had embraced suffering with charity and wrongs with forgiveness in the many trials she experienced in her life: as a wife, widow, a mother surviving the death of her children, and a nun.

Rita was born in the year 1381 in the village of Roccaporena, near Cascia , Italy . Her parents, Antonio and Amata Lotti, considered her birth a very special gift from God, for Rita was born to them as they were already advancing in age. As a young girl Rita frequently visited the convent of the Augustinian Nuns in Cascia and dreamed of one day joining their community. Her parents, however, had promised her in marriage, according to the custom of the day, to Paolo Mancini, a good man of strong and impetuous character. Rita accepted her parents’ decision, resolved to see this as God’s will for her.

After Rita’s husband died, she joined an Augustinian community of religious sisters, where she was known both for practicing mortification of the flesh and for the efficacy of her prayers.

At the age of thirty-six Rita pledged to follow the ancient Rule of Saint Augustine. For the next forty years she gave herself wholeheartedly to prayer and works of charity, striving especially to preserve peace and harmony among the citizens of Cascia. With a pure love she wanted more and more to be intimately joined to the redemptive suffering of Jesus, and this desire of hers was satisfied in an extraordinary way. One day when she was about sixty years of age, she was meditating before an image of Christ crucified, as she was long accustomed to doing. Suddenly a small wound appeared on her forehead, as though a thorn from the crown that encircled Christ’s head had loosed itself and penetrated her own flesh.

For the next fifteen years she bore this external sign of stigmatization and union with the Lord. In spite of the pain she constantly experienced, she offered herself courageously for the physical and spiritual well being of others. During the last four years of her life Rita was confined to bed and was able to eat so little that she was practically sustained on the Eucharist alone. She was, nevertheless, an inspiration to her sisters in religion and to all who came to visit her, by her patience and joyful disposition despite her great suffering.

One of those who visited her some few months before her death — a relative from her hometown of Roccaporena — was privileged to witness firsthand the extraordinary things wrought by Rita’s requests. When asked whether she had any special desires, Rita asked only that a rose from the garden of her parents’ home be brought to her. It was a small favor to ask, but quite an impossible one to grant in the month of January! Nevertheless, on returning home the woman discovered, to her amazement, a single brightly-colored blossom on the bush where the nun said it would be. Picking it, she returned immediately to the monastery and presented it to Rita who gave thanks to God for this sign of love. Thus, the saint of the thorn became the saint of the rose, and she whose impossible requests were granted her became the advocate of all those whose own requests seem impossible as well. As she breathed her last, Rita’s final words to the sisters who gathered around her were, “Remain in the holy love of Jesus. Remain in obedience to the holy Roman Church. Remain in peace and fraternal charity.”

Various miracles are attributed to her intercession, and she is often portrayed with a bleeding wound on her forehead, which is understood to indicate a partial stigmata.

Pope Leo XIII canonised Rita on 24 May 1900. Her feast day is celebrated on 22nd May. At her canonisation ceremony she was bestowed the title of Patroness of Impossible Causes, while in many Catholic countries, Rita came to be known as the patroness of abused wives and heartbroken women. Her incorrupt body remains in the Basilica of Santa Rita da Cascia.

Inspirational —
Know your Breed – Welsh Corgis — May 21, 2020

Know your Breed – Welsh Corgis

Originally bred to herd cattle, sheep, and horses, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an active and intelligent dog breed. Welsh Corgis come in two varieties: the Pembroke and the Cardigan. They were registered as one breed by the Kennel Club in the U.K. until 1934, although many breeders believe the two breeds developed separately. Both have similar heads, bodies, levels of intelligence and herding ability, but the Cardigan is slightly larger and heavier boned than the Pembroke.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis (also called Pembrokes, PWCs or Pems) are the smallest of the American Kennel Club’s Herding Group. Their coats can be red, sable, fawn or tri-coloured (red, black and tan), usually with white markings on the legs, chest, neck, muzzle and belly. They also may have a narrow blaze on their heads. Pembroke heads are shaped much like the head of a fox. Their eyes are oval-shaped and dark, and their ears are erect.

It is believed that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is descended from Vallhunds, Swedish cattle dogs that were brought to Wales by the Vikings in the 9th and 10th centuries. Others think they may have been descended from dogs that were brought to Wales by Flemish weavers in the 12th century.

Pembrokes have slowly gained in popularity in the U.S., and today, are among the top 50 most popular breeds for family pets. They’re also popular with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, who received her first Pembroke Welsh Corgi from her father King George VI in 1933.

