What We Did for All Saints and What We are Doing for All Souls

Every year I pull out the sewing machine in October to make costumes. Our kids dress up as saints and go to a really cute All Saints party on All Hallows Eve (like a Christmas party on Christmas Eve), and play games for candy.

Left to Right: St. Felicity, St. Perpetua, and St. Kateri

I squeezed all of the sewing into the Saturday a week before the party, because I knew it would be the only time I could sew. M has been taking the girls to the grocery store on Saturday mornings and I am left in silent-house-only-the-baby-bliss for however long he takes. That is how I started my sewing, and I ended it by mid-afternoon. So, not so bad.

This is what they did when I asked them to look prayerful. Apparently it is prayerful to eat plants…

Our saints this year: Sts. Felicity and Perpetua who were martyred together in Carthage in the 3rd century and the Native American St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

I asked them to pose with the pumpkin, but St. Perpetua was done and wanted to get in the house.

For St. Kateri, I was asked to base the costume on the image here and found this simple tutorial for making a costume. I also bought fabric that would not fray, so no hem was required.

For the Carthage martyrs, I looked up how to make a Roman stola, stuck t shirts underneath, and used our hand dyed play scarves for on top.  And in Minnesota, the appropriate food wear of sandals would not work, so we went with church shoes for the martyrs and moccasin slippers for St. Kateri.

On Halloween, due to sleep issues/bedtime, we decided on T and I staying home from the party so he could have his bedtime. And by a miracle of St. Jude (we prayed the novena), this baby has only woken up once each the last two nights! Also, his teeth finally broke through!

We all woke up refreshed for the 7:30 am Traditional Latin Low Mass, and T wore his adorable All Saints outfit. Seriously, whoever designs baby dress clothes is a genius.

Please, pardon the adorable baby photo dump. I can’t help it.

Now, as much as I love a feast for all the Saints, I think I like today, All Souls day, better. I wrote the devotion today over at Blessed is She, and I am so happy that I got to do it. Because I got to spread the word about how we can earn indulgences today and this week for the poor souls in purgatory. Check it out.

We were able to wake up for morning Mass today to pray for the souls, and are going to be praying in a cemetery for them later this week. If I feel so inspired, we might make a batch of Soul Cakes today as well, but maybe not.

A Name Day for John Paul

Today is the Feast of Pope St. John Paul II. Very cool day and very cool saint. But what makes it so significant in our house is that it is the name day for the baby we lost last year at 9 weeks gestation. And since October is baby loss awareness month, I would like to make a tribute to our little one.

He stopped growing around 6 weeks. But it was not until Divine Mercy Sunday (2014) and the day that Pope St. John Paul II was canonized that my bleeding began. It took a few more days for him to fully pass.

We had already been thinking about naming the baby John Paul, and the canonization date so close to the day the baby passed from inside me made it so much more significant. I still think about our little lost baby a lot. And I do pray to him, especially for his little brother.

These days I feel surrounded by the saints, especially the newly canonized St. Zelie Martin. This is what she said about her children who died in infancy:

“When I closed the eyes of my dear little children and when I buried them, I felt great pain, but it was always with resignation. I didn’t regret the sorrows and the problems I had endured for them. Several people said to me, “It would be better to never have had them.” I can’t bear that kind of talk. I don’t think the sorrows and problems could be weighed against the eternal happiness of my children. So they weren’t lost forever. Life is short and full of misery. We’ll see them again in Heaven.

Above all, it was on the death of my first child that I felt more deeply the happiness of having a child in Heaven, for God showed me in a noticeable way that He accepted my sacrifice. Through the intercession of my little angel, I received a very extraordinary grace.”

And today is our little (can I still call him little?) John Paul’s name day. And like all name days around here, we made chocolate cake.

Pope St. John Paul II, pray for us! And little baby John Paul, we love you, and entrust you always to the mercy of God!

Seven Quick Takes: Saturday, April 11

 1. Happy Easter! We survived all three long liturgies of the Triduum! We were ready early, so it was the perfect time to take a family photo. Some children even fell asleep. I, however, spent the Easter vigil being kicked from the inside and squirmed on from the outside. Fortunately, after six years of little children, I have learned how to pray at Mass despite being bombarded with continuous motion. We had a nice time with our house guests, and a had a large group on Easter Sunday for dinner.

