Friday, September 6, 2019

Saint Theresa On Tour

Back in the 1950s, when I was a wee boy, I was mystified by a song which used to be played on such wireless programmes as Two-way Family Favourites. That song was Saint Therese of the Roses (sung with much brio by Malcolm Vaughan). The song dropped somewhat from my consciousness as Dylan and the Beatles arrived but on Sunday, to my great surprise, I found myself in the company of the good saint herself. I'd read about the grotto at Carfin in Edwin Muir's 1935 book, A SCOTTISH JOURNEY, so decided to investigate the place. Well, how was I to know there was a pilgrimage? Hundreds and hundreds of the devout milling around the statues, caves and grottoes, a police presence and, surprisingly, a hearse! Why a hearse? Well, Saint Theresa had arrived in it, or rather Saint Theresa's relics in an ornate coffin.This was carried among the pilgrims in a procession of priests and bishops while a choir sang and bagpipers played. The sun even came out for a few minutes. Not much like my Church of Scotland Sunday School but considerably more dramatic.But, like that wee boy listening to the BBC Light Programme, I remained mystified.

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Jim C. Wilson  Poet
‘A true poet —