Hopkins Lectures 2007



































































































































































































































































Communion of Saints and Gerard Manley Hopkins

Dr hab. Aleksandra Kedzierska, University of Maria Curie-Sklodowska Lublin, Poland

In 'The Starlight Night', Hopkins manifests his belief in the Communion of Saints with Gertrude, Simon Peter, St. Austin, or Father Francis and all from The Wreck. There are others, like St. Beuno ("St. Winifred's Well"), St. Lawrence ("The Escorial"), St Paul ("St Thecla") or Pope Gregory.

In "The Starlight Night", having resisted the treacherous magic of the winter sky, the speaker finally reaches the heavenly barn where, led by the "half-hurl" of his heart, he can bask in the closeness of Christ, "his mother and all his hallows". The glimpse into this agape is by no means the only manifestation of Hopkins's belief in the communio sanctorum whose powerful and mysterious reality is evoked in many of his poems. Not only is this unique togetherness inherent in and sanctioned by Christ's "all in all", but it is also emphasized through numerous references to the sacramental practices of the Church, or else to the support of heaven for the martyrs in the "bloody hour" of their death. Most often and most tellingly, however, the significance of this communion reveals itself in Hopkins's preoccupation with the lives of

saints who make prominent heroes of his works.

In Hopkins's poetic church some members of the family of faith (1) — be it Gertrude, Simon Peter, St. Austin, or Father Francis (all from "The Wreck") — are allotted only a 'memorial' tablet, so to speak, a line or two with a mention of their name. Others, like St. Beuno ("St. Winifred's Well"), St. Lawrence ("The Escorial"), St Paul ("St Thecla") or Pope Gregory I ("To What Serves Mortal Beauty?") occupy longer sections of poems in window-like vignettes. More important still — dealt with in this paper — seem such "hallows" as St. Dorothea, St. Thecla, St. Margaret Clitheroe, St. Winefred and St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, who, with at least one poem dedicated to each of them, happen to have their own altars. However, most honoured among saints is Mary, the Queen of them all (2), who apart from being the central character of "Ad Mariam", "Rosa Mystica", "The May Magnificat" as well as "The Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air we Breathe", also holds an important place in many others ("The Wreck", "Spring", "Duns Scotus's Oxford" and "No worst").

As the ultimate hero of Hopkins's hagiography, Mary, to quote Delli-Carpini, is "living and convincing proof" that having said 'yes' to God's grace, any man could offer all his life as his 'fiat' (cf. 3). Having welcomed and received "God's infinity", "Mary immaculate", privileged to see it "reduced to infancy", came to be the witness to the Truth Personified, the sharer, follower and protectress of the Living Word. Besides, as Mother of God, and through Him, the spiritual mother of all men and the Church they create, she emerges as the Mother of the Mystical Body, growing and incorporating ever newer saints, ever newer Nazareths and Bethlehems (cf. Kedzierska 148), who, transforming the topography of the world, all point to Love as its instress and make the Earth all "the fairer for it"

Though "merely a woman", The Blessed Virgin assumed into heaven rules over all confessors, virgins, martyrs, saints, even angels. Yet, at the same time, her royal status notwithstanding, she is simply "dear Mother" to whom, as The Memorare makes clear, all her children - "God's and Mary's son[s]" — can turn to for help and comfort, finding in her peace, refuge from the tempest of life, and a gate to heaven. Thus, also Hopkins, a banished child of Eve (Hail, Holy Queen), feels encouraged to plead with Mary — the only saintly woman evoked in his poems he has ever prayed to — to be allowed to "isle" in her. There, "nestled", he would be wound with her mercy, and filled with the strength he needs on his way towards "the ghostly good". From there he will proceed, till eventually, reconciled to Jesus, he finds his true home in "the Gardens of God".

