chuvaness
Novena to St. Expeditus
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Sorry for my longest absence ever in 17 years.
I’m in Tokyo with my family. Everyday I plan to blog but I’m so, so tired.
This Lenten season of suffering, I want to share with you a special novena my friend Yodel found in a church in London.
Yodel, a graphic designer, was attracted to the novena because of the graphic design.

2017-04-11_11-28-15

She shared it with her mom, my Tita Yoly, who tried it and was amazed that it worked.
I decided to try it and it worked for me after less than 24 hours!!
The thing is, if it works for you, you are supposed to share the novena and spread it. That’s why I’m posting it here.
As you can guess by the name, St. Expeditus, he is a fast worker. So if you’re in dire need, in a hurry or desperate to have a problem solved, please try this prayer.
If it does, please leave a comment below, and don’t forget to share the prayer.

LET US PRAY:
My Saint Expeditus, saint of fair and urgent causes,
Help me in this time of affliction and despair.
Intercede for me with Our Lord Jesus Christ!
You who are a warrior saint
You who are the saint of the afflicted
You who are the saint of the desperate
You who are the saint of urgent causes,
Protect me, help me, give me strength, courage and serenity.
Hear my plea … (say your plea here)
Help me through these difficult hours
Protect me from all those who want to hurt me
Protect my family
Respond to my plea with haste
Bring me peace and tranquility.
I will be grateful to you for the rest of my life
and speak your name to all those who have faith.
Many thanks, my Saint Exeditus.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and make the sign of the cross.
This prayer was approved by the Church.
Pray especially on the feast of St. Expeditus on April 19.

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Exciting new H&M brand, ARKET, to open in Fall 2017
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The H&M group is launching a new brand, ARKET, later this year. It will be a modern-day market, offering essential products for men, women, children, and home.
ARKET means ‘sheet of paper’ in Swedish.
The first store will open early autumn 2017 on Regent Street, London and online in 18 European countries.

Arket

Other store openings will follow in Brussels, Copenhagen and Munich.
Stores will also include a café where location permits.
The café will be based on the New Nordic Kitchen and its vision of quality ingredients and healthy living.

ARKET’s designers, buyers, pattern makers, architects, writers and chefs have been working closely with producers to develop high quality and long-lasting products at affordable prices.
“A fantastic team with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise have come together to build ARKET. We’re very excited to soon reveal the brand and share our collections with customers,” said Lars Axelsson, Managing Director.
The head office and design studio is located at Maria Skolgata 83 in Stockholm.

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Football hotness: Diesel, Hugo Boss dress up AC Milan and Real Madrid players
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Following the announcement of a three-year style partnership between Diesel and AC Milan, the lifestyle brand has revealed the off-field kit for the “Rosso” Neri (red and black) football team.

Diesel dresses AC Milan

The Diesel x AC Milan style partnership includes two types of custom-made uniforms, both strictly Made in Italy. They will be worn for the first time at the Italian Super Cup in Doha on December 23rd 2016.
The formal kit for players and staff consists of a hooded blazer (a real innovation for football uniforms) with stretch fleece sleeves and zips at the wrists to be worn with either a polo shirt or T-shirt (the first uniform without a shirt); a cashmere jumper with zip for very cold temperatures; a pair of iconic Diesel Jogg-Jeans with refined black treatment and a puffy parka with removable lining. The kit is complete with leather lace-up shoes featuring an all-around metal zip.

Diesel dresses AC Milan

The second kit is the off-site uniform to be worn by players during transfers. The main piece is the reversible satin bomber jacket: one side celebrates AC Milan with the team colors and badge, the other tells the Diesel and AC Milan story through patch-symbols on a black background.
These include the flags of cities where the team has been victorious, the initials of the team’s English founder Herbert Kilpin and his iconic catchphrase “red as fire”. Not to mention a series of important numbers: 7, the number of Champions Leagues won by the team; 78, the year Diesel was born; 18, the number of championships won and 1889, the year AC Milan was founded. And finally Renzo Rosso’s signature “enjoy”.
The look is completed by a pair of distressed Jogg-Jeans and black leather sneakers with an all-round zip.

Diesel dresses AC Milan

Meanwhile, Real Madrid C.F. will wear elegant BOSS looks during the course of the 2016/2017 season. For official engagements, the players wear slim-cut, navy blue BOSS suits from the ‘Create Your Look’ line.

Hugo Boss dresses Real Madrid

The collection’s unique feature: men can combine their preferred sizes and fits for trousers and jackets—choosing from regular, slim and extra-slim—to create a suit that is an ideal match for their physique. The classic look #SuitedByBOSS is perfected with a crisp white cotton shirt, a blue tie, black shoes and belt—and topped with a navy cashmere overcoat.

