01/06/2023, Friday - Epiphany
Epiphany , also known as Theophany in Eastern Christian traditions, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation (theophany) of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.
In Western Christianity, the feast commemorates principally (but not solely) the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, and thus Jesus Christ's physical manifestation to the Gentiles.It is sometimes called Three Kings' Day, and in some traditions celebrated as Little Christmas.Moreover, the feast of the Epiphany, in some denominations, also initiates the liturgical season of Epiphanytide.
Eastern Christians, on the other hand, commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.The spot marked by Al-Maghtas in Jordan, adjacent to Qasr al-Yahud in the West Bank, is considered to be the original site of the baptism of Jesus and the ministry of John the Baptist.
The traditional date for the feast is January 6. However, since 1970, the celebration is held in some countries on the Sunday after January 1. Those Eastern Churches which are still following the Julian calendar observe the feast on what, according to the internationally used Gregorian calendar, is January 19,because of the current 13-day difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars.
In many Western Churches, the eve of the feast is celebrated as Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve). The Monday after Epiphany is known as Plough Monday.
Popular Epiphany customs include Epiphany singing, chalking the door, having one's house blessed, consuming Three Kings Cake, winter swimming, as well as attending church services.It is customary for Christians in many localities to remove their Christmas decorations on Epiphany Eve (Twelfth Night), although those in other Christian countries historically remove them on Candlemas, the conclusion of Epiphanytide. According to the first tradition, those who fail to remember to remove their Christmas decorations on Epiphany Eve must leave them untouched until Candlemas, the second opportunity to remove them; failure to observe this custom is considered inauspicious.
01/08/2023, Sunday - The Baptism of Jesus
"Baptism of Christ" redirects here. For other uses, see Baptism of Christ (disambiguation).
Baptism of Jesus
Verrocchio, Leonardo da Vinci - Battesimo di Cristo.jpg
The Baptism of Christ by Andrea del Verrocchio and Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1475
Date Early 1st century AD
Location Present-day Al-Maghtas, Jordan
Participants Jesus, John the Baptist
The baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist is a major event in the life of Jesus which is described in three of the gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke.[a] It is considered to have taken place at Al-Maghtas, also called Bethany Beyond the Jordan, today located in Jordan.
Modern biblical scholars view the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist as a historical event to which a high degree of certainty can be assigned. Along with the crucifixion of Jesus, biblical scholars view it as one of the two historically certain facts about him, and often use it as the starting point for the study of the historical Jesus.
The baptism is one of the events in the narrative of the life of Jesus in the canonical Gospels; others include the Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension. Most Christian denominations view the baptism of Jesus as an important event and a basis for the Christian rite of baptism (see also Acts 19:1–7). In Eastern Christianity, Jesus' baptism is commemorated on 6 January (the Julian calendar date of which corresponds to 19 January on the Gregorian calendar), the feast of Epiphany. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Churches and some other Western denominations, it is recalled on a day within the following week, the feast of the baptism of the Lord. In Roman Catholicism, the baptism of Jesus is one of the Luminous Mysteries sometimes added to the Rosary. It is a Trinitarian feast in the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
02/02/2023, Thursday - Candlemas
Candlemas (also spelled Candlemass), also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Feast of the Holy Encounter, is a Christian holiday commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It is based upon the account of the presentation of Jesus in Luke 2:22–40. In accordance with Leviticus 12, a woman was to be purified by presenting a lamb as a burnt offering, and either a young pigeon or dove as sin offering, 33 days after a boy's circumcision. It falls on 2 February, which is traditionally the 40th day (postpartum period) of and the conclusion of the Christmas–Epiphany season. While it is customary for Christians in some countries to remove their Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve), those in other Christian countries historically remove them after Candlemas. On Candlemas, many Christians (especially Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans and Methodists) also bring their candles to their local church, where they are blessed and then used for the rest of the year; for Christians, these blessed candles serve as a symbol of Jesus Christ, who referred to himself as the Light of the World.
02/14/2023, Tuesday - St. Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine and, through later folk traditions, has become a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.
There are a number of martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14, including an account of the imprisonment of Saint Valentine of Rome for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire in the third century. According to an early tradition, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his jailer. Numerous later additions to the legend have better related it to the theme of love: an 18th-century embellishment to the legend claims he wrote the jailer's daughter a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell before his execution; another tradition posits that Saint Valentine performed weddings for Christian soldiers who were forbidden to marry.
The 8th century Gelasian Sacramentary recorded the celebration of the Feast of Saint Valentine on February 14. The day became associated with romantic love in the 14th and 15th centuries when notions of courtly love flourished, apparently by association with the "lovebirds" of early spring. In 18th-century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. In Italy, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver's heart", as well as to children to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine's Malady).
Saint Valentine's Day is not a public holiday in any country, although it is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church. Many parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrate Saint Valentine's Day on July 6 in honor of Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and on July 30 in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni).
02/22/2023, Wednesday - Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday is a holy day of prayer and fasting in many Western Christian denominations. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and falls on the first day of Lent (the six weeks of penitence before Easter). It is observed by Catholics in the Roman Rite, Lutherans, Moravians, Anglicans, Methodists, Nazarenes, as well as by some churches in the Reformed tradition (including certain Congregationalist, Continental Reformed, and Presbyterian churches).
As it is the first day of Lent, many Christians begin Ash Wednesday by marking a Lenten calendar, praying a Lenten daily devotional, and making a Lenten sacrifice that they will not partake of until the arrival of Eastertide.
Many Christians attend special church services, at which churchgoers receive ash on their foreheads. Ash Wednesday derives its name from this practice, which is accompanied by the words, "Repent, and believe in the Gospel" or the dictum "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." The ashes are prepared by burning palm leaves from the previous year's Palm Sunday celebrations.
03/17/2023, Friday - St. Patrick's Day
aint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, lit. 'the Day of the Festival of Patrick'), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. 385 – c. 461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.
Saint Patrick's Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians who belong to liturgical denominations also attend church services and historically the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday's tradition of alcohol consumption.
Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (for provincial government employees), and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, especially amongst Irish diaspora. Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. Modern celebrations have been greatly influenced by those of the Irish diaspora, particularly those that developed in North America. However, there has been criticism of Saint Patrick's Day celebrations for having become too commercialised and for fostering negative stereotypes of the Irish people.
03/19/2023, Sunday - St. Joseph's Day
Saint Joseph's Day, also called the Feast of Saint Joseph or the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, is in Western Christianity the principal feast day of Saint Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and legal father of Jesus Christ, celebrated on 19 March. It has the rank of a solemnity in the Catholic Church. It is a feast or commemoration in the provinces of the Anglican Communion, and a feast or festival in the Lutheran Church. Saint Joseph's Day is the Patronal Feast day for Poland as well as for Canada, persons named Joseph, Josephine, etc., for religious institutes, schools and parishes bearing his name, and for carpenters. It is also Father's Day in some Catholic countries, mainly Spain, Portugal, and Italy. It is not a holy day of obligation for Catholics in the United States.
19 March was dedicated to Saint Joseph in several Western calendars by the 10th century, and this custom was established in Rome by 1479. Pope Pius V extended its use to the entire Roman Rite by his Apostolic Constitution Quo primum (14 July 1570). Originally a double of the second class and a feast of precept, it was re-raised to be of precept in 1917 after having this status intermittently lost, and consequently also raised to its current rank of double of the first class (now called a solemnity), having become in the meantime the rank common to all remaining general feasts of precept. Since 1969, Episcopal Conferences may, if they wish, transfer it to a date outside Lent. Even if it occurs inside Lent on the usual date of 19 March, it is still observed as a Solemnity of a Saint—this is one of the few times during Lent the Gloria may be said or sung, the vesture is changed from the purple or violet of Lent to white or gold (as it would be for such a solemnity normally), the Collect and the Eucharistic Prayer's Preface and other prayers are from the Solemnity and not Lent, the hymns are more joyful, and the Creed is said. However, the Alleluia is still not used, the Tract being used instead, per Lenten regulations.
Between 1870 and 1955, an additional feast was celebrated in honor of Saint Joseph as Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Patron of the Universal Church, the latter title having been given to him by Pope Pius IX. Originally celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter with an octave, after Divino Afflatu of Saint Pius X (see Reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X), it was moved to the preceding Wednesday (because Wednesday was the day of the week specifically dedicated to St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist and local patrons). The feast was also retitled The Solemnity of Saint Joseph. This celebration and its accompanying octave were abolished during the modernisation and simplification of rubrics under Pope Pius XII in 1955.
At the same time, Pope Pius XII established an additional Feast of "St. Joseph the Worker", to be celebrated on 1 May, in order to coincide with the celebration of International Workers' Day (May Day) in many countries. Until this time, 1 May had been the Feast of the Apostles Saint Philip and James, but that Feast was then moved to the next free day, 11 May (and again to 3 May, in 1969, having become free in the meantime). In the new calendar published in 1969, the Feast of Saint Joseph The Worker, which at one time occupied the highest possible rank in the Church calendar, was reduced to an optional Memorial, the lowest rank for a saint's day.
The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Saint Joseph on the Sunday after Christmas.
Popular customs among Christians of various liturgical traditions observing Saint Joseph's Day are attending Mass or the Divine Service, wearing red-coloured clothing, carrying dried fava beans that have been blessed, and assembling home altars dedicated to Saint Joseph.
03/25/2023, Saturday - The Annunciation
The Annunciation (from Latin annuntiatio), also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, or the Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Mary that she would conceive and bear a son through a virgin birth and become the mother of Jesus Christ, the Christian Messiah and Son of God, marking the Incarnation. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Jesus, meaning "YHWH is salvation".
According to Luke 1:26, the Annunciation occurred "in the sixth month" of Elizabeth's pregnancy with John the Baptist. Many Christians observe this event with the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March, an approximation of the northern vernal equinox nine full months before Christmas, the ceremonial birthday of Jesus. The Annunciation is a key topic in Christian art in general, as well as in Marian art in the Catholic Church, having been especially prominent during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. A work of art depicting the Annunciation is sometimes itself called an Annunciation.
04/02/2023, Sunday - Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in each of the four canonical Gospels. Palm Sunday marks the first day of Holy Week. For adherents of mainstream Christianity, it is the last week of the Christian solemn season of Lent that precedes the arrival of Eastertide.
In most liturgical churches, Palm Sunday is celebrated by the blessing and distribution of palm branches (or the branches of other native trees), representing the palm branches which the crowd scattered in front of Christ as he rode into Jerusalem; these palms are sometimes woven into crosses. The difficulty of procuring palms in unfavorable climates led to their substitution with branches of native trees, including box, olive, willow, and yew. The Sunday was often named after these substitute trees, as in Yew Sunday, or by the general term Branch Sunday. In Syriac Christianity it is often called Oshana Sunday or Hosanna Sunday based on the biblical words uttered by the crowd while Jesus entered Jerusalem.
Many churches of mainstream Christian denominations, including the Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Anglican, Moravian and Reformed traditions, distribute palm branches to their congregations during their Palm Sunday liturgies. Christians take these palms, which are often blessed by clergy, to their homes where they hang them alongside Christian art (especially crosses and crucifixes) or keep them in their Bibles and daily devotional books. In the period preceding the next year's Lent, known as Shrovetide, churches often place a basket in their narthex to collect these palms, which are then ritually burned on Shrove Tuesday to make the ashes to be used on the following day, Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent.
04/06/2023, Thursday - Maundy (Holy) Thursday
Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday (also known as Great and Holy Thursday, Holy and Great Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Sheer Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, among other names) is the day during Holy Week that commemorates the Washing of the Feet (Maundy) and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles, as described in the canonical gospels.
It is the fifth day of Holy Week, preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday. "Maundy" comes from the Latin word mandatum, or commandment, reflecting Jesus' words "I give you a new commandment." The day comes always between March 19 and April 22, inclusive, and will vary according to whether the Gregorian calendar or the Julian calendar is used. Eastern churches generally use the Julian system.
Maundy Thursday initiates the Paschal Triduum, the period which commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus; this period includes Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and ends on the evening of Easter Sunday. The Mass of the Lord's Supper or service of worship is normally celebrated in the evening, when Friday begins according to Jewish tradition, as the Last Supper was held on the feast of Passover, according to the three Synoptic Gospels.
