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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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EUCHARISTIC LORE

IF YOU GO TO COMMUNION WITHOUT THE RIGHT INTENTIONS THE HOST
WILL BURN YOUR TONGUE BADLY. THE REASON THAT PEOPLE DROP HOSTS
ON THE FLOOR IS BECAUSE IT BURNS SO BADLY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM A GRADE SCHOOL NUN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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A RELIGIOUS BELIEF

IF YOU GO TO MASS, CONFESSION, AND COMMUNION ON NINE CONSECUTIVE
FIRST FRIDAYS OF THE MONTH YOU WON'T GO TO HELL.

Submitter comment: TAUGHT TO HER IN GRADE SCHOOL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Ninths / Nine
BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

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A POLISH LEGEND

THERE IS A POLISH TALE ABOUT THE BELLS ON THE STEEPLE OF A REBUILT
CHURCH IN HEL ON THE BALTIC SEA. THERE LIVED, SO THEY SAY, A GIRL
WHO WAS TOTALLY DEAF, SO ALL SHE COULD DO WAS TO GUARD THE GOATS
IN THE PASTURE. BUT STRANGELY SHE WAS ABLE TO HEAR THOSE BELLS AS
IF THEY CALLED OUT HER NAME, JOANNA. ONE DAY SEVEN BELLS WERE
GONE AND THE GIRL WAS THE FIRST TO NOTICE THE SILENCE. PEOPLE WERE
DISMAYED AND DOWNHEARTED AND THEY BEGAN TO FEAR THAT THEY DID NOT
LIVE ACCORDING TO GOD'S COMMANDMENT, SO THE BELLS LEFT THEM.
ONE DAY THE GIRL WAS WALKING THROUGH THE FOREST AND SHE SEEMED TO
HEAR SOME RINGING.
SEARCHING IN THE GRASS, TO HER GREAT JOY, (SHE FOUND) ALL THE
BELLS. SHE DECIDED TO TAKE THEM BACK BUT THEY WERE HEAVY; SHE
ALMOST CRIED. SUDDENLY SHE HEARD THE BIG BELL SAY, "BIM, BAM,
BUM, TAKE ME FIRST, I AM THE FATHER AND THE OTHERS WILL FOLLOW."
SHE PICKED HIM UP AND FOUND HE WAS LIGHT. SHE MANAGED TO HANG
THEM UP IN THE CHURCH STEEPLE AND WHEN THE PEOPLE CAME TO MASS,
MINDING NOW TO BE ON TIME, SHE PULLED THE ROPE AND THE BELLS
STARTED TO RING. THEY RING TO THIS DAY, REMINDING THE PEOPLE,
MOSTLY FISHERMEN, TO LEAD AN HONEST LIFE SO THE BELLS WOULD NEVER
GO AWAY AND HIDE.

Submitter comment: THIS LEGEND MY GRANDMOTHER KNEW FROM HER CHILDHOOD DAYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Magic
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Holy placeChurchTemple
BELIEF -- Church

Date learned: 10-28-1967

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RELIGIOUS

THERE IS A CHURCH ON A HIGH HILL IN MALTA. THERE IS A CAVE UNDER-
NEATH THIS CHURCH. ONE DAY A GIRL WENT DOWN (INTO) THE CAVE AND
NEVER RETURNED. HER SISTER WENT TO FIND HER AND SHE NEVER
RETURNED. ALTOGETHER SEVEN SISTERS WERE LOST. THE CAVE WAS
THEN BOARDED UP BUT PEOPLE STILL VISIT THERE. NO ONE KNOWS
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GIRLS BUT MANY FEEL THEY HAVE DROWNED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formation
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Woman
BELIEF -- Church

Date learned: 03-08-1970

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ST. GERTRUDE CHURCH

THERE IS A LOCAL LEGEND IN THE PARISH OF ST. GERTRUDE (BUILT
IN 1887) IN ST. CLAIR SHORES THAT THE BODIES OF SAINTS MARTYRED
BY THE INDIANS ARE BURIED INTO THE BASEMENT OF THE CHURCH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Church

