Imagine our world when there was no radio, television, internet, and only dim lighting at night. One form of entertainment was the everlasting invention of the picture book. The value of these books was the colorful images and authoritative text not always so easily or readily available. Our ancestors valued these books so much they passed them down to each generation. Unfortunately not everyone receiving these precious gifts appreciated them.
I recently acquired an antique German picture book presenting the story of the nativity. The cover was dirty and moldy from not being stored properly. Being the curious curator of the dumpster that I am, I brought it home in hopes to improve its appearance and extend its purpose of production.
The date of the book is not indicated but this publisher appears to have been in business during the early 20th century. The art work on the front cover with vines and flowers is characteristic of the Arts and Crafts period 1880 – 1910 so my guess is this book was produced somewhere during that time.
Here are photos before and after my restoration efforts.
Here we are on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and Pope Benedict XVI makes one of the biggest announcements of the year. He is stepping down because he does not believe he still has the ability or energy that is needed to perform the office. All the priests interviewed said that Pope Benedict is being humble and I agree. When you know that you can’t give a particular role all that it’s due, what do you do? My guess is that many just do the best they can and compensate in a variety of ways. The few, the humble, the real men, step down and make way for someone who can do what is required. That’s the true team player. That’s someone devoted to the mission and not his own agenda. I’m sure there will be conspiracy theories about this move, but I find it interesting how the announcement was made on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. This is a day when miracles are remembered and Our Lady is honored. Does Pope Benedict have a connection with Lourdes? Perhaps the next Pope will work miracles like bringing peace to Israel or bringing a conversion of hearts in America. Perhaps we’ll have the first pope from Asia or Africa. Regardless of who is placed into the position, it will be through the grace of God. I’m looking forward to all the coverage around the Vatican and Cardinals over the next several months.