"suitable for when you want someone to have a pleasant day, but not to overdo things."
|You probably haven't heard of Father Ignatius Hepplethwaite of Budleigh Salterton. Born in Devon in 1847, this Jesuit trained Priest/Baker, whose evangelical spirit often found him at the forefront of the cake stall in many a torrid jumble sale, was also the author of a book of minor blessings.
Father Ignatius' Big Book of Obscure Minor Blessings, has recently been republished by the Vatican Trust for the (ex)Communication of Radical Hosiery.
In its biographical notes there is a quote from the then Bishop of Exeter, Otter Honiton, (who the well read amongst you may recall was famous in his own right as the World Record Holder for holding the most live moths in his mouth, (thirty-three)).
"Hepplethwaite? Don't know the fellow. Hmm? Oh! Him! Yes, nice old buffer I think, inoffensive you know, good with cakes and whatnot. Has this thing about socks."
Socks did indeed play a large part in Father Ignatius' later life. He founded and ran a mission that distributed second hand socks to distraught sailors. He liked to joke that he helped them hide their feet. It is possible that he was a trifle confused on this point.
We have obtained special dispensation to share a few short extracts from the book below:
These blessings have been certified suitable for when you want someone to have a pleasant day, but not to overdo things.
Father Ignatius Hepplethwaite.
May the socks in your laundry basket always be paired.
May your butter spread freely without ripping up the bread.
A blessing be upon you. May the shop never have run out of your favourite flavour of ice-cream.
It is my most earnest wish that the elastic in your pants shall always be tight, and never at full stretch.
I hope that you are always the one to find the sixpence in the Christmas Pudding. (Please don't choke on it though).
May your porridge never form a thick skin, unless you like that sort of thing naturally, (there's no accounting for taste).
May there always be at least one biscuit left in your barrel.
May your fingers always find the right notes on your flute. This is especially relevant if you are practising "Greensleeves"
outside my window for the fourteenth time this afternoon.
May the heels of your socks ever be well darned.
This last was referenced in The Beatles hit 'Eleanor Rigby', and Father Ignatius was probably the inspiration for Father McKenzie, who was "Darning his socks in the night when there's nobody there.
The book is available from only the most obscure bookshops - those with erratic opening times, you know - where they make you feel uncomfortable when you walk in and follow you with their eyes as you try to browse, and don't even think about asking if they have a specific book that you're looking for, because they won't, and no they can't order it and ... Anyway - good luck in getting a copy.