Friday, 10 January 2014

Zikomo Yesu*

Portrait of Dr David Livingstone at St Simon's RC Church, Partick

He was taught Latin by Daniel Gallagher, above, who later became parish priest of St Simon's
Thanks be to God - Thank You Jesus - on Christmas Eve i arrived in Blantyre, Malawi. Apologies that it is only now possible for me to write this short update, when i'm back in Berwick-on-the-Scottish-side-of-the-Tweed; from Mauritania onwards, i couldn't access the blog. It has been the most challenging, but hopefully not the least interesting journey i've ever made. In Blantyre (Malawi) i came across these words, in an otherwise very good temporary exhibition about Livingstone:

 "He was taught to read and write by his father, attended evening classes provided by the mill and taught himself Latin"

   This is not quite true in one important respect. He learnt Latin (without which he would not have been allowed to study medicine, therefore casting his entire subsequent career into doubt) from Northern Irishman Daniel Gallagher, who later became a Catholic priest.

   The pilgrimage, about which God-willing i now hope to write in detail, was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Among so many other privileges, i was able to return home via Paris, and visit the Sacre-Coeur (Sacred Heart) Basilica. After a Mass there on the 3rd of January to mark the feast of St Genevieve, patron saint of Paris, i went up to the top of the dome, affording tremendous views of the city. An English fellow happened to point out the Stade de France to his partner:

"It's not far - you could walk that."  

   In reply, i was tempted to interject (though i didn't): 

"You'd be amazed how much you can walk."  

   To which i might have added:

"...and how much cheating you can get away with!"

*Thank You Jesus.