May Saints days

I fell down on the job with the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1, which all you vodouisants probably already knew.  He is considered a patron of fathers, of carpenters, of workers, and of social justice.

May 15 was the feast of St. Dymphna.  St. Dymphna is very popular with Roman Catholics as a saint to invoke for cases of madness and epilepsy.  She was said to have lived in the 7th century in Ireland and fled to Gheel with her confessor from a very troubled home life. She was caught and beheaded by her father, a pagan chieftan who thought incest was just fine.  Epileptics, the insane, and the possessed have been cured at her tomb.  Some folks call on her for protection and healing for those threatened by or who have survived incest.

May 25 is the feast of the Venerable Bede.  The Venerable Bede is not wildly popular in folk Catholic tradition.  I mention him because my day job has a lot to do with English literature and I’m particularly interested in Anglo-Saxon literature, so the Venerable Bede is an important figure to me.  I recommend that writers, teachers, translators, and historians call on him for patronage.

The 27th is the feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury.  He was the first Archbishop of Canterbury and the so-called “Apostle of the English.”  Pope Gregory sent him to evangelize to the English in 596. Again, historically important but not frequently called on in the folk tradition, but I can’t let the 27th slide without mentioning him!

Saints’ days — The Venerable Bede

I received a wonderful gift from my mother when I began studying Latin — a Daily Missal published in 1956 (that’s pre-Vatican II for those of you keeping count).  I completely fell down on the job with commemorating The Venerable Bede, whose feast day is May 27th.  (In my “day job,” Anglo-Saxon stuff is a rather a big deal to me.)  So here’s the entry for Bede.

St. Bede the Venerable, Confessor.

St. Bede who lived in the 8th century was a member of the Order of St. Benedict.. Because of the enormous amount of his writings, full of sound doctrine, he was called “Venerable” while still living.  He is rightly called “The Father of English History.”  He died in 735.

Prayer: O God, Who dost glorify They Church by the learning of Blessed Bede, Thy Confessor and Doctor, mercifully grant Thy servants always to be enlightened by his wisdom, and helped by his merits.  Through our Lord, etc.  [the angels praise thy majesty, the dominations adore, the powers are in awe, the virtues of highest heaven and the blessed seraphim unite in blissful exultation.  With them, we pray Thee, grant that our voices too may blend, saying in adoring praise: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts.  Heaven and Earth are filled with Thy glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.]

2nd prayer, Secret and Postcommunion of St. John, Pope and Martyr, from the Mass of One or More Supreme Pontiffs, p. 857.