When Margaret Edythe Young was born her baptism was presided over by Father O’Sullivan at St. Patrick’s Church. When she received her first communion it was from him. When her marriage was solemnized it was by him. When she received the last rites it was from him and he officiated at her funeral. In these days when people change churches, pastors and even faiths on a seemingly regular basis it is something of a comfort to reflect that there was a time – not so long ago – when there was a continuity in the lives of the faithful. It is our opinion that no small part of this continuity comes from the immutibilty of God‘s Holy Word in the Bible and from ministers who were more willing to allow the Gospel to change them than they were anxious to change the Gospel. In an age that has reduced the Gospel to just another creation myth and is willing to find just as much meaning in Dickens as they are in Matthew we have saved the last three Christmas cards in her collection – those with an exclusively religious theme – and present them here with the original Christmas story from the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. We hope it is a blessing and a comfort for you.
From the Gospel according to St. Luke, Chapter 1
 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.
 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.  And of his kingdom there shall be no end.  And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?  And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren:  Because no word shall be impossible with God.  And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.  And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.  And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.
 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:  And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.  And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.  And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.
 And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.  Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.  Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.  And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
 He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.  He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.  He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:  As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
 And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house.  Now Elizabeth’s full time of being delivered was come, and she brought forth a son.  And her neighbours and kinsfolks heard that the Lord had shewed his great mercy towards her, and they congratulated with her.  And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they called him by his father’s name Zachary.  And his mother answering, said: Not so; but he shall be called John.
 And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.  And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.  And demanding a writing table, he wrote, saying: John is his name. And they all wondered.  And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.  And fear came upon all their neighbours; and all these things were noised abroad over all the hill country of Judea.
 And all they that had heard them laid them up in their heart, saying: What an one, think ye, shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him.  And Zachary his father was filled with the Holy Ghost; and he prophesied, saying:  Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; because he hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people:  And hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David his servant:  As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, who are from the beginning:
 Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us:  To perform mercy to our fathers, and to remember his holy testament,  The oath, which he swore to Abraham our father, that he would grant to us,  That being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we may serve him without fear,  In holiness and justice before him, all our days.
 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways:  To give knowledge of salvation to his people, unto the remission of their sins:  Through the bowels of the mercy of our God, in which the Orient from on high hath visited us:  To enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death: to direct our feet into the way of peace.  And the child grew, and was strengthened in spirit; and was in the deserts until the day of his manifestation to Israel.
 And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled.  This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria.  And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David,  To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.
 And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock.  And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear.  And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people:
 For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.  And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying:  Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.  And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us.
 And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.  And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child.  And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
 And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb.  And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord:  As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord:  And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons:  And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was in him.
 And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.  And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,  He also took him into his arms, and blessed God, and said:  Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace;  Because my eyes have seen thy salvation,
 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples:  A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.  And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him.  And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted;  And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.
The Gospel according to St. Matthew, chapter 2
 When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.  Saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him.  And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born.  But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet:
 And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel.  Then Herod, privately calling the wise men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them;  And sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come to adore him.  Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was.  And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
 And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.  And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him.  Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod:  That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called my son.
 Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry; and sending killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.  Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying:  A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.  But when Herod was dead, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph in Egypt,  Saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel. For they are dead that sought the life of the child.
 Who arose, and took the child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.  But hearing that Archelaus reigned in Judea in the room of Herod his father, he was afraid to go thither: and being warned in sleep retired into the quarters of Galilee.  And coming he dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was said by prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene.