What is it about August 15? Today is the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, a feast of obligation on both the Catholic and Anglican liturgical calendars. This day commemorates the death of Mary and her immediate assumption (“being taken up”) into Heaven, without the corruption of the body that usually accompanies death. I’m glad she was rewarded for fulfilling the tasks God gave her. Since there was no service at our Anglican church, and no way to get to the little Catholic church in midtown that we like, I went to the base chapel today and heard Mass there. It was really quite nice, in a mid-day sort of way.
Take a peek at the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Today is also the birthday of Napoleon Bonaparte, born the son of an impoverished Corsican lawyer. His patriotism and drive to be as successful a French citizen as possible changed the course of the world’s history. Just another reminder of the great dangers of political ambition.
Curiously, on this date in 1057, the tyrant Macbeth was defeated by Malcolm Canmore, son of King Duncan I, whom Macbeth murdered 17 years earlier. Since we watched the 1979 version of the play last night, this is fresh in my memory. We had a great time watching it, and I was thrilled the three children in the room with me were interested enough to stop the disc several times to discuss the story and what they were seeing. And Ian McKellen truly rocks.
It’s also the birthday of Sir Walter Scott, Edna Ferber, T.E. Lawrence and Robert Bolt. Amazing how these all tie into one another… Besides writing the screenplay for Dr. Zhivago and A Man for All Seasons, Bolt also worked on a biography of Lawrence. Ferber's Saratoga Trunk is a terrific summer reading selection, especially if you have a hammock and a never-empty glass of something cool and refreshing.
It’s also V-J day. In 1945, Japan agreed to surrender unconditionally, thus putting an end to the Second World War. Go ahead and give someone a kiss. It's never too late to celebrate!