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August 8, 2014

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Page 2 %'." "''F? "- .' "_:?\'L" "_',% .'J- " POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 8, 2014 by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ..... ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. MYTHOLOGY... ITS ORIGIN Two of the earliest men of fame in ancient Greece were poets named Homer and Hesiod. The Romans called them Homerus and Hesiodus. Homer was born sometime between 1200 and 850 B.C. There are at least seven ancient cities that have claimed him. Most ac- counts of his life say that he was blind, poor, inspired to poetry by .the gods, earned his living by singing in a kind of traveling'circuit, and lived to a ripe old age. The most popular of Homer's works are, of course, the ".Iliad" and the "Odyssey". The Iliad tells of the war waged by the Greeks to res- cue the beautiful Helen who was captured and held in the walled city of Troy. The Od- yssey tells of the wanderings of Odysseus (Ulysses) after the destruction of Troy, and the return of the lady Helen to her husband in Greece. Homer's portraits of these characters and of. the mythi- cal gods are so vivid that they Idealized portrayal of Homer dating to the Hellenistic period. British Museum. (Photo from of Wikipedia) became fixed mental im- ages for all of those persons who, during later centuries, represented them in sculp- ture, poetry, or painting. Hesiod lived during the eighth century B.C. He wrote a theogony (genealogy) of the gods which contained more than a thousand verses: It consisted of an account of the origin of the world, including the birth of the gods. In Hesiod's theogony, the most ancient monument that exists in Greek mythology, he at- tempted to arrange and or- ganize all of those myths and gods into some orderly struc- ture. He started with Chaos, the yawning abyss which marked the beginning of all things. There are differ- ences of opinion by some mythologists; however, it appears that out of Chaos came a first generation which we now call Primeval Beings. These Beings were named Erebus (Primeval Darkness); Nyx (Night); Gaea (Mother Earth); Hemera (Day); Aether (Upper Atmo- sphere), and Uranus (The Heavens). Erobus became the god who ruled a gloomy, dreary, and cheerless area below the earth which was comparable to our Hell and Purgatory (Continued on Page 6) Saint Edith Stein by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari Edith Stein was bor~ in Breslau, Poland on Octo- ber 12, 1891. Edith's father, who ran a timber busi- ness, died when she had only just turned two. Her mother, a very/devout and hard-working woman now had to fend for herself and to look after the family and their large business. Edith, during her teen ye,.ars, lost her faith in God. "I con- seiously decided, of my own volition to give up praying," she said. In 1911, she enrolled at the University of Breslau to study German and history, though her real interest was in philosophy and in women's issues. "When I was at school and during my first years at university," she wrote later, "I was a radi- cal suffragette. Then I lost interest in the whole issue. Now I am looking for purely pragmatic solutions." In 1913, Edith Stein trans- ferred to Gottingen Univer- sity, to study under the mentorship of Edmund Husserl. She became his pupil and teaching assistant, and he later tutored her for a doctorate. At the ~ime, anyone who was interested in philosophy was fascinated by Husserl's new view of reality. Husserl's taught that the world is not limited to empiricism (sense experience), but believed that experience is the source of all knowledge, his teachings unwittingly led many of his pupils to the Christian faith. Edith Stein also met the philosopher Max Scheler, who directed her attention to Roman Catholicism. Edith passed her degree with distinction RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine 415 Hanover Street, Boston 61 7.367.2353 11 MountVernon Street, Winchester 781.729.0515 l)rivole I=unc|ion I oom, an, Occasion G Iol 5t.ow St.ow D tl to, Donato Fraffaroli donato @ in January 1915, though she did not follow it up with teacher training. During the First World War, Edith served in an Aus- trian field hospital where she looked after the sick in the typhus ward, worked in an operating theatre, and saw young people die. When the. hospital was dis- solved, in 1916, she followed Husserl as his assistant to the German city of Freiburg, where she passed her doc- torate summa cum laude (with the utmost distinction) in 1917. When her good friend Adolph Reinach passed away in Flanders in November 1917, Edith went to G6ttingen to visit his widow. The Reinachs' had converted to Protestantism. Edith felt uneasy about meeting the young widow at first, but was surprised when she actually met with a woman of faith. "This was my first encoun- ter with the Cross and the divine power it imparts to those who bear it ... it was the moment when my unbelief collapsed and Christ began to shine His light on me -- Christ in the mystery of the Cross." On January 1, 1922 Edith Stein was baptized. Immedi- ately after her conversion she wanted to join a Carmelite convent. However, her spiri- tual mentors, advised her to wait. At the same time she was encouraged by Arch- Abbot Raphael Walzer of Beuron Abbey to accept