My happier world, wherein
To wend and meet no sin;
Above me, round me lie
Fronting my forward eye
With sweet and scarless sky;

Stir in my ears, speak there
Of God's love, O live air,
Of patience, penance, prayer:
Worldmothering air, air wild,
Wound with thee, in thee isled,
Fold home, fast fold thy child. (GMH 96-7)


Doubtless, being less perfect and exquisite spiritual vessels than Mary herself, saints can but aspire to the ideal of 'azure transparency' she embodies, letting "all God's glory through" and transmitting the colour "perfect". And yet, reflecting some of her outstanding attributes, they too carry out her apostolic mission of bringing God closer to men, helping them forge their "nobler" selves, offering hope and light on their "darkened ways" (GMH 38 ), or simply interceding for whoever has recourse to them and implores their help. Besides spreading the Word of God, they demonstrate, through their martyrdom, miracles, or humble service in God's cause, that His Love, "mantling the guilty globe", is in fact the one breath of inspiration it needs to exist, the "roll, the rise [and] the carol of creation".

Although it can be noticed that Hopkins's saints constitute quite a substantial group of protagonists, their significance — structural as well as spiritual — has not as yet received the recognition it deserves from Hopkins scholars (3). Hence, addressing the need and offering a closer look at these rather neglected heroes, our essay will provide a new insight into the man-God relationship so central to Hopkins's poetry. Besides, apart from revealing the complexity of Hopkins' concept of holiness, our exploration of his poetic hagiography may also shed some light upon his personal quest towards sainthood, which is best evident in his determination to unite "gift and task" (K. Rahner) in his ultimate attempt to be, to live for and to write about Christ.

Last but not least, emphasizing the eminent position the saintly females secure in his works and concentrating on their sometimes strikingly modern characteristics, we may eventually exonerate Hopkins from the charge of anti-feminism, and demonstrate how feminine and complex his women are not only in their beauty, generosity and kindness, but also in their patient coping with the reality of their households, their courage to respond to the cravings they sense in themselves, their courage to fight for their independence and convictions, and most importantly, their courage to love as truly and as deeply as they felt they were themselves loved by God.



The procession of Hopkins's saints opens with "The Escorial", the earliest of his surviving works. Together with the splendour of what is probably "the most famous votive building ever raised in honour of the saint invoked" (S. Wilson, Saints and Their Cults 21) (4), the poem celebrates the martyrdom of St. Lawrence (5), whose miraculous intervention secured the victory of Philip II of Spain over France. Meant to render the quintessence of Lawrence's holiness, his heroic death (by roasting) on the "monstrous grate", yet first and foremost his "fantastic … piety", The Escorial (6), the king's offering to the saint, became a "sculptur'd image" of his faith and an emblem of his utmost dedication to God.


For that staunch saint still prais'd his Master's name
While his crack'd flesh lay hissing on the grate;
Then fail'd the tongue; the poor collapsing frame,
Hung like a wreck that flames not billows beat-
So, grown fantastic in piety,
Philip, supposing that the gift most meet,
The sculptur'd image of such faith would be,
Uprais'd an emblem of that fiery constancy. (GMH 3-4)

Praising "his master's name", even when exposed to the torment of the flames and reduced to but "the poor collapsing frame", Lawrence, wrecked "past telling of tongue", appears to have initiated young Hopkins into the taste of Calvary, the death which, gradually communicated through powerful body language, becomes a mystery of billows, pain and silence which only God can penetrate, interpret and deconstruct, eventually transforming the helplessness and fragility of the tortured body — made to hang "like a wreck"-- into a "fortress of true faith", the Escorial itself. There, in this place of enlightenment (also through flames), contemplating Lawrence's martyrdom, young Hopkins, then still a Protestant, must have felt an awakening in himself to that Real Presence which eventually made him renounce his Anglican Religion. This encounter (of Hopkins and the saint) shows Lawrence as the hero of the "dark descending" who, made to "flash from the flame to the flame", first illuminates the poet's heart with the mystery of the wreck, this earliest manifestation of the horror of grace which, to many, would become the core and hallmark of Hopkins' mature poetry. This alone seems to indicate the capital importance of that imaginative journey to Spain --which, after all, was to affect the whole of his future life — and even if some find it difficult to accept Lawrence in the role of the patron saint of Hopkins's conversion into the "true faith, the poet definitely embodies the same ideal of steadfastness ("the staunch saint") with which years later, as a Catholic priest, he would bear his humble fate as a "fortune's football".

