Asterix the Legionary – Book 10

Asterix the Legionary is the tenth Asterix book in the Asterix comic book series by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. It was first published as a serial in Pilote magazine, issues 368–389, in 1966.

Asterix and Obelix are setting off for a wild boar hunt when they encounter Panacea, a former childhood resident of the village who has since moved to Condatum, and Obelix immediately falls in love with her. Some hours later, Panacea receives word that her fiancé Tragicomix has been conscripted into the Roman army and shipped to North Africa; and Obelix, although heartbroken, promises to bring him back.

Asterix and Obelix travel to Condatum, where they learn that Tragicomix has already left for Massilia, the Mediterranean port from which the soldiers depart, and themselves enlist in the army to follow him, alongside Hemispheric the Goth; Selectivemploymentax the Briton; Gastronomix the Belgian; Neveratalos the Greek; and Ptenisnet, an Egyptian tourist who spends the entire book believing himself to be in a holiday camp.

After completing basic training (and repeatedly and comically driving their instructors to the verge of tears), the newly formed unit sets off as reinforcements to Caesar against Scipio, Afranius, and King Juba I of Numidia. Asterix and Obelix soon find out that Tragicomix has gone missing in action after a skirmish, and raid Scipio’s camp to recover him. This results in the Battle of Thapsus, in which the confusion over the Gauls’ unorthodox assault and the similarity of both armies’ uniforms cause a default victory for Caesar after the frustrated Scipio sounds the retreat. The Gauls are cornered by Caesar after the battle is over; but released and sent home for their assistance in his victory. Asterix and Obelix thereafter celebrate at home, while Panacea and Tragicomix return to Condatum to marry.

Next Book in the series: Asterix and the Chieftain’s Shield

Saint Veronica Giuliani – July 10

Saint Veronica Giuliani – July 10

Veronica’s desire to be like Christ crucified was answered with the stigmata.

Veronica was born in Mercatelli, Italy. It is said that when her mother Benedetta was dying she called her five daughters to her bedside and entrusted each of them to one of the five wounds of Jesus. Veronica was entrusted to the wound below Christ’s heart.

At the age of 17, Veronica joined the Poor Clares directed by the Capuchins. Her father had wanted her to marry, but she convinced him to allow her to become a nun. In her first years in the monastery, she worked in the kitchen, infirmary, sacristy, and also served as portress. At the age of 34, she was made novice mistress, a position she held for 22 years. When she was 37, Veronica received the stigmata. Life was not the same after that.

Church authorities in Rome wanted to test Veronica’s authenticity and so conducted an investigation. She lost the office of novice mistress temporarily and was not allowed to attend Mass except on Sundays or holy days. Through all of this Veronica did not become bitter, and the investigation eventually restored her as novice mistress.

Though she protested against it, at the age of 56 she was elected abbess, an office she held for 11 years until her death. Veronica was very devoted to the Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart. She offered her sufferings for the missions, died in 1727, and was canonized in 1839.


Reflection

…for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:20

In those moments when I’m trying to say the “right thing,” I call to mind, this gospel verse. However, all of us at one time or another have had people tell us, “What you said yesterday helped me so much, thanks.” I never recall having said anything all that helpful. Naturally, we may feel unworthy of being messengers of God’s comfort or wisdom in a time of crisis. But we trust that the word of God comes to each of us, when we open our hearts to hear the Spirit and put our doubts aside to boldly step forward in faith.