04/07/2023, Friday - Good Friday
Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Great and Holy Friday (also Holy and Great Friday), and Black Friday.
Members of many Christian denominations, including the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, Oriental Orthodox, United Protestant and some Reformed traditions (including certain Continental Reformed, Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches), observe Good Friday with fasting and church services. In many Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and Methodist churches, the Service of the Great Three Hours' Agony is held from noon until 3 pm, the time duration that the Bible records as darkness covering the land to Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross. Communicants of the Moravian Church have a Good Friday tradition of cleaning gravestones in Moravian cemeteries.
The date of Good Friday varies from one year to the next in both the Gregorian and Julian calendars. Eastern and Western Christianity disagree over the computation of the date of Easter and therefore of Good Friday. Good Friday is a widely instituted legal holiday around the world, including in most Western countries and 12 U.S. states. Some predominantly Christian countries, such as Germany, have laws prohibiting certain acts such as dancing and horse racing, in remembrance of the somber nature of Good Friday.
04/09/2023, Sunday - Easter
Easter, also called Pascha (Aramaic, Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday,[nb 3] is a Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
Easter-observing Christians commonly refer to the week before Easter as Holy Week, which in Western Christianity begins on Palm Sunday (marking the entrance of Jesus in Jerusalem), includes Spy Wednesday (on which the betrayal of Jesus is mourned), and contains the days of the Easter Triduum including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Eastern Christianity, the same days and events are commemorated with the names of days all starting with "Holy" or "Holy and Great"; and Easter itself might be called "Great and Holy Pascha", "Easter Sunday", "Pascha" or "Sunday of Pascha". In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the Paschal season ends with Pentecost as well, but the leave-taking of the Great Feast of Pascha is on the 39th day, the day before the Feast of the Ascension.
Easter and its related holidays are moveable feasts, not falling on a fixed date; its date is computed based on a lunisolar calendar (solar year plus Moon phase) similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established only two rules, namely independence from the Hebrew calendar and worldwide uniformity. No details for the computation were specified; these were worked out in practice, a process that took centuries and generated a number of controversies. It has come to be the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March. Even if calculated on the basis of the more accurate Gregorian calendar, the date of that full moon sometimes differs from that of the astronomical first full moon after the March equinox.
The English term is derived from the Saxon spring festival Ēostre; Easter is also linked to the Jewish Passover by its name (Hebrew: פֶּסַח pesach, Aramaic: פָּסחָא pascha are the basis of the term Pascha), by its origin (according to the synoptic Gospels, both the crucifixion and the resurrection took place during the Passover) and by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In most European languages the feast is called by the words for passover in those languages; and in the older English versions of the Bible the term Easter was the term used to translate Passover. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, midnight vigils, exclamations and exchanges of Paschal greetings, clipping the church (England), decoration and the communal breaking of Easter eggs (a symbol of the empty tomb). The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection in Western Christianity, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include Easter parades, communal dancing (Eastern Europe), the Easter Bunny and egg hunting. There are also traditional Easter foods that vary by region and culture.
04/10/2023, Monday - Easter Monday
Easter Monday refers to the day after Easter Sunday in either the Eastern or Western Christian traditions. It is a public holiday in some countries. It is the second day of Eastertide. In Western Christianity, it marks the second day of the Octave of Easter, and in Eastern Christianity it marks the second day of Bright Week.
04/23/2023, Sunday - St. George's Day
Saint George's Day is the feast day of Saint George, celebrated by Christian churches and countries and cities of which he is the patron saint, including Bulgaria, England, Georgia, Portugal, Romania, Cáceres, Alcoy, Aragon and Catalonia.
Saint George's Day is celebrated on 23 April, the traditionally accepted date of the saint's death in the Diocletianic Persecution.
04/25/2023, Tuesday - Feast of Saint Mark
Saint Mark's Day, or the Feast of Saint Mark, commemorates Mark the Evangelist and takes place on April 25.
Mark the Evangelist (Latin: Marcus; Greek: Μᾶρκος, romanized: Mârkos; Aramaic: ܡܪܩܘܣ, Marqōs; Hebrew:מארק), also known as Saint Mark, is the person who is traditionally ascribed to be the author of the Gospel of Mark. According to Church tradition, Mark founded the episcopal see of Alexandria, which was one of the five most important sees of early Christianity. His feast day is celebrated on April 25, and his symbol is the winged lion.
05/18/2023, Thursday - Ascension of Jesus
The Solemnity of the Ascension of Jesus Christ, also called Ascension Day, Ascension Thursday, or sometimes Holy Thursday, commemorates the Christian belief of the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. It is one of the ecumenical (i.e., shared by multiple denominations) feasts of Christian churches, ranking with the feasts of the Passion and Pentecost. Following the account of Acts 1:3 that the risen Jesus appeared for 40 days prior to his Ascension, Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter; although some Christian denominations have moved the observance to the following Sunday. The day of observance varies by ecclesiastical province in many Christian denominations, as with Methodists and Catholics, for example.
05/28/2023, Sunday - Pentecost
Pentecost (also called Whit Sunday, Whitsunday or Whitsun) is a Christian holiday which takes place on the 50th day[a] (the seventh Sunday) after Easter Sunday. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31).
In Western Christianity, Pentecost is celebrated on the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) after Easter Sunday. In the United Kingdom, traditionally the next day, Whit Monday, was (until 1970) also a public holiday. (Since 1971, by statute, the last Monday in May has been a Bank Holiday). The Monday after Pentecost is a legal holiday in many European countries.
In Eastern Christianity, Pentecost can also refer to the entire fifty days of Easter through Pentecost inclusive; hence the book containing the liturgical texts is called the "Pentecostarion". Since its date depends on the date of Easter, Pentecost is a "moveable feast".
Pentecost is one of the Great feasts in the Eastern Orthodox Church, a Solemnity in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, a Festival in the Lutheran Churches, and a Principal Feast in the Anglican Communion. Many Christian denominations provide a special liturgy for this holy celebration.