The significance of constancy reasserts itself in "Picture for St. Dorothea", in which, discarding the gory details of martyrdom, Hopkins approaches the issue of holiness in a subtly lyrical vein. Relying on Apocrypha (7), Hopkins draws upon Dorothea's refusal to take a husband, because, as she defiantly explains it to governor Sapricius, she has already been wed to Jesus. When, during her trial, the unbelieving lawyer Theophilus jeered at the existence of paradise, she promised to send him a gift from heaven and this it what the poem captures: Dorothy fulfilling her promise, walking the streets of Caesarea with a basket of "sweets for [the] bitter", the boon of "spring buds", lilies and quince to prove the skeptic wrong.

Being one of the few of Hopkins's saints given a chance to speak, Dorothea is also one who, quite uniquely for someone of her times, age and sex, becomes the teacher of her countrymen: "sweet flowers" cannot spring in Cappadocia, she avers, because of its spiritually hostile, "wintering" world, the world of negation of life, whose spiritual hollowness reverberates with the echo of "none . not one ... not one; not set; not spring / spring not". Interestingly, in her role as God's messenger, Dorothy does not renounce her femininity, the "female principle" (Circlot 180) enhanced by flowers symbolic of her virgin freshness; rather, as evidenced by her awareness of the glances she gets and her emphasis on "I show", "I carry", "I hear", Dorothy's sainthood reveals itself not as an exclusion but rather as a celebration of selfhood dedicated to the right cause. Slip of a woman that she is, Dorothy seems to be burning with missionary zeal and despite being but a step away from the bliss of eternity, she works hard to sow the seeds which will undermine the status quo of the pagan world. Hence even though the unbeliever in this very poem still cannot decide how he feels about the miracle of "spring buds" in the wintering world, the closing of another Dorothy poem, "Lines for a Picture" — "we have another Christian here" — leaves no doubt whatsoever as to her conversion of Theophilus.

Determination and courage meet again in Hopkins's depiction of Thecla (8), another virgin saint from his poetic hagiography, which also steers away from suffering and death, instead exposing the beauty, wisdom and "sweet virtue's glory" of a maiden who was once "known next whitest to Mary's own". In his juvenile fragment, Hopkins proceeds to detail her background and tell a story — which almost smacks of scandal and romance -- of how one eventful day she encountered St. Paul and how "Christ's charity chained and charmed" them to each other.

Stressing the loveliness of her looks ("crisp lips", "straight nose", "a fine scrolled ear", "tender-slanted cheek"), Hopkins demonstrates how they mirror her spiritual earnestness manifesting itself in her " mien", her eyes, and her heart ("earnest in her eyes", "earnest in the heart"). In fact she is alertness personified when, with her back to the domestic (apparently inescapable) reality of the "bower and the bed", she sits in the window and "scans" the street, curious about the world outside. Her keen interest is soon rewarded with the words she hears spoken and from which she learns about "God the Father and His Son" and of the world that was "made, marred, and mended, lost and won". And yet, the message that affects her most is that "[t]he world was saved by virgins", the gospel in which, as if touched by God's finger, she finds an ideal truer to her heart than marriage to a fiancé already chosen for her. This moment, "wrecking" her future as an "angel of the house", at the same time refashions her into God's angel of Greater Love. Willing to accept and embrace the new vocation, Thecla comes into conflict with the social expectations of her day: she had rather learn and hear more on "continence" than pursue the pleasures of the flesh and food her world wants her to accept as her very own. Lingering by her window, hungry only for Paul's words, however "dark", and neglecting mealtime calls of her family, she mutely asserts her independence, losing her battle when "They rose at last and forced [emphasis mine] her from the spot". However, though Thecla would not be deterred from following her heart and was even commissioned by Paul to preach the gospels, she was in truth defeated by Time: its "fast-flowing hours" choked her greatness, showing that even eternity does not protect saints from the erosion of human memory.

Portrayed by Hopkins as "Tarsus' true Bellerophon", St. Paul, having survived the fall off the Pegasus of pride, appears in Thecla's Iconium as a reformed sinner who "justices" (and we might add "keeps all his goings graces") through being "a new voice": an apostle "[making] the mark" and spreading the truth about the role of woman, who no longer has to be defined by marriage, that is, to "live, move and have her being fulfilled in another man".

