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The holiday Christmas

Nativity

Christmas (Рождество Христово) — the great Christian festival, established in memory of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. The Orthodox Church is one of the twelve great feasts of the manor. In view of the liturgical celebration of the most important memories and secrets (along with Passover) salvation of the human race - the incarnation of God in the world and the coming of the Son of God, begotten in the flesh - is one of the most important days of the liturgical year and one of the most important holidays in the most Christian denominations.

Currently, almost all Christians (except for the Armenian Church) celebrate his 25 December (in accordance with the in a community calendar style, with the majority of the Russian Orthodox Church is January 7, new style).

See pictures, icons and images of Christmas.

History of Christmas

Christian celebration of Christmas can be traced deeper 4th century. Date it is not related to the actual date of the birth of Jesus Christ, which, in all likelihood, did not happen in the winter (in ancient times this was the subject of controversial thoughts ecclesiastical writers, one of the earliest surviving texts belongs to Clement of Alexandria, who mentions May 20). Day December 25 is set in the Church of Rome in the early 4th century, the first evidence of which is found in the so-called "Calendar Filokala" (data refer to 336). Perhaps the choice of December 25th is associated with the arrival of this day pagan solar celebration "birthday Invincible Sun" (after the winter solstice, the sun is starting to come day) that the adoption of Christianity in Rome was filled with new content: the birth of Christ was understood as "Birth of the Sun of Truth." At the same time, in the Eastern Church - Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and Cyprus - Christmas Day was connected to the Epiphany on January 6 under the title of the Epiphany (the celebration of Christmas with the Epiphany in some Eastern Churches continued to the end of the 4th century, in others - even to the 6th century. Armenian Church still celebrates Christmas on January 6, linking it with the celebration of Baptism).

Equal to the Apostles in the 4th century by Queen Helena built a church on the site of the cave of Bethlehem, celebrated the birth of Christ. Of widespread veneration of the Nativity show teachings of the Church Fathers of the 4th century - Ephrem the Syrian, St. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa and John Chrysostom, written for the celebration. The code of Theodosius (438) and Justinian (535) sets out the law on universal celebration of the birth of Christ. John Chrysostom, the first to introduce this feast at Antioch in 386 or 387. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian ordered set is a celebration of the Council of Constantinople.

Late in the interpretation time of celebrating Christmas on December 25 was as follows: month and day of Christ's death is accurately known from the Gospels, and (by popular already in the early Middle Ages the church legend) Christ would be on the ground the total number of years (the number of perfect), whence it followed that Christ was conceived on the same day that suffered, therefore, to the Jewish Passover, which that year fell on 25 March; counting on it 9 months, given the date of Christ's birth on December 25. According to one current hypothesis, the choice of the date of Christmas took place on the grounds that the original Christians celebrated at the same time of the Incarnation (by which he meant not the birth, and the birth of Christ) and Easter, respectively, over time, adding to the day of the vernal equinox, 9 months indicated on the date of the celebration of Christmas in the winter solstice.

liturgical celebration

Christmas Day was considered the second after Easter in the early Church, and so revered in the East to this day. In the West, to the 14th century (as yet unclear reasons), he moved into first place, but as a result of the liturgical reform in the Catholic Church, which occurred after the 2nd Vatican Council, Easter was returned to a leading position. However, in many Catholic countries, popular piety still gives it a leading position among the parties.

Christmas in the Orthodox tradition, Christmas is preceded by a forty or Filippov post [with November 14 (November 27) to 24 December (January 6) inclusive in the west corresponds to the training period, called "Advent" (Latin adventus - coming), slightly smaller in length and not involving fasting].

Christmas holiday has five days Forefeast (from December 20 December to December 24) and six days and ends Afterfeast holiday Circumcision of the Lord. Eve or Day Vigil celebration is held in strict fasting and called Eve (sochevnikom) this evening, according to church regulations, eaten sochivo (dried corn bread, soaked with water).

On the eve of Christmas performed Royal Hours, Vespers begins with Great Compline, which marks the prophetic song "Thou, God with us." Hymns glorifying the birth of Christ, was written by Roman Melodist, Sophronius and Andrew of Jerusalem (7th century), John of Damascus, Cosmas Mayumskim, patriarch Herman (8th century) and others.

