Iris’ Archives, December 2018

ColignyCOLIGNY, GASPARD DE (de ko'le'nye )

1519-1572 French nobleman who became a devout Protestant, and chief of the military defence of the Huguenots (as the French Protestants were called) in the fierce "Wars of Religion". He was murdered in the notorious St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of Protestants in Paris.


Adolphe Adam, 1803-1856 A beautiful, haunting French carol whose melody was written by Adolphe Adam, composer born in Paris in 1803. A story is told that on Christmas Eve in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War, the French and German soldiers were facing each other in opposite trenches. Suddenly a young French soldier leaped from his trench and startled the Germans by singing in a loud, clear voice, the "Cantique de Noel" or "O Holy Night." The Germans were so surprised that not a shot was ?red. Not to be outdone, a German soldier stepped forward and sang Luther's "From Heaven Above to Earth I Come.”

O holy night the stars are brightly shining It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth Long lay the world in sin and error pining Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine O night
On night divine

Luther wrote a Christmas hymn for his five-year-old son Hans, which shows the tenderness which was one of the qualities 'blended in the rich humanity of this heroic man'.

From heaven above to earth I come,
To bear good news to every home;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
Whereof I now will say and sing...
Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.


The angel of the Lord appeared before the shepherds and announced to them the birth of the Child Jesus in Bethlehem (Luke 2:8-14).


Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark.
Henry VIII thought so much of Wolsey that he made him a cardigan.
The Fifth Commandment is 'Humour thy father and mother'.
A deacon is a mass of in?ammable material.
Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day... but a ball of ?re by night.
A parable is a heavenly story with no earthly meaning.
The Pope lives in a vacuum.
The Pharisees fasted in public, but in private they devoured widows' houses.
Today wild beasts are con?ned to Theological Gardens.
The patron saint of travellers is St Francis of the sea sick.
A republican is a sinner mentioned in the Bible.
Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob begat twelve partridges. (A brave and inspired attempt this: see Acts, 7.8)
The natives of Macedonia did not believe, so St Paul got stoned.
The ?rst commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.

Iris Holt