The Catholic Defender: The Holy Family

Posted by Donald Hartley - December 29th, 2014

catholicdefenderWe just celebrated the Christmas story, the shepherds tending their flocks in the fields, the angels proclaiming, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10). Salvation has come to the world! This is marked in the happiness of a new born child.

The scripture tells us that Mary pondered these things in her heart. We too should ponder these things as we reflect the meaning of all this. St. Joseph was a great provider with strong faith and trust in God. He gives a great example for all fathers. Joseph and Mary would first be Jesus protectors, then teachers. All the happiness of the past couple of days will be enjoined with the coming of the magi bearing gifts of Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

All this for a new born King! The small community in Bethlehem shares a calm before the storm. Jesus was born into the world humbling himself accepting humanity as a new born infant. Thus the Word became flesh for the salvation of the world. Not long before this nativity scene display, there was no room for the Holy Family in the inn, if the Lord were to come to your house this day, would he find room in the inn? Do we receive this Word into our hearts?

If we do, then like Zaccheaus, “today, salvation has come to this house..” Mary, is like every other mother who loves their children. She is the role model of motherhood. Whenever I see a statue or picture of May with the Christ Child, I reflect the great love between a mother and her child. The Christmas song “Silent Night” makes this scene come alive for me.

Every child should be loved like this. St. Joseph is a great model in his role of fatherhood. His leadership, his love for Jesus and Mary. God entrusted his Son to St.Joseph making him one of the world’s greatest dad’s! These first few joyous days will quickly change as danger is coming. Powerful forces seek to find the Christ child to kill him. Not only King Herod wants baby Jesus dead, so does the king of darkness. Revelation 12:3 states, “Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on it’s head were seven diadems”.

This would appear very terrible for any family with a small child to overcome. However, when you have God’s protection, all things are possible. Jesus had to rely on the faithfulness of his parents as they are entrusted with the greatest mission the world will ever receive. Nobody ever did it any better than Joseph and Mary. Events that we will celebrate in the next few days are the coming of the magi, and the presentation of Jesus into the Temple when he was eight days old.

From this scene we have the Prophecy of Simeon, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself (Mary) a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed”. “There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.

She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the Temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2″36-38).

It would not be long however before the small community would be shaken as “Rachel will not be consoled”. “When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, fless to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him’. Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, ‘Out of Egypt I called my son”. We too, like Joseph, must act when tough times are coming. We must seek to do the Lord’s will in all things and he will lead us to the Promised Land.

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It is possible to be 100% right on an issue…..

Posted by John Benko - December 26th, 2014

and be such a jerk about it that you burn up the very moral capital you have in holding the correct position.

Announcing the 2014 Deepertruthblog Christmas special.

Posted by John Benko - December 24th, 2014

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Join us for our 2014 Christmas special. The show can be heard live on Christmas Eve day from 12 NOON- 2 PM Eastern. You can listen live right here!. The show will feature interviews, wonderful stories, a chance to win Dave Armstrong’s new book and a special countdown of my all-time top 25 favorite holiday songs!

You can follow the show and give us your comments right on the Facebook link for the show! (It will appear on the show page). You can also email your comments to email@deepertruthblog.com

We cannot wait! Spread the word far and wide!

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Please help the Sindelar family

Posted by John Benko - December 22nd, 2014

Paul and Margie had their home partially damaged by a fire.

There are three ways you can help.

First, go to this link and donate.

Second, Share this link everywhere….Facebook, Email….

Third, Pray for this family.

Thank You.

The Guardian Angel: The Eucharistic Miracle In The Life Of Teresa Neumann (1898-1962)

Posted by Donald Hartley - December 19th, 2014

Therese_NeumannThe Catholic Church for 2,000 years have been graced with great people, simple people who recognized their place within the universe. They understood that their lives were totally dependent on God and always striving to put God first in their lives. Some of them paid the highest price giving their lives as martyrs. Some gave their lives living for God in a day to day relationship, their constant thought were to seek to do the Lord’s will first in all we do.

From time to time, God places such people out in the world to remind people of the importance of following Jesus. The Catholic Hall of Fame is the most important of all desired aspirations in life. As a father, if I raise my children to be good doctors, lawyers, Solders, nurses, or any profession that they would end up doing, but I do not give them the foundation of faith, then I fail my first and foremost purpose in raising them.

Family life today is under attack and so the faith is also being attacked. As the family goes, there also goes the strength of strong faith. So we have a great need today to lift up those who were servants of the King of kings. There still are many good examples and the opportunity of grace is in abundance. Jesus said that the most ardent sinner were most deserving of His mercy as He wants to offer his mercy to them.