The current practice of celebrating Christmas in the Latin rite involves the commission of three Masses, most of them in the night (the other two - at the dawn and afternoon). They are called "Angel", "Pastoral" and "royal." According to the symbolic interpretation, the first celebrates the eternal generation of the Son from the Father, the second - the birth of Jesus Christ, the Virgin, and the third - a mystical birth of God in the soul of every believer. (A. Sakharov OA Krasheninnikov)

More about Christmas from another source:

Christmas Day is a great place in the life of the world. Throughout the world, where only the name of Christ is preached, celebrated the big day, and every year, with each repetition of the holiday, he brings with him a fresh approach to love and light. In every house, every family every year are preparing for this day, children expect it to look happy, the parents with love thinking about the upcoming children pleasure, the idea of a festive Christmas tree fills the heart.

But we must not forget that Christmas is above all a holy day, a divine day we honor the memory of that for infinite love, not saved his Son for the salvation of the human race. So in order to adequately meet and spend the holiday, everyone should be filled reverence Fairest way Baby Jesus. Without that thought all the difference disappears holiday. Celebrating the birth of Christ, we pray that the spirit of his love awakened and revived in our heart, let there exist a manger, ready to accept it, the precious gifts, ready to belong to him. Meaning of Christmas is love, peace and good will, and good will - is forgiveness, the desire of good and all, this is a complete selflessness and love, embracing all mankind.

Let us all strive to implement in our midst, in truth and in the truth of Christmas. Then today again that wonder of wonders, Christ will come again to earth, because his Spirit to dwell within us, and the sound of angelic song will be played continuously in our soul, filling it with infinite joy. ("Day by Day". Brief spiritual reflection for each day of the year. St. Petersburg, 1908)

Symbols of Christmas expectation

The Fall distorted and perverted the mental strength and the nature of man, whose expansion has defined the history of mankind.

Five and a half thousand years for mankind to develop all inherent in it the potential to create all philosophical systems and exhaust the philosophical ideas, develop the art of the highest degree (subsequently it could never go up), to make fundamental discoveries in science, and at the order to ensure its moral and intellectual impotence. Mankind has reached a tragic face, exhausted their strength and capabilities. It saw that can not save themselves. Not only Palestine, but the pagan world were expecting the Messiah, the Redeemer and Savior.

Light

The history of mankind - not only earthly, but cosmic tragedy, and the coming of Christ to the earth - the light, which illuminated the whole universe. In Christmas Carols Church repeats as triumphant hymn, the words: "God is with us!". God is with us on earth, that we may be in eternal joy.

Star of Christmas

According to legend star rising over Babylon in the day of the Annunciation of Our Lady. It was followed by the wise men, that is, holders of secret knowledge (astronomy and mathematics of the ancient world were considered sacred sciences), familiar with the prophecy of Daniel, who lived long before in Babylon. Caravan from the East came to Jerusalem in two years.

Those who are its commitment to astrology tries to explain the episode Adoration of the Magi, say the words of St. John Chrysostom: "The devil has so mastered them, which they are finding a reason to arm themselves against the word of truth. What do they say? Here it is said that the birth of Christ was the star: it is, therefore, they say that astrology is a science undoubtedly. But if Christ was born in astrological laws, then, how is he destroyed astrology rejected fate, shut the mouth of the demons cast out error, and overthrew all kinds of magic?".

Census

By the time of Christ's earthly life of the Savior Judea was part of the vast Roman Empire and ruled by the governor of Syria and the subordinate procurators. Emperor Augustus decided to organize a census of taxation throughout the state. Roman authorities were considered with the local customs, and the census was carried out in the West in accordance with laws of the people. Mary and Joseph belonged to the family of David, and therefore had to enroll in the city, from where their ancestors - in Bethlehem - House of Bread of life.

Bethlehem

The coming of Christ was accomplished in silence and secrecy: Bethlehem - the image of the world - do not know their Savior. World, awaiting Christ made his other images of Christ. The truth of Christ, who brought the light of God on earth, there was no place in this world. Bethlehem closed the city gates for him. Jerusalem prepared a cross. Until now, the world hated and hated Christ.

Winter

Christ was born in a snowy winter - a sign of the spiritual condition of humanity, at midnight and darkness that hover above the ground. He was born in a time when the transition occurs winter sun, even when the shortest day, but make a turn to the summer sun.