Pembrokes are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events. Herding instincts and train-ability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Corgis, despite their dwarfism giving the illusion of small slow legs, can reach up to 25 mph if they are healthy and fit. This is because Corgis tend to use more upper body strength to run than most dogs, giving them enhanced abilities with such activities as agililty and herding and racing.

Don’t be Afraid – Brandon Heath —

Don’t be Afraid – Brandon Heath

Here is an inspiring song to listen to in these troubled times.

The song Don’t be Afraid by Brandon Heath, an American contemporary Christian musician, singer, and songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. The song is from his album Faith Hope Love Repeat, which was released on October 20, 2017.

The song is also available on Spotify:

Movie Time – Coco —

Movie Time – Coco

Coco is a 2017 American computer-animated fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on an original idea by Lee Unkrich, it is directed by him and co-directed by Adrian Molina. The film was scripted by Molina and Matthew Aldrich from a story by Unkrich, Jason Katz, Aldrich and Molina. Pixar began developing the animation in 2016; Unkrich and some of the film’s crew visited Mexico for research.

The concept for Coco is inspired by the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. The protagonist, Miguel, is a twelve-year-old boy in the fictional Mexican town of Santa Cecilia—named for the patron saint of musicians—and he is trying to get out from under the shadow of his great-great-grandfather, who left his family to pursue a career as a musician. His wife, the ferocious Mamá Imelda, was left to take care of their young daughter, Coco. She instituted a permanent household ban on music and started making shoes.

We meet Coco as an old woman. Her daughter, Miguel’s grandmother, now runs the family and its shoemaking business with an iron chancla. Earnest, sweet Miguel teaches himself to play the guitar in the attic, watching and re-watching tapes of the bygone star Ernesto de la Cruz. On the Day of the Dead, he accidentally shatters a framed photograph on the family ofrenda, then spots a hidden detail in the picture, one that makes him suspect that his wayward ancestor was in fact de la Cruz himself. He sprints to the town mausoleum, hoping to borrow de la Cruz’s guitar and prove the value of music to his family. Instead, the guitar turns Miguel invisible, and whisks him across a skybridge covered in thick, soft marigold petals that glow like lava. He falls to his knees in the petals, and then looks up to see a grand floating metropolis, confetti-colored in the darkness: the Land of the Dead.

The rest of the movie are mostly set in this city of jubilant sugar-skull skeletons, where you exist only as long as you are remembered by the living. It is believed that you can cross over to the living world on the Day of the Dead, but only if your photo is on display. Miguel joins up with a raggedy show-biz hustler named Héctor, who’s desperate to get his picture back up on an ofrenda, and who says he can bring Miguel to de la Cruz. Héctor lives in a waterfront shantytown filled with people who are about to be forgotten; at one point, he begs a guitar for Miguel off an ill-tempered cowboy named Chicharrón, who vanishes as soon as Héctor finishes singing an old dirty song.

Eventually, Miguel realizes that Héctor is his real ancestor, and the movie sprints to a conclusion that’s as skillfully engineered to produce waterworks as the montage at the beginning of “Up.” But until the end, “Coco” is mostly, wonderfully, a mess of conflict and disappointment and sadness. Héctor seems to have failed everyone who takes a chance on him. Miguel’s face, painted in skeleton camouflage, often droops as if he were a sad little black-and-white dog. “Coco” is animated by sweetness, but this sweetness is subterranean, bursting through mostly in tiny details: the way that both Mamá Imelda and Miguel’s grandmother brandish shoes when they’re angry; or how the daffy Xolo dog that accompanies Miguel on his adventure is named Dante; or how the skeletons return to their city through the Day of the Dead’s efficient, declaring the churros and beer that their families gave them for their journey home.

It is Pixar’s nineteenth movie, but its first with a non-white protagonist; Lee Unkrich, the director and creator of the initial story, is white. The movie’s working title was “Día de los Muertos,”. But Unkrich and his team approached their subject with openness and collaborative humility. It grossed more than eight hundred million dollars worldwide, won two Oscars, and became the biggest blockbuster in Mexican history.

Coco premiered on October 20, 2017, during the Morelia International Film Festival in Morelia, Mexico. The film was praised for its animation, voice acting, music, emotional story, and respect for Mexican culture. The film won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, “Remember Me”.

