64. Nannie’s Fun Facts (9)

J.M.J.

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Hello, Friend! Nannie here!

As you can see, Finney loves the beginnin’s and the endin’s of every day…and everything in between! Finney loves the sunrise in the mornin’ and the days, “no matter rain, no matter shine,”  and the sunsets at day’s end.  Finney loves his meals and he knows he has to get his work done before he can play!  He loves dancin’ and singin’ and laughin’ and havin’ fun!  And then our Finn loves to snooze!  He seems to have it all goin’ on.

He also knows, though, that life isn’t easy…especially when someone is tryin’ to steal the gold!

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But he seems to easily enjoy all that God has blessed him with, and is so grateful.  Thinkin’ of Finney lying on the ground at night, with the candle light of his little red lantern, just lookin’ at the stars and the Moon…my goodness, what a peaceful sight!

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The settin’ of the sun can be an amazin’ blaze of color and brilliance as well as a soft and lovely disappearance of the sun below the horizon.

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For most everyone it seems to mark the day is coming to a close.  Dr. Joyce, in his A Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland (1906) tells us that “It was geis* for anyone to bring arms into the palace of Tara after sunset.” I’m thinking that if there was any kind of  temptation to violence it could wait till mornin’…?  Any thoughts on this?

*geis – sounds like gesh and means an act which people were prohibited from doing under penalty of misfortune or ill luck of some kind.                    www.libraryireland.com

So, we’ve spoken of sunshine and moonshine. An article on http://www.education.com, “Why Does the Moon Glow?”, by Tricia Edgar, goes further to speak of another “soft source of light is earthshine. This is light that reflects off the Earth onto the Moon.”

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The ancient stone structures in Ireland give ample evidence of the awareness and knowledge of the movements of what can be seen in the sky, whether Morning or Evening.

Martin Brennan, in his book The Stones of Time­, shares information recorded that says that Conn the Hundred Fighter watched the stars at Tara…”so that no hostile aerial beings should descend upon Ireland unknown to him.”

The Hill of Tara
The Hill of Tara

In the 19th century, the Third Earl of Rosse designed and built the largest telescope in the world.  With this telescope, he discovered the spiral nature of some of the galaxies…This reflecting telescope remained the largest in the world for over 70 years…and still works today!  The location of this amazin’ telescope is Birr Castle in County Offaly.  If you ever find yourself in Ireland, the Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre would be a wonderful and grand destination! (www.birrcastle.com)

Newgrange, as was mentioned (Post 58, October 9, 2015), celebrates the effects of the Sun rising in a special way on the event of the winter solstice.  The massive stone components in what arguably may be the oldest “building” in the world, lead to an inner chamber.  The portal opening above the entryway is situated exactly so that the sunrise at the winter solstice enters the passageway and illumines the whole inner chamber…real Indiana Jones stuff!

Newgrange!
Newgrange!

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As a matter of fact, all access to the chamber at Newgrange when this happens at Winter Solstice time, is decided by lottery! (Everyone else, however, is welcome to come and stand on the outside of the monument.)  There were 30,475 entries for Solstice 2015!   Fifty names are drawn and each may bring a guest.  This allows 20 people for 5 different dawns over the time of the Winter Solstice!   There is a reserve list in case someone can’t come, but other than that the place at dawn is non-transferable.                              http://www.newgrange.com

Newgrange is estimated to be 5,000 to 6000 years old…pretty good record for dependability! Another little fun fact is that after all these thousands of years “the roof at Newgrange is still water proof!” (www.worldheritageireland.ie)  The ancients did some pretty amazin’ stuff!  Any of you who might want to read more about Newgrange, I would encourage you to look for the works of the O’Kellys who did extensive study of  Newgrange.  This is another place you would want to visit if you had the blessing of a trip to Ireland!

