Canada: Refugees and CETA

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Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers assist a child from a family that claimed to be from Sudan as they walk across the U.S.-Canada border into Hemmingford, Canada, from Champlain in New York. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

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http://ca.reuters.com/news/pictures/articleslideshow?articleId=CAKBN15W2GN&channelName=topNews#a=1

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/02/18/hemmingford-quebec-rcmp-refugees-asylum-border-photo_n_14842790.html (video)

Crossing the Border

The picture above shows a topsy-turvy world. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer is helping a family cross the U.S.-Canada border. An American border patrol, not shown, is trying to prevent them from entering Canada. They had to go through a gully where they had thrown their belongings. Without the help of the police they could not have entered Canada.

Both the American border patrol and the RCMP officer were doing what they had to do. One should keep in mind that the United States has welcomed people fleeing persecutions and oppression for most of its history. One of our WordPress colleagues remarked that the United States had been a lighthouse, a beacon, to the world. It is inhabited by immigrants and descendants of immigrants, many of whom are or have become prominent Americans.

Matters will be remedied, because Mr Trump’s policies are not “American.” They are a violation of the American Constitution. I watched a video showing a man carrying signatures, a petition, from people who are asking that Mr Trump be impeached.

For the time being, Canadians have been asked to shelter refugees who could be the victims of a particularly harsh winter day. I doubt that this reflects a formal policy, but one rescues people who endangered by a harsh winter and could be deported. However, one also dials 9-1-1 and informs the police.

Islamophobia

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/protest-us-consulate-islamophobia-white-supremacy-1.3967434

Many Canadians are protesting against President Trump’s Islamophobia. However, Canada has not escaped a degree of Islamophobia. One Canadian killed 6 Muslims and wounded 5. Investigators reported that Alexandre Bissonnette, the Quebec City shooter, could not be associated to a terrorist organization. He had been influenced by the media as his Facebook accounted reflected. He admired Donald J Trump, the President of the United States, and Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s Front National. The shooting was investigated immediately and the shooter could not be linked to an Islamic terrorist group. Certain individuals would have liked to link the brutal attack on Muslims in Quebec City to an Islamic terrorist group.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-city-mosque-gun-shots-1.3957686

Justin Trudeau travels to Europe

  • CETA
  • NATO

On Thursday, 16 February 2017, Justin Trudeau was in Strasbourg, France, where he addressed the European Parliament, which had ratified the Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement (CETA). CETA had been discussed since 2013, when it was proposed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Mr Trudeau’s predecessor. The agreement had to be modified in order to be ratified by the European Union, hence the delay. CETA must now be passed by the Canadian Parliament (the House of Commons) and approved by Canada’s Senate.

President Trump is promoting protectionism, which places limits on free trade. Canadians promote free trade between Canada and the European Union. However, CETA was not negotiated to oppose President Trump. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Chancellor Angela Merkel

Chancellor Merkel will commit a larger financial contribution to NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (l’Organisation du Traité de l’Atlantique Nord, OTAN). However, Canada will not. It will contribute otherwise. NATO is a military alliance.  He met with German Angela Merkel on Friday morning.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany Friday, February 17, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/justin-trudeau-angela-merkel-germany-1.3987562

Chancellor Merkel was close to former American president Barack Obama. Whether or not she will be close to Prime Minister Trudeau remains to be seen, but they had a congenial meeting and she gave him of photograph showing Trudeau père and 10-year-old Justin during a trip to Germany. When leaders talk, ordinary citizens live in a safer world.

Later on Friday, Canada’s prime minister was honoured at Hamburg’s St. Matthew’s Banquet, a black tie and tuxedo event. The Prime Minister did not speak about Mr Trump. However, when asked about Mr Trump, he was reassuring. He has been labelled the Anti-Trump. Not quite. Canada, however, has become home to 40,000 refugees from the Middle East: Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans. (See European migrant crisis, Wikipedia.)

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/02/17/trudeau-hamburg-black-tie-gala_n_14824820.html

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, centre, Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz, right, and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, left, pose for photographers at city hall in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday. Trudeau later gave a speech talking about warding off populist anger by addressing middle-class anxiety. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Conclusion

During the past week, there were attempts to build bridges. The European Union was weakened by the European migrant crisis, which began in 2015. Brexit showed that people tend to fold up if they feel threatened. Nativism arises. The more salient example of this kind of behaviour is the 2016 American Election. Barring Muslims from entering the United States invites further radicalization and terrorism.

