Catholic Vade Mecum
Thanks again are due to Jaykay for kindly sending me these samples from a Catholic Vade Mecum that belonged to her great-grandmother. It really does say a lot about pre-Vatican II popular piety. Jaykay notes that:
It gives an insight into how “ordinary” people experienced and really did participate actively in religion – they didn’t just use these things as pious ornaments, despite the common belief that they were all “sheeple” before the Great Enlightenment. […] This is a sample – about the biggest I can send! The table of contents gives an idea of what’s in it. The 2 ladies concerned (my great-grandmother and her sister in law) were very “ordinary” people by the standards of that time. Her husband, my great grandfather, was a Chief Foreman in the carriage-building shop on the Great Northern Railway and Mrs Doherty’s husband owned a small monumental stoneworks business, so while they were prosperous enough they were basically tradespeople and certainly weren’t in the real middle or professional classes! Yet they had the standards and education to appreciate these things – as I said, they didn’t use them as ornaments, as can be seen from the wear on the book itself.