Newgrange Archaeology, Art and Legend by Michael J. O’Kelly                                            Illustrated Guide to Newgrange and the other Boyne Monuments by Claire O’Kelly

Referring to the sun worship in Ireland in ancient times, as was also mentioned in Post 58, October 9, 2015, St. Pat speaks of the true Sun being Jesus, the Son (St. Patrick’s Confessio). In regards to the Irish Cross, it really is no mind-stretch to think the cross looks like the cross of Jesus imposed on the Sun. In the beautiful Church in my Parish of St. Clement’s in Saratoga Springs, New York, there is a mosaic behind the altar which surely brings this to mind… no longer worship of the sun, but of  The Son…Jesus! Here are pictures…

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 Also referring to Post 58, given that the cross symbol does have pre-Christian roots, and that a gold disc dated at about 2,000 B.C. has a cross symbol on it (Mythic Ireland, Dames, Michael), again it sure looks like Jesus’ Cross could rest right on top, making the familiar Irish Cross.

My Family's resting place in Cobh, Co. Cork!
My Family’s resting place in Cobh, Co. Cork!

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And speaking of one image leading to another…like the pre-Christian cross to the Cross of Jesus…Before when I mentioned that the inner chamber of Newgrange was illumined by the winter solstice sunrise, I did not point out something that Claire O’Kelly tells us. Mrs. O’Kelly tells us that the rising sun gives light on a 3-spiral carving on a stone in the end-chamber of the tomb. The 3-spiral*, also known as a trisceal, is the form of a shamrock. St. Patrick’s use of the shamrock to teach about the Blessed Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – brought a familiar ancient symbol of significance to new meaning as he taught his beloved Irish people about God loving the world so much He gave His only Son (John 3:16)

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 *These 3-spiral “trisceal” images are also on the huge stone at the entrance of Newgrange.

Pre-Christian cross to Cross of Jesus…Ancient trisceal to Shamrock…all part of The Divine Plan! I am sure there must be some scholarly work somewhere that addresses this, but I think it’s fun to come upon these things and think about them! And, of course, Finney being on the inside track of good St. Pat…well, he knows all about all this!

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 There are so many more fun facts about these subjects, but that’s all for now. Finney is callin’ to me…always want to make sure he’s okay!

 God bless you and thank you for stopping by to visit Finney and me!

 

 

63. The Sun Is Settin’!

J.M.J.

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Hello, my Friend! Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, no matter shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

I work and work so much each day.

That’s what is the Leprechaun Way!

But there’s one thing I need to say…

How much I love my time to play!

Though I’m so tired when day is done,

It’s then there’s time to have me fun!

We Leprechauns, we laugh and dance…

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We run and play when we’ve the chance!

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When this time comes, it’s at day’s end,

When Sun’s goodbye…it starts to send.

The daylight dims…it’s not so bright.

So we well know that soon comes night.

Plymouth, 7-29-15 1894

But first the dusk starts to appear,

Announcing day’s end…night is near.

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The settin’ Sun often displays

Amazin’ colors with her rays.

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Just maybe Sun wants us to know

That, though Sun knows Sun has to go,

All the grand warmth, and colors bright,

Are only missing in the night.

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Fiery orange, yellow, and rose,

Might just like teamin’ up, I s’pose!

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Sometimes the clouds try hard to hide,

The Sun’s rays lighting all outside…

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But for us all, the Sun does try

To find a way to light our sky.

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Sun’s rays dart here and they go there

To bring light through clouds ev’rywhere!

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The vibrant brilliance has great pow’r,

O’er the Earth, the Sun does tower!

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It is the source for light all days,

And shows our path in many ways.

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Finney enjoying the sun at the beach!
Finney enjoying the sun at the beach!

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Sun shining above the Tabernacle containing the Holy Eucharist

  But when time comes, the Sun goes down…

On Earth’s horizon, there’s Sun’s crown.

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And when Sun sets, it gives some light

To Moon who fills in while it’s night.

Of all the Earth, the Sun takes care,

And then Moon helps when Sun’s not there!

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Sun knows it’s hard to see Sun go,

That we need rest, though, Sun does know.

So though Sun gives Moon nice light, too,

It’s not too bright for me and you.

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So, when we sleep, in dark of night,

Sun does make sure we have some light!

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My lantern helps me see some nights,

When I go out to see night’s “lights.”

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My lantern’s red with candle flame.

It gives me light but not the same

As daylight’s Sun which helps us see

All around us…for you and me!

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I like to watch the night time moon

It comforts me, though, knowing soon

Daytime will once more come again…

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We’re blessed to know exactly when!

So we do know that Sun does go,

Sun will be back , and that we know.

And while Sun’s gone, the Moon fills in

With light enough, while we’re sleepin’!

