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Friday, January 04, 2008

Patrons and Beards

Some follow ups while I catch up:
I thought St Clare was the patron saint of needle workers?

Yes, she is one of several patron saints for needle workers. St. Claire and her order made altar cloths and very fancy embroidery that has come to be called "Assisi Embroidery". Since the person was asking about quilting, I thought seamstresses was a little more appropriate. I would also recommend St. Rose of Lima, who sold her crafts to ease the financial burden on her family when she, their ticket to a rich husband in the family, chose not to marry.

St. Clare is also the patron saint of television. St. Rose of Lima is also the patron saint against vanity. Busy multi-tasking saints.

And while we're on the subject:
What about a patron saint for female blacksmiths (not farriers), or even for artist blacksmiths in general?

I have a hunch you're looking for St. Hubert, inventor of the Bloodhound and patron saint for people who work with metals. St. Hubert had a knack for talking people into letting him melt down their metal idols. He was out hunting for deer one day when a deer told him to stop hunting and follow Jesus. St. Hubert, like any sane person, took the deer seriously. I certainly would pay attention to anything a deer had to say, once it started talking.

A reader who just got back from Mexico saw a manger scene with a bearded hooded saint statue and chickens and turkeys and wants to know what that's all about.

I think they weren't chickens, for starters, or if they were it was only because no one could find a rooster. Legend has it that the only time a rooster crowed at midnight was to announce the birth of Jesus. In Spanish and Latin American countries "Misa del Gallo" the Mass of the Rooster, is celebrated at midnight on Christmas Eve. The crowing of the rooster at the dawn of each morning symbolizes the daily triumph of light over darkness and the victory of good over evil and is a real annoyance if you are not a "morning person".

Maybe you just didn't see the rooster, up on the roof of the manger, but because if he was there, you can bet all the chickens followed. I don't know what's going on with the turkeys. Probably came to see what all the fuss was about.

As for the hooded bearded saint, good luck with that one. Just about any saint before the 18th century is hooded and bearded. Even some of the girls. He could have been a saint that is locally revered. He could have been St. Francis of Assisi, the inventor of the manger scene. He could have been the parish priest standing really still. There is just no way to know.


Anonymous said...

I don't mean to be a pest, Sister, but the saint I asked about wasn't hooded, he was bald. Actually, he had that male pattern baldness thing going for him. The hair he did have was as long as his grey, or possibly white, very long beard. He had quite a disagreeable look on his face, and a skull at his feet. I can't tell you how much this saint bothers me! I can't seem to let him go.

The chickens could have been roosters, I guess. I didn't pay that much attention. That's pretty fun info you had about them! Thanks for your help!

Anonymous said...

Might be santa muerte though your description doesn't sound like the usual depiction of that nasty creature. (Actually it sounds like you're descibing that Gardner fellow in the previous post. But I bet it's not him)

Anonymous said...

shucks, it might have been me, but for the male pattern baldness thing..and the skull thing...and oh yeah, I was never there.
I believe a rooster to BE a chicken, the remainder being hens.

Anonymous said...

that's right, change the subject and they'll go away...and away and away and away...howdy!

Anonymous said...

to get technical chicken is the general term
Chicks are the babies
Pullets are young females, this term applies through the first lay
Cockrels are young males, this term applies until they reach full growth, depending upon the breed this should be about 6 to 8 months
Hens are older females, who have finished the first lay and begun the first molt
Cocks or roosters are mature males
Capons are neutered males

Joyful Catholic said...

And all of them (the above mentioned fowl) made Colonel Sanders very happy.

By the way, your blog is delightful.


Anonymous said...

Be good Christians, or your journey will serve you no good purpose. Only by good example can you change the world.

- Padre Pio

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

jeannette: I doubt that it was Santa Muerte, given that he was bearded...skulls don't have beards. See http://www.oaxacatimes.com/html/santisimamuerte.html for an example.

Kelly Thatcher said...

Happy Epiphany, Sister!

Anonymous said...

Sooooooooo, why would one neuter a chicken? Or don't I want to know?

Anonymous said...

Happy Epiphany from me as well, this blog is scrumtriliescent. And I mean that. Happy Feast!

Anonymous said...

A Happy New Year to you, too Dear Sister!!

Terry Nelson said...

"I certainly would pay attention to anything a deer had to say, once it started talking."


Monica - I think a neutered young chicken, or capon, tends to be more flavorful and tender.

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

Happy Epiphany!
One of the joys of being Catholic I guess is coming across some really, really weird statues- as well as saints (like Hubert) who apparently have been to Narnia ;)

Anonymous said...

Love your Blog Sister Mary Martha. By the way, that was the name of the Nun, a Sister of St. Joseph, who taught me in 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th grades. She never once, in all the years I saw her at school... she never ONCE smiled at us! True. I know she could smile because I saw her happy and smiling at my Mom once. But she never showed us that. I'm not complaining--we got to High School about a year ahead of the Public School kids--Sister Martha really got us to learn our Math, English, Spelling, Geography etc. And like you, she would often tell us to... BEHAVE!!

Anonymous said...

Bless you sister! Your grace, good humor and tolerance are a welcome relief to the divisiveness of the world. Bless your posters too - it's been a long time since I've read comments without cringing from the nastiness! :)

Anyway, I'm a Catholic who gets a little freaked out by statues. The statues I am referring to are generally MEANT to evoke that response (God the Father with eyes and mouth half-open, looking very much like a 4-meter tall Charlton Heston moaning in pain; representations of Christ in a glass coffin bearing all the marks of His Passion).

What I can't get out of my head are the statues of saints in glass coffins that can be found underneath the altars of churches in Rome (San Francesco e Ripa has a great deal of them). They are nearly life size and always seem to be in great pain; I wasn't the only one getting freaked out - there was a small girl frantically asking her mother what that pretty lady was doing lying trapped under glass.

Is it just another way of representing the saints in repose/at the moment of death (such as with the statues of Christ that I mentioned) or do these statues have a deeper significance, such as they contain relics of the saints they depict?

I know its not a spiritual question or anything, but I just couldn't find anything about them. Thanks for your time!

Pennycake said...

From the description I would hazard a guess that it was St Jerome, who had a bad temper and is usually depicted with a skull symbolising mortality!