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No, the Church did not take a pagan holiday and replace it with Christmas December 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, Tradition.
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A few days ago, at Christ’s Mass, you may have heard your priest or someone say that this great feast was instituted on December 25th because that used to be some great pagan feast, and the Church just co-opted it for its own ends.  You may have heard that we don’t know what date Christ was born on.  This is false.  Both Dom Prosper Gueranger and Cornelius a Lapide’ confirm that the date on which we celebrate Christmas has been constant since the early 2nd century at the latest, and that this date was always been used.  The earliest Church fathers had access to the census ordered by Caesar Augustus prior to Christ’s birth.  The records were extant in Rome at that time.  In addition, they had the testimony of the Blessed Virgin, who, of course, recalled the day on which she gave birth to God Incarnate.  While the Church in the east initially held that Christ was born on a different date, evidence from Rome – and Papal Authority – convinced them to change the date to December 25th.  This had nothing to do with any pagan feast, or, if it did, it was only coincidental.

Numerous Saints and Church fathers testify that the date on which Christ was born was indeed December 25th.  St. John Chrysostom gave sermons, still in existence, testifying of the accuracy of the data conveyed by Rome concerning this date and exhorting the “Greek Church” to follow Rome’s guidance and example.  Others so testifying include St. Jerome, another Doctor of the Church. In fact, there was never a serious challenge to December 25th being the date of the birth of Christ until modernist revisionists began their assault on so many aspects of the Faith in the late 19th century.  Suddenly, it was claimed there was a pagan feast derived from druidism that was co-opted by the Church in late antiquity or the early dark ages – around the 5th-7th century.  Volumes of evidence refute this claim – Christmas was celebrated on December 25th no later than AD 110, and most believe it was constantly celebrated in Rome on that date from the beginning.

So, if you hear that December 25th was chosen as the date of Christ’s birth to supersede and replace some pagan feast, which claim is intended to diminish your faith in the Divinity of Christ, you can say hooey.  What is artificial is the modernist claim to the contrary.

I can also state that almost all such modernist claims intended to cast doubt on the Divinity of Christ, and the Church and Her Traditions, are categorically false and easy to refute – provided one has a strong knowledge of Church history and Tradition.  Tragically, such knowledge is not abroad much today in the Church.