A Middle English Poem About the Assumption

As a footnote to my posts about the last days of Mary, here’s a lovely little Middle English poem about the Assumption. It’s a pretty easy read, but I translated it anyway to clarify a couple of obscure words. Crist sayde to hur: “Com, my swete, com, my flour, Com, my culver, myn owne boure, Com, [Read More...]

The Dirty Little Secret About Ellen’s Oscar Selfie

ellensad

You know, this one: It was a wacky, seemingly spontaneous moment in which Ellen and a bunch of stars took a selfie, and then she urged people to make it the most retweeted photo ever. And they did! I think it got almost 3 million retweets. That’s the only reason I even know about: it [Read More...]

When WH Auden Helped Dorothy Day

Auden8

Edward Mendelson, WH Auden’s executor, offers this anecdote in his article “The Secret Auden”: At times, he went out of his way to seem selfish while doing something selfless. When NBC Television was producing a broadcast of The Magic Flute for which Auden, together with Chester Kallman, had translated the libretto, he stormed into the producer’s [Read More...]

What Happened to the Virgin Mary After Pentecost? (Part 2)

St. Luke Painting the Virgin Mary, 1602, Marten de Vos

In Part One, I retold the major tradition associated with the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. This tradition is attributed to various sources depending upon where the writer first encountered it. The most widespread version was that told (twice) by Jacobus de Voragine in the Golden Legend. This lengthy chapter in the Legend shows various signs [Read More...]

What Happened to the Virgin Mary After Pentecost? (Part 1)

Assume, 15th century, Sano di Pietro

What do we really know about the life of Mary beyond what the Bible tells us? Scripture gives us only glimpses of the Blessed Mother before she vanishes from history, only to reappear in the Book of Revelation as the “woman clothed in the sun” (Revelation 12:1-6). We have the last words she speaks, resonating [Read More...]


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