The unequalled love of the Gaelic Race for the Mother of God is woven into the very words of everyday language. Even as the Anglophone will speak of Mary-down-the-street and Mary-the-Ever-Virgin-Mother-of-God by means of the same word, the Gael will call his neighbour Máire and the Immaculate Queen of Heaven Muire.
The Mother of God was a practical part of everyday life, as shown in the traditional Gaelic Milking Song or Cronan Bleoghan:
Thig, a Mhuire, ’s bligh a bhó,
Thig, a Bhride, ’s comraig í,
Thig, a Choluim-chille chaoimh,
’S iadh do dhá laimh mo m’ bhóin.
Thig, a Mhuire, dh’ fhios mo bhó,
Thig, a Bhride, mhór na loin,
Thig, a bhanachaig Íosa Críost,
’S cur do lámh a níos fo m’ bhóin.
This roughly translates as:
Come, O Mary, and milk my cow,
Come, St. Brigid, and attend her,
Come, St. Columba, the kind one,
And in thy two hands cradle my cow.
Come, O Mary, to meet my cow,
Come, St. Brigid, great of beauty,
Come, O milking woman of Jesus Christ,
And put thy hand beneath my cow.
*The image of the Annunciation on this post is the Cestello Annunciation on tempera by Sandro Botticelli c. 1490 in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.