Quote of the Day – 8 February –St John of Matha O.SS.T (1160-1213) Confessor, Priest, Founder of The Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Captives
The Mantle of St John de Matha
A Legend of “The Red, White and Blue”
By John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).
A STRONG and mighty Angel,
Calm, terrible and bright,
The Cross in blended red and blue
Upon his mantle white!
Two captives by him kneeling,
Each on his broken chain,
Sang praise to God who raiseth
The dead to life again?
Dropping his Cross-wrought mantle,
“Wear this” the Angel said;
“Take thou, O Freedom’s Priest, its sign,—
The white, the blue and red.”
Then rose up John de Matha
In the strength the Lord Christ gave,
And begged through all the land of France
The ransom of the slave.
The gates of tower and castle
Before him open flew,
The drawbridge at his coming fell,
The door-bolt backward drew.
For all men owned his errand
And paid his righteous tax;
And the hearts of lord and peasant
Were in his hands as wax.
At last, outbound from Tunis,
His bark her anchor weighed,
Freighted with seven-score Christian souls
Whose ransom he had paid!