Inspirational —
Feast day of St Christopher Magallanes – May 21 —

Feast day of St Christopher Magallanes – May 21

Christopher Magallanes was born in 1869 in the province of Guadalajara, Mexico, of devout parents who were poor farmers. As a youth, he worked as a shepherd, but felt called to be a shepherd of souls. He entered the seminary at nineteen and was ordained at the age of thirty.

He worked as a parish priest in his hometown of Totatiche for two decades, and there also opened a carpentry business to help provide jobs for the local men.

Christopher Magallanes lived under a very anti-Catholic government in Mexico, one determined to weaken the Catholic faith of its people. Churches, schools, and seminaries were closed; foreign clergy were expelled. Christopher Magallanes established a clandestine seminary at Totatiche, Jalisco. He and the other priests were forced to minister secretly to Catholics during the presidency of Plutarco Calles (1924-28).

When, in the first decades of the twentieth century, the atheistic Mexican government launched a merciless persecution of the Catholic Church, a new constitution banned the training of priests.

Fr. Christopher was arrested on his way to say Mass, imprisoned and condemned to be shot without trial.

Christopher Magallanes shares his feast with 21 other priests and three laymen martyred between 1915 and 1937.

His last words were, “I die innocent, and ask God that my blood may serve to unite my Mexican brethren.”

He was canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 21, 2000.

Motivational Talks -Bishop Fulton. J. Sheen — May 20, 2020

Motivational Talks -Bishop Fulton. J. Sheen

Fulton. J. Sheen, or Fulton John Sheen, also called Bishop Fulton Sheen or Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, American religious leader, evangelist, writer, Roman Catholic priest, and radio and television personality.

Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919, Sheen quickly became a renowned theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923.

In 1920, he came to The Catholic University of America to continue his studies. He stayed only a year before leaving to pursue advanced study in philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. Five years later, he returned to Catholic University to teach.

For the next 23 years, Catholic University was where Father Sheen honed his skills as a scholar, educator, orator and evangelist. He worked, first in the School of Theology and Religious Studies, then in the School of Philosophy, teaching courses that touched on both of those disciplines, including “Philosophy of Religion,” “God and Society,” and “God and Modern Philosophy.” Students – and untold numbers of visitors – crowded into Room 112 McMahon Hall to hear his lectures.

Father Sheen’s talents as a preacher did not go unnoticed even in his early years. In January of 1927, at age 30 and still in his first year of teaching at CUA, he was selected to preach at the annual University Mass on the patronal feast of St. Thomas Aquinas. A decade later, it was Monsignor Sheen, not a high-ranking administrator, who was the principal speaker at the University’s Sesquicentennial Celebration.

Steadily the reputation of the young CUA professor grew, first on campus, then in wider circles as his brilliant oratory attracted more attention from the media. Father Sheen’s first experience in broadcasting was in 1926 when he was invited to record a series of Sunday evening Lenten sermons on a New York radio station. Four years later, the young priest was asked to be a summer fill-in for two weeks on The Catholic Hour radio program. The audience response was so positive that he was asked to continue as a weekly speaker on the show.

For 20 years as Father Sheen, later Monsignor, he hosted the night-time radio program The Catholic Hour on NBC (1930–1950) before moving to television and presenting Life Is Worth Living (1952–1957). Sheen’s final presenting role was on the syndicated The Fulton Sheen Program (1961–1968) with a format very similar to that of the earlier Life is Worth Living show. For this work, Sheen twice won an Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Television Personality, and was featured on the cover of Time Magazine. Starting in 2009, his shows were being re-broadcast on the EWTN and the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Church Channel cable networks. Due to his contribution to televised preaching, Sheen is often referred to as one of the first televangelists.

From 1961 to 1969 he hosted another popular television show, The Bishop Fulton Sheen Show. He published 34 books during his 23-year teaching career at Catholic University and another 32 after he left the University. In addition, transcripts of his weekly radio talks were published in dozens of booklets by the show’s sponsor the National Council of Catholic Men. Many of his other talks and sermons were published as pamphlets. He also was a syndicated columnist in the secular press.

He was consecrated a bishop on June 11, 1951. In the Fall of that year, he began his famous television series, Life is Worth Living. It was a tremendous success, eventually reaching an estimated 30 million viewers each week, which would make it the most widely-viewed religious series in the history of television. He won an Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Television Personality, was featured on the cover of Time Magazine, and became one of the most influential Catholics of the 20th century.