ISIL is a reality, but ISIL is an Islamic terrorist organization. Saying that all Muslims are terrorists is false and it is dangerous. So is building a wall to keep Mexicans out. It is divisive. The better path could be to boost the Mexican economy.

Love to everyone

Homemade music video for Salve Regina by Arvo Pärt. Performed by The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. Conducted by Paul Hillier.
(Images: Sátántangó, 1994)

charitable-samaritan-also-known-as-the-good-samaritan-1638-jpglarge

The Charitable Samaritan by Rembrandt, 1638 (WikiArt)

© Micheline Walker
20 February 2017
WordPress

Justin Trudeau goes to Washington, P.S.

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Prime Minister Trudeau in Washington (MSN)

Concerns: the Environment

After posting my article about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Washington, I started feeling uneasy. Had I intimated that I supported President Trump? No, I fear Mr Trump and Canadians feared the first meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Trump. Would Mr Trudeau sell the country? No, but Canada is a signatory of the Paris Agreement. Yet, Trudeau and members of his government agreed to re-open the Keystone XL Pipeline. That worried me. Would our prime minister agree to another arrangement that could cause an environmental accident? The pipeline is in need of repairs. Will this be done? With respect to climate change, experts have determined that we are about two minutes before midnight. (See Doomsday Clock, Wikipedia.)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/what-canada-agreed-to-in-paris/article27742735/

Washington: a Successful Meeting

Prime Minister Trudeau managed his first meeting with President Trump successfully. He achieved this victory by stating that he had not travelled to Washington to “lecture” President Trump on how to govern. He also stated that Canada and the United States had lived in harmony on their respective side of a border that stretches from sea to sea. Canada’s motto is A Mari usque ad Mare (see the Canadian Encyclopedia). Moreover, Americans and Canadians had fought together and died together on various battlefields. D-Day is the foremost example of a combined effort. In short, we have respected one another so Canadians have earned the right to welcome refugees while fighting terrorism.

“One swallow does not a summer make”

No, I have not turned into a supporter of Mr Trump. I fear Mr Trump and reject his belief that all Muslims are terrorists.

However, until President Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met, I believed that solidarity and résistance were the United States’ and the world’s only way of surviving the Trump era. One swallow does not a summer make, but last Monday I saw a relaxed and happy Mr Trump. He was not the man who had been issuing no end of executive orders, as though he did not have an administration and the United States had lost its government. But there had been a dialogue and an acceptance of differences. In other words, Canada could continue to welcome refugees.

Many refugees have now entered Canada illegally and to my knowledge, none have been returned. Two men were outside in the bitter cold when finally a trucker stopped and picked them up. The trucker called 9-1-1. The men were frost-bitten and no one can enter Canada illegally.

To my knowledge, however, refugees have not been returned, but Canada has to amend its immigration legislation to accommodate circumstances it did not expect. President Trump’s Islamophobia and xenophobia are driving people out of the United States.

At the moment, refugees to Canada are applying for refugee status after entering Canada. The Canadian government has not yet amended its immigration laws, so applying after entering is a temporary policy. Authorities are also making arrangements so frost-bitten refugees can be hospitalized at no cost.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/13/americas/refugees-flee-united-states-for-canada/index.html

Conclusion

No, I have not become a Trump supporter, but it would be my opinion that Justin Trudeau shaped events skillfully. There are times when humans are powerless and times when humans can configure reality. At the moment, Canadians are probably configuring reality.

However will President Trump stop building a wall to keep Mexicans out of the United States ? Will he stop thinking that all Muslims are terrorists and attempt to prevent them from entering the United States, in defiance of the American Constitution and the decision of a court. I don’t know and we don’t know.

On Wednesday, President Trump asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to “hold back” on settlements and told him that it was for the Israeli and the Palestinians to decide whether they would be one state or two states.

