April 26th National Pretzel Day

Though the pretzel is often associated with German food, or snacks, it actually was created around 610 AD in Southern France by Catholic Monks. Some insist that pretzels first appeared in Italy, also made by Monks, who created them as treats for children who said their prayers. The original pretzels were designed to look like arms folded over the chest, as if saying prayers. Of course the Germans claim some credit for the first pretzel as well so about all we do know is that it was created in Europe, somewhere. The first pretzel in the United States was made by Julius Sturgis in 1850 at Lititz, Pennsylvania. While today has some listing a 1983 Pretzel Day we do know that Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania made a pretzel holiday in 2003.

How to celebrate – Have a pretzel today. Learn how to make your own pretzel. Visit a German restuarant.

March 2nd World Day of Prayer

For me, I know prayer works. It may not for you and it does not always bring me what I hope for but it does bring me what is best for me (funny how what we want is not always what is best for us). Today is sponsored by “Church Women United”.

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The day was founded by Mary Ellen Fairchild James, a Methodist from Brooklyn, NY for home missions in 1887. Forty years later, in 1927, the day was established on the 1st Friday of March. After another 40 years the Second Vatican Council accepted the day allowing all Catholics to participate in the day, 1967.

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We are taught that saying prayers in a group works better – that when enough voices pray for the same thing they are more often acted upon, not because they mean more than your private prayers, but because they are brought to God by more voices that care. That makes sense, but I believe your individual prayers are heard just as clearly.

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When you think no one is listening to you, you are wrong. You are always heard but you have to believe. After-all, if you don’t believe in who you are praying to, then why should you believe your prayers will be answered.

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How to celebrate – Say a prayer today.