The following video is a Radio Broadcast of Father Sheen, originally aired on March 1, 1942.  The broadcast was a part of the Sheen’s series “Peace” and the talk is entitled “Peace: Spectators and Actors in the Drama of the Cross.” Sheen appeared on The Catholic Hour from 1930-1952 usually in the winter and early spring of each year the Lenten season.

Inspirational —
Feast day of St. Bernardine of Siena-May 20 —

Feast day of St. Bernardine of Siena-May 20

The Catholic Church honors St. Bernardine of Siena on May 20. A Franciscan friar and preacher, St. Bernardine is known as “the Apostle of Italy” for his efforts to revive the country’s Catholic faith during the 15th century.

Bernardine Albizeschi was born to upper-class parents in the Italian republic of Siena during 1380. Misfortune soon entered the boy’s life when he lost his mother at age three and his father four years later. His aunt Diana cared for him afterward, and taught him to seek consolation and security by trusting in God.

He was the greatest preacher of his time, journeying across Italy, calming strife-torn cities, attacking the paganism he found rampant, attracting crowds of 30,000, following Saint Francis of Assisi’s admonition to preach about “vice and virtue, punishment and glory.”

When he was 20, the plague was at its height in his hometown of Siena. Sometimes as many as 20 people died in one day at the hospital. Bernardine offered to run the hospital and, with the help of other young men, nursed patients there for four months. Although the plague did not infect him, the exhausting work left him weak and he contracted a different sickness that kept him in bed for four months.

After recovering, he spent over a year caring for his aunt Bartholomaea before her death. Then the 22-year-old Bernardine moved to a small house outside the city, where he began to discern God’s will for his future through prayer and fasting.

At 22, he entered the Franciscan Order and was ordained two years later. For almost a dozen years he lived in solitude and prayer, but his gifts ultimately caused him to be sent to preach. He always traveled on foot, sometimes speaking for hours in one place, then doing the same in another town.

Bernardine’s personal devotion to God, which amazed even the strict Franciscans, made his preaching extremely effective. He moved his hearers to abandon their vices, turn back to God, and make peace with one another. He promoted devotion to the name of Jesus as a simple and effective means of recalling God’s love at all times.

Especially known for his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, Bernardine devised a symbol—IHS, the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek—in Gothic letters on a blazing sun. The devotion spread, and the symbol began to appear in churches, homes and public buildings. Opposition arose from those who thought it a dangerous innovation.

Later in his life, Bernardine served for five years as the Vicar General for his Franciscan order, and revived the practice of its strict rule of life. Then in 1444, forty years after he first entered religious life, Bernardine became sick while traveling. He continued to preach, but soon lost his strength and his voice.

St. Bernardine of Siena died on May 20, 1444. Only six years later, in 1450, Pope Nicholas V canonized him as a saint.

Related videos on the saint:-

Inspirational — May 19, 2020
Inspirational —
Feast day of Saint Pope Celestine V – May 19 —

Feast day of Saint Pope Celestine V – May 19

Pope Celestine V, born Pietro Angelerio, also known as Pietro da Morrone, Peter of Morrone, and Peter Celestine, was pope for five months from 5 July to 13 December 1294, when he resigned. He was also a monk and hermit who founded the order of the Celestines as a branch of the Benedictine order.

Celestine was in his eighties when he was elected pope on July 5, 1294. He accepted only because of the perilous situation of the church: the papacy had been vacant for two years. Though a holy man, he lacked administrative ability and considered the papacy a distraction from his ascetic struggle for salvation. He distrusted the cardinals and became dependent on King Charles II of Naples, with whose supporters he filled the Curia. Further, he favoured his own hermits and the Franciscan Spirituals, whom he permitted to secede from the main part of their order, a solution that was much later made permanent after long struggle.

After Cardinal Benedict Caetani became his successor as Boniface VIII, some claimed the resignation unlawful. Thus the majority of the cardinals found it advisable to keep Celestine under supervision, and he was not allowed to return to his hermitage. On the verge of escaping via the Adriatic Sea, he was captured and sent back to Boniface, who kept him interned in Fumone Castle, where he died.

Celestine was canonized on 5 May 1313 by Pope Clement V.

