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April 2.

St. Francis of Paula. St. Apian, A.D. 306. St. Theodosia, A.D. 308. St. Nicetius, Abp. of Lyons, A.D. 577. St. Ebba, Abbess, and her companions, A.D. 870, or 874. B. Constantine II. king of Scotland, A.D. 874. St. Bronacha, or Bronanna, Abbess.

St. Francis of Paula

Was a Calabrian, and at fifteen years old shut himself up in a cave, in a rock on the coast. Before twenty he was joined by two others, and the people built them three cells; the number increased, and so arose the order of friar Minims, which means the least of the friars. Constant abstinence from flesh, and all food made of milk or eggs, was one of their rules. In 1479, being invited to Sicily, "he was received there as an angel from heaven, wrought miracles, and built several monasteries." He prophesied, held burning coals in his hand without being burnt, restored his nephew to life, cured people of the plague, received the host with a cord about his neck on Maundy Thursday, died on the 2d of April, 1508, aged ninety-one, and was buried till 1562 when the hugonots burnt his bones with the wood of a crucifix.* [1]

Besides this, it is related, that the elements lost their force against him; that he walked upon fire; entered into a burning oven without harm; and made a sea voyage on his own cloak instead of a ship, and had a companion on board with him.† [2]

According to another account he was much worried by the devil. Once while he was at prayers the devil called him three times by his own name. Another time he was so possessed by the fiend, that he had no other way to get rid of him, than by stripping and beating himself with a hard cord, crying while he did it, "thus brother ass thou must be beaten;" after which he ran into the snow and made seven snowballs, intending to swallow them if the devil had not taken his leave. Then a whole parcel of devils came one night, and gave him a grievous beating; this was because he lodged in a cardinal's palace, and it occasioned him to shift his lodging. Afterwards, when at prayers, he saw upon the roof of the house whole companies of these infernals. He was a bird-fancier. A bird sat singing on a fig-tree by the side of his cell, he called it to him; the bird came upon his hand and he said to it—"Sing, my sister, and praise the Lord," and the bird sat singing till he gave it liberty to go away. Going to Venice with his companions, and hearing birds singing in a wood, he proposed to sing the canonical hours, but the monks could not hear themselves for the chanters of the grove, wherefore, he entreated the feathered choir to be silent, and they remained so till he gave them liberty to proceed. At another place when he was preaching, he could not be heard for the swallows, which were making their nests; he said to them—"Sister swallows, it is time for me to speak; as you've said enough, be quiet," and so they were. It was customary with him when one of his friars had committed a fault to take off the friar's hood, and throw it into the fire, from whence after staying there a proper time, he commanded it to be restored to the friar, and the hood was then taken out of the fire without having sustained injury. More to the like effect, and of equal credibility, is related of this saint in the Golden Legend.


1801. Lord Nelson's victory at Copenhagen, when eighteen sail of the line were either captured or destroyed.


White Violet. Viola alba.
Dedicated to St. Francis of Paula.

Moveable Feasts.

* * * AN ERROR under the above title having crept into the EVERY-DAY BOOK, at p. 190, and also extended to the list of "Moveable feasts," the reader will please to correct that list, &c. by the following statement.

Shrove Sunday is the Sunday next before Shrove Tuesday. It is also called Quinquagesima Sunday.

Shrove Tuesday is always the seventh Tuesday before Easter-day.

Maundy Thursday, also called Chare or Shere Thursday, is the day before Good Friday.

Good Friday is the Friday in Passion-week, and consequently the Friday next before Easter-day.

EASTER-DAY is always the first Sunday after the first full moon, which happens on or next after the 21st of March; but if the full moon happens upon a Sunday, Easter-day is the Sunday following.

Octave or Utas of a Feast.

The Octave or Utas of each feast is always the eighth day after it occurs; for example, the feast of St. Hillary is the 13th of January, hence the ocatve of St. Hillary is the 22d of January.

††† THESE CORRECTIONS would have been made in the sheet itself, but a great number of copies having been printed, before the error was discovered, it became necessary to postpone the rectification. See NOTE below.* [3]


EASTER-DAY is distinguished by its peculiar name, through our Saxon ancestors, who at this season of the year held a great festival, in honour of the goddess Eastor, probably the Astarte of the eastern nations. The French call this festival Paques, derived from the Greek pascha, which is also derived from the Hebrew pesech, meaning passover; and whence we have the English word paschal, applied to the lamb, which formed part of the evening meal, the last of which our saviour partook, before his death, with his twelve missionaries. In Cambridgeshire the word pasch is still in use, and applied to a flower which appears at this time on the Gogmagog hills and its environs[.] The day is of importance in a civil, as well as in a religious, light; for on this day depend the openings of our courts of law, which take place after it, and the festivals of the church are arranged in conformity to it. By the act of parliament on this subject, and the rule given in conformity to it in the "Common Prayer-Book," which of course every body has an opportunity of seeing, "EASTER-DAY is always the first Sunday after the Full Moon, which happens upon, or next after the twenty-first day of March; and if the Full Moon happen upon a Sunday, Easter-day is the Sunday after."