06/04/2023, Sunday - Trinity Sunday
Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Western Christian liturgical calendar, and the Sunday of Pentecost in Eastern Christianity. Trinity Sunday celebrates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
06/08/2023, Thursday - Corpus Christi
The Feast of Corpus Christi (Ecclesiastical Latin: Dies Sanctissimi Corporis et Sanguinis Domini Iesu Christi, lit. 'Day of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ the Lord'), also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, is a Christian liturgical solemnity celebrating the Real Presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the elements of the Eucharist; it is observed by the Roman Catholic Church, in addition to certain Western Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican churches. Two months earlier, the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper is observed on Maundy Thursday in a sombre atmosphere leading to Good Friday. The liturgy on that day also commemorates Christ's washing of the disciples' feet, the institution of the priesthood, and the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The feast of Corpus Christi was proposed by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, to Pope Urban IV, in order to create a feast focused solely on the Holy Eucharist, emphasizing the joy of the Eucharist being the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Having recognized in 1264 the authenticity of the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena, on input of Aquinas, the pontiff, then living in Orvieto, established the feast of Corpus Christi as a Solemnity and extended it to the whole Roman Catholic Church.
The feast is liturgically celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday or, "where the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is not a holy day of obligation, it is assigned to the Sunday after the Most Holy Trinity as its proper day".
At the end of Holy Mass, there is often a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, generally displayed in a monstrance. The procession is followed by the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. A notable Eucharistic procession is that presided over by the Pope each year in Rome, where it begins at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran and passes to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where it concludes with the aforementioned Benediction. Corpus Christi wreaths, which are made of flowers, are hung on the doors and windows of the Christian faithful, in addition to being erected in gardens and fields.
The celebration of the feast was suppressed in Protestant churches during the Reformation for theological reasons: outside Lutheranism, which maintained the confession of the Real Presence, many Protestants denied the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist other than as a merely symbolic or spiritual presence. Today, most Protestant denominations do not recognize the feast day, with exception of certain Lutheran churches and the Church of England, the latter of which abolished it in 1548 as the English Reformation progressed, but later reintroduced it. Some Anglican churches now observe Corpus Christi, sometimes under the name "Thanksgiving for Holy Communion".
06/29/2023, Thursday - Saints Peter and Paul
The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul or Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul is a liturgical feast in honour of the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which is observed on 29 June. The celebration is of ancient Christian origin, the date selected being the anniversary of either their death or the translation of their relics.
07/15/2023, Saturday - St. Vladimir's day
Vladimir I Sviatoslavich (Old East Slavic: Володимѣръ Свѧтославичь, Volodiměrъ Svętoslavičь; c. 958 – 15 July 1015), also known as Vladimir the Great, was Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev, and ruler of Kievan Rus' from 980 to 1015.
Vladimir's father was Prince Sviatoslav I of Kiev of the Rurikid dynasty. After the death of his father in 972, Vladimir, who was then prince of Novgorod, was forced to flee to Scandinavia in 976 after his brother Yaropolk murdered his other brother Oleg of Drelinia, becoming the sole ruler of Rus'. In Sweden, with the help of his relative Ladejarl Håkon Sigurdsson, ruler of Norway, he assembled a Varangian army and reconquered Novgorod from Yaropolk. By 980, Vladimir had consolidated the Rus realm from modern-day Belarus, Russia and Ukraine to the Baltic Sea and had solidified the frontiers against incursions of Bulgarians, Baltic tribes and Eastern nomads. Originally a follower of Slavic paganism, Vladimir converted to Christianity in 988 and Christianized the Kievan Rus'. He is thus also known as Saint Vladimir.
07/22/2023, Saturday - St. Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene,[a] sometimes called Mary of Magdala, or simply the Magdalene or the Madeleine, was a woman who, according to the four canonical gospels, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers and was a witness to his crucifixion and resurrection. She is mentioned by name twelve times in the canonical gospels, more than most of the apostles and more than any other woman in the gospels, other than Jesus's family. Mary's epithet Magdalene may mean that she came from the town of Magdala, a fishing town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Roman Judea.
The Gospel of Luke lists Mary Magdalene as one of the women who traveled with Jesus and helped support his ministry "out of their resources", indicating that she was probably wealthy. The same passage also states that seven demons had been driven out of her, a statement which is repeated in Mark 16. In all the four canonical gospels, Mary Magdalene was a witness to the crucifixion of Jesus and, in the Synoptic Gospels, she was also present at his burial. All the four gospels identified her, either alone or as a member of a larger group of women which includes Jesus's mother, as the first to witness the empty tomb, and, either alone or as a member of a group, as the first to witness Jesus's resurrection.
For these reasons, Mary Magdalene is known in some Christian traditions as the "apostle to the apostles". Mary Magdalene is a central figure in later Gnostic Christian writings, including the Dialogue of the Savior, the Pistis Sophia, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Mary. These texts portray Mary Magdalene as an apostle, as Jesus's closest and most beloved disciple and the only one who truly understood his teachings. In the Gnostic texts, or Gnostic gospels, Mary Magdalene's closeness to Jesus results in tension with another disciple, Peter, due to her sex and Peter's envy of the special teachings given to her. In the Gospel of Philip's text she is described as Jesus's companion, as the disciple Jesus loved the most and the one Jesus kissed on the mouth, which has led some people to conclude that she and Jesus were in a relationship. Some fiction portrays her as the wife of Jesus.
The portrayal of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute began in 591, when Pope Gregory I conflated Mary Magdalene, who was introduced in Luke 8:2, with Mary of Bethany (Luke 10:39) and the unnamed "sinful woman" who anointed Jesus's feet in Luke 7:36–50. Pope Gregory's Easter sermon resulted in a widespread belief that Mary Magdalene was a repentant prostitute or promiscuous woman. Elaborate medieval legends from Western Europe then emerged, which told exaggerated tales of Mary Magdalene's wealth and beauty, as well as of her alleged journey to southern Gaul (modern-day France). The identification of Mary Magdalene with Mary of Bethany and the unnamed "sinful woman" was still a major controversy in the years leading up to the Reformation, and some Protestant leaders rejected it. During the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church emphasized Mary Magdalene as a symbol of penance. In 1969, Pope Paul VI removed the identification of Mary Magdalene with Mary of Bethany and the "sinful woman" from the General Roman Calendar, but the view of her as a former prostitute has persisted in popular culture.
