|The somewhat dated image of chivalry.....|
Most sources list the origins of chivalry back to the time of the Crusades and the word itself comes from the French chevaliere - normally taken to be a horseman of noble birth. A knight, in other words. And now all the images of maidens in distress being rescued by burly young men on horseback spring to mind.
I am sure that these roots are accurate, except for one thing. From where did the need for chivalry arise? Why should men have adopted a lifestyle aimed at being virtuous and protective of women (amongst other things)?
I have always been led to believe that it stems from love and respect for the Mother of God. Our Lady personifies womanhood. She, alone is unique in the world as being chosen to be both the Immaculate Conception and the Mother of Our Lord and so, all mankind. All women, therefore, are blessed by the grace of Mary and that is why we honour them with courtesy, not because of this 'fairest sex' nonsense.
Medieval knights (and Crusaders) adopted this approach of courtesy and protection to all women out of love and respect for the Blessed Mother. Of course, the 'woman' element must not get out of proportion; in many respects those choosing the chivalry road also adopted a religious rule, much like a tertiary order member might today.
So, typically, a Code of Chivalry emerged along the following lines:-
|Always accept the offer of a seat from a beautiful girl!|
And now, some answers to the quiz......................
1. Jezebel 2. 18 3. The pipe organ 4. 'Penance' 5. St John 6. 266
7. Beheaded 8. A recess to accommodate holy oils 9. St Monica
10. A letter from a bishop to his priests 11. Jesus fell as recorded at those stations 12. Feed the hungry 13. A kneeler for prayer 14. Scallop shell
15. Witness 16. The two natures of Jesus Christ (divine and human) combined in the one person. 17. Oliver Plunkett 18. Skullcap
19. St Jerome 20. 1962
Congratulations to all who made the attempt, sorry, no silver teapots!