“I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like,” he said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/israeli-settlements-trump-presidency-1.3983943

Love to everyone

RELATED ARTICLE

Nocturne Opus N° 2 – Frédéric Chopin

aamq7r6©Micheline Walker
17 February 2017
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Justin Trudeau goes to Washington

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President Trump welcomes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (AP Photo/Andrew Harnick)

Justin Trudeau goes to Washington: a Mouse and an Elephant

Years ago, when Pierre Elliott Trudeau or Trudeau père, was Prime Minister of Canada, he compared Canada to a mouse and the United States, to an elephant. One does not put a mouse and an elephant in the same bed. The mouse would be crushed.

Well, the mouse, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, travelled to Washington to meet the elephant, President Donald J. Trump. Canadians were afraid but all is as well as it can be, under the circumstances.

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/anxiety-runs-high-as-trudeau-meets-trump/ar-AAmRYNO?li=AAadgLE&ocid=spartandhp

Difference, but Respect

However, when President Trump met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mr Trudeau won his heart, so to speak, and the heart of Canada’s neighbours to the south. Trudeau noted that Canada was very different from the United States but that both countries respected one another despite differences. Canada has welcomed 40,000 refugees from the Middle East: Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, etc. mostly Muslims, but a few Christians. Canada is nevertheless committed to ending terrorism as are the United States and other countries. Canada did not welcome refugees without the RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, first looking into their background.

Terrorism is a reality. Justin Trudeau spoke truthfully. He saw the World Trade Centre towers crumble and he knows ISIL has attacked Europe countries several times, France in particular. However, Canadians welcomes refugees and mourned when Muslims were attacked at Quebec City’s main mosque. The shooter was Laval University student Alexandre Bissonnette, a French Canadian who was not associated with an Islamic terrorist organisation. Mr Trump would prefer to prevent all Muslims from entering the  United States. This matter was not discussed on 13 February.

A Common Border from the Pacific to the Atlantic

There are differences between Canadians and Americans but Trudeau stated that Canadians and Americans respect one another and that past events have joined them. Americans an Canadians fought together and  Americans and Canadians on D-Day. Many died on Normandy’s beaches and steep cliffs.

Mr Trudeau quoted Winston Churchill who praised Canadians and Americans, and vice versa, for sharing peacefully a border that stretches from sea to sea, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Such words invite the continuation of a good relationship between Canada and the United States.

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Winston Churchill, December 30th, 1941 (Yousuf Karsh)

Common Values

The two leaders, the mouse and the elephant, spoke about another common values. Both want to create jobs that will ensure that citizens of both countries will have an income without which they cannot put bread on the family table. Creating jobs was a matter Mr Trump emphasized during his campaign and it is a common value. The maintenance and prosperity of the middle class is important for Mr Trudeau. Canadians and Americans have been good trading partners for a long time and they will continue to work together for the welfare of their nations. Both nations will strive to create jobs.

Moreover, the United States and Canada will promote the importance of women as leaders, women who share raising a family and working outside their home. Several women are the CEOs of large companies and organisations.

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Ivanka Trump (MSN)

 

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Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump, 13 February 2017 (MSN)

Conclusion

One cannot tell what the future will bring. President Trump has started to deport illegal immigrants, separating  families. A daughter watched her mother being led away. Will President Trump continue to build his wall between the United States and Mexico?  During the weekend, 22 asylum seekers entered Manitoba at Emerson. They had to call 9-1-1 for help. At this time of the year, the cold weather could have killed them. It seems refugees will be able to enter Canada safely and officially. Canada will remain what it has become: multicultural.

President Trump has found a congenial neighbour in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Canadian leader did not utter a word that could be interpreted as divisive during his visit to Mr Trump’s Washington. His meeting with President Trump was in no way confrontational. It was a friendly meeting as I hope further meetings will be.

Justin Trudeau may not be the polished intellectual his father was. But he has a sunny disposition, in two languages, and, during his visit to Washington, his disposition may have served Canadians well. The welfare of the middle class was mentioned, but I believe Wall Street was on many minds. At any rate, President Trump knows that all’s well in Canada and that ‘Justin’ is a mere phone call away. I believe both President Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were reassured. Ivanka sat at the presidential desk, an agreement having been reached to empower women. That is now on an official agenda, but I suspect Justin Trudeau proposed this agenda to please Ivanka.

Would that her father stopped issuing executive orders as though he were an absolute monarch. Would that he relented on deporting people, forcing them to risk their lives to enter Canada. Would that he no longer looked upon Muslims as terrorists. And would that he could see climate change as a major risk. 

