Large St. Benedict Cross, not the ordinary medal,  but for our time, a larger seven-inch, well-made cross from Archbishop Philip Hannan's group, made in Italy, with a very substantial and holy feel  as no piece of jewelry but a real tool of defense in your home!  Bigger than the palm of your hand, it is nonetheless the official and sanctioned medal. Do we recommend it? We have them for our personal use, and hope everyone does the same at a time when sacramentals are so crucial as a household shield. Free shipping! CLICK HERE



Superstition is a funny thing. What exactly is it? Does it have a spiritual aspect?

It certainly can. The very term is a pejorative expression for the belief that one event can cause another without a physical cause; but the more common use: an absurd form of belief, religious or irreligious.

We'll go here beyond black cats and walking under a ladder.

There is the month of April and the notion among some that it is the "cruelest" month. A superstition?

The notion originates, it seems, with the writer T. S. Eliot, who in a poem called The Wasteland wrote ("April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers.") The month starts with April Fool's Day, has a tax deadline smack in the middle (in the U.S.), cam disappoint with snow, and ends with the major occult feast day of Walpurgis Night (April 30 -- the day Hitler committed suicide).

However, a lot of good things also happen during April -- no doubt, more good than bad! In fact, great things. April showers bring May flowers (foreshadowing the month of Mary).

There is also what would be better termed "folklore."

On the far fringe of science -- if science it even is -- on the murky outskirts of myth -- are accounts of various creatures and monsters that supposedly have haunted mankind for centuries: spotted here, sighted there, but disappearing like a will-o-the-wisp (or vapor).

This is true of "bigfoot," "sasquatch," "yeti," "skunk ape," and the "abominable snowman" that we often see on television in our time, with even reality shows that document the hunt for such "animals." It's a bizarre topic that many find worthy of discussion while others relegate to the dustbin of superstition.

Is there "facticity"?

The question arises after a visit to Oregon and the state of Washington ("bigfoot territory"). It also arises with news reports this week (4/24/13) of an actual piece of mysterious five-toed foot found Lakeland, Massachusetts.

There have been hundreds of sightings. Some seem interesting. Most offer scant reason for credence. Films or videos of such a "creature" often have a ring of a hoax (the most famous looking precisely like a man in a gorilla outfit, traipsing through a woodland). With all these sightings, the obvious question is why a body -- or verifiable body part (Lakeland does not yet qualify) -- has never been found.

Yet, it should be admitted that the myth is persistent -- and consistent -- from Indians of old (who thought they were shamans who could "shape-shift") to modern hunters, hikers, and campers. Certain videos and photographs make one take a second look (see; the Freeman film). Going back to the 1950s and 1960s, expeditioners to the Himalayas claimed to have come back with mysterious hairs and there are plenty of plaster casts of large feet (some twenty-inches long and seven wide, thus the name). There are also detailed accounts of sightings and (among miners in Washington) even alleged attacks. Those who support the notion that a large seven-foot humanlike ape exists argue that it is a scattered tribe of ancient apes that had been known as gigantopithecus. Still others posit that such creatures may live in inaccessible caves or even bury their dead (how many bear carcasses, they argue, do we find? And yet there are more bears than "bigfeet").

Yet, there is also an unsettling element, and we're not sure it's wise becoming immersed in such show on television. Besides the frequent whiff of hoax or artifact, there is the possibility, in at least some instances, of spiritual deception. Sightings of Sasquatch and the abominable snowman or "skunk ape" (the Florida version) often seem to occur in cemeteries or near Indian burial mounds. They are often depicted as looking like demonic ritual masks. In some photos are eerie glowing eyes (and real meanness). Very often, there is an intensely foul odor (often described as like sulfur, thus "abominable"). Sulfur is also associated with demonic manifestation. The creatures seem to just vanish. Some have been associated with sightings of "UFOs" -- which Indians knew as "spirit lights. (We don't think abominable snowmen are from outer space; meanwhile, "aliens" often resemble demons and have been known to leave a sulfuric smell: do we get the point?). The Yakama Indians of the Pacific Northwest had a tradition known as "Qua-lin-me," which meant a devourer of people (see, "He comes like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour, 1 Peter 5:8), while the Hupa called man-like beasts "Omah," a "demon of the wilderness," notes a website. The Inuit (Eskimos) called it "Wendigo," which can roughly translate as "the devil spirit that devours mankind." In one case a "sasquatch" was described as having six toes, reminiscent of 1 Chronicles 20:6: "Again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature who had twenty-four fingers and toes, six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot; and he also was descended from the giants."

Stay tuned!

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