Night

The first coming of Christ includes a mystical reference to His second coming: it will be winter - the loss of love of humanity, night - darkened the light of faith, just as the stars twinkling lights will piety on earth.

Cave

Christ came to earth. Bethlehem slept soundly. Doors of the houses were tightly closed to the God-Child. World accepted their King in a cave for the cattle. Only animals in the winter cold night warmed infant breath. They do not touch the food to a heap of hay, in a soft bed, he could take refuge from the cold. Baby in a cave in Bethlehem exuded wonderful light.

In the Holy Land ... even to this day there are four great stone cliff, just as they were in the time of Christ's coming into the world. One of them is a stone cave in Bethlehem, where the Saviour was born. Not at home in Nazareth, where he lived, not in Capernaum, where he constantly visited, did not keep any structure in which He was held in custody: no court of Herod, or Pilate, and these four stone rocks, created by God, and are still . So that no one would dare to doubt that he truly was born, that He was tempted as a man and was crucified for the sins of men, and rose again the glory ascended to Heaven in His eternal abode, where he awaits his righteous. Lord saw the stone heart is omniscient and doubting the human mind, and so He wisely linked the four great events with four indestructible rocks.

And some important practical lessons that God has taught the world, having been born in a cave, not in the king's chambers. By his example he showed the virtue of humility, which commanded the people. God humbles himself to the essentials, so that others do as well. Has shown that it makes a significant place man, but man sanctifies the place. People - the highest value of all that is on earth. Luxury and gloss does not glorify man, but poverty does not diminish its value.

Shepherds

There was silence. Israel - God's people - sleeping. Only a few shepherds in the field keeping watch over the sheep. Suddenly a bright light poured around. They were frightened, horrified. "Do not be afraid - angel said to them, - I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, for unto you is born in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. "And the shepherds heard angelic gospel was pure faith of Christ, having the testimony of God in his own heart. Their pure souls were like mirrors reflecting a heavenly light.

In the morning, when the people of God woke up, he did not even notice that I missed the point.

Adoration of the Magi

Who first bowed born babies? The Gospel says that it was a wise, wise men, and not the powers that do not kneel before the Deity, nestled in a small man. If they would look for the truth in a young person, it was not to honor, but in order to exploit or out of the way when the way.

Faith of the Magi - the belief of scientists and philosophers, to know God through the visible world and the sacred books, going up to God the hard way from Babylon to Bethlehem, seeking the truth in difficult intellectual experience and suffering, through theology, philosophy and science. This path leads to Christ, if you are looking for the truth with all your heart turned to God in prayer.

The wise men from the East, who have taken the trouble and risk of the big trip, life feat search and provozvestvovaniya truth is likely to be familiar with the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, as in Babylon there was a large Jewish diaspora. Certainly there has been calling all the action and for the salvation of God's grace that the magicians were able to perceive through their personal aspirations to God. How true kings of the City of God, they worshiped the Divine Infant and were invisible crown as a reward for their pilgrimage. They shied away from Herod's order to tell it where the Saviour was born, because it did not serve the powers that be. They were wise men-servants of false gods, but their wisdom led to the true God.

According to legend, one of the Magi was a Persian, the other - an Arab, a third - Ethiopian. Their names - Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. After the worship of the wise men to Jesus after thirty-plus years of being baptized by St. Thomas and themselves become preachers. Their relics were found in the III century and now in the Cologne Cathedral in Germany.

Gifts Volkhov

Most commentators agree that that alone astrological calculations were unlikely to make the Magi to go to a distant and dangerous road and the more worship the baby Jesus, not just as a king, but as God and Savior. It is in this sense usually means gifts that the wise men brought in the child Jesus, gold - as a symbol of the Imperial (Messianic) authority, frankincense (incense) - as a sign of His divine dignity, and myrrh, that is, a substance through which the dead body was prepared for burial - as a sign of the future atoning death of Jesus.

According to legend, Our Lady of the Assumption shortly before he handed over the blessed gifts of the Magi Church of Jerusalem. They are passed on from generation to generation, until he was in Byzantium. In 400, the Byzantine Emperor Arcadius carried to Constantinople for the consecration of the new capital. Before its conquest shrine kept in the treasury of the Byzantine emperors.

