Serenade for Animals !

Music has many uses in our lives – a music box or a lullaby can calm a restless baby, and eventually put it to sleep; a fast, steady techno music playing on your headphones can motivate you to sweat more at the treadmill. Music in the movies can arouse a whole spectrum of emotions in us – from fear and suspense in “Jaws” and “Psycho,”  to tenderness and sentimentality in “On Golden Pond” and “Somewhere in Time.”

I myself cannot cross the portal to Dreamland if I do not have soothing music playing on my MP3 player. Funny but it’s also true that many students cannot study well or concentrate on their reading if there is no music playing in their earphones, or at least in their room.

Music is so commonplace in our everyday lives that most of the time, we just take it for granted. But we know its importance that’s why poets and sages have praised it for ages. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  wrote “Music is the universal language of mankind – poetry their pastime and delight.”  William Congreve wrote “Music has charms to sooth a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” But some people think “Music can sooth a savage beast” as well. Let’s take a look how music soothes a walrus, a leopard seal, and a herd of cattle,


[source: Walrus enjoys relaxing flute performance by alizbarharp on Rumble]

At the Dolphinarium Aquatoria in Crimea, Alzibar plays the flute for Samson, the walrus. It seems he is enjoying the free performance.


 

Steve jazzes it up with his saxophone to entertain Casey, a leopard seal at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia.


 

Peabody, Kansas farmer Derek Klingenberg knows his cattle very well, as much as his cattle know his trombone.


 

Some animals aren’t as appreciative to music, as we can see here:  Derek’s brother playing “Home on The Range” on his trumpet to his chicken. He probably should have played “Reveille” instead.


GoPro Hero4 Camera

GoPro HERO4

Various Prayers for Financial Help

MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP : Prayer for Financial AidMother of Perpetual Help

Realizing, dear Mother Mary,that thou art our Perpetual Help not only in spiritual but likewise in temporal necessities, we approach thee with submissive and humble hearts, because we have a child-like confidence in thy power and goodness,beseeching thee to assist us in our present financial worry.

Owing to untoward circumstances which have arisen in our lives, we are in dire want, being unable to meet our honest debts.

We are not asking, dearest Mother for wealth, if possession of it is not in accordance with the holy will of God; we merely beg for that assistance which will enable us to satisfy our pressing obligations.

We believe, dear Mother, that thou art the Queen of heaven and earth, and as such, the instrument and special dispensation of thy Son Jesus Christ; that thou hast acquired by virtue of thy wonderful dignity, a sweet jurisdiction over all creation.

We believe that thou art not only rich and bountiful, but extremely kind and generous to all thy loving children.

We plead with thee then, dear Mother, to obtain for us the help we so urgently need in our present financial difficulty.

We thank thee, dear Lady and promise to publish far and wide, the marvels of thy glorious Picture.  Amen.

 


OUR LADY OF GOOD REMEDY  (NOVENA)

Our Lady of Good RemedyO QUEEN OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, Most Holy Virgin, we venerate thee. Thou art the beloved Daughter of the Most High God, the chosen Mother of the Incarnate Word, the Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Sacred Vessel of the Most Holy Trinity.  O Mother of the Divine Redeemer, who under the title of Our Lady of Good Remedy comes to the aid of all who call upon thee, extend thy maternal protection to us. We depend on thee, Dear Mother, as helpless and needy children depend on a tender and caring mother.

Hail, Mary . . .

O LADY OF GOOD REMEDY, source of unfailing help, grant that we may draw from thy treasury of graces in our time of need.  Touch the hearts of sinners, that they may seek reconciliation and forgiveness. Bring comfort to the afflicted and the lonely; help the poor and the hopeless; aid the sick and the suffering. May they be healed in body and strengthened in spirit to endure their sufferings with patient resignation and Christian fortitude.

Hail, Mary . . .

DEAR LADY OF GOOD REMEDY, source of unfailing help, thy compassionate heart knows a remedy for every affliction and misery we encounter in life. Help me with thy prayers and intercession to find a remedy for my problems and needs, especially for… (indicate your special intentions here).  On my part, O loving Mother, I pledge myself to a more intensely Christian lifestyle, to a more careful observance of the laws of God, to be more conscientious in fulfilling the obligations of my state in life, and to strive to be a source of healing in this broken world of ours.  Dear Lady of Good Remedy, be ever present to me, and through thy intercession, may I enjoy health of body and peace of mind, and grow stronger in the faith and in the love of thy Son, Jesus.

