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Today’s database: a powerful tool for research on MLK and African American and African History and Culture

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Falvey Memorial Library is fortunate to be able to provide access to hundreds of instructional databases for the Villanova Community. While the choices may be vast, each searchable collection presents a unique treasure trove of information. Today, in commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we’d like to direct your attention to a uniquely browsable resource, the Oxford African American Studies Center. Touted as “the online authority on the African American Experience,” the Oxford AASC provides a wide array of primary source documents, educational resources and articles, and multimedia.

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The database provides students, scholars and librarians with online access to the finest reference resources in African American studies. At its core, AASC features the new Encyclopedia of African American History: 1619-1895, Black Women in America, the highly acclaimed Africana, a five-volume history of the African and African American experience, and the African American National Biography project (estimated at 8 volumes). In addition to these major reference works, AASC offers other key resources from Oxford’s reference program, including the Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature and selected articles from other reference works.

Feel free to contact a librarian if you’d like further help exploring and utilizing any of Falvey Memorial Library’s databases.



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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 22 – “Approaching God,” “Eternal Encounter” and “Life Cycles”

ADVENT DAY 22

“Approaching God,” “Eternal Encounter,” and “Life Cycles” by William L. Greene, Jr.

Submitted by William L. Greene, Jr., , or Bill as we know him, was an Access Services Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library and he submitted several of his own poems for our Advent calendar.

 

Approaching God

Eternal Encounter

Life Cycles


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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 21- “This Is Just to Say”

ADVENT DAY 21

This Is Just To Say, by William Carlos Williams

Submitted by Rebecca Whidden. Becky Whidden was an Access Services Specialist at Falvey. She shared this poem with me when she heard about the poetry Advent calendar. I love this little poem. The poem is lacking in punctuation or rhyme, which makes it fairly ambiguous and open to the reader’s interpretation, which makes it a favorite among high school English teachers who in my experience have used it as a springboard for discussing meaning and interpretation in poetry. In some ways it is a Rorschach test with words.

At face value the poem is extremely simple, evoking the banal domestic image of a note left out on a table. However upon reading it, I personally can’t help but feel the sensual nature of the poem. The intimacy of a private note meant only to be shared between two people; the word choices – “plums,” ‘icebox,” “forgive,” “delicious,” “sweet” – something about the way these words feel when when spoken carries a richness that arouses the senses in complex and beautiful ways.

 


This Is Just To Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 20 – “Library”

ADVENT DAY 20

“Library” by Scroobius Pip

Submitted by Sarah Wingo, Falvey’s subject librarian for English literature and theatre.

We couldn’t very well have a library advent calendar and not have a poem about libraries. I ran across this one just the other day and fell in love with it, I hope you enjoy it too.

“Library” by Scroobius Pip was originally commissioned by Chris Hawkins for BBC 6 Music’s celebration of libraries and performed live on his show in November 2014. We haven’t provided the words for this poem because it really is as much performance piece as it is poem, and even though the video is just words on a screen as they’re being spoken, it is worth a watch.


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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 19 – “A Triptych in Verse in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary”

ADVENT DAY 19

“A Triptych in Verse in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary” by Darren Poley

Submitted by Darren Poley

Darren Poley is the Humanities/Theology librarian at Falvey Memorial Library and he is the second staff member to graciously share some of his personal poetry with us for our Advent calendar. Darren wrote this piece in August of 2014 with the dedication “to my friend Father K. Brewster Hastings, Pastor of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Abington, Penna.”

 


A Triptych in Verse in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary
By Darren Poley

Did It Rain In Galilee?

Holy Virgin do you delight in the rain?
Our heavenly Father sets the waters to move.
The waters are good and bring life from the earth.
They are there in the six days of Creation.
They are there when the earth was flooded.
Theotokos, do you delight in the rain?

Through your son, your only child, all things were made.
Jesus wept.
Daughter of the Father – Mother of the Son – chaste spouse of the Holy Spirit:
Did you weep with joy in Nazareth?
Did you weep with sadness in Jerusalem?
Rachel wept for her children.

