Christ-Mass: Day 12 (St Telesphorus/St John Neumann)
“On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, twelve drummers drumming ...”
The reformed Roman calendar honors Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, a native of Bohemia and Redemptorist priest who was appointed Bishop of Philadelphia in the mid-19th century, and who was a key figure in spreading the Faith to an ever-expanding United States of America.
In the traditional Roman calendar, Mother Church remembers Pope Saint Telesphorus, elected Bishop of Rome in 126, and martyred ten years later.
It is said that the tradition of Christmas Midnight Masses, the celebration of Easter on Sundays, the keeping of a seven-week Lent before Easter, and the singing of the Gloria, all are attributed to his pontificate, but the historical accuracy of this claim is in doubt.
Tomorrow night at Chez Alexandre, we will step out on to the porch and face the entrance. With a piece of chalk, the following will be inscribed over the door ...
20 + C + M + B + 15
...while saying these words out loud: "Christus Mansionem Benedicat! ... May Christ this dwelling bless!" The initials also stand for the names which tradition ascribes to the three wise men -- Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthasar.
Details tomorrow. Until then, stay tuned ...