December 24-January 6, 2002*
volume 12, no. 162
The Twelve Days of Christmas begin with the Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord on Christmas Day followed by several major feasts leading up to the Feast of the Holy Family through the Circumcision and the Solemnity of Mary to the Feast of the Epiphany

May the Light of Christ fill you with grace and glad tidings this Christmas and for the New Year
All at The DAILY CATHOLIC, along with our wonderful contributing writers, wish you a blessed, holy Christmas and a grace-filled New Year with special messages from each below:

As page loads, we invite you to say as many Hail Mary's as necessary.
*The DAILY CATHOLIC is on holiday hiatus until January 7th. See you in 2002!
Test your knowledge of the Faith and Church History:
Before Pope Julius I instituted December 25th as the universal day of Christmas in 340, the Nativity of Christ was celebrated on what day?
March 25
November 1
December 6
January 6

View result without voting

 Michael and Cyndi's Christmas Column
In lieu of Catholic PewPOINT in this issue, Michael and Cyndi team up for their annual Christmas/year-end Message, presenting to all readers - especially the 'conservative' lurkers - a special gift that can be used each and every day. They point out that it is a gift that most definitely will change lives for the better in the long run. In the short-run be prepared for ridicule and isolation just as Joseph and Mary were while being forced to take up refuge in a meager manger where, through God's mysterious and the miraculous grace, Our Lady would usher in the Greatest Gift this world has ever known. Only the shepherds stood watch. Today a small remnant of the militas Christi stand watch in safeguarding the Truths and Traditions as the Cains point out in Knowing the Truths of Holy Mother Church: Priceless!

 Father Al's Christmas Message
This publication's spiritual director Father Al Svobodny, O.M.I. shares the 'nuclear' impact of God's Love that began in a tiny manger 2001 years ago and since has exploded across time to every corner of the earth in a detonation of Truth and Love. He illustrates how the Mystery of the Incarnation has become the most powerful force on the face of this earth in his Christmas Message The Most Explosive Power in the World.
 Dr. Frank Joseph's Christmas Column
Dr. Frank Joseph offers a Christmas gift of something that will show to the Christ Child that we do care about the Sanctity of Life. He, the One Who gave life, expects us to uphold life by pledging our efforts to end abortion through prayer, vigilance and speaking out against the wrongs as Dr. Frank shows in his Christmas Message column A Christmas Pledge
 Dr. Marian Horvat's Christmas Column
Dr. Marian Horvat will wrap up her series on The Egalitarian Revolution in the new year. Now she takes this opportunity to share her Christmas Message by reminding all of the commitment of the Crusades and why they were fought. To free Christ's heritage from the hands of the infidels. Just as Jesus came to free man from the bondage of sin, so we are asked to understand why we must uphold the traditions He established beginning in Bethlehem. We can never compromise in striving to free those in sin. We do so by working toward their conversion as soldiers of Christ. Dr. Horvat points this out in her Christmas column Away in a Manger - in Harm's Way.
 Atila's Christmas Column
Atila Sinke Guimar„es illustrates for the reader what the Apostle Paul meant by describing the Lord's Coming in the fullness of time and the state of the world then and now. Just as the fidelity of a few outlived and outloyaled the temporal values of those in power then, so also today the fidelity of the faithful remnant will play a huge role in re-establishing the Social Kingship of Christ with the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart as he points out in his Christmas column The Fullness of Time
 Tom's Christmas Column
In two weeks Dr. Tom Droleskey will continue his insightful series on "The Germs of G.I.R.M." For this issue Tom shares his Christmas Message with an essay on the value of life and liturgy and how the Church, in her wisdom, has placed during Christmastide the Feasts of St. Stephen, St. John the Evangelist, the Holy Innocents, the Holy Name of Jesus, and the Holy Family with a special reflection of holy Joseph and Mary in his Christmas column Behold the Child!
 The Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart
In this year-end issue we present the excellent work by Fr. Joseph McDonnell, S.J. first written during the Pontificate of Pope Saint Pius X and which, now out of print, Catholic Family News has given permission to reprint following their publishing of it. It is a beautiful meditation commentary that should encourage more devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus as we continue with Part Four - Meditation on the Second Promise
  Precious Gift of our Faith
In this year-end issue, we focus on the essential meanings and nature of Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany and how closely interwined they have been from the beginning with added impressions by Dom Gueranger taken from "The Glories and Triumphs of the Catholic Church" in Christmas and Epiphany
Fourth Lateran Council
   In 1215 Pope Innocent III called the Fourth Lateran Council thirty-six years after Lateran III had closed. This Council was the most absolute and most impacting of all ecumenical councils to date. Nearly 500 prelates, as well as the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Jerusalem, and close to a thousand abbots including Saint Dominic attended. Here Innocent, trying to recover from the immense sadness three years earlier of the 5th Crusade in which he naievely pushed for sending over 40,000 children into battle against the Muslims, successfully regained his power. It marked the pinnacle of papal power in medieval times. It was Innocent who defined ex cathedra - from the chair of Peter and he who declared in that position that "There is but one Universal Church, outside of which there is no salvation." The Council officially set in stone the term 'Transubstantiation' for the mystery of the bread and wine confected into the body and blood of Jesus Christ and reformed disciplines of ecclesiastical life, as well as directing all Catholics to partake in the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist no less than once a year. Lateran IV also condemned as anathema once more the heresies of Albigensianism, which taught marriage and the sacraments were not needed, and Waldensianism, which taught that the laity could perform the same duties as a priest when said priest was in mortal sin. For the full documents of the twelfth Ecumenical Council see LATERAN FOUR
 The Great Sacrilege
Father James F. Wathen, O.S.J. has granted permission to publish his entire work which was first published by Tan Books in 1972, and which we urge you to read for everything he wrote back then is backed by the solid depositum fidei - the Sacred Deposit of the Faith and still holds true. It takes up where the Ottaviani Intervention left off as you'll see in Part Two of Chapter Four of The New Mass - Expurgations .
 Simply Sheen
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen points out the greatness of Christmas at which the Father gave us the 'New Adam' through the 'New Eve' in setting the example that unless we become as a little child, we shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven. This dedicated bishop was famous for saying so much in so little space as he directs here in words first penned in 1951. God in the shrouds of human flesh - the Word made flesh!
 White Smoke, Black Fire!
In the first episode of Chapter Five in Part II - "The Smoldering" as Pat and Niki catch up on some much needed sleep in their respective rooms on the second floor of Fasif Khadid's elegant oasis villa estate on the Kuwait-Iraqi border, we discover revealing, vital background on Fasif and Cardinal Gregory Zachmann and the link through Victor Van Wess that will forever bond the Metroplex Mirror reporter to fighting the nefarious Legion of the Basilisk.
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With apologies to Clement Moore we present a 33-stanza parody on his traditional poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" to show that nothing is traditional anymore in the post-conciliar Church. See 'Twas the Night of the Clutter!

