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Madeira

Madeira the Autonomous Region of Madeira, is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. It is an archipelago situated in the north Atlantic Ocean, in a region known as Macaronesia, southwest of mainland Portugal, its total population was estimated in 2016 at 289,000. The capital of Madeira is Funchal, located on the main island's south coast; the archipelago is just under 400 kilometres north of Canary Islands. Bermuda and Madeira, a few time zones apart, are the only land in the Atlantic on the 32nd parallel north, it includes the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, the Desertas, administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands. The region has political and administrative autonomy through the Administrative Political Statute of the Autonomous Region of Madeira provided for in the Portuguese Constitution; the autonomous region is an integral part of the European Union as an outermost region. Madeira has a mild and moderated subtropical climate with mediterranean summer droughts and winter rain.

There are many microclimates courtesy of the elevation changes. Madeira was claimed by Portuguese sailors in the service of Prince Henry the Navigator in 1419 and settled after 1420; the archipelago is considered to be the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Age of Discovery. Today, it is a popular year-round resort, being visited every year by about 1.4 million tourists five times its population. The region is noted for its Madeira wine, gastronomy and cultural value and fauna, landscapes that are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, embroidery artisans; the main harbour in Funchal has long been the leading Portuguese port in cruise liner dockings, receiving more than half a million tourists through its main port in 2017, being an important stopover for commercial and trans-Atlantic passenger cruises between Europe, the Caribbean and North Africa. In addition, the International Business Centre of Madeira known as the Madeira Free Trade Zone, was created formally in the 1980s as a tool of regional economic policy.

It consists of a set of incentives tax-related, granted with the objective of attracting foreign direct investment based on international services into Madeira. Plutarch in his Parallel Lives referring to the military commander Quintus Sertorius, relates that after his return to Cádiz, he met sailors who spoke of idyllic Atlantic islands: "The islands are said to be two in number separated by a narrow strait and lie 10,000 furlongs from Africa, they are called the Isles of the Blest."Archaeological evidence suggests that the islands may have been visited by the Vikings sometime between 900 and 1030. During the reign of King Edward III of England, lovers Robert Machim and Anna d'Arfet were said to have fled from England to France in 1346. Driven off course by a violent storm, their ship ran aground along the coast of an island that may have been Madeira; this legend was the basis of the naming of the city of Machico on the island, in memory of the young lovers. Knowledge of some Atlantic islands, such as Madeira, existed before their formal discovery and settlement, as the islands were shown on maps as early as 1339.

In 1418, two captains under service to Prince Henry the Navigator, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira, were driven off course by a storm to an island they named Porto Santo in gratitude for divine deliverance from a shipwreck. The following year, an organised expedition, under the captaincy of Zarco, Vaz Teixeira, Bartolomeu Perestrello, traveled to the island to claim it on behalf of the Portuguese Crown. Subsequently, the new settlers observed "a heavy black cloud suspended to the southwest." Their investigation revealed it to be the larger island. The first Portuguese settlers began colonizing the islands around 1420 or 1425. Grain production began to fall and the ensuing crisis forced Henry the Navigator to order other commercial crops to be planted so that the islands could be profitable; these specialised plants, their associated industrial technology, created one of the major revolutions on the islands and fuelled Portuguese industry. Following the introduction of the first water-driven sugar mill on Madeira, sugar production increased to over 6,000 arrobas by 1455, using advisers from Sicily and financed by Genoese capital.

The accessibility of Madeira attracted Genoese and Flemish traders, who were keen to bypass Venetian monopolies. "By 1480 Antwerp had some seventy ships engaged in the Madeira sugar trade, with the refining and distribution concentrated in Antwerp. By the 1490s Madeira had overtaken Cyprus as a producer of sugar." Sugarcane production was the primary engine of the island's economy, increasing the demand for labour. African slaves were used during portions of the island's history to cultivate sugar cane, the proportion of imported slaves reached 10% of the total population of Madeira by the 16th century. Barbary corsairs from North Africa, who enslaved Europeans from ships and coastal communities throughout the Mediterranean region, captured 1,200 people in Porto Santo in 1617. After the 17th century, as Portuguese sugar production was shifted to Brazil, São Tomé and Príncipe and elsewhere, Madeira's most important commodity product became its wine; the British first amicably occupied the island in 1801 whereafter Colonel William Henry Clinton became governor.

