Temple of the Sun 2360 BC

The Mayan Calendar is a series of complex mathematical cycles of stunning precision and breathtaking cosmology.  This hieroglyph fragment was on a panel that flanked the main stairs of the Temple of the Sun in Palenque, Mexico, records a birth in mythical time that corresponds to the completion of the 13th k’atun in historical time, which was on October 25, 2360 BC.  A k’atun is a unit of time in the Maya calendar equal to 20 tuns or 7,200 days, equivalent to 19.713 tropical years. For more information on this fascinating civilization, please check the book “A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya” by Linda Schele.

Mayan Fire Ritual 790

In the beautiful tropical forests of Belize, Mayan scribes wrote of a fire ritual, which they described in 24 pictographs of their complex language.  The writers were of the late classical period, and the date referenced is 11 Ajaw 18 Mak, which corresponds to October 7, 790 in the Western Calendar.  This date occurred during the Late Classic period of the Mayan civilization.  Please visit the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. (FAMSI) at www.FAMSI.org for more information.

The Feast of Italian Saint Francis of Assisi

The Feast of Italian Saint Francis of Assisi is celebrated throughout Latin America. The Italian saint is a particular favorite in Mexico and Puerto Rico, where he is said to assist with harvest rituals.  While the true biography of Saint Francis of Assisi is shrouded in legend, the essential story is that he was the son of a wealthy merchant and was a soldier until he had a mystical experience and dedicated himself to Christianity. He founded the Franciscan religious order, and traveled extensively throughout the known world to preach. The Spanish named the city that became one of the most beloved in America for their beloved Saint, San Francisco. Image of St. Francis portrayed in Mexican Colonial style from the Figge Art Museum.