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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Queen of the Sun

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

This beautiful documentary is a tale of tragedy and hope. “Colony collapse disorder” is happening all over the world, and especially in the United States or wherever “monoculture” exists. Monoculture is when only one crop is grown for miles and miles. In the U.S. colony collapse disorder is prevalent where only corn and soy beans are grown, for example. “Bees are the legs of plants,” one expert says. With monoculture, nature is thwarted.

Experts in the film love honey bees and consider them to be like the canaries in coal mines; when a canary died, it was a sign that gasses were building up for an explosion and miners had a chance to flee. Where honey bee colonies collapse, it is a sign that the food system is in crisis. Why? Because bees need to cross-pollinate, and with only one crop, this is not possible and other plants cannot grow. Pesticides kill insects in the food chain, starving the system. The genetic manipulation of seed that does not reproduce seeds, called “terminator” seeds, also contributes to colony collapse disorder.

There is an effort to breed queen bees that in the wild can live for four to five years. Bred queens barely last for a year, so even bee activity becomes artificial. They are artificially inseminated and fed antibiotics and high fructose corn syrup, again damaging the food chain. The process short circuits the cycle of life.

We still do not know the long-term effects of this manipulation of honey bees will have on nature and our food supply.

The film is not only science: it is poetry and reverence for God’s creation. One bee keeper says that “Pollen is marginalized light.”

There is now a need for honey bee sanctuaries and there was a “Pollinator Week” in New York City to legalize bee keeping that some are already doing on roof tops.

“Queen of the Sun: what are the bees telling us?” is an inspiring film about and by poet-scientists that can motivate us to respect nature and remind us that God’s way in nature is the best way.


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Pedro de San José Betancur: Central America claimed its first saint with the canonization of Pedro de San José Betancur by Pope John Paul II in Guatemala City on July 30, 2002. Known as the "St. Francis of the Americas," Pedro de Betancur is the first saint to have worked and died in Guatemala. 
<p>Calling the new saint an “outstanding example” of Christian mercy, the Holy Father noted that St. Pedro practiced mercy “heroically with the lowliest and the most deprived.” Speaking to the estimated 500,000 Guatemalans in attendance, the Holy Father spoke of the social ills that plague the country today and of the need for change. </p><p>“Let us think of the children and young people who are homeless or deprived of an education; of abandoned women with their many needs; of the hordes of social outcasts who live in the cities; of the victims of organized crime, of prostitution or of drugs; of the sick who are neglected and the elderly who live in loneliness,” he said in his homily during the three-hour liturgy. </p><p>Pedro very much wanted to become a priest, but God had other plans for the young man born into a poor family on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Pedro was a shepherd until age 24, when he began to make his way to Guatemala, hoping to connect with a relative engaged in government service there. By the time he reached Havana, he was out of money. After working there to earn more, he got to Guatemala City the following year. When he arrived he was so destitute that he joined the bread line that the Franciscans had established. </p><p>Soon, Pedro enrolled in the local Jesuit college in hopes of studying for the priesthood. No matter how hard he tried, however, he could not master the material; he withdrew from school. In 1655 he joined the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he opened a hospital for the convalescent poor; a shelter for the homeless and a school for the poor soon followed. Not wanting to neglect the rich of Guatemala City, Pedro began walking through their part of town ringing a bell and inviting them to repent. </p><p>Other men came to share in Pedro's work. Out of this group came the Bethlehemite Congregation, which won papal approval after Pedro's death. A Bethlehemite sisters' community, similarly founded after Pedro's death, was inspired by his life of prayer and compassion. </p><p>He is sometimes credited with originating the Christmas Eve <i>posadas</i> procession in which people representing Mary and Joseph seek a night's lodging from their neighbors. The custom soon spread to Mexico and other Central American countries. </p><p>Pedro was canonized in 2002.</p> American Catholic Blog We sometimes try to do everything on our own, forgetting that the Lord wants to help us. Let's never be afraid to admit that we are weak and can't do things on our own. St. Paul gives us a great example: "On my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses" (2 Corinthians 12:5).


 
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