Our empty tomb awaiting the Easter egg hunt. We did inside, because Minnesota.

 2. Also, Happy Feast of St. Gemma Galgani!  She is my confirmation saint, so I made a chocolate cake (which I have been craving for a month) to celebrate. We decided the Easter egg sprinkles would be appropriate for the occasion. Her feast often falls during Lent, but not this year!

 We have an icon I purchased at the church where she is buried in Lucca, Italy during my semester abroad, and a cousin gave us this first class relic of St. Gemma which he acquired in Rome. It is weird and cool to have a tiny piece of St. Gemma’s body in our home.

3. After we drove my sister to the airport on Tuesday, I took the children to get some seeds for the garden. I have never started seeds inside, but we thought we would give it a try. I hope this container I found works.

We are trying to grow yellow pear tomatoes, sweet peppers of various colors (hopefully we planted a seed for the purple variety–that is what they wanted), transplanted some basil seedlings, petunia seeds (I am planning on flowers for the yard this year!), and some sunflower seeds that came in Easter baskets.

4. And now that is is April, I am going to be updating about the garden. M got the garden all ready for me this week, and today I planted seeds outside that are supposed to be safe to plant in Minnesota in April. As long as we don’t get a hard freeze again, all these should grow nicely. The lettuce and peas of these varieties we had great success with last year, but the chard, colorful carrots, and green cabbages are all new for us. I am always nervous starting things from seeds. It is pretty neat that the tiny little seeds can make big tasty plants. (I actually planted the peas earlier than recommended, but I really want to eat them! If they fail to grow, I will try again in May). I am hoping that this early Minnesota spring sticks around.

5. Tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday, and we managed to pray the whole novena as a family. Since my retreat, I have been renewing my devotion to Divine Mercy. The chaplet is such a simple and powerful prayer. The kids picked up all the prayers within one time of praying it. G and L both were leading decades by the end of the novena. 

6. In case you are wondering about how I am doing after my post about dreading a newborn earlier this week, I am feeling a lot better about it after processing my feelings. The best comment from a friend was, “You can do hard things!” And she is right; I do hard things everyday. I will adjust to having a newborn and the hard things will become easier. And this baby is not for me, but is for everyone, and is a unique human being created to be united with God. Anything I have to do for this baby will not be too much.

7. Lastly, M and I wrote our first article together, and it was published on ChurchPOP this week. We spent all of the Autumn and a lot of the Winter watching films from the Vatican’s Film list “values” category, and finally got to reviewing and ranking them. We will be writing two more articles about the list soon! Check it out, if you have not done so yet!

Once, again, I am linking up with Kelly @ This Ain’t the Lyceum and her Quick Take hosting.


Blessed is She: Obedience to God’s Law

Presentation of Christ at the Temple by Hans Holbein the Elder
The Presentation of Our Lord, traditionally known as the Purification of Our Lady or Candlemas, is the traditional end of the Christmas season. Mary has waited the required 40 days and is now fulfilling the law of Moses in going to the Temple to be purified and to present her Son.

How beautiful it is to see God Himself submitting to the law, granted it is the law that He established. But God lowered himself to become a man and then showed us the perfect way to be a man. Mary, we know because of her perpetual virginity, did not need to be purified; she was always pure. Jesus did not need to be presented; He was the Lord, Himself…
Read the daily readings and the rest of today’s Blessed is She devotion (written by yours truly) here…

Seven Quick Takes: Friday, January 16

I finally found a use for the hooks between those partitions…

 1. Happy Season After Epiphany! We like to celebrate Christmas until Candlemas (February 2) in our home, so I spent the 3 days after our three weeks of out of town visiting with family unpacking our suitcases and getting up the last of our decorations. This meant putting Christmasy things on the front door wreath, changing the Advent candles for red ones, and hanging the Christmas cards up for display. It just feels more right to me to have the tree up for all of January rather than in the middle of Advent. I have been playing the Christmas music still as well. Being raised an Advent purist, it is nice to listen to Christmas music well after Christmas day without guilt!

