This Day, the Twenty-Fifth Day of December
CHRISTMAS: THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, ACCORDING TO THE FLESH. In the year, from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, five, thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine; from the flood, two thousand, nine hundred and fifty-seven; from the birth of Abraham, two thousand and fifteen; from Moses and the coming of the Israelites out of Egypt, one thousand, five hundred and ten; from the anointing of King David, one thousand and thirty-two; 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 empire of Octavian Augustus, when the whole earth was at peace, in the sixth age of the world, Jesus Christ, eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, desirous to sanctify the world by His most merciful coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months having elapsed since his conception, is born in Bethlehem of Juda, having become man of the Virgin Mary.
The same day, the birthday of Saint Anastasia, who, in the time of Diocletian, first suffered a severe and harsh imprisonment on the part of her husband Publius, in which, however, she was much consoled and encouraged by the confessor of Christ, Chrysogonus. Afterwards she was thrown into- prison again by order of Florus, prefect of Illyria; and finally, having her hands and feet stretched out, she was tied to stakes, with a fire kindled about her, in the midst of which she ended her martyrdom in the island of Palmarola, whither she had been conveyed with two hundred men and seventy women, who have made martyrdom a glorious thing by the various kinds of death they so courageously endured.
At Rome, in the cemetery of Apronian, Saint Eugenia, virgin. In the time of the emperor Gallienus, after working many miracles and gathering to Christ troops of sacred virgins, and after long combats under Nicetius, prefect of the city, she was finally put to the sword.
At Nicomedia, many thousand martyrs, who had assembled for divine service on our Lord’s Nativity, when the emperor Diocletian, ordering the doors of the Church to be closed, and fire to be kindled here and there, as also a vessel with incense to be put before the entrance, and a man to cry out that those who wished to escape from the conflagration should come out and burn incense to Jupiter, all with one voice answered that they preferred to die for Christ. They were consumed in the fire, and thus merited to be born in Heaven on the day on which Christ vouchsafed to be born on Earth for the salvation of the world.
At Barcelona, in Spain, the birthday of Saint Peter Nolasco, confessor, and founder of the Order of Mercedarians, renowned for virtue and miracles. His feast is celebrated on the 31st of January, by order of Alexander VII.