Monday, July 24, 2017

"Night of the Living Dead": Horror Movie as Social Commentary

By Greg Salvatore

First, we see a car making its way up a road. Barbra (Judith O’Dea) and her brother, Johnny (uncredited, played by Russell Streiner) are driving to a cemetery in rural Pennsylvania in order to lay a memorial and flowers at the headstone of their grandfather. As they get out of the car, the radio mysteriously turns on, then turns off. In the distance, Johnny sees a man approaching them. He seems to be moving strangely.

And so begins George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, which came out the same year as 2001: A Space Odyssey. While it was not the first zombie movie ever made, it defined the genre for years to come, and it did so by injecting social commentary into the horror movie format.

Monday, July 17, 2017

How Saint Marina (Margaret) Became a Patron Saint of Pregnant Women and Childbirth

Saint Marina is known as Saint Margaret in the West. Whereas Saint Marina has always been highly esteemed and enjoyed wide popularity among Orthodox Christians of the East, in the West it was not always so. Her Acts were declared apocryphal by Pope Gelasius I in 494, but devotion to her revived in the West with the Crusades. Margaret is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, and thus one of the saints who is said to have spoken to Joan of Arc, thus increasing her veneration among the people. According to the Roman Martyrology she is celebrated on July 20, as opposed to July 17 in the East. Pope Paul VI in 1969 removed her from the list of saints because of what was considered the entirely fabulous character of the stories told of her and thus disputing her historical existence.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Saint Athanasios the Athonite and the Demon Possessed Monk

A certain monk, a worker of bronze, named Matthew, was possessed by a very fierce demon. Nonetheless, Saint Athanasios welcomed Matthew at the Great Lavra, as though he were his own child. The holy man then commanded one of the brethren to take Matthew into his cell and to minister unto him diligently. The appointed brother received Matthew with joy; but, afterwards, he shrank away from him on account of the savagery of the demon. Thus, he returned Matthew to the elder. This happened with two other monks also.