A Happy Valentine’s Day. My page entitled “Love celebrated” contains the story of Valentine’s day.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono meeting with Trudeau père

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Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau

 

© Micheline Walker
14 February 2017
WordPress

President Trump inciting Violence

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Europa and bull on a Greek vase. Tarquinia Museum, circa 480 BCE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Changing Computers

Changing computers is a challenge. One has the feeling one is entering a store. One no longer buys Office. Every year Office 365 takes money from your credit card and renews itself. Pressure is put on users to choose Microsoft Edge as one’s default browser. Etc.

Fortunately, WordPress was not a problem except that my one image disappeared and my past post, which I started writing on 6 February, but did not post until 7 February, is dated 6 February 2017.

—ooo—

That post contains important information.

The RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, has determined that Alexandre Bissonnette, the Quebec City shooter, was influenced by Donald Trump, the President of the United States, and Marine Le Pen, the leader of the Front National, a nativist, far-right French political party.

The media wanted to link Alexandre Bissonnette, the shooter in the Quebec City mosque attack, to a Muslim terrorist association. Investigators found no evidence linking the shooter, Alexandre Bissonnette, to a terrorist organization. But his Facebook account reveals that he admired President Trump and Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front. Both Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen are nativists.

So a young French-Canadian student killed and wounded Muslims because he was influenced by President Donald Trump’s Islamophobia and by the President’s hatred of foreigners, which was spread by the media and in particular the social media. He was also influenced by Marine Le Pen’s nativism or xenophobia (fear of foreigners).

The Quebec shooting is case number one, but there could be more shootings if Donald Trump does not abandon all plans of barring Muslims from entering the United States. 

President Trump’s Islamophobia and the media conveying his message have caused one young man to kill Muslims, which means that Mr Trump and the media, including the social media, are endangering the life of North-American Muslims.

President Trump should be impeached on the grounds that he is inciting violence.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/quebec-city-mosque-shooter-was-a-criminal-extremist-rcmp-commissioner/article33920071/

Love to everyone 

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© Micheline Walker
8 February 2017
WordPress

Quebec shooting: “Criminal Extremism”

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http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/march-held-to-honour-mosque-attack-victims/ar-AAmCXHX?li=AAadgLE&ocid=spartandhp

 The Shooter in the Quebec City Attack

The notion persists, in President Trump’s mind, that all Muslims are terrorists. Moreover, it had been suggested that the shooter in the Quebec City attack was supported by a Muslin terrorist organization, but such is not the case..

The shooter in Quebec City is Alexandre Bissonnette, a student at Laval University. He loved guns and, according to his Facebook account, he was interested in nativist Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, a far-right French political party, and nativist Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States. After the attack, he phone 911, the emergency telephone number, to alert the police and tell where he could be picked up.

But we now have news.

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RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson waits to appear before the Senate Committee on National Security and Defense, Monday, February 6, 2017 in Ottawa (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Alexandre Bissonnette: “non-classic” terrorism

Alexandre Bissonnette is considered a “criminal extremist,” which is a crime that is somewhat new to criminologists. I will quote RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] Commissioner Bob Paulson.

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson is warning about “non-classic” terrorism that feeds on hate and controversy on social media, blaming growing political polarization for the deadly shooting at a mosque in Quebec City.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/quebec-city-mosque-shooter-was-a-criminal-extremist-rcmp-commissioner/article33920071/

An Early Report: a Witness not a “Second Man”

  • a man shoveling snow heard shots
  • Alexandre Bissonnette

It was first reported that two men were suspects, one of whom was a Muslim. This Muslim, the “second man,” was not the shooter. He was shoveling snow outside the mosque, heard shots, and entered the building. He saw bleeding bodies and dialed 911, to report that an attack had taken place.