A detachment of the 85th Regiment of Foot under Lieutenant-colonel

St Joseph's Church, Phnom Penh

The St Joseph's Church or Main Roman Catholic Church of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is a school temporarily transformed into a church until the construction of an actual church. Churches of Phnom Penh were destroyed by the Khmer Rouge and still today there is no proper Roman Catholic Church in Phnom Penh; this school was spared, it offers the possibility to accommodate a large number of people. Although the majority of the faithful are of Vietnamese language, the bishop decided that the main office should be celebrated in Khmer language. Masses are said in other languages, in this case, the chapel that can hold a small number of people is used; this parish is dedicated to St Joseph. The church is located about three kilometers north of the city center, near the Tonle Sap on the N5. Cathedral of Phnom Penh Chong Khneas Catholic Church

Therese Neumann

Therese Neumann was a German Catholic mystic and stigmatic. She was born in the village of Konnersreuth in Bavaria, where she lived all her life, she was born into a large family with little income. She was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis. On 11 March 1918, Therese Neumann was paralyzed after falling off a stool while attending to a fire in her uncle's barn, she sustained more injuries during this period. After one particular fall she claimed to have lost much of her eyesight, in 1919 she claimed to have been blinded completely. Bedridden, she developed horrible bed sores that sometimes exposed bone. Therese reported that her eyesight was restored on 29 April 1923—the day Therese of Lisieux was beatified in Rome. Therese Neumann had been praying novenas in advance of this day. On 17 May 1925 Therese of Lisieux was canonized as a saint in the Catholic Church. Therese Neumann said the saint called to her and cured her of her paralysis and bed sores. On 7 November 1925 Neumann took to her bed again, on 13 November claimed to have been diagnosed with appendicitis.

According to her account, while prepared for surgery she convulsed violently and stared at the ceiling saying, "Yes." She asked her family to take her to the church to pray immediately. She announced that she had been cured of all traces of appendicitis. Physicians and skeptics have disputed Neumann's claims of miraculous cures. According to skeptical investigator Joe Nickell on one occasion Neumann claimed to have healed herself from blindness, but whilst "blind" she was examined and her pupils responded to light. Nickell suspected that Neumann's claims were performed by "hysterical hypochondria" or "outright fakery". Therese would apparently develop the stigmata, she said that on 5 March 1926, the first Friday of Lent, a wound had appeared above her heart, but that she had kept this secret. However, she did report a vision of Jesus at Mount of Olives with three Apostles. On 12 March, she said she had another vision of Christ at Mt. Olivet, along with the crowning of thorns, she claimed that the wound above her heart reappeared on this day, she spoke to her sister about it.

She claimed the wound reappeared on Friday of the following week. By 26 March, she was claiming the same wound accompanied by a vision of Christ bearing the cross and a similar wound on her left hand. Blood was observed on her clothing, she no longer attempted to keep the information to herself. On Good Friday, according to her own testimony witnessed the entire Passion of Christ in her visions, she displayed wounds on her hands and feet accompanied by blood coming from her eyes. Blood poured from the wounds, however - according to Josef Hanauer's book The Swindle of Konnersreuth - onlookers did not see the bleeding in action, only the blood itself. On Easter Sunday, she claimed a vision of the resurrection of Christ. For several consecutive Fridays after that, she stated she was experiencing the Passion of Christ suffering in her own body along with all his historic agonies, she claimed to have suffered the Passion on Good Friday each year. On 22–23 March 1928 Neumann's stigmata claims were investigated at her home by a group of observers including bishops and physicians.

Professor Martini the director of the University Hospital Bonn observed Neumann and wrote a report about her stigmata. He found her behaviour suspicious as the blood would only appear from her wounds when he was asked to leave the room. According to Martini: "The fact that two or three times the observers were made to go out just at the moment when a fresh effusion of blood evidently came to cover the wounds arouses the suspicion, on the contrary, that during this time something happened which needed to be hidden from observation, it was for the same reason that I disliked her frequent manipulations behind the raised coverings." A psychoanalytic study of Neumann has suggested that her stigmata resulted from post-traumatic stress symptoms expressed in unconscious self-mutilation through abnormal autosuggestibility. From 1923 until her death in 1962, Therese Neumann professed to have consumed no food other than The Holy Eucharist, nor to have drunk any water from 1926 until her death. Montague Summers in his book The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism speaks of her supernatural ability to survive for long periods without food or water.

In July 1927, Neumann's claims of inedia were examined at her house. She was physically examined and tested by the physician Otto Seidl and four Franciscan nurses, for fifteen days. Neumann was not observed to have eaten anything, suspicion was generated. At the beginning she had weighed 121 pounds. By the last day her weight had returned to normal. Historian Ian Wilson commented the evidence indicated that Neumann "went back to normal food and drink intake"; the test was never repeated and her family denied permission for any further tests. Wilson found the inedia claims of Neumann suspicious, he noted that she "had a vigorous, stocky build throughout most of this time, all reason tells us that it would be impossible to survive so long without food or drink."Otto Seidl who wrote a report in 1928, described Neumann as a hysteric. A recent medical paper that examined Seidl's report commented that "while under surveillance by four nuns for 14 days, Neumann exhibited no intake of nourishment; as far as medical records go, Therese Neumann's is one of a series of similar cases of stigmata development, conversion disorder, alleged absence of nutrition.

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