Mother of God, mother of all;
Do you weep now for your children?
When you beheld the face of the glory of Israel;
That enlightens the benighted gentiles still:
Did you weep with joy in Bethlehem?
Did you weep with sadness in the cave made into a stable?

Queen of heaven and earth do you weep tears of myrrh?
Pure virgin who is the mother of the incarnate Logos:
Did you watch the Son of Man play in the rain as a child?
Were tears of sadness there because your spirit was pierced by a sword?
Were your tears at the foot of the cross mixed with the rain over Jerusalem?
Were they tears of myrrh?

All of Creation was reborn when your son rose from the dead.
Mary of holy Anne, descendent of kings, Mother of the Redeemer:
Turn your eyes of mercy towards us.
Ever-Virgin: show us the fruit of your womb;
It is a paradox to reason and a cause of delight.
It is the peace which passes all understanding.

It is raining today.
Parents weep with joy for they discover the blessings of children.
They weep with sorrow when they see their children eaten up by pride and hate.
The children fight over nothing.
Mix your tears with the rain.
Renew hope in us.
________________________________________
Weeping in Babylon

A fertile plain between two rivers
Of old, the Amorites built between the Tigris and Euphrates
A holy city for Mesopotamia
Sons of Judah did the new emperor take
Exile was their home

Virgin Mother of the Holy Child, descendant of Abraham
You’re the seal of the Covenant
When the son’s sons of Josiah the king were carried away
Like orphans
How could they know deliverance would come?

Daughter of Zion
You carried and suckled the Deliverer of the children of Eve
You, O’ Lily of Jerusalem
You did become the destroyer of idols
Who is it that is weeping in Babylon?

With holy Joseph to protect you
You went into exile in Egypt with the Christ child
From banishment you brought Him back to His people
A fertile Virgin, pure and graceful
The Father in Heaven chose to bless

In your body God became incarnate
The Incarnation brought us home out of bondage
The wars of men make the widow and the fatherless too soon
The sons of Judah lamented on the Fertile Crescent
Banishment was the punishment for their crimes

Destroyer of paganism, lily of Jerusalem
In concert with the will of the one God
You conquered pride and apathy with humility and love
Love for the one who rules the Universe
Love for the unbegotten Son of God whom you bore
From your life did one nature unite with another?
From you did the one true Messiah come
Out of your life the King of kings took the riches of humanity
To set free the children of Zion
From you arose the New Jerusalem

Holy Virgin Mary, your only son establishes the new heaven and the new earth
You are the tabernacle of the Most High, the holy of holies
You made a place for the Name of God to be praised forever
You direct the renewed people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
To the presence of the Almighty

There is weeping in Babylon
The idols of ancient times are falsely blessed anew
Many drunk on wantonness and blood
The children already delivered wander in a wilderness
Too full and noisy to be recognized as a wasteland

We shall be delivered by the mighty hand of the Lord
His right arm shall be our strength
Mother of Virtue you show us the way to conquer
We are engraved in the hand of God
No one can pluck us from the hollow of it

Blessed Mother, the fruit of your womb
The Son of God, a son of David
He makes for us a new home
With many blessed dwelling places
We shall rest beside quiet waters

“Fallen is Babylon,” He says
“Depart from her my people”
In the midst of the sanctified
There is only one worthy to receive the scroll
And to break open its seals

Mother of God
You are at the right hand of your son
Pray for us
Beckon us to the new inheritance
Of the People of God

It is now that we are exiled by our falleness
It is with you that we shall see God
Where the light never fades
And no tears of sorrow are shed
There will only be joy and peace
________________________________________
Icon of Redemption

Before He laid down the foundations of the Cosmos;
The Lord knew each one of us.
The one, true, and living God foresaw the one full of grace.
God the Father did know a new Eve would come into the world.

A child of good people, Joachim and Anne;
You are the fruit of a marriage both unitive and procreative.
You are the Immaculate Conception.
Because, while altogether human, sanctifying grace did you regain.

You did not die and rise with Christ crucified;
But the merit of your son’s agony and triumph was granted you when you were created.
Immaculate Mary, the Holy Spirit is in every fiber of your being.
You were and are forever without sin.