Resurrecting, as in "Thecla", the memory of the saints of "the first golden age of Gospel times", Hopkins' soul-shepherding also embraces the hallows of the letter day, especially if they are Welsh or English. Hence the works dedicated to Margaret Clitheroe ("Margaret Clitheroe") — the patron saint of York, martyred for her Catholic faith during the reign of Elizabeth I, or to St Winefred ("On St Winifred" and "St Winefred's Well"), whose healing powers may have caused Hopkins to quietly campaign in defense of Vatican I's position on miracles" (Zaniello 233). W hile studying in Wales (1874-77), Hopkins discovered the beauty of Hollywell, famous for Winefred's shrine and for the curative powers of its spring, whose miraculous origin (9) he described in the fragment of his "closet-verse drama" (Zaniello 233) "St Winefred's Well".

Its isolated scenes characterize Winefred as a member of a closely knit, loving and saintly family, well aware of the exceptional character of the girl whom no one, as Gwen's father, Teryth, realizes, has the right to call "mine". Like Thecla before her, Winefred is an embodiment of loveliness in comparison to which sunlight "is a pit, den, darkness ( . ) rainbow by it not beaming" (GMH 189). Apart from her hair, shining "like water in waterfalls", Winefred's eyes are her most exquisite characteristic. Modestly "cast down" most of the time, when lifted, they shine with "immortal brightness" (GMH 190), expressing thus the holy potential of her soul.


However, where Teryth's affectionate eye notices but the sweetness and freshness of the girl (called "this bloom", "this honeysuckle"), Caradoc, the chieftain, desires her for her beauty, the beauty which he destroys, beheading Winefred when she denies him her love.

When her head was cut off, her "fleeced bloom" "sheared" from her shoulders, Winefred's lamb-like death merely sealed her perfection, all the more evident in the miracles that followed. As soon as the maiden's head touched the ground, the spring burst forth, changing the otherwise "dry valley" (Dry Dean") into the "sweet spot, this leafy lean-over (.) no longer (.) dumb but moist and musical/ With the uproll and the downcarol of day and night delivering" (GMH 192), life, the water of the well. However, even more wondrous than this was the very resurrection of Winefred, brought back to life by her uncle, St Beuno, who predicted that being "a venerable record" of her recovery, the water would lend its curative qualities to others in need. His sermon ends with a vision of pilgrims coming to seek physical help and with a forecast that Winefred's name will be remembered and worshipped — the fact that is "most sure":


As long as men are mortal and God merciful,
So long to this sweet spot ( … )
Here to this holy well shall pilgrimages be,
And not from purple Wales only nor from elmy England,
But from beyond seas, Erin, France, and Flanders, everywhere,
Pilgrims, still pilgrims, more pilgrims, still more pilgrims.
( … )
What sights shall be when some that swung, wretches, on crutches,
Their crutches shall cast from them on heels of air departing
Or they go rich as roseleaves
( … )
Not now to name
Those dearer, more divine boons whose heaven the heart is.
Amongst come-back-again things, things with a revival, things with a recovery,
Thy name … " (GMH 192-3).

However, healing by no means exhausts the list of gifts - many "dearer and more divine" -- Winefred has in store for her worshippers for, as can be read in Hopkins's "On St. Winefred", driven by the desire to make herself useful, 'the lady of the well', famous for "wishing all about us sweet", continues to help them even in the most ordinary tasks of life:

Whereas Dorothy, Thecla, and Winefred are all inscaped through their "virgin freshness", Margaret Clitheroe's path to sainthood leads through her fulfilled womanhood. What is more, this wife and mother, "a woman, upright, outright" (GMH 182), appears to be Hopkins's only female saint characterized not so much in terms of serene acceptance of God's will, but first and foremost by the plight which, through its genesis in religious intolerance and focus on the price to pay for refusing to conform and staying staying true to her conscience, embraces and in a way anticipates the experience of Hopkins's conversion and his own spiritual "crush". In Margaret he invites us to meet a person especially chosen and led towards a completion of God's plan, the "counsel" that "had always doomed her down to this, to [being ] Pressed to death." Hence it may as well have been her own conversion experience that Hopkins describes in "The Wreck", her own "yes" followed by the time of God's "mastering", the time of persecutions and the trial through which she got to know the "swoon of the heart", "the dense and the driven Passion and frightful sweat", each and all indicative of the "fire of stress" of God guiding her ever closer towards Himself, and turning her into Himself through (again significantly) "ruin and wreck".