One would think, that when such precise directions had been given, and the state of the moon on any day is so clearly and easily ascertained, that there would be no difficulty in following them; but experience has proved that contrary deviations from the act of parliament have been numerous. These have been pointed out at various times, but without any effect on the public. In the year 1735, Henry Wilson, of Tower-hill, styling himself mathematician, denounced the errors on this subject in a very ingenious work, entitled "The regulation of Easter, or the cause of the errours and differences contracted in the calculation of it, discovered and duly considered, showing—The frequency and consequence of that errour, with the cause from whence it proceeds, and a method proposed for rectifying it, and reconciling the differences about it, and for restoring the time of celebrating that great solemnity in its primitive certainty and exactness, and that without the difficulty and confusion which some have objected would attend such a regulation." 8vo.

Within these few years an error in the observance of Easter took place, and on all the almanacs fixing an improper day for its observance, a memorial was presented to the lords in council and to the prince regent, humbly soliciting their interference on this subject. It was noticed also by Mr. Frend, in his "Evening Amusements;" and a clergyman of Oxford published a pamphlet on the occasion. There was also, we believe, on clergyman, who, disregarding the almanac, obeyed the rubric, and read the services for Easter-day, and the Sundays depending on it, on very different days from those adopted in other churches. It was remarkable also, that in that very year, judge Garrow arrived at Gloucester a short time after twelve o'clock at night, of the day on which the assizes were to commence, and the high-sheriff very properly representing his scruples, on the legality of then commencing the assizes, they were delayed till the opinion of the judges could be taken, and the consequence was, the issuing of a new writ. Thus the difference of a few minutes was considered fatal to the opening of a country court, though the courts of law at Westminster had been opened a few months before, when a much greater error had taken place with respect to Easter-day, on which, as before observed, the opening of those courts depends.

To understand this subject we must refer back to the origin of this festival, instituted in honour of the resurrection of our saviour, which took place on the third day after his execution as a malefactor. Friday had been fixed upon as the day of commemorating his death, and as that took place on the day of a full moon, the first full moon after the twenty-first of March was fixed upon as the regulator of the festival. The great point had in view was to prevent the festival of Easter-day from being observed on the day of a full moon, but as near to it as circumstances would admit, and in consequence there is a great difference in the times of observing this festival; it being specially provided, however, that it should happen after a full moon. The Jews observe their passover by juster rules; the day for the celebration of it taking place on different days of the week: but the Christians having fixed on Friday for the celebration of the fast on the death of our saviour, the Easter-day, on the following Sunday, was accommodated to it, and both were so fixed, that there could not be a full moon on the Easter-day, nor for some weeks after it.

In this year, 1825, the full moon occurs at twenty-three minutes past six in the morning of the third of April; consequently, according to the act of parliament, and the rubric of the church, Easter-day ought to be celebrated on the tenth, and the courts of law ought to open, or Easter term begin, on the twenty-seventh; but our almanac-makers thought good to fix Easter-day on the third, and consequently Easter term is placed by them on the twentieth, on which day it is presumed that judicial proceedings will commence.

Easter-day is observed all over Christendom with peculiar rites. In the catholic church high mass is celebrated, the host is adored with the greatest reverence, and both Catholics and Protestants might be led from it, to a more particular attention to the circumstances attending its form and substance. The host, derived from the Latin word hostia, meaning a victim, is a consecrated wafer, of a circular form, composed of flour and water. Both substance and form are regulated by custom of very ancient date. On the night before his execution, our saviour took bread, and blessing it, divided it among his missionaries; but the bread he took was not ordinary bread, but unleavened bread, wuch as is used by the Jews during the passover week in the present days. This bread is composed of merely flour and water, no leaven during the festival of their passover being permitted to enter the house of a Jew. It is a kind of biscuit of a circular form, and the host thus, by its form and substance, brings us back to the recollection of the Catholics, and the rite celebrated by our saviour. It is the representation of the Jewish cake, or unleavened bread, which is to this day eaten by that nation during the passover week.

The Protestants have deviated from this custom, and in their churches use leavened bread, without any regard to form, and they cut it with a knife into small pieces, forgetting that our saviour broke the bread; but some use leavened bread, and, as they cannot break it, they attempt to imitate our saviour's action by tearing it in pieces.

For those who wish to have a more comprehensive view of this subject, the following works are recommended: Cardinal Bona on the mass; Dean Comber on the liturgy; and above all, the Hebrew ritual, which is translated into English, and to which both Catholics and Protestants are indebted for greater part of their services.* [4]


Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:

1. Butler. [return]

2. Ribadeneira. [return]

3. Mr. NICOLAS obligingly informs me, that since his "Notitia Historica" was printed, he has ascertained that the rule laid down for Shrove Tuesday, in that work, was not correct, and that having made some alterations in the event of a second edition being demanded, and finding I had cited the part containing the error, he thought it right to send me a copy of his corrections, from whence the preceding list is formed. There can scarcely be a doubt that a second edition of Mr. Nicolas's "Notitia Historica" will be required speedily, because the series of Tables, Calendars, and miscellaneous information which it contains must be eminently useful, not only to the legal profession, antiquaries, and every historical and topographical inquirer, but to general readers, many of whom daily suffer inconvenience without such a source of reference. W. H. [return]

4. This article on "Easter" is communicated by the gentleman who favoured the editor with the account of the "Vernal Equinox," at p. 375. [return]