Mary Magdalene is considered to be a saint by the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran denominations. In 2016 Pope Francis raised the level of liturgical memory on July 22 from memorial to feast, and for her to be referred to as the "Apostle of the apostles". Other Protestant churches honor her as a heroine of the faith. The Eastern Orthodox churches also commemorate her on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, the Orthodox equivalent of one of the Western Three Marys traditions.
07/25/2023, Tuesday - St. James the Great Day
James the Great, also known as James, son of Zebedee, Saint James the Great, Saint James the Greater, or Saint Jacob (Aramaic: ܝܥܩܘܒ ܒܪ ܙܒܕܝ; Arabic: يعقوب; Hebrew: בן זבדי יַעֲקֹב, Yaʿăqōḇ; Latin: Iacobus Maximus; Greek: Ἰάκωβος; died AD 44), was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, the first apostle to be martyred according to the New Testament. Saint James is the patron saint of Spain and, according to tradition, his remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.
08/01/2023, Tuesday - Lammas
Lammas Day (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, "loaf-mass"), also known as Loaf Mass Day, is a Christian holiday celebrated in some English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere on 1 August. The name originates from the word "loaf" in reference to bread and "Mass" in reference to the primary Christian liturgy celebrating Holy Communion. It is a festival in the liturgical calendar to mark the blessing of the First Fruits of harvest, with a loaf of bread being brought to the church for this purpose.
On Loaf Mass Day, it is customary to bring to a Christian church a loaf made from the new crop, which began to be harvested at Lammastide, which falls at the halfway point between the summer solstice and autumn September equinox.[page needed] Christians also have church processions to bakeries, where those working therein are blessed by Christian clergy.[page needed]
Lammas has coincided with the feast of St. Peter in Chains, commemorating St. Peter's miraculous deliverance from prison, but in the liturgical reform of 1969 the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori was transferred to this day, the day of St. Alphonsus' death.
While Loaf Mass Day is traditionally a Christian holy day, Lughnasadh is celebrated by Neopagans around the same time.
08/15/2023, Tuesday - The Assumption of Mary
The Assumption of Mary is one of the four Marian dogmas of the Catholic Church. (The word 'assumption' derives from the Latin word assūmptiō meaning "taking up"). Pope Pius XII defined it in 1950 in his apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus as follows:
We proclaim and define it to be a dogma revealed by God that the immaculate Mother of God, Mary ever virgin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven.
The declaration was built upon the 1854 dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which declared that Mary was conceived free from original sin, and both have their foundation in the concept of Mary as the Mother of God. It leaves open the question of whether Mary died or whether she was raised to eternal life without bodily death.
The equivalent belief (but not held as dogma) in the Eastern Orthodox Church is the Dormition of the Mother of God or the "Falling Asleep of the Mother of God".
08/24/2023, Thursday - St. Bartholomew the Apostle
Bartholomew was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. He is said to have been martyred for having converted Polymius, King of Armenia, to Christianity. He has also been identified as Nathanael or Nathaniel, who appears in the Gospel of John when introduced to Jesus by Philip (who also became an apostle; John 1:43–51), although some modern commentators reject the identification of Nathanael with Bartholomew.
According to the Synaxarium of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Bartholomew's martyrdom is commemorated on the first day of the Coptic calendar (i.e., the first day of the month of Thout), which currently falls on 11 September (corresponding to 29 August in the Julian calendar). Eastern Christianity honours him on June 11 and the Catholic Church honours him on 24 August.
Bartholomew the Apostle is remembered in the Church of England with a Festival on 24 August.
The Armenian Apostolic Church honours Saint Bartholomew along with Saint Thaddeus as its patron saints. Bartholomew is English for Bar Talmai (Greek: Βαρθολομαῖος, transliterated Bartholomaios in Greek) comes from the Aramaic: בר-תולמי bar-Tolmay native to Hebrew "son of Talmai", or farmer, "son of the furrows". Bartholomew is listed among the Twelve Apostles of Jesus in the three synoptic gospels: Matthew,[10:1–4] Mark,[3:13–19] and Luke,[6:12–16] and also appears as one of the witnesses of the Ascension;[Acts 1:4, 12, 13] on each occasion, however, he is named in the company of Philip. He is not mentioned by the name "Bartholomew" in the Gospel of John, nor are there any early acta,[a] the earliest being written by a pseudepigraphical writer, Pseudo-Abdias, who assumed the identity of Abdias of Babylon and to whom is attributed the Saint-Thierry (Reims, Bibl. mun., ms 142) and Pseudo-Abdias manuscripts.
In art Bartholomew is most commonly depicted with a beard and curly hair at the time of his martyrdom. According to legends, he was skinned alive and beheaded so is often depicted holding his flayed skin or the curved flensing knife with which he was skinned; thus, he is remembered and approved as saint of leather makers.
09/14/2023, Thursday - Holy Cross Day
In the Christian liturgical calendar, there are several different Feasts of the Cross, all of which commemorate the cross used in the crucifixion of Jesus. Unlike Good Friday, which is dedicated to the passion of Christ and the crucifixion, these feast days celebrate the cross itself, as the sign of salvation. In Roman Catholicism, Eastern Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheran and Anglicanism the most common day of commemoration is 14 September.
In English, the feast is called The Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the official translation of the Roman Missal, while the 1973 translation called it The Triumph of the Cross. In some parts of the Anglican Communion the feast is called Holy Cross Day, a name also used by Lutherans. The celebration is also sometimes called Holy Rood Day.
09/21/2023, Thursday - St. Matthew the Apostle
Matthew the Apostle, also known as Saint Matthew and possibly as Levi, was, according to the New Testament, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. According to Christian traditions, he was also one of the four Evangelists as author of the Gospel of Matthew, and thus is also known as Matthew the Evangelist, a claim rejected by most biblical scholars, though the "traditional authorship still has its defenders."
The New Testament records that as a disciple, he followed Jesus, and was one of the witnesses of the Ascension of Jesus. Later Church fathers such as Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries.