In 1433, the Serbian ruler George Brankovic was forced to give up his little daughter Maro (Mary) of the Sultan Murat II, it was his son Muhammad II conquered Constantinople. A Maro, which is permitted to pray to their God, will save many holy Orthodox capital. Two decades after the fall of Byzantium, she went to Mount Athos to convey the gifts of the Magi to the monastery of St. Paul. Today they are kept in the treasury of the monastery of the monastery. When she went to Mount Athos coast, it was Our Lady, and a voice, "Do not come near. Here begins the realm of a Lady, Queen of Heaven, the Lady Mary, Predstatelnitsy and protectress of the Holy Mountain. " Being on the knees, Mary gave sanctuary, brought in ten arks.

Gold to have survived in the form of 28 square and triangular plates measuring 5 to 7 cm, with a similar but different designs, and frankincense, and myrrh mixed in the dark balls, resembling olives. Fragrant beads of about seventy. Gold is used for the blessing of the water. Sometimes, very rarely, Gift of the Magi are exported outside of Mt. They cast out demons.

Slaughter of the innocents

"Then Herod, when he saw he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent and slew all the children in Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men." (Matthew, ch. 2)

Let us ask ourselves the question: what sought Herod sent soldiers to the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem? Only to kill baby Jesus? It must be assumed that he knew that if God sent the Savior into the world, that no weapon struck him. Then what he sought? Fear! Horror that is mastered by the people! That's what had to be Herod. To not recognize the people of the Savior, mindful of the fanaticism that followed his coming.

Holiday world

According to legend, the year of Christmas there were no wars in the world. The Lord has brought peace, peace with God. It brings peace restless soul and conscience of the patient. He's the only one who can give the human heart peace.

But, as twenty centuries ago, Christmas is always a personal holiday involved people to him. Those in whom Christ was born, who recognized Him as God, took in themselves and submit to Him His life. These people are still a little bit. Because to live for yourself, not for him, it seems reasonable, worldly wise. True, for the time being - until the person not to raise the question: And why do we live? Why do we die? Why are sick and suffering? "Once begun, Christmas continues indefinitely in human souls and is always in silence and solitude.

Nativity of the Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, born of the Virgin Mary in the reign of Emperor Augustus (Octavian) in the city of Bethlehem. August commanded to do a nationwide census of the whole of his empire, which includes the time and Palestine. The Jews had the custom of the people to keep to the tribes, tribes and clans, every knee, and the family had their own specific areas of the city and the Forefathers, because Blessed Virgin and the righteous Joseph, as occurs from the line of David, had to go to Bethlehem (City of David), to and make their names in the list of subjects of Caesar. In Bethlehem they found is no free space in city hotels.

In the limestone cave, designed to stall of hay and straw spread for feed and bedding for livestock away from permanent residence, among strangers, on a cold winter night, in an environment that is not only devoid of earthly greatness, but even ordinary comforts - born Godman , the Savior of the world. "Sacrament behold strange and full of glory - with surprise celebrates Holy Church - Sky-den; cherubic throne-the Virgin, the nursery container, they also reclines nevmestimy Christ the Lord" (irmos 9th song canon.)

Painless birth to the Divine Child Virgin Mary, herself, without any help, "povit it and put it in yasleh" (Luke 2). But the silence of midnight, when all mankind embrace was the deepest sleep of sin, the message of Christmas Savior of the world heard the shepherds, who were on a night guard at his flock. Angel of the Lord appeared to them and said, "Do not be afraid: behold, preach the gospel to you show great joy, which is shed all will lyudem, for theirs is born to you this day the Savior, Who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David," and the humble shepherds were awarded first bow for the sake of people to Snisshedshemu "Rabia SPAR." Besides angelic gospel Bethlehem shepherds, Christmas wonderfully a star was told the Magi "zvezdoslovtsam", and in the face of Oriental sages all the pagan world, invisible to himself bent his knee before the true Savior of the world, the God-man. Entering in houses where the child was, the Magi "fallen worshiped him, and opened his own treasures, prinesosha him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh" (Matthew 2, 11).

In remembrance of the Nativity in the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ established the Church holiday. The beginning of his dates back to the apostles.

In the Apostolic Constitutions reads: "Keep, brethren, festive days, and first day of Christmas, which is celebrated so you desyatago the 25th day of the Month" (March). There, in another place it is said: "Christmas Day so celebrate in onzhe Nechaev grace of God given to man by birth words of the Virgin Mary to save the world."