After Mr Bissonnette was taken into custody the “second man” was released. There is no evidence that some Islamic terrorist organization supported Alexandre Bissonnette. Therefore, Alexandre Bissonnette is unlikely to face terror charges.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/terror-charges-unlikely-in-quebec-city-mosque-shooting-lawyer-1.3274551?autoPlay=true

 

Setting the Planet Ablaze

  • President Trump’s Islamophobia is dangerous
  • President Trump searching the White House

President Trump’s Islamophobia and the influence he exerts on the media are extremely dangerous and could set the planet ablaze. The Quebec City attack is an example of the harm President Trump’s Islamophobia and xenophobia can cause. Mr Trump is now fuming because, despite the ban, he is hanging on to his conviction that all Muslims are terrorists. Rumour has it that President Trump is also searching the White House to eliminate traces left by President Obama whom he still sees as a Muslim and, therefore, a terrorist.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/us-politics/trump-immigration-ban-what-we-know/article33822491/

The Injured

  • three released
  • two in intensive care
  • Dr Julien Clément

Three of the injured have been discharged from the L’Enfant-Jésus Hospital, one of three teaching hospitals affiliated with Laval University. Two, however, remain in intensive care. It seems their life is not threatened, but there are complications. Dr Julien Clément was called in. He is a former military surgeon and a trauma specialist who served in the Middle East. Dr Clément originates from Windsor, Ontario, and studied medicine in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and British Columbia. He and his team had difficulty operating because the victims bled profusely. Dr Clément didn’t think he would ever see such carnage in Quebec City.

We must resist President Trump and other nativists and extremists. Allow me to repeat that the suspect in the Quebec City attack is Alexandre Bissonnette, a French-Canadian Laval University student.

I will close by saying that the brutal loss in Quebec City of innocent lives has saddened Canadians “from coast to coast.”

Love to everyone

Gregorio ALLEGRI – Miserere Mei, Deus (+ Lyrics / OXFORD, Choir of New College)

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The Outcast by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1496 (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

© Micheline Walker
7 February 2017
WordPress

Explanations

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2-R42-X1-1483-15-1 Botticelli-Werkstatt, Madonna mit Engeln Botticelli, Sandro (eigentl. Alessandro Filipepi) 1445-1510. Werkstatt. 'Maria mit Kind und Engeln', um 1483-85. (Ausschnitt). Tempera auf Pappelholz, Tondo, Durchmes- ser 114,5 cm. Inv.Nr.1133, Wien, Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste. E: Botticelli Workshop / Madonna w.Angels Botticelli, Sandro (origin. Alessandro Filipepi) 1445-1510. Workshop. 'Mary with the Child and angels', c.1483-85. (Detail). Tempera on poplar, tondo, diameter 114.5cm. Inv.no.1133, Vienna, Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste. F: Botticelli/Atelier/Vierge a l'Enfant Botticelli Sandro , Alessandro Filipepi, dit , 1445-1510. Atelier. -'Vierge a l'Enfant', v. 1483-85. - (Detail). Detrempe sur bois de peuplier. Tondo, diametre : 1,145. Inv.Nr.1133, Vienne, Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste.

Vierge à l’enfant by Sandro Botticelli (Pinterest)

I am using a new computer. Although I said I was buying a new computer a few months ago, I repaired the old one and continued using it until it perished. However, I am making mistakes. For instance, I erased the article I posted yesterday, but I had a copy of it. In the meantime, I accidentally posted an article containing the Marian Antiphons. This is a post I intended to use. It was published in 2011.

Marian Antiphons

My article on Candlemas was first posted in 2012. As for my post on the Marian Antiphons, it was published in 2011. On Candlemas, the seasonal antiphon (une antienne) is the Ave Regina Cælorum. It will be used until Good Friday.

We are somewhat late, but keeping up to date.

Love to everyone 

Sandro Botticelli con Vivaldi

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© Micheline Walker
4 February 2017
WordPress

Sandro Botticelli
Pinterest

Candlemas: the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple & a Festival of Lights

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Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, by Rembrandt van Rijn

Presentation of Jesus at the Temple by Rembrandt van Rijn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rembrandt van Rijn (15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669)

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Simeon’s Song of Praise by Aert de Gelder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aert de Gelder (26 October 1645 – 27 August 1727)

Simeon the Righteous

Linked to the presentation of Jesus at the Temple is the touching story of Simeon the Elder, or Simeon Senex. “According to the Biblical account, Simeon had been visited by the Holy Spirit and told that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. On taking Jesus into his arms he uttered the prayer Nunc dimittis” (Wikipedia), also called the Canticle of Simeon, found in St. Luke’s Gospel (2:29-32). The Nunc dimittis is still used liturgically in many Christian churches.  Simeon also prophesied the crucifixion. He said to Mary:

Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed (Luke 2:34-35).

