Saints of The English Year – St. Paul.

January 25th.

Saint Paul was important enough in Church history to receive more than one feast day; June 29th is his main day, which he shares with St. Peter, while January 25th commemorates his conversion to Christianity on the road to Damascus.

In the secular sphere, it was said that the weather on this day was an excellent guide to the prevailing character of the coming year. In most cases, the prognostication simply refers to weather and harvest –

“If St. Paul’s is fair and bright the harvest will be good.”

But, some took the prediction to weightier realms, as in the following Cornish example recorded in the Western Antiquary in 1884:

If Paul’s Fair be fair and clear

we shall have a happy year

but if it be both wind and rain

dear will be all kinds of grain

if the winds do blow aloft

then wars will trouble this realm full oft

if clouds or mist do dark the sky

great store of birds and beasts shall die.

[© Steve Roud: The English Year. 2006]

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