Sonnet: St. Enodoc (Feast of All Heras)

Today, in the ancient Roman calendar was the Feast of All the Heras.

It’s also the feast of St. Enodoc, about whom virtually nothing is known except that he lived near a freshwater spring next to the ocean. His church on the north shore of Cornwall was partially submerged beneath the dunes sometime after the 12th century — parishioners had to climb through a hole in the roof to perform the one service a year required by law to keep it being a church — and then dug out in the 19th century and restored. Once rebuilt, the freshwater spring where Enodoc’s hermitage stood was re-discovered near the rood screen. I think that makes Saint Enodoc the patron of keeping on with one’s practice through difficulty, until better times arrive.

Enodoc, whose church wind and sand consumed,
still called God’s people to his lonely cave,
once a year ’til normal practice resumed:
How dedicated your soul, and how brave
to keep on working though centuries passed,
though pilgrims sought communion once a year!
What holy treasures had your soul amassed,
what oceans of angels spoke to your ear?
In lonely squalor beneath shifting dunes
you prayed for Cornwall’s health and salvation,
Interceding and hearing rare boons.
Grant that our deeds of solo devotion,
begun in desolate places, by night,
Shall bring us, in time, to splendor and Light.

I will have to come back to this project in a year, next February, and write a few sonnet prayers for the saints I missed. There’s a couple of important ones. Like, say, Brighid. Oops.

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