Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/102

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and lined with people in festival array. As the procession passed, women ran out and scattered rose-leaves before it, and one young mother set her blooming baby on a heap of greenery in the middle of the street, leaving it there, that the Holy Ghost under its canopy might pass over it. A pretty sight, the rosy little creature smiling in the sunshine as it sat playing with its own blue shoes, while the golden pageant went by; the chanting priests stepping carefully, and looking down with sudden benignity in their tired faces as the holy shadow fell on the bright head, making baby blessed and saved for ever in its pious mother's eyes.

A great band played finely, scarlet soldiers followed, then the banners of patron saints were borne by children. Saint Agnes and her lamb led a troop of pretty little girls carrying tall, white lilies, filling the air with their sweetness. Mary, Our Mother, was followed by many orphans with black ribbons crossed over the young hearts that had lost so much. Saint Martin led the charity boys in purple suits of just the color of the mantle he was dividing with the beggar on the banner. A pleasant emblem of the charitable cloak that covers so many.