Potomac Fr. - History

Potomac Fr. - History

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Potomac Fr.


(Fr: t. 1,726,1. 177'10": b. 46'2", d. 20'6", cpl. 480, a. 8 8"
42 32-pdrs.; cl. Raritan)

The first Potomae, a frigate laid down by the Washington Navv Yard in August 1819, was launched March 1822. Fitting out was not completed until 1831, when Captain John Downes assumed command as first commanding officer.

On her first overseas cruise, Potomac departed New York 19 August 1831 for the Pacific station via the Cape of Good Hope. On 6 February 1832, Potomac shelled the town of Quallah Batoo, Sumatra in punishment for the capture of merehantman Friend~hip of Salem, Mass. and the massacre of her erew in February 1831. Of the 282 sailors and Marines who landed, two were killed while 150 natives, including the village chieftain, Po Mahomet died for their piracy. After circumnavigating the world, Potomae returned to Boston 23 May 1834.

The frigate next made two cruises to the Brazil station, protecting American interests in Latin America from 20 October 1834 to 5 March 1837, and from 12 May 1840 to 31 July 1842. From 8 December 1844 to 4 December 1845, she patrolled in the West Indies, and again from 14 March 1846 to 20 July 1847 in the Caribbean and the Gulf. During this latter period, she landed troops at Port Isabel, Texas, on 8 May 1846 in support of General Taylor's army at the battle of Palo Alto. She also participated in the sedge of Vera Cruz, 9 to 28 March 1847.

Potomac served as flagship for the Home Squadron 1855-1856. At the outbreak of the Civil War, she departed New York 10 September 1861 for the West Gulf Blockade Squadron off Vera Cruz. She became the stores ship for the squadron and remained at Pensseola Navy Yard as a receiving ship until 1867, when she was sent to Philadelphia. She remained at League Island Navy Yard, Philadelphia until she decommissioned 13 January 1877. She was sold to E. Stannard & Co. 24 May 1877.

Lincoln removes General McClellan from Army of the Potomac

A tortured relationship ends when President Abraham Lincoln removes General George B. McClellan from command of the Army of the Potomac. McClellan ably built the army in the early stages of the war but was a sluggish and paranoid field commander who seemed unable to muster the courage to aggressively engage Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

McClellan was a promising commander who served as a railroad president before the war. In the early stages of the conflict, troops under McClellan’s command scored several important victories in the struggle for western Virginia. Lincoln summoned “Young Napoleon,” as some called the general, to Washington, D.C., to take control of the Army of the Potomac a few days after its humiliating defeat at the Battle of First Bull Run, Virginia in July 1861. Over the next nine months, McClellan capably built a strong army, drilling his troops and assembling an efficient command structure. However, he also developed extreme contempt for the president, and often dismissed Lincoln’s suggestions out of hand. 

In 1862, McClellan led the army down Chesapeake Bay to the James Peninsula, southeast of the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia. During this campaign, he exhibited the timidity and sluggishness that later doomed him. During the Seven Days Battles, McClellan was poised near Richmond but retreated when faced with a series of attacks by Lee. McClellan always believed that he was vastly outnumbered, though he actually had the numerical advantage. He spent the rest of the summer camped on the peninsula while Lincoln began moving much of his command to General John Pope’s Army of Virginia.

After Lee defeated Pope at the Second Battle of Bull Run in late August, 1862he invaded Maryland. With the Confederates crashing into Union territory, Lincoln had no choice but to turn to McClellan to gather the reeling Yankee forces and stop Lee. On September 17, 1862, McClellan and Lee battled to a standstill along Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland. Lee retreated back to Virginia and McClellan ignored Lincoln’ surging to pursue him. For six weeks, Lincoln and McClellan exchanged angry messages, but McClellan stubbornly refused to march after Lee. In late October, McClellan finally began moving across the Potomac in feeble pursuit of Lee, but he took nine days to complete the crossing. Lincoln had seen enough. Convinced that McClellan could never defeat Lee, Lincoln notified the general on November 5 of his removal. A few days later, Lincoln named General Ambrose Burnside to be the commander of the Army of the Potomac.

