Saint of the Day – June 27

St. Cyril of Alexandria

On June 27, the Catholic Church honours St. Cyril of Alexandria. An Egyptian bishop and theologian, he is best known for his role in the Council of Ephesus, where the Church confirmed that Christ is both God and man in one person.

Cyril was most likely born in Alexandria, the metropolis of ancient Egypt, between 370 and 380. From his writings, it appears he received a solid literary and theological education. Along with his uncle, Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria, he played a role in an early fifth-century dispute between the Egyptian and Greek churches. There is evidence he may have been a monk before becoming a bishop.

When Theophilus died in 412, Cyril was chosen to succeed him at the head of the Egyptian Church. He continued his uncle’s policy of insisting on Alexandria’s pre-eminence within the Church over Constantinople, despite the political prominence of the imperial capital. The two Eastern churches eventually re-established communion in approximately 418.

Ten years later, however, a theological dispute caused a new break between Alexandria and Constantinople. Cyril’s reputation as a theologian, and later Doctor of the Church, arose from his defense of Catholic orthodoxy during this time.

In 428, a monk named Nestorius became the new Patriarch of Constantinople. It became clear that Nestorius was not willing to use the term “Mother of God” (“Theotokos”) to describe the Virgin Mary. Instead, he insisted on the term “Mother of Christ” (“Christotokos”).

During the fourth century, the Greek Church had already held two ecumenical councils to confirm Christ’s eternal pre-existence as God prior to his incarnation as a man. From this perennial belief, it followed logically that Mary was the mother of God. Veneration of Mary as “Theotokos” confirmed the doctrine of the incarnation, and Christ’s status as equal to the God the Father.

Nestorius insisted that he, too, held these doctrines. But to Cyril, and many others, his refusal to acknowledge Mary as the Mother of God seemed to reveal a heretical view of Christ which would split him into two united but distinct persons: one fully human and born of Mary, the other fully divine and not subject to birth or death.

Cyril responded to this heretical tendency first through a series of letters to Nestorius (which are still in existence and studied today), then through an appeal to the Pope, and finally through the summoning of an ecumenical council in 431. Cyril presided over this council, stating that he was “filling the place of the most holy and blessed Archbishop of the Roman Church,” Pope Celestine, who had authorized it.

The council was a tumultuous affair. Patriarch John of Antioch, a friend of Nestorius, came to the city and convened a rival council which sought to condemn and depose Cyril. Tension between the advocates of Cyril and Nestorius erupted into physical violence at times, and both parties sought to convince the emperor in Constantinople to back their position.

During the council, which ran from June 22 to July 31 of the year 431, Cyril brilliantly defended the orthodox belief in Christ as a single eternally divine person who also became incarnate as a man. The council condemned Nestorius, who was deposed as patriarch and later suffered exile. Cyril, however, reconciled with John and many of the other Antiochian theologians who once supported Nestorius.

St. Cyril of Alexandria died on June 27, 444, having been a bishop for nearly 32 years. Long celebrated as a saint, particularly in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, he was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1883.

Reflection

Lives of the saints are valuable not only for the virtue they reveal but also for the less admirable qualities that also appear. Holiness is a gift of God to us as human beings. Life is a process. We respond to God’s gift, but sometimes with a lot of zigzagging. If Cyril had been more patient and diplomatic, the Nestorian church might not have risen and maintained power so long. But even saints must grow out of immaturity, narrowness, and selfishness. It is because they—and we—do grow, that we are truly saints, persons who live the life of God.

Tintin : Book 20

Tintin in Tibet

Tintin in Tibet is the 20th book in  The Adventures of Tintin series, comprising of 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.

A passenger plane travelling to Europe, crashes into the Himalayas. It turns out that Tintin’s young Chinese friend Chang was on board the aircraft. Tintin in Tibet (1960) is a story of pure friendship, without any of the usual villains: a tale of Tintin’s desperate search to find his friend.

The unusual narrative, which is much more introverted than those of other books in the Tintin series, tells the story that faith and hope are able to conquer all obstacles, and that pre-conceived judgements of others – in this case in regard to the yeti – are the fruit of ignorance.

Next book in series: The Castafiore Emerald

Cooking with Marcus Samuelsson

Chicken jollof rice

Yield : Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • peanut oil 60ml

  • boneless chicken thighs 675g

  • chicken stock 1.2 litres

  • onions 2 medium, chopped

  • red pepper 1 medium, chopped

  • bird’s eye chilli 1, chopped

  • carrot 1 large, coarsely shredded

  • garlic 4 cloves, minced

  • long grain rice 300g

  • tomato paste 55g

  • peanut butter 65g

  • tomato 1 large ripe, seeded and chopped

  • curry powder 1 tsp

  • cinnamon ½ tsp

  • green beans 150g, fresh or frozen, trimmed to 2½ cm length

  • cabbage 100g, thinly sliced

  • salt and pepper

In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, for about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the chicken and place it on a platter.

Add the onions, pepper, chilli and carrot to the pan. Sauté until the onions are wilted and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the rice into the onions and peppers and heat through for another 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and peanut butter to coat the rice and give it a reddish hue. Add the chopped tomato and cook down for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the curry powder and cinnamon.

Return the chicken to the pot and add the green beans and cabbage. Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes. Place the rice on a serving platter and serve with sliced hard-boiled eggs and a salad.

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is a beautiful dog breed with a thick coat that comes in a multitude of colours and markings. Their blue or multi-coloured eyes and striking facial masks only add to the appeal of this breed, which originated in Siberia.

