05 October 2010

5 October - Saint Faith's Eve

Tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Faith (aka Saint Fides, Sainte Foy, Santa Fe), a young woman of 3rd century Aquitaine in southern France, who was martyred by being burned to death on an iron bed placed over a flame pit.  She was a very popular saint in the Middle Ages, known for the many miracles at her shrine.

The night before her feast was a time for divination, in this case, to dream of a future husband.

I have found two different methods for this, and there are probably more, because nobody ever did things the same way.  The only thing these two methods have in common is the use of three females.

So one method is for three girls to bake one cake each, then divide each cake into three pieces.  Put a piece from each cake through a wedding ring, then eat the rest of the cake.  They then should dream of their future husbands.

The other method is more precise.  Only one cake, this time, baked by three girls or three widows; the ingredients being flour, water, salt, and sugar (or flour, spring water, and sugar), and the cooking implement a griddle (or a Dutch oven).  Each girl must share equally in the making of the cake, and each must turn the cake three times.  When it is done, the cake (and I'm thinking it looks like a pancake) is cut into three pieces; each third is AGAIN cut into nine pieces.  There should be 27 pieces in all, and each one must be passed through a wedding ring borrowed for the occasion, either one time per piece or three times (three times twenty-seven is... a lot. This may take a while).  After all pieces have gone through, each girl eats her nine pieces, while she is undressing, then goes to bed to hopefully dream of her future husband.

There are other details like using the ring of a woman who has been married seven years - a happily married woman being more efficacious - and the ring being hung up on the bedstead overnight, in which all three girls sleep, and a little rhyming charm to be said, something like:

O good Saint Faith, be kind tonight
And bring to me my heart's delight;
Let me my future husband view,
And be my vision chaste and true.

And MOST IMPORTANT!  Everything must be done, start to finish (except for the little charm), in TOTAL SILENCE.

Three girls silent?  I should hope to see this.  Well, grab a couple of friends, get out the pancake mix, and go to it.

Oh, and good luck asking your mother if you can borrow her wedding ring 'in a good cause'.