The Birth of Christ/The Nativity
By Michael K. Jones

Known as Christmas, each December 25, Christians in the world celebrate the birth of Christ, the Lord and Savor. Christmas is the celebration of the Nativity (meaning birth of Christ). When the time came for the The Blessed Virgin Mary to give birth, she and Joseph were at Bethlehem, their ancestral city, to register for a census. Finding no room in the inn of the town, they took refuge in a small cave on a hillside. There in poverty and isolation, the King of Kings was born.

Some believe the cave was a stable where animal were sheltered, but in any event, the cave was dark, cold and no place of comfort. There are those who ask us to consider why we are so attached to comforts, when our Redeemer rejected them, even from birth.

According to Luke Chapter One, we find an angel visited Mary, asking her to accept the invitation of God to conceive a child who would be called, "The Son of God." Mary was puzzled how she could accept the invitation and conceive a child, because she was a virgin. The word of God, made flesh in Mary's virgin womb, is know as, "The Immaculate Conception."  The Immaculate Conception is the singular privilege by which the Blessed Virgin Mary, in view of the future merits of her divine Son, Jesus Christ, was conceived free from original sin in the womb of her mother, St. Anne. This privilege of Mary was solemnly defined to be a dogma of faith on December 8, 1854, by Pope Pius IX in the following words: "We declare, pronounce and define that the most blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, by the singular grace and privilege of the omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind, and that this doctrine was revealed by God, and therefore must be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."

The Nativity is remembered each time the third Joyful Mystery of the Rosary is recited.

 It is also said that the largest number of purgatory souls are released on Christmas, more so than any other day of the calendar year.


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