Hi! My name is Nicholas.

 

Merry Christmas! Don’t you just love Christmas time? It’s my favorite time of the year. After all, my name is Nicholas!

 

I decided I would tell you 2 amazing things on my Catholic Kids 101 page about Christmas that I bet you didn’t know. The first is something I learned from my teacher two years ago when I was preparing for my First Holy Communion. The second thing is something I learned through a story I found. I’ll get to that in a couple of minutes.

 

First thing… I know you know that Christmas is the birthday of Jesus. And I know you know that Jesus really and truly comes to us at every Mass in the Holy Eucharist. Now, look as these words again:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Do you know what “Merry Christmas” really means?  Of course, "Merry" means joyful!

 

“Christmas” comes from an old English phrase “Cristes Maesse” which means “Mass of Christ.”

 

CHRISTMAS = CHRIST’S MASS

 

So the word “Christmas” is a Catholic word that means the Holy Mass where Jesus comes to us!

 

My teacher who taught me this was Sister Monica Marie. She wears a habit that is all white with a black veil. She is really funny and smart! She taught my class this when we were getting ready for our First Holy Communion.

 

Sister said that God our Father is such a GOOD FATHER that He should be given the PERFECT GIFT. She said a perfect gift is one that has nothing wrong with it and is given in just the right way. Remember in the “Ming Story” when people like Abel, that one king, and Abraham tried to give God their gifts? God was really happy with their gifts but they weren’t PERFECT gifts. Do you know why? Sister said it was because when the first man Adam sinned, he ruined things not just for himself but for all of us. By his sin, called Original Sin, he separated all of us from God. It was like Adam put up a big wall between us and God. As long as that wall was there then nobody could do anything that was PERFECTLY pleasing to God. Sister said someone had to break down that wall! People tried. But no one but God could break down that wall. So guess what?

 

HE DID! THAT IS WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT!

 

As soon as Jesus, our Savior, came into the world we finally had a Gift that was really good enough for God! Jesus is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. He is also the Son of the Virgin Mary. Sister said He is a Divine Person -  both God and Man!

 

JESUS IS THE PERFECT GIFT!

 

That is what the Holy Mass is. The priest offers the PERFECT GIFT OF JESUS to God our Father at Holy Mass and then the PERFECT GIFT OF JESUS is offered to each of us when we receive Him in Holy Communion. THE WALL IS BROKEN DOWN ONCE AND FOREVER!

 

And that is what Christmas is all about! CHRIST’S MASS! Isn’t it great?

 

Now here is the second thing. I’m not going to tell you exactly what it is yet. You’ll have to read about it in the story. What I do want to tell you is how I found the story.

 

I was stuck going to a thrift store with my mom. She had to pick me up across town from a chess tournament and didn’t want to bring me all the way back home. I don’t know about your mom but my mom can spend hours in a thrift store looking at stuff. Not me. I go straight to the book area and start reading books.

 

On one of the shelves I happened to pull out a little hard-cover book that was really old. There were no words on the front cover. I flipped through and noticed the pages had turned yellow and it had a funny smell. I was just about to put it back on the shelf when the inside title page caught my eye:

 

TO MARY THE MOTHER OF GOD

 

“It’s a Catholic book,” I thought.

 

I looked on the “Contents” page and saw all kinds of Catholic stories for kids. Then something really caught my eye. The introduction of the book was written by Fulton J. Sheen! I live in Illinois where Archbishop Sheen was from. There is going to be a Mass soon where he will be beatified. That is one step before being canonized a Saint. Then we'll call him Blessed Fulton Sheen! So when I saw that Fulton Sheen had written the introduction to this book, I decided to read it. (I looked over and saw my mom going through a really long rack of kid’s clothes for my little sisters and I knew I had plenty of time!)

 

I made my way over to the furniture area and plopped down in a big, cushy chair and started reading. An hour later my mom was ready to go with her big bag of clothes for my three little sisters and I had found an amazing story for my Catholic Kids 101 page! 

