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Catholic Activity: May 19: Feast of St. Ives



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Sancto Yvo etat Brito, Advocatus et non latro Res miranda populo.
So runs the popular verse in Brittany, where in the thirteenth century Saint Ives followed the profession of lawyer and judge with distinction, as the verse says of him:
Lo! a marvel past belief A barrister who's not a thief!
Although possessed of wealth, he lived as a Franciscan tertiary, dressed in coarse clothing, and cared for the poor and unfortunate, keeping, it is said, up to seven orphans in his family manor of Kermartin. His benefactions to the poor continued after his death, and it is not surprising that his feast is observed in Brittany by one of the many Pardons or local religious pilgrimages of this Celtic part of France called the Pardon of the Poor at Minihy.

After his death, Saint Ives' manor was left to the poor, and here they continued to come especially on the eve and day of his feast. We read that on one occasion in the nineteenth century so many beggars presented themselves that no one knew how they would be fed. But no matter how much was dipped out of the kettles on the hearth, they were always found filled to the brim with good, nourishing soup.

No record is made of just what went into these kettles, but in honor of Saint Ives, the saint of the poor and the patron of (reformed?) lawyers, we suggest Potage Paysanne.

Activity Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951