One of the great examples of our time is that of  Servant of God Teresa Neumann whose life was not an easy life, she had a heart for God that placed Him first in her life.

Teresa Neumann’s life changed radically after her miraculous recovery from paralysis and total blindness at the age of 25. About a year later, she received the stigmata and began fasting, which lasted 36 years until her death. Her only nourishment was the Holy Eucharist and for this reason the Nazi authorities, during World War II, withdrew her food rationing card and gave her a double rationing of soap to wash her towels and clothing, because every Friday she would be drenched in Blood while she was in ecstasy, experiencing the Passion of Christ. Hitler was very fearful of Teresa.

teresa n 1Teresa Neumann was born in Konnersreuth Germany, on April 8th, 1898 from an extremely poor Catholic family. Her greatest ambition was to become a missionary in Africa but that was not possible as she was a victim of an accident at the age of 20 when a horrible fire broke out in a nearby plant and Teresa went to help and in the process of passing buckets of water to stop the flames, she got a horrible lesion in her spinal cord that caused a paralysis in both her legs and complete blindness.

Teresa then passed her days in prayer, but one day her miraculous recovery occurred in the presence of Father Naber who wrote: “Teresa described a vision of a great light and an extraordinary, sweet voice that was asking her if she wished to be healed. Teresa gave the most surprising answer when she replied that to her it would not make any difference whether she would be healed, stay the way she was or even die, as long as it was the will of God. The mysterious voice told her that ‘that very day she would receive a small joy; the healing of her infirmities, but that she would still have a lot of suffering to endure in her future.’”

For a little while, Teresa lived in fairly good health, but in 1926 her most important mystical experiences started and lasted until the day she died. She received the stigmata, and she began a complete fasting, with the Eucharist as her only nourishment. Father Naber, who administered Communion to Teresa every day, wrote:

Therese-Neumann-2“In her, God’s promised word is accomplished: ‘My Flesh is real food and my Blood is a true drink’”.

Teresa offered the Lord her physical suffering – due to the loss of blood caused by the stigmata – that started every Thursday during the day when Jesus’ Passion started, until Sunday, His Resurrection. This suffering was offered, through her intercession, for sinners that asked for help. Every time she would be called to a person’s death bed, she would be witness to that soul’s judgment, as it is usual to happen right after death.

Ecclesiastical authorities performed many examinations in regard to Teresa’s continuous fasting. Carl Strater, S.J., directed by the Bishop of Ratisbonne, studied and examined the life of the stigmatized Teresa and confirmed: “The significance of Teresa Neumann’s fasting is to show the people of the world the value of the Holy Eucharist, to make the world understand that Christ is actually present in the bread of the Eucharist and that through the Holy Eucharist, physical life can actually be preserved.”

The Deepertruth radio program that featured this story aired 12/18/2014, and you can hear the presentation here: Eucharistic Miracle of Teresa Neumann

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The Guardian Angel: Eucharistic Miracle La Rochelle, France 1461

Posted by Donald Hartley - December 13th, 2014

CommunionSigns of healing by receiving or being drawn to the Eucharist is a powerful sign that makes the everyday occurrence a special event.

Eucharistic Adoration in itself is a very positive event, spending some time with the presence of the Lord in our midst.  What a glimpse this is.  Revelation 21:3-4 states, “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.  He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.”

The old order has passed away with Jesus death on the cross.  John 19:29-30 states, “Jesus said, “I thirst.”  There was a vessel filled with common wine.  So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth.  When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.”  And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.”  The Passover ordinance given for the Israelite has now been transformed to a new and everlasting covenant.

Matthew 26:27-28 gives the foundation, “Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGod’s presence among his people is made manifest through his resurrection, “We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat (Hebrews 13:10).”  Like Jesus suffered outside the gate, to consecrate the people by his own blood, “the cup of blessing that we bless” is a participation in the blood of Christ.  1 Corinthians 10:16

The Lord hears the cry of the poor, those who cry out to him.  We have been graced to have witnessed many various signs of Eucharistic miracles from healing as what happened at La Rochelle to literally changing the outward visual appearance to flesh.  We have seen often times a child from within the consecrated host to other times a bearded face.  Many times a voice accompanies the vision or miracle.  All of these signs always points back to Christ among us.

