Today, on Catholic Online, three different videos were uploaded that provide first person eyewitness testimony about 17th Century Jesuit letters which enumerated the 12 Days of Christmas as a code or catechism for Irish Catholics.
Father H. Stockert’s first person testimony cuts through the raging and erroneous internet debate on whether the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” was originally a code for Catholics at a time of persecution in the 17th century.
Fifty years ago, Father Stockert, a Byzantine priest, stumbled upon these17th century letters from one Jesuit priest in Dublin, Ireland to another in Douai, France while researching his doctoral thesis at Georgetown University. The letters enumerated the 12 Days of Christmas, formerly thought of as merely a children’s nursery rhyme, as a code for Catholics to teach their children the faith.
Thirty years ago, Father Stockert released this “juicy tidbit” on the internet. The text of the story went viral and an ugly internet debate began. With complete disregard for the history of Catholic persecution at this time in history, one writer mused “Why would Catholics need to write a code at that time, Protestants and Catholics basically believe the same thing.”
Author Rebecca Even of Prayersongs Publishing released the videos along with a song, a book, and an ornament kit reflecting the Catholic meanings behind the lovable and popular song. Even’s version of the song, “Our Father Gave To Us The Twelve Days of Christmas,” takes the traditional song and transforms the words to reflect the true spiritual meanings.
Rebecca said, “It is kind of a real life musical Da Vinci Code!” She also stated, “I am hoping and praying that the message of Living All Twelve Days of Christmas goes viral to our worldwide Catholic community.” Especially for Americans who struggle with consumerism like no one else, “celebrating all 12 days of Christmas can be completely transformative in cutting through the chaos of consumerism.”
Even stated “for years now, we have displayed our Knights of Columbus car magnet and have tried to keep “Christ in Christmas”. However, it was not until we began celebrating all 12 days of Christmas that our family figured out HOW to do to this.” Even, hopes her song, book and ornament kit, all available digitally, will help families “Keep Christ in Christmas”. Christmas is not a day it is a season and when celebrated that way brings the peace which surpasses all understanding!
You Tube Links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWfChdCylZY
Song available on Itunes