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 Day Animal Intelligence – 25 May

Smart Species
Because animals cannot read or speak, their aptitude is difficult to discern, much less measure. Thus, comparative psychologists have invented behavior-based tests to assess birds’ and mammals’ abilities to learn and remember, to comprehend numbers and to solve practical problems. Animals of various stripes-but especially nonhuman primates-often earn high marks on such action-oriented IQ tests.

During World War I, German psychologist Wolfgang, for example, showed that chimpanzees, when confronted with fruit hanging from a high ceiling, devised an ingenious way to get it: they stacked boxes to stand on to reach the fruit. They also constructed long sticks to reach food outside their enclosure. Researchers now know that great apes have a sophisticated understanding of tool use and construction.

Psychologists have used such behavioral tests to illuminate similar cognitive feats in other mammals as well as in birds. Pigeons can discriminate between male and female faces and among paintings by different artists; they can also group pictures into categories such as trees, selecting those belonging to a category by pecking with their beaks, an action that often brings a food reward. Crows have intellectual capacities that are overturning conventional wisdom about the brain.

Behavioral ecologists, on the other hand, prefer to judge animals on their street smarts that is, their ability to solve problems relevant to survival in their natural habitats-rather than on their test-taking talents. In this view, intelligence is a cluster of capabilities that evolved in response to particular environments.

Some scientists have further proposed that mental or behavioral flexibility, the ability to come up with novel solutions to problems, is another good measure of animal intellect. Among birds, green herons occasionally throw an object in the water to lure curious fish a trick that, ornithologists have observed, has been reinvented by groups of these animals living in distant locales. Even fish display remarkable practical intelligence, such as the use of tools, in the wild.

Cichlid fish, for instance, use leaves as “baby carriages” for their egg masses. Animals also can display human-like social intelligence. Monkeys engage in deception, for example; dolphins have been known to care for another injured pod member (displaying empathy), and a whale or porpoise may recognize itself in the mirror.

Source: Text: semanticscholars.org Images: Mercola Healthy Pets – Dr. Mercola   whatsmyspiritualanimal.com


Feast of the Holy Trinity, year B

Promises – they are important, we rely on them,
especially when they are from people who are trustworthy.
And then… there are very special promises: those from… God himself!

In today gospel, on the Feast of the Holy Trinity (Year B – Mt.28:16-20), the last verse gives us precisely this:
a promise from Jesus assuring us:

”I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.”
An astonishing statement, all the more so when we remember that he also said:
“The Father and I are one” (Jn.10:30) and
“The Spirit is with you, in you” (Jn.14:17).

So, these three verses summarize, in a way, what today’s feast is about:
the Father, Jesus himself and the Spirit are with us, in us,
yes, “until the end of time.”

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-la-sainte-trinite-annee-b/

Source: Image: Brainy Quotes

International Missing Children’s Day – 25 May

International Missing Children’s

The Network has 23 member countries: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the US.

Every year on May 25, GMCN (Global Missing Children Network) members pay respects to International Missing Children’s Day, honoring missing and abducted children while celebrating those who have been recovered. Following the 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz in New York City, May 25 was established as Missing Children’s Day in the US by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

In 2001, the tribute spread worldwide. ICMEC (International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children) coordinates the Help Bring Them Home campaign in 22 countries, in conjunction with International Missing Children’s Day, to spotlight the issue of child abduction around the world, and to suggest to parents some steps they can take to protect their children.

Source: Text: Wikipedia Image: Our Community

International Biodiversity Day – 22 May

Celebrate 25 years of action on International Biodiversity Day – 22 May

Around the world, people are organizing celebrations on 22 May 2018, the International Day for Biodiversity. The celebrations highlight 25 years of action to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity and build a future of live in harmony with nature.

Source: Text: www.lucn.org   Image: https://www.cbd.int


World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development – 21 May

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is annually held on May 21 to help people learn about the importance of cultural diversity and harmony.


The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in Paris, France, on November 2, 2001. It was the 249th resolution adopted at the 57th session of the United Nations General Conference. Although the declaration was the culmination of years of work, it was adopted in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This reaffirmed the need for intercultural dialogue to prevent segregation and fundamentalism.

