18 October 2011

18 October - Saint Luke

Weather:   Today, and the days fore and aft, are known as Saint Luke's Little Summer, a bit of warmth in the crisp October days.   


 Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist: the first ecclesiastical historiographer, author of the Gospel of Luke and of The Acts of the Apostles, and the companion of St. Paul, who called him 'the beloved physician'.  His symbol is the horned ox, usually winged.  Patron of artists, especially painters, and physicians, and a whole host of others.   You can read a nearly exhaustive account of the great writer here at the Catholic Encyclopedia.    More ways to celebrate Saint Luke's day can be found on Catholic Culture, including the beautiful prayer said at the completion of the day, Nunc Dimittis: "Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace; because my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel."

Today is another good day to find out who you are going to marry, but unlike Saint Faith's Eve, you can also find out what kind of husband he will be.  This charm is taken from Mother Bunch's Closet Newly Broke Open, as found in Observations on the Popular Antiquities of Great Britain by John Brand:

"Take marigold flowers, a sprig of marjoram, thyme, and a little wormwood; dry them before a fire, rub them to a powder, then sift it through a fine piece of lawn; simmer these in a small quantity of virgin honey in white vinegar, over a slow fire; with this anoint your stomach, breast, and lips, lying down, and repeat these words thrice:

Saint Luke, Saint Luke, be kind to me
Let me in dreams my true love see

This said, hasten to sleep, and in the soft slumber of your nights repose, the very man whom you shall marry will appear before you, walking to and fro, near your bedside, very plain and visible to be seen.  You shall perfectly see his visage, stature and deportment; and if he be one that will prove a loving husband, he will approach you with a smile; which, if he does, do not seem to be over fond or peevish; but receive the same with a mild and modest blush.  But if it be one, who after marriage will forsake thy bed to wander after strange women, he will offer to be rude and uncivil with thee."

Good luck!  Were I to see some guy walking to and fro near my bedside, I would be dialing 9-1-1; that is, I would if I could do anything more than pray, "Take me now, Lord!"

Artwork: Woodcut of Saint Luke from a sixteenth century Dutch copy of The Golden Legend.