Flying Friars

26 January, 2010

It’s been a while since I posted.  Basically what happened is that the computer said no, and I said the f. word.  Eventually, an acer netbook came along as an early birthday present (thanks so much mum) and so the laptop has been well and truly dumped.   By that I mean,  dumped on the kitchen floor for now.   Sometimes, I wonder if I should apply for funding as a landfill site with the amount of shite that piles up in this house.  Where oh where does it come from?

That aside, this xmas has brought some real wonders into our home.  Prize for the best present ever given to us by anyone, goes to Dhira and Libby for the camping ice cream ball.  It’s amazing, I cant tell you how well this thing performs.  It’s basically a football that makes ice cream.  It’s a bright blue hard plastic ball with an opening at each end.  At one opening there is a vacuum type flask which you fill with milk, sugar, and in our case, blended up After Eights.  At the bottom of the ball is another opening, in here you put ice and rock salt which surround the flask bit and freeze your ingredients without touching them..  You roll the ball around on the floor for ten minutes (although the instructions tell you it will take 1/2 an hour – it’s not true).  Then you scrape the frozen ice cream off the insides of the flask, mix it a  bit and it all becomes soft scoop After Eight ice cream.  It is truly amazing and I’ve already bought one for someone else, which proves how great I think it is.

Second on the brill present list goes to Sandy for the Light Saver torch she gave Sami.  As soon as Sami opened it, Asha ran over, grabbed it from and said “mine”.  I have even found myself playing at turning it on and off, just to hear that exciting light saver noise.
But there are two books that entered our house recently that i want to share with, well, with anyone who reads this.  They are,  Whittaker’s World of Facts, which I gave Sami for Xmas.  And secondly, the Tashcen book on Gaudi, which was a present from Sakti and Phil.  I have to say that one of these has provided me with real creative insight.  It’s really blown my mind with the breadth of imagination involved.  Truly awe-inspiring.  I can’t wait to share it with you and then later I’ll write about the Gaudi book too.

I’ve heard that there are a lot of fact shows on TV at the moment, so I’m not going to compete with them and list loads of great Whittaker’s World facts for you.  No, sorry, beg me all that you want, but I’m not doing it.  However, I will tell you my favourite fact of all in this book.  It is the story of The Flying Friar, St. Joseph of Copertino (1603-63).

Now according to the book, many christian saints have had the ability to fly (er, sorry??), but St Joe was the most famous of them all (er, like he had the X-factor when it came to flying around the place).  He was an Italian Franciscan friar and he began to levitate in 1630.  Often it would be during religious services and once he performed it for the Pope Urban VIII.

Now my very first question on this matter has to be; did eight Popes really called themselves Pope Urban?  And were they into rap rather than gregorian chants?  Does that explain why there is so much bling in the Catholic tradition?  I have to admit I feel a little misled by the prudishness of the modern church, in light of these cool Popes and I’m not even Catholic.   Imagine if the current Pope, who  is called something like Pope Holyboringness WWE, had called himself Pope Urban X, how cool would that have been?  Then we would have quotes from the church which instead of saying; “And almighty god did smite the sinners with an almighty smiting curse.  And this smiting, curse did fall on every sinner who sinned or even made a mistake in life, even if it was just once and an accident, for almighty god said, “The sins of the sinner will come to bear down heavily on his children  on his children’s children’s children, for ever and ever.  Thanks be to god, Amen”  Under Pope Urban we’d have; “You’d better get your sick ass down to da church, or you is dead, man”.  Or “You’d better pray you dont do no sins, cos Jesus don’t never forget”.   And “Get me some more bling in these here churches and some sheepskin rugs, for Jesus is da shepherd and da king of kings.  Respect..”

Um, so where was I?  Fascinating facts, the Flying Friar took flight in front of Pope Urban VIII.  Now I’m wondering what the Pope had to say about this.  Significantly, flying it seems was a fairly common thing for Friars to do at that time, but not such a common thing for Popes to do.   I think it went a bit like this;

The Vatican

(Pope) Urban X:  I has heard you is gonna do some flyin’.  Show your stuff my humble holy man.

Flying Friar (FF):  Flaps his hands gently at the side of his body and takes off lightly from the ground.  “Try  it Your Most Holy Popeyness.  It’s easy, just flap you hands and think of your favourite things.  (FF starts to sing to himself), “Big holy bibles, tied up with string, this is just one of my favourite things.  When god’s hand  smites, or hell fires light, and I’m feeling sad, I simply remember to flap my hands like mad, and then I don’t feel, soo bad”.

Urban X: “Easy ya say?” (Pope flaps hands and makes a straining sound)

Bishop  no 1: “Your holymagnificentness, should I fetch the holy chamber pot”

Urban X: “What you talkin ’bout, Flying Friar?  Dis aint no easy shit.”

Bishop no 1: “I’ll bring some prune juice too, your prayerfulness.  Wont be long”  (bishop 1, hurries away)

FF:   I just think of Jesus as the wind beneath my wings.

Urban X:   You don’t have no wings, fool.

FF:  Perhaps if you removed those heavy gold chains and the thick signet rings and put the mitre down and cast the thick brocade clothing aside, then you might find it a bit easier to rise up?  (Saying this, FF gently floats up to the top of the vatican dome).

Urban X: No way man, them is part of the job.  You aint never gonna get me in no open-toe sandals. Jesus, what you on?”

FF: “Your holiness, your holiness” FF starts shouting with uncontrolled excitement

Urban X: “Friar, what the holy heck is going on here ?  You having visions or something ?”

FF: “Your holiness you’ll never believe it – it’s a miracle, that which  I have seen”

Urban X: “Now you really freakin’ me out”  (He gropes around in his robe for a rosary and finds on made of rubies strung together)  “Tell me Friar, just what it is?”

FF: “Your Holypopeyness, I can see my church from here”.

Back to the facts:  The Flying Friar was also known for carrying other friars on his back and performed over a 100 flights.  The flying Friar is the Patron Saint of pilots, astronauts and air travellers.  Satan is the patron saint of Ryan Air.

So, that’s just one of the fascinating facts from this wonderful book.  Rest assured, if you have any fascinating questions and you would like some help answering them, then please do drop me a line and ask.  I will be more than happy to look them up for you (after Sami is asleep I can steal it from his bedroom). Ask away……

4 Responses to “Flying Friars”

  1. Hmm, just shows how ‘true’ all those Christian stories really are.

  2. Rosalie Barger Says:

    Hey there, neat website, just have something to ask you, what antispam software you use for comments since I have been hit by lots on my site.

  3. Hari Says:

    OMG OMG! so I was trying to answer Rosalie’s question about which antispam software I use (I’ll give you a clue – sounds like “nun”). So I checked the 7 spams that wordpress say they’ve “saved” me from. And I found comments from nice people about my blog!! (one from a weirdo – even better to be honest).

    Thanks Rosalie, I never looked in there before, I just trusted wordpress to take care of it.

    My mum made us eat spam when we were kids, so I can really empathize with you wanting to get it off your site.



  4. Hari Says:

    OMG OMG! Now that I’ve looked at all the messages in the spam folder and moved them onto my blog, I can see that wordpress was right – they were all spam. Anyway, one of them inspired me to add RSS Feed to this site (I think).

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