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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 16, 2013 L'Anno Bello: A Year in Italian Folklore I I Countdown to the Seasons by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz My father appeared excit- In Saint Rocco's feast day, around them. So far, some by Sal Giarratani ......  " edly at my house earlier my father sees the blazing signs of fall I have seen and today, waving a packet of glory of the end of summer held dear include: facts about the feast day and the exciting changes Waking up to a chilly Ft. Hood Was Not Workplace Violence of his namesake saint, St. Roch - (San Rocco) in Ital- ian. The feast of Saint Rocco falls on August 16 TM, my father's birthday and his naming reflects an old-Ital- ian tradition of bestowing monikers based on the saint days. According to my father's research, (la festa di San Rocco), or Saint Rocco's Feast, is celebrated with pro- cessions and parades all across Italy. Some places have bonfires and fireworks, reminding me of the heat of summer and the fiery zodiac sign of Leo, whose personal- ity profile of my father defi- nitely fits. Saint Rocco is also associated with dogs and with the curing of the plague. A legend explains that after Saint Rocco con- tracted the plague, a dog offered him food in the for- est. Since then, images of Saint Rocco frequently por- tray him with a dog in tow. The reason I bring up this anecdote, in addition to wish- hag my father a happy birth- day, is because my father's enthusiasm for holidays reminds me of the art of observing seasonal changes. brought about by seasonal shifts and birthdays. Indeed, the festival of Saint Rocco falls around the time I start taking note of the signs of fall that unfold all around me. Scouring for omens of the upcoming season is a passion of mine, something I patiently undertake during transitional points in the calendar. February means searching for robins and shoots of grass which indi- cate spring. May signifies the bushy-leaved trees and warm breezes of summer. November introduces the hazy Christmas lights and scatter snow showers of early winter. And yes, August her- alds the beginning of fall. My search for signs of sea- sonal changes brings me closer to the Earth, encour- aging me to live in the present while always retain- ing hope for the future. More- over, it teaches me to appre- ciate the minutest things in life. Seasonal changes rarely arrive in a heap, but rather in small sparks only visible to those who have taught themselves to be observant and appreciative of the world morning when a beautiful mist hovered above the ground, slowly giving way to the rising sun. Taking a bite into a free sample of Dunkin' Donuts, apple fritter. Watching the leaves on the ancient tree near my grandmother's house acquire a rusty hue around the edges. The sight of a pear gin- gerbread cake in a cooking magazine. The increasingly golden aura of sunsets. Scarecrow, pumpkin and black cat decorations in nearby shops These signs all fill me with anticipation for the coming season and all the unique pleasures it will hold. Now, what about you, readers? What signs mean autumn to you? And What joy do you derive from watching the seasons change? I would love to hear from you, as the wonders of the year are too amazing to be enjoyed alone! Happy Birthday to my awe- some father and the inspi- ration for this column, Rocco Di Censo! Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folklore at adicenso89@gmail.com. Saint Hyacinth by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari Saint Hyacinth, called the Apostle of the North, was born in 1185. He was born into the noble family of Odrowaczas the son of Eustachius Konski, his birth took place in the castle of Lanka at Karim in Silesia, Poland. God blessed him with a splendid mind and his parents made cer- tain that he was well grounded in religion. He performed his higher stud- ies at Cracow, Prague, and Bologna, upon completion of his studies at Bologna, Saint Hyacinth earned the title of Doctor of Canon Law and Divinity. On his return home, the Bishop Vincent of Cracow gave him a stipend and employed his assistance in the administration of the diocese. When in 1218, Bishop Vincent stepped down from his post, Hyacinth's uncle Ivo Konskim was appointed to fill the See of Cracow. Bishop Ivo asked his two nephews Hyacinth and Ceslas to accompany him to Rome. It was while staying NEW LOCATION Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO HOMEOWNERS TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building in Rome that Hyacinth met Saint Dominic, greatly impressed, he along with Ceslas and two Germans joined the Order in 1220 and was one of the first to receive the habit of the newly estab- lished Friars, Preachers at the hands of Saint Dominic in the convent of Santa Sabina. After his novitiate, he made his religious profes- sion, and was made superior of the little band of mission- aries sent to Poland to preach. On their way back to Poland, they preached the Gospel in many places and received many new mem- bers into their Order. He was able to establish a convent of his order at Friesach in Carinthia. In Poland the new preachers were favor- ably received, Hyacinth founded communities at Sandomir, Cracow, and at Plocko on the Vistula in Moravia. He extended his missionary work through Prussia, Pomerania and Lithuania; then crossing the Baltic Sea, he preached in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. He came into Lower Russia, establishing a com- munity at Lemberg and at Haletz, he then proceeded into Muscovy, and founded a convent at Dieff, and came as far as the shores of the Black Sea. He then returned to Cracow in 1231, after two years he set out again to WWW. BOSTON POSTG AZ ETTE. COM (Continued on Page 12) "The evidence against me will clearly show I am the shooter. I was on the wrong side of America's war ... I switched sides." -- Major Nidal Hasan Major Nidal Hasan, a 42- year-old U.S. born Muslim has decided to renounce his U.S. citizenship and has stated at his court martial that he killed 13 of his fel- low soldiers at his Texas base because he wanted to defend Islam. He has gotten to keep his Muslim beard and wear apparently the uniform of the country he now seems to hate. Why is someone who calls himself a "Soldier of Allah" being tried as though he were some whacko mall shooter or a loose-hinged postal em- ployee? The Fort Hood Mas- sacre was as many have called nothing less than the most deadly terrorist attack on the United States since 9/11. However, calling it thus doesn't seem to go along with the president's playbook about Islamic ter- rorism. When you shout aloud "Allah Akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic) as you gun down 13 unarmed comrades in a packed deployment cen- ter, this is clearly not "work- place violence." It is clearly an act of a terror. On day one of this trial, 50 people sat in a small military courtroom at Fort Hood watching proceedings which are expected to last at least a month. Major Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted pre- meditated murder. The shooting took place on No- vember 5, 2008 and it has taken this long to get the trial going after a series of delays. The United States government considers what happened at the Texas Army base as one of the worse acts of soldier on soldier violence in U.S. history. The military prosecutor, Col. Steve Henricks said in court Ma- jor Hasan had two motives. He didn't want to be deployed and he "believed he pos- sessed a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible." This Ft. Hood shooting spree by Major Hasan is one of the many scandals of the Obama administration. The shameful designation of the November 5, 2008 rampage as "workplace violence." One of the victims, Shawn Manning, was shot six times by Hasan and was denied benefits that would accrue to a soldier injured in an act of terror or battle overseas. This "workplace violence" tag has cost him $70,000 in additional benefits while Hasan keeps receiving pay- checks that right now amount to over $287,000. Because the U.S. Army calls the wounds of the victims non "combat related," ben- efits are being denied to all the victims. President Obama needs to do right by the victims at Ft. Hood. Instead of showing up on the Jay Leno Tonight Show or taking yet another vacation to the Vineyard, he ought to be thinking about the pain and suffering still being felt by victims of Ma- jor Hasan's attack. It is time to call Fort Hood an act of terrorism because that is what it was. Just ask Major Nidal Hasan, he'll say it again ff you missed him say- ing it the first time. 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. 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