From Our Correspondent in Burma For the moment our war moves on over places not even names to the British people, although it is true that we draw nearer to the oil wells region, which may have its effect upon the stock markets.
This is the season in which St. 'Joseph's feast days occur ; they will be celebrated with more than usual fervour in Catholic Burmese homes, for a strong local devotion to the saint has grown' up. Not only is his church virtually the only undamaged public building in Mandalay—an amazing thing. for it stands close by the railway station—hut -our good nuns here attribute the timely arrival pf the Army, which finally cleared Mandalay on March 19, to St. Joseph, whose feast day it is.
There is a story of one nun in Maymyo, in St. Joseph's Convent, who with the devotion of a Herbert Vaughan, placed a sheaf of newspaper cuttings concerning the British Army under the statueof St. Joseph and urged upon him the advisability of bringing the Army so Maymyo before his feast day I
Burma is a sadder; and a wiser country to-day than she was three years ago. Well may her people, who will require much help to reconstitute their national life appeal to the Eternal Father in the words of St. Joseph's Mass. " Abide thou with us and give car to the prayer of Blessed Joseph in our behalf."
CITY OF A THOUSANDS PAGODAS
I now find myself in the most pagan part of Burma ; quite literally so, although the name of the place is also Pagan.
Readers of Burmese history will know that the place is the cradle of the Burmese Kingdom, and for centuries the capital, far older than Ava, Amarapura or the modern city of Mandalay. Here in this astounding graveyard of a civilisation there arc few Catholics or Christians of any sort. The religion of the Buddha holds its ancient sway. Over this dusty plain stands pagoda upon pagoda in every stage of disrepair. Once this was called " The City of a Thousand Pa Codas," and an English traveller in the seventeenth century said that it was perhaps the fairest place in all the world.
I cannot believe that it ever compared with contemporary Venice, Rome, Istanhul or Pekin, although with its many streets of fair wooden houses its pagodas or at least a fair number of them, for some must have been always falling into ruin, glittering and a-jingle with bells. its ceremonials and processions it may have had barbaric charm. Now my own eyes, surfeited with pagodas for seeming months, can find little of beauty in the abandoned ranks of red
brick passports to Nirvana. Yet the whole plain seen from the topmost tier of such a giant as the Mingala Zedi, a thirteenth-centuryeerection which repays the exhausting climb is impressive. The red-brick mounds some complete, some mere corners or crumbling enclosures. stretch endlessly across the barren ground. Two newer white buildings dominate them: the largest is the Ananda Pagoda, the best known of them all. in which there is to-day a market where the famous Pagan lacquerware is on sale.