Born in Bethlehem. A card produced by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. Pray for the safety of the Holy Places!
Jesus sends an imaginary letter, distributed by angels, from the Crib to a Child.
Heaven, 25 December
"My dear child, each year when I return to earth at the same time, the day of Christmas, so full of joy for others is full of sadness for me.
In reality, how can it be otherwise. I only see everywhere the mockery of the Holy Name of my Father. Many who would otherwise be my friends have for forgotten me and sacrifice the happiness of eternity for the pleasures of one day.
I have done everything that they should come to me. What have I done to offend them?
I came to lead them to my Father who is the Father of all - to teach them his holy law. I have shared their sorrows on earth to promise them that they can partake of the delights of heaven. O, they will never know what I did for them.
But you, at least, my dearest child, who still loves me, promise me that you will persevere on the road of goodness. Try to do what I have done for my Father. If you are ever discouraged, forget not your place in paradise.
He who died for thee, Jesus".
He who will give Himself to you at Midnight Mass.
From the Martyrology
ANNO a creatióne mundi, quando in princípio Deus creávit cœlum et terram, quínquies millésimo centésimo nonagésimo nono: A dilúvio autem, anno bis millésimo nongentésimo quinquagésimo séptimo: A nativitáte Abrahæ, anno bis millésimo quintodécimo: A Moyse et egréssu pópuli Israël de Ægypto, anno millésimo quingentésimo décimo: Ab unctióne David in Regem, anno millésimo trigésimo secúndo; Hebdómada sexagésima quinta, juxta Daniélis prophetíam: Olympíade centésima nonagésima quarta: Ab urbe Roma cóndita, anno septingentésimo quinquagésimo secúndo: Anno Impérii Octaviáni Augústi quadragésimo secúndo, toto Orbe in pace compósito, sexta mundi ætáte, Jesus Christus ætérnus Deus, æterníque Patris Fílius, mundum volens advéntu suo piíssimo consecráre, de Spíritu Sancto concéptus, novémque post conceptiónem decúrsis ménsibus (Hic vox elevátur, et omnes genua flectunt), in Béthlehem Judæ náscitur ex María Vírgine factus Homo.
IN THE 5199th year of the creation of the world, from the time when in the beginning God created heaven and earth; from the flood, the 2957th year; from the birth of Abraham, the 2015th year; from Moses and the going-out of the people of Israel from Egypt, the 1510th year; from the anointing of David as king, the 1032nd year; in the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel; in the 194th Olympiad; from the founding of the city of Rome, the 752nd year; in the 42nd year of the rule of Octavian Augustus, when the whole world was at peace, in the sixth age of the world: Jesus Christ, the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to sanctify the world by His most merciful coming, having been conceived by the Holy Ghost, and nine months having passed since His conception (A higher tone of voice is now used, and all kneel) was born in Bethlehem of Juda of the Virgin Mary, having become man.
Hic autem in priori voce dícitur, et in tono passiónis:
NATÍVITAS Dómini nostri Jesu Christi secúndum carnem.
Quod sequitur, legitur in tono Lectiónis consueto; et surgunt omnes.
In the same higher tone of voice and in the tone of the Passion:
THE NATIVITY of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.
That which follows is said in the customary tone of the Martyrology, and all arise.
Eódem die natális sanctæ Anastasiæ, quæ, témpore Diocletiáni, primo diram et immítem custódiam a viro suo Publio perpessa est, in qua tamen a Confessore Christi Chrysogono multum consoláta et confortáta fuit; deínde a Floro, Præfecto Illyrici, per diútinam custódiam macerata, ad ultimum, mánibus et pédibus exténsis, ligáta est ad palos, et circa eam ignis accénsus, in quo martyrium consummávit in ínsula Palmária, ad quam una cum ducéntis viris et septuagínta féminis deportáta fuerat, qui variis interfectiónibus martyrium celebrarunt.
The same day, the birthday of St. Anastasia, who, in the time of Diocletian, first suffered a severe and harsh imprisonment on the part of her husband Publius, in which, however, she was much consoled and encouraged by the confessor of Christ, Chrysogonus. Afterwards she was thrown into prison again by order of Florus, prefect of Illyria; and finally, having her hands and feet stretched, she was tied to stakes with a fire kindled about her, in the midst of which she ended her martyrdom on the island of Palmaria, whither she had been brought with two hundred men and seventy women, who have made martyrdom a glorious thing by the various kinds of death they so valiantly endured.
Barcinone, in Hispánia, item natális sancti Petri Nolasci Confessóris, qui Fundator exstitit Ordinis beátæ Maríæ de Mercede redemptiónis captivórum, ac virtúte et miráculis cláruit. Ipsíus autem festum colitur quinto Kaléndas Februarii.
At Barcelona in Spain, St. Peter Nolasco, confessor and founder of the Order of our Lady of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives, renowned for virtue and miracles. His feast is celebrated on the 28th of January.
Romæ, in cœmeterio Aproniáni, sanctæ Eugeniæ Vírginis, beáti Mártyris Philippi fíliæ, quæ, témpore Gallieni Imperatóris, post plurima virtútum insígnia, post sacros Vírginum choros Christo aggregatos, sub Præfecto Urbis Nicetio diu agonizávit, ac novíssime gládio juguláta est.
At Rome, in the cemetery of Apronian, St. Eugenia, virgin, the daughter of blessed Philip, martyr. In the time of Emperor Gallienus, after displaying many signs and virtues, gathering to Christ holy choirs of virgins, and after long trials under Nicetius, prefect of the city, she was finally put to the sword.
Nicomediæ pássio multórum millium Mártyrum, qui cum in Christi Natali ad Dominicum conveníssent, Diocletianus Imperátor jánuas Ecclésiæ claudi jussit, et ignem circumcirca parari, tripodemque cum thure præ fóribus poni, ac præcónem magna voce clamáre ut qui incendium vellent effugere, foras exírent et Jovi thus adolerent; cumque omnes una voce respondíssent se pro Christo libentius mori, incénso igne consumpti sunt, atque ita eo die nasci meruérunt in cælis, quo Christus in terris pro salúte mundi olim nasci dignátus est.
At Nicomedia, many thousand martyrs, who had assembled for divine service on our Lord's Nativity. When Emperor Diocletian ordered the doors of the church to be closed, fire to kindled here and there, a vessel with incense to be put before the entrance, and a man to cry out that those who wished to escape from the fire should come out and burn incense to Jupiter, all with one voice answered that they preferred to die for Christ. They were consumed in the fire, and thus merited to be born in heaven on the day on which Christ vouchsafed to be born on earth for the salvation of the world. Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
R. Deo grátias. And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.