17 September 2008

What is the language of Heaven?

As Lourdes cowers in terror at the imminent arrival of goodness-knows how many Anglican pilgrims led by our beloved and primatial Welsh Wizard, I wonder if someone could help me with the question of what our Lady actually said. I have always thought that she said, in the Gascon dialect of Occitan, Que soi era Immaculada Concepcion: where era shows the characteristic Gascon shift from the ela of other dialects (prescinding of course from the knotty question of whether Gascon is an Occitan dialect). But the erudite Fr Martindale, in his 1957 CTS booklet, gives Que soi l'Immaculado Councepciou. There must be someone out there in the blogosphere with enough historical knowledge and philological learning to put me right on this.

Incidentally, I think I recall Metropolitan Kallistos Ware once suggesting that (bearing in mind that the Mother of God was speaking on the Feast of the Annunciation) what she meant was 'I am the one in whom the Logos has been immaculately conceived'. Did he really mean this, or was it an example of his Beatitude's deliciously feline sense of humour?

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