09/29/2023, Friday - Michael and All Angels
Michaelmas (/ˈmɪkəlməs/ MIK-əl-məs; also known as the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels) is a Christian festival observed in some Western liturgical calendars on 29 September. In some denominations a reference to a fourth angel, usually Uriel, is also added. Michaelmas has been one of the four quarter days of the financial, judicial, and academic year.
In Christian angelology, the Archangel Michael is the greatest of all the angels and is honored for defeating Lucifer in the war in heaven.
10/18/2023, Wednesday - St. Luke the Evangelist
Luke the Evangelist is one of the Four Evangelists—the four traditionally ascribed authors of the canonical gospels. The Early Church Fathers ascribed to him authorship of both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, which would mean Luke contributed over a quarter of the text of the New Testament, more than any other author. Prominent figures in early Christianity such as Jerome and Eusebius later reaffirmed his authorship, although a lack of conclusive evidence as to the identity of the author of the works has led to discussion in scholarly circles, both secular and religious.
The New Testament mentions Luke briefly a few times, and the Epistle to the Colossians[Col 4:14] refers to him as a physician (from Greek for 'one who heals'); thus he is thought to have been both a physician and a disciple of Paul.
Since the early years of the faith, Christians have regarded him as a saint. He is believed to have been a martyr, reportedly having been hanged from an olive tree, though some believe otherwise.[a] The Catholic Church and other major denominations venerate him as Saint Luke the Evangelist and as a patron saint of artists, physicians, bachelors, surgeons, students and butchers; his feast day is 18 October.
10/23/2023, Monday - St. James of Jerusalem
James the Just, or a variation of James, brother of the Lord (Latin: Iacobus from Hebrew: יעקב, Ya'akov and Greek: Ἰάκωβος, Iákōbos, can also be Anglicized as "Jacob"), was "a brother of Jesus", according to the New Testament. He was an early leader of the Jerusalem Church of the Apostolic Age. Traditionally, it is believed he was martyred in AD 62 or 69 by being stoned to death by the Pharisees on order of High Priest Ananus ben Ananus.
Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians teach that James, along with others named in the New Testament as "brothers" of Jesus, were not the biological children of Mary, mother of Jesus, but were possibly cousins of Jesus, or step-brothers from a previous marriage of Joseph (as related in the Gospel of James).
The Catholic tradition holds that this James is to be identified with James, son of Alphaeus, and James the Less. It is agreed by most that he should not be confused with James, son of Zebedee also known as James the Great.
10/28/2023, Saturday - St. Simon and St. Jude
Jude is so named by Luke and Acts. Matthew and Mark call him Thaddeus. He is not mentioned elsewhere in the Gospels, except of course where all the apostles are mentioned. Scholars hold that he is not the author of the Letter of Jude. Actually, Jude had the same name as Judas Iscariot. Evidently because of the disgrace of that name, it was shortened to “Jude” in English.
Simon is mentioned on all four lists of the apostles. On two of them he is called “the Zealot.” The Zealots were a Jewish sect that represented an extreme of Jewish nationalism. For them, the messianic promise of the Old Testament meant that the Jews were to be a free and independent nation. God alone was their king, and any payment of taxes to the Romans—the very domination of the Romans—was a blasphemy against God. No doubt some of the Zealots were the spiritual heirs of the Maccabees, carrying on their ideals of religion and independence. But many were the counterparts of modern terrorists. They raided and killed, attacking both foreigners and “collaborating” Jews. They were chiefly responsible for the rebellion against Rome which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
10/31/2023, Tuesday - All Hallows Eve
Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of "All Hallows' evening"), less commonly known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the departed.
One theory holds that many Halloween traditions were influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, which are believed to have pagan roots. Some go further and suggest that Samhain may have been Christianized as All Hallow's Day, along with its eve, by the early Church. Other academics believe Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, being the vigil of All Hallow's Day. Celebrated in Ireland and Scotland for centuries, Irish and Scottish migrants brought many Halloween customs to North America in the 19th century, and then through American influence, Halloween spread to other countries by the late 20th and early 21st century.
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising and souling), attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, and watching horror or Halloween-themed films. For some people, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although it is a secular celebration for others. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.
11/01/2023, Wednesday - All Saints' Day
All Saints' Day, also known as All Hallows' Day, the Feast of All Saints, the Feast of All Hallows, the Solemnity of All Saints, and Hallowmas, is a Christian solemnity celebrated in honour of all the saints of the church, whether they are known or unknown.
From the 4th century, feasts commemorating all Christian martyrs were held in various places, on various dates near Easter and Pentecost. In the 9th century, some churches in the British Isles began holding the commemoration of all saints on 1 November, and in the 9th century this was extended to the whole Catholic church by Pope Gregory IV.
In Western Christianity, it is still celebrated on 1 November by the Roman Catholic Church as well as many Protestant churches, as the Lutheran, Anglican, and Methodist traditions. The Eastern Orthodox Church and associated Eastern Catholic and Eastern Lutheran churches celebrate it on the first Sunday after Pentecost. The Church of the East and the Syro-Malabar Church and Chaldean Catholic Church, the latter of which is in communion with Rome, celebrates All Saints' Day on the first Friday after Easter Sunday. In the Coptic Orthodox tradition, All Saints' Day is on Nayrouz, celebrated on September 11. The day is both the start of the Coptic new year and its first month, Thout.
11/02/2023, Thursday - All Souls' Day
All Souls' Day, also known as the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed and the Day of the Dead, is a day of prayer and remembrance for the faithful departed, which is observed by Roman Catholics and other Christian denominations annually on 2 November. All Souls' Day is often celebrated in Western Christianity; Saturday of Souls is a related tradition more frequently observed in Eastern Christianity. Adherents of All Souls' Day traditions often remember deceased friends and relatives in various ways on the day. Through prayer, intercessions, alms and visits to cemeteries, people commemorate the poor souls in purgatory and gain them indulgences. Beliefs and practices associated with All Souls' Day vary widely among Christian denominations.
