ASSUMPTION DAY TRADITIONS
great feast of this month is that of the Assumption of the Blessed
Virgin — the Day of the Great Lady, as it is called by a saint
whose feast also comes in August: Stephen, the first king of Hungary.
In the Orthodox Church the feast is known as the Falling Asleep
of the All Holy Mother of God.
In Poland the day is known as the Feast of Our Lady of Herbs, for
the peasants take to church sweet-smelling bouquets of their finest
blossoms mixed with the green of herbs. And Poles in America also
honor the feast as that of Our Lady of Flowers; at church children
sing hymns both in Polish and English, and later to the lively music
of a polonaise the grown-ups swing into the dances of their motherland.
In many parts of Italy, the statue of Our Lady is carried in procession
through the streets to the cathedral or church. And in Siena there
takes place a noted race called the Palio (Standard) in honor of
the Assumption of the Virgin. This race is held in the splendid
public square of the city, shaped like a scallop shell and surrounded
by ancient and beautiful buildings draped with banners for the occasion.
Each ward or parish sends to the race a horse, which is first taken
past the cathedral door to receive the bishop's blessing. The medieval
costumes of the pages and grooms, of the captain and standard bearers,
the furious race of the bareback riders around the stone-paved square,
the crowds of onlookers from adjoining streets and balconies, make
of this a memorable occasion. The winning parish or ward carries
on a celebration after the race. Scaloppine al Marsala is the appropriate
dish for Italians.
In Portugal the Romeria, as the festival held on the Assumption
is called, is marked with the playing of a brass band and of drums
and bagpipes. And the statues of Mary, Queen of the Angels, are
crowned in the churches.
In Armenia there is the Blessing of the Grapes on the Sunday nearest
the feast of the Assumption. Great trays of the fruit are brought
into the churches, and after they are blessed each member of the
congregation carries a bunch home. Feasts are held in the vineyards,
and at this time the first grapes of the season are eaten.
In France August 15th is in general a day for parties and excursions
into the country. At Quimper in Brittany, there is held the Feast
of the Soul, dedicated to Mary as the great consoler. It is here
considered a day for betrothals, when young men and women come to
ask her blessing on their future. The image of the Virgin is placed
at the church door during the day, and at night carried into the
village square, later to be returned in procession to her shrine.
Then to the light of bonfires and the music of bagpipes, the young
people dance and make merry. A Quimper specialty is Crevettes
à la Béchamel (Shrimps with Bechamel Sauce).
OF THE SAINTS
ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
St. Alphonsus was born near Naples, Italy, in 1732.
St. Eusebius was born on the island of Sardinia, Italy, around 283.
ST. PETER JULIAN EYMARD
St. Peter Julian Eymard was born in a small town in the diocese of Grenoble, France in 1786.
BLESSED FREDERIC JANSSOONE
Blessed Frederic Janssoone was born in Flanders in 1838.
DEDICATION OF ST. MARY MAJOR
St. Mary Major is important to Christendom for three reasons:
St. Mary Major is important to Christendom for three reasons:
St. Cajetan was born in Vicenza, Italy, in 1480, the son of a count.
St. Dominic was born in Castile, Spain, in 1170.
BLESSED JOHN OF RIETI
Blessed John lived in the first half of the fourteenth century.
St. Lawrence, the famous martyr of Rome, lived in the third century.
St. Clare was born around 1193 in Assisi, Italy. She lived at the time of St. Francis of Assisi.
ST. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE
Raymond Kolbe was born in Poland in 1894.
THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
This feast of Mary celebrates a special privilege of Mary, our Mother.
ST. STEPHEN OF HUNGARY
St. Stephen was born around 969 in Hungary. This saint's name had been Vaik.
BLESSED JOAN DELANOUE
St. Joan Delanoue was born in 1666. Her family had a small but successful business.
ST. JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL
St. Jane was born in Dijon, France, in 1572.
ST. JOHN EUDES
St. John Eudes was born in Normandy, France, in 1601.
St. Bernard was born in 1090 in Dijon, France.
ST. PIUS X
St. Pius X, the great pope, was named Joseph Sarto. He was born in 1835, the son of a mailman in Riese, Italy.
ST. ROSE OF LIMA
St. Rose, the South American saint, was born in Lima, Peru, in 1586.
"Bartholomew" was one of the first followers of Jesus.
ST. LOUIS OF FRANCE
St. Louis was born on April 25, 1214. His father was King Louis VIII of France and his mother was Queen Blanche.
ST. JOSEPH CALASANZ
St. Joseph was born in 1556, in his father's castle in Spain. He went to college and became a lawyer.
ST. ELIZABETH BICHIER
St. Elizabeth was born in 1773. As a little girl, her favorite game was building castles in the sand.
St. Monica, the famous mother of St. Augustine, was born in 332 in Tagaste, northern Africa.
St. Augustine was born in Tagaste in modern Algeria on November 13, 354. This famous son of St. Monica spent many years in wicked living and in false beliefs.
BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
St. John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus. His mother was St. Elizabeth and his father was Zechariah.
"St. Pammachius was a distinguished Christian layman who lived in the fourth century.
St. Aidan was a seventh-century Irish monk. He lived at the great monastery of Iona, which St. Columban had founded.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven,
submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke
3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of
the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the
cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning
of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among
sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s
will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death
for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust
and submission to God?