St. Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury (961-980) was known for outsmarting the devil. Dunstan is the patron saint of goldsmiths and others. After all his good works and long service to the Church he is most remembered by this piece of doggrell:
St. Dunstan, as the story goes,
Once pull'd the devil by the nose.
With red-hot tongs, which made him roar,
That he was heard three miles or more.
Tongs are a symbol of St. Dunstan as are horseshoes. Before serving as a bishop, Dunstan was a blacksmith and when, asked to shoe the devil's horse, he hammered a horseshoe on the devil's own hoof.The story goes that Dunstan let go of the devil when the devil promised never to enter a place where a horseshoe is over the door. This may be the origin of the lucky horseshoe idea. Reminds me of the Angel of death passing over the homes of the Hebrews whose doors were marked during the plagues.
Several questions for discussion:
1.Dunstan is remembered by a verse of poetry....How will you be remembered?
2. The saint lived in a world which personified evil as a devil. Other than the insurance industry, how is evil personified in our age?
3. What symbol would you choose for yourself? Tongs?
4. Do you think Wikipedia is a reliable and accurate source of information? How will high school students researching at the last minute be able to tell the difference between accurate information in Wikipedia and the work of a clever prankster?
Please place your name at the top right hand corner of your paper. Give your work to the teaching assistant wearing the red shirt with the horseshoe baseball cap as you go out.