Awesome Advent Day 24: Seasonal Saints
Through the Christmas holidays there are many saintly days, each with a story behind them.
26th December: Saint Stephen
Stephen was one of the first Christians. The priests of Jerusalem said he was wicked and put him on trial for his life. Instead of pleading for his life he shouted rude words at them and was stoned to death.
27th December: John the Apostle
John was one of Jesus’ original followers in the Bible, and the only one to live to old age. Emperor Domitian had him thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil but the Saint stepped out unhunt!
1st January: Saint Telemachus
The Romans loved to watch gory gladiator games, however Telemachus did not. He thought it was cruel and wicked and once stepped in the middle of a fight and told them to stop. The crowd was so upset that they stoned him to death. However, Emperor Honorius did put a stop to gladiator fights.
2nd January: Saint Basi of Caesarea
This Saint brings gifts to children every January the 1st in Greece (whereas Father Christmas brings gifts on Christmas Eve). On St. Basil’s Day families serve ‘vasilopita’, a rich bread baked with a coin inside.
3rd January: Saint Gordius
Gordius was a Roman soldier who thought it was a holy idea to shed some blood for Jesus. He went to the arena and told the Roman Governor: “I am a Christian, kill me.” The Governor had Goridus killed with swords.
4th January: Thomas Plumtree
When Elizabeth I was on the throne she was having Catholics tortured and executed all the time. Thomas joined a revolt against Elizabeth but was captured when the rebellion failed. He was told he could go free if he gave up the Catholic Church. He refused and was hung in Durham Castle.
5th January: Charles of Mount Argus
Saint Charles was a Dutch priest who worked in Ireland and became famous for curing the sick. A 12-year-old boy who lost the use of his leg was blessed by Charles. In a few minutes the boy was walking again-a miracle! Crooks started selling bottles of water and said it was Charles’s holy water. That got him banished to England for a few years. On the 5th of January 1893 he died of old age.
For more Seasonal Saints check out Terry Deary’s Horrible Christmas/The Big Fat Christmas Book, with awesome illustrations by Martin Brown.
That’s our Awesome Advent Calendar complete! Come back for one more Day tomorrow and check out our Christmas conclusion.