In the II century on Christmas Day December 25 indicates St. Clement of Alexandria. In the III century, the feast of Christmas, as the former before, mentions St. Hippolytus of Rome, assigning reading of the Gospel that day from one chapter of Matthew. It is known that during the persecution of Christians, Maximian, in 302 year Nicomedia Christians in the feast of Christmas were burned in the temple among 20,000 people. In the same century, when the Church was free after the persecution and became the dominant religion in the Roman Empire, the feast of the Nativity of Christ is found in the whole Universal Church, as you can see it from the teachings of St. Ephrem the Syrian, St. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, St. Gregory of Nyssa, Saints Ambrose, John Chrysostom and other Church Fathers IV century on Christmas Day. St. John Chrysostom, in his word, which he spoke in the year 385, describes the Christmas holiday ancient and very old.

In the same century on the site of the cave of Bethlehem, celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, Queen Helena Equal to the Apostles built a temple, the splendor of which many tried sovereign her son. The Code of Theodosius, published in the year 438, and Justinian - 535, sets out the law on universal celebration of the birth of Christ. In this sense, perhaps, Nicephorus Callistus, the writer of the XIV century, in his history says that the Emperor Justinian in the VI century set to celebrate Christmas all over the earth. In the V century, Anatoly, Patriarch of Constantinople, in VII - Sophronius and Andrew of Jerusalem, in the VIII - St. John of Damascus, Cosmas Maium and German, Patriarch of Constantinople, in IX - Reverend Cassius and others, whose names are unknown, written to celebrate the birth of Christ many sacred chants that are used today to praise the light Church celebrated the event.

In the first three centuries, when the persecutions restrict the freedom of Christian worship, in some areas of the East - the churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and Cyprus - Christmas Day was connected with the feast of the Epiphany on January 6, under the common name of the Epiphany. The reason for this was probably the view that Christ was baptized on the day of his birth, as you can conclude this from the words of St. John Chrysostom, who in one of his interviews in Christmas says, "is not the day on which Christ was born, called Epiphany, but one in which he was baptized. " Such a view could apply the words of the Evangelist Luke, who, speaking of the baptism of Jesus Christ, shows that while "Be Thou tridesyat years Jesus" (Luke 3: 23).

Celebrating Christmas with the Epiphany in some Eastern Churches continued to the end of IV century, the other - to V or VI century before. Monument of the ancient connection of Christmas and Epiphany in the Orthodox Church to this day serves as a perfect likeness in the administration of these holidays. To both precedes Christmas Eve, with the same folk tradition that should fast until Christmas Eve star. On the eve of the rank of worship of both holidays and holiday pay quite the same.

Christmas Day church anciently added to the great feast of the great, according to the divine testimony to the Gospel, depicting the event celebrated the greatest, vseradostneyshim and wonderful. "Behold, you preach the Gospel, - said the Angel Bethlehem shepherds - show great joy, which is shed all will lyudem. Thou Saviour is born to you, Who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And behold a sign unto you: ye shall find the babe povita, lying in yasleh. Then with a sudden byst many howling celestial angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Ves on hearing of Diviš spake of pastors rozhdshemsya Savior themselves pastors vozvratishasya, glorifying and praising God for all, which is shed slyshasha and Videsh "(Lk 2: 10-20). Since Christmas, as the event of emergency, and the highest, followed by the wondrous tidings shepherds and the wise men of the world of joy for all the people, "like Christ is born," Angelic hymns born Savior, worshiping him, the shepherds and the Magi,, reverent surprise many who heard the words of the shepherds born Otrochati, glorifying and praising Him with shepherds.

According to the divine testimony of the Gospel, the Church Fathers in their divinely wise writings depict the Christmas holiday immense, world and joyful, which is the beginning and basis for other holidays. ("Handbook of a priest, Volume 2")

And about Christmas from the "Encyclopжdia Britannica"

Christmas - the great Christian holiday in remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, celebrated on December 25. For the first time about the holiday in the East mentioned by Clement of Alexandria, and he committed there by the name of January 6 Epiphany (Epijanh), while in the West celebrated on December 25, called Natalis.

