The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. After the passage of countless ages from the creation of the world, God created humankind in his image and likeness, then made covenants with Noah and Abraham, and Moses. At a time when the world was at peace under Augustus Caesar, the eternal Son of the eternal Father, wishing to consecrate the world by his coming, was conceived by Holy Spirit, and nine months later was born in Bethlehem of Judea, becoming man from the womb of the Blessed Virgin.
In Rome, around 304, St. Anastasia, veneration of whom began at Sirmium in Pannonia. Later, the popes celebrated the second Mass of Christmas at a church dedicated to her in Rome.
In 1258, St. Peter Nolasco, the founder of the Mercedarian Order, dedicated to ransoming Christians enslaved by the Moors.
About 1306, Blessed Jacopone of Todi. Jacopone often wished that his wealthy father, who frequently beat him, were dead. He completed his university studies, but lived a disordered life. When he was about thirty-eight he married Vanna di Guidone, who was a devout young woman. When she was accidentally killed a year later, Jacopone was shattered and for ten years he lived eccentrically and penitentially. He joined the Spiritual Franciscans, and was active in their opposition to Pope Boniface VIII, for which he was imprisoned for five years. During those years he overcame his guilt and anger and experienced intense contemplative union with God. While in prison he wrote many religious lyrics or Laude.
Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.