Buffalo, New York – In keeping with the ancient tradition of Poland, Corpus Christi Church will hold a blessing of herbs and flowers on the Feast of the Assumption on Friday, August 15 at 11:30 A.M. This is a custom that was once prevalent throughout the Polish community in the United States, brought to this country by Polish immigrants.
In Poland the Feast of the Assumption is also called Matki Boski Zielnej – Blessed Mother of the Herbs, or Our Lady of the Herbs. The Blessed Mother is seen as the patron and keeper of the earth and all of its abundance. On this special feast day, every village housewife brought a bouquet of herbs, flowers and grain that was collected from her own garden, the fields and orchards. She gathered dill, mint, rosemary, southernwood, parsley, hyssop, lovage, and comfrey – whatever she had growing in her garden. She added her favorite flower such as sweet pea, tansy or sunflowers. A branch of a favorite fruit tree was also tucked in such apple or pear. Since this time coincided with the time of the harvest, it was also the custom to take a few spikes of various grains including wheat, rye and oats.