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NAME--EXPLANATION

ON THE ISLAND OF SANTO DOMINGO THERE IS A CHAPEL CALLED CHRIST OF
HEALTH. THE STORY GOES THAT THE SPANISH USED THE SITE ON WHICH
THE CHAPEL NOW STANDS AS A RACE COURSE. NEAR BY IS A CLIFF. ONE
DAY DURING A RACE ONE OF THE PARTICIPANTS LOST CONTROL AND WAS
UNABLE TO PULL HIMSELF AND HIS HORSE OUT OF DANGER. THE ONLY
THING THAT SAVED HIS LIFE WAS SOMEONE'S PRAYER. IN HONOR OF THAT
EVENT, THE CHURCH WAS BUILT AND GIVEN THIS NAME.

Submitter comment: TOLD BY A GIRL FROM SANTO DOMINGO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; ADRIAN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Church

Date learned: 12-04-1967

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GERMAN TALE

FOR MANY YEARS, THE DEVIL HAD HIS OWN WAY IN THE LOVELY VALLEY
OF VAUDAI. ONE YEAR, HOWEVER, SOME OF THE PEOPLE LIVING THERE
BUILT A CHUCH. THE DEVIL WAS VERY ANGRY AND TRIED TO DESTROY
THE CHURCH BUT MORE AND MORE CHURCHES WERE BUILT AND THE DEVIL
WAS FORCED TO LEAVE THE VALLEY AND LIVE UP IN THE ROCKY HEIGHTS
OF THE ALPS WHERE IT WAS TOO COLD TO BUILD A CHURCH. THOUGH HE
TRIED MANY MEANS OF WIPING OUT THE CHURCHES, THEY STILL REMAINED
AND REALIZING HIS DEFEAT, THE DEVIL WENT BACK IN MISERY TO THE
ROCKY CRAGS WHICH WERE HIS NEW HOME. AND WHEN THE DEVIL THINKS
BACK ON HIS HAPPY DAYS IN THE VALLEY, A TERRIBLE FREEZING WIND
BLOWS THROUGHOUT VAUDAI AND MAKES ALL THE CHURCH DOORS RATTLE.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT IS AN AMERICAN GIRL WHOSE PARENTS ARE FROM GERMANY.
HER FATHER LEARNED IT AS A YOUNG BOY IN GERMANY AND TOLD IT TO
HER WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 10-06-1963

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THE CRYING JESUS

IN BAVARIA (BRAVARIA?) THERE IS A CHURCH NAMED ST. DENISE WHERE
IN THE 1400'S A GROUP OF VILLAGERS MADE A CROSS WITH CHRIST ON IT,
BUT THE CHRIST WAS SO UGLY AND WHEN USED THE PEOPLE WERE ALWAYS
HORRIFIED. SO IT WAS DECIDED TO GET A NEW ONE MADE--THE OLD CHRIST
WAS STORED IN A BARN AND FORGOTTEN. YEARS LATER A PEASANT WOMAN
FOUND IT AND BROUGHT IT HOME, WHERE TEARS STREAMED FROM THE EYES.
SHE TOOK IT TO THE PARISH PRIEST WHO CLAIMED A MIRACLE AND HE
BUILT A CHURCH IN THE CRYING JESUS'S IMAGE AND MEMORY. THE CROSS
IS STILL IN THE CENTER OF THE CHURCH.
PEOPLE TRULY BLIEVE IN THE MIRACLE.

Where learned: GERMANY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Church

Date learned: 10-02-1970

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HOLY COMMUNION

YOU SHOULD NEVER GO TO HOLY COMMUNION IF YOU FEEL SICK OR IF
YOU THINK YOU WILL BE. SHE REMEMBERS ONE OF HER STUDENTS RECEIVING
COMMUNION AT MASS, THEN LEAVING CHURCH BECAUSE HE WAS GOING TO VOMIT
SHE FOLLOWED HIM OUT, AND FOUND HIM BEING SICK. INSTANTLY
APPEARED THOUSANDS OF MAGGOTS, WHO ATE UP ALL THE VOMIT
AND THEN DISAPPEARED.
SHE BELIEVES THAT THIS WAS A MIRACLE TO KEEP THE HOST FROM BEING
DEFILED