After his removal, McClellan battled with Lincoln once more𠄿or the presidency in 1864. McClellan won the Democratic nomination but was easily defeated by his old boss.

History & Boundaries

In the year 2000, Bishop Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, established a new parish, after having just established two parishes in 1999— St. Veronica near Dulles Airport and St. Matthew in Spotsylvania. This brought the total number of diocesan parishes to 66.

On March 29, 2000, Father William Saunders, who at the time was Pastor of Queen of Apostles Parish in Alexandria, was tapped by Bishop Loverde to be the founding Pastor of a new parish to be located in Potomac Falls, Virginia — Our Lady of Hope. The appointment was made public in the June 6, 2000 edition of the Arlington Catholic Herald.

Like the apostles, Father Saunders had to start from scratch. The first step was finding a rectory. With the help of Msgr. James W. McMurtrie, pastor of nearby St. Theresa Parish in Ashburn, a house was found rather quickly. An opportunity arose with a foreclosure property and since the real estate market is so ripe in the Potomac Falls area, Father Saunders acted quickly to buy the house, even though it needed many major repairs. With the help of some contractors and other volunteers, the rectory and parish offices were made ready.

Msgr. McMurtrie also put Father Saunders in contact with the principal of Potomac Falls High School who agreed to let the parish use the auditorium for Mass and classrooms for Religious Education. Father Saunders spoke at all Masses at nearby Christ the Redeemer Parish in Sterling on the weekend prior to the beginning of the new parish, and he had 300 families register even before the first Mass was celebrated.

The parish of Our Lady of Hope held its first Mass on August 6, 2000 at Potomac Falls High School. Father Saunders was officially installed as Pastor by Rev. Msgr. James W. McMurtrie, Episcopal Vicar for Parish Devleopment for the Diocese of Arlington, on behalf of Bishop Loverde.

Our Parish Breaks Ground

On Saturday, October 25, 2003, Bishop Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, joined by Fr. Saunders and Deacon Emley, officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new church and school to be located at the corner Cascades Parkway and Algonkian Parkway in Potomac Falls, VA. Attended by more than 300 members of the parish, this marked the next phase of our parish’s existence.

Mass of Dedication for the Church

On Tuesday, January 17, 2006, our patronal feast day, Bishop Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, joined by Fr. Saunders, Parochial Vicar Fr. Bryan Belli, Deacon Emley, and priests from around the diocese consecrated the altar and dedicated the new church of Our Lady of Hope in Potomac Falls, Virginia.

Bishop Loverde seals the relics of saints within the altar at the dedication Mass

Parish Boundaries

Each parish has official boundary lines. Our boundary lines are as follows (please see the map below as well):
Beginning at the Potomac River and going east to the Fairfax County line and proceeding south along the Fairfax County line to Route 7 and then proceeding west on Route 7 to Route 28 and north on Route 28 to Broad Run to the Potomac River.

A Brief History of Pierre L’Enfant and Washington, D.C.

Today's Washington, D.C. owes much of its unique design to Pierre Charles L'Enfant, who came to America from France to fight in the Revolutionary War and rose from obscurity to become a trusted city planner for George Washington. L'Enfant designed the city from scratch, envisioning a grand capital of wide avenues, public squares and inspiring buildings in what was then a district of hills, forests, marshes and plantations.

The centerpiece of L'Enfant's plan was a great "public walk." Today's National Mall is a wide, straight strip of grass and trees that stretches for two miles, from Capitol Hill to the Potomac River. Smithsonian museums flank both sides and war memorials are embedded among the famous monuments to Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson.

L'Enfant and the Capital
Washington D.C. was established in 1790 when an act of Congress authorized a federal district along the Potomac River, a location offering an easy route to the western frontier (via the Potomac and Ohio River valleys) and conveniently situated between the northern and southern states.

President Washington chose an area of land measuring 100 square miles where the Eastern Branch (today's Anacostia River) met the Potomac just north of Mount Vernon, his Virginia home. The site already contained the lively port towns of Alexandria and Georgetown, but the new nation needed a federal center with space dedicated to government buildings.

