01 September 2013


"The name comes from the Latin septimus, "seventh," because under the ten-month calendar, and afterwards under the reckoning which made March the beginning of the year, September was the seventh month. After July and August (originally Quintilis, "fifth," and Sextilis, "sixth") had been so named in honor of Julius Caesar and Augustus, several Roman Emperors sought to give their names to September, but in this case the innovation did not survive.  Julius Caesar gave September thirty-one days in his revision of the calendar, but it was subsequently reduced to thirty days by Augustus, who changed the length of all the months after August in order to give his titular month the same length as July."

"The Saxons called September Gerstmonath, or Barley-Month, this crop, from which their favorite beverage was brewed, being then gathered. It is still called Herbstmonat, or Harvest Month, in Switzerland. The harvest-moon comes in this month, being the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox.  For several evenings the moon rises near sunset, thus enabling the harvesters to extend their day's work." William Shepard Walsh, Curiosities of Popular Customs, p. 873 (1898).

Marry in September's shine
Your living will be rich and fine.
Astronomy for September: The full moon this month, on the 19th, is known as the Harvest Moon.

Shine on, shine on Harvest Moon, up in the sky…

Autumn arrives at 4:44 pm on September 22nd with the equinox.

September is dedicated to The Seven Sorrows of Mary

Ember Days: September 18, 20, and 21

Liturgical Celebrations
3   St. Gregory the Great, Pope 
8   Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
9   St. Peter Claver
12  Most Holy Name of Mary (Sunday within the Octave, Old Calendar)
13  St. John Chrysostom
14  Exaltation of the Holy Cross
15  Our Lady of Sorrows (3rd Sunday in September, Old Calendar)
16  Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian
17  St. Robert Bellarmine
18  St. Joseph of Cupertino
19  St. Januarius
20  St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon and companions, martyrs
21  St. Matthew, Apostle
23  St. Pio of Pietrelcina
24  Our Lady of Ransom
26  Sts. Cosmas and Damian  (25th in Canada)
26  Sts. John de Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, martyrs  (Canada)
27  St. Vincent de Paul
28  St. Wenceslaus
29  St. Michael, Archangel
30  St. Jerome  

Novenas for September
Maria Bambina                           continues from 30 August
Exaltation of the Holy Cross       begins 5 September
Vincent de Paul                           begins 18 September
Michael the Archangel                begins 20 September
Holy Angels                                 begins 20 September
Thérèse of Lisieux                       begins 22 September
Francis of Assisi                          begins 25 September
Faustina Kowalska                      begins 26 September
Our Lady of the Rosary               begins 28 September

Weather for September
Based on the 12 Days of Christmas: Cool, with bright sunshine and clear skies.
Based on the first 12 days of January: Mostly cloudy and warm.
Based on the Ember Days: Overcast and chilly.

Maybe a little of each?

Weather Lore for September
September blow soft,
‘Til the fruit's in the loft.

As September, so the coming March.

When September has been rainy, the following May is generally dry; and when May is dry, the following September is apt to be wet.

A wet September means drought for next summer, famine, and no crops.
Heavy September rains bring drought.
on the other hand
Rain in September is good for the farmer, but poison to the vine-growers.
September rain is good for crops and vines and much liked by the farmer.
[I think it depends on how much and how heavy the rain]

If the storms of September clear off warm, all the storms of the following winter will be warm.

If a cold spell occurs in September and passes without a frost, there will be no frost until the same time in October.

Thunder in September indicates a good crop of grain and fruit for the next year.

Thunder in September means snow in February and March and a large crop of grapes.

There are generally three consecutive windy days about the middle of September.

9/1 - Fair on September 1st, fair for the month

9/6 - As the weather is on the 6th, so it will be for the next four weeks.

9/8 - As the weather is n the day of Mary's birth, so it will be for four weeks.

9/9 - If it is fine on St. Gorgonius' day, it will continue fine for forty days.

         If it rains on St. Gorgonius' day, there will be much bad weather in October.

9/14 - No rain on Holy Cross, no rain for six weeks [which is a good thing while we are still harvesting]

          If dry be the buck's horn on Holyrood morn,
          'Tis worth a kist [chest] of gold;
          But if wet be seen ere Holyrood e'en,
          Bad harvest is foretold.

           If the hart and the hind meet dry and part dry on Rood Day fair,
           For six weeks, of rain there'll be nae mair [no more].

           There are generally three consecutive windy days about the middle of September.

9/15 - September 15th is fine six years out of seven.

9/18 – Ember Day.  The weather today indicates the weather of October.

9/19 - If on September 19th, there is a storm from the south, a mild winter may be expected.
[If on September 19th, there is a storm from the south, it is liable to be a hurricane]

9/20 – Ember Day.  The weather today indicates the weather of November.

9/20-22 - September 20, 21, and 22 rule the weather for October, November, and December.

9/21 - St. Matthew's day bright and clear
           Brings good wine in the next year.

           St. Matthew
           Brings the cold dew.

           On St. Matthee,
           Shut up the bee.

           After St. Matthew you will not see many fine days.

           A south wind on September 21st indicates that the rest of autumn will be warm.

            Ember Day.  The weather today indicates the weather of December.

9/22 - If there is clear weather on St. Maurice's day, heavy winds will rage in the following winter.

           The first three days of any season rule the weather for that season.

