Prime Minister Edmund Burke and the Twelve Days of Christmas Purpose

In 13 History on 2012/01/13 at 9:30 PM

Edmund Burke referred to the Elizabethan Penal Laws as the most vicious plan devised by the twisted mind of man for the enslavement of a people.  Whereas in the 18th century he was referring mainly to the deprivation of the Irish of basic human rights (to own property, be educated, have professions, etc…) the also originally applied to English Catholics who until the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 were not permitted to practice their faith openly.

The faith was passed on to the younger generation by an instructive coded song that later became a popular Christmas carol.
Each item mentioned was a code word for the religious truth being conveyed. Furthermore, it was very easy for children to learn and remember.

1. The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

2. Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

3. Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

4. The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

5. The five golden rings recalled the Pentateuch or first five books of the Old Testament.

6. The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

7. Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord.

8. The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

9. Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit-Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Mildness, Self-control, Modesty/Chastity

10. The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

11. The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

12. The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.


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