A Calendar of Resources: December

December 1st
The Feast of St. Edmund Campion (d. 1581) priest, martyr
Edmund Campion: Hero of God's Underground by Fr. Harold C. Gardiner, S.J.
Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh (Ignatius Press)
Read online:
"The Capture of Campion" by Evelyn Waugh
The Catholic Encyclopedia on St. Edmund Campion
Biography of St. Edmund Campion from the Patron Saints Index
December 3rd
Feast of St. Francis Xavier (1552) priest and missionary
Saint Francis of the Seven Seas by Albert Nevins (Vision Series)
Biography of Saint Francis Xavier from the Patron Saints Index
December 5th
In History: Prohibition Ends 1933

Famous Birthdays:

Christina Rosetti (1830-1894)
George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876)
Rose Wilder Lane (1996-1968)
Walt Disney (1901-1966)

December 6th
The Feast of Saint Nicholas
Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa (CCC Animated Video)
Available from Emmanuel Books

St. Nicholas and the Golden Bars is one version of the story of Saint Nicholas' legendary generosity. This story can be found on pages 763-765 of the Book of Virtues edited by William Bennett.

Santa Claus Paper Dolls in Full Color by Tom Tierney
This set of paper dolls is beautifully done and neat, not just for playing, but seeing the progression of traditions regarding Saint Nicholas with beautiful illustrations of what people thought he looked like from different eras and cultures. Unfortunately some of these traditions have moved farther and farther away from the original. The descriptions for each "doll" include information about each "version" of St. Nicholas. Available from Dover Publications.

The "O Night Divine" Blog has reviews of numerous books on St. Nicholas here

Websites relating to Saint Nicholas:
St. Nicholas Center
Catholic Encyclopedia

In History: First edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica is published (1768)

Famous Birthdays: Joyce Kilmer (1886) read his poem "Trees"

December 7th
The Feast of St. Ambrose (d. 397), Bishop and Doctor of the Church
The Catholic Encyclopedia Entry on St. Ambrose
Biography of Saint Ambrose from the Patron Saints Index

In History:

U.S. declares war on Austria-Hungary (1917) link
Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor (1941) link
The government of the Republic of China begins move from Nanking to Taipei during Chinese Civil War

Famous Birthdays: Willa Cather (1873-1947) link

December 8th
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Holy Day of Obligation
The Catholic Encyclopedia Entry on the Immaculate Conception regarding the doctrine and the origin of the feast.

In History:

Pope Pius IX proclaims the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (1854)

Famous Birthdays:

Horace (65BC-8BC) Roman poet
Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587)
Eli Whitney (1765-1825) inventor link
Padraic Colum (b. 1881), writer link
James Thurber (1894-1961), writer link

December 9th
Feast of Saint Juan Diego

In History: Lech Walesa elected president of Poland

Famous Birthdays:

John Milton (1608-1674) English author
Claude Louise Berthollet (1748-1822) chemist link

December 10th
In History:

Statehood for Mississippi (1817)
Wyoming becomes first state to allow women to vote (1869)
Treaty signed ending Spanish-American War (1898)

Famous Birthdays:

George MacDonald (1824-1905), writer link
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), poet see: Into Deep Eternity link
Rumer Godden (1907-1998), writer link

December 11th
In History:

Statehood for Indiana (1816)
Germany and Italy declare war on the U.S. (1941)

Famous Birthdays:

Hector Berlioz (1803), composer
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918), writer

December 12th
Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe (1531)

The Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie de Paola Click here for Book Review

Domestic Church's page on Our Lady of Guadalupe
Website on Our Lady of Guadalupe
Catholic Encyclopedia Entry on the Shrine of Guadalupe
EWTN Article on Our Lady of Guadalupe and the status of her feast as a Solemnity in the Americas
"A Tea in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe"
Ideas for Celebration from O Night Divine

In History:

Marconi transmits first radio transmission across the Atlantic (1901)
Fr. Flanagan founds Boystown in Nebraska (1917)
2000 U.S. Presidential election (Bush vs. Gore) is decided in Supreme Court

December 13th
Feast of Saint Lucy (d. 304), Virgin and Martyr
Swedish and Sicilian Traditions for St. Lucy's Day (including recipes)
The Catholic Encyclopedia Entry on Saint Lucy
O Night Divine: St. Lucy of Syracuse

In History: Council of Trent begins (1545)

December 14th
Feast of Saint John of the Cross (d. 1591), Priest and Doctor of the Church
The Catholic Encyclopedia Entry on Saint John of the Cross
Biography of Saint John of the Cross from the Patron Saints Index

In History:

Statehood for Alabama (1819)
First telegraph cable laid across Pacific Ocean (1902) link, link map
Roald Amundsen reaches South Pole (1911) bio
Iraq gains independence from U.K. (1932) article

Famous Birthdays: Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), astronomer bio

December 15th
Famous Birthdays:

Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923), architect

December 16th
In History:

Boston Tea Party (1773) article eyewitness account
Battle of the Bulge begins (1944)

Famous Birthdays:

Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536), first wife of King Henry VIII, daughter of Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain
Jane Austen (1775-1817), writer

December 17th
In History:

"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens is first published (1843) read online
The Wright Brothers first flight (1903) link
Malmedy Massacre, World War II (1944) (film: Saints and Soldiers)

Famous Birthdays:

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827), composer link

December 18th
In History:

13th Amendment passed, slavery abolished in the U.S. (1865) link

December 19th
In History:

Washington's troops go into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pensylvania (1777)
related stories: Silver for General Washington by Enid Lamonte Meadowcroft and Winter of the Red Snow by Kristiana Gregory

December 20th
In History:

Louisiana Purchase completed (1803)

December 24th
Christmas Eve
The Christmas Story from the Gospel of Luke
December 25th
Christmas Day - Celebration of the birth of Jesus
Please click here for our page on Christmas Stories
O Holy Night! Masterworks of Christmas Poetry edited by Johann M. Moser
1995, Sophia Institute Press, 142 pp, hardcover

The Christmas Book by Francis X. Weiser, S.J.
1952, Neumann Press, 188 pages, hardcover, Catholic
A very nice, Catholic presentation of the celebration of Advent and Christmas - the origin, customs hymns, stories and much more. The book also includes suggestions for bringing the Christian significance back to some of the customs that have lost their original meaning over time.
Related websites: The Catholic Encyclopedia Entry on Christmas

In History:

Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor (800)
St. Francis of Assisi assembles the first Nativity Scene (1223)
George Washington and Army cross the Delaware in Trenton, New Jersey (1776)
World War I Christmas Truce (1914)
Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union (1991)

Other Famous Birthdays:

Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625), composer
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), physicist and mathematician
Clara Barton (1821-1912), founder of the American Red Cross

December 27th
Feast of Saint John the Evangelist (d. 100) Apostle
The Catholic Encyclopedia Entry on Saint John
Saint John by Alfred Noyes (author of The Secret of Pooduck Island)
Biography of Saint John from the Patron Saints Index
December 28th
Feast of the Holy Innocents
The Catholic Encyclopedia Entry on the Holy Innocents
December 29th
Feast of Saint Thomas Becket (d. 1170) Bishop, Martyr
Click here to see our page of St. Thomas Becket page