Jesus promised, “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).”  We are to hold fast to his teachings and observe them.  We are often times criticized for maintaining rituals they think are not important to our relationship to Christ, yet, Jesus calls us to hold fast to his teachings and to observe them.  Nothing more important than the sign of His Covenant.  The challenge is to recognize these spiritual encounters (importantly) going to Confession and receiving the Eucharist are not simply a habit, but a close encounter with the living God.  People look to the stars to find answers, we have access to the One who created those stars.

The following is an example of the importance of the Eucharist and blessed are they who can see:

The Miracle La Rochelle France 1461

jesus-heal-boy-1The Eucharistic miracle of La Rochelle concerns the instantaneous cure of a boy, paralyzed and mute since the age of seven, when he received Holy Communion at Mass on Easter Sunday in 1461 (at the age of 12). He was completely healed of his paralysis and was once again able to speak. The most authoritative document that visually describes this miracle is the painted-manuscript preserved still today in the Cathedral of La Rochelle.

During Easter of 1461, Mrs. Jehan Leclerc brought her twelve year old son, Bertrand, to the Church of St. Bartholomew. Bertrand had been paralyzed and mute since the age of seven due to a terrible fall. When the time for Holy Communion arrived, he indicated to his mother that he also wanted to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Initially the priest did not want to give the young man Communion, because the boy was not able to go to Confession given his muteness. The young man, however, continued to beseech the priest for Communion and, in the end, the priest did permit him to receive the Blessed Sacrament. From the first moment that Bertrand received the Host, he began to feel shaken by a mysterious force. He was able to move and to speak. He was cured. According to the hand-written document, immediately after the miraculous event Bertrand’s first words were, “Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini!” (“Our help is in the name of the Lord!”) The most authoritative document that visually describes this miracle is the painted manuscript preserved to this day in the Cathedral of La Rochelle.

Bertrand had a personal encounter with the living God which has the power to touch many today.  Jesus states, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10)”, and through the blessed Sacraments of the Lord through His Catholic Church, we have these divine encounters.

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The Catholic Defender: My Christmas Timeline

Posted by Donald Hartley - December 10th, 2014

“In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2

In six days God created the heavens and the earth, “Let there be light and there was light…, Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other…, Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that dry land may appear…, Let the earth bring forth vegetation…, Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night…’Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky…, Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures…, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness giving dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” Genesis 1:3-26

“God created man in his image, in the divine image he created him; male and female he created.” God first blessed Adam and Eve, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” Genesis 1:27-28

The second story of creation places Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden where they lived in perfect happiness with the presence of God in their midst. Until one faithless day…

The Fall

Adam and Eve diorama at the Creation Museum in Kentucky“Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the Lord God had made. The serpent asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” The woman answered the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, “You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.” But the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.” The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.” Genesis 3:1-7

This is what led to the natural fall of man. Romans 5:12-14 relates, “Therefore, just as through one person sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all, inasmuch as all sinned for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world, though sin is not accounted when there is no law. But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of one who was to come.”

adventBecause of the fall of Adam and Eve, man fell from God’s grace, but “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

With the Advent wreath, there are four candles that represent the four weeks of Advent. A tradition is that each week represents one thousand years, to sum to the 4,000 years from Adam and Eve until the Birth of the Savior. Three candles are purple and one is rose. The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and good works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete  Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming to judge the living and the dead.

The Catholic Church is the living story told through its tradition and scripture of God’s continued relationship with mankind. It re-begins with the Promise:

The Promise:

AdamEveExpelled_80.78114954_stdGenesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heal.” “The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living. God made leather garments, with which he clothes them. Then the Lord God said: “See! The man has become like one of us, knowing what is good and what is bad! Therefore, he must not be allowed to putout his hand to take fruit from the tree of life also, and thus eat of it and live forever.” The Lord God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he had been taken. When he expelled the man, he settled him east of the garden of Eden; and he stationed the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:20-24

2348 B.C. The time of the great Flood and Noah.   It was here that  God gives the sign of the rainbow as His promise not to destroy the earth with flood.

2200 B.C. In Egypt begins the VIII Dynasty (First after the flood), and Mesopotamia begins the Gutian period. The king begins to have himself called “god”.

Abraham1850 B.C. God calls Abraham to come out of Ur to Canaan where the Lord establishes His Covenant with mankind through the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob promising Abraham, “I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing, all this because you obeyed my command.” Genesis 22:17-18

(Jesus would say of Himself, being the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15), “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” John 8:38)

1250 B.C., Deuteronomy 18:15, “A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you among your own kinsmen; to him shall you listen.”

