Żubroń is a hybrid of domestic cattle and wisent. The wisent is the European bison; the name żubroń was chosen from hundreds of proposals sent to the Polish weekly magazine Przekrój during a contest organised in 1969. The żubroń was first created by Leopold Walicki in 1847, although the hybrid may have appeared at an earlier time. After World War I, various scientists considered żubroń a possible replacement for domestic cattle. Żubroń turned out to be less susceptible to disease. In addition, the animal could be bred on marginal grazing land with no farm infrastructure and with minimal husbandry in huge state agricultural farms. From 1958, the work on żubroń herds was continued by the Polish Academy of Sciences in various laboratories, most notably in Białowieża and Młodzikowo. During the first 16 years of experiments, a total of 71 animals were born, including Filon, the first żubroń born to a żubroń mother; the animal was intended to become a cheap alternative to cattle. The experiment was continued until the late 1980s, when the results of the breeding programmes were deemed unsatisfactory.

Various factors contributed to this decision, including the severe economic difficulties of the Polish socialist economy in the 1980s, a lack of interest from the notoriously ineffective SAFs, fears that żubroń would crossbreed with the endangered wild wisent, contaminating their gene pool. The two notable centres for experiments on the species were Łękno and Popielno, while limited experiments were held in the reserve of Askania Nova in the USSR; this was discontinued, the sole surviving herd consists of several animals only, kept at Bialowieski National Park. As of 2007, there are press releases suggesting the breeding and experiments are continuing in Karolew in Greater Poland. Żubroń are heavy animals, with males weighing up to females up to 810 kg. They are strong, resistant to disease, tolerant of harsh weather conditions; the first-cross calves have to be born by Caesarean section, because although they may be carried to full term, parturition never occurs. Males are infertile in the first generation.

Females are fertile and can be crossbred with either parent species, i.e. with cattle or wisent, males from these backcrosses are fertile. Beefalo Dzo Haldane's rule Yakalo

Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception Brando

Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception Brando, was an Italian nun and the foundress of the Sisters, Expiatory Victims of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, an international teaching institute. She was confirmed for canonization in 2014 after Pope Francis approved a miracle, found to have been attributed to her intercession and was canonized by him on 17 May 2015, she was born Adelaide Brando in Naples in 1856 to Giovanni Giuseppe Brando and Maria Concetta Marrazzo. Her mother died after her birth and she was home schooled; as a young girl, she felt a call towards religious life. She attended mass daily and, at the age of twelve, she took a personal vow of chastity, soon trying to enter a Neapolitan monastery, her father refused her to enter and stopped her from doing so, but he relented and allowed her to enter the Poor Clare monastery at Fiorentine. Brando returned home to Naples; when she had recovered from her ailments, she joined the Sacramentine nuns, as had been her wish. She assumed the religious name of Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception and took her vows in 1876.

Brando left that institute due to illness, went on to found the Sisters, Expiatory Victims of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in 1878, for which papal approval was granted on 20 July 1903, the day that Pope Leo XIII died. Her health declined at the beginning of the new century though ushering in a prosperous time for her religious institute, which grew at a rapid pace, it received assistance from Michelangelo Longo of Marigliano and Ludovico of Casoria. She served as the Superior General of her institute, being noted for deep piousness and her devotion to the passion of Jesus Christ and the Eucharist, she would sleep close to the exposed Host as a means of drawing strength and remaining close to the Lord. Brando died of her illnesses in 1906. Brando's cause of canonization was opened under Pope Paul VI on 4 May 1972 and she was declared a Servant of God. Pope John Paul II recognized that she had led a life of heroic virtue and proclaimed her to be Venerable on 2 July 1994. An independent process on a miracle needed for beatification opened and closed in 1995 and it culminated in the promulgation of a decree on that miracle on 20 December 2001.

This led to her beatification on 27 April 2003 by Pope John Paul II. Pope Francis approved the final miracle needed for her canonization on 17 September 2014 and a consistory was held on 20 October 2014 to determine the date of her canonization, but it was not decided upon. In a consistory on 14 February 2015, the pope declared that the canonization would occur on 17 May 2015. Hagiography Circle Saints SQPN

Mél of Ardagh

Saint Mél or Moel was a 5th-century saint in Ireland, a nephew of Saint Patrick. He was Saint Patrick's sister, Darerca. Saint Darerca was known as the "mother of saints" because most of her children entered religious life, many were recognized as saints, several of her sons became bishops. Mél and his brothers Melchu and Rioch accompanied their uncle Patrick to Ireland and helped him with his missionary work there. Mél and his brother Melchu were both consecrated bishop by Patrick himself. After St Patrick built the church at Ardagh, he appointed Mél as Bishop of Ardagh. According to the Life of St. Brigid, Mél is said to have had no fixed see for most of his life in ministry, which fits with other accounts of his being a traveling missionary and evangelist. Acting upon the apostolic precept, Mél supported himself by working with his hands. Mél helped evangelize Ireland while supporting himself through manual labor. Patrick appointed Mél as one of the earliest Irish bishops and head of the Diocese of Ardagh.

Mél built the monastery of Ardagh where he was both bishop and abbot, is said to have had the gift of prophecy. He accepted Saint Brigid of Kildare's profession as a nun, served as her mentor while she was in Ardagh. Mél lived with his aunt, Lupait, on her farm during a portion of his ministry, rumor spread that their relationship was of a scandalous nature. St. Patrick went to investigate. Mél and Lupait both produced miracles to testify to their innocence: Mel plowed up a live fish in the middle of his field, Lupait carried hot coals without being burned, he died in AD 488. There is a lot of confusing and conflicting evidence about the life of St. Mél, including the possibility that he and Melchu were the same person. Mel has a strong cultus in County Longford where he was the first abbot-bishop of a richly endowed monastery that flourished for centuries; the cathedral at Longford is dedicated to Mél. A crozier, believed to have belonged to Saint Mél, was found in the 19th century at Ardagh near the old church of St Mél.

The crozier is now kept in a darkened bronze reliquary, once decorated with gilt and colored stones, burned in the 2009 fire that destroyed the cathedral. He is the patron saint of the Roman Catholic diocese of Clonmacnois. St. Mél's feast day, 7 February, has begun to be observed as a holiday for single people. "St. Mél's Day" is a chance for singles to celebrate the good things about being single. Traditions include sending yourself a St. Mel's Day card and for people to host parties for their single friends. St. Mél