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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
December 17, 1927     Arkansas Catholic
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December 17, 1927

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Page Two THE GUARDIAN, DECEMBER 17, 1927 +.P~++++++++++++++-t-++-M-+++++++++++++++++-M-++++++++++++. that are more directly connected laneient monastery. But it seems that :au+ ........................................................................ t. i$ with the divine Mystery of Chrlst--l + i ' o mas, must be remmnbered the field] + ; ] :~l of the shepherds. We read irt the] t ' " " " $/ i Hol Places o[ the Natlwty ! o, wo o ~i ,/' - ", I Tz in the same country shepherds watch- + ~ By i ~ ing, and keeping the night, watches ++ ! Dr. Alexander Mobelli, i $ over the flock. And.behold, an, angel 'i (Written for N C W C News Service Christmas = + of the Lord stood beside them, and ae ......... I + [ Supplement) ~ $ the brightness of God shone round $ I ~ + about them, and they feared with 4 ........................................................................ + ~ a gre'~t fear. And ~he Angel said to the primitive descriptions of lhe site are mot eapplicable to the hill called "the fold" that was bought by the $ Gospel of St. Luke: "And there were]Franciscan Fathers some sixty years in the same country shepherds watch- ago. Between it and Bethlehem there is also a village, the name of which is Beth-Sahour, that means tile village of the Shepherds. ,+.t-DM.++++++++-tmu+++++++++q-t-++++++++++++++-l~+++++++++++ It is not easy to get a general view from the Orthodox Greeks and Ar- of Bethlehem, the Holy City of Christmas, for it lies on the top of t:wo little hills. On the other hand one can form without difficulty a very approximative idea of its reli- gious topography. Approaching the town of David from Jerusalem, in- deed, we are able to see, before en- tering it, the principal Christian buildings that surround the Holy Grotto; the Basilica of the Nativity, and the Latin. Greek and Armenian Convents. Bethlehem numbers today nearly 7.00 people, of whom about 4,000 are Catholics, 3,000 O~echodox Greeks 200 Schismatic Armenians, 150 Protestants and some 50 Moslems. Fuether it has a number of other inhabitants, former residents of countries in South America. Within its walls there are many CaVholic in- st;itutions, supported principally by the Franciscans, the Salesians, the Brothers of Christian Schools, the Fathers of the Sacred Heart of St. Joseph of the Apparition of St. Vin- cent de Paul, the Carmelites, the Salesian Sisters and the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of Mary. The town is no longer poor, but its streets are still very narrow and dirty enough. Very characteristic is +~he fashion of its women, who, at least on holidays, wear singutar dresses in different colors and for headpiece a large white veil arrang- ed like a big ancient mitre that gives them a peculiar Oriental majesty. The Cradle of David The history of Bethlehem in tl4eI Old Testament is known to everyone. 1 The little town of Juda had been the cradle of David, who was consecrat- ed king by the prophet Samuel. But the main interest that this city ex- cites throughout the world after twenty centuries arises from the fact that il; was the birthplace of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is the man- ner in which readers of tAd Gospel tare introduced to it: "And it came to pass that in those days there went out a decree fl:om Ceasar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This en- rolling 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 vcho Was with child. And it came to pass, that when they were there her days were accomplish- ed, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first~born Son, and wrapped Him up in swaddling clotlaes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Basilica of the Nativity ]t is very satisfying for the piety of the Christian faithful to be able to commemorate the great mystery of the birth of Jesus Christ in the very grotto where it took place 20 centuries ago. For the authenticity of his holy site cannot be contested in any w~y. There are a very few sanctuaries in Palestine that enjoy a more ancient and ~Mnterrupted tra- dition than the Basilica of the Nati- vity in Bethlehem. The immortal cavern w~ere Our Lord has been born forms now a little crypt situated beneath the choir of a large church. This big temple is undoubtedly one of the ftr.~t built in the Holy Land, though, ,of course, it has been destroyed and :re-built many times. The plan of .~.