1250 B.C. Numbers 24:17, “I see him, though not now; I behold him, though not near: A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Isreal, that shall smite the brows of Moab, and the skulls of all the Shuthites, Till Edom is dispossessed, and no fugitive is left in Seir.”

742 B.C., Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you this sign: the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.”

daniel742 B.C., Micah (Contemporary of Isaiah) 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, From you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; Whose origin is from old, from ancient times.”

538 B.C., Daniel 9:24, “Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and for your holy city: Then transgression will stop and sin will end, guilt will be expiated, Everlasting justice will be introduced, vision and prophecy ratified, and a most holy will be anointed.”

The Preparation:

9th of Av 586 B.C. (Tish’a B’ Av) The destruction of the Temple (2 Kgs 24:18-25).  People will often start the priestly rotation on the 1st of Nissan (538) as it began in 1 Chronicles 22:24, but instead, they resumed their rotation beginning with the 9th of Av.  This broke cycle of the priestly duties which would resume in 538 when the Hebrews returned from exile. This would set the stage for an important event. Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah,  was conducting his duties about October 2nd-9th, Yom Kippur  (Luke 1:10). The prophecy of John the Baptist through an Angel of the Lord.

63 B.C. Pompey abominations spoken of by the Jewish Historian, Josephus said it was 27 years from this date to when Herod captures Jerusalem.

Second_Temple_view36 B.C. a Sabbatical year, During the Jewish High Festival, Yom Kippur, Jerusalem fell to Herod whose reign begins on the first of Nissan, 35 B.C. This is important because Herods death takes place soon after an eclipse on Jan 10, 1 B.C. (King Herod would be the ruling authority in Judea-a puppet of Rome, at the time of Christs birth, December 25, 2 B.C.)

September 8, 18 B.C.  The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the “New Eve”, the woman together with her seed would bruise the serpents head while the Devil strikes at their (His) heal.  Genesis 3:15/Revelation 12

October 3 B.C. The Day of Atonement-Yom Kippur,the busiest Temple day of the Temple year (Luke 1:10) sometime late March early April. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Zachariah and announced the coming of John the Baptist.

Following-the-StarSeptember 3 B.C. The planet Jupiter was in conjunction with Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo-Leo the Lion. This would be the star the wise men would follow leading them to Bethlehem. They followed the star for about 16 months until the Star rested over Bethlehem for six days beginning on Dec 25, 2 B.C. Isaiah 60:1-6 prophesied, “Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; But upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes anbd look about; they all gather and come to you: YOur sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses. Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your hear shall throb and overflow, for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you. Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and  Ephah; All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the Lord.”

February 2 B.C. Caesar Augustus received the title “Pater Patriae on Feb 2 B.C. calling for his presence in Rome beginning early fall of 3 B.C. Quirinius, the Governor of Syria (Luke 2:2), acted as Governor of Palestine through 2 B.C. This is important because of the decree for the whole world to be enrolled which is what leads Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. This fulfills Micah 5:2.

GabrielMarch-April 2 B.C. “In the sixth month (since the announcement of John the Baptist-October 2 B.C.), the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail Full of Grace, the Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom there will be no end.”
(Luke 1:26-22)

March-April 2:B.C. Mary hastens to visit Elizabeth who was in her sixth month of pregnancy.

June (25) 2 B.C. Birth of St. John the Baptist.

The Christmas Story

MaryJosephNativityTravel - CopyDecember 25 2 B.C. The Birth of Jesus “For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-forever, Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, From David’s throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever.” (Isaiah 9:5-6).

“Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:18-21)

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was Governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:1-7)

angels to the shephardsDecember 25, 2 B.C. The angels announcement of the good news and the visitation of the Shepherds.

“The total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah, fourteen generations.” Matthew 1:17

December 31, 2 B.C. The Visitation of the Wise men following the Star of Bethlehem and soon after Jesus presentation at the Temple in Jerusalem (after Mary’s purification process of 40 days) the vision of the angels to travel another route from King Herod. Matthew 2:1-12

January 1, 1 B.C. Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day according to the Law and was formally given the name Jesus by St. Joseph as the angel Gabriel had directed to Mary at the Annunciation.

January 10, 1 B.C. The Eclipse spoken of by the Jewish Historian, Josephus who then identifies King Herod’s death soon after. This would have been in his 37th year of his reign as shown by Josephus.