When now you see the settin’ Sun,

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I hope you’ve done good work…had fun!

I hope that you have laughed with glee,

And seen something you loved to see…

That you have heard sweet sounds so fine,

That you did think they were Divine!

I hope, to God, you said, “Thank you!”

For all He’s done and still will do,

And for the blessings of the day

That He saw fit, in His God-way,

To give to you, because you’re you,

So ev’ry blessing’s always new!

I, Finney, have learned from St. Pat,

God always helps with this and that,

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And always wants us each to know

 He always wants, His Love, to show!

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So, knowin’ that, I’m tired now…

The Sun has set! Always a WOW!

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I just can’t wait to get to bed,

And lay right down my sleepy head!

I am so glad we talked today!

God bless you is what I do say!

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Note from Nannie!

“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.  Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’and there was light.  God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness He called ‘night.’  Thus evening came, and morning followed — the first day.”  (Genesis 1: 1-5)

*Photo courtesy of Stevie Towne

**Photo courtesy of Jean Kohout

62. Nannie’s Fun Facts (8)

J.M.J.

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1021

Hello Friend! Nannie here!

Irish tourism is generally at its peak during the summer months. However, “autumn is also one of the most beautiful times of year to explore Ireland…

Due to its wet, mild climate, Ireland tends to stay green year-round…”  (www.mnn.com)

But as you can see by the following pictures, taken in Ireland, the golden honey glow easily establishes itself as companion to the 40 shades of green!

near Cobh (sounds like Cove) in County Cork
near Cobh (sounds like Cove) in County Cork
Near Cobh, County Cork
Near Cobh, County Cork
Inis Mor, Aran Islands, County Galway
Inis Mor, Aran Islands, County Galway

In Ireland “the warm North Atlantic Drift has a marked influence on sea temperatures. This maritime influence is strongest near the Atlantic coasts and decreases with distance inland.  The hills and mountains, many of which are near the coasts, provide shelter from strong winds and from the direct oceanic influence.

Winters tend to be cool and windy, while summers…are mostly mild and less windy.” (www.met.ie)

“In spring (February to April), the average highest temperatures range from 46 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit, with April considered particularly pleasant.

In autumn (August to October) (with its bronze-burnished leaves!), highest temperatures hit between 64 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit.  September is considered a mild, temperate month.                                                     (www.ireland.com)

Inis Mor*
Inis Mor*

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Finney’s little story rhyme included his Friend, Ol’ Mr. Squirrel  (Sean Squirrel!  ). http://www.conserveireland.com presents the little grey squirrel as having been recently introduced          to Ireland. It is believed to have originated in North America with the current population having descended from a large release of squirrels in the midlands in the early 20th century.

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The same website goes on to tell us that the little red squirrels seem to have been present in Ireland by prehistoric times before the arrival of the ice age made them extinct in this country.  They returned after the retreating glaciers and have also been brought to Ireland and released in large numbers over several periods up until the 19th century.”

As for chipmunks, “the Latin word for the chipmunk family is ‘Tamias’ which means ‘storer’.  This reflects their fondness for keeping provisions in their nest like a squirrel, or in the pouches of their chubby cheeks like a hamster.

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In Ireland, there is some environmental concern for the little red squirrel in regards to grey squirrels and chipmunks.  Seems that the little reds are easily overcome by the presence of the greys and chippies.  Having similar eating habits to the little reds, the greys and the chippies pose a threat to the little reds’ survival so much so that the little red are” protected under the Wildlife Act (1976) and Wildlife (Amendment) Acts (2000 and 2010) and the Bern Convention (Appendix III).  (www.mammals-in-ireland.ie)

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Finally, the bunnies [who “may” have had something to do with the name of Coney Island (located in the southernmost part of Brooklyn, New York) – see Finney’s post #55- Flower Feedin’! – September 29th, 2015]  have been a resident in Ireland since the 12th century.

As for the geese and their marvelous V-formation, “Ireland is a key refuge and a hub for Arctic and European migratory birds…Many geese…that inhabit regions in and around the Arctic start to move southwards as the winter sets in.  Ireland’s mild winter weather means that wetlands and mudflats never freeze over and provide plenty of water and food for birds. ”  Other “winter migrants to Ireland…are passing migrants, and Ireland is an important fueling stop for them on their journey further south.”                                 (www,noticenature.ie/autumn_birds)

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God bless you and thank you for visiting Finney and me!

