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Herb of Grace

Rue is so called because of its use in exorcism, and hence the Roman Catholics sprinkle holy water with a bunch of rue. It was for centuries supposed to prevent contagion. Rue is the German raute; Greek, rute; Latin, ruta, meaning the “preserver,” being a preservative of health (Greek, ruo, to preserve). Ophelia calls it the “Herb of Grace o' Sundays.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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