Friday, July 29, 2011

Faith, Wisdom, Chivalry, Virtue, Spirituality

The Fleur de Lis is the symbol for the Louisiana Heritage Praise and Prayer ride.  

It's symbolic meaning is centuries old. The Acadian people held onto this symbol as a connection to their faith.  As Evangeline held her faith and courage throughout her years of searching for Gabriel and as this poem also is an allegory for a lost deported people, this long ride has adopted this symbol for the same reason Evangeline and her Acadian country folks did so long ago.   As this ride unfolds, we hope to be able to bring these flowers as a symbol of peace and healing, a place for women to be a "Flower of light" and also as a National Acadian symbol of pride. 

All links are live and I thank Wikipedia for their entry on the Fleur de Lis.

You see, In the Middle Ages the symbols of lily and fleur-de-lis  overlapped considerably in religious art. Michel Pastoureau, the historian, says that until about 1300 they were found in depictions of Jesus, but gradually they took on Marian symbolism and were associated with the Song of Solomon's "lily among thorns" (lilium inter spinas), understood as a reference to Mary. Other scripture and religious literature in which the lily symbolizes purity and chastity also helped establish the flower as an iconographic attribute of the Virgin.
In medieval England, from the mid-12th century, a noblewoman's seal often showed the lady with a fleur-de-lis, drawing on the Marian connotations of "female virtue and spirituality" also "Flower of light" symbolism has sometimes been understood from the archaic variant fleur-de- luce.

Images of Mary holding the flower first appeared in the 11th century on coins issued by cathedrals dedicated to her, and next on the seals of cathedral chapters, starting with Notre Dame de Paris in 1146. A standard portrayal was of Mary carrying the flower in her right hand, just as she is shown in that church's Virgin of Paris statue (with lily), and in the centre of the stained glass rose window (with fleur-de-lis sceptre) above its main entrance. The flowers may be "simple fleurons, sometimes garden lilies, sometimes genuine heraldic fleurs-de-lis.  As attributes of the Madonna, they are often seen in pictures of the Annunciation, notably in those of Sandro Botticelli and Filippo Lippi. Lippi also uses both flowers in other related contexts: for instance, in his Madonna in the Forest.

The three petals of the heraldic design reflect a widespread association with the Holy Trinity, with the band on the bottom symbolizing Mary. The tradition says that without Mary you can not understand the Trinity since it was she who bore The Son. A tradition going back to 14th century France, added onto the earlier belief that they also represented faith, wisdom and chivalry.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

By the Order of His Majesty the King -Sept. 1755

Curiosity was getting higher as the ships pulled into port.  The ladies doing their chores in the field were rife with curiosity.  Then the news came that started to tear apart the people of the Acadian culture.  Their heritage was broken in half, their language was considered dirty and as late as the 1970's individuals were scolded if they dare speak it in public.  This was the end of the beginning.  The date--- July 28th, 1755 is when the Decision was made.  The following September 5th the King of England had this to say to a rather peaceful people:

"Gentleman, I have received from his Excellency, Governor Lawrence, the King's commision which I have in hand, and by who orders are conveyed together, to Manifest to you His Majesty's final resolution to the French inhabitants of the Province in Nova Scotia, who for almost half a century have had more indulgence Granted then than of of his Subjects in any part of His Dominions.  What use you have made of them, you, yourself Best Know.  The Part of Duty I am now upon is what, tho Necessary, is Very Disagreeable to my natural make and temper, as I Know it Must be Grievous to you who are of the same Specie. But is not my business to animadvert, but to obey such orders, as I receive, and therefore without Hesitation Shall Deliver you His Majesty's Orders and Instructions, Vist: That your land and Tennements, Cattle of all Kinds and Livestocks fo all Sorts are forfeited to the Crown with all other your effects, Savings your money and Household Goods, and you yourselves to be removed from this Province. This it is Peremptorily His Majesty's orders That the whole French Inhabitant of these Districts be removed, and I am, Throh his Majesty's Goodness Directed to allow you Liberty to Carry of your money and Household Goods, as Many as you Can without Discommoding the Vessels you Go in. I Shall do Every thing in my Power that all those Goods be Secured to you and are Not Molested in Carrying of them off, and also that whole Family Shall go in the Same Vessel, and make this remove, for which I am Sensible, must give you a great deal of trouble, as Easey as his Majesty's Service will admit, and hope that in what part of the world you my Fall, you may be Faith Subjects, a Peasable, Happy, People. I Must also Inform you That is is His Majesty's Pleasure that you remain in Security under the/and Direction of the Troops that I have the Honor. To Command."

Happy people? After that news?!?!

New York Times- July 17, 2002:  On December 9, 2003, two hundred and forty eight years later, a Royal Proclamation was signed in Canada wherein Queen Elizabeth acknowledged for the first time the wrongs admitted in the name of the English crown during the Acadian deportation of 1755-1763.  Additionally, the Proclamation sets aside every July 28th starting in 2005 as a day of commemoration for the "Great Upheaval".  The 10,000 men, women and children exiled from Nova Scotia are the ancestors of many south Louisiana's French-Acadian or Cajun people.  Evangeline finally got her due!"  

This long ride takes Evangeline's and every deported Acadian's story and brings it to life by horse: to tell the experiences of their heritage and to create a living history about the Acadian people who settled here in Southern Louisana.  Evangeline rides again in effigy and in passion for the Acadian people who had the fight of their lives on their hands and who survived a holocaust all of their own.