The Old Plantation

The Old Plantation, 1785-1795, attributed to John Rose; watercolour on laid paper; Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, Williamsburg, Virginia.
The Old Plantation, circa 1785-1795, attributed to John Rose; watercolour on laid paper; Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Horsa and Hengist

The Hugin, at Pegwell Bay in Ramsgate, Kent, a gift from the Danish government in commemoration of the 1500th anniversary of the A.D. 449 migration from Jutland (modern Denmark) to Kent of Hengist and Horsa, Jutes who became leaders of the Anglo-Saxon invasion. The ship is a replica of the much later ca. 890 Gokstad ship.

In the meantime, three vessels, exiled from Germany, arrived in Britain. They were commanded by Horsa and Hengist, brothers, and sons of Wihtgils. Wihtgils was the son of Witta; Witta of Wecta; Wecta of Woden; Woden of Frithowald, Frithowald of Frithuwulf; Frithuwulf of Finn; Finn of Godwulf; Godwulf of Geat, who, as they say, was the son of a god, not of the omnipotent God and our Lord Jesus Christ (who before the beginning of the world, was with the Father and the Holy Spirit, co-eternal and of the same substance, and who, in compassion to human nature, disdained not to assume the form of a servant), but the offspring of one of their idols, and whom, blinded by some demon, they worshipped according to the custom of the heathen. Vortigern received them as friends, and delivered up to them the island which is in their language called Thanet, and, by the Britons, Ruym. Gratianus Æquantius at that time reigned in Rome. The Saxons were received by Vortigern, four hundred and forty-seven years after the passion of Christ, and, according to the tradition of our ancestors, from the period of their first arrival in Britain, to the first year of the reign of king Edmund, five hundred and forty-two years; and to that in which we now write, which is the fifth of his reign, five hundred and forty-seven years.

— Nennius, Historia Brittonum, Chapter XXXI.

As Courtly or Country Vessels

But Thou, O my God, hadst already taught me by wonderful and secret ways, and therefore I believe that Thou taughtest me, because it is truth, nor is there besides Thee any teacher of truth, where or whencesoever it may shine upon us. Of Thyself therefore had I now learned, that neither ought any thing to seem to be spoken truly, because eloquently; nor therefore falsely, because the utterance of the lips is inharmonious; nor, again, therefore true, because rudely delivered; nor therefore false, because the language is rich; but that wisdom and folly are as wholesome and unwholesome food; and adorned or unadorned phrases as courtly or country vessels; either kind of meats may be served up in either kind of dishes.

— St. Augustine, Confessions, Book V., Chapter vi.

Six Wives of Henry VIII

Arms of the 6th Earl of Breadalbane

Quarterly 1st & 4th gyronny of eight Or and Sable 2nd Argent a lymphad Sable 3rd Or a fess chequy Azure and Argent.
Arms of John Alexander Gavin Campbell, 6th Earl of Breadalbane and Holland (1824–1871), 1868 (Lyon Register, vol. 8, p. 13); Quarterly 1st & 4th gyronny of eight Or and Sable 2nd Argent a lymphad Sable 3rd Or a fess chequy Azure and Argent.

The Sudarium Supported by St. Peter and St. Paul

The Sudarium Supported by St. Peter and St. Paul; engraving dated 1497 by anonymous Renaissance German printmaker, Master L. Cz.
The Sudarium Supported by St. Peter and St. Paul; engraving dated 1497 by anonymous Renaissance German printmaker, Master L. Cz. Only twelve engravings by his hand are extant, but their virtuosity establishes him as a talented artist whose work marks a stylistic transition between that of Martin Schongauer and Albrecht Dürer.

The Happy Virgin of Celestial Life

St. Brigid's Cross.
St. Brigid’s Cross.

O Glorious St. Brigid, Mother of the Churches of Erin, patroness of our missionary race, wherever their lot may be cast, be thou our guide in the paths of virtue, protect us amid temptation, shield us from danger. Preserve to us the heritage of chastity and temperance; keep ever brightly burning on the altar of our hearts the sacred Fire of Faith, Charity, and Hope, that thus we may emulate the ancient piety of Ireland’s children, and the Church of Erin may shine with peerless glory as of old. Thou wert styled by our fathers “The Mary of Erin,” secure for us by thy prayers the all-powerful protection of the Blessed Virgin, that we may be numbered here among her most fervent clients, and may hereafter merit a place together with Thee and the countless Saints of Ireland, in the ranks of her triumphant children in Paradise. Amen.

— Prayer to St. Brigid by Patrick Francis Cardinal Moran (composed 1902),
published in Saint Anthony’s Treasury (1941).

