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Author Comment
Carrie
Unregistered User
(11/26/01 11:33:25 am)
The Virgin Mary
Hello all. I was writing something for a magazine I contribute to and during my research I came across a reference that ladybug or ladybirds were thought by people of the Middle Ages as objects of divine intervention -- something directly related to this insect's penchant for destroying insects harmful to agriculture. Anyway that's why it's unlucky to kill a lady bug and how it got its name "The Lady's Bird." This made me start thinking of other references to the Virgin Mary and the world we live in. I faintly recall that rosemary is named after her and the flowers got their blue color from her cloak that she laid on a bush during her travels to Bethlehem. Can anyone think of any others or how such references may have made their way into fairy tale culture. Don't quote me on this -- but I think I read that a fruit tree (cherry?) bowed it branches to offer her fruit. Sounds sort of like the Maiden With the Silver Hands? Perhaps?

Carrie

ZMethos
Registered User
(11/26/01 1:23:47 pm)
Re: The Virgin Mary
More about the ladybugs:

"In Scandinavia, the ladybug is called the Virgin Maryís Golden-hen or Ladyís Key-maid. In France, itís known as the Animal of the Virgin. In Germany, itís the Maidenís Beetle." www.montana.edu/wwwpb/univ/bugnames.html

Also, marigolds are from the name St. Mary's Gold because in medieval times the flowers were considered to have healing properties--I don't know if they actually do or not, but I do know they are a natural repellent for snakes and many kinds of birds.

summersinger
Registered User
(11/26/01 4:29:59 pm)
Re: The Virgin Mary
That's probably "The Cherry Tree Carol" - quite a funny one as Christmas carols go. Digital Tradition has a bunch of variations on it.
sniff.numachi.com/~rickhe...t=CHERTREE
"And Mary gathered cherries/ while Joseph stood around." You can just picture him hemming and hawing and staring at his feet.
I think I remember another one in which Mary spanks an infant Jesus for drowning some other children who were mean to him.
Lots of plants are named for Mary. I was in an English church two years ago where a lot of the kneelers were embroidered with these plants, which I thought was just wonderful.
www.mgardens.org/HM-FOTM-HO.html
This site gives a good account of which plants were associated with which deities in pagan and, later, Christian folklore. I did a term paper with a fair bit on Mary last year, which you're welcome to read. The part about Mary is near the end. tbns.net/prisms/paper

-Julia

Edited by: summersinger at: 11/26/01 4:31:03 pm

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