2. We started the “spring” semester at the Awesome School this week. This meant that we attempted some of our normal school things everyday, but did not cry if we only got to one or two subjects. I feel pretty accomplished considering that G was recovering from a touch of the flu she had on Saturday. L (4) has decided that she wants to start Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and my goodness, there is huge difference between my children and how easy they are to teach…

3. I am hoping that we stay healthy, since we have not really seen anybody since we got back to town. It will be nice to get back into the routine of play dates, mom’s group at church, and our home school co-op. So far G is the only one who had any symptoms of the flu and it has been almost a week since she got sick. Maybe it helped that she quarantined herself in her room for three days with the Chronicles of Narnia radio plays.

4. We are starting potty training on Monday with F (26 months). She has been interested for months. Since we told her that we are going to start training her on Monday, she is obsessed with the bathroom and talks fairly continually about it whenever anyone uses it. It would be nice to have diapers used only during nap and bedtime… plus our toddler size prefolds are pretty useless at this point. They are more like rags than diapers.

5. I made an attempt at movie reviewing on Truth and Charity this week. M and I went to Exodus: Gods and Kings on our date last week in Michigan, and while we had lots of commentary on the movie, I limited myself to one theme in my review.

6. Gee, it is nice to be in the rhythm of writing again. Vacation always takes from my writing time which is generally nap time or in the evenings. I was pretty wiped out every afternoon, which I attributed to being pregnant, but also may have been from a lingering cough/sinus infection which I finally got treatment for this week. I hope to be more on the blog than I have been and maybe on some other sites soon.

7. In your charity, please remember in your prayers our elderly next door neighbor who is on hospice and dying of cancer. He does not have much time left. Please also pray for his wife and children. While we have only lived here a year and a half, they have been very helpful and kind neighbors.

Linking up with the lovely new host of Seven Quick Takes, Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.


Four Ways You Can Help the Souls in Purgatory

Author’s Hill, Concord, MA. Photo by M. Spencer. Used with permission.
It was the hottest week of the year in St. Louis, and we were making our summer visit to my parents’ house. We slept in the nice cool air-conditioned basement bedroom that was my bedroom when I lived at home. One night towards the end of the trip I woke up with a chill over my body from a dream. It reminded me of waking from nightmares as a small girl in the same bed, praying for comfort. But my dream had not been a nightmare; it had been a reminder. I don’t remember the bulk of the dream, but at the end I had been outside with various members of my family in a mowed hilly field. A silver four-door sedan pulled across the grass and stopped with the driver’s side next to me. My deceased great-grandmother rolled down the window and asked me with a solemn face, “When are you coming to see me?” She then rolled up the window and drove away.

I awoke, wondering how I was supposed to go back to sleep after that. When was I coming to see her? What did she mean? Was it actually her asking or was it just my imagination at work? I had not really thought about her for a while, so I am not sure why my subconsciousness would bring her to mind. But what I did realize was that we only had one day left in St. Louis, and during that last day, I could go see her. I could go to her grave, and pray for her soul. And in doing so, I could be granted a partial indulgence for her soul.* I do not know if she is still among the souls in purgatory, but I do know that I have a Christian duty to perform the spiritual work of mercy of praying for the dead. As I mulled and prayed about my dream, unwilling to go back to sleep, my alarm went off. We were going to an early daily Mass. After Mass we went to the cemetery and visited the gravesite of my deceased great-grandparents, grandparents, and great-aunt and uncle. My husband, three children, and I prayed for these souls, and I plan on visiting their grave again when we visit St. Louis next.

We are all called to pray for the dead.  With All Souls’ Day coming on Saturday we have an opportunity to earn indulgences for the souls in purgatory in several extra ways, in addition to the prayers we can pray all year round:

From the Manual of Indulgences (Fourth Edition, 1999)

A plenary indulgence (full remission of temporal punishment due to sin), applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful who
1. on any and each day from November 1 to 8, devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, if only mentally, for the departed;
2. on All Souls’ Day (or, according to the judgement of the ordinary, on the Sunday preceding or following it, or on the solemnity of All Saints), devoutly visit a church or an oratory and recite an Our Father and the Creed.

A partial indulgence (partial remission of temporal punishment due to sin), applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful who
1. devoutly visit a cemetery and at least mentally pray for the dead,
2. devoutly recite lauds or vespers from the Office of the Dead or the prayer Eternal rest.

