Tintin : Book 12

Red Rackham’s Treasure is the twelfth book in  The Adventures of Tintin series, comprisingof 24 comics created by the Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé. The series was one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century. Tintin is the titular protagonist of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. He is a reporter and adventurer who travels around the world with his dog Snowy. By 2007, a century after Hergé’s birth in 1907, Tintin had been published in more than 70 languages with sales of more than 200 million copies, and had been adapted for radio, television, theatre, and film.

In Red Rackham’s Treasure (1944), sequel to The Secret of the Unicorn (1943), Tintin and the Thom(p)sons accompany Captain Haddock on a journey in the footsteps of the Captain’s illustrious ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock. The parchments discovered in the previous adventure are in fact a treasure map pointing the way to the hidden gold and jewels of a notorious pirate, Red Rackham. A new character, named Professor Cuthbert Calculus, will prove invaluable in the search for the lost treasure; by the end of the adventure Calculus will also help Captain Haddock to acquire his family’s ancestral home, Marlinspike Hall. This story is full of twists, turns and surprises, not least the moment when Professor Calculus demonstrates a new type of machine for underwater exploration…

Next book in the series : The Seven Crystal Balls

MOVIE SHELF – THE INTERPRETER

The Interpreter is a 2005 political thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, and Jesper Christensen. It is notable for being the first movie to have been shot inside the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

The movie opens in a dusty African landscape: the Republic of Matobo (a name from the Matobo National Park in Matabeleland Zimbabwe), where rebel leader Ajene Xola (Curtiss Cook) is driving two men, Simon and Philippe, to the abandoned Centennial Stadium. They briefly discuss how President Edmond Zuwanie (Earl Cameron)’s regime has ruthlessly exterminated most of the population, and intimidated the survivors into silence. Upon their arrival at the stadium, they discover that the informants are schoolboys, who point Ajene and Simon in the direction of corpses left by Zuwanie’s security apparatus, while Philippe stays in the car.

Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) is an interpreter for the United Nations in New York City. Born in the United States to a British mother and white African father, she spent most of her life in her father’s homeland of Matobo (a stand-in for Zimbabwe), studied music in Johannesburg, linguistics at Sorbonne University, Paris, and various other European countries, and is a dual citizen of both Matobo and the United States (with the possibility of deriving British citizenship through her mother). Her diverse background leads to UN Security Chief Lee Wu (Clyde Kusatsu) wryly describing her as “being the UN”.

The U.N. is considering indicting Zuwanie, to stand trial in the International Criminal Court. Initially a liberator, over the past 20 years he has become as corrupt and tyrannical as the government he overthrew, and is now responsible for ethnic cleansing and other atrocities within Matobo. Zuwanie is soon to visit the U.N. and put forward his own case to the General Assembly, in an attempt to avoid the indictment.

SAINT OF THE DAY NOV 14, 2021

St. Gertrude the Great

On Nov. 16, the Catholic Church celebrates the memory of a distinguished medieval nun and writer in the Benedictine monastic tradition, Saint Gertrude of Helfta, better known as “St. Gertrude the Great.”

One of the most esteemed woman saints of the Christian West, she was a notable early devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

“She was an exceptional woman, endowed with special natural talents and extraordinary gifts of grace, the most profound humility and ardent zeal for her neighbor’s salvation,” Pope Benedict XVI said of St. Gertrude in an October 2010 general audience.

“She was in close communion with God both in contemplation and in her readiness to go to the help of those in need.”

Born in Germany on Jan. 6, 1256, Gertrude was sent at age 5 to a monastery in Helfta, to receive her education and religious formation. Under the leadership of the abbess Gertrude of Hackeborn, the monastery was highly regarded for its spiritual and intellectual vitality. The young Gertrude’s teacher, later canonized in her own right, was the abbess’ sister Saint Matilda of Hackeborn.

A gifted student with a great thirst for knowledge, Gertrude excelled in her study of the arts and sciences of her day, while living according to her community’s strict practice of the Rule of Saint Benedict. By her own account, however, something seems to have been lacking in Gertrude’s personal devotion, which suffered due to her overemphasis of intellectual and cultural pursuits.

A change in her priorities began near the end of the year 1280, in the season of Advent. Gertrude was 24 and had greatly distinguished herself in many fields of study. But her accomplishments began to seem meaningless, as she considered the true meaning and goal of her monastic vocation. Anxious and depressed, Gertrude felt she had built a “tower of vanity and curiosity” rather than seeking to love God above all things and live in union with him.

In January of the following year, she experienced a vision of Christ, hearing him declare: “I have come to comfort you and bring you salvation.” During 1281, her priorities shifted dramatically, away from secular knowledge and toward the study of Scripture and theology. Gertrude devoted herself strongly to personal prayer and meditation, and began writing spiritual treatises for the benefit of her monastic sisters.

Understanding the love of Christ as the supreme and fundamental reality, Gertrude communicated this truth in her writings and strove to live in accordance with it. Though acutely aware of her own persistent faults, she also came to understand the depths of God’s mercy. She accepted the illness and pain of her final years in a spirit of personal sacrifice, while recalling the goodness of God that had transformed her life.

St. Gertrude the Great died on Nov. 16, though it is not known whether this was in the year 1301 or 1302. While some of her written works were lost, others survive: “The Herald of Divine Love,” “The Life and Revelations,” and St. Gertrude’s “Spiritual Exercises.”