Friday, December 31, 2010

The 7th Day of Christmas

December 31, Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas 
The last day of the year is also the feast of St. Sylvester — bishop of Rome in 314. Constantine gave him the Lateran Palace, which became the cathedral church of Rome. 

Many legends exist about Sylvester.
Numerous legends dramatize his life and work ---- 
1) How he freed Constantine from leprosy by baptism OR He cured Constantine from leprosy and later baptized him on his deathbed.
2) How he killed a ferocious dragon that was contaminating the air with his poisonous breath. 

Such legends were meant to portray the effects of baptism and Christianity's triumph over idolatry.

He ruled the Church during the reign of Constantine when the Arian heresy and the Donatist schism had provoked great discord. He convoked the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea.

New Year's Eve, along with its innocent gaiety, is really a day for serious reflection. 

On the eve of the civil New Year the children may join their parents in a holy hour, in prayer and thanksgiving for the gifts and benefits which God has given them in the past year, and to pray for necessary graces in the forthcoming civil year.

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