Christian

History of the Holidays

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HISTORY OF THE HOLIDAYS Welcome to this year’s edition of the History of the Holidays. I’m Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian. From now through the Spring or vernal equinox, we celebrate most of the major secular and sacred holidays. This is a series that recounts the history behind the major American holidays, some of…

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History of August

HISTORY OF AUGUST What’s in a name? The name of this month wasn’t always August, previously it was called Sextilis by the Romans, back in the days of Romulus in 753 BC when there were originally 10 months (Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec.) The Roman Senate, in 8 B.C. decided to honor their first Emperor, Augustus…

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History of Reek Sunday, part 3: Location

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY, Part 3: LOCATION In our previous article on Reek Sunday, we discussed the Pilgrimage to County Mayo, Ireland for Cruach Phadraig — as it is known in Irish — that is also called “The Reek.” It stands at 764 meters or 2510 feet elevation. It is located about 5 miles from…

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History of Reek Sunday, part 2: Pilgrimage

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY, part 2: PILGRIMAGE Pilgrims, nature lovers, archeologists, historians, and hill climbers come from all over the world to climb the mountain on Reek Sunday. In our previous article, we discussed the Tradition. Here we discuss the pilgrimage that has been going on for centuries, and an older one for millennia. More…

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History of Reek Sunday

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY Several years ago at this time of the Summer, I was on the west coast of Ireland, where they say, “West o’ here, ta next parish over, tat’s Boston.” This Sunday, the last one in July every year, marks Reek Sunday, or Garland Sunday in Ireland. At this time between 25,000…

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History of William Wilberforce

HISTORY OF WILLIAM WILBERFORCE 185 years ago today, on July 26, 1833, the Emancipation Act passed its third reading in the House of Commons, ensuring the end of slavery in the British Empire. It was authored by William Wilberforce. August 24 marks the birthday of British statesman and England’s greatest abolitionist William Wilberforce. He was…

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History of John Calvin

HISTORY OF JOHN CALVIN On July 10, 1509, in Noyon, France was born Jean Cauvin, known to us as John Calvin. Of all the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, none were as significant in forming systematic theology or ecclesiastic thought as this one man. Calvin’s teaching and tradition penetrated more of the world than any other…

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History of Mother’s Day

HISTORY OF MOTHER’S DAY The person most active initially in opposing the celebration of Mother’s Day is the very person who started this holiday in the US. How did that happen? Anna Jarvis’ mother died in 1905 and in her honor, Anna held a memorial in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia. She continued to campaign…

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History of Easter: The Players: Where are they Now?

HISTORY OF EASTER: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PLAYERS AFTERWARD You may be asking yourself, “Self,” you ask, “where are they now?” And well you might ask. What happened to our players AFTER the events in the Easter story? HEROD ANTIPAS You may remember that I had said Antipas‘ taking as his own wife his brother’s…

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