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March 17th: St. Patrick’s prayer of the deer

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While St. Patrick is one of the most well-known figures of modern folklore and festivals, ironically he is less known for his touching and beloved role in Irish faith and literature.

Among the writings attributed to him is the beautiful prayer The Deer’s Cry, also known as the Shield of St. Patrick, or the Breastplate of St. Patrick. This prayer was written as an invocation of protection to shield St. Patrick and his monks from enemies lying in wait in the Irish forests.

Having gathered his followers around him, St. Patrick was leading them past the hostile forces at Loegaire, Ireland, where the son of King Niall laid ambushes. Patrick’s enemies did not want him to bring the Christian faith to Tara.

In the morning before Patrick and the monks proceeded, they gathered and prayed a long and musical prayer of protection, including the words:


I arise today, through the strength of Heaven: Light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendor of Fire, speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea, stability of Earth, firmness of Rock…

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me: God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to secure me…

Christ to protect me today, against poison, against burning, against drowning, against wounding, so that there may come abundance of reward. Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left.

With such a powerful prayer, tradition says Patrick’s enemies were completely fooled. In the forest, as they waited to attack the missionaries, his enemies saw only wild deer (St. Patrick and his monks) and one fawn (St. Benen), following along behind, carrying books. They let them pass.

Today this lovely prayer of the deer is used to light and bless the Easter fires, as St. Patrick did when he arrived at Tara. It is still used as a shield against devils, poison, envy, and sudden death.

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Interesting Things to Know

U.S. Census Bureau: Celebrating 245 Years of America

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On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As we celebrate this Independence Day, we reflect on how our Founding Fathers enshrined in our Constitution the importance of statistics as a vital tool for measuring America.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

 

The following facts are possible thanks to responses to U.S. Census Bureau surveys.

Did You Know?
2.5 million
The estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation in July 1776.
Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: 1789-1945


331,449,281
The nation’s population on April 1, 2020.
Source: 2020 Census

56
The number of signers of the Declaration of Independence.
It is also worth noting that:
John Hancock, a merchant by trade, was the first signer. In 2019, more than 1 million business establishments nationally with paid employees like Hancock were in the retail trade industry.
Source: 2019 Geography Area Series: County Business Patterns, Table CB1900CBP

Benjamin Franklin, who represented Pennsylvania, was the oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence at age 70. Pennsylvania had a resident population of 13,002,700 on April 1, 2020. Edward Rutledge of South Carolina was the youngest signer at age 26. South Carolina had a resident population of 5,118,425 on April 1, 2020
Source: 2020 Census

Patriotic Places
Counties and census incorporated places that contain the word “Liberty” in the name.
Source: Vintage 2019 Population Estimates

Counties that have “Union” in the name.
Source: Vintage 2019 Population Estimates

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The national happy march satisfies the urge to conduct the band

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If you are older, you may not have heard it for a while. If you are younger, you may never have heard it.

Either way, on July 4, find The Stars & Stripes Forever and listen. You’ll want to conduct the band with abandon and smash the cymbals.

It’s a giant, jubilant march, with stirring lyrics which, for fun, you can also substitute for a duck song (Be kind to your web-footed friends…).

John Philip Sousa — Marine, musician, and bandleader — was returning to the United States from a vacation in Italy in 1896. It was Christmas Day and from the deck of an ocean liner, he heard the march in his head.


“Suddenly, I began to sense the rhythmic beat of a band playing within my brain,” Sousa wrote in his autobiography Marching Along, “It kept on ceaselessly playing … the imaginary band continued to unfold the same themes, echoing and re-echoing the most distinct melody.

“I did not transfer a note of that music to paper while I was on the steamer, but when we reached the shore I set down the measures that my brain-band had been playing for me, and not a note of it has ever changed,” he wrote.

The song repeats distinct melodies in sections, called strains, using different instruments to repeat and lead. So the song begins with a hearty introduction by the horns with great smashing beats on drums, followed by the melody. Woodwinds repeat, and later, the famous response of the piccolos. The trombones thunder in with a bold counter melody. Then, the entire band plays together — and, by then, we’re all marching.

While it is the official national march of the United States, the tune has also been adopted by soccer fans in the UK, sung as ‘Here We Go,’ once called a working-class march. Cartoon character Popeye fought bad guys to the song. Comedians invented the duck lyrics. The Grateful Dead played it to retire.

One strange Stars & Stripes Forever fact: Circuses in the early 20th century loved to fire up the crowd with march music, but they never played The Stars & Stripes Forever. This tune was a secret signal, only played when a life-threatening disaster was imminent. When they heard it, emergency personnel would try to quietly disperse the crowd, not always successfully.

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Franklin’s quip reveals the high stakes of independence

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It was a blast heard around the world, a declaration of treason as much as independence by a handful of colonists living on the other side of the Atlantic from the most powerful country in the world.

Congress in America voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. A month later, on August 2, they signed the document. Eight days after that, the English King had a copy.

Following the natural rights theory of John Locke, the document proclaimed the equality of ‘all men’ and their ‘unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’ Thomas Jefferson, helped by others, wrote that governments were established to secure these rights; when they failed to do so, the people could abolish them.

That last bit was a nice thought, but King George III would disagree.



And so, at the signing of the Declaration, John Hancock worried that some would lose heart and their fire for independence would wane. He said, “We must all hang together.”

Always the sharp wit, Benjamin Franklin smiled and said, “Or most assuredly we will all hang separately.”

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The love between a father and his child

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Across the country, families will be celebrating Father’s Day on June 20th this year. This is the day when you can tell your dad how much you love him. It’s also a great time to show him how grateful you are for everything he has done for you.

