Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Our Lady of Rathkeale


Call it coincidence, call it serendipity, call it an Act Of God, if you like. I'm m referring to the sudden reappearance of the Blessed Virgin. Ever-present in my childhood and youth, on every available shelf, ledge, nook and cranny. Often with the Holy Water sink attached. (By the way, on this point: When the water became foetid and green, did it still retain its magical properties? I think we should be told.)

But now She has made a blazing comeback. In Rathkeale, the knacker capital, of all places. And to be more specific, in the butt of a tree. When they cut down the tree, there inside it was the Blessed Virgin. Well, not actually Her, but Her image. See it there on the left?

And not before time, because She had done a bit of a Leonard Cohen, and disappeared for many years. And just like Leonard, she’s back. And just like Leonard again, She’s a fascinating figure. She had more titles and roles than Kim Junk Il of North Korea. Star of the Sea, Cause of Our Joy, Tower of David, Ark of the Covenant, Mirror of Justice, Morning Star – She had her work cut out for Her.

However, Her main role was that of intermediary with Her Son. Praying to God directly had its limits, in that He was obviously very busy, running the cosmos and all that, whereas, despite all the roles referred to above, Our Lady would take it upon herself – if we asked Her nicely – to have a word in God’s ear on your behalf as He came home from a hard day’s judging souls.

But back to Rathkeale. Are you convinced by the image? I am. However, the local priest isn't. ‘The Church can't be seen to support superstition’ he warns us. ‘it’s only a tree’. Heaven forbid that the Church would be accused of encouraging superstition. Anyone would think that they claimed a woman was made out a man’s rib, or that a dead virgin took off bodily and disappeared over the horizon and up though the stratosphere. Could you just imagine the Church saying such a thing?

That's not to say that all apparitions of The Virgin are dismissed. Guadeloupe, Madjigorje, Knock and of course Lourdes are all major Church-approved shrines. And all represent great money-spinners for the local communities – and the Church. So it seems that a visitation is no longer superstition when, well, it seems, when it starts to turn a profit.

With this in mind, and with the hard times that we’ve all fallen on, I felt I, and my locality, could do with an oul’ miraculous image ourselves. But where could I see one? I knelt, prayed, went up mountains alone, but nothing that approximated to an image did I see.

And then, just when I'd given up hope – She appeared to me. In somewhat unlikely and dare I say it, humble circumstances. Well, not to put too fine a point on it, she appeared on my dog’s arsehole. I know it sounds blasphemous, but look, I offer you this photographic evidence – clear compelling evidence. You must agree.

So, if you want your wishes to come true, and guarantee your place in Heaven, you can head to Chateau Savant and, for a small financial consideration, invoke the image on Bruno’s arse.

But hurry – the crowds are already gathering!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Savant - you're in trouble. They'll get you with the new blasphemy law!!

Anonymous said...

I think this post is a bit OTT. May I use the word 'offensive'?

Joe O'Neill said...

My whole family have had many wishes granted at the holy stone of Clanrickert, we find your article blasphemous and we will be making an official complaint in terms of the new legislation, so fuck you.

Anonymous said...

I'm on my way. How do I get to Chateau Savant?

Anonymous said...

In Rathkeale it's already turning into a right earner. Local gombeen men'welcome all visitors' who are apparently streaming in their in great numbers.

Whats that they say about one being born every minute???

Anonymous said...

Blessed the Morning Star-fish.

kerdasi amaq said...

Well, I won't!

Anonymous said...

thats actually a good likeness..

Anonymous said...

I'm all for humor, but the Blessed Virgin is sacred to so many people who believe her to be truly the Mother of God that I just feel that this post is not acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Savant: While I do believe in God I must admit some scepticism when it comes to likenesses of Jesus and Mary on inanimate objects. I also don't find your article blasphemous...quite the contrary, I got a good chuckle out of it. We need to remember that our Father also endowed us with a sense of humor.

SAVANT said...

Some people are getting their knickers in a twist over this. Look, the Virgin Mary is hardly mentioned in the Bible (not that the Bible is any basis for authenticity).

Brand Virgin Mary only came into being from the 11th century onwards and was a complete fabrication. SO whatever people are worshipping, it has no basis even based on scriptural sources.

Anonymous said...

Savant - are you blind ?

OK, so there would be a family resemblance, BUT that is clearly Jesus on your dog's arse.

You shoulda gone to spec-tre-savers

Anonymous said...

I too am *shocked* that some Christians object to the Virgin Mary being put aside a dog's asshole. Its really all in good fun.

Besides, she's really a minor character in the gospels, aside from that "blessed among all women" and Mother of God thing.

Anonymous said...

the picture is funny Savant, but the writing that Jesus was born of a virgin is indeed in the bible's King James Version. I have one in the house. If that is a 11th century edit-in-story, Ive not heard it before. Do you have a source for that? Its news to me..



the pic is funny though, and we have all seen some of these silly pieces of toast or moldy walls on barns or whatnot that local media get excited about from time to time.......its ludicrous stuff but humans can be ludicrous beings

Anonymous said...

BTW-----You better not show your dog to a priest, the priest might get a hard-on and start humping your dog since the government is attempting to cockblock him from the kiddies these days

Anonymous said...

According to the Cathars and other heretics (?) at the time, Mary conceived through her earhole when the Holy Spirit whispered to her.

So there!

Joe O'Neill said...

I think that Bishop Brennen(Len) deserves a kick up the arse if he does not consecrate this stump.I have speken to Father Crilly and he says that he will put in a word.

Anonymous said...

Virgins giving birth to semi-divine beings is quite common in the ancient religions.

Anonymous said...

Savant you talking crap about the Virgin. The Orthodox and Coptic Christians have a similar devotion to Our Lady and they diverged from the Catholic Church before the 11th century.

If the Bible has no claim to authenicity as you say then the Jews have no claim to Palestine. Its easy to slag Christianity in the post-Christian west but not so easy to slag the Jews.

You pick on easy targets like blacks, Moslems and Christians but you lay off the Jews. Be brave Savant.

Kilbarry1 said...

The following is from a review of a book "UNDERSTANDING MEDJUGORJE: Heavenly Visions or Religious Illusion?" by Donal Anthony Foley. Both the author and the reviewer (Nick Lowry) are orthodox Catholics so they have an interesting perspective:

"The Church in the West has still not recovered from the aftermath of the cultural revolution which, in the wake of Vatican II, threatened to overwhelm it. Catechesis has largely collapsed, and the result has been large numbers of ill-informed Catholics, who have turned out to be easy prey for those promoting suspect visions. Similarly, the loss of a sense of the sacred which followed the changes in the liturgy has left many Catholics looking for spiritual solace elsewhere."

They believe that Medjugorje is a Religious Illusion so I can imagine what they think about the tree-stump!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Savant,,,you made my day,,,I have never laughed so much at the sight of Blessed whatever/whoever on the dogs rear end. Priceless!!

SAVANT said...

Kilbarry - this is true but they believe that there were apparitions in Lourdes, Knock etc. As I said in the post, this seems to be associated with the commercial viability of the shrine!

Anonymous said...

a virgin in rathkeale ?

lol you must be joking