What are the "12 days of Christmas"?

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology
As we're reminded every Advent, our Catholic Christmas customs are somewhat at odds with the secular "holiday season," which starts before Thanksgiving and goes on until the last college bowl game.

But even though we Catholics wait a bit to get going, we have a similarly long season of celebration, of which the "12 days," made famous by a certain 12-verse carol, are but a piece.


What are the "12 days of Christmas"?

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology
As we're reminded every Advent, our Catholic Christmas customs are somewhat at odds with the secular "holiday season," which starts before Thanksgiving and goes on until the last college bowl game.

But even though we Catholics wait a bit to get going, we have a similarly long season of celebration, of which the "12 days," made famous by a certain 12-verse carol, are but a piece.


May the circle be unbroken: Why Catholics treasure their saints

By Elizabeth Johnson| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons
Although not all the faithful make the final cut for canonization, the communion of saints continues to flourish. Authors Sister Elizabeth Johnson, C.S.J. and Kathy Coffey discuss this ever-widening circle of holy membership.

 •A group of Christians gather at the Ne­vada test site to witness against the folly of nuclear weapons. In their prayer, before some of them are arrested, they honor the memory of Franz Jagerstatter, the young Austrian killed by the Nazis because, as a follower of Christ, he would not serve in their war ma­chine.


May the circle be unbroken: Why Catholics treasure their saints

By Elizabeth Johnson| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons
Although not all the faithful make the final cut for canonization, the communion of saints continues to flourish. Authors Sister Elizabeth Johnson, C.S.J. and Kathy Coffey discuss this ever-widening circle of holy membership.

 •A group of Christians gather at the Ne­vada test site to witness against the folly of nuclear weapons. In their prayer, before some of them are arrested, they honor the memory of Franz Jagerstatter, the young Austrian killed by the Nazis because, as a follower of Christ, he would not serve in their war ma­chine.


Is Dia de los Muertos the same as All Souls Day?

By Joel Schorn| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Hispanic Catholics Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology

For three days every year Mexicans and Mexican Americans gather for Día de los Muertos. In cemeteries and homes people come together to remember their deceased loved ones. The last of those days, November 2, falls on the traditional Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed—All Souls Day. Are the two celebrations the same?


Lives of the saints

By Joel Schorn| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons
These are the holy people who didn’t quite make the cut—until they did.

Alphonsus Rodriguez must have thought he had it made. Yes, there had been a few bumps in the road. His education had been cut short when his father died and Alphonsus had to return home to Segovia, Spain, destined to take over the family wool business, though it had been much reduced. But once home he settled in and started a family in 1557.


Lives of the saints

By Joel Schorn| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons
These are the holy people who didn’t quite make the cut—until they did.

Alphonsus Rodriguez must have thought he had it made. Yes, there had been a few bumps in the road. His education had been cut short when his father died and Alphonsus had to return home to Segovia, Spain, destined to take over the family wool business, though it had been much reduced. But once home he settled in and started a family in 1557.


Family Album: Remembering the dead

By Sue Stanton| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Spirituality
The November feasts of All Saints and All Souls invite a long, loving look at those who have gone before us.

Life in a college town may be full of diversity, but it also has a shallow root system where faces and friendships come and go with the university calendar. Parish life and programs need to catch on quickly, and, just like with a grass fire, when you get a good idea, you stand back and watch it grow.


Don't be scared of Halloween: Readers share frightful memories

By Angelo Stagnaro| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons
There's no reason to be afraid of the ghouls and goblins roaming the neighborhood on All Hallows' Eve. They're just participating in an ancient-and Catholic-holiday.

Fake it till you make it: St. Genesius, patron of actors

By Dan Cawthon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons
St. Genesius isn’t just the patron of high school thespians. We can all learn something about acting like Christ from this legendary actor.

Anyone who was a member of a Catholic high school or college drama club during the 1950s and ’60s no doubt knows about St. Genesius—the patron saint of actors. According to legend, he was an actor during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the third century. To win the emperor’s favor, he took on a role satirizing a Christian about to be baptized.


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