Washington asked L'Enfant, by then an established architect, to survey the area and recommend locations for buildings and streets. The Frenchman arrived in Georgetown on a rainy night in March 1791 and immediately got to work. "He had this rolling landscape at the confluence of two great rivers," said Judy Scott Feldman, chairwoman of the National Coalition to Save Our Mall. "He essentially had a clean slate on which to design the city." Inspired by the topography, L'Enfant went beyond a simple survey and envisioned a city where important buildings would occupy strategic places based on changes in elevation and the contours of waterways.

While Thomas Jefferson had already sketched out a small and simple federal town, L'Enfant reported back to the president with a much more ambitious plan. For many, the thought of a metropolis rising out of a rural area seemed impractical for a fledgling nation, but L'Enfant won over an important ally. "Everything he said, a lot of people would have found it crazy back then, but Washington didn't," says L'Enfant biographer Scott Berg.

His design was based on European models translated to American ideals. "The entire city was built around the idea that every citizen was equally important," Berg says. "The Mall was designed as open to all comers, which would have been unheard of in France. It's a very sort of egalitarian idea."

L'Enfant placed Congress on a high point with a commanding view of the Potomac, instead of reserving the grandest spot for the leader's palace as was customary in Europe. Capitol Hill became the center of the city from which diagonal avenues named after the states radiated, cutting across a grid street system. These wide boulevards allowed for easy transportation across town and offered views of important buildings and common squares from great distances. Public squares and parks were evenly dispersed at intersections.

The MacMillan Commission's plan of Washington, D.C. (Worthy of the Nation: Washington, DC, from L’Enfant to the National Capital Planning Commission) Pierre L'Enfant's plan of Washington, D.C. (Worthy of the Nation: Washington, DC, from L’Enfant to the National Capital Planning Commission)

Pennsylvania Avenue stretched a mile west from the Capitol to the White House, and its use by officials ensured rapid development for the points in between. For the rural area to become a real city, L'Enfant knew it was crucial to incorporate planning strategies encouraging construction. But his refusal to compromise led to frequent clashes that eventually cost him his position.

City commissioners who were concerned with funding the project and appeasing the District's wealthy landowners didn't share L'Enfant's vision. The planner irked the commissioners when he demolished a powerful resident's house to make way for an important avenue and when he delayed producing a map for the sale of city lots (fearing real estate speculators would buy up land and leave the city vacant).

Eventually, the city's surveyor, Andrew Ellicott, produced an engraved map that provided details for lot sales. It was very similar to L'Enfant's plan (with practical changes suggested by officials), but the Frenchman got no credit for it. L'Enfant, now furious, resigned at the urging of Thomas Jefferson. When L'Enfant died in 1825 he had never received payment for his work on the capital and the city was still a backwater (due partly to L'Enfant's rejected development and funding proposals).

Through the 1800s to the McMillan Commission
A century after L'Enfant conceived an elegant capital, Washington was still far from complete.

In the 1800s, cows grazed on the Mall, which was then an irregularly shaped, tree-covered park with winding paths. Trains passing through a railroad station on the Mall interrupted debate in Congress. Visitors ridiculed the city for its idealistic pretensions in a bumpkin setting and there was even talk after the Civil War of moving the capital to Philadelphia or the Midwest.

In 1901, the Senate formed the McMillan Commission, a team of architects and planners who updated the capital based largely on L'Enfant's original framework. They planned an extensive park system, and the Mall was cleared and straightened. Reclaimed land dredged from the river expanded the park to the west and south, making room for the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. The Commission's work finally created the famous green center and plentiful monuments of today's Washington.

L'Enfant and Washington Today
Some of L'Enfant's plans, including a huge waterfall cascading down Capitol Hill, were never realized. But the National Mall has been a great success, used for everything from picnics to protests. "The American people really took to the Mall in the 20th century and turned it into this great civic stage," Feldman says. "That was something that Pierre L'Enfant never envisioned . a place for us to speak to our national leaders in the spotlight." It has become so popular that officials say it is "terribly overused," as evidenced by worn grass and bare patches of earth.

