Category - Education

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary in LEGO

Fr. Roderick created another LEGO build on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15. The scene shows the dormition of the Virgin Mary, with Jesus appearing in the center to take his mother with Him to heaven.

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The build is inspired by the classic depictions by artists like Fra Angelico:

 

Even though the story of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is not described in the Bible, it has been a part of the Christian tradition since the early centuries. The Catholic Church believes that Mary, “having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory”.

In christian iconography, Mary is shown on her deathbed, surrounded by the apostles. Jesus is often depicted in the scene, appearing to take his mother to heaven.

The gospel talks about Jesus’ ascension to heaven, but since it is Jesus who takes his mother to heaven, we speak about Mary’s assumption.

Christian iconography also often shows the coronation of the Virgin Mary in heaven:

Father Roderick’s Star Wars Advent Calendar

A Long Time Ago…

December 1:

A tiny red vessel, Santa’s sleigh, races through space. It is pursued by a giant Imperial Star Destroyer. The small sleigh is easily overtaken and being drawn into the underside dock of the giant starship…

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December 2:

“Listen carefully L2-F2”, says Santa to the red colored droid. “Darth Vader can be here any minute now. Take this digital cookie and bring it to a safe place. It contains the location of the Christmas Star.” The little droid says goodbye with a few sad beeps and leaves to find an escape pod.

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December 3:

Darth Vader enters the hangar with the captured sleigh and grabs Santa by the neck. “Where are those transmissions you intercepted?” Vader lifts Santa off his feet by his throat. “What is the location of the Christmas Star?”

“This is a Christmas Sleigh. I was on a gift-giving mission,” answers Santa.

“If this is a Christmas Sleigh, where are the elves?” Vader yells. Santa refuses to speak, but sees in the corner of his eye how L2-F2 enters an escape pod…

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December 4:

The escape pod is jettisoned from the Star Destroyer and flies through space in the direction of the planet. Inside the pod, L2-F2 beeps nervously. What planet is this? Where will he land? What if Darth Vader comes after him? What can one small astromech droid do against an army of Stormtroopers? Will anyone help him?

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December 5:

The Escape Pod crashes in a snow-covered area. But L2-F2 is still in one piece. As he exits the Pod he hears a high pitched voice yell “Utini!”. When he swivels his visual sensor in the direction of the voice, he sees a small dark figure with glowing eyes pointing an ion blaster at him. The Jawa fires and L2-F2’s circuits shut down. The poor astromech droid manages one short electronic squeak before he topples over into the snow…

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December 6:

When L2-F2 wakes up, he realizes that he is inside an enormous Snowcrawler, together with many other droids that have were scavenged by the Jawas. The Snowcrawler approaches a village, where Tim and Lydia are playing in the snow. “Look Lydia, I added this old Stormtrooper helmet to our snowman!” “Cool! And this carrot can be his gun!,” says Lydia. “Perhaps that carrot will improve his aim,” Tim jokes. “Oh! Jawas!” says Lydia when she sees the Snowcrawler in the distance. “Perhaps they can sell us a protocol droid that speaks Latin!”

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December 7:

The Jawas unload the droids they have captured. One of them is a green droid that looks a bit like a Christmas tree. “Check it out Lydia! An XMS droid!” says Tim. “Why don’t we buy it to help us install the Christmas lights?” When Tim is about to pay the Jawas, the green droid utters a series of shrill beeps. Electric sparks and smoke surround the XMS unit. “I think it has a bad motivator!” says Lydia. “What about this one?” she says while pointing at L2-F2. “Okay, we’ll buy that one instead!” says Tim.

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December 8:

Lydia and Tim bring L2-F2 to their garage. “We need to clean this droid first, it looks as if he has been in a blaster fight!” says Lydia. While she examines L2’s circuits, the droid’s projector suddenly lights up. A hologram of Santa appears! “I have been captured by Darth Vader!” says Santa. “This droid contains a digital cookie with the location of the Christmas Star. If you are watching this message, I need your help. Take this droid to the Jedi. They will know what to do. Please take good care of L2-F2 and protect him from Vader’s troops. The Star is our only hope.”

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December 9:

“We should go to Mos Icicle,” says Lydia, “perhaps we can find some Jedi there!” “But how do we make sure the Stormtroopers don’t recognize L2-F2?” Tim asks. “We could give him some antlers and let him pull our sled, the Stormtroopers will think it’s our own droid. After all, there are quite a few other L2 units in Mos Icicle.”

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December 10:

When Tim and Lydia approach Mos Icicle, they see thick clouds of smoke rising above the town. “It looks like something is on fire!” Tim says. “I hope everyone is safe!”

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December 11:

When Tim and Lydia get closer, they see how Flametroopers are burning Christmas trees on the main square of the town! Lydia is shocked. “Why do they set all those trees on fire? What’s going on?” “I don’t know Lydia,” Tim says, “but we should stay away from Vader’s troops. Let’s go to that cantina over there and ask if anyone knows where we can find the Jedi!”

