The name September comes from the ancient Roman calendar’s Septembris, thus marked for its position as the seventh month of the year. Romans counted their annual cycle beginning with the month of March – Martius – a tribute to the city’s patron god and protector, Mars. But then along came Caesar who threw a big old wrench in the system. Julius instituted his Julian calendar, introducing the months of January and February. This upset the correspondence of monthly names to numbers, but – on the plus side – it smoothed out that niggling problem of 60 days missing from every year.
So these days September is relegated all the way back to #9, poor old gal. That said, the month has managed to hold onto a few undeniable claims to fame:
- the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin on the 8th
- the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the 14th
- St. Matthew the apostle on the 21st
- St. Michael the archangel on the 29th
- September was known as “harvest month” in Charlemagne‘s calendar. It corresponds partly to the month Fructidor and partly to the Vendémiaire of the first French republic. The Anglo-Saxons called it Gerstmonath, barley month. While in Switzerland, September is called Herbstmonat, harvest month, in Switzerland. (Source: Wikipedia)
Of course, there’s also the monthly occasion of our Albany Chesterton Society get-togethers, one of which will take place in September (Thursday the 5th, no doubt already on your calendar).
But as befits a month of harvests, we can look forward to an overabundance of Chestertonian delights – as if to fatten us up for the approaching winter chills. The venerable Rochester NY Chesterton Society, our friendly neighbors to the west, will host their 10th Annual day conference on Saturday, September 21st. This year’s theme: Literary Voices Against the Darkness.
As those of us who’ve attended past Rochesterton Conferences will attest, this is an event not to be missed. This year’s docket includes Albany Chesterton Society fan favorite Joseph Pearce, Dr. Tom Martin of the University of Nebraska, Rev. Nathan Allen, and – trumpet blast – our swashbuckling captain and president of the American Chesterton Society, Dale Ahlquist.
Count on a boisterous westbound caravan from our fair city – and let us know if you need a ride or a nudge in the right direction!