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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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Joan of Arc: 
		<p>Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically-motivated trial, Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.</p>
		<p>Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux (southeast of Paris), Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as Sts. Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch.</p>
		<p>During the Hundred Years War, she led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of Orléans and Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, she was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvis, the judge at her trial; Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men's clothes. The English resented France's military success–to which Joan contributed. </p>
		<p>On this day in 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.</p>
		<p>Remembered by most people for her military exploits, Joan had a great love for the sacraments, which strengthened her compassion toward the poor. Popular devotion to her increased greatly in 19th-century France and later among French soldiers during World War I. Theologian George Tavard writes that her life "offers a perfect example of the conjunction of contemplation and action" because her spiritual insight is that there should be a "unity of heaven and earth."</p>
		<p>Joan of Arc has been the subject of many books, plays, operas, and movies. </p>
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