NATIONAL BOTANIC GARDENS, DUBLIN
Welp I am home at long last and with huge gratitude/relief.
I wanted to share these photos I took on my last day in Ireland. I had visited the Botanic Gardens last year and it was the one main place I wanted to see again in Dublin this year. I don’t know the city well but surely this is a highlight.
Adjacent to the Botanic Garden is the massive Glasnevin Cemetery. In it, I happened to know, is the burial site of Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ (1844-1889). Other notable people have been laid to rest here and as you enter, there’s a little map that shows you where they are.
So large does Hopkins loom in my heart that it took me forever to find his grave because I assumed he would have a giant oh say winged statue or maye even a mausoleum all to himself. Instead, I finally figured out, he’s thrown in with a bunch of his brethren which I’m sure is exactly the way he would have wanted it.
I was a bit wrung out, to put it mildly, by the end of my trip. It was raining and gloomy that day. As I stood before Hopkins’ grave, I felt a little shaky and a little alone.
Looking to my right, I saw that a fresh burial was taking place a few plots down. A small group, dressed in black and carrying umbrellas, was gathered around the lowered coffin murmuring prayers.
Suddenly I picked out the phrase, “Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae”–the “Hail Holy Queen” that, thanks to Sing the Hours, I had just managed (after 27 years as a convert) to memorize in Latin.
Instantly I felt at home, part of something greater than myself, a member in good standing of the Mystical Body. So from Hopkins’ grave I stood at attention and prayed along with the strangers down the way and for the repose of the soul of their friend.
Then I knelt before Fr. Hopkins’ grave, and thanked him, and from my phone read back to him his poem, “Thou art indeed just, Lord.”
I know to the marrow of my bones that he heard me.
And all the rest of that day I prayed, Send my roots rain.
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS’ GRAVE, GLASNEVIN CEMETERY, DUBLIN, DIED JUNE 8, 1889