Christmas Feast Day Tradition

The Parable of the First Christmas (Part 2)

The star which the three kings had seen was formed by the angels, in which they saw a vision of a Virgin and a Child with a cross. This star which was also visible during the day became their guide towards Bethlehem until they reached the Cave of Nativity where they found the infant King. They left their camels outside upon entering the grotto. There they found the child in His mother’s arms. They laid prostrate while giving praises to the Child Jesus, the King of kings.

According to the Holy Catholic Tradition, the names of the three kings were Gaspar, Balthazar and Melchor. They reigned the lands which are known today as Iran and Iraq. King Gaspar, who was the youngest and had a fair complexion, was the first one to give his gift. He offered gold to the Lord Jesus. Next was King Balthazar, who had a dark complexion and he offered incense. Lastly, King Melchor, the oldest and had a white complexion, offered myrrh to the Infant King. At every gift offered made by the kings, the Child Jesus smiled at them and also the Virgin Mary was very thankful to the generosity that they have shown. On their return journey to their homeland, God warned them through dreams that they should not go back to Herod, so they changed their route home (Mt. 2:12).

Amidst the beautiful parable of the first Christmas, there are meaningful messages we ought to know. He was born to this world like the coming of a thief in the night, in a time that many were not expecting. That will also be the case in His Second Coming. Although a King (which is really true since the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph are descendants of King David) he chose to be born in a humble cave. The kind of wood that the Lord has chosen to be His manger was also the same type of wood that He had chosen to be His cross.

The cow and ass that entered the cave to give Him heat against the cold night, symbolizes faith and humility. The cow/ox is used in cultivating the field so that the soil will become fertile. It is liken to our faith which needed to be cultivated in order to become fertile. The ass, due to its size, is usually being used by travelers when the terrain is narrow, rocky and full of thorns. That is also what we should be if we want to follow the Lord because the road which leads to Heaven is narrow, rocky and full of thorns. We must experience pains and sufferings in order for us to follow Him; and we can only do this if we have humility within us. The camels that the three kings have brought with them could not enter the cave due to its size. If it is pride that reigns in us, we will be like the camels which only belong in an open place like the hot desert.

The poor and less fortunate are very dear to the Our Lord. The humble shepherds were the first visitors of the Holy Family which only shows that the word of Jesus is true. “How blessed are you who are poor: the Kingdom of God is yours.” (Luke 6:20) But this does not mean that the rich would never see Heaven (in fact, many saints were born from rich families), but like the Lord said that it will be easier for a camel to go though the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. The three kings did not find the Savior at once. They instead needed a star to be their guide. On the other hand, the humble and poor shepherds were told by an angel from Heaven.

The star which was seen by the three kings and in the shape of the cross symbolizes that of Faith, Hope and Charity which points toward the Holy Child in the manger.

The Three Kings represents the races in the world. Their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh tee us what we should offer to the Lord. Gold embodies true Love; incense that of Prayers; and myrrh, that of Sufferings. These are the gifts which we must also offer to Our Lord Jesus in order to please Him. We must have true love in our hearts, offer solemn prayers and accept sufferings wholeheartedly.

During Christmas, it is never important whatever things you will receive. What really matter is what you can give to your fellowmen and to God. Although things like Christmas lights, carols, gifts and delicious foods can add up to the spirit of Christmas, it is more important to welcome the birth of Our Lord Jesus with peace and goodwill in our hearts. Be ready to forgive others and also seek forgiveness for your sins. If we are suffering in our present state, just glance at the manger and remember the Parable of the First Christmas that brought deep faith, true hope and intense charity to all of us.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Christmas Feast Day Tradition

The Parable of the First Christmas (Part 1)

Rome, the mighty empire, commanded that all heads of the family must go back to their native land in order to be registered in the list of tax payers. Full of sadness, St. Joseph conveyed this message to the Virgin Mary because she was expecting a child soon and she might suffer difficulty in the journey. The Virgin Mary answered that this is the will of God. So one cold winter morning, St. Joseph, with the Virgin Mary, left Nazareth and went toward Bethlehem where he came from. Ten thousand angels accompanied them on their journey in which only the Virgin Mary could see. When they reached Bethlehem, St. Joseph knocked at the doors of his relatives and friends so they can find a place to rest for the moment but no one let them in. They even received harsh words from them. By that time St. Joseph was already filled with sorrow, but the Virgin Mary comforted him and told him that there was a cave outside the town, which was used by the shepherds, where they can lodge. And she also told him “Let us sweetly embrace adversity and gladly go where the Lord is leading us.”