Where the favor of God reigns;
No disobedience can ever exist.
Free obedience, born from charity, is the blessing of life in Christ.
He did not think even divinity a thing to be grasped.
Like the bush burning, but not consumed;
You are there on holy ground.
There where wanderer, shepherd, and murderer comes face to face with He who is.
To the consubstantial trinity of divine persons, who with one voice say “I AM,” you guide us.

Queen of prophets and of martyrs;
True witnesses reflect you.
You are the beacon from which heavenly light from the Image of the Father shines.
The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world is the everlasting light.

Holy Virgin Mother of God;
You are the ark of the new and everlasting Covenant.
Your son is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.
It is through you that the Alpha and Omega chose to assume humanity unto Himself.

They who are one in being;
He is the source of all that is.
When we follow in your train, we see the blessed Vision of the deity, face-to-face.
Written humbly, you forever point us back to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Our Mother of Good Counsel, mosaic, in Old Falvey lobby

Our Mother of Good Counsel, mosaic, in Old Falvey lobby


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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 18 – “The Lady of Shalott”

ADVENT DAY 18

“The Lady of Shalott” by  Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Submitted by: Sarah Wingo, subject librarian for English literature and theatre.

“The Lady of Shalott” was written by  Alfred, Lord Tennyson around 1832 and then published in slightly varying forms in 1833 and 1842, and is loosely based on the Arthurian legend.

I chose to share this poem because it is one of those pieces of literary cultural currency that, at least for me, crept into my general awareness at a very early age.

My first encounter with“The Lady of Shalott” was through another piece of literature altogether in Anne of Green Gables, both the book and then again in the 1980’s television mini-series starring Megan Fellows. I also have vivid memories of my father playing Loreena McKennitt’s hauntingly beautiful adaptation, which is on her 1991 album The Visit.

Later in school I would encounter Tennyson, “The Lady of Shalott,” and his other poems in a far more academic contexts, but as is often the case it is my earliest experiences with “The Lady of Shalott” that secured its place in my heart.

 

 “The Lady of Shalott”
By  Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Part I

On either side the river lie

Long fields of barley and of rye,

That clothe the wold and meet the sky;

And thro’ the field the road runs by

   To many-tower’d Camelot;

The yellow-leaved waterlily

The green-sheathed daffodilly

Tremble in the water chilly

   Round about Shalott.

 

Willows whiten, aspens shiver.

The sunbeam showers break and quiver

In the stream that runneth ever

By the island in the river

   Flowing down to Camelot.

Four gray walls, and four gray towers

Overlook a space of flowers,

And the silent isle imbowers

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Underneath the bearded barley,

The reaper, reaping late and early,

Hears her ever chanting cheerly,

Like an angel, singing clearly,

   O’er the stream of Camelot.

Piling the sheaves in furrows airy,

Beneath the moon, the reaper weary

Listening whispers, ‘ ‘Tis the fairy,

   Lady of Shalott.’

 

The little isle is all inrail’d

With a rose-fence, and overtrail’d

With roses: by the marge unhail’d

The shallop flitteth silken sail’d,

   Skimming down to Camelot.

A pearl garland winds her head:

She leaneth on a velvet bed,

Full royally apparelled,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Part II

No time hath she to sport and play:

A charmed web she weaves alway.

A curse is on her, if she stay

Her weaving, either night or day,

   To look down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be;

Therefore she weaveth steadily,

Therefore no other care hath she,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

She lives with little joy or fear.

Over the water, running near,

The sheepbell tinkles in her ear.

Before her hangs a mirror clear,

   Reflecting tower’d Camelot.

And as the mazy web she whirls,

She sees the surly village churls,

And the red cloaks of market girls

   Pass onward from Shalott.

 

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,

An abbot on an ambling pad,

Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,

Or long-hair’d page in crimson clad,

   Goes by to tower’d Camelot:

And sometimes thro’ the mirror blue

The knights come riding two and two:

She hath no loyal knight and true,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

But in her web she still delights

To weave the mirror’s magic sights,

For often thro’ the silent nights

A funeral, with plumes and lights

   And music, came from Camelot:

Or when the moon was overhead

Came two young lovers lately wed;

I am half sick of shadows,’ said

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Part III

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,

He rode between the barley-sheaves,

The sun came dazzling thro’ the leaves,

And flam’d upon the brazen greaves

   Of bold Sir Lancelot.