Rubik’s cube —

Rubik’s cube

We all know about the Rubik cube. Here are some lesser known facts:

  1. The first Rubik’s cube was sold in a Budapest toy shop in 1975.
  2. The puzzle is made up of twenty-six miniature cubes, known as “cubies” or “cubelets”.
  3. A Rubik’s Cube has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible configurations.
  4. With six coloured sides, 21 pieces and 54 outer surfaces, there’s a combined total of over 43 QUINTILLIOIN different possible configurations.
  5. If you turned Rubik’s Cube once every second it would take you 1400 TRILLION YEARS to finish to go through all the configurations
Book Shelf – Red Sorghum — May 18, 2020

Book Shelf – Red Sorghum

Mo Yan won the 2012 Nobel Prize in literature for the classic family novel Red Sorghum. Beginning in 1923 and ending in 1976, it follows three generations of the Shandong family, who begin as wine growers and eventually become resistance fighters. With its ground-level depiction of the Cultural Revolution and the changing relationship between China and Japan, it is widely seen as one of the great novels of China.

Iconic movies from China —
Famous people from China —

Famous people from China

  1. Jet Li

Born in Beijing, China, on April 26, 1963, Jet Li is an actor and martial artist. At the age of 11, Li won his first national championship in wushu. Li retired from the sport when he was 17 and made his film debut in Shaolin Temple, making him a star in his home country. Since 1994, he has gone back and forth between Chinese and English-language films, starring in Hollywood’s Romeo Must Die, Kiss of the Dragon and The Forbidden Kingdom.

Jet Li made his directional debut with the film “Born to Defence” in the year 1986. In 1998, Li landed his first English-language role, playing a bad guy in Lethal Weapon 4 with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.

Interested in charitable causes, Li serves as an ambassador for the Red Cross. He established the Jet Li One Foundation in partnership with the Red Cross Society of China. The organization works in several different areas, and provides disaster relief to the people of China.

2) Jack Ma

Jack Ma, or Ma Yun, is a Chinese business magnate, investor and politician. A former English teacher, Jack Ma cofounded Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest e-commerce businesses..

Ma is a global ambassador for Chinese business and is often listed as one of the world’s most powerful people, with Forbes ranking him 21st on its “World’s Most Powerful People” list.  In September 2018, he announced that he would retire from Alibaba and pursue educational work, philanthropy, and environmental causes.

During the coronavirus pandemic, his foundation donated millions of masks and other medical supplies to the U.S., Europe, and Africa.

The billionaire entrepreneur is the driving force behind a widespread operation to ship medical supplies to more than 150 countries so far, sending face masks and ventilators to many places that have been elbowed out of the global brawl over life-saving equipment.

3) Yao Ming

Yao Ming, was born on September 12, 1980, in Shanghai, China.

Yao was born to accomplished basketball-playing parents who each stood more than 6 feet (1.8 metres) tall. From an early age Yao towered over his classmates. By the time he was 12 years old, he was attending a local sports academy and practicing basketball several hours a day. In 1997 he joined the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). By the time he led the Chinese team to a respectable 10th-place finish at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Yao had become a national icon.

A broken foot injury made him retire from professional basketball in July 2011. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. The following year he became the president of the CBA, having served as president and owner of the CBA’s Shanghai Sharks franchise since 2009.

Yao’s impact on basketball culture extended far past his on-court accomplishments. He drew large crowds wherever the Rockets played, and Houston games were broadcast to huge audiences in China and other Asian countries. A media favourite, Yao was a pitchman for numerous companies and was the focus of the NBA’s efforts to popularize the league around the globe.

4) Zhang Ziyi

Zhang Ziyi born on 9 February 1979, is a Chinese actress and model. Her first major role was in The Road Home (1999). She later gained international recognition for her role in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards. Zhang has also appeared in Rush Hour 2 (2001), Hero (2002), and House of Flying Daggers (2004).

Her most critically acclaimed works are Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), which earned her nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama, the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role; and The Grandmaster (2013), for which she won 12 different Best Actress awards to become the most awarded Chinese actress for a single film.

From 2004 to 2010, Zhang ranked in the Top 5 of Forbes China Celebrity 100 list every year. In 2008, she was awarded with the Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Cinema award at the 11th Shanghai International Film Festival. In 2013, she received the French Cultural Order at the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

5) Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan, originally Chan Kong-sang, was born on April 7, 1954, in Hong Kong. It was Chan that helped to bring kung fu movies into the mainstream of American cinema. Chan was born to impoverished parents in Hong Kong. The family moved to Canberra, Australia, when Chan was six, but the following year his parents sent him back to Hong Kong to attend a strict boarding school that trained students for jingxi. From age 7 to 17 he studied acrobatics, singing, martial arts, and mime—skills that launched him into a position with a professional tumbling troupe and landed him bit roles as a child actor and, later, as a stuntman. The independent film producer Lo Wei, hoping to find a successor to the late Bruce Lee, cast him in a series of lacklustre kung fu movies in 1976–78. Rather than ape Lee’s gritty persona, in 1978 Chan utilized his own form of bumbling physical comedy in his first successful films, She xing diao shou (Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow) and Zui quan (Drunken Master). He then wrote and directed as well as starred in Xiao quan guai zhao (1979; The Fearless Hyena).