Hail, Mary . . .

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of Good Remedy,
R. That we may deepen our dedication to thy Son, and make the world alive with His Spirit.


Prayers to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

PRAYER to ST. PADRE PIO

Dear God, You gPadre-Pio1enerously blessed Your servant, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, with the gifts of the Spirit. You marked his body with the five wounds of Christ Crucified, as a powerful witness to the saving Passion and Death of Your Son. Endowed with the gift of discernment, St. Pio labored endlessly in the confessional for the salvation of souls. With reverence and intense devotion in the celebration of Mass, he invited countless men and women to a greater union with Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Through the intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, I confidently beseech You to grant me the grace of (here state your petition). Amen.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen (Say three times)

 

A PRAYER TO PADRE PIO

Beloved Padre Pio, today I come to add my prayer to the thousands of prayers offered to you every day by those who love and venerate you. They ask for cures and healings, earthly and spiritual blessings, and peace for body and mind. And because of your friendship with the Lord, He heals those you ask to be healed, and forgives those you forgive.

Through your visible wounds of the Cross, which you bore for 50 years, you were chosen in our time to glorify the crucified Jesus. Because the Cross has been replaced by other symbols, please help us to bring it back in our midst, for we acknowledge it is the only true sign of salvation.

As we lovingly recall the wounds that pierced your hands, feet and side, we not only remember the blood you shed in pain, but your smile, and the invisible halo of sweet smelling flowers that surrounded your presence, the perfume of sanctity.

Padre Pio, may the healings of the sick become the testimony that the Lord has invited you to join the holy company of Saints. In your kindness, please help me with my own special request: (mention here your petition, and make the sign of the Cross).

Bless me and my loved ones. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


 


San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod : Two Filipino Saints

In the Roman Catholic religion, the path to Sainthood involves a tedious 4-step investigative process. Not going into details, the candidate must satisfy different sets of criteria in order to pass the four stages to Sainthood and earn its corresponding titles – “Servant of God,” “Venerable,” “Blessed,” and finally “Saint.”

The Philippines is the only Asian country with a predominantly Roman Catholic population. It has produced two officially-canonized saints in a span of 25 years.

The first Filipino to be canonized as a saint is San Lorenzo Ruiz. Beatified (proclaimed “Blessed”) in February 1981 by Pope John Paul II, the same Pope would canonize Lorenzo Ruiz in 1987.

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San Lorenzo Ruiz

San Lorenzo Ruiz was born in Manila ca. 1600. His father was Chinese, his mother was Filipina. He first served as an altar boy, then as a clerk at the Binondo Church. In 1636, he went to Japan together with other Dominican priests; this was not the best time to be in that country because Christians were being persecuted there. San Lorenzo and his companions were arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. The Japanese offered them freedom if they would renounce their Catholic faith. They refused and their torture continued which subsequently caused their death.

Pope John Paul II canonized San Lorenzo Ruiz, together with 15 other Martyrs on Oct. 18, 1987. The saint’s feast day is Sept. 28.

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San Pedro Calungsod (painting by Rafael del Casal)

The second Filipino saint is San Pedro Calungsod. Beatified in March 2000 by Pope John Paul II, Calungsod was canonized just 2 weeks ago, on Oct. 21, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.

Sept. 2 is the feast day of San Pedro Calungsod, this being the date of his death.

San Pedro Calungsod was a sacristan and a missionary cathechist. Born in 1654 in the Diocese of Cebu, Pedro was quite very young when he, together with some Spanish Jesuits traveled to the Mariana islands to spread the Gospel. Later he and a missionary priest, (Blessed) Diego Luis de San Vitores would proceed to Guam. On Sept. 2, 1672, the two would be killed by a hostile Chamorro for baptizing the latter’s newborn baby girl. Pedro was only 17 at the time of his death.