extensive speaking engage- ments, mainly on women's issues. In 1931, Edith Stein (Continued on Page 14) imple by Girard A. Plante With wars and armed conflicts careening out of control throughout the world, we all agree there's simply no energy to read another word about war. Yet there are historians who teach myriad topics of war, professors specializing in various wars, veterans who share their harrowing experi- ences of combat, and students yearning to be educated about a particular war or all the wars in human history. Thus, it is instructive to devote time in classrooms every- where and published magazines and newspapers to report on current wars consuming many countries. War teaches us how the underlying currents well up in an explosion of awful killings. The Xvhy' of war is a ceaseless conundrum to the chroniclers of wars that, seen from the 'outside,' sense- less to those of us blessed to never know such chaos. Even 'where' a war proliferates as in the Gaza Strip alongside Israel's borders the truth is sought. I devote my column this week and in a few future issues through Veterans Day in November to write about the ori- gins that shaped "The war to end all wars" as the world looks back to the start of the Great War, which blew up in Europe with the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sofia, in 1914. The Great War, as Europeans who lived through the awful conflict from 1914-1918, called it for decades. Still that moniker is spoken throughout Europe. Generations have been shaped by the vilest war ever wit- nessed in human history during those four horrifying years. Fifteen million civilians and soldiers died in the conflict -- more than any other war before it. A current book covering WWI is titled, "The War That Ended Peace." Other similar books chronicling WWI hit book shelves, Amazon and Kindle in January. The need to know never dims. My focus in this particular portrayal is about an Italian neighbor who came to America in his youth and served our great nation in New York's 69~ Fighting Regiment. My twin brother keeps a scrap book of our dad's heroism in World War II, along with one striking photo of Joseph Mazza, the neighbor to whom I refer. The black-and-white photo shows Joe standing alongside dozens of fellow comrades at a cemetery honoring fallen sol- diers on the 25t" anniversary of The Great War's end in the Argonne Forest in northeast France. The words "The Great War" remained for 28. years, until after the end of WWII. Despite that historic distinction -- both wars occurred on European soil -- the Second World War consumed Central Asia, parts of North Africa, and Western Desert. My six siblings and I grew to know Joe, his wonderful wife Jennie, their four children and many grandchildren, who lived in our neighborhood in the medium-sized city of Utica in Upstate New York. "Mr. and Mrs. Mazza," as we and our neighbors called them, became our adopted grandparents. They lived next door to me and my family. Their humble home's property was paradise. Fruit trees, a crudely built grape arbor with sweet green grapes provided shade and homemade wine for Joe while he ate lunch and napped on hot summer afternoons. Meticulously maintained gardens held several species of plants. Shrubs, bushes, four tall pine trees, flowering vines and a trellis filled with roses covered their cozy porch. Joe's stories meandered like a hypnotic novella about his life in the Province of Catanzaro, Italy. He also tossed about words more haiku than poem. One favorite that I vividly recall: "Mosquito fly high. Mosquito fly low. Mosquito fly on me. Mosquito fly no more." A loud slap to his strong arm ended the words. He laughed as heartily as me and my sib- lingsl We agree that Joe's stories and poems are gifts that keep on giving. Unlike my dad and his WWII comrades, Joe never shrunk from sharing the dread he witnessed in WWI. Instead, the burly gentleman with a flair for cooking delicious Italian food, spoke with ease, articulating tense moments with his large arms, his baritone voice punctuating the air as he slowly recreated a "race for life" deep in the Argonne. Never a tear roiled down Joe's rugged jaw while detailing the harrowing account of how he lost his sense of smell by inhaling mustard gas that filled the battlefields. In our youth- ful inquisitive way, we'd ask Joe: "How do you cook such delicious food ff you can't smell?" He slowly leaned his aging upper-body forward and gently said: "I taste everything I cook." Joe was a renowned chef in Utica area restaurants. Yet his fondest employ occurred at a prominent summer resort overlooking Fourth Lake in the Adirondack Mountains. In 1935, Oscar Holl and his brother Hans started Holl's Inn. They escaped Europe just as the horrors of Nazism crept into the continent. Oscar and Hans worked in hotels in New York City, then settled in the Adirondacks, which reminded them of their beloved Austrian Alps. How many of us bom from 1946 through 1964 know people from the World War One generation and learned how the war became their defining moment and shaped their lives? No veteran or citizen from the Great War era exists. Joe died at 90 in 1978. Their wisdom culled from a war that was believed to end future wars is in need as we Baby Boomers and subsequent generations are witnessing wars on every corner of the globe. We struggle to learn why these wars appear never- ending.