kimurho (kimuro) wrote in sluagh_aotrom,
kimurho
kimuro
sluagh_aotrom

The power of Christ compels you

Belief in fairies and changelings long persisted in Ireland and to combat it, the Catholic Church promoted the belief that the power of the priest was superior to that of fairies. That all it took was the sign of the cross or the touch of a priest's stole to put the fairies to flight. But even those in the priesthood were not entirely safe from fairy mischief.

One foggy night, on a lonesome road in Ireland, an Irish priest returning home from a visit to a parishioner's home was crossing an open field when he was hit by a spell of confusion. He could not determine the direction he should go. Try as he might, he could not find a single known landmark, no matter how much he wandered. On his third circuit around the field, he resolved to cross over the fence and go straight on, but the thick briars and furze bushes defeated his efforts. As he stood there in dismay, he heard a sound like the rustle of wings, and a voice addressed him.

"You will suffer much if you do not find your way. Give us a favourable answer to the question, and you shall be on the road in a few minutes."

The priest was startled, but found the wits to respond. "Who are you and what is your question?"

The unseen voice replied, "We are the Clann Sighe and wish you to declare that on the last day our lot may not be with Satan. Say that the Savior died for us as well as for you."

The priest thought for a few minutes, then made this response. "I will give you a favourable answer, if you can make me a hopeful one. Do you adore and love the Son of God?"

There was no direct answer to this, but the priest heard weak, shrill cries and the rushing of wings fading in the distance. Then the gloom lifted enough for him to see the path and the opening in the fence. A short time later, he was safe and at home.

(from the book The Cooper's Wife is Missing by Joan Hoff and Marian Yeates)
Tags: ireland, irish, priests
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