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Greetings to each and everyone of you.


This section for English-speaking viewers –
and all those enjoying the culture –

has developed over the months and is now offering materials of all kinds:

texts, images, poems, videos, etc.

It will continue to provide you with rich contents week after week.

 

World Lion Day – 10 August

World Lion Day on August 10 aims to raise awareness about the plight faced by lions. Scientifically known as ‘Panthero Leo,’ lions are one of the most well-known  popular animal species out there. They are called the ‘Kings of the Jungle’ due to their arresting and fearsome personalities created by their great bodies and heavy, shiny manes. A lion’s powerful roar is second to none, and it can be heard even five miles away. Owing to the pop culture icons like Simba from “The Lion King”, lions are also loved by children. However, while lions existed in large populations 100 years ago, today, their numbers are just below 50,000 worldwide as a result of poaching and hunting. World Lion Day, therefore, brings attention to this endangered species by raising funds and ramping up protective measures.

The lion comes from the ‘Felidae’ family of cats, and it is considered to be an apex predator. It is the second-largest cat weighing around 300 to 600 pounds, with the first being its cousin, the tiger. An average lion’s body is muscular with a short round head and ears, and a tufty tail. Its sex can be identified through its heavy and luscious mane, which are absent on lionesses. Lions also happen to be the only cats who roam around in large groups known as prides. Scientists believe that lions do so because it is easier to catch prey in the wild. Their natural habitats are savannas and grasslands. You will most likely find a pride of lions near water bodies as they strategically wait for prey to come there for a drink and then pounce on them.

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Lions have freely roamed the Earth across Asia, Africa, Middle East, and Europe as far back as 3 million years ago. But now, they are listed as vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. Although they are still not classified as endangered species, lions still face a lot of obstacles for their survival.

Right now, there are about 30,000 to 100,000 lions in our planet. Over the past few decades, the population of lions have decreased by half. This was caused by widespread loss of their habitat as well as trophy farming.

 

Source: Text: https://nationaltoday.com   dayfinders.com     Image: dayfinders.com

19th Sunday of Year C – 2022

The 2nd reading of this Sunday speaks of people and events long gone (Hebrew 11:1-2,8-19).
The people involved and their experiences may seem distant and strange to us and yet…
Yet, what is described in this text has a message that is very relevant to us in our own time.

Those people are often referred to as ‘our ancestors in the faith’.
They saw themselves as “strangers and nomads on earth.”

What does this really mean?
The text goes on to explain what the words express:

“People who use such terms about  themselves make it quite plain  that they are in search of their real homeland.”

If we think about it, is this not what we, ourselves, are meant to be: strangers and nomads?
Is our life on this planet not meant to be a search for another place –
“the place founded for us by God », as the text says.

Not being satisfied, not being engrossed in what is available, but longing for something else…
Looking, searching, trying to find…
Not being totally absorbed in the present, but being aware that there is more awaiting us…

Satisfying experiences, fulfilling achievements, rewarding adventures –
all this can be gratifying but… this is not the full purpose of our existence on this earth.

There is MORE – deeper knowledge, greater fulfilment, more intense happiness.
MORE – a more authentic life, a closer relationship with the God who made us.

We do not see this, but we believe that this is what is waiting for us.
And, the first lines of the reading tell us:

“Faith is confidence in what we hope for 
and assurance about what we do not see.”

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/19e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2022/

 

Source: Images: Scripture Images   Unsplash

Africa’s Women’s Day – 31 July

About Africa’s Women Day

Africa’s Women’s Day is observed annually across the continent on 31 July and is a day earmarked to recognise and affirm the role of women’s organising in achieving the political freedom of Africa and advancing the social and economic status of women on the continent.

Africa’s Women’s Day was proclaimed as a day to be commemorated during the first conference of the Pan-African Women’s Organization (PAWO) which was held in July 1962 in Dar-es-Salaam Tanganyika (now known as Tanzania).

Africa’s Women’s Day offers a national, continental and global opportunity to recall and affirm the significant role of African women in the evolution of a strong Pan-African identity, with shared values, objectives and vision for the future, as well as women being key contributors towards achieving Africa’s inclusive growth and sustainable development agenda anchored in the AU vision of an integrated prosperous and peaceful Africa.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://au.int/en/africa-womens-day

 

World Day Against Traficking in Persons – 30 July 2022

THEME 2022: “Use and abuse of technology” 

This year’s theme focuses on the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking.

