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)

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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!

2 thoughts on “58. Nannie’s Fun Facts (6)

  1. Aw thanks for the shout-out irishnannie! And yay Ven. Solanus Casey! All the sun stuff is fascinating too, so easy to see why the pre-Christian peoples put so much store by it, all that “written on our hearts” stuff — they knew Jesus before they knew Him. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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