Chan retained complete creative control for Shi di chu ma (1980; The Young Master), his debut with the production company Golden Harvest, which he subsequently helped transform into Hong Kong’s largest movie conglomerate.

In 2016 Chan became the first Chinese actor to receive an honorary Academy Award, which recognized his “distinctive international career.”
He founded the Jackie Chan Charitable Organization in 1998.

Inspirational —
Movie Time- Maleficent —

Movie Time- Maleficent

Maleficent is a 2014 American fantasy film directed by Robert Stromberg from a screenplay by Linda Woolverton, and starring Angelina Jolie as the title character with Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville in supporting roles. Loosely inspired by Charles Perrault’s original fairy tale and Walt Disney’s 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty, the film portrays the story from the perspective of the eponymous antagonist, depicting her conflicted relationship with the princess and king of a corrupt kingdom.

Maleficent premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on May 28, 2014, and was released in the United Kingdom that same day. The film was released in the United States on May 30, 2014 in the Disney Digital 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D formats, as well as in conventional theaters. The movie was a commercial success, having grossed over $758 million worldwide, becoming the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2014 and the highest-grossing film starring Jolie. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design at the 87th Academy Awards.

Book Shelf- Scarlet Pimpernel —

Book Shelf- Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel is the first novel in a series of historical fiction by Baroness Orczy. It is a, romantic novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, produced as a play in 1903 and published in book form in 1905.It was written after her stage play of the same title enjoyed a long run in London, having opened in Nottingham in 1903.

The novel is set during the Reign of Terror following the start of the French Revolution. The title is the nom de guerre of its hero and protagonist, a chivalrous Englishman who rescues aristocrats before they are sent to the guillotine.

He is known by his symbol, a simple flower, the scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis). Marguerite Blakeney, his French wife, does not share his secret. She is approached by the new French envoy to England, Chauvelin, with a threat to her brother’s life if she does not aid in the search for the Pimpernel. She aids him, and then discovers that the Pimpernel is also very dear to her. She sails to France to stop the envoy.

Opening at the New Theatre in London’s West End on January 5, 1905, the play became a favourite of British audiences, eventually playing more than 2,000 performances and becoming one of the most popular shows staged in Britain.

The book is available on Amazon kindle.

Feast day of Saint Pope John 1-May 18 —

Feast day of Saint Pope John 1-May 18

St. Pope John I was the bishop of Rome from 13 August 523 to his death. He was a native of Siena (or the “Castello di Serena”, near Chiusdino), in Italy. He was sent on a diplomatic mission to Constantinople by the Ostrogoth King Theoderic to negotiate better treatment for Arians. Although relatively successful, upon his return to Ravenna, Theoderic had the Pope imprisoned for allegedly conspiring with Constantinople. The frail pope died of neglect and ill-treatment.

St. Pope John I is depicted in art as looking through the bars of a prison or imprisoned with a deacon and a sub deacon. He is venerated at Ravenna and in Tuscany. His feast day is 18 May, the anniversary of the day of his death.

Interesting facts about china —

Interesting facts about china

Population:- China is home to more than 1.43 billion people.

Capital:- Beijing

Name:- People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Government: Republic, communist state.

Languages: Mandarin or Standard Chinese (official language), while Cantonese (Yue) and Shanghainese (Wu) are among other most spoken languages.

Currency: 1 Renmimbi (Yuan) equals 100 Jiao.

Flag colors: Red with five golden stars.

National day: 1 October  – in 1949 the People’s Republic of China was formed.

National symbols: Dragon and giant Panda.

National colours: Red and Yellow.

National anthem: ‘March of the Volunteers’.

Bookshelf- Heidi — May 17, 2020

Bookshelf- Heidi

Heidi is a work of children’s fiction published in 1881 by Swiss author Johanna Spyri, originally published in two parts as Heidi: Her Years of Wandering and Learning and Heidi: How She Used What She Learned.

