Posted on December 21, 2012 | 0 Comments
The Santons Prayer quoted in the 1940s has traditionally been recited by the children of Provence as they gather around the creche after Christmas Eve supper has been celebrated. Some refer to it as the Christmas prayer of the Children of Provence.
"Little Jesus of the Crib:
Make us philosophical as the fisherman,
Carefree as the drummer,
Merry as the troubadour in exploring the world,
Eager for work as the bugler, patient as the spinner,
Kind as the ass, strong as the ox which keeps you warm.
Give us the sacred leisure of the hunter,
Give us also the desire of the shepherd for earthly things,
The pride in our work of the knife grinder and the weaver,
The song of the miller.
Grant us the knowledge of the Magi, the cheerfulness of the pigeon,
The impulsiveness of the cock, the discretion of the snail,
The meekness of the lamb. Give us the goodness of bread,
The tenderness of the wild boar, the salt of the haddock,
The good humor of old wine, the ardor of the candle,
The purity of the star.
Make us equal, dear Jesus, to our ancestors who honored you with their Christmas cribs.
Let us continue this custom while they watch over us in a Heaven which must resemble our Cribs with the Good Mother, the Infant Jesus, the angels, and these santons who are so kind they never speak an ill word of any person.
Pray, Lord, for our ancestors who passed down the Crib, for our mothers who taught us its art, for our fathers, for our homes.
We pray at your feet, Good Jesus, who wished to be born among the lowly people of this earth.
Pray for our native land, for the peace of its firesides, and for the future of our people.
Lord, pray for Provence! And upon the sea of this world, guard it as the land of your affections!"
- Foley, Little Saints of Christmas, pp. 36-37
From what Foley says, it would appear that this traditional prayer was commonly customized to include all the Santons figures in each individual family creche.
We also found this shorter version, simply cited as an Old French prayer from Provence:
"Little Jesus of the crib. Give us the virtues of those that surround you. Make us philosophical as the fisherman. Carefree as the drummer. Merry as exploring the world as the troubadour. Eager for work as the bugler. Kind as the ass. Strong as the ox that keeps you warm."