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S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

February 24, 1997

Saint Of The Day:

Paul Claudel. This French poet and playwright and essayist was a towering force in French literature in the first half of the 20th century. Indeed, his personal odyssey, from farmer to famed diplomat, typifies his age, which moved from an agrarian to an industrial economy in a few short decades. At 18, Claudel was inspired by another French poet, Arthur Rimbaud, at about the same time he became a convert to Catholicism. Two years later, he joined the French foreign service, and his career took him to New York City, Asia, back to Europe, then on to South America. He was the French ambassador to Tokyo, Washington, and Brussels, while he pursued his literary career. As he traveled the world, removed from the closed literary salons of Paris, he slowly elaborated his theocentric conception of the universe and conceived his vocation: the revelation, through both lyrical and dramatic poetry, of the grand design of creation. His heroes are men of action, burning with lust, pride, greed, ambition, violence, and passion. But Claudel moves them all, beyond their appetites, along a firm path of redemption.

MODEL: Like Claudel, you may have to make your bread in a job-job. But there's only one thing stopping you from launching yourself into creative work. Go for the bliss.

Your Birthday Today:

February 24
Day of Great Sacrifice

Unselfish, Open, Accepting

Self-absorbed, Difficult, Unchanging

For the sake of others. If you were born on February 24, you have been known to sacrifice your own concerns for the sake of a friend, a loved one or even a cause. You also demand a lot of sacrifice of others, especially family. Ruled by the number 6 and the planet Venus, you have a magnetic charm and may enjoy being admired--too much.

Your motivators. You may sincerely believe in what you do and the happiness of others is your reward. If you are duty driven, however, you act out of strict moral or ethical convictions, and can harbor deep resentment because of the things you've given up. This resentment can build up and often explode, causing you to abandon your responsibilities.

The ego question. You may try and do away with your ego, to live a truly unselfish life. But you may be deluding yourself, since the ego is such a persistent little beast. More mature individuals born on this date avoid these delusions by acknowledging their ego, strengthening its positive parts, and judging themselves objectively. Others accept all the garbage life throws at them, believing that they must suffer to reach a higher plane.

Don't lose yourself. You must find a way to work for others without compromising your own beliefs and desires. Don't be afraid of your wishes or communicating them. If you become accustomed to compromise, the status quo, or a lower self- image, you might find yourself steering your future with self-fulfilling prophecies. Farther down the road, if you decide to take control of your life, you may find it mired with stubborn habits and unrealistic expectations.

Some Advice : Have the guts to stand up for what you want. Don't just bow to the needs of others without question. You will find that sharing from a position of strength rather than weakness is far more satisfying.

Also born on this day:
Wilhelm Grimm (German fairy tale author) Winslow Homer (19th-20th c. genre painter, illustrator) Michel Legrand (French film composer, songwriter, arranger) Alain Post (French auto racer) Charles V (German and Spanish emperor) Renata Scotto (Italian opera soprano) Edward James Olmos (actor) Abe Vigoda (actor) James Farentino (actor) Nicky Hopkins (British session pianist) Jimmy Ellis (world heavyweight champion) Michael Harrington (political activist, writer) August W. Derleth (horror, science-fiction, fantasy writer)