Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Pelican of Mercy, Save Louisiana

I believe that I heard this story a while back and forgot all about it until recently when the Patheos blog posted a detailed history of the "Pelican of Mercy" the legend of which appears to date back to the third or fourth centuries in an ancient text described a pelican pouring out its blood over its dead young in order to bring the dead back to life, and this became associated with Christ's sacrifice for us. This has been depicted in religious art and stimulated John Turner to write the history at Patheos.
"Some medieval beastiaries, such as the 13th century Aberdeen Beastiary and Harley Beastiary, depict the mother both killing and reviving her chicks.Here is the description of the pelican from the Aberdeen Beastiary:It is devoted to its young. When it gives birth and the young begin to grow, they strike their parents in the face. But their parents, striking back, kill them. On the third day, however, the mother-bird, with a blow to her flank, opens up her side and lies on her young and lets her blood pour over the bodies of the dead, and so raises them from the dead." 
"The image also found its way into literature ranging from prayers to plays. Thomas Aquinas, in a Eucharistic poem later used as a hymn, wrote this verse (in Edward Bouvier Pusey’s translation): 
'Pelican of mercy,
Jesus, Lord and God,
Cleanse me, wretched sinner,
in Thy Precious Blood:
Blood where one drop for human-kind outpoured
Might from all transgression have the world restored.'"
The pelican is the state bird of Louisiana, a state which needs the Lord's mercy after the recent floods of August 2016 literally raised the dead, and a state which, according to the Politico ratings of 2016, ranks 51st out of 50 (okay, they included D.C.) which is worse than terrible.

 Pelican of Mercy...

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