HAMSA

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Hamsa
Although it may derive from Islamic or pagan culture, the hamsa today has become a Jewish and Israeli symbol.

A hamsa is an amulet shaped like a hand, with three extended fingers in the middle and a curved thumb or pinky finger on either side. It is thought to protect against the “evil eye” and is a popular motif in both Jewish and Middle Eastern jewelry.

Where Does the Hamsa Get its Name?
The name “hamsa” comes from the Hebrew word “hamesh,” which means five. “Hamsa” refers to the fact that there are five fingers on the talisman, though some also believe it represents the five books of the Torah. Sometimes it is called the Hand of Miriam, after Moses’ sister.

In Islam, the hamsa is called the Hand of Fatima, in honor of one of the daughters of the Prophet Mohammed. Some say that in Islamic tradition the five fingers represent the Five Pillars of Islam.

Many scholars believe that the hamsa predates both Judaism and Islam, though no one is certain of its origin.

Symbolism of the Hamsa
Hamsas always have three extended middle fingers, but there is some variation to how the thumb and pinky fingers appear. Sometimes they are curved outwards as in the example shown above, other times they are just significantly shorter than the middle fingers. Whatever their shape, the thumb and pinky finger are always symmetrical.

In addition to being shaped like an oddly formed hand, many hamsas will have an eye displayed in the palm of the hand. The eye is thought to be a powerful talisman against the “evil eye.” The evil eye is a certain “look” that can cause bad luck for the person at whom it is directed. This “look” often originates with a person, though not always intentionally. Legends about the evil eye give both regular people and those with certain powers the ability to cast the evil eye. In the case of the average Joe, envy is most often cited as the unintentional source of the evil eye.

Other symbols that can appear on the hamsa include fish and Hebrew words. Fish are thought to be immune to the evil eye and are also symbols of good luck. Going along with the luck theme, “mazel” – meaning “luck” in Hebrew – is a word that is sometimes inscribed on the amulet. (Fish and the word “mazel” appear on the example above.)

Popular ways to hear the hamsa include as part of a jewelry design or on a key chain. It can also be displayed in your home as a decorative element. However it is displayed, the amulet is thought to bring good luck and happiness ( for those that believe in it).

You’ll see a prayer in Hebrew on the back of Hamsas, it says this:
” Let no sadness come to this heart. Let no trouble come to these arms. let no conflict come to these eyes. Let my soul be filled with the blessing of joy and peace”.

The Hamsa Prayer

Let no sadness come
to this heart
Let no trouble come
to these arms
Let no conflict come
to these eyes
Let my soul be filled with the blessing of joy of peace.

ASTON MARTIN

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Aston Martin Lagonda Limited is a British manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers. It was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford.

The firm became associated with luxury grand touring cars in the 1950s and 1960s, and with the fictional character James Bond following his use of a DB5 model in the 1964 film Goldfinger.

The company has had a chequered financial history, including bankruptcy in the 1970s, but has also enjoyed long periods of success and stability, including under the ownership of David Brown, from 1947 to 1972 and of the Ford Motor Company from 1994 to 2007.

In March 2007, a consortium of investors, led by David Richards, purchased 92% of Aston Martin for £479 million, with Ford retaining a £40 million stake.

David Richards became chairman of Aston Martin.
In December 2012, the Italian private equity fund Invest industrial signed a deal to buy 37.5% of Aston Martin, investing £150 million as a capital increase.

Relationship with Mercedes-AMG
In 2013 Aston Martin signed a deal with Daimler AG to supply new Mercedes-AMG power plants for the next generation line up. Daimler AG now owns 5% of Aston Martin.

Mercedes-AMG will also supply Aston Martin with electrical systems. This technical partnership will support Aston Martin’s launch of a new generation of models that will incorporate new technology and V8s.

http://www.astonmartin.com

FERRARI

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Ferrari S.p.A. is an Italian luxury sports car manufacturer based in Maranello. Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929, as Scuderia Ferrari, the company sponsored drivers and manufactured race cars before moving into production of street-legal vehicles as Ferrari S.p.A. in 1947.
Fiat acquired 50% of Ferrari in 1969 and expanded its stake to 85% in 2008.
Fiat currently owns 90% of Ferrari.
Throughout its history, the company has been noted for its continued participation in racing, especially in Formula One, where it has had great success. Ferrari road cars are generally seen as a symbol of speed, luxury and wealth.

http://www.ferrari.com

FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Saint Francis of Assisi italian: San Francesco d’Assisi; born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, but nicknamed Francesco (“the Frenchman”) by his father; 1181/1182 – October 3, 1226).

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Francis of Assisi, was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher.

He founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers, followed by the early members of the Order of Friars Minor, or the monastic lives of the Poor Clares.

Though he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.

At the end of this period (on February 24, 1209, according to Jordan of Giano), Francis heard a sermon that changed his life forever.

The sermon was about Matthew 10:9, in which Christ tells his followers they should go forth and proclaim that the Kingdom of Heaven was upon them, that they should take no money with them, nor even a walking stick or shoes for the road.

Francis was inspired to devote himself to a life of poverty.

Determined to bring the Gospel to all God’s creatures, Francis sought on several occasions to take his message out of Italy. In the late spring of 1212, he set out for Jerusalem, but he was shipwrecked by a storm on the Dalmatian coast, forcing him to return to Italy.

On May 8, 1213, he was given the use of the mountain of La Verna (Alverna) as a gift from Count Orlando di Chiusi, who described it as “eminently suitable for whoever wishes to do penance in a place remote from mankind.

Saint Francis is considered the first Italian poet by literary critics.

He believed commoners should be able to pray to God in their own language, and he wrote often in the dialect of Umbria instead of Latin. His writings are considered to have great literary and religious value.

Saint Francis Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Portuguese
Oração de São Francisco de Assis
Senhor, fazei-me instrumento de vossa paz.
Onde houver ódio, que eu leve o amor;
Onde houver ofensa, que eu leve o perdão;
Onde houver discórdia, que eu leve a união;
Onde houver dúvida, que eu leve a fé;
Onde houver erro, que eu leve a verdade;
Onde houver desespero, que eu leve a esperança;
Onde houver tristeza, que eu leve a alegria;
Onde houver trevas, que eu leve a luz.

Ó Mestre, Fazei que eu procure mais
Consolar, que ser consolado;
compreender, que ser compreendido;
amar, que ser amado.
Pois é dando que se recebe,
é perdoando que se é perdoado,
e é morrendo que se vive para a vida eterna.

- São Francisco de Assis

ST. FRANCIS IN ROME – THE RESTORATION

NUMBER 5

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