 

As we say in my family: "It was a red letter day!" 

I think the story you are about to read is one you won't ever forget. I'm glad I found it.

It's one of my all time very favorite stories. Ever. 

God bless you!

 

From your Catholic Kids 101 “Christmas Friend,”

Nicholas

(I asked my mom to help me with this part of my CK101 Page. She helped me a lot! She explained that we needed to write this part first before the story actually begins.)

 

The following story is based on the original version entitled “Christ His Tree” which was found in the book titled: "Medal Stories." There is no publishing or copyright information in our copy. The book contains an introduction by Fulton J. Sheen where he gives a moving endorsement of the stories, written by "The Sisters of Charity," and then signs his name: Reverend Fulton J. Sheen, Ph.D, D.D.

The Catholic University of America, October 2, 1932, Feast of the Guardian Angels.

 

Note to parents: This Catholic Kids 101 version of "Christ His Tree" has been rewritten and edited in part dealing with the occult and occult practices which were surprisingly told in great detail to children in the 1930's. We decided to tell only what we thought necessary for children to know in order to understand the marvelous story of the great Saint Boniface and "Christ His Tree."

CHRIST HIS TREE

Long ago children used to say “Christ His Tree” instead of “Christ’s tree” or “Christmas tree.”

 

The two sat at the foot of a pine tree near the great Thunder Oak. The warm morning sunbeams gilded the dark green branches and played about the golden heads of beautiful Queen Hildegarde and her little son Karl.

 

On one side lay the houses of the nearby villagers and on the other was the edge of the great forest.

 

Little Karl had gathered many wild flowers. He was weaving them into a crown for his beautiful mother.

 

Queen Hildegarde was spinning on her spinning wheel. This is how thread used to be made. She stopped the wheel.

 

“I have used all my flax,” she said as she smiled at her little son.

 

“I am glad, Mother Queen,” said Karl, “now you can tell me a story.”

 

“And what shall I tell you?” asked the Queen.

 

Karl’s blue eyes danced for joy. “About the were-wolves, please.”

 

“Karl, who has been telling you about were-wolves?”

 

“Mord, the guard, Mother Queen. He says they are half wolf and half man and that they eat people! Is that true, Mother Queen?”

 

Good Queen Hildegarde shook her head and said, “I do not know, little son.”

 

Then she frowned.

 

“But are there were-wolves, Mother Queen?”

 

“Some say so,” said the Queen, “but I have never seen one.”

 

“Tell me about them,” begged little Karl.

 

“Well,” said the Queen hesitantly. “They say that were-wolves are cruel beasts that live deep in the forest. In the forest they look like great fierce wolves but during the day they can change and look like people.”

 

“Why do they do that, Mother Queen?”

 

“Because then they can come into the towns and villages and nobody will be afraid of them. They try to get the people to go into the forest with them.”

 

The little prince shivered.

 

“And then?

 

“Then these wicked wolves kill these people.”

 

“Can’t people kill the were-wolves?”

 

“The were-wolves are too strong, I’m afraid. They say the white wolves are the strongest.”

 

“Look!” said the boy, pointing to the edge of the forest. “Mother Queen, are these were-wolves?”

 

“No, no Karl,” she said shaking her head.

 

“Who are they, Mother Queen?” he asked.

 

“It is the Bishop Boniface who is trying to teach our people about the kind Christ.”

 

She smiled down at little Karl.

 

As the group of men came near, the good Bishop Boniface looked with admiration at the beautiful mother and child at the foot of the pine tree.

 

“What a beautiful sight,” he thought. They reminded him of the tender Virgin Mother and her Christ Child.

 

“Hail, Stranger!” said little Karl boldly.

 

“Hail, little Prince,” said the Bishop. Then he bowed to the Queen.

 

However, the entrance of the Bishop and his companions had not made Karl forget.

 

“Did you see any were-wolves when you were coming through the woods?” he asked.

 

“No, little Prince.”

