ydel & sc.

sister of Lazarus, and Mary Magdalene, mentioned in the Gospels, were one and the same or three different persons; a general opinion since S. Gregory wrote about her, is that all these expressions refer to S. Mary Magdalene; nothing certain is known of her beyond what is recorded in Holy Writ ; but she is generally supposed to have dwelt at Ephesus with the Blessed Virgin and S. John after our Lord's Ascension. She is much honoured in the Greek Church as having been the first 9. MARY MAGDALENE, witness of the Resurrection, and “Ashby, Northants ranks highest among holy women, (as S. Peter among the Apostles,) immediately after the Blessed Mother of our Lord. Another legend makes her to have retired to a cave near Marseilles, where for thirty years she continually wept for her past life, and was ministered to daily by angels. About a hundred and fifty Churches in England are dedicated in her name. She is a favourite subject of the early painters, and is generally represented as carrying a vase, or peculiar shaped box of ointment; sometimes it stands at her feet, and rarely it is carried by an angel near her; she also has long golden hair flowing down her shoulders. She is sometimes drawn as a penitent in a cave, kneeling before a death’s head and cross; sometimes embracing the foot of a large cross; and frequently being carried by an angel or angels to heaven, covered with her long hair, beautifully figurative of her long and deep penitence, having obtained the forgiveness of her sins; but even in all these representations the “alabaster box” is seldom omitted, and it is therefore her most distinguishing emblem.


from a brass at Castle

JULY 25. S. James the Apostle, A.D. 43.

Called the Great, either because he was much older than the other James, or because our Lord conferred upon him some peculiar honours and favours, he being one of the three disciples whom our Saviour admitted to the more intimate transactions of His life. He was the brother of S. John the Evangelist, S. James the Great. by birth a Galilean, and by profession a fisherman. How S. James was employed in preaching and promoting the Gospel after Christ's ascension, we have no account. He was apprehended and beheaded at Jerusalem, by order of Herod the Great, a little before Easter, about fourteen years after the death of Christ, and was the first of the Apostles who obtained the crown of martyrdom. He is usually represented as a pilgrim with a staff, scrip, and wallet, and an escallop shell in his hat, or carried in his hand. He is the patron Saint of Spain, and many wonderful legends are told of him under the name of S. James, or Santiago of Compostella. In Spanish pictures he is represented on a white horse, his harness being studded with escallop shells, in allusion to the legend that he appeared at the head of the Spanish army to help them against the Moors. Occasionally he is represented with a sword, the instrument of his martyrdom. In Eng- 8. JAMES THE GREAT, land about three hundred from old embroidery. and sixty Churches are dedicated in this name; some of these may be meant for S. James the Less, though not so specified

July 26. S. Anne, Mother of the Virso gin Mary. S. Joachim and S. Anne, the

parents of the Blessed Virgin, have been honoured in the Church from a very early period ; and though history, like the New Testament, is silent as to their lives and acts, S. Anne especially was much venerated in medieval times ; a magnificent Church was built to her honour at Constantinople,

[ocr errors]

about the year 550, and her body was brought there from Palestine in 710. On the tombs of the early Christians, in the catacombs at Rome, the figure of S. Anne is of frequent occurrence, commonly accompanied by the name: she is usually represented with her arms extended in the attitude of prayer, this being the custom of the early Christians, according to Tertullian and S. Ambrose : she is also frequently accompanied by a

poem dove, with a ring or crown in its beak. In later times from painted glass, West Wickham she is represented with a book in her hand teaching the Blessed Virgin to read, sometimes with S. Joachim standing by, her finger usually pointing to the words Radix Jesse floruit : as on the tomb of Henry VII., the east window of the chapel of Haddon Hall, the Bedford missal, &c. This is also the representation given in Le Clerc's almanack. There are twenty-- three Churches dedicated in her honour in England : and one in London is dedicated to SS. Anne and Agnes conjointly.


S, ANNE, from painted glass, West Wickham

Church, Kent.

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

August 1. Lammas Day. The term Lammas day is said to be a corruption of the Saxon word Hlafmæsse, or Loaf-mass, and a remnant of a very ancient British custom of celebrating the gifts of Ceres, or the produce of the earth. In later times it was observed as a thanksgiving for the first-fruits of the harvest, and the first bread from the new wheat was on this day offered in a loaf at the mass.

August 6. Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor, in the presence of S. Peter, S. James, and S. John. The observation of this festival was introduced in the Church of Rome by Pope Calixtus in 1455, but in the Greek Church it was observed long before.

August 7. Name of Jesus. The early Christians made constant use of a variety of monograms of the name of Christ; it is probable that these, with other symbols, were originally used to distinguish each other in the times of persecution and concealment.

« ElőzőTovább »