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BarbaraKE
06-19-2008, 07:52 AM
Imagine an unlearned Catholic peasant in 1870 Europe. Even though he's devout, he's also superstitious. When he sees something that makes him nervous, he "crossed himself and muttered a quick....." What?

The only thing I can come up with is a Hail Mary but I have no idea if that's correct or not.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

PS - rep points will be given. :)

Joycecwilliams
06-19-2008, 08:17 AM
Hail Mary is good. Protestants don't say that prayer.
Our Father, is also good.
An Act Of Contrition.

Catholics are the only religion that I know of that make the sign of the cross. He could just mumble... "Bless me Father"

JamieFord
06-19-2008, 08:25 AM
A quick Hail Mary would work, though if it were in 1870, it'd be in Latin--Ave Maria.

The Glory Be prayer is also short, but less dramatic.

Puma
06-19-2008, 02:07 PM
I'm not a Catholic, but I thought the sign of the cross was accompanied by the words "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." Puma

MattW
06-19-2008, 03:15 PM
I'm not a Catholic, but I thought the sign of the cross was accompanied by the words "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." PumaOnly in formal prayer during Mass, it's not required.

MattW
06-19-2008, 03:17 PM
A quick Hail Mary would work, though if it were in 1870, it'd be in Latin--Ave Maria.

Latin is key.

Menyanthana
06-19-2008, 03:26 PM
I'm not a Catholic, but I thought the sign of the cross was accompanied by the words "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." Puma

It is really "Holy Ghost", not "Holy spirit"? I always confuse this...thought a ghost was the sort of thing you'd expect to see in a haunted house


Ave Maria in Latin...I am not sure whether a peasant would speak Latin...did they learn the prayers by heart?

johnnysannie
06-19-2008, 03:39 PM
It is really "Holy Ghost", not "Holy spirit"? I always confuse this...thought a ghost was the sort of thing you'd expect to see in a haunted house


Ave Maria in Latin...I am not sure whether a peasant would speak Latin...did they learn the prayers by heart?

Any Catholic, noble or peasant, would know their prayers in Latin in your time period. Mass would have been totally in Latin so although someone might not really know Latin, they would know Church latin. They would, however, also most likely know basic prayers in their native tongue

Holy Ghost was commonly used until recent years when Holy Spirit has become more common. I'm 46 and grew up with "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost".

Since I also speak German, here are some prayers in German that might be of use to you:

The Sign of the Cross)

Im Namen des Vaters+, und des Sohnes, und des Heiligen Geistes. Amen.



(Our Father)

Vater unser im Himmel,

geheiligt werde Dein Name,

Dein Reich komme,

Dein Wille geschehe, wie im Himmel, so auf Erden.

Unser tagliches Brot gib uns heute.

Und vergib uns unsere Schuld,

Wie auch wir vergeben unsern Schuldigern.

Und fuhre uns nicht in Versuchung,

sondern erlose uns von dem Bosen.



Denn Dein ist das Reich und die Kraft

Und die Herrlichkeit in Ewigkeit.

Amen.



(Glory to the Father)

Ehre sei dem Vater

und dem Sohn

und dem Heiligen Geist.

Wie im Anfang, so auch jetz und allezeit und in Ewigkeit.

Amen.



(Hail, Mary)

GegruBet seist du, Maria, voll der Gnade,

der Herr ist mit dir.

Du bist gebenedeit unter den Frauen,

und gebenedeit ist die Frucht deines Leibes, Jesus.

Heilige Maria, Mutter Gottes,

bitte fur uns Sunder

jetzt und in der Stunde unseres Todes.

Amen.

Joycecwilliams
06-19-2008, 05:48 PM
It is really "Holy Ghost", not "Holy spirit"? I always confuse this...thought a ghost was the sort of thing you'd expect to see in a haunted house


Ave Maria in Latin...I am not sure whether a peasant would speak Latin...did they learn the prayers by heart?