The Presentation

February 2, 1 B.C. “When the days were completed for their purification (40 days) according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.” Luke 2:22-24

magi_tissot868x600The Wise men and their caravan stayed and camped around the area of Bethlehem until after the Presentation of the Lord. We know from reading Matthew 2:12, the wise men receive a message in a dream to go another route and to not see King Herod. For timing sake, I am simply adding February 2 here which marks the 40 days after the birth of Christ and his Presentation at the Temple. By this time, certainly King Herod would be waiting for the wise men to report back to him with much anxiousness.

February 2, 1 B.C. (Same night that the wise men receive their message from the angel) St. Joseph receives the vision to flee with Mary and Jesus from King Herod’s massacre of the Holy Infants trying to kill the Christ Child. Matthew 2:13-15 states, “When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Holy FamilyBecause I am using February 2, 1 B.C. as when the wise men and the Holy Family depart from Bethlehem it only stands to reason that it was here that the King Herod’s Soldiers massacres the holy infants. Matthew 2:16-18

April 6 (3760 ‘Hebrew Year’, Gregorian year 1 B.C.) marks Passover for the Jews. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, by this time, King Herod was dead. The Holy Family remained in Egypt until the threat was over.

The Jewish historian Josephus

In the past, it was believed that Herod had died in 4 B.C. because there was a partial eclipse before the Passover celebration. However, this narrative does not fit the rest of the the story. The Star of Bethlehem for example, scientifically is shown to have arrived on December 25, 2 B.C. With the most recent data coming from science, it is more likely that Josephus was identifying Herod’s death taking place in 1 B.C. as his death would have fallen between the (full) Lunar eclipse (Jan 10) and the Passover (April 6).

JoesephusConsider Josephus states that King Herod died 34 years after the conquest of Jerusalem in 35 B.C. Also Josephus states that Herod died between a Lunar eclipse and Passover. In 1 B.C. there are 89 days between the eclipse and Passover which is significant. In 4 B.C. there were only 29 days between the events.

April 3, 33 A.D. Jesus dies on the cross and rises from the dead three days later. the Ascension of Jesus would be 40 days later and the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles in Jerusalem takes place 50 days later. This marks the birthday of the Church founded by Christ, the Catholic Faith.

The Celebration:

December 25, 125 A.D. Pope Telephorus, 7th successor of St. Peter, established the custom of Midnight Mass.

During this time, we also read the following words of Theophilus (A.D. 115-181), Catholic bishop of Caesarea in Palestine: “We ought to celebrate the birthday of Our Lord on what day soever the 25th of December shall happen.”

TelephorusDecember 25, 127 A.D. Pope Telephorus began the custom of Midnight Mass singing in honor of the Christmas Story, the angels announcing the good news.

In the 2nd century, a massacre in the catacombs on December 25th was recorded as having occurred on the date of the Nativity.

Alfred Edersheim, a Messianic Jew, wrote, “There is no adequate reason for questioning the historical accuracy of this date. The objections generally made rest on grounds which seem to me historically untenable.”

Shortly thereafter in the second century, Saint Hippolytus (A.D. 170-240) wrote in passing that the birth of Christ occurred on December 25:

“The First Advent of our Lord in the flesh occurred when He was born in Bethlehem, was December 25th, a Wednesday, while Augustus was in his forty-second year, which is five thousand and five hundred years from Adam. He suffered in the thirty-third year, March 25th, Friday, the eighteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, while Rufus and Roubellion were Consuls.”

313 A.D. The Early Christians built a Church over the site of where Jesus was born, Constantine was by this time a Christian.

379 A.D. The preaching of Saints such as St. Gregory Nazianzus spoke of Christmas continuing the tradition of December 25.

birth-baby-jesus-100Saint Augustine confirms the tradition of March 25 as the Messianic conception and December 25 as His birth:

For Christ is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also he suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which he was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which he was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before him nor since. But he was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th

397 A.D. The hymns of St Ambrose began to inspire many.

567 A.D. The Council of Tours establishing the Seasons of Advent and Christmas into the Church calender.

The Christmas Season runs from December 25th through 6 January, the Feast of the Epiphany, the Wise men.

Francis 512th Century, St. Francis of Assisi inspires plays and caroling through the Nativity scene.

With all of the historical evidence, it is clear that the Catholic Church remembers and keeps the 25th of December as the celebration of the birth of the Lord that was promised since the fall of man. The point made is that Christmas is not of Pagan origin as some will say. People of all ages can appreciate the true meaning of Christmas as we keep the story alive in our hearts.

We here at Deepertruth want to wish you all a Merry Christmas (which is really taken from the root Christ Mass) and a Happy New Year.

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