 

“Do you believe in were-wolves?”

 

Saint Boniface looked down kindly upon the boy and answered, “The only were-wolves I know are the wolves in sheep’s clothing that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of. I mean men who pretend to want to help others but who will kill the soul, yes, and the body too. I know of such a wolf not far from here.”

 

Then he turned to the Queen and said, “That Thunder Oak and the black stone beneath it.” He pointed towards a huge tree and the large flat stone. “Could they not tell of many a wolf feast?”

 

The Queen shivered and drew little Karl close to her. She understood that the good Bishop spoke of the Druid Helrad and of the people he had killed on the black stone.

 

Before the Queen could answer, the Bishop raised his hand in a blessing and said, “May the tender Virgin Mother and her Divine Son, Jesus, guard you and keep you from all harm.”

 

Then he and his companions turned and continued on their way. Soon they were out of sight.

 

Queen Hildegarde looked down at little Karl as he lay back on his mother’s arm and breathed in the warm sweet odor of the pine tree. How still it was. He saw a red bird dart out from the dark green branches of the tree and fly away.

 

“Perhaps there is a nest of little ones in there,” he thought. “The mother has gone for food for mothers always take care of their children.”

 

II

The days came and went and summer changed into fall. However, it was not like in recent years past. Strange and fearful things were happening in and around Hesse where King Gudbrand and Queen Hildegarde ruled. First, their enemies came in great numbers. Although the strong men of Hesse fought bravely, many of them were killed in battle. Then these enemies set fire to some of the villages and soon only blackened land remained. Then they stole the cattle and destroyed the grain in the fields. Soon King Gudbrand’s people found themselves with barely enough food to eat. Then, with the coming of winter, a terrible sickness spread quickly throughout the kingdom. Many people died because of it.

 

Good Queen Hildegarde was very sad because of all these fearful happenings. She loved her people very much. Their happiness was her happiness and their sorrows were her sorrows.

 

The Queen sat spinning her flax into thread in the great Hall by the log fire. Large white wolf skins hung on the walls and covered the rude floor.

 

Little Karl sat at her knee and gazed into the dancing flames of the log fire. He was thinking of his two brothers, Rolf and Otto. They were in the Southland.

 

“Mother Queen, how soon will Rolf and Otto come home?”

 

“Soon, very soon, my son,” she replied.

 

Karl smiled. He was glad. He loved his two, strong, brave brothers. They seemed so much older to him, although little Karl was five and Rolf and Otto were twelve and thirteen.

 

Then his thoughts changed.

 

“Mother Queen, why is everything so sad? Why does not Father King smile any more?”

 

Good Queen Hildegarde shook her head.

 

“Helrad says that the god Thor is punishing us because we have let Bishop Boniface tell our people about the kind Christ. He says that is why our enemies kill our men and burn our villages and destroy our fields. He says that Thor sent this dreadful sickness as a punishment.” Then she began to weep. 

 

 Little Karl sprang up and put his arms around her neck.

 

“Do not cry, Mother Queen! I do not believe that! Because our Bishop Boniface is kind and gentle and good. Helrad is mean and cruel!”

 

“Hush my son,” said the Queen as she held her hand towards his mouth. “You must not say such things.” She was afraid of Helrad.

 

“But you know it is true, Mother Queen. If Thor is punishing us because of Bishop Boniface then he is a mean god. I like the kind Christ that Bishop Boniface has told us about better. The Bishop says that the Christ loves us and that He has a kind Mother.”

 

Queen Hildegarde did not say anything but simply hugged little Karl for in her heart she really believed that what Karl said was true.

 

Then Mord, one of the faithful guards, entered the Hall and knelt beside the Queen.

 

“Gentle Queen, please send the little Prince away,” he whispered. “I must speak with you at once.” He was breathing hard because he had been running.

 

“Time to play, my son,” said the Queen, and she kissed him.

 

Soon only the Queen and Mord were alone in the great Hall.

