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Silent Night, the Christmas carol that has spread all over the world, translated into more than forty-five languages, began in a small town in Austria.

In 1816, a young Fr. Joseph Mohr, wrote the verses, some say inspired one Christmas night as he returned from visiting a family with a newborn babe high up in the Alpine hills.

When assigned as co-pastor to the charming village of Oberndorf in 1818, he looked for his friend, Franz Gruber, choir master, who set the inspired verses to a simple tune on his guitar.

At Midnight Mass that Christmas, the small church of St. Nicholas in Oberndorf resounded to the first strains of Silent Night. The two men who brought the song into being, could hardly have imagined that day, in a small snow-covered village in Austria, how their song would make the rounds of the world.

 

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Divine Providence had a plan.

One day, an organ master from the Tyrol was called to Oberndorf to fix the church’s organ. When finished, he invited Franz Gruber to try out the keys, and the choir master played the new song. Enthralled by the attractive, simple “heavenliness” of the tune, the organ master took Silent Night back with him to his province.

There, families of young singers, similar to the Von Trapp Family, avidly picked up the new song, and carried it throughout Europe.

Noticing that the mere first strains of the melody gathered a crowd, the little song became a favorite in their repertoire, winding its way even into courts.

Its origin having been lost, it was soon known as “The Song from Heaven”.

Finally, King Frederick William IV of Prussia, whose favorite Carol it had become, wishing to obtain the song in its purest format, insisted that the history of Silent Night be traced.

After a long search, Frederick’s emissaries were finally led to St. Peter’s Abbey in Salzburg, from whence the connection was made to Oberndorf. There, they found Franz Gruber advanced in age, who gladly confirmed the song’s origins.

Thus, the little tune penned by an unknown priest, and a village musician, conquered the world by a quiet storm. Indeed, wherever and whenever Silent Night is sung or played, hearts are quieted and spirits are lifted–after all, who says it isn’t “The Song from Heaven”?

 


References: 

https://silentnight.web.za/history/
https://alemanhaeinfach.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/noite-feliz-origem-da-musica-de-natal-mais-famosa-do-mundo/
Wikipedia
Crusade Magazine

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for May 29, 2020

Those who open their mouth to confess their faith breathe th...

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May 29

 

Those who open their mouth
to confess their faith
breathe the spirit of divine grace,
which is the life of the soul.

St. Anthony of Padua


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. William of Toulouse and Companions

The priests, meeting with much hostility in town, set up in...

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St. William of Toulouse and Companions

William Arnaud, a Dominican, and companions were sent to Toulouse in the South of France by Pope Gregory IX to combat the Albigensian heresy then entrenched throughout the region.

The Albigensian heresy preached a dualism where the body was considered evil. As a consequence, they denied that Christ could have been human, rejected the Sacraments and adopted, in their stead, pagan rituals of “purification”.

The priests, meeting with much hostility in town, set up in a house in the surrounding country, and were making many converts, which upset the local government under Count Raymond III of Toulouse.

They and others, a total of eleven, including some Franciscans, Benedictines, and a layman, were deceived into accepting an invitation to the local castle where seven of them were set upon and slaughtered in a most barbarous manner.

The other four, William Arnaud among them, escaped to a local church where they were found singing religious hymns. Violating the medieval “sanctuary” – an unforgivable act at that time – and angered by the singing, the soldiers first cut off William’s tongue, then killed all four. Their bodies were thrown in a ravine, but that night, light streamed from them leading the faithful to their relics. They were interred in the Church of San Romano at the monastery in Toulouse.

The church in Avignonet where the martyrs had been murdered, was placed under interdict and for years the doors remained locked because of the sacrilege.

Many cures were reported at their graves.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion t...

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Mary and the Simple Country Wife

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier. Little did she know that her soldier-husband had made a deal with the devil, that he would sell his wife for a certain sum of money.

One crisp, autumn morning the couple went out for their customary walk. Oddly, this time the young man insisted on heading towards the forest. It was at the forest where he intended to deliver his young bride over to the devil.

On their way to the forest, the couple passed in front of a Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The wife, overtaken with a desire to enter the church begged her husband to allow her to pray a Hail Mary in that church.

As the young lady entered the church, Holy Mary came forth from it, taking the form of the wife and accompanied the man into the forest.

When they at last approached the devil at the forest, he said to the man, “Traitor! Why have you brought me instead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of God?”

“And you,” said Mary, addressing the devil, “how have you dared to think of injuring my servant? Go, flee to hell.”

And then, turning to the man, Mary said to him, “Amend your life, and I will aid you.”

She then disappeared and that wretched man repented, amended his life and became a husband worthy of his simple country wife.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

 

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There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier.

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