Saturday, December 25, 2004
In the year five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine from the creation of the world, when God in the beginning created heaven and earth;
In the year two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven from the flood;
In the year two thousand and fifteen from the birthday of Abraham;
In the year one thousand five hundred and ten from Moses and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
In the year one thousand and thirty-two from the anointing of David as king;
In the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
In the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
In the year seven hundred and fifty-two from the founding of the city of Rome;
In the forty-second year of the rule of Octavian Augustus;
In the sixth age of the world, when the whole world was at peace: [here the voice is raised:]
Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months having passed since His conception, having become Man, was born at Bethlehem in Juda of the Virgin Mary.
[All prostrate themselves.]
The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. A tolum duplex feast of the first class.
On the same day, the birthday of St. Anastasia. In the reign of Diocletian, she suffered harsh and cruel imprisonment at the hands of her husband Publius, during which she was greatly consoled and comforted by Chrysogonus, a confessor of Christ. Next, she was subjected to a long imprisonment by Florius, prefect of Illyria. At last, on the island of Palmaria, she was fastened to posts with her hands and feet stretched apart, and a fire was enkindled about her. Thus she completed her martyrdom. There had been deported to this island with her two hundred men and seventy women, who gained their martyrdom by being killed in various ways. A memory.
At Barcelona in Spain, the birthday of St. Peter Nolasco, confessor, and founder of the Order of our Lady of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives. He was noted for his virtues and miracles. His feast is celebrated on January 28.
At Rome, in the cemetery of Apronianus, St. Eugenia, virgin. She was the daughter of St. Philip the martyr. In the time of the Emperor Galhenus, she showed many signs and virtues and added holy choirs of virgins to Christ. She suffered for a long time under Nicetus, prefect of the city, and at last her throat was cut with a sword.
At Nicomedia, the sufferings of several thousand holy martyrs who on Christmas day were assembled at Mass. The Emperor Diocletian ordered the doors of the church to be shut and a fire to be prepared around the building. A tripod with incense was set before the door. Then a herald proclaimed that they who desired to escape the fire should come out and offer incense to Jupiter. When the Christians unanimously declared they would gladly die for the sake of Christ, the church was set on fire and they were burned alive. Thus, they were held worthy to be born in Heaven on the very day on which Christ was pleased to be born on earth for the salvation of the world.