John Cogbill, chairman of the National Capital Planning Commission which oversees development in the city, says the Commission strives to fulfill L'Enfant's original vision while meeting the demands of a growing region. "We take [L'Enfant's plan] into account for virtually everything we do," he says. "I think he would be pleasantly surprised if he could see the city today. I don't think any city in the world can say that the plan has been followed so carefully as it has been in Washington."

Listservs related to the RF&P:

There is now an announce-only list for delivery of official Society announcements, such as quarterly meeting info, company store announcements, and membership updates.

The expected traffic of this list might be at most a couple a times a month, which is significantly lower than the activity of the RFandPRR Yahoogroup. Actual mail from this address will have the following header in front of the subject: [RF&PRRHS-Member-announce] .

If you furnish your email address as a part of your membership application, you will be added to this automatically. The list address is [email protected] . The addresses capable of posting to this list are the official addresses, which are the elected and appointed officers of the Society.

For those wishing to subscribe on their own, visit for full information about the list.

RF&P Discussion List: Move to Yahoogroups completed on April 15, 2004

There is a listserv dedicated to the RF&P in all forms. To quote its mission, "This group is dedicated to the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad. Linking North and South was its slogan and its mission. The mission of this group is to link together those of us who are interested in what was once a proud railroad. Today it is gone but will forever live in the hearts of those who followed it. Feel free to post photos of the RF&P or photos of your models as well. Also, feel free to open any discussion that pertains to the RF&P as well. This includes its days as an independent railroad or today, as nothing more than a speck on the CSX map. "

To join the [email protected] list via the web, go to:, and click on the button labeled "Join" at the top center of the screen. This is the same address to go to to read messages or use any of the other features on the web.

For those who prefer to subscribe by email, send a message to [email protected] Yahoo requires an id to view web content, but one is not required simply to send and receive list traffic.

Likewise, to unsubscribe, send an email to [email protected]

We wish to extend our thanks to Penn State for having hosted our list these past six years, from 1998 to 2004.

Category:B & O Railroad Potomac River Crossing

This category comprises 2 extant bridges as of 2016, built 1894 and 1931, one of which includes a footbridge for the Appalachian Trail. It also includes three former bridges:

  • Bollman truss railroad bridge (2nd B&O bridge). Older sections: 1851-1861 and 1851-1936. Newer section: 1870-1936.
  • B&O bridge (timber truss railroad & road bridge), 1837-1851.
  • Wager's Bridge (covered timber truss road bridge), 1829-1839.

900 ms 29.6% ? 680 ms 22.4% (for generator) 340 ms 11.2% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::getEntityStatements 280 ms 9.2% type 120 ms 3.9% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::getExpandedArgument 100 ms 3.3% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::gsub 80 ms 2.6% pairs 80 ms 2.6% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::getEntity 80 ms 2.6% 40 ms 1.3% [others] 340 ms 11.2% Number of Wikibase entities loaded: 13/400 -->

Fierce and Colorful – Zouave Regiments in the Civil War

The Zouaves originally came as part of the French Army linked to French North Africa, which served between 1830 and 1962. Their uniform and tactics were based on those of the Algerian Berbers who earned a reputation for their fast moving, agile fighting style. Thus the French Zouaves originally comprised Berber, Arab, European and black volunteers.

A Zouave was distinctive in his uniform which included a pair of baggy trousers, short open jacket, a sash and an oriental headgear.

They were the among the most decorated units of the French Army, and following the Crimean War of 1854 and the Italian War of 1859, their reputation would spread beyond France, with new Zouave units being formed in several countries across the world.

French Zouave, circa 1870

A New York clerk named Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth was the mastermind behind the first Zouave unit to be noticed in the United States. He had learned all the Zouave drills from their drill manual and had combined these with the American style military drill. He soon took over a local drilling team named the Rockford City Greys, a cadet drilling company founded in 1859, and had renamed them to the Zouave Cadets.