Upon entering the cave that was used by the shepherds as a manger, St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary prayed and gave thanks to the Lord. St. Joseph prepared the manger by placing straws and clean linen. Afterwards, he went out of the cave and when he looked back, he saw the Virgin Mary kneeling and praying while being enveloped by a magnificent light. Full of reverence and fear, he fell prostrate to the ground and fell asleep. As the Virgin Mary kneels, her eyes were directed towards Heaven and her hands were clasped to her chest. She was clothed by a light like that of the sun, her body was filled with the Holy Spirit that was incomparable to any other creature.

When midnight came, a bright light descended from Heaven and stayed on the Virgin Mary as a brilliant fire. In a wink of an eye, the child of God was born of a Virgin Mary in a humble manger. There laid the child Jesus, God who became man, immaculate and pure. From Him radiated a light that surpasses that of the sun and the angels that surrounding Him can be heard singing the most sweetest melodies. In that moment, the world was covered with a glorious peace.

The Blessed Virgin Mary covered the tiny body of Baby Jesus with swaddling clothes and reverently said, “Welcome, my God, my Lord, and my Son.”

Right afterwards, the Virgin Mary beckoned St. Joseph to come near and see the child. When St. Joseph saw the child, he again fell prostrated to the ground while giving praises to the Child Jesus. He only stood up after much pleading of his spouse. He held and kissed the child in his arms. While he was gently laying the child in the manger, a cow and an ass entered the cave. These animals went near the child and kneeled, their warm breath helped in keeping the child warm in that cold night. The Virgin Mary and St. Joseph were moved by what they saw, tears of joy fell from their eyes and continued giving praises to God.

In that Holy Hour when Our Lord was born, there is an unexplained joy that was felt in all corners of the world. Many animals were jumping with joy, dying flowers have came back to life, trees began to bloom and gave off sweet scents and many springs were filled with water. The birth of the Messiah were conveyed to the Holy Souls by the angles, St. Michael brought the good news to the souls of the Patriarchs and Prophets who were in limbo and also to the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary – St. Anne and St. Joachim. Another angel brought the news to St. Elizabeth and St. John the Baptist, and also to the Three Kings in the East. All home felt a different kind of joy because they knew that the Savior had come. But the most fortunate ones, because they were the first to see the Child Jesus, were the poor and humble shepherds.

In Bethlehem by that time, there were shepherds out in the filed who were tending their flocks. The Archangel Gabriel (who was also the tasked by God to announced to Virgin Mary her forthcoming motherhood) appeared before them and said: 

“Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12) 

While the archangel was saying this, choirs of angels of dazzling beauty also appeared in heaven. They were praising and singing a sweet melody: “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to men of good will.”

When the archangel left, the shepherds went straight toward the cave. But before that, they first prepared their gifts. It was almost dawn when they reached the manger in Bethlehem. They saw the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus in the manger. They were filled with joy and started praising the Son of God. They also gave their gifts, which were mostly animals, to the Holy Family who received their gifts with utmost humility.

(to be continued)

Christmas Feast Day Tradition

The Three Christmas Masses


The Angel’s mass was celebrated during midnight. According to the tradition, our Lord Jesus Christ was born in midnight. This Mass recalls the announcement of the Angel’s to the shepherds that our Lord Jesus Christ was born. That is why it’s called “The Angel’s Mass”.


The Shepherd’s Mass was celebrated at the dawn. It recalls the shepherds travel in haste to find the new born Christ. It was called the Shepherd’s Mass because it highlights the role of the Shepherds in proclaiming the good news of the birth of our Lord.


The King’s Mass was celebrated during the day. This Mass rejoices the coming of our Lord, our King, the King of Kings. It invites us to worship Him.
As a Catholic, we are obliged to attend the Holy Mass, to adore our Lord during the day of His Birth.

Merry Christmas to Everyone! God Bless!


Christmas Feast Day Tradition

The Gift of Gold, Myrrh and Frankincense

By tradition we all knew their names as King Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazhar. Thou from the vision accounts of mystic Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, it mentions a different name it speaks of the tradition and allow me to quotes lines from her visions to picture how the saint guided by God was able to see and experience the first Christmas offering from The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Anne Catherine Emmerich:

“I have already related on Christmas Day how I saw the Birth of Christ being announced to the kings on Christmas night.”

