January 26 – NATIONAL DAYS
In giving the list of national days in the countries with a Gabrielite presence, the purpose is to suggest that the Brothers remain in solidarity with the people among whom our confreres live, and pray for them.
Most of the following national days commemorate the date on which the countries became independent.
Brazil: 7 September 1822
Central Africa: 1 December 1958
Colombia: 20 July 1810
Dem. Rep. of Congo: 30 June 1960
Fiji: 10 October 1970
Gabon: 17 August 1960
Guinea: 2 October 1958
Haiti: 1 January 1794
India: 15 August 1947 (1)
Madagascar: 26 June 1960
Malaysia: 31 August 1957
Mauritius: 12 March 1968
Papua New Guinea: 16 September 1975
Philippines: 12 June 1896
Poland: 11 November 1918
Rwanda: 1 July 196.2
Senegal: 4 April1960
Singapore: 9 August 1965
Tonga: 4 June 1850
(1) India also celebrates each year the proclamation of the Republic: 26 January 1950.
Other countries have decided to celebrate another event on their national days:
– in France, the storming of the Bastille (14 July 1789) and the day of the Federation (14 July 1790);
– in Belgium, the day on whicnher first king Leopold I swore fidelity to the constitution (21 July 1831);
– in Canada, the beginning of the Canadian confederation (1 July 1867);
– in Italy, the liberation of the country from German occupation (25 April1944);
– in Tanzania, the merging of Tanganyika and Zanzibar (26 April 1960);
– in the Congo, the three glorious days of the 1963 revolution (13, 14 and 15 August 1963).
In two countries only the national day is also a religious feast:
– in Quebec: StJohn the Baptist, 24 June;
– in Spain: Our Lady del Pilar at Saragossa, on 12 October, the date on which Christopher Columbus reached America in 1492, which is celebrated in Spanish speaking countries.
Thailand has no national day proper. However, on several occasions the royal family, so dear to the hearts of all Thais and therefore of our Brothers, is remembered. When the Queen Mother died on 18 July 1995, Br. Martin Komolmas, president of Assumption University, was one of the first to go and pray beside her body. He was followed by delegations of teachers and students from our schools in Bangkok. In an issue of the provincial newsletter, the front cover and the first article concerned this event.