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|SAINTS FOR THE SEASON (Can be located under CATHOLIC FAITH - SAINTS)
ST NICHOLAS (SANTA CLAUS)
The angel of ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
ST STEPHEN -
GOOD KING WENCESLAUS
|DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?
Did you know that this song was originally written as a prayer. In Oct of 1962, the US and the Soviet Union seemed to be on the brink of nuclear ware because of the Cuban missle crisis. Composer Noel Regney was walking home in NY, having just met his producer who "was listening to the radio to see if we had been obliterated". While walking he recalled "I saw 2 mothers with their babies in strollers. The babies were looking at each other and smiling.. and all of a sudden my mood was changed."
When he got home he started to write the lyrics to a song about peace. His wife wrote the music, and this song was slated to be side B of a pop song record.
Released in the end of 1962, it sold 250000 copies within a week.
READ THE WORDS in SONGS from CATHOLIC FAITH
|WHAT ARE ANGELS?
Angels are part of Jewish traditions. Christian tradition draws upon this, and angels are frequently mentioned in the New Testament.
The word "angel" means messenger. Thus, angels are described by what they do. We know that they were:
*Created by God
*Created before the creation of the world
* are less than God
* "pure spirits"
* are immortal
* have intelligence.
But little else is known.
THe belief of Guardian Angels did not take place until the 4th century with
St Basil, who wrote "beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd."
Radish night in Mexico
Bartolome Esteban Mustillo
The Sisteen Chapel and Michelangelo
El Salvador Martyrs
Fruitcake seems to be related to the English "plum pudding" which was served on festive occasions. "Plum" was used as a generic word for fruit which along with nuts are the main ingredients. Since Christmas is the time of year when fresh fruit was not available dried fruits were used.
Traditionally fruitcake was often made on St Thomas the Apostle day which at one time was celebrated on Dec 21st. On that day the poor would go door to door to "a-Thomasing" begging for food for a Christmas meal.
|Radish Night in Mexico
At Noche de Rabanos, a Christmas festival in Oaxaca, Mexico all decorations are carved from radishes, the local specialty. Some of the radishes can weigh up to 10 lbs. The festival also includes pinatas, and fireworks, as well as deep-fried doughnuts, covered in syrup. After a person has eaten the doughnut, they are to toss the plate over their shoulder. The more shattered pieces of the plate, the better the person's luck in the upcoming year.
In the reading from Zephaniah " But i will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly, who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord: the remnant of Isreal." the prophet called the people to become part of a remnant, a select few who would carry their holy tradition into future generations. Zephaniah spoke of the holy remnant of people, called the Anawin, who would be spared.
The Divine Office makes use of Psalms and other scripture passages over and over on a regular rotation. Over the yrs the practice developed of praying an "antiphon" before and after each Psalm and canticle. This is a sentence or two from Scripture which "frames" the fixed text.
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel" - is an example of what scholars call a Typology. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church - it has illuminated the unity of the divine plan in the two Testaments through Typology, which discerns God's work of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in the fulness of time in the person of his incarnate Son.
|Bartolome Esteban Mustillo
One of the most famout painting depicting the Immaculate Conception was painted by a 17th century Spanish artist.
Murilo was born Dec 31,1617 the same yr the doctrine of the Immaculate Comception was promulgated in Spain. Orphaned at age 10, Murillo was raised by an uncle. As an artist, he was supported by several religious orders, especially the Franciscans.
MUrillo was foremost a painter of religious art, with special ephasis on the Virgin Mary and the Franciscan saints. His other paintings include the "Birth of a Virgin" and "The Holy Family" and can be found in the Louvre.
|The Sisteen Chapel
"After 4 tortured yrs more than 400 over life-sized figures I felt as old and as weary as Jeremiah. I was only 37, yet friends did not recognize the old man I had become." Michelangelo comments on the Sisteen Chapel project.
Between 1508 and 1512 when this artist was painting the Sisteen Chapel at the Vatican, he focused on the theme of salvation through Jesus. Besides featuring nine scenes from the book of Genesis, he also incorporated 7 of the phophets, Jonah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Zechariah, Daniel and Isaiah.
|El Salvador Martyrs
On Dec 2nd in 1980, 4 women from the US were killed by government death squads in El Salvador. They were Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford, and Maura Clark, and lay worker Jean Donovan.
Salvadorian soldiers stopped them, raped them, and then shot them to death.
"My heart exults in the Lord,
my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice it the victory,
There is no HOly One like the Lord;
there is no Rock like our God."
(1 Samuel 2:1-2)