Category: Religion

St John Henry Newman (Latest English Saint)


St John Henry Newman (Latest English Saint)

John Henry Newman

In Profile

  • Full Name: John Henry Newman
  • DoB: 21 February 1801
  • PoB: London, UK
  • Died: 11 August 1890, Birmingham, UK
  • Education: Trinity College, Oxford
  • Occupation: Priest, Pastor, Poet, Theologist, Teacher, Educationalist


  • Originally an Anglican (Church          of England)
  • Controversially converted to Roman Catholicism in 1845.
  • First Rector of the Birmingham Oratory, which became University College Dublin.
  • Created a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII on 12 May 1879.


  • Credited with 2 Miracles: Curing a man’s spinal disease & stopping a pregnant woman continues profuse bleed.
  • Beatified in 2010 by Pope Benedict in an open mass in Birmingham
  • Canonised by Pope Francis on 13 October 2019.
  • Feast Day: 9 October

14 February – St Valentine’s Day



14 February – St Valentine’s Day


1 Corinthians 13:4–8a

Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

New International Version (NIV)

GlobalGranary wishes you all a loving, happy, joyous Valentine’s Day.  Hope your heart’s desires are realised.

Happy Birthday to:-

Global Christmas Lights – The Filipino Paról.

As I mentioned in my earlier blog (O (Old) Christmas Tree) about Christmas decorations and how we get them from storage in our loft/attics etc at the beginning of each Christmas season. We check the plugs and fuses of our old Christmas lights and see how many bulbs still work. I think the oldest lights I have are over 40 years old and we drape them around our 45-year-old Christmas tree I had when growing up.

Last Christmas when we were in the Philippines visiting our family, we saw amazing Christmas decorations and lights almost everywhere. We bought back from halfway around the globe, one particular Christmas decoration which is popular in the Philippines. It is called a paról.

A paról is a star-shaped or star patterned lantern, the shape representing the Star of Bethlehem that guided The Three Kings to the birthplace and manger of Jesus. A paról can come in various sizes and designs/patterns as long as it is a five-pointed star shape and can be illuminated.  They are traditionally made out bamboo and paper. Nowadays they can be constructed from materials such as plastic, glass, thick strong polythene & light metal strips  They are illuminated by candles or electric light bulbs. paróls are traditional to Filipinos at Christmas as the Christmas tree is to us.  Modern electric/battery powered paróls can produce colourful complex patterns like some of our home Christmas lights.


Global Christmas Lights – The Filipino Paról.

Parol, photo by PH Morton +

Parol by PH Morton

 Paról Light in our NW London house!


First Day of December

Blue Tree, Photo by PH Morton

Christmas Holiday!

First Day of December


Hello friends and visitors.

It is the first day of December, where life and leisure are going to become hectic and busy especially if you are still working. There will be endless Christmas parties, friends reunion, family reunion, etc,

There will be expensive Christmas shopping.  Just be careful with the spending.   Try to buy things you can afford to give.

Let us also remind ourselves what Christmas is all about.  Who is being celebrated and perhaps even for just this month (if we cannot manage to do it throughout the year), let us be mindful of others.  Give love on Christmas month. 🙂

By the way, meteorological speaking, today is the first day of winter in the UK, etc.

Keep warm, be safe and healthy.

Merry Christmas and hope you all really have a good one.

Stir-up Sunday

A Christmas Pudding, sometimes cream or custard etc are added as a topping.


Stir-up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent.  The custom comes from when families & relatives gathered together and stir the ingredients of a traditional British Christmas pudding before the first Sunday in Advent as observed by Anglican churches.

There is a Collect (prayer)

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’ 

Also, It allows time for the pudding to mature properly for the month before the Christmas Day meal. By tradition, each member of a family or participant is encouraged to make a wish as they stir.

The pudding mixture is stirred from East to West in honour and remembrance of the three wise men who visited the baby Jesus with their gifts.

In some households, silver coins are added to the pudding mix. It is believed that finding a coin brings good luck.

I remember as a child in the 1960s, my mother would traditionally put & stir ‘silver’ sixpence coins known colloquially as a tanner into the mixture. Later when the UK went decimal ‘other’ silver coins were added.

It is believed that like Christmas trees and Christmas decorations, Christmas puddings were introduced to the UK in the 1800s, by Prince Albert, who was the husband and consort to Queen Victoria.

There can be some variations of ingredients, traditional puddings mainly contain dried fruits, raisins etc. The mixture and cake are held together by egg and suet &  sometimes moistened by treacle or molasses. It is flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and or other spices. Measured alcohol is added, mainly brandy but dark beers or stout can be used.

Before the pudding is served during the Christmas meal, some households set light to the pudding as the alcohol content allows it to burn briefly as part of the serving tradition.

The pudding is usually aged for a month or more,[or even a year until the following Christmas Day; the high alcohol content of the pudding prevents it from spoiling during this time.