So we left Aberdaron. May we, like R.S. Thomas, look into the water (in this case a holy well) and
‘… Ignoring my image I peer down
to the quiet roots of it, where
the coins lie, the tarnished offerings
of the people to the pure spirit
that lives there, that has lived there
always, giving itself up
to the thirsty, withholding
itself from the superstition
of others, who ask for more.’
R.S. Thomas, ‘Ffynnon Fair’ in R.S. Thomas,R.S. Thomas, ‘Ffynnon Fair’ in R.S. Thomas, ‘Collected Poems, 1945 – 1990’, London, Orion, 2000. ‘Collected Poems, 1945 – 1990’, London, Orion, 2000.
In the ‘Dark Ages’ there seems to have been a high degree of enlightenment among the noble women of England and Wales. Think of Hilda or Winifride. Not such dark times at all.
There are people ready to cast our own time as a new dark age. But once again, I suggest, not so very dark.
Think of today’s Saint Eanswythe: like her niece Mildred of Minster, a Kentish maid. Eanswythe died around 640, just 43 years after Pope Gregory sent Augustine to convert the people of Kent. She was not the first teenager to feel that marriage was not all a girl could aspire to. The cloistered life appealed: prayer, community and scholarship. Her father took some persuading, but with his help she founded the earliest sisters’ monastery in England, overlooking the sea at Folkestone. She was a brave pioneer.
No sign of her original church remains, but Eanswythe’s relics were successfully hidden at the Reformation and can now be visited at the Church that bears her name.
And today’s young people? Here is part of a reflection from Ignatius who was at the World Youth Day in Krakow:
The entire World Youth Day was one big Holy Communion, in which I found Jesus over and over and over again. We were all there together, being made one, by the one body, the one love, of our one Lord.
Now, the real challenge begins: to take God’s mercy home with us and out to the world…
And here’s Christina:
I have always wanted the truth.
Being raised Catholic, I was poorly educated in the Faith. Probably because, being in a wheelchair, people assumed that I was “closer to God” and, therefore, going straight to Heaven after death. But, that bias is ignorant of the fullness of reality – and I want the fullness of reality. I want the fullness of truth.
And there is many another to give us hope. God be with them. And may he help Team Agnellus to proclaim the Truth in all our posts.
Over at the Vatican Observatory Website, Fr James Kurzynski links Mother Teresa’s shoes, church architecture, the Eucharist and an astronomer’s view of creation.
He reminds me of a Welsh astronomer, poet and theologian, Henry Vaughan, who mused on the saints:
They are all gone into the world of light!
And I alone sit ling’ring here;
Their very memory is fair and bright,
And my sad thoughts doth clear.
Follow the links and enjoy both astronomers’ reflections!
Saint Eanswythe supports the Folkestone arms, along with local man William Harvey, XVII Century medical researcher who described the circulation of blood.
In 1939 the church of Our Lady Help of Christians and Saint Aloysius was free of debt, so Fr Walters arranged for the consecration of the building on Saint Aloysius’ Day, 21 June. During a four-hour long ceremony, Archbishop Amigo sealed relics of Saints Jucundina and Verecunda into the altar table. The service closed with the singing of the Magnificat. Interestingly, the parish historians could find no details of these saints; a point we will return to later in the week.
Father Walters welcomed Archbishop Amigo and other priests, civic dignitaries, and parishioners to luncheon at the Royal Pavilion Hotel. That evening a solemn Te Deum was sung in the first Catholic Church to be consecrated in Folkestone since the Reformation.
In 2106, the Parish Priest Father Bould had this to say about St Eanswythe, a Saxon princess-abbess and ‘Folkestone’s own patroness, virtually the founder of the town’. Her body still lies in the ancient church that bears her name, on the hilltop over the harbour.
‘To Catholics Eanswythe is ONE OF US: to other Christians she is an example and good person from the past, and to secular people she is an historical figure of greater or lesser importance. Eanswythe is part of our worshipping and praying life (and if she’s not for you, she should be!) and what happens to and around her relics concerns us.’ MMB.
Our Lady Help of Christians: pray for us.
Saint Eanswythe: pray for us.
Saint Aloysius: pray for us.
Folkestone Catholic parish website
icon and life of Saint Eanswythe
 A 19th Century church of St Aloysius was demolished after the present Catholic Church was built.