He taught you how to ride a bike. He helped you with your homework and encouraged you to work hard and succeed. He listened when you were going through tough times and found words of comfort. He guided you and showed you the “right path.” He shared his positive values. He showed his love for you in a million ways. Now is the time to let him know that you appreciate and love him.

If he has given you that much, it is because he, too, benefitted enormously from the love that ties him to you. Contact with his children provides a father with intense happiness and incomparable satisfaction. He also becomes a better person thanks to this special contact. It makes him more aware of his emotions, and he learns how to express his feelings. He makes a connection with the world of children that helps him stay young.

This relationship of mutual benefits serves to bring a father and his children closer. This is a link that will never be broken. Regardless of the age of your father, show him all the tenderness that you feel for him and celebrate Father’s Day with love and happiness.


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How to celebrate Dad with a special meal

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This year for Father’s Day, celebrate your dad by offering him a meal he’ll savor and enjoy. Here are a few different ways you can spoil him at suppertime.

• Five-course dinner. Offer Dad a whole gastronomical experience starting with an amuse-bouche followed by an appetizer. After, serve up a delicious main course. Then, set out a cheese plate before ending with his favorite dessert.

• Barbecue. If the weather’s nice, take advantage of it by cooking outside on the grill. Choose a dish that suits Dad’s tastes and matches your culinary talents, whether it’s burgers, surf, and turf, perfectly seasoned ribs, or a variety of skewers.

• Catered affair. Opt for a meal you don’t have to cook by hiring a local catering company. This is also a great option if you can’t see your father in person. You can select a supper he likes and have it delivered to his home.


• Restaurant. Dining out is a simple way to celebrate the occasion. In addition to their regular fare, many restaurants create special Father’s Day menus. If you prefer to eat at home, order a meal for pickup or delivery.

To serve Dad a meal he’ll remember, there’s no shortage of options. Just be sure to plan ahead, so you can be certain he’ll have all his favorites.

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Father’s Day is June 20th: A gift for every type of dad

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If you’re wondering what to get your dad for Father’s Day, it’s a good idea to consider his hobbies and interests. Here are some suggestions for different kinds of dads.

The movie buff
If space permits, your dad might appreciate a vintage film projector or studio lamp. Alternatively, consider getting him a movie-themed trivia game, a scratch-off poster, or a collectible figurine from his favorite flick. There are also many great reads about film history and culture.

The chef
One way to impress a dad who loves to cook is by spoiling him with new kitchen accessories. Consider buying him a quality cutting board, Japanese chef knives, barbecue utensils, or a new apron. If your dad has a green thumb, another option is to get him potted herbs he can grow outside or in the kitchen.

The collector
If your dad is a stamp enthusiast, he’ll likely appreciate a magnifier to help with identification or a UV lamp to assist with observing phosphorescent markings. For the father who collects coins, consider getting him a rare or commemorative piece, a specialized storage album, a magnification loupe, or a cleaning bath for his coins.


The outdoorsman
The dad who enjoys spending time in nature is likely to welcome getting a set of hiking poles, an engraved compass, a pair of waterproof binoculars, or a wilderness survival handbook. Alternatively, check to see if some of his camping, hunting, or fishing gear could use an upgrade.

The music lover
For the dad with a passion for music, buy a water-resistant portable speaker, wireless headphones, or a guitar pick maker. Alternatively, get him a music-themed keepsake such as a wall clock depicting his favorite band, drink coasters that look like CDs or records, or cuff links shaped like a treble clef or the instrument he plays.

For more Father’s Day gift ideas, visit the specialty stores in your area to find one-of-a-kind products and services.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Sep
19
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8:00 am 2021 Gnarled Orchard Hard Cider ... @ Valley View Farm
2021 Gnarled Orchard Hard Cider ... @ Valley View Farm
Sep 19 @ 8:00 am – Sep 20 @ 12:30 pm
2021 Gnarled Orchard Hard Cider Challenge @ Valley View Farm
Come enjoy the challenging routes at Sky Meadows State Park and Valley View Farm, home of the Gnarled Orchard. These courses are knotty, knot nice at the farm as they are a mix of cross[...]
Sep
20
Mon
2:00 pm Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Sep 20 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
WARREN COALITION OFFERS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER Have you ever felt alone? Do you wonder why you react the way you do? Do you work with children? If you answered yes to any of[...]
Sep
23
Thu
6:00 pm Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
Sep 23 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
The Col. John S. Mosby Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, will lead the annual “Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony” commemorating the fallen of Mosby’s command at 6 pm on Thursday, September 23rd, at Front Royal’s[...]
Sep
25
Sat
10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
10:00 am National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. A blight decimated American Chestnut trees in North America in the 1920s. One hundred years later, Sky Meadows State Park has teamed up with the Virginia Chapter of the[...]
11:00 am Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 25 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Stop by the Friends of Sky Meadows Farmer’s Market for tasty preserved products, heirloom vegetables, eggs and more. Pick from seasonal vegetables grown in Sky Meadows’ authentic Kitchen Garden, July through September. Grab[...]
Sep
26
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10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 26 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
Sep
27
Mon
2:00 pm Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Sep 27 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
WARREN COALITION OFFERS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER Have you ever felt alone? Do you wonder why you react the way you do? Do you work with children? If you answered yes to any of[...]
Sep
28
Tue
7:00 pm Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Sep 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Dominion Ridge Academy is proud to host this free community event for parents featuring international speaker, author, and comedian Christopher O’Shaughnessy. Come enjoy an evening of laughter and inspiration as Chris addresses the themes of[...]
Oct
2
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4:00 pm Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oct 2 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
October 2, 2021 from 4pm-8pm All are welcome to attend the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at Wakefield Country Day School. Loosen your Leiderhosen and get ready for Oktoberfest! This year, the Edelweiss Band is coming to[...]