East and West

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Presentation is called Hypapante (Meeting), “in reference to Jesus’ meeting in the Temple with the aged Simeon” (Wikipedia). Moreover, in the Eastern Church, the Presentation is a celebration of Christ and it is one of The Twelve Feasts, four of which honour Mary. But in the Western Church, Candlemas is the fourth of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary (from rose, the flower) that commemorate Mary.

The Festival of Lights

Candlemas is also joyful because it is a festival of lights and has been so since the fifth century. Candlemas is the day that “all the Church’s candles for the year were blessed” (BBC). As a festival of lights, Candlemas is among the celebrations which, from time immemorial, have been associated with the degree of daylight.

Christianity shaped its liturgical calendar according to what could be called a pagan calendar but is in fact nature’s calendar: the two solstices (Christmas and St John’s Day) and the two equinoctial points (Easter and Michaelmas: end of September). Candlemas is celebrated between the winter solstice, Christmas, and the spring equinox, Easter.

Rome: Candles

According to Brewers’ Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, “the ancient Romans had a custom of burning candles to scare away evil spirits.”[1]  Well, that practice was also long perpetuated, particularly in England, and might be revived.

Groudhog day

We then come to the matter of Groundhog day. Foretelling what the remainder of winter would bring is not new, but the manner differs:

If Candlemas day be dry and fair,
The half o’winter’s come and mair`
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul,
The half o’winter was gone at Youl.

Scottish Proverb[2]

Love to everyone
_________________________
[1] “Candle.Candlemas Day,” Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, revised by Adrian Room, Sixteenth Edition (London: Cassell 2001[1959]).
[2] Ibid.

composer: Palestrina (3 February 1525 or 2 February 1526 – 2 February 1594)
title: Nunc dimittis
performers: The Tallis Scholars

© Micheline Walker
2 February 2012
Reposted 4 February 2017
WordPress

The Blessed Virgin: Mariology

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Annunciation by Paolo de Matteis, 1712. The white lily in the angel's hand is symbolic of Mary's purity in Marian art.

Annunciation by Paolo de’ Matteis, 1712. The white lily in the angel’s hand is symbolic of Mary’s purity in Marian art(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hymns to the Virgin Mary, or Marian hymnology, as I will call it, constitute a substantial part of sacred music. Moreover, Marian art is abundant. Mary’s main feasts are the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception, three of which are related to the Nativity Cycle. The exception would be the Assumption. Mary did not die. She ascended into heaven.

1. The Annunciation

The Feast of the Annunciation commemorates the day on which the Archangel Gabriel visited Mary to announce that she would bear and give birth to the son of God. The Feast of the Annunciation (see Rubens, below) is celebrated on 25th March, exactly nine months before Christmas Day, when Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. The above image is by Paolo de’ Matteis (9 February 1662 – 26 January 1728). 

2. The Nativity

The central Marian feast is the Nativity. The Nativity is in fact a celebration of the birth of Christ, but Marian feasts are rooted in the Nativity cycle. Where Marian art is concerned, the Nativity includes portrayals of the Shepherds in adoration, of the visit by the Kings of Orient, as well as portrayals of the Presentation of Jesus as the firstborn son, and the Purification of Mary. Just below, I have inserted a visit by the Shepherds, by Gerard van Honthorst (4 November 1592 – 27 April 1656), a Dutch Golden Age artist who is also called Gerrit van Honthorst.

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The Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622

3. The Assumption

Mary did not die. She ascended into heaven and her Assumption is celebrated on 15th August. In the Eastern Church, Byzantine Emperor Maurice selected the15th August as the date of the feast of Dormition and Assumption. The 15th of August is also the Feast Day of Acadians. Acadians are the French-speaking inhabitants of Canada’s Atlantic provinces. Their national anthem is the Ave Maris Stella. 

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary by  Rubens 1626

4. The Immaculate Conception

According to Roman Catholicism, Jesus was conceived without stain or macula. This dogma is disputed as it is linked with the notion of an inherent fault, the original sin, the sin committed by Adam and Eve. Newborns or infants who die before Baptism do not go to heaven. They are sent to Limbo.

