J.M.J. At this time of year, I like to recall that Christmas Day as reckoned on the 25th of December is an ancient Feast in the Church, meaning that our ancestors of many centuries ago commemorated the Nativity of Christ on December 25th as we do.
The Reverend Cyril Charles Martindale, S.J. (1879-1963), in The Catholic Encyclopedia published more than a hundred years ago, when referring to when Christmas was first celebrated on December 25th, declared:
At Rome, then, the Nativity was celebrated on
25 December before 354; in the East,
at Constantinople, not before 379,
unless with Erbes, and against Gregory,
we recognize it there in 330.
That is quite some time ago!
Perhaps this bit of information seems somewhat arcane. Yet, it does matter insofar as God allowed the development of the Christmas Feast to proceed as it did.
We are united with those who have gone before us marked with the signs of faith and charity, and we never fail to pray for them. And let us thank them for their good example.
May we do the same for the next generation.