A red-cross knight for ever kneel’d

To a lady in his shield,

That sparkled on the yellow field,

   Beside remote Shalott.

 

The gemmy bridle glitter’d free,

Like to some branch of stars we see

Hung in the golden Galaxy.

The bridle bells rang merrily

   As he rode down from Camelot:

And from his blazon’d baldric slung

A mighty silver bugle hung,

And as he rode his armour rung,

   Beside remote Shalott.

 

All in the blue unclouded weather

Thick-jewell’d shone the saddle-leather,

The helmet and the helmet-feather

Burn’d like one burning flame together,

   As he rode down from Camelot.

As often thro’ the purple night,

Below the starry clusters bright,

Some bearded meteor, trailing light,

   Moves over green Shalott.

 

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;

On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;

From underneath his helmet flow’d

His coal-black curls as on he rode,

   As he rode down from Camelot.

From the bank and from the river

He flash’d into the crystal mirror,

‘Tirra lirra, tirra lirra:’

   Sang Sir Lancelot.

 

She left the web, she left the loom

She made three paces thro’ the room

She saw the water-flower bloom,

She saw the helmet and the plume,

   She look’d down to Camelot.

Out flew the web and floated wide;

The mirror crack’d from side to side;

‘The curse is come upon me,’ cried

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Part IV

In the stormy east-wind straining,

The pale yellow woods were waning,

The broad stream in his banks complaining,

Heavily the low sky raining

   Over tower’d Camelot;

Outside the isle a shallow boat

Beneath a willow lay afloat,

Below the carven stern she wrote,

      The Lady of Shalott.

 

A cloudwhite crown of pearl she dight,

All raimented in snowy white

That loosely flew (her zone in sight

Clasp’d with one blinding diamond bright)

   Her wide eyes fix’d on Camelot,

Though the squally east-wind keenly

Blew, with folded arms serenely

By the water stood the queenly

   Lady of Shalott.

 

With a steady stony glance—

Like some bold seer in a trance,

Beholding all his own mischance,

Mute, with a glassy countenance—

   She look’d down to Camelot.

It was the closing of the day:

She loos’d the chain, and down she lay;

The broad stream bore her far away,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

As when to sailors while they roam,

By creeks and outfalls far from home,

Rising and dropping with the foam,

From dying swans wild warblings come,

   Blown shoreward; so to Camelot

Still as the boathead wound along

The willowy hills and fields among,

They heard her chanting her deathsong,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

A longdrawn carol, mournful, holy,

She chanted loudly, chanted lowly,

Till her eyes were darken’d wholly,

And her smooth face sharpen’d slowly,

   Turn’d to tower’d Camelot:

For ere she reach’d upon the tide

The first house by the water-side,

Singing in her song she died,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Under tower and balcony,

By garden wall and gallery,

A pale, pale corpse she floated by,

Deadcold, between the houses high,

   Dead into tower’d Camelot.

Knight and burgher, lord and dame,

To the planked wharfage came:

Below the stern they read her name,

      The Lady of Shalott.

 

They cross’d themselves, their stars they blest,

Knight, minstrel, abbot, squire, and guest.

There lay a parchment on her breast,

That puzzled more than all the rest,

   The wellfed wits at Camelot.

‘The web was woven curiously,

The charm is broken utterly,

Draw near and fear not,—this is I,

   The Lady of Shalott.’

 


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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 16 – “Mad Girl’s Love Song”

ADVENT DAY 16

“Mad Girl’s Love Song” by Sylvia Plath

Submitted by Kallie Stahl

Kallie Stahl is a second-year communication graduate student who joined the Falvey Scholarly Outreach team as a Graduate Assistant at the start of the fall 2014 semester. She now works for the Communications and Marketing Dept.  Kallie is a big Sylvia Plath fan and explained that she has always liked the way that this particular poem addresses the struggle between the fantasy and the reality of love.

