Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ave Maria, gratia plena...

In 1937, an illustrious society called Brabantia Nostra placed a Chapel next to the A16 Motorway devoted to Mary on what they believed is the cultural and religious border between Holland and Brabant, between Calvin and Carnival, or between Protestant and Catholic. They thought it would be wise to welcome the Dutch entering from the North.

Sta reiziger! Wees wellekom
Hier treedt ge Brabant binnen,
Doch weet, dit trotsche hertogdom,
Heeft Háár tot Koninginne.

Stand, traveller! Be welcome
Here you enter Brabant
But know, this proud Duchy
Has Her as its Queen

In 1947 the same movement also ordered for a Brabant hymn to be composed (Lied van Hertog Jan). The Society did not survive into the twentieth century, but the discussion on the hymn is still vivid...

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