Just a short post today, to mark the Feast of St Luke when, according to tradition, a maiden wishing to catch a glimpse of her true love used to mix up honey, vinegar and spices, smear it on her face, retire to bed and recite the following rhyme:
“St Luke, St Luke, be kind to me,
In dreams let me my true love see.”
I have no idea how successful this method of foretelling the future would have been (it sounds more like a cookery recipe – for a salad dressing perhaps, or a marinade – than an aid to divination) but it must have made a terrible mess of the bed linen.
Additionally, it was customary for people to kill pigs on this day and to bung up barrels – presumably as part of the preparations for the approaching winter.
Anyway, St Luke the Evangelist, the author of one of the four Gospels, was a physician who lived in Antioch in the first century, and accompanied St Paul on his final journeys. He is the patron saint of doctors, artists, lacemakers and bulls.
Perhaps we could celebrate by eating honey rather than applying it to the face... honey cakes, or a drink sweetened with honey... or, talking of drink, what about mead...