Plath wrote “Mad Girl’s Love Song” in 1951, while she was a student at Smith College. It was first published in the August 1953 edition of Mademoiselle, where Plath was working as a Guest Editor.

 


“Mad Girl’s Love Song”
By Sylvia Plath

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)


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Soriano and Rivera Hernández Talk Hispanic Heritage Month

With Hispanic Heritage month quickly approaching, the Falvey Memorial Library had the chance to sit down and talk with Dr. Raúl Diego Rivera Hernández, assistant professor of contemporary Mexican literature and Latin American studies, and Dr. Cristina Soriano, an assistant professor in the history department and director of the Latin American Studies Program.

We discussed the reasons for celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, their reasons for bringing these festivities to Villanova, and the elements of their own personal careers and research.

The celebration of Hispanic Heritage running from mid-September until October may appear arbitrary to the casual observer. Hernández offers clarification, however, “the idea is to start with activities on September 15 because this is the time when at least five Latin American countries start celebrating independence.”

Latin American Studies Banner

(Villanova University Latin American Studies Banner)

Also, according to Hernández, the festivities typically end on or around “October 12 connected with the arrival of the Spaniards in the Americas in 1492.”

The festivities here at Villanova will last well beyond that Oct. 12 arrival; the Latin American Studies Program and the Romance Languages Department have scheduled events up until Nov. 17.

The added time here at Villanova will help Hispanic Heritage Month accomplish its tripartite mission: to celebrate, to inform, and to raise awareness. Dr. Soriano encourages Latina/Latino and Latin American students to participate, stating, “this is a place for them to celebrate Latin American culture.”

The events are not limited to students of Hispanic descent. Dr. Soriano wants the rest of the population here at Villanova to know, “we’re inviting students who are not Latino or Latin American to get to know Hispanic culture better.”

Just chatting with these two extremely knowledgeable professors cultivated an interest in Hispanic Heritage for me. According to Dr. Hernández, this interest is a main goal of the events. One important part of the celebration, according to Hernández, is to “attract more students from Spanish who are thinking about a major to see what we do as professors and as researchers.”

He also wants to “attract people who are Spanish-speaking students but also people who are interested in different countries from Latin America, people who want a perspective on Latin American history or a perspective on Latin American culture.”

While celebration and information are important to Hernández and Soriano, raising awareness about current issues in Mexico and the rest of Latin America remains paramount to their mission. Soriano mentioned, “Something I always teach my students: universities are places where students are always connected with political realities.”

This is true for her in both the United States and Latin America, but she stressed, “Students are always a vibrant part of politics in all countries of Latin America. It’s important for Villanova University students to know that this is how Latin American politics develop.”

Hernández continued, “we’re speaking here of alternative politics. The participation of students is not always connected to political parties or state institutions. Political participation in this country is usually linked to electoral competition and lining for Democrats or Republicans; in Latin America it is completely different.”

Hernández’s own interest is in contemporary public sphere movements in Latin America. He is particularly interested in promoting awareness about the 43 students of Ayotzinapa who disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico on the night of September 26-27, 2014. Tragic events such as these trigger varying responses and different types of activism in Latin America and Mexico.

Hernández edited a book that explores the connections between online and street activism in the case of #YoSoy132, a student movement that emerged in Mexico in the context of the presidential campaign of 2012, titled “Del Internet a las calles: #YoSoy132, una opción alternativa de hacer política” (From the Internet to the Streets: An Alternate way of Doing Politics), which was published by Editorial A Contracorriente (North Carolina State University) earlier this year.

YoSoy132

(Scholarship from Villanova’s own Romance Languages Department)

“I do the same thing, but in the 18th century using pamphlets and manuscripts,” Soriano added.

Soriano graduated with an anthropology degree in Venezuela. “Then I was accepted into Ph.D. programs in the Unites States and attended NYU,” she continued, “my question has always been: ‘if Venezuela was introduced to the printing press so late, how did people get their information?’”

Perhaps you can find the answer to that question in her up-coming book from New Mexico University Press entitled Tides of Revolution: Information and Politics in Colonial Venezuela.

