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Visitation of the Virgin Mary. This festival was inftituted in the year 1441, by Urban VI. to allay the ferment which had been excited by. the opposite claims of himself and Clement VII. to the Papacy. The day was dedicated to the remembrance of the journey taken by the Virgin Mary into the deserts of Judea to visit the mother of John the Baptift; to the end " that the being honoured with this folemnity, might reconcile her "Son by her intercellion, who is now angry for the fins of men; and that " the might grant peace and unity among the faithful.”

+ Translation of St. Martin. The 4th of July is dedicated to the removal of the remains of this faint (who was first a soldier, and afterwards Bishop of Tours in France) from the place of their original obfcure interment to a fepulchre of expence and magnificence: this was performed by Bishop Perpetuus, one of his successors in the see.

I Swithun, bishop of Winchester; commonly called the crying faint, from the traditional observation, that if there be rain on his day, there will be rain more or lefs for forty days after. The occasion of this tradition is thus explained in the Antiquitates Vulgares: “ The Monks do indeed "give some fhew of reason why rain should happen about the time of St. “Swithun; for about the time of his feast there are two rainy conftellaa “tions, Præcepe, and Afellus, which arife cosmically, and generally produce rain." "Swithun was first a monk, afterwards prior of the convent of Winchelter, and promoted to the fee in 852. It is recorded, as an instance of his humility, that he would not be buried in the church, as bithops always were, but in the church-yard.

| Margaret. A virgin who fuffered martyrdom A. D. 278, in confequence of her refusing to marry Olybius, president of the East, under the Romans. The papilts regard'her memory with much respect, and conlider her (as the Romans did Lucina) the tutelary faint of women in labour.

St. Mary Magdalene, or of Magdala. This day continued to be a festival for some years after the Reformation in this country. The first Prayer-Book of Edward VIth contained a service for it. The Epistle was part of the 31st chapter of Proverbs, from the 10th verse to the end; the Gospel was the 7th chapter of Luke, from verse 36; and the Collect was as follows: “ Merciful Father, give us grace that we never presume to sin " through the example of any creature; but if it shall chance us at any " time to offend thy Divine Majesty, that then we may truly repent and la"ment the fame, after the example of Mary Magdalene; and by a lively " faith obtain remission of all our fins, through the only merits of thy Son “ our Saviour Christ. Amen.” As it became a doubt, however, with our Reformers afterwards, whether Mary Magdalene were the woman men. tioned in Luke vii. or not, the festival' was ordered to be discontinued.

St. Anne. In a fragment of Hippolitus the Martyr, preserved to us by Nicephorus, we find the following mention of this holy female : “ There were three lifters of Bethlehem, daughters of Matthan the priest, "and Mary his wife, under the reign of Cleopatra, and Cafopares king " of Persia, before the reign of Herod, the son of Antipater. The eldelt " was Mary; the second was Sobe; the youngest's name was Anne. The

eldest, being married in Bethlehem, had for daughter Salome the "midwife. Sobe, the second, likewise married in Bethlehem, and was "the mother of Elizabeth. Last of all the third married in Gallilee, and * brought forth Mary the mother of Christ.”

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* Lammas. Various reasons are given for the application of this name to the first of Auguit, Some suppole it to be called Lammas, or Lamb-Mats; because on that day the teizants holding lands under the cathedral of York were bound by their tenure to bring a live la má into the church at high-mass on that day. Somner derives it from the Saxon word Loaf- Mals, it being an ancient custom with the Saxons to offer upon that day a certain number of loaves piade of new wheat, as the first-truits of their corn.

+ Transfiguration of Chrift: a festival in commemoration of that event, observed from great antiquity in the Greek church. It was instituted in the Romith church fo late as 1455, but its oblervance was discontinued at the Reformation, probably because it was found to be connected with many fupertitious services and practices.

Name of Jesus. The occasion of this day being dedicated to the name of Jesus, and the time when it was fo, are entirely unknown. It was anciently confecraied to the memory of Afra, a Cretan courtezan, who was converted to christianity by Narcissus E.shop of Jerusalem, and afterwards suffered martyrdom.

St. Laurence. A Spaniard by birth, treasurer of the Church of Rome, and one of the leven deacons under Sixtus the bilhop of Rome, who all suffered in artyrdom in the reign of Valerian, A. D. 260. He exhibited an example of incorruptible fidelity, and the most patient christian fortitude ; for being templed with the most reducing proinites by the Pagans to deliver up the treatures of his church, and threatened on the other hand with the most grievous tcrmen's, if he refused to comply; he boldly detied the latter rather than forsake his duty. The fentence pronounced againtt him in confequence of his perleverance was a terrible one : -" Bring out the grate of iron, and when it is red-hot, on * with him. Roast him, broil him, turn him. Upon pain of our high displeasure, da "erery man his office, oh ye tormentors !" The cruel orders were purctually obeyed; but fo ta were the tortures from overcoming the patience of the martyr, that he is said to have cried out to the tyrant Valerian, who stooj hy, “ This side is now roasted enough: "Oh, tyrant, do you think toalted meat or raw the best?" Robinton, in his Ecclefiaftical Researches, Speaking of St. Laurence, says: “ Philip II of Spain, having won a battle on "the folh of August, the festival of St. Laurence, vowed to confecrate a palace, a church, and a monastery, to his honour. He did erect the Eicurial, which is the largest palace in Europe. This immenfe quarry consists of leveral courts and quadrangles, all dilposed " in the shape of a gridiron. "The bars foren leveral courts, and the royal family occupy "the handle." Page 260.

St. Augufline. An African, an elegant and accomplished scholar; brought up (as Laidner informs us) in the errors of the Manicheans, but converted by St. Ambrose to the true faith at the age of thirty. Augustine himielf tells us, that what leduced him in his youth to become a Manichean, was the hope of underitanding every thing by demon* Aration, and of knowing God by the loie light of reason without faith." He was first presbyter of Hippo, and afterwards made bishop of the fame city, fle died. A. D. 430, aged 76. Morheim in his admirable Ecclefiaftical History, translated by the late Bri Alcaine, bears this testimony to the excellence of Auguitine :--" The fame of Auguf“ fine filled the whole Chriftian worid; and not without reason, as a variety of great

and thining qualiues were united in the character of that illustrious man. A sublime genius ; an uninterrupted and zealous pursuit of truth; an indefatigable application ; an irvincible patience; a fincere piety; and a subtle and lively wit, conspired to eitablish

his lame upon the most lasting foundations. His writings form a library in theme "felves. They were published by the Benedictines in a splendid form and manner.”

I St. John Baptist beheaded. The original name of this festival was Feftum colleftionis $. Jonianis Baptista, or the feast of gathering up the relics of St. John Baptitt; and after. wards by corruption, Feftum decollationis, or the feast of his beheading. Some miracles said to be performed by his bones excited the jealousy of the Emperor Julian, who ordered them to be burnt. Pious people, however, reserved some of them; and when Chriltia aairy became the religion or the court, thele remains were collected together, and a feast situuled in commemoration of the canfaction.

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