It is a novel about a little orphan Heidi who is sent to live with her grandfather in the Alps. Everyone in the village is afraid of him, but Heidi is fascinated by his long beard and bushy grey eyebrows. She loves her life in the mountains, playing in the sunshine and growing up amongst the goats and birds. But one terrible day, Heidi is collected by her aunt and is made to live with a new family in town.

Heidi is one of the best-selling books ever written and is among the best-known works of Swiss literature.

Originally written in German, Heidi was later translated into more than 50 languages.

Adaptations of Heidi included an English-language film (1937) starring Shirley Temple and a TV movie (1968) directed by Delbert Mann; the latter was perhaps best remembered in the United States because coverage of a National Football League game ended in order to air the movie, upsetting football fans.

The book is available on amazon kindle.

Inspirational —
Feast day of Saint Paschal Baylon- May 17 —

Feast day of Saint Paschal Baylon- May 17

Paschal Baylon OFM, was a Spanish Roman Catholic lay professed religious of the Order of Friars Minor. He served as a shepherd alongside his father in his childhood and adolescence, but desired to enter the religious life. He was refused once but later was admitted as a Franciscan lay brother and became noted for his strict austerities, as well as his love for and compassion towards the sick. He was sent to counter the arguments of the Calvinists in France but was chased out and nearly killed by a mob. He was best known for his strong and deep devotion to the Eucharist.

His piety drew people from all over seeking his counsel, and at his death caused miracles that were reported at his tomb. He was beatified in 1618; Pope Alexander VIII canonized him a saint on 16 October 1690.

Saint Paschal Baylon is the Patron Saint of:

Eucharistic Congresses, societies and shepherds.

Inspirational — May 16, 2020
Know your Breed – Samoyeds —

Know your Breed – Samoyeds

The Samoyed Is One of the World’s Oldest Dog Breeds

It is one of the 14 ancient dog breeds with genetic footprints closest to wolves. Samoyeds belong to the Spitz family of dogs, originating in Asia, and were bred by the Samoyede people of Siberia to pull sleds, herd reindeer, and hunt.

The Samoyed is a breed of large herding dogs with thick, white, double-layer coats. They are related to the laika, a spitz-type dog.

It takes its name from the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia. These nomadic reindeer herders bred the fluffy white dogs to help with herding.

Like all purebred dogs, Samoyeds are prone to certain health conditions, including glaucoma, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, diabetes, progressive retinal atrophy, subvalvular aortic stenosis, and cancer.

The Samoyed’s most remarkable feature is her gorgeous, thick white coat. Her eyes are almond-shaped and usually black or brown. Her ears are as furry as the rest of her and stand erect.

Another stunning feature of the Samoyed is her tail, which curls over the back. When feeling relaxed and comfortable, the tail normally falls.

Male Samoyeds stand from 21 to 24 inches tall, females 19 to 21 inches tall. The average weight for a Samoyed is 50 to 60 pounds.

Samoyeds typically have calm temperaments, so they do well around other dogs – especially if they are raised together from an early age.

They are known to live upto 12 to 15 years.

Also check out this link:-

Movie time – Lorenzo’s oil —

Movie time – Lorenzo’s oil

Lorenzo’s oil

Cast-Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Zack O’Malley Greenburg

Lorenzo’s Oil is a 1992 American drama film directed by George Miller. It is based on the true story of Augusto and Michaela Odone, two parents in a relentless search for a cure for their son Lorenzo’s adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD).

The movie is based on the real 1980s quest of the Odones, two parents seeking a treatment for Lorenzo, their 6-year-old son succumbing to the rare and devastating terminal nerve disease ALD. Finding a treatment required fighting the medical establishment, which in their eyes seemed more interested in saving scientific reputations than in saving suffering children. The movie ends on a hopeful note, as the treatment discovered by the Odones reversed some of Lorenzo’s symptoms.

The film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen at the WGA Awards.

Book shelf- Wrinkle in Time —

Book shelf- Wrinkle in Time

Today in book shelf, we are discussing a popular book A wrinkle in time by Madeleine L’Engle. The novel was originally published in 1962 and has even been awarded  the Newbery Medal, the Sequoyah Book Award, the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and was runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

The novel offers a glimpse into the war between light and darkness, and goodness and evil, as the young characters mature into adolescents on their journey. The novel wrestles with questions of spirituality and purpose, as the characters are often thrown into conflicts of love, divinity, and goodness. It is the first book in L’Engle’s Time Quintet, which follows the Murrys and Calvin O’Keefe, the main characters in the novel.

