Feb. 14 - Saint Valentine's Day
I received this in an email, and I thought I would share it, as it was very interesting. I knew the story of St Valentine and the story behind the "X" in "Xmas", but the information toward the end regarding the "X", criss cross and signing by the "X" I did not know.
In the 3rd century, Emperor Claudius II was faced with defending the Roman Empire from the invading Goths.
He believed men who were not married made better soldiers so he forced the military to ban traditional marriage.
He also forced the Senate to deify the former Emperor Gallienus, including him with the Roman gods to be worshiped.
With January 6th, the Epiphany, coming up, I thought I would share some of the Christmas legends behind some time honored traditional symbols of the Christmas season.
The Legend of the Candy Cane
According to legend there was a candy maker who wanted to invent a candy that was a witness to Christ.
First of all, he used a hard candy because Christ is the rock of ages. This hard candy was shaped so that it would resemble a “J” for Jesus or, turned upside down, a shepherd’s staff. He made it white to represent the purity of Christ.
Finally a red stripe was added to represent the blood Christ shed for the sins of the world, and three thinner red stripes for the stripes He received on our behalf when the Roman soldiers whipped Him. Sometimes a green stripe is added as a reminder that Jesus is a gift from God.
The... Read More
The Christmas standard, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, is to most a rambling of strange ‘gifts’, which tests our memory. However, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” had a more solemn intention with significance beyond the seemingly trite ‘gifts.’
The English had begun writing Christmas carols in the 15th century, but when the Puritans came to power they suppressed both Christmas and its carols. After Christmas was restored in England, festive songs praising the occasion were written, but the only legal church was the state church – Church of England. Between 1558, the year Queen Elizabeth I ascended the throne, and 1829, when George IV was king, Catholics in England were forbidden from any practice of their faith by law – public and private. It was, at that time, illegal to be Catholic punishable by imprisonment or execution.
St Nicholas as Santa Claus
Nuns in France supposedly first began leaving treats on St. Nicholas Eve, December 5th, for the small children of poor families. St. Nicholas’ gifts were usually good things to eat: apples, oranges, nuts and eventually cookies and sweets. The custom quickly spread across Europe and was adopted by both rich and poor.
Bishop Nicholas & the Council of Nicaea
How Nicholas Became a Bishop
A very long time ago when the Bishop of Myra died, other bishops gathered to select a new bishop for the See of Myra. As they met, they discussed and prayed, but were not able to discern the right choice to be the new bishop.
One night, the oldest and wisest bishop heard a voice in the night telling him to watch the doors of the church the next morning before matins. The first person to enter the church by the name of “Nicholas” was to be the new bishop. This wise bishop told his vision to the others, urging them to pray as he waited at the doors.
History of Saint Nicholas
Naysayers claim St. Nicholas existed only in legend, without any reliable historical record. Legends, though, usually grow out of factual events; however, they may be embellished to make events more interesting. St. Nicholas’ legend may be reality intertwined with myth. While all of the “Santa Claus” legends are clearly fairy tales, the following facts of St. Nicholas’ life are purported to be derived from historical truth. These stories give us an idea of his personal character, as well as what the man may have been like. The information and stories here have been compiled from several Internet sources, including EWTN, Catholic Online and one which claims to have gathered their information ‘from various sites throughout the Internet’. This site states they ‘made every effort to compare and... Read More
Mom & Dad, March 14, 2004
Dad’s parents were Baptist. His great granddad, his mom’s granddad, was a Nazarene preacher. Stories abound of how his Granny White would drag him & his siblings to church. Needless to say it was quite a shock to Mom, a cradle Catholic, Catholic schooled newlywed and first time out of Catholic New England to accompany Dad to his Nazarene granny’s funeral with all its fire and brimstone. She’s often said in relating the story she thought the preacher was gonna have a stroke. Dad was never one to be dedicated to any one religion.
After Mom and Dad had married, Dad decided to try to become Catholic. At that time, they had an at-home type of study. Apparently, it was difficult to study this way, as he gave up.
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It occurred to me recently we Christians are not fully following Jesus’ instructions, which he spells out quite clearly.
Christians are often treated, like children, as if they should be seen and not heard; however, Jesus himself told all his disciples to be exactly the opposite. It is implied, if not voiced, Christians should practice their faith in their homes, at church or in prayer groups, in other words, behind closed doors, where no one else can see them. Public display or discussion is frowned upon, if not banned by political correctness.
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Christmas Rosary designed by
Robyn Stacey/Sacred Heart Rosaries
For Catholics, the rosary is a time-honored prayer that allows meditation on important aspects of Jesus’ life. The rosary is a prayer for Mary’s intercession for us, much like asking your friends to say a prayer for you, to God, our Father. Mary leads all to the Son much in the same way as she did during the wedding feast in Cana when the wedding couple ran out of wine. It was Mary who went to Jesus, and Jesus heard her and granted the miracle of turning water into wine.
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Last activity: 9/02/14, 10:50 pm