Not long after the cadet gained a reputation, he was offered a command of the National Guard Cadets. The obsolescent militia company was transformed under his command into the United States Zouave Cadets, and they would in 1859 go on to win the national military drilling competition in Chicago. His cadet toured around the U.S., performing light infantry drills with theatrical additions.

Elmer E. Ellsworth

It was during one of these events that Abraham Lincoln met him and using his newly found connection with Lincoln, he would go on to assemble the 11th New York Infantry Regiment a.k.a. Fire Zouaves, which would be sworn into federal service on May 7th.

However, the 9th New York Infantry Regiment a.k.a. the Hawkins’ Zouaves, were the first Zouave Regiment to officially enter the Civil War.

Col. Rush Hawkins in the 9th Hawkins Zouaves uniform

Following the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War, several units from both Union and Confederate sides adopted the name, appearance, and style of the Zouaves. The Union Army’s Zouave regiments numbered over seventy, while the Confederates had about twenty five Zouave companies throughout the conflict.

Zouaves were involved in all the major Civil War battles, from the First Manassas to Antietam, and Gettysburg to Appomattox.

Duryea Zouaves, Regimental Mess, Fort Schuyler, May 18, 1861

Zouaves fought in open order formations comprising looser, reactive groups, rather than the close order formations common to other regular infantry units.

Acting as light infantry, they were equipped with smaller, lighter, weapons, mostly carbine-style “two band” muskets. They were known to be fast and agile, attacking in a rapid advance of 100 to 200 meters, dropping to the ground to load and fire their rifled muskets.

The 114th Pennsylvania Infantry during the assault on Prospect Hill in there Zouave uniform at the Battle of Fredericksburg, December 13th 1862

The Uniforms of the Zouaves were ironically a non uniform, as their outfit was not easy or cost effective to procure. Each regiment had an oriental style dressing but uniforms varied widely owing to the level of availability of fabrics and the choices of the commanders. The uniform of the Zouave regiments was generally similar to those of the French Zouaves, with some modifications, depending on availability and choice of fabrics.

The most famous Zouave regiments included the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry known as the “Fire Zouaves”, the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry known as “Collis’s Zouaves, and the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry a.k.a. “Duryee’s Zouaves”.

Prisoners of war of the 11th New York Infantry “Fire Zouaves” at Castle Pinckney, South Carolina.

The Fire Zouaves acted as the rearguard for the retreating Army of the Potomac during the July 1861 First Manassas. As a result, they were severely mauled.

Ellsworth died as the leader of the Fire Zouaves. After cutting a Confederate flag off the roof of Marshal House Inn, he was shot by James Jackson, the inn’s owner. Jackson was in turn killed by Zouave Corporal Francis Brownell, an act that earned Brownell the first medal of the Civil War.

Francis Brownell in is Fire Zouave uniform

The 5th New York Volunteers was seen as one of the elite units of the Army of Potomac, they served alongside the regular division led by George Sykes. During the Second Manassas, the 5th New York alongside the 10th New York “National Zouaves” heroically held off the fierce flanking attack of James Longstreet’s Corps for a crucial 10 minutes before they were overwhelmed, suffering 120 deaths and 332 injuries within 10 minutes, the highest casualty level within the shortest time frame in the Civil War.

On the Confederate side, Zouave units existed in companies within larger units, instead of regiments, owing to their fewer numbers in contrast to the Union Forces.

Company E, 5th Regiment N.Y. Zouaves, at Camp Butler, Va

The most famous Confederate Zouave unit was the Louisiana Tigers which existed within Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat’s 1st Special Battalion, Louisiana Volunteers. They were reputed to have developed into fierce and fearless shock troops.

They were known as cannon killers, performing the extremely dangerous function of knocking off enemy cannon batteries to create a window for the rest of their force to come closer without engaging much with artillery. They were at the battle of First Manassas, the 1862 valley campaign, and the Seven Days Battles which included the Battle of Gaines’ Mill, the Northern Virginia Campaign and the subsequent Maryland Campaign. During these events, their force was heavily depleted, as they suffered severe casualties.