Requiem aeternam
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. (Order of Christian Funerals)

Please also note (from Fr. Z’s blog):

Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on All Souls Day (2 Nov)

  • Visit a church and pray for souls in Purgatory
  • Say one “Our Father” and the “Apostles Creed” in the visit to the church
  • Say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the Holy Father’s intentions (that is, the intentions designated by the Holy Father each month)
  • Worthily receive Holy Communion (ideally on the same day if you can get to Mass)
  • Make a sacramental confession within 20 days of All Souls Day
  • For a plenary indulgence be  free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin (otherwise, the indulgence is partial, not plenary, “full”).

You can acquire one plenary indulgence a day.

So, this week of All Souls’, get thee to a cemetery, and say a few extra prayers for the dead at Mass on Sunday. Intercede for them, and they will intercede for you!
*From the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Indulgences:
1478    An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity.
1479    Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted.”

Originally posted at Truth and Charity…

It’s a BABY!

My philosopher mom friend suggested that I name this post, “It’s an individual substance of a rational nature.” I can’t escape the philosophers!

I know that publicly announcing a pregnancy at seven weeks along with a due date that is not until the beginning of next June might make people feel a wee bit uncomfortable, but I really cannot keep blog silence about it anymore.

You may be aware that yesterday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. But you may not be aware that today is the feast of St. Gerard Majella, patron of expectant mothers. How beautiful that the days fall right next to each other. We have been praying especially to St. Gerard this pregnancy, from the very beginning of its possibility.

On Monday we had an ultrasound. I was in trepidation of this ultrasound for weeks, but also really thankful for all of the symptoms I have been having no matter how uncomfortable they have made me. For the record, they have not been that bad yet. Despite the lingering all day “morning” sickness, I have not once actually gotten sick. It is a struggle to eat certain all vegetables. I have been pregnant enough times to know how to not push my limit and figure out what I can get to my stomach without too much trouble (pizza, Chinese food, potato chips…there are some healthy things, I promise). I even have been eating salad (smothered in sweet raspberry vinaigrette). And the thought of cooking and eating dinner is wholly unappetizing. 

Back to the ultrasound. I could not face the 20 minute drive to our family clinic alone. The last time I drove in for an early ultrasound was the day we found out that JP was no longer alive. I did not want to see this baby alone. So, we dropped the kids off with a friend, and M drove.

After checking in a waiting about three minutes we headed back to the ultrasound room with the tech. After a little talk about dates and whatnot she turned out the light and began the scan.

The arrow is pointing to the baby.

I stared anxiously at the screen waiting to see something, and the tech immediately said, “Do you see the baby’s heartbeat?” And there it was fluttering at 145 BPM in the tiny little body just beginning to have arms and legs and hands. The baby was alive and well. Tears filled my eyes as I gripped M’s hand, and I felt so relieved that this baby was still with us, that this baby might be born in eight months time. Since the ultrasound my “morning” sickness has been in full force (still no physical evidence of it, thankfully), but this baby really is making itself know!

And now we wanted to share it with all of you, and ask your prayers for the health of our baby and my health. Your prayers carried us through the loss of JP, and I am so thankful that I can ask you once again to pray for a tiny little baby of ours.

I want to share with any expectant mothers and those hoping to have another baby a wonderful order of monks. The Transalpine Redemptorists in Scotland have a first class relic of St. Gerard, and if you send them an email or a letter they are more than happy to touch a small piece of fabric to the relic and send you in the mail a third class relic of St. Gerard. They do ask that you donate the cost of shipping, but are happy to mail it either way. It comes on a long enough ribbon to tie around your ribcage, and I have been in the habit of keeping it in my pillowcase (that is why it is wrinkly). The relic and sacramental serves as a good reminder to ask for the intercession of the patron of mothers and expectant mothers, as well as having physical contact with a holy saint in Heaven.


Seven Quick Takes, Friday, October 10

1. This week has been a lot about food. Saturday had a frost advisory, so we did a rapid harvest of the garden, and we got a pretty good load of stuff:

The frost never came, and did not until last night. However, we have accomplished so much with our garden stuff by now, that I am not really wanting to go back.