The next possible Filipino saint could be Felipe Songsong, a Jesuit missionary from Macabebe, Pampanga. He is a candidate for Beatification in Rome. He was a contemporary of San Pedro Calungsod, although he was 43 years older than the Visayan saint. [Here is an interesting trivia - Felipe was born in May 1, 1611; the University of Santo Tomas (the Philippines' and Asia's oldest university) was officially founded on April 28, 1611. The U.S.T was only 3 days old when Felipe was born.]

Meet Nick Vujicic, a real-life “Superman”

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Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic (pronounced “vooy-chich’) is the real-life Superman. He can swim, play golf and has 2 college degrees at age 21 (accountancy and financial planning). He has starred in a short film “The Butterfly Circus” which won him a Best Actor Award in a Film Festival, has helped thousands of people, and has inspired perhaps a million more. Not an ordinary feat for an ordinary man. But Nick is no ordinary man – he was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a very rare disorder characterized by the absence of arms and legs. At age 29, he must have accomplished more than a “complete” man even twice his age.

Born on December 4, 1982 in Brisbane, Australia, Nick’s childhood was quite expectedly not a bed of roses. Simple and basic personal chores like brushing one’s teeth, or dressing oneself up which we take for granted are almost impossible tasks for Nick. But these were nothing compared to not being accepted and feel wanted, especially by your peers in school. Depression and loneliness were his usual companions. But God’s love for this man would turn his life around, and God would even make him His instrument to spread His words of hope, charity, and love.

After constant struggles, God would transform Nick from a nobody to a SOMEBODY. At age 17, Nick founded Life Without Limbs, a non-profit organization where he is President and CEO. Its mission is “to cross boundaries and break down barriers, to build bridges that bring people to the love and hope found in Jesus Christ.” Next year, it would embark on a massive World Outreach, with an itinerary of 27 countries, including Japan, North and South Korea, Hong Kong, Paraguay, Venezuela, the Philippines, and 20 other countries.

 

 

Here is the link where you can help in this endeavor:
http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/worldoutreach/donation-map/

Nick is now based in California since 2007 where he is an Evangelist and a motivational speaker. In 2010, He has written an autobiography “Life Without Limits” (Random House). He married his fiancee Kanae Miyahara in February 12, 2012, and they are expecting their first child, a baby boy.

[Update -  May 10, 2013] – Their first-born, baby boy Kiyoshi James Vujicic was born on Feb. 13, 2013, weighing 8 pounds 10 ounces.    (from http://africanspotlight.com/blog/2013/02/23/popular-limbless-evangelist-nick-vujicic-welcomes-baby-son-photo/


 

The Perpetuum Jazzile (Slovenian Pop Vocal Group)

I found this sensational singing group via the Youtube about two years ago – the Perpetuum Jazzile. I thought they should be seen and heard by more people because they’re so good that their YouTube video of “Africa” has more than 13.7 million views as of this posting. (update – as of July 2, 2014, this video has 16.6 million views)

This humongous vocal ensemble from Slovenia was formed in the early 80′s under the name of Gaudeamus Chamber Choir. Its repertoire encompasses pop, jazz, bossa nova, to funk and soul music. The choir performs exceedingly well in both a cappella and with instrumental accompaniment.

The Perpetuum Jazzile has performed in the USA, Canada, Eastern Europe, and Germany. It has released at least 6 albums. Their version of “Africa” sure made first-time viewers instant fans of Perpetuum Jazzile.

 

Here are some of the group’s other wonderful performances:

 

ABBA GREATEST HITS MEDLEY

 


 

TELEPHONE (LADY GAGA)

 


 

 EARTH, WIND AND FIRE MEDLEY

 


 

TITANIUM

 


“Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry” – St. Pio (Padre Pio)

Today, Sept 23 is the feast day of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Benevento, Italy), who died 44 years ago in 1968 at the age of 81.

Padre-PioBorn Francesco Forgione in May 25, 1887, St. Pio knew as early as age 5 that he wanted to live a religious life. When he was about 10 years old, he told his parents that he wanted to be friar. His family was poor, and his father had to leave Italy for America to be able to finance his studies/tutoring which would prepare him for admission at the local seminary.

When he became a Capuchin priest, he took the name Pio, after the name Pope Pius V, the patron saint of Pietrelcino. Soon after, he would become a stigmatist, a person who bears the wounds of the crucified Christ.

