St. Genevieve of Paris
Today is St. Genevieve’s feast day. She’s honored as the Patron Saint of Paris.
St. Genevieve became a nun at the tender age of 15 and devoted the rest of her life—another 65 years—to Christ. The secret of her longevity may have been her diet. She didn’t eat much more than barley bread and beans, and according to her biography, only twice a week, Sundays and Thursdays. She loosened this …Read more
Happy New Year!
Today is the first day of the first month (Vendémiaire, or “grape harvest”) of the French Republican Calendar, which was used between 1792 and 1806.
The French Republican Calendar divided the year into twelve months of 30 days each. Each month was further divided into 3 “decades”—weeks of 10 days each.
But that wasn’t enough to signify the end of the old era. The French went one step further, naming …Read more
August 25, 1944
Is Paris Burning?
The above line was supposedly uttered by Adolf Hitler to his chief of staff Alfred Jodl, referring to his order to General Dietrich von Choltitz, military governor of Paris during the German occupation, not to let majestic city of Paris fall back into Allied hands, except as complete rubble.
In August 1944, General Eisenhower originally refused to divert troops to help the liberate Paris on the Allies’ …Read more
Today (August 16) the town of Palau de Cedagne in Southwestern France celebrates Xicolatada. At 11 am on this date, residents indulge in a delicious cup of piping hot chocolate.
This 300+ year-old tradition grew out of another festival. According to legend (i.e., Wikipedia):
15 August was once a festival day, and the locals would drink quite a bit, to the point that they felt a bit ill the following morning. To feel better, …Read more
As a child, I asked my father, “When was the French Revolution?”
He said, “It began in 1789.”
I asked, “When did it end?”
He said, “It’s still going on.”
* * *
Known as “Bastille Day” in English, Fete de la Federation (Holiday of the Federation) is one of the world’s most famous national holidays, but it’s more commonly known as le Quatorze Juillet (July 14).
D-Day: Cargo Vehicles
“The eyes of the world are upon you.”
from General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s statement to the soldiers, sailors, and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force, June 1944
June 6 marks the anniversary of the 1944 Allied invasion of Normandy that precipitated the long and brutal campaign to liberate Western Europe from Nazi power.
The invasion, also known as Operation Overlord, involved the landing of approximately 160,000 Allied …Read more
May 8 (May 9 in Russia)
It’s been a while since the Europeans have really gone at each other, outside of a football match. Which is a good thing, because when they do go at it, they tend to bring the rest of the world with them.
Such was the case in 1939.
Following Germany’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, Britain’s (and France’s) entry into the war on Poland’s behalf guaranteed that the Commonwealth would follow, …Read more