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Mar 25: Annunciation (Lady Day); Rudolf Rocker; Bernadette of Lourdes's 17th vision

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  • Pip Wilson
    *Feast day of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 24 9:33 PM
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      Feast day of the Annunciation (Lady Day)
      (Marigold, Calendula officinalis, is today's plant, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.)

      Today in Christian lore marks the day that the Archangel Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. Annunciation, nine months before Christmas Day, is widely celebrated in Europe.

      According to early calendar-maker Dionysius Exiguus, March 25 was the day, in 31 CE, of the first Easter, that is, the day on which Jesus Christ rose from the dead. It was once also known to the Christians of Britain as 'Lady Day'.

      Lady Day is an abridgement of the old term 'Our Lady's day' – a 'gaudy day' of the Catholic Church, and it represents the Christianization of older, pagan Spring Equinox festivals, in the much the same way that St Patrick's Day and Easter do.

      Known as the first day of the year, from the 12th Century till until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752, it is the first of the four traditional Irish Quarter days and English quarter days. In England, it was actually celebrated as New Year's Day until 1752 when, following the move from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, January 1 was first declared to begin the year. A vestige of this remains in the United Kingdom's tax year, which starts on April 6, which is March 25 adjusted for the 11 lost days of the calendar change.

      It seems appropriate to acknowledge the sacred dimension of birthing at this time of the year when Persephone is emerging from her time underground, animals are bearing young, and plants are producing flowers.

      The placement by Dionysius Exiguus of the first Easter on this date in 31 CE, was no doubt to correlate the resurrection of Jesus with the supposed date of his conception, as today is nine months before Christmas. It is celebrated in Rome by sumptuous festivities. The Pope's horse-guards ride in full uniform, each wearing in his hat a myrtle sprig, as a sign of rejoicing. The horsemen are traditionally followed by a shaven-headed monk on a white mule, bearing the host in a gold cup, at the sight of which everyone bows. At one time the Pope himself rode on the mule, and all the cardinals followed in their magnificent robes of state, mounted on either mules or horses.  The Eminentissimi were generally not good horsemen so they were fastened onto their mounts.

      In England it was traditionally only remembered by those who pay rent to landlords ...


      Rudolf Rocker1873 Rudolf Rocker, German-born anarcho-syndicalist (d. September 19, 1958).

      From Wikipedia: Rocker, a Gentile, became deeply involved in the Jewish anarchist movement while living in London, the Jewish Anarchist movement being larger than the native anarchist movement in England. Learning Yiddish, then quickly becoming a prominent speaker and writer in the movement, Rocker became the editor for several Jewish newspapers, including Dos Fraye Vort (The Free Word), Der Arbeiter Fraint (The Workers' Friend) and Germinal. In 1902, a federation of Jewish anarchist groups was formed; Rocker represented the federation at the International Anarchist Congress in Amsterdam in 1907.

      Rocker was interned as an enemy alien during the First World War and Arbeiter Fraint was suppressed. The Jewish anarchist movement in Britain never fully recovered from these blows.

      In 1918 Rocker was deported from Britain to the Netherlands and eventually returned to Germany. He became a major figure in the German and international anarcho-syndicalist movement, helping to organize the International Congress in Berlin in 1922 leading to the formation of the International Workers Association (IWA). Rocker was opposed to anarchist support for the Bolshevik Revolution after 1917 and led the libertarian socialist opposition to the growing Nazi movement in Germany ...

      Bernadette of Lourdes1858 Marie-Bernard Soubirous (St Bernadette of Lourdes; feast day April 16), French shepherd and visionary who claimed to have experienced some of the most famous apparitions in Christian history, had her 17th and second-last vision, which went for more than one hour.

      During this vision, the second of two "miracles of the candle" occurred. Bernadette was holding a lighted candle; during the vision it burned down, and the flame was in direct contact with her skin for over 15 minutes but she showed no sign of experiencing any pain. This was witnessed by many people present, including a doctor who timed it. Despite the flame, there was no sign that her skin was in any way affected, so the doctor monitored Bernadette closely but did not intervene. After the vision ended, the doctor examined her hand but found no evidence of any burning, and she was completely unaware of what had been happening. The doctor then briefly applied a lighted candle to her hand and she reacted immediately.

      Towards the end of this vision, Bernadette asked the lady her name but she just smiled back. She repeated the question a further three times. The lady then said, in the local dialect, "I am the Immaculate Conception". Four years earlier, Pope Pius IX had promulgated the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Bernadette's parents, teachers and priests all later testified that she had never previously heard the words 'immaculate conception' from them.

      Sources: Wikipedia et al

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