Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

May peace and blessing be yours

To all our readers, benefactors and friends - 
a Happy New Year to you all!
May peace and blessing be yours.

*Photograph taken by Catherine Nicolette
With thanks to the stone artist

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Christmas

For unto us a Child is born
Unto us a Son is given

Happy Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
We remember Christ's Birthday and the joy and hope it brings us.
Let's make this next year the best one ever!
A candle has been lit for each Marian Praise reader.
The picture of Mary of Nazareth and Jesus was drawn by
one of the children Lumiere Charity assists.
With thanks to the artist.
Please click this link for the beautiful song by Amy Grant
'Breath of Heaven' - Mary's song
With thanks to Ms Grant, Mr Jose Tony Cortes and Youtube
Why not purchase this inspirational music
and sing it in your Church choir?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Prolific flowering of Marian verse Part 1

In England the two periods which saw some of the most prolific flowering of Marian verse were the Middle Ages and the nineteenth century, the highlights of the latter period being the Oxford Movement and the 
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, from whose ranks the composition of much of the century's blossoming of Marian poetry stems.
 A striking point is the way English poets throughout the centuries emphasise Mary's role as the New Eve and her multiple role as daughter, spouse, sister and mother of God.

One reason why the Eve-Mary theme has provided so fruitful a field for poetry through the centuries may be the fact that the annunciation of the birth of Christ to Mary of Nazareth by the Archangel Gabriel offers so many possibilities for poetic presentation.
A number of poets have translated the 9th century Latin poem "Ave Maris Stella" (Hail, Oh Star of the Sea), repeating the Eve-Mary theme in ways that show great diversity in imitation.

The poem states inter alia that if Eva, Eve's name in Latin, is turned backwards, it spells Ave, the first part of Gabriels' salutation to Mary.

Sumens illud Ave                      Taking that Ave (greeting)
Gabrielis ore                             from Gabriel's mouth
Funda nos in pace                    establish us in peace
mutans nomen Eva                   changing Eva's name

This has been translated in numerous ways.
In A hymn to Mary, a macaronic poem found in the Egerton Manuscript, the poet states;

All this world was forlore          lost
Eva peccatrice                           by Eve
Tyl our Lord was ybore            Till; born
De te genatrice                         from thee, mother
with Ave it went away 

In this poem the turnabout is stated without being spelt out.
Conversely, the translation of "Ave Maris Stella" by the Franciscan Friar William Herebert (d.1333) found among seventeen pieces of translation by him is quite explicit:

Of the aungeles mouhth kald Gabriel      angel's; mouth; called
In gryht ous sette and shyld vrom            grace; establish; shield; 
       shome                                                  shame
That turnst abakward eues nome             reverses Eve's name

A translation of the relevant section of "Ave Maris Stella", preserved at Merton College, Oxford (MS 248) reads as follows;
tornand the name of heue a-gayne (8) [turning Eve's name around].

The popularity of "Ave Maris Stella" did not wane as the centuries passed. 
The sixteenth-century Jesuit priest Robert Southwell (1561-1595) wrote in his poem The Virgins Salutation:

Spell Eva backe and Ave shall you finde.               backwards
The first began, the last reverst our harmes          evils

In the nineteenth century the Gabriel-Mary theme was continued. 
Edward Caswell (1814-1878) translated the poem into a version used as a hymn that was regularly sung. Titled Hail thou Star of Ocean, the relevant lines read:

Oh, by Gabriel's Ave,
uttered long ago
Eva's name reversing,
'stablish peace below.

See link for Ave Maris Stella and a beautiful rendition of music by The Daughters of Mary

See link for William Herebert OFM

See link for Merton College Oxford

See link for Robert Southwell SJ

See link for Edward Caswell

*Photograph taken by Catherine Nicolette