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December 12:

Tim and Lydia step into the smoke-filled cantina, while L2-F2 hides in a corner outside. The murky, moldy den is filled with all sorts of weird and exotic alien creatures and monsters. A band of aliens is playing “Rudolph, the red-nosed Tauntaun”. Tim raises his voice. “Excuse me,” he asks, “does anyone know where we can find the Jedi?” All of a sudden, everyone stops talking. “Did he say Jedi?” one of the aliens whispers. “Hey kids, quick, over here!” they hear another voice behind them.

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December 13:

“Are you kids crazy?” the man next to an enormous Wookiee asks them. “It’s not safe to mention the Jedi here! Because of the Empire’s War on Christmas, there are Stormtroopers and spies everywhere right now!” And turning to the aliens in the cantina, he says “they were looking for Red-eye. You know, the alien that tried to shoot me last week. Fortunately, I shot first!” The aliens turn back to their drinks and resume their conversations. “Phew, I think I convinced them that they misheard you. I’m Han Solo, and this is Chewbacca, my co-pilot. Why are you looking for the Jedi?”

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December 14:

“We have to bring our droid to the Jedi,” Lydia says. “We need someone with a ship to help us.” “I’m captain of the Millennium Falcon,” Han Solo says. “Is it a fast ship?” Tim asks. “You’ve never heard of the Falcon? It’s the ship that made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs!” Han Solo says.  “Good!” says Lydia. “We may need to be able to escape the Imperial ships. Our droid carries important information that Vader is looking for!” “Vader? As in Darth Vader?” Han Solo frowns. “That’s going to cost you extra. Ten thousand in advance.” Tim and Lydia look at each other. “But we have no money!”

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December 15:
“This is my ship,” Han Solo says, pointing at the Millennium Falcon behind him. “But I need to see some money, otherwise I can’t help you,” Han Solo insists. “Han, you don’t need to see any money to help these kids,” a young man says while he walks towards them. “I don’t need to see any money to help these kids,” Han Solo repeats.”Hi Luke! Wait. Did you just use a mind-trick on me? I don’t like it when you do that!” Luke Skywalker grins and turns to Tim and Lydia. I heard you say you are looking for the Jedi. I’m studying with Jedi Master Yoda on Dagobah, but I’m on Christmas leave. I’m sure Han and Chewie could bring us to Yoda. The Stormtroopers made sure there isn’t much left of Christmas here anyway. Why does Vader hate Christmas so much?”

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December 16:
“Why do you hate Christmas so much?” Santa asks Darth Vader. “In this interrogation it is ME who asks the questions,” Vader replies. “If you don’t tell me the location of the Christmas Star, I will hand you over to Coca Fett here. He is hired by a big company that wants to turn you into their mascot. “The Christmas Star is a symbol of hope for the galaxy,” Santa says. “Why do you seek it?” “To destroy it!” Vader replies angrily. “Rebellions are built on hope. Hope leads to faith, faith leads to courage, courage leads to rebellion. After the rebels destroyed my Death Star, I will destroy their Star!” Santa shakes his head and throws Vader a saddened look. “I find your lack of faith disturbing…”

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December 17:
The Millennium Falcon soars through space. “So your L2-F2 droid carries the location of the Christmas Star?” Luke Skywalker asks. “No wonder Santa wanted you to find the Jedi to protect it! I remember Yoda mentioning an old prophecy about a star pointing to a New Hope for the galaxy.” All of a sudden, the Falcon starts shaking and slowing down. “Chewie, hit the accelerator!” Han says. “We must have been caught in the tractor beam of that Star Destroyer!” But Chewbacca’s efforts are in vain. Slowly, the Millennium Falcon is pulled towards the Imperial ship…

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December 18:
“Fine!” Darth Vader says, while he gestures at the Ugnaught operating the Carbon-Freezing Chamber. “Since you don’t tell me the location of the Christmas Star, you will be put into carbon freeze.” “What if he doesn’t survive?” Coca Fett asks. “He is worth a lot to me.” “The Empire will compensate you if he dies. Put him in!” The Ugnaught presses a button and the hydrolic platform under Santa’s feet drops. An ice-cold, brown liquid begins to pour down and engulfs poor Santa… Moments later, a huge mechanical tong lifts the coffin-like encasing out of the vat. Fett checks the electronic box on the side of the case. “He is alive. And in perfect hibernation”.

December 19:
Alarms sound while Stormtroopers gather around the captured Millennium Falcon in the hangar bay of the Star Destroyer. Two troopers enter the ship for inspection. “I have a plan,” Han Solo says, while hiding behind the door. “Chewie, you know what to do!” Chewbacca nods and knocks both Stormtroopers unconscious. Moments later, Luke and Han have put on the Stormtrooper uniforms. “We will pretend you are our prisoners,” Han tells Tim and Lydia. “That way, we can get past security and we can try to find the control room of the tractor beam to disable it!” “Here, take my lightsaber!” Luke tells Lydia. “I don’t think I should carry it as a Stormtrooper!”