The book has inspired two film adaptations, both by Disney: a 2003 television film directed by John Kent Harrison, and a 2018 theatrical film directed by Ava DuVernay.

The book is available on amazon kindle.

Feast day of Saint Andrew Bobola May 16 —

Feast day of Saint Andrew Bobola May 16

Today we are celebrating the feast day of St. Andrew Bobola. He was born in 1591 into a noble family in the Sandomir Palatinate in the Province of Lesser Poland of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, then a constituent part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1611 he entered the Society of Jesus in Vilnius. He subsequently professed solemn vows and was ordained in 1622, after which he served for several years as an advisor, preacher, Superior of a Jesuit residence, and other jobs in various places.

From 1652 Bobola also worked as a country “missionary”, in various locations of Lithuania: these included Polotsk, where he was probably stationed in 1655, and also Pinsk, (both now in Belarus). On 16 May 1657, during the Khmelnytsky Uprising, he was captured in the village of Janów (now Ivanava, Belarus) by the Cossacks of Bohdan Chmielnicki and, after being subjected to a variety of tortures, killed.

You can read more by the following link:-


Book shelf – Ferdinand — May 14, 2020

Book shelf – Ferdinand

The story of Ferdinand is one of the best known works by the American author-Munro Leaf. It was originally published in 1936. The book tells the story of a bull who would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights. He sits in the middle of the bull ring failing to take heed of any of the provocations of the matador and others to fight.

The book was banned by both Adolf Hitler and Francisco Franco. Gandhi, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt admired it. The book’s publication — just months after the start of the Spanish Civil War — proved a boon to the sales of the book.

Published in 1936, the story of the peaceful, flower-sniffing bull written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson is considered a classic of American children’s literature and has never been out of print.

The story of Ferdinand was made into a movie called Ferdinand in 2017, as an American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox.

The book is available on amazon kindle.

Inspirational —
A simple, easy dessert —

A simple, easy dessert

Caramel pudding

Today in quick bites, we will be talking about an easy dessert idea for kids- Custard caramel pudding.

What we’ll be needing:-

  • 1 litre – milk
  • 2 – eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp – nutmeg powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp – vanilla essence
  • 4 tbsp – sugar, powdered
  • 2 tbsp – sugar for the caramel

How to go about it

1) Take a pudding mould and spread the sugar at the bottom.
2) Heat the mould so that the sugar melts and turns brown.
3) Shake the mould so that the melted sugar spreads all over.
4) Beat the eggs and the powdered sugar together until thick.
5) Boil milk in a pan and add the egg-sugar mixture, nutmeg powder and vanilla essence. Stir well.
6) Put the mixture to simmer until it thickens. Pour into the mould.
7) Bake for 30 minutes and refrigerate (Can also be covered with butter paper and steamed for 20 minutes).
8) Just before serving, turn the pudding over on a flat plate so that the caramel comes on top.

Now it is ready to serve and enjoy.

News from around the world —

News from around the world

1) Giant asian hornets have been found in Washington, according to scientists. Hornets are not just dangerous to humans, but also a threat to European honeybees.

2) April 25, was recently celebrated as World Penguin day.

3) April 22, is celebrated as Earth day, which was first started in 1970.

4)  Earth is shaking less

The corona pandemic and the subsequent lockdown worlwide, has resulted in a lot less activity on the planet’s surface. As a result of which , the earth is shaking much less.

5) Shimon the musical robot

Researchers from Georgis tech are working to improve a musical robot named Shimon.  Shimon plays music, writes the words to his own songs and sings them too.

Movie time – How to Train Your Dragon — May 13, 2020
Book Shelf- The Big Friendly Giant —

Book Shelf- The Big Friendly Giant

The book of the week, is The Big Friendly Giant by the british novelist Roald Dahl. The book was written in 1982 and even made into a movie by Walt Disney in 2016.

The story is an expansion of a short story from Dahl’s 1975 book-Danny, the Champion of the world. it is dedicated to his late daughter Olivia who died at the age of seven in 1962.

The book is available on amazon kindle.

Bucket List Dojo

Adventure is the Mission

Yamato Magazine

History, pop culture and art combine in a journal dedicated to the spirit of Japan.


Reflections of a spiritual being having a human experience

Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner

Life is an adventure - from camping in the Arctic to hunting for errant single socks to navigating the world of writing.

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