Story of Christmas Trees are part of the curriculum vitae of St. Boniface, whose real name is Winfrid. St. Boniface was born around 680 in Devonshire, England. At the age of five, he wanted to become a monk, he entered the convent school near Exeter two years later. At the age of fourteen years, he entered the monastery at Nursling within the diocese of Winchester. St. Boniface an enterprising learning, pupils are knowledgeable abas monastery, Winbert. Later, Boniface became head of the school.
At that time, most people in northern and central Europe still have not heard about the Good News. St. Boniface decided to become a missionary to them. After a brief struggle, he asked the official approval from Pope St. Gregory II. The Holy Father assigned him to preach the Gospel to the people of Germany. (Also at that time St. Boniface changed his name from Winfrid to Boniface). St. Boniface German browse through up to the Bavarian Alps and then into Hesse and Thuringia. In the year 722, the pope consecrated St. Boniface as bishop with the authority covering the whole of Germany. He knows that the biggest challenge is to eliminate pagan superstition that prevents the receipt of the Gospel and bertobatnya population. Known as the “Apostle of Germany”, St. Boniface continued to preach the gospel until he died a martyr in 754. Let us begin our story about the Christmas Tree.
With a group of loyal followers, St. Boniface was through the forest with a trail along the old Roman one Christmas Eve. Snow blanketed the ground surface and remove the traces of their feet. They can see their breath in the cold air bite. Although some of them suggested that they immediately camped that night, St. Boniface encourage them to move forward by saying, “Come on, folks, go a little longer. Moonlight illuminates our present and tasty trail impassable. I know that you’re tired, and my own heart was longing for my hometown in England, where the people who I loved was celebrating Christmas Eve. Oh, I wish I can escape from a German ocean wild and stormy this vicious into the arms of my homeland a safe and peaceful! However, we have work to do before we feast tonight. For now this is Christmas Eve, and the unbelievers are gathered in this forest near Oak tree Geismar to worship their god, Thor; the things and acts strange will happen there, which makes their souls black. But, we sent out to illuminate their darkness; we will teach our brothers and sisters to celebrate Christmas with us because they do not know him. Come on, move on, in the name of God! ”
They also continue to move forward with the words kindled the spirit of St. Boniface. A moment later, the road leading to the open area. They saw the houses, but it was dark and empty. No one was visible. Only a barking dog sounds and the occasional horse whinny broke the silence. They walked on and arrived at a clearing in the woods, and there appeared Quick Geismar Oak trees are sacred. “Here,” St.. Boniface called out as he held up a cross bearing the crozier on it, “this is where Lightning oak tree, and here the cross Kistus hammer will break the pagan god Thor.”
In front of an oak tree there was a huge bonfire. Spark-spark the fire danced in the air. Villagers around a fire overlooking the sacred tree. St. Boniface interrupted their meeting, “Hail, O sons of the forest! A stranger beg warmth unggunmu fire on a cold night. “While St. Boniface and his followers approached the campfire, the eyes of the villagers staring at the strangers this. St. Boniface continued, “I’m your brother, sister nation Germany, came from Wessex, across the sea. I have come to convey greetings from my country, and convey a message from Father-All, which I serve. ”
Hunrad, the old priest god Thor, welcome St. Boniface and his followers. Hunrad then said to them, “Stand over here, brethren, and see what makes the gods we gather here! Tonight is the night of the death of the sun god, Baldur the Charming, beloved of the gods and humans. Tonight is the night of darkness and the power of winter, the night of the sacrifice and horror. This night the great Thor, the god of lightning and war, to whom this sacred oak tree, is mourning the death of Baldur, and he was angry with these people because they have neglected worship him. It has long passed since the offerings offered on the altar, has long since the roots of the sacred tree is watered with the blood. Therefore the leaves wither before their time and the branches wither until almost dead. Therefore, the Slavic nations and the Saxons had defeated us in battle. Therefore, crops have failed, and wolves ravaged herds of cattle, has the power away from the bow, the handle-the handle of the spear to be broken, and wild boar hunters destroy. Therefore, the epidemic has spread in your homes, and the number of those killed far more than those who live in the hamlet-dusunmu. Answer me, O you, is not what I’m saying is true? “The crowd murmured their approval and they began to offer praise to Thor.