The Siberian Husky is believed to have originated among the Chukchi, a tribe of Siberian nomads. The breed’s history is relatively unknown but DNA tests confirm that they are among the oldest of dog breeds. We do know that the Chukchi used the dogs as fast transportation and that they interacted with the Chukchi as a family dog. Huskies often slept with the children and provided warm comfortable beds for them.

The Siberian Husky was imported to Alaska in 1908 and was used as sled dogs during the gold rush. They were used in the All-Alaska Sweepstakes, which is a 408-mile dogsled race, and continue to be an active competitor in the Sweepstakes even today.

The Siberian Club of America was founded in 1938 and the Siberian Husky was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930 and the Canadian Kennel Club in 1939.

An average male stands between 21 and 23.5 inches high while the female averages 20 to 22 inches. The male weighs between 45 and 60 pounds and the female 35 to 50 pounds.

Expect lots of hair, lots of shedding — especially during spring and fall when they blow their coats. That said, this is a fairly easy breed to care for. Siberian Huskies living in cooler temperatures tend to shed less than those who live in warmer climates. You can avoid matting — and excess hair on your furniture — if you commit to brushing your dog’s coat at least once a week during the year — and daily during shedding season.

Siberian Huskies are clean dogs and will take the time to clean themselves — much like a cat will. They don’t typically emit “doggy” odour and rarely need baths.

Huskies come in a variety of colours and markings, from black to pure white with coloured markings on the body that include reds and coppers. Their eyes can be brown, blue, or a combination. Their faces sport masks that add to their eye appeal.

Huskies make great pets for households with children. They can be very tolerant of children, but like all other dogs, should be supervised when around young children.

Siberian Huskies do get along with other dogs but it is still important to take your puppy to socialization classes. This gets them used to other dogs and also to people, although they are also very affectionate to strangers. Socialization teaches puppies how to behave and greet other dogs and their owners.

Depending on your climate, Siberian Huskies are generally low shedders except during the times of year when they blow their coat, meaning they drop large amounts of hair all at once. This happens roughly twice a year, more if you live in warmer climates, and when it does, the breed becomes a heavy shedder for about a three-week stretch.

Siberian Huskies are not recommended for apartment living, but some do quite well in apartments if they are properly trained and exercised.

Siberian Huskies are known escape artists and have been known to wander away and disappear. They can jump fences, break tie-out chains, slip collars and find any other way to escape. They need a high fenced yard and the fence should also be buried several inches below ground to prevent the Husky from digging his way out.

Siberian Huskies can be very destructive both inside and out. If they are left uncrated inside, the breed can destroy a house and cause a wide variety of damage. Outside, they enjoy digging and will dig up yards and flower gardens alike.

While they enjoy howling, Siberian Huskies rarely bark and they will not alert bark if someone comes onto your property. This makes them an unsuitable watchdog.

Siberian Huskies are not a breed for the new or timid owner. They need a strong owner who will maintain an alpha position in the home. They need obedience training from a young age and can be a difficult and stubborn breed to train.

Siberian Huskies are very curious and can become injured or lost while they are exploring something new.

Affectionate and good natured describes the Siberian Husky. Generally, they do well with children although young children should never be left alone with any breed. They also get along with people and do well in homes with multiple dogs.

Siberian Huskies were bred to need very little food to survive. This still applies today and the Siberian Husky does not need a high level of calories per day. It is important to ask your Siberian Husky’s breeder what they recommended for a serving helping and to follow their advice.

Huskies cannot be allowed to run off leash during walks. They will run away and will also chase other small animals.

Due to their beauty, Siberian Huskies are one of the most wrongly purchased breeds around. Many do not take into consideration their temperaments and particular quirks and are often left with an unruly, albeit beautiful, dog. Many Siberian Huskies are either lost, killed, or given to shelters due to uninformed owners. If you are thinking of purchasing a Siberian Husky, take a lot of time learning about the breed.

Tintin : Book 17

Explorers on the Moon is the seventeenth book in  The Adventures of Tintin series, comprising of 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.

Explorers on the Moon completes the prophetic scientific Tintin adventure that begins with Destination Moon. Hergé was breaking new ground by sending his star characters into space. Although travelling into space has become normal, even routine, today, at the beginning of the 1950s such an idea was still science-fiction. It is important to remember that the story was published in 1954, while Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the Moon in 1969.

In the second part of Tintin’s Moon adventure, the technical details that permeate the first part make way for a kind of space thriller. The lunar escapade is full of intrigue and surprises. Not far into the story the shocked crew of the mission discover that Thomson and Thompson have managed to hitch a ride to the Moon by accident; by the end engineer Frank Wolff is involved in a terrible twist in the tale. And there are plenty of unexpected events in between!

Throughout Explorers on the Moon, Hergé dabbles in real science, giving us a taste of weightlessness in space and even going so far as to suggest that water exists under the Moon’s surface. The reader follows the characters as they control the atomic motor and thrusters to navigate the rocket through space. This last two-part adventure (after the previous two-part stories Cigars of the Pharaoh and The Blue Lotus, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure, and The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun, shows both what a good writer and a good artist Hergé was.

Next book in series: The Calculus Affair

Tintin – Book 19

The Red Sea Sharks

The Red Sea Sharks is the 19th 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.

The Red Sea Sharks lifts the veil on the scandal of the modern day slave trade. Herge stayed abreast of current affairs, and as was his style, for this story he wove real-life news into action-packed adventure.

Next book in series: Tintin in Tibet

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