Answer to last quiz:
Prior to the reforms of Vatican II there were twelve Ember Days during the year. Four times during the liturgical year a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are set aside as Ember Days. These are times of fasting and sacrifice with Fridays being a day of abstinence. The objectives of Ember Days are consecration of the four seasons by prayer and thanksgiving, and intercession for God's blessings. The first set of Ember Days occurs between Gaudete Sunday and the Fourth Sunday of Advent. The second set is observed following the First Sunday of Lent. The third time is after Whit Sunday or Pentecost in the week leading up to Trinity Sunday. The fourth set is observed following the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14th.

Liturgy of the Saints
Christmastide begins with the Christmas vigil, the glorious Midnight Mass of the Nativity and Christmas Day, followed by the Feast of the first martyr Saint Stephen, Feast of Saint John the Evangelist,
the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the Feast of Saint Thomas Becket, and Sunday is the Feast of the Holy Family followed by the Holy Day of Obligation of the Solemnity of Mary/the Feast of the Circumcision on New Year's Day then the Holy Name of Jesus on Wednesday leading up to the Feast of the Epiphany on Sunday, January 6th.

The "Twelve Days of Christmas" were actually a secret catechism code sung by Roman Catholics after the Reformation in countries such as in England and during the French Revolution where they were not allowed to practice their Faith. Thus, to communicate with fellow Catholics and truly celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ as the Savior in the Catholic tradition without fear of reprisal, they formed this "carol" which represented "religious reality" in symbols. The day is coming when loyal Catholics may have to revert to such a code once more to uphold the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church. For the meanings of the 12 days, see Twelve Days.
We continue with the General or Ecumenical Councils of the Church with the twelfth in this issue.
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