When the voices had subsided, Hunrad announced, “None of these things are pleasing god. The more valuable offerings that will eliminate your sins, the more valuable red dew that will give new life to this sacred blood tree. Thor wants you sacrifice the most valuable and precious. ”
With it, Hunrad approached the children, who are grouped around a campfire alone. He chose a boy the most beautiful, Asulf, son of the Duke Alvold and his wife, Thekla, then declared that the child will be sacrificed to go to Valhalla in order to convey a message to the people of Thor. Parents Asulf great shock. However, nobody dared to speak.
Hunrad ushered him into a large stone altar between the oak tree and campfire. He was wearing a blindfold on him and told him to kneel and put his head on the altar stone. The people moved closer, and St. Boniface placed himself near the preacher. Hunrad then lifted it high god Thor’s hammer made of his sacred black stone, ready to crush the skull of a small Asulf with him. While the hammer dihujamkan, St. Boniface ward off the hammer with the staff of his bishop so that regardless of the hand Hunrad hammer and broken in two when hit the altar stone. Click amazed and joyful voice blaring through the air. Thekla ran to pick up her son who had been rescued from the bloody sacrifice and then hugged him tightly.
St. Boniface, with his face shining, spoke to the crowd, “Hear, O sons of the forest! There will be no blood flowing tonight. Because, tonight is the night of the birth of Christ, the Son of the Father All, Savior of mankind. He was more beautiful than Baldur the Gorgeous, more glorious than Odin the Wise, is more merciful than Freya the Good. Because he is come, offering quits. Thor, the darkness, to whom you are called out in vain, is dead. Far in the shadows Niffelheim he had lost forever. And now, on the night of Christ this, you will begin a new life. Trees of this blood will not haunt you anymore land. In the name of God, I will destroy them. “St. Boniface then issued a broad ax and start cutting trees. Suddenly felt a powerful blast of wind and fallen trees with their roots ripped from the ground and split into four parts.
Behind the giant oak tree, there stood a young fir tree, like a church spire pointing to heaven. St. Boniface returned to talk to the villagers, “this small tree, young tree forests, will be a holy tree you start tonight. This tree is a tree of peace, for your homes built of cypress wood. This tree is a symbol of eternal life, because the leaves always green. See how the leaves pointing to the sky, to heaven. Let this tree called the tree a child of Jesus, gathered around him, not in the middle of a wild forest, but in your own home, where he will be flooded, not by offering the shed blood, but the offerings of love and compassion. ”
So, they took the fir tree and took it to the village. Duke Alvold put the tree in the middle of a big house. They put candles on the branches, and it looks like a tree full of stars. Then, St. Boniface, with Hundrad sit beneath his feet, tells the story of Bethlehem, the Baby Jesus in the manger, the shepherds, and angels. Everything listened with astonishment. Little Asulf, sitting on her mother’s lap, said, “Mama, listen, I hear the angels sing from behind a tree.” Some people believe what he says is true, some others say that that was the singing voice that chanted by followers of St. Boniface, “Glory to God in the place of supreme, and peace on earth: grace and blessings flow from heaven to man, from now until forever.”
As we gathered around our Christmas tree, may we give thanks for the gift of faith, always save the story of the birth of the Savior in our hearts, and listen to songs of praise of the malailat. To all readers, I say Merry Christmas full of blessings and joy!
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Soure : “Straight Answers: Christmas Tree Origins” by Fr. William P. Saunders; Arlington Catholic Herald, Inc; Copyright ©2002 Arlington Catholic Herald. All rights reserved; http://www.catholicherald.com