Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, February 1, 2021

A Hymn for Saint Brigid's Day


"St. Bride", John Duncan 1913

O holy Brigid, you became sublime through your humility,

and flew on the wings of your longing for God.

When you arrived in the eternal City and appeared before your Divine Spouse wearing the crown of virginity,

You kept your promise to remember those who have recourse to you.

You shower grace upon the world, and multiply miracles.

Intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

The well-known founder and abbess of the Monastery of Kildare has been revered and loved throughout Europe for almost fifteen hundred years. While she was still a young woman, her unbounded compassion for the poor, the sick and the suffering grew to such proportions as to shelter all of Ireland. St. Brigid’s tonsure at the hands of St. Mael of Ardagh inaugurated the beginning of women’s coenobitic monasticism in Ireland. St. Brigid soon expanded it by founding many other convents throughout Ireland. The gifts of the Holy Spirit shine brightly upon all through her—both men and beasts—to this day. After receiving Holy Communion at Kildare from St. Ninnidh of Inismacsaint she gave her soul into the hands of her Lord in 523. [Source: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/irishorthodoxchurch.aspx#brigid]

Happy first day of February - St Brigid's Day! You can read my past post, here, with a book recommendation for today The Life of Saint Brigid, Abess of Kildare, by Jane Meyer.

Tonight, on the eve of The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, we will have our candles blessed at church. This February 2 feast day (called Candlemas in the West) commemorates a prophecy and blessing given by St. Simeon in Luke chapter 2: 

"Lord now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace. 
For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation 
which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people. 
To be a Light to enlighten the nations 
and to be the glory of Thy people Israel."  

Tomorrow is also Groundhog Day - he'll be looking for light too! Will he see his shadow?  Traditionally, if the sun shone on "Candlemas Day", Europeans believed the hedgehog (groundhog) would cast a shadow and another six weeks of winter was inevitable.

"If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come winter, have another flight.
If Candlemas brings cold and rain, 
Go winter, and come not again."