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THE FOUR ANTIPHONS (Antiennes)

Marian hymnology

As for Marian hymnology, it originally consisted of four antiphons (antiennes, in French) sung in Gregorian Chant. Two, the Alma Redemptoris Mater and the Salve Regina were composed by Hermann of Reichenau, and would have been Gregorian chants. The four Marian antiphons are in fact linked to the Liturgy of the Hours, the Canonical Hours, and commemorate the four seasons.

Antiphons are “responsories” or the response by the choir or the congregation to a psalm or hymn. But they may involve responsorial singing by alternating choirs. More simply expressed, antiphons resemble a refrain. “The refrain was called an antiphon (A). The resulting musical form was A V1 A V2…”[1] As a form, antiphons are not restricted to Marian hymnology. We should also note that Marian feasts are associated with the seasons, as are other Christian feasts.

The Marian liturgical calendar is divided as follows:

Magnificatio, by Sandro Botticelli

Madonna of the Magnificat by Sandro Botticelli, 1481


DETAILS ON THE ANTIPHONS

The Alma Redemptoris Mater

Traditionally, the Alma Redemptoris Mater is sung at the end of Compline, one of the Canonical Hours. It is said to have been composed by Hermannus Contractus (Herman the Cripple) (1013–1054).

The Ave Regina Cœlorum

Traditionally, the Ave Regina Cœlorum has been sung at the end of each Canonical Hours, but mainly Compline, between 2 February (Candlemas or Chandeleur in French) until the Holy Week. Candlemas is the day commemorating the Presentation of the Jesus at the Temple and the Purification of the Virgin Mary.

The Regina Cœli 

The Regina Cœli or Cæli (Queen of Heaven), is a night prayer (Compline or Vespers).  Its authorship has not been determined but it was sung by Franciscans in the 12th century.  It was sung in place of the Angelus from Holy Saturday through Pentecost.  It is therefore associated with the celebration of Easter.

The Salve Regina

The Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) is sung at Compline from the Saturday before Trinity Sunday until the Friday before the first Sunday of Advent (Wikipedia).  It was composed by German monk Hermann of Reichenau, the above-mentioned Hermannus Contractus (Herman the Cripple) (1013–1054), the composer of the Alma Redemptoris Mater.

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However, to the four antiphons, we may add the above-mentioned Ave Maris Stella, Mozart’s breathtaking , various Ave Maria‘s, the most famous of which are Schubert’s Ave Maria, and the Ave Maria Charles Gounod composed on the first prelude of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Wohltemperierte Klavier (BWV 846-893).

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(Please click on the title to hear the music.)


[1]“antiphon.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2011. Web. 23 Dec. 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/28480/antiphon>

Giovanni Legrenzi‘s Ave Maria Cælorum (motet)
Marie-Nicole Lemieux & Philippe Jaroussky

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Madonna by Raphaël

© Micheline Walker
24 December 2011
Reposted 3 February 2017
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Quebec City: One Shooter

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Rumours: Muslims are attacking Muslims

Rumour has it that the suspect in the Quebec City shootings, Alexandre Bissonnette, may have had a Muslim accomplice. There is no evidence supporting this rumour and I wish to quell it. In fact, we do not know Alexandre Bissonnette’s motives. All we know is that the suspect is 27-year-old Laval University student Alexandre Bissonnette, a Quebecer. At first, two suspects were named, but this theory was abandoned. Alexandre Bissonnette is the only suspect.

In short, New York Times journalists Craig S. Smith and Dan Levin gave an accurate and balanced description of events. Canada is growing into a multicultural society and Quebec political leaders advocate interculturalism. However, Canada has its share of extremists and Islamophobia exists in my country as it does in other areas of the world.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/31/quebec-city-mosque-shooting-canada-far-right-politics

Alexandre Bissonnette’s Facebook account revealed that he was following Marine Le Pen‘s National Front, a nativistic French political party. Moreover, it seems that Alexandre Bissonnette was a fan of American President Donald J. Trump, a nativist. The suspect may also have shared sovereigntist Parti Québécois‘ ideology, but I haven’t read from a reliable source that he did and the Parti Québécois does not advocate violence. (See Quebec Sovereignty Movement, Wikipedia.) The more pertinent fact is that the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec has not been identified as an Islamic terrorist cell.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-city-mosque-gun-shots-1.3957686

The Migrant Crisis

The Migrant Crisis has played a significant role in a shift to Far-Right ideologies in many countries. It started with the inconclusive Brexit vote and, on 8 November 2016, the United States elected Donald J. Trump to the presidency of their country. The United States is resisting and such figures as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the daughter of refugees from Czechoslovakia, bemoan the fact that the inhabitants of Syria and six other majority-Muslim countries are temporarily denied entry to the United States. American President Donald J. Trump is keeping his campaign “promises.” On 30 January 2017, the morning after the Quebec City shootings, he announced his anti-immigration and travel policy. Americans are protesting.