For any other questions you might have about Latin America culture, or if you just want to come and celebrate your Hispanic Heritage, check out the upcoming events, available here.



Website photo 2 Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Your Own Hispanic Heritage

It’s September 1565, and you’ve just stepped off of a Spanish boat that recently skirmished with French sailors, who hoped to reap the benefits of Spanish treasure ships in the area. (Or maybe they were seeking the mythological Cibola, or perhaps the Fountain of Youth. Maybe that’s why you’ve braved the journey yourself.) You spotted this piece of land a few days ago, on August 28, and so your captain, Pedro Ménendez, has decided to name the spot after the Saint whose feast day occurs on that date – St. Augustine.

Chances are, you were not really there on that late summer day that witnessed the establishment of St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest continuously occupied settlement of the continental United States. You may, however, very well be a Villanova student, faculty member, or staff member, and, if not, you’re certainly on a Villanova web page. You might not know, however, that by virtue of your patronizing an Augustinian institution, you have been adopted by a rich Hispanic Tradition that includes the foundation of the first New World mission and perhaps the first Catholic mass celebrated in North America.

Founding of Augustine pt 1Founding of Augustine pt 2

This first mass occurred on September 8, 1565. It took place just south of the settlement that it meant to consecrate. Evidence of this fact comes from the Falvey Memorial Library’s Special Collections itself, from John Gilmary Shea’s History of the Catholic Church within the Limits of the United States (pictured here). The women, men and children who founded St. Augustine were not, in fact, members of the Augustinian order, but their dedication to our patron saint is an important part of understanding what in means to be Villanovan, to be a Wildcat.

To find the true roots of the Order of Augustine in the New World, we must rewind the clock roughly 30 years before that first mass to the year 1533. On March 3 of that year, seven Augustinian friars arrived at Veracruz en route to Ocuituco, Mexico (photo below). St. Thomas of Villanova himself may have dispatched this particular mission, as he was provincial-prior of Castile at the time.

First Augustinian New World Foundation

(First Augustinian foundation in the Americas – Ocuituco, Mexico – founded 1533. From Lowery, Bettero & Walsh, citation below)

From there, it didn’t take long for the Mexican mission to start producing the type of humanistic scholarship for which the Augustinians are renowned. Most famously, the philosopher Alonso de la Vera Cruz took his profession to join the order in June of 1537 (photo below). It reads, “I Brother Alonso de la Vera Cruz, son of Francis Gutiérrez and Leonor Gutiérrez, make my profession and promise obedience to God and Blessed Mary and to you… [and I promise] to live without personal goods and in chastity according to the rule of our Blessed Father Augustine until death. Given on Wednesday, 20 June 1537.”

Alonso de La Vera Cruz profession

The Augustinian friars associated with the establishment of the order in the Philadelphia area did not arrive in North America until the late 18th century. They mostly came from Ireland and not up the coast of the continent itself, but the efforts of the earlier Augustinians and settlers in Florida certainly made the new, northern mission possible. The successes of St. Augustine, now the oldest parish in the United States, and the outstanding scholarship produced by the South American brothers, such as Vera Cruz, inspired the founders of such schools as Monseigneur Bonner and Villanova University and showed that the order could find success in the New World.

In the coming weeks at the Falvey Library and across campus, you have the chance to find inspiration in your own adopted Hispanic Heritage. Check out a full list of scheduled events, available here.

 

Dig Deeper:

In addition to exciting events and intriguing speakers, the library itself maintains materials in our collection for further exploration of our Augustinian and Hispanic Heritage. Check out these books, which were used for writing this article!

The augustinians, (1244-1994) : Our history in pictures (1995). In Lowery B., Bettero M. and Walsh M. (Eds.), Rome: Pubblicazioni Agostiniane. (Photo: Page 37).

Ennis, A. J., 1922-. (1986). Augustinian religious professions in sixteenth century mexico : A study of the earliest records of Augustinian friars professed in the new world. Villanova, Pa.: Augustinian Historical Institute, Villanova University. (Photo: Page 11).

Shea, J. G., 1824-1892. (1886). A history of the Catholic Church within the limits of the United States: From the first attempted colonization to the present time: With portraits, views, maps and facsimiles. New York: John G. Shea. (Photo Pages 136-138).


