01 November 2012

1 November - All Saints Day

Weather:  If All Saints' Day will bring out the winter, Saint Martin's Day (11 November) will bring out Indian Summer (and vice versa)

All Saints’ Day has a little summer of three days. When it is warm at this time of year, it is called “All Saints’ Rest”.

If on All Saints’ Day the beechnut be found dry, we shall have a hard winter; but if the nut be wet and not light, we may expect a wet winter.

As on November 1st, so is the winter to come.


“The memories of the Saints, are precious to God, and therefore they ought also to be so to us; and such persons who serve God by holy living, industrious preaching, and religious dying, ought to have their names preserved in honor, and God be glorified in them, and their holy doctrines and lives published and imitated; and we by so doing give testimony to the article of the communion of saints… The holiday is best kept by giving God thanks for the excellent persons, apostles or martyrs, we then remember, and by imitating their lives; this all may do.”  Jeremy Taylor (1613 – 1667)

Our old friend Naogeorgus, nearly foaming at the mouth over the idolatry of the Papists, denounced a 16th century Corpus Christi procession with its accompanying saints:

“Christ’s passion here derided is, with sundry masques and plays,
Fair Ursula with her maidens all, do pass amid the ways:
And valiant George, with spear you kill the dreadful dragon here;
The devil’s house is drawn about, wherein there does appear
A wondrous sort of damned sprites, with foul and fearful look;
Great Christopher does wade and pass with Christ amid the brook:
Sebastian full of feathered shafts, the dint of dart does feel;
There walks Katherine with her sword in hand, and cruel wheel:
The Chalice and the singing Cake, with Barbara is led,
And sundry other Pageants played in worship of this bread,
That please the foolish people well: what should I stand upon,
Their Banners, Crosses, Candlesticks, and relics many on,
Their Cups and carved Images, that Priests with countenance hie,
Or rude and common people bear about full solemnly.”

[Poor Naogeorgus!  You were only born in the wrong century.  Saints, processions, “Vatican II did away with that…” as I was told by a Cradle Catholic.  Sigh.]

Artwork: both woodcuts are from a 1489 Dutch printing of The Golden Legend.