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January 9, 2015     Post-Gazette
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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 9, 2015 by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. Publica .... : by David TrumbuU R In 1815 We Took a Little Trip ... Hestia, sister to the mighty Zeus, was the Greek goddess of the hearth and the symbol of domestic tran- quility. She was the founder of the family unit, encour- aged the public worship of all gods, and being the abiding goddess of the household, never left Olympus. She was wooed by both Poseidon and Apollo, but took a vow of chastity, and because of this, Zeus honored her as the guardian of every household hearth. She was also re- membered at the beginning and at the end of every sac- rifice, and at every festive occasion. These feasts be- gan and ended with some kind of liquid toast to Hestia, and by so doing, she was per= mitted to share in the fes- tivities. In every prayer and solemn oath, her name was uttered before that of any other deity. Because of Hestia, the hearth became the center of family life, and also a place where fugitives or strangers found hospitality and asy- lum. As the household hearth formed the center of family life, there was usu- HESTIA ally a community building (pryteaneum} to keep alive the sacred fire in a hearth which became the center of civic life. This is where the city officials sacrificed to Hestia, held public discus- sions, and recognized de- serving citizens. It was also the place that hospitality received those who were seeking protection from the state, and even the source from which colonists took fire for the public hearth of their new settlement. Thus, the activities surrounding the hearth of Hestia became their religious center and a way of life for all Hellenic people. Hestia was considered, along with Zeus, as a guard- ian of the law of hospitality and of the oath. She was of- ten worshipped with Hermes (Mercury), who we know as the god of herds, commerce, travel, cunning, and as the messenger of the other gods. At times, both Hestia and Hermes were invoked to- gether. She as the goddess of domesticity and tranquility, and he as the god of the rest- less life on the public streets. Statues of Hestia Usually represented her with a firm but yet gentle expression. Either sitting or standing, but in all instances her at- titude was one of calm, and she was always shown fully clothed. The Roman coun- terpart to Hestia was called Vesta. Her temple housed the sacred fire which was considered to be the source of all Roman life and power. Next Week: Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth. Saint William of Bourges by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari William Berruyer, was born into the illustrious family of the ancient Counts of Nevers on October 19, 1155. He was educated by Peter the Her- mit, Archdeacon of Soissons, his maternal uncle. Early in life, Saint William expressed little interest in worldly things, finding them both frightening and threatening, he delighted in exercises of piety and his studies. William was made a canon, an ecclesiastic, attached to the cathedral church of Soissons and later Paris. In time, heI resolved to abandon the world and enter the Order of Grandmont. He lived in this order for a period of time and practiced great aus- terities. He then decided to join the recently founded but more austere Cistercian Order where he flourished and was chosen to be Prior of the Abbey of Pontigny, then made Abbot of Challis. On the death of Henri de Sully, Archbishop of Bourges, William was chosen to succeed him. The announcement overwhelmed him, he would not have accepted the office had not the Pope and his own Cistercian General, the Abbot of Citeaux, commanded him to do so. In assuming his new position he redoubled all his aus-terities, saying it was incumbent on him now to do penance for others as well as for himself. He always wore a hair shirt under his religious habit, and newer added to his cloth- ing in winter or diminished it in summer; he never ate meat, though he had it at his table for guests. William was instrumental in the construction of the Gothic Cathedral of Saint Stephen in Bourges, begun under his predecessor, Henry de Sully, in 1195. He set out quickly to complete the lower half of the cathedral and by December 1208, the choir was partially finished, at which time he was able to celebrate the Christmas liturgy in the nearly completed edifice. He was preparing for a mission among the Albigen-sians when he died kneel- ing at prayer in 1209. In his last will and testament he requested to be buried with his hair shirt and on a bed of ashes, symbolic of the austere and penitential life he lived. He was canonized on May 17, 1218 by Pope Honorius Ill. Saint William is the patron saint of the University of Paris. His feast day is commemorated on January i0th. Special thanks to "Taste of the North End" for his many years of supporting the youth of the North End, most especially the NORTH END CHRISTMAS PARADE Thank you very much, North End Athletic Association Serving the Community for Over 60 Years Better late than never, today's column celebrates an event that OCCUlTed 200 years ago yesterday. The governor shall annually.., issue a proclamation set- ting apart January eighth as New Orleans Day... to the end that the memory of the services of the soldiers and sailors of the war of eighteen hundred and twelve, and the lessons to be learned from the successes and failures of our arms in that war, may be perpetuated. General Laws Part i Title II Chapter 6 Section 12F For many Americans of my age the strongest association with the January 8, 1815, Battle of New Orleans is the song of the same title which, as performed by Johnny Horton, was the Grammy Award "Song of the Year" in 1960 The song was written by Jimmy Driftwood (June 20, 1907- July 12, 1998), who based the melody on a traditional Ameri- can fiddle tune, "The 8th of January." One of the great American popular songs of my youth aside, quite a lot came out of the War of 1812, sometimes called the "Second War of Independence." The Revolutionary War (April 19, 1775 to September 3, 1783) ended with the King of Great Britain acknowledging, in the Treaty of Paris, the independence that the United States had asserted on July 4, 1776. The War of 1812 ended foreign interference with Americans on the seas and also ended British support of American Indians seeking to limit westward expansion of the young nation. The Battle of Baltimore and the defense of Fort McHenry (September 12-15, 1814) was an important American vic- tory and the inspiration for Francis Scott Key to pen the "Star Spangle Banner," which, set to the tune 'To Anacreon in Heaven," was a popular unofficial national hymn well before congress, in 1931, made it our official National Anthem. The "i'reaty of Ghent, which ended the'War of 1812, in its Tenth Article stated that: "Whereas the Traffic in Slaves is irreconcilable with the principles of humanity and Justice, and whereas both His Majesty and the United States are desirous of continuing their efforts to promote its entire abolition, it is hereby agreed that both the contracting parties shall use their best endeavors to accomplish so desirable an obdect." The United Kingdom and the United States both, in 1807, had, by law, aboliShed the slave trade. The American law took effect on January 1, 1808, the earliest date possible under Article I Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. law called for forfeiture of property and monetary fines. Following the Treaty of Ghent, congress strengthened the law to make the importation of slaves punishable by death. Having twice fought for our liberty, Americans were more and more awakening to the evils of slavery. If most of us remember from school anything of the Battle of New Orleans, it is that the Treaty of Ghent ending the war was signed on December 24, 1814, but the sailing ships of the day did not get the message to New Orleans for some weeks. That is why the last battle of the war was fought two weeks after the end of the warl .... ' FUNCTION FA CILITY Please accept sincere condolences, from the Spinelli's family and staff. During this difficult time, we would like to offer our facility at a specially reduced price, for you, your family and friends. SERVED UPON ARRIVAL Coffee, Mini Danish Pastries and Tea Breads BUFFET LUNCHEON MENU Tossed Salad, Assorted Rolls with Butter Chicken, Ziti and Broccoli Alfredo Eggplant Parmigiana Italian Sausages, Onions and Potatoes Above price does not include a 15% Administration Fee and a 7% Mass State Tax. 280 BENNINGTON STREET, EAST BOSTON, MA Telephone: 617-567-4499 www.spinellis.com WWW. BOSTON POSTGAZETTE.CO M