Hugo Boss dresses Real Madrid

“Real Madrid is an outstanding team and an excellent partner for our brand. The players already cut a fine figure on the pitch—and off it they now look impeccably dressed in BOSS,” said Tiago Baptista, HUGO BOSS Managing Director Iberia. “We are delighted to be outfitting one of the world’s most successful clubs.”

Hugo Boss dresses Real Madrid

“We are very pleased to have HUGO BOSS as a partner for Real Madrid,” said Emilio Butragueño, Real Madrid’s Institutional Relations Manager. “It is an honor to associate our name with such a prestigious and well-known international brand. We have many shared values, including innovation, leadership and the pursuit of excellence.

Hugo Boss dresses Real Madrid

To know more about the BOSS ‘Create Your Look’ line the players are wearing, go to http://www.hugoboss.com/boss-men-suits-create-your-look/

In the Philippines, Diesel is located at Bonifacio High Street Central, Greenbelt 3 and Power Plant Mall, while BOSS is located at City of Dreams Manila, Greenbelt 5, Newport Mall, Rustan’s Shangri-la and Shangri-La Plaza East Wing.

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I saw a dead body
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Have you ever seen a dead body, like in a morgue?
I’ve seen dead bodies a few times—on the road covered with newspapers after an accident. Relatives who had died in the hospital. Or dead bodies in the coffin.
But I had never seen a dead body in a morgue.

My last lola died recently at the age of 93. By last lola, I mean she was my paternal grandmother’s youngest sister. All the lolos and lolas I had known are gone.
Last March 11, I got a text from my dad that my lola had died and there would be mass at 7 PM at Arlington in Quezon City.
My boys and I had already booked a dinner at Mamou, Serendra which I cancelled.
I then went to the boys’ room and informed them that there was a change of plans.
My last lola had died and we were going to the wake.
Thank God my boys agreed.

We left the house at 5:30 PM and had a quick dinner at Robinson’s Magnolia before heading out to Arlington funeral parlor.
We got there at 7:15 PM, but my lola’s name was no where to be found on the sign board.
I went to reception to ask for the whereabouts of Lydia Salas. The man behind the desk told me the body wasn’t ready but I could proceed to the “viewing room” down the hall, turn right, behind the sliding door.
So I though the viewing room was where I would find my cousins waiting.

When I got to the viewing room, I found my lola’s two caregivers—a mother and daughter who was a deadringer for singer Ciara Sotto.
I found them sitting on a couch, while another couch near the door was empty.
I saw a frosted glass window with a narrow opening. My brain immediately told me, I think we’re in the morgue.
Knowing my sons are duwag (scaredy cats), I motioned for them to sit on the empty couch, but my son Markus nearly peeked inside the window. When he realized what he could have seen, he immediately stopped and said, “Oh, shit.” (He is 13.)

I dragged them outside the room and looked for our relatives.
I found my three cousins—Vip, Judd, and Jay at the lobby and hugged them.
Judd and Vip were choosing flowers from an album. My lola had died the morning at the hospital, and they thought the body would be ready by 7.
Jay looked very much harassed and told me he needed to run to Chinese General Hospital to get a signature so that the body can be cremated the following day. I offered to take him there.
Meanwhile, I told my two sons to wait in the car.
I wanted to see my lola one last time.

“Jay, before we go, can I see lola? I’m not gonna make it to mass tomorrow.”
“Yes of course,” Jay said, and escorted me back to the viewing room.
And so I saw my lola lying on the metal table, her head slightly raised, naked, with her private body parts covered in cloth. Her hair and body were being washed.
I couldn’t believe she was 93. She looked so young.
I kind of saw we had the same body type, sort of.
I watched the expressionless mortician washing her body, and thanked her in my mind.
Thank you for doing this. Thank you for doing this humble job.

I wondered about my own death, if it were my turn to be on the metal table. I can only wish that I were handled with much respect too.
It was like watching a movie. I was afraid, but I wanted to look. I held the hand of her caregiver and exchanged some humorous comment just to lighten the mood. And then I left with Jay.

The boys and I dropped off their Uncle Jay at Chinese General and decided to make “pagpag” at Robinson’s Magnolia, where I treated them to Uniqlo and H&M.
All the while thinking of my lola who said she was missing her sisters who had died before her.

No tears were shed. She was 93. She wanted to go. She was devoted to Our Lady.
I am sure she is in a better place.

Lola Liddy and Vip Salas
Lola Lydia (Liddy) Salas with her grandson Vip

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