The annual celebration is the last day of Allhallowtide, after All Saints' Day (1 November) and Halloween (October 31). Prior to the standardization of Catholic observance on 2 November by St. Odilo of Cluny during the 10th century, many Catholic congregations celebrated All Souls Day on various dates during the Easter season as it is still observed in some Eastern Orthodox Churches and associated Eastern Catholic and Eastern Lutheran churches. Churches of the East Syriac Rite (Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Chaldean Catholic Church, Assyrian Church of the East, Ancient Church of the East) commemorate all the faithful departed on the Friday before Lent.
11/26/2023, Sunday - Christ the King
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, commonly referred to as the Feast of Christ the King, Christ the King Sunday or Reign of Christ Sunday, is a feast in the liturgical year which emphasises the true kingship of Christ. The feast is a relatively recent addition to the liturgical calendar, instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI for the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
In 1970 its Roman Rite observance was moved from October to the last Sunday of Ordinary Time and thus to the end of the liturgical year. The earliest date on which the Feast of Christ the King can occur is 20 November and the latest is 26 November.
The Lutheran, Anglican, Moravian, Methodist, Nazarene, Reformed and United Protestant churches also celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, which is contained in the Revised Common Lectionary; the Methodist, Anglican and Presbyterian Churches often observe this as part of the liturgical season of Kingdomtide, which runs between the Fourth Sunday before Advent and the Feast of Christ the King. It is also observed on the same computed date as the final Sunday of the ecclesiastical year, the Sunday before the First Sunday of Advent, by Western Rite parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Roman Catholics adhering to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite use the General Roman Calendar of 1960 and continue to observe the Solemnity on the date established in 1925, the final Sunday of October.
11/23/2023, Thursday - Thanksgiving (USA)
Thanksgiving is a federal holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is sometimes called American Thanksgiving (outside the United States) to distinguish it from the Canadian holiday of the same name and related celebrations in other regions. It originated as a day of thanksgiving and harvest festival, with the theme of the holiday revolving around giving thanks and the centerpiece of Thanksgiving celebrations remaining a Thanksgiving dinner. The dinner traditionally consists of foods and dishes indigenous to the Americas, namely turkey, potatoes (usually mashed or sweet), stuffing, squash, corn (maize), green beans, cranberries (typically in sauce form), and pumpkin pie. Other Thanksgiving customs include charitable organizations offering Thanksgiving dinner for the poor, attending religious services, watching parades, and viewing football games. In American culture Thanksgiving is regarded as the beginning of the fall–winter holiday season, which includes Christmas and the New Year.
[Colonial history of the United States#New England|New England]] and Virginia colonists originally celebrated days of fasting, as well as days of thanksgiving, thanking God for blessings such as harvests, ship landings, military victories, or the end of a drought. These were observed through church services, accompanied with feasts and other communal gatherings. The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. This feast lasted three days and was attended by 90 Wampanoag Native American people and 53 Pilgrims (survivors of the Mayflower). Less widely known is an earlier Thanksgiving celebration in Virginia in 1619 by English settlers who had just landed at Berkeley Hundred aboard the ship Margaret.
Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, with a proclamation by President George Washington after a request by Congress. President Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday, and its celebration was intermittent until President Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", calling on the American people to also, "with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience .. fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation...". Lincoln declared it for the last Thursday in November. On June 28, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law the Holidays Act that made Thanksgiving a yearly appointed federal holiday in Washington D.C. On January 6, 1885, an act by Congress made Thanksgiving, and other federal holidays, a paid holiday for all federal workers throughout the United States. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the date was moved to one week earlier, observed between 1939 and 1941 amid significant controversy. From 1942 onwards, Thanksgiving, by an act of Congress, signed into law by FDR, received a permanent observation date, the fourth Thursday in November, no longer at the discretion of the President.
12/03/2023, Sunday - Advent - first Sunday
Advent Sunday, also called the First Sunday of Advent or First Advent Sunday, among the Western Christian Churches, is the first day of the liturgical year and the start of the season of Advent.
On the First Sunday of Advent, Christians start lighting their Advent wreaths, and praying their Advent daily devotional; believers may also erect their Christmas tree or Chrismon tree, light a Christingle, as well as engage in other ways of preparing for Christmas, such as setting up Christmas decorations, a custom that is sometimes done liturgically through a hanging of the greens ceremony.
11/30/2023, Thursday - St. Andrew's Day
Saint Andrew's Day, also called the Feast of Saint Andrew or Andermas, is the feast day of Andrew the Apostle. It is celebrated on 30 November. Saint Andrew is the disciple in the New Testament who introduced his brother, the Apostle Peter, to Jesus, the Messiah.
12/06/2023, Wednesday - St. Nicholas Day
Saint Nicholas Day, also called the Feast of Saint Nicholas, observed on 5 December or on 6 December in Western Christian countries, and on 19 December in Eastern Christian countries using the old church Calendar, is the feast day of Saint Nicholas of Myra; it falls within the season of Advent. It is celebrated as a Christian festival with particular regard to Saint Nicholas' reputation as a bringer of gifts, as well as through the attendance of church services.
In the European countries of Germany and Poland, boys have traditionally dressed as bishops and begged alms for the poor. In Poland and Ukraine children wait for St. Nicholas to come and to put a present under their pillows provided that the children were good during the year. Children who behaved badly may expect to find a twig or a piece of coal under their pillows. In the Netherlands, Dutch children put out a shoe filled with hay and a carrot for Saint Nicholas' horse. On Saint Nicholas Day, gifts are tagged with personal humorous rhymes written by the sender. In the United States, one custom associated with Saint Nicholas Day is children leaving their shoes in the foyer on Saint Nicholas Eve in hope that Saint Nicholas will place some coins on the soles.
The American Santa Claus, as well as the British Father Christmas, derive from Saint Nicholas. "Santa Claus" is itself derived in part from the Dutch Sinterklaas, the saint's name in that language. However, the gift giving associated with these descendant figures is associated with Christmas Day rather than Saint Nicholas Day itself.
12/21/2023, Thursday - St. Thomas the Apostle
Thomas the Apostle , also known as Didymus ("twin"), was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Thomas is commonly known as "Doubting Thomas" because he initially doubted the resurrection of Jesus Christ when he was told of it (as is related in the Gospel of John alone); he later confessed his faith ("My Lord and my God") on seeing the wounds left over from the crucifixion.