“I now saw Mensor bringing out of a pouch hanging at his girdle a handful of little thick shining bars. They were as long as one’s finger, pointed at the top, and speckled with little gold-colored grains in the middle. He offered these to the Blessed Virgin as his gift, laying them humbly on her knee beside the Child. She accepted the gold with loving gratitude, and covered it with a corner of her cloak. These little bars of natural gold were Mensor’s gift, because he was full of fidelity and love and was seeking for the holy truth with unshaken fervor and devotion.”

“…Seir, the dark-brown one, came forward with his following and, falling with great humility on both knees, offered his present with touching words of homage. This was a little golden incense-boat full of little greenish grains of gum, which he laid on the table before the Infant Jesus. Incense was his gift because he embraced the will of God, and followed it willingly, reverently, and lovingly. He knelt there for a long time with deep devotion before withdrawing.”

“Theokeno, the white-skinned one, and the oldest. He was very old and heavy and was not able to kneel down; but he stood bowing low and placed on the table a golden vessel containing a delicate green plant. It seemed to be rooted; it was a tiny green upright tree, very delicate, bearing curly foliage with little delicate white flowers. It was myrrh. His gift was myrrh, because it symbolizes mortification and the overcoming of passions; for this good man had conquered extreme temptations to commit idolatry, polygamy, and to give way to violence.”

Aside from these very insightful details of the first gift giving the three gifts are valuable in so many ways during their time.
Gold has always been a symbol of riches and wealth. A valuable element and a precious metal used in many ways like coin and jewelry. It was mentioned many times in the Bible to represent riches worthy and fit for royalty. The Temple of King Solomon was decorated with overlay of gold. Incense was valuable, with other spices, were used in offering to God in the Old Testament. It was even mentioned in the Book of Exodus ground and burnt as an offering before the Ark of the Covenant. Even at present times, frankincense or its essential oils has its medicinal properties. Myrrh was also an important element for it was used together with incense for worship and prayer. Its essential oils’ fragrant qualities and healing properties are vital in life and even in death. Myrrh was mentioned several times in the old and new testament, all pertaining of spiritual significance. In the Book of Exodus God it was mentioned: And the Lord spoke to Moses, Saying: Take spices, of principal and chosen myrrh five hundred sicles, and of cinnamon half so much, that is, two hundred and fifty sicles, of calamus in like manner two hundred and fifty (Exodus 30:22-23). Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus used myrrh when they bury the Messiah (John 19:39).

Gold also represents the gift to a King. Myrrh symbolizes the mortal side of Christ, while frankincense signifies His divine nature.
Gold symbolized the love of Christ. Frankincense His priesthood. Myrrh Christs’ bitter passion and death.

We have a lot to learn from these gifts for its spiritual significance. That from birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, humility. In His passion and death, sacrifice. That we ought to follow His unconditional commandment, Love (gold). To never cease in thanksgiving and faith in prayer (frankincense) to God. To believe in God’s plan for us and accept the bitter pains we have to accept and suffer (myrrh).

“Therefore, we wanted to open ourselves and sought for a star to show us the right way. And it arose for us in the grace of vocation. We followed it and found the divine infant. He stretched out his hands for our gifts. He wanted the pure gold of a heart detached from all earthly goods; the myrrh of renunciation of all the happiness of this world in exchange for participation in the life and suffering of Jesus; the frankincense of a will that surrenders itself and strains upward to lose itself in the divine will. In return for these gifts, the divine Child gave us Himself.”  – St. Edith Stein

Christmas Feast Day Tradition

The ‘Parol’ of Our Lives: Christ

The parol is an excquisite decoration during advent season. Christmas lanterns typically star in form is a reminder of the bright star of Bethlehem who appeared before the Nativity of Jesus. “Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was.  And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” (Matthew 2:9-10 Douay-Rheims Bible)

It was the three kings guided by this star that they found the greatest treasure and honor they could have, to bow to the King of Kings. “And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11).

Convicts who are parolled are definitive of mankind being bound to sin who are redeemed by the star of Hope.

In the Philippines, during Simbang Gabi or midnight mass, the parols serve as lights to everyone attending the very early dawn masses for nine days before christmas. Many cities have different christmas lantern designs but the shape of a star is most common to depict the star of the Nativity.