 

Website photo 2 Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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Dig Deeper: How Did Labor Day Begin and Evolve?

Just as Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer, Labor Day marks its end. Now widely celebrated with picnics and trips to the shore or to the shopping mall, much of the holiday’s original meaning has been forgotten as well as, like Memorial Day, the date on which it was originally celebrated.

The first official Labor Day celebration occurred on a Tuesday; Labor Day is now commemorated on the first Monday of September. On that Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, the Central Labor Union (CLU), a New York City area local labor union organized in January 1882, held the first Labor Day parade. The parade began inauspiciously: there were numerous spectators, but only a few marchers and no band. These few were soon joined by 200 members of the Jewelers Union and their band. Next to join were a group of bricklayers and their band. Spectators joined the parade as did another 500 union men. By the end, there were at least 10,000 people, both men and women, marching. Some workmen marched in their traditional work clothes; others wore their best dress garments. Many carried signs such as “Strike with the Ballot,” “Eight Hours for a Legal Day’s Work” (the typical work day was much longer), “Less Work and More Pay,” and “Labor Built This Republic, Labor Shall Rule It.”

a postcard of the first Labor Day parade

a postcard of the first Labor Day parade

The parade ended at Reservoir Park at noon. From there most of the participants went to Wendels’ Elm Park, New York’s largest park at that time, at 92nd Street and 9th Avenue. There, together with their families, union members who had not marched in the parade and others, they enjoyed a picnic, abundant beer and cigars, and speeches by union leaders. This first Labor Day celebrated American workers and their contributions to the prosperity of the United States with a parade and picnic, setting a pattern for those that followed.

The next year, the Central Labor Union held a second Labor Day celebration; this was even larger than the first one. The following year, 1884, the CLU declared the first Monday of September as the official annual Labor Day. That year over 20,000 workers marched. By 1886 Labor Day was celebrated throughout the United States. The following year five states – Oregon, New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Jersey – made Labor Day a state holiday. In 1894, during Grover Cleveland’s presidency, Senator James Henderson Kyle of South Dakota introduced a bill to make the first Monday of September, Labor Day, a legal holiday; the bill passed on June 28. The CLU originally selected a date in September to create a holiday in the long period between July 4 and Thanksgiving.

In 1968, the Senate and House of Representatives passed Public Law 90-363, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which listed legal public holidays: New Year’s Day, January 1; Washington’s Birthday (now Presidents’ Day), the third Monday in February; Memorial Day, the last Monday in May; Independence Day, July 4; Labor Day, the first Monday in September; Columbus Day, the second Monday in October; Veterans Day, the fourth Monday in October; Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November and Christmas Day, December 25. The law took effect on January 1, 1971.

The Congressional Record of May 6, 1968 explains that the law was established to benefit families: to provide three-day holidays so that families could get together, to allow more leisure time to participate in hobbies, educational and cultural activities; and to “improve commercial and industrial production by minimizing midweek holiday interruptions of production schedules and reducing employee absenteeism before and after midweek holidays.” Both labor and management supported the bill, but its passage meant that those who worked in retail businesses would not receive the holiday.

Labor Day today is mostly celebrated with travel, picnics, the beginning of football season and retailers’ Labor Day sales. However, some churches hold Labor Day services with Blessings of Tools. The tools may be anything used as part of a trade or business, even pencils and keyboards.  So while we have strayed far from the original purpose of Labor Day, vestiges of its history still remain in some of the day’s observances.
How will you celebrate the holiday?


Dig Deeper:

All Around the Year: Holidays and Celebrations in American Life (1994). Jack Santino.

Red, White, and Blue Letter Days (2002). Matthew Dennis.

America’s Labor Day: The Dilemma of a Workers’ Celebration.” Michael Kazin and Stephen J. Ross. Journal of American History 78, 4, (March 1992), 1294.

History of Labor Day.” United States Department of Labor.

Labor Day.” Scott Hearn. The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia.


Article by Alice Bampton, Communications and Marketing Department


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Last Modified: September 5, 2016