61. Storin’!

J.M.J.

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Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, no matter shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

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The air is cooler…harvest’s here,

And Christmastime is gettin’ near!

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But before Advent comes to us,

With expectations and fun-fuss,

There’s lots of things that need be done,

To cozy up…for everyone!

We see around us signs of Fall,

And we well know there’s work for all!

We gather apples for Mum’s bake,

And berries for grand things to make!

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 All this and honey’s stored by Mum,

Golden Honey!
Golden Honey!

Dee-lish for meals, from this does come!

For the hearth, we need twigs and peat,

To dry our clothes and warm our feet!

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Me Dad makes piles close to home,

So we don’t have too far to roam

When fires low and needs more burn,

We know just to where we can turn.

And even we move close inside

The trees who shield us from outside,

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When we might find it just too cool…

But not too often as a rule.

Grand Ireland’s beauty never fails,

Just like the truth within her tales…

In Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall…

Always beautiful…they are all!

     But harvest time we speak of now,

Change from summer, God does allow.

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The berries are where flowers were,

When hawthorne trees, the Fall, does stir!

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The birds toward warmer places fly…

They fly in V-form in the sky!

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‘Tis such a lovely time of year,

Makes you feel good, just to be “here!”

There’s always green, but golden, too,

As leaves of Fall gain honey hue.

near Cobh (sounds like Cove) in County Cork
Near Cobh (sounds like Cove), in County Cork

The grass browns, too, to mellow shades,

As greens take rest…as summer fades.

Inis Mor, Aran Islands, County Galway
Inis Mor*, Aran Islands, County Galway

The homes are cozy, closed up warm,

Inis Mor
Inis Mor*

’cause once in a while, frost will form!

Stevie - October, 2015**

An old thatched roof pays not much mind,

They’ve shown they last…the steadfast kind!

Inis Mor
Inis Mor*

The ancient homes’ stones do feel cool,

As ancient stones the Fall can’t fool…

The Black Fort, Inis Mor
The ancient ruins of the Black Fort, on Inis Mor*
Ancient ruins of Dun Aengus, on Inis Mor
The ancient ruins of Dun Aengus, on Inis Mor*

The ancient paths…their grasses worn,

May look hay-like, but green’s still born,

Protected from air that is cool,

Under Fall grass, a hidden jewel,

Of ever green…the emerald shade,

Of which our Isle is ever made!

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The cow’s hide’s hair grows thick like fur,

It’s like a bull’s…the same for her!

Inis Mor*
Inis Mor*

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Ol’  Mr. Squirrel runs around…

He’s lookin’ hard all o’er the ground,

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For lotsa food for wintertime…

To stash it, up the tree, he’ll climb!

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He’s runnin’ here, and runnin’ there,

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For nuts,seeds, berries…looks with care…

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His nest is high up in the tree,

And when safe there, he, happy, be!

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But he must work for food to find,

But this hard work he doesn’t mind!

‘Cause when the weather’s not so warm,

Or when there is a big, bad storm,

All nice and cozy, nest will be…

All safe up high in a grand tree!

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And, chipmunks, too, love nuts and seeds.

They look to store food for their needs.

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Leaves and berries… they love them, too,

They love to eat, like me and you!

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They find their food, go to their nest,

And store it up…they do their best!

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Of course they love their shamrocks, too,

And try to be near shamrocks’ view!

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The bunnies will just hop and hop,

Looking for food, they must not stop!

‘Tis grasses, plants, and leaves they’ll eat

All little greens can be a treat!

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So, winter can be long for all,

So let’s try to enjoy our Fall…

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Just storin’ food and twigs and peat,

To make sure we’ve enough to eat!

Grand toasty warm is what we’ll be,

I hope for Mum’s good bakes for me!

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If you stop by, I’ll share with you

I hope this Fall is good for you!

Near Cobh, County Cork
Near Cobh, County Cork

 

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I am so glad we talked today!

God bless you is what I do say!

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Note from Nannie!

