Monday, April 22, 2013

A-Z: "R" is for Alma Redemptoris in Prioress's Tale

A-Z Challenge again and this time its the letter R.   Today "R" is for Alma "Redemptoris" in Prioress's Tale. What a beautiful story and rather timely too.  The story was an ode to the Virgin Mary and all things in this world that she blesses including the innocent.  It starts with a widow's son, a seven-year-old boy who is a Christian and in a choir who happens to cross paths with a group of Jews.
The young boy first hears the song Alma Redemptoris and is captivated by its beauty and learns every word.  He sings it everywhere and all the time so much that the Jews in his town were sick of it.  The devil possessed the Jews and sparked an unthinkable idea.  In short, they hired a murderer to slit his throat and threw him in the sewer.  When the boy's mother went searching for him she found his corpse, slit throat and all but he was still able to miraculously sing Alma Redemptoris.  They couldn't understand why and so when asked this is what he said about the Virgin Mary (The Prioress Tale verses 171-182):

171  And when came time that I my death must meet,
172  She came to me and bade me only sing
173  This anthem in the pain of my dying,
174  As you have heard, and after I had sung,
175  She laid a precious pearl upon my tongue.
176  Wherefore I sing, and sing I must, 'tis plain,
177  In honour of that blessed Maiden free,
178  Till from my tongue is taken away the grain;
179  And afterward she said thus unto me:
180  'My little child, soon will I come for thee,
181  When from thy tongue the little bead they take;
182  Be not afraid, thee I will not forsake.'

And so they take the pearl out of the boy's mouth and he stops singing and finally dies.  I don't know why I thought it was beautiful but I did.  When I read this, I couldn't help but think of
, Martin Richard, the eight-year-old who was killed during that senseless terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon last week.  Tragic beyond words but his memory much like the boy in the tale...beautiful.

Martin Richard
Mina B.


Laura said...

That's so sad, such a moving story. I can understand why it made you think of Martin.

Jackie said...

This gave me chills. Beautiful tribute to Martin.

Mark Craddock said...

Thank you for sharing this.

Misha Gericke said...

I'm still so saddened by Martin's death. But the verses do match his story.

mshatch said...

both tales are sad.

klahanie said...

This thoughtful posting is a reflection of the sadness we feel for that little boy and the hell his family have been put through.

In hope and peace,

Penny the Jack Russell dog..