Field and Fountain, Moor and Mountain…

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Epiphany ends the season of Christmastide. It is celebrated more in the East than in the U.S., and in fact, they consider it more important than Christmas. Epiphany commemorates the revelation of God as human in Jesus Christ, and specifically that revelation to the gentiles through the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child in Bethlehem. The word epiphany comes from a Greek word …

The Twelfth Day of Christmas

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The Twelfth Day of Christmas, January 5th, is the Feast of 19th century-St. John Neumann, the first Bishop in America. Since the next day is Epiphany, this night is also known as Twelfth Night. People held large parties on Twelfth Night, during which the roles in society were often reversed, with the servants being served by the rich people. A …

The Eleventh Day of Christmas

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The Eleventh Day of Christmas, January 4th, is the Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint, who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. She established a religious community in Emmitsburg, Maryland, dedicated to the care of the children of the poor. This was the first congregation of sisters founded in the United States. She also began …

The Tenth Day of Christmas

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The Tenth Day of Christmas, January 3rd, is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Originally the Holy Name of Jesus was celebrated at the Feast of the Circumcision, since it was then that our Lord received His name. But because of the growth of this devotion, a separate feast was instituted in the seventeenth century. “Every knee should …

The Ninth Day of Christmas

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The Ninth Day of Christmas, January 2nd, is the Feast of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, two important 4th-century Eastern Christians. These two saints taught a great deal about the Trinity and helped refute the Arian heresy—a concept that stated Jesus was created by God the Father at a separate point in time, and was distinct and subordinate …

The Eighth Day of Christmas

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The Eighth Day of Christmas, January 1st, is the Feast of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. In some denominations, this day is the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, since by Jewish tradition he must have been circumcised on the eighth day (counting both the first day and the end day) after his birth.

The Fifth Day of Christmas

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The Fifth Day of Christmas, December 29, is the Feast of St Thomas Becket. Thomas was the son of a former London Sheriff. Educated in Paris, he joined the household of Theobold, Archbishop of Canterbury, who introduced him to the newly-crowned King Henry II. They became fast friends, and the king made him chancellor. When Theobold died, Henry made him …

The Fourth Day of Christmas

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The Fourth Day of Christmas, December 28, is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, also called Childermas. On this day people remember the baby boys which King Herod killed when he was trying to find and kill the Baby Jesus. These children are considered by some to be the first Christian martyrs, even if unwitting. In his last years, Herod …