 

“I have just come from a meeting of the people,” he said. “Helrad has been telling them that Thor is very angry. He said it is because the people forget him and because of Bishop Boniface. Helrad says that because Thor is so angry it will take something big to appease him in order to stop all the terrible things that have been happening. He said the King’s oldest son must be offered on the black stone beneath the Thunder Oak. Helrad intends to kill Prince Otto twenty days from now.”

 

Queen Hildegarde sprang to her feet.

 

“Never!” she cried. “Never shall he kill my son! Go quickly, Mord! Take this as a sign that I have sent you.” She pulled off a heavy gold bracelet and held it towards him. “Take the south road. The princes intend to come that way. Keep them from returning on time. Make them travel very slowly. Do whatever you have to do to make them arrive too late for the winter sacrifice.”

 

As soon as Queen Hildegarde was finished speaking, Mord was gone. Brave, loyal Mord!

 

 

III

Late that very afternoon Helrad came to the King’s Hall. The Queen was spinning flax on the spinning wheel before the great fire. The servants moved back and forth for they were getting supper ready.

 

Helrad studied the Queen. “Why does not the Queen weep?” he wondered. “Surely she must have heard by now that her eldest son is to be offered to Thor.”

 

He came near to where she was spinning.

 

The Queen nodded without raising her eyes.

 

“Have you heard, Queen?” asked Helrad.

 

Again Hildegarde simply nodded her head without looking up and continued spinning.

 

“And you are willing?” Helrad asked.

 

“If it must be done,” she finally answered in a steady voice.

 

Helrad was deep in thought as he left the Hall. He wondered, “Why does not the Queen weep?” And he could not answer the question.

IV

Soon the snow began to fall and the days grew shorter and shorter. Helrad watched the great road that led southward for very soon the princes would arrive. As day after day slipped by he began to grow anxious for the princes had not yet returned. Now it was only two days before the winter sacrifice. Helrad stood watching the empty road. Slowly it dawned on him.

 

“The Queen has sent word to the princes not to return. She has tricked me! This is why she does not weep!” And the more he thought of the Queen the more angry he became until his anger became a rage!

 

Early in the morning on the day of the winter sacrifice the Queen went to carry warm food and drink to Mord’s wife and child who were ill. She insisted on doing this deed herself for her faithful Mord had done well in keeping the princes from returning.

 

An hour later she returned home. She noticed the kneeling guards did not smile back at her as she entered the doorway. In the Hall the servants drew away from her. They were weeping. She called one named Grim to find out what was wrong but he could only kneel before her and kiss the hem of her mantle and weep. She called out to Singrid her faithful waiting maid but Sigrid could only shake her head.

 

The Queen turned in alarm and ran towards her husband who was sitting before the great log fire.

 

“Tell me!” she cried. “Tell me what has happened!”

 

The King looked up and she saw that he too had tears streaming down his face.

 

“Helrad has taken Karl. He said it is the only way that the god Thor will allow peace and happiness to be restored to the Kingdom.” Then the King could say no more for his voice broke as a sob escaped from his lips.

 

Queen Hildegarde stood very still. She was trying to figure out what she should do. “I shall go to Bishop Boniface,” she thought to herself. “His God is kind and He has a kind Mother.” Then a spontaneous prayer sprung from her heart and she whispered, “Mother of the kind Christ, help me!”

V

Queen Hildegarde and Sigrid stood in the Queen’s sleeping room. The Queen was talking softly.

 

“You must guard the door, Sigrid. If anyone comes, say that the Queen is not well and that she must be left alone. If Helrad comes and asks if I will be at the Thunder Oak tonight, tell him that he shall see me by the great tree. Remember, Sigrid, you must guard my door. Do not let anyone in.”

 

Loyal Sigrid promised to do just as the Queen had asked.

 

“Now go, Sigrid, and bring me the white wolf skins that are in the great Hall.”

 

Sigrid brought the white wolf skins to the Queen.

