Random Musings of Faith – August 10, 2014

August 10, 2014

Friday, August 15, is a holy day of obligation here in the U.S., the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary.  There is a tradition among some Irish, especially around the Northeast U.S., that one is supposed to go and wade in the ocean waters on that day and so gain a blessing for one’s feet, as there is “a cure in the water.”

It may be connected with the title of our Lady, Star of the Sea (“Stella Maris”). It may be that in parts of Ireland the fishing boats were blessed on this feast day.  Whatever, the reason, the tradition continues.  Here, however is something I found on line to add a little flavor to the tradition.

This is a poem written by Fr. John Duffy, C.Ss.R.. Considering his last name was Duffy and his mother’s name was Bridie, the connection to the Irish seems to hold. It just doesn’t say why they believed the waters were more blessed on this feast day.

Feast of the Assumption, 1924

You shamed that naked goddess of the seas,
0 Bridie, barefoot in Our Lady’s tide
The day you begged a miracle to ease
The swollen feet that life had crucified.

Clothed to the knees in black, you stood and prayed.
Your little son, I watched, appalled. I knew
What you were praying for and was afraid
Of God – and miracles – and even you….

I’d carve you in great marble if I could,
My Bridie of Our Lady of the Sea,
To show the sorrow of it, how you stood
Praying in vain for what was not to be.

Long dead, my dear… but when at last we meet–
O changed forever! The Eternal’s bride,
Robed all in white down to the little feet
Shining like His who once was crucified!