The Birth of Christ

King August, who ruled Palestine, wanted to know the number of people in his kingdom. For that reason, he requested the names of all the people and everyone had to return to the birthplace of his ancestors. The Most Blessed Virgin Mary and Joseph were of the family of David; therefore, they journeyed to Bethlehem, the birthplace of David.

Exhausted from the long journey, they arrived in Bethlehem at night. There was no available place to sleep at the Inns or at any of the homes as a great number of people had gone there at King's request. Having no place to sleep, Mary and Joseph went to the outskirts of Bethlehem and there found a stable where the shepherds of Bethlehem kept their cattle during stormy weather. It was here that they planned to spend the night. Around midnight, the stars in the heavens lit up the stable and the Most Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth to a male child. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in the straw in the manger. The little town of Bethlehem slept peacefully, unaware of the blessed event that had taken place.

The first to hear of the birth of Christ were the shepherds of Bethlehem who were watching their sheep. An angel from heaven brought them the joyous tidings and told them to go to the town of Bethlehem where they would find the babe in a straw-filled manger. The heavens shone with a heavenly light and angles began to sing: "Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth , Peace and Good will toward Men." The shepherds hastened to the stable where they truly found Lord Jesus Christ as a babe in swaddling clothes laying in a manger of straw. They worshiped the new-born Savior, and related to the righteous Joseph and the Most Holy Mother of God what they had seen and heard from the angels in the heavens. The shepherds then left, overjoyed, glorifying and praising God.

When the Lord Jesus Christ was born, there appeared in the Far East an unusually bright star. Seeing this star, three wise men knew that the promised Savior of the world had been born, whom they were anxiously awaiting, so they started out to find him. The star in the heavens showed them the way to Bethlehem, then they came to the stable where Jesus lay in the manger. The wise men entered, and saw the child with his mother, and fell on their knees. Gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh were laid at his feet. And the angels sang....