 

After Sigrid left, the Queen bolted her door. She took a sharp hunting knife out of the cover and cut one of the white skins into broad strips. These she bound about her feet and crossed them again and again until they were above her knees. Another she made into a short skirt and bound it around her waist with a belt. From another she made a large cap that completely covered her head and then fastened it beneath her chin. From the last skin she made a cloak. Then she put the hunting knife back into the cover and fastened it to her belt.

 

“If Helrad saw the Queen on her way to the forest, he would know that I was going to see the Bishop Boniface. He would surely stop me,” thought the Queen. “But he will think twice before he stops a white were-wolf!” Then again a prayer sprung from her heart, “O kind Mother of the Christ, help me!”

 

She peered out the window. The sky was heavy with dark snow clouds. The Queen slipped out the window and walked rapidly towards the forest as the snow began to lightly fall. Right before she reached the edge of the forest she knew that Helrad’s hut must be passed. Her heart began to beat fast as she came closer for she saw his grey clad figure in the doorway.

 

But Helrad drew back. “A white were-wolf?” he wondered. He quickly closed the door and the Queen sped on her way.

 

She reached the great forest. Now she must go northward through it until she reached the dwelling of Bishop Boniface and his friends.

 

As she marched on the snow gave way beneath her feet. The fierce wind cut her face and the great icy boughs of the thick trees loomed overhead. She saw dark forms with fiery eyes now and again. More than once she drew out her hunting knife as she sensed danger was near.

 

However, an unseen power was helping her. For three long hours she walked. Certainly without the help of the Holy Angels she could never have reached the other edge of the forest!

 

VI

Herman stood outside the log house where Bishop Boniface and his companions lived. He had been feeding the great shaggy horses and was about to go back into the house when he noticed something white coming out of the forest.

 

“Father Boniface!” he called. “Father Boniface, come quickly!”

 

The great Bishop came to the doorway.

 

“What is it, Herman?” he asked.

 

Herman pointed towards the moving figure. “If I believed in were-wolves, I would say that one was coming this way right now!”

 

But Bishop Boniface stood silent for a moment before he spoke.

 

“No, Herman. It is a brave mother heart in great trouble.” And he went forward to meet Queen Hildegarde.

 

When the Bishop reached the Queen, she dropped to her knees and cried, “O Priest of the kind Christ! Save my son, Karl!”

 

“Little Karl?” asked Bishop Boniface.

 

“Helrad has taken Karl. He is going to offer him on the black stone under the Thunder Oak at midnight to appease Thor unless you help me! Your Christ is a kind God! Please help me! Please save my son!”

 

And then Queen Hildegarde fainted.

VII

Soon Bishop Boniface and his companions were on their way to the Thunder Oak. Queen Hildegarde was with them, resting in a wooden cart pulled by two shaggy horses.

 

As the hours went by and it grew dark, the Queen continued to pray to the Mother of the kind Christ. Soon she recognized that they were nearing the area of the Thunder Oak. Her keen eyes were the first to spy the low rising mound and the great tree.

 

“There, Bishop Boniface,” she said as she pointed, “Over there is the Thunder Oak.”

 

They stopped the horses for they wished to go the rest of the way by foot.

 

As they drew near they could see the fire that lit the entire area.  There was a very large gathering of people, both men and women.

 

“Please, hurry!” cried the Queen, “or we may be too late!”

 

But they were not too late. Bishop Boniface was the first to reach the Thunder Oak. He saw Helrad before him. Helrad’s back was towards the Bishop, and he faced the black stone. On the stone lay little Karl, bound hand and foot.

 

Facing Helrad stood the people in a great curve. They were splendidly dressed in scarlet and blue and green and many other rich colors. They wore beautiful ornaments such as golden bracelets, rings and chains. King Gudbrand with his crown of gold stood near the black stone but he was looking away from it. Although the people were dressed for a great celebration, they were sorrowful. Some were visibly weeping.