The year 2002 was the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage. At the end of that year, on December 20, 2002, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The General Assembly emphasized links between the protection of cultural diversity and the importance of dialogue between civilizations in the modern world. The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was first observed in 2003.

Source: Text: www.timeanddate.com  Image: Twitter

Feast of Pentecost, Year B

« Each one bewildered…
They were amazed and astonished… »  

This is what the 1st reading of this feast of Pentecost tells us (Acts 2:1-11)
about the Christians of the first century.
Fast forward to the 21st century, our own period of Christian living,
could not this text describe us as well?
Confused, amazed, astonished, wondering…

We must confess that we try

  • to have interesting ideas,
  • to share joyful messages,
  • to speak words of comfort.

We do our best to be serene and adopt a positive outlook on life.
We want to radiate good feelings and be generally… optimistic, do we not?

But we need to admit that… it does not work –
at least not always, not as often as we would want to.
It happens that we are simply… ‘not in the mood’, as we say.
Our spirits are low and we feel downcast.
We realize that we need a change – a change of… spirit.

Could it be that we need… the Spirit of God?!
In the 2nd reading (Gal.5:16-25) Paul writing to the Christians of Galatia tells them of the fruits of the Spirit:
“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self-control…”

Different from what we think, feel, see around?
But we cannot simply, take, grab, appropriate such attitudes –
we need to learn to… grow into them.
With some help? Of course!

But help is available, offered and freely given… if we only ask for it… yes, ASK FOR IT –
on Pentecost, and every day!

Source: Images: jw.org   memorizesciptureonthego.com


World Hypertension Day – 17 May

World Hypertension Day might sound like an intensely stressful day, which causes high blood pressure, but it is in fact an educational event, designed to prevent instances of hypertension.

Created by the World Hypertension League in 2005, the day is intended to increase awareness of the condition and issues surrounding it. Awareness of hypertension is considered to be vitally important, due to the number of deaths linked with associated heart attacks, kidney disease and strokes. There is also a perceived lack of awareness about hypertension amongst the general public, which the WHL hopes to change. (DAYS of the YEAR)

The WHD was first inaugurated in May 2005 and has become an annual event ever since. The purpose of the WHD is to promote public awareness of hypertension and to encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control this silent killer, the modern epidemic. (ish-world.com)

World Hypertension Day is observed every May 17th in order to raise awareness and promote hypertension prevention, detection and control. High blood pressure is the main risk factor to develop cardiovascular disease.

« Know your numbers » is the theme for this year. Its purpose is to raise awareness worldwide about the importance of knowing what is your blood pressure measurement. (www.PAHO.org)



World Communications Day – 13 May

World Communications Day is a worldwide celebration which follows the 1963 decree Inter Mirifica addressing the media of social communications and which was published during the Second Vatican ‎Council.  World Communications Day is now marked annually in most countries on the Sunday before Pentecost Sunday, which this year falls on 13 May.  In some countries, the day is marked as the solemnity of Ascension.

Pope Francis announced the 2018 theme for the 52nd World Communications Day to be: “’The truth will set you free’ (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace.”  This year’s message focuses on the harmful effects of fake news against journalism for peace.

The first World Communications Day was observed on May 7, 1967, under the pontificate of Blessed Pope Paul VI, who wished to draw attention to the communications media and the enormous power they have for cultural transformation.

Pope Francis’ 2018 message which was published on 24 January, the feast day of Saint Francis de Sales (1567 – 1622), bishop of Geneva and founder of the Visitation Sisters.  Saint Francis de Sales is the patron saint of writers, editors and journalists.

Pope Francis starts his message with these words:

“Communication is part of God’s plan for us and an essential way to experience fellowship.  Made in the image and likeness of our Creator, we are able to express and share all that is true, good, and beautiful. We are able to describe our own experiences and the world around us, and thus to create historical memory and the understanding of events…” 

And he concludes in this way:

« Drawing inspiration from a Franciscan prayer, we might turn to the Truth in person:
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Help us to recognize the evil latent in a communication
that does not build communion.
Help us to remove the venom from our judgements.
Help us to speak about others as our brothers and sisters.
You are faithful and trustworthy;
may our words be seeds of goodness for the world:
 where there is shouting, let us practice listening;
where there is confusion, let us inspire harmony;
where there is ambiguity, let us bring clarity;
where there is exclusion, let us offer solidarity;
where there is sensationalism, let us use sobriety;
where there is superficiality, let us raise real questions;
where there is prejudice, let us awaken trust;
where there is hostility, let us bring respect;
where there is falsehood, let us bring truth. Amen.


