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Creatures Great & Small Land At Feet Of Jesus Christ Statue.

The bee swarm came in a huge wave, dancing majestically from the north side of Thurles town, moving down the town centre, before settling at the feet of Jesus Christ, whose statue is positioned outside the Ursuline Primary school building, on Liberty Square.

Four thoughts quickly came to my mind.
Firstly the Jesus Christ statue, shown in the picture below, stands on a plinth outside the school; its outstretched arms possibly referring to the writings contained in the gospel according to St. Matthew, Chapter 19: Verse 14, “Let the little children (bees in this case) come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

My second thought was for the schools late, incredibly caring, hard-working and dedicated teacher and principal Sister Xavier O’Dwyer. How said lady would have loved their arrival and the associated symbolism.

My two remaining thoughts came in the form of two hymns the words of which were learned in my youth; firstly an extract from “All things bright and beautiful” by the Dublin born hymn writer and poet Mrs Cecil Francis Alexander, (1818 – 1895), wife of the one-time Anglican Bishop of Derry, William Alexander, latter who later went on to become Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.

‘All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small.
All things wise and wonderful, ’twas God that made them all.

He gave us eyes to see them and lips that we might tell,
How great is the Almighty, who has made all things well.’

That thought was quickly followed by lines from that blind American mission worker, poet, lyricist and composer Francis J. Crosby (1820 -1915), possibly better known as Fanny J. Crosby, the Queen of Gospel song writers.
Following the death of her baby daughter, named Frances van Alstyness, Fanny had written; ‘Safe in the Arms of Jesus‘.

‘Safe in the Arms of Jesus, Safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o’ershaded, Sweetly my soul shall rest’.

And rest these bees did, until removed, to be sent to other more suitable living quarters; in the interest of the health and safety of pupils attending classes within the school.

Of course when bees are swarming, they remain the tamest they will ever be. These bees are weighted down with honey, so they are aware they cannot fly fast. They have two goals only in mind; to protect their Queen while locating a new place to live. Everything else remains secondary to those two goals, leaving them to surround and protect their queen, while they wait for scouts to inform them where to set up their new camp.

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