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Peter Mary Chanel is the Marist father who helped bring Catholicism to Oceania -- a vast area that includes Australia, New Zealand, the islands north of the equator called Micronesia, south of the equator called Melanesia, Polynesia and all the islands of the North and South Pacific, a territory covering an area equal to one third of the earth's surface. Chanel was martyred on the island of Futuna, not far from Fiji and Samoa, in 1841. In a highly detailed and very readable history, The Founding of the Roman Catholic Church in Oceania, Father Ralph Wiltgen tells how Chanel won to the faith the son of the king of Futuna. The king was exasperated; his son went into hiding, and, when he was finally found, would not recant his conversion. Now the king was more than exasperated. He sent thugs to have Chanel murdered, and they did so, by striking him in the head with a tomahawk, clubbing him, stabbing him with a bayonet, and chopping off his head. He was declared a saint in 1954.
MODEL: At certain times and certain places, if you were going to be a Catholic missionary, you had to be prepared to lose your head. Unfortunately, that is still true. On November 16, 1989, six Jesuits, a housekeeper and her daughter were murdered at the residence of the Jesuit Community at the University of Central America in El Salvador by 26 soldiers working for the privileged few. Nineteen of these soldiers had been trained in the U.S. at the School for the Americas at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Said Jesuit Father Paul Locatelli, during a 1996 vigil held at Ft. Benning: "These martyrs were killed because of their determination to walk the path of Jesus by being good news for the poor, sight to those who cannot see, and liberation for the oppressed" Said Jesuit Father Jon Sobrino: "The really terrible thing the Jesuits did was to tell the truth about El Salvador in their publications and public statements. They were killed because they believed in the God of the poor and tried to produce this faith through the university."
Your Birthday Today:
Bully bully. If you were born on April 28, you use your great physical presence to get what you want. You won't give up, even when the cards are stacked against you and it may not be in your best interest. Ruled by the number 1 and the Sun, you must direct your creative energies and not let them flare out of control.
Deviously determined. Because your are a good negotiator and diplomatic in your dealings, you may seem very accommodating at first. When it comes right down to game day, however, others learn that there was only one possible conclusion: your's. You will promise anything, even lie to get things done your way.
Dress for success. You believe first impressions are of paramount importance, so you dress and act accordingly. This is true in business and at home. If you are a parent, you will lay down the law from the very beginning and expect a very structured and presentable home. Children may find this rigidity very oppressive.
Ruling class. More mature April 28 people do make good parents because of their great dependability even in stormy conditions. As an authority figure, they try to stay in touch with the feelings of their subordinates and lead with gung-ho confidence and inspiration. Ruling by fear is not their style.
Some advice: Keep other people's feelings and needs in mind, especially children. Learn to let them take their own path, make their own mistakes. Don't take yourself too seriously.
Also born on this day: James Monroe (US president) Saddam Hussein (Iraq dictator) James Baker (Secretary of State) Oskar Schindler (saved over a thousand Jews in WWII) Odette Sansom (French resistance fighter) Charles Sturt (British explorer of Australia) Jay Leno (Tonight Show host) Antonio Salazar (Portuguese dictator) Lionel Barrymore (actor) Ann Margaret (actress, singer, dancer) Willie Colon (Latin-jazz trombonist, bandleader)