Submitter comment:

THE SHE, REFERS TO THE INFORMANTS 5TH GRADE TEACHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND RAPIDS

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL INSECT LARVA

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Insect
BELIEF -- Church

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HOLY WATER

WHENEVER YOU DIP YOUR HAND IN HOLY WATER, YOU SHOULD
SHAKE OFF THE EXCESS. EACH DROP OF THIS QUENCHES THE SOUL
OF A PERSON IN PURGATORY, AND THAT PERSON GOES TO HEAVEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND RAPIDS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Church

Date learned: 00001956 CHILDHOOD

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CATHOLIC BELIEF

THE CUSTOM OF HEADWEAR BY WOMEN IN CHURCHES STEMS FROM
THE MEDIEVAL BELIEF THAT EVIL SPIRITS WOULD ENTANGLE IN THE
HAIR OF A WOMAN SO UNCOVERED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
BELIEF -- Church

Date learned: 09-24-1969

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CUSTOM

YOU MUST MAKE A WISH IN A NEW CHURCH BUILDING.

Submitter comment:

COLLECTED IN THE NURSE'S LOUNGE, BEAUMONT HOSPITAL.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Church

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HOLY WATER

HOLY WATER WILL CURE YOU IF YOU HAVE FAITH IN GOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 03-03-1971

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SLEEPING IN CHURCH

IF YOU FALL ASLEEP IN CHURCH, AN USHER WILL COME AND TICKLE
YOUR NOSE TO WAKE YOU.

Submitter comment:

DONE TO INFORMANT IN YOUNGER DAYS.

Where learned: OHIO ; CANTON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Nose
BELIEF -- Church

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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HOLY COMMUNION

WHEN I WAS 8 I BELIEVED IF I CHEWED THE HOST, MY TEETH WOULD ROT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Church

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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NEW CHURCHES

EVERYTIME YOU ENTER A NEW CHURCH, MAKE A WISH AND IT WILL COME
TRUE.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Church

Date learned: 03-31-1968

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MAGIC

IF YOU BITE THE CONSECRATED HOST IT WILL BLEED FOR IT IS THE
BODY OF CHRIST.

Submitter comment:

THREE OTHERS SIMILAR TO THIS IN THE ARCHIVE FILES OF LINED CARDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Flint

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Church

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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FRENCH EASTER CELEBRATION

ON GOOD FRIDAY AT O:00 P.M. ALL THE BELLS STOP AND THE
CHILDREN ARE TOLD THE BELLS HAVE FLOWN TO ROME. WHEN THE CHILDREN
HEAR THE BELLS ON EASTER THEY ARE TOLD THAT THE BELLS DROP
EASTER EGGS ON THEIR WAY BACK TO THE CHURCHES. THE EASTER EGG HUNT
BEGINS WHEN THE BELLS RING ON EASTER. THE BELLS TAKE THE PLACE OF
THE EASTER BUNNY.

Submitter comment: SEEN IN FRANCE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Bunny
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
BELIEF -- Church

Date learned: 00001964 SUMMER

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BELIEF

AFTER YOU CROSS YOURSELF, YOU SHOULD THROW HOLY WATER OVER YOUR LEFT
SHOULDER. THIS WAS TO RELIEVE THE BURNING ON THE SOULS IN PURGATORY.

Submitter comment: THIS IS AN ITALIAN CUSTOM.

Where learned: OHIO ; MOGADORE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Supernatural Being
BELIEF -- Church
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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CHURCH CUSTOM

CERTAIN PRIESTS OF THE KANSAS CITY-SAINT JOSEPH DIOCESE UPHOLD
THE FOLLOWING TRADITION: IF A PARENT BRINGS AN INFANT TO
COMMUNION, BEFORE THE PRIEST GIVES THE HOST TO THE PARENT, HE
MAKES THE SIGN OF THE CROSS WITH IT OVER THE CHILD, BLESSING IT.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
SPEECH -- Gesture

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