2. First, we pickled 10 pounds of cucumbers, using this tutorial. M and I canned 9 pounds in our boiling water canner after bedtime one night, and then the girls and I did the rest in the fridge for our science experiment of the week. Beforehand, I ran out to the store to find dill seed for the pickling as well as cider vinegar. The cashier, who was about 7 months pregnant, immediately asked if I was making pickles. I should have offered her a jar. I really should have.

I really hope that they taste better than they look. Here we have a quart of slices and nine pints of spears.
The lighting worked better for these ones. We have 11 half pints.

Another experiment we did was pickling green tomatoes. I have no idea if they will be good, but we did them in dill. I am thinking we will have a dinner of chicken Kiev, pickled tomatoes, and…

3. Red cabbage sauerkraut next month. I have never fermented vegetables before, but here we are giving it a try. I will let you know how it goes. We used this recipe. 

On the first day.

4. There were a lot of cute food rosary pictures online on Tuesday for Our Lady of the Rosary, including our cupcake one from a few years ago. This year we were a little more focused on the Battle of Lepanto in which a small Christian fleet defeated a larger Ottoman fleet through the intercession of Our Lady. The pope asked everyone to pray the rosary for victory. The traditional name of the feast is Our Lady of Victory (there is a beautiful basilica in Buffalo, NY named for the feast). We did not do a lot of rosary explaining, but did describe to the girls how a battle would take place between ships. I even made “Lepanto Pot Pie”, inspired by the St. Francis Day Pot Pie Soup on Catholic Cuisine. I could not resist the imagery of floating things in liquid…

Here we have St. Michael interceding, the Christian fleet, and the parsley symbolizes the graces sprinkled on the Christians that day.

5. That is about it for food these quick takes. I am looking forward to listening to more baseball this weekend. I have been spending a lot of my normal writing time reading articles on the Cardinals and watching highlights. We only have October once a year, so why not savor it all. Go Cards!

6. We had another home school co-op today. F decided to be her clingy self, and I did not get to leave her alone in the nursery. As it was, she was quiet in the mom’s discussion time, and then spent the rest of the time playing happily on the floor in the nursery (on my lap). It was still restful given that I sat around with her all morning instead of doing my normal morning chores and teaching. Next co-op is on All Hallow’s Eve, and there is talk of a pizza party at co-op. However, we are planning on doing the All Saint’s day pizza costume party at St. Agnes in the evening. Is pizza for lunch and dinner too much? Maybe if I only allow them to eat fruit and vegetables the rest of the day it will be okay. (How did I get back on food again?)

7. I decided to reread the first book of C.S. Lewis’ space trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet, and it happened to be in conjunction with my listening to H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds during my jogging/walking (I am still building up from my broken toe running hiatus). It was a little bit mind boggling to have humans bent on taking over the peaceful Mars (eventually, it is more like scouting out the planet in the book) contrasted with violent Martians bent on taking over not-so-peaceful Earth. In Lewis we had non-fallen rational animal Martians, and in Wells we have purely rational, survival absorbed, violent, blood drinking, rational animal Martians. It is quite a different view of the world. Lewis, however, uses the medieval understanding of space as his back drop for his story, and Wells is purely scientific. Anyway, if you want to make you mind a little crazy, try reading both at the same time…

Linking up once again with Jen at Conversion Diary!


I once made this cupcake rosary (four years ago). It was pretty.

Today is one of our favorite feast days. We used to throw an Our Lady of Victories party back when we lived in Buffalo every year. One of our dear friends, now has an annual St. Francis Day party on Oct. 4, so we keep our festivities in the family now. I am going to attempt a symbolic dinner tonight, which you will have to wait for my quick takes to see.

Our main annual tradition is to read the poem Lepanto, which I leave here for your reading pleasure:

Lepanto by G. K. Chesterton

White founts falling in the courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips,
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross,
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young,
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain—hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.

Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri’s knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunset and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees,
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.

They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be;
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,—
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, “Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done,
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces—four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not ‘Kismet’; it is he that knows not Fate ;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey in the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.”
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still—hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

St. Michael’s on his mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
      Domino gloria!

Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.

King Philip’s in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that, is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial, and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John’s hunting, and his hounds have bayed—
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.

The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man’s house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St. Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings’ horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign—
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate’s sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania!

Domino Gloria!

Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade….
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)

Source: The Collected Poems of G. K. Chesterton (1927)