In the Mansions of Bliss

Saint Columba, MS Rawlinson B. 514, 16th century. Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.
Saint Columba, MS Rawlinson B. 514, 16th century. Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
St. Columba, greatest of Irish-born Saints, pray for us.
St. Columba, most illustrious of Irish Scholars, pray for us.
St. Columba, founder of Derry, pray for us.
St. Columba, patron of Ireland, pray for us.
St. Columba, apostle of Scotland, pray for us.
St. Columba, dove of the Church, pray for us.
St. Columba, Saint of the Eucharist, pray for us.
St. Columba, companion of the Angels, pray for us.
St. Columba, mirror of purity, pray for us.
St. Columba, model of humility, pray for us.
St. Columba, lover of temperance, pray for us.
St. Columba, father of the poor, pray for us.
St. Columba, protector of the innocent, pray for us.
St. Columba, advocate of the oppressed, pray for us.
St. Columba, friend of the children, pray for us.
St. Columba, guardian of schools, pray for us.
St. Columba, shield of our city, pray for us.
St. Oran, monk of Derry, pray for us.
All ye holy Monks of Iona, pray for us.
St. Bran, Nephew of St. Columba, pray for us.
All ye holy Dead of Derry, pray for us.
St. Martin, pray for us.
All ye Patrons and Friends of St. Columba, pray for us.

V. Pray for us, O dearest St. Columba.
R. That we may love the Sacred Heart of Jesus daily more and more.

Let us pray.

O God, Who didst vouchsafe to unveil to Thy Servant, Columba, the Angels who guard Thy Tabernacle, grant that we, whose privilege it is to pray where he knelt, may, through his intercession, be enabled to lead such lives of purity and holiness as will one day entitle us to behold those same Angels in the mansions of bliss, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

— Litany of St. Columba, Saint Anthony’s Treasury (1941).

Great and Singular Merits

The Cathach of St. Columba.
The Cathach of St. Columba.

Of a volume of a book in the Saint’s handwriting which could not be destroyed by water.

I CANNOT think of leaving unnoticed another miracle which once took place by means of the opposite element. For many years after the holy man had departed to the Lord, a certain youth fell from his horse into the river which in Scotic is called Boend (the Boyne), and, being drowned, was for twenty days under the water. When he fell he had a number of books packed up in a leathern satchel under his arm; and so, when he was found after the above-mentioned number of days, he still had the satchel of books pressed between his arm and side. When the body was brought out to the dry ground, and the satchel opened, it was found to contain, among the volumes of other books, which were not only injured, but even rotten, a volume written by the sacred fingers of St. Columba; and it was as dry and wholly uninjured as if it had been enclosed in a desk.

Of another Miracle in similar circumstances.

AT another time a book of hymns for the office of every day in the week, and in the handwriting of St. Columba, having slips, with the leathern satchel which contained it, from the shoulder of a boy who fell from a bridge, was immersed in a certain river in the province of the Lagenians (Leinster). This very book lay in the water from the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord till the end of the Paschal season, and was afterwards found on the bank of the river by some women who were walking there: it was brought by them in the same satchel, which was not only soaked, but even rotten, to a certain priest named Iogenan, a Pict by race, to whom it formerly belonged. On opening the satchel himself, Iogenan found his book uninjured, and as clean and dry as if it had been as long a time in his desk, and had never fallen into the water. And we have ascertained, as undoubted truth, from those who were well informed in the matter, that the like things happened in several places with regard to books written by the hands of St. Columba namely, that the books could suffer no injury from being immersed in water. But the account we have given of the above-mentioned book of Iogenan we have received from certain truthful excellent, and honourable men, who saw the book itself, perfectly white and beautiful, after a submersion of so many days, as we have stated.

These two miracles, though wrought in matters of small moment, and shown in opposite elements namely, fire and water, redound to the honour of the blessed man, and prove his great and singular merits before the Lord.

Vita Columbæ, Book II, Chapter VIII.

The Darien Chest

The Darien Chest, used to store valuables and documents of the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies' venture in Central America, the colony of Caledonia, on the Gulf of Darién on the Isthmus of Panama; National Museum of Scotland.
The Darien Chest, used to store valuables and documents of the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies’ venture in Central America, the colony of Caledonia, on the Gulf of Darién on the Isthmus of Panama; National Museum of Scotland.

Felis silvestris grampia

It’s We Who Must Measure the Loss

John Denver.
John Denver.

And you say that the battle is over
And you say that the war is all done
Go tell it to those
With the wind in their nose
Who run from the sound of the gun

And write it on the sides
Of the great whaling ships
Or on ice floes where conscience is tossed
With the wild in their eyes
It is they who must die
And it’s we who must measure the loss

And you say that the battle is over
And finally the world is at peace
You mean no one is dying
And mothers don’t weep
Or it’s not in the papers at least

There are those who would deal
In the darkness of life
There are those who would tear down the sun
And most men are ruthless
But some will still weep
When the gifts we were given are gone

Now the blame cannot fall
On the heads of a few
It’s become such a part of the race
It’s eternally tragic
That that which is magic
Be killed at the end of the glorious chase

From young seals to great whales
From waters to wood
They will fall just like weeds in the wind
With fur coats and perfumes
And trophies on walls
What a hell of a race to call men

And you say that the battle is over
And you say that the war is all done
Go tell it to those
With the wind in their nose
Who run from the sound of the gun

And write it on the sides
Of the great whaling ships
Or on ice floes where conscience is tossed
With the wind in their eyes
It is they who must die
And it’s we who must measure the loss
With the wind in their eyes
It is they who must die
And it’s we who must measure the cost

You Say That The Battle Is Over, John Denver.