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Coccinellidae day

Sunday, 1 February, 2015

The Latin word coccineus means “scarlet” and the Coccinellidae are a family of small beetles, sometimes scarlet in colour with black spots on their wings. The insect became known as “Our Lady’s bird” because Mary (Our Lady) was often depicted in early Christian paintings wearing a scarlet cloak, and the spots of the seven-spot ladybird were said to symbolize her seven joys and seven sorrows. Incidentally, the German name Marienkäfer translates as Mary beetle.

Lady bird

Note: Today, 1 February, is the feast day of St. Brigid (“Mary of the Gaels”), the prolific patron saint of babies, blacksmiths, boatmen, cattle farmers, children whose mothers are mistreated by the children’s fathers, dairymaids, fugitives, Leinster, mariners, midwives, nuns, poets, the poor, poultry farmers, printing presses, sailors, scholars and travellers.


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