Monday, October 18, 2021

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

So, for anyone who doesn't know, I'll be blogging until mid-December from Reit im Winkl, Bavaria, the home of our son, Kevin (See Kevin in the sidebar -- with link to his Catholic Family Podcasts!), his beautiful wife, Ina -- and little grandbaby, Sophia the Magnificent. 

As you might guess, it's absolutely beautiful here! And Kevvy and Ina's "Gasthaus" -- or "AirB-n-B," a traditional Bavarian "chalet," is truly splendid above all things! I highly recommend it as a place to stay for anyone visiting this part of the world! Located in a mountainous corner of southwestern Germany (im winkl means "in the corner"), it's a very doable drive to Austria, Switzerland, and northern Italy. The rooms, themselves, are lovely -- with amazing views from big balconies!  (See Haus Davis here.)

For anyone who wonders about international travel right now, I had no trouble flying here last week on Lufthansa with only a negative Chinavirus test and the usual passport. There were masks required on the plane, but they weren't enforced with a whip (so to speak). Everyone at both airports was gracious (no Karens!) -- and the people here in this little corner of Germany are pretty laid-back, it seems, about, yu know -- the "craziness" out there -- and are just going about life as normal as they can get away with, the same as folks in Iowa. 😊

We plan to go on a little bit of "looky-looing" over the next few weeks, and I'll share the sights on the blog here, as I get around to it. I tell you, though, honestly; if I just stayed right here at Haus Davis for the next two months, I wouldn't mind a bit! Of all the views I've gotten to see so far, their greatest value is as a backdrop for the people I love!

Second Son, Kevin and his first daughter, Sophia! We're all excited to
welcome Bavarian baby Davis #2, grandbaby #12 in the spring!

The door of the chapel of Mary Immaculate Conception, in Oberdarching,
where we attended Mass on Sunday, Fr. Johannes Heine presiding.

Another Rosary Walk begun at this Shrine, between Reit im Winkl
and Haus Davis. (Our friend, Sophie's au pair, Erynne, on the overlook.)

Sophia Philomena always cracking jokes! (Erynne is a good audience!)

One of many very old buildings in and around Reit im Winkl. Check out the date on this one, right above and to the right of the family name. This is a small restaurant. (I'd love to see the inside!)

The town church, St. Pancratius. Word has it that the interior was ruined after
Vatican II and just too sad to even have a look at. But the exterior
 is still remarkable. Look at that beautiful autumn blue sky!

Sophia and Ina on the streets of Reit.

Art and Catholic statues everywhere
in this corner of Bavaria

Erynne, Sophia, and Kitty we met on walk into the town proper of Reit in Winkl

A forest path between Haus Davis and the 
town that is sprinkled with fun (somewhat odd)
things to engage the imaginations of children.

Afternoon walk on path that goes through a big meadow used for cross-country skiing during the winter. About 10 minutes from Haus Davis.

I neglected to get a picture of the house/barn
this sign describes -- but take a look at the dates!

Stepping into the tiny chapel in the middle of Reit im Winkl dedicated to St.
Pancratius, who seems to be a patron of the town. Just tiny and simple and lovely.

St. Pancratius * (See below. He wasn't
really a soldier...)

The altar. Not sure if it's actually a blessed
altar -- but if it is/was, it's old enough to be
the real thing. The history here is so amazingly
steeped in the Faith. It is everywhere preserved --
at least physically. The Novus Ordo is pretty much
the only game in town around here, sadly.

The exterior of the tiny chapel. So simple!

There's a stable in Reit im Winkl. It's common to
see folks enjoying the scenery on horseback. These
log "troughs" in the town are the neatest thing!

Rosary prayed here. 💝

Sophia with her buddy, our Omaha friend,
 Erynne E., au pair and helper at Haus Davis.

Time for rosary. 💖
First snow on the mountains. I can't remember what they're called -- but I think
they are in Austria. Reit im Winkl is just this side of the Austrian border.

Sunset to the west -- those same mountains.

Sophia Philomena.
Heart of my heart
1/21st part.

Sophia and her Daddy at Sophie's 
favorite place, the "spielplatz."

Sophia. 💟 I kinda like this little girl!

* Who is St. Pancratius and Why is He in Reit Im Winkl?

The Specs:  St. Pancratius was a martyr of the early persecutions of the Church in Rome, dying under the evil dictatorship of Diocletion at the beginning of the 4th century. At the tender age of only 14 years, St. Pancratius resisted all the temptations of power and wealth placed before him by Diocletian, choosing instead to remain faithful to Christ. Though he was impressed by the boy's courage Diocletian, nevertheless, had him beheaded after his firm refusal to give up his Faith -- and, so sent him to Heaven on the 12th of May in 303 AD. The head of St. Pancratius (also called "St. Pancras") is preserved in the Basilica of St. Pancratius in Rome. 

Etc: Though not as well known today as many in the calendar of the saints, St. Pancratius has been venerated throughout the ages. His basilica was built by Pope Symmachus (498-514) on the site of our saint's burial, near Rome. Pope Gregory the Great, a devotee, sent St. Augustine to England carrying relics of St. Pancratius, and it is for this reason, we can see today many churches in the British Isles dedicated to St Pancratius, including St. Pancras Old Church, located in London, and one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in England.

In iconography, St. Pancratius is often depicted in the regalia of a soldier, though it is certain he was not a part of any army. Rather, it seems his connection with soldier-saints, Nereus and Achilleus, accounts for the confusion. One popular legend (though not known to have roots in reality) can be found in 18th and 19th century iconography, showing St. Pancratius' martyrdom in the arena, surrounded by beasts. One story goes that a panther refrained from attacking the young saint until the martyr gave his permission. It is more likely, however, that, being a Roman citizen, St. Pancratius was dispatched through beheading.

He is the patron saint of children, jobs, and health. He is particularly invoked against cramps, false witnesses, headaches, and perjury. His feast day is May 12, joined with that of Saints Nereus and Pancras.

There are 6 chapels or churches dedicated to St. Pancratius in Bavaria, alone, and 42 in the Northern Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, testifying to the fact that the cultus of this young martyr is ancient and widespread throughout Europe (see here) -- and it seems, especially amongst the German people. I could find no real explanation for St. Pancratius' popularity here in Germany, but I can surmise that his youthful courage and manliness would very much appeal to the German sensibility. At any rate, it's a pleasure to get to "meet" this amazing martyr through the affection of the people of this nation! St. Pancratius, pray for us!

* Interesting: The "organ of St. Pankratius" in St. Pankratius Church in Hamburg is "the largest two-manual organ (built by Arp Schnitger). The instrument has 34 stops, of which about half are original," the organ originating back to 1688. (+ Stop laughing at the poor guy's name! It was probably a perfectly normal moniker back in 17th century Germany!)

** My apologies that the majority of these links are from wikipedia, a site I generally avoid now that I know about it. I have had trouble, however, finding other information on better sites -- that are not in German or Italian. My computer seems to think I've suddenly lost my ability to use English -- and I haven't figured out how to shake some sense into it!

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