A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Han Lu (Cold Dew, 寒露, kanro, 한로, hallo, hàn lộ). Start of the seventeenth of the twenty-four traditional Chinese solar terms before Winter officially arrives across China. The sun reaches the celestial longitude of 195° and the dew condenses and becomes frost as the weather turns colder. The chrysanthemum, the flower of Chinese culture, starts to bloom as it presents its beauty after the fading of most other flowers. The cultivation of chrysanthemums at the Temple of Heaven (天坛) imperial complex of religious buildings situated in modern-day Beijing dates back to the 1368 to 1644 Ming Dynasty, when the Taoist priests in the Divine Music Office grew them. Nowadays, annual events with chrysanthemums are held at the Eleventh-Century Beihai Park, the Beijing Garden of World’s Flowers and the Beijing Botanical Garden from September to November and people admire the chrysanthemums and drink chrysanthemum wine in the Autumn. Sesame, nuts, tremella (a wild edible mushroom), radishes, tomatoes, lotus root, lily and milk can help nourish and moisten the seasonal dryness. The last solar term of Autumn is Frost’s Descent (Shuang Jiang), which starts on 23 October. Image: travelchinaguide.com.
Prayer 自古逢秋悲寂寥，我言秋日胜春朝。晴空一鹤排云上，便引诗情到碧霄。Since ancient times, every autumn is sad and lonely, and I say that autumn is better than spring. In the clear sky, a crane and a row of clouds brought poetry to Bixiao. May that Chinese goddess of childbirth make autumn’s day triumph over spring’s morn. When crane’s wings beat against the blue sky’s clouds, may our prayers follow her to the heavens. 阿门 Amen
St Triduana (Trodline, Tredwell, Trøllhaena). Feast Day for the Fourth-Century Christian virgin associated with various places in Scotland, who was born in the Greek city of Colossae, 250 km southwest of present-day İzmir in Turkey and travelled from Constantinople with St Rule who took the bones of St Andrew to Scotland in the Fourth Century. A pious woman, Triduana settled in Rescobie near Forfar, Angus but her beautiful eyes attracted the attentions of the King of the Picts and she tore out her own eyes and gave them to him. She spent her later years in Restalrig, Lothian, now a residential suburb of Edinburgh, and healed the blind who came to her. Triduana died and was buried at Restalrig. A blind Englishwoman was miraculously cured by Triduana appearing to her in a dream and instructing her to travel to Restalrig, where she regained her sight at Triduana’s tomb. The woman’s daughter was also later cured of blindness after praying to Triduana. In the Twelfth Century, the Norse Earl of Orkney punished Bishop John of Caithness by having him blinded and John’s praying to Trøllhaena at a local shrine brought back his sight. The principal centre of devotion to Triduana was at Restalrig and, although the parish church has been rebuilt, the associated Fifteenth-Century St Triduana’s Aisle (originally two-storeyed and associated with St Triduana’s Well) survives. St Tredwell’s Chapel on Papa Westray (Papay) is a renowned Orkney pilgrimage centre, standing on a conical mound on a 4.5 by 35 m peninsula in St Tredwell’s Loch. The remains of the late medieval walls can be seen, built over Iron Age remains including a tunnel leading to an important circular broch (Iron Age drystone thick hollow-walled structure). Such was the veneration for this ancient saint that it was difficult for the first Presbyterian minister of the parish to restrain his congregation from paying their devotions at this ruin on a Sunday morning before attendance at public worship in the reformed church. Venerated in Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican Churches. Major shrine Restalrig. Patron of eye disorders. Image: scotlanddeanery.nhs.scot.
St Iwig of Lindisfarne (Ywi, Iwigius) (b Seventh Century). Feast Day for the saint venerated in Wiltshire in the Middle Ages. He was a Northumbrian monk and deacon, a follower (alumnus) of St Cuthbert at Lindisfarne, and he became the other principal saint of Wilton after St Eadgyth. Iwig became a hermit in Brittany, where he accomplished miracles of healing. After his death and burial in Brittany, in the Tenth Century his remains were translated by Breton monks to the Wiltshire Benedictine convent at Wilton Abbey and left for safe-keeping at the altar of St Eadgyth. The relics were said to have subsequently became immovable through the wish of the saint to reside there, although it is suspected that this story may have been invented to justify Wilton’s theft of the relics. Major shrine Wilton Abbey. The Priory of Ivychurch (Monasterium Ederosum, Ederose) in Wiltshire is thought to have been named after Iwig. It was claimed in 1274 to have been a royal foundation of King Stephen and was a medieval monastic house in Alderbury 5 miles southeast of Salisbury that after the Dissolution of the Monasteries became a private house, with little now remaining of the ruins. Image: citydesert.wordpress.com.