~)e !t~ilica, a~ it is~ seen nowadays, is o~ ~t~t simplicity: a Latim cross, with five naves divided by four series of colmuns. Among its numerous restorations in the course of the cen- turies, the most important were those made by the Crusaders. Bethlehem was taken by T ancred in 1099 and the Christian colors floated over the Sanctuary of the Manger, before the beglmdng of the si~ge of Jeru- salem. The Crusaders had intrusted the custody of the Sanctuary to the regu- lar Canons of St. Augustine. But after the Crusade the mission of of- ficiating and watching over the holy shrine was assumed by two priests and some deacons, until the Sultan of Danmscus gave the Basilica to the Franciscan Fathers in 1230. After three centuries of peaseable possession, the Sons of S~. Francis had to suffer several furious attacks menians, who wanted to usurp their rights to the Manger of Jesus Christ. And in 1633, supported by their compatriot the Sultaness Valide, the Greeks succeeded in taking the Sanc- tuary. Thus dispossessed of their Basilica, the Fnanciseans rebuilt in larger dimensions their ancient ora- tory of St. Catherine, that was trans- formed into the big church with three naves which still continues to serve the Catholics of the Latin rite iv Bethlehem. In 1690 France oblig- ed the Greeks to give back the Sanc- tuary to its first owners, but it was taken from them again by force in 1757. Since then Turkey has several times renewed its promise to restore the rights of the Franciscans but the promises have never been kept. In order to reach a provisional modus vivendi, that could guarantee peace among the three different Christian communities, it was agreed to consider mos~ of the Basilica as neutral ground. The Greeks possess in an exclusive manner the choir and the right parL of the transept. The Armenians have an altar in the left portion of the transept. The Catholics cannot hold any function in any part of the Sanctuary. They only offi- ciate, like the other two communities at fixed times, in the Holy Grotto. But even under the ceiling of this lit- tle chapel--the most venerable in the worldthey are allowed to conduct the ceremonies only at the altar of the Magi, near the very spot of the Manger. The traditional site of the Nativity of Our Lord, however, be- longs solely to the Orthodox Greeks and Armenians. And yet the silver star and the inscription surrounding it "Hie, de Virl~ine Maria, Jesus Christmas natus est" reconfirm in clear manner the unquestionable i rights of the Latins to the Manger of Our Lord. Among the environs of Bethlehem I them: Fear no~: for behold I bringI you good tidings of great joy, that] t shall be to all the people. For thisI day is born to you a Saviour Who" is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign to you: You shall find the Infant wraPl)Cd 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 o 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 Bethle- hem, and let us see this word that is come ~o pass, which the Lord ha~h shewed to us. And they came with haste; and they found Mint and Joseph, and the Infant lying in the manger. And seeing, they under- stood of the word that had been spoken to them conce~ing this Child. And all that heard, wonder- ed: and at those things that were told them by the shepherds." Since the fourth century the place where the shepherds had thi~ vision has been venerated by the faithful. At the period of the Crusaders it was identified with the field of Booz, some two kilometers south of Beth- lehem, where there were ruins of an h~ Ah~ A~ ~ A~A~ A~ A~ Ah. Ah. ~ A~ A~A .m Portraits Commercial 716 Main Street Little Rock, Ark. 1 i Battery Service Accessories 1300 Main North Little Rock, Arkansas Gas Oil The Tenants of The New Donaghey Building Offer You Their Service Arkansas' Largest OfficeBuilding BEGINNING THE DAY The following paragraphs are taken from an Irish paper, the C(,nnaeht Tribnne. No comment is needed: "Nearly five years ago, when Pres- ident Cosgrave came to Galway, he was entertained to a banquet on Sat- urday night. At midnight he retired, and the following morning he receiv- ed tIoly Communion at one of the eity churches. I "On Sunday night (September 4), after the meeting at Eyre Square, he was kept np by overenthusiastic ,friends until after 1 a. m. Never- theless, in accordance with his daily praetice, maintained throughout all these years of stress and turmoil, he was abroad with his aide-de-camp at BEN C. McGEHEE, President early Mass on Monday morning. "In a Catholic country it is alto- gether fitting that the head of the S~ate should begin the day by humbly kneeling' at the altar of God and ask- COMPLIMENTS ing that tile blessing of sheutd attend upon his magnificent example of th!sl ous little statesman of om ;~! be followed. This Space Contributed t)3. Arkansas' Oldest, Largest and Livest Hardware Jobbers WHOLESALE ONLY Hardware--Furniture LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS FUNERAL DIRECTORS LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS ABNER McGEHEE, Vice-President GEe. S. HARVEY, Secretary-Treasurer General Contractors Home Office, Kahn Building LITTLE ROCK, ARK. O000000000000001 BEEF AND PORK PACKERS HAMS, BACON, LARD and SAUSAGE Phones: 4:0360---4-0361---4-0362 LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS 000000000100000 , ii~i ]! 4