In the time of St. John Chrysostom, as is evident from his conversation on the day R. Christ, and in the East began to celebrate it on December 25. It is difficult to say why the Western Church began to celebrate it in a day. Some try to put this party in connection with the Jewish Hanukkah or the Roman Saturnalia, but these assumptions are arbitrary. Valid only by the fact that December 25 is nine months from the Annunciation (March 25), hence the clear intention to bring these dates in accordance with the usual time of fruiting. In the Eastern Church the Christmas holiday is the second Sunday of Pascha ("Easter is a three-day"), but in the West it is even higher than Easter. (AL)

By worthy celebration of Christmas believers are prepared forty-day fast, by the name of the Christmas or Filippov. Vigil's Eve or Day celebration is held in very strict fasting is called Christmas Eve or sochevnikom, since by statute the church on this day to use in writing relies sochivo, ie dried grain bread, soaked with water. According to the custom of the Orthodox Christians, the post of the day is kept to the evening star.

In the V century, Anatoly, the patriarch of Constantinople, in the VII century, Sophronius and Andrew of Jerusalem, in the VIII century, St. John Damascene, Cosmas Mayumsky and Herman, the patriarch of Constantinople, and others have written to celebrate the birth of Christ, many sacred songs, and now that the Church celebrates the celebrated event. Already in the IV century, it was determined how to celebrate the eve of the holiday, if it happens in the Lord's day (Theophilus Alexander. Rights. 1st).

On the eve of the king's watches are made of old, so-called because they rely on them for long life proclaim the king, all the kingdoms of the house and all Orthodox Christians. During the hours the church remembers the manifold Old Testament prophecies and events related to the Nativity of the Savior. After noon Liturgy of Basil the Great, unless vigil will happen on Saturday or Sunday, when the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, in normal times, the royal clock in this case transferred to the previous five.

Night vigil begins Great Compline, on which the church expresses its spiritual joy prorochestvennoy especially singing the song: "Thou, God with us." In the Russian Orthodox Church, the solemnity of the feast of worship rises more memory the deliverance of Russia from the invasion of the Gauls, and with them dvadesyati language in 1812. This memory is made in grateful prayer service singing, after the liturgy. Within Forefeast and Afterfeast Christmas holiday lasts 12 days.

For a brief Gospel sayings of Christ Rozhestva much added Apocrypha, legends and folk religious poems. The most important in this respect the Apocrypha. They had a strong impact on the ancient literature and iconography. In the Apocrypha states cave, grandmother of Solomon, Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt, the massacre of the children (see Pypin, "memory. Old. Rus. Literature», III; Kalitovsky, "Mater. Before letters. Apokr.", Etc.) . In the history of early Christian literature and art best left traces of the ancient apocryphal tales of the presence in the cave where the Saviour was born, the ox and the ass. Already in ancient Christian sarcophagi are a donkey and an ox at Christmas.

The IX century in the East and the West is very popular these images of Christmas: in the mountain cave, a cave manger where Christ is, above him a donkey and a bull's head. Virgin lies on a bed, facing the viewer. Joseph sits down in thought or drowsiness. It is known as the traditional donkey and ox were the great Italian artists such as Correggio. In Cheti Minh City Dimitri of Rostov says that were tied to the manger ox and the ass. They brought Joseph of Nazareth. Donkey riding the Virgin and Joseph brought oxen for sale, to have something to pay the royal lodge and keep themselves in Bethlehem and on the road. These dumb animals, standing at the manger, his breath warmed the infant from the winter cold, and thus served the Lord and his Maker. This story of Cheti-Saints got into the people and religious poetry and legends Little Russian people transferred almost verbatim. Nonfiction subject - the academician Veselovsky, in "the national team. Academy of Sciences", 1891, in Potebni II that" explain. Malor. and affinity. songs, "Sumtsova - in "Sketches of History. yuzhnor. apokr. story. and Songs", "Ethnography. Review ".

The birth of Jesus Christ (the Gospel of Matthew 1: 18-25)

Chapter 1

<...>

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: to his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, it appears that she has a child of the Holy Ghost.

19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her, was minded to put her away.

20 But while he thought on these things, - an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David! Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit;

21 will give birth to a son, and shalt call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

22 But all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying:

23 Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, which means God with us.

24 raised from sleep, Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took unto him his wife

25 and knew her not. [How] till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

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