The star that appeared that night is no ordinary star, for it symbolizes the great light, hope and joy that came to mankind. The mystic Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich in her accounts describe the joy the world had the night the Nativity of Our Lord:

In these pictures of Christ’s Birth, which I see as an historical event and not as a Feast of the Church, I do not see such radiant and ecstatic joy in nature as I do on Christmas night when the vision that I see expresses an interior significance. Yet I saw in this vision an unwonted joy and an extraordinary movement at midnight in many places even to the uttermost parts of the earth. I saw the hearts of many good men filled with joyful yearning, while all the wicked were overcome by great fear.

Such peace and spiritual joy indeed the night Our Lord Savior was born. But the spiritual significance of the parol we see around us are blurred by modernism and consumerism. Many are stressed out during Christmas for work becomes more intense and expenses are inevitable. Many have become materialistic in celebrating Christmas in finding the best gifts and fancy luxuries. Many have become busy and lose sight of the true meaning of the celebration. It’s the most important birthday of our lives as Christians. And yet many fail to greet, worship and thank Him for the gift of that special day.

Let’s bring back that peace and joy in our hearts everytime we see a Christmas Parol. Follow the example of the three kings of finding our true treasure and King. They were aided by that Star of Bethlehem, and so are we today and most especially on Christmas day.

“Saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him.” (Matthew 2:2)

Let the Christmas parol remind us who to adore. 

The Light and parol of our lives that is Christ.

Christmas Feast Day Tradition

Who is Santa Claus?

Saint Nicholas Myra or Saint Nicholas of Bari (also known as Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker) is a devout christian who was born on March 15, 270 in Patara, Roman Empire. When his parents died, he used his inheritance to help the poor and sick. Then he was ordained a priest by his uncle who was bishop, and later he became the bishop.

One of the popular stories of Saint Nicholas is when he helps a poor father has three daughters who wants to sell them as a servant because they were unable to marry due to their poor status. Saint Nicholas secretly helped the poor family by going under cover at night and threw a purse of gold through the open window of the house. Then the father immediately arranged a marriage of his first daughter. And after the wedding, Saint Nicholas threw another purse of Gold and the father immediately arranged a wedding for his second daughter. The father, wants to know the kind person who helped them by staying awake in two nights until he caught Saint Nicholas doing the same act of charity towards the third daughter. The father fell on his knees and thanking Saint Nicholas. But the saint ordered him not to tell anyone. These secret gift-giving is the base of the popular secret gift-giving of Santa Claus to the children when they were asleep.

Legend says that Saint Nicholas was also a great opponent of Arianism as he is one of the bishops who attend the Council of Nicaea and signed the Nicene creed.
As the Santa Claus character is more popular than Saint Nicholas, let us remember this Saint, pray to him especially this season of Christmas.

Saint Nicholas of Myra, pray for us!


Christmas Feast Day Tradition

The Advent and the Wreath

The Advent had two parts. The first two Sunday is about the “Second Coming of Christ”, while the last two Sundays is about the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

During the Advent, the Church displays the Advent Wreath. The Advent Wreath symbolizes the season of advent. It has five candles that was placed on the top of a wreath. Each of these items on the Advent Wreath has symbols.

  1. PROPHECY CANDLE – Is first purple candle that was lit during the first Sunday of Advent. It symbolizes Hope. It was called Prophecy Candle as a remembrance of the Prophets that prophesied the birth of our Lord like Prophet Isaiah.
  2. BETHLEHEM CANDLE – Is the second purple candle that was lit during the second Sunday of Advent. It symbolizes Faith. It was called the Bethlehem Candle as a remembrance of the journey of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph to Bethlehem.
  3. SHEPHERD’S CANDLE – Is the pink candle that was lit during the third Sunday of Advent (Also called Gaudete Sunday). It symbolizes Joy. The Shepherd’s Candle is a remembrance of the joy that the world experienced when our Lord Jesus Christ was born.
  4. ANGEL’S CANDLE – The third purple that was lit during the fourth and last Sunday of Advent. It symbolizes Peace. It was called the Angel’s candle as a remembrance of message of the Angels ““Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.” (Luke 2:14)”.
  5. CHRIST’S CANDLE – Is a white candle on the center of the wreath. It was lit during Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. It symbolizes our Lord Jesus Christ, His life and without stain of sin.
  6. EVERGREEN WREATH – It symbolizes the Eternity of God. Its round shape symbolizes the everlasting life to be gained in Christ.

The Advent is a celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, His coming to our life through grace and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. And the second coming of our Lord on the End of the World.

The Sanhedrin was the forum for the pharisees, who believed in the resurrection and in angels, and the saducees, who are akin to new theories and philosophies. All beliefs and philosophies concerning God and His creation are allowed to be expressed here.


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