Three Blind Mice, 21st Century Style!
History is the open Bible: we historians are not priests to expound it infallibly: our function is to teach people to read it and to reflect upon it for themselves.
George Macaulay Trevelyan
THREE BLIND MICE
Three blind mice
Three blind mice
See how they run,
See how they run!
They all ran after
The farmer’s wife
She cut off their tails
With a carving knife
Did you ever see
Such a sight in your life
As three blind mice?
Did you know that there are some nursery rhymes that are rooted in history? The tale of the “Three Blind Mice” is one of those little known pieces of historical fact that fits the realm of “Interesting Facts of Faith”!
There can be few people alive that have never heard of King Henry VIII and his infamous eight wives. It was through his desire to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon who had only been able to present to him a daughter as an heir, that the Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain was forever changed. And it was this edict issued by the throne that would allow this to occur which gave rise to the Protestant sect, The Church of England (Episcopalianism here in the United States). Henry’s daughter from this marriage, Mary, was allowed to remain in court while Henry lived. However, she maintained her ties to the strict Roman Catholic influence of her mother and her mother’s family who haled from Spain. And when she ascended to the English throne as Queen Mary I, she quickly earned the moniker as “Bloody Mary” for her violent persecution of Protestants. So how does this relate to the children’s nursery rhyme? Well, the origin of the words to the Three Blind Mice rhyme are based on the history of this persecution of the English Protestants under Queen Mary’s rule.
Queen Mary I entered into marriage with King Philip of Spain, to form a union between Spain, the Netherlands and England. Together, the pair held massive estates in Europe through usurping them in an unsavory manner. The “Farmer’s Wife” in the song references Queen Mary I, and the Three Blind Mice refer to three estates and the three noblemen to whom they belonged. The noblemen were all Protestants and as such, were convicted of treason against the Queen. And although she did not blind them or have them dismembered, she did order they be burned at the stake, thus securing title to their holdings.
Throughout history, and especially today, millions of people of faith, Christian and non-Christian alike, have been both persecuted and martyred for refusing to renounce their faith when told to do so. In speaking only about Christianity for the purposes of this blog, it is believed that over 200 million people in over 80 countries are being persecuted right this very second! And yet, despite this, Christianity seems to grow the fastest in areas where persecution is the greatest. And this single fact speaks volumes as to the strength that seems to find its way into the heart of one who knows, follows and believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
So remember how fortunate you are to be able to practice you faith freely and openly and when you say your prayers today, remember those who are not as lucky as we are!
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