December 20:
“Where are you taking this… thing?” a Stormtrooper asks Han Solo while pointing at Chewbacca. “We need to bring these prisoners to Lord Vader immediately!” Han Solo tells him. “Lord Vader told us to meet him at the tractor beam control room. That’s on level 5, right?” “No, level 3c,” the real Stormtrooper tells Han. “It’s right next to the garbage chute. That’s probably where your prisoners will end up!” Han, Luke and the others take an elevator and walk into the control room. L2-F2 interfaces with a control panel and utters a series of beeps. “He says the tractor beam is now disabled!” Tim explains. “Great!” Han says. “Now let’s back to the Falcon and get out of here!” But suddenly, they hear the sound of heavy, mechanical breathing as a dark figure stands between them and the exit. “I have you now!” Vader says.

December 21:
“We’ll see about that!” Lydia says, while igniting Luke’s lightsaber. Darth Vader steps back, surprised at the sight of the blue laserbeam. “Let us go,” Lydia shouts at Vader, “I’m not afraid of you!” Darth Vader ignites his own lightsaber. His mask looks even more frightning in the red glow of the weapon. “You don’t know the power of the dark side, little girl!” Vader says in a menacing tone. “You will never get the location of the Christmas Star!” Lydia shouts back. “Guys, get L2-F2 to safety, I’ll stay here and fight if I have to!” Vader looks at the little droid. “So… the droid carries the information about the Christmas Star?” Vader stretches out his arm, and poor L2-F2 is lifted from the ground by an invisible force. “This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Santa, it will soon see the end of Christmas!”

December 22:
Suddenly, the room shakes violently and a big explosion can be heard. Vader loses his balance and falls to the ground while alarms start to go off. Han Solo’s comlink starts to crackle and a familiar voice says “Han, can you hear me? Han, come in!” “It’s Leia!” Han Solo says surprised. “I’m here with the Rebel Fleet, attacking the Star Destroyer,” Leia continues. “Get out of there while we keep them busy!” Han and the others start running towards the exit, leaving Vader behind. Stormtroopers run to their battle stations and command posts, ignoring our small group of friends. Turning a corner, they see Coca Fett running to his ship, leaving Santa, frozen in Carbonite, behind. “Is that… Santa?” Tim asks while he points at the floating case. “We need to take him with us!”

December 23:
“I can’t believe Leia found us!” Han Solo says while they enter the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. “Chewie, get us out of here!” Moments later, the Falcon shoots out of the hangar bay and heads for the Rebel Fleet. “Han, it’s Leia again,” they hear over the speakers. “We need L2-F2 to transmit the coordinates of the Christmas Star to the rest of the fleet so we can jump to hyperspace!” The little droid connects to a transmission console and soon the entire fleet zips away from Vader’s damaged Star Destroyer.

December 24:
“This is the planet L2-F2 indicated,” Han Solo tells Leia after they have landed at night in a remote area. “But I still don’t understand how you found us.” They walk towards a small stable in the distance, illuminated by a bright star above it. “A while ago, I received a message from a scientific outpost in the eastern part of our galaxy,” Leia explains. “They said they had spotted a mysterious star heading towards a small solar system and they suspected it to be the star mentioned in old Jedi prophecies.” “The one that would lead the galaxy to a new hope?” Luke asks, “Yoda told me about it”. “Exactly,” Leia continues. “We transmitted the coordinates to Santa, a friend of the Rebellion. After he visited the location the star indicated, he knew that he had to protect it from the Empire. When Vader’s Star Destroyer intercepted him, Santa told me in a message that he had put a tracker on L2-F2, and that we should try to retrieve it. We followed its trace and it led us straight to you.”

“Uhm, guys?” Lydia says. I think something is happening to Santa here. I think the carbonite is starting to melt!”

December 25:
Santa opens his eyes and starts coughing. “Just relax for a moment. You’re free of the carbonite,” Leia tells him. “Where am I?” Santa asks. “In Bethlehem,” Leia tells him. “In a stable. This is where the star brought us.” Santa looks around and sees a young couple and a child, wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. “The child! Is it safe?” Santa asks. “Yes!” Lydia says. “We escaped from Vader, he will never find this place.” “I’m so relieved to hear that,” says Santa. “The Sith almost stole Christmas, but thanks to you my friends, the galaxy has a new hope!” They all gather around the child in the manger. The young mother of the newborn child smiles at them. “Are you shepherds?” she asks. Leia points at Han, “he is! A nerf herder to be precise. A bit scruffy-looking, but we love him.” Han winks at Leia. “I know. Merry Christmas, your Highness!” Leia smiles and looks at the child. “Merry Christmas to us all!”

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Halloween and All Saints’ Day Explained with LEGO

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