According to traditional accounts of the Saint Thomas Christians of modern-day Kerala in India, Thomas travelled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, travelling as far as the Tamilakam which is in South India, and reached Muziris of Tamilakam (modern-day North Paravur and Kodungalloor in Kerala State, India) in AD 52. In 1258, some of the relics were brought to Ortona, in Abruzzo, Italy, where they have been held in the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle. He is regarded as the patron saint of India among its Christian adherents, and the Feast of Saint Thomas on July 3 is celebrated as Indian Christians' Day. The name Thomas remains quite popular among the Saint Thomas Christians of the Indian subcontinent.
12/24/2023, Sunday - Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve is the evening or entire day before Christmas Day, the festival commemorating the birth of Jesus. Christmas Day is observed around the world, and Christmas Eve is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day. Together, both days are considered one of the most culturally significant celebrations in Christendom and Western society.
Christmas celebrations in the denominations of Western Christianity have long begun on Christmas Eve, due in part to the Christian liturgical day starting at sunset, a practice inherited from Jewish tradition and based on the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis: "And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day." Many churches still ring their church bells and hold prayers in the evening; for example, the Nordic Lutheran churches. Since tradition holds that Jesus was born at night (based in Luke 2:6-8), Midnight Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve, traditionally at midnight, in commemoration of his birth. The idea of Jesus being born at night is reflected in the fact that Christmas Eve is referred to as Heilige Nacht (Holy Night) in German, Nochebuena (the Good Night) in Spanish and similarly in other expressions of Christmas spirituality, such as the song "Silent Night, Holy Night".
Many other varying cultural traditions and experiences are also associated with Christmas Eve around the world, including the gathering of family and friends, the singing of Christmas carols, the illumination and enjoyment of Christmas lights, trees, and other decorations, the wrapping, exchange and opening of gifts, and general preparation for Christmas Day. Legendary Christmas gift-bearing figures including Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Christkind, and Saint Nicholas are also often said to depart for their annual journey to deliver presents to children around the world on Christmas Eve, although until the Protestant introduction of Christkind in 16th-century Europe, such figures were said to instead deliver presents on the eve of Saint Nicholas' feast day (6 December).
12/25/2023, Monday - Christmas
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25[a] as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many countries, is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians, and forms an integral part of the holiday season organized around it.
The traditional Christmas narrative recounted in the New Testament, known as the Nativity of Jesus, says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in accordance with messianic prophecies. When Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born, with angels proclaiming this news to shepherds who then spread the word.
There are different hypotheses regarding the date of Jesus' birth and in the early fourth century, the church fixed the date as December 25.[b] This corresponds to the traditional date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar. It is exactly nine months after Annunciation on March 25, also the date of the spring equinox. Most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted almost universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world. However, part of the Eastern Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which currently corresponds to January 7 in the Gregorian calendar. For Christians, believing that God came into the world in the form of man to atone for the sins of humanity, rather than knowing Jesus' exact birth date, is considered to be the primary purpose in celebrating Christmas.
The celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving; completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath; Christmas music and caroling; viewing a Nativity play; an exchange of Christmas cards; church services; a special meal; and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore. Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. Over the past few centuries, Christmas has had a steadily growing economic effect in many regions of the world.
12/26/2023, Tuesday - Saint Stephen's Day
Saint Stephen's Day, also called the Feast of Saint Stephen, is a Christian saint's day to commemorate Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr or protomartyr, celebrated on 26 December in Western Christianity and 27 December in Eastern Christianity. The Eastern Orthodox churches that adhere to the Julian calendar mark Saint Stephen's Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on 9 January of the Gregorian calendar used in secular contexts. In Latin Christian denominations, Saint Stephen's Day marks the second day of Christmastide.
It is an official public holiday in Alsace-Moselle, Austria, the Balearic Islands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Catalonia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, Switzerland and Newfoundland. The date is also a public holiday in those countries that celebrate Boxing Day on the day in addition to or instead of Saint Stephen's Day, such as Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
12/27/2023, Wednesday - St. John, Apostle and Evangelist
Saint John the Apostle, the son of Zebedee and Salome, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. John was called to be an Apostle by our Lord in the first year of His public ministry. He is considered the same person as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos and the Beloved Disciple.
John's older brother was St. James the Great, another one of Jesus' Twelve Apostles. Jesus referred to the brothers as "Boanerges," meaning "sons of thunder." John is believed to be the longest living apostle and the only not to die a martyr's death.
John is known as the author of the Gospel of John and four other books in the New Testament - the three Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. The authorship of the Gospel is credited to the "disciple whom Jesus loved," and John 21:24 claims the Gospel of John is based on the "Beloved Disciple's" testimony.
12/28/2023, Thursday - Holy Innocents
The Massacre of the Innocents is the incident in the nativity narrative of the Gospel of Matthew (2:16–18) in which Herod the Great, king of Judea, orders the execution of all male children two years old and under in the vicinity of Bethlehem. The Catholic Church regards them as the first Christian martyrs, and their feast – Holy Innocents' Day (or the Feast of the Holy Innocents) – is celebrated on 28 December. A majority of Herod biographers, and "probably a majority of biblical scholars," hold the event to be myth, legend, or folklore.
12/31/2023, Sunday - Watch Night
A watchnight service (also called Watchnight Mass) is a late-night Christian church service. In many different Christian traditions, such as those of Moravians, Methodists, Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, Baptists, Adventists and Reformed Christians, watchnight services are held late on New Year's Eve, which is the seventh day of Christmastide. This provides the opportunity for Christians to review the year that has passed and make confession, and then prepare for the year ahead by praying and resolving. The services often include singing, praying, exhorting, preaching, and Holy Communion.
Watchnight services can take the form of Watchnight Covenant Renewal Services, Watchnight Vespers services, Watchnight Vigil services, or Watchnight Masses. As Watchnight services bring in the New Year by glorifying God, they are seen by many Christians as being preferable to "drunken revelry" in popular cultural celebrations that are commonplace in some localities.
In addition to Christian denominational traditions, the ethnic traditions of Koreans and African Americans have a strong tradition of New Year's Eve watchnight services.