With the global expansion in the use of technology – intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift of our everyday life to online platforms — the crime of human trafficking has conquered cyber space. The internet and digital platforms offer traffickers numerous tools to recruit, exploit, and control victims; organize their transport and accommodation; advertise victims and reach out to potential clients; communicate among perpetrators; and hide criminal proceeds – and all that with greater speed, cost-effectiveness and anonymity.

Moreover, technology allows these criminals to operate internationally across jurisdictions and evade detection with greater ease. Traffickers use social media to identify, groom and recruit victims, including children; e-mails and messaging services are used for the moral coercion of the victims; and online platforms allow traffickers to widely advertise services provided by victims, including child photographical material.

Crisis situations can also intensify this problem. Criminals profit from the chaos, desperation, and separation of people – particularly women and children – from support systems and family members.

For people on the move, online resources can become a trap, especially when it comes to phony travel arrangements and fake job offers targeting vulnerable groups.

However, in the use of technology also lies great opportunity. Future success in eradicating human trafficking will depend on how law enforcement, the criminal justice systems and others can leverage technology in their responses, including by aiding investigations to shed light on the modus operandi of trafficking networks; enhancing prosecutions through digital evidence to alleviate the situation of victims in criminal proceedings; and providing support services to survivors. Prevention and awareness-raising activities on the safe use of the internet and social media could help mitigate the risk of people falling victim of trafficking online. Cooperation with the private sector is important to harness innovation and expertise for the development of sustainable technology-based solutions to support prevention and combatting of human trafficking.

 

Source: Text: un.org   Image: 123RF

International Day of Friendship – 30 July

Sharing the human spirit through friendship

Our world faces many challenges, crises and forces of division — such as poverty, violence, and human rights abuses — among many others — that undermine peace, security, development and social harmony among the world’s peoples.

To confront those crises and challenges, their root causes must be addressed by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms — the simplest of which is friendship.

Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.

Background

The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

The resolution places emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.

To mark the International Day of Friendship the UN encourages governments, international organizations and civil society groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

The International Day of Friendship is an initiative that follows on the proposal made by UNESCO defining the Culture of Peace as a set of values, attitudes and behaviours that reject violence and endeavour to prevent conflicts by addressing their root causes with a view to solving problems. It was then adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1997.

 

Source: Text & Image: un.org

18th Sunday of Year C – 2022

Belongings, possessions, riches – all items referring to one’s property.
They describe things of value acquired by someone.
Houses, cars, jewels, come immediately to mind, but many more ordinary or unusual items could also be mentioned!

The author of today’s 1st reading (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23) had his own detailed list of all that he had managed to obtain for himself.
(The list is in the words at the beginning of chapter 2 not read in the celebration itself but can be found in the Bible).
Yet, this rich man admitted that all his riches did not make him happy.

This Bible text suggested another one published as a modern parable which I share with you.

A very rich and clever man had gathered a large  fortune. He had managed to get all the things he wanted. After some time, he realized he had everything, except happiness.
One day, he heard about a wise man living by himself in the desert. Of him, people said he was the happiest man in the world and that it was enough to wear his shirt to be fully happy.

The rich man went to him; he bowed low offering him a bag filled with gold and asking to buy his shirt.
“I cannot sell it to you”, said the wise man.
“Why not”, said the rich man.
“Because I have none.”
“If you don’t have even a shirt, how can you be happy?”
To this, the wise man replied, “Only one thing makes a human being happy: a treasure. Woe to him/her who is without a treasure.”
The man with the large fortune exclaimed: “Treasures, I have so many, yet I am not happy,”
Then, the words of wisdom slowly came out: “You have money in plenty and possessions of all kinds, but you have no treasure. This is why you are so sad.”

The exclamation reaches to each one: “Who to him/her who is without a treasure.”

But… not just any treasure can bring happiness…
It is the one Jesus mentions in today’s gospel (Luke 12:13-21):
“Making himself (herself) rich in the sight of God.»
 
Something to be learned, day after day, by each and everyone who longs to be… HAPPY…

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a similar theme but presented differently in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/18e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2022/

 

Source: Text of the modern parable of the rich man: Translation and adaptation of Lettie Morse, Living with Christ, 20 June 1982      Images: Pinterest  Adobe Stock

World Youth Day – 26 July 2022

220px-WYD-2008Not to be confused with International Youth Day or World Festival of Youth and Students.

