Saturday, December 28, 2002

St. Stephen's Day Reflection

In the fourth and fifth centuries the three days following Christmas Day were established as festivals of martyrs: December 26, St. Stephen, martyr both in will and in deed, December 27, St. John, martyr in will but not in deed, December 28, The Holy Innocents, martyrs in deed but not in will.
(via Dan's Page)
"Happy Boxing Day but, more to the point, St Stephen's Day :

"St. Stephen was a Christian martyr who was stoned to death for his belief in Jesus. He is the patron of stoneworkers and also is associated with horses. This day 'drew in' other more ancient traditions. In Ireland, boys go from door to door gathering money for a 'dead wren' they carry, supposedly stoned to death, but really a remnant of ancient Druidic wren sacrifices for the winter solstice. In Poland, people throw oats at the priests and walnuts at each other - things supposedly symbolic of the stoning, but in reality these things were done long before as fertility rituals."
"Give a toast to those who try to do good despite the odds, and a toast to those who struggle to do better despite tough circumstances." "(via FMH )