 

“O Thor, mighty god!” cried Helrad. “You are not content with offerings of fruits, grains or animals which we have offered to you. We have angered you by not offering a human for many months. Do not be angry any longer as we offer to you Karl, the dearest of the King’s sons.”

 

With these last words Helrad lifted his knife in the air. However, it never touched the little Prince! For a strong hand had come out of the darkness and seized the Druid Helrad’s wrist. His arm was turned slowly outward until, with a scream of pain, he opened his hand and the knife dropped to the ground and slid into the snow.

 

There was silence. Bishop Boniface walked over to Karl and untied the boy. Then Queen Hildegarde rushed forward as the Bishop gently lifted Karl and placed him in his mother’s arm. A sigh of relief ran through the crowd. 

 

Helrad shrank to the side of the Thunder Oak but Bishop Boniface stepped upon the great black stone and fearlessly faced the people. 

 

“You rejoice with your good Queen Hildegarde and King Gudbrand that the life of the little Prince has been spared. I thank the Christ Jesus who has sent me here to do this deed.”

 

Then the Bishop paused and gazed long and hard upon the faces of the people before continuing.

 

“Although you rejoice at this moment, many of you have fear in your hearts. You are faced with a decision and you must choose. Tonight is the birth of the Prince of Peace, the Christ Jesus of whom I have often told you. It is in His Name that I ask you, once again, to choose life, not death. Forsake your false gods and reject anyone who asks of you these dark, evil deeds.”

 

He paused. Then people began to murmur amongst themselves. Suddenly, a voice from the crowd cried out, “Give us a sign, O Messenger! Give us a sign to show us what you say is true!”

 

A second then a third voice chimed in, “A sign! Give us a sign!”

 

Then holy Bishop Boniface prayed as the whole crowd took up the cry, “A sign! Give us a sign!”

 

The Bishop raised his hand and the crowd fell silent. “Tonight as a sign I shall cut down the Thunder Oak! If Thor be as mighty as some claim, let him stop me!”

 

Then he turned towards his companions.

 

“Herman,” he called, “bring the axes!”

 

Fear and hope were mixed together in the hearts of all the people. No one spoke but their eyes followed the rise and fall of the shiny axes. They saw the gashes in the sides of the Thunder Oak widen.

 

It was then that Helrad emerged from the darkness and stood on the black stone. He stretched out his arms and cried, “Thor! Thor! Strike with your wrath these men who are destroying your sacred oak!”

 

The people waited. But no answer came. Only silence.

 

Then Bishop Boniface raised his voice and cried out, “O Jesus! Savior of world! Help these people so that they may believe in You!”

 

Suddenly, a mighty wind came and tore up the great oak by its very roots and flung it with a crash to the ground so violently that it was instantly split into four pieces!

 

The people stood in awe.

 

Now Boniface stepped again upon the black stone and faced the people.

 

“Do you now believe?” he asked.

 

“We do! We do!” they cried. “Great is the Christ! Greater than Thor!”

 

Bishop Boniface bowed his head and offered a humble prayer of thanksgiving to the one true God. When he looked up, he noticed the Queen as she sat holding her son at the foot of the pine tree. He raised his voice and said, “In the Name of the Christ Jesus, I have taken away your Thunder Oak because it was a symbol of great wickedness and evil. In its place I give you this tree.” He pointed to the green pine tree where the Queen was sitting. “Let it be a symbol of the Christ Child, whose birth we celebrate this night!”

 

Then he opened his arms and declared, “Neither winter or summer alters its green. Let it be a reminder of the never changing truths of the Catholic faith!”

 

He raised his arms and continued, “It points heavenward as our thoughts should rise to noble and holy things.”

 

Then he lowered his arms and warned, “You must never again come into the dark forest at midnight to commit evil and wicked deeds! You shall take the pine tree as a symbol of the Christ into your homes. The birthday of the Savior of the world shall be one of love and peace and of great rejoicing! It shall be a day in honor of the Christ Child and His Virgin Mother. Now let us take this pine tree into the King’s Hall!”

