During the second Mass, the Mass at Dawn, the Church presents us with the memory of a noble widow of Rome named Anastasia, the only saint who gets a "feast day" commemoration on Jesus' Birthday.
Saint Anastasia was martyred by burning on December the twenty - fifth in the year 304.
Among all the Christmas Day occurrences of nineteen hundred years, the Church has chosen to remember, in conjunction with Our Lord's Birth, only this one event; the suffering and death of a Christian martyr whose crime before men was to insist that the Holy Infant of Bethlehem is the One, True God.
This Christmas there are many gods being proposed to the Catholics of America. They are gods with names like Tolerance and Brotherhood, and fail to worship them has become, in effect , a crime before men. Invoking saint Anastasia, The Point prays this Christmas for those who will be guilty of the crime, and who will insist, publicly and persistently, that the Christ Child of Christmas is the only true God, and that His Virgin Mother is that same Mother of God who, when our last Christmas is finally behind us, will stand unique and singular as the one Gate of Heaven.
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For centuries, Catholics have believed that the world was created the way Genesis says it was, and that, therefore, the age of the world is a knowable and not too large number. Not until the "anthropology priests" of our day have Catholics defied the Church's clear tradition on the age of the world.
Each Christmas, however, the priests' Breviary contains a decided kick in the shin- bones for those excavating clerics who prefer to think that the ancestors of the Infant Jesus were the baboons of a few million years ago.
Says the Martyrology for the 25th December: "In the 5,199th year of the creation of the world, from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth, in the 2,957th year after the flood, in the 2,015th year from the birth of Abraham, ...in the 42nd year of the rule of Octavian Augustus, all the earth being at peace, Jesus Christ , the Eternal God, and the Son of the Eternal Father,...was born in Bethlehem of Juda of the Virgin Mary, made Man."
Thy light is come, Jerusalem, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee, and the Gentiles shall walk in thy light. Alleluia
In the troubled season of Christmas, 1958, as the last strongholds of our civilization falter before the Jewish siege, let all who are about to despair consider the above words. They are of an antiphon in the Christmastime liturgy of the Catholic Church, and they offer a needed reminder. Though we must not forget that the Jews have rejected the incarnate God, we must also remember - with thanksgiving and the chanting of alleluias - that God has likewise cast off the Jews and established His new and eternal covenant with us Gentiles.
"A Child is born to us, a Son is given to us, " is the jubilant shout of Catholics at Christmas.
To the Jews, it is a taunt, notifying them that however much they might bedevil the Church with their anti- Christian onslaughts, her ultimate triumph over them is assured. The gates of Hell shall not prevail against her..
From The Point - Fr. Feeney, December, 1958 and December, 1952