Old Zouaves of 1861 marching in New York City May 30th 1918

On the 9th of April 1835, one hour before General Robert E. Lee officially surrendered the Confederate Forces to General Grant of the Union Army, the last Union casualty of the Civil War occurred as a soldier of the 155th Pennsylvania which was part of the 5th Corps’ Zouave Brigade was mortally wounded.

Potomac Fr. - History

Therefore, on one hand, the faithful reflect and are encouraged to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord’s first coming into this world. We ponder again the great mystery of the incarnation when our Lord humbled Himself, taking on our humanity, and entered our time and space to free us from sin. On the other hand, we recall in the Creed that our Lord will come again to judge the living and the dead and that we must be ready to meet Him.

A good, pious way to help us in our Advent preparation has been the use of the Advent wreath. (Interestingly, the use of the Advent wreath was borrowed from the German Lutherans in the early 1500s.) The wreath is a circle, which has no beginning or end so we call to mind how our lives, here and now, participate in the eternity of God’s plan of salvation and how we hope to share eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. The wreath is made of fresh plant material, because Christ came to give us new life through His passion, death and resurrection. Three candles are purple, symbolizing penance, preparation and sacrifice the pink candle symbolizes the same but highlights the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, when we rejoice because our preparation is now half-way finished. The light represents Christ, who entered this world to scatter the darkness of evil and show us the way of righteousness. The progression of lighting candles shows our increasing readiness to meet our Lord.

Each family ought to have an Advent wreath, light it at dinner time and say the special prayers. This tradition will help each family keep its focus on the true meaning of Christmas. In all, during Advent we strive to fulfill the opening prayer for the Mass of the First Sunday of Advent: “Father in Heaven…increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of His coming may find us rejoicing in His presence and welcoming the light of His truth.”

By Fr. William Saunders

Fr. Saunders was the founding pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Potomac Falls, VA. He now serves as Pastor of St. Agnes in Arlington, VA and as the Episcopal Vicar of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Arlington.

Potomac Fr. - History

The brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: This scapular is the best-known and most popular of the different scapulars. According to tradition, our Blessed Mother appeared to St. Simon Stock at Cambridge, England on Sunday, July 16, 1251. (In our liturgical year, July 16 is the feast day for Our Lady of Mount Carmel.) She presented him with the scapular and said, ‘Take, beloved son, this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant.”

In this apparition and gift, our Blessed Mother promised a special protection for all members of the Carmelite Order, and a special grace at the hour of death to all who wear the scapular so that they would not perish in Hell but would be taken up to Heaven by her on the first Saturday after their death. (Note that the Church does not teach that wearing a scapular is some sure ticket to Heaven rather, we must strive to be in a state of grace, implore our Lord’s forgiveness, and trust in the maternal aid of our Blessed Mother — all positive acts of a person who wears a scapular sincerely.)

The red scapular of Christ’s Passion: In 1846, Christ appeared to a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and presented a red scapular. One side depicts our crucified Lord with the implements of the passion at the foot of the cross around the image is the inscription, “Holy Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, save us.” On the other side, the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are depicted, with the surrounding inscription, “Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, protect us.” Christ promised that all who wear this scapular on every Friday would have a great increase of faith, hope and charity. This apparition was repeated several times, and On June 25, 1847, Pope Pius IX formally approved the scapular and granted permission for its blessing and investiture.

The black scapular of the Seven Sorrows of Mary: After Pope Alexander IV’s formal establishment of the Servite Order in 1255, lay men and women formed a confraternity in honor of the seven sorrows of Mary. As a sign of membership, they wore a black scapular, usually with an image of our Mother of Sorrows on the front.