The Irish Meteorological Service, Met Éireann, tells us that “The dominant influence on Ireland’s climate is the Atlantic Ocean.  Consequently, Ireland does not suffer from the extremes of temperature experienced by many other countries at similar latitude….The change from winter to spring or from summer to autumn is gradual and the general trend is subject to reversals which may last for a week or more.”  Autumn is regarded as September to November, Winter — December to February (it does snow at times in Ireland, but major snowstorms are infrequent and of irregular occurrence), Spring — March to May, and Summer — June to August.  (www.met.ie)

*certain typewritten characters are not always available to me in the delivery of my posts.  This asterisk indicates a “sine fada” accent is missing.

**Image of the frosted flowers provided courtesy of Stevie Towne, and  this chipmunk image…

1197a,8-29-15was provided by Pat Reed!  The little chippie came right up by her home to have a cool drink!

Thank you both from Finney and me!

60. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (7)

J.M.J.

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Hello to you, Friend! Nannie here!

There is a great story to be told about the part the Irish people have played in the history of the Family of Man. One author who has done a stupendous work in helping with mind expansion in this regard is Thomas Cahill.  His work, How the Irish Saved Civilization, wonderfully approaches “the untold story of Ireland’s heroic role from the fall of Rome to the rise of Medieval Europe.” The back cover of Mr. Cahill’s book presents a quote from Thomas Keneally who wrote Schindler’s List, “A shamelessly engaging, effortlessly scholarly, utterly refreshing history of the origins of the Irish soul and its huge contribution to Western culture.” The back cover of Mr. Cahill’s book continues to tell us of the “dark ages”, when “learning, scholarship, and culture disappeared from the European continent. The great heritage of Western civilization…would have been utterly lost were it not for the holy men and women of the unconquered Ireland.”

It is not really widely understood that though Rome was known to have conquered the world, Rome never really bothered with Ireland. That has helped Ireland to remain free of a great deal of the effect of Roman domination that has altered many histories and many cultures.

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Mr. Cahill brings us to the “island of saints and scholars,” the Ireland of St. Patrick and the Book of Kells [a ninth century gospel manuscript which is actually housed in the Trinity College Library in Dublin (www.tcd.ie)]. Here, far from the barbarian despoliation of the continent, monks and scribes laboriously, lovingly, even playfully preserved the West’s written treasury. With the return of stability in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning. Thus the Irish not only were conservators of civilization, but became shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on Western culture.”

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I am grateful to, and cheer for Mr. Cahill for effecting such an invaluable resource to be available to all! For those of us who treasure our Irish heritage, Mr. Cahill’s book can help us add to our thinking a depth of understanding that is both enriching and applicable to verbal occasions that call for information, about our Irish culture, that we may never have even begun to realize!   Thank you, Mr. Cahill!

God has allowed Ireland and her people to have a place in history that is truly unique and mystical. Bishop Ed Scharfenberger of the Diocese of Albany, New York, says, “the Irish have mysticism in their DNA!” How fun is that, and I couldn’t have worded my own thinking any better than that! Thank you, Bishop Ed!

A website which seems to have fun Irish info is http://www.discoveringireland.com.  In an article, “Ireland, Land of Saint and Scholars,” we read, “Christianity first came to Ireland between the 3rd and 5th centuries and while much of Europe was plunging into the Dark Ages, Ireland provided a beacon of light.”

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A reputation of “spirituality,” however, is nothing unfamiliar to Ireland. Even some of the Roman writers referred to Ireland as “Insula Sacra”, or the Sacred Isle (Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters; and, The Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation by John O’Hart).  A 19th Century writer, Thomas Davis, in writing about “Ancient Ireland,” speaks of Ireland being “remarkable for piety.”                                                                     (www.libraryireland.com)

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The pictures above of the Churchyard and the Church were taken in the Dingle area of southwestern Ireland.

One of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland, Inis Mór, is the place where “St. Enda’s monastery was the school where many Irish abbots served their apprenticeship.” ( Moody and Martin’s The Course of Irish History )

Also there is “the Churchyard where anciently were one hundred and twenty graves of saints, in one of which St. Enda was buried…” (Monasticon Hibernicum, A History of the Abbeys, Priories, and other Regligious Houses in Ireland)

 

St. Enda's Churchyard on Inis Mor of the Aran Islands
St. Enda’s Churchyard on Inis Mor of the Aran Islands

Margaret Anne Cusack’s An Illustrated History of Ireland tells us that one of the first houses of the Dominican Order in Ireland was founded by John Netterville (Archbishop of Armagh), in 1224. It was the Dominican Convent of St. Mary Madgalene. “Richard II and Henry IV were great benefactors to this house…The Dominicans had also houses at Waterford, Cork, Mullingar, Athenry, Cashel, Tralee, Sligo, Roscommon, and, in fact, in nearly all the principal towns in the country.”

