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Catholic Activity: St. Paul's Day, St. Paul's Cathedral, London

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Dorothy Gladys Spicer explains the English custom of January 25 in honor of St. Paul. (St. Paul's Cathedral is part of the Church of England.) Today is a prognostic day regarding the future weather of the year.

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On January 25, St. Paul's Cathedral holds an annual musical service, to commemorate its patron saint's conversion to Christianity. A rendering of Mendelssohn's "Saint Paul" is a feature of the event.

From early times St. Paul's Day has been as important to the countryman as to his music-loving city cousin, although for a different reason. In rural lore, upon January 25 depends the weather of the entire year!

The Shepherd's Almanack for 1676 states that sun on St. Paul's means a good year; rain or snow foretells indifferent weather; a mist means want, and thunder twelve months of wind and death. Another prediction is that

If Saint Paul's day be faire and cleare
If doth betide a happy yeare;
But if by chance it then should rain
It will make deare all kinds of graine;
And if ye clouds make dark ye skie,
Then neats and fowls this yeare shall die;
If blustering winds do blow aloff,
Then wars shall trouble ye realm full oft.

Activity Source: Yearbook of English Festivals by Dorothy Gladys Spicer, The H. W. Wilson Company, New York, NY, 1954

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