From the Vatican, 24 January 2018, the Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales.

Source: Text & Image: www.catholicbishops.ie



International Nurses Day – 12 May

The tireless efforts of nurses all over the world are celebrated every year on May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth in 1820.

Nurses are appreciated in many different ways on International Nurses Day, also called IND. People are encouraged to take time to thank a nurse who has been there for them or their loved ones during days of sickness.

The United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) use IND to focus attention on the important task of recruiting and training nurses worldwide. Estimates show that worldwide, we will be short 18 million health workers by 2030 unless serious action is taken to recruit and train more.

In the UK, there is a ceremony in Westminster Abbey in London on Nurses Day.

In 1953, an official with the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Dorothy Sutherland, asked President Dwight D. Eisenhower to proclaim a Nurses Day. However, the president did not do so at the time.

Since 1965, the International Council of Nurses has celebrated nurses May 12, which was Florence Nightingale’s birthday. She is widely considered the founder of modern nursing. In January 1974, this day was finally officially made International Nurses Day.

During the annual service in Westminster Abbey, nurses pass a symbolic lamp between themselves and onto the High Altar. This signifies the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another. Florence Nightingale was nicknamed the “Lady with the Lamp” by her patients during the Crimean war in the 1850s, and she is often depicted carrying a lamp.

The official symbol for nurses is a serpent entwined around a staff, an ancient Greek symbol associated with healing the sick.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com Images: pl.freepik.com   Pinterest.com



7th Sunday of Easter, Year B

At long last, springtime has come and, with it, nature is taking on its colourful attire in the form of all kinds of flowers.
Flowers of different kinds and shapes, of diverse colours and fragrances, for our enjoyment.

One of them has a name which always strikes me because… it has a message.
It is called: Forget-Me-Not !
Scientists surely have a more sophisticated name for it in Latin, but I prefer its popular title and… request: FORGET-ME-NOT!

The picture of it came to me as I read the Psalm of this Sunday (7th Sunday of Easter, Year B – Ps.103).
Verse 2 says: “Forget not all his (the Lord’s) blessings.”
It is not a prophet or any of Israel’s wise people who say this to the Psalmist but he speaks to himself!
He says: “My soul…” – in other words, he calls on his deepest self, not to forget.

Not to forget,
to remember,
to recall,
to be aware of all that the Lord has done for him.

But this supposes that… a person has first noticed the Lord’s action in his life.
He/she has been attentive and sensitive to the intervention of God on his behalf.
Then, later on, he/ she will be able to bring back to memory the gifts received and the blessings enjoyed.

I know of a woman who, at the beginning of each year, takes a colourful flower container which she especially likes.
No, she does not place flowers into it but, every day, she puts at least one small piece of paper on which she has listed something good and positive that has happened during the day.
It can be a small gesture of appreciation from someone, a chance meeting with someone else, the smile of a child, a good deed from a neighbour –
just about anything that has touched her in a positive way –
she writes it down and she places the small piece of paper in the jar.

Then, on those days when she feels sad or discouraged, when everything seems to go wrong, or when she simply lacks the energy to go on doing her best, she takes out one of the small pieces of paper from the flower container…
‘It works like magic’, she says!
The positive aspect of the memory – and the thanksgiving she has attached to it – bring back a feeling of joy, of renewed strength.

On this Sunday, I ask: ‘Why not do the same for the Lord’s blessings?’
They may come ‘clothed’, as it were, under the appearance of all the good things that happen to us and…
we may have failed to notice so many of them.

A colouful flower container… and the resolution NOT TO FORGET are all that is needed!…

Note: Another reflection is available in French in a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/7e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-b/

Source: Images: pixabay.com  PxHere