Volume > Issue > To Phoebe*

To Phoebe*

A POEM

By Mary Armitage | May 1985

Phoebe,

Gentle handmaid

Of us all,

Who assisted Paul

And others

Of the early church,

What miracle of time and grace

Reminds us of your ancient faith?

 

Phoebe,

Watchful and solemn

Witness,

Who would guess

Your quiet gaze

Saw chrism-anointed Wend their appointed way

To days of light and truth?

 

Phoebe,

Chosen of God,

Your blessed part,

A gift we share,

Was simply to be there,

With silent song

And secret hope

Hidden in your heart.

 

Phoebe,

One of us,

What wondrous thought,

What contrition

Or intuition,

Made you know

The infant church

Would grow

Eternally?

 

Phoebe,

Brave yet docile,

Patient sister to apostle,

Your shy devotion

To the mystery

Obscures a timeless

Place in history.

 

Phoebe,

Beloved servant of the King,

I’m wondering,

Is it by chance

Your name is sung

From leafy bough and branch

Forevermore

Each spring?

 

*Romans 16:1-6 and The Ministry of Women in the Early Church (1960) by Jean Danielou, S.J.

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