Alfred Webb’s A Compendium of Irish Biography (1878) tells us that Maurice Fitzgerald, the 2nd Baron of Offaly, introduced into Ireland the order of the Dominicans in 1216, which was even before the death of St. Dominic in 1221.  Mr. Webb goes on to tell us that Mr. Fitzgerald also founded the Dominican Abbey at Sligo in 1236.

The presence of the Dominican Order in Ireland is a wonderful continuance of the spiritual fabric of the island nation’s culture. It seems that the Irish people were somewhat ready to embrace the spiritual truths that St. Patrick brought…the Redemption of the world through the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as handed by the pure line of the St. Peter, the first Pope, and all his successors. The Dominicans continue to spread this Good News! Finney’s Fr. Bede is simply doing what he has dedicated his life to, as a Dominican Priest.

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God bless you and thank you for stopping by to visit Finney and me!

59. Learnin’!

J.M.J.

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1002

Hello, my Friend! Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, no matter shine,

I hope your day is always fine!

When St. Pat came and taught all well,

He had some heav’nly tales to tell!

We Leprechauns did hear him speak,

And heard him praise the kind and meek.

We heard him tell of God’s own Son,

Whose Heart has Love for everyone!

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Me Dad said Grampa heard him say

How Jesus loves in every way.

‘Tis Jesus, God, Savior of all…

St. Pat taught of, to tall and small!

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The time came, though… St. Pat did pass…

All on our Isle of grand green grass,

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Were sorrow-full…we missed him so…

But he’s in Heaven, that we know.

Then others came, so like St. Pat…

They taught of God’s love and all That!

One group of them…they dress in white,

Whene’er they come…’tis a grand sight!

They may, too,  wear a cape that’s black,

Great love for Jesus, they don’t lack!

St. Dominic, Our Lady and Baby Jesus!
St. Dominic, Our Blessed Mother Mary and Baby Jesus!

They’ve been in Ireland for so long…

Their Faith in Jesus is so strong.

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They teach of Him like St. Pat did,

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At first, we Leprechauns just hid!

Before long, we knew they were good…

The way we knew is ’cause they could

Just steal our gold like others might,

And sometimes even in our sight!

But they did not…they did not try,

And I think I can tell you why.

They teach of Jesus and His Love…

That He’s God’s Son sent from above.

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Just like St. Pat, they’re kind to us…

Because we’re diff’rent, they don’t fuss.

Our hair of red and clothes of green,

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Don’t seem to make them one bit mean.

I, Finney, say this, ’cause I know,

How wantin’ gold helps mean-ness show.

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I’ve had to run and try to hide,

When those who have such greed and pride

Will try to bully and then steal

Not caring how others will feel.

Our Friends in white know what we say,

And try to help us know the way

To not be hurt and understand,

That such things happen in our land.

They tell us that some folks have pain

Which hurts their hearts and love does drain

Right from those hearts, and, they will do

Bad things, sometimes, to me and you.

“Try to forgive, and still be kind.

If you do this, you may just find

How Grace from God will help you cope.”

These words they say, give us grand hope,

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That maybe we can do some good…

With Jesus’ help, we know we could!

Our Friends in white…they try to teach,

And show us just how we can reach

Into our hearts and find God’s there,

Because He can be anywhere!

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All we need do is say okay,

And God will help on any day!

These Friends in white of whom I speak,

Say Jesus says we should be meek.

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So, all these things we try to do,

Just like St. Pat did teach us, too.

He came to Ireland for us all,

No matter whether tall or small.

This is the altar at the Shrine Of Our Lady of Knock in East Durham, New York. Behind the altar is a depiction of Our Blessed Mother with St. Joseph and St. John at her sides, with the lamb on the altar to her left.
This is the altar at the Shrine Of Our Lady of Knock in East Durham, New York. Behind the altar is a depiction of Our Blessed Mother with St. Joseph and St. John at her sides, with the lamb on the altar to her left.