Her transformation into a "lovescape crucified" starts first on the level of her mind, which, characterized by its "Christ-ed beauty" is but a hyphen away from a complete theosis (divinization). Such intimacy could not translate itself into anything but her refusal to worship the Protestant gospel in which, as Maynard has it, "she could find neither substance nor truth, nor even Christian comfort"(cf. 19)(10). Christ, a secret sharer of her plight, "lived in Margaret Clitheroe". When, haunted by "the spirit of hell", she was imprisoned for recusancy, his presence belied the false prayers of the judges pleading with God to "lighten" Margaret's "dark heart". Had it really been "dark", however, she wouldn't have been able to hear the crying of "the Immortals of the eternal ring / the Utterer, Uttered, and Uttering", the Holy Trinity lending Its holy support for the time of the ordeal that was soon to come.

When, prepared for the verdict, equipped with the shroud of her own making, Margaret heard she would be "crushed out flat", she had yet to become reconciled to a sacrifice of the child in her womb, "the small matter" sentenced to "smother / And wreck in ruins of his mother" (emphasis mine). Finally, with her will "bent at God", Margaret's imitatio Christi found fulfillment when, hands "parted and tied to two posts (.), and the body stretched out in the form of a cross" (Maynard 69), she offered herself to Jesus confessing " I suffer this she said for Thee ". Crucified "just like Jesus", dying in "perfect hush", Margaret is watched over by the saints who seem to represent the collective memory of heaven, the Tribunal of justice and love already waiting for its new arrival:

Dorothy, Thecla, Winifred and Margaret were saintly women of beautiful hearts and minds, yet it is Pope Gregory I (the Great) who may aspire to the position of the most 'aesthetic' saint, if only because, capable of seeing through "mortal beauty", he knew how to neutralize its dangers and transform it into grace. Recalling the role beauty played in the Christianization of England, Hopkins meditates on the charisma of the Pontiff whose experience confirms the poet in his belief that when "gleaned", linked to "day's dear chance" and serving to love "world's loveliest — men's selves", beauty can inspire men towards mastering so much more than just gaze. Recognized as "heaven's sweet gift", mortal beauty should be made "home at heart", where, contemplated and given back to God and graced by Him, it would become immortal.

However, neither his aesthetic concerns, nor the greatness of his position, not even his sanctity happens to be the "arch-especial"("the O seal that so feature") feature of the Pontiff whom, somewhat irreverently, Hopkins inscapes as "Gregory, a father" "to a[n English] nation", a father also to Hopkins himself, that spiritual son whom the Pope's wisdom leaves a little bit less confused with regard to his treatment or perhaps mistreatment of heavenly boons of beauty. It seems that meditating on Gregory and the ideal of priesthood he represented, Hopkins could not but ponder on his own, a prodigal son who in confrontation with Gregory's greatness would become all the more conscious of his clerical imperfections: of being a father to a family of strangers who would not hear him ("To seem"), of being "Time's eunuch", always disappointed in his endeavours ("Thou art"), too often standing on the cliffs of fall ("No worst") or wrestling with darkness ("No worst", "I wake", "Carrion Comfort") to feel the presence of that Love for whom long ago he decided to leave the Half-Way House.

Set against all the saints discussed above whose "grandeur" "flashes off exploits", Alphonsus Rodriguez, lay brother (11) of the Society of Jesus canonized in Hopkins's lifetime (1887), won this great honour for his martyrdom through invisible wounds, blows dealt in the "war within" fought in the depth of man's heart, where the spiritual warrior forges his "glorious day" alone, with no one but God to watch and evaluate his performance in the conquest for holiness.