           As the wind and weather at the equinoxes, so will they be for the next three months.

            If the weather is quiet for the week before the autumn equinox and the week after, the temperature will continue higher than usual into the winter.

            As the equinoctial storms clear, so will all storms clear for the next six months.

             Winds that blow in the daytime near the equinox generally hush towards evening.

9/29 - On Michaelmas day, the heat leaves us.

           If St. Michael brings many acorns, Christmas will cover the fields with snow.

           At Michaelmas, if the wind be low
           Look out for frost, if not for snow.

           A dark Michaelmas, a light Christmas.

           If it rains on Michaelmas, it will rain up to Christmas.

           As many days old as the moon is on Michaelmas day, so many floods shall we have after. [This year, the moon will be 24 days old on Michaelmas.  Might want to consider building an ark.]

            If Michaelmas day be fair, the sun will shine much in the winter, though the wind at the northeast will frequently reign long and be very sharp.

             If there is a gentle rain on St. Michael's day, we can expect a mild winter; but if there is a thunderstorm, the winter will have heavy winds.

             St. Michael’s rain does not stay long in the sky.

            If it does not rain on St. Michael and on St. Gallus (October 16), a dry Spring is indicated for the next year.

Farming and Gardening:

The Passion Flower long has blowed
To betoken us signs of the Holy Rood           (Sep 14)
The Michaelmas Daisy, among dead weeds
Blooms for St. Michael’s valorous deeds.     (Sep 29)

September rain is good for the crops.

Preserve your fodder in September and your cow will fatten.

9/1 - St. Giles finishes the walnuts.

9/14 - It was traditional to go nutting today. 

           On Holy Cross Day
           Vineyards are gay.

9/21 – St. Matthew’s rain fattens pigs and goats.

9/29 - Pick your blackberries before Michaelmas.  The Devil passes his hoof over them (or does something nastier) and scorches them today.

Cassell’s Illustrated almanac 1871 for September:
Flowers.—Sow hardy annuals, for bloom in the following year. Clarkias, nemophilas, gilias, &c., are well suited for this purpose. Collect and dry your flower seeds, labeling them, when necessary, with height of the plants and color of the flowers. Look to your edgings of box, &c., which may now be repaired or replaced. Begin the planting of snowdrops, narcissus, &c.
Vegetables.—Hoe weeds from all parts of the vegetable garden. Thin out turnips, winter spinach, and all crops that are sufficiently forward. Gather articles for pickling and preserving, and remove all kinds of decaying or useless vegetation. Take up potatoes, and store away those intended for seed, first drying them in the sun.
Fruit.— Strawberry runners may still be planted. Old raspberry canes should be cat down, leaving only the new wood. Cut back gross shoots from wall-fruit trees of all kinds. To tell whether fruit is thoroughly ripe for picking, raise it gently with the hand, when the stalk will leave the tree at once if it is in fit condition.

The 1817 Almanac advises the farmer to “Plant Liquorice Roots about two Feet asunder, in rather moist Earth.  Set Artichokes, and sow Seeds for Winter Herbs.  Sow Wheat and Rye.  Cut Quicks towards the End of the Month.  Plant Evergreens.
Sow Parsnips and Carrots in a free open Air, and rather most Soil.
Remove and set Slips of Flowers.  Set Rows of Strawberries and Barberries.
Gather Fruits as they ripen, on a dry Day, and lay them up carefully.  Prepare Ground for planting.”

September. Limbourg frères. Grandes Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry, Fifteenth century.
The calendar pages of the Grandes Heures carried more religious symbolism than that of the more famous Très Riches Heures.  Each month was dedicated to a part of the Apostles Creed, with the relevant prophecy from the Old Testament and scripture from the New Testament.  September is dedicated to the article of the Creed which says “…I believe…in the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints…”.  Here we see (left to right) Saint Paul instructing a group of women (the caption above says “Thymotheus”, so young Timothy may be somewhere in that group) from Colossians 1:18: “And he is the head of the body, the church…”.  Our Lady stands above the battlements of the New Jerusalem, holding a banner with a depiction of the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove [once again, the artists are behind by a month, and will be for the rest of the year].  Beneath the arc of heaven where the sun continues its decline, a fashionable young woman holds the scales of Libra, astrological symbol of September, and contemplates the grape-laden vines, now ready for harvesting.

Adriaen Isanbrandt, Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, 16th century.  Church of Our Lady, Bruges.  Wikipedia

September. Limbourg frères. Grandes Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry, Fifteenth century.
Depicted at the bottom of the calendar pages in the Grandes Heures is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets of the Old Testament by the articles of the Apostles Creed.  In each, a prophet (cloaked to show the obscurity of prophecy) takes a stone out of the building representing the Old Law and offers it to an apostle, who, by raising the cloak ‘uncovers’ the prophecy with an article of faith.  Here, the Prophet Micah holds a banderole with the words “…that all may call upon the name of the Lord, and may serve him...”  (Zephaniah 3:9), while behind him, the ruined walls of the Old Law totter precariously; meanwhile St. Matthew the Apostle (whose feast occurs this month) presents the relevant part of the Apostle’s Creed, “…the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints…”

September. Hunting – Pasturing Swine. Engraving based on an 11th century manuscript. William Walsh, Curiosities of Popular Customs (1898), p. 874