History of Mother’s Day: Ancient and Modern

Mothers Day

HISTORY OF MOTHER’S DAY The person who initially was most active 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…

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History of Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

HISTORY OF CINCO DE MAYO Cinco de Mayo is frequently regarded as the Mexican equivalent of the United States 4th of July. This is incorrect: it is the equivalent of the “5th of May” in the Spanish language. Another misconception is that this has something to do with Mayonnaise. That too is a bum spread,…

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History of May the Fourth (Be With You): Star Wars Day

  HISTORY OF MAY THE FOURTH May 4th or May the Fourth is a geek holiday that has gained popularity in recent years due to a popular film franchise. But where did it begin?   History of May the Fourth “May the Fourth” is taken from the benediction “May the Force be with you” made famous…

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History of May Day

May Day

HISTORY OF MAY DAY May Day is many things to many people. Etymologically, it is a homophone (same sounding word) for the international call for help. It is a corruption of the French imperative “M’aidez,” meaning “Help me!” It is a holiday claimed by many.   May Day as a Pagan Holiday It is known…

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History of St. Mark the Evangelist: Which Mark?

St Mark

HISTORY OF ST. MARK Mark the Evangelist is the author of the earliest written gospel, the Gospel of Mark, which appeared about 30 years after the crucifixion of Jesus in the late AD ’60s. His feast day is April 25 for Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. He is significant historically both as the writer of…

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History of Earth Day

Earth Day

 HISTORY OF EARTH DAY April 22 is called Earth Day because it commemorates and celebrates the observance of the anniversary of our discovery of planet Earth. By all accounts, there is general agreement that Earth is far superior to the planet from which we came, as we shall recount below. Meanwhile, several companies on Earth…

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

The Players

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 his brother’s wife Herodias as…

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History of Passover

HISTORY OF PASSOVER Sunset tonight, April 15, marks the beginning of Passover. Exodus 12 in the Hebrew Bible tells the story of Passover from the life of Moses. Ten plagues were visited upon the Egyptian pharaoh (starring Yul Brenner in “The Ten Commandments,” but he was much better in “The King and I“) to get…

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History of Good Friday

HISTORY OF GOOD FRIDAY For centuries pilgrims have walked the Via Dolorosa, “the way of sorrow” in Jerusalem, following the path Jesus took on Good Friday. Starting at the judgment seat of Pilate at the Antonia Fortress in the eastern part of the city immediately north of the Temple, the path follows 14 “Stations of…

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History of the Trial: How many did Jesus have?

The Trial

THE TRIAL OF JESUS Beginning Thursday night and extending into Friday morning of Holy Week, the trial of Jesus, which led to his crucifixion, was, in reality, a series of about half a dozen trials distributed across several locations in Jerusalem. Some of these locations are captured in the tradition of the Via Dolorosa, the Way…

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History of Maundy Thursday: a Shere or Green Thursday?

Maundy Thursday

HISTORY OF MAUNDY THURSDAY Amid the bustle of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter, Maundy Thursday is easy to overlook. Few calendars label it, and some churches don’t observe it at all, though it may be the oldest of the Holy Week observances. It’s worth asking why and how generations of Christians have revered this…

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History of Easter: The Sanhedrin — Who was this Council?

Sanhedrin

HISTORY OF THE SANHEDRIN The Greek word Συνέδριον, sunedrion, means literally “sitting together” and is usually translated as “council.” It is referred to in the New Testament alternately as “the Great Law-Court,” “the Court of Seventy-One,” and “the rulers and elders and scribes.” It was the supreme theocratic court of the Jews. It reflected the local…

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