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September 29th, Is Feast Day Of St. Michael & All Angels.

Today, September 29th, of course was Michaelmas Day, the Christian Feast day of Saint Michael and All Angels.

Michaelmas Daisies.
Pic. G. Willoughby

One of the few flowers still left blooming at this time of year is the Michaelmas Daisy. (Asters). There is a traditional rhyme about Michaelmas daisies that explains their connection with St. Michael, the Chief of the Archangels

“The Michaelmas Daisy, among dead weeds,
Bloom for St Michael’s valorous deeds.
And seems the last of flowers that stood,
Till the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude.”

Archangel Michael is regarded as the greatest of all the angels and is honoured for defeating Lucifer in the war in heaven. Religious believers always call therefore upon the Archangel St. Michael, when seeking protection.
The name ‘Michaelmas’ comes from a shortening of “Michael’s Mass”, rather like ‘Christmas’ is “Christ’s Mass”, or indeed ‘Candlemas’, latter the Mass where traditionally the candles to be used throughout the year within the church and elsewhere would be blessed on. These same blessed candles serve as a symbol of Jesus Christ. The Gospel according to St. John Chapter 8. Verse 12. states, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Michaelmas Day falls near the Autumn Equinox, (September 22nd), and is associated in the northern hemisphere with the beginning of Autumn and the shortening of our days. Today, here in Ireland, was also considered a “gale day” when rents became due, under English rule.

Interestingly in folklore, Lucifer, when defeated by St. Michael, was said to have landed on earth in a briar patch. He became so annoyed, he pissed on their fruit, the humble blackberry; cursing them to be always inedible after September 28th of any future year.

Warning, if you made a batch of apple and blackberry jam today, it may not pass testing by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, (FSAI).

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