A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Puri Rath Yatra (Jagannath Rath Yatra, Festival of Chariots). Start of nine-day annual worldwide Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Jagannath and celebrated on the Dwitiya second day of the Shukla Paksha waxing phase of the moon in the Ashadha fourth month of the Hindu Calendar. Puri Rath Yatra is symbolic of integration and equality, with Muslims participating, and is the greatest religious festival in Puri (ପୁରୀ) in eastern India on the Bay of Bengal. The festival commemorates the yearly visit of Lord Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe from whom the English term juggernaut comes and one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, to the Gundicha Temple with his sister the Goddess Subhadra and his brother Lord Balabhadra. The festival begins with summoning the deities with special prayers and Ratha Prathistha rituals and the three main deities being seated in their respective newly-made chariots (rathas) as a part of a huge procession that normally attracts over a million pilgrims. Devotees from all across the country attend with an earnest desire to pull the Lord’s chariot, as this act is considered very pious. The colourful procession moves forward to the sound of devotional songs accompanied by tambourines, trumpets or drums. It is believed that a person who devotedly participates in Puri Rath Yatra will be freed from the cycle of birth and death and a mere glimpse of Lord Jagannath on his chariot is considered to be very auspicious. The idols of the deities are made of wood and are religiously replaced every twelve years. Image: rediff.com.
St Veronica (Βερενίκη, Berenike, Santa Verónica). Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and Western Orthodox Feast Day for First-Century Judean woman who was moved with sympathy when she saw Jesus carrying His cross to Golgotha and gave Him her veil so that He might wipe His forehead. Accepting the offering and holding it to His face, the image of His face was miraculously impressed on it when He handed it back to become known as the Veil of Veronica. Veronica bore the relic away from the Holy Land and used it to cure Emperor Tiberius of an illness and the veil was subsequently seen in Rome in the Eighth Century and translated to St Peter’s in 1297. It is believed to exist today in the Vatican and is considered to be one of the most treasured relics of the Church, first mentioned as being in the hands of the Pope in the early-Eighth Century. The veil and the legend surrounding it became very popular in the Thirteenth to Fifteenth Centuries, when the veil was on public display and indulgences were granted for those who performed devotions before it. The fate of the veil was obscured by violence in the 1527 Sack of Rome in which the veil on display may have been destroyed. The veil is kept in a frame cut to match the outline of the original image and has since been kept from the public and is rarely seen, although the relic is displayed briefly on the Fifth Sunday of Lent each year. There are six known copies in the world, including one in Milan, but none of these relics have been photographed in detail or have been subjected to forensic testing. Venerated in Catholic, Eastern and Western Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist Churches, Anglican Communion. In the Catholic tradition, Veronica is celebrated in the Sixth Station of the Cross, Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus, and is celebrated in thus in many Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and Western Orthodox churches. The Seventeenth-Century Acta Sanctorum published by the Bollandists listed her feast under 12 July but in Germany her commemoration was cited in Festi Marianni on 13 January, the present Jesuit celebration. Patron of French mulquiniers (artisan linen textile designers and weavers) whose representations they celebrate biannually summer and winter as do many pious Christian countries. Patron of images, laundry workers, pictures, photographs, photographers, Santa Veronica, San Pablo City, Laguna. Image: sharecatholic.com.
Prayer O My Jesus, Saint Veronica served You on the way to Calvary by offering a veil for wiping Your beloved face and on the veil Your sacred image then appeared. She protected this treasure and whenever people touched it they were miraculously healed. We ask her to pray for the growth of our ability to see Your sacred image in others, to recognise their hurts, to stop and join them on their difficult journeys and to feel the same compassion for them as she did for You. Show us how to serve their needs and heal their wounds, reminding us that as we do this for them, we also do it for You. Saint Veronica, pray for us. Amen
Battle of the Boyne (Cath na BóinneI, Orangeman’s Day, The Twelfth). The Battle of the Boyne took place across the River Boyne near Drogheda, Ireland and the Protestant victory aided the continued Protestant ascendancy in Ireland. The battle was between the deposed last Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland James II and William III (William of Orange), from 1689 the Protestant King of England, Ireland and Scotland. It took place on 1 July 1690 in the old Julian calendar and was the third most important date in the Irish calendar after the decisive Protestant victory at Aughrim on 12 July 1691 and the anniversary of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 on 23 October. In 1752, the Gregorian calendar was adopted in Ireland and The Twelfth continued to be commemorated at Aughrim on 12 July on the new calendar, following the usual historical convention of commemorating events of that period within Great Britain and Ireland by mapping the Julian date directly onto the Gregorian calendar. However, after the Protestant Orange Order was founded in 1795 amid sectarian violence in County Armagh, the two events were combined in the late Eighteenth Century. The Battle of the Boyne remains a controversial topic in Northern Ireland today, some Protestants remembering it as the great victory over Catholics that resulted in the sovereignty of Parliament and the Protestant monarchy, causing it to be marked by confrontations with Irish nationalists. However, at the time of the battle, even the Catholic Pope was an ally of the Protestant William and an enemy to James, and the Papal States were part of the Grand Alliance with a shared hostility to Catholic France, which at the time was attempting to establish dominance in Europe. Image: williamethven.com.