And now we have our Friends in white

Who also teach about the Light

That God did give, on Earth, to all,

No matter whether tall or small.

St. Dominic, Our Blessed Mother Mary, and Baby Jesus!
St. Dominic, Our Blessed Mother Mary, and Baby Jesus!

The one who taught these Friends in white,

Was Dominic…child of the Light.

His followers…woman or man…

They each are called “Dominican!”

My Friend who is called Father Bede…

He helps me when I feel I need

Some extra help to understand,

Fr. Bede and Me!
Fr. Bede and Me!

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How I can be true fine and grand

When I know I just want to fight

Those bullies who get in my sight!

Some mischief is what’s on my mind,

And I just do not feel so kind!

But Fr. Bede says, “Oh, Finney,

I know that it is not easy!

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He told me when he feels that way,

This prayer is just what he might say…

“Dear Sacred Heart of Jesus, please,

Bless each of us, our cares to ease.

Please keep us safe till life is done.

God bless us all!  Yes, everyone!”

It’s God who has all that it takes,

And in our hearts, it’s Him Who makes

The Love that in our hearts will grow,

And help that angry feeling go!”

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“Okay!” says I, to Father Bede.

“That God will give me what I need,

Is what I know is always true.

For all your help, I do thank you!”

And then I hug good Father Bede,

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For taking time to talk and read

About how Jesus loves us all

No matter whether tall or small!

Maybe Bede, Pat and Dominic,

Would one day come on a picnic

With Daíthí, Pronshi…of course, me!

What grand fun that, of course, would be!

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Mum’s apple bake and playin’ ball…

Life sure is good though we’re so small!

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And when we’d be havin’ grand lunch,

I’d try to not think of that punch,

Right in the nose, I want to give

To that bully I should forgive!

Oh God, please help me, I do say,

On each and ev’ry fine grand day!

I am so glad we talked this way!

God bless you is what I do say!

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Note from Nannie:

The Dominican Order, the “Order of Preachers”, was founded by St. Dominic (1170-1221).  The Dominicans first arrived in Ireland in 1224. ..just three years after the death of St. Dominic. Two foundations were made in Ireland that first year, one in Drogheda and one in Dublin. (www.dominicans.ie)

http://www.catholic.com tells that “The custom of popes wearing white cassocks dates to Pope Pius V (1504-1572), a Dominican who chose to continue wearing the Dominican white habit as pope.  Successive popes continued the custom, and it is now the traditional color of the pope’s clothing.”

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Viva il Papa!

58. Nannie’s Fun Facts (6)

J.M.J.

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Hello to you, Friend!  Nannie here!

Could we ever tire of reading the story of Creation in the Bible’s Book of Genesis?  Could we ever really comprehend what we are actually reading…the creation of the universe?   The following Scripture passage is the part about the “lights!”

“Then God said:  ‘Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night.  Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth.”  And so it happened: God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day , and the lesser one to govern the night;  and He made the stars.  God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness.  God saw how good it was.    (Genesis 1: 14-18)

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 With each new day’s dawn, I’m sure all our minds are so full of what’s in our past, the demands of the day to come, and the wonder about what the future holds. Little Finney the Leprechaun knows the duties he has for each day, but he also knows there’s time for fun and resting! Sounds so good, doesn’t it? Finney knows that God will always help him. The Sun rising is such an amazing thing that if we give ourselves even just a minute to relax in it, how can we not be filled with hope, comfort, and awe!?!

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 So…about the Sun and Ireland…

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The Sun rises in Ireland long before it does for America. We know the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. My Mr. and I have the great blessing of having our bedroom window situated so that it faces the East (with Ireland just “across the pond” or “next parish over” 🙂 ) and the morning Sunrise is our amazin’ wake up call! Getting back to the Sun risin’ in Ireland, library.ireland.com tells us “It is probable that Irish druidical rites manifested themselves principally in Sun-worship.” (Cusack, Margaret Anne – An Illustrated history of Ireland)

James Bonwick (Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions) says, “…Ireland, as elsewhere” contemplated “Deity in the Sun…the Sun was regarded as the Creator and as sustainer of all things.” St. Patrick even addressed the issue warning sun-worshippers of eternal punishment, and in his Confessio, St. Pat speaks of believing in and adoring “the true Sun (Son), Christ!”

