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Time Is Getting Short For Those Wishing To Pick Blackberries

The Michaelmas Daisy Fairy Song.

By Cicely Mary Barker

“Red Admiral, Red Admiral,
Alighting on my daisies one by one!
I hope you like their flavour and although the Autumn’s near,
Are happy as you sit there in the sun?”

“I thank you very kindly, sir!
Your daisies are so nice,
So pretty and so plentiful are they;
The flavour of their honey, sir, it really does entice;
I’d like to bring my brothers, if I may!”

“Friend butterfly, friend butterfly, go fetch them one and all!
I’m waiting here to welcome every guest;
And tell them it is Michaelmas, and soon the leaves will fall,
But I think Autumn sunshine is the best!”

End

Michaelmas daisies (Variety Aster macrophyllus ‘Twilight’) together with the bright yellow daisy-like flowers of Rudbeckia (Variety “Goldstrum”); a must for  any garden especially those seeking long lasting colour; as our warm Summer slowly now reverts to Autumn.

Michaelmas Daisies (Aster macrophyllus ‘Twilight’), together with the bright yellow daisy-like flowers of Rudbeckia (“Goldstrum”) are both hardy perennial garden flowers, (Available at O’Driscoll Garden Centre, Mill Road, Thurles), which emerge from small ever enlarging colonies of underground rhizomes to form clumps some 60cm (around 2ft), in height each Spring, later displaying glorious rich colour, from mid to late Summer right through to the end of Autumn.

While the yellow daisy-like flowers of Rudbeckia are said to symbolizes a farewell or a departure; it is the name associated with the blueish grey daisy that we feature in this article.

Michaelmas is the name of the first term of the academic year. It is also a term name used by the Honorable Society of King’s Inns in Ireland. The Michaelmas term begins in September and ends towards the end of December. The name Michaelmas comes from a shortening of “Michael’s Mass,”, similar to and in the same style as Christmas, “Christ’s Mass” and Candlemas, “Candle Mass”, latter the Mass where traditionally all candles used throughout the year would be blessed.

In the fifth century a basilica near Rome was dedicated in honour of Michael on the 30th September, beginning with celebrations on the eve of that day, and 29th September is now kept in honour of St. Michael and all Angels, throughout some western churches.

Associated in the northern hemisphere with the beginning of Autumn and the shortening of days; during the Middle Ages, Michaelmas was celebrated as a Holy Day of Obligation, but this tradition was abolished in the 18th century. It was also one of the Irish quarter days, when outstanding accounts had to be settled.

Folklore suggests that Michaelmas day is the last day that blackberries can be picked. It is said that when St Michael expelled Lucifer (the devil), from heaven, the latter fell from the sky, landing in prickly blackberry bushes. Satan is said to have cursed the fruit, before scorching them with his fiery breath, then stamping, spitting and urinating on them, so that they would become unfit for human consumption.  It was therefore considered ill-advised to pick blackberries after the 29th of September, with a Michaelmas pie being made from the last blackberry fruit of the season.

First observed as a healing angel, and then over time as a protector and the leader of the army of God against the forces of evil; from 1961 to 1965, four young schoolgirls reported several apparitions of the Archangel Michael in their small village of Garabandal, in Spain. The apparitions of the Archangel Michael were mainly reported as announcing the expected arrival of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.

These events at Garabandal began on June 18th, 1961, when the four girls aged eleven and twelve years old, [Mari Loli Mazón, Jacinta González, Mari Cruz González and Maria “Conchita” Concepción González], said that they saw an angel. This angel made another appearance on June 25th. Their story quickly spread throughout the village and they subsequently reported seeing the Blessed Virgin Mary. These claims continued for a number of years.

According to the visionaries, the purpose of these visitations was to call for a “conversion of heart”,  with these visionaries reporting that they received two ‘messages’; one directly from the Blessed Virgin Mary and the other from the Virgin Mary, by way of St. Michael the Archangel. The first message was revealed on October 18th, 1961, which stated:-  “We must make many sacrifices, perform much penance, and visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently. But first, we must lead good lives. If we do not, a chastisement will befall us. The cup is already filling up, and if we do not change, a very great chastisement will come upon us.”

It was on June 18th, 1965, when Conchita, the principal visionary heard the second message, which was televised live by Spanish television. It stated:-  “As my Message of the 18th of October has not been complied with, and as it has not been made known to the world, I am telling you that this is the last one. Previously, the Cup was filling; now, it is brimming over. Many priests are following the road to perdition, (latter a state of eternal punishment and damnation into which a sinful and unrepentant person passes after death), and with them they are taking many more souls. Ever less importance is being given to the Holy Eucharist. We should turn the wrath of God away from us by our own efforts. If you ask His forgiveness with a sincere heart. He will pardon you. I, your Mother, through the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, wish to tell you that you should make amends. You are now being given the last warnings. I love you very much, and I do not want your condemnation. Ask Us sincerely and We shall grant your plea. You must make more sacrifices. Reflect on the Passion of Jesus.

The second message caused particular controversy when it was revealed that Conchita had actually written “many cardinals, many bishops and many priests are following the road to perdition.”  She was asked many times to verify this information. The young woman stated many times that Mary stressed the importance of the priesthood, and focused attention on priests above others.

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