The blue scapular of the Immaculate Conception: In 1581, Venerable Ursula Benicasa, foundress of the Order of Theatine Nuns, had a vision of our Lord who revealed to her the habit and scapular her community was to wear in honor of the Immaculate Conception. Venerable Ursula implored our Lord to grant the same graces to the faithful who would wear a small, light blue scapular, bearing on one side the image of the Immaculate Conception and on the other the name “Mary.” In 1671, Pope Clement X granted permission to bless and invest people with this scapular. Later in 1894, a Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin and Mother of God, Mary was established for all who wear this scapular.

The white scapular of the Holy Trinity: When Pope Innocent III approved of the order of the Trinitarians on January 28, 1198, an angel appeared to him, wearing a white garment on which was a cross formed of a blue horizontal bar and a red vertical bar. This garment became the habit of the Trinitarians, and eventually was the model for the scapular worn by the lay people who became members of the Confraternity of the Most Blessed Trinity.

The green scapular: In 1840, our Blessed Mother gave the green scapular of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to Sister Justine Bisqueyburu, a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. She belonged to the same community as St. Catherine Laboure, to whom our Blessed Mother had manifested the Miraculous Medal 10 years earlier. This green scapular has the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on one side, and the image of the Immaculate Heart itself, pierced by a sword, surrounded by the inscription, “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.” This scapular can simply be blessed by a priest, and then worn, or placed in one’s clothing, on the bed, or in the room. Pope Pius IX approved the green scapular in 1863 and again in 1870.

Perhaps the best way to appreciate the wearing of a scapular is to reflect on the Prayer of Blessing offered in The Roman Ritual: “O God, the author and perfecter of all holiness, you call all who are reborn of water and the Holy Spirit to the fullness of the Christian life and the perfection of charity. Look with kindness on those who devoutly receive this scapular (in praise of the Holy Trinity or in honor of Christ’s passion or in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary). As long as they live, let them become sharers in the image of Christ your Son and, after they have fulfilled their mission on earth with the help of Mary, the Virgin Mother, receive them into the joy of your heavenly home.” The key to this devotion is not simply the wearing of a piece of cloth, but the spiritual conversion it signifies.

Editor’s Note: This article courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald and is republished here with kind permission.

Native Peoples of Washington, DC

Washington D.C. Native Americans. Library of Congress photo.

Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, the area we think of today as metropolitan Washington, D.C. was rich in natural resources and supported local native people living there. The Anacostia and Potomac Rivers provided a variety of fish, including a dependable supply of migratory fish that converged seasonally at this “head of tidewater” location.

Additionally, the surrounding wilderness provided plenty of forest produce and wild game such as turkey, quail, geese, ducks, deer, elk, bear, and bison. The native peoples also grew corn, squash, beans, and potatoes in small cleared areas on the fertile floodplains. They quarried stone in nearby stream valleys and used it for tools. Local American Indians also traded with native people from distant regions, exchanging resources and materials from a wide area. There is evidence that the strategic location of the confluence of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers, tidewater and piedmont, made the area a major crossroads and trading center for coastal and interior tribes.

The village of Nacotchtank (from which the name Anacostia is derived) was the largest of the three American Indian villages located in the Washington area and is believed to have been a major trading center. The people of Nacotchtank, or Anacostans, were an Algonquian-speaking people that lived along the southeast side of the Anacostia River in the area between today’s Bolling Air Force Base and Anacostia Park, in the floodplain below the eastern-most section of today’s Fort Circle Parks. A second town, Nameroughquena, most likely stood on the Potomac's west bank, opposite of what today is Theodore Roosevelt Island. Another village existed on a narrow bluff between today’s Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and MacArthur Boulevard in the northwest section of the city.

Captain John Smith was the first European documented to have reached the navigable head of the Potomac River during his explorations in 1608. Smith’s explorations led to several subsequent contacts with American Indians, some friendly, some in outright conflict, and ultimately resulted in European take-over and settlement of the land and the virtual displacement of the local American Indians.

After only 40 years of contact with the Europeans, the population of local American Indians was only one-quarter of those that lived in the region prior to 1608. Many of the Nacotchtanks and other local American Indians died from diseases introduced by the Europeans and in wars. Others joined other tribes to the north, south, and west.

Watch the video: History on the Potomac (June 2022).


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