World Youth Day (WYD) is an event for young people organized every three (or sometimes, two) years by the Catholic Church.

World Youth Day was initiated by Saint Pope John Paul II in 1985. For the first celebration of WYD in 1986, bishops all over the world were invited to schedule an annual youth event to be held every Palm Sunday in their dioceses.

It is celebrated at the diocesan level annually, and at the international level every two to three years at different locations. The 1995 World Youth Day closing Mass in the Philippines set a world record for largest number of people 220px-Francisco_Papa_Jornada_Mundial_de_la_Juventud_Rio_de_Janeiro_Julio_2013_A gathered for a single religious event (with 5 million attendees)— a record surpassed when 6 million attended a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in the Philippines 20 years later in 2015.

Source: Text & Images: Wikipedia    Images, left: Crowd at Barangaroo, Sydney, for first day of WYD08 celebrations    right: Pope Francis arrives at Copacabana, 26 July 2013

World Youth Day 2023 (PortugueseJornada Mundial da Juventude de 2023) will be a Catholic festival held in LisbonPortugal, and was originally scheduled to be celebrated in summer 2022. This was announced by Pope Francis and Kevin Farrell at the end of the closing Mass of World Youth Day 2019 in Panama City, Panama. Originally scheduled to be held in August 2022, the Holy See announced on April 20, 2020, that it will be postponed until August 2023 due to the 2019–22 coronavirus pandemic, as such, it will be held on August 1st–6th, 2023.

Source: Text: en.wikipedia.org

World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly – 24 July 2022

Pope Francis has decided to institute the Church-wide celebration of World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. It will be held on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus.

Cardinal Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, pointed out that “this is the first fruits of the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, a gift to the whole Church that is destined to continue into the future. The pastoral care of the elderly is a priority that can no longer be postponed by any Christian community.  In the encyclical Fratelli Tutti, the Holy Father reminds us that no one is saved alone. With this in mind, we must treasure the spiritual and human wealth that has been handed down from generation to generation”.

In old age they will still bear fruit

This is the theme chosen by the Holy Father for the II World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly 2022.

  On Sunday, July 24, 2022, the Second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated throughout the universal Church. The theme chosen by the Holy Father for the occasion is: « In old age they will still bear fruit ».

 

Source: Text: www.laityfamilylife.va    Image: Unsplash

17th Sunday of Year C – 2022

People who persist in following us to obtain something are not always rewarded!
Those who insist to attract our attention and awaken our interest will end up, very often, disappointed.
Insistence and persistence are often seen as obstination and do not gain our favor.

But it seems that… with God, things are different!
The 1st reading and the gospel of this Sunday show this clearly.

In the 1st reading we meet Abraham who pleads with God in a way that some would see as harassment.
And, amazingly, God goes along with this and accepts Abraham’s terms time and again (Genesis 18:20-32).

In the gospel, Jesus himself, tells a story meant to be the model of our approach to God:
asking, keeping on asking… until we are given what we want! (Luc 11:1-13).

To God, perseverance appears to be an important quality when presenting ourselves – and our requests – to him!
Singlemindedness and steadfastness are attitudes that can obtain from God… all that he is eager to give us in the first place!

Unfortunately, when knocking at his door… at times, we do not allow him to answer so much in a hurry are we to explore other avenues and… lacking trust in his unfailing generosity…

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/17e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2022/

 

 

Source: Images: walkwithgodthejourney.com   aleteia.org

Palace Day – 19 July 2022

For the seventh year in a row, the Network of European Royal Residences invites its members, cultural and political institutions, historic houses and their audiences to celebrate heritage on social media on July 19, 2022!

THE 2022 PALACE DAY WILL BE DEDICATED TO BIODIVERSITY!

This year, let’s talk about biodiversity !! When you talk about royal residences, we generally think to a big palace full of gold, paintings, sculptures, etc. But we often forget the wonderful biodiversity that we can admire in the parks and in the gardens of the royal residences. Exotic trees, thousands of bird species, wild animals, Royal Residences are home of an rich and various fauna and flora. And it’s not something recent!

Fauna and flora are often represented in the sculptures, the paintings, the artworks in the royal residences. Kings and Queens of Europe brought exotic plants for their gardens and wild animals for their “menagerie” and have contributed to the diversity of species. And today, professionals of palace-museums raise awareness and preserve this incredible biodiversity which is totally part of the richness of Palace-museums and the natural heritage!

 

Source: Text: www.palaceday.com    Image: unsplash.com