Initially, the wounds or the stigmata were invisible – there were no outward manifestations of these. Still, St. Pio felt the excruciating pain caused by these invisible wounds. Later, the stigmata would become visible on his hands, feet, and on his side. He would patiently bear these wounds for 50 years, disappearing only a few days before his death.

It was said that his wounds emitted a very pleasant, sweet scent – some describe it as perfume-smelling, others attest it smelled like flowers. The faithful ascribe it to a phenomenon known as the “odour of sanctity.”

Countless miracles were attributed to St. Pio during and after his lifetime. One of the more noteworthy is the case of Gemma DiGiorgio, the blind girl born with no pupils on her eyes. In 1947, when she was 7 years old, Gemma recovered her sight after St. Pio blessed her eyes with the Sign of the Cross. There are numerous similar stories of healing and conversion. Fr. Marcellino Iasenzaniro has written three volumes entitled “Testimonies” which are about the miracles that St. Pio had interceded for, and the various spiritual experiences of the people that he had touched.

Aside from performing miracles, St. Pio also built a hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo, “La Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” or The Home to Relieve Suffering. Envisioned perhaps much earlier, it was in 1940 that St. Pio began plans on building this hospital. Amidst various stumbling blocks – controversies, the 2nd World War, and mainly shortage of funds, the hospital was finally completed and opened in 1956. Now, after more than 50 years of existence, the present structure is said to be three times bigger than the original.

Now, after 44 years since St. Padre Pio joined his Maker, he continues to bring miracles, healing, and conversion to those who seek his intercession and assistance. The following is a powerful intercessory prayer to St. Pio.

——————–

PRAYER to ST. PADRE PIO

Dear God, You generously blessed Your servant, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, with the gifts of the Spirit. You marked his body with the five wounds of Christ Crucified, as a powerful witness to the saving Passion and Death of Your Son. Endowed with the gift of discernment, St. Pio labored endlessly in the confessional for the salvation of souls. With reverence and intense devotion in the celebration of Mass, he invited countless men and women to a greater union with Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Through the intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, I confidently beseech You to grant me the grace of (here state your petition). Amen.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen (Say three times)

——————–

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St. Pio Chapel in Libis, Quezon City

In the Philippines, there are at least two popular structures that bears the name of St. Pio. One is the National Shrine of Padre Pio in Barangay San Pedro, Sto. Tomas, Batangas. Its phone numbers are (043) 784.3568 and (043) 455.0894.

The other is the St. Pio of Pietrelcina Center, a chapel in Libis, Quezon City, near the Petron Gas Station beside Honda Cars in C-5 Road. For mass schedules and other info, call (632) 634.3668.

Let us remember St. Pio on his feast day today, and everyday. It is also wise to follow his admonition : “Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry!”

Have a blessed day!!!

The First Man on the Moon and The New York Sun’s Great Moon Hoax of 1835

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Mr. Neil Armstrong in 1969

Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot and walk on the Earth’s moon on July 21, 1969, died August 25, 2012, at age 82. He was also the man who said the famous words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  Indeed, since that time, man has taken humongous strides in many things – in astronomy and space travel, in medicine, etc.  But the thing that has the most apparent effect on almost every living person on this planet is the leap that the Information Technology is making. Vast information on almost any topic or subject is literally just a click away for those with access to an internet connection.

Interestingly enough, 177 years to the day Mr. Armstrong died, in the year 1835, the dissemination of information (and misinformation) wasn’t as speedy as today. So much so that one cannot immediately verify  the veracity or accuracy of things written (or spoken) as facts. And so, here is another “moon story.”

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The Great Moon Hoax of 1835

In 1835, beginning on August 25, the New York Sun newspaper ran a six-part series of articles, which came to be known as “The Great Moon Hoax.” It tells of the discovery of Sir John Herschel, with the aid of a new powerful telescope, of fantastic life forms on the moon : winged humanoids that resembled bats, tailless beavers, unicorns, lush plant life.

The articles were written by a “Dr. Andrew Grant,” who was supposedly a traveling companion to Sir John Herschel. The New York Sun enjoyed a marked increase in readership following the publication of these, even after admitting these as a hoax a few weeks later.