29 September 2010

29 September - Saint Michael*; Goose and Bannock

Weather:  "If Saint Michael brings many acorns, Christmas will cover the fields with snow." I wonder what 'many acorns' entails?  I've seen a tidy few under the oak trees - even after the squirrels have plundered among them. 

"A dark Michaelmas, a light Christmas"  It wasn't dark, per se; mostly overcast with some stiff breezes.  Does overcast count as dark?

Superstitions: "Eat a goose on Michaelmas Day to have money in the coming year." One roast goose, coming right up!

"All blackberries should be gathered before today.  The devil stalks the blackberry bushes now."

Garden: Michaelmas Daisies are one of the joys of my backyard. They are wild and grow everywhere - lovely violet colored flowers bravely standing up to the winds of autumn.

Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, patron (among other things) of soldiers and police officers.

Today would be a nice day to thank your community's finest, if not in person, then maybe with a little note to the nearest precinct or a letter to the editor of the local paper.  An equally good day to thank our people in uniform.

From Catholic Culture:
"Therefore, in our Catholic tradition, St. Michael has four duties: (1) To continue to wage battle against Satan and the other fallen angels; (2) to save the souls of the faithful from the power of Satan especially at the hour of death; (3) to protect the People of God, both the Jews of the Old Covenant and the Christians of the New Covenant; and (4) finally to lead the souls of the departed from this life and present them to our Lord for the particular judgment, and at the end of time, for the final judgment."

That's quite a lot of duties.

Father Weiser's page of background and customs for the feast and Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira's commentary, are two good pages to read on the Defender of God's People.  Activities for the day can be found here.

And for dinner tonight?  Well, money or no, a Michaelmas roast goose would be nice, accompanied, of course, by Saint Michael's Bannock.  And check the wishbone before you use it to see who gets their wish.  A dark one means a severe winter coming; if it is light, winter will be mild.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle! Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who roam about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

* Since 1969, this feast has included the Archangels Gabriel and Raphael, which seems to me kind of chintzy.  Sort of like celebrating the birthdays of every member of the family on one day in the year.  In my almanac, you will find the celebrations of Gabriel on March 24 and Raphael on October 24.