In Catholism it is the Holy Ghost. Used to scare me when I was little..

johnnysannie
06-19-2008, 05:54 PM
In Catholism it is the Holy Ghost. Used to scare me when I was little..

I'm Catholic too and the recent usage in my parish has shifted to "Holy Spirit" more often than not.

Mike Martyn
06-19-2008, 06:50 PM
Hail Mary is good. Protestants don't say that prayer.
Our Father, is also good.
An Act Of Contrition.

Catholics are the only religion that I know of that make the sign of the cross. He could just mumble... "Bless me Father"


Anglicans, at least the traditional High Church ones, also make the sign of the cross. They also have certain Orders that are celebate, are called priests and addressed as "Father". They also have convents. My sister was a novice at one but she wasn't cut out for the life.

We used to call it the Holy Ghost which I thought was pretty cool when I was a little kid some how equating the Holy Ghost with Casper the Friendly Ghost!

BarbaraKE
06-19-2008, 08:11 PM
Hmm, I suspect my terminology is wrong. I don't want an official prayer that spans several lines. I need something short, just a quick phrase he would mutter to himself automatically. Just like we say 'God bless you' or 'Gesundheit' when someone sneezes.

Would he literally say 'Ave Maria' (as opposed to saying the whole prayer)? Or maybe something equivalent to 'Mother, watch over me' or 'Father, protect me'.

Ugh - this is complicated. Maybe I should just cheat and say he 'muttered a quick prayer'.

johnnysannie
06-19-2008, 08:53 PM
All "Ave Maria" means is "Hail Mary" so he probably wouldn't just say that. He might, however, say something like "Holy Mother', or "Mary, help me." or "Virgin, intercede for me now".

JamieFord
06-19-2008, 09:01 PM
Could be like my friend's mom, who never cursed, but would exclaim, "Judas Priest!!!" I thought it was funny growing up. It always made me think of Rob Halford, clad in leather singing "Breaking the Law".

MattW
06-20-2008, 01:35 AM
A prayer? Or a religious swear?


"Jesus Mary and Joseph!"

Jenny
06-20-2008, 05:20 AM
Short phrases/prayers used to be indulgenced. Things like,

O God, be merciful to me, a sinner
My Jesus, mercy
Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.

Looking at them you can see how shock shortens them into what some call blasphemy.

Danger Jane
06-20-2008, 08:31 AM
They might mutter a quick Hail Mary/Ave Maria. It's not a long prayer--you wouldn't need to write it all out. Here it is:

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.

Sancta Maria, mater dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostri. Amen.

The Hail Mary's a pretty recognizable Catholic staple. I could probably say one in five seconds flat.

(I just timed myself. Four seconds, counting the Amen.)

ETA: You don't have to say in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit (I'm a young'un), but it generally accompanies the sign of the cross before and after prayer.

StephanieFox
06-20-2008, 09:03 AM
Or, you could just have him cross himself without having to say the prayer. This would probably be an automatic reaction to something frightening or to possible bad news. Or anything, actually.

As far as a 'short prayer', Catholics can pray very, very fast.

There's also another prayer:

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen.

However, I think a short Mary prayer would probably be good here.

Priene
06-20-2008, 11:43 AM
Hail holy Queen (http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/prayer/hailholy.htm) would be another, less-obvious prayer.

For a one-liner, there's a line in one of Aleksandr Blok's poems where an Orthodox peasant mutters 'Holy Mother of the Intercession'. That's a quality divine invocation, I always think.

johnnysannie
06-20-2008, 06:06 PM
There's also another prayer:

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen.

.

That's the Glory Be and this is how it actually goes:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

"In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" is called "Sign of the Cross", used with the accompaning gesture.

