My Grandmother was not prone to profanities. She was, however, inclined to call upon her celestial guardians at those moments when life demands a verbal explosive. ‘Mary, mother of God,’ might have been an appropriate reply to some surprising and mildly unpleasant news; that the bus fare had increased by five pence or a magpie had shat on the clean sheets. ‘Sacred Heart of Jesus,’ was reserved for dire, genuinely heartbreaking calamities. ‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph,’ came somewhere between these two. Jesus, Mary and Joseph were beseeched upon in moments of exasperation. In fact, the intercession of Jesus, Mary and Joseph was so frequently implored that it sometimes seemed they had taken up residence in some netherworld spare room at the back of the house.
‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph, who let the fire go out?’
‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the immersion was left on all night!’
‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph, get down the stairs, your dinner is getting cold!’
‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we’ll be late for mass, the bell is ringing.’
It has been proven that cursing and swearing can alleviate pain (Scientific American article here). I imagine Jesus, Mary and Joseph brought a similarly analgesic effect to Granny’s days.
None of that has much to do with crochet but those were the thoughts that were running through my head as I stitched up this little holy family.
The pattern is from Whistle and Ivy and a pure joy to work from. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I couldn’t resist making a second little holy family.
So now, there is a little Jesus, Mary and Joseph convention taking place on my kitchen table.
You know that I’m a 44 year old Irish Catholic, right? That means I was a child before the scandals broke and a parent after. I’m willing to bet that most 44 year old Irish catholics have a deal of inner conflict about the Catholic Church.
I don’t want to get too deep here, but just to say that this Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Jesus, Mary and Joseph that (almost) kept Granny sane, will always have a place in my home at Christmas.
(Phew, I thought this was going to be a quick and cheery bit of Christmas crafty stuff. I don’t always know what’s lurking beneath my fingertips.)