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Cat in the Stax: The Easter Bunny’s Pennsylvanian Roots

By Ethan Shea

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Did you know the Easter Bunny has Pennsylvanian roots? As those who celebrate prepare for Easter, here in Pennsylvania, we can rest assured that the Easter Bunny won’t forget to leave plenty of eggs.

According to TIME Magazine, “the Easter Bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare.”

The Free Library of Philadelphia backs up this claim and expands upon it here: “Georg Franck von Frankenau first wrote about the Alsatian tradition of a Hare bringing Easter eggs in his De ovis paschalibus or About Easter Eggs in 1682, but it was the Pennsylvania Dutch who brought the tradition of the Easter Hare or Oschter Haws to Pennsylvania.”

When it comes to holidays involving small mammals, Pennsylvania reigns supreme. Name another state that both the Easter Bunny and the immortal Punxsutawney Phil can call home! All we need now is a state bat for International Bat Appreciation Day on April 17. If you have any ideas for names, I’d love to see them in the comments!

I know I’m looking forward to a home-cooked meal with my family. Regardless of whether you celebrate Easter, I hope you enjoy a well-deserved break!


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.


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Falvey Library Service Hours: Easter 2022


Falvey Library Service Hours: Easter 2022

Tuesday, April 12: 8 a.m.—12 a.m. (book stacks close at 11:30 p.m.)

Wednesday, April 13: 8 a.m.—10 p.m. (book stacks close at 9:30 p.m.)

Thursday, April 14—Sunday, April 17: Service desk and book stacks closed.

Monday, April 18: 2 p.m.—12 a.m. (book stacks close at 11:30 p.m.)

Villanova students, faculty, and staff may enter the Library building 24/7 with a valid Wildcard. Library services are available to the University community during posted service hours. Electronic collections (articles, e-books, and more!) are accessible through the Library’s website 24/7. For a full listing of service hours, visit the Library website.

Easter blessings, Nova Nation.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Photo Friday: A Blessed Easter to All

Easter Poster

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” – Saint Augustine

A blessed Easter to Villanovans around the world. To celebrate this joyous season, we decided to revisit the Easter exhibit from 2013, “I Am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25): An Easter Celebration from Special Collections.”

Visual. Intellectual. Spiritual.

The exhibit was designed by Laura Bang, ‎Distinctive Collections Librarian; she and Michael Foight, Director of Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement, mounted the exhibit; and Joanne Quinn, Director of Communications and Marketing, created posters and other graphics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Ash Wednesday, Marks the Beginning of Lent

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Easter is considered “a movable feast” (New Catholic Encyclopedia) and Easter’s date also affects other holy days: Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent; Palm Sunday; the days of Holy Week – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday – and Pentecost.

The earliest date for Easter, March 22, occurred in 1761 and 1818; it will fall on March 22 again in 2285 and 2353. Easter can be as late as April 25 as happened in 1886 and 1943 and this will occur again in 2038. This year, 2021, Easter is celebrated on April 4.

From the earliest years of Christianity, Easter has been its most important feast, and the date of the observance varied. No one day of the week was associated with Christmas, Christ’s birth day, and by about A.D. 400 the western Church had assigned December 25 as the date for the observation of Christmas.

The Easter season, however, did have specific days of the week associated with its events and this contributed to the variety of dates on which Easter was celebrated. Historically, it is believed that Jesus held the Last Supper on the 14th day of Nisan (a Jewish month), the date of Passover.

The date of Passover was based upon a lunar calendar and Passover did not always fall on the same day of the week. But for Christians, Christ’s Resurrection occurred on a Sunday and therefore Easter should be celebrated on a Sunday. And this led to conflicts, which were resolved by the Council of Nicaea (Council of Nice).

 

Dig Deeper

Read Lenten Reflections, compiled by the Office of Mission & Ministry, from Villanova faculty and staff.

Holy Holidays! The Catholic Origins of Celebration (2011). Greg Tobin.
Passover and Easter: Origin and History to Modern Times (1999). Paul F. Bradshaw and Lawrence A. Hoffman, editors.
“The Date of Easter: A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Mathematics, Villanova University” (1954). Sister Mary Bernita Smith, RSM.
The Regulation of Easter, or the Cause of the Errors and Dfferences [sic] Contracted in the Calculation of It Discover’d and Duly Consider’d. (1735). Henry Wilson.
The Great Cicle [sic] of Easter Containing a Short Rule, to Knowe Yppon [sic] What Day of the Month Easter Day will Fall … (1584). John Pett.

 


Alice Bampton is a retired staff member of Falvey Memorial Library. A version of this article was originally published April 4, 2015.


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Easter Sunrise


…The
sky turns crystal blue
after rainfall and low clouds,
a
speedway for homecoming birds.

We covered you with winter earth
but, because He lives, Momma,
I know that you live, too.

—Donna Lakes

These stanzas from “Easter Sunrise,” were written by Donna Lakes, poet and then staff member of Appalachian Heritage journal, and published in 1995. This publication is a leading literary journal which showcases the work of emerging and established writers and artists from Appalachia, and is one of more than 700 journals available online to Falvey patrons through Project Muse, a trusted source for complete, full-text versions of scholarly journals from many of the world’s leading universities and scholarly societies.
Project Muse is just one of the dozens of publishers currently helping libraries temporarily expand scholarly content for free. Click here to explore these limited time offerings.
Lakes, Donna. “Easter Sunrise.” Appalachian Heritage, vol. 23 no. 2, 1995, p. 10-10. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/aph.1995.0102.
Photo of Villanova Chapel.

Joanne QuinnJoanne Quinn is Director of Communication and Marketing for Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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An Easter Treasure: Letters from Saint Elizabeth Seton.

It is with great pleasure and humble thanks on this Easter that we make available the small but important Elizabeth Ann Seton collection.  This collection includes letters from  Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton to Matthias and Joseph O’Conway.  Matthias, a prominent Philadelphian, especially within the Catholic community, was the father of Cecilia O’Conway, Philadelphia’s first nun and the first woman to join Seton’s order, the Sisters of Charity.  The correspondence is personal in nature and relates to several members of the O’Conway family.  Members of the Digital Library team are working on formatting transcriptions of the letters for increased readability.

This also marks a first for the Digital Library:  the scanning of materials physically owned and of course created by a Saint.   Indeed actually touching and photographing these sheets of paper involved treating the objects with the highest degree of reverence.  Speaking for only myself, handling the letters as a scanner was a sacred experience.


 

 

 

 

 

Photograph taken on Easter 2011

 



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Last Modified: April 24, 2011