Conclusion

We cannot and will not assume that Alexandre Bissonnette was working for a group of Muslim extremists unless clear evidence supports that view. Such a theory is consistent with President Trump’s offensive notion that all Muslims are terrorists. The investigation into the Quebec City attack started as soon as the shootings occurred, but results will not be known until the matter has been fully investigated. It is Canada’s policy to welcome, help and protect its refugees and immigrants, and this will not change. The victims were fine Canadian citizens and Alexandre Bissonnette is the only suspect.

As noted above, events are as described by New York Times journalists Craig S. Smith and Dan Levin.

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Love to everyone 

hold-alexandre-bissonnette

© Micheline Walker
2 February 2017
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Mosque Attack in Quebec City

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Quebec City Mosque attack suspect Alexandre Bissonnette (Facebook)

Quebec City mosque attack suspect Alexandre Bissonnette charged with 6 counts of 1st-degree murder – Montreal – CBC News.  According to Alexandre Bissonnette’s Facebook page, he followed several profiles with right-wing ideologies, including Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader of France’s National Front(Facebook)

A 27-year-old Laval University student, Alexandre Bissonnette, has been charged with 6 counts of murder and 5 counts of attempted murder while using a restricted firearm (CBC). The attack is considered an act of terrorism. Alexandre Bissonnette was a fan of Mr Trump.

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/lone-mosque-suspect-alexandre-bissonnette-230605744.html

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard

‘This horror was based on intolerance’: Quebec premier, Muslims denounce deadly mosque attack

There were vigils on the evening of 30 January 2017 and both the Ottawa and Quebec Parliament’s flag were flying at half-mast. The current outpouring of sympathy towards the Muslim community will not take the victims back to their family and Muslims are afraid, but I hope it will be of some comfort. Quebec Premier Couillard has made it very clear that Canadians had been killed and wounded. I have yet to hear how Canada plans to protect its Muslim citizens, but I presume police surveillance will be increased. The shootings are particularly egregious since they occurred while Muslims were worshiping. This tragedy has hurt Canadians profoundly, from coast to coast, and especially Quebec Canadians where interculturalism has been adopted.

It’s a Canadian tragedy reflecting the shift to the Right affecting various countries.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-city-mosque-shooting-victims-1.3958191

Quebec City mosque shooting victims include businessman, professor and fathers of young children – Montreal – CBC News

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The Victims:

  • Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, was the owner of a halal grocery store;
  • Khaled Belkacemi, 60, was a professor of Engineering at Laval University;
  • Aboubaker Thabti, 44, worked in a pharmacy;
    Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, and Ibrahima Barry, 39, brothers
  • Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, worked in information technology;
  • Ibrahima Barry, 39, worked for Quebec’s Revenue Ministry;
  • Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, was a programming analyst for the Quebec government.

 

All victims had children and all victims were Canadians, whatever their origin. A fund is being raised to cover funeral costs. We are awaiting details regarding the wounded.

President Trump’s Visit to Canada

United States President Donald J. Trump is scheduled to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week. Yesterday, 30 January 2017, President Trump “cracked down on immigration and travel.”

Despite the might of American President Trump, I believe that protection of Canada’s identity, values and environment will be foremost in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mind. Canadian Prime Ministers must respect and love their American counterparts, they need not please them. Our border both joins and separates us. (See Canada-United States Border, Wikipedia.)

Allow me to quote Trudeau père (see Pierre E. Trudeau, Wikipedia):

A man who tries to please all men by weakening his position or compromising his beliefs, in the end has neither position nor beliefs.

I feel very sorry for the family of victims and offer sincere condolences.

Love to everyone ♥

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard

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© Micheline Walker
30 January 2017
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