 

Gladly did the crowd watch as the lovely green pine tree was quickly cut with an axe. They followed the King and Queen with great rejoicing in procession.

 

Soon they reached the great Hall of King Gudbrand and the pine tree was anchored on the dais. All the people gathered around it and listened as Bishop Boniface told them the story of the first Christmas.

 

He told them of the Angel who brought the message to Mary, the sinless one. He told of the journey to Bethlehem, of the Birth of the Christ Child, the Son of God. He told of Angels who sang at His coming and of the Kings from the East who brought gold and frankincense and myrrh. As Bishop Boniface spoke, a deep peace filled the hearts of all who listened.

 

“You say,” declared the Bishop, “that you wish to be followers of the Christ Jesus. Since He has given you a sign to show His power and great love for you, I ask each of you now for a sign. Your sign will show Him that you wish to obey His laws and ways. Let each one of you come forward and place upon the tree of Christ a symbol of your good will.“

 

King Gudbrand was the first to rise. He took off his crown and hung it on a high branch. Then he turned towards the people and said, “This do I bring to the tree of Christ, for I wish to thank Him for the life of my little son. I wish to show Him that I will rule my people according to His law.”

 

Then surged forward the men and women. Some pulled off their golden chains and bracelets and rings and hung them on the pine tree. Others flung their splendid cloaks of scarlet, blue, green and purple at its base for a carpet.

 

Bishop Boniface and his companions watched the tree of Christ grow in glittering beauty!

 

Then the Bishop turned to Queen Hildegarde who was sitting near, holding her sleeping son in her arms.

 

“And you, dear Queen,” he said, “to whom the Mother of the Christ has shown such mercy. What sign do you give?”

 

Queen Hildegarde arose. Her eyes were glistening through tears of joy.

 

“I give one of my dearest treasures to the service of the Prince of Peace,” she said.

 

Then she knelt at the foot of the green pine tree and placed her sleeping boy on the pile of beautiful cloaks.

 

Bishop Boniface turned to his flock and cried, “Sing! Sing of the birth of the Son of God!”

 

His deep voice rang out the joyous song and the people listened then joined in.

 

“O holy night on which Christ came to earth!”

 

Then the good Bishop explained to them the great gift of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and promised to offer Holy Mass later that day for all to attend. “We shall all kneel and adore Him!” he cried.

 

At his words King Gudbrand fell to his knees and covered his face, overcome with love and gratitude for God’s great mercy.

 

The people also fell to their knees, moved by the humble example of their King, showing their love and gratitude.

 

Then the great Bishop Boniface raised his eyes to Heaven. He lifted his hand and made the Sign of the Cross over them and prayed, “May the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, descend upon you and remain with you forever!”

VIII

So came the first Christmas tree to the Hall of King Gudbrand and Queen Hildegarde of Geismar.

It was not long before every house in all of Germany had its own tree of Christ every 25th of December. From Germany the beautiful custom was carried north, south, east and west into every country and home.

 

Today in our great cities there are beautiful Christmas trees in public places as well as in our homes. They sparkle with ornaments and decorations and lights of every color. People gather around them and sing Christmas carols. However, how many people think about the very first Christmas tree of long ago when they look at their own? Do they remember that the great Saint Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, gave it as a symbol of the love that the Christ Child brought to earth on His birth night?

 

Perhaps they have never heard where the Christmas tree first came from! You who are reading or hearing this story, you must never forget it. Whenever you see a Christmas tree, think of the scene in Gudbrand’s Hall and of the good Saint Boniface who gave it to us. Not only that. Whenever you have gathered with others around a Christmas tree, tell them how the first Christmas tree came to the home of little Karl on the birth night of the Christ Jesus more than twelve hundred years ago!

 

 

May your love for the never changing truths of the Catholic faith remain as the pine is always green.

And may your thoughts be noble and holy, rising to Heaven, as the pine tree points upward!

THE END

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Click the image of Jesus in the beautiful white Host to meet Angelica!