By God's design Alphonsus's conquest took place when, on a more visible plane, for forty years he would pursue his "career" as a hall porter who, always standing and watching for Christ" (Downes 88), wants to be prepared for the return of the Master, holding the door of his heart wide open. Subtly rendering the rather low profile Rodriguez strove to keep and hinging his tribute to Alfonso upon the paradoxical marriage of career and conquest perceived as a formula for sainthood, Hopkins also demonstrates how effective and spiritually rewarding is an unspectacular attitude of humble submission when combined with slow progress along the divine path of "trickling increment". Despite his initial insignificance and indirectness of presentation, in the sonnet's last three lines (12) Alfonso emerges as a very real presence, his name - that of a hero - announced publicly for all to remember and worship. What is more, owing to his silent heroic perseverance in doing God's will, Alphonso, more than any other of Hopkins's "hallows", illustrates the mystery of sainthood and its dependence on God's grace; the mystery of creation which through toil may eventually turn one into a true artist of faith.

Completed a year before his own death, Hopkins's portrayal of Alphonsus (shedding light upon his own troubled relationship with the Divine), seems to have provided him with yet another possibility to look at his life and measure it against somebody else's "summa". And who knows, perhaps this time, recognizing the familiar battleground of "rebellious wills", he may have discovered a beacon (of), this delicious hope: that following his own uneventful path, one day - "at God knows when" — he too may be rewarded (by God and/or man) for his career and conquest .

Being a part of a greater whole concerned with Hopkins's depiction of church, this presentation has demonstrated that sainthood is a theme he felt compelled to address in every major phase of his poetic and spiritual maturing. Discussed in the order of their appearance, his 'saintly' works help the reader realize to what extent their protagonists, men and women alike, were not only the much needed friends he could always turn to and the bringers of the "boons" which, as we hope to have indicated, guided him towards and throughout his vocation, accompanying him also in his own quest for sainthood. More importantly, they were, to use Alison Sulloway's words, his "partners in the mystery of redemption", his "arch especial" vein "of gospel proffer" which, "roping" this son of the age of doubt to the certainty of heaven, would eventually lead the "heart in hiding" to the "achieve of, the mastery of the thing" and to that bliss which he so longed to breathe.


1. John Stratton Hawley (ed.), Saints and Virtues , University of California Press, Berkeley, and Los Angeles, CA, 1987 (jacket).

2. Queen of all Saints is one of the invocations to Mary in the Loretan litany.

3. The few critics writing about Hopkins's saints are: A. Sulloway ("Women and Men as 'Partners in the Mystery of Redemption'"), T. Zaniello ("On Miracles, Martyrs and Praying Gauges", Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89): new essays on his life, writing and place in English literature, eds M.E. Allsopp and M.W. Sundermeier, Lewiston, E. Mellen Press, 1989, pp..222-237), D. Modor ("Aspects of Androgyny, Oedipal Struggle, and Religious Defence in the Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins) C. Phillips (St Dorothy poems)

4. Cf. Stephen Wilson (ed.), Saints and Their Cults: Studies in Religious Sociology, Folklore and History , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1987, p. 21.

5. In Catholic Online we read that Lawrence was martyred by "a slow, cruel death. The Saint was tied on top of an iron grill over a slow fire that roasted his flesh little by little, but Lawrence was burning with so much love of God that he almost did not feel the flames. In fact, God gave him so much strength and joy that he even joked. "Turn me over," he said to the judge. "I'm done on this side!" And just before he died, he said, "It's cooked enough now." Then he prayed that the city of Rome might be converted to Jesus and that the Catholic Faith might spread all over the world. After that, he went to receive the martyr's reward. Saint Lawrence's feast day is August 10 http://wwwcatholic.org/saint.php?saint_id=366 , Retrieved 06 01 27.

6. " The Escorial was built in the form of a gridiron, the rectangular convent was the grate, the cloisters the bars, the towers the legs inverted, the palace the handle". See The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (henceforth GMH ) , W.H. Gardner and N.H. Mackenzie (eds.), Oxford University Press, Oxford 1970, p. 245. All quotations from Hopkins's works come from this edition, the text followed by page number.