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 Now, as far as our beloved Irish cross having anything to do with the Sun…I have read or heard that somewhere…I can’t seem, though,  to find a source I am comfortable with to have a comment. The cross symbol does have pre-Christian roots…Michael Dames, in Mythic Ireland, tells us about a gold disc that was found that was dated to be from about 2,000 B.C. and it has a cross symbol on it…given that is 2,000 years before Jesus… hmmm…?

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 Also, a very fun thing to think about is that what some consider to be the oldest “building” in the world, Newgrange, that sits on a mound overlooking the Boyne River on the eastern side of Ireland. Newgrange is built of large slabs and standing stones and is estimated to have been constructed around 32oo B.C. — over 5,000 years ago! (O’Kelly, M.J. –Newgrange) For a relative perspective, this is older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids! So…what does that have to do with the Sun? Well, wait till you read this…Newgrange was situated so that on every winter solstice (around December 21), its inner chamber is illuminated by the sunrise!

Newgrange!
Newgrange!

Professor O’Kelly tells us that it is one of the “very earliest… solar alignments ever recorded!” He says, “It is difficult not to see this as a deliberate and successful attempt to incorporate the midwinter sunrise as a significant element in the planning and use of the monument.” Is that a wow or what!?!

 Getting back to the sunrise and the dawn…

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There is a spectacular Catholic Family Baby Naming Blog…sanctanomina.net, that provides so much wonderful background for names Catholic parents might choose for their precious ones. I found a particular reference that I love in regards to aurora, the word for dawn…in association with Our Blessed Mother Mary…

“Aurora can also be Marian…I referenced this quote from Ven. Mary of Agreda’s Mystical City of God:

“[The] most poor and insignificant hut or cave, to which most holy Mary and Joseph betook themselves … was the first temple of light (Malachi 4, 2, Psalm III, 4) and … the house of the true Sun of justice, which was to arise for the upright of heart from the resplendent Aurora Mary, turning the night of sin into the daylight of grace.” (no. 468)

Blessed_Virgin_Mary

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It is a fun thing to note here that this quote is taken from the Mystical City of God which was favorite reading of an Irish American priest that is two steps on the road to sainthood. The priest of whom I speak died in 1957 and the Cause for his Canonization is vibrant and happening! Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey (Bernard Francis “Barney” Casey) was one of 16 children (10 boys and 6 girls born to Irish immigrant parents, Bernard and Ellen Casey. Fr. Solanus’ Father, Bernard, was born in Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan, and his Mum, Ellen Murphy, was born in Camlough, County Armagh. They left Ireland “after the famine years, the scourge of the Emerald Isle.” They were married on October 6, 1863 at St. James Church in Salem, Massachusetts. (www.solanuscasey.org)

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Called “Barney”, like his Dad, Fr. Solanus was #6 of the 16 Casey children, and he went on to become a Franciscan Capuchin.  His body is at rest in the Fr. Solanus Center, St. Bonaventure Monastery, in Detroit, Michigan. His holiness is no mystery to me and my Family. We believe that Fr. Solanus’ intercession for our stillborn daughter, Molly, brought about the miracle of her return from death, her healing, and the amazin’ life she lives today…31 years later!

For some “amazin’ readin’ “, go to http://www.solanuscasey.org or http://www.solanuscenter.org to find out more about Fr. Casey!

Please pray for the Cause of Fr. Solanus’ beatification…

Speaking of canonized Saints and sunrises…a fun thought to close with comes from the terrific periodical, “Magnificat” that I love to mention…in August’s issue on Page 282, is the story of St. Moses the Black. It seems Moses “the Black” was “a thief and a brigand”…violent, too. Then came a time when he wanted to reform. He became a monk and dedicated himself to “penance, prayer, and hard work.” That wasn’t so easy, though, and he got discouraged. “One day the abbot brought Moses to the roof of the monastery as the sun began to rise. ‘Look,’ he said to Moses, ‘it takes some time for the light to drive away the darkness. The soul is no different.’ ”

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God bless you and thank you for stopping by to visit Finney and Me!