Tag Archives: Saint

From your Valentine. Did you see a bird or speak or hear a name?

ARCHIVAL MOMENT

FEBRUARY 14

Saint Valentine

The true origin of Valentine’s Day may always be in question, but most historians seem to agree on the basic elements. St. Valentine, as he has become known, was a  priest in Rome during the times of Emperor Claudius II. Claudius, who was known in his times as “Claudius the Cruel” had decreed that his soldiers were no longer allowed to marry. It was Claudius’s belief that single, men without families were the best soldiers.

Valentine found this law absurd and went against the law, marrying couples in secret. This was soon discovered by Claudius II and Valentine was taken to prison and ordered beheaded. It is said that in his final days in prison, Valentine wrote a letter to his jail keepers daughter who had been visiting him during his imprisonment. He signed the letter, “From your Valentine”. This is what is now thought of as the first Valentine card.

St. Valentine is said to have died on February 14th and this is why we celebrate the holiday on this day.

The Saint Valentine who is celebrated on February 14 remains in the Catholic Church’s official list of saints (the Roman Martyrology), but, in view of the scarcity of information about him,  he has been demoted  – his commemoration was removed from the General Calendar for universal liturgical veneration, when this was revised in 1969.

Many traditions have evolved around St. Valentine’s Day.

If a woman sees a robyn flying over head on Valentines Day she will marry a sailor. If she sees a sparrow, she will marry a poor man, but will be very happy. If she sees a goldfinch, she will marry a millionaire.

• The 1st name you hear or read on Valentine’s Day will be the name of your future mate.

Whether we chose to believe legends developed around Valentines Day or not most of us are true romantics at heart.  This is the day to remember those that you care about!!

 

Do you know about Patrick’s Pot?

imagesCAF5JTEEArchival Moment

March 17 (Tradition)
One of the earliest and best accounts of daily life at the Labrador fishery can be found in Nicholas Smith’s book ‘Fifty-two Years at the Labrador Fishery’. In his book he makes reference to a  Newfoundland, St. Patrick’s Day tradition,  that is no more.

Smith writes:

“The ice was very heavy and in large sheets; consequently slow progress was made for the first few days, but on March 17th, St Patrick’s Day, Captain William  …  called everybody at daylight to get out to their ‘Patrick’s Pot’ as we were among the seals, and plenty of them.”

In Newfoundland and Labrador a ‘Patrick’s Pot’  suggests a ‘windfall’ in terms of sealing jargon it referred to a seal herd spotted on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17). When spotted especially on St. Patrick’s Day there would be much excitement.

St. Patrick’s Day would have been early in the  ‘sealing season’ and a good omen. The herd would represent a portion of the sealers salary for the year.

Patrick’s Pot or Paddy’s Pot had another meaning for children, when visiting relatives on St. Patrick’s Day silver coins were traditionally given to children, the coins given were referred to as Paddy’s Pot. In the Folk and Language Archive at Memorial University is found reference to this tradition in interviews that were conducted with informants.   One gentleman reported when giving a coin to a child the person typically said:  “and here’s a Paddy’s Pot for ye, me little colleens.’

Wishing you the very best on St. Patrick’s Day. May you find your pot?

Recommended Archival Collection: At the Rooms Provincial Archives read the journal of Dr. William Waddell (MG 1006.1). The journal documents a typical sealing voyage including a description of the vessel and role of the crew.

Recommended Reading: Fifty-two Years at the Labrador Fishery (London: Arthur H. Stockwell, 1936.

Recommended Activities: The Irish Newfoundland Association as part of their 39th Annual Irish Week Celebrations is proud to present their program for this year. Hold the Dates: “Four Nights and Four Irish Events” You might find your Paddy’s Pot here: Read More: http://irishnewfoundlandassociation.ca/irish-week-four-nights-four-events/