Or as I originally learned it, "In nominae Patris, et Fille, et Spirtus Sancti" (Latin)

dobiwon
06-20-2008, 07:49 PM
If you're looking for a very short phrase, I've heard elderly people (as in, even older than I am) cross themselves and mutter "Mater Dei!" (Mother of God!) when they were frightened.

kuwisdelu
06-20-2008, 08:44 PM
If he's sacred/nervous, what about Psalm 23?

(cutting to the chase)


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.


Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

I always thought the spirit/ghost thing different from church to church. My girlfriend grew up Catholic and I think she says spirit.

Siddow
06-20-2008, 09:13 PM
I'd think just a muttering for protection would do, and for a Catholic it would most likely be given to Mary, although if you want to have fun with it, you could toss in a different saint depending on the situation. Uh, been a long time since I went to church, but I seem to remember that St. Christopher was the saint of lost things, St. Joseph protects the home, and there's, uh, others. :)

Menyanthana
06-20-2008, 10:49 PM
I'd think just a muttering for protection would do, and for a Catholic it would most likely be given to Mary, although if you want to have fun with it, you could toss in a different saint depending on the situation. Uh, been a long time since I went to church, but I seem to remember that St. Christopher was the saint of lost things, St. Joseph protects the home, and there's, uh, others. :)

There's a St. Florian who is the patron saint of fire fighters...easy to remember, because of the prayer: "O heiliger St. Florian verschon mein Haus, zünd andre an", translating to "O holy Saint Florian, spare my house, kindle others".

I am sure, one can have lots of fun with different saints for every situation. ;)

johnnysannie
06-20-2008, 10:56 PM
I'd think just a muttering for protection would do, and for a Catholic it would most likely be given to Mary, although if you want to have fun with it, you could toss in a different saint depending on the situation. Uh, been a long time since I went to church, but I seem to remember that St. Christopher was the saint of lost things, St. Joseph protects the home, and there's, uh, others. :)

While Catholics revere Mary, we're just as likely to just call on the Lord or Jesus.

Or possibly as Siddow mentions, a patron saint. There are patron saints for almost every occasion and occupation and event.

St. Christopher isn't a "real" saint any more but people do still wear his medals. He was the patron saint of travelers and thus often of drivers. On my 16th birthday, my mom got me a St. Christopher medal.

Patron saint of lost things is St. Anthony of Padua (I know - I occasionally lose things:D)

Some of the patron saints can be found here:

http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/saints/patrons.asp

BarbaraKE
06-21-2008, 12:19 AM
Thanks to everyone! I think Dobiwon's suggestion works perfectly ('Mater Dei!) but I'm saving several of the others because they might come in handy later on.

WriteKnight
06-23-2008, 01:37 AM
Brace yourself. The actual description of a short (one or two word) prayer that is NOT a curse or blasphemy is... "A Holy Ejaculation".

No joke.

I'm a former altar boy, I can vaguely remember my latin mass. "Mother of God" or even, "Jesus save me" were considered Holy Ejaculations. While JEEEZUS CHRIST! was a mis-use of the Lord's name.

I think the Nuns were just changing the rules on us in order to find an excuse to whack us with the rulers though...

MadScientistMatt
06-23-2008, 03:14 AM
Lutherans and some Episcopalians make the sign of the cross, too, often (but not always) accompanied by saying "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." It's common in Protestant denominations that keep most of the Catholic liturgy. Less liturgical denominations like the Baptists pretty much tossed this gesture out, and it's rare to see a Protestant make the sign of the cross outside of formal worship.

SherryTex
06-23-2008, 09:57 AM
If it is in France, Notre Dame, (and in french as well but I don't know it,) pray for us.

It depends upon where in Europe this peasant lives. The sign of the cross and a patron saint that was venerated based on profession/place of origin might also be appropriate...sailors prayed to Saint Nicholas --before he became known the world over as Santa Claus, it depends upon what the man did as to which saint he would have felt a special affinity with...check the Butler's Book of Saints for specifics based on nationality and profession...