7. According to her apocryphal tradition, she was a resident of Caesarea, Cappadocia, who when she refused to sacrifice to the gods during Emperor Diocletian's persecution of the Christians, was tortured by the governor and ordered executed. On the way to the place of execution, she met a young lawyer, Theophilus, who mockingly asked her to send him fruits from "the garden" she had joyously announced she would soon be in. When she knelt for her execution, she prayed, and an angel with a basket of three roses and three apples, which she sent to Theophilus, telling him she would meet him in the garden. Theophilus was converted to Christianity and later was martyred. Her feast day is February 6 th See http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=221 , retrieved 30 06 2006.

8. See also the commentary for the poem in GMH (p. 249).

9. "According to a popular second century tale, Acts of Paul and Thecla, Thecla was a native of Iconomium who was so impressed by the preaching of St Paul on virginity that she broke off her engagement to marry Thamyris [her fiancée] to live a life of virginity Paul was ordered to be scourged and banished from the city for his teaching, and Thecla was ordered burned to death" See
http:// www.catholic.org/saints/saintphp.?saint_id=323 , retrieved 06 01 2006.

10. Sentenced to death many a time she was always miraculously saved; her life was connected to that of Paul who "commissioned her to preach the Gospels. Hence she is claimed to have had the status of being "equal to the apostles". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thecla , retrieved 30 06 2006.

11. "St. Winifred's Well was an important place for pilgrims to visit during the Middle Ages. The story is told of how in the 7th century a young prince, Caradoc, visited Tegeingle [and] (.) saw a pretty young girl called Winifred and made advances towards her. Winifred rejected and then ran towards the church. Caradoc, furious for being treated in this way, chased after her and cut off her head with a sword. (.) The head rolled down the hill towards the church. Winifred's holy uncle Beuno was just leaving the church and realizing what had happened, "cursed Caradoc so that he fell dead". Beuno lifted the head, wrapped it in his cloak and returned to Mass, where he asked the people to help him with their prayers for Winifred. He then joined the "head to her body and she at once revived afterwards bearing only a red threadlike mark around her throat." . See "Holywell" http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/NORholywell.htm . "As the fame of this healing power spread, pilgrims journeyed to the spring to pray for healing. Eventually a well was built (.) and many would visit St. Winifred's Well seeking physical help rather than a pilgrimage of penance. See ( http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/wfb/wfb63.htm ). On 23rd November, 1851, Pope Pius IX granted indulgences to pilgrims who visited St. Winifred's Well".

11. Jean Olwen Maynard, Margaret Clitherow , Catholic Trust Society Publishers to the Holy See, London 2003, p. 69

12. Rodriguez' lack of education and poor health qualified him merely to be a lay brother to the Society of Jesus, someone, MacChesney explains, "who comes under the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience without aspiring to priesthood" (176-7).

13. He who "Could crowd career with conquest while there went / Those years and years by of world without event / That in Majorca Alfonso watched the door." (GMH 106)


Delli-Carpini, John, Prayer and Piety in the Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Landscape of a Soul, The Edwin Melen Press, Lewiston 1998.

Downes, David, Anthony, The Ignatian Personality of Gerard Manley Hopkins, University Press of America, Lanhan, New York 1990.

Hawley, John, Stratton (ed.), Saints and Virtues, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles 1987 (jacket).

Kedzierska, Aleksandra, On the Wings of Faith: A Study in the Man-God Relationship in the Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, University Maria Curie-Sklodowska Press, Lublin 2001.

MacChesney, Donald, A Hopkins Connection: An Explanatory Commentary on the Main Poems 1876-89, New York University Press, New York 1986.

Maynard, Jean Olwen, Margaret Clitherow, Catholic Trust Society Publishers to the Holy See, London 2003.

Sulloway, Allison, "Women and Men as 'Partners in the Mystery of Redemption'", Texas Studies in Literature and Language, University of Texas Press, Spring 1983, vol. 31 (1), pp. 32-51.

Wilson, Stephen (ed.), Saints and Their Cults in Religious Sociology, Folklore and History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1987.

Zaniello, Tom, "On Miracles, Martyrs and Praying Gauges", Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89): new essays on his life, writing and place in English literature, M.E. Allsopp and M.W. Sundermeier (eds), Lewiston, E. Mellen Press, 1989, pp .222-237.

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