Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy St. Stephen's Day

Happy St. Stephen's Day or the Feast of St. Stephen  

St. Stephen was one of the first 'social workers' in the Church, and it was his task to organize meals to feed the poor. In remembrance of Stephen's work for the needy, the British people used to collect money throughout the year in little clay boxes. On the feast of St. Stephen or 'Boxing day' as it is called in Britain, these boxes were broken and the money was distributed to the poor. (This is the origin of the 'piggy bank.')

In some homes and communities a box is labeled and set beside the Christmas tree. Members of the family, in gratitude for their Christmas blessings, choose one of their gifts for the "St. Stephen's Box" — clothing and other useful articles which are sent abroad to the poor or to a mission country. 

"As the family gathers around the lighted Christmas tree in the evening to eat minced meat pie dessert, the mother or father reads the story of Good King Wenceslaus who "looked out on the Feast of Stephen" and who enjoyed eating his minced meat pie after sharing his meal with a poor peasant family.

1 comment:

Mrs. Nicol said...

i did not know that - love the lesson. thanks