Tuesday, 1 January 2013

12 Days of Christmas - Days 7 and 8

A virus made it impossible for me to post yesterday so I'm catching up with the Twelve Days of Christmas today.

Twelve Days of Christmas – Day Seven

The seventh of the twelve days of Christmas is the Feast Day of St. Silvester, the son of a Roman named Rufinus. St, Silvester became Pope in 314, soon after the Roman Empire sanctioned religious tolerance and Christianity was recognised.

In the medieval era, when the twelve days of Christmas were celebrated, legend and superstition were still rife. It was falsely claimed that St. Silvester cured the Emperor Constantine of leprosy, and baptised him. Leprosy was, and in some parts of the world still is, a terrifying disease, so the image of a saint curing an emperor must have been inspiring.

Twelve Days of Christmas – Day Eight

It should be noted that in the medieval and middle ages of Western Europe the Julian calendar dates the beginning of the New Year on or close to March 3rd. It was not until the Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar in 175o that January 1st became the beginning of the New Year. Yet, to this day, the Roman Catholic Church does not recognise New Year’s Day as an official holiday. However, the eighth day of the twelve days of Christmas according to the Julian calendar celebrated the feast of the Holy Circumcision, which has subsequently been renamed The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.

The feast of the Holy Circumcision and the Holy Name of Jesus are usually celebrated on January 1st in accordance with the Gospel read on the same day. “…at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb."

No comments: