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Vifitation of the Virgin Mary. This festival was instituted 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 Baptist; 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 " she 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 obscure interment to a fepulchre of expence and magnificence: this was performed by Bishop Perpetuus, one of his successors in the fee.

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 less 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 constella"tions, Precepe, and Afellus, which arise cosmically, and generally pro* duce rain." Swithun was first a monk, afterwards prior of the convent of Winchester, 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, aś bithops always were, but in the church-yard.

| Margaret. A virgin who suffered 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) che 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 Epitle was part of the 31st chapter of Proverbs, from the roth 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 same, after the example of Mary Magdalene; and by a lively “ faith obtain remission of all our sins, 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 sisters of Bethlehem, daughters of Matthan the priest, " and Mary his wife, under the reign of Cleopatra, and Casopares 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 "eldeft, 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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Lammes. Various reasons are given for the application of this name to the first of Auguit. Some fuppofe it to be called Lammas, or Lamb-Mats; because on that day the tenants holding lands under the cathedral of York were bound by their tenure to bring a live larb into the church at high-mafs on that day. Somner derives it from the Saxon word Loaf-Mafs, it being an ancient custom with the Saxons to offer upon that day a certain number of loaves made of new wheat, as the first-fruits 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 lait as 1455, but its oblervance was discontinued at the Reformation, probably because it was found to be connected with many fuperftitious services and practices.

# Name of Jesus. The occasion of this day being dedicated to the name of Jesus, and the time when it was so, are entirely unknown. It was anciently confecrated to the memory of Aira, a Cretan courtezan, who was converted to christianity by Narcissus bubop 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 bishop of Rome, who all fuffered martyrdom in the reign of Valerian, A. D. 260. He exhibited an example of incorruptible fidelity, and the molt patient christian fortitude ; for being templed with the most reducing proiniies by the Pagans to deliver up the treasures of his church, and threatened on the other hand with the most grievous icrmenis, if he resuled to comply; he boldly defied the latter rather than forlake his duty. The fentence pronounced against him in coniequence of his perleverance was a terrible one :~" Bring out the grate of iron, and when it is red-hot, on " with him. Roaft him, broil him, turn han. Upon pain of our high dilpleasure, do "every man his office, oh ye tormentors!" The cruei orders were punctually obeyed; buc So & were the tortures from overcoming the patience of the martyr, that he is said to have cried out to the tyrant Valerian, who stood by, “This side is now roasted enough ; "Oh, tyrant, do you think roalted meat or raw the best?" Robinfon, in his Ecclefiaftical Researches, speaking of St. Laurence, says: “ Philip II. of Spain, having won a battle on

the roth of Augult, the festival of St. Laurence, vowed to confecrate a palace, a church, and a monaftery, to his honour. He did erect the Excurial, which is the largest palace in Europe. This immenfe quarry confiits of leverai courts and quadrangles, all dilposed "in the shape of a gridiron. The bars form several courts, and the royal family occupy “che kandle." Page 260.

St. Augustine. An African, an elegant and accomplished scholar; brought up (as Lardner informs us) in the errors of the Manicheans, but converted by St. Ambrofe to the true faith at the age of thirty. Auguftine himself tells us, that what leduced him in his youth to become a Manichean, was “ the hope of underitanding every thing by demons * ftration, and of knowing God by the fole light of reason without faith.” He was first presbyter of Hippo, and afterwards made birhop of the fame city. He died A. D. 430, aged 76. Mosheim in his admirabie Ecclefiaftical History, translated by the late Dr. Maclaine, bears this testiinony to the excellence of Augustine :-"The fame of Auguf

Itine filled the whole Christian worid; and not without reason, as a variety of great and shining qualiues were united in the character of that illuitrious man. A sublime

genius ; an uninterrupted and zealous pursuit of truth; an indefatigable application; an invincible patience ; à fincere piety; and a fubtle and lively wit, conspirei to eitablish his lame upon the most lasting foundations. His writings form a library in them'lehtes. They were published by the Benedictines in a splendid form and manner.”

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1 St. John Baptist beheaded. The original name of this festival was Feftum collectionis $. Jeh zanis Baptista, or the feast of gathering up the relics of St. John Baptist; and afteraras by corruption, Fellum decollationis, or the feast of his beheading. Some miracles sad to be performed by his bones excited the jealousy of the Emperor Julian, who ordered Len to be burnt. Pious people, however, referved some of them; and when Christia may became the religion or the court, thele remains were collected together, and a feast authenied in com.nemoration of the tranfaction.

WITH THE TABLE OF LESSONS.

SEPTEMBER hath xxx Days.

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