Sunday, September 29, 2013

People who died for their faith

Many people have shown tremendous courage to stand up for their beliefs - even at the cost of their lives. These are some people who died for their faith or their belief.

Thomas A Beckett (1118-70) - Archbishop of Canterbury who infuriated King Henry II by placing the Church above the King. Beckett was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral on the indirect orders of the King.
Thomas More (1478 - 1535) Leading servant to King Henry VIII - Eventually beheaded for his refusal to accept Henry VIII's rejection of the Catholic Church and Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn.

Joan of Arc -(1412 – 1431) Joan of Arc received Divine messages which helped the Dauphin of France to drive out the English from parts of France. She was arrested for her 'heterodox religious beliefs'. She was burnt at the stake for refusing to recant her experiences and communion with God.

The Oxford Martyrs - Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, and the Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. They were burned at the Stake in Oxford 1555 for refusing to renounce their Protestant faith and accept the Roman Catholic faith of Queen Mary I.
Saint Peter (? - 65 AD), The leading apostle of Jesus Christ. Legend says he was crucified upside-down by the Romans. He asked to be crucified upside down so as not to copy the crucifixion of Jesus. Maximilian Kolbe (1894- 1941) A Polish Franciscan friar. He was arrested by the Nazi's for sheltering refugees, from the Nazi's. He was executed at Auschwitz concentration camp after volunteering to take the place of a man who feared death.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, (1906 - 1945) A German Lutheran Pastor who was a leading opponent of Hitler and the Nazis. He was eventually arrested and died in a concentration camp before the end of the war.
William Tyndale (1494–1536 ) was one of the first persons to print the Bible in English. Executed for blasphemy after years of avoiding capture.
Mansoor Al-Hallaj (858 – 922) A Sufi mystic who practised mysticism and preached a radical philosophy based on his spiritual experiences. Al-Hallaj claimed that in his mystical experiences he realised that 'I am the Truth'. He was sentenced to death for blasphemy, but during a prolonged execution, he retained his equanimity and faith.
Thich Quang Duc, (1897 - 1963) was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk. He burnt himself to death (self-immolation) at an intersection in Saigon on June 11, 1963. He was protesting about the treatment of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government.

Other selected Christian Martyr's
  • St. Stephen as recorded in the Acts 6:8–8:3, the first Christian Martyr.
  • James the Great (Son of Zebedee) was beheaded in 44 A.D.
  • Philip the Apostle was crucified in 54 A.D.
  • Matthew the Evangelist killed with a halberd in 60 A.D.
  • James the Just, beaten to death with a club after being crucified and stoned.
  • Matthias was stoned and beheaded.
  • Saint Andrew, St. Peter's brother, was crucified.
  • Saint Mark was dragged in the streets until his death
  • Edith Stein (Carmelite nun, died at Auschwitz), 1942

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quotes on peace

World peace can be acheived
When, in each person,
The power of love
Replaces the love of power.

- Sri Chinmoy


Chasing after the world
Brings chaos.
Allowing it all to come to me
Brings peace.

- Zen Gatha


Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom.

- Thich Nhat Hanh.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

French people

A selection of famous French people who made a lasting contribution to the world. See also: list of famous French people

gaulle  Charles de Gaulle. (1890 - 1970) Leader of the Free French during WWII. Helped maintain French pride after the abject surrender of the French army and the creation of Vichy France. Led France out of Algeria after a bloody conflict. Repaid his thanks to the British by saying Non to British membership of the EEC.
Joan of Arc. (1412-1431) A young peasant girl, Joan of Arc helped inspire the French to throw off the British occupation. Burnt at the stake by the Church for heresy.
writer Voltaire (1694 – 1778), was a French writer, essayist, and philosopher known for his wit, satire, and defence of civil liberties. He sought to defend freedom of religious and political thought and played a major role in the Enlightenment period of the eighteenth century
Napoleon. (1769 – 1821) A French military and political leader. He safeguarded aspects of the French revolution by assuming control of France. He launched military campaigns across Europe making France the dominant power in Europe and helping to spread certain ideas of the French revolution, such as his Napoleonic code.
Marie Curie. (1867-1934) Great scientist who helped discover radiation. Helping to implement many X-ray machines during the first World War. Won the Nobel Prize for both Chemistry and Biology.

Abbe Pierre (1912 – 2007) French Catholic priest. He was a member of the resistance during WWII. After the work, he became involved in humanitarian charities - especially Emmaus which sought to help the homeless.
Coco-Chanel Coco Chanel. (1883-1971) One of the most innovative fashion designers, Coco Chanel was instrumental in defining feminine style and dress during the 20th Century. She was particularly influential in the 1920s, where she helped define new ideas about the clothes women could wear.

Marie Antoinette (1755 - 1793) Wife of King Louis XVI. Marie Antoinette is often held up as a symbol of Royal decadence and profligacy, which sparked the French revolution. Whether fair or not, she was executed in 1793 for treason and holding principles in opposition to the French revolution.
artist Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) - French impressionist painter. Monet was the leading impressionist of the Nineteenth / early Twentieth Century. His paintings, such as Waterlilies, were highly influential in the development of modern art.
artist Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) French post-impressionist painter. Famous paintings include The Card Players, Still life with a curtain.
artist August Renoir (1841–1919) French painter, one of the early pioneers of Impressionism. Also influenced by Italian renaissance. Famous works include Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette, On the Terrace.

Jean Monnet (1888 – 1979) was a French statesman who played a key role in founding the Coal and Steel pact which helped improve relations